warned that a delay would have caused significant disruption to the export cycle and endangered tens of thousands of jobs in Africa

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The US government has granted a long-term extension to a major US-Africa trade programme on 29 June, a move welcomed by African textile and apparel manufacturers.

President Obama signed into law a bill reauthorising the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) for another 10 years. Since 2001, the non-reciprocal trade programme has allowed more than 6,400 items from around 40 sub-Saharan African countries to be imported into the US without duties or quotas.

The African textile and apparel sector, one of the main beneficiaries of the scheme, had urged the US government to proceed with the extension of AGOA well ahead of its expiration in September. Industry bodies warned that a delay would have caused significant disruption to the export cycle and endangered tens of thousands of jobs in Africa.

US imports of apparel manufacturing products from Agoa countries dropped by 5.6 percent to $225m in the first quarter of 2015, according to the latest available statistics from the US Department of Commerce. More decline is expected for third quarter of the year, according to Paul Ryberg, president of the African Coalition for Trade, a US organisation which represents African companies mostly in the textile and apparel sector and that has lobbied for the extension of Agoa.

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Squeezed profit margins and new technology developments are driving the Nigerian oil and gas industry to adopt new and innovative solutions that enable them to work smarter, faster and above all, cheaper.

By Staff Writer @ IT News Africa

Be there to showcase your digital mobility solutions to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Digital technology, including robust data management systems, cloud services and mobile applications is helping global industry operators keep costs low by achieving:

– Increased workforce productivity: develop applications and could services, enabling staff to access relevant tools and systems while out in the field

– Decreased downtime: receive automated reports and increase visibility to remote operations to make informed decisions quickly

– Improved data accuracy – generate automated reports to ensure quality and relevance of data gathered from assets

– Cost savings – shorter project lead times, decreased downtime and faster reporting cycles all contribute to improved productivity, increased efficiency and boosts the bottom line

CWC’s Enterprise Mobility –  Nigeria Oil & Gas Forum is the only meeting place for Nigerian oil and gas operators, technology solution providers and OEMs to discuss how to integrate digital solutions to enable smarter and faster workflows as well as maximised return on investment.

Be there to showcase your digital mobility solutions to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Read More at IT News Africa 

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AFRICAN NATIONS are taking steps toward creating a free-trade zone with a combined size of $2 trillion, as heads of state meet in Johannesburg this week.

This comes after a potentially historic deal was signed in Egypt this week that created a common market that would span half the continent from Cairo to Cape Town.

Talks on removing the barriers to trade and the movement of people between the continent’s 54 countries will begin on June 15 at the African Union summit and conclude by the end of 2017, Fatima Haram Acyl, the AU’s trade commissioner, said in an interview on Thursday.

Progress on creating a continental trade bloc inched forward on Wednesday after an agreement on a free-trade area was signed in Egypt between three regional groups: the Common Market for East and Southern Africa, the East African Community and the Southern African Development Community. Read more

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Tazania’s current natural gas reserves now stand at about 55 trillion cubic feet (tcf) following new deep sea discoveries off its southern coast. According to the East African nation’s energy minister, George Simbachawene, natural gas resources discovered in the country increased by  18 percent to 55.08 tcf in April 2015, from 46.5 tcf in June 2014.

The United Republic of Tanzania has the second largest economy in East Africa, and the Twelfth largest in Africa. A great contributor to this is its agricultural sector, which accounts for 24.5 percent of the country’s GDP, 85 percent of exports and over half of the employed workforce. The country had relied heavily on this sector to drive its economy, but the emergence of natural gas is expected to change that narrative. Commercial production is scheduled to begin in September this year and expectations are high that the new commodity will rival the dominance of agriculture and enhance living conditions. Read more

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A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, owner of the world’s largest shipping container line, is seeking to win contracts to build and upgrade ports in Nigeria and Kenya as the Danish company expands its African operations.

Maersk is awaiting a final sign-off on a contract to help build a new port in Badagry in Nigeria’s southern Lagos state, according to Lars Reno Jakobsen, the company’s senior vice president for Africa.

“That project, once its been finalized could be more than $2 billion in terms of investment,” he said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Cape Town on Friday. “Hopefully we can start some time this year. It will provide capacity, not only for containers, but also for oil, break-bulk and offshore.” Read more

Rose of Sharon

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From shaking up Nigeria’s fashion scene to striking it rich in the oil business, Nigerian billionaire Folorunso Alakija has tasted success in all walks of life.

The former banking executive-turned-fashion designer-turned oil magnate is one of the west African country’s most accomplished businesswoman, boasting a long and successful career in several fields.

In recent years, the 61-year-old has been dedicating her time to give back and help those in need as an author and philanthropist — in 2008, she launched the Rose of Sharon foundation, a non-governmental organization that provides for widows and orphans across Nigeria. Read more

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General Electric (GE), a 123-year old American Conglomerate with operations in 130 countries around the world, is gearing up to further exploit the economic potentials inherent in sub-Saharan African markets, especially Nigeria and Ethiopia. At the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa, GE said it would increase its capital outlay to $10 billion over the next half-decade.

The conglomerate will target power, health and locomotive opportunities in several African countries. Nigeria, its prime target, offers a ready market with the numerous gaps in infrastructure and a new government looking to drive “change.” Read more

worldometers.info

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According to worldometers.info, the population within South Africa sits at just over 53 million individuals. To add to the figures, Nigeria currently has over 183 million individuals populating its city’s.

Africa has always been viewed as a continent that isn’t very connected in terms of internet speeds and the number of users – compared to other parts of the world. However, the latest statistics say otherwise. Read more

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Social media giant, Facebook, has revealed that it has now set its sight’s on Senegal – in order to launch Internet.org as well as more than a dozen free basic services within the country.

According to Facebook, the services will be available to will be available to Tigo SIM card holders. Facebook originally launched Internet.org with the intention of bringing Internet access to two thirds of the world that are not connected.

Senegal is the sixth country in Africa where Internet.org is available. Internet.org is currently available in 13 countries, which includes: Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Colombia, Guatemala, India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Malawi, Pakistan, and Senegal. Read more

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When Nigerian brothers Ngozi and Chijioke Dozie needed to drive interest in their Rwandan coffee business, their home market seemed like a natural fit. –

“Rwanda produces great coffee, but it’s a very small market, it’s 9m people. Most of the best coffees are exported to places like Starbucks. So in order to build the market for our coffee, we started to export coffee to Nigeria,” says Ngozi Dozie.

Although there is a growing café scene in Nigeria, most of the coffee is bought from major global brands, such as Segafreddo or Lavazza. The brothers’ solution was to create their own chain, Neo, which has three locations in Lagos. The company now flies coffee on RwandAir flights four times a week and has also imported Rwanda’s former champion barista to train its staff.

Nigeria’s compelling demographics and economic growth have made it an attractive destination for consumer-facing companies. Major international fast food chains, including KFC and Pizza Hut, have returned to the country over the past two years, hoping to capture a share of the new urban middle class. Read more