Kenya: HSBC will open liaison office

12.April.2011 · Posted in business

NAIROBI (Reuters) – Kenya has licensed HSBC Limited to open a representative office for marketing and liaison purposes in the country, the east African nation’s central bank said on Thursday.

Foreign banks have been queuing to set up operations in the region’s biggest economy, drawn in by robust economic expansion and the country’s status as a hub for financial services in the region.

“This follows authorization granted to HDFC Bank of India in June 2008 and Nedbank of South Africa in June 2010. CBK (Central Bank of Kenya) is also processing a fourth application for a Representative Office from a South African Bank,” central bank said in a statement.

The office “is restricted from mobilising deposits from the public”, it added.

There are 43 commercial banks and one mortgage finance company in Kenya, of which 30 are locally owned and 13 by foreign institutions.

Analysts say the country’s banks are likely to benefit this year from vibrant economic growth in the region, increased lending at higher spreads and improved margins from cost reductions through job cuts and other measures.

Source: Reuters Africa

South Africa: ArcelorMittal builds homes for poors

12.April.2011 · Posted in news

Bratislava/Johannesburg, April 10, 2011 – Around 130 people gathered at the build site in Gauteng, South Africa, to build homes for low-income families. The volunteer group is formed by the employees of the world’s top steelmaker – ArcelorMittal. With the majority of volunteers coming from ArcelorMittal’s factories in South Africa and eight of them travelling from the company’s global offices – from Latin America, Europe and Asia. Side by side, working with local families and community members.

In one week, volunteers will build homes for eight families at the Orange Farm in Gauteng. For these families, it will be the first home that they have ever owned. The construction process will start from scratch – from mixing mortar and laying bricks on the first day to putting up roofs on the last day. ArcelorMittal also invited some of its customers and some of its suppliers to participate in the build with them.

ArcelorMittal’s employees from factories in South Africa frequently volunteer at the Orange Farm site. However, this is the first time they are joined by their international colleagues. “Working with Habitat is the perfect way to help and support our communities. Amongst other things, our employees get to volunteer and contribute to the communities where they live and work – and where we, ArcelorMittal, are making a difference”, says Asier Marquina, ArcelorMittal Foundation Project Manager for Western Europe and Africa.
Orange Farm is a township located 45 kilometers from Johannesburg. It started as an informal settlement in 1988 and was formally established in 1990. Today, it has almost a million residents. In addition to this build in South Africa, plans are underway for four more builds around the world.

The ArcelorMittal Foundation has been a partner of Habitat for Humanity since 2008. The world’s top steelmaker has teamed up with Habitat to build and renovate hundreds of homes as well as to create a groundbreaking steel-framed model of a durable, safe and affordable home. The first examples of this partnership were unveiled last year in Moinesti, Romania, where 12 families moved into their new homes built from steel frames.

Over the last three years, the ArcelorMittal Foundation has helped Habitat to support over 700 families. In addition building and renovating, the ArcelorMittal Foundation has generously supported Habitat’s reconstruction efforts in Haiti. To date, steel donated by ArcelorMital has been used in 310 transitional shelters. There are plans to build a further 1,900 units.

Source: press release

Next meetings in London by Royal African Society

12.April.2011 · Posted in culture

Juggernaut Jonathan? Nigeria Elections 2011

19th April, 6pm
Brunei Suite, SOAS (WC1H 0XG)

Event Description (discussion)
Understanding Nigeria is essential to understanding Africa today. Oil wealth, fractious political dynamics, and an assertive diaspora make April Presidential, National Assembley and State Governor elections internationally important.


  • Dr. Ibrahim Jibrin – Director, Centre for Democracy and Development
  • Oba Nsugbe – Legal Advisor to Nigerian government on corruption
  • Richard Dowden – Director, RAS (covering the 2011 elections for Prospect Magazine)


  • Dele Ogun – author of Identity and Development: lessons from Nigeria for Africa and Europe

The speakers will assess the alleged degeneration of the electoral process in Nigeria since re-democratization in 1999, and discuss whether this election fits the trend.

You might also be interested in…

  • Dowden in Africa – Nigeria Election blog
  • RAS Guides – Nigeria Elections 2011

Please RSVP to

Southern Africa: Old Treacheries and New Deceits

Book Launch in collaboration with Yale University Press

5th May 6pm
Brunei Suite, SOAS (WC1H 0XG)

The Book
Stephen Chan explores the political landscape of southern Africa, examining how it’s poised to change over the next years and what the repercussions are likely to be across the continent.

The Author

  • Stephen Chan is Professor of International Relations at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. His many publications include Robert Mugabe: A Life of Power and Violence.


  • Dr Knox Chitiyo – RUSI Africa Fellow


  • Renee Horne – Journalist and doctoral student (SOAS)

You may also be interested in:

  • William Gumede South Africa in 6 Scenes

The launch will be followed by a drinks reception

Cote d'Ivoire: capture of

11.April.2011 · Posted in news

The Ivory Coast strongman, Laurent Gbagbo, was captured on Monday after a week-long siege of his residence and placed under the control of his rival claimant to power, according to a senior American diplomat and news reports.

It remained uncertain whose forces had physically captured Mr. Gbagbo.

Both French ground forces and troops loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the internationally recognized winner of Ivory Coast’s election last year, had pressed into the city toward the residence where Mr. Gbagbo has been holed up.



Ivory Coast: Gbagbo arrested?

11.April.2011 · Posted in news

The president of Ivory Coast elected by the constitutional council, Laurent Gbagbo, has been arrested by French military forces and given to the forces responding to internationally recognised president Alassane Ouattara.

It seems that Gbagbo has been taken to the Golf Hotel, the headquarter of Ouattara.

News was not confirmed by Africanews sources of the presidency of Cote d’Ivoire.

News channel such as Directabidjan, BBC, have published the news of the arrest.

It seems that a French tv has shown images of Gbagbo taken with his wife to the Golf Hotel.