Toyota's hydrogen cars and illegal fishing in West Africa

Sep 14, 2017, 12:36 PM

Presenter: Russell Padmore.

This is Business Update from the BBC......

Toyota says hydrogen powered cars are the future, not electric vehicles......

Gambia will engage private companies to prevent illegal fishing off the coast of West Africa.....

And debt ridden South African Airways grounds more jets and cuts routes to save money...

The car industry is investing billions as the race to develop electric cars speeds up. Many automotive companies are now saying most of their models will be hybrid or electric within a few years......but one of the world's biggest car makers Toyota says hydrogen powered vehicles are more efficient because you don't need batteries to store power from renewable sources. Toyota's hybrid Prius car has been popular with green campaigners for years, but the chief executive of Toyota's European operations, Johan Van Zyl, believes the industry should focus on hydrogen.....

The challenge of preventing unlicensed ships from Europe and China fishing off the coast of West Africa is getting tougher. Countries like Gambia and Equatorial Guinea cannot afford navy patrol vessels, which makes it easier for large foreign vessels to fish, without permission, threatening the business of small scale fishermen and affecting supplies of a staple food. Gambia plans to engage three private companies to prevent illegal fishing in its waters, which comes as the marine conservation group Oceana has accused the European Union of illegally allowing boats from Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain to fish off the coast of West Africa. Beth Lowell is a Senior Director at Oceana......

South African Airways is planning to cut almost a quarter of its flights, as part of cost-cutting to return the financially troubled airline to profit. The state-run carrier has received several bailouts from the government over the past few years. From Johannesburg, the BBC's Matthew Davies has more:

South African Airways, which operates one of the continent's largest fleets, is retiring five of its aircraft. The company says that while it'll be cutting its international routes, including some to east and central Africa, its domestic network will remain the same. The carrier's latest financial bailout came in July and the South African Treasury is considering another billion dollar cash injection - but that would seem to depend on the government selling its stake in the national telecoms company, Telkom. The airline already has debt guarantees from the government of one and a half billion dollars. SAA is currently working on a plan to repay a large loan from Citibank - and that's due by the end of the month. >

The International Monetary Fund predicts good growth for Uganda's economy this year, but a network of groups claim it actually contracted in the last year, contrary to figures from the Government and IMF. The Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group and the Uganda National Forum say growth was below zero in the second and third quarters, the definition of a recession. They blame government corruption, a decline in agriculture, slower growth in Europe and the war in South Sudan for holding back the Ugandan economy. The IMF's representative in Kampala, Clara Mira, says the country should make it easier for business people to borrow money to invest in expansion.

In 10 days the people of Germany will vote to elect a new government. Angela Merkel is hoping to win a fourth term as Chancellor and she's built her campaign around continuity. For many Germans in one of the world's richest countries more of the same is an attractive prospect, but not everyone is happy. Berlin is one of the world's most vibrant capital cities, but as the BBC's Joe Miller has been discovering, the city is actually poorer than many others in Germany.