Africa in business: power and cocoa

STORY: Here are five business stories making headlines in sub-Saharan Africa this week.

South Africa's energy regulator has approved an 18.65% power price hike for Eskom.

The struggling state utility - currently implementing some of the worst power cuts on record - had sought an increase of 32%.

Also in electricity, Zambia has started rationing supply to mining firms, the chairman of its state-owned power utility said on Tuesday (January 10).

That's after a big drop in water levels at Lake Kariba. Hydropower contributes to more than 75% of Zambia's electricity generation.

Ghana's government and trade unions have agreed to increase all public servants' salaries by 30% for 2023, they said in a joint statement on Thursday (January 12).

That's as the West African country grapples with its worst economic crisis in a generation including a sliding currency and inflation that hit a new high of 54% last month.

Nigeria's petroleum regulator says it has shortlisted 139 companies as it seeks to commercialize gas that is currently burned from its oil fields.

The gas flaring commercialization program aims to cut 15 million tonnes of carbon emissions from the atmosphere.

And finally, no rain fell in most of Ivory Coast's cocoa growing regions last week for the second consecutive week.

That's raised fears, farmers said on Monday (January 9), of a prolonged dry spell which could weigh on the outlook of the April-September mid crop in the world's top cocoa producer.