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Africa Business in Brief


06 May 2019

Central Africa

ECA, CEMAC partner to boost economies of Central Africa region

The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC) have laid the foundation for close cooperation to drive economic diversification, industrialisation and specialisation in regional value chains, the active involvement of the Central African region in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and macro-economic stabilisation in the sub-region. In a draft addendum to a Memorandum of Understanding (dated 2005) entered into following a joint professional retreat, organised in Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), the two institutions also agreed to make the “Douala Consensus” a reference framework to support CEMAC’s work on economic diversification and industrialisation.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Democratic Republic of Congo

Alphamin commences with hot commissioning at Bisie

TSXV-listed tin-focused mining company Alphamin Resources Corp. has commenced hot commissioning at its Bisie tin project. Construction of the mine, situated in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), was completed in the first quarter of 2019. Wet commissioning, whereby the plant runs on water, was completed. Hot commissioning, which involves feeding the plant with the material, checking instrumentation calibration, process flows and individual equipment throughput. The hot commissioning which builds up to instantaneous design throughput of 50 tph into the jigging section and 8 tph into the gravity concentration section is expected to be complete soon. Following the completion of hot commissioning, Alphamin will enter the final commissioning phase of product optimisation.

Source: Mining Review Africa


Ethiopia, China sign agreement to partner on investments in mega power projects

Ethiopia and China have signed a partnership agreement to invest in energy transmission and distribution lines for the nation’s mega projects. The project will build power transmission and distribution lines to 16 industrial parks, part of the Meqelle to Djibouti railway line and to other cities in the country. The agreement was signed as part of the second Belt & Road Forum for International Cooperation held in Beijing, China. In this partnership that involves USD1.8 billion in investment, State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), will be holding a majority share, 80pc, while the remaining interest will be held by Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP), according to a source close to the case. The plan also calls for revenue sharing between the two partners.

Source: Energy Mix Report


Euro Cable Ethiopia set to triple production

Euro Cable Private Limited Company, a joint venture between Ethiopian and Turkish, inaugurated a new factory that triples its existing electric cable production capacity. The facility, located in Gelan, Oromia Regional State, has a covered area of 10,500 meter square in a compound of 20,000 meter square. Euro Cable PLC, a joint Ethio-Turkish venture, was the first private enterprise to start manufacturing electrical cables in Ethiopia, the company said in its press statement. The venture began with a starting capital of approximately USD5.5-million, and this latest major expansion will bring the estimated market value of its investments to over USD40-million.

Source: New Business Ethiopia


Aker Energy completes appraisal drilling campaign offshore Ghana, continues work on PDO

Aker Energy Ghana, as the operator of the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) block, announces that is has concluded its appraisal drilling campaign offshore Ghana. The Company is currently working on a revised Plan for Development and Operations (PDO), following scheduled feedback from Ghanaian authorities. “Based on close collaboration with Ghanaian authorities, regulators and our license partners, Aker Energy submitted an application for approval of a comprehensive development plan with the objective of maximising oil recovery in the DWT/CTP area and ultimately unlocking significant potential value for the People of Ghana,’’ says Jan Arve Haugan, CEO of Aker Energy.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Ivory Coast

MainOne announces the extension of its submarine optical cable

During its general annual meeting in Côte d’Ivoire, MainOne announced the extension of its submarine optical cable and the opening of its data centre in the country in October 2019. These announcements were made by Kazeem Oladepo, Business Executive for MainOne French-speaking countries in the West African region and in Ghana. Once the extension is realised, the submarine cable should facilitate inter-regional connectivity in West Africa and boost the region’s economy. According to MainOne, the submarine cable and the data centre will contribute to the development of the broadband connection thanks to the affordable digital services they will offer.

Source: Ecofin Agency

Ivory Coast

French, Indian companies win contract for EUR300-million drinking water projects

French and Indian companies, Eiffage and Infra International, have been awarded a EUR300-million contract for the supply of drinking water in several regions of Ivory Coast. The West African nation plans to construct 6,000 boreholes of drinking water in several localities of the country. The EUR300-million contract with Eiffage and Infra International is expected to provide 4,000 boreholes of drinking water. China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC) has also been awarded a contract for the implementation of several drinking water supply projects across the country for about EUR97.5-million. With a total production capacity of 92,000 m3/day, these units will supply 18 towns in 17 regions.

Source: North Africa Post


Rai-owned Menengai buys water bottling company Aquamist

Rai family-owned Menengai Group is set to acquire water bottler and beverages firm Aquamist, giving it a footprint in the business. The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has given its nod to the proposed transaction that will see Menengai acquire the entire issued share capital of Aquamist through Aquapani Limited. “Premised on the fact that the transaction is unlikely to raise negative competition or public interest concerns, the Authority approved the proposed acquisition of 100% of the issued shares in Aquamist Limited by Aquapani Limited,” CAK said in a statement. Menengai formed Aquapani as wholly-owned subsidiary solely for this deal whose completion will also hand the group a stake in the increasingly lucrative juices and other non-alcoholic drinks business.

Source: Business Daily


Mkango Resources secures USD2-million for exploration

Mkango Resources has entered into a non-binding Heads of Terms Agreement with MetalNRG whereby MetalNRG will earn up to a 75% interest in the Thambani exclusive prospecting licence in Malawi, by spending up to USD2-million on exploration. The terms of the agreement outline that the parties will enter into a Binding Definitive Agreement. MetalNRG must spend USD500,000 on exploration within the Thambani licence within 12 months of the date of the Definitive Agreement, including a drilling programme totalling approximately 1500 m (the “Initial Workplan”). The completion of this Initial Workplan shall entitle MetalNRG to a 25% economic interest in the Thambani Licence, with such interest limited to uranium only.

Source: Mining Review Africa


Chevron acquires shares of Anadarko for LNG project in Mozambique

Global energy corporation Chevron announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Anadarko in a stock and cash transaction valued at USD33-billion, or USD65 per share. According to local media, the Mozambican National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH), Omar Mitha, assured the shareholders that the sale of shares will not change the dynamics of the projects to exploiting liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the Rovuma Basin, north of Mozambique. Meanwhile, Chevron’s chairman and CEO, Michael Wirth, said: “The combination of Anadarko’s premier, high-quality assets with our advantaged portfolio strengthens our leading position in the Permian, builds on our deepwater Gulf of Mexico capabilities and will grow our LNG business.”

Source: ESI Africa


ExxonMobil acquires more exploration acreage offshore Namibia

ExxonMobil said it will increase its exploration acreage in Namibia with the addition of approximately 7 million net acres (28,000 square kilometers) following the signing of an agreement with the government of Namibia and the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR) for blocks 1710 and 1810, and farm-in agreements with NAMCOR for blocks 1711 and 1811A. The blocks extend from the shoreline to about 135 miles (215 kilometers) offshore Namibia in water depths up to 13,000 feet (4,000 meters). ExxonMobil plans to begin exploration activities in 2019, including the acquisition of seismic data and analysis. ExxonMobil will operate blocks 1710 and 1810 and hold a 90% interest; NAMCOR will hold a 10% interest.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Nigeria, UK agree on regulations to deepen insurance market, expand digital economy

Nigeria and the United Kingdom (UK) have agreed to fast-track key regulations to deepen the insurance market and expand the digital economy. Also, both governments agreed to explore Naira-denominated financial instruments to facilitate British brands positioning and investments in Nigeria. These are some of the resolutions by Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah and his UK counterpart and Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, at the First joint Economic Development Forum (EDF) held in Abuja.

Source: Premium Times Nigeria


Transcorp Consortium wins bid for Afam Power

The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) declared Transcorp Power Consortium as the winner of the financial bid for the privatisation of Afam Power Plc. The chairman of the technical committee of the NCP, M.K. Ahmed, announced Transcorp Consortium the winner, with an offer of NGN105.3-billion. It beat Diamond Stripes which placed an offer of NGN102.4-billion to the runner up spot. The Chief Executive Officer, Economic Associates, Ayo Teriba, who represented the NCP Chairman, said the first runner up bidder was also the reserve bidder “in case the winner fails to meet the payment deadline.” Quest Electricity, which was the sole bidder for Yola Electricity Distribution Company (YAEDC), emerged winner of the bid with an offer of NGN19-billion.

Source: Energy Mix Report


Sonatel acquires Gambia’s Xoom Wireless

Sonatel has announced that it has entered into an agreement for a 91.6% acquisition of XOOM Wireless, which holds an Internet Service Provider (ISP) license in The Gambia. The acquisition is in partnership with TERANGA Capital, which will take a minority stake in the company's capital. Sonatel is consolidating its leading position in the telecommunications sector in West Africa, thanks in particular to the external growth strategy implemented for several years. The planned investments over the next few years in The Gambia will allow people to benefit from the expertise and dynamism of the Sonatel and Orange Groups in terms of innovation and development of the digital ecosystem. The agreements obtained are subject to approval by the Gambian authorities.

Source: Africa Business Communities


UK invests in renewable energy in Somaliland to address high costs of electricity

The UK-funded Energy Security and Resource Efficiency in Somaliland (ESRES) programme is giving more people across Somaliland access to affordable, clean and renewable energy. Through a phased approach, ESRES in partnership with Somaliland’s Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MoEM) is addressing the high costs of electricity in Somaliland. The diversification of Somaliland’s energy mix and the strengthening of energy security will help address the high costs of electricity which is a significant barrier to growth. During ESRES Phase 1, the programme supported the Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MoEM) to develop a policy and regulatory framework and implemented a pilot to establish six hybrid mini-grids that are now fully operational across Somaliland.

Source: Africa Business Communities

South Sudan

Scatec Solar, IOM invest in solar power in Malakal

Scatec Solar, a Norwegian sustainable energy company, is working with International Organization for Migration, IMO, to harness solar energy to power a significant part of its ongoing joint humanitarian operations in Malakal, South Sudan, by early next year. Scatec Solar has selected South Sudan among the first of its locations to pilot projects in humanitarian settings. The company also plans to adapt its business model to ensure the project is amenable to the unique context of humanitarian interventions, which normally are funded annually in response to sudden emergencies. Scatec Solar develops, builds and owns solar power plants in emerging markets where the impact potential for solar power is high, including in Egypt, Mozambique, Rwanda and South Africa to name a few.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Abu Dhabi fund set to deposit USD250-million in Sudan central bank

Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the national entity for international development aid, has announced its plan to deposit USD250-million into the Central Bank of Sudan (CBOS) to secure increased liquidity and strengthen the financial position of the African country. The deposit falls within the framework of the newly announced USD3-billion UAE-Saudi Arabia joint aid package for Sudan that has committed USD500-million to the central banks, evenly split between the two countries. Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, director general of ADFD, and Amna Mirgani Hassan, general manager of the Capital Markets Department of CBOS, signed an agreement confirming the deposit at the fund’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

Source: Arabian Business


Tanzania approves USD309-million for Stiegler’s Gorge contractor

The Tanzanian government continues to provide support for the development of the Stiegler's Gorge Hydropower project on Rufiji River, with the latest being the issuance of an advance payment totalling USD309-million to Egyptian company- Arab contractors to enable the construction of the project. According to the Citizen, the advance payment forms part of 15% of the total cost of the project, furthermore, clause 14.2 of the signed contract stated that the 15% advancement payment has been portioned at 30% local and 70% foreign currency (US Dollar). Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy Dr Hamis Mwinyimvua elaborated: "What is being paid is 70% foreign portion of the advance payment. The local portion (30%) will be settled once contractual processes are finalised by the contractor."

Source: ESI Africa


Kibo gets the nod from Tanesco to develop MCPP

Kibo Energy has received formal notice from TANESCO inviting it to develop the Mbeya Coal to Power Project for the export market. This enables Kibo to engage with the African Power Pools regarding off-take agreements. The Mbeya Coal to Power Project (MCPP) remains a bankable project, fully developed up to bankable feasibility stage, with a potential generating capacity of 1000 MW. The existing acute undersupply of power within Tanzania and the Southern Africa region, means that there is an urgent demand for electricity and given that Tanzania has a target to deliver approximately 880 MW for the export market for the period 2020-2040, the MCPP is perfectly positioned to help meet this demand.

Source: Mining Review Africa


Oil trading firm expands storage facility at Tanga Port, Tanzania

The expanded oil imports storage warehouse operated by Gulf Bulk Petroleum (GBP) at Tanga Port will soon be operational. GBP Tanga Area Manager Amour Ali said that under the bonded warehouse system, the company would receive all oil consignments in bulk. He said that the company was negotiating with the government on the modalities for the commencement of bulk imports. “This will also enable shippers to cut down costs,” he said. GBP, the first local firm to win a tender to import petroleum products in bulk, has announced plans to double its storage capacity in a bid to serve more countries in East and Central Africa. The company says it is planning to increase its capacity to store 300,000 tonnes, or 376.16 million litres of petroleum products.

Source: Energy Mix Report


BRAC Microfinance upgraded to a Tier 2 bank

BRAC, the largest microfinance provider in Uganda, is transforming as a Tier 2 Credit Institution (CI) to broaden the range of financial services it provides to Uganda’s low-income communities. BRAC started its microfinance programme in Uganda in 2006, growing its footprint to 163 branches across 84 districts with more than 200,000 clients. The transformation will enable BRAC Uganda Bank Ltd to offer savings accounts, money transfer, insurance and other financial services in addition to its existing credit products to the people of Uganda. The transition from a Tier 4 credit only NGO to a Tier 2 CI will allow BRAC to drive more impactful financial inclusion at an even greater scale.

Source: Africa Business Communities

West Africa

NATCOM signs free roaming agreement with Guinea, Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire

The Director-General of the National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), Maxwell Massaquoi, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with telecommunications regulatory heads from Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast aimed at fostering collaboration in implementing the One Area Network work initiative. Speaking on the importance of the One Area Network initiative, Maxwell Massaquoi said when the free roaming plan would have been fully implemented, mobile phone users visiting countries that are signatories to the agreement would be able to use their local numbers to make and receive calls with no extra charges being levied on them by operators.

Source: Africa Business Communities


4MW Ngonye solar PV plant comes online

The 34MW Ngonye solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, which is located in Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone, has commenced operations. Located in the south of Zambia, the plant, which is being developed by Enel Green Power (EGP), is part of the World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar programme carried out by Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). The Ngonye solar plant, which is owned by a special purpose vehicle, 80% held by EGP and 20% by IDC, is supported by a 25-year power purchase agreement signed with Zambia’s state-owned utility, ZESCO. Once fully up and running, the facility is expected to produce around 70GWh per year, while avoiding the annual emission of over 25,600 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

Source: ESI Africa


African Development Fund approves USD11.1-million for public finance reforms in Zambia

The African Development Fund approved USD11.1-million to support Zambia’s public finance and economic management as part of efforts to restore fiscal stability and improve livelihoods in the middle-income Southern African nation. The copper producing country is pursuing reforms to stabilise its economy, particularly, to rein in a widening public debt partly due to commodity price shocks, drought and depreciation of its local currency. The project is designed to help unlock Zambia’s economic growth potential through improving capacity to manage public resources. It will help to strengthen institutional capacity in macro-fiscal and debt management, development planning, public investment management, monitoring and evaluation, and statistics.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Zimbabwe’s ZERA, SAZ collaborate on energy saving initiative

The Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (ZERA) has engaged the Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) to certify the quality of electrical gadgets sold on the local market, as it tries to reduce power consumption through energy management regulations, an official has said. This comes amid indications that the country’s electrical power generation continues to decline while consumption of power continues to rise. In an interview, ZERA senior engineer Samuel Zaranyika said the energy regulator has invested over USD150 000 in the exercise.

Source: Energy Mix Report