Accra, Africa, BBC, Bond, Business, France, Ghana, Ghana Stock Exchange, Government, IFC, International Finance Corporation, Invesments, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Sub-Saharan Africa, Turkey, Uganda, Uhuru Kenyatta, Uncategorized, United States, US, USA, World Bank, World Bank Group, World Business Report

Africa Focused News


by Dario Galluccio

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Ghana: Turkish trade expo finally in Accra

The fourth Turkish Trade Exhibition dubbed “Ghana Big 5 Show” has opened in Accra to showcase their products to their Ghanaian counterparts and create trade bridge between Ghana and Turkey. Over 40 Turkish companies and Ghanaian company like MBC Trading Company Limited, dealers in construction chemicals and Thetford Company, dealers in water flushing toilet begun a four-day exhibition.

The fair was to develop and broaden trade convergence between the two countries and ensure mutual protection of businesses: moreover the fair would showcase products including Turkish building and construction, Food and Agriculture, Fashion, Cleaning materials, iron and steel, mechanical appliances, electrical machinery and equipment.

Mr Seth Adjei Baah, President of Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the relationship between the two would boost trade and investment as well as lead to cultural and other exchanges. He said Ghana is a centre of peace and gateway to West Africa and that investing in the country would lead to increase results and assured them of the country’s readiness to collaborate and work with them during the exhibition.

Rwanda: French investors coming

A delegation of French investors will visit Rwanda early this month to assess business and investment opportunities, Chantal Umuraza, the chamber of industries executive director general, has said. She said the companies are interested in agro-processing, architecture, fabrication, IT and aviation sectors.

Eusebe Muhikira, the head of trade and manufacturing department at the Rwanda Development Board, noted that Rwanda continues to attract foreign investments because of the business reform agenda started in 2009.

Rwanda is the third-best place to do business in Africa and ranks 52nd out 185 countries globally, according to the recent World Bank report. During the last quarter, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) registered investments worth $1.2b (about Rwf800b), of these, 22 were foreign investments worth $406.9m and nine were joint ventures worth $338.1m.

Sub-Saharan Africa: Actis injects $278m

Private equity company, Actis, has injected an extra $278 million into “property developments” in Sub-Saharan Africa region. This latest capital injection takes the firm’s entire African capital spending in its funds to approximately $433 million.

Louis Deppe, a director at Actis, believes that there is a lot of activity in the “private equity space” particularly in the region. It is understood that the sub-Saharan Africa region, with the exception of South Africa, has insufficient investment in high profile estates (properties). JSE-listed funds have allegedly shown little attraction to injecting money into the continent. But the advancement of excellent stock by private equity companies is likely to attract bigger attention from the publicly traded sector.

Actis has two real estate development funds and it claims to be the only pan-emerging private equity firm. With $5 billion managed by 105 investment professionals, the company has put in money in 65 companies, employing 101,000 people.The private equity firm has invested $4 billion in emerging markets so far. The company has realised $2.2 billion from its investment since the company was started in 2004.

South Sudan: CFC Stanbic keen on investing

CFC Stanbic, a subsidiary of South Africa-based Standard Bank Group, is keen to establish itself in the South Sudan private sector by providing core banking solutions needed to stimulate economic activities in the growing nation. The bank which officially commenced operations in the war-ridden country mid last year revealed that its decision to enter the developing market was centred on plans to secure capital – via a rights issue – to fund expansion projects.

According to Sudan Tribune, the bank plans to offer a range of basic banking services, while creating new relationships with customers, organizations and investors as well as solidifying and enhancing existing ones.

CFC Stanbic, which has its roots in Nairobi, Kenya, has had several dealings with South Sudan’s government including occupying a major role in an $11 million credit line deal for state-owned Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet), which enabled the firm to continue its importation of fuel into the country. It also signed a $100 million trade and foreign exchange credit recently with the government to boost economic activities across the country.

Analyst therefore believe the NSE-listed bank’s plan to fully enter the baby-economy will not only stimulate growth in the banking industry but also provide the needed skills and resources for diversifying the economy through investments in the Energy, infrastructure and Agricultural sectors.

Africa: Pan-Africa business unit opened by BBC

The BBC is opening a new pan-Africa Business Unit this month, Director of BBC Global News Peter Horrockshas announced. Speaking at the Highway Africa Conference in Grahamstown, South Africa, Mr Horrocks said this new move displayed the BBC’s continuing commitment to Africa.

The Unit will contribute business news from Africa to a wide range of BBC outlets, including World Service radio, BBC World News’ daily World Business Report, BBC online and on-demand services, and domestic services in the UK; also the Unit will produce the new flagship weekly TV programme Africa Business Report, with South African presenter LeratoMbele, which will start transmission in October on BBC World News TV.

The Africa Business Unit will be based in Johannesburg

Ghana: SEC lauds IFC US$1bn domestic bond

Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mr. Adu Anane Antwi says the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) planned move to raise US$1bn from the domestic market will add to the local bourse’s growing credibility. “Once IFC starts issuing its bonds, then all the other institutions that issue bonds will begin to look at Ghana as a possible market, and that is good for us,” Mr. Anane Antwi said.

The IFC last week was given approval by the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to issue regular cedi-denominated bonds worth up to US$1billion in Ghana’s market. “The consent from the Ghanaian authorities enables us to support deepening of the local capital markets and offer local-currency funding for priority sectors such as infrastructure,” IFC’s Vice President and Treasurer Jingdong Hua said in a statement.

The bonds will be sold to domestic and foreign institutional investors, and proceeds will be used to fund private sector projects in areas such as infrastructure and to increase access to finance for small- and medium-sized enterprises. The bonds are to be issued under the IFC’s Pan-African Domestic Medium-Term Note Programme that was launched last year, a statement from the IFC said.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) last week successfully raised US$3.5billion from a five-year global bond to be used in lending support to private sector development. The five-year bond, according to the private arm of the World Bank Group, is its largest bond issue to date.

The bond issue generated an order book close to US$5billion and set the pricing benchmark for IFC’s 2014 fiscal year borrowing programme.

The IFC says it plans to raise US$16billion across a range of markets and currencies during its current fiscal year ending June 30, 2014. It also plans to issue debt in Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda and Zambia under the programme.

Ghana: Exporters urged to embrace national strategy

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, Mr. Gideon Quarcoo, has asked Ghanaian exporters to embrace Ghana’s new national export strategy to ensure a boost in the country’s non-traditional exports.

The new export strategy for the non-traditional export sector, spanning 2013 to 2017, aims to put Ghana on the global map as a world-class exporter of competitive products and services. It has set a five-billion dollar target for non-traditional exports by 2017 from current export value of 2.46 billion dollars.

Mr. Quarcoo said the strategy also aims at generating considerable number of jobs and improving incomes as well as the standard of living and welfare of the people. He said the strategy will help strengthen resource export development-related institutions to ensure that the export culture is imbibed nationwide to avoid dependence on traditional exports.

As a first step, he said, GEPA will work with exporters to increase capacity in order to overcome supply constraints and enable them take advantage of regional export opportunities within the Economic Community of West African States.

Nigeria: Olam secures IFC Loan Of $120m for expansion works

Olam International, a global agric commodities supplier, has acquired a five-year loan of $120 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The IFC announced the loan approval August 28, 2013 and Olam is expected to use the funds to expand its food processing facilities in Nigeria and India.

The IFC financing will support facilities operated by Olam – Hemarus sugar milling, Kolhapur, India; Spice processing, Cochin, India; Crown Flour Mill, Lagos, Nigeria; Mechanical cashew processing, Illorin, Nigeria; and the Sesame hulling, Lagos, Nigeria.

Officials say these projects will benefit local communities in both countries by generating rural employment and creating new market opportunities for smallholder farmers to sell their crops.

Ghana: Diversify investment of heritage fund

A petroleum economist has suggested to the government and the Bank of Ghana to diversify the investment of the country’s heritage oil funds to keep some investments locally.

Currently, the country invests funds meant for future generations, known as the Heritage Funds, abroad in “secured international investment environment.” Mr John Gatsi, who is also a lecturer in Finance at the University of Cape Coast, said although investing abroad could shore up the country’s reserves, the government should have confidence in the local investment fund managers and keep some of the funds locally to improve liquidity and check risk.

Mr Gatsi lauded the country’s Petroleum Revenue Management law which, he said, laid out clear guidelines on spending, investing and transparent accounting for the proceeds the country got from its petroleum resources. He also praised the accountability clauses in the law and its reporting in the Budget Statement and Economic Policy of government, adding that while the Stabilisation and Heritage funds were a good creation in the law, the best form of protecting the future was in investing heavily in social and economic infrastructure.

On local content, the economic analyst said it was important for the government to leverage the policy and first equip small and medium scale enterprises to take advantage of it.


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