Cobalt prices in the DRC was one of the most popular stories of the year
Cobalt prices in the DRC was one of the most popular stories of the year

Top 10 Africa stories from 2018

20 December 2018

As the year draws to a close, we take a look back on the top 10 most read stories from Africa. Over 2018, these were the procurement and supply chain stories that mattered most to our readers...

1. DRC tax to increase cobalt prices

An overhaul of commodity taxes in The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had a knock on effect on cobalt prices. The country passed a law allowing for increase in the royalties it receives from mining companies, by classifying cobalt as “a strategic resource”. 

2.  Djibouti seizes DP World-run port in contract dispute 

The Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority (DPFZ) forcibly took management of the Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) port from DP World. Dubai-based DP World said Djibouti had “illegally seized control” of the DCT, which the firm had built and operated on a government concession awarded in 2004. Dubai state media claimed the move was part of the Djibouti government’s plan to force DP World to renegotiate the terms of the concession.

3. Cape Town facing ‘Zero Day’ of water 

In January, businesses and residents of Cape Town, South Africa, were told the city could run out of water in the next three months unless use is restricted. The crisis led to strict restrictions on water usage, which paid off and prevented Cape Town from running dry.

4. Zimbabwe ‘open for business’ says Mnangagwa 

Speaking at the World Economic Forum, President Mnanagagwa announced he would roll back restrictions to Zimbabwe’s mining industry for foreign firms in a new initiative to prioritise economics and trade cooperation over politics.

5. African entrepreneurs to get e-commerce training from Alibaba

Chinese online giant Alibaba launched a programme to provide e-commerce training to African entrepreneurs – a further display of Chinese-African cooperation. More than 1,000 people applied, and 29 were selected to take part. 

6. CIPS partnership to improve training across West Africa 

CIPS opens its first Ghana office, partnering with professional services firm Harley Reed to provide training and support to buyers in the region. 

7. De Beers trials app to verify artisanal diamonds

In April, the diamond mining company launched a prototype app to track the source of its diamonds in Sierra Leone. Tablets were given to artisanal and small scale mines, allowing them to record diamonds before shipping.

8. 40,000 LEDs to 'light up Lagos'

It was announced that some 40,000 new LED streetlights were be installed across Lagos as part of a £38m funded initiative to boost trade in the Nigerian city. The project was expected to create around 500 jobs.

9. Logistics complex planned for Ethiopia

Dubai-based global port operator DP World announced plans to set up a logistics facility in Ethiopia, allowing it to transport goods to landlocked countries in Africa. 

10. Zimbabwe announces space agency

In July, Zimbabwean president Emmerson Mnangagwa launched the Zimbabwe National Geospatial and Space Agency. The agency will be dedicated to satellite communication systems and developing trade industries.

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