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Turkey Builds Industrial Parks In Ghana

Reflex Eco Group – Ghana News

by Samuel Boadi (local journalist)

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Turkey is to construct two industrial parks at Accra and Kumasi respectively beginning next year at a cost of over $300 million.

Outgoing Charge d’Affairs of Turkey Embassy in Accra, Simay Erinoglo, speaking to journalists in Accra on Tuesday, said the two projects, which are designed to attract many Turkish investors into Ghana would be funded by the Turkish Exim Bank.

The Ankara Chamber of Industry and the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce & Industry signed an agreement to that effect recently.

Ms Erinoglo said Turkish exports to Ghana last year recorded $223.5 million while it imported $303.5 million worth of goods from Ghana.

For the first six months of 2013, Turkey exported $103.6 million worth of goods to Ghana while it imported $128.9 million worth of goods from Ghana.

The outgoing diplomat also indicated that Turkey was currently supporting a yam growing project in the country since the crop is a rich source of starch. “We are planning to start an advertisement on yam imports to Turkey soon.”

She added that other crops, including cassava and cocoa would also be grown with the support of her Government in selected locations in the country.

Ms Erinoglo added that Turkish investors were eyeing a number of projects in the various sectors of Ghana’s economy, including construction.

Also, it intends to help with the construction of an international airport.

In the health sector, Turkey wants to assist with the construction of eight pre-fabricated hospitals at a cost of $118 million.

The Turkish Development Agency (TIKA) is working on a lot of projects in Ghana, she indicated.

Turkish investors are hesitant to come over to Ghana to invest because of the monstrous land acquisition challenges, she stated.

Turkey, a friend of Ghana since the 1960s, broke up the relationship in 1980 and returned in 2010.

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Housing Supply in Ghana

A recent study by UN-Habitat reports that Ghana’s housing need is expected to hit 5.7 million units by 2020. The analysis highlights that housing in the country has never been a significant component of the country’s national economic planning, but has been seen rather as part of its welfare sector. As much as 90 percent of Ghana’s housing stock has been produced through self-build. According to the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association, the slow pace of residential property construction is now changing. Since 2005, completions and new building plan approvals have increased. Permit approvals for registered real estate developers and parastatal real estate developers have more than doubled. In 2012, activity declined somewhat, however, with cement production increasing by only 5.82 percent, compared with an increase of 11.22 percent in 2010. This was mainly due to a temporary shutdown of the West African Cement production plant following a lightening storm. Cement prices increased by 85% from GH¢14 (US$7.38) to GH¢25. This affected the entire construction industry – although by the middle of the year, the crisis seems to have abated.


There is some delivery of housing by the government. Players include the Social Security and National Insurance Trust and the State Housing Company. Housing developments driven by the state, which primarily targets the public service, have, however, been unable to significantly dent the demand. Over the 10-year period 1991 – 2000, state housing institutions produced less than 40 000 mortgageable units. In 2012, a high profile development being driven by Korean construction firm STX, and which promised the delivery of 200 000 units, came to a halt due to difficulties in contracting arrangements. Concerns among the Ghanaian construction sector that local players had been sidelined in the project were also an issue. A second initiative by a local developer for the delivery of 10 000 affordable housing units has also been reported as having problems. Since the collapse of the STX programme, there have been reports of some smaller developments for public sector housing, but nothing significant. South African firm, Bigen Africa, has offered technical capacity and support in addressing Ghana’s housing backlog. Development in the upper income market remains vibrant, as developers scale-up on the need for high end expatriate accommodation. Companies such as Taysec and Clifton Homes offer housing in the US$100 000 to US$600 000 and above range – this covers two bedroom apartments to four to five bedroom homes.


The Tema Ashaiman Municipal Slum Upgrading Fund provides useful lessons for slum upgrading, and integrated development for the poor. Funded in part by UN-Habitat, the project is driven by the Ministry of Local Government in Ghana, and two municipalities. UN-Habitat provided a grant of US$400 000 as a capital enhancement, and a further $100 000 for administration and development. A further $400 000 capital enhancement grant is expected. Working with People’s Dialogue on Human Settlements, the first project will develop houses and shops, and ultimately an entire integrated development for the slum dwellers involved. By marking land both for residential and commercial purposes, the project addresses to some extent the competing land uses that often undermine the poor’s access to well located land.


Homeless International has been working in Ghana since 2003. It has partnered with the Peoples’ Dialogue on Human Settlements to support Ghana’s urban poor to advocate for their rights to adequate housing, safe settlements, secure tenure and affordable infrastructure.


Property Market


Demand for housing has accompanied generally good economic performance. Incomes of middle-class Ghanaians have risen gradually together with lively property markets. A significant rise in the number of Ghanaians living abroad who want to own houses back home, foreign buyers of residential property, and foreign investment by multinational companies into the country, have all contributed to growth in the market.


With the growth of the oil and gas industry in Ghana, private sector development of upmarket homes is rampant and almost all selling off-plan; these prices range from upwards of US$300 000 to more than US$1 million. Property rentals in the middle to upper sector range between US$2 500 and US$8 000 a month.


Ghana’s construction industry continues grow steadily. In the past decade, the industry’s annual growth in 2008 and 2009 was 8.6 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively. A more recent challenge has been the apparent market saturation with cheap but low-quality imported building materials, which has had a direct, negative impact on the local manufacturing industries.

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Ghana: Non-traditional Exports hits $3.3bn

Reflex Eco Group – Africa News

Antony Sedzro (Ghanaian journalist)

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Ghana expects to make more than $3.3 billion as earnings from non-traditional exports for this year.

The projected income is an improvement on last year’s earnings of $2.3 billion.

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) which supervises non-traditional exports says it has so far earned 12% more than what it had during the same period last year.

Chief Executive, Gideon Boye Quarcoo, told local media that the projected improvements from non-traditional export has also been influenced by progress made in the global economic recovery.

He said a dip in Tuna exports last year resulted in last year’s figures, noting that “when you have less coming from tuna which is a big winner your numbers go down”.

He indicated also that the availability of funds from banks and other funding institutions has brought about added value from local products enabling it to earn more in exports.


Mr. Quarcoo also adds that they are on track to hit their 5 billion dollar target in the next four years because the service sector has been booming.

In June this year, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu, Ghana’s Minister of Trade and Industry announced that the total value of non-traditional exports was expected to increase to $5 billion between mid-year 2015 to end of 2016. Mr. Iddrisu was speaking at the inauguration of a nine-member Board for the re-launched Ayensu Starch Company Limited in Kasoa, in the country’s Central Region. The Starch Factory produces cassava on a large scale for domestic and export markets.

Consequently, Government would aggressively support agricultural production, growth of horticultural and other vegetable crops as well as shore up small out-grower farming schemes countrywide to meet the target, he added.

The Minister expressed optimism that the target would be achieved, adding that, stronger collaboration between the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is expected to guarantee the desired goal of increasing export to improve the country’s terms and balance of trade.

He said Ghana was under obligation to improve her export standards to meet the European Union requirements, particularly in the area of cocoa. Cocoa is the main ingredient for making chocolate.

Meanwhile, statistics for the first eight months of 2013 have shown major shifts in the structure of Ghana’s export revenue base.

Whereas gold still remains Ghana’s highest export earner despite this year’s price slump – from a high, early this year, of US$1,600 to US$1,300 currently – on the global market, cocoa has slid from being Ghana’s traditional second, or sometimes even highest export earner to the fourth position due to production problems and a fall in price.

Crude oil, which the country started producing less than three years ago, has become Ghana’s second highest export earner – a spot it has occupied since 2012. Non-traditional exports (NTEs), however has this year overtaken cocoa as Ghana’s third highest export earner.

In 2012, gold was Ghana’s highest export earner netting US$5,643 billion. Crude oil was next in line with export earnings of US$2,976 billion. Cocoa followed closely at US$2,828 while NTEs earned Ghana US$2,362.

Earnings from gold declined by 12.6% to US$3.4 billion in the first eight months of this year as compared to the same period last year while cocoa exports also fell by 21.4% to US$1.4.

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Africa Focused News


by Dario Galluccio

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Africa shows interest in Zimbabwe

Fellow African countries are continuing to show keen interest in bringing their investments into Zimbabwe, an investment expert has said. Traditionally, Asian and European countries have been known to invest in Zimbabwe. Imara Zimbabwe executive director Mr Tino Kambasha told that large African capital firms are now showing a lot of interest in the country. He added that the fact is that one cannot ignore Zimbabwe and its large consumer base anymore as many equity fund managers are eager to explore opportunities for strong capital growth and high equity yields.

A Kenyan private equity firm, Fanisi Capital, announced recently that it will launch its second fund of US$100 million to be invested in new markets across Southern Africa before the end of next year, a company official said. Botswana Stock Exchange-listed retail group Choppies Enterprises last week announced the acquisition of 49 percent of an unnamed Zimbabwean supermarket chain comprising 10 stores.

Ghana: Mumuadu Rural Bank doubles profit

Mumuadu Rural Bank, with its headquarters at Osino in the Eastern Region, last year recorded an after-tax profit of GH¢1,146,040, as against GH¢681,164 made in 2011, an increase of 95.47per cent. Deposits also rose from GH¢13,685,229.70 to GH¢17,785,105.35 (29.95 per cent) while investments rose from GH¢3,536,092.65 to GH¢3,709,715.06 within the same period. Such gains, especially profit, according to the chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, Mr Seth Adom-Asomaning, made it possible to increase loans and advances from GH¢9,843,500 to GH¢14,270,526 in the year under review.

Africa: Tourism to boom

Africa’s tourism sector is set to boost economic growth, create new jobs and outpace other regions for new tourism investments. A World Bank report, which made this known, indicated that Africa’s tourism industry is expected to directly employ 6.7 million people in the region by 2021. Sub-Saharan Africa, it noted, earned over $36 billion from tourist visits in 2012 accounting for 2.8 percent of the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Themed, ‘Tourism in Africa: Harnessing Tourism for Growth and Improved Livelihoods,’ it said the continent attracted 33.8 million visitors in 2012, up from a low of 6.7 million in 1990.

The report said tourism accounted directly or indirectly for one in every 20 jobs in sub-Saharan Africa in 2011, and is one of the few industries on the continent in which women are well represented as employees and managers.

Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa, said Africa’s private companies are increasingly attracting regional and international investment and the returns on investment in Africa are among the highest in the world. He advised African governments to improve transport, electricity, infrastructure and other key services to develop tourism for more broad-based growth and improved livelihoods.

The report highlighted the potential of African countries to improve and expand their tourism sector, and suggested that 33 of sub-Sahara Africa’s 48 countries currently have the capacity for tourism success through establishing strong political support for developing the industry and attracting increased private investment to help finance and sustain it.

The report said African countries can compete with other tourist-rich regions of the world if they can effectively plan for and integrate tourism into their economies.

Ghana: Citizens Rural Bank records impressive gains

The Citizens Rural Bank, Nsawam, last year recorded a profit before tax of GH¢ 137,532.00 as against GH¢ 50,796 in 2011, showing a 100 percent increase. Mr Emmanuel Yevenyo, Acting Chairman of the Board of Directors, disclosed this at the Fourth Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Bank at Nsawam at the weekend. The bank’s asset book stood at GH¢ 2,260,329.00 from GH¢ 1,232,205.00 in 2011. Mr Yevenyo said the bank’s customer deposit saw a slight improvement from GH¢ 1,109,364.00 to GH¢ 1,975,351.00.

Mr Yevenyo said out of the 137 rural banks operating in Ghana, the Citizens Rural Bank was at the 41st position saying it could do better. Mr Kwadwo Aye Kusi, Managing Director of the ARB Apex Bank, advised the bank to put in place pragmatic and realistic programmes and policies such as risk management, staff training and product development and customer service to ensure its sustainability.

Nigeria: Oando receives $815m offer for ConocoPhillips buyout

Pan-African energy corporation, Oando Inc., says it has received credit facility offers of up to $815 million for the buyout of ConocoPhillips’ $1.790 billion worth Nigerian onshore assets. The American energy company had agreed to sell its Nigerian operations to Oando December last year, after 46 years of operation in the oil-rich West African country.

According to a Newswire, the Lagos-headquartered company, which already made an initial deposit of $400 million to ConocoPhillips, said the loan support would comprise a $465 million Reserve Based Lending Facility made by BNP Paribas, Standard Bank and Standard Chartered Bank; and another $350 million Senior Secured Loan, jointly arranged by First Bank Capital and First City Monument Capital.

Commenting on the offers, Chief Executive Officer of Oando, Pade Durotoye said they were significant steps towards the buyout adding that the company “will now proceed to the final stage of concluding the financing required for the purchase.”

Considered as Nigeria’s leading integrated energy solutions providers, Oando engages in every aspect of the energy value chain, from exploration, production to marketing, distribution and power generation.

Ghana: Government optimistic meeting revenue targets

Government is optimistic of meeting revenue targets with new tax hikes despite present difficulties with collection of the taxies. Government is basing its optimism on business activities that picked up in the last quarter of this year.

In August this year, government introduced three new taxes to address revenue shortfalls. These include the National Stabilization Levy and Customs and Excise Bill – however the third bill, Special Import Bill, is yet to be laid before Parliament.

The state has so far been able to collect GH¢ 25 million from the GH¢ 371 million revenue target. There are fears the country might not realize the revenue target because of a slowdown in business activities, as well as smuggling activities at the ports; but Deputy Minister of Finance, Kweku Ricketts-Hagan said the Ministry has instituted measures to ensure the GH¢ 371 million target is realised.

“Taxes may be the main revenue stream but there are other revenue streams as huge as taxes that also come – so it becomes a case of prioritinsing your expenditure”, he said.

Meanwhile, banks, mining firms, telcos and other financial institutions would by the end of this month be giving away 5% of their profits as Stabilization Levy.

Nigeria: Total to fund contractors under $7.5Bn initiative

Total E&P Nigeria Limited and Total Upstream Nigeria Limited, in partnership with 8 banks have launched a $7.5 billion Nigerian Contractors’ Initiative (NCI) to create a sustainable funding channel for the energy giants’ local contractors.

Based on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which is in line with the Nigerian local content policy, the contractors, which include vendors and suppliers, will sufficiently receive capital which also will be domiciled with the partnering banks. Total MD/CEO Mr. Guy Maurice, said over the weekend the MoU provides for sustainable funding relationship between the banks and Total’s indigenous contractors.

Mr. Jibril Aku, the Managing Director of Ecobank Nigeria, one of the partnering banks, explained the finance programme would help sustain the contractors and help them play a more active role in the oil and gas sector.

The partnering lenders for the NCI include Ecobank Nigeria, Zenith Bank, Diamond Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Standard Chartered Bank, Access Bank and Fidelity Bank.

Ethiopia: To launch Eurobond

Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn says his country is planning to launch a Eurobond once it secures its credit rating, but it will not open its telecoms and banking sectors to foreigners as revenue drawn from both sectors helps fund development of infrastructure.

Foreign appetite for African bonds has been strong as investors scramble for high yields. However, Prime Minister Desalegn’s declaration may disappoint foreign investors who had hoped for a paradigm shift from the state-led policies of former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who died last August.

The Prime Minister told journalists that he would stick to a policy that has kept the telecoms monopoly in state hands and the banking sector – dominated by three state institutions – off limits to foreigners, as income or financing from those entities is being used to develop the country’s infrastructure. Dasalegn also said that the East African nation is willing to harness the international debt market by issuing an external bond to relieve the country’s foreign currency shortage.

According to him, Ethiopia will also launch other bonds alongside Eurobond.

Although Prime Minister Desalegn did not give an exact date on when the country will get a credit rating, he hinted that it is at a critical stage alongside the issuance of the bond. A credit rating allows countries to access funds outside their country. The possession of a good credit rating attracts Foreign Direct Investment because it gives investors information about the economic stability of the country they are investing in.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian State Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Abraham Tekeste said the Ethiopian economy grew by 9.7% in the past fiscal year. Ethiopia, sub-Saharan Africa’s fifth largest economy, expects FDI of about $2 billion a year through 2015.

Zambia: More investors target mining sector

Several Chinese investors have expressed interest in investing in Zambia’s mining sector through the United Nations (UN) South-South Cooperation initiative, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Emmanuel Chenda has said.

Mr Chenda said in an interview that on the sidelines of the recently held UN General Assembly in the United States of America (USA), he met with several potential investors, among them Chinese, who expressed interest in setting up mineral exploration ventures in Zambia.

Meanwhile, Mr Chenda said the benefits of Government’s intervention to remove the subsidy on fossil fuels has started paying off as a number of other renewable forms of energy are being identified. The minister reiterated that maintaining the subsidy on fuel could have negatively affected the country’s capacity to generate energy from other sources.

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By Dario Galluccio

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Ghana: Nkrankwanta Area Rural Bank posts growth for 2012

The Nkrankwanta Area Rural Bank in the Dormaa-West District of the BrongAhafo Region last year posted a strong performance despite macro-economic challenges coupled with sluggish growth in the cocoa industry, which is the main economic activity in the operational territories of the Bank. Total assets of the Bank went up from approximately GH¢1.6million in 2011 to about GH¢2.7million in 2012, representing an increase of 68%. The bank’s 2012 investments saw a 67% increase to GH¢1,420,000 from the GH¢850,000 of the previous year. Short-term lending to government investments, especially in Treasury bills, remains the major income source for the bank.

Edmond Joseph Akomian, Chairman of the Board of Directors who announced this during the 4th Annual General Meeting of shareholders, attributed the small growth of the Bank’s profit to the low rate of Treasury bills, increased computerisation of its agencies, and poor performance of the special Akuafo Cheque system.

Kenya: CFC Stanbic Bank partners Aeolus to build wind power plant

Kenya’s CFC Stanbic Bank has partnered Aeolus Kenya (AKL) – a member of the Power Africa initiative led by the United States President Barack Obama- to build a Sh12.9 billion ($150 million) wind power plant in Kinangop, Kenya. The proposed power plant will be the largest wind power generation project to be built in sub-Saharan Africa to date, outside of South Africa. It is expected to come on line in mid-2015.

The wind project has already been registered under the United Nations’ Clean Development Mechanism.

The Kinangop Wind Plant which will provide electricity to approximately 150,000 Kenyan households, will add a further 60MW to Kenya’s 1,672MW national power grid.

According to CfC Stanbic Bank’s East Africa Head of Debt Solutions and Infrastructure Finance, Kwame Parker, “The project is designed to provide a clean source of electricity to Kenya. It will not only contribute to the social and economic development of Kenya, but will also significantly help ease the energy supply deficit that the country is grappling with.”

Ghana: Number 1 priority remains Cocoa

Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur says the cocoa sector is still a top priority in government’s medium- to long-term growth plans despite the fortunes of the crop facing difficult times.

Mr. Amissah-Arthur said government remains committed to implementing a broad number of policy measures to support the cocoa sub-sector. These measures, he added, will in the long-term ensure efficiency through streamlining of activities, interventions and programmes and contribute to growth of the sector.

The Vice-President, speaking at this year’s Ghana Cocoa Festival in Accra, said the measures will help consolidate gains the country has made in the sector. He said an increase in local cocoa consumption will serve as a further boost to the sector.

COCOBOD recently announced an agreement with the Netherlands Embassy and three other institutions to stem the huge revenue losses arising out of the black-pod menace. The initiative, which has the Ghana Cocoa Growing Research Association Limited, Mars Incorporated and Mondelez International as partners, will make available over US$400million toward the production of new varieties of cocoa that can withstand the disease.

The crop has been a top foreign exchange earner for the country, grossing some US$2.8billion in export earnings in 2012, making it the third-highest foreign exchange earner after oil and gold.

Ghana: Improved energy will push forward growth

Mr. Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy has said that the vigorous expansion of various energy programmes is to increase power production as well as support the growth and expansion of all the weak sectors of the national economy. He said government is rolling-out the various programmes and projects, particularly in the Western Region, as part of the energy expansion drive — which is geared toward positioning the sector to play the critical role expected for directing Ghana’s effort toward industrialisation.

Speaking at the World Tourism Day at Nkroful in the Ellembelle District of the Western Region, he noted that the country’s oil and gas sector is currently underdeveloped. According to him, the discovery of oil and gas in commercial quantities on the Western Region culminated in an influx of people — the stage is set for integrated tourism development in the region, so that instead of a potential threat from oil and gas activity to our environment, oil and gas activities will be made conducive to our situation and be a blessing to our environment.

Ghana: EU to support agriculture production

The European Union (EU) is to support Ghana to revolutionalise its agricultural production.

Mr Dacian Ciolos, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, who made this known in Accra, said the support would be in the form of financial and technical interventions.

“Agriculture is not only an economic issue, but also a social issue and this calls for the support,” he said. Stressing that the EU would take Ghana’s agricultural development objectives into consideration.

Dr Yemi Akinbamijo, Manager of Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) said the partnership between EU and Ghana, which is under negotiation would take place from 2014- 2020. He said, it is a period for the promotion of agriculture and security.

Dr Akinbamijo said : agriculture would provide greater help to reduce poverty if done properly; pointing out that production, trading, finance, as well as infrastructure, education, science and technology and regional integration; are the seven pillars of FARA, which would be used to develop Ghana.

Africa: Standard Bank, Platinum Circle partner to provide business support

Standard Bank DRC, a member of Standard Bank Group, has agreed a strategic partnership with Platinum Circle – a Singapore-based business group – that will place Africa on the agenda of corporations, governments and intergovernmental organizations involved in the Future Global 100 (FG100) Initiative.

Launched in 2011 by Platinum Circle, the Initiative is a global program that shapes the future of the global economy, national markets, business and industries through the collective input of leaders from business, governments and intergovernmental organizations, gathering over 700 all-encompassing leaders to chart the Future Global Agenda.

Standard Bank will be working closely with Platinum Circle to anchor the FG100 Initiative in Africa and spearhead the Inaugural Africa Meeting in 2014, bringing top African leaders together with members of Platinum Circle worldwide including those in Singapore.

The strategic partnership between Standard Bank and Platinum Circle will pave the way for implementing the FG100 Initiative into Africa, by serving as an important forward- looking reference for foreign business and government leaders regarding Africa’s economic outlook and operating environment.

Ghana: GIPC investment drive gets results

Ghana’s energy challenges will soon witness a massive improvement as United States Energy Company Symbion power commits to construct a 450 megawatts of power in Ghana.

A memorandum to that effect has already been signed between Ghana and Symbion power. The realization of this agreement came to light after months of negotiation between Symbion and the Ghana Investment Promotion Center, whose chief executive, Mawuena Trebah, led.

Under the letter of Intent signed by the energy minister, Emmanuel Kofi Buah, and the chief executive officer of Symbion Power, Paul Hinks; Symbion power proposed to finance the establishment of a 450 megawatts combined cycle energy facility to meet the need of an expanded energy facility in Ghana. The Volta River Authority on its part on behalf of Ghana is expected to give prompt and fair consideration to the Symbion proposal within the requirements of the country’s laws and policy.

Ghana: Oil production hits 115,000 barrels daily

Daily oil production hit 115,000 barrels per day in June 2013, significantly higher than the projected average for the year, the African Center for Energy Policy (ACEP) report on Government Compliance with the Oil Revenue Management Act in the 2013 budget has revealed. Total oil revenue of GH¢1.15 billion also far exceeded the projected target by GH¢362.3 million.

The report urged government to initiate discussions with Sabre Oil and Gas to recover the capital gains tax from the sale of its stake in offshore blocks.

It also indicted the 2013 budget for failing to capture capital gains tax as one of the revenue streams. It added “the Petroleum Income Tax Law should be harmonized with the Internal Revenue Act.”

Released by the Executive Director of ACEP Mohammed Amin Adam, the report also said the projected transfers to the Ghana Petroleum Holding Fund will be exceeded when the data on petroleum is released.

Ghana: Government commits GH¢350 million towards road sector

Government has since June released GH¢ 350 million for the road sub-sector out of the GH¢ 706 million allocated in the 2013 budget. Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemani, Minister of Roads and Highways, said the Ministry has also improved upon revenue generation into the Road Fund for maintenance works. The total fund accrued from January to June was GH¢ 126 million, an increase of GH¢ 9 million over the amount recorded during the same period in 2012.

Alhaji Sulemani, who made this known during the inauguration of the Progressive Road Contractors Association (PROCA), urged members as well as the Association of Road Contractors to unite for the growth of the industry.

Mrs Joana Adjei, National President of PROCA promised to run an open door policy as well as an all inclusive administration to make the association stronger. She said the new administration would help revive the training programmes of the Association.

Mrs Adjei said majority of contractors are suffering as a result of delayed payment for work done. Mr Michael Aidoo, the outgoing President of PROCA advised the new executives to take criticism in good faith.

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Africa Focused News


by Dario Galluccio

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Ghana: GIPC is working to promote the growth of local businesses

The Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) has explained that the centre is not only interested in Foreign Direct Investment but is also seriously interested in promoting Ghanaian businesses to attract investment and grow the economy.

Speaking at a general meeting of the Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (STCCI), he explained GIPC is providing direct promotion support to identified local investment project sponsors to solicit international as well as local investment partnerships.

Our mission is to attract private domestic and foreign investments and to transform Ghana into a broad-based industrial and export-led economy through aggressive investment promotion activities,” said Mr. Isaac Ebo Newton, an Official of GIPC.

Ethiopia: Reykjavik Geothermal to build 1000MW power plant

US-Icelandic geothermal development company, Reykjavik Geothermal (RG), has agreed to build a 1000MW geothermal plant in Ethiopia to help the East African nation harness its energy potential. The power plant which will be built in Ethiopia’s Corbetti Caldera region is part of President Barack Obama’s $7 billion Power Africa initiative which seeks to double electricity supply on the continent. The geothermal plant will be Ethiopia’s first independent power plant project and it is expected to be one of the world’s largest geothermal power plant.

The deal will also make Reykjavik Geothermal Ethiopia’s first independent power producer, while the Corbetti project will be the largest single geothermal plant ever built in Africa, RG Chairman, Michael Phillip said.

Reykjavik Geothermal, a company that has helped build power plants in about 30 countries globally expects to invest $4 billion over an 8-10 years period. It has been working with Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCO) and various government ministries for the past two years to finanlise the purchase agreement. The geothermal development company will build and operate up to 1000Megawatts of geothermal in two 500MW phases. While the first 10MW of power will be online in 2015 with an additional 100MW in 2016; the full 500MW will be operational in 2018.

Ghana: Local content will serve as a guide to economic policies

Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur has announced that the development of local content and participation would underpin all major economic policies of the Government and reforms to ensure a better balance in resource allocation. “This is necessary for long-term sustainability and social cohesion,” he said.

Addressing the Standard Chartered Africa Summit 2013, the Vice President registered the commitment of the Government of Ghana to promote consistent local content agenda as a platform to ensure the emergence of a strong, vibrant and internationally competitive domestic private sector. The summit, which is bringing bankers, economists, representatives from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, will look at economic prospects and challenges in Ghana and Africa within the global context.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur spoke on the topic “Making Ghana a Preferred Investment Destination.” He said the Government would continue to reach out to local investors to encourage the mobilization of domestic resources to ensure that Ghanaian owned businesses were put on a stronger footing to meet the requirements of a growing economy and to be globally competitive. He welcomed foreign direct investment to take advantage of opportunities created by the Government and to facilitate knowledge and technology transfer.

The Vice President, former Governor of the Bank of Ghana, spoke of reforms that had taken place in the last decade and said they had allowed significant growth. Among the reforms are the creation of Collateral Registry widen their scope of products on offer due to increase security, dependability and enforceability of registered collateral; the continuing of the Central Bank to license micro financial institutions across the country to the large unbanked population; and Pension Fund reforms with the aim of increasing the pool of available capital, especially for long term investment.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur noted that energy and infrastructure played major roles to reduce the cost of doing business, and said the Government continued to focus on energy as an important engine of growth. “The reform of the energy tariffs is crucial to attracting the interest of private sector investors to the sector,” the Vice President said.

Angola: Truworths Shelves plans to open Angolan store

Clothing retailer, Truworths, said it had postponed its plan to open a new store in Angola’s capital Luanda. It said the move to set up shop in Luanda would be shelved until next year while the company embraces a careful African expansion plan. The company wants to acquire an enhanced grasp of Africa’s “operating environment” and market prospects.

With 564 shops in South Africa, Truworths also has 40 shops outside Africa’s biggest economy. These are located in Nigeria, Ghana and Zambia. The company has five stores in Kenya, East Africa’s biggest economy.

Truworths has about 35 percent stake in Truworths Limited, which is integrated in Zimbabwe. It has 16 Truworths in Zimbabwe, 18 Number 1 shops and 25 Topics there.

Ghana: Industrialization process depends on energy sector

Government intends to use the energy sector as a springboard to develop other sectors of the economy, Mr Armah Kofi Buah, Minister of Energy and Petroleum, has stated. Mr Buah was speaking at a durbar to celebrate this year’s World and National Tourism Day at Nkroful in the Ellembele District of the Western Region at the weekend. The celebration was under the theme: “Tourism and Water: Protecting our Common Future”.

Mr. Buah said the tourism sector must take advantage of the numerous oil and gas projects in order to strengthen its position as a critical sector of the economy. He said the hospitality industry could take advantage of the oil and gas projects to expand and create jobs for the country’s teeming youth.

Nigeria: China to build $1.3 Billion Zungeru power plant

Nigeria has signed a $1.3billion deal with two Chinese state companies, China National Electrical Equipment Corporation (CNEEC) and Sinohydro Consortium, to build the Zungeru power plant. The deal will help to put an end to the chronic electrical power supply shortages that continues to slow growth in Africa’s second-biggest economy. The plant, which is scheduled for completion by 2018, will help add 700 MegaWatts (MW) electricity to Nigeria’s current 4600MW.

The Zungeru power plant in Niger state (about 150km to federal capital, Abuja) was first conceived in 1982, but was abandoned due to lack of funds. Now, 75 percent of the fund needed for the project will be supplied by China’s Exim bank while Nigerian government will foot the rest of the bill.

This project will create thousands of jobs for Nigerian engineers, technicians and artisans during the construction phase…. it will also boost the economy,” Nigeria Finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said at the signing of the deal.

According to Nigeria’s Finance Minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the loan being finalised was part of the $3bn approved by China at interest rate of less than 3 percent.

President Jonathan and Chinese president, Xi Jinping had met in July 2013 over the signing of the accords between the governments to facilitate $1.1 billion in low interest loans for infrastructure projects in Nigeria.

Ghana: Housing deficit to be reduced by amendment of law

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) says it is reviewing unit and mutual trust fund regulations to allow fund managers invest more than 10 percent of their funds in the real-estate sector. The current housing deficit in the country is estimated at 1.7 million units, with an annual growth of 70,000 units. About 50% of Ghanaians are also said to live in sub-standard housing and other unsuitable structures.

Mr. Alexander Williams, the Deputy Director General of SEC who was speaking at the official inauguration of Greenfields Estates developed by ASN Holdings, said the initiative points to the commitment of SEC in partnering real-estate developers to meet their objective of providing housing units with long-term funds — while at the same time developing the capital market.

Growth in construction Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has averaged 17 percent per annum since the country’s discovery of oil in 2007. The share of construction, including real-estate, in GDP also rose from 7.2 percent in 2007 to 10.5 percent in 2012. It is believed that an amendment of the law would allow capital market investors to benefit from the booming construction sector.

Uganda: China wins $2 billion oil deal

China’s state-owned CNOOC has secured a $2-billion deal to develop a petroleum field in Uganda and help propel the east African nation into the club of oil-producing countries, an official said Friday. “This is a major breakthrough as a country,’ Uganda’s junior energy minister Peter Lokeris told AFP, confirming that a deal had been reached earlier this month with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation.

Uganda has oil reserves estimated at 3.5 billion barrels but the path to production has been a bumpy one since deposits were discovered in 2006 near its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Such reserves have the potential to radically alter Uganda’s economy and could eventually as much as double the national income.

Ghana: Petroleum prices to go down

Motorists will experience a little over 4 percent decrease in the price of fuel at the pumps. Diesel users will save a little over 2 percent at the pumps. The latest move follows a revision of the prices of petroleum products by the National Petroleum Authority (NPA). Petrol is now GHC 2.22 a lite while Diesel is going for GHC 2.18 a lite.

However prices of premix fuel and kerosene have been revised upwards. A litre of premix fuel is now going for about 98 pesewas which is up by almost 23 percent. While kerosene is now GHC 1.59 up from the GHC 1.28 leading to almost an 8 percent increase.

Nigeria: NNPC to intensify domestic Gas use

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC has said that the massive ongoing gas pipeline projects across the country will provide a veritable platform for individual homes and estates to be linked with gas pipelines to enhance domestic use. The Group Managing Director, NNPC, Mr. Andrew Yakubu, disclosed this during a panel discussion on power at the Nigeria Investment Summit in New York.

He observed that the ongoing Calabar-Ajaokuta-Kano gas pipeline project will soon avail the Corporation the opportunity to provide gas through pipelines to homes and estates in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, which is a ready market for the project. Giving an update on the gas to power project, Yakubu noted that steady and sustainable progress is being made in this regard, as gas supply has grown from 620 million standard cubic feet per day to 920 mmscfd between 2010 and 2013, adding that supply is seeing rapid growth, and demand even faster.

Ghana: GDP Pegged At 7.4%

Ghana’s economy is expected to grow provisionally at 7.4 percent for the year, the Ghana Statistical Servic (GSS) said. Speaking at a media conference, Dr Philomena Nyarko, Government Statistician, said it is likely government could achieve its target growth in 2013 due to expected increases in oil production.

Dr Nyarko stated that the real quarterly Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the second quarter of the year was 6.1 percent year-on-year. Non-oil GDP was 5.8 per cent while the total value and services amounted to $44.2 billion with a per capita income of $1,667, she said.

Dr Nyarko added that the services remain the largest sector, contributing about half of the GDP. The services sector growth rate however fell to 9.2 per cent from 10.2 per cent in 2012 on the account of positive increases in information and communication activities, real estate, professional, administrative and support service activities. This was followed by the industry sector 2.5 per cent while the agriculture sector showed a negative growth of 3.9 per cent.

Meanwhile, the annual producer price inflation fell for the fifth consecutive month to 4.7 per cent year-on-year in August from 5.0 per cent in July.

Tanzania: Northern Zone invites investors

Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC) has reaffirmed its continued commitment to support local and foreign investors who want to invest in Northern Zone regions and other places in Tanzania. The TIC Executive Director, Ms Juliet Kairuki told journalists during a recent Northern zone Investment Forum that her centre is ready to receive and help all those with interest to invest in the Northern regions of Manyara, Tanga, Kilimanjaro and Arusha.

She noted that the forum has enabled investors, business community and entrepreneurs to learn about the investment opportunities available in the Northern Zone and the government’s role in initiating investment projects. She said that during the past 12 years, Tanzania has performed well in attracting huge investment projects in agriculture, tourism, industries, communication, infrastructure and transport. Within that period, a number of those projects have risen from 178 to 869 in 2012; 53 per cent of these projects are wholly owned by Tanzanians. The projects have contributed on the increase of capital from 874 million US dollars up to 12 billion dollars within that period.

The two-day forum that was opened by Premier Mizengo Pinda attracted over 1,500 international and local investors plus officials from the government, private sector, religious leaders, ambassadors and high commissioners and other development stakeholders.

Ghana: Cocoa price remains unchanged

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has dismissed reports that the producer price of cocoa has been reduced. In a statement issued by its Public Affairs Department in Accra, COCOBOD said the price of cocoa remained GH¢ 3,392.00 per tonne. This means that cocoa farmers will be paid GH¢ 212.00 per 64kg bag of cocoa. The statement said the producer price of cocoa for the 2013/2014 crop season would be announced in October 2013 at the Producer Price Review Committee (PPRC) annual meeting.

Ethiopia: Premier called Western companies to invest

PM Hailemariam Desalegn has called upon western companies to take part in the positive investment regime in Ethiopia. Noting that investors from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East have already established themselves, the PM urged representatives of American businesses he met in New York to consider investing in Ethiopia’s untapped investment potential.

Prime Minister Hailemariam has also explained Ethiopia’s investment policies, regulations and incentive; and responded to questions raised by the attendees of the event regarding ICT, banking services and privatization of state owned public enterprises. In a study presented in Prime Minister Hailemariam’s meeting with representatives of American businesses, manufacturing, mining, construction, hotel and tourism, and healthcare were identified as areas of engagement promising to the American businesses.

Routinely praised for its pro-poor development policies, Ethiopia has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world for the past ten years. And although the share of Foreign Direct Investment to as a share of the GDP growth has not been satisfactory, recent trends have shown a significant hike in the amount of annual foreign direct investments. The government’s focus on attracting FDI as a means of stocking up capital and technology transfer has paid off dramatically. FDI stood at 300 million USD in 2010, and three years on it has now reached at an incredible 1 billion USD, making Ethiopia the second biggest destination for FDI in Africa, next to South Africa.

Among the countries of origin in Ethiopia’s inflow of foreign investment, emerging economies and other countries from Africa, Asia and the Middle East hold the lion’s share. And western companies are expected to enter Ethiopia and invest in the numerous possibilities shortly.

Mozambique: Government open to French investment

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza declared in Paris on that Mozambique is open to new French initiatives in various spheres of cooperation, particularly in economic matters, and in security in the Mozambique Channel.

Briefing the Mozambican journalists accompanying the visit, Deputy Foreign Minister Henrique Banze, said it had been agreed at the meetings to deepen cooperation between Mozambique and France in various spheres. ‘This is a very fruitful and promising visit’, said Banze. ‘Our President has shown openness and the two sides have agreed that cooperation should be deepened. The assessment is that relations are good, but there is space to expand them’.

During his meeting with the business representatives, Guebuza praised the work of some of the French companies already operating in Mozambique, said Banze. He also noted that others want to enter the Mozambican market, including Air France. Should Air France decide to re-open the Maputo-Paris route, this will give travellers to Europe a convenient alternative to the current routes (via Lisbon, Johannesburg, Nairobi or Addis Ababa).

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Africa Focused News


by Dario Galluccio

This Blog is sponsored by

Nigeria: Visa to launch Africa Integration Index

Global payments technology company, Visa, will launch its Africa Integration Index in Nigeria this week, as it seeks to enhance financial inclusion and the adoption of electronic payment systems in Africa’s second-biggest economy. The Visa Africa Integration Index measures the degree of economic integration within key trade corridors of sub-Saharan Africa: West Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.

It evaluates the extent and nature of sub-Saharan Africa’s economic connectedness amongst 11 key economies (West Africa: Ghana and Nigeria, East Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania, Southern Africa: South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia) which has a combined population of 437 million people (55 percent of Africa’s total population) and is responsible for more than three-quarters of the the continent’s GDP at the end of 2012.

Commenting on the launch of the index in Nigeria, Visa’s new Group Executive for CEMEA (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa) region, Kamran Siddiqi, said, “Visa is a strong supporter of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Cashless Lagos Vision 2020 project which aims at reducing the amount of physical cash circulating in the economy. We believe this project will help modernise the payment system which in turn will drive greater economic development.

Ghana: To derive extra income from petroleum sector

Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur explained that the deregulation of the petroleum sector and the expansion of the tax net are to help raise additional income for the execution of government projects. He said all the major export commodities have suffered appreciable decline in prices on the world market and this has affected government’s projections for the year.

At a meeting with a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which called on him at the Flagstaff House in Accra, the Vice President said the drop in the prices of the country’s export commodities on the world market has posed a considerable challenge on the economy. He cited commodities like cocoa and gold, which had suffered a massive dip in prices and said Government has instituted various interventions to make up for the shortfall in export revenues.

Vice President Amissah-Arthur said Government is overcoming the constraints in the power sector which had considerably affected the operations of industry and commence. The move, he said, would go a long way to enable industry expand its operations and offer more employment opportunities for the broad masses of the people.

The IMF delegation led by Madam Tina Dasekin said Ghana is endowed with huge potentials which should be harnessed and exploited properly to go a long way to improve the economy and enhance the material conditions of the people.

South Africa: Singapore’s Blumont Group to buy 15% stake in RES coal business

As part of its effort to diversify its business, Blumont Group, a Singapore-based company has signed a share subscription agreement to acquire 15 percent interest in South African coal miner Resource Generation (RES). Blumont Group will acquire 15 percent stake in RES at an issue price of $0.22 per share.

Although the transaction is still subject to shareholder approval, Blumont is likely to invest between $20 million and $25 million for the stake, depending on the final structure of the placement of shortfall shares from the entitlement offer which it will susbscribe for. According to reports, the investment will be funded from internal resources.

In a statement concerning the proposed deal, Paul Jury, Managing Director of Resource Generation said, the company will detail a positive recommendation to shareholders in the notice of annual general meeting in due course.

Proceeds from the deal will be used to develop Resource Generation’s Boikarabelo coal mine in Waterberg, South Africa. The Waterberg coal field comprises approximately 40 percent of South Africa’s remaining coal resource with probable reserves of 744.8 million tonnes of coal on 35 percent of the tenements under the company’s control.

Ghana: Government urges IFC to support more businesses

The Vice-President, Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, has urged the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to expand its operations to support more local businesses. He said although Ghana acknowledged the financial support from the corporation, which he described as significant, it was time for the IFC to expand its financial aid to cover a wider scope of local businesses.

The Vice-President said Ghana had seen excellent performances in the various economic indicators over the years and that the contributions of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) could not be ruled out.

He particularly singled out SMEs and called for more assistance for them in order to expand their capacities. He said SMEs needed to be encouraged and supported to grow, saying that was consistent with President Mahama’s vision to develop the capacities of local SMEs.

For his part, the IFC Vice-President for sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, Mr Jean Philippe Prosper, said the corporation had enjoyed a stronger partnership with Ghana over the years and indicated his commitment to deepen that partnership for mutual benefit. He expressed happiness at the work of the IFC in the country and hinted that it had projected to spend about $4.5 billion to support sub-Saharan Africa alone this year.

Ghana: Policy rate stands at 16% on balanced growth outlook

Ghana’s central bank has maintained its policy rate at 16%, the second time this year. The Bank of Ghana (BoG) announced the rate Wednesday September 18, 2013 citing a balanced economic growth outlook. According to the Governor Dr Kofi Wampah, the central bank’s monetary policy committee has observed a pick-up in the country’s economic activities despite risk to inflation. Ghana’s inflation rate in August 2013 fell marginally to 11.5% after six consecutive months of increases hitting 11.8% in July 2013.

The BoG on July 31, 2013 maintained its policy rate at 16% citing slackening growth in emerging market economies, continuous dip in commodity prices in international markets and the slow growth in the US economy.

Nigeria: Interbank lending rates sees 16% surge

Following the recent policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that saw the mandatory 50 percent Cash Reserve Requirement for public sector deposits, indications have emerged that the law has resulted in severe cash squeeze for commercial banks. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) convergence in July resolved to place a 50 percent reserve on funds in commercial banks deposited by all tiers of government, ministries, and agencies.

The reserve, which would have hitherto been available for loans, has reportedly led to a hitch for financial institutions, with interbank lending rates alone climbing to 44 percent, an apparent hike from its previous 28 percent, as the lenders start to battle liquidity problems and low excess cash.

The cash reserve which sets the minimum amount banks must always maintain – rather than lend out – are normally in the form of cash stored physically in a bank vault or in CBN care.

In a related development, reports have emerged that the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) would soon start collecting its annual levies for commercial banks.

Ghana: To meet its meet $5b non-traditional export target by 2017

The Ghana Export Promotion Authority (GEPA) has initiated activities to ensure that the new export strategy of achieving five billion dollars for Non-Traditional Export (NTE) sector is achieved by 2017.

Mr Gideon Quarcoo, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, said building the capacity of exporters to meet international requirements, especially in the area of phytosanitary and providing exposure to their products through support for their participation in trade fairs were part of the activities.

He was speaking at the launch of Ghana’s participation in the Sixth China Yiwu Forest Products International Fair scheduled for November 2013 in China’s export-oriented city of Yiwu. The fair is expected to give Ghana the opportunity to showcase her products to the Asian market.

Mr Quarcoo said the Authority had made the efforts to transform the small-scale industry sector to ensure that it contributed effectively and efficiently in fulfilment with the national strategy. He expressed optimism that the national export strategy would ensure a boost in the country’s non-traditional exports.

Under the strategy 212 districts in the country are required to identify at least one significant commercial viable agro-based export product to help achieve the target. Mr Quarcoo said the strategy also aimed 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 would help strengthen and resource export development related institutions to ensure that the export culture was imbibed nationwide to avoid the dependence on traditional exports.

The national strategy for the non-traditional export sector, which spans from 2013 to 2017, aims at putting Ghana on the global map as a world class exporter of competitive products and services.

Zimbabwe: New Tungsten Mine set to open in 2014

Exploration and development firm Premier African Minerals plans to start low-cost production of tungsten at its flagship RHA project located along the Kamativi tin belt in Matabeleland North by the end of 2014.This follows a successful technical assessment of the viability of the site, envisaged to produce 192 000 tonnes of tungsten per annum over the six-year life of the mine.

Premier African Minerals has mineral projects located in Western and Southern Africa.Tungsten and its alloys are used to make filaments for electric lamps and television tubes, as electrical contacts, heating elements among other industrial applications.

Premier African Minerals said underground mine development would start once open-cast production had started.

Meanwhile, Premier chief executive Mr George Roach said the resource endowment at the project was enough to enable them to recoup their investment. Mr Roach said the latest assessment had further highlighted the attractiveness of the project.

East Africa: Financial Markets set to grant local status to ease regional investment

A bill drafted by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) of East African member states, aimed at syndicating the operation of all local financial markets, will allow individual investors the opportunity to fully invest in growing regional markets.

The East African Countries (EAC) bloc’s financial markets have been trying hard to merge their activities, but the process has seen slow due to unequal economic growth amongst member states as well as bureaucratic political restrictions from countries such as Tanzania who aggressively guard their markets.

This bill however aims to reduce such barriers by harmonizing countries bourses and allowing equal investment opportunities to all EAC regional members by granting individuals, regardless of their nationality, local status – which frees them of any investment restrictions.

The bill will allow stockbrokers the freedom to operate in any East African country without acquiring any new operational license other than the one obtained from its home nation.It will also reduce each country’s ability to deter regional investors by setting high price entry barriers, as it has developed a standard statutory fee range from $2,000 to $200,000.