issue: 272 | 10 September 2018

Africa

China gives USD60-billion for ‘tangible’ development projects in Africa
China’s president has pledged USD60-billion worth of financing for developing African nationals but warned against “vanity projects”. President Xi Jinping said the money should be used for green and sustainable projects, and where it was needed most, speaking to the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. “China-Africa cooperation must give Chinese and African people tangible benefits and successes that can be seen, that can be felt,” Xi said. Bloomberg reported him saying, in a preview to his speech before the event in Beijing: “China’s cooperation with Africa is clearly targeted at the major bottlenecks to development. “Resources for our cooperation are not to be spent on any major vanity projects, but in places where they count the most.” He added that the additional financing would be granted to Africa’s poorest and most indebted countries.

Source: Public Finance International

Angola

54 subsidiaries of Angola’s Sonangol listed for privatisation

Angolan state oil company Sonangol has submitted to the government a list of 54 companies in the group that are ready to be privatised, the minister of Mining Resources and Oil announced in Luanda. Diamantino Azevedo, in a public ceremony held in the Angolan capital, said that the presentation of the list was the beginning of the Sonangol assets privatisation process, “so that you can focus on core activities, such as the construction of the Lobito and Cabinda refineries and the expansion of the Luanda unit.” The group of 54 companies accounts for about one third of the companies owned by Sonangol and in a condition to be privatised, and this is “a process that is continuous until a large part of the non-core activities of Sonangol are eliminated, so that the company becomes a real oil operator,” said the minister quoted by state newspaper Jornal de Angola.

Source: Macau Hub

Benin

Benin is the latest African country to impose social media tax

Benin is now the latest country to impose levies that are targeted at social media users. According to QZ, the government passed a directive last month that would tax its citizens to access the Internet and social media apps, which is something we saw recently with another African country, Uganda. This directive was first proposed in July and sought to charge USD0.008 which users consume from services like Twitter, Facebook or WhatsApp. There is also an additional 5% fee on top of this tax which is applied on calls and texts. According to the Internet Sans Frontieres (ISF), an advocacy group, the new fees imposed by the Benin government will not only burden the poorest consumers but would be ‘disastrous’ for the nation’s digital economy.

Source: Tech Weez

Burkina Faso

SEMAFO achieves commercial production at Boungou

TSX-listed gold miner SEMAFO achieved commercial production at its Boungou mine in Burkina Faso. SEMAFO declared commercial production when operations reached the internal commercial production measure of 30 consecutive days of mill throughput at 75% of nominal design capacity (4 000 tpd). During the 30-day period, the mill processed more than 90 000 t of ore at an average grade of 2.4 g/t gold and with a recovery rate of 83%. During the period, the mill mainly processed lower grade ore sourced from the east pit. However, as the process was being optimised, higher grade ore was introduced and a recovery rate of more than 93% was reached at the end of the period. The Boungou mine began processing ore at the end of May and achieved its first gold pour on 28 June 2018. During the pre-commercial period from June to the end of August, Boungou produced 12 000 oz of gold. In 2018, the Boungou mine is expected to produce between 60 000 and 70 000 oz of gold in commercial production.

Source: Mining Review Africa

Equatorial Guinea

AfDB commits to support Equatorial Guinea’s agro industry plan

The African Development Bank (AfDB) group has committed to support Equatorial Guinea’s economic diversification into agro-industry and a program of capacity building to foster public policies. The commitment followed the Bank Board’s approval of Equatorial Guinea’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for 2018-2022, in Abidjan. The 2018-2022 CSP provides the strategic orientation of the Bank’s support to the government’s efforts to diversify the economy. It focuses on two pillars: supporting agricultural transformation for economic diversification and building capacity in public policy design and implementation. The first pillar will support the Government’s strategy to diversify the economy, particularly focusing on fisheries and agribusiness sectors and enable private sector development in these sectors.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Eritrea

Zijin Mining to buy Nevsun Resources' shares

Nevsun Resources owns shares in Bisha zinc and copper mine in Eritrea, announceD that it struck a deal with Zijin Mining. Under that agreement, the Chinese mining company Zijin Mining, will buy Nevsun Resources’ outstanding shares at CAD6 each. The overall amount of this transaction is estimated at CAD1.86-billion. Nevsun’s administrative board suggested its shareholders should reject Lundin’s offer and agree for Zijin’s. “Zijin is a proven mining industry operator with a USD10-billion market capitalisation and a demonstrated track record of successfully completing international transactions. The Board unanimously recommends that Nevsun shareholders tender their shares to accept this offer and receive the significant value that it represents”, Ian Pearce, president of Nevsun’s administrative board said in a press release. Nevsun Resources Ltd owns 60% of the 121km long Bisha mine, located 150 km West Asmara and ranked among the major open pit high-grade copper mine in the world.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Ethiopia

Ethiopia and TMEA sign host country agreement renewing partnership
TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and the Government of Ethiopia have signed a Host Country Agreement (HCA) paving the way for TMEAs expansion into Ethiopia. TMEA was represented by its CEO, Frank Matsaert. The HCA now paves way for the establishment of TMEA’s Ethiopia Country Programme, with physical presence in Ethiopia, budget and staff to manage the country programme. The three overriding broad areas of intervention envisaged for the Ethiopian programme include, reducing trade costs on corridors. This focuses on the transport, logistics and infrastructure of particularly busy corridors (ports, roads and border posts), to reduce the cost of trade and transport.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Ghana

LNG terminal secures China investment

Tema LNG Terminal Company has signed an agreement with the China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) for the construction of a USD350-million liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Tema. The LNG Terminal is being constructed on the back of a 12-year gas supply agreement that was executed between the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) and Rosneft, Business Ghana reported. The project is expected to be completed in 18 months and will be sub-Saharan Africa’s first regasification terminal, according to media. Speaking at the signing ceremony, President Akufo-Addo said the Tema LNG Terminal project was a testament to the efforts put in place by the government over the last 19 months to encourage private sector participation in the growth of the economy. The concession agreement is expected to deliver an annual revenue in excess of USD6-million to the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.

Source: ESI Africa

Horn of Africa

Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia seek economic integration
The president of the Federal Republic of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo is leading efforts to consolidate gains made at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation by facilitating the prospect of a tripartite agreement on economic Integration between the countries of the Horn. President Farmajo, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki are scheduled to meet in Asmara to hold discussions on strengthening the economic and security stability of the region. The leaders would also discuss measures to end all political and social conflicts between the countries of the horn to promote harmony and a happy coexistence between neighbours of the horn. President Farmajo’s vision is to promote free trade flow, and a mutual economic cooperation between all the countries of the Horn of Africa.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Kenya/Rwanda

MIGA seeks to grow investments and partnerships in Kenya and Rwanda

S.Vijay Iyer, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, MIGA, the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank Group – is set to visit Kenya and Rwanda in September. The visit aims to enhance private sector investments in both countries in key industries such as energy, infrastructure and agriculture. In Kenya, Mr. Iyer will chair multiple business development roundtables and hold meetings with government officials, and while in Rwanda, will speak at the Development Finance Forum in Kigali and meet with senior members of the government and regional business leaders. Projects MIGA has supported in both countries are expected to generate 752 GWh of electricity annually, deliver 40,000 m3 of water, generate USD73.4-million annually in government revenues, and support the creation of approximately 1,780 direct jobs.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Malawi

Malawi set to construct 300MW coal-fired power plant

President Peter Mutharika recently met with a Chinese consortium to discuss the details of the planned 300MW Kammwamba coal-fired power plant. Malawi News Agency reported that Mutharika and his delegations met the Chairperson of the China Energy Engineering Group (CEEC) the parent company of the China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Company; Wang Jianping and directors of the company, who have been tasked with constructing the plant. "We need the extra energy as soon as yesterday. That's why we’re very serious about this project. If we have their extra wattage from this project, our economy will perform much better than now," Mutharika emphasised. He briefed the company that he was glad that his government had met all the 14 conditions that were set by the financiers AXIM Bank of China for Malawi to access the loan for the project, which will help to provide electricity in the country.

Source: ESI Africa

Mali

Endeavour Mining to dispose of Tabakoto asset

West African gold producer Endeavour Mining has entered into a binding sale agreement for its interest in the non-core Tabakoto mine to Algom Resources, a subsidiary of BCM Investments, for a total cash consideration of USD60-million. The consideration is payable upon closing of the transaction which is expected to occur during the fourth quarter of 2018. "We are pleased to continue to pursue our portfolio management strategy through the sale of our non-core Tabakoto mine,” says Endeavour Mining president and CEO Sébastien de Montessus. “This will increase our overall portfolio quality and allow management to focus on high cash generating assets with low AISC and long mine lives,: he adds, noting that the Tabakoto asset has been sold following a comprehensive review which determined that the capital investments required to reduce its AISC did not meet the company’s capital allocation criteria. Endeavour Mining acquired Tabakoto in 2012.

Source: Mining Review Africa

Mozambique

Syrah Resources issues shares to finance graphite project in Mozambique

Australia’s Syrah Resources will issue shares worth USD68-million to develop a graphite deposit exploration project in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado province, the company said in a market filing. The statement said that US30-million would be invested in the Mozambican Balama project, USD25-million in a plant in the United States that will convert graphite extracted from raw materials to be sold to battery manufacturers and USD11-million to finance the costs of the company, including administrative costs. The remaining USD2-million will be used to fund a study to assess the vanadium resources in the Balama mining concession. Syrah Resources announced last May it had signed an agreement to purchase an industrial site in Vidalia, Louisiana, United States, where it will build a factory for the production of battery components.

Source: Macau Hub

Mozambique

Australia’s Battery Minerals secures funds for graphite project in Mozambique

Australian company Battery Minerals has announced there are seven groups interested in providing the funds needed to reach the USD51.2-million needed for its Mozambican graphite exploration project, the Australian press reported. The company’s shares fell sharply when Resource Capital Funds cancelled a deal worth USD30-million in equity and outstanding debt, forcing Battery Minerals to postpone the start of the project. Managing Director David Flanagan said at mining forum “Diggers and Dealers” there are entities interested in ensuring the necessary funding for the development of the project, and that the company expects to start graphite exports twelve months after raising funds. The mining license will allow the company to start phases 1 and 2 of the project, which outlines production of 100,000 tonnes of zinc/lead and copper graphite concentrate per year.

Source: Macau Hub

Mozambique

Banco Moza acquires the entire capital of Banco Terra de Moçambique

Mozambican bank Moza, owned by the Bank of Moçambique Pension Fund (Kuhanha), has acquired the entire capital stock of Banco Terra, the bank said in a statement released in Maputo. The statement noted that the institution made an offer in August to acquire the entire capital stock of Banco Terra, under a structured transaction that includes, in addition to the acquisition, the subsequent merger of Moza Banco and Banco Terra. “This operation aims to strengthen the institution resulting from an increased capacity to serve the market in general,” and the “different economic sectors” of the country, Moza said, explaining that shareholders are carrying out the legal procedures that will make the deal official. With the sale of 45.78% of the share capital of Banco Terra, the Caixa Económica Montepio Geral group ceases to hold any interest in the Mozambican financial institution.

Source: Macau Hub

Mozambique

Galp to invest USD150-million in the expansion of its service station network in Mozambique

Portuguese oil company Galp Energia announced that it plans to double its presence in the Mozambique market in four years through an investment of USD150-million, the Portuguese press reported. With this planned investment Galp will extend its network of filling stations, as well as setting up two new logistics bases. The Portuguese oil company plans to increase the number of service stations from the current 57 to 70 by 2020 but, this year wants to increase the network to 60 stations. The company’s expansion plan in Mozambique also involves the construction of two new logistics bases for the reception, storage and distribution of fuels in the cities of Matola and Beira. Galp holds a 10% stake in the gas exploration project in the Coral Sul field in northern Mozambique, which also includes Italy’s Eni and South Korea’s Kogas. 

Source: Macau Hub

Namibia

Africa Energy begins oil drilling in offshore Namibia

Africa Energy Corp, an oil and gas company with exploration assets offshore Namibia and South Africa has announced the initial drilling of the Cormorant-1 well on Petroleum Exploration License 37 offshore Namibia. Africa Energy holds a 10% effective interest in PEL 37. Garrett Soden, President and CEO of Africa Energy, commented, "We are excited to be drilling our first oil exploration well, which could be transformational for the Company.  There has recently been a resurgence of interest in the Namibian offshore region from oil majors, and the Cormorant-1 well has the potential to open a significant new play fairway." PEL 37 covers 17,295 square kilometres in the Walvis Basin offshore Namibia approximately 420km south of the Angolan-Namibian border. The Cormorant-1 well is located in 545 meters of water and will be drilled by the Ocean Rig Poseidon drillship to a total depth of 3,830 meters subsea. 

Source: Africa Business Communities

Namibia

Desert Lion Energy ceases all operations in Namibia

Namibian lithium developer and emerging lithium concentrate producer Desert Lion Energy has ceased all operations in Namibia in light of the continued decline in lithium carbonate pricing. The Board is currently re-assessing the previously announced 3-stage execution plan and is evaluating all available options to find a sustainable path to the continued development of its Namibian lithium project. Desert Lion has also commenced negotiations with its offtake partner, Jiangxi Jinhui Lithium to amend the pricing metrics under its offtake agreement in light of the current lithium carbonate pricing environment. Desert Lion intends to announce its Maiden Resource Estimate and Preliminary Economic Assessment prior to the end of Q3 2018.

Source: Mining Review Africa

Nigeria

NNPC, Chinese consortia sign MoUs on biofuels production

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in China with Nigerian-Chinese consortia towards developing sustainable biofuels in the country. In a ceremony held at the Nigerian Embassy in Beijing on the sidelines of the ongoing Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit, two separate MoUs on the biofuels project development were signed between: NNPC and the OBAX-COMPLANT Consortium on one hand and NNPC and the CAPEGATE-NANNING Consortium on the other hand. The NNPC biofuels programme centres around sugarcane-fuel ethanol production; cassava-fuel ethanol production as well as oil palm-based biodiesel production. While OBAX and CAPEGATE are two Nigerian companies, COMPLANT and NANNING are two reputable companies incorporated in China.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Nigeria

Tizeti secures USD3-million Series A funding, mulls expansion
Nigerian internet services provider start-up Tizeti and its consumer facing brand, Wifi.com.ng has closed a Series A round of USD3-million, led by 4DX Ventures with participation from existing investors Y Combinator Continuity, Lynett Capital, Social Capital, Western Technology Investment, Friále and Golden Palm Investments. This follows on from the company’s Seed investment of USD2.1-million in 2017. Tizeti will use this investment to expand operations outside of Nigeria, and will launch a new consumer-facing brand Wifi.Africa later this year, starting with neighbouring West African country, Ghana. The company will also make additional investments in operations, product development and overall customer experience, with a view toward growing profitability exponentially.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Senegal

Vestas secures EPC contract for wind project in Senegal
Danish wind systems manufacturer Vestas has been tasked with providing a customised solution for the 159MW Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye, Senegal’s first large utility-scale wind energy project. The wind farm claimed to be the largest wind project in West Africa, will expand the country’s generation capacity by 15%, supporting the development of affordable renewable energy and diversify Senegal’s energy mix. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract was signed with Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye, a company majority-owned by Lekela - an experienced renewable energy company that has developed 1.3GW of wind and solar projects across Africa - and partly-owned by French developer Sarreole that has been part of the project from its beginning. Vestas’ long-time financing partner EKF Denmark’s Export Credit has backed the project with a USD163-million export loan, securing the project’s financial stability and maximising the customer’s return on investment.

Source: ESI Africa

Somalia

Somalia unveils project to improve municipal infrastructure delivery

The government of Somalia in association with the World Bank launched a flagship infrastructure project in Somalia. The Somali Urban Resilience Project (SURP), worth USD9-million, will be the country’s first national test case for municipal infrastructure delivery. “The World Bank’s role in Somalia is about working with and through government and building the capacity of the authorities to spearhead reform and development,” said Hugh Riddell, World Bank country representative for Somalia. “The SURP will allow us to build on the initial work in urban resilience and to expand this agenda across the country,” Riddell added. SURP is a national urban resilience project that aims to pilot the use of country systems at the sub-national level and strengthen municipal governments,’ capacity.

Source: ESI Africa

Tanzania

OreCorp Tanzania to increase interest in Nyanzaga Mining
The Tanzanian Fair Competition Commission has granted its approval for OreCorp Tanzania to increase its interest in Nyanzaga Mining to 51%. This move remains subject to the approval of the newly established Mining Commission, the application for which was lodged at the same time as the application for FCC approval and the future payment of USD3-million to the Acacia Group. In addition, members of the OreCorp Group have now entered into a completion agreement with Acacia Mining and other members of the Acacia Group to allow OreCorp Tanzania to move to 100% ownership of NMCL, and thereby 100% ownership of the Nyanzaga Gold Project. Both OreCorp and Acacia believe that a simplified ownership structure of NMCL is beneficial to the future development of the project and would enable it to be best placed to provide significant benefits to Tanzania and all stakeholders.

Source: Mining Review Africa

Uganda

Uganda's national oil firm, China's CNOOC sign exploration deal
Uganda said its national oil firm and Chinese offshore oil and gas company CNOOC Ltd had signed an agreement to jointly conduct exploration in a new block in the East African country.  The deal was signed in Beijing on the margins of the ongoing China-Africa forum on cooperation, which is being attended by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni. A statement issued by his office said CNOOC and Uganda National Oil Company signed a memorandum of understanding “to jointly explore a new oil and gas block in the Albertine Graben, on the southern part of Lake Albert.” “The exploration aims to increase the amount of crude oil produced in Uganda to support the operations of the refinery as well as the oil pipeline,” it said.

Source: Reuters

Uganda

BringCom acquires Datanet
BringCom Incorporated, a provider of connectivity solutions to developing countries, has announced that it has completed the acquisition of Datanet.Com, LLC in Uganda after receiving final approval from the regulatory authority, Uganda Communications Commission. Established in 1999, Datanet is a network service provider operating in Uganda and offering corporate network connectivity as well as secure and reliable wholesale access services. Datanet was the first company in the East African region to enroll in the MEF Services Interconnect program with the aim of establishing standardised Carrier Ethernet access services and networks. It also launched EP-LAN service over its Carrier Ethernet network between Uganda and Kenya powering multi-branch interconnectivity/operations and LAN extensions. More recently, the company announced its MEF CE 2.0 E-Access certification.

Source: Africa Business Communities


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