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Africa Business in Brief


issue 314 | 22 Jul 2019


Botswana Diamonds to fund Thorny River expansion

Botswana Diamonds is to sell 256 carats of rough diamonds recovered at its Thorny River operation to further this project. The sale of diamonds from bulk sampling will enable funding of further development of Thorny River by Vutomi, in which Botswana Diamonds has a 40% interest. The rough diamonds were recovered from re-commissioning the processing plant. The bulk sampling programme will generate short-term cash flow, whilst building the mineral resource. The company’s partner, SouthernEra Diamonds, has included its coarse tailings dumps generated from the mining of the Marsfontein and Klipspringer diamond mines into the same revenue sharing agreement.

Source: Mining Review Africa


AIMS, AfDB ink partnership to accelerate mathematics for industry expertise across Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen education, training and research in mathematical sciences in Africa. Speaking at the signing, African Development Bank Vice President for Agriculture and Human Development, Jennifer Blanke stressed the strong partnership between the Bank and AIMS-NEI. "The MOU gives us a framework for the operationalisation of the partnership," she said. The partnership sets the framework for collaboration between the two institutions on enhanced mathematical research and innovation in key areas of the continent's development challenges.

Sources: African Business Communities


Online tool seeks to tackle barriers to intra-Africa trade

A new online tool is seeking to eliminate hiccups to the recently operationalised African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and ensure quicker and more efficient trade. A product of the African Union and UNCTAD, the tool dubbed has been hailed as an example of how technology will contribute to the success of AfCFTA. The AfCFTA non-tariff barriers online mechanism is designed to improve intra-African trade by offering a site for reporting and resolving non-tariff barriers experienced by businesses, particularly small ones, and those owned by women and youth.

Source: Africa Business Communities


FVC and Avaya to assist businesses across Africa deliver next-generation digital experiences

FVC, a value-added-distributor in the Middle East and Africa, has partnered with Avaya Holdings Corp. to help businesses across North, West, East, Central Africa and Egypt (NWECA) deliver unmatched customer experiences with Unified Communications, Collaboration and Cloud Communications solutions. The partnership will see FVC become a distributor for Avaya’s products and services including the industry-leading range of Unified Communications and Collaboration solutions, Contact Center, Communications cloud, phones, devices hosting SAS and hosted services solutions.

Source: Africa Business Communities


European Investment Bank and FMO sign up to renewAfrica covenant

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and FMO adhere to the “renewAfrica” initiative, which intends to facilitate and improve financing for renewable energy projects in Africa; The initiative of RES4Africa is supported by European energy companies and international financial institutions. The renewAfrica initiative will promote the creation of a holistic and inclusive European-led instrument with its own institutional framework, providing adequate support at policy and regulatory level, and ensuring preparation tools across project lifecycles, as well as financial de-risking and capacity-building measures. It will be coordinated with other DFIs active in the Renewable Energy sector in Africa.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Benguela Railroad, in Angola, intends to build an extension from Lobito to Baía Farta

The construction of a railway extension between the city of Lobito and the municipality of Baía Farta is a priority project of the Benguela Railway (CFB) in Angola, said the chairman of the Management Company’s Board of Directors. Luís Teixeira also said that the project is part of the National Transport Master Plan, and its construction would facilitate the transport of salt and fish from Baía Farta and also ensure the company’s self-sustainability. “We want this construction project to be a reality,” said the CFB chairman, adding that from the “starting point” of the future branch line [in Lobito] to the municipality of Baía Farta, passing through Catumbela and Benguela, it will be 62 kilometres of railway line.

Source: Macau Hub

Cape Verde

Cabo Verde Airlines takes on a credit line to finance business plan

Cabo Verde Airlines has contracted a credit line with Banco Internacional de Cabo Verde and Ecobank worth USD24-million, the documents for which were signed in Praia, the local press reported. At the ceremony attended by Cabo Verde’s deputy prime minister and finance minister, Olavo Correia, Cabo Verde Airlines chairman Jens Bjarnason said that contracting the credit line was based on the company needing to execute its business plan. “When we developed the 2018/2023 business plan, we knew that the company would need additional capital for the next 18 to 24 months, and the credit line now contracted will help us to operate during that time period,” he said.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Democratic Republic of Congo

Kibali production could exceed annual 750 000 oz forecast

Barrick Gold’s Kibali gold mine remains on track at the year’s halfway point to meet or beat its production forecast of 750 000 oz for 2019, says president and chief executive Mark Bristow. Bristow says 2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the acquisition of the Moto project which since then has been developed into one of the largest gold mines in the world, contributing USD2.7-billion to the Congolese economy in the process. It is also now a full year since Kibali became the owner-operator of its underground mine, which ranks as one of the most advanced in the global industry in terms of automation.

Source: Mining Review Africa


Bunna Bank and WorldRemit collaborate to boost digital money transfers

Digital money transfer service WorldRemit has joined forces with Bunna Bank for digital money transfers. Three million-strong Ethiopian Diasporas living in over 50 countries can now send money home to about 600,000 Bunna Bank accounts and 205 branches in Ethiopia. WorldRemit offers a variety of convenient ways for Ethiopian recipients with or without a bank account to receive money, including bank transfer, cash pickup and mobile money. The company is now connected to over 34 million bank accounts and 4,600 cash pickup locations throughout the country.

Source: Africa Business Communities


AFC provides USD100-million to Aker Energy’s deep water offshore oil project in Ghana

Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), the infrastructure solutions provider in Africa, has financed Aker Energy A.S. a subsidiary of Aker ASA, one of the highest-quality-rated companies in the Norwegian market and a leader in oil, gas and industrials. AFC’s support is through investing in USD100-million of convertible bond notes with an intention to participate in follow on fundraising activities. The funds will be used by Aker Energy to finance the development of the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points block, a block offshore Ghana containing multiple oil fields.

Source: Africa Business Communities


USD150-million from the World Bank to improve the supply of electricity in Bamako

In Mali, the World Bank plans to inject USD150-million into the electricity sector by 2025. A financing agreement was signed in Bamako between Prime Minister Boubou Cisse and Soukeyna Kane, Director of World Bank Operations for Mali. This funding is part of the Electricity Sector Improvement Project (PASEM) approved by the Bretton Woods Institution last June. The support of 28 million IDA grants against 122 million IDA credits, is intended to improve the reliability and efficiency of the supply of electricity in Bamako, the capital, as well as the technical and commercial performance of Energy Mali (EDM), the national electricity company. The disbursement will be spread over the next 5 years, with an initial disbursement of USD2-million starting this year.

Source: Agence Ecofin


IPO of the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric plant to list 4.0% of the company on the stock market

High demand has led the Cahora Bassa Hydroelectric (HCB) facility to increase the number of shares included in the Initial Public Offering (IPO) from 2.5% to 4.0%, said the chairman of the board of directors in Maputo. Pedro Couto said that the remaining 3.5% of the 7.5% initially planned for sale should be sold in 2020, “after analysing the process of placing the first tranche and determining the timing and conditions of placement of the second.” The Mozambican Stock Exchange recorded 16,787 subscription applications for, with a just over 1.51 billion shares purchased, with HCB raising a nominal amount of USD72.3-million.

Source: Macau Hub


InsuResilience Investment Fund to acquire 39.25% stake in Nigerian insurer

InsuResilience Investment Fund, a Luxembourg-based investment fund managed by the management company BlueOrchard Finance, will acquire 39.25% shares in the capital of the Nigerian insurer Royal Exchange General Insurance Company Limited (REGIC ). The proceeds of this investment will allow the insurance company operating in the non-life segment to strengthen its insurance services and products to players in the agricultural sector in Nigeria. In Nigeria, the traditional insurance market very often excludes smallholder farmers because of the high premiums demanded by insurers, the International Finance Corporation said in an article published in March 2019.

Source: Agence Ecofin


Rwanda telcos partner with GSMA to drive internet penetration

Rwanda’s mobile industry has joined forces with the GSMA to drive mobile internet adoption and increase digital literacy in the country. It was announced at the ‘Mobile 360 Africa’ event in Kigali that local operators Airtel and MTN will commence a programme of activity around digital inclusion as part of the GSMA’s We Care initiative in Rwanda. We Care is launched in collaboration with Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation and the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), supporting government efforts to boost ICT penetration and digital services across the country.

Source: Africa Business Communities


AgDevCo expands portfolio in Tanzania to develop the avocado industry and export

AgDevCo has announced a multi-million Euro investment in Africado, a successful avocado company based in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. Africado grows avocados on its own farm and purchases high-quality fruit from surrounding farmers for export to Europe with full supply chain traceability. Established in 2007, Africado is a pioneer of the avocado export industry in Tanzania. Early investors included Africa Agriculture Capital and Norfund. The company has two avocado farms and an international standard pack-shed. It also operates an out-grower scheme, incorporating over 2,000 farmers. The new investment from Finnfund and AgDevCo will create and sustain more than 800 full time and seasonal jobs.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Liquid Telecom completes acquisition of Hai Telecommunications

Liquid Telecom Zambia, part of the pan-African Telecom Group Liquid Telecom, has announced that its retail arm, Hai Telecommunications Limited (Hai Zambia), is now part of Liquid Telecom Zambia. This follows the acquisition of CEC Liquid Telecom in Zambia by Liquid Telecom on 31 January 2019 to further strengthen its operations in Southern Africa. It also comes less than six months after Susan M’kandawire Mulikita was appointed CEO of Liquid Telecom Zambia. Existing Hai customers will continue to receive access to LiTESPEED (LTE), Fibroniks (Fibre to the Home) and Fibre to the Premises.

Source: Africa Business Communities


IFC invests in Stanbic to support SME growth in Zambia

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, announced USD15-million loan to Stanbic Bank Zambia, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Standard Bank Group. The investment will help Stanbic Bank expand its lending to small and medium enterprises, with at least 25% of the loan earmarked for women-owned businesses in Zambia. Zambia’s entrepreneurs have difficulty in accessing the finance they need to grow due to informality in the market, high collateral requirements, and poor bank lending tools, according to a recent study by the World Bank Group.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Yaowei Technology to Invest USD15-million in Solar Panel Plant

China's Yaowei Technology will set up a solar panel plant in Zimbabwe to produce about 500 solar panels a day. Once launched, the actors hope that the project will reduce the energy deficit facing the country because of the dependence on hydropower. Currently, the high cost of imported solar equipment makes this type of energy technology inaccessible. The country is currently facing an energy deficit of 1,000 MW, due to the reduced production of the Kariba dam, which supplies almost half of the energy consumed in the country.

Source: Agence Ecofin