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Africa Focused News


by Dario Galluccio – This Blog is sponsored by

Tanzania: TIC registers 106 projects in Kilimanjaro

Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) has registered 106 projects in Kilimanjaro Region, between January 2008 and December last year, with a total value of 265.26 million US dollars, TIC Acting Northern Zonal Manager, Mr George Mukono revealed

He said that the projects created 8,646 jobs and he mentioned the sectors involved: agriculture (11), commercial buildings (4), human resources (9), manufacturing (28), tourism (47) and transportation (7). According to Mr Mukono, the manufacturing sector employed 2,439 people, followed by the following sectors: agriculture (2,427), tourism (2,315), human resources (887), transportation (417) and commercial buildings (161).

He mentioned lack of water for agricultural activities and difficulties involved in acquiring water rights and scarcity of land for agricultural purposes as some of the challenges facing potential investors in Kilimanjaro Region. Other challenges include lack of industrial sites as well as real estate development sites, power rationing, lack of investment and reliable market and transportation of vegetable crops and flowers as well as other crops.

Tanzania: Stanbic Bank records 30% income growth

Stanbic Bank Tanzania has recorded a 30 per cent increase in its total income growth as compared to the same period last year. According to a statement released by the bank, the financial performance of the bank for the second quarter of 2013 is considered good in terms of total income earned and cost management. The statement shows that the growth was mainly caused by the increase in the net interest income by 6 per cent despite the increased cost of funding that the banking industry is currently facing.

Ghana: “Innovate to survive” – Bank of Ghana urges banks

The First Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Mr Millison Narh, has charged financial institutions to continually re-engineer their operations in order to stay relevant in a competitive environment. He said the stiff competition in the financial services sector meant that institutions which must survive should introduce innovative strategies and products to attract, delight and retain customers. The deputy governor also advised financial institutions not to throw risk management to the dogs as they would increase their appetite for risk in response to pressures from the market, saying ‘the temptation to shift to relaxed financial and operational prudence behaviour has the potential to sow the seed for the demise of an institution.’

A deputy minister of Finance, Nana Ato Forson, for his part, affirmed the vast contribution financial institutions had made to the economic development of the country, especially in education, health, agricultural and the informal sector. He said recognising the high percentage of the informal sector much was expected to be done to support the sector as the economy grew from a lower middle income to the higher brackets of middle income status.

It was in that regard that the government was urging banks and non-bank financial institutions to partner other credit providers to pay more attention to the informal sector and make credit more affordable and accessible to that segment of the economy.

Ghana: For 2nd year running, Kuapa Kokoo sustains profit

For the second year running, Kuapa Kokoo Limited posted positive financial outlook, after turning its first profit last year. The only licensed cocoa buying company owned by Ghanaian farmers had been recording loses for five consecutive years, since 2006.

Executive Director, Emmanuel Arthur attributes the improved performance to farmers’ commitment to supply cocoa beans to meet needs of the company.

Ghana: ACEP calls for Breaking of Ghana Gas Company’s monopoly

The natural monopoly of the Ghana National Gas Company (GNGC) should be broken to allow for competition in the distribution and marketing of the country’s own natural gas, the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) has said.

GNGC should not be responsible for buying and selling gas. Gas purchases should be opened to marketers, and producers should be free to enter into gas sales arrangements with marketers and bulk consumers. Thus, some bulk consumers can be connected directly to the transportation network.’

The suggestion is contained in a gas policy option paper ACEP has presented to the Energy Ministry to aid the development of a national gas policy.

As it stands now, the GNGC has been mandated to build and own pipelines; buy, transport and sell gas. The national gas company therefore has exclusive right across the supply chain.

Ghana: BoG increases minimum capital for new banks

The Bank of Ghana increases minimum capital for new banks:

  • Commercial Banks who want to start businesses in Ghana would soon be required to have a minimum capital of 120 million cedis;
  • Rural banks are also required to have a stated capital of 300 thousand cedis, an up from 150 thousand;
  • Non-bank financial institutions would also have to up their capital by as much as 100 percent – 15 million cedis.

The First Deputy Governor of the Bank Ghana, Millison Narh, announced this at Ghana Association of Bankers Business, explaining that the increments have been done to ensure a strong financial system to support the real sector of the economy.

He also added that these increases are necessary in order to provide the institutions with the muscle to undertake big-ticket deals to support the growth of the private sector and to further serve as a capital cushion for absorbing unexpected losses that may arise in the normal course of business.

Tanzania: Balance of Payment figures continue to improve

The overall balance of payments in the year ending June this year recorded a surplus of US$ 449.1 million (about 718.56bn/-) compared to US$ 209.1 million (334.56) of the corresponding period in 2012. The Bank of Tanzania (BoT) said in its monthly economic review for July that the outstanding performance emanated from the net inflows recorded in capital and financial accounts.

Consequently, the gross official reserves amounted to US$ 4,353.5 million (6.96tri/-) sufficient to cover 4.3 months of projected imports of goods and services excluding those financed by foreign direct investment, the bank said.

The value of traditional exports increased mainly on account of higher export volumes of coffee and cotton associated with good weather conditions in the growing areas coupled with good prices offered in the preceding years.

Also in the period under review, the value of non-traditional exports notably gold declined, following a decrease in export volume and average unit export price. The volume of gold exported was about 36 tonnes compared with about 40 tonnes recorded in the year ending June 2012, while average unit export price declined by 3.6 per cent to US$ 1,610.7 (2.57m/-) per troy ounce.

Nonetheless, gold and manufactured goods continued to account for the largest share in total non-traditional exports. The value of diamond exports rose following an increase in production associated with the completion of major rehabilitation of the Williamson Diamond Mine treatment plant.

Ethiopia: H&M will leverage on low cost clothing industry

World’s second biggest fashion retailer, Hennes & Mauritz (H&M), plans to make clothing in Ethiopia.

The company targeted Ethiopia because it would costs less to make clothing in the East African hub which is also one of the fastest-growing economies on the continent. The move was driven by an increasing number of clothing stores the company has to stock up with its brands as it starts operations in more countries.

H&M planned to set up shop in Johannesburg, South Africa, and it is currently present in over 40 countries.

South Africa: Rosatom promises over 15,000 jobs

Russian state-owned nuclear company, Rosatom, says it would create more than 15,000 jobs in association with stakeholders of the South African nuclear program.

Speaking at the annual industry convention of the Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (NIASA) on Wednesday, Boris Arseev, the Vice-President of JSC Rusatom Overseas (a subsidiary of Rosatom), said, “Implementation of the South African nuclear generation development program together with Rosatom would allow to create 15,000 additional jobs in construction, service and operation of the new units, as well as several thousands of jobs in related industries.”

He also said the program will increase the income of South African enterprises by $15 billion and an additional $3.5 billion in budget revenue.

Africa’s largest economy is planning to expand its nuclear energy sector and Rosatom is bidding for the construction of six South African power units with a total installed capacity of 9.6 GW.

Ivory Cosat: MTN extends cloud services

African telecommunication multinational, MTN, has announced a bouquet of cloud services in Cote d’Ivoire, as it aims to establish itself as the frontrunner in the delivery of digital services to customers. The introduction follows successful launches in Nigeria and Ghana in April, with plans for further roll outs in three other countries including Uganda, Cameroon and South Africa, already gathering pace.

The service, which provides business automation tools to enterprises across professional services, micro-finance, health and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) sectors, aims to promote businesses by providing technical support for a sustainable growth and development.

The uptake in Ghana and Nigeria has been positive. We are optimistic that MTN Cloud will receive a similar response in Cote d’Ivoire, and in the other markets when it’s launched,” says Pieter Verkade, MTN Group Chief Commercial Officer.

Ghana: Chinese firm will invest in power sector

A Chinese electric company, Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation (SEPCOIII), has promised to enter the Ghanaian market and assist the government to meet its power generation target. Zhang Huanxiang, Vice-President and Chief Engineer of the company, made this promise during a meeting with Ghana’s Minister for Energy and Petroleum, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah.

The West African cocoa, gold and oil producer targets to expand its generating capacity to 5000 Mega Watts (MW) by 2016 through a mix of gas and steam-powered thermals, hydro-generation and renewable energy sources.

We chose Ghana because of its political stability and hospitality which is noted worldwide,” Zhang explained.

Welcoming the delegation, the energy minister expressed excitement about the choice of Ghana by the company as its investment destination, promising a congenial business environment. “Ghana is on course to achieve the targeted power generation capacity of 5000 megawatts by 2016,” Buah stated.


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