Africa, Ethiopia, Ghana, Gold, Inflation, Infrastructure, Invesments, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Uncategorized

Africa Focused News

by Dario Galluccio

Ghana: To create 2.3 million jobs in Aluminium sector

Ghana is set to create more than 2.3 Million jobs under the Integrated Aluminium Project, which has been described as the key to growing the economy with a capital injection of about $8 billion. Under the Integrated Aluminium Project, an Aluminium refinery is to be constructed to refine the rich bauxite deposit at Nyinahin into alumina, would then be processed into aluminium by VALCO, and sold to the several downstream industries as aluminium ingot and billet.

It is believed the project hold the key to transforming Ghana’s economy by bringing in benefits, far more than the nation currently receives from oil.

The Nyinahin mine with bauxite deposit of 700MT, valued at $17.5billion , is estimated to create about 98,000 jobs whiles the aluminium refinery expected to produce about 350metric tones of alumina, will generate about 19,000 jobs.

Ghana: First Rand still interested in acquiring a bank

South Africa’s biggest finance group, First Rand says it is still interested in acquiring a bank in Ghana despite failing to take over Merchant bank.

This is because Ghana remains a priority for the group’s expansion drive.

The Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) last month announced that it was unable to reach an agreement with First Rand over Merchant Bank’s sale. The Trust added that it is now looking for new suitors for the Bank.

Kenya: Brazilian entrepreneurs ready to invest

The businessmen, representing multi-billion dollar operations, included oil and gas company Queiroz Galvao, aerospace conglomerate Embraer Defense & Security, diversified engineering, construction and chemicals outfit Odebrecht, manufacturers Randon and Agropeucaria Foletto & Alimentos, the globe’s largest private rice farmer.

An executive from Argentinian agriculture products firm Rizobacter, which is looking to expand to Kenya, accompanied the Brazilians who held an exhibition in Nairobi this week as part of their exploration of business opportunities in Kenya.

The entrepreneurs are keen to use Kenya as a major regional hub and launching pad for their enterprises in this part of the world.

Nigeria: To attract N480 billion investment for sugar production

In line with the country’s desire to grow the industrial sector, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga, has said the country attracted $3 billion (about N480 billion) investment into the sugar sector since the implementation of the National Sugar Master Plan (NSMP). The approval of the NSMP by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the 19th September 2012 had raised the country’s profile, making it to rank among the top five exporters of sugar in Africa.

Aganga also noted that the gains made through the development of the manufacturing sector had led to a reduction on the country’s dependence on oil and gas, saying N305 billion was generated from non-oil export within the first quarter of 2013.

NSMP has stimulated investments of $3 billion thus far. NSMP is targeting the production of 1.7 metric tonnes of sugar; creation of 117,181 direct jobs; generation of 411.7 megawatts of electricity; total forex saving of up to $565.8 million annually from savings from sugar production and fuel importation.

Ghana: Government will pay contractors soon

Contractors who worked on government projects in the road and education sectors will soon be paid, following a directive from the President. Some of these contractors have not received payments for projects they completed about two years ago.

A Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Murtala Mohammed, revealed that the contractors should expect payment soon.

Ghana: To list Eurobond on local exchange

Ghana will list the second Eurobond it secured this week on the country’s local bourse next month, says the chairman of the governing council of the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE), Dr Sam Mensah. Speaking in New York after Ghanaian finance officials concluded the Eurobond sale, Dr Mensah said the decision will give local investors an opportunity to actively trade in the bond as well as helping to boost the development of the GSE.

South Africa: Mondelez ventures into South African market

Food group Mondelez International has announced that it will start business operations in South Africa. A possible competition in South Africa’s food and beverage sector seem likely as it has been controlled by JSE-listed Tiger Brands and AVI. Mondelez manufactures Cadbury sweets and chocolates, Oreo biscuits and Stimorol.

This news comes shortly after another the world’s second biggest clothing retailer, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), announed that it is poised to set up shop in Johannesburg, South Africa. Last week, it was reported that H&M will open up a new shop in the Mall of Africa in Johannesburg and plans are already afoot to open another in Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.

Kenya: High fuel, housing prices sees inflation hit 6pc

The overall rate of inflation rose for the second consecutive month in July on account of increasing prices of fuel and housing. According to data released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) on Wednesday, the rate of inflation stood at 6.02 per cent in July, up from 4.91 per cent in June.

Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels’ index rose by 0.3 per cent between June and July, 2013, mainly due to increases in house rent and charcoal.

During the period under review, the cost of transport increased by 0.98 per cent, which KNBS attributes to increases in the pump prices of petrol and diesel by the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) during its last fuel price review.

Nigeria: To begin online business registration

Nigeria is a step closer to launching its global online business registration platform, as it moves closer to divesting from the oil and gas sector. The soon-to-be-launched platform will allow Nigerians living in the diaspora or foreigners planning to register their businesses in Nigeria to register their businesses in Nigeria from any part of the world within the next two months.

Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga confirmed this at the 2013 Ministerial platform in Abuja on Tuesday, saying, “Global online business registration will take off in two months’ time. This will ensure that anyone can register their businesses in Nigeria from any part of the world and also make payment without necessarily coming to Nigeria.”

Studies have found that the creation of new businesses is a significant indicator of the level of economic growth and development of a country; in addition to the job creation and wealth generation that come with it.

The country’s foreign direct investment currently stands at $7 billion.

East Africa: Uganda builds new refinery, Kenya upgrades

Plans to construct a new refinery in Uganda and upgrade an existing one in Kenya are already afoot, according to an oil and gas analyst. Jeffrey Kerr, the managing oil and gas analyst for GlobalData, said this has led to an amazing corporation between Kenya, Uganda, Congo, Rwanda and Burundi and improved relations between the countries.

Kerr added that government delegates from these countries and three global oil firms have agreed to corporate in the erection of this 30 mbd refinery in Hoima, Uganda.

The construction of the new refineries in Uganda and the improvement of an existing one in Kenya has been prompted by estimates that the need for “aggregated” processed oil products in East Africa could more than double in 2025.

Ethiopia: FDI to Ethiopia second best in Africa

Japan says the fact that Ethiopia achieves 1 billion dollar Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flow in to the country shows how focused the government is to develop the sector.

Hiroyuki Kishino, Ambassador of Japan to Addis Ababa, says Ethiopia has given priority to food security, infrastructure development, human resource development and FDI to make significant transformation as part of its 5 year strategic plan. The Ambassador takes the development of the FDI to show the progress happening saying in just a couple of years Ethiopia’s FDI grows from 300 million dollar to 1 billion dollar, which he labeled as significant upward spiral.

FDI is expected to facilitate technology transfer in the industry sector, bring in huge capital and machineries, create employment opportunities and increase global market share.

South Africa: Unemployment statistics

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is appalled that South Africa’s official unemployment rate is still rising. Statistics SA has revealed that the official rate – which excludes those who have stopped even looking for a job – has risen to 25.6% in the second quarter of 2013 from 25.2% in the first.

This means that around 4.7 million people were unemployed in the second quarter, despite a net gain of 100‚000 jobs‚ which was offset by an additional 122‚000 more people seeking jobs. The more realistic expanded unemployment rate‚ which includes those who have given up looking for work‚ was 36.8%, up from 36.7% compared to the first quarter. These shocking figures confirm that South Africa is nowhere remotely close to achieving the rate of job creation they need if they are to meet the government’s target of creating five million new jobs between 2010 and 2020 and that they could rather see a net loss of jobs over the decade.

Ghana: Databank fund markets in low yields

Mutual investment fund, Epack, has made a strong comeback posting a total return of 17.31 per cent in 2012 driven mainly by the strong performance of African stock markets including Ghana.

The fund bounced back from a poor 2011 showing to close at GH¢1.0291 per share in 2012, up from the GH¢0.8773 recorded in 2011. The fund gained 17.31 per cent in cedi terms but actually lost some negative 1.4 per cent in dollar terms, which the Executive Chairman, Keli Gadzekpo attributes to the depreciation of the cedi in 2012.

This reflects the impressive performance of most African stocks markets including Ghana, particularly in the last quarter of 2012.Over the years, Epack invested in companies like Fan Milk Ltd (Ghana), Ghana Commercial Bank Ltd. (Ghana), SG-SSB Ltd (Ghana), National Societe General Bank ltd. (Egypt), Enterprise Group Ltd. (Ghana), CRDB Bank Ltd. (Tanzania) Medine Sugar Estates Co. Ltd. (Mauritius), Illovo Sugar Ltd. (Malawi), Press Corporation Ltd. (Malawi). Last year, Epack invested 59 per cent in Non-Financial Stocks and 41 per cent in Financial Stocks. The investment in Ghana was also reduced to 36.30 per cent and the rest of the funds invested outside.

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