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Cocoa buyers agree to Ghana, Ivory Coast proposed price

Ghana and Ivory Coast account for nearly two-thirds of global output, yet they have little influence over international cocoa prices.

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Cocoa buyers agree to Ghana, Ivory Coast proposed price
(File photo)

Buyers of Ghana and Ivory Coast cocoa agreed on Wednesday to a minimum price of $2,600 per tonne, as proposed by the two governments to address a perceived imbalance between farmers’ incomes and money made by big commodities traders.

The two countries account for nearly two-thirds of global output, yet they exert limited influence over international cocoa prices, which have stayed low in recent years due to over-production. 

Representatives from across the industry met in Ghana’s capital, Accra this week to discuss a common floor price for cocoa beans produced in Ghana and Ivory Coast that would protect farmers’ livelihoods.

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Traders, manufacturers, and processors agreed to the proposed floor price of $2,600 per tonne, but requested a technical meeting on July 3 to address details of its implementation, the Ghanaian and Ivorian agriculture ministries said. 

“This is a historic meeting during which suppliers and buyers have engaged and agreed on a price below which the producers will not sell”, according to the Chief Executive of Ghana’s Cocobod, Joseph Aidoo. 

His Ivorian counterpart, Yves Kone, says: “We arrived at a consensus and everyone agrees that the producers are not well remunerated and that something must be done to improve the conditions of producers”. 

Cocoa buyers agree to Ghana, Ivory Coast proposed price
(Photo by ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP)

Ghana and Ivory Coast earlier on Wednesday suspended forward sales of cocoa beans for the 2020/21 season until an agreement was reached on the floor price. 

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This suspension will remain in place while they implement the floor price, according to the ministries’ statement.

The two countries agreed to harmonize their sales system earlier this year in an effort to exert more influence on international prices. 

They have sought a minimum price for the main crop, calling for sales contracts below this threshold to be compensated by a living income differential.

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Forbes lists South Africa’s Trevor Noah as world’s 4th-richest comedian

Noah, whose ranking makes him the richest comedian in Africa, earned a whopping $28m in the period between June 2018 and June 2019

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Forbes lists South Africa's Trevor Noah as world's 4th-richest comedian
U.S-based South African comedian, Trevor Noah. (Comedy Central/AFP)

South African comedian, Trevor Noah is the fourth-highest paid comedian in the world, according to the Forbes Rich List 2019.

This is the first time the 35-year-old star has made it into the magazine’s top 10 since he began his work.

Noah, whose ranking makes him the richest comedian in Africa, earned a whopping $28m in the period between June 2018 and June 2019 from various projects, including his day job as the TV host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”.

Most of his income, however, came from his 70-stop world tour as a stand-up comedian, making him eligible for the list of richest stand-ups.

In the 2019 list, the South African came behind Kevin Hart ($59m), Jerry Seinfeld ($41), Jim Gaffigan ($30m).

Other than his tour, sources of Noah’s 2018 income were his two shows on Netflix, and book sales from his bestselling autobiography “Born A Crime”, which is still ranked No. 1 on the New York Times’ bestseller list for paperback nonfiction.

Forbes lists South Africa's Trevor Noah as world's 4th-richest comedian
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images/AFP

As a group, the top 10 best-paid comedians raked in $272m, that’s $20m less than the previous period.

The reduction in earnings among the top comedians has been attributed to reduced action among some, including Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, who came in at $30m and $35m last year, respectively.

Trevor Noah’s ‘The Daily Show’ has become quite popular, with the South African inspiring laughter from topics ranging from politics to daily life events.

Noah joined the show in 2014 as a contributor, some two years after making his U.S. television debut on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.”

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Zimbabwe to issue new currency notes to counter cash shortage

Zimbabwe abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009, after a bout of hyperinflation in favour of currencies like the dollar and rand

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Zimbabwe to issue new currency notes to counter cash shortage

Zimbabwe will issue new notes and coins soon to replace the country’s quasi-currency that was introduced three years ago in a failed attempt to counter a crippling shortage of cash.

The return to a fully-fledged local currency exchangeable outside the country’s borders will be backed by an undisclosed amount of foreign-exchange reserves, gold and loans, according to the country’s finance minister, Mthuli Ncube.

Zimbabwe abandoned the Zimbabwe dollar in 2009, after a bout of hyperinflation in favour of a basket of currencies including the US dollar and the South African rand.

In a bid to deal with the subsequent cash shortages, it introduced so-called bond notes and RTGS dollars in their electronic form, which are not accepted outside the country.

Ncube re-introduced the Zimbabwe dollar in June, accompanied by a ban on the use of foreign currencies-leading to a rapid erosion of spending power with the local dollar trading at almost 10 to the greenback.

Bond notes were officially said to be at parity as recently as February.

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South Africa plans “affordable” nuclear energy approach

Economists say a large-scale nuclear new build is something South Africa cannot afford

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South Africa plans "affordable" nuclear energy approach
South Africa's Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe. (File photo)

South Africa has made a decision to add energy capacity in an affordable way, according to its Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, Gwede Mantashe.

Former South African President, Jacob Zuma championed a massive nuclear expansion project with Russia, but his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa put those plans on hold in one of his first moves after becoming leader of the governing African National Congress (ANC) in late 2017.

Economists say a large-scale nuclear new build is something South Africa, whose last investment-grade credit rating is hanging by a thread, cannot afford.

A clear timeline for new nuclear capacity has not been disclosed as the government’s energy plan will require approval first.

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