News from Cape Verde, Angola & Mozambique

Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

Cape Verde Politics & Regional News

In Cape Verde on January 26, 2012 at 8:32 pm

INTERNATIONAL

The International Criminal Court (ICC) held a ceremony on 19 January 2012 at the seat of the Court in The Hague to welcome Cape Verde as the 119th State Party to the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty. Cape Verde is also the 33rd African State Party, the first Lusophone country in Africa and the 12th member of the Economic Community of West African States to adhere to the Rome Statute, which took effect in the country on 1 January 2012 (ICC).

Cape Verde has risen to an amazing 9th place on the Reporters Without Frontiers Press Freedom Index 2011. Norway, Finland, Estonia, the Netherlands, Austria, Iceland, Luxembourg and Switzerland are leading the top 10, with Canada trailing Cape Verde at 10th place.

A Boston University’s fellowship has served a different but perhaps very important purpose: to highlight the small but growing group of countries in Africa that have already built successful democracies. It has served as a kind of think-tank and support system for well-run nations you almost never hear about: Cape Verde, Botswana, and Mauritius (Boston.com).

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DEFENSE & SECURITY

A 17-year-old male was killed in the early morning hours of Saturday in the capital city during a confrontation between rival gangs from the Praia neighborhoods of Várzea and Achadinha. The boy was hit in the neck by a bullet fired from a homemade pistol (A Semana).

CULTURE

Most anyone who knows the music of Cape Verde, an archipelago nestled 500km off the coast of West Africa, first learned of these sublime sounds through the music of Cesária Évora. She popularised morna, the melancholy strains that are unmistakably the Cape-Verdean style of blues. Évora passed away last month, but the emotional essence of morna lives on through one of the country’s most celebrated sirens—27-year-old Mayra Andrade (The Economist).

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BOA VISTA

Current Boa Vista mayor José Pinto Almeida has beat José Luís Santos in the internal party dispute of which the two were protagonists, and is now the MpD’s candidate in this year’s municipal elections on the island (A Semana).

Cape Verde Business & Economy

In Cape Verde on January 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of a new Aparthotel for Mindelo, Sao Vicente, boasting 120 apartments and a rooftop swimming pool (source).

ECONOMY

The World Bank plans to loan Cape Verde US$1 million for its Growth and Competitiveness Fund (FCC), which is focused on supporting Cape Verdean companies, said the FCC’s representative at the Sotavento Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services (CCISS) (Macauhub).

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ENTREPRENEURS OF CAPE VERDE

Check out Atlantico Weekly’s Entrepreneurs of Cape Verde, a series of short interviews with entrepreneurs in Cape Verde, both homegrown and foreign. The latest interview was with Emanuel Spencer of SCI, Cape Verde’s  first multinational company.

And yes, Atlantico Weekly is looking for more entrepreneurs of Cape Verde to interview. Those interested may contact Atlantico Weekly (atlanticoweekly at gmail.com).

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TOURISM

Thirty-five percent of the funding to build a cruise terminal and ancillary services in Sao Vicente has been approved, the National Administration of Ports of Cape Verde (Enapor) reported (AW).

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THE GRAND TOUR OF CAPE VERDE

Read The Grand Tour of Cape Verde, Atlantico Weekly’s travel guide to the country’s main islands, updated in January 2012.

Atlantico Weekly’s Angola Business News

In Angola on January 26, 2012 at 8:30 pm

POLITICS

The Parliament of Angola canceled a session that would have sworn in the head of a national elections commission whom opposition parties have rejected (Bloomberg).

Angola’s ruling MPLA party defended the re-appointment of the electoral commission chief and said opposition criticism was aimed at causing instability before an election this year (Reuters).

INTERNATIONAL

The strategic plan to set up the Cross-border Maiombe Forest Conservation Area, between Angola, Gabon, Congo-Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo, requires US$40 million in investment, the project’s regional coordinator said (Macauhub).

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ECONOMY

The economy of Angola grew 3.4 percent last year with “prudent” policies, the International Monetary Fund said in a review of a $1.4 billion loan program (Bloomberg).

Angola is making “concerted efforts” to explain a $32bn gap in the government’s accounts, which apparently was caused by undocumented spending on infrastructure projects, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said (BusinessDay).

The Angolan government does not plan to take out another loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) when its US$1.4 billion loan under the terms of a stand by agreement is concluded this year, Angola’s Economy Minister said (Macauhub).

BUSINESS

Angola’s state-owned oil company Sonangol EP and some of the country’s banks are interested in stakes in Portuguese companies, Angolan Economy Minister Abraao Gourgel said (Bloomberg).

AGRI ETC

Angolan state company Mecanegro will be the target of a modernisation programme that will be funded by a US$40 million loan provided by the Export Import (ExIm) Bank of China, the chairman of the company said (Macauhub).

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MINING

Prospecting work to re-open the iron ore and manganese mines in Kassala-Kitungo, in Angola’s Kwanza Norte province, began last week. The project, which is part of public-private partnership involving state mining company Empresa Nacional de Ferro de Angola (Ferrangol) and Angola Exploration Mining Resources (AEMR), was launched in the first half of 2011 (Macauhub).

OIL & GAS

March loading cargoes of Angolan crude oil have nearly sold out, following relatively strong demand from Asia and a fall in the export volume for the month, traders said (Reuters).

Angola plans to reduce its daily crude oil exports in March by 12 percent to 1.61 million barrels a day, the lowest in nine months, according to a final loading program obtained by Bloomberg News.

Engen Petroleum Limited, the African downstream petroleum products refiner and marketer, has acquired the assets of Chevron in seven countries in sub-Sahara Africa, namely Nigeria and Angola. “We have completed the integration process, now the sky is the limit as we seek to become the champion in Africa,” Henry Akwaboah, managing director of Engen, Ghana, stated at an award ceremony in Accra (Businessdayonline) .

TELECOMS

Vodacom Group Ltd. plans to pull out of the Democratic Republic of Congo by selling its 51 percent stake in a local mobile-phone business to MTN Group Ltd. or Unitel SA of Angola (Businessweek).

TOURISM

Angola is expected to register until 2020 a movement of four million tourists, the minister of Hotel and Tourism, Pedro Mutindi, said in Luanda  (ANGOP).

 

Cape Verde Politics & Regional News

In Cape Verde on January 19, 2012 at 9:07 pm

POLITICS

Prime Minister José Maria Neves affirmed he was unaware of any request for information regarding possible secret CIA flights used to transport terrorism suspects through Cape Verdean airspace (A Semana).

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INTERNATIONAL

The United States will continue to support Cape Verde and the entire ECOWAS region in the fight against drug trafficking, organized crime, illegal migration and money laundering, affirmed Prime Minister José Maria Neves in a press conference following his meeting of nearly one hour with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton made a stopover on the island of Sal at the end of a visit to four West African countries (A Semana).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Secret police from the United States and various European countries believe there to be Cape Verdeans both inside the country and abroad who have converted to Islam and are recruiting individuals for military training in Yemen, one of Al Qaeda’s main bases. The suspicions have gained strength with the recent visit to Cape Verde of eleven members of the radical Islamic faction Tabligh Jamaat – considered the largest recruitment entity for the terrorist organization founded by Bin Laden – and took on alarming proportions with the declarations of French Minister of Foreign Affairs Alain Juppé, who confirmed Al Qaeda’s expansion from Somalia to coastal West Africa, crossing the entire Sahel region (A Semana).

The Cape Verde Coast Guard has commissioned a new 51 metre long Stan Patrol SPA 5009 patrol vessel built by the Damen shipyard. The vessel, based on Damen’s Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 5009, was commissioned on January 7. It features a single ‘Axe Bow’ which delivers high speeds with low fuel consumption. More than 60 Damen Sea Axe vessels have already been delivered as Crew Boats and Fast Crew Suppliers but the Cape Verde craft is the first Offshore Patrol Vessel version (Defenceweb).

SANTIAGO

The global price of the Santa Catarina de Santiago sanitation project, which is being financed by the French Development Agency and the Cape Verdean government, stands at 10 million Euros, and includes work on the water distribution and sewer system in the municipality (A Semana).

Cape Verde has decided to rename its Praia International Airport after South Africa’s former president Nelson Mandela, an icon for freedom in Africa. The decision pays homage to Mandela, who on February 11 marks 22 years since he was released from prison, where he had spent 27 years for his struggle against the white apartheid regime in South Africa (AFP).

THE GRAND TOUR OF CAPE VERDE

Read The Grand Tour of Cape Verde, Atlantico Weekly’s travel guide to the country’s main islands, recently updated!

SANTO ANTAO

President Jorge Carlos Fonseca Jorge Carlos Fonseca, on his first official visit to the island of Santo Antão, presided over the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Missolini Complex in the city of Ribeira Grande (A Semana).

Cape Verde Business & Economy News

In Cape Verde on January 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm

ECONOMY

Cape Verde records 4.5% inflation in Dec. 2011 – Inflation in Cape Verde in December 2011 stood at 4.5%, double the rate at the same time in 2010, according to the country’s National Institute of Statistics (INE) (Afrique en Ligne).

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AGRI ETC

Wines from wineries Sodade and Chã, both produced on the island of Fogo, will be included, for the first time, in the 21st edition of the annual Boston wine exposition, which runs until Sunday, January 22 (A Semana).

ENTREPRENEURS OF CAPE VERDE

Check out Atlantico Weekly’s new feature: Entrepreneurs of Cape Verde, a series of short interviews with entrepreneurs in Cape Verde, both homegrown and foreign. This week with Emanuel Spencer of SCI, Cape Verde’s first multinational!

And yes, Atlantico Weekly is looking for more entrepreneurs of Cape Verde to interview. Those interested may contact Atlantico Weekly (atlanticoweekly at gmail.com).

TOURISM

British tourism group The Resort Group PLC plans to build six tourist resorts on Cape Verde’s Boa Vista island over the next 12 to 15 years, increasing the number of rooms the groups has on the island to 4,300 (Macauhub).

Breathtaking beaches lure tourists to the Cape Verde islands.  Even in the main winter season there is little sign of hectic activity on Sal and neighbouring Boa Vista – even though these two are the most popular islands in the entire archipelago, which lies off the coast of West Africa (Monsters and Critics).

The Ribeira Grande de Santo Antão municipal chamber will promote an international forum on the sustained development of tourism in the municipality and on the island of Santo Antão in general. The event, which is taking place at the Pedracin Village Hotel, will be opened by Minister of Rural Development Eva Ortet (A Semana).

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Atlantico Weekly’s Angola Business News

In Angola on January 19, 2012 at 9:05 pm

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Lobito Towers mixed project for Lobito (Skyscrapercity).

POLITICS

Angola’s Magistrates Superior Council re-elected Judge Suzana Nicolau Ingles as chairman of the country’s Electoral Commission, Radio Nacional de Angola reported, citing Adelino de Almeida, vice minister for territorial administration (Bloomberg).

Angola’s government has denied a report by Human Rights Watch suggesting that 32 billion dollars are missing from state funds, thought to be linked to the state oil company Sonangol (Vanguard).

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ECONOMY

Angola’s foreign-currency reserves rose 44 percent last year to reach $25.02 billion in December as Africa’s second-biggest oil producer benefited from rising crude prices, a document from Angola’s central bank showed (Bloomberg).

Angola’s Economy minister, Abraão Gourgel, said that Angola was open to small and medium-sized Portuguese companies that wanted to set themselves up in the country (Macauhub).

Angola loses about Usd 18 million per year out of idle hours spent by workers, especially in activities started with a delay. The disclosure came from the chairman of the Angola Industrial Association (AIA), José Severino (Angop).

MINING

Endiama EP, Angola’s state-owned diamond company, will focus on finding new diamond deposits following a surge in gem prices that has spurred foreign investor interest in the industry (Bloomberg).

China’s increasing demand for diamonds is expected to support Angolan diamond exports and prices in 2012, said Antonio Jose Freitas, a spokesman for state-owned diamond company Endiama EP (Bloomberg).

Kymberlite exploration company Sociedade Mineira de Catoca (SMC) in 2011 produced around 6.7 million carats of diamonds and posted gross revenues of US$611 million, the company’s managing director said (Macauhub).

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OIL & GAS

CPC Corp., a Taiwan state-run oil company, bought 4 million barrels of Angolan crude for loading in March via a tender, according to four traders who participate in the market (Businessweek).

Cape Verde Politics & Regional News

In Cape Verde on January 12, 2012 at 9:02 pm

POLITICS

The execution of the Sector Plan for Renewable Energies, with a target of 50 percent “penetration” of renewable energies in Cape Verde by 2020, is expected to cost over 300 million euros, Minister Humberto Brito said (Macauhub).

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INTERNATIONAL

New York City will be the stage Saturday, January 14, for the second edition of the Cape Verde Expo of New York, which will feature music, fashion, cinema and visual arts from the archipelago. The musical portion of the event will be guaranteed by cabojazz singer Cândida Rose, singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Zé Rui de Pina (both of whom reside in the United States), and special guest artist Isa Pereira, who will travel all the way from Cape Verde to participate (A Semana).

CULTURE

The nominees for the 23 categories of the Cape Verde Music Awards are already known. Dina Medina – with six nominations – and Tcheka and Mirri Lobo – with five each – are the artists with more nominations for the event that takes place on the 12th of March, in the city of Praia,  Santiago Island (CVMA).

Cooperation between Spain and Cape Verde will continue, with the next Indicative Cooperation Programme (PIC) to be studied, assured José Luis Rocha, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Inforpress).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

Four former National Police Anti-Crime Brigade agents have been transferred to the Achada de São Filipe and Achada de Santo António National Police squadrons in Praia. The corporation’s Praia Regional Command recruited 16 new faces from the National Police Corps of Intervention and the various squadrons in the capital city in order to boost the work and image of the Anti-Crime and Criminal Investigation Brigade in the capital, an image that was severely tarnished by “internal crimes” (A Semana).

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FOGO

With its smoking core, Fogo is the most obvious embodiment of Cape Verde’s own roots deep below the earth’s crust. The island’s active volcano, Pico de Fogo, sits inside the blown out crater of an older, much larger cone, offering views from its summit on a clear day of the country’s largest island of Santiago. In the opposite direction, across a short stretch of tumultuous sea, the archipelago’s smallest island of Brava is seemingly within reach from the cobblestone street in front of the Cape Cod International Restaurante, located in Fogo’s main city of São Filipe (Cape Cod Online).

THE GRAND TOUR OF CAPE VERDE

Read The Grand Tour of Cape Verde, Atlantico Weekly’s travel guide to the country’s main islands.

SANTIAGO

After Mato Grosso state capital Cuiabá and Ceará state capital Fortaleza, the city of Praia is preparing to sign a sister-city accord with a third Brazilian state capital: Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia. The areas of cooperation that have thus far been identified include culture, the business sector, security, education, professional training and information technology. The final accord is expected to be ready by the end of this year (A Semana).

Cape Verde Business & Economy News

In Cape Verde on January 12, 2012 at 9:01 pm

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Sinagoga resort for Sinagoga on Santo Antao, consisting of 44 homes and a four star hotel. Construction starts this month (source).

AGRI ETC

The Cape Verdean government plans this year to set up on the archipelago a pilot unit for seaweed production to extract beta-carotene, a substance used, for example, as a food colouring, the secretary of state for Marine Resources said in Praia (Macauhub).

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ENTREPRENEURS OF CAPE VERDE

Check out Atlantico Weekly’s new feature: Entrepreneurs of Cape Verde, which will be a series of short interviews with entrepreneurs in Cape Verde, both homegrown and foreign. We started off with Josephine Sturiale, Paulino Dias, Patone Lobo and others. Coming soon is an interview with Emanuel Spencer of SCI.

And yes, Atlantico Weekly is looking for more entrepreneurs of Cape Verde to interview. Those interested may contact Atlantico Weekly (atlanticoweekly at gmail.com).

FISHERIES

A partnership between companies from the Brazilian state from Ceará and from Cape Verde has been set up with the aim of farming shrimp on the archipelago, according to Brazilian newspaper Diário do Nordeste. The newspaper said that the outlined investment totalled 1.5 million euros, half of which was a donation from the Netherlands government and the other half provided by the companies that make up the partnership, called Pescados de Cabo Verde, one of which is Ceará-based company Universo Pescados (Macauhub).

PORTS

Brazilian shipping and docks company Companhia Docas do Ceará (CDC) and Cape Verdean ports manager Empresa Nacional de Administração dos Portos (Enapor) signed a protocol of cooperation to increase business between Brazil and Africa, using the West African archipelago’s ports (Macauhub).

The ship Vicente, owned by shipping company Tuninha, began its first reconnaissance trip to the ports in which it will operate today. Vicente will carry out weekly trips and facilitate the transportation of products between all islands except for Maio, Brava and Santo Antão (A Semana).

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Atlantico Weekly’s Angola Business News

In Angola on January 12, 2012 at 8:59 pm

POLITICS

President Jose Eduardo dos Santos is expected to confirm later this month that he will lead his MPLA party in a general election in the third quarter of the year. With Dos Santos apparently ready to go ahead with a re-election bid, the focus is on the MPLA’s choice for No. 2 on its candidate list for the election to be announced this month. This may signal the choice of a successor. Read about the key political risks to watch in Angola at Reuters.

Angola has warned a private newspaper that it faced closure if they did not take a patriotic stance while reporting instead of tarnishing the government’s image. The Mass Media Ministry accused Folha 8 for violating freedom of expression and stretching it to the limit. On December 30, the newspaper published pictures of the Angolan Head of State, the Vice President and the head of the President’s Military Office complete with a caption stating that the trio should be detained over corruption (Africa Review).

ECONOMY

The privatisation programme underway in Portugal offers “rich pickings” for Angolan companies interested in making acquisitions, and oil and gas company Galp Energia is at the top of the “shopping list,” according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Attracting Angolan investment was a priority at the recent visit to Luanda by Portuguese Prime Minister, Pedro Passos Coelho (Macauhub).

The lifetime of Angola’s oil reserves, which had previously been estimated at 20 years, has been increased to 50 years following the start of exploration of the pre-salt layer, according to a projection from oil company BP (Macauhub).

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AGRI ETC

Agricultural production in Angola in 2011 posted growth of 8 percent against 2010, the Angolan Minister for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fishing, Afonso Pedro Canga announced (Macauhub).

The Angolan government has accused Namibian cattle farmers of orchestrating land grabs inside Angola. Namibian communal farmers in the northern areas graze their cattle and goats in Angola where the farmers also reportedly engage in illegal land grabs because of the fertility of the soil in the oil-rich country (New Era).

BANKING

Angolan banks are preparing to handle hundreds of millions of dollars from foreign oil companies operating in the African country when a law requiring them to use local lenders comes into effect later this year. Emidio Pinheiro, the chief executive officer of Banco Fomento Angola, the country’s second biggest private bank, expects oil companies to start using local banks to pay part of their taxes and suppliers by the end of June (Bloomberg).

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OIL & GAS

Angola expects to increase oil output to 2 million barrels per day (mbpd) in 2014 from an estimated 1.8 mbpd this year due to new fields coming on line, oil minister Jose Botelho de Vasconcelos was quoted as saying (Reuters).

Angola produced 548 million barrels of crude, or an average of 1.65 million barrels a day, from January to October, he said (Bloomberg).

Iraqi police say insurgents disguised as soldiers have attacked a small oil field being developed by Sonangol in the north of the country, damaging equipment but causing no casualties (Washington Post).

TRANSPORT

The commercial director of Angolan regional railroad company Caminho-de-Ferro de Benguela (CFB), Aquiles de Carvalho, said that the company intended for its trains to reach Luena, the capital of Moxico province, by 30 April of this year (Macauhub).

VARIOUS

A New Jersey concert promoter and his son were marooned in Angola, unable to leave the country while authorities investigate a canceled New Year’s Eve show by the rapper Nas (Fox News).

At least 270 citizens of various nationalities were taken to court in 2011 in northern Cabinda province for helping illegal immigration, the local director of the Migration and Foreigners Service (SME), Manuel Gomes, said (AllAfrica).

An Angolan woman who belongs to the ruling MPLA party Women’s League has killed her son in the capital Luanda for joining the opposition Unita party. According to Radio Despertar, “the woman murdered her son for belonging to the Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita) party.” Members of Unita reported the incident to the police who are investigating (Africa Review).

 

Cape Verde Politics & Regional News

In Cape Verde on January 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm

POLITICS

The remarkable economic and political progress of Cape Verde is seen as a blueprint for the rest of Africa, writes BBC Today programme presenter Evan Davis after a visit to the tiny island state.

Cape Verde stands at 26th place on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s 2011 Democracy Index, beating France and a number of other EU majors (Wikipedia).

CULTURE

Cesária Évora died on December 17th, aged 70. Read the excellent obituary in The Economist.

The recent death of Grammy award-winning singer Cesaria Evora — synonymous around the world with the Cape Verde Islands — is still being felt by Cape Verdean Americans and ex-pats, two weeks after her passing. The 70-year-old singer was honored on area radio, in restaurants, by local diplomatic offices and in churches, including in New Bedford, considered the oldest and one of the largest Cape Verdean immigrant communities in the country (SouthcoastToday).

The music video “Amor não é complicado,” by young Brazilian singer Kataleya, which has become a hit on the Internet and on television, is the work of Cape Verdean production company Klasszik (A Semana).

He grew up in Roxbury and Dorchester, the son of Cape Verdean immigrants. Now 26-year-old rap superstar Nilton Depina, who goes by the name 2Face Dejavu, has claimed the top rapper prize at last weeks “America’s Next Top Rapper” competition (Boston.com).

INTERNATIONAL

Vanny Reis became Miss West Africa 2011 (more pics at ModernGhana).

China has loaned Cape Verde over US$80 million under the terms of four agreements. Signed by the secretary of state for Foreign Affairs, José Luís Rocha, and by the Chinese ambassador to Cape Verde, two of the agreements will provide loans for construction of social housing, one for US$51 million and the other for US$12 million. The remaining two agreements related to expanding the National Stadium by a further 5,000 seats to a total of 15,000 as well as the project to extend and refurbish the Presidential Palace (Macauhub).

Cape Verde is due in February to sign for the second aid package from the United States Federal Government via the US institution Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the United States ambassador said in Cape Verde (Macauhub).

DEFENSE & SECURITY

The patrol ship Guardião arrived at Mindelo sea port on the island of São Vicente on December 30th. The ship, which was built in the Netherlands, will reinforce the patrolling of Cape Verde’s Exclusive Economic Zone and carry out search and rescue, inspection, anti-trafficking and anti-illegal fishing operations, among others (A Semana).

The Guardião will be baptized on Saturday January 7th in Mindelo.

The Council of Ministers on Tuesday will discuss the current situation of public security to ensure a zero tolerance policy on crime (AW).

The new Chief of the Armed Forces (CEMFA), Colonel Alberto Carlos Barbosa Fernandes, took office in a ceremony presided by the President, who praised the role of the Armed Forces in Cape Verde (Inforpress).

The Judicial Police (PJ) arrested a further five people in connection with Operation Speedboat, among them the former chairman of the board of the Stock Exchange, Veríssimo Pinto (AW).

SANTIAGO

Australian based Water Resource’s 49 per cent owned joint venture, Blue Acquified LDA, has agreed a 25 year contract to provide 1,400,000 cubic metres of water a year to the municipality of Santa Catarina (Money MSN).

SANTO ANTAO

The chairman of the PAICV’s Santo Antão Regional Political Commission, Carlos Delgado, has confirmed the incumbent mayor Vera Almeida will be the party’s candidate in the 2012 municipal elections in Paúl. Almeida promises to comment on the issue later this week (A Semana).

Electricity utility Electra is cutting off electricity to various public and private institutions with bills in arrear in the municipality of Porto Novo, on the island of Santo Antão. Cement company Cabocem and the Santantão Art Resort Hotel, both of which belong to Turinvest Holding, as well as the Porto Novo municipal chamber and the agricultural goods processing center, are among the first to have their energy supply suspended (A Semana).

SAO VICENTE

The workers at São Vicente retail establishment Casa do Leão entered 2012 unemployed and without hopes of receiving the eight months of wages they are owed any time soon. One of Mindelo’s historic commercial establishments, Casa do Leão declared bankruptcy some six months ago and closed its doors on December 30. Its workers are now fighting to have the back wages they are owed included in the compensation payment to which they have a right (A Semana).

The Council of Ministers approved the draft resolution to change the name of  São Pedro Airport on Sao Vicente in to Cesaria Evora Airport (AW).

Cape Verde Business & Economy News

In Cape Verde on January 7, 2012 at 1:07 pm

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Vista Ponta do Sol residential complex for Ponta do Sol on Santo Antao island, currently under development (SCI).

ECONOMY

The Bank of Cape Verde decided to increase the minimum cash availability rates by two percentage points from 16 percent to 18 percent and the base interest rate by 150 basis points from 4.25 percent to 5.75 percent. The Cape Verdean central bank explained the measures, which are intended to ensure the stability of the exchange rate and of the financial system, by noting the unfavourable progress of the balance of payments, persistence of serious financial problems on an international level, particularly in the Euro Zone, and the development of the economic situation in Cape Verde itself (Macauhub).

Germe (Better Manage Your Business), a project of the International Labour Organization that seeks to improve the performance of micro and small companies by providing them with information about management was launched in Cape Verde (Macauhub).

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BUSINESS

Angolan drinks company Empresa Nacional de Bebidas (Refriango) has said that it will end 2011 with production of 2 million litres of drinks and sales rising 20 percent against 2010. Cape Verde and South Africa would be the next potential export markets in 2012 where it planned to sell 2 million litres of drinks (Macauhub).

ENTREPRENEURS OF CAPE VERDE

Check out Atlantico Weekly’s Entrepreneurs of Cape Verde, a series of short interviews with entrepreneurs in Cape Verde, both homegrown and foreign.

And yes, Atlantico Weekly is looking for more entrepreneurs of Cape Verde to interview. Those interested may contact Atlantico Weekly (atlanticoweekly at gmail.com).

FISHERIES

The government plans to invest 51 million escudos in the requalification of the Praia fishing dock, work on which will begin in February. The investment will be the most significant in the infrastructure since it was opened (A Semana).

PORTS

Cape Verde is not taking maximum advantage of the scanners recently installed to reinforce security in container traffic in the ports of Praia, Mindelo and Palmeira, according to the director general of customs, Marino Andrade, in whose view not even 10% of the equipment’s potential is being utilized (A Semana).

TOURISM

Meliá Hotels International recently announced the construction of its fourth hotel in Cape Verde and its first on the island of Boa Vista, which will join the three units the group already owns on Sal. The Meliá White Sands will be a luxury resort with 850 apartments (A Semana).

Praia’s airport, port and streets had a different flavor, in large part due to the presence of 572 Finnish tourists in the city. 308 of the tourists disembarked from a Kristina Cruises ship docked at Praia sea port and boarded an Airbus 330 back home. The same plane brought 264 Finnish tourists, who embarked on the same day for Mindelo. This was the first time Cape Verde has hosted an operation of its kind with such a large number of tourists – a sort of test for future incursions (A Semana).

Portuguese travel agency Solférias chartered a total of 101 flights to the islands of Boa Vista and Sal during the course of 2011. Of this total, 56 flights departed from Lisbon and Porto completely full. A total of 27,641 passengers flew to Cape Verde through the travel agency (A Semana).

Destinations such as the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Western Africa, are thought to be a hot spot for this year for Scotsmen as tourists shy away from the traditionally popular sun seeking destinations of Egypt and Tunisia due to political unrest in the countries over the past year (Scotsman).

THE GRAND TOUR OF CAPE VERDE

Read The Grand Tour of Cape Verde, Atlantico Weekly’s travel guide to the country’s main islands.

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Atlantico Weekly’s Angola Business News

In Angola on January 7, 2012 at 1:05 pm

POLITICS

Long-serving Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos is keeping his country and the world guessing about whether he will bid for re-election in 2012 in Africa’s No. 2 oil producer (Reuters).

But Angola is preparing the necessary legal mechanisms to hold a well organised, transparent and fair parliamentary election in late 2012, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said (Reuters).

The Catholic Church in Angola on Saturday condemned a new bill to decriminalise abortion in the southern African country. Justice Minister Guilhermina Prata proposed the draft law to Angola’s parliament two months ago to curb clandestine abortions, which have caused the death of many young girls in the country (News24).

Angola’s government must account for a staggering $32bn missing from state coffers in a country where most suffer immense poverty despite the nation’s massive oil wealth, Human Rights Watch said (News24).

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ECONOMY

Angola will be among the world fastest growing economies in 2012, with a growth rate of around 10%, according to The Economist.

Angola’s foreign exchange reserves dropped to $23.27 billion in November, a preliminary document published on Angola’s central bank website showed. Reserves declined from $23.36 billion in October, according to the Luanda-base Banco Nacional de Angola. Reserves jumped 34 percent from the end of 2010, BNA said (Bloomberg).

Angola’s electricity sector will absorb investment of US$16.5 billion by 2016 in the production, transmission and distribution segments, according to a study presented by Angola’s Energy and Water Minister at the Cambambe dam (Macauhub).

The Angolan government is due to introduce new tax codes in January, which are the central focus of reform of the country’s tax system, with the aim of increasing state revenues and boosting economic growth and increasing the efficiency of business activities. Launched in 2010, the Executive Programme for Tax Reform (PERT) will involve introduction of three new laws: The General Tax Code, the Tax Process Code and the Fiscal Execution Code, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit in its latest report on Angola (Macauhub).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

BUSINESS

Angola’s government has approved the entry of Portugal’s largest retailer Sonae into the southern African country’s food retail market with a $103 million investment, the cabinet said (Reuters).

Italy’s oil and gas major Eni and Angola’s national oil company Sonangol have signed an agreement to develop joint mining initiatives in Angola and abroad and other deals (Reuters).

In 2012 Angola may install a new digital television system as part of its cooperation with Japan, thus becoming the first African company to use the system (Macauhub).

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AGRI ETC

Angola produced 50,000 sacks of Robusta coffee in the 2011 coffee harvest representing 3,000 tons of coffee, according to the International Coffee Organisation (Macauhub).

OIL & GAS

Maersk Oil, the Nordic region’s second-largest producer, reported the first discovery in Angola’s deep-sea pre-salt region. The Azul-1 well in the Kwanza Basin was drilled to a depth of 5,334 meters (17,500 feet) and was found to have a potential capacity of more than 3,000 barrels a day (Bloomberg).

Norwegian energy company Statoil said it had been named operator of two deepwater blocks in the Kwanza Basin off Angola in its first assignment to lead exploration and production off the West African nation (Reuters).

Oil major BP has expanded its presence in Angola, gaining positions in five new blocks (Reuters).

Oil major Total said it had signed three offshore production sharing agreements with Angolan state oil producer Sonangol that will allow the French group to expand its presence (Reuters).

Petrobras said it will start drilling oil in deep waters off Africa early next year on bets the area may mirror Brazilian deposits across the Atlantic (Bloomberg).

PORTS

The commercial port of Lobito, in Angola, between January and 24 December of this year handled over 2.7 million tons of cargo, as compared to 1.3 million in 2010, the chairman of the port’s board of directors, Anapaz de Jesus Neto said (Macauhub).