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African regulatory and business intelligence | 09 Apr 2019

Africa Business in Brief

African regulatory and business intelligence


Africa

Seedstars announces USD100-million fund to invest in African tech startups

Emerging markets start-up competition Seedstars announced it would launch a USD100-million fund to invest in African startups in collaboration with Paris based First Growth Ventures. The announcement was made by Seedstars World chief investment officer Charlie Graham-Brown at the Seedstars Summit which is being held at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne, Switzerland. “The strategy that we’re developing now and have started working on, is to have a fund per region of around USD100-million to be able to do deals in Series-A and Series-B,” Seedstars World chief financial officer Charlie Graham-Brown announced. The fund in Africa will be Seedstars first such regional fund.

Source: Venture Burn

Africa

Liquid Telecom receives USD180-million investment from CDC Group to expand its fibre footprint

Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, a subsidiary of Econet Global, has announced completion and receipt of an investment of USD180-million investment from CDC Group plc, the UK’s development finance institution. The investment will enable Liquid Telecom to further expand its fibre footprint and to broaden its data centres and cloud services product portfolio across Africa serving wholesale, enterprise and retail customers.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Angola

Total launches full production on Kaombo field in Angola with start-up of second FPSO

Total has started up production on Kaombo Sul, the second Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit of the Kaombo project, located on Block 32, 260kms off the coast of Luanda, in water depths ranging from 1,400 to 2,000 meters. Kaombo Norte, came on stream, Kaombo Sul will add 115,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) and bring the overall production capacity to 230,000 bopd, equivalent to 15% of the country’s production. The full Kaombo development consists of six fields spread over an area of 800 km2. Gengibre, Gindungo and Caril were connected to the Kaombo Norte FPSO which started up last year, while the three fields, Mostarda, Canela and Louro, have now been connected to Kaombo Sul.


Source: Energy Mix Report

Benin/Ivory Coast

GE to help foster economic development in West Africa

GE announced that it has signed two deals to build energy systems in Benin and upgrade three substations in Cote d’Ivoire. The energy company noted in a statement that in Benin 85% of electricity utilised is currently imported from neighbouring countries. GE will design and supply the first Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) in Benin for the Société Béninoise d’Energie Electrique (SBEE) and undertake the rehabilitation of substations and telecommunication infrastructure at the National Distribution Control Center in Cotonou. Under this contract, GE will rehabilitate and expand three 225kV substations in Ferke, Man and Taabo. This project will help improve the electricity supply in the northern, western and central part of Côte d’Ivoire.


Source: ESI Africa

Democratic Republic of Congo

DR Congo and Barrick renew commitment to develop gold mining industry

Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) newly elected President Felix Tshisekedi and Barrick Gold Corporation’s Executive Chairman John Thornton have confirmed their partnership to develop the country’s gold mining industry. Barrick operates Kibali in the DRC, one of the world’s ten largest gold mines, and along with its joint venture partner AngloGold Ashanti is one of the major investors in the country. It has an extensive exploration programme designed to find and develop more world class orebodies in the DRC.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Equatorial Guinea

South Africa, Equatorial Guinea solidify bilateral relations

South Africa and Equatorial Guinea have agreed to strengthen their political, diplomatic and economic relations for the benefit of their people. The two countries, which serve as non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, also committed to promoting peace, security and sustainable development on the continent by advocating the African Union’s Agenda 2063. They further agreed on the need to strengthen South-South cooperation, and inter-African cooperation in particular. These resolutions were announced at the conclusion of President Cyril Ramaphosa's visit to Equatorial Guinea where he held talks with his counterpart President Obiang Nguema Mbasongo.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Equatorial Guinea

Equatorial Guinea concludes deal for Alen Unit gas monetisation project

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons has executed the definitive agreements with the Alen Unit and respective Punta Europa Plant owners to monetise gas from the Alen Unit, located in Blocks O and I offshore Equatorial Guinea. The definitive agreements commit for tolling Alen Unit gas through Alba Plant LLC’s liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) processing plant and Equatorial Guinea LNG’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) production facility, both located in Punta Europa. Marathon Oil is the majority shareholder in both Alba Plant LLC and EG LNG. This agreement will see Sonagas GE, the National Gas Company of Equatorial Guinea stake increased from 25% to 30%. Existing production and processing facilities are already in place at the Alen Platform and in Punta Europa.


Source: ESI Africa

Ethiopia

GE Foundation, Ethiopia government launch Amhara Region Oxygen Centre

The Amhara Regional Government, the Federal Ministry of Health of Ethiopia, the Amhara Regional Health Bureau, the General Electric (GE) Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada have launched of the Amhara Region Oxygen Centre. Located in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, the Amhara Region Oxygen Centre will provide affordable and reliable medical oxygen to hospitals across the Amhara Region, bringing the lifesaving medical treatment within reach of millions of patients. The launch is a milestone of both the Safe Surgery 2020 initiative, which strengthens surgical systems in Ethiopia and the Ethiopian government’s Medical Oxygen and Pulse Oximetry Scale Up Road Map.


Source: Africa Business Communities

Ethiopia

IFC, Customs Commission sign agreement to reform Ethiopia’s customs, trade logistics

The International Finance Communities (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a cooperation agreement with the Ethiopian Customs Commission (ECC) to provide advisory support aimed at supporting the ECC’s efforts to reform the trade logistics landscape of Ethiopia. The agreement provides a framework for advisory support to be implemented in a three-year program in partnership with ECC as well as other public and private sector stakeholders. The time and costs related to import-export are one of the major impediments to Ethiopia’s economic growth, where bureaucratic hurdles, inefficient regulatory framework, and poor coordination between government agencies have been affecting the efficiency of cross-border trade.

Source: African Business Communities

Ghana

Mocoh acquires Engen’s Ghana operations

Mocoh Ghana Limited has acquired 100% shares of Engen Ghana Limited to inject in the Ghanaian Oil Marketing Company industry dynamism to help customers find the right solutions to ever-changing market conditions. The transaction agreement was signed between Engen Holdings (Pty) Limited and Mocoh Ghana Limited and made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra. According to the agreement, Mocoh Ghana an affiliate of Reston Energy, a Ghanaian petroleum company would hold 55% and the Mocoh Group 45% shares. The Mocoh Group, headquartered in Geneva Switzerland, has been operating in Africa for 21 years and is actively involved in the trading, logistics and the distribution of petroleum products across the continent.

Source: Ghana Web

Ghana

Ghana officially exits IMF’s bailout

Ghana is set to officially exit the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Extended Credit Facility (ECF) program at the beginning of April 2019. The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund completed the seventh and eight reviews under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) support arrangement. The completion which was on March 20, made available to Ghana the cumulative amount of Special Drawing Rights (SDR) 132.84 million about USD185.2-million. IMF in a news release last month, stated that “Considering the authorities’ resolved to tackle difficult reforms, the Executive Board also approved the authorities’ request for a waiver of the nonobservance of a few program targets.”

Source: Ghana Web

Kenya

Britam to acquire stake in PE Firm Tiserin Capital

Kenya’s largest insurance company, Britam is in discussions to own part of Tiserin Capital, a Private Equity company focused on African investments. The insurer aims to spread out its investments beyond real estate, stocks, and government securities. Although the exact details on the transaction are not clear, Britam’s board has approved the acquisition and it is set to be the largest investor in the PE firm as per the Business Daily. Tiserin Capital invests in healthcare, technology companies, agri-business, and the food industry. Britam’s CEO Mr. Benson Wairegi said, “We are excited about this new partnership with Tiserin Capital that introduces us directly into the private equity space, an area with considerable potential in the region.”

Source: Kenya Wall Street

Kenya

mPharma to buy Kenya’s second-largest pharmacy chain

MPharma, the six-year-old Ghanaian startup that manages prescription drug inventory for pharmacies and their suppliers, is buying Kenya’s second-largest pharmacy chain, Haltons, in an unprecedented deal for the African startup ecosystem. The transaction, which sees mPharma enter the East Africa regional market for the first time, means the young company will take control of the 20 Haltons stores spilt between Nairobi and Mombasa. The deal, which is still subject to regulatory approval, comes as mPharma works on completing a USD12-million Series B funding round led by 4DX Ventures, an Accra/San Francisco venture capital firm, and Nairobi-based Novastar Ventures.

Source: Liquid Africa

Malawi

Mkango Resources secures EUR7-million investment for Songwe Hill feasibility study

Mkango Resources, the rare earths exploration and development company has secured a EUR7-million investment to fund the completion of its feasibility study at Songwe Hill. The investment is from Talaxis Limited and is currently underway and expected to be completed in 2020. Following completion of the Feasibility Study, Talaxis has an option to acquire a further 26% interest in Songwe Hill by arranging financing for project development including funding the equity component thereof. The main exploration target in the 51% held Phalombe licence is the Songwe Hill rare earths deposit. Further details on the scope and other aspects of the Feasibility Study, and plans for 2019 will be announced in due course.

Source: Mining Review Africa

Mauritius

Air Mauritius to buy 20% stake in airport’s duty-free shops

Air Mauritius Ltd. will acquire a 20% stake in Mauritius Duty Free Paradise Co. Ltd., which runs shops at the nation’s international airport. The acquisition, worth about USD11.4-million, will be paid for by issuing 27 million ordinary Air Mauritius shares to Airports of Mauritius Co. Ltd., which owns the duty-free shops, the Port Louis-based carrier said in a statement on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius website. Air Mauritius, South African Airways, Kenya Airways Plc and RwandAir said last year they were in talks to create an alliance as they face mounting competition. Air Mauritius reported a nine-month loss of USD30.1-million in February.


Source: Liquid Africa

Mozambique

Japanese firm scores on Mozambique LNG project

A Japanese firm has reached an agreement with ExxonMobil and its co-venture partners to supply H-100 gas turbine and compressor packages for the Rovuma LNG Phase 1 project in Mozambique. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, who was selected for the Rovuma LNG project, will be a part of the development of one of the world's largest natural gas liquefaction plants in Mozambique's remote northern area. The project plan is for two liquefied natural gas trains, each expected to produce at least 7.6 million tonnes per annum (MTA). MHI President and CEO Seiji Izumisawa commented: "We are pleased that ExxonMobil and their partners were the first to select MHI's H-100 driven compressor trains for their Rovuma LNG project and anticipate future uses for the flexible turbine design.


Source: ESI Africa

Mozambique

World Bank invests USD148-million to increase access to electricity in five Mozambique provinces

The World Bank has approved an USD82-million grant to increase access to electricity in five of the poorest provinces of Mozambique, including Niassa, Nampula, Zambezia, Cabo Delgado and Sofala. The project is also supported through a USD66-million Multi-Donor Trust Fund administered by the World Bank. With the potential to benefit about 1.5 million people, this financing will help with the implementation of the Government of Mozambique’s (GoM) Energy for All project, also known as ProEnergia. This operation is part of a coordinated effort by the donor community to implement the NES and is in full alignment with the Bank’s ongoing 2017-21 strategy, known as Country Partnership Framework (CPF), for Mozambique.


Source: African Business Communities

Mozambique

Millennium bcp opens EUR20-million Portugal-Mozambique financing line

Millennium bcp, together with Millennium bim, have made available a EUR20-million financing line to boost trade between Portugal and Mozambique, the bank announced. In a statement, the Portuguese bank reports that the Millennium Portugal-Mozambique Line provides access to financing for Portuguese companies in exports that may benefit from the state Insurance on Export Credits guarantee managed by COSEC. “This line aims to foster international business between the two countries, providing Millennium bcp and Millennium bim customers a privileged channel for the completion of their businesses,” the statement said.

Source: Club of Mozambique

Nigeria

Jiji acquires OLX in Nigeria, others

Jiji, a fast-growing online classifieds marketplace, has acquired OLX in Nigeria and four other African countries. As part of the deal, the OLX users in Nigeria would be directed to Jiji marketplace in a transaction backed by one of Jiji’s cornerstone investors, Digital Spring Ventures, a statement issued by Naspers on the acquisition said. According to the statement, both companies have also reached an agreement to acquire the other OLX businesses in Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, subject to regulatory approvals. After concluding the deal, it said all users of the sell-and-buy classifieds websites of OLX Nigeria, OLX Ghana, OLX Kenya, OLX Tanzania, and OLX Uganda would be redirected to Jiji.

Source: Punch Nigeria

Nigeria

Kudi raises USD5-million to expand bank agent network in Nigeria

Nigerian bank agent network Kudi aims to grow and offer more financial services to underserved Africans following a USD5-million Series A investment round, reports Jane Connolly. The Series A was led by Partech and joined by Michael Seibel, CEO YC. Existing investors Khosla Ventures and YC also participated. In Nigeria, 80% of the population is paid cash in hand, so Kudi’s network of bank agents bridges the gap between the cash economy and digital solutions. Kudi provides access to basic financial services such as money transfers, bill payments and cash withdrawals. The company has built a network of more than 4,500 merchants since its launch in January 2017 and processes over USD30-million in payments each month.

Source: Liquid Africa

Rwanda

Chinese firm invests USD214-million in Nyabarongo hydro power plant, Rwanda

Rwanda’s efforts to achieve universal access to electricity by 2024 have received a boost after a deal that will see China’s SynoHydro build the Nyabarongo-II Hydropower Plant. The 43.5MW plant is expected to be in operation in five years’ time at a cost of USD214-million. According to Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL), once complete, the project will contribute to over 11.5% of the total electricity on the national grid. Théoneste Higaniro, Head of Power Generation Projects Implementation at EDCL, explained that in addition to this amount, the Government will avail more money for expropriations and project management fees. EDCL and SynoHydro Ltd signed an amendment to their June 6, 2018 agreement on the design, supply, construction, installation and commissioning of the plant.

Source: Energy Mix Report

Tanzania

Tanzania and Egypt mean business with new meat plant

Tanzania and Egypt are set to construct a mega meat processing plant in the country with a slaughtering capacity of 1,500 cows and 4,500 goats per day. The plant `Ruvu Integrated Industry`, will provide a relief to livestock keepers since they will sell their livestock at better prices. Upon its completion, the industry is expected to create 5,000 employment opportunities. The two sides through the National Ranching Company Limited (NARCO) and NECAI of Egypt signed an agreement for the construction of the plant to be situated at Ruvu ranch, Bagamoyo District in the Coastal Region. The industry is also expected to produce leather products such as shoes, belts, handbags and livestock food.

Source: The Exchange

Tanzania

Tanzania to begin talks with majors on USD30-billion Deepwater LNG Project

Tanzania’s government will start this month talks with major international firms to define the commercial terms for a deepwater liquefied natural gas (LNG) project off the coast of the east African country expected to be worth USD30-billion. Negotiations are set to begin this month and to conclude by September, The East African news outlet quoted Tanzania’s Energy Ministry as saying. Major international companies have been exploring for gas offshore Tanzania and have found sufficient quantities for a potential LNG plant. The development of such project, however, has been stalled due to the lack of a host government agreement (HGA) setting the legal, fiscal, and commercial terms of the project.

Source: Oil Price

Tanzania

Shanta Gold to fund gold mining in Tanzania

Shanta Gold Limited, the East Africa-focused gold producer, developer and explorer, has provided an update on its plans to finance the Singida Gold Mining Project in the Singida Region that lies in central Tanzania. The company is to float its Singida gold mining asset in Tanzania on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE). The gold miner wants to raise USD20-million to develop the Singida gold mine, with the Initial Public Offering (IPO) expected to take between 6-12 months. The funds will be used for key infrastructure requirements in place including water, grid power, resettlement and an operating camp.

Source: The Exchange

West Africa

Maersk supply’s vessel starts DeepOcean job in West Africa

Offshore services provider DeepOcean has hired a subsea construction vessel from Danish offshore shipowner Maersk Supply Service (MSS). Maersk Supply said that the subsea construction vessel (SCV) Maersk Forza began a two-year firm contract with DeepOcean. According to the company, the contract will be for general subsea support services primarily in West Africa and the North Sea. MSS added that this was the third contract that Maersk Forza secured with DeepOcean over the last year supporting subsea operations in both Europe and Africa.

Source: Energy Mix Report

Zambia

Mini-grid project to provide electricity to a Zambian village

French multinational utility company ENGIE has inaugurated its first PowerCorner in the Zambian village of Chitandika, located in the East of Zambia, where about 1500 inhabitants were previously deprived access to electricity. With the installation of this first PowerCorner, the company noted it confirms its progress in off-grid renewable energy solutions to improve electricity access in Africa. This mini-grid provides energy to households and local businesses and supports public services such as the Rural Health Centre and two schools. The PowerCorner will foster economic development by enabling other electrical productive uses (such as water pumping for agriculture use or carpentry and welding machines) and by triggering business opportunities for entrepreneurs in the village.


Source: ESI Africa

Zimbabwe

Julphar announces investment in Zimbabwe healthcare sector

Julphar, one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturers in the Middle East and Africa, has pledged its support to the Zimbabwean government to help boost the country's healthcare sector, days after a devastating tropical storm battered the country. The announcement was made during a visit by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) pharmaceutical company to the African nation as part of a UAE delegation last month. Accompanied by representatives from Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the delegation toured Harare and met with Zimbabwe president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, as well as the country's Health and Childcare Minister, Obadiah Moyo.


Source: Africa Business Communities