REPORT OF LAST WEEK (from 19/08/13 to 23/08/13)
by Dario Galluccio – This Blog is sponsored by http://www.reflexecogroup.com
Ghana: Non-traditional export to hit 5.0 billion dollars
The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MOTI) is to increase the country’s non-traditional export from the current export value of 2.64 billion dollars to 5.0 billion dollars by 2017. This will enhance the Gross Domestic Product to increase the national income. The country also aims at generating considerable number of jobs and incomes, which will be translated into improved standard of living and welfare of the people to consolidate the middle-income status.
Mr Gerald Nyarko-Mensah, Director of Export Trade of MOTI said the strategy formed part of the national strategy for the non-traditional export sector from 2013 to 2017.
He said the country needs an investment capital of 600 million dollars to implement the National Export Strategy document, which among other things, would build the capacities of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to enable the country achieve the goal. He also said the country would no longer depend solely on the export commodities but would over the period invest in fresh and processed fish, vegetable oils, root crops, grains and legumes, natural rubber and products of the creative arts.
Mr Nyarko-Mensah said the strategy would put Ghana on the global map as a world class exporter of competitive products and services to reduce poverty promote sustainable environmental development and improve the balance in spatial and regional development. He indicated that the strategy would strengthen and resource export development related institutions to ensure that the export culture is imbibed nationwide so that every district would be able to have at least one significant commercial viable agro-based export product.
Ghana: World Bank says economy is expected to grow
Mr. Jean Phillipe Prosper, the Vice-President of the International Finance Corporation for sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, says the current glitch in government’s finances is only temporary as the country’s economy is expected to continue its growth in the coming months. Government is aiming to cut the fiscal deficit from 12 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2012 to 9 percent in 2013, through a combination of revenue and expenditure measures.
“Africa is turning heads around the world, while developed countries still find their footing after a devastating crisis and emerging markets in other parts of the world face new challenges after years of torrid growth. Ghana is leading the way. Ghana’s growth in the first decade of this century averaged more than six percent. Today that growth is even higher and expected to continue,” he said.
The World Bank has provided about US$10billion in funding to the government of Ghana since it joined the Group in 1957; with most of the funds coming from the Bank’s facility for the world’s poorest nations — the International Development Association (IDA). About US$8billion of the total funding came as grants and interest-free credits to the government.
Kenya: President Kenyatta arrives in China on first state visit
President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in Beijing on Sunday morning on his first State visit to China, which will focus on growing Kenya’s business and investment with the East. African ambassadors accredited to China greeted President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta on arrival at Beijing Capital International Airport. They told him Kenya’s agenda of seeking transformational projects in infrastructure, technology, agribusiness and finance resonated with the continent. Discussions this week with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other government officials, as well as the China business community will focus on investments mainly in infrastructure, energy, technology and protecting Kenya’s wildlife. President Kenyatta will also press for greater market access for Kenyan exports.
He said his visit would cement and deepen the strategic partnership between Kenya and China.
East Africa: China tops Kenya’s FDI sources
China has become Kenya’s biggest FDI source with 474 million U. S. dollars invested in the East African country, as a result of the development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation, according to Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Guangyuan.
Statistics from the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi show that the bilateral trade has boomed in recent years with an annual surge of 30 percent to 2.84 billion U. S. dollars. China has become the second largest trade partner to Kenya.
Meanwhile, Kenya has become more and more popular with Chinese tourists, whose arrivals hit 40,000 in 2012 and are expected even higher in years to come.
Ghana ranked 10th export country to China
Ghana has been ranked second after Nigeria as an ECOWAS country whose exports is in higher demand by China. It was however ranked 10th among sub-Sahara African countries that export to China.
Angola, South Africa, Congo, DR Congo and Zambia were the top five countries that China imported from. The rest were Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Cameroon and Ghana.
According to Ecobank Research, sub-Saharan Africa has emerged as China’s biggest bilateral trade partner. The export trade rose to $1.2 billion last year, up from $945 billion in 2008.
Ghana’s exports to China reduced from 2008 to 2012. The country mainly exports minerals and cocoa to one of the fastest growing economies in the world. China has increased its investments in Africa in mining, energy, construction and manufacturing. However, there is an increasing move towards investments in the services sector particularly finance and tourism.
Ethiopia hails Dangote’s investment in cement plant
Nigeria’s Dangote Group has seen rapid expansion across the continent and has received yet another commendation, this time by the Ethiopian government, after the establishment of a new cement plant in the East African country.
The commendation, conveyed through a letter, acclaimed the effort of the President of the conglomerate, Aliko Dangote and promised to provide the enabling atmosphere for the success of the venture.
Dangote Cement had launched a 2.5 million metric tonnes per annum plant in Mugher, Adaberga District in Ethiopia with a pledge by the company to ensure that it was completed on schedule.
Dangote, Africa’s richest man, has pledged to spend up to $15 billion pursuing investment opportunities around the continent in the next 4-5 years. He earlier revealed that his company has invested approximately $8 billion in an oil refinery and another $2 billion in fertilizer in Nigeria alone, aside other billion dollar investments outside the country.
Nigeria: Apex Bank launches $1.2m MSME fund
The central bank of Nigeria has launched a N220 billion ($1.2 million) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) development Fund to fill the vacuum accessed in the small business sub-sector. The Fund, which would be given to Micro Finance Banks (MFBs) and Micro Finance Institutions (MFIs) to strengthen their operations (the credit component, the guarantee component and the refinancing component for the sector to work) will provide wholesale funding requirements in their operations and ensure that the un-served and under-served clients in Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) sub-sector are now covered.
The fund was set up in accordance to Section 6.10 of the revised Microfinance Policy, Regulatory and Supervisory Framework for Nigeria which stipulates that “a Microfinance Development Fund shall be set up, primarily to provide for the wholesale funding requirements of MFBs/MFIs.”
The development fund will be available for disbursement as from next year. 60 percent of the fund has been earmarked for the provision of financial services to women entrepreneurs. This is as a result of the challenges they faced in accessing financial services in Nigeria.
Special consideration will also be given to institutions that will provide financial services to graduates of the CBN’s Entrepreneurship Development Centers (EDCs).
Kenya: from nowhere plans East Africa’s first Oil exports
Kenya is headed to become the first oil exporter in East Africa, moving in less than five years from being a have-not nation to the regional leader in cutting reliance on energy suppliers such as Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
After Tullow Oil Plc (TLW) discovered oil last year, Kenya is set to start shipments in 2016, overtaking neighboring Uganda, where Tullow found crude more than seven years ago. The U.K. explorer plans to start pumping in Kenya as soon as next year, Chief Operating Officer Paul McDade said in an interview. Kenya’s deposits may top 10 billion barrels, according to the company, more than three times the U.K.’s remaining reserves.
Oil will allow Kenya to “diversify export earnings and act as a catalyst for infrastructural spending, especially on the transport network,” Phumulele Mbiyo, regional head of macroeconomic research at Nairobi-based CfC Stanbic Bank Ltd., a unit of Standard Bank Group Ltd., said . “The shilling is expected to benefit from inflows of foreign exchange and reduced spending on fuel imports.”
Sierra Leone: Diamond exports sees 43% increase in H1
African diamond exporter, Sierra Leone says it shipped out diamonds worth $102 million in the first half (H1) of the year, a 43 percent rise as compared to the $71 million gained from exports during the same period last year. According to the country’s National Mineral Agency (NMA), the increase – which provided the government with a tax windfall in excess of $5 million – was largely influenced by the improved level of productivity from its major diamond miner, Koidu Holdings and further highlights the growing advancement in channeling diamonds through the government.
“At the end of the first half of 2013, exports exceeded those of 2012 by 42.95 percent, an improvement of $30.71 million,” Ibrahim Mohmed, who oversees the diamond sector at the NMA, told. “The total diamonds exported amounted to 331,471 carats valued at $102 million,” he added.
Kenya: International acquisition of local firms profit entrepreneurs
Recent acquisition of Kenyan companies by foreign multinationals will provide multi-billion-dollar windfalls for local entrepreneurs, experts reveal.
Findings suggests that several billionaire entrepreneurs are selling their stakes in local companies to foreign firms eager to tap into the East African market and have a preference for acquisition as a faster and cost efficient medium of entry into the region.
According to Business Daily, sporadic deals in the past year have attracted multinationals from across Africa, Asia and Europe with concluded acquisitions involving firms such as Fina Bank, Mercantile Insurance, Kenya Data Networks (KDN) and Swift global. Other potential buyout deals include that of AccessKenya, Scangroup, KenolKobil, CMC Holdings, and Resolution Insurance.
Analysts have noted that most agreements are aimed at generating capital for cash-strapped firms or at providing expertise in resource and operational management to ensure sustainable business development for the growing economy.
Ghana: Trade between Ghana-Germany is pegged at €1.25b for 2013
Trade between Ghana and Germany currently stands at €1.25 billion as at the end of March 2013. This was made known by President John Mahama last week when he hosted the outgoing German Ambassador to Ghana, Dr. Renate Schimkoreit.
Germany is one of Ghana’s biggest trading partners in the European Union.
According to President Mahama, Germany has given Ghana €132 million out of the total portfolio of €184 million support pledge it made for the period between 2012 and 2015, reports the Ghana News Agency.
Germany’s funding in Ghana has been in major areas such as renewable energy, health, agriculture, land administration project among others.
Nigeria: To Sign $3.7bn coal project deal with Chinese firm
Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan says nothing stops the country from exploiting its abundant coal reserves for quality power generation if properly harnessed.
“Nigeria is endowed with abundant coal reserves of the required quality necessary for power generation. And so there is no reason why we should not exploit that sector.”
Nigeria’s coal reserve is put at about 360 metric tonnes.
The president also stressed on the importance of the solid mineral sector and the need to harness it in order to create jobs, wealth and increase the foreign direct investments in the economy.
During the workshop, HTG-Pacific Energy Consortium and Ministry of Mines and Steel Development signed a $3.7 billion deal for a coal to power project at Ezimo Coal Block in Enugu State and a 1,000 megawatts coal power generating plant. The MoU represents the first step to building plants that will generate additional 1200 mega watts of electricity to the national grid.
Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, said a greater part of the funds required to carry out the project will be borrowed from foreign banks.
Africa: Standard Bank will open offices in Ethiopia, Ivory Coast
Standard Bank, Africa’s biggest lender by assets, is poised to open up representative offices in Ethiopia and the Ivory Coast, it merged earlier this week. Banks first open representative offices in the targeted countries before setting up shop and opening up a branch network offering a suite of their products.
By the time Standard Bank decides to go full steam ahead and start full-suited operations in the two countries, the lender would have increased its African operations to 20. It currently has operations in 18 African countries.
The lender is paying more attention to Africa because it is planning to take advantage of opportunities that will be proffered by the growing middle class in the continent. Standard Bank has disposed of its operations in the United Kingdom, Russia and Argentina to focus on the African continent.
In the past couple of years, Ethiopia has been seen as having great prospects for foreign banks. This is in view of the fact that it is Africa’s second most populous country.
Ghana: DHL to expand in Africa
Leading international express and logistics company, DHL Express has stated that it will continue to invest in Sub-Saharan Africa. To strengthen its 32-year relationship with Ghana, DHL’s Sub-Saharan Africa Managing Director, Charles Brewer last Friday met key stakeholders, customers, employees and the media to explain the company’s future direction.
“Despite the current global economic uncertainty, DHL expects the African region to deliver,” said Mr. Brewer.
He also said “As we see the continent ‘surge’ as a result of sector investment, increased consumer spending and economic activity, the future is still bright for the continent. Ghana is an attractive market for us and with the GDP growth rate 7 percent presents a major opportunity. The opportunity for us is to expand our footprint within the country and service semi-urban and rural areas so that anyone-from a student to a small business- can access our network and the over 220 countries and destinations that we serve.”
Ghana: 1st Made in Ghana exhibition in Nigeria
The first ever Made in Ghana Solo Exhibition to be hosted in Nigeria, which is part of efforts aimed at strengthening the bi-lateral trade relations between Ghana and Nigeria as well as introducing Ghanaian manufacturers to the largest market in Africa was declared launched in Accra by the President of Ghana Manufacturers Association, Nana Owusu Opare. The press briefing which was held in the boardroom of First Atlantic Bank; the major sponsor of the program, was said to be the first solo exhibition platform that will be strictly for Ghanaians to showcase their products in Nigeria.
First Made in Ghana Solo Exhibition which is under the theme: “Promoting Ghana’s Export Potentials To West Africa’s Largest Market” was put together by Vintage Visions, Ghana.
The exhibition is expected to take place at the LTV. Ikeja, Lagos, from 2nd of September to 7th.
Nigeria: Nigerians abroad, biggest investors
Nigerians abroad have been identified as the biggest investors into the country’s economy, which is seen as one of the fastest growing in Africa.
The chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa disclosed this at the just concluded Nigerian Diaspora Direct Investment Summit in London where she urged the Nigerian government to ensure that Nigerians abroad are given the necessary support needed to have a smooth inter-business transactions in their various countries of abode.
Moreover also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, has lauded the contributions of Nigerians abroad to national development, saying, ” Remittances of over $21 billion in the last one year, appears the highest so far in Africa.
Kenya: Kidero signs Sh90 billion deal with investors
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has signed deals worth Sh90billion with Chinese investors to be used for infrastructure development. Speaking in China yesterday, Kidero said that he had held a fruitful meeting with the executive chairman of China Investment Bank, on the prospects of funding the urban re-generation of Eastlands housing estates, Nairobi’s transport system and nine transport corridors to open up traffic in the county.
“The China Investment Bank is willing to invest in Nairobi county. Its chairman Hu Huai Bang will soon visit Kenya,” he said. He said some Chinese investors want to fund the second phase of the Digital Traffic and Security Control where cameras will be installed in 253 major junctions in Nairobi from Mowlem area in Embakasi West to Karen. We also got commitments for the health care sector where statistics show that there are 7.6 million hospital visits per year in Nairobi while there are 83 hospitals, clinics and dispensaries. This will be upgraded to digital imaging systems,” Kidero said.
Nigeria: MoneyGram, eTranzact sign money transfer deal
International money transfer company, MoneyGram, has finalised agreements with electronic transaction and payment platform, eTranzact’s PocketMoni, that will allow accessibility to Nigerian mobile users all over the world.
PocketMoni – which works on all GSM networks the partnership – would enable customers carry out their transactions with ease, without having to face the often “touted inconvenience” of funds transfer.
The companies said the deal which would allow 24/7 access to money transfer transactions is a step in building a comprehensive suite of mobile services.
The Regional Director for North West Africa MoneyGram International, Mr Francois Peyret noted that the partnership was another effort aimed at driving the cashless policy directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Ghana: Reserve stands at $5.7billion
Dr Kofi Wampah, the Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), has announced that Ghana’s external reserves stood at $5.7 billion as of August 20, 2013.
This translates into more than three months of import cover, meaning that the country’s external reserves can pay for more than three months of imports.
Dr Wampah added that the current reserve level was an appreciation of the one recorded last month; in july the country’s external reserves were $4.9 billion but rose to the current level due to the various gains chalked up in the economy over the period.
The governor attributed those gains to the numerous interventions the government introduced into the economy, such as the Eurobond and improvement in the energy sector.
Ghana: To save $279 million from crude oil revenue
Ghana has been able to save close to $279 million from revenue earned from crude oil export for the first half of 2013. This is contained in the Ghana Petroleum Funds report on the country’s earnings from crude oil export since it started exporting crude.
According to the report, $77 million will be set aside for future generations in the Heritage Fund, while $202 million has accrued to the Stabilisation Fund to cushion the country in times of crude oil price volatility.
Africa: CDB invests $2.4 Billion in infrastructure projects
China Development Bank (CDB), the largest policy lender in the country, has invested over $2.4 billion in Africa’s infrastructure development, the bank’s president, Zheng Zhijie, has revealed.
According to the president, the bank, through its wholly owned subsidiary fund, China-Africa Development Fund, has financed several economy-enhancing projects in mineral resources development, power generation, agriculture and machinery manufacturing across 30 African countries, and has also offered loans worth a reported $18.9 billion.
With the economic crisis threatening Europe and parts of North America and a quest to find cost friendly markets for trading and business development, western countries have started turning their attention towards African nations, with predictions that the continent will be the next region to enjoy an economic boom. Top economic giants including the US, UK, Japan, Russia, France and Germany are all pushing for investment opportunities in the fast growing continent, but China seems to be leading the pile.
In 2009, China became Africa’s biggest trading partner, with trade deals from $10 billion in 2000 to over $200 billion this year, thereby outdoing the US.
Nigeria: IFC invests N60bn in infrastructure development
International Finance Corporation, IFC said it has invested 25 per cent, about N60 billion of its 2012 total investment in Nigeria on infrastructure. Vice President, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and The Caribbean, Jean Philippe Prosper stated this in Lagos while interacting with news men during his visit to Nigeria.
He said that IFC has invested a total of $1.5bn in Nigeria within the organization’s last fiscal year that ended in June, 2013.
According to him, the infrastructure and natural resources sector got 25 per cent, about N60bn, while manufacturing and agribusiness got 25 per cent. The financial markets got N120bn about 50 per cent of the total investments.
Tanzania: Dar es Salaam Business prospects attract Singaporeans
Prospective investors from Singapore are in the country to explore business opportunities, thanks to President Jakaya Kikwete’s recent tour of the Asian nation. The visiting Singaporeans have expressed interest to invest particularly under the Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) managed Export Processing Zone (EPZ) and Special Economic Zone (SEZ) programmes.
The arrival of the strong business delegation from Singapore is linked to President Kikwete’s tour of Japan and Singapore early last June to lure prospective investors from the highly industrialised Asian nations.
Angola: To urge diversification amid stable oil prices
Angola, Africa’s largest oil producer after Nigeria, needs to cut its reliance on crude to buffer the economy as prices for the commodity are set to remain stable over the next three years, a central bank official said.
The economy is forecast to expand 6.5 percent this year and between 7 percent and 8 percent in 2014, while oil trades at about $106 a barrel, Antonio Andre Lopes, a vice-governor of the Banco Nacional de Angola, said. Crude oil makes up 97 percent of the country’s exports and 80 percent of tax revenue.
“The price of oil is a big threat so we need to diversify the economy to mitigate this,” Lopes said. “However, the economy is getting better and I think the oil price will be stable.”
The government is seeking to increase lending from banks to businesses in industries including construction, mining and agriculture as the southwest African country recovers from a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002.
Angola’s $116 billion economy is forecast by the World Bank to expand 7.2 percent this year. Crude oil has gained 12 percent in New York in the past six months and was trading as high as $104.72 a barrel today.
Ghana can generate power for West Africa
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister for Lands and Natural Resources says Ghana has the potential to establish power-generation plants to feed the West African sub-region.
He said investment in relatively cheap gas-fired power plants through gas that would be made available by the Ghana Gas Company ‘would significantly enhance the competitiveness of products of Ghanaian companies and facilitate the generation of the targeted 5,000KV by 2016 for export to countries in the sub-region.’
Alhaji Fuseini made the observation when Mr. Kimihiko Inaba, Executive Director of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) led a three-man South Africa-based team comprising himself, Mr. Yasuto Suzuki, Deputy General Manager of Toshiba and Mr. Nozomu Sasaki, General Manager of Mitsubishi Corporation to pay a courtesy call on the minister. The three-member JETRO delegation is currently in Ghana to explore investment opportunities particularly in the natural resource and power generation sectors in a bid to boost investment of Japanese companies in Ghana.
Ghana: BoG issues 7-year bond
The Bank of Ghana on Thursday, 22th of August, issued its first seven year Government of Ghana bond. Proceeds from the 100 million Ghana Cedi bond is expected to be used to settle maturing debts as well as finance some infrastructure projects. This is contained in the Government of Ghana’s Securities Calendar from July till the end of the year.
A total of 1.7 billion Ghana Cedis will be raised this month from short and long dated instruments. This will bring to a total of 14.7 billion Ghana Cedis of debt instruments raised by government this year.
The Central Bank will also issue a 600 million Ghana Cedis bond next month. Another seven year bond will be issued in November
Tanzania: Vodacom will invest $124m for network expansion
Tanzania’s largest mobile network operator, Vodacom, said it is investing 200 billion shillings ($124 million) to develop and grow its business in Tanzania, but complained that rising taxes could stifle the sector.
Vodacom spent 230 billion shilling ($142 million) last year to build over 890 network sites.
Vodacom hopes the service expansion will help pull more subscribers despite stiff competition from the likes of Airtel Tanzania, India’s Bharti Tigo Tanzania, Millicom International Cellular and Zantel.
Telecommunications is the fastest growing business sector in East Africa and the government is determined on getting a bigger share of revenues. However, taxation in East Africa’s second-largest economy had become difficult for mobile phone operators.
South Africa: Gold Fields acquires Barrick’s interests in Western Australia
JSE-listed gold miner, Gold Fields, said it had acquired Barrick Gold’s interests in Yilgam South Assets in Western Australia for $300 million. Gold Fields’ purchase of these assets will give the South African gold miner an extra 452.000 ounces in yearly gold production. The transaction will also offer the gold miner 2.6 million standby ounces for $115 an ounce and 1.9 million reserve ounces.
It has been disclosed that Gold Fields may pay for these assets in cash or partly in shares offered to Barrick Gold. If Gold Fields opts for cash payment for these assets, it may use its money generated in Australian operations. It may also use money from its bank facilities. And perhaps obtain funds from the capital markets.
The purchase is dependent on a number of conditions being met, one of them being the approval by the South African Reserve Bank for the transaction. The deal will have to get the blessing of Australia’s Federal Treasurer. Lastly, the Western Australian Minister for Mines will also have to put his signature to the transaction.
Barrick Gold is the world’s biggest gold producer which has been struggling in recent years.
Nigeria: Shekau’s death excites BRIC investors
According a report published in Forbes the death of Abubakar Shekau, the leader of the Boko Haram insurgency, is making foreign investors look favourably towards investing in Nigeria. Such investors are said to be frustrated by the low level of profit they are currently making from the BRIC nations of Brazil, India, Russia and China.
The report said success in cracking down on security threats in the Niger Delta is also changing the security situation for the better. And while terrorist disruption recedes, money keeps flowing into Nigeria.
In the last six months, U.S. corporations like Procter & Gamble PG -have committed at least $700 million to build new factories and agricultural facilities in the country while the Nigerian government itself announced a $1 billion fund to nurture the local software industry, which officials think can ultimately capture $20 billion a year from rivals like India.
Forbes also said Nigeria was one of the world’s four best-performing markets last year with a 35.45 per cent gain and is the biggest and most dynamic frontier economy in Africa, with a GDP at par with global capitals like Hong Kong and Singapore.
Moreover the Nigerian economy is growing at an annualised rate well above six per cent, faster than any of the top-tier emerging markets.
Ghana: First seven year bond oversubscribed by 170 percent
The country’s quest to raise funds for development through the issuing bonds has received massive interest from investors. The Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning sold its first seven-year bond and it was over-subscribed by 170%.
Government received GH¢ 270 million Ghana cedi offers from local and foreign investors but took GH¢102 million cedis. It would be paying those who participated in the bids, an interest or a yield of 17.5%. Most of the bids that government is likely to accept are from local investors.
Proceeds from the bond, would be used to finance infrastructure projects and settle some maturing debts. Government is however expected to receive the money by next Monday, 26th of August. Some analyst says this would encourage some corporate institutions as well as government agencies like Volta River Authority (VRA) to issue long-term bonds to finance their operations.