In Case You Missed It: 3/7/16 – 3/13/16

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A view of Abidjan, capital of Ivory Coast

A view of Abidjan, capital of Ivory Coast

The most important in this week’s headlines out of and concerning Africa, for those who need help catching up.

In this week’s news, Ivory Coast is rated a top spot for prospective investors into the African continent, and two economic giants try to bridge their difference.

Nigeria And South Africa Mend Diplomatic Fences

There is plenty of speculation as to why Jacob Zuma, South African President, visited Nigeria in the last week.

After years of tension between the two economic giants, it is believed that they skates were high when Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s President, welcomed Zuma to Abuja. While the speculation goes on, relations between the two countries are particularly important in the context of the leadership role they play on the continental and global level.

Which other African countries could lead the African continent on such a scale if the two countries fail to lead, is the question we should be asking?  Nigeria-South Africa Relations: Beyond the Rhetoric

Recently Zuma suffered embarrassment and humiliation at home when MP’s walked out during his State of the nation address. He has also faced plenty of misgivings about his leadership.

This did not stop Zuma from making the trip to Nigeria. Analysts believe the visit was a way for him to take a brief respite from the troubles he faces at home.

Both Nigeria and South Africa have been pulling hairs over what is being called a “Nigeria-MTN face-off.” MTN is a leading South Africa telecommunications company with a huge specialization in telephone services throughout Nigeria.

At issue is the fact that MTN, while making huge sums of money from its services in Nigeria, has failed to cut-off or disconnect the SIM cards, connected to suspected phone lines, at the request of the Nigerian government.

The targeted SIM cards are considered “unregistered” by the Nigerian administration and may belong to members of terrorist networks operating within Nigeria.

While MTN has been fined $3.9 billion for missing a deadline to disconnect the phone lines, Buhari has charged MTN for being “slow” in making the disconnections.

When Buhari became president of Nigeria in 2015, one of the pledges he made was to step up the fight against the terrorist organization, Boko Haram in his country.

It is estimated that there are more than 120 South African companies doing business in Nigeria in different sectors.

Ivory Coast Secures A Lead for Africa Investment Prospects

After many years of civil conflict in the Ivory Coast which lasted until 2011, you would think that the situation may have dampened the appetite for prospective investment into the country.

This does not seem to be the case as the country has overtaken Nigeria as the number one country in the 2016 Africa Prospects Indicator report (Api). The report, released by Nielson, “ranks leading African countries based on their macro-economic, business, consumer and retail prospects.”

While Ivory Coast moved upwards, Nigeria, previously occupying the number one spot, slipped to fourth place. We are told Nigeria slipped because of a decline in commodity prices which affected consumer confidence in the country.

The other top spots are occupied by Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Cameroon.

A detailed report can be seen here.

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