Africa, ECOWAS, Eurobond, FDI, Gold, Infrastructure, Invesments, Kenya, Nigeria, Rail project, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uncategorized, United States, West Africa, Zimbabwe

Africa Focused News

by Dario Galluccio

Ghana: Gold Fields Ghana invests US$2.8m in infrastructure projects

Gold Fields Ghana, one of the country’s leading mining companies has invested over US$2.8million in infrastructure projects in some communities in the country. The company said the projects are currently at various stages of execution.

Some of the projects the company has invested in this year include, connection of electricity to Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal Education office, the construction of 8 Seater WC facility at Huniano, supply of furniture to various schools in Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipal and Prestea/Huni-Valley District Assemblies, and the extension of Small Town Water Supply Systems in New Atuabo and Pepesa. The rest include, the construction of Community Center at Kyerekyerewere, construction of Early Childhood Development Center at Huni – Valley, Tarring of 3km Samahu-Pepesa Road (Phase 3) and the 1.5km UMAT Junction-Brahabobom Road and Construction of JHS at Pepesa.

West Africa: Experts discuss ECOWAS rail project

‘Today’s meeting is to discuss the initial arrangements needed to bring full realization of the proposed West Coast Speed-Rail Project,’ the Country’s Representative of Hammcobtb Engineering International Incorporation-Canada, said in a statement to welcome delegates from ECOWAS countries including, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Benin and Côte d’Ivoire.

Broadly the project is to transform the Region’s transportation system by launching new high speed passenger and goods rail services. It is also to facilitate major industrialization of countries, improve transportation of agricultural produce, and create immediate political awareness for further economic emancipation of the people.

South Africa: Abil will raise $405m for fiscal repositioning

African Bank Investment Limited (Abil) on Monday said it is set to raise R4 billion ($405 million) to build the company’s strong financial status in the future. Abil, South Africa’s biggest provider of unsecured loans also said the strategy is in an effort to its fiscal position.

Leon Kirkinis, the CEO of Abil, added the company took this position as they believed it is a good move that will support the accomplishment of the lender’s plans. It will also provide continuing value for its stakeholders, Kirkinis said.

The raising of this money will be finalised with a rights issue and the lender has also arrived at an underwriting contract with US-based financial services firm Goldman Sachs International.

Abil believes the raising of this money will stabilise its balance sheet.

Nigeria: Foreign Direct Investment now U.S.$8.9 billion

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, Thursday told the members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that the foreign direct investment (FDI) into Nigeria rose significantly to $8.9 billion at the end of 2012.

The amount, he said was far higher than the $6.1 billion realised by the country in 2010. He also said at the end of 2012, Nigerians in the Diaspora contributed over $15 billion to the economy. Also, the minister of foreign affairs told the PDP NWC members that there were over 9,500 Nigerians in foreign prisons.

Giving accounts of his stewardship, Ashiru cited the United Nation’s World Investment Report, which stated that the total FDI into Nigeria was $8.9 billion. This, he said was far above the 2010.

Rwanda: Nigerian Bank acquires a 70 Percent stake in Fina Bank

Balivada Rao, the managing director of Fina Bank Rwanda, a subsidiary of the Kenyan-based lender, confirmed the development in a phone interview on Thursday, saying the deal was subject to regulatory approvals. Rao said the buy-out would greatly benefit both the bank and its clients in terms of products and service delivery.

“GTBank is a well capitalised, technologically advanced and customer-focused bank. So, once they acquire the 70 per cent stake, they will enable us roll out better products and services and put us in a better position to get funding from foreign development finance institutions,” explained Rao. The deal is worth about $100m (Rwf65.1b). Rao said GTBank was a key player in the West African market, where it operates in Nigeria, Ghana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ivory Coast, as well as in the United Kingdom. At the end of 2012, the bank had a total asset base of $11.1b, shareholder funds of over $1.8b and earned $558.9m profit after tax. GTBank is listed on both the Lagos and London stock exchanges.

If the deal is approved, GTBank will join a list of other West African banks, including Ecobank and Access Bank, which have ventured into the region to tap into its fast-growing economies and immense opportunities, especially in oil and gas.

Fina Bank Group has total assets of $338m. Its loan book was $184m in the first quarter of this year. The bank operates 38 branches across Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.

Ghana: $1 billion Eurobond cash will arrive on August 7th

Government is set to receive the Eurobond cash of $ 1 billion on August 7, 2013. It follows a successful bond sale which was over subscribed.

‘The cash comes in nine days from the deal. The deal was done on the 25 July, 2013 and per the deal which is Trade day plus nine working days, it then falls on 7 August, Deputy Finance Minister Kweku Ricketts Hagan said on Joy FM’s news analysis programme News file on Saturday.

With a 10-year grace period, the bond will mature on August 7, 2023, he added.

Out of the $1 billion raised, $300 million is expected to be used for the refinancing of expensive domestic debt. $250 million will also be used to retire part of the $750 million Eurobond which was floated in 2007. Ricketts Hagan stated that $300 million will also be invested in capital projects, which are self-financing.

Nigeria: Microsoft showcases Office 365 for Nigeria’s Capital Market

Leading software provider, Microsoft, has demonstrated its commitment towards the growth of the Nigerian capital market by showcasing the Microsoft Office 365 at a trading platform, X-Gen Expo. The Expo, which was organised by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), provided an avenue for market shareholders and solution providers to further discuss the functionalities and usage of the X-Gen – a new electronic trading platform that allows stockbrokers and other stakeholders access the market anywhere and at anytime.

And several software providers have leveraged on the podium to showcase new generation business tools that will guarantee efficiency and effectiveness of commercial activities. One of those tools on display was the Microsoft Office 365, a cloud service which requires no hardware investment.

Tanzania: Clinton hails Dar es Salaam over policies

Tanzanians have every reason to be proud of their government which is full of innovations that are aimed at improving standards of living, the visiting former United States President Bill Clinton has said. Mr Clinton said this in Dar es Salaam at the weekend during the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Clinton Development Initiative (CDI) and the government of Tanzania.

The colorful event, which was held in the State House and attended by various dignitaries, including 10 farmers, witnessed the inking of an agreement that will go a long way in supporting the country’s agricultural sector by empowering small holders. Mr Clinton said that his foundation will not fail in the undertaking. He added that allowing any failure would mean that CDI lacks capacity.

“This agreement is another evidence of the Tanzanian government’s efforts to improve the livelihood of its people. Indeed people of this country have every reason to boast of their government. This government is full of innovations aimed at improving people’s standards of living,” he said shortly after he had inked the agreement with his host, President Jakaya Kikwete.

Zimbabwe: Mining sector in dire need of FDIs

Governement has to be consistent in its polices to attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in the mining sector, permanent secretary for Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Desire Sibanda has said.

Sibanda said FDIs remained a key ingredient for rapid economic growth but there was competition globally for investment inflows.

“Competition for FDI is fierce on the continent and is expected to intensify. It is therefore critical to note that the policies and approach to attract FDI has to be smart. There is need to demonstrate policy consistency and stability,” said Sibanda.

He also said the country’s mining sector was in dire need of investments, especially its infrastructure.

“What has been undermining Zimbabwe’s rich mineral wealth have been challenges such as inadequate infrastructure development, perceptions of corruption to unfair licensing practices, political risks and the high capital costs associated with establishing or expanding a mining venture,” he said.

“To attract more FDIs, Zimbabwe needs to improve the doing business indicator,” he said.

Sibanda said the turbulent political environment in the last decade and poor perception of the country from potential investors had negatively impacted on the country’s economic growth. He said government recently floated a US$32 million tender for an aeromagnetic mineral exploration exercise in the Eastern Highlands to determine the quantity of minerals.

“The exploration will help to comprehensively determine the extent of the country’s mineral wealth and have adequate information to lure investors,” said Sibanda. “Plans are in place to set up an exploration company to identify mineral deposits throughout the country.” He said the mining sector continued to grow and this was attributed to positive performance in diamonds, chrome, nickel, platinum and palladium.

Ghana: Ghana Water and Ghana Urban merger complete

Transitional arrangements for the merger of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL) and the Ghana Urban Water Limited (GUWL) into a single national utility company have been completed with the introduction of a new administration to manage the company. The new administration is to be headed by a managing director, two deputies and chief managers who will head the various regional offices of the company.

Before the merger, the two companies had been solely responsible for water services in urban areas throughout the country. To facilitate the government’s plans of merging the two companies, a 14-member committee was inaugurated to oversee the reform of the water sector.

Ghana: Bank of Ghana to issue new risk-rules for banks

The Bank of Ghana will introduce new risk-management and corporate-governance regulations as part of measures to tighten its regulatory and supervisory responsibilities, First Deputy Governor Millison Narh has said. According to him, the Central Bank is taking these steps to ensure that “only strong and well-managed banks operate in its jurisdiction.”

He said the regulations will be introduced after necessary consultations with the key stakeholders in the banking industry.

“The safety and soundness of the banking system hinges on adequate capital and good governance practices and risk-management systems,” Mr. Narh said, adding that a “vibrant, safe and sound banking system — as well as stable macroeconomic environment — is necessary to support a thriving bond market.”


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