Africa, Business, Ghana, Gold, Government, GSE-CI, GSE-FSI, Invesments, Japan, Nigeria, PPP, Private Partnership, SME, South Africa, Uncategorized, World Bank

Africa Focused News

by Dario Galluccio

Ghana: MMT increases revenue by 15%

Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMT) is putting measures in place to increase its revenue by 15 per cent by the end of this year.

Noble John Appiah, Managing Director of MMT, in a statement, said in order for the company to achieve its aim, a number of broken down buses that are part of MMT’s total fleet of 1,048 would be restored. He also called for effective planning, research, and scheduling of buses. John Appiah urged the depot managers to work hard to support the new top management to achieve the company’s vision.

The statement said MMT would soon unveil a five-year strategic plan.

Ghana: Government disburses GH¢2m to traders

Government has commenced the disbursement of GH¢2 million, about $960000, to over 7,000 traders, who were affected by the recent fire outbreaks that destroyed some markets in Accra and Kumasi. The traders would use the money, which would be disbursed by Stanbic Bank, to revive their businesses. It would range between $95 and $145 per person.

The amount forms part of Government’s GH¢5 million, about $2.5 million, Fire Intervention Fund.

Africa: Isuzu enters Africa with left hand drive

After covering 1.3 million kilometers of testing, mostly on the roads of the Eastern Cape, the new Isuzu left hand drive 4&4 and 4&2 was launched in the city of Port Elizabeth and expected to be roll out across the continent in the coming months.

‘This will obviously be in a staggered approach country by country but our anticipation is that we can grow a lot with this vehicle,’ ‘ according to Mario Spangenberg, president and managing director of GM Africa

Last year GM sold 180,493 vehicles on the continent, a growth in sales of 17.5 per cent from 2011. With new Isuzu product coming to market, General Motors is expecting exponential growth. GM spent R250 million (US$27 million) in setting up the facility and with all the vehicles the company turn out vehicles such as Chevrolet, Opel and Isuzu. GM has also invested R1 billion ($109 million) into their South African manufacturing facility in Port Elizabeth, where the new Isuzu pick-up will be assembled.

In addition, the company has a manufacturing plant in Kenya, which builds Isuzu trucks and buses to supply the East African market, and one in Egypt, their second biggest African market after South Africa.

Ghana: Indices register more gains

The benchmark Composite Index (CI) as a result rose 30.47 points to close the week at 1,965.55 points. This gain saw the year-to-date return of the CI improve to 64.65 per cent. The Financial Stocks Index (FSI) was also bullish as it jumped 36.44 points to close the week at 1,717.23 points. The return on the financial index stands at 66.22 per cent.

Ghana: Government will source cheaper funds for SMEs

Obtaining funds remains a big challenge for most SMEs in the country as most of them are not able to provide the requisite collateral for loans, while those who are able to do so get them at higher interest rates. The Minister of State in Charge of Public Private Partnerships, Mr Rashid Pelpuo, said the government would be financially innovative in finding cheaper ways of getting money for SMEs.

According to Mr Pelpuo, the growth of an economy is in question if it cannot create jobs for its people, hence the need for investment by both public and private workers, adding, ‘It is through investments that you can create jobs.’

Meanwhile, the 2013 Budget Statement of Government hinted that it would revamp existing credit schemes alongside new schemes, such as the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Fund, to provide funds for start-ups and SMEs.

South Africa: Sibanye gold shares gain 7% on good results

The share price of gold miner, Sibanye Gold gaining 7 percent during early trade on the JSE.

This showed that the market liked the results which saw headline earnings for the six months to June surging to R880 million from R453 million during the previous reporting period.

The company said during the period under review it posted a 63 percent surge in operating profit to R3.3 billion ($363 million). This was despite a marked collapse in the price of gold since mid-April this year.

Neal Froneman, the CEO of Sibanye Gold, said the improved performance in the second quarter of this year had become evident even in the third quarter of this year. Froneman said the company has begun the process of containing falling gold production and was also managing high costs that have beset some of the company’s assets. He also said the company remained positive about the outlook of all operations.

Sibanye Gold is a South African gold mining firm consisting of three principal operations. These include Kloof and Driefontein in the West Wits region and Beatrix in the Free State Province. Sibanye Gold is one of the largest gold producers in South Africa and among the top 10 largest gold producers in the country.

Kenya: KWS launches Sh20 million Taveta Water Project

The Kenya Wildlife Service will launch water projects worth more than Sh20 million in Taita Taveta county. Speaking to the press at his Voi office, KWS assistant director, Robert Obrien said the projects will improve the livelihoods of communities in wildlife prone areas. “We want to ensure people get direct benefits from the wildlife resources around them and reduce poverty levels,”Obrien said. He said KWS is drilling a bore hole worth Sh4.2 million at Mwatate .

“We shall install a water pump and a generator. We are also undertaking a water project at Bura worth Sh1.3 million,” he said. Obrien said they have spent Sh6 million for a water project in Wundanyi constituency. He said other projects include rehabilitation of Mlughi water pipeline at Sh4 million and excavation at Kasighau for Sh4 million. Obrien said the projects will help encourage residents to protect the wildlife that is currently facing the challenge of poachers.

Ghana: To seek more concessionary loans

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has said the government is seeking for strategic investors, both locally and foreign, to partner and to finance some key projects in the country. The projects include infrastructure-energy, construction of health facilities in the Western and Central regions, building of commercial markets, reconstruction of the Ghana Trade Fair Centre, road construction in the Western and Eastern corridors, industrial zones (parks). Public, Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement to execute those projects since that formed part of the key policies of the government to get projects done faster.

Mr. Iddrisu said government will support foreigners who invest in Ghana to boost the economy and create jobs for the people.

He said the Government of Ghana is looking for concessionary loans to execute some projects, adding that the Public Private Partnership initiative will be pursued.

Ghana: To restore the Ghana Trade Fair Centre

The government is seeking strategic investors, both locally and foreign, to partner it to restore the deteriorating trade fair centre in Accra to its former glory.

According to the Director of Communication at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Nana Akrasi Sarpong, the move forms part of the government’s Public Private Partnership programme

The Ghana Trade Fair Centre, the once magnificent edifice meant to host major local and international fairs has been left to rot, a situation which makes it unattractive and safe to host any major fair or exhibition. Built some five decades ago, the Centre, which is placed in the care of the Ghana Trade Fair Company under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, was meant to be a site to showcase the works of industrialists in the country as part of efforts to promote made-in-Ghana goods as well as serve as a platform for other countries, mostly from the sub-region to exhibit their products and services to promote the sub regional integration agenda.

Tanzania: CTI Nods to Japan plans for Dar es Salaam

The business community in Tanzania has welcomed the nomination of the country as Japan’s new investment centre to serve the East African region saying it is a real opportunity to transform Tanzania into an industrial economy. The Confederation of Tanzania Industries sees the new Japanese plan for Tanzania as consisting of abundant opportunities to boost the growth of local businesses and spur economic development of the East African country.

Japanese Minister for Economy, Trade and Industries, Toshimistu Motegi announced that his country had nominated Tanzania to be the centre for investment that will serve the East African region and the continent at large.

With the implementation of the plan, the CTI Chairman, Mr Felix Mosha, said the industrial contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is currently below 20 per cent would definitely go up to more than doubling. The industrial growth will be supported by the improved power availability.

The venture is meant to strengthen the economic base and creation of job opportunities. Among the projects lined up for implementation include refurbishment of the central line railway network which will be replaced with the international gauge and expansion of the Port of Dar es Salaam to help increase efficiency in service delivery.

Ghana: World Bank support vital for economic growth

The Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur says the country’s economic growth can be linked to the tremendous support from the World Bank.

The Breton Wood institution over the years has assisted the country with funding and technical support for majority of government’s projects since country’s independence. Speaking at the opening of the World Bank Groups’ new corporate office in Accra, the vice president said the country could not have come this far without the bank.

“Ghana’s partnership with the World Bank Group has been long and fruitful,” Mr Amissah-Arthur said, noting that the IFC’s portfolio in Ghana, he learned, is the third largest in Africa, “that is something we are grateful for”.

The 28 million dollar structure would house the private sector arm of the World Bank, IFC and MIGA. Since joining the group in 1957 Ghana has benefited from close to 20 billion dollars.

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