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REPORT OF LAST WEEK (from 09/09/13 to 13/09/13)

by Dario Galluccio

This Blog is sponsored by http://www.reflexecogroup.com

Kenya: Stanlib plans $59m property investment

Asset management arm of South African-based Liberty Group, Stanlib, is looking to invest Sh5.2 billion ($59 million) for the construction of malls across Kenya.According to Stanlib, the malls will be financed by its $150 million African Direct Property Development Fund established in May this year.
Focused primarily on the developing malls in countries including Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda, the property fund aims to build 2 malls in Kenya, with search for development partners already ongoing.
Roberto Ferreira, the fund’s manager, told that the firm would develop “Probably a maximum of two (shopping malls) in Kenya.” Each mall would cost between $20 million to $30 million, with construction expected to commence at the latter part of 2015, however the fund’s manager did not disclose the proposed locations of the commercial buildings.
Kenya has been tipped as one of the leading African destination for property investment as its capital city, Nairobi, has grown through the years to become East and Central Africa’s business and financial hub. This has attracted significant interest from privately held entities in neighbouring regions such as South Africa, seeking newer markets to that will guarantee an upturn in revenue yields.
The Liberty group – which is 53 percent owned by South Africa’s biggest bank, Standard Bank Group – has joined current private real estate investor, Actis, in cementing its presence in the fast growing property market.

Ghana: 114th best place to do business

Ghana is in the 114th position in this year’s ranking of countries according to their competitiveness in doing business. This is according to the Global Competitiveness* *Report 2013-2014 which* *assessed 148 economies, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity. The Report series which is published by the World Economic Forum remains the most comprehensive assessment of national competitiveness worldwide.
The report emphasizes that Ghana’s position is as a result of deterioration in its macroeconomic indicators.
The report used 12 criteria to judge each country’s competitiveness, including infrastructure, financial stability and the education system. But innovation was the key to climbing the rankings, according to the report’s authors.
The report said with regard to strengths, the country seems to be improving its public institutions, which are already somewhat strong by regional standards going up by five places to 70th. Government efficiency however ranked 57th among the 148 countries. It said some aspects of the nation’s infrastructure are good for the region, particularly the state of the ports, and financial institutions as well as goods markets are also relatively well developed ranking 52nd and 70th, respectively.
The report recommended that Ghana must do much more to develop and deploy talent in the country adding that education levels continue to trail international standards at all levels.

Kenya: to opens its doors to more Nigerian investors

Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote plans to invest $400 million(Sh34.9 billion) in Kenya’s mining sector as the two countries sign seven agreements to boost bilateral ties.
The billionaire who already has an investment in the sector under the Dangote Kenya Limted company that explores for industrial minerals; eyes more operations in the country as more and more precious resources are discovered. However the licence for Dangote Kenya was recently revoked among 40 others pending review into the issuing process ordered by Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala. The company said it will work with the taskforce charged with the review and Balala has welcomed the billionaire’s move to invest more in the local mining sector.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Nigeria’s Jonathan Goodluck said they will work together to improve trade and investment among the two countries as a boost to intra Africa trade. The two signed a memorandum of understanding on trade and investment, oil and gas, tourism, visa exemption for diplomatic passport holders, double taxation, agriculture, livestock and fisheries.

Nigeria: Airtel earmarks $3.7 Billion for network expansion

The Nigerian unit of India-based telecoms operator, Bharti Airtel, has announced a $3.7 billion investment to upgrade its broadband capacity from 3.75G to 4G.
The Company’s Regional Operations Director, Segun Macauley, who made this known in Kwara State, Nigeria at the weekend explained that the amount will be “spent on upgrading of network facilities to ensure uninterrupted calls on the network.”
The Indian multinational, which provides 2G, 3G and 4G services depending upon the country of operation, has presence in 20 countries across South Asia and Africa and is considered the world’s fourth largest mobile telecommunications company (by subscribers) with over 275 million subscribers as of July 2013.

Africa: Momentum launches Fixed Income Fund for investors

AUM asset manager, Momentum Global Investment Management says it has launched a multi-manager investment fund – the Africa Fixed Income Fund – for institutional investors looking to benefit from opportunities in Africa.
The Africa Fixed Income Fund will be managed by Head of Africa Investment Strategies at Momentum GIM, David Lashbrook while Zee de Gersigny, CFA (MD, Momentum Africa Investments LLC), the team in South Africa and other managers will offer their support.
Momentum, a wholly owned subsidiary of South Africa-based financial services group MMI Holdings wants investors to invest in sovereign debt across the region excluding South Africa.
The fund with a target size of $300 million was seeded with $10 million from the Momentum Group. It aims to attract institutional investors in the US and Europe along with the current clientele in South Africa.
Speaking on the investment fund, Lashbrook said while investing in Africa is not without risk, the continent’s fixed interest markets offer investors a compelling investment opportunity.

Ghana: To finalise decision on EPA by end of October

The Government of Ghana will by end of October this year declare its stance on the European Union-Economic Partnership Agreement (EU- EPA) with barely three years down the line for the deadline of negotiation. This was disclosed to the Economy Times in Accra by the Deputy Minister of Trade, Nii Lante Vanderpuje. He said a special committee set up by government to determine whether Ghana should sign or not will submit their report to Cabinet for an informed decision by end of October.
If Ghana signs onto the agreement, government will be committed to an overall trade and development policy which some analysts believe is not in the overall interest of the country.
In other news, the Minister of Trade, Haruna Iddrisu has stated that, Ghana’s declaration will be determined largely by the ECOWAS position on the trade agreement as the sub-region is yearning for a collective agreement which will favour all member States. He pledged that the government will take a collective decision on Ghana’s stance on the EPAs with Ivory Coast and Nigeria as well. He assured that, “Ghana will not sign onto any agreement that will be inimical to our international economic interests and more importantly to the economic interest of Ghana; we need to protect our exports.”

South Sudan: China pledges U.S $43 Million grant for mining

China has pledged a grant of $43 million to finance improvements to South Sudan’s mining industry, with the funds expected to arrive by the end of the month, South Sudanese Petroleum and Mining Minister Stephen Dhieu Dau.
Among the projects that will be funded by the Chinese grant will be a geological survey that will help to map South Sudan’s mining riches.
Geological surveys conducted in the 1970s and ’80s show that South Sudan may have rich deposits of gold, copper and uranium. But since those surveys were conducted, South Sudan’s mineral resources have remained unexploited.
South Sudan is also in the early stages of talks with China about a development loan of $1 billion to $2 billion, and about further Chinese investments in South Sudan’s petroleum and mining industries, Dau said.
Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan Ma Qiang said he is encouraging Beijing to step up investment in Africa’s, and the world’s, newest nation, where a report dated August 2011 by US advisory group Ergo says Chinese companies already control the oil industry, the source of most of South Sudan’s revenues and the target of the vast majority of foreign direct investment in South Sudan.

Kenya: To seek Nigeria’s support, offers 46 oil blocks

New east African oil player, Kenya has partnered with Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer to help it build a sustainable framework for its premature energy industry while offering 46 newly discovered oil blocks to Nigerian investors as prospective concession deals to increase investment in the sector.
Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke made the disclosure adding that the partnership was one of the seven MoUs and bilateral Agreements signed by delegates of both countries at the maiden Nigeria-Kenya Investment Forum last week.
Nigerian industrialists and Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote who led the Nigerian delegate which included Forte Oil and Zenon Oil CEO Femi Otedola and Honeywell Group Chairman, Oba Otudeko, said a number of Nigerian investors would be willing to invest in the oil sector in Kenya.
In 2012, Africa Oil, a Canadian oil and gas company together with British explorer, Tullow Oil Plc discovered rich hydro-carbon reserves in Kenya. They put its estimate at 368 million barrels, a level capable of commercial exploitation.

Ghana: Why foreign investors shun Nigeria, turn to Ghana, By EU

The European Union, EU, has said that Nigeria’s cry for sustained foreign direct investment would continue to fall on deaf ears unless the country showed commitment to tackle the challenges of corruption and insecurity.
Head, Governance Programme of the EU delegation, Alan Mundaay, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said that the collapsed foreign direct investment in Nigeria was self inflicted as no foreign investor would put his money in an environment that was not enabling.
The EU chief, said: “Foreign investors will not come to Nigeria to lose money. They come to make money. If there are growing threats to many Nigerians themselves here, why will any foreign company put money and the lives of foreign human capital at risk in Nigeria under the prevailing security situation?
“It is easier for foreign airlines to work in Ghana in neglect of the far bigger Nigerian market because Ghana is more enabling and even Nigerians are running away from home to do business in Ghana. Nigeria does not need to beg for foreign investment. People will come when their investments are guaranteed. They will come without pushing when corruption is effectively tackled and the justice system reliable.”

Ghana: Miners return over $3bn

Mining companies returned about $3.2 billion, representing 73 percent of their mineral revenue through the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and the commercial banks into the country in 2012 as against statutory requirement of a minimum of 25 percent.
Toni Aubynn, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Chamber of Mines, who made this known during a media briefing on activities of the chamber and mining companies, said the mining sector paid GH¢893.77 million in corporate taxes to the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) in 2012. The amount represented 36.98 percent of the total GRA tax collected within the period. The sector also contributed about GH¢1.46 billion to GRA, representing 27.04 percent of the authority’s total direct tax in 2012.

Ghana: $200m Eurobond proceeds has been released by government

The Ghana government has made available the cedi equivalent of $200 million for the payment of ongoing capital projects in various sectors of the economy to ensure their completion. The amount is part of the $740 million Eurobond proceeds that have been deposited in the country’s foreign reserve account. This means that the GH¢400 million has been moved from the reserve account into the Consolidated Fund, ready for effecting payments for work done.
The Minister of Finance, Mr Seth Terkper explained that financing the projects would be effected upon the adducing of certificates of work done by contractors.
The projects include the gang of six, comprising the Tetteh-Quarshie-Madina road, the Sofoline Overpass in Kumasi, the Anyinam-Konongo-Nkawkaw bypass, the Ho-Fumey road and the Asankragua-Enchi road. Other projects are the Sakumono Sea Defence, some agricultural and fisheries projects, electrification projects under the Self-Help Electrification Project (SHEP 4), as well as transportation and social infrastructure projects.
The finance minister added that the funding would also cover the refinancing of domestic debts as they fell due, under the new strategy to extend the tenor of domestic borrowing to channel long-term funding into long-term projects.

South Africa: FirstRand Bank sees 20% surge in revenue

In what it described as a pleasing set of numbers, FirstRand, South Africa’s third biggest bank, said earnings for the year to June had surged 20 percent to R15.3 billion ($1.5bn). Sizwe Nxasana, the CEO of First Rand, said the company had posted good results despite tough operating conditions.
He said the company’s retail portfolios of FNB, WesBank and RMB prolonged the growth its corporate lending book. It said its African activities have increased their contribution to the company during the period under review.
Reuters reports that FirstRand said it has a $1 billion war chest to chase opportunities on the African continent.
“We grow organically, just like we are growing organically in Zambia, Tanzania, India and Nigeria. Those platforms obviously take long to fully establish, but they are doing pretty well,” Chief Executive Sizwe Nxasana told Reuters.

South Africa: Still first for investment in Africa

Africa continues to increase its investor allure, with South Africa still the continent’s most attractive investment destination, now closely followed by Nigeria, according Rand Merchant Bank’s (RMB’s) latest Where to Invest in Africa report.
Nigeria moved from third to second place in RMB’s report and is “close on the heels of South Africa”, RMB said in a statement, adding that Nigeria could overtake South Africa in the next two to four years “or even sooner” depending on its rate of economic growth.
Another notable change in RMB’s latest rankings is Ghana’s climb up the rankings, from 10th in 2007 to 4th in 2013, despite being economically one-fifth the size of continental giants South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt.
Of the 52 countries surveyed, 42 showed improved investor attractiveness, RMB said, with the biggest improvements coming from some of the continent’s most troubled countries, notably Sao Tome and Principe, Gabon, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Congo, Mauritania and Liberia.
RMB’s report gauges investment attractiveness using three factors: market size (GDP), economic growth (GDP forecasts for the next five years), and operating environment.
As a supplementary ranking, the report also considers the effect of regional affiliation on countries’ economic attractiveness.
In terms of this regional methodology, South Africa is ranked third, “underscoring its importance as a gateway into Africa”, Rwanda climbs to second spot, and Mauritius comes first based on its access to broader markets within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa).
However, RMB notes, African countries still have a way to go in order to compete with the most attractive investment destinations worldwide, with China and the US topping the overall list and only two African countries – South Africa at 33rd and Nigeria at 38th – making the top 40.

Emerging Africa in the global economy

For all its size and diversity, Africa has been marginalised as of little consequence to the rest of the world, says Ernst Stetter, the General Secretary of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies. But he warns that neglecting Africa could turn out to be a disastrous mistake. This statement is one of the honest admissions by the rest of the world that the continent is gradually but relentlessly putting its house in order to play a leading role in the world marketplace.
Africa has abundant natural resources. The continent ranks first in the world in its reserves of gold, bauxite, chromites, cobalt and diamonds. It is rich in palladium, phosphates, platinum group metals, titanium minerals, vanadium and zircon. African production accounts for 80 per cent of the world’s platinum group metals; 55 per cent of chromites; 49 per cent of palladium; 45 per cent of vanadium and up to 55 per cent of gold and diamonds.
Africa offers easy market access to Europe, as well as to the US and recently China. In many cases as it is for Ghana, the economies of Africa offer extraordinary investment opportunities with high rates of return.
African countries have become more politically stable over the past decade, with growth surging up consistently. The continent has grown at an average growth rate of 5.5 per cent of Gross Domestic Product over the last decade, with the trend expected to continue even when many rich economies are experiencing recession. Many economies on the continent have performed well due to better regulatory regimes, structural reforms, higher growth rates, rising foreign direct investment and foreign exchange reserves, robust export performance, and lower debt levels.

Ghana: To make $7.5bn from oil & gas

According to the Commercial Director of Kosmos Energy, Philip Liverpool, Ghana is expected to rake in about 7.5 billion dollars from the oil and gas industry within the next two years.
This is about half of the country’s budget. The money will come in a form of taxes, royalties as well as being a partner of the Jubilee Oil Field.
Kosmos Energy says it will continue to maintain its 25 percent stake in the jubilee oil field. Vice President and Country Manager, Ken Keag told that his outfit will be a significant player in the oil and gas industry. Mr. Keag explained that 10 fields are expected to start producing oil by 2016.
Presently Ghana is exporting more than 110,000 barrels of oil per day.

Kenya: Chinese firm will construct $342m power dam

China Hydro-Power Company will next month, begin preliminary work for the construction of an electricity dam in Kenya.
The project, which is situated at Uasin Gishu county and cost an estimated Sh30 billion ($342 million), would help reduce high production cost in country, consequently attracting greater investments into East Africa’s industrial sector.
It was reported earlier in May that some Kenyan manufacturers were considering moving their businesses across the region’s boarders as high energy costs continue to steal a huge chunk of their revenues. They have targeted Northern and Southern Africa for cheaper power.
This could negatively impact Kenya’s economy, as GDP would drop drastically and unemployment would skyrocket. Fortunately, the development of alternative sources of electricity such as dams should help reduce the enormous financial burden currently placed on manufacturers.
“Reducing the cost of power by coming up with other preferable options is a plus and one sure way of attracting and retaining investors,” said Charles Mose, chairman of Uasin Gishu’s chamber of commerce.

Africa: Africa Oilfield Logistics invests $4m in Ardan

Africa Oilfield Logistics (AOL) has invested $4 million to acquire a 49 percent stake in Ardan Risk & Support Services, an oilfields and logistics company, to increase its market share and expand operations. In an official statement, the AIM-listed investment company said the investment was in line with its strategy of expanding its presence in the rapidly developing sub-Saharan Africa oil and gas industry by “by providing loan funding.”
According to an official statement, AOL is also looking at additional markets, particularly in Madagascar, West and North Africa. And with an aggressive expansion programme underway, a high calibre management team in place and top quality projects underway and in the pipeline, Ardan expects to continue its growth trajectory over the next few years.
The group which is a multi-divisional Africa-focused support service and logistics company, has established international client base providing a full spectrum of products and services ranging from the provision of remote workforce accommodation to facilities management and medical support. It now services multiple sectors including oil & gas, mining, construction, engineering, industrial, NGO and governmental, allowing its clients to operate and develop their businesses and services efficiently on the African continent.

Zimbabwe: China will invest

A delegation from the Chinese government met President Mugabe at State House in Harare yesterday and pledged investment worth “several billions of dollars” in capital projects that will result in major economic take-off.The Herald is reliably informed that Chinese companies China International Fund and Singapore OKP Group intend to build two power plants each with a 350-megawatt capacity to ease current electricity challenges.
Another Chinese company, Baoda Petroleum Corporation, will invest in petroleum refinery in an estimated US$10 billion investment. The companies intend to produce petrochemicals and fertiliser to boost the agriculture sector.
Other Chinese firms also intend to build a water pipeline from the Zambezi River to Bulawayo in a move set to ease perennial water shortages in the country’s second largest city — the industrial hub that was yearning for development for years.
Huatai Automobile, another Chinese company, pledged to build a vehicle assembly plant while other businesses from the world’s second largest economy are targeting the rehabilitation of roads, railways and national housing projects. The Chinese investments come against the backdrop of peaceful and democratic elections resoundingly won by Zanu-PF.

Ghana: Inflation at 11.5% in August

The average change in prices of goods and services in the country, measured by inflation, dropped to 11.5 per cent in August after registering a consistent rise since January, this year. The August figure was 0.02 per cent lower than the 11.8 per cent recorded in July this year.
The drop was generally influenced by both the food and non-food groups. Some of the items in the two groups recorded drops and that impacted the whole rate.
Year-on-year inflation, which compares the change in prices of goods and services in one month against the corresponding one in the previous, has been on the rise since January, after ending last year on a record low of 8.8 per cent.
From 10.1 per cent in January, the rate rose to 10.9 per cent in April, before peaking at 11.8 last month. That consistent rise was mainly influenced by corresponding increases in prices of goods and services which was then triggered by a weakening exchange rate regime and an upward adjustment of prices of petroleum products.
The decline in the rate for August comes at a time the cedi is regaining strength against some of its main foreign counterparts, with prices of goods and services stabilising, albeit slowly.

Ghana: Commercial production, export of oil yields $1.4 billion revenue

According to the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, Ghana earned $1.4 billion from the commercial production and export of oil from 2011 to June 2013.
He said 77 million barrels of oil had been produced as of September 10, out of which about 13 million barrels, representing Ghana’s share, went to the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). The government invested the revenue in infrastructural development and other agreed purposes.
Mr Buah said the country earned $444.12 million in 2011, $541.07 million in 2012, while $422.76 million had been accrued as of the end of June 2013.
The country’s oil output was set to further increase with the recent signing of a plan of development for the Tweneboah, Enyenra and Ntomme (TEN) project and ongoing negotiations for the finalisation and signing of a plan for the development of the Sankofa oil and gas fields.

South Africa: South African life insurer sets aside $100m for African expansion

MMI Holdings, South Africa’s 3rd largest life insurer, said it has reserved 1 billion rand ($100 million) to fast-track its expansion push across Africa. The JSE-listed firm also earmarked 500 million rand ($50 million) for its short term insurance business as it purchased 70 percent of insurer Mauritian Eagle.
It plans to spend the entire funds on acquisitions in 12 countries outside South Africa where MMI operates with talks for another purchase already in place, though nothing concrete has been established at the moment.
This revelation follows the release of its year-end financial results, which showed some positive figures. Its operating divisions’ profit witnessed a 19 percent rise, while its diluted headline earnings – also a profit measurer – rose 10 percent to 3.2 billion rand ($322.9 million). Also the Value of new business went up 19 percent to R711 million ($71.7 million).

Africa: IFC invests $63m in affordable housing

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the largest global development institution, said it had invested more than $63m in a housing solutions fund for the support and development of affordable housing in sub-Saharan Africa.
The International Housing Solutions (IHS) Fund II aims to address the need for housing across the continent and the lack of affordable housing. The first IHS fund has already committed more than 200$ million to providing affordable housing in emerging markets.
Speaking at a press conference in Johannesburg, Saleem Karimjee, IFC senior manager for Southern Africa, said services such as access to quality housing were a priority in Africa.
The National Housing Finance Corporation is working with the IFC, and CEO Samson Moraba said the corporation was delighted with the investment as it would accelerate the delivery of housing. Its mandate is to broaden access to affordable housing finance for low- to middle-income South African households.

Nigeria: Austria partner to boost trade and investment

Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Austrian Federal Economic Chamber (AFEC), the apex chamber of commerce in Nigeria and Austria, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will help boost business and economic activities between the two countries. The MoU which was signed at the first Austrian-Nigerian business forum, in Lagos, will provide opportunity for the commerce industries to explore other ways of mutually beneficial relationship.
NACCIMA President, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar, who was represented by the Second Deputy National President, NACCIMA, Iyalode Alaba Lawson, in his delivery speech titled : “Foreign Direct Investment – A Global Strategy,” said Nigerian economy is too large to be ignored for Foreign Direct Investment as it holds the eighth largest population in the world, 10th largest oil and gas reserves, fourth largest equity market in the MSCI Frontier Market index, and home to a stable of large, well capitalised banks and emerging world’s largest cement companies. He however noted that despite the impressive data presented, Nigeria’s business and investment environment, like that of any other developing economies in the world, has its peculiar challenges.
Meanwhile, Austrian Ambassador to Nigeria, Joachim Oppinger, noted that Nigeria-Austria bilateral business is actually improving, adding that bilateral trade between Nigeria and Austria is in the range of 100 million euros in export.
Austria is one of the richest countries in the world with thriving manufacturing sector and a renowned know-how in the fields of renewable energy and environmental technology. It was recently ranked the 10th happiest nation in the 2013 World Happiness report.

Africa now part of EOH strategy

IT solutions provider, EOH, said it is poised to make Africa part of its strategy and get down to business on the continent. Asher Bohbot, the head of EOH, told this followed a decision taken a couple of months back at the company’s executive committee meeting.
Bohbot said the company had formed a structure that will look at Africa and it has identified a number of people that will be dedicated to Africa. This structure and the people’s main objective would be to pay more attention to the African continent.
He did not name the countries that the company was preparing to enter in the short term. But this was a surprising announcement in that not long ago the company had told its shareholders that it would be very cautious about Africa and take their time when it came to investing in Africa.

Africa: African Union invites Indian investment

Africa is seeking India’s technical support and experience as it moves towards building a contemporary continent, a top African Union (AU) official has said, saying more Indians should visit Africa and invest in Africa.
“For us to look at our future with confidence we need to address our needs. India is supporting us in this. We are seeking technical support and share of experience and nothing else,” AU Commission Chief of Staff Jean Baptiste Natama told IANS during a visit here.
Capacity building and value development of skills to help Africans better organise themselves is one of the major areas in which India is collaborating with the 54-nation continent, said Natama, who was here for a meeting on adopting the Plan of Action of the Enhanced Framework for Cooperation for the India-Africa Forum Summit-II (IAFS). Natama described the Indian Technical & Economic Cooperation Programme (ITEC), under which African nations get scholarships in India to study across various sectors including agriculture, as an example of South-South cooperation.
He said India and Africa are bound by historical ties. He said both sides need to regularly consult each other and make sure “we are promoting the interests of the two sides”. “We are calling for Indians to visit Africa, to learn more about Africa and to invest in Arica. We want to assure them they will always be welcome in Africa,” said Natama.

Ghana: To revive bilateral agreement with Italy

Government would revive the Bilateral Agreement on Migration to enable Ghanaian workers in the Agricultural Sector work in Italy. Nii Armah Ashietey, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra, after the Italian Ambassador Laura Carpini paid a courtesy call on him. He said plans were advanced to finalize the said Bilateral Agreement, which would enable Ghanaians to work legally in Italy.
He said the two countries have also discussed the expansion of circular migration programme, which would enable more Ghanaians to work in the Agriculture sector in Italy.
The Minister said the government of Italy has continually supported Ghana in its strides to manage and organize Labour Migration, saying “major efforts have been made which could not be swept under the carpet.”

Ghana: Dangote cement to expand to other regions

The largest cement manufacturer in Africa, Dangote cement has initiated moves to expand to other regions in the country.
The cement manufacturer currently has a plant in Tema which produces about 800 tonnes of cement yearly. The company says it intends to build another plant in Tema and a couple of others in other regions in the country. The expansion will see a cement plant in the Western region.
Vice Chairman of Dangote Cement, Alhaji Tajudeen A Sijuade told Citi Business News the company is also contemplating building another in the Northern region.

LeapFrog raises over $200m for emerging markets

Private equity investor, LeapFrog Investments, has raised $204 million to invest in companies in Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, in its quest to provide financial services to emerging low-income individuals in the regions. In a fund-raising event, the emerging markets fund manager raised the initial capital from several of the world’s largest insurers, reinsurers, banks and asset managers including JPMorgan Chase & Co., MetLife, Prudential, Achmea, PartnerRe, Swiss Re, and XL Group in just eight months.
“The entry of these leading financial institutions indicates the increasing attractiveness of the emerging consumer segment—the millions of people eager to join the middle class but who are not there yet,” said Andrew Kuper, LeapFrog president and founder, in a statement.
According to Peter Scher, Executive Vice-President, JPMorgan Chase & Co, the partnership is an example of the company’s strategy. Scher added that the investment represents a “compelling investment opportunity to financially empower millions of people in historically underserved communities in Africa and Asia.”
LeapFrog also received backing from five of the world’s leading development finance institutions: CDC, DEG, the European Investment Bank, FMO and Oikocredit.