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Africa Business in Brief


issue 532 | 11 Feb 2024


Africa’s Green Economy Summit opens in Cape Town from 21 February

Africa’s Green Economy Summit (AGES) returns to Cape Town, South Africa, from 21-24 February. It is the only event of its kind to connect investors, governments and impact project leaders, to catalyse a just and sustainable transition on the continent. AGES entails three days of debate, partnership negotiations and exploration within the rainbow nation. Faced with the energy consequences of the war in Ukraine and the many natural disasters (cyclones, floods and prolonged droughts) that are undermining the livelihoods of many populations, several African countries are feeling the pinch. It is against this backdrop that one of the continent’s leading events is proposing a “green” response to inflation, which is on the rise just about everywhere (60.6% in Zimbabwe, 26.1% in Sierra Leone, figures from the African Development Bank).

Source: AFRIK 21


OPEC Fund allocates USD1.7-billion to energy transition in 2023

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund) allocated USD1.7-billion to finance 55 global projects in 2023, according to a recent statement from the organisation. In a bid to address climate change, social and economic resilience and sustainable growth, 60% of the funds supported renewable energy initiatives. At 42%, Africa received the largest share of the funding, with recipient projects including solar power initiatives in Niger and Nigeria, as well as an energy security campaign in Tanzania. “We grew our lending programme across the board in response to strong demand by our partner countries and thanks to our success in raising additional funds from the capital markets,” said Abdulhamid Al-Khalifa, Director General of the OPEC Fund. “We are well on track with our 2030 target to commit 40% of all new financing to climate action.” OPEC Fund raised the funding through a mix of public and private sector lending, trade finance and grant operations, with policy-based loans accounting for 31% of the investments.

Source: Energy Capital & Power


The Africa Energy Indaba launches the Hydrogen Forum

The Africa Energy Indaba announces the launch of the Hydrogen Forum, an official new side event of the main Indaba. The Hydrogen Forum is a ground-breaking initiative poised to redefine the dialogue surrounding hydrogen as a formidable force in the global transition to clean energy. The one-day business forum is set to serve as a dynamic hub for thought leaders, industry titans, policymakers, and enthusiasts, uniting them in a collective effort to propel hydrogen to the forefront of sustainable energy solutions. In a world increasingly committed to sustainable alternatives, hydrogen emerges as a linchpin in the pursuit of a cleaner, greener future. The Hydrogen Forum, scheduled to take place on 7 March 2024 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa, is strategically positioned to be a catalyst for transformative discussions, knowledge exchange, and collaborative endeavours driving the burgeoning hydrogen economy. The Hydrogen Forum will act as a pivotal platform for experts to disseminate insights, share breakthroughs, and showcase best practices in hydrogen technology and applications.

Source: Pumps Africa

East / Southern Africa

COMESA and the World Bank launch USD50-million regional platform to overcome hurdles to accelerating energy access in eastern and southern Africa

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the World Bank are set to implement a USD50-million regional platform to support COMESA member states and other participating countries to promote sustainable energy access investments. This is part of a new World Bank USD5-billion programme designed to accelerate sustainable and clean energy access and provide life-transforming opportunities for 100 million people across up to 20 countries in eastern and southern Africa over the next seven years. The Accelerating Sustainable and Clean Energy Access Transformation programme will be a game-changer in a region where only 48% of the overall population, and just 26% in rural areas, has access to electricity. The new regional platform, under the supervision and implementation of COMESA, will support participating countries through various initiatives designed to fill the technical gaps identified in the energy sector, particularly with regards to project preparation, investment readiness, technical know-how and energy access. The platform will engage specialised firms and individuals to provide demand-led technical support in an agile manner to public and private sector entities from participating countries. 

Source: World Bank


Growth of non-petroleum exports and 36 000 new businesses thanks to AfDB support

Institutional Capacity Building Project for Private Sector Development, which was implemented in Angola between 2014 and 2023, delivered better-than-expected outcomes as shown in the recent Project Completion Report published in January 2024. The growth rate of Angola’s non-oil exports, a key project target, reached 5.9% in December 2022 and 4.9% in June 2023 against targets of 2.8% set in 2018 and 5% (revised) set in 2020. Financed by a USD24-million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, the project was designed to assist private sector growth and diversification of the Angolan economy. Along with a rise in non-oil exports, the project also drove a remarkable surge of business start-ups in Angola, which rose from 2 700 in 2012 to 38 715 in 2022. During the same period, the number of cooperatives with access to services rose from 240 to 12 870. In addition, 23 776 farmers, including 3 148 women, worked in coffee production.

Source: AfDB


World Bank report: Reducing electricity and telecommunications costs in Djibouti could boost growth and add Jobs

Djibouti has achieved remarkable economic growth over the past two decades, driven by strategic infrastructure investments, its advantageous location, and political stability in a volatile region. With an average annual GDP growth of 4.4% between 2000 and 2021, the nation’s real GDP per capita has more than doubled, surpassing USD3 200 in 2021. While these gains have translated into solid progress in reducing poverty, from 22.3% in 2013 to 17% in 2019, more must be done to ensure that the benefits are shared by all segments of society, according to a new World Bank report released recently. The report, titled Djibouti Beyond the Ports and Bases: A Path to Prosperity for All, highlights the economic potential of the country. To achieve its potential, Djibouti faces multiple economic challenges, including a limited domestic market, high operating costs in the electricity and telecommunications sectors, limited economic diversification, and the growing challenge of climate change. The report emphasises the government’s proactive approach in addressing these challenges through the “Djibouti 2035 Vision” and the 2020-2024 National Development Plan.

Source: World Bank


AfDB adopts new five-year plan to boost growth and human development

The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group on 14 December 2023, approved a new five-year Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for Kenya. The 2024-2028 CSP focuses on boosting private sector-driven growth through infrastructure development, strategic reforms, and human capital development. The bank’s country office said these priority areas will complement each other and build on what has already been achieved with the AfDB’s assistance while continuing to support Kenya’s vision of structural transformation and strengthening resilience. “Our support, within the context of the new CSP 2024-2028, will be selectively focused on four sectors: transport, water, economic governance and skills development,” said Zerihun Gudeta Alemu, the AfDB’s Chief Country Economist in Kenya. To boost growth, the AfDB’s interventions will target reducing transport costs and travel time, improving access to affordable water and sanitation services and increasing agricultural production capacity using irrigation to combat food insecurity in the country.

Source: AfDB


Renewable energy sector expansion on the cards

A renewable energy drive in Kenya has received a USD46.39-million cash injection from the Trust Fund Committee of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF). This forms part of an overall USD70-million endorsement from the CIF to “advance the integration and utilisation of renewable energy in the Kenyan grid.” The CIF says the funding will help the country in its goal of transitioning to 100% clean energy by 2030. “This approval, as part of CIF’s Renewable Energy Integration (REI) investment programme, will support Kenya’s ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32% by 2030 and achieve net-zero by 2050,” it said. Kenya’s CIF REI plan will support access to clean, adequate, affordable and reliable electricity in the country. It is expected to mobilise at least an additional USD243-million from the public and private sectors through implementing partners – the AfDB and the World Bank Group. Currently, the share of renewable energy in Kenya is almost 90%. This includes 45% geothermal and 26% hydropower.

Source: ESI Africa

Kenya / South Africa

Kenya and South Africa strengthen trade ties under AfCFTA framework

Kenya and South Africa have intensified their efforts to strengthen the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement framework. The two nations that share cordial bilateral relations, marked a significant moment by initiating the first shipment of products under the AfCFTA framework across the African continent. South Africa led the way by sending a shipment containing refrigerators, paperboard, and steel products destined for the Kenyan market. The launch occurred on the sidelines of the 13th AfCFTA Council of Ministers Meeting in Durban, with the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, presiding over the ceremony. Rebecca Miano, the Trade Cabinet Secretary in attendance, commended the initiative, highlighting the tremendous opportunity it presents for enhanced trade between the two nations. “This action serves as a clear indication that South Africa is open for business within the AfCFTA framework,” she said.

Source: Capital News

Kenya / Spain

Kenya Airways and Air Europa sign code-share agreement

National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) has signed a code-sharing agreement with Spain’s third-largest airline, Air Europa amid a resurgence in demand for air travel. KQ said the deal would enable it to extend its reach in Europe and the United States (US). The agreement will allow Air Europa passengers to fly to Nairobi from Amsterdam while those on KQ flights would get connections to Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, New York, and Miami. “We are excited about this partnership as it will provide our guests with more convenient travel options to Europe and the US. Air Europa has been our partner under the SkyTeam Alliance, and this agreement allows us to collaborate more for the mutual benefit of our guests giving them more access and connectivity,” Martin Gitonga, KQ’s head of network planning and alliances, said.

Source: Business Daily


AfDB lends USD40-million to the Mozambique rail and port authority to buy rolling stock for the Ressano Garcia railway line

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is making a USD40-million corporate loan to the state-owned enterprise Portos e Caminhos de Ferro de Moçambique EP (CFM), the Mozambique rail and port authority, to help fund its strategic plan for the period 2021-2024. The AfDB also plans to mobilise an additional USD30-million for the project from other potential lenders. The project objective is to enable CFM to finance the purchase of rolling stock (locomotives, wagons, and tank containers) for its main corridor, the Ressano Garcia railway line, which generates more than 90% of rail traffic volume and comprises 70% of CFM's overall rail transport volume. The operation includes the acquisition of 10 3000/3300 horsepower diesel-electric locomotives, 300 wagons, and 120 tank containers. The funding will also cover a three-year maintenance programme for the purchased locomotive and for training CFM maintenance staff. The project will make it possible to purchase rolling stock for CFM’s main corridor, an 88-km line between the port of Maputo and the South African border.

Source: AfDB


ENS Namibia mourns the passing of President, H.E. Dr. Hage Geingob: A tribute to his legacy

ENS extends our heartfelt condolences to the Namibian nation and the grieving family on the passing of H.E. Dr. Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia. A veteran struggle hero, his presidency has been marked by efforts to address economic challenges, promote social development, and maintain political stability in Namibia. Hartmut Ruppel, Executive Chairperson of ENS in Namibia, who served as a member of the Constituent Assembly and as the first Attorney-General of an independent Namibia said, “It is with profound sadness that I received the news of the passing of H.E Dr Hage Geingob. We salute his great leadership in delivering our independence constitution and for his continued struggle to achieve inclusivity and unity amongst Namibians, as well as his commitment to Africa. Our deepest sympathies are with the First Lady and the president’s loved ones.”

Source: ENS


Galp discovers second oil in Namibia

Galp Energia SGPS SA has announced a second oil discovery has been made in Namibia. The firm in conjunction with the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR) and Custos Energy discovered additional hydrocarbons, specifically a second significant column of light oil, in reservoir-bearing sands of high quality in the Mopane-1X well. This discovery adds to the growing potential of hydrocarbon resources in the region and further establishes the significance of offshore exploration in Namibia’s Orange Basin. Mopane-1X is the first of two exploration wells to be drilled in block PEL83. Galp drilled, cored, and logged a deeper target (AVO-2) in the Mopane-1X well. PEL83 is located on blocks 2813A and 2814B in Namibia’s Orange Basin. It is immediately north of PEL 39, which contains Shell plc’s discoveries at Graff-1, La Rona-1, and Jonker-1. Additionally, PEL 83 lies north and west of PEL 56 where TotalEnergies made an oil discovery at Venus-1. Galp is the operator of PEL 83 with an 80% interest while NAMCOR and Custos Energy each hold 10%. Sintana has a 49% carried interest through its indirect investment in Custos Energy.

Source: Pumps Africa

Nigeria / Angola

Nigeria, Angola partner to boost water, electricity

The Governments of Nigeria and Angola formalised a collaboration to address critical infrastructure needs in both countries. The partnership aims to benefit both nations, with a focus on providing potable water, enhancing irrigation farming, and advancing economic development. Both nations will exchange technical expertise and knowledge in pivotal sectors for successful implementation of projects related to water supply and electricity generation. The Angolan Ambassador, Dr Jose Bamoquina highlighted Angola’s potential to export electricity to other countries. This indicates a strategic vision to leverage Angola’s resources for regional benefit and economic development. There are plans for the expansion and efficient utilisation of six major dams with Nigeria’s technical expertise. This underscores the importance of infrastructure development and management in achieving sustainable water and energy resources.

Source: Pumps Africa


Senegal leads rail infrastructure, logistics renaissance

Senegal is set for major economic changes in 2024, expecting a 10.6% boost in GDP. The country’s commitment to modernising its infrastructure ahead of first oil and gas production is encapsulated in its national master plan, Plan Sénégal Émergent – or Plan for an Emerging Senegal. This vision involves large-scale infrastructure projects designed to boost regional connectivity and catalyse economic growth, from the rehabilitation of Saint-Louis Airport undertaken in 2023, to the inauguration of the Bus Rapid Transit System last month, to the planned construction of a highway linking Thiès and Saint-Louis. At the core of this vision is a focus on railway development, demonstrated in part by the ongoing restoration of the entire railway network by Grands Trains du Sénégal. The expansion of domestic rail infrastructure aligns with broader goals of connecting Senegal’s various regions, such as the Kédougou and Saint-Louis areas, easing road traffic, and reinvigorating Thiès as a railway hub.

Source: Energy Capital & Power


Booming sectors: Where investors put their money

Tanzania’s manufacturing, transportation and commercial building sectors are increasingly appealing to investors due to their potential for profit, personnel availability, policy framework, growing demand and perceived sector stability. The three sectors, according to the statistics of registered projects by the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), were top investors’ choices in the country in 2023, as the centre reports over USD5.67-billion (estimated TZS14.38-trillion) in total capital injected. Data showed that the three sectors contributed more than two-thirds of the total capital injected from January to December 2023, at nearly USD3.9-billion. A total of 523 projects were registered last year, of which 363 were from the three sectors alone. Further analysis conducted by The Citizen, utilising TIC’s monthly and quarterly updates, indicates that the investors are also directing funds into various other sectors. Notably among these are agriculture, with registered projects totalling USD782.84-million; the services sector (USD310.63-million), economic infrastructure (USD249.39-million), tourism (USD163.48-million), energy (USD58.22-million), mining and petroleum (USD47.52-million), telecommunications (USD28.52-million), and human resources (USD7.06-million).

Source: The Citizen


With AfDB support, Uganda takes first step to embedding circular economy model into national strategy

Uganda has taken a major step towards creating a circular economy to drive sustainable growth and green industrialisation in line with its Vision 2040 national agenda. With the support of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the country launched the circular economy roadmap process on 31 January 2024 in the capital, Kampala. Representatives of the government and the AfDB attended. The initiative, implemented jointly with the African Circular Economy Alliance and backed through the AfDB’s Africa Circular Economy Facility, will engage government policymakers, businesses and civil society organisations in efforts to tap the full potential of circularity to accelerate progress towards sustainable development goals and climate action. The AfDB is supporting implementation of Uganda’s Green Growth Development strategy to deliver inclusive socio-economic development and growth, including job creation while protecting the country’s natural capital and addressing climate change.

Source: AfDB


Processing of record copper discovery to be fast-tracked

In Zambia, the largest copper deposits ever recorded in the country’s mining history have been discovered, confirmed at Mining Indaba 2024. Dr Josh Goldman, KoBold Metals co-founder, told the gathering in Cape Town that the USD2-billion mine project will be built at its Mingomba project faster and earlier than in the 10 years initially suggested. Goldman said the decision to fast-track the project is intended to meet the fast-growing demand for critical minerals. The Zambian Government said it is a development “expected to make unprecedented contributions to the economy of the country and the wellbeing of its people. In a marked departure from mining projects in the past, project promoters – KoBold Metals of California, which is backed by billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, is in a joint venture partnership with the Zambian Government through ZCCM-IH and list shares publicly in the next three to four years.” KoBold Metals Africa CEO, Mfekyi Makayi said the project could take off as early as 2027. The United States and other developed countries are looking for alternative sources for their copper, cobalt, lithium, and nickel as part of the global transition to clean energy and electric batteries. All these minerals can be found in Zambia. 

Source: ESI Africa