issue: 294 | 4 March 2019

Africa

Sida invests USD50-million to increase off-grid energy access in Africa
Almost 70% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa lack access to electricity. Following the success of Sweden’s investment in small-scale energy services in Zambia, the concept is now being expanded – to Burkina Faso, Liberia and Mozambique. USD50-million will give five to 15 million people in rural and slum areas access to electricity. The Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa (BGFA) is a program that extends over five years, USD10-million per year, a total of USD50-million. The concept evolves around procurement. Energy service companies submit tenders presenting their business models, how many people they want to reach and the end price for the consumer.

Source: Energy Mix Report

Angola

Angolan government plans to raise USD80-million by selling seven companies

The Angolan government expects to make at least USD80-million by privatising the first seven companies of a set of 52 industrial units installed in the Luanda-Bengo Special Economic Zone, according to officials. Gilberto Luther, manager of the State Assets and Assets Management Institute (IGAPE), announced that the public tender for the sale of these units officially ends on 31 March. Luther, who made a presentation to state managers and businesspeople, stressed that IGAPE had already received proposals from national and foreign investors interested in acquiring some of those companies. The sale price of the industrial units, according to Luther, ranges from USD3-million to USD18-million, but the value of each one must be analysed specifically, according to the Angop news agency.

Source: Macau Hub

Angola

Angola to offer 56 new oil and gas Blocks
Angola will offer a total of 56 new blocks for Oil & Gas exploration from this year and up until 2025 according to the “Block Licensing Strategy” announced by the government by way of Presidential Decree 52/19,  of 18 February 2019. The blocks will be awarded through a combination of open public tender, restricted public tender and direct negotiation. The blocks are located in all four Angola’s sedimentary basins (Congo, Cuanza, Benguela and Namibe). Sonangol, EP may take up a participating interest in these blocks of no less than 20%. This will be a carried interest (up to 20%). Sonangol, EP will take a role of pure investor in these blocks.

Source: VDA Partners

Angola

Angolan group BMP invests in the automotive sector

Angolan business group BMP has carried out a pre-launch of Pegado Motors vehicles, which have been assembled in China and will begin to be sold in Angola from the third quarter of this year, the local press reported. The chairman of the group, Bruno Miguel Pegado, announced that the vehicles are still being assembled in China, “while the conditions are finalised so that the process can take place in Angola.” With a capacity of 1,200 vehicles per month, the assembly plant is located in the municipality of Waku Kungo, in Angola’s Kwanza Sul province, in an area of 104 hectares. The group intends to recruit Angolan university educated staff, who will undergo training abroad.

Source: Macau Hub

Botswana

Tlou Energy begins production testing at its Lesedi CBM project in Botswana

Tlou Energy has commenced production testing at its Lesedi 3 development pod. Excellent progress is also being made on drilling operations at the second development pod, Lesedi 4. Drilling operations at the Lesedi 3 development pod were completed earlier this month. Production equipment has been installed and production testing is now underway. Production testing involves de-watering and lowering of the pressure in the coal seam to achieve gas flow. Testing procedures will continue over the coming months with initial performance data expected in Q2 2019. Drilling has also been completed on the first of two lateral sections (Lesedi 4A) of the Lesedi 4 development pod. 

Source: Energy Mix Report

Botswana/Zimbabwe

Botswana agrees to extend USD95-million credit line to Zimbabwe

Botswana has agreed to extend a USD95-million credit line to Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe’s finance minister Mthuli Ncube. He told Xinhua on the sidelines of the inaugural session of the Botswana-Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC) in Harare that the details of the facility were still being worked out. “I cannot say much because the Presidents of the two countries are still working out the details but I can confirm that Botswana has agreed to extend a BWP1-billion credit line to Zimbabwe,” Mthuli Ncube said. Earlier, Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi confirmed the monetary deal, saying his country had raised the facility from the initial BWP500-million to BWP1-billion in response to a question during the BNC meeting.

Source: CGTN

Cape Verde

Cape Verde Government approves investment fund for social projects
The investment fund to fund social projects in Cape Verde will be registered on the country’s Stock Exchange and will have to comply with the rules in force, said the spokesman of the Council of Ministers, Fernando Elísio Freire. The spokesman, announcing the approval of the decree-law to create the fund, said it follows the project establishing the legal regime for social entrepreneurship investment organisations. Freire explained that these bodies or institutions are intended above all to encourage the creation of a “financial vehicle” that allows investors to provide funding to social companies or funds to make the investments.

Source: Macau Hub

Ethiopia

Chinese firm commences USD70-million asphalt road project in Ethiopia

Chinese firm Beijing Urban Construction Group has started construction of a USD70-million asphalt road project in southern Ethiopia, an Ethiopian official said. In a press statement, Samson Wondimu, communication director of the Ethiopian Roads Authority said the asphalt road project located in Ethiopia's Southern regional state is 73 km long, with the project cost to be fully covered by the Ethiopian government. Wondimu said the project is expected to be completed in four years and connect the agriculturally fertile areas of southern Ethiopia to the country's heartland. Beijing Urban Construction Group is already constructing several other road projects in Ethiopia including a 69 km asphalt road project in northern Ethiopia.

Source: Xinhua Net

Ethiopia

Bank of Abyssinia partners with WorldRemit for digital money transfers to Ethiopia
Bank of Abyssinia (BOA) has joined forces with leading digital money transfer service WorldRemit for digital money transfers to Ethiopia. Ethiopians living abroad in over 50 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, can now send money with a few taps from their phones to over 1,200,000 Bank of Abyssinia accounts and more than 317 new cash pickup locations across Ethiopia – from Woldia to Moyale. WorldRemit has been rapidly expanding in Ethiopia, with transactions from the USA alone growing by over 230% in 2018. The company offers a variety of convenient ways for recipients with or without a bank account to receive money, including bank transfer, cash pickup and mobile money.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Gambia

Gambia’s President lays foundation stone for OMVG substation
The Gambia River Basin Development Organisation’s (OMVG) Energy Project’s Interconnection Component which will house a Substation in Jarra Soma, Lower River Region, is set to address electricity problems in the country. The OMVG is a sub-regional organisation. The organisation consist of the Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal. The OMVG Energy project aims to reinforce regional integration and cooperation by wisely using and exploiting the shared hydroelectric resources in The Gambia, Kayanga-Geba and Koliba-Corubal river basins. Of these substations, two would be in The Gambia, five in Guinea Conakry, four in Guinea-Bissau and four in Senegal. Out of the 1,677 km of the transmission line, 183 km is accorded to the Gambia, 575 in Guinea, 218 km in Guinea-Bissau and 701 km in Senegal.

Source: Energy Mix Report

Ghana

Ogilvy Ghana, Scanad combined for accelerated growth

WPP Scangroup a subsidiary of WPP, a global creative transformation company, has announced the integration of two of its companies, Ogilvy Ghana and Scanad Ghana in line with the group’s strategy of reinforcing its capabilities in key markets across the world for accelerated growth. Reginald Laryea, Chairman of Ogilvy Ghana and Scanad Ghana said: "The only constant in our business is change. As we begin this integration we are confident it's the best thing for our clients, people and business to thrive successfully in our dynamic world." The two businesses will remain operational under the leadership of Akua Owusu-Nartey, Regional Managing Director.

Source: Ghana Web

Ghana

UK Export Finance (UKEF) supports UK firms to develop critical Ghanaian infrastructure

International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox has announced that UK Export Finance (UKEF) will support United Kingdom firms with GBP130-million for three projects in Ghana. Support will be provided to projects that have a direct impact on the country’s infrastructure and economic development while delivering opportunities for British companies. The announcement was made at the latest meeting of the UK Ghana Business Council, a strategic partnership designed to encourage trade between the two countries. GBP70.3-million of the support will go towards a contract for Contracta Construction UK to develop and modernise Kumasi Central Market, a major trading centre in the Ashanti region which is currently visited by up to 800,000 people daily.

Source: Africa News

Guinea

Guinea granted USD50-million to boost electricity access

The World Bank has approved USD50-million of financing to increase access to electricity in Guinea. The project will finance the rehabilitation and expansion of distribution networks in the areas of the Greater Conakry and the cities of Kindia and Forécariah, enabling 90,000 new or improved electricity connections and benefiting more than 600,000 people. It will also pilot public-private partnerships to bring power services to remote areas using solar mini-grids and promote business opportunities for women and the younger generation. The new commitment is a four-year investment project financed by the International Development Association (IDA) with co-financing from the French Development Agency, raising the total amount to USD108.5-million.

Source: Energy Live News

Kenya/Ethiopia

KenGen bags Sh7.6-billion Ethiopia geothermal deal

Kenya’s biggest electricity generator, KenGen has bagged a Sh7.6-billion contract to drill geothermal wells in Ethiopia in a joint bid with Chinese company Shandong Kerui Group. The deal with Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) is a boost to the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed Kenya Electricity Generating Company’s (KenGen) revenue streams. KenGen CEO Rebecca Miano signed the contract with her EEP counterpart Abraham Belay. The project involves drilling as well as rig operation and maintenance of geothermal wells at Aluto, Ethiopia. It will be implemented in two phases. KenGen is supplying about 30% of the component of phase II, which translates to about Sh620-million.

Source: Daily Nation

Kenya

Safaricom rolls out world-first 400G network
Safaricom has announced the deployment of a 400G network link, making its network among the first in the world to commercially deploy the solution. The new 400G link will enable Safaricom to support increasing video consumption alongside demand for higher video quality from both its home and mobile customers. Supported by Huawei, the high capacity link will quadruple the company’s capacity to carry internet traffic over 500 kilometres. The link will achieve a speed of up to 400 Gigabits per second, an upgrade from the previous connection which offered speeds of 100 Gbps. To accommodate its growing network coverage, Safaricom has also laid more than 5,500 kilometres of fibre linking its masts in more than 16 major towns.

Source: African Business Communities

Malawi

New power firm to join market in March

Mulanje Hydro (MHL) plans to start producing 8.2 megawatts (MW) of electricity in March at its Ruo-Ndiza power project in Mulanje district. The company has invested USD16-million in setting up a hydro-electric power project on the Ruo and Ndiza rivers. MHL is one of the energy investors registered in 2017 by the Malawi Investment and Trade Centre (MITC) to bring USD25-million investment through the hydropower project. MHL Managing Director, Ian McKersie, said the first phase of the project would be completed by March 2019 and that they would be supplying the electricity to the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) through the national grid.

Source: The Daily Times

Mauritania/Senegal

Kosmos plans to farm down Mauritania/Senegal stakes
Kosmos Energy plans to farm down its holding in the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim development offshore Mauritania and Senegal. Kosmos, at its Capital Markets Day presentation, said it has had interest from multiple third parties. The company holds a 28% interest on the Mauritania side, a 30% interest on the Senegal side, and 29% in the Tortue unit. Kosmos said it is looking to take its stakes down to around 10%. With the FID taken on Phase 1 of the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim LNG development taken at the end of 2018, partners on the development will soon need to pony up their share of development costs. Following interest from multiple third parties, Kosmos intends to sell down its position to 10%.

Source: Energy Mix Report

Mozambique

CFM investing in new rolling stock
The publicly owned company Mozambique’s Ports and Railways (CFM-Sul) is investing USD37.5-million, from its own funds, to purchase five locomotives and 500 platform wagons to improve cargo handling capacity. An unnamed source from CFM said that the locomotives, which have already arrived in Maputo, have the capacity to pull wagons carrying cargo up to 2,700 tonnes, up from 1,800 tonnes of the equipment currently in use. The new locomotives were imported from the United States, while the wagons were purchased in neighbouring South Africa and are expected to arrive soon.

Source: Club of Mozambique

Mozambique

Firms sign deal to sell 8.1 mtpa LNG from Mozambique block- ONGC

Indian explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp said partners operating a massive offshore block in Mozambique’s Rovuma basin, called Area 1, have signed deals to sell 8.1 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Tokyo Gas and Centrica LNG Co Ltd, a subsidiary of Centrica Plc have jointly signed a deal to buy 2.6 mtpa LNG from the start-up of production until early 2040s, ONGC said in a statement. ONGC said 13-year deals have been signed with trading units of CNOOC and France’s Shell to sell 1.5 mtpa and 2 mtpa of LNG, respectively. A unit of Indian refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd and Indonesia’s Pertamina will buy 1 mtpa LNG each for 15 years and 20 years, respectively. 

Source: Energy Mix Report

Nigeria

Fintech platform TeamApt closes USD5.5-million Series A Round

TeamApt, a Nigerian fintech company that provides digital solutions and payment infrastructure for Africa, has closed on a USD5.5-million Series A round, led by Quantum Capital Partners. The Lagos-based company is a leader in the development of Digital Banking, Digital Business solutions and running Payment Infrastructure for Africa. This announcement will see the company scale more aggressively into additional markets, whilst deploying investment into further product development, talent acquisition and expansion of its internal operations. Since its launch in 2015, TeamApt has focused on its mission to create financial happiness for Africans through technology.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Rwanda

Six satellites that Rwanda will benefit from successfully launched into orbit
OneWeb, a UK based global communications company, has successfully sent its first six initial satellites into low-earth orbit, one of which is expected to provide broadband internet to remote schools in Rwanda. Billionaire Richard Branson of Virgin Group, top managers of Soft Bank of Japan, Airbus leaders, and other several dignitaries, including French ministers were in presence to witness the launch of OneWeb's initial satellites. The rocket that had the six satellites was launched at exactly 23:38 at the Atlantic coast of the French Guiana space centre, a space port mostly used by the European Union.

Source: The New Times

Rwanda/Tanzania

Rwanda, Tanzania tour operators join forces to increase business opportunities

The number of tourists and tourism business opportunities are set to increase in Rwanda and Tanzania thanks to the collaboration between Rwanda Tours and Travel Association (RTTA) and Tanzania Tour Operators Association. The two private operators held a Business-to-Business networking event in Kigali to discuss the opportunities after visiting various tourist sites, such as Volcano National Park with mountain gorillas, kayaking and boat riding on Lake Kivu and canopy walkway in the Nyugwe Forest, as part of the products witnessed. During the event, a digital Tourism B2B Trade Portal with a vision to link the operators in the tourism industry across East Africa was unveiled.

Source: The New Times

São Tomé and Príncipe

Portuguese company plans to produce chickens in São Tomé and Príncipe

Portuguese company Biaut – Automação Industrial is negotiating with the São Tomé and Príncipe authorities to set up a chicken production unit with an annual capacity of 30 tonnes of meat, said the director of the subsidiary. Pedro Garcia, director of Sistema Técnico do Comércio (STC), a company set up in São Tomé and Príncipe by Biaut – Automação Industrial, was in the archipelago’s capital where he met with the Secretary of State for Commerce, Eugénio Graça, and with the Prime Minister, Jorge Bom Jesus. At the end of the audience granted by the prime minister, the director of STC said that the project aims both to satisfy local consumption as well as export, with production in unit terms estimated at 1.6 million chickens per year.

Source: Macau Hub

Tanzania

Tanzania reviewing stance on EPA
Tanzania is reviewing its stance on the East African Community's (EAC) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the European Union, with a view of endorsing the deal, The Citizen reports. Government officials are said to be negotiating with the European Union (EU) before the lapse of the four months the country was allowed by the EAC to resolve its issues. The EPA is a trade deal between the two blocs, which gives EAC products total access to the EU market, with 82.6% of imports from the EU allowed on the EAC market. Negotiations for the EPA were concluded on October 16, 2014, and all EU member states and the EU itself signed it. Only Kenya and Rwanda have signed the deal.

Source: The East African

Tanzania

Italian firms to invest over USD24-million in Tanzania’s leather sector

Two Italian companies have entered Tanzania’s leather sector to take advantage of the large quantities of raw hides and skins produced every year in the country. Toscana Machine Calzature (TMC) and ItalProgetti have signed an agreement with the Prisons Department and the Public Service Social Security Fund to establish two leather factories in Moshi in Kilimanjaro Region. The companies will invest USD24.5-million to construct two leather factories to be managed jointly with Karanga Leather Industries Company Ltd in Karanga Prison. The two factories, one for shoe-making and another for tanneries, will be constructed on 25 acres of land at the industrial area within Karanga Prison, and are set for completion in 16 months.

Source: The East African

Tanzania

Mining licence for Mahenge graphite mine granted
ASX-listed Tanzanian graphite developer Black Rock Mining has announced that its 100%-owned Tanzanian subsidiary Mahenge Resources has been granted a mining licence by the Mining Commission of the Tanzanian Ministry of Minerals. This consists of two contiguous mining licences, ML 00668/2018 and ML 00669/2018, over the Mahenge Graphite Mine development area. The Mining Licences compliment the Environmental Permit that was awarded on 5 September 2018. The project has a JORC compliant Mineral Resource Estimate of 212 m tonnes at 7.8% TGC. It also has reserves of 70 Mt at 8.5% TGC.

Source: Mining Review Africa

Uganda

Japan offers Uganda Shs3-billion to clear clogged city traffic
The Japanese government offered Uganda Shs2.9-billion for a major infrastructure upgrade project expected to ease vehicular traffic flow and reduce snarl-ups in the capital. Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and Mr Kazuhiko Koshikawa, the vice president of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), inked the grant agreement to bankroll installation of traffic light signals at 30 city road intersections. The works will commence in October, officials said. “This means that at least four million people in Uganda will benefit from the project,” Mr Koshikawa said in reference to the city’s estimated day-time population.

Source: Daily Monitor

Uganda

Diamond Trust Bank partners with WorldRemit for digital money transfers to Uganda

Leading digital money transfer service WorldRemit has partnered with Diamond Trust Bank (U) LTD (DTB) for digital money transfers to Uganda. Using the WorldRemit app or website, Ugandans living in over 50 countries can now send money home to their loved ones for collection at 37 new cash pickup locations across Uganda. WorldRemit saves customers time and money, enabling them to send vital funds home in a few taps from their phones without having to visit a brick and mortar agent. Diamond Trust Bank is one of the leading commercial banks in Uganda. It has a strong regional presence in East Africa with over 100 network locations.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Uganda

Ugandan President, Tullow boss agree to deal on capital gains tax
Tullow is set to sell a substantial part of its assets in Uganda to Total E&P Uganda and CNOOC Uganda – a farm-down that attracts capital gains tax. President Yoweri Museveni and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tullow Oil Plc have agreed on a deal that will enable oil company to enjoy a phased payment of capital gains tax accruing from the sale of part of its assets in the Albertine Graben. Tullow Uganda Ltd -a subsidiary of Tullow Oil plc in January 2017 announced the sale of a substantial part of its assets in Uganda to Total E&P Uganda and CNOOC Uganda Ltd in a farm-down that attracts capital gains tax. A further USD50-million of cash consideration will be made and is anticipated to be received when the Final Investment Decision is taken on the development project, possibly mid this year or thereabout. 

Source: Energy Mix Report

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe lithium project SEZ application greenlighted
ASX-listed African lithium developer Prospect Resources advises that Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe's application for SEZ status has been approved. Edwin Kondo, the Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority (ZIMSEZA) CEO has greenlighted the application for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status as approved by ZIMSEZA. Prospect's flagship asset, the Arcadia lithium project, will fall within the SEZ. Prospect Resources MD, Sam Hosack, says that “SEZ status at Arcadia is a substantial milestone for the company as it demonstrates the Zimbabwe Government’s commitment to attracting foreign investment, the project’s significance within Zimbabwe and the opportunity that Arcadia presents to all stakeholders.”

Source: Mining Review Africa

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s first EV to hit the streets before year ends

According to local reports, the country is looking to take major steps in the transition to zero-emissions in a move that may dramatically reduce foreign currency demands and the nations’ fuel import bill. Only one question remains - whether the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) can convince Zimbabweans to come along for the ride. According to reports, the regulator is acquiring an electric vehicle (EV) to promote the technology in the country, in an effort to garner support for the initiative from authorities. Zimbabwe typically consumes in the region of 7.6 million litres of both petrol and diesel per day, and this figure is set to increase unless drastic measures are taken.

Source: ESI Africa



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