Ecobank's next chapter: Strategic repositioning

At Ecobank’s AGM in Lomé in June, 2013 shareholders said they expect higher dividends next year/Photo©Jean-CLaude AbaloAfter rapid expansion over the past six years, the continental bank now wishes to deepen its presence as well as opening in Angola, Mozambique and Ethiopia.

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Basketball: The NBA ups its game in Africa

Luc Mbah a Moute and Dikembe Mutombo/Photo©REBECCA BLACKWELL/AP/SIPAThe American league's African stars boost the chances of the continent's young hopefuls.

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Cautious optimism for retailers amid Africa's growth prospects

Executive director of Shoprite, Christo Wiese/Photo©HETTY ZANTMAN/FINANCIAL MAIL/GALLO IMAGES/GETTY IMAGESWhile many say that Africa's time is now, Shoprite's executive director, Christo Wiese says that retail expansion across the continent will take time and effort.

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Africa's low-cost airlines struggle to takeoff

Purchaser Fastjet will have to wait for its welcome aboard Fly540/Photo©FREDRICK ONYANGO/NATION MEDIA GROUPPredictions of huge passenger growth should mean the sky's the limit for low-cost airlines on the continent. In fact the opposite is true. Protectionism and fuel costs are seeing low-cost start-ups drop like flies, leaving Fastjet to pick up the pieces – not without its own trials.

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The rise of Africa's B-brands

Kimbo cooking fat is 60 years old, but manufacturer Bidco is also competing with aggressive new brands/Photo©ReutersSmaller and more agile local brands are taking the fight to multinationals seeking to benefit from increasing consumer spending in sub-Saharan Africa. Both sorts of firms are looking to expand in the region and are deploying new strategies to attract customers.

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There is a fresh impetus to our exploration - Total Oil

Jacques Marraud des Grottes Senior vice-president Africa for exploration and production, Total/Photo©Vincent Fournier for JAAfter a decade of booming oil prices and the rise of new entrants into the African market, Total is responding with an aggressive new exploration strategy.

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Trend Hunter: Angolan shoppers rescue Lisbon's luxury retailers

Avenida da Liberdade is back/Photo©ALAMYAngola's deep-pocketed elites are a boon for luxury retailers in recession-struck Portugal, where the central bank in January predicted a further drop in consumer spending for 2013.

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Capitalism’s daughter

Antonio Tomas/Photo©DULCE FERNANDESThe January announcement by Forbes magazine that Angola's Isabel dos Santos is the first female African billionaire received worldwide coverage.

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China, Africa's confusing puzzle

The New African Union building in Addis Ababa, EthiopiaNot all Africans have welcomed China's gift. West African political commentator Chika Ezeanya considers it an "insult to the AU and to every African that in 2012 a building as symbolic as the AU headquarters is designed, built and maintained by a foreign country."

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Government and investors at a strategic impasse

Sweet turns to sour for Niger’s refinery/Photo©BOUREIMA HAMA/AFPIn a weak investment climate for refineries, South Africa and Nigeria are still looking for ways to increase capacity.

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Peace deal to break Great Lakes' conflict pattern

UN Secretary-General who attended the signing ceremony hailed the framework saying it marked a new milestone/Photo©ReutersA peace, security and cooperation framework agreement for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the Great Lakes region was signed in Ethiopia at the weekend raising hopes of a return to peace in the region. 

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South African shopping trolleys roll out across the continent

Business analysts estimate Africa’s consumer-focused industries will grow by $410bn by 2020/Photo©JEAN-CLAUDE COUTAUSSE/FEDEPHOTOConstruction companies and retailers have focused their expansion plans on Africa's booming economies, particularly those in the south.

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From Mozambique's Avenidas theatre to success

Photo©TOBY SELANDERFamed for the Inspector Wallander novels, Henning Mankell's other passion is his role as artistic director at Mozambique's only theatre.

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African Union: It's never too late to avoid war! - Dlamini Zuma

NKOSAZANA DLAMINI-ZUMA Chair, African Union Commission/Photo©Vincent Fournier for JAThe new chair is taking a leading role in negotiating an intervention force for Mali. Expectations are high that she will reform the institution and push development projects, but she cannot do so without the approval of member states.

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Top African business deals of 2012

Bankers, private equity groups and multinational companies stake their claims to new territory.

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Israel's oligarchs in Africa face new probes

Photo©L. YOUNG/REX FEATUR/REX/SIPA; S. CURRY/FINANCIAL TIMES-REA; ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; M. MUHEISEN/AP/SIPAIsrael's mining magnates have invested huge sums in African projects, and officials say that construction, pharmaceutical and agriculture companies will not be far behind.

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Insurance: Funding the expansion dream

Colina, which has its headquarters in Côte d’Ivoire, sought investment funds by selling 92% of its shares to Moroccan group Saham in 2008/Photo©DOUGOULAI LAMINEThree major companies dominate the Francophone scene, but smaller players are striving to achieve a critical mass.

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A hot and cold 2012 Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance

Mo Ibrahim is chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation/Photo©Reuters The sixth Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), published on Monday, reveals that while governance in Africa has improved since 2000, the continent's regional powerhouses – Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa – have shown a poor governance performance since 2006.

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Guinea Bissau's coup complacency

Guinea Bissau's deposed prime minister Carlos Gomes Júnior/Photo©ReutersThe deposed prime minister and leading presidential candidate, now living in exile, complains that West African leaders have sought too much compromise with rogue elements of the military.

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The 50 most influential Africans: Manuel Vicente

Manuel VicenteManuel Vicente - From the oil fields to the corridors of power

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