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March 31, 2017

Gordhan Dares Zuma: Fire Me, Because I’m Not Going Anywhere

The minister of finance is digging in his heels, national Treasury is battening down the hatches and South Africans are holding their collective breaths.

If President Jacob Zuma wants to get rid of Pravin Gordhan he will have to fire him and take responsibility for the consequences — the minister of finance will not resign.

That is the unequivocal and clear message from 40 Church Square in Pretoria, headquarters of national Treasury, after 48 hours of political drama during which speculation of Gordhan’s removal from Cabinet and a broader reshuffle of the executive went into overdrive.

According to two sources with intimate knowledge of [...]

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March 29, 2017

Plummeting oil revenue hits Lusophone prospects

Angola and Mozambique may have very different economies but their current economic problems have the same two root causes: low energy prices and economic mismanagement.

Low oil prices have slashed Angolan revenues and slowed the development of gas and coal projects in Mozambique. At the same time, Maputo’s borrowing resulted in default in January, while Luanda’s continued opacity and state control has not created an economy sufficiently robust to weather the period of low oil prices more comfortably.

Most forecasters have become more pessimistic about the two countries’ prospects. The World Bank has downgraded its forecasts for Mozambican growth in 2017 and 2018 by 2.5% [...]

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March 29, 2017

How can Africans trade more with other Africans?

Global companies were supposed to be more efficient, leveraging resources from across the world, from places where they are best sourced, to create value on an unprecedented scale. That seemed to be the case in fact.

Western multinationals used cheaper labour in underdeveloped countries to manufacture products that relied on inputs from all over the world and technologies developed in their more expensive labour markets. Studies now suggest these advantages are being lost. Labour is no longer as cheap in many places.

In China, for example, lifestyles are becoming increasingly aspirational – more Chinese are now seeking the good life and consequently demanding higher [...]

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March 29, 2017

Malaria kills 150 in Zimbabwe

At least 150 people have died of malaria in Zimbabwe over the past two months, with nearly 90,000 infections recorded, a government official said on Monday.

“We have seen increased cases of malaria due to the more rains received this year that increased the breeding grounds for mosquitoes,” Joseph Mberikunashe, malaria director in the ministry of health, told AFP.

Mberikunashe said 151 deaths and 89,261 malaria cases had been recorded in the past two months following heavy rains, which also caused deadly floods.

He said that while a rise in malaria cases was expected after the rains, some of the deaths may have been caused by delays in seeking medical [...]

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