Africa in Business: from capital to cashews

STORY: Here's what's been making the business headlines in sub-Saharan Africa this week.

1. Societe Generale has agreed to sell some of its businesses in Africa in an attempt to more effectively allocate capital.

France's third-biggest listed bank said on Thursday (June 8) it had signed agreements with pan-African banking groups Vista and Coris to take over its activities in Congo Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania and Chad.

2. South Africa's rand regained more than 3% against the dollar this week, recovering steep losses from last month.

The country is in the midst of its worst ever power crisis, but some encouraging economic data - including narrowly avoiding recession - has aided the currency's recovery.

3. Zimbabwe's main stock market temporarily halted trading on Wednesday (June 7), for the second time in two days, to allow time to "cool off".

That's after the all-share index rose 10% as Zimbabweans sought to hedge themselves against a weakening currency - down 70% since the start of the year.

4. Namibia has banned the exports of unprocessed lithium and other critical minerals, the government announced on Thursday, as it seeks to profit from growing global demand for metals used in clean energy technologies.

The country has significant deposits of lithium as well as rare earth minerals such as dysprosium and terbium which are needed in the production of electric cars and wind turbines.

5. And finally, the cashew industry in Ivory Coast, the world's leading producer, has been plunged into an unprecedented crisis, farmers, buyers and sector experts have said.

Production rose to one million metric tonnes by the end of 2022, creating a stock surplus, at the same time as demand tumbled - causing a price slump.