Access Bank, Accra, Africa, Business, China, Coal, DHL Express, Diamond, East Africa, Germany, Ghana, Invesments, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sub-Saharian Africa, Uncategorized, United States, US, USA, West Africa, World Bank

Africa Focused News


by Dario Galluccio

This Blog is sponsored by

Kenya: from nowhere plans East Africa’s first Oil exports

Kenya is headed to become the first oil exporter in East Africa, moving in less than five years from being a have-not nation to the regional leader in cutting reliance on energy suppliers such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

After Tullow Oil Plc (TLW) discovered oil last year, Kenya is set to start shipments in 2016, overtaking neighboring Uganda, where Tullow found crude more than seven years ago. The U.K. explorer plans to start pumping in Kenya as soon as next year, Chief Operating Officer Paul McDade said in an interview. Kenya’s deposits may top 10 billion barrels, according to the company, more than three times the U.K.’s remaining reserves.

Oil will allow Kenya to “diversify export earnings and act as a catalyst for infrastructural spending, especially on the transport network,” Phumulele Mbiyo, regional head of macroeconomic research at Nairobi-based CfC Stanbic Bank Ltd., a unit of Standard Bank Group Ltd., said . “The shilling is expected to benefit from inflows of foreign exchange and reduced spending on fuel imports.”

Sierra Leone: Diamond exports sees 43% increase in H1

African diamond exporter, Sierra Leone says it shipped out diamonds worth $102 million in the first half (H1) of the year, a 43 percent rise as compared to the $71 million gained from exports during the same period last year. According to the country’s National Mineral Agency (NMA), the increase – which provided the government with a tax windfall in excess of $5 million – was largely influenced by the improved level of productivity from its major diamond miner, Koidu Holdings and further highlights the growing advancement in channeling diamonds through the government.

At the end of the first half of 2013, exports exceeded those of 2012 by 42.95 percent, an improvement of $30.71 million,” Ibrahim Mohmed, who oversees the diamond sector at the NMA, told.

The total diamonds exported amounted to 331,471 carats valued at $102 million,” he added.

Kenya: International acquisition of local firms profit entrepreneurs

Recent acquisition of Kenyan companies by foreign multinationals will provide multi-billion-dollar windfalls for local entrepreneurs, experts reveal.

Findings suggests that several billionaire entrepreneurs are selling their stakes in local companies to foreign firms eager to tap into the East African market and have a preference for acquisition as a faster and cost efficient medium of entry into the region.

According to Business Daily, sporadic deals in the past year have attracted multinationals from across Africa, Asia and Europe with concluded acquisitions involving firms such as Fina Bank, Mercantile Insurance, Kenya Data Networks (KDN) and Swift global. Other potential buyout deals include that of AccessKenya, Scangroup, KenolKobil, CMC Holdings, and Resolution Insurance.

Analysts have noted that most agreements are aimed at generating capital for cash-strapped firms or at providing expertise in resource and operational management to ensure sustainable business development for the growing economy.

Ghana: Trade Between Ghana-Germany Is Pegged At €1.25b For 2013

Trade between Ghana and Germany currently stands at €1.25 billion as at the end of March 2013. This was made known by President John Mahama last week when he hosted the outgoing German Ambassador to Ghana, Dr. Renate Schimkoreit.

Germany is one of Ghana’s biggest trading partners in the European Union.

According to President Mahama, Germany has given Ghana €132 million out of the total portfolio of €184 million support pledge it made for the period between 2012 and 2015, reports the Ghana News Agency.

Germany’s funding in Ghana has been in major areas such as renewable energy, health, agriculture, land administration project among others.

Nigeria: To Sign $3.7bn coal project deal with Chinese firm

Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan says nothing stops the country from exploiting its abundant coal reserves for quality power generation if properly harnessed.

Nigeria is endowed with abundant coal reserves of the required quality necessary for power generation. And so there is no reason why we should not exploit that sector.”

Nigeria’s coal reserve is put at about 360 metric tonnes.

The president also stressed on the importance of the solid mineral sector and the need to harness it in order to create jobs, wealth and increase the foreign direct investments in the economy.

During the workshop, HTG-Pacific Energy Consortium and Ministry of Mines and Steel Development signed a $3.7 billion deal for a coal to power project at Ezimo Coal Block in Enugu State and a 1,000 megawatts coal power generating plant. The MoU represents the first step to building plants that will generate additional 1200 mega watts of electricity to the national grid.

Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said a greater part of the funds required to carry out the project will be borrowed from foreign banks.

Ghana: Blue Rose to build 500 affordable housing units

The company has already constructed about 300 houses in 2012, and is set to continue at this rate for the years to come and thus, accomplish its mission of being the leader in the real estate industry in providing quality and affordable housing. The company, which has Mr Eric Ebo Acquah as its Chief Executive Officer, believes it is a basic human right for every individual to own their own home and is thus, committed to making this a reality.

Africa: Standard Bank will open offices in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast

Standard Bank, Africa’s biggest lender by assets, is poised to open up representative offices in Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast, it merged earlier this week. Banks first open representative offices in the targeted countries before setting up shop and opening up a branch network offering a suite of their products.

By the time Standard Bank decides to go full steam ahead and start full-suited operations in the two countries, the lender would have increased its African operations to 20. It currently has operations in 18 African countries.

The lender is paying more attention to Africa because it is planning to take advantage of opportunities that will be proffered by the growing middle class in the continent. Standard Bank has disposed of its operations in the United Kingdom, Russia and Argentina to focus on the African continent.

In the past couple of years, Ethiopia has been seen as having great prospects for foreign banks. This is in view of the fact that it is Africa’s second most populous country.

Ghana: Access Bank will mobilize GH¢100m

Access Bank (Ghana) Ltd has set out to mobilize a total of GH¢100 million over the next three months, as it launches a promotion to encourage savings with the bank and help deepen the savings culture in the country.

Between now and November 15, existing and potential Access Bank customers would be required to deposit a minimum of GH¢200, and keep a minimum account of GH¢500 within the three-month period.

Ghana: DHL to expand in Africa

Leading international express and logistics company, DHL Express has stated that it will continue to invest in Sub-Saharan Africa. To strengthen its 32-year relationship with Ghana, DHL’s Sub-Saharan Africa Managing Director, Charles Brewer last Friday met key stakeholders, customers, employees and the media to explain the company’s future direction.

Despite the current global economic uncertainty, DHL expects the African region to deliver,” said Mr. Brewer.

He also said “As we see the continent ‘surge’ as a result of sector investment, increased consumer spending and economic activity, the future is still bright for the continent. Ghana is an attractive market for us and with the GDP growth rate 7 percent presents a major opportunity. The opportunity for us is to expand our footprint within the country and service semi-urban and rural areas so that anyone-from a student to a small business- can access our network and the over 220 countries and destinations that we serve.”

Ghana: US$1.44bn World Bank funds undisbursed

The World Bank Group has committed over US$2.24 billion to 27 various ongoing projects and programmes in the country. Out of the amount the country has been able to access only US$802.09 million, representing about 35.71 per cent of the committed funds as of June this year. This leaves US$1.44 billion undisbursed.

According to the World Bank, progress towards implementing 14 out of the number are satisfactory, four are rated ‘moderate unsatisfactory’, with 11 others being ‘moderate satisfactory’. Out the 27 projects, which cut across all sectors of the economy, the World Bank has assigned various ratings to 25 of them.

Many of the projects are those that the country badly needs either to close its infrastructure gap or provide and expand basic needs and utilities for its people.

The projects include Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project; the Public, Private Partnership; the Ghana Health Insurance Project; Ghana partnership for education, and the Ghana skills and technical development project.Others are the Micro, Small and Medium scale Enterprise project; the Land Administration Project; the Statistical Development Programme; Statistical Service reforms; the oil and gas capacity building; the Ghana Energy Development and Access Project (GEDAP); various phases of the West Africa Power Pool and the Urban Transport project.

The rest are Social Opportunities Project; the Transport sector project; the e-Ghana Project; Sustainable Land and Water Management; the Urban, and the Sustainable rural water and sanitation project, the West Africa Fisheries and other regional based projects on transportation and trade facilitation.


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