Top stories around Africa this week

Is Nigeria in trouble? Caught between the highest inflation rate in more than a decade and an economy set to contract for the first time since 1991, Nigeria’s central bank may opt to do nothing.

Another downgrade in South Africa. Fitch Ratings downgraded South Africa’s local-currency debt assessment one level to bring it into line with the nation’s foreign-currency rating.

Oil not ready to recover. Oil traded near the lowest close in two months as U.S. oil producers continued to revive drilling in the shale patch, adding rigs for the fourth consecutive week in the longest streak of increases since August.

Flying without fuel. A 63-year-old former Swiss Air Force pilot and a hypnotherapist five years his junior with a penchant for hot-air balloon exploration completed a round-the-world trip in a solar-powered airplane, predicting that within a decade, commercial flights with electric aircraft will become a reality.

Help for drought in Southern Africa. The Southern African Development Community said its appeal for assistance to cope with the region’s worst drought in more than three decades has received $500 million in initial donor pledges.

Fighting inflation. Nigeria raised its monetary policy rate to lure foreign investors and prop up its currency, even as the economy risks slipping into recession.

World’s most secure android smartphone. BlackBerry is taking the battle to Samsung on the Korean phone maker’s favoured Android Operating System by introducing what it called the world’s most secure Android smartphone.

MTN is listing on NSE. MTN Group Ltd. appointed units of Citigroup Inc. and Standard Bank Group Ltd. as advisers on a planned listing on the country’s local stock exchange, part of a deal struck with the West African nation’s government to settle a record fine.

Cheap beer and profit. Low-end brands such as Senator beer helped East African Breweries Ltd., the region’s largest brewer, post a 7 percent increase in full-year profit to 10.3 billion shillings ($101.6 million) in the 12 months through June.

First oil from TEN comes in August. Tullow Oil Plc’s new project off Ghana will produce its first oil early next month after more than three years of development, cementing the company’s footprint in the African country.