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Africa Business in Brief


17 Mar 2019


AfDB says Portugal making available EUR400-million for Portuguese-speaking African countries

The AfDB’s Vice President for Corporate Services and Human Resources said that the bank has already made available EUR400-million within the framework of the Lusophone Compact for the Development of Portuguese-speaking African Countries. That amount will go to 25 projects already presented by the Office of Business Support of the Confederation of Economic Associations, in the areas of education, tourism, energy, agriculture and infrastructure. “The bank is promoting, with the five Portuguese-speaking African countries, Equatorial Guinea and Portugal, a new platform for channelling investments in private and public-private partnership structuring projects,” vice president of the African Development Bank, Mateus Magala said.

Source: Club of Mozambique


UK government augment funding for African energy projects

The United Kingdom (UK) Minister for Africa, Harriett Baldwin, has announced new funding to give more people and companies across Africa access to affordable, clean energy. This new funding will see GBP30-million added to the Transforming Energy Access programme, taking total UK investment to GBP100-million, and allowing it to continue until 2024. The funding will help fund technologies such as mini-grids, and solar and bioenergy initiatives. This aid, in partnership with the African Development Bank’s Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa and the World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme, will increase the numbers of green mini-grids in African countries. It will also ensure that mini-grids are embedded into the wider energy network.

Source: ESI Africa


World Bank grants USD1-billion loan to Angola

The World Bank will grant Angola a USD1-billion loan for direct support to the State Budget, along with social protection and water supply projects, said the World Bank’s vice president for Africa. Hafez Ghanem was received in Luanda by Angolan President João Lourenço, with whom he defined the World Bank’s priorities in helping Angola’s development agenda, according to Angolan state news agency Angop. Angolan Finance Minister Archer Mangueira, who was present at the audience given to the World Bank’s vice president for Africa, stressed the importance of the partnership with the institution, calling it “very valuable.”

Source: Macau Hub


Eni announces a major oil discovery off Angola

Eni announces major oil discovery in Block 15/06, in the Agogo exploration prospect, in Angola’s deep water. The new discovery is estimated to contain between 450 and 650 million barrels of light oil in place with further upside. The Agogo-1 NFW well, which has led to the discovery, is located approximately 180 kilometers off the coast and about 20 kilometers west from the N’Goma FPSO. Agogo-1 NFW proved a single oil column of about 203 meters with 120 meters of net pay of high-quality oil (31° API) contained in subsalt diapirs setting in Lower Miocene sandstones with excellent petrophysical properties. The data acquired in Agogo-1 NFW indicate a production capacity of more than 20,000 barrels of oil per day.

Source: Energy Mix Report


United Oil & Gas signs option agreement with Elephant Oil to farm in to Block B onshore Benin

United Oil & Gas has signed an option agreement with Elephant Oil to farm into the Block B onshore acreage in Bénin, potentially taking a 20% interest in the production sharing agreement (‘PSC’). The Bénin Onshore Block B is located in the Dahomey Embayment (Coastal Basin) and covers an area of 4,590 sq km (approx. 1.1 million acres). The Block is located to the west of Bénin’s capital Cotonou continuing to the Togo border. The Dahomey Embayment of onshore Benin is a frontier area, with no wells drilled in it to date. However, the licence is surrounded by prolific hydrocarbon producing regions, and there are excellent positive indications of a working petroleum system.

Source: Energy Mix Report


World Bank to provide USD730.93-million by 2023 to support local projects

The World Bank will provide USD730.93-million to Benin, Kochikpa Olodo, operations analyst at the World Bank, indicated in an interview with Xinhua. The official indicates that apart from the USD730.93-million, a USD300 000 trust fund will also be established in the coming five years to fund twelve projects in three key areas. These sectors are a structural transformation for competitiveness and productivity, investments in the human capital as well as resilience building and reduced vulnerability to climate change. These funds are aimed at improving the country’s agricultural productivity and diversify its exports as well as boosting its energy production and private investments.

Source: Ecofin Agency

Burkina Faso

FCFA38-billion for energy and agriculture

The Burkinabe government and the French Development Agency (AFD) signed three financing agreements in Ouagadougou. With a total amount of about FCFA38-billion to finance the energy and agriculture sectors. The financing was signed by the Burkinabè government through the Minister of Economy, Finance and Development, Lassané Kaboré and the director of AFD, Tanguy Denieul. The first is related to the regional electricity interconnection project "Northern Dorsal Project". The project envisages the construction of 381 km of very high voltage line (330kV) and 24 km of 225 kV line connecting the Nigerian border to the transformation substation of Ouaga-East and ensuring the connection Ouaga-east, Ouaga South-East and the connection to the Ouaga-Bolgatanga line.

Source: aOuaga


OPIC advances first financing solar project in Chad

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the United States Government’s development finance institution, has committed USD10-million to support the introduction of off-grid solar kits and appliances in Chad. OPIC’s loan will help FinLux Ellen Sarl distribute solar kits and appliances to individuals, schools, health clinics and small businesses in Chad, providing them with an affordable source of reliable electricity. The project is the 33rd OPIC has committed under the U.S. Power Africa initiative and the first time OPIC has ever committed financing to a project in Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world. Last year, Chad ranked 186 out of 189 on the Human Development Index.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Eswatini set to launch EUR1.2-million trade hub targeting MSMEs

Eswatini is set to launch the construction of a trade hub and private sector support project in Manzini town. About EUR1.2-million provided by the European Union through the COMESA Regional Integration Support Mechanism (RISM) will be used to finance this project. The signing of the Financing Agreement will pave the way for the commencement of construction of the project known as The Manzini Trade Hub and Private Sector Support. The overall objective of the project is to improve the production, trading and investment environment for the private sector in the Kingdom through the construction of phase 1 of the Trade Hub.

Source: African Business Communities


Ethiopia, France sign cooperation agreements to strengthen ties

Ethiopia and France signed three cooperation agreements to strengthen their relations. Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed and President Macron presided over the signing of cooperation agreements between the two countries. Engineer Aisha Mohammed Minister of Defence signed the defense cooperation agreement which covers training, capacity building and a strategic level exchanges. Similarly, Ahmed Shide, Minister of Finance signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the promotion of French investments in Ethiopia, the joint declaration on the financial support to the economic transition and the joint declaration on the heritage cooperation.

Source: Fana Broadcasting Corporate


French company to build malt house with EUR70-million

A foundation for a malt house to be built with EUR70-million at Bole-Lemi Industrial Park was laid. Soufflet Group Company CEO, Jean Michel Soufflet said on the occasion the plant covers 10 hectares of land that is found in a strategic location in the outskirts of Addis Ababa, which is very close to barely growing areas. He added that the company will begin operation in 2020. According to him, as the supply of local malt is not enough to meet the demand, Soufflet Malt Ethiopia will support 15,000 farmers to produce 30,000 tonnes of barley for malting in 2019, and will be working with 40,000 farmers by 2020 to produce 80,000 tonnes of barley. The malt house construction is going to create job opportunities for 300 job seekers, it was learned.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency


Fourth +50 carat diamond recovered at Mothae

ASX-listed Lucapa Diamond and the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho have announced the recovery of an 83.9 carat diamond at Mothae. The diamond was recovered from the new 1.1 Mtpa Mothae kimberlite plant in Lesotho. The 83.9 carat stone is the fourth +50 carat diamond recovered to date from the new Mothae mine, following the recovery of a 51.2 carat diamond in February and Specials weighing 78 carats and 89 carats from the 2018 bulk sampling program. While the 83.9 carat diamond was not gem-quality, it continues to underline the large-stone nature of the Mothae kimberlite resource. Lucapa MD Stephen Wetherall says Lucapa and the Government of the Kingdom of Lesotho continue to be impressed by the Special recoveries from Mothae.

Source: Mining Review Africa


CEB FiberNet picks ECI telecom to design and deploy fiber-optic backbone network in Mauritius

ECI, a global provider of ELASTIC Network solutions for service providers, critical infrastructures and data center operators, has been awarded a contract by CEB FiberNet Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Central Electricity Board in Mauritius, to expand and leverage its existing fiber optic network coverage to provide advanced telecom services and connectivity to the country as a whole and to realise the country's vision of a Digital 2030. With expanded capabilities, CEB FiberNet is able to provide customers with better quality of service including coverage, voice quality, connectivity and network resilience. As Mauritius continues to expand its economy, growth of the financial sector and information and communication technology have helped attract substantial investment from local and foreign investors.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Heineken Group opens brewery in Mozambique

The President of Mozambique inaugurated the Heineken Mozambique brewery, involving an investment of USD100-million and construction of which began in December 2017, the Heineken group said in a statement. The plant, located in Bobole, Marracuene district, has a production capacity of 800,000 hectolitres of beer per year. At the ceremony to lay the first stone, Heineken International’s director general for Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe, Boudewijn Haarsma, expressed the group’s enthusiasm for starting to produce in Mozambique, a country which he said had promising long term prospects. “With our extensive experience and business in Africa, we also aim to be partners for Mozambique’s economic growth, as we are in the rest of the continent,” said Haarsma.

Source: Macau Hub


Triton signs MoU for Ancuabe development

Graphite developer Triton Minerals has struck a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China’s Qingdao Jinhui Graphite Company that could result in the development of the Ancuabe graphite project, in Mozambique. The two companies will now start technical, legal and commercial due diligence and continue negotiations to execute a binding agreement within the next six months. It was envisaged that the binding agreements would include a direct project-level investment of up to 10% of the Ancuabe project, financing support through concessional debt equipment financing facilities, the offtake of up to 15 000 t/y of graphite concentrate from Ancuabe.

Source: Club of Mozambique


Eni farms out to Qatar Petroleum a 25.5% participating interest in block A5-A offshore Mozambique

Eni and Qatar Petroleum signed a farm out agreement to enable Qatar Petroleum to acquire a 25.5% participating interest in Block A5-A, offshore Mozambique. The agreement is subject to the authorisation by the Mozambican authorities. Block A5-A, located in the deep waters of the Northern Zambezi Basin, approximately 1,500 km north-east of the capital Maputo, was awarded to Eni following the 5th competitive Licensing Round launched by the Republic of Mozambique while the Exploration and Production Concession Contract were signed in October 2018. It extends over an area of 5,133 km2 in water depth between 300 and 1,800 meters, in a completely unexplored zone in front of the town of Angoche.

Source: Club of Mozambique


Nigeria's Access Bank gets USD162.5-million loan to support local business

Nigeria’s Access Bank said it has signed a USD162.5-million subordinated syndicated loan which it will use to help support local businesses. Difficulty securing financing is a major hindrance to the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises in Africa’s most populous nation. “Specific attention will be paid to strengthen micro, small and medium-sized enterprises as many have been held back due to a lack of access to finance,” Access Chief Executive Herbert Wigwe said. The commercial bank said in a statement that the facility will enable it to implement its 5-year strategy focused on improving its retail banking offering while creating jobs in the Nigerian economy.

Source: Reuters


Nigeria, India explore new investment areas to improve USD12-billion yearly ties

Nigeria and India are working on ways to enhance the USD12-billion yearly bilateral trade between both countries in a way that would focus on investment. Receiving the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Shri Abhav Thakur, in his office, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah in a statement, lauded the relationship between Nigeria and India but said it has become necessary to expand it beyond trade for increased investment. Recalling the fundamental co-operation between both countries and their common heritage in the Commonwealth of Nations, he said Nigeria is restructuring her economy and bilateral relationships should reflect same.

Source: The Guardian


Dangote signs gas supply treaty

Dangote Fertilizer Limited, a subsidiary of Dangote, has entered into a long-term agreement with Chevron Nigeria Limited for the delivery of natural gas from Chevron’s supply portfolio to the fertiliser plant, which is expected to start operations soon. A joint statement explained that the contract, under the gas sale and aggregation agreement is part of the international oil company’s gas obligation to the domestic market through Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria Limited (GACN). Also speaking at the signing ceremony, Jeffrey Ewing; Managing Director/CEO of GACN said the company is looking forward to having a long-term relationship with Chevron Nigeria Limited as well as synergies in other upstream and wider areas of operations in the oil and gas sector.

Source: ESI Africa


Vetiva, CFAL, AGFWA partner to finance green energy projects in Nigeria

Vetiva Capital Management Limited has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Climate Finance Advisory Limited (CFAL) and the African Guarantee Fund West Africa (AGFWA) on the Green Energy Fund (GEF) Programme. The programme seeks to leverage available public and private sector credit funds to facilitate access to, and flow of, flexible funding/finance to eco-friendly energy projects. The fund will focus on bankable, commercially viable and socially responsible renewable / clean energy generation and distribution. Speaking on the agreement, Group Executive Director at Vetiva, Mr. Damilola Ajayi, said: “The signing of this MoU is another important step in facilitating a flow of funding towards bankable, commercially viable and environmentally friendly energy projects in Nigeria and, indeed, the rest of Africa.

Source: Energy Mix Report

Nigeria/Sao Tome and Principe

Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe and Total sign oil PS

Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe and Total SA signed an oil production sharing contract according to a joint statement. “Nigeria and Sao Tome and Principe through their joint oil zone organization have signed a production sharing contract with Total E&P (Exploration and Production) Nigeria Limited that will prospect for oil in three blocks,” the statement said. Nicholas Terraz, the managing director of Total E&P, said the company would take on 100% of the financing but may seek partners as discoveries are made. The estimated reserves of the blocks – 7, 8 and 11 – were not disclosed, but Total will be the first to do seismic studies, the statement said.

Source: Energy Mix Report


Rwf100-billion earmarked for water dam project in drought-prone eastern Rwanda

Rwanda Water and Forest Authority (Rwfa) has started construction of Muvumba multipurpose dam worth Rwf100-billion that will boost agriculture and supply hydro- electricity power to the drought-prone Nyagatare district in Eastern Province. According to Rwfa officials, the dam will produce 35 million cubic meters of water daily upon completion. Construction works for the first phase will start in Karama and Rukomo sectors – producing enough water with capacity to irrigate 7380 hectares. The dam will also supply about 16 water reservoirs, 8 existing valley dams and other eight new reservoirs also to be constructed in Nyagatare. Out of 1.5 million hectares, 63% of it (600,000 ha) need urgent irrigation mechanization plans.

Source: KT Press

Sierra Leone

Solar mini-grids to benefit over 20 localities in Sierra Leone

Off-grid renewable energy developer, Winch Energy has signed a contract with the Ministry of Energy in Sierra Leone to provide electricity to 24 towns and villages through solar mini-grids as part of a public-private partnership project. The Rural Renewable Energy Project (RREP) is supported by UK aid grant funding and implemented by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). The first 12 mini-grids have already been installed and company aims to make these operational by June 2019 with over 6,000 people set to benefit from a direct connection to the mini-grids in the first phase of the project. An additional 12 larger mini-grids will be installed and operated by Winch Energy starting Q4 2019, providing direct electricity connections to an additional 24,000 people.

Source: ESI Africa


Egypt to supply Sudan with electricity

Egypt will be ready to deliver electricity via the Toshka substation to Sudan by the end of March, with a maximum of 40 megawatts. The announcement came after a meeting between Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy Mohamed Shaker and Minister of Supply and Internal Trade Ali Moselhi, to follow up on electricity interconnection procedures with Sudan. In a Shaker said that Egypt will become a hub for the transfer and exchange of energy between the continents of Africa, Asia and Europe. He noted that there is a connection with Jordan with capabilities of up to 450 megawatts and with Libya with capabilities of up to 200 megawatts

Source: AL Monitor


Tanzania, Malawi launch joint commission on development of Songwe River Basin

Tanzania and Malawi launched a joint commission on Songwe River Basin aimed at running irrigation and power generation projects worth USD829-million. The commission was launched in Kyela district in the southern highland region of Mbeya by Tanzanian Deputy Minister for Water and Irrigation Jumaa Aweso and Malawian Minister for Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Joseph Mwanamvekha. The commission will oversee implementation of various projects along the river basin, including construction of dams for hydropower generation and irrigation covering over 6,000 hectares on both sides, the statement said. The two countries will seek financial support from development partners for the implementation of projects in the basin.

Source: Xinhua Net


Tanzania relaxes protectionist regulations in mining sector

Tanzania has relaxed the mining sector regulations that require local companies to own controlling stake in multinationals. Once seen as too ambitious, the Mining Sector Regulations 2018 required Tanzanian companies to have at least 51% stake in mining firms while multinationals were to partner with their locally owned institutions. The regulations and the Mining Act amendments, which were part of mineral sector reforms, were meant to give the government a bigger share of the mining sector pie. Additionally, they sought to boost the participation of Tanzanian nationals and firms in multinationals’ operations.

Source: The East African


NEMC has approved Stiegler’s Gorge hydropower project in Tanzania

The National Environmental Management Council (Nemc) gave the thumbs up to the development of the Stiegler’s Gorge project, the agency’s director general, Mr Samwel Gwamaka has said. “Being the institution responsible for management of our environment, we ensured all environment and social impact assessments were made before this project was allowed to progress. Its implementation will not harm the environment,” assured Mr Gwamaka. An Egyptian contractor who won the tender for the project is mobilising to start work of the USD3.6-billion project. Nemc officials, he said, will make frequent visits to the project to ensure environmental compliance, noting that the project has great significance to Tanzania’s economic growth.

Source: Energy Mix Report