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Africa Focused News

REPORT OF MONDAY 19/08/13

By Dario Galluccio

This Blog is sponsored by http://www.reflexecogroup.com

Ghana: Non-traditional export to hit 5.0 billion dollars

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) is to increase the country’s non-traditional export from the current export value of 2.64 billion dollars to 5.0 billion dollars by 2017. This will enhance the Gross Domestic Product to increase the national income.

The country also aims at generating considerable number of jobs and incomes, which will be translated into improved standard of living and welfare of the people to consolidate the middle-income status.

Mr Gerald Nyarko-Mensah, Director of Export Trade of MOTI said the strategy formed part of the national strategy for the non-traditional export sector from 2013 to 2017.

He said the country needs an investment capital of 600 million dollars to implement the National Export Strategy document, which among other things, would build the capacities of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to enable the country achieve the goal. He also said the country would no longer depend solely on the export commodities but would over the period invest in fresh and processed fish, vegetable oils, root crops, grains and legumes, natural rubber and products of the creative arts.

Mr Nyarko-Mensah said the strategy would put Ghana on the global map as a world class exporter of competitive products and services to reduce poverty promote sustainable environmental development and improve the balance in spatial and regional development. He indicated that the strategy would strengthen and resource export development related institutions to ensure that the export culture is imbibed nationwide so that every district would be able to have at least one significant commercial viable agro-based export product.

Tanzania: More than Sh2.2 billion invested to link the unbanked

A total of 2.2bn/- has been invested in the country through the banking on change programme among communities which were not linked to formal banking services in the last four years. Plan International Tanzania’s Microfinance Advisor, Stella Tungaraza has said that between 2009 and 2012 , the amount was invested in rural areas through the programme whereby the cost per beneficiary in Phase 1 was 37,500/-.

She said the total number of beneficiaries stands at 63,000, with 2,400 Village Savings and Loans Associations groups (VSLAs) formed out of which 153 were linked to formal banking services.

“For Phase two the total investment amount in Tanzania between 2013 and 2015 is 2.6bn/- with the cost per beneficiary being at 62,500/-.”

Ghana: World Bank says economy is expected to grow

Mr. Jean Phillipe Prosper, the Vice-President of the International Finance Corporation for sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, says the current glitch in government’s finances is only temporary as the country’s economy is expected to continue its growth in the coming months. Government is aiming to cut the fiscal deficit from 12 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2012 to 9 percent in 2013, through a combination of revenue and expenditure measures.

Africa is turning heads around the world, while developed countries still find their footing after a devastating crisis and emerging markets in other parts of the world face new challenges after years of torrid growth. Ghana is leading the way. Ghana’s growth in the first decade of this century averaged more than six percent. Today that growth is even higher and expected to continue,” he said.

The World Bank has provided about US$10billion in funding to the government of Ghana since it joined the Group in 1957; with most of the funds coming from the Bank’s facility for the world’s poorest nations — the International Development Association (IDA). About US$8billion of the total funding came as grants and interest-free credits to the government.

Kenya: President Kenyatta arrives in China on first state visit

President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in Beijing on Sunday morning on his first State visit to China, which will focus on growing Kenya’s business and investment with the East. African ambassadors accredited to China greeted President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport. They told him Kenya’s agenda of seeking transformational projects in infrastructure, technology, agribusiness and finance resonated with the continent. Discussions this week with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other government officials, as well as the China business community will focus on investments mainly in infrastructure, energy, technology and protecting Kenya’s wildlife. President Kenyatta will also press for greater market access for Kenyan exports.

He said his visit would cement and deepen the strategic partnership between Kenya and China.

East Africa: China tops Kenya’s FDI sources

China has become Kenya’s biggest FDI source with 474 million U. S. dollars invested in the East African country, as a result of the development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation, according to Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Guangyuan.

Statistics from the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi show that the bilateral trade has boomed in recent years with an annual surge of 30 percent to 2.84 billion U. S. dollars. China has become the second largest trade partner to Kenya.

Meanwhile, Kenya has become more and more popular with Chinese tourists, whose arrivals hit 40,000 in 2012 and are expected even higher in years to come.

Ghana ranked 10th export country to China

Ghana has been ranked second after Nigeria as an ECOWAS country whose exports is in higher demand by China. It was however ranked 10th among sub-Sahara African countries that export to China.

Angola, South Africa, Congo, DR Congo and Zambia were the top five countries that China imported from. The rest were Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana.

According to Ecobank Research, sub-Saharan Africa has emerged as China’s biggest bilateral trade partner. The export trade rose to $1.2 billion last year, up from $945 billion in 2008.

Ghana’s exports to China reduced from 2008 to 2012. The country mainly exports minerals and cocoa to one of the fastest growing economies in the world. China has increased its investments in Africa in mining, energy, construction and manufacturing. However, there is an increasing move towards investments in the services sector particularly finance and tourism.

Ghana: UniBank to add 5 branches

UniBank Ghana Limited is to open five additional branches before the end of the year. The new branches are to be opened in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, Darkuman in the Greater Accra Region, and Volta, Upper East and Upper West regions.

The five new branches will bring to 25 the total number of branches and networks that the bank operates nationwide.

Ghana: Economy under repairs – Deputy Governor

Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana has admitted that the country’s economy for the past six months has been in crisis. Dr. Issahaku Nashiru was however quick to jump to the defense of government saying, “Government should not be blamed because it is a global phenomenon.”

He gave the assurance that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in collaboration with the Central Bank is assiduously working to fix the ailing economy.

According to the second Deputy Governor, prices of mineral resources have softened in the international market for which has culminated into imbalances with so much pressure on the demand of foreign exchange.

Ethiopia hails Dangote’s investment in cement plant

Nigeria’s Dangote Group has seen rapid expansion across the continent and has received yet another commendation, this time by the Ethiopian government, after the establishment of a new cement plant in the East African country.

The commendation, conveyed through a letter, acclaimed the effort of the President of the conglomerate, Aliko Dangote and promised to provide the enabling atmosphere for the success of the venture.

Dangote Cement had launched a 2.5 million metric tonnes per annum plant in Mugher, Adaberga District in Ethiopia with a pledge by the company to ensure that it was completed on schedule.

Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has pledged to spend up to $15 billion pursuing investment opportunities around the continent in the next 4-5 years. He earlier revealed that his company has invested approximately $8 billion in an oil refinery and another $2 billion in fertilizer in Nigeria alone, aside other billion dollar investments outside the country.

Nigeria: Apex Bank launches $1.2m MSME fund

The central bank of Nigeria has launched a N220 billion ($1.2 million) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) development Fund to fill the vacuum accessed in the small business sub-sector. The Fund, which would be given to Micro Finance Banks (MFBs) and Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) to strengthen their operations (the credit component, the guarantee component and the refinancing component for the sector to work) will provide wholesale funding requirements in their operations and ensure that the un-served and under-served clients in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sub-sector are now covered.

The fund was set up in accordance to Section 6.10 of the revised Microfinance Policy, Regulatory and Supervisory Framework for Nigeria which stipulates that “a Microfinance Development Fund shall be set up, primarily to provide for the wholesale funding requirements of MFBs/MFIs.”

The development fund will be available for disbursement as from next year. 60 percent of the fund has been earmarked for the provision of financial services to women entrepreneurs. This is as a result of the challenges they faced in accessing financial services in Nigeria.

Special consideration will also be given to institutions that will provide financial services to graduates of the CBN’s Entrepreneurship Development Centers (EDCs).

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