Africa – 1 September 2015

Real estate investments in Africa are on the up
Four years ago, few South African institutions and developers expanded their real estate footprint on the African continent, amid perceived risk.
Now, African strategies are on the agenda for most developers. It’s no surprise, especially with prospects of 20% plus returns on real estate projects, according to PwC figures.
Real estate projects have been rolled out mainly by local developers in each of the respective countries, says head of real estate finance in the rest of Africa for Standard Bank, Gerhard Zeelie. SA and international developers are joining the ranks.
The Citizen

AfDB head Akinwumi Adesina warns of global risks to Africa
Africa needs to make sure it gets “the best deal possible” for its natural resource exports, particularly with its largest trading partner China, to protect itself from global market turbulence, according to the new president of the African Development Bank.
Akinwumi Adesina, who takes over on Tuesday as the head of the AfDB, told the Financial Times in an interview that China’s “market asset price correction” is hitting African economies hard, particularly those with “very high exposure” such as the continent’s top crude oil, iron ore and aluminium producers.

Sovereign Wealth Funds Can Ease Africa Risks, New AfDB Head Says
African nations, stung by plunging commodity prices, should set up more sovereign wealth funds to help withstand the next downturn, said Akinwumi Adesina, the African Development Bank’s new president.
The funds “will allow countries to have fiscal buffers and liquidity buffers to this kind of shock,” said Adesina, 55, who took charge of the lender on Tuesday. “It’s not the only one we’re going to see, there’s still going to be a lot of disquiet in the market going forward.”

The girls aiming to change Africa: young activists speak out
Last month, 30 girls’ rights activists aged between 13 and 19 from six African countries – Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Malawi and South Africa – attended a mentorship and empowerment meeting in Kampala.
“At its most simple, the girls will change Africa,” said Happy Mwende Kinyili, a senior programme officer at international women’s fund Mama Cash, which sponsored the event. “They will do that because they know what they want and they will go for what they want. When others see that, their worlds will also change. It is important that it is girls from different parts of Africa, because it is about changing Africa.”
The Guardian

Burundi Accuses East African Neighbor of Sheltering Insurgents
The head of Burundi’s parliament accused an unidentified East African nation of providing shelter for insurgents who have carried out attacks since President Pierre Nkurunziza declared his bid for a third term.
National Assembly Chairman Pascal Nyabenda said he’d expressed Burundi’s deep concern over recent attacks during his visit to Uganda, which along with Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania comprises the East African Community, a regional bloc. Insurgents have been reported in northern provinces, close to the Rwandan border, since Burundi’s crisis erupted in April.


Ban urges all parties in Burundi to ‘look beyond political differences,’ revive spirit of landmark peace accord
Fifteen years after the signing of a landmark Burundi peace accord, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on all the country’s political leaders, including those in exile, to find common cause and commit to build on the stability that was ushered in by the Arusha Agreement.
“Today, Burundi marks the fifteenth anniversary of the initial signing of the Arusha Peace and Reconciliation Agreement in Tanzania. This process gave birth to the first generation of Burundians with no direct experience of war since independence, said Mr. Ban in a statement issued by his spokesperson.
UN News

SADC enquiry into Lesotho killing takes off
The Commission of Inquiry established by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to investigate amongst others circumstances that led to the death of Brigadier Maaparankoe Mahao began its operations in Maseru on Monday.
Colonel Bulane Sechele of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) was sworn in as the first witness to testify before the commission on behalf of LDF.
As part of his evidence before the commission, Colonel Sechele said the deceased Brigadier Mahao was told by some members of LDF that he was under arrest.
Star Africa

Lesotho exchange rate undervalued – IMF
Naresh Kumar, an economist with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday said Lesotho’s exchange rate is undervalued.Kumar made the remark during his meeting with Lesotho civil society organisations to discuss economic development issues.
Kumar said things have really changed in the last six months with uncertainty in the textiles industry, in terms of increased competition within the region and also the South African Customs Union (SACU) lowering its revenue to Lesotho this year from $ 7 billion in 2014 to $6.6 billion in 2015.
Star Africa