STORY: Here’s five business stories making headlines across sub-Saharan Africa this week.

Workers have been picketing outside the factories of Africa’s biggest steel company, ArcelorMittal South Africa.

The strike by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa began on Wednesday (May 11) after wage negotiations broke down last week.

[Crane driver Marake Mokoena saying:] “We will fight ’til we get that ten percent salary increase.”

ArcelorMittal was not available to comment.

Also taking place in South Africa this week was the African Mining Indaba.

Speaking on the sidelines Democratic Republic of Congo’s Mines Minister said she is seeking to cancel a decree granting Enterprise Generale du Cobalt a monopoly over artisanal cobalt.

After Congo’s industrial mines, artisanal miners are the world’s second largest source of the metal – used in electric vehicle batteries.

But EGC, created by decree in 2019 to buy, process and market artisanal cobalt, is yet to purchase any cobalt ore.

Zimbabwe’s freeze on bank lending is a temporary measure meant to contain inflation and stabilize the economy, its central bank governor said on Tuesday (May 10).

President Emmerson Mnangagwa suspended lending on Saturday (May 7), saying the move was meant to stop speculation against the Zimbabwean dollar which has been rapidly devalued on a thriving black market.

Analysts have warned it could make the economic picture worse.

Ethiopia’s state-owned Ethio Telecom launched a 5G mobile phone service in the capital on Monday (May 9).

That’s seen as a key move ahead of new entrants coming into the industry that has been closed for international players.

And finally, the chief executive of Angola’s BODIVA stock exchange says the bourse’s debut initial public offering is expected to unlock a wave of new listings.

The IPO sees 1.945 million shares – a 10% stake – being offered by Angola’s biggest bank BAI.