Accra, Africa, Burkina Faso, Business, Foreign Direct Investment, Germany, Ghana, Government, Invesments, John Dramani Mahama, KwaMashu, LTE, Nigeria, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Uncategorized, United States, US, USA

Africa Focused News

REPORT OF TUESDAY 22/10/13

by Dario Galluccio

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

Ghana: Renewable energy sector gets €1.8m from Germany

Ghana’s energy sector has received a boost of 1.8 million Euros from the government of the Federal Republic of Germany through the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to be disbursed in two years. This is in pursuance of a successful implementation of the Renewable Energy Act 832 enacted in 2011.

Speaking at the launch of the joint programme for a successful implementation of the renewable energy Act in Accra, Deputy Minister for Energy and Petroleum John Jinapor commended the German government for its efforts over the years to build capacities in Ghana’s energy sector. He added: “Most high ranking officials in the energy sector today are beneficiaries of GIZ programmes.

Mr. Jinapor, giving the background of Ghana’s energy history, said the country relied solely on hydroelectricity until 1997 and 2007 when the water level in the Akosombo Dam fell drastically, forcing governments at the time to shift their attention to thermoelectricity by constructing thermal plants to support the energy sector.

Nigeria: U.S. invests U.S.$50 Mln in economy in 2013

United States of America Consul General, Jeffrey Hawkins said that the US has invested $50 million in Nigeria’s economy in 2013 alone. He said this during a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). He said that Nigeria was a growing economy and assured that the United States government would help in growing the economy.

He pointed out that no country can progress without capital market investment, saying that the US was building a solid trade framework with the Nigerian government. He urged the NSE to create a transparent environment that will attract investors to the Nigerian capital market.

The CEO of NSE, Oscar Onyema, while welcoming the US Consul General, said Nigeria has a strong relationship with the US government, saying that the Stock Exchange would support the relationship and economic activities between the two countries. He added that the Exchange would also drive friendly portfolio investments from the deepest market(New York Stock exchange) in the world to emerging market which has the highest return on investment in the world.

Ghana: President Mahama to address economist Ghana Summit

President John Dramani Mahama is expected to address the Ghana Economist Summit on Tuesday, October 29th 2013 at the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra as part of a two-day international business leaders’ event. The Ghana Summit would openly explore the risks and opportunities that are facing the thriving African economy.

It would bring together over 150 leaders from government, business and finance that have either invested in the country or expressed interest in its future.

In a special opening keynote address by the President, he would discuss how Ghana would take advantage of positive conditions and overcome further challenges to its continued emergence as a growing economy. Ghana’s economy has witnessed major changes in the last couple of years. GDP has more than doubled in four years from GH¢23billion in 2007 to GH¢59 billion in 2011. This has been aided by the oil production, which took off in December 2010. Last year, oil contributed GH¢3.7 billion to the country’s GDP.

Despite the positive outlook for the Ghanaian economy, there are a number of critical challenges that could restrict growth and slow down the progress of poverty alleviation and development. While the economy has seen low and stable inflation, the cost of credit for small and medium size enterprises is still high.

South Africa: Commuter rail investment gains pace

South Africa will invest over R50-billion in passenger rail infrastructure and services over the next few years, President Jacob Zuma said at the launch of the Bridge City Rail Link project in KwaMashu outside Durban. This follows the government’s investment of over R40-billion in the sector over the past four years, Zuma said.

The R1.3-billion Bridge City station, which includes a bus and taxi interchange, is the largest rail infrastructure development project in the Durban area. Situated 17 kilometres from the Durban city centre, the Bridge City station links the communities of Phoenix, Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu directly to the urban transport system. The development is expected to boost economic growth in these communities as it improves their opportunities to work, travel, shop and do business. It will also serve as a social and commercial centre for an area housing a population of over 800 000 people, who at present have generally poor access to facilities and social services.

Ghana: Dangote withdrawing sugar

Dangote sugar refinery, Nigeria’s biggest producer of the sweetener, has told the current requirements in Ghana regarding the production of sugar are hindering them from entering the market.

Dangote Sugar plans to increase its capacity to enter more African countries beginning with Mali, Gambia, Burkina Faso and Togo this year and Liberia, Senegal and Mauritania next year.

The company’s Vice President, Sani Dangote stated that it will not be making a stop in Ghana saying, “we have two major problems in Nigeria you cannot produce without fortifying with vitamin A in Ghana you do not need to fortify that’s number one and that’s very expensive. You fortify sugar with vitamin A for the eye and in Ghana this is not compulsory.” He continued saying, “we have 45 units as the highest in Nigeria and in Ghana you have 150 units’ what’s known as brown sugar so to come to Ghana is very difficult because you can’t produce sugar in Nigeria without fortifying it but we have some Ghanaian businesses importing from us in Nigeria.”

Ghana over the last few years has spent over GHC 500 million on sugar imports with demand rising by over 5 percent yearly.

Rwanda: Free internet project to boost economic growth

Thanks to the launch of the government-backed “Smart Kigali” project, people in Rwanda now have access to free internet via Wi-Fi enabled devices. The project, which is line with Rwanda’s Vision 2020, symbolises another step towards achieving the East African nation’s prospects of becoming a regional IT hub, as it steadily moves past the tragic events of the 1994 genocide into a future built on a Knowledge-based economy in order to attract more foreign investment.

Five years ago, Rwanda launched the “One Laptop Per Child” initiative in schools across the country. So far, the project has seen about 200,000 laptops distributed to more than 400 schools. Going further, Rwandan government signed a $140 million deal with South Korea’s largest Telecom – Korea Telecom (KT) Corp in June, 2013 to provide 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) Broadband networks across the country especially in areas where internet connectivity is low. The deal is considered to be one of the biggest FDI deal ever embarked on by the East African nation.

Ghana: SEC to establish fund to promote investment education

The Security and Exchange Commission, (SEC) is to set up an advocacy fund to help it step up an investment education in the country, the Director General of SEC, Mr Adu Anane Antwi has disclosed. The move according to him forms part of measures to expand the investment base of the capital market.

He explained that although, the capital market has recorded growth in 2013, its investment education has had to face the challenge of getting sustainable finance hence, the fund would help address this challenge and would be funded by friends of the industry.

Mr Anane Antwi made these known at the launch of the EM Balanced Unit Trust (EMTRUST), a collective investment scheme set up by EM Capital Partners Limited, an investment banking institution.

The education he said was aimed at bringing Ghanaians closer to the capital market, something which had yielded positive results thereby, registering 35 schemes generating about GH¢301.47 million for the SEC to manage.

The EMTRUST according to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the EM Capital, Mr Mike Ashong, has an objective of enhancing and preserving the wealth of its unit holders through investments in a diversified portfolio.

Rwanda: Among social entrepreneur fund beneficiaries

Rwanda is among the six African countries that have been lined up as beneficiaries for a new fellowship fund programme aimed at supporting social entrepreneurs in addressing food security issues. The new fund was announced last week by the Tony Blair Africa Governance Initiative, in collaboration with the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and World Food Prize Foundation.

The country has embarked on modern farming methods. The fellowship fund, dubbed ’40 Chances Fellows’, seeks to encourage innovation in developing market-based approaches that address food security in Rwanda, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Malawi, Guinea and South Sudan.

Launched at the World Food Prize in Iowa (October, 16-19), the programme will select four individuals with the most innovative social enterprise business plans and provide living expenses as well as start-up funds for one year to execute the ideas. “We are thrilled that this partnership will help to empower social entrepreneurs to test new ideas that can have a positive impact in Africa,” Tony Blair, a former British prime minister said.

Ghana: Now fastest growing economy in sub-Saharan Africa

Mr Seth Adjei Baah, President of Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry, noted that Ghana is currently one of the fastest growing economies in sub-Saharan Africa. He said the country’s business environment is also conducive and supportive of foreign investments.

Mr Adjei Baah, who was speaking at a day’s business forum of Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Turkey IZMIR Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Accra, said Ghana is loaded with many trade and investment opportunities.

The forum served as a platform for Turkish businessmen to meet with their Ghanaian counterparts to discuss trade and investment opportunities. It is also facilitated the establishment of an honorary consulate in Izmir to advance trade and development between the two countries.

The visiting Turkish entrepreneurs would hold business meetings with their Ghanaian counterparts in areas such as agriculture and agro-processing, banking and finance, construction and real estate development, tourism, telecommunications, information and communication technology, oil and gas extraction, mining and quarrying.

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