by Dario Galluccio
Zambia: ABB Wins $32 Million order to power Africa’s biggest copper mine
ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth around $32 million from Kansanshi Mining PLC, a subsidiary of Canadian mining and metals company First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (FQM), for the construction of a new substation and upgrade of an existing one. The facilities will help to provide reliable power supplies to Africa’s biggest copper mine, being built in the northwestern province of the country. The order was booked in the second quarter.
Global demand for raw materials is one of the main growth drivers in Africa. The Zambian economy is highly dependent on the copper mining industry, which accounts for around 80 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The new copper mine will be the biggest of its kind on the African continent and will help reinforce the country’s number eight global position in terms of copper production. The mining project is also expected to bring employment opportunities in the Zambezi Basin area, with a completely new town being built to support it.
Ghana: 2013 West Africa Business Expo launched
The 2013 West Africa Business Expo to be held in Accra would on September 5th and 6th next month has been launched under the theme:’Kick Starting and Sustaining Business Growth’.
The organizers stated that their overriding objective is to drive growth in Ghana’s private sector by bringing together key industry players across a wide spectrum of the business environment in a bid to build networks and foster co-operation among participants.
The West Africa Business Expo 2013, will see banks, insurance companies, venture capital groups as well as institutions in the public sector such as the Registrar General’s Department, Ministry of Trade and Industry among others on exhibition.
Also, the Nigerian High Commission and the Togolese Embassy will be present at the event to offer participants information on viable business opportunities in their respective countries.
The event, which is also made possible by Geovision is the first of its kind in West Africa.
Tanzania: Japanese investment plan for the country
Tanzania could become a reputable business hub on the continent if the envisaged technical cooperation with Japan comes to fruition. An agreement signed recently prepares the ground for an economic boom.
The upgrading of the Central Railway line will be a major stimulus to economic prosperity. The railway, whose gauge will be expanded to international standards, will resume its role as the key link to upcountry regions.
The Japanese support will also see the all-important Port of Dar es Salaam expanded. Naturally, this expansion will improve service delivery.
The Asian nation has also agreed to invest in cotton farming and make a rigorous revival of textile factories hence promote consumption of locally manufactured garments.
East Africa: New railway to connect Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda
Three East African countries Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda are implementing a joint $13b project for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Mombasa via Kampala to Kigali. The project, to be jointly financed by the three countries, is expected to be completed by 2018.
It will ease trade and reduce road traffic. Each member state will meet its loan liabilities differently. Eng. Abraham Byandala, the works minister said Kenya is already ahead of Uganda and Rwanda since they charge 1.5% of the railway cargo value for financing the project.
He said the preliminary designs for Mombasa- Nairobi (SGR) have been completed and the ground breaking is expected by November this year. The feasibility study and preliminary designs for the 511km Nairobi-Malaba section is being undertaken in-house by Kenya Railway Corporation strengthened by local experts and is expected to be ready by December this year.
Byandala said the designs for 250Km Nakuru-Kisumu is also expected by December 2013. For Uganda, the preliminary engineering designs for 250km Kampala- Malaba SGR is being undertaken by a consultant and is expected to be ready by October this year.
Kenya: Ranguma asks Hindu community to invest
Kisumu county governor Jack Ranguma has urged the Hindu Council Community to invest heavily to create jobs. Ranguma said Kisumu is strategically placed for investment and urged the Asian community to use that in creating more wealth.
Ranguma said also that both local and foreign investors should make Kisumu a major business destination in East Africa. He asked residents to partner with private investors to develop idle plots. The governor asked the Toyota Kenya company to open an assembling plant for buses and trucks in the region.
South Africa: Royal Bafokeng’s earnings soar
Royal Bafokeng Platinum (RBPlat) said its interim earnings soared on the back of weaker South African currency. JSE-listed platinum miner said headline earnings a share surged 103 percent from 43 cents to 87.2 cents in the six months ended June this year.
According to Reuters, mining companies gain from a shakier South African currency as they pay for costs in rands and sell output in dollars.
Mozambique: New railways will bring development to Mutarara
Mozambican President Armando Guebuza declared that the new railway lines that will cross Mutarara district, in the western province of Tete, will bring new socio-economic development to the area – but this will only be possible in an environment of peace.
Currently the mining companies export their coal along the Sena line to the port of Beira. But this railway cannot handle more than around six million tonnes of cargo a year, and within a few years it is hoped that up to 100 million tonnes a year will be exported from the Moatize coal basin.
One of the plans to diversify the coal export routes is to build a new line branching off the Sena line in Mutarara, and passing through Zambezia province to a new deep water port to be built at Macuse. Another line will cross Mutarara, and head through southern Malawi before it joins the existing northern railway to the port of Nacala.
These new routes, Guebuza said, will improve the situation in Mutarara, and the life of people living in the district who will be directly or indirectly linked to the major mining and transport projects.
Liberia: House approves U.S.$582 Million budget
The House of Representatives has approved the 2013/2014 fiscal budget in the amount of US$553 million with additional revenue US$29,669,000 million identified. This means that the 2013/2014 fiscal budget approved in total is US$582,931,000 million.
According to the Committee Chairman Emmanuel J. Nuquay, the additional money was identified from various revenue generating government institutions.
According to our reporter assigned to the House of Representatives, 40 lawmakers voted for the passage of the national budget, none against and two abstentions. The House of Representatives has forwarded the budget to the Liberian Senate for concurrence.
Ghana: New oil exploration law preparation underway
Cabinet has started looking into a draft bill that will govern oil exploration and production (E&P) activities in the country. The bill is an enhancement of the existing one, PNDC Law 84, which currently regulates all activities on the E&P of oil and petroleum-related products in the country. The Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, which is sponsoring the law, is optimistic that cabinet will conclude its review soon for the bill to be forwarded to Parliament for consideration and passage into law.
Speaking on what the Energy and Petroleum Ministry was doing to protect Ghana’s newly discovered oil resource, Mr. Asoalla, the Director of Finance and Administration at the ministry, said his outfit had realized that the current law, which was passed in 1984, had outlived its usefulness and needed to be revised or, at best, replaced with a new one. “We currently don’t have a proper law to regulate the E&P of our oil and if we don’t act quickly, we will virtually be selling off our oil. We think that won’t be good for us,” the director said.
Kenya: Massmart considers further investment
Wal-Mart’s Africa unit, Massmart Holdings has made public plans to invest more in the Kenya’s retail sector. Massmart CEO Grant Pattison said the group – which currently owns 381 stores in Sub-Saharan Africa – is looking to expand to Kenya.
“We are focusing on East and West Africa where we are already in the planning stages of implementing our discount food retail strategy expansion.” According to Business Daily, the South African retailer said it has met “several important players” in Kenya’s retail industry as part of its African expansion strategy. The company had earmarked distributing Supermarket chain, Naivas Holdings for a possible buyout in realising its objective.
According to a Citigroup study, Kenya has the second most developed retail market in Sub-Saharan Africa, with about 30 percent of retail shopping being done in formal outlets. The study generally identified East Africa as the next growth frontier for huge retailers keen on taking advantage of growing middle class and rising consumer demand.
Massmart Holdings Ltd is a South African firm that owns local brands such as Game, Makro, Builders’ Warehouse and CBW. It is considered as the third largest distributor of consumer goods in Africa, the largest retailer of general merchandise, liquor and home improvement equipment and wholesaler of basic foods. Massmart presently has 377 stores in South Africa and 12 other Sub-Saharan countries.
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