Editor’s Note: April 27, 2018

Africa’s North – South divide makes no sense

Morocco will sign a number of investment agreements, ranging from technology to agriculture, with the Republic of Congo this weekend during a visit by King Mohammed VI to the Central African country.

The occasion is more noteworthy than it sounds. North and sub-Saharan Africa may share the same land mass but there is little economic or political integration between them. 

This makes no geographical or economic sense, with North Africa accounting for almost 15% of Africa’s population and around a third of its GDP. 

Thankfully things are changing. The Congo visit is part of an ongoing push by Morocco to build bridges between the two regions. The country recently rejoined the African Union and the African Development Bank estimates that 85% of its FDI is now on the continent.

Elsewhere progress has been slower, with Egypt making more muted forays into Africa, while there has been little overt interest from sub-Saharan economies in pursuing stronger ties with the North.

For now Morocco stands out, but all six North African countries are among the 44 that have signed up to the new African Continental Free Trade Area, launched in Ethiopia last month. 

Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

From The Continent

Libya has reportedly held talks with oil majors BP and Eni about resuming exploration activities in the North African country. Libya’s oil sector is recovering after years of conflict following the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. More: Reuters


South African billionaire Christo Wiese is suing Steinhoff, the retailer he used to be Chairman of, for $4.8bn as the fallout from the company’s spectacular collapse late last year continues. Once one of Africa’s leading companies with ambitions to become a global player Steinhoff was undone by an accounting scandal. More: Reuters

The Daily Stat

$565

The amount Egypt plans to fine traders deemed to be ‘harassing’ tourists to help revive the country’s struggling tourism industry. More: The Telegraph

The Global Perspective

Kenya has selected British energy services company Wood Group to design a $2bn oil pipeline to transport crude oil to the Indian Ocean. East Africa’s second-largest economy discovered oil reserves in 2012 around the northerly Lokichar basin and hopes to start production by 2021. More: Reuters

The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, is in Ethiopia to meet the country’s new prime minister Abiy Ahmed and visit its protest-hit Oromia region.The visit comes after pledges by Ahmed to reform the country’s security forces and improve human rights. More: Africanews

The Daily Follow

Reporters Without Borders @RSF_en: Organisation monitoring press freedom around the globe.