Author: African News Agency

The African News Agency (ANA) is the first news and content syndication service on the African Continent. It has forged alliances with trusted news partners across Africa. With The Exchange, the ANA covers the continent, connecting local, national and regional news organisations. ANA Correspondents and ANA Photographers on the ground provide first-hand accounts of breaking news, while offering insight and analysis. Content Syndication is done in partnership with The Exchange.

Gemstone mining company Gemfields said on Friday an auction of predominantly commercial quality rough emerald held in the Zambian capital Lusaka this week raised US$18.6 million in revenue - The Exchange

Gemstone mining company Gemfields said on Friday an auction of predominantly commercial quality rough emerald held in the Zambian capital Lusaka this week raised US$18.6 million in revenue.

In a statement, Gemfields said the stones were extracted by Kagem Mining, in which it has a 75 percent stake while the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia owns 25 percent.

“The proceeds of this auction will be fully repatriated to Kagem in Zambia, with all royalties due to the government of … Zambia being paid on the full sales prices achieved at the auction,” the company said.

Gemfields said a 15 percent Zambian export duty imposed on emeralds since January 1 remained Kagem’s biggest impediment.

The auction saw 34 companies placing bids, with 37 percent of the offered carats being sold.

Gemfields’ 33 auctions of emeralds and beryl mined at Kagem since July 2009 have generated US$608 million in total revenue.

Its …

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Renergen signs $40mln loan agreement with US - The Exchange

Emerging liquefied natural gas and helium producer, Renergen, on Wednesday said it had signed a US $40 million loan agreement with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) for a gas project in the Free State province.

Renergen’s principal asset is its 90 per cent shareholding in Tetra4, which holds the first and only onshore petroleum production right in South Africa, giving it a first-mover advantage on the distribution of domestic natural gas.

OPIC is the United States government’s development finance institution that mobilizes private capital to help solve critical development challenges and advances the foreign policy of the United States and national security objectives.

Renergen said this loan would provide access to the capital required to construct the first phase of the Virginia gas project.

It also said this was a major endorsement of the project by the US government, and the increasing importance of securing helium, with significant supply …

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Deputy minister of trade and industry Nomalungelo Gina hands a " Proudly South African" gift to Tunisian secretary of state for foreign affairs Sabri Bachtoji - The Exchange

South Africa’s trade and industry deputy minister Nomalungelo Gina and Tunisian secretary of state for foreign affairs Sabri Bachtoji have committed to strengthening bilateral economic relations in order to increase trade and investment between their two countries, the government said on Wednesday.

During a meeting in Pretoria, the two emphasised the need to establish a framework and create a conducive environment for the two countries’ business communities to work together.

“Our countries have enjoyed historically strong political ties but it is incumbent upon us to strengthen our economic ties and increase economic cooperation between our countries,” Bachtoji said.

“As the government, we need to work together in setting up a framework and creating an environment that will encourage our business communities to explore the economic opportunities that are available in both countries.”

He said a number of sectors in the Tunisian economy were teeming with opportunities that South African companies …

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Corruption in Africa - The Exchange

Transparency International revealed on Thursday that more than half of all citizens surveyed in 35 African countries thought corruption was getting worse in their country, while fifty-nine percent of the people thought their government was performing poorly at tackling corruption.

Managing Director of Transparency International, Patricia Moreira, said: “Corruption is hindering Africa’s economic, political and social development. It is a major barrier to economic growth, good governance, and basic freedoms, like freedom of speech or citizens’ right to hold governments to account.”

The organization said it was the largest and most detailed survey of citizens’ views on bribery and other forms of corruption in Africa. The survey asked 47,000 citizens in 35 countries about their perceptions of corruption and direct experiences of bribery.

“While governments have a long way to go in regaining citizens’ trust and reducing corruption, these things don’t exist in a vacuum. Foreign bribery and money laundering …

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The renowned CannaTech Summit will take place in the first time on the African continent, in South Africa from 24-26 November, organisers have announced.

The announcement of the summit, to be held at the Lookout at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, comes as the global medical cannabis market continues to expand and increasing numbers of countries around the globe legalise its use.

With estimates that the cannabis and associated products market could be worth R27 billion ($391.6 million) by 2023, this potential has led to a boom in regional cannabis interest and investment.

“The global interest in Africa’s cannabis market and South Africa’s recent legislative acceptance of cannabis makes Cape Town the perfect destination for CannaTech,” said Saul Kaye, founder, and CEO of iCAN: Israel-Cannabis.

CannaTech Cape Town will bring together industry leaders from across the African continent and the world, many known for their significant and ground-breaking contributions.…

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Airbnb - The Exchange

South Africa’s Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom met with representatives of global online accommodation booking platform Airbnb to discuss various policy issues, in particular, the regulation of short-term home rentals, the department said on Friday.

The meeting took place in the context of the current call for public comment on the Tourism Amendment Bill, published on April 15, to provide stakeholders an opportunity to make submissions.

The Tourism Amended Draft Bill aims, amongst others, to address the regulatory vacuum on short-term rentals by defining short-term home rentals as “the renting or leasing on a temporary basis, for reward, of a dwelling or a part thereof, to a visitor”.

It also seeks to enable the minister of tourism to determine thresholds regarding short-term home rentals, through a notice in the Government Gazette, according to the department.

“The Amendment Draft Bill in its current form proposes that the minister of tourism be empowered …

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UASA - The Exchange

The United Association of South Africa (Uasa) on Friday night celebrated 125 years of involvement in the labour market with an event in Muldersdrift, just outside Johannesburg.

“Uasa elected leaders also signed a pledge to always put Uasa members first by operating only on the mandates issued by members in a transparent and honest manner,” Uasa spokesman Stanford Mazhindu said on Saturday.

Uasa celebrated its achievements over the past one and a quarter century while at the same time looking ahead to envisage how, as a trade union, it could remain relevant in a constantly changing world.

“When a group of 16 engine drivers met on a Saturday evening, 7 July 1894, to form the Transvaal Engine Drivers Association, they had no idea that we would still celebrate the existence of this proud organisation in 2019, albeit under a different name,” he said.

Over the years, the organisation grew and …

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Trade and investment opportunities in Uganda - The Exchange

A group of 25 South African business people was in high spirits ahead of their departure to Kampala, Uganda, to explore trade and investment opportunities in the agro-processing, capital equipment, energy and furniture sectors in the East African country.

This is according to the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) who said in a statement on Friday that the delegation will participate in the Outward Trade and Investment Mission to Kampala from 19-24 May.

According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr. Rob Davies, the main objective of the mission is to increase bilateral trade and investment between South Africa and Uganda.

“The mission will also introduce South African exporters to the Ugandan market with the aim of assisting them to gain entry into this market, identify trade and investment opportunities, and generate export sales. It will also contribute positively in strengthening bilateral economic relations between South Africa,” said …

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asf - The Exchange

Another case of African Swine Fever (ASF) has been reported this month in the Heilbron area in the Free State province, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry revealed on Monday.

In a statement spokesperson, Khaye Nkwanyana, said: “This follows outbreaks in April 2019 in the North West, Mpumalanga and Gauteng provinces.

“All four outbreaks occurred outside of the ASF controlled area of South Africa and have been reported to the World Organisation for Animal Health.

“The affected areas have been placed under quarantine and provincial veterinary services are applying the necessary disease control measures.”

Nkwanyana said veterinary services together with the industry were conducting follow-up investigations to trace the origin of the disease and to identify other farms that may possibly be affected.

In order to prevent the spread of ASF, the ministry has warned pig buyers to, “make sure you buy pigs only from reputable owners, and insist on …

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south african developers

Chinese multinational telecommunications giant Huawei said on Monday that it had partnered with 48 local developers of mobile apps, and was still looking for more, in a drive to promote South African digital talent on its mobile app store.

Huawei Mobile Services was launched in South Africa in June last year. Since then, both the mobile app store Huawei AppGallery and Huawei Themes have become increasingly popular with the local market.

Lu Geng, director of Huawei consumer cloud service for southern Africa region, said 48 developers have recently registered their apps with Huawei following a Developers’ Day where Huawei executives met with South African developers to discuss Huawei’s offering.

“South African consumers are increasingly wanting more apps that are relevant to their unique circumstances, addressing issues they experience regularly – such as load shedding or safety concerns – but also apps that celebrate South Africa’s multitude of cultures and this …

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