“A FOOL’S bargain.” That is how Idriss Déby, Chad’s president, now describes the state oil company’s decision to borrow $1.4bn from Glencore, an Anglo-Swiss commodities trader, in 2014. The loan was to be repaid with future sales of crude, then trading above $100 a barrel. But two years later, as the price dived, debt payments were swallowing 85% of Chad’s dwindling oil revenue. For weeks schools have been closed and hospitals paralysed, as workers strike against austerity. On February 21st, after fractious talks, Chad and Glencore agreed to restructure the deal.
Chad’s woes recall an earlier era, when African economies groaned beneath unpayable debts. By the mid-1990s much of the continent was frozen out of the global financial system. The solution, reached in 2005, was for rich countr
AS A middle-class Senegalese man, Salou (not his real name) was rather proud of his roundness in 2002. But by 2003 his clothes were falling off. He got tested and found he had AIDS. His pregnant wife was also infected with HIV. They went to Dakar, Senegal’s capital, and she was put on antiretroviral drugs to prevent the infection of her unborn child. “When my son was born he tested negative, thank God,” exclaimed Salou.
The hopeful tale of Salou’s baby is far from universal. Although west and central Africa have long had a lower prevalence of HIV than the south and east (see map), the region still has a stubbornly high rate of new infections. In south and east Africa close on 20m people have the virus, almost four times more than in west and central Africa. From this high base, the numb
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to free the only Dapchi schoolgirl believed to still be in Boko Haram captivity. In a tweet Thursday, the President said the government will not relent in its efforts to have Leah Sharibu reunited with ...Powered by WPeMatico
On behalf of Nigerian mothers and All Progressive Congress (APC) women, I wholeheartedly felicitate with the entire families of the recently released Dapchi girls . Our joy know no boundaries because as parents and mothers we understand the abject ag ...Powered by WPeMatico
A month after Boko Haram kidnapped 110 girls from their secondary school in the northeastern Nigeria town of Daphi, the terrorists have returned 104 of their victims to the same area where they were seized. According to witnesses who spoke to The ...Powered by WPeMatico
The governorship ambition of the Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere has received a boost as the largest grassroots based political structure, National Democratic Mandate Group, NDMG, has adopted him as their sole candidate for Imo gube ...Powered by WPeMatico
Move cuts South African group’s holding in Chinese tech giant to 31%Powered by WPeMatico
HISTORY will rhyme on March 23rd, when Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminium imports are due to come into force. Several previous presidents, from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, also used tariffs in an attempt to protect America’s steel producers from foreign competition. (There are historical echoes, too, in Mr Trump’s plans to slap tariffs on a range of Chinese imports; in the 1980s Japan was the target.) A rhyme is not a repeat. But past experience is not encouraging.The central problem for America’s policymakers is that trade is like water. Block its flow in one place and pressure builds elsewhere. When many countries are covered by tariffs, trade may simply be diverted through those countries that are let off the hook. Importers will howl for exemptions. As a result, whatever
“TOO long” was how Li Ka-shing, known fondly by locals as chiu yan (Superman) for his business nous, described his working life when he announced on March 16th that he would be retiring in May. Asia’s pre-eminent dealmaker has been around for longer than his fictional namesake, scoring and selling assets in ports, telecoms, retail and property to amass a fortune estimated at $36bn.Few expect Mr Li, who will turn 90 this summer, to hang up his cape for good. He says he will stay on to advise his eldest son, Victor Li, who will inherit his two main businesses. The first is CK Hutchison, a conglomerate with interests in power plants, perfume and much in between. It runs 52 ports and owns 14,000 high-street stores, including Watsons at home and Superdrug in Britain. The second is CK Asset, one
Dreaming of lifestyle changeSANAE ABUTA is a manager at Panasonic, a giant electronics manufacturer, in Osaka. One day she may work from 9am to 5.45pm. On another she may take a break in the middle, to go to the bank or see a doctor. Or she will stay with her child in the morning and start at 11am. One day a week she works from home. “I appreciate the flexibility,” she says.Ms Abuta’s schedule is unusual in Japan. Long office hours are seen a proxy for hard work, itself regarded as the cornerstone of Japan’s post-war economic boom. Companies offer to look after employees for life in return for a willingness to dedicate that life to the company, including “service” (ie, unpaid) overtime or moving house on demand. People hesitate to leave the office before their peers, and certainly before t