News from Cape Verde, Angola & Mozambique

Archive for May, 2011|Monthly archive page

Cape Verde Politics & Regional News

In Cape Verde on May 26, 2011 at 7:59 pm

POLITICS

Aristides Lima suspended his seat in the National Assembly at the beginning of this week to dedicate himself fully to his presidential campaign. Lima has been substituted by Walter Évora, who holds a degree in political science and is the local leader of the PAICV on the island of Boa Vista (A Semana).

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INTERNATIONAL

Cape Verde was the main highlight in the first edition of Africa Week in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. After the screening of the documentary Viagem às Ilhas de Cabo Verde, Fidel Duarte, the son of freedom fighter and Cape Verde’s first minister of foreign affairs Abílio Duarte, led a conversation with the audience about everyday life in Cape Verde (A Semana).

The Hello Cabo Verde Expo 2011 is coming to New Bedford for an extravagant three-day celebration of island life. Organizers promise a full calendar of colorful events with food, music, dancers and artists showcasing the rich cultural traditions that lend this distant archipelago its unique flavor (South Coast Today).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

The scheduled arrival of the patrol ship Guardião, which is currently being built in the Damen BV shipyards in the Netherlands, has been moved forward to the second half of December, one month before the deadline indicated in the contract. The vessel is being anxiously awaited, as it will reinforce Cape Verde’s surveillance capacity in its Exclusive Economic Zone, which is 180 times larger than the country’s actual land territory (A Semana).

The Royal Navy’s HMS Edinburgh has set sail on a seven month patrol to the British South Atlantic Islands, including the Falklands and South Georgia. The Type-42 destroyer left Portsmouth this morning. During her journey south she will call at the Cape Verde Islands and a variety of countries off the west coast of Africa before arriving in the Falklands later this summer (British Forces News).

A U.S. Coast Guard cutter departed also to conduct maritime safety and security exchanges with countries along the west coast of Africa. During the three-month mission, the 270-foot medium endurance cutter Forward and its crew will visit and work with countries such as Liberia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Cape Verde, a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard said.

SAO VICENTE

Isaura Gomes has resigned as mayor of São Vicente. Her letter of resignation was submitted to the São Vicente municipal assembly this morning, A Semana Online has learned.

Cape Verde Business & Economy News

In Angola on May 26, 2011 at 7:59 pm

ECONOMY

Remittances to Cape Verde from the Euro zone grew 34.3% in the first three months of 2011 in comparison to the same period last year (Portugal 47.5% and France 17.3%), while remittances coming from Cape Verdeans living in the United States fell 8.6%. In April, provisional data from the Bank of Cape Verde pointed to a reduction to 941 million escudos in remittances, from March’s 959.7 million escudos (A Semana).

The Bank of Cape Verde has raised its economic growth forecast for 2011 to between 5 and 6 percent, or 1 percentage point more than in its previous projection announced in November, 2010, according to the monetary policy report published in Praia (Macauhub).

Risk rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Tuesday raised its outlook on Cape Verde from “negative” to “stable” despite maintaining the country’s long term sovereign debt credit risk rating at “B+” and short term debt at “B” (Macauhub).

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AVIATION

The asphalting of the 1,500-meter runway at São Filipe airport was concluded on Saturday, May 21. The airport is expected to reopen this week following an inspection by the Civil Aeronautics Agency (A Semana).

SPLIT SECOND POLLS

Angola Business News

In Angola on May 26, 2011 at 7:57 pm

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the 23 story Edificio 1 Congresso building for Luanda (Source: Skyscrapercity).

POLITICS

After nearly 32 years of being ruled by one president, change may finally be on its way to oil-rich Angola, where anti-government protests have ruffled the feathers of the ruling elite (Mail & Guardian).

INTERNATIONAL

South Africa lags behind Brazil, Russia, India and China, its fellow members in the Brics emerging market bloc, in using its political and commercial capital to clinch significant contractual agreements in Angola, research published last week by financial services group Standard Bank found (BusinessDay).

Angola and China signed six cooperation agreements in Luanda in a ceremony attended by the Angolan parliamentary leader, António Paulo Kassoma and china’s parliamentary leader, Wu Bangguo (Macauhub).

ECONOMY

Angola’s budget revenue was 939.6 billion kwanza ($10 billion) in the first quarter, of which 71 percent from from generated from oil, Finance Minister Carlos Alberto Lopes said (Bloomberg).

Angola’s long-term foreign-currency rating was raised one step above Greece’s by Fitch Ratings as higher oil prices boost state revenue and debt arrears decline (Bloomberg).

Angola’s economy will expand 6.3 percent this year, Banco BPI SA, Portugal’s fifth-largest bank, said, reducing its estimate from the 6.9 percent forecast in January (Bloomberg).

Angola will decide in the next few days whether to take the final $400 million of a $1.4 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund, O Pais reported, without saying where it got the information (Bloomberg).

POWER

The Angolan government plans to make hydroelectricity a priority under the terms of its public investment programme for the next six years, in order to provide the country with a greater and more efficient electricity production capacity, and anticipating future consumption (Macauhub).

MINING

Angola’s diamond production is this year expected to total 10 million carats and provide revenues of US$1.2 billion based on an average price per carat of US$120, Angolan newspaper O País reported citing sector sources (Macauhub).

OIL

Sonangol and Total E&P (Angola) said they had discovered oil in the Canna-1 well in the northeast of block 17/06, in the deep waters of offshore Angola (Macauhub).

Cape Verde Politics & Regional News

In Cape Verde on May 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm

INTERNATIONAL

A model for Africa regarding political rights and civil liberties – this is how Freedom House classifies Cape Verde in its annual report on the country published this month. The institution threw a negative regard, however, on drug trafficking, police violence against detainees and the moroseness of the judicial system (A Semana).

The Cape Verdean government wants to expand its transition period to becoming a Middle Income Country (MIC) until 2015, said the country’s Foreign Relations Minister, José Borges Monday in Porto Novo, arguing that the archipelago needed to ensure the “irreversibility,” of the gains made (Macauhub).

ELECTIONS

David Hopffer Almada will not run for president. The lawyer justifies his decision not to join the presidential race with the fact that he was not endorsed by the PAICV, one of the conditions he had established for himself to run for the nation’s highest office. Almada says he will only backtrack on his decision if there is “some sort of exceptional turnaround” (A Semana).

PAICV Presidential hopeful Inocencio Sousa

SPLIT SECOND POLL

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FOGO

The activity of the volcano on the island of Fogo is now being monitored on a daily basis thanks to the Geophysics Monitoring System that began functioning on April 24. The system is made up of a network of eight seismic measuring stations, six of which are on the island of Fogo and two of which are located on the neighboring island of Brava (A Semana).

SANTO ANTAO

The growing incidence of early pregnancy and alcoholism among youths has caused concern among the MpD legislators representing the Santo Antão electoral circle in the National Assembly, who visited the island over the weekend. The legislators also believe that “urgent” political interventions on the part of the government are needed in the island’s agricultural and farming sector (A Semana).

The passenger ship Sal Rei, which links the islands of São Vicente and Santo Antão on a daily basis, experienced a “technical problem” on May 16, with Prime Minister José Maria Neves on board. The trip, which under normal conditions takes less than an hour, was only concluded with the help of a tugboat that rescued the ship and towed it to Porto Novo, on the island of Santo Antão (A Semana).

SAO VICENTE

The Baía das Gatas music festival, which was scheduled to take place between August 5 and 7, has been postponed until the 12th, 13th and 14th of the same month in order not to coincide with the presidential elections, which have been scheduled for August 7 (A Semana).

Cape Verde Business & Economy News

In Cape Verde on May 19, 2011 at 8:46 pm

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Set in a lush and paradisical tropical garden on Praia’s “gold coast” at Cidade Velha, the Hotel Limeira quietly opened its doors last year. Though the rooms are merely adequate, its secluded and almost posh settings make this place one of Cape Verde’s top hotels (source).

ECONOMY

The 2011 General State Budget totals 59.4 billion escudos, a slight drop from last year’s 61 billion escudos. Despite the cuts in public investment, nearly half of the 2011 State Budget (48%) is earmarked for the infrastructures sector (A Semana).

The 2011 General State Budget proposed by the government foresees an increase in the state’s indebtedness and in the inflation rate projected for this year. Despite the numbers, however, Minister of Finances Cristina Duarte guarantees that Cape Verde remains “within the limits of sustainability” and that the utmost prudence will be used in order to ensure that the State Budget remains “watertight” (A Semana).

Cape Verde plans to exhibit its products and businesses at the Hello Cabo Verde Expo 2011, in the US city of New Bedford from 27 to 29 May, as part of a joint venture of the Cape Verdean embassy in Washington and the Cape Verde consulate in Boston (Macauhub).

SPLIT SECOND POLLS

AGRI

Thirteen Cuban specialists are due soon to arrive in Cape Verde to provide support for rural agricultural development programmes and food security, under the terms of a three-way agreement signed in Praia by Cape Verde, Cuba and the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) (Macauhub).

Two Portuguese companies, which two years ago set up a partnership in Cape Verde, plan to transport a significant amount of the wine produced on the Cape Verdean island of Fogo to Portugal and the United States, said Carlos Graça, managing director of Efectivo, a partner of Win Resources (A Semana).

AVIATION

Close to 145,000 passengers used Cape Verde’s airports in the month of April, representing a 20,110-passenger increase (16.2%) over the same month last year. Domestic traffic grew 10.3%, while international traffic was up 23.3% (A Semana).

Asphalting work on the São Filipe airport runway is moving along at a good pace and should be complete by the end of this month (A Semana).

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TRANSPORT

The acquisition of a modern ship with a 400-passenger capacity is the next investment to be made by transportation company Navieira Armas. Captain Alejandro Rego also announced that the part needed to repair the Mar d’Canal, which has been carrying out its regular daily connection between the islands of São Vicente and Santo Antão with a single motor, has arrived in Cape Verde (A Semana).

Angola Business News

In Angola on May 19, 2011 at 8:45 pm

ECONOMY

Angola’s economy is this year expected to post growth of 6.3 percent, taking into consideration the recent performance of the oil market, according to the May report from Portuguese bank BPI on Angola (Macauhub).

The Angolan government is preparing the partial privatization of some of the country’s largest companies, despite keeping their identity secret for now, Angolan magazine Exame reported in its latest edition (Macauhub).

New legislation on private investment will help Angola attract overseas investors, with a return to growth this year ensuring the economy has left its payment problems behind, the head of the country’s investment agency said (News24).

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AVIATION

Angolan national airline Taag is due to start flying on 2 July to the city of Portugal in northern Portugal, offering two flights per week (Macauhub).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

CONSTRUCTION

Angola plans to more than double cement production by 2013 in order to be self-sufficient in the building material, Industrial Association of Angola Chairman Jose Severino said (Bloomberg).

Angolan group Prébuild has acquired 100 percent of Portuguese group Levira, one of the largest Portuguese office furniture manufacturers, Angolan weekly newspaper Expansão reported (Macauhub).

MINING

Angola wants to bring investors to prospect for new diamonds in the southern African nation, said Antonio Carlos Sumbula, chairman of the state-owned gem miner Endiama EP (Bloomberg).

OAO Alrosa, Russia’s diamond monopoly, may add operations in Angola, where it already owns a 32.8 percent interest in the Catoca mining venture (Bloomberg).

Lev Leviev sold his 18 percent stake in Alrosa Co. Ltd.’s Catoca diamond mine in Angola to China Sonangol International Ltd., Kommersant reported, citing a letter by Fyodor Andreyev, chief executive officer of the Russian diamond producer to Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin (Bloomberg).

OIL

PetroChina Co. is not considering buying Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM)’s stake in an oil block in Angola, Jiang Jiemin, chairman of PetroChina, said at a briefing in Beijing (Bloomberg).

Angola will resume the construction of its Sonaref oil refinery in the port city of Lobito this year, Televisao Publico de Angola said, citing Manuel Vicente, the chairman of Sonangol Holdings, the state oil company (Bloomberg).

Angola plans to ban foreign oil companies from contracting services from companies abroad, Radio Nacional de Angola said, citing Manuel Vicente, chairman of the state-owned oil company Sonangol EP (Bloomberg).

Indian state oil company, Indian Oil Corp has purchased 1.6 million barrels of oil for delivery in June from Angola, making Angola the main African oil supplier to India (Macauhub).

TOURISM

Angolan plans to receive around 4.7 million tourists per year by 2020, said Carlos Borges, consultant for the Hotels and Tourism Ministry said in Luanda last week, noting that the target would represent growth of over 1,000 percent on current tourist numbers (Macauhub).

Cape Verde Politics & Regional News

In Cape Verde on May 12, 2011 at 9:18 pm

INTERNATIONAL

The government of Cape Verde and ambassadors and other representatives of donor countries and international organizations accredited in Cape Verde will meet in the city of Porto Novo, on the island of Santo Antão, between May 15 and 17 (A Semana).

LAW ENFORCEMENT

Cape Verde is one of the West African countries referred to by the United Nations’ anti-drug trafficking office as serving as a transit point for drugs coming from South American countries on their way to markets in Europe. As opposed to what happened previously, the drugs are increasingly being transported in airplanes, to the detriment of ships (A Semana).

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FOGO

São Filipe airport on the island of Fogo will be closed between May 12 and May 31 for asphalting work on the runway (A Semana).

SANTIAGO

The six-kilometer asphalted road connecting Achada Igreja and Achada Leitão, in the municipality of São Salvador do Mundo, on the island of Santiago, was officially opened May 12 by Prime Minister José Maria Neves (A Semana).

Between May 20 and 22, the first-ever automobile fair in Cape Verde, ExpoAuto, will take place in Praia. All of the carmakers whose products are sold in the country will be represented at the event (A Semana).

SAL

The construction of the Hotel Boulevard in Santa Maria, on the island of Sal, will demand more time than initially foreseen. The project, the groundbreaking ceremony for which took place in November of last year, is only expected to be completed six months from now, which will result in the addition of nearly 100 million escudos to its initial cost (A Semana).

The English enterprise Tortuga Beach Resort, located in the Ponta Preta district of the island of Sal, opened May 7. The enterprise is the first hotel unit in Cape Verde of Gibraltar-based Resort Group PLC, but will be managed by Sol Meliá, Spain’s largest tourism and hotel group (A Semana).

When it comes to new summer resort destinations, it seems wealthy British retirees and property investors are starting to look south of the Med. On the central Atlantic island nation of Cape Verde, 570km off the coast of West Africa, Resort Group’s sold-out new 5-star development, Tortuga Beach, officially opened for business this week after attracting an unprecedented level of interest from investors. With increased direct flights from the UK expected to attract an influx of tourists to the islands this summer, it’s no surprise the group’s next development is also approaching sell-out status (IBTimes).

SANTO ANTAO

A new era is dawning for farmers on Santo Antão – the center for the inspection and packaging of the island’s agricultural products will begin operating next week to assure the quality of the food products to be exported to the rest of the country. The islands of Sal and Boa Vista, where most of Cape Verde’s largest hotel enterprises are concentrated, are expected to be the first to receive the products inspected at the center (A Semana).

The long-established Cantinho de Amizade snackbar in Ribeira Grande town has substantially expanded its premises, adding a bar, a restaurant and apartments. Cantinho de Amizade is possibly Ribeira Grande’s best restaurant, serving among other things affordable and fast pratos do dia and is conveniently located near the petrol stations and taxi ranks (AW).

Cape Verde Business & Economy

In Cape Verde on May 12, 2011 at 9:17 pm

ECONOMY

Cape Verde obtained a negative evaluation from financial rating agency Standard & Poor’s – the only exception, alongside Senegal, to the economic recovery forecast for sub-Saharan Africa as a whole (A Semana).

The Brazilian Embassy in Cape Verde has created a commercial sector called SECOM to promote the flow of investments between the two countries, at a time in which Brazilian entrepreneurs’ interest in expanding to Africa is on the rise. This could be the first step toward making Cape Verde a hub for Brazilian products being sold in countries in this region of Africa (A Semana).

Cape Verde’s public debt is mainly made up of soft loans that account for 87 percent of the total. Of the remaining 13 percent, minister Cristina Duarte said, 8 percent was “almost commercial” debt and 5 percent was “commercial” debt and that on 31st December, 2010, public debt totalled 75.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) (Macauhub).

Cape Verde posted a balance of trade deficit of 14.92 billion Cape Verdean escudos (US$197.8 million) in the first quarter of 2011, when exports rose by 27.4 percent and imports by 21.4 percent, according to the archipelago’s National Statistics Institute (INE) (Macauhub).

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AVIATION

The director of TACV Cabo Verde Airlines for the Spanish and Portuguese markets, Mário Almeida, has announced that the Cape Verdean flagship airline will begin offering direct flights between the Spanish city of Barcelona and the island of Sal every Saturday beginning this summer (A Semana).

More than 10,000 passengers embarked and disembarked on the islands of Sal and Boa Vista between April 21 and 24, the Easter holiday. The figure represents 4.9% growth over the same period in 2010 (A Semana).

French charter company XL Airways will begin flights between Paris and the island of São Vicente on May 12. The direct flights will take place weekly every Thursday with departures from Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport and a stop at Sal’s Amílcar Cabral International Airport on the return leg of the trip (A Semana).

ENERGY

The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) scored another first with the granting of the Best Renewable Project in Africa Award to the Cabeolica Project, at the recent Africa Energy Awards held in Johannesburg. The Cape Verde based Cabeolica wind farm project was singled out for being the first commercial scale Public Private Partnership (PPP) wind farm in Sub-Saharan Africa (NEXT).

TELECOMS

Cabo Verde Telecom registered consolidated net profits of 2,604,000,000 escudos in 2010, a 17% drop in comparison to 2009 (3,142,000,000 escudos). According to CV Telecom’s general accounting report, which was presented in the general assembly of the company’s shareholders, gross sales and services fell 7% to 7,187,000,000 escudos (A Semana).

TOURISM

Prime Minister José Maria Neves affirms that it is “an exaggeration” to say that Cape Verde’s main way of attracting tourists is sex. The premier’s declarations come on the heels of a Human Rights report published by the United States Department of State last month (A Semana).

The access road on Boavista to the hotels located on Chaves beach and the first phase of the road linking Povoação Velha to the Lacacão zone, where Cape Verde’s largest hotel, Riu Touareg, was officially unveiled May 5 (A Semana).

RIU Hotels & Resorts opened the Riu Touareg, a beautiful 5 star 24 Hours All-inclusive hotel, located on the island of Boavista (FTNNews).

Angola Business News

In Angola on May 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm

POLITICS

Jose Eduardo dos Santos, the president of Angola, said speculation on the Internet about his wealth is designed to turn Angolans against the government and replace him with a “stooge” of foreign powers (Bloomberg).

ECONOMY

Angola may revise its budget this month ahead of elections next year, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said (Bloomberg).

Angola reduced its outstanding debt to building contractors to $2.5 billion at the end of the first quarter. The remaining debt to contractors that helped rebuild infrastructure after a civil war will be paid through the issue of kwanza-denominated bonds and $1 billion in cash, the government said in a report published in Jornal de Angola (Bloomberg).

Angolan businesswoman Isabel dos Santos and Portuguese group Sonae are set to create an information technology company called Software Sistemas de Informação Angola (SSIA), in Angola Portuguese weekly newspaper Expresso reported (Macauhub).

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INTERNATIONAL

Angola’s state-owned oil company Sonangol will invest more than $12 million this year in Sao Tome and Principe to modernise the tiny island nation’s port and airport, Sao Tome’s government said (Reuters).

AVIATION

Angolan national airline TAAG plans to expand its fleet in June with two Boeing 777-300 aircraft, the country’s transport minister, Augusto da Silva Tomás said (Macauhub).

MINING

Angola plans to resume iron ore output in its southwestern Huila province within the next two years while also starting gold exploration there, Radio Nacional de Angola reported (Bloomberg).

OIL & GAS

Indonesian state energy company Pertamina is in talks to buy Exxon Mobil Corp’s 25 percent stake in an Angolan offshore oil block, the Wall Street Journal said (Reuters).

Angola’s liquid natural gas (LNG), which is due to start being produced in the next few months, is raising the interest of international investors, who have several projects in the design stages, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) (Macauhub).

PORTS

Lobito could be one future destination for Congolese copper as soon as China’s state-owned Sinohydro Corp. finishes restoring the 1,344-kilometer Benguela line that once linked Congo’s Katanga province to the Atlantic coast (Bloomberg).

The new jetty at the port of Cabinda in Angola may start operating as of September 2012, which would make it possible for two 130-metre ships to moor there at the same time (Macauhub).