issue: 247 | 19 March 2018

Africa

Afreximbank, ECIC sign MoU, pledge USD1-billion to expand trade between South Africa and other African nations

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch a USD1-billion financing programme to promote and expand trade and investments between South Africa and the rest of Africa. Under the terms of the MoU signed in Cairo, Afreximbank and ECIC will jointly implement a South Africa-Africa Trade and Investment Promotion Programme (SATIPP). SATIPP will involve the two institutions working together on identification, preparation and appraisal of trade transactions and projects; exploration of co-financing and risk-sharing opportunities; and knowledge-sharing work, with particular emphasis on intra-African trade matters, through technical cooperation, staff exchange, research and joint events.

Source: African Business Community

Africa

Africa Oil buys 25.2% equity interest in Impact Oil and Gas Limited

Canadian oil and gas company Africa Oil Corp has completed the previously announced investment in Impact Oil and Gas Limited, a private UK company with exploration assets in South and West Africa. In connection with the investment, the company issued 13,946,545 common shares in the capital of the company to Helios Natural Resources 2 Limited and invested USD15-million in shares and warrants of Impact. Africa Oil owns an approximate 25.2% equity interest in Impact. PillarFour Securities LLP acted as financial advisor and Pareto Securities acted as strategic advisor to Africa Oil in connection with the transactions.

Source: African Business Community

Angola

Angola issues debt to support farmers

The Angolan government will issue another AOA5.85-billion (USD27.3-million) in public debt to finance the credit to agricultural producers in the country, according to a presidential order. The aim, according to the document is “to boost the Agricultural Credit Campaign and contribute to the dynamism of the rural sector,” and this debt issued by the National Bank of Angola (BNA) will be repaid over 14 semesters. Angola’s Agricultural Campaign Credit was launched in June 2010 to “strengthen small and medium-sized agricultural producers and the credit line for support,” involving Banco Poupança e Crédito, Banco de Comércio e Indústria, Banco Sol and Banco Angolano de Investimento.

Source: Macau Hub

Angola

Government of Angola facilitates foreign investment

The proposal to revise the Private Investment Law that the Angolan government plans to submit to parliament removes the requirement for national partners to hold a stake of at least 35% in the share capital of the companies, a measure intended to improve the attraction of foreign direct investment, according to the document. “It should be noted that the draft of the new law eliminates the mandatory limits of the participation of nationals in the capital stock stipulated in article 9 of the current law, because it is intended to highlight the freedom of shareholders to decide on the capital structure of their enterprises,” the Angolan government document said, quoted by Portuguese state news agency Lusa.

Source: Macau Hub

Burkina Faso

IMF grants Burkina Faso a USD157.6-million ECF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced in a statement that it has granted Burkina Faso a three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) worth USD157.6-million to support the economic reforms initiated by the country. This is to equilibrate the balance of payments to foster inclusive growth and reduce poverty by creating a fiscal space for priority investments spending in security, social services, and infrastructure. The facility also aims at helping Burkina Faso mobilise public and private financing and strengthen the country’s resilience to future shocks. “Burkina Faso faces significant development challenges, which have intensified in the recent period due to security shocks and social unrest,” stated Mitsuhiro Furusawa, IMF’s Deputy Managing Director.

Source: Ecofin Agency

Burkina Faso

Taurus Funds lend USD200-million to Teranga Gold to finance its gold projects

Teranga Gold announced that it has received a commitment letter from Taurus Funds for a USD200-million loan to finance its gold projects in Burkina Faso. In details, the finance facility, whose terms will be concluded in Q3 2018, includes a USD165-million first tranche to develop Wahgnion gold project and repay USD15-million bank debt. In addition, another USD25-million will be used to advance activities on Golden Hill gold project by funding a feasibility study. The last tranche concerns an equipment lease worth USD10-million whose terms are still being evaluated by Teranga.

Source: Ecofin Agency

Democratic Republic of Congo

Cobalt to be declared a strategic mineral in Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo will declare cobalt and coltan, used in electric vehicle and renewable energy technology, as “strategic” minerals which will earn the country higher royalties. A new mining code was signed into law by President Joseph Kabila despite vigorous opposition by global mining companies with operations in Congo such as Glencore, Randgold and China Molybdenum. Royalties paid to the government from cobalt and coltan mining will jump to 10% from 2% previously. Miners of the two metals used in batteries, would have paid a royalty of 3.5% under the new code if they had not been designated as strategic.

Source: CNBC Africa

Democratic Republic of Congo

Rawbank receives USD15-million loan from Africa Development Bank to finance capital needs

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has granted a USD15-million loan to Congolese bank Rawbank, the country's largest commercial bank with 24% market share and 300,000 customers. Under the private sector window of the AfDB, the line of credit granted to Rawbank has a maturity of seven years, two years of which are deferred. In addition to the loan, a technical assistance grant will be used to establish training and capacity building programs for Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) developers for the benefit of Rawbank. This action will target women entrepreneurs.

Source: African Business Community

Guinea

Exim Bank lends USD1.3-billion for the construction of Souapiti dam

Exim Bank China granted Guinea USD1.3-billion to fund the construction of Souapiti hydropower dam (450MW). “The signing of the loan agreement will take place very soon, which will allow the fast-tracking of construction work at the plant,” Guinea's government said in a statement. This loan from Exim will be repaid by Guinea with revenues generated by the sale of the dam’s production as the country plans to export electricity to neighbouring countries. The project initiated since 2007 was suspended due to the country’s political instability. The construction, which should be completed within five years, finally began in 2015 and is handled by China International Water & Electric Corp. (CWE). Guinea’s current electrification rate is about 25%.

Source: Ecofin Agency

Ivory Coast

Altus Strategies enters sixth African country

AIM-listed Altus Strategies’ 100%-owned subsidiary Aeos Gold has been granted the 369.5 km2 Prikro gold exploration licence in the Prikro and Koun-Fao Departments in eastern Côte d'Ivoire, approximately 240km from the capital of Abidjan. The licence has been awarded for an initial four-year term, after which it can be renewed for two further terms of three years each and a further two years under an exceptional renewal. Each renewal requires a 50% reduction in the licence area. Prikro was selected by Altus following a geological assessment of the Birimian meta-sedimentary units of eastern Côte d’Ivoire. The licence contains granites and diorites that are 15km in length and up to 6km wide, which have intruded through the nose of an anticlinal fold into meta-sedimentary units.

Source: Mining Review Africa

Ivory Coast

PAPH partners with Chinese CRCC to build low-cost social housing

The Chinese construction group China Railway Construction Corporation (CRCC) signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the Ivorian financial group Phoenix Africa Partners Holding (PAPH) to build affordable and social housing in Côte d’Ivoire. “Phoenix Africa partners Holding and China Railway Construction Corporation aim to jointly develop some low-cost and social housing which is an urgent necessity in Côte d’Ivoire,” said Michel Abrogoua, PAPH’s chairman, during the agreement signing ceremony. This partnership “ is in line with the vision of a win-win cooperation, for jobs creation and, above all, technology transfer from a southern country to another partner in the South", he also said.

Source: Ecofin Agency

Kenya

India medical firm lists Kenya in Sh1-billion Africa expansion plan

An Indian medical equipment firm plans to expand into Kenya and three other African countries in a Sh1-billion project that is partly financed by the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The IFC, World Bank’s private lending arm, has disclosed plans to lend Trivitron Healthcare Sh281-million (USD2.75-million) to set up distribution hubs for medical devices and instruments in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Algeria. Trivitron and Dutch-based private equity fund Investment Fund for Health in Africa (IFHA II) will inject a further Sh740-million (USD7.25-million) into the project. The company has a total of nine manufacturing sites in India, Turkey and Finland from which medical equipment destined for the new markets in Africa will be sourced.

Source: Business Daily

Madagascar

India offers Madagascar USD80-million LoC for agriculture, mechanisation

President Ram Nath Kovind said India has decided to offer Madagascar a USD80-million Letter of Credit (LoC) for agriculture and mechanisation. President Kovind said, "We are keen to bring in expertise, replicate infrastructural stories in other African countries through India's LoC financing," adding, "India is keen to enhance and strengthen its partnership with Madagascar." He further said that India has been sharing its developmental experience with Madagascar and is happy to cooperate in the fields of human development such as health, education, and sanitation.

Source: ANI News

Namibia

Namibia bets on new solar project to bridge national energy deficit

Global solar company Canadian Solar Inc. has successfully completed construction and started commercial operation of a 6MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power project in Keetmanshoop, Namibia. The project reached commercial operation in November  2017. Powered by 18,480 Canadian Solar's CS6U modules, the plant is expected to generate approximately 14.6GWh of clean, reliable solar electricity each year, which will be purchased by Namibia Power Corporation (Proprietary) Ltd. under a 25-year renewable energy feed-in-tariff contract at the rate of USD0.10 per kWh.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Namibia

Namibia renews Africa Energy petroleum exploration licence

Africa Energy Corp has announced the renewal of Petroleum Exploration License offshore the Republic of Namibia and the signing of a rig contract. The Petroleum Exploration License, PEL 37, joint venture application for entry into the second renewal period was approved by the Ministry of Mines and Energy in Namibia. The second renewal period is for a period of two years commencing March 2018 and includes an obligation to drill an exploration well. The operator of PEL 37, Tullow Namibia Limited, has contracted the Ocean Rig Poseidon, a sixth-generation deep water drillship that is currently transitioning to Walvis Bay.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Nigeria

IFC invests USD52-million in Nigerian agriculture

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a cooperation agreement with the Government of Nigeria to implement a USD2-million initiative targeting regulatory and institutional reforms that will strengthen Nigeria’s agribusiness sector, creating jobs and economic growth. Nigeria is one of three African countries (along with Ethiopia and Tanzania) to benefit from the World Bank Group’s Livestock and Micro Reforms in Agribusiness (L-MIRA) program, whose overarching objective is to improve competitiveness of the dairy and poultry sectors. The project will also support reforms to better and more efficiently regulate animal feed in markets, and coordinate government agencies involved in regulating animal feed. 

Source: Africa Business Communities

Nigeria

Seplat Petroleum refinances USD300-million RCF and raises bonds

Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc announced that it had successfully refinanced its existing USD300-million revolving credit facility (RCF) due December 2018 with a new four year USD300-million revolving credit facility due June 2022. The RCF carries initial interest of Libor +6% payable semi-annually. The company also stated that it had successfully raised USD350-million worth of medium-term notes at 9.25%. Proceeds from the two transactions will be used to pay down the company’s debt and cancel its existing indebtedness. The notes will be issued by the company and guaranteed by certain of its subsidiaries. 

Source: Asoko Insight

Rwanda

Rwanda partners to develop 30MW solar plant with storage facility

The Rwandan government, Mara Corporation Ltd and SB Energy Corp have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to develop a 30MW solar power plant with a storage facility. The deal was inked during the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Conference which took place in New Delhi, India. According to the New Times, the Minister for Infrastructure, James Musoni and Clare Akamanzi, the chief executive officer for the Rwanda Development Board, represented government at the signing ceremony. President Paul Kagame also attended the forum and spoke about the importance of increasing the adoption of solar energy underlining that it’s part of the answer to climate change. 

Source: Asoko Insight

Rwanda/Tanzania

Rwanda and Tanzania to build electric railway connecting both countries

Rwanda and Tanzania have agreed to construct an electric railway line between the two countries, the transport ministers of Rwanda and Tanzania said. This new electric railway line replaces the diesel locomotive railway agreement made previously by the two countries. The new railway, over 400km long, is expected to link the cities of Isaka (Tanzania) and Kigali (Rwanda). The design change is expected to reduce the time and cost of transporting passengers and goods between Dar es Salaam and Kigali. Thus, trains should reach speeds of between 80km/h and 120km/h for freight trains, and between 120km/h and 160km/h for passenger trains. Preliminary studies on the construction of the normal railway between Dar es Salaam and Kigali revealed that the project would cost the two countries USD2.5-billion, USD1.3-billion for Tanzania and USD1.2-billion for Rwanda.

Source: Railways Africa

São Tomé and Príncipe

China finances road repair in São Tomé and Príncipe

Road repair and drainage work have started in São Tomé and Príncipe under the USD146-million in funding opened by China for the West African archipelago, at a ceremony attended by the Chinese ambassador, Wang Wei and the São Tomé prime minister, Patrice Trovoada. The work, which will be carried out by Chinese company Top International within 12 months, consists of repairing a set of roads between the capital of São Tomé and the district of Mezochi, over a distance of more than 20km, including digging drainage ditches. Trovoada announced in April 2017, following a visit to Beijing, that China had decided to grant a donation of USD146-million to São Tomé and Príncipe and to pardon a debt of USD28-million that the archipelago owed to the Chinese State.

Source: Macau Hub

Sierra Leone

25MW solar PV project to boost Bo District

A responsAbility-managed energy company focusing on Sub-Sahara Africa, together with Africa Growth and Energy Solutions (AGES), have signed an agreement to co-develop a 25MW solar PV project in Sierra Leone’s Bo District. The project is to be built in two phases, with construction on a 5MW plant intended to start this year. The responsAbility-managed energy company intends to provide the development and construction equity finance to fast-track the implementation of the first 5MW phase of the project, under the agreement with AGES, in support of the government of Sierra Leone and the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority’s electrification agenda. The site for the first 5MW plant is located 300km east of the capital Freetown in Sierra Leone’s Bo District, between Bo and Kenema.

Source: ESI Africa

Sudan

Sudan central bank receives USD1.4-billion deposit from UAE

Central Bank of Sudan received USD1.4-billion from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as deposit, the official Sudanese news agency SUNA reported, indicating that the amount will help consolidate the country's foreign exchange reserves. The deposit was provided to the Sudanese market regulator by the Abu Dhabi Development Fund, the source added. Sudan's foreign exchange reserves have significantly dropped in the recent months, negatively impacting imports and limiting dollar trading on the parallel market. In recent months, the Central Bank has been trying to steer the money flow into the formal banking system through two sharp devaluations of the local currency (Sudanese pound) since January. 

Source: Ecofin Agency

Uganda

200 welders to train for work on oil refinery

A new French oil company Total E&P and the German Cooperation Agency, GIZ, announced a partnership that will see Ugandan welders attain advanced training in welding and related fabrication for the proposed crude oil export pipeline and during construction of upstream facilities in the Albertine Graben. Welding is key during the development phase as the oil companies, Total E&P and China’s CNOOC, establish facilities to pump commercial oil. The government and oil companies set an ambitious target of 2020, which many critics and some insiders say is unachievable given the lingering infrastructural gaps. Projections show that the oil companies have to invest about Shs27-trillion (USD8-billion) in the required infrastructure leading to production.

Source: Daily Monitor

Uganda

IFC and MIGA Boards invests USD400 in refinancing Bujagali Energy to reduce Ugandan electricity costs

The Board of Directors of IFC and MIGA have approved a plan to refinance more than USD400-million of loans to Bujagali Energy Limited and provide up to USD423-million in guarantees in support of the Bujagali hydropower project, with the aim to help reduce electricity costs in Uganda, where only one in five people have access to electricity. Bujagali, a run-of-river hydropower project on the Victoria Nile, is one of the largest power-generation plants in Uganda, contributing 45% of the country’s annual electricity generation. It provides clean, reliable base-load energy. Its commissioning in 2012 significantly reduced Uganda’s reliance on costlier thermal power generation. 

Source: Africa Business Community

Uganda/Kenya

Wefarm secures USD5-million seed funding to reach offline farmers and ease pressure on global food supply

Wefarm, a farmer-to-farmer digital network currently in Kenya and Uganda has secured USD5-million in additional seed funding, led by Silicon-Valley based True Ventures, Skype and Atomico Founder Niklas Zennström, angel investing in a personal capacity, WordPress Founder Matt Mullenweg, Blue Bottle Coffee CEO Bryan Meehan, and the Norrsken Foundation, have all joined the round, along with significant follow on investment from LocalGlobe and Accelerated Digital Ventures (ADV). Wefarm is the world’s first crowdsourced peer-to-peer network for offline communities. Over 500 million small-scale farmers produce over 70% of the world’s food and spend over USD400-billion on farm inputs and other services, annually.

Source: African Business Community

Zimbabwe

25,000 smallholder farmers to benefit from USD15-million loan facility from OFID

The OPEC Fund for International Development has signed a public sector loan agreement with Zimbabwe to support the Smallholder Irrigation Revitalization Project, which aims to reduce rural poverty and enhance food security for around 25,000 small-scale, low-income farming households in four rural regions. The USD15-million loan agreement was signed by OFID Director-General Suleiman J Al-Herbish and Patrick Anthony Chinamasa, Minister of Finance and Economic Development of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe’s abundant arable land and water supplies, along with its diverse climate, enables the cultivation of a wide variety of food and cash crops.

Source: African Business Community



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