issue: 246 | 12 March 2018


Nokia and Orange roll-out 4G LTE in seven African countries in largest operation of its kind

Nokia and Orange Middle East & Africa are rolling out a Nokia single radio access network and network management technology across seven African countries in a three-year modernisation project to prepare for the launch of 4G services. To facilitate the deployment, Nokia has set up a dedicated West and Central Africa Support Center for Orange. In one of the largest LTE roll-outs in Africa, Nokia will modernise around 11,000 radio sites in Egypt, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Senegal, Mali, Guinea-Bissau and Niger. Leveraging Nokia's Single RAN technology and modernisation services, Orange will be able to support existing 2G and 3G subscribers while enhancing speeds and coverage as it launches 4G services.

Source: African Business Communities


Angola’s Benguela Railway to receive DR Congo ore on a weekly basis

50 containers of manganese transported in 25 rail cars will start travelling between the Kisenge mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the port of Lobito in Angola on a weekly basis under an agreement reached in 2017 between the Caminho de Ferro de Benguela (CFB) and the Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo (SNCC). The announcement was made by the chairman of the CFB’s Board of Directors, Luís Teixeira, who said that the government of the DRC has expressed its intention to boost the operation with another 50 rail cars, which means, five trains per week in the future.

Source: Macau Hub


Angola’s National Bank starts selling dollars to commercial banks again

The National Bank of Angola (BNA) sold USD90.1-million in currency to 16 commercial banks, in United States dollars, after in 2017 it only sold euros in foreign currency auctions, according to recent information from the Angolan central bank. After failing to sell dollars to banks in 2017, which happened for the first time in 18 years, the BNA “made direct sales of foreign currency to cover the operations of companies providing services to the oil sector, in the amount of USD90.1-million,” it said in the statement. The dollars were sold at an exchange rate of 213,361 kwanzas to the dollar, with the BNA excluding the following charges of oil companies: general services, consulting services and insurance, food, themselves and in favour of offshore entities.

Source: Macau Hub


Tango Mining adds kimberlite prospecting licence to Botswana profile

A Canadian diversified junior mining operation, with a significant coal portfolio in South Africa, has announced it has added an additional kimberlite prospecting licence in Botswana. Tango Mining has announced that it has added a Prospecting Licence to its Middlepits Project, which hosts a kimberlite called Kolonkwaneng. First discovered in 1977 by De Beers Group, bulk sampling of micro diamonds and heavy minerals has indicated that the kimberlite is diamondiferous. Through a number of South African subsidiaries, Tango holds three thermal coal, metallurgical and processing plant and engineering contracts that process 6.5 Mt of coal per annum. 

Source: Mining Global


Ports of Antwerp and Douala collaborate to boost efficiency

The ports of Antwerp and Douala are to collaborate closely with each other over the next five years. The collaboration agreement was signed during an extensive visit by Antwerp port representatives to the port of Douala in Cameroon. Douala port authority is counting on the Antwerp know-how in order to boost the efficiency of its port operations, among other things. For Antwerp the agreement represents a way to maintain and further strengthen its position as market leader in West and Central Africa. Antwerp handles an annual volume of 15-million tonnes of West African freight.

Source: African Business Communities

Democratic Republic of Congo

AVZ Minerals signs MOU with Chinese battery electrolyte manufacturer

ASX-listed AVZ Minerals has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Guangzhou Tinci Materials Technology Co. for potential investment in the company and off-take opportunities from the Manono Lithium Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tinci is a national high-tech enterprise and specialises in R&D, manufacture, application and marketing for lithium-ion battery materials and its upstream raw materials. It is the largest battery electrolyte manufacturer globally and supplies a substantial portion of the global battery electrolyte market, having invested in Ronghui Industry and Jiangxi Lithium and other lithium carbonate manufacturers.

Source: African Mining Review


WB approves USD375-million IDA credit for Ethiopia’s electrification program

The World Bank (WB) approved a USD375-million International Development Association (IDA) credit to support Ethiopia’s goal of achieving universal electricity access by 2025. Ethiopia has the second highest available generation capacity in Sub-Saharan Africa with nearly 100% coming from renewable energy generation (mostly hydropower), and vast and mainly untapped solar, wind, and geothermal clean energy resources. Over the past decade, the government has launched one of the most successful electrification programs in Sub-Saharan Africa, expanding the grid network coverage to nearly 60% of towns and villages. 

Source: Fana Broadcasting Company


Ghana becomes sovereign shareholder in Africa Finance Corporation with USD10-million initial equity investment

The Republic of Ghana has marked its seventh anniversary as a Member State of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) by becoming a sovereign shareholder in the corporation, making an initial equity investment of USD10-million. The Government of Ghana has also committed to invest a further USD40 million in the corporation; representing the second tranche of its USD50-million commitment to purchase AFC equity. Ghana has been a Member State of AFC since February 2011. Investments in the equity of AFC can be made by its Member States, by international organisations, as well as by private sector corporations.

Source: African Business Communities


Free Zones Authority licences 16 new companies; combined investment valued at USD183-million

The Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA) has granted licences to 16 new companies with a combined investment value of USD183-million to operate under the free zones programme.  They include Gold Coast Refinery, Juaben Oil Mills, Regency Salt Limited, Ramec Limited, Nurevas Food Ghana Limited and Karma Distillery Limited. The Chief Executive Officer of the GFZA, Mr Micheal Okyere Baafi, said that the licensing of the 16 companies was a novelty and underscored the government’s commitment to industrialise the economy.  The companies, he said, would be expected to venture into value added businesses and adhere to the law binding their operations under the programme to sell only 30% of their manufactured products locally and export the remaining 70%.

Source: Ghana Web


Funguo Investments acquires majority stake in Kwale fruit processing firm for Sh1-billion

The value of the project is Sh1-billion, and the funds for the first phase have already been availed. The transaction will see Funguo Investments Limited own a 51% stake of Feastfoods, a company set to produce puree and concentrates of mango, pineapple, and passion from locally grown fruits, mainly from Kwale County as well as other counties in the Coastal and lower Eastern regions. It is estimated that about 65 percent of puree concentrate is usually imported. Feastfoods is expected to directly employ over 50 employees and provide a market for over 30,000 farmers in the coastal county who often suffer losses for lack of a ready market for their fruits.

Source: Capital FM


French firms eye Sh1-trillion investments in Kenya

French firms are set to invest more than Sh1-trillion (USD10-billion) in 12 projects covering roads, energy, food security, health and technology sectors in a move expected to create thousands of jobs, government officials have said. Officials of the French Business Confederation (Medef) said the firms include Schneider Electric, Total, Urbasolar, Peugeot, Sse Air Liquide, Semmaris and Bollore. More than 60 business executives under the umbrella of Medef have been in the country meeting their local counterparts from the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (Kepsa), and have identified projects they want to invest in. “The identified projects will attract more than USD10-billion in investments and create thousands of new direct jobs,” said Industrialisation cabinet secretary Adan Mohamed.

Source: Business Daily


HF Signs Sh1.5-billion credit facility with Arab Bank

Housing Finance (HF) Group Banking and property finance subsidiary, Housing Finance Company (HFC), has signed a Sh1.5-billion financing facility with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa for improving HFC's working capital and for onward lending to the SME sector. HFC Managing Director Sam Waweru says the credit line will play a pivotal role in the growth of HFC's banking and specifically in financing the working capital and expansion of the bank's growing SME customer base. HFC has a strong focus on SME banking, retail banking, trade finance, asset finance & insurance premium financing, plot loans, construction financing, home loans, project finance and equity release solutions.

Source: Capital FM


Madagascar receives USD45-million from World Bank to promote financial inclusion of individuals and small enterprises

The World Bank has approved a USD45-million International Development Association credit to promote the financial inclusion of individuals and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in Madagascar. Madagascar Financial Inclusion project will specifically target women and women-owned enterprises, to reduce disparities in access to finance for women. The direct beneficiaries of the project will include teachers, students and taxpayers that will have the option to receive and make government payments through an e-money transaction account. Among other direct beneficiaries are also the microfinance institutions customers, particularly in rural areas. Mobile money operators will benefit from increased use of their e-money services as well as expansion of their agent network.

Source: African Business Communities


Huawei Marine partners with PCCW to deploy submarine cable linking Mauritius and Rodrigues Island

Huawei Marine is set to partner with PCCW Global to construct the first submarine cable between Mauritius and Rodrigues Island to meet the increasing demand for internet connectivity in the region. Located north-east of Mauritius, Rodrigues is a small volcanic island, with its local telecommunications services currently provided by satellite connectivity. PCCW Global has agreed with Mauritius Telecom to construct and maintain a high speed submarine cable connecting the Indian Ocean Islands of Rodrigues and Mauritius which will vastly improve connectivity for Rodrigues. The 700km submarine cable, has a design capacity of 16Tbit/s.

Source: African Business Communities


Port of Beira concession extended for 10 years

The Mozambican government will extend Cornelder Mozambique’s Port of Beira management concession for another 10 years in the expectation that during this period the port’s cargo handling capacity will be modernised and expanded. The decision was taken at the Council of Ministers’ seventh session in Maputo, with the cabinet approving a resolution calling on the concessionaire to invest in capacity at the container terminals and several other assets of the Sofala Port. Council of Ministers spokeswoman Ana Comoana explained that, as a result of the investments to be made by the concessionaire, the Port of Beira could look forward to increased cargo flow to and from hinterland countries and the emergence of new shipping lines. 

Source: Club of Mozambique


Mozambique reaches agreement on loan from Russian bank VTB

The Mozambican government is expected to have reached an agreement with Russian bank VTB on how to resolve the problem of the debt taken on from the financial institution, the Mozambican foreign minister said in Maputo. The VTB bank lent USD535-million to Mozambican state-owned Mozambique Asset Management (MAM), which, along with publicly owned company ProIndicus, in 2013 and 2014 took on state-backed loans that were hidden from both parliament and cooperation partners. The Russian bank lent USD535-million to MAM, while Credit Suisse provided USD622-million to ProIndicus and USD850-million to tuna company Ematum.

Source: Macau Hub


Large-scale solar plant reaches financial close

Scatec Solar, KLP Norfund Investments and Electricidade de Mozambique (EDM) have closed debt financing and initiated construction of a 40MW solar plant located close to the city of Mocuba in the Zambézia Province. "EDM is very pleased that the Mocuba Solar IPP project has reached financial close through a well-structured public-private partnership between EDM, Scatec Solar and Norfund, and with excellent support from IFC and EAIF as lenders, as well as the government of Norway", said EDM's chairman and CEO, Dr Mateus Magala. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) provided project debt of USD19-million on its own account together with a concessional loan from the Climate Investment Fund of the same size and a syndicated loan of USD17-million from the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), managed by Investec Asset Management, which is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG).

Source: ESI Africa


Scatec Solar starts construction of solar power plant in Mozambique

Scatec Solar, KLP Norfund Investments and Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) completed the financing process and began construction of a 40MW solar power plant in Mozambique, the Oslo-based company said in a statement. The statement said that the financing will be provided in the form of loans from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), of the World Bank group and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF). EAIF, which operates under the umbrella of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, is currently funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland and by developments banks KFW of Germany and FMO of the Netherlands, according to the EAIF website.

Source: Macau Hub


Syrah Resources signs graphite mining agreement with the Mozambican government

Twigg Exploration and Mining, a subsidiary of Syrah Resources, has signed an agreement with the Mozambican government to operate graphite deposits in Balama, northern Cabo Delgado province, the company said in a statement. The company said in the statement that the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy, Max Tonela, signing the agreement was the last step before the mining agreement can be taken to the Administrative Court for approval, after which it will be binding. The mining agreement consolidates all previously submitted documents and their approvals, clarifies the applicable legislation and establishes a contract regarding mining rights and other obligations.

Source: Macau Hub


Xtract Resources signs gold mining contract in Mozambique

Xtract Resources has updated the terms of the contract signed with the Moz Gold Group for the exploration of alluvial gold deposits in the Mozambican province of Manica, under which as early as March it will receive a minimum of 2.25 kilograms of gold, the British company said in a statement. From March, the Moz Gold Group, which operates Block M of the western half of the mining concession owned by Xtract Resources, will have to deliver a minimum of 3.0 kilograms of gold every month until the deposits are depleted or during the contractual term of 10 years. The new contract, signed by the 100% owned Mozambican subsidiary, Explorator Limitada, stipulates that the agreed payments will be attributed 40% to Xtract Resources and the remaining 60% to Nexus Capital Limited, under a collaboration agreement signed on 20 June 2017.

Source: Macau Hub


Montero Mining & Exploration acquires tin tailings project

TSX.V-quoted Montero Mining & Exploration has entered a binding Heads of Agreement (HoA) with Namib Base Minerals and Namibia Silica to acquire a 95% interest in the Uis lithium-tin tailings project in Namibia. The agreement provides Montero Mining & Exploration two months to complete legal and technical due diligence to its satisfaction and is also subject to regulatory approval. Under the terms of the (HoA), Montero Mining & Exploration would earn a 95% interest in the project by committing to milestone payments totaling USD1.425-million to the owners. A payment of USD10 000 has been paid on execution of the HoA and USD40,000 shall be paid on successful completion of due diligence, a further payment of USD275,000 shall be paid within six months and the remainder as staged milestone payments through to production.

Source: African Mining Review


FG to set up ICT development bank to fund industry

Mr. Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications, has stated that plans are underway by the Federal Government (FG) to set up an ICT Development Bank that will provide funding for the industry in order to promote and encourage young entrepreneurs in Information Communication Technology (ICT). He hinted that in pursuant of the ministry’s mandate of leveraging ICT in its entire ramifications and in order to promote local manpower of ICT sector, the ministry was implementing as part of the 2017 budget, incubation hubs across the six geopolitical zones in the country so as to boost empowerment and growth in the sector.

Source: The Guardian

South Sudan

South Sudan to join Arab League

South Sudan has formally applied to join the League of Arab States reported the official Egyptian Middle East news agency (MENA). "The application will be presented to the Arab League Council at the level of foreign ministers in its 149th session at the headquarters of the General Secretariat of the League. If approved, South Sudan would be the 23rd member of the regional organization. The use of the Arabic language as an official language is a prerequisite to joining the Arab body. Besides Sudan, Somalia, Djibouti and Comoros are the other African states members of the League of Arab States.

Source: Sudan Tribune


Rafiki Power and Mobisol partner to pilot high value solar mini grids in rural Tanzania

Tanzania based clean energy company Rafiki Power and Mobisol GmbH have partnered to pilot a new approach labelled the Hybrid Grid for off-grid clients in rural Tanzania. The Hybrid Grid is combining the best of mini-grids and solar home systems to bring higher value and better service to their mutual customers at lower cost. While Rafiki Power will continue to build mini-grid infrastructure, Mobisol will complement the offer and help reduce overall costs by equipping customers lying outside the core perimeter of the mini-grid with their large solar home systems. Both the mini-grid and the solar home system option deliver reliable, clean and affordable energy.

Source: Africa Business Communities


AfDB leads renewable energy financing framework

The board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has approved the first funding proposal of the African Development Bank (AfDB) for Zambia’s Renewable Energy Financing Framework. The GCF will provide a USD50-million loan and a USD2.5-million grant for the framework. The framework aims to finance 100MW of renewable energy projects under the Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariff (REFiT) policy of Zambia. The primary solar projects will help diversify the country’s energy production, which is heavily reliant on hydro-electricity. Facing a serious electricity supply deficit due to recent droughts, the government of Zambia launched the REFiT policy in 2017 to crowd-in private investments for renewable projects up to 20MW.

Source: ESI Africa


ZCDC to pour USD200-million in new mine projects

Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) will spend at least USD200-million in 2018 opening new mines in the eastern province of Manicaland as part of the mining groups expansion initiative. ZCDC CE Moris Mpofu said that the state-owned company will this year spend USD200-million with the bulk of resources channeled towards conducting comprehensive exploration as well as opening additional mines, among other key priority areas. He said resources earmarked for investment this year would be financed from “reinvested earnings and foreign capital.”

Source: The Independent

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