Accra, Africa, Business, Ghana, Government, Ibrahim Index of African Governance, Invesments, Liberia, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Ndola, Nigeria, Oil, South Africa, Tullow Oil, Uncategorized, West Africa

Africa Focused News

REPORT OF FRIDAY 18/10/13

by Dario Galluccio

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

Africa: SABMiller posts robust African interims

The world’s No.2 brewer, SABMiller, says it attained a robust feat in African markets where it has opera.

Alan Clark, SABMiller CEO, said in Africa, total volume growth in lagers surged 9 percent on an organic basis. This was in view of robust growth in many of the company’s critical markets. In Tanzania, lager volumes soared 6 percent, boosted by “double digit” growth in Castle Lite sales. In Zambia, the better availability of the company’s brands supported a 13 percent lager volume growth. Business in Mozambique got better in the second quarter of this year with lager volume growth gaining 4 percent. In Nigeria, brewery enlargements continued to bolster strong volume growth, mainly because of the sustained achievements of Hero Lager.

Accessibility of the company’s drinks in the landlocked east African country was boosted by the commissioning of the Ndola brewery.

Ghana: NPA reviews fuel prices; 1.5% drop

Petrol has reduced from about 212 pesewas to 209 pesewas per litre but the price of Diesel however remained unchanged. This is after a four percent reduction on petrol and diesel last month.

Meanwhile the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) has also reduced by 2.49%. What used to be sold at 230 pesewas will now be sold at about 224 pesewas per kilogram. Kerosene and Premix fuel on the other hand have increased. Premix increased by a substantial rate of 18%. It will now be sold for 116 pesewas per litre from 99 pesewas.

Liberia: ‘Most Improved’ nation

Liberia leads the table of biggest governance improvers in Africa since 2000, and has seen largest improvements in Safety & Rule of Law.

The 2013 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) revealed that Liberia is the ‘most improved country’ on the continent in terms of overall governance since 2000. The top five most improved countries in the 2013 IIAG are all post-conflict countries: Liberia, Angola, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Burundi.

The 2013 IIAG provides full details of Liberia’s performance across four categories of governance: Safety & Rule of Law, Participation & Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. Since 2000, Liberia has shown its biggest improvement in the category of Safety & Rule of Law, which measures judicial functions, accountability, transparency and corruption, property rights, personal safety and national security, among others.

Liberia’s performance in the 2013 IIAG stands as follow: Ranks 29th (out of 52) overall; scores 50.3 (out of 100), lower than the African; average (51.6); has improved by +24.8 since 2000; ranks 10th (out of 16) in the West African region; scores lower than the regional average for West Africa (52.5) and ranks highest in the category Participation & Human Rights (19th out of 52).

According to report, West Africa ranks 3rd out of five regions at the overall governance level. This has been the case every year since 2000, except in 2011 when it ranked 2nd.

South Africa: Old Mutual set to invest $101m in Africa

Old Mutual Investment Group SA (Omigsa) said it is set to raise R10 billion ($101 million) to invest in private equity, infrastructure and agriculture funds throughout Africa. Diane Radley, the CEO at Omigsa, said domestic pension funds will be used as sources for the investment money that will generate long-term yields.

According to Radley, by 2050 at least one in three youngsters in the globe will be living in the African continent; this, she said, will turn Africa into one of the greatest and thrilling consumer markets going forward.

Omigsa, the South Africa-based unit of Old Mutual, is Africa’s biggest insurance company listed on London and Johannesburg stock exchanges.

Ghana: Oil production resumes offshore

The offshore facility, which was shut down in September this year for the first time since the country’s first oil in 2010 for maintenance has so far produced a total of 83 million barrels of and at current daily production rate of 110,00 barrels.

The operators, Tullow Oil said during the shutdown, the key scope of work carried out on the vessel include vessel inspections and cleaning, replacement of safety critical equipment as well as pressure relief valve recertification identified for maintenance.

According to the head of Communications at Tullow Ms Bernice Natue, the planned maintenance work lasted less than the 21 days scheduled and that production restarted in the afternoon of September 29, ramping up the wells to previous production levels on October, 7, 2013. She said in line with the partners’ commitment to industry global maintenance and integrity standards the facility had scheduled maintenance periods and that the next shutdown maintenance would be held in the second half of 2014.

The General Manager of Tullow Ghana, Mr Charles Darku said the partners were delighted at the timely completion of the shutdown maintenance and the return to full production.

He said before the planned shutdown, Ghanaians were informed and that it was important therefore to ensure that after the successful completion of the project, the partners inform the public. Prior to the shutdown, Mr. Charles Darku said the partners embarked on the exercise as part of the culture of adhering to world-class operational performance management standards to ensure that the vessel operates optimally and lives its projected lifespan.

Nigeria: Brittania-U offers $1.2 Billion for Chevron Oil blocs

Brittania-U Nigeria Limited, a Lagos-based marginal oil field operator, has reportedly offered Chevron a $1.2 billion for 3 of its listed oil blocs, throwing lower bidders into panic. Chevron has been seeking to liquidate its 40 percent stake in blocs OMLs 52, 53, 55, 83 and 85, listing them for sale to local operators. The indigenous oil firm has been rivalled by fellow operators Seplat/Amni Production, Niger Delta Petroleum/SAPETRO and Sahara/Septa – all Nigerian companies – seeking to acquire the reserves-rich fields. The blocs are said to hold oil reserves in excess of 250 million barrels of oil and over 3.5 billion cubic feet of gas, valued at $400 million.

Though no official declaration has been made, Brittania-U’s latest bid – believed to be $1 billion higher than other bids – looks set to put an end to the 3-month bidding process. Brittania-U is bidding to buy OMLs 52, 53 and 55, estimated to contain proven oil and gas reserves of 555 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE), a Business Day report revealed.

The oil and gas company’s astonishing offer has been supported by an equity financing partner, an arrangement Eddy Wikina, former external relation affairs manager, Shell Nigeria Exploration Petroleum Company (SNEPCO), feels was easy initiated due to the company’s excellent credit rating.

Ghana: External debt increased by 306%

Ghana’s external debt has increased by 306% between 2006 and 2012 to reach $8,835.6 million as at the end of 2012. A Policy Research Assistant, Domestic Debt of, Nyasha Munditi, said some reasons for the increase in the external debt include government issuing a 4750 million 10-year-Eurobond on the international market in 2007.

She said new loans of about $2.8 billion to fund sectoral priorities in health, agriculture, rural development, roads, communication and housing for public sector employees also led to the current external debt.

Giving an overview of “Ghana’s Public Debt” she stated that in addition to the external debt, domestic debt also increased from 15.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2006 to 25.4% in 2012; and this was issued mainly to finance budget deficits and to develop the domestic debt market. Using the International Debt Sustainability Borrowing Ceiling of 60% for total public debt of GDP ratio, Madam Munditi said Ghana’s performance against this indicator showed that it was still within the 60% threshold as Ghana’s current domestic debt ratio is pegged at 50%.

First Africa Internet Business Summit Holds In Nigeria

Leading internet marketer and Chairman of Afrinet Business Solutions, Dr. Ope Banwo, said that the first Internet Business Summit in Africa, a collaboration between his company and American Internet Business School, will commence on the 4th of November. According to Thisday, Banwo said: “This will be done by bringing some of the best internet marketers from USA, UK and Caribbean to Africa for a 7-day summit…”

Ranked as having Africa’s largest number of internet users, Nigeria is fast rising on internet penetration thereby creating a whole new column of opportunity for online businesses, in the economy. Aside capital, logistics and distrust, inadequate business knowhow has been one of the major hindrance to the development and acceptance of e-commerce in Nigeria.

Commenting on the event, Banwo said: “The recent upsurge of interest in the internet for businesses in Africa and the growing demands for more expert knowledge and interaction on internet marketing made us realise the time has come for the frontiers of internet business to be taken to the next level in Africa with the involvement of top experts in the USA, UK and Canada to Africa.”

Ghana: Wage bill to increase to GH¢11 billion

Ghana’s already heavy wage bill of GH¢9 billion will increase to GH¢11 billion by the close of the year, a Deputy Minister of Information and Media Relations, Mr Felix Ofosu Kwakye, has said. He was responding to a publication in the Daily Graphic of the downgrading of Ghana’s B+ status to B by Fitch, the international credit rating agency.

Mr Ofosu Kwakye said the issues raised in the Daily Graphic had engaged the government’s attention for quite some time now and significant progress had been made on how to resolve the issues.

Addressing the media at the ongoing National Policy Fair at the Accra International Conference Centre yesterday, he said, “We are informed that one of the major issues that Fitch considered in its current review has to do with the spiralling wage bill.”

Indeed, since the implementation of the single spine salary structure, the government’s wage bill annually has shot up from a region of around GH¢1.7 billion to GH¢9 billion as of 2012,” he stated.

Mr Ofosu Kwakye said according to statistics, however, that would move to GH¢11 billion by December when outstanding issues regarding the single spine were resolved.

He said while the increment was informed by the government’s desire to improve workers’ conditions and also streamline and properly align the wage system, it was committed to ensuring that the streamlining and improvement in working conditions did not result in further destabilisation of the economy.

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