BRIEFS [African Business]
(African Business Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) CONSERVATION
Kenyan rhinos protected by military drones
»Africa's last white rhinos are to be protected from poachers by military drones, similar to those used against terrorists. In Kenya's Ol Pejeta Conservancy, remotely-piloted surveillance drones will track the rhinos and warn of human encroachment. They will deploy high resolution cameras and infra-red thermal imaging for night operations, monitoring the locations of the endangered rhinos. In a single flight, the electric-powered drones will cover 10,000 acres and enable armed wardens to be dispatched if an animal is at risk. Each drone costs $50,000, has a 10ft wingspan, weigh 10lbs and will stream live images back to base by an on-board GPS system. Radio transmitters may be attached to each rhino.
Mobile money transactions in Nigeria reached $1.5m in 2012 and are expected to increase to $962,000 by the end of 2015
POPULATION OF AFRICA'S LARGEST CITIES 2013 FORECAST
¦ Egypt Alexandria_ 4.6m
¦Egypt Cairo _11.4m
¦Nigeria Lagos _11.4 m
¦ Sudan Khartoum _5.7m
¦Congo Kinshasa _9.9m
¦Angola Luanda_5.5 m
¦South Africa Johannesburg_3.8m
¦South Africa Cape Town_3.5m
¦Côte D'Ivoire Abidjan_ 4.5m
CHART:SOURCE UN HAB-ITAT
FOOD AND DRINK
Exporters face tougher rules
Kenyan vegetable exporters to the European Union face tougher mandatory compliance procedures as new food safety rules take effect. All exporters of key vegetables to the bloc will have to provide details of the safety standards of their produce to confirm compliance with safety controls on harmful elements such as aflatoxins, pesticide residues and metals such as lead. Strict regulation on pesticide usage by the EU has been cited as a major barrier to growth in trade as nations in the tropics have high levels of pest attacks.
Asian scramble for Zim coal State-run Japan Oil Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) hopes to import 15m tonnes annually from Zimbabwe and will enhance production and rail distribution via Beira, Mozambique. An estimated $1bn is needed in investment over a five-year period. Coal firm China Africa Sunlight plans to invest $600m in coal extraction and power generation projects after being granted a 100,000 hectare concession.
New - the gravity-powered lamp
With potential for off-grid users in developing countries, the GravityLight is a low-cost light source that uses gravity instead of kerosene. It is charged by a bag that is filled with 9kg of material and hung from a cord below the light. As the bag descends, gears inside translate this weight into energy, providing 30 minutes of light after three seconds of lifting. The light strength can be adjusted, and it can be used as a generator so it can recharge other devices,. The $5 investment is returned within three months by savings on kerosene. From then on, it saves money.
Lagos is new site of Monopoly game »Lagos is the latest site of the famous board game Monopoly, the first time the game has been customised for a city in Africa. The metropolis is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and littered with landmarks, a game- maker's dream. The Monopoly game was originally developed in America based on the streets of Atlantic City. The celebrated London version was produced in 1935.
Banana Island is Lagos's Mayfair. The artificial island was built for millionaires and is crowded with mansions and ritzy apartments. The cheapest square is Makoko - the "little Venice" of Lagos. Parts of Makoko have been demolished in recent months but it will survive in Monopoly.
Businesses and banks have sponsored other popular landmarks. Players are not simply ordered to "Go to jail". They are told to "Go directly to Kirikiri jail", a reference to the city's maximum-security prison.
The Chance cards, which issue players with fines, have been tailored to reflect the perils of Nigeria's treacherous roads and reckless drivers. One card reads: "You've been caught driving against traffic. Report for psychiatric evaluation". Another instructs: "Park! Park! For reckless driving pay a fine...and register for retraining". A third says: "For attempting to bribe a law enforcement agent, pay a fine".
First Bank partnered with Bestman Games on the game to promote financial literacy.
The IMF and the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) will support $176m in debt relief for the Comoros, representing a 59% reduction of its future external debt service over 40 years
Less than 10% of credit for small farmers in Africa is directed to women
The $83.3bn Indian Tata Group's foreign direct investment projects in Africa grew 27% from 2010 to 2011,
an annual increase of around 20% since 2007. In the last 20 years they have invested $576m in projects across the continent
70% of African MBA students in the West plan to return to the continent after graduation
The US Ex-Im Bank has approved a $155.4m loan to finance hospital expansion in Ghana at the Ridge Hospital Complex which serves Greater Accra
IFAD is releasing a $20.28m grant for The Gambia to increase productivity and help smallholder farmers
Dar es Salaam TV goes digital
Tanzania has switched to digital broadcasting, creating new frequencies and enabling new licences for those seeking to invest in broadcasting. An increase in the number of broadcasters is expected to spur growth in the content generation market, leading to more local content being aired and increased potential for homegrown production houses.
Exclusive internet browser for Africa
Telecom multinational, France Telecom's Orange subsidiary has signed a strategic partnership with leading Chinese-language internet search provider, Baidu, to develop a co-branded internet browser for smartphone customers in Africa, the first time Baidu has signed such an agreement with a global operator
MTN launches revamped content portal
MTN has launched its revamped content portal, MTN Play, giving instant access to social media platforms. Users will be able to update any or all social media accounts directly from MTN Play in one go and pay for content using MTN Mobile Money, e-vouchers, loyalty points or airtime. The revamped MTN Play portal is now live in Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana and Zambia, with other MTN markets to follow.
China buys stake in African port
State-backed China Merchants Holdings (International) is expanding its presence in Africa with the acquisition of 23.5% stake in Port de Djibouti for $185m. It has a multipurpose terminal and a container terminal, and a stake in a company that develops the Djibouti Free Zone. China Merchants also has stakes in Tin-Can Island Container Terminal in Lagos, Nigeria and a port project in Lome, Togo.
Mauritius-based EMP rebrands
Mediterranean Smart Card Company (MSCC) has changed its name to Emerging Markets Payments Africa SAE (EMPA) and will be operating under the brand of EMP, part of Emerging Markets Payments Group (EMP Group), the payment solutions provider. EMP Group is based in Mauritius and currently serves 135 banks, 30,000 retailers, governments and consumer finance institutions in 40 countries across Africa and the Middle East.
»China's exports to Africa increased to over $80bn in 2012, and two-way Sino- African trade was more than $200bn, up from $166bn in 2011. An estimate is that 18% of Africa's imports were sourced from China in the first 10 months of 2012, up from 16.8% in 2011.
China's exports to Africa grew 5% faster than to any other region last year, whilst China's imports from Africa increased by 26%, twice the speed of China's imports from any other region.
Strong import growth was due almost entirely to sales of crude oil, chiefly from Angola. China's imports of African iron ore were flat, while copper, steel and aluminium imports slumped by 29%, 54% and 60%, respectively.
China accounts for 20% of Africa's trade. China's average monthly exports to Africa have increased by about $1bn each year since 2008, rising most recently from an average of $6bn a month throughout 2011 to an average of $7bn in 2012.
As mature markets in the rest of the world become less active because of austerity measures, demand from African countries, especially the largest ones such as Kenya, Egypt, Angola, Nigeria and South Africa, has become even more important to Chinese firms. China's exports of industrial goods are continuing to squeeze out producers from mature economies, as sellers move up the value chain to offset rising costs.
World Bank estimates sub-Saharan Africa needs $93bn a year to overcome poor road networks and shortages of power and water
The Kabaka of Buganda was the first person to make a call with the Buganda Kingdom's K2 Telecom. The network has a national coverage in Uganda and is the seventh player in the industry after Airtel, MTN, Warid, UTL, Smiles Telecom and Orange Uganda in a market of 15m subscribers
Nigeria only produces 5% of the electricity produced in Brazil, a country with a similar population
Nigeria's aviation industry is projected to generate about $25.5bn in 2013
Mobile money in Kenya passed the $12bn mark A third of Kenya's annual productive capacity moved on mobile money platforms between January and September 2012. $12.8bn changed hands through mobile phone money transfers
The AfDB approved a $24m equity investment in the East African Development Bank
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated has opened a branch in Equatorial Guinea. Ecobank Equatorial Guinea will be the 33rd affiliate of the group in Africa.
Rwanda launches fingerprint banking
Mobile payment platform MobiCash and KCB Bank in Rwanda have launched BioCash, a financial service using a fingerprint scanner to authenticate users. All monetary transactions can be done with a fingerprint without needing cash or card. The fingerprint reader recognises the person's identity and connects with the corresponding bank account. All shops will be provided with fingerprint readers.
Mobile cash for Malawi food
A cash transfer programme via mobile phone will be used to assist food distribution in Malawi. More than 108,000 people will be provided with low-cost mobile phones and receive a monthly text message entitling them to collect cash from an Airtel agent to buy food in local markets. The initiative is by the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the government and Airtel.
New money transfer for Kenyan diaspora
Kenyans in the UAE will benefit from UAE-based Al Ansari Exchange, the first UAE remittance company to offer money transfer to Kenya via mobile phones, though an agreement with Kenya's FSI Capital. Recipients in Kenya can use their mobile for cash withdrawal from any of FSI Capital's 20,000 outlets, purchase airtime, pay bills, purchase goods, conduct P2P (Phone to Phone) transfers or mobile banking.
4,000 women train as entrepreneurs
Over 4,000 women from Ghana, Tanzania and Rwanda will be helped to set up a business as a Tigo Mobile Money agent over the next 18 months. They will have access to 12-month working capital loans for their mobile money businesses distributed through Millicom, and be given business skills training in financial literacy.
Tigo, Millicom International Cellular, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women have set up the project.
Zim gets WU transactions
Global money transfer giant Western Union (WU) is now handling Zimbabwean transactions as well as international transfers. WU local agents include Kingdom Bank's Microking, Easy Link and POSB. Money transfer platforms are also being launched
Most of Africa could be middle income by 2025
» One way to track Africa's progress is by charting the number of countries that have achieved middle income status of $1,000 GDP per capita: today there are 22. If sub-Saharan Africa were one country, it would already be a Middle Income Country (MIC) with an average per-capita income of around $1,500. If current trends continue, most African countries will have reached middle-income status by 2025. Africa's more advanced economies can be grouped into four categories: Mature MICs: Botswana: Cape Verde, South Africa, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles and Swaziland, with 60m people - Africa's better-off economies, in Southern Africa or small-island states. Commodity MICs: Angola, Congo (Brazzaville), Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Sudan - home to about 260m people, they are rich in natural resources, mainly oil. New MICs: Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Lesotho, Mauritania, São Tomé & Principé, and Senegal. These countries represent a broad mix of economies and 60m people. While continuing to face major development challenges, most benefited from improved economic policies and Africa's broader growth momentum.
Next MICs: Chad, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe - home to 110m people, and should reach middle-income Status by 2025 if past trends continue or political interruptions subside.
Reaching MIC status is not a goal in itself. To grow at current rates, Africa needs sound macro-management and political stability.
Kenyans abroad now send home more than $1bn a year, Nigerians $10bn, and remittances now exceed Africa's total foreign aid
130 mobile money systems have been implemented since March 2012 with almost 80 of them in Africa
The Kenyan government importing more than 1m bags of fertiliser at a cost of $22.7m for the next planting season this year in addition to 800,000 bags already sourced, to subsidise small-scale farmers and help recoup maize losses caused by floods
Tanzania's population is expected to hit 50m in the next three years
With 80% of subSaharan Africa's adult population unbanked, its financial services sector is projected to grow 40% by 2020
Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa together represent 40% of the world's population
by mobile network companies such as Econet Zimbabwe's Ecocash and Netone's wallet. Supermarket chain OK Zimbabwe has acquired a mobile money transfer licence. An estimated $2bn is unbanked.
Ethiopia trains new pilots
The Ethiopian Aviation Academy has graduated 20 pilots and 72 cabin crew. By the end of 2025, the academy will increase its admission capacity by fourfold from the current intake capacity of 1,000 trainees per year.
Kenya's Lamu airport upgrades
A $11.5m expansion project is under way at the Manda Airstrip in Lamu to increase tourist numbers. Construction of a two-kilometre runway will allow larger aircraft to land and a new terminal building is being built. It is hoped that the expansion will attract more international airlines to fly direct. The airstrip currently caters for 300 passengers per day and expansion is expected to double this.
Angola's richest woman buys into airline
Isabel dos Santos, daughter of Angola's president, is set to acquire a stake in Cape Verde's private airline Halcyonair Cabo Verde Airways, after the majority shareholder announced it wanted to sell up to 40%. Cape Verde's first private airline fell into a financial crisis in 2011 and is not operating whilst this deal is concluded.
New MMIA terminal
Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Ikeja, Nigeria, will be able to accommodate about 6,000 passengers, up from 1,000, when the international terminal revamp is completed. Passenger movements increased 11% year on year to October 2012; cargo increased 25%.
Fastjet to buy 1time shares for 1 rand
New low-cost airline fastjet has signed an option agreement to purchase shares in provisionally liquidated South African airline 1time for one rand. If approved, the rebranded 1time will serve major South African cities including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and East London. It carried 29,547 passengers in its first full month of operations.
Nigerian airline flies again
Dana Air resumed operations with a flight from Abuja to Lagos after its fatal crash last year.
South African Airways takes award
SAA has been named the Best Airline and Best Business Class in Africa by Business Traveller magazine in its annual consumer survey.
Angola and Portugal reverse roles
»Fuelled by its oil-boom petrodollars, Angola is going on a shopping spree in Portugal, snapping up government-owned enterprises that have to be privatised quickly to satisfy EU and IMF austerity measures.
Angola is also attracting skilled Portuguese professionals who cannot find work - almost 150,000 have already obtained visas. Frenetic rebuilding of roads, railways, airports, housing, schools and hospitals is going on in Angola. It also needs help organising its electricity and water supply, developing internet access and revamping the agricultural sector but around 40% of the 18m population are illiterate. Those without education and training are unable to find work. Only a small upper class has university degrees, and an even smaller minority has obtained a coveted foreign degree. This - and the fact that they face no language barriers as Portuguese is the national language - explains why teachers, doctors, engineers and agricultural experts from Portugal are in such great demand.
Companies draw up the employment contracts for Angola under Portuguese law, and the workers from the 'motherland' are sent to Africa as expatriates. Salaries can be five to 10 times those in Portugal but the cost of living is also high. A simple dinner in a restaurant costs about €100 a person and large companies pay for their employees' food and lodging.
From 2013 to 2016, the World Bank will offer $4bn to Ethiopia in its Country Partnership Strategy
Nigerian state oil firm NNPC has been loaned $1.5bn in order to pay off its debts to international fuel traders. The deal is crucial to big commodity traders, who were facing the possibility of multimillion-dollar write-offs. NNPC owes major trading houses $3.5bn in unpaid fuel supply bills. The loan is syndicated, provided by Nigerian and international banks, and was brokered by Standard Chartered
$971m for Zimbabwe's largest local ownership transaction
Impala Platinum, the world's second-largest platinum miner, will sell a majority stake in its Zimbabwe unit to local black investors for $971m to meet black ownership targets. The Zimplats unit will lend the money to buy the stake
Only 15,000 lions left in Africa
Only an estimated 645 to 794 wild lions remain in western and central Africa and 14,450 wild lions in eastern and southern Africa - for a continental maximum total of 15,244 wild lions, 58% lower than 2006
South Africa to test carbon project
Eskom and Ecometrix are involved in the European Commission Octavius project to test a technology used to capture and store carbon dioxide. South Africa has conditionally pledged to reduce its emissions by 34% in 2020 and 42% by 2025. It is likely to be ready to test-inject CO² into underground storage cavities from 2017 and build a storage demonstration plant by 2020.
MainOne to launch Nigeria data centre
Communication service company MainOne cable plans to build a data centre in Nigeria which could accommodate 600 racks by the end of the year and expected to be fully operational by 2014. MainOne CEO Funke Opeke said there is need for a data centre to be built in Nigeria with enough bandwidth to host large volumes of sensitive data from telecoms operators and ISPs that currently host their data overseas.
Africa's first home-grown smartphone
Currently available in Congo-Brazzaville, the smartphone Elikia, which means 'hope' is priced at $170 and has a 650 MHz processor, running gingerbread 2.3.6 with 126 MB of storage, rear- and forward-facing cameras and a 3.5 in (8.9 cm) screen. It was designed and engineered by Congolese entrepreneur Verone Mankou and manufactured in China. His company VMK's first product was the Galaxy tab-sized tablet called Way-C, meaning 'the light of the stars'. It sells for $300 and offers Wi-Fi connectivity and four gigabytes of internal storage There are plans to sell the devices in 10 other West African countries as well as Belgium, France and India. "Only Africans can know what Africa needs," says Mankou.
Four African business leaders lauded
Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Elumelu; Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines; Geoff Rothschild, Director of Government and International Affairs for the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; and Admassu Tadesse, President and CEO of Southern and Eastern African PTA Bank were named African Business Leaders of the Year by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), a US-based organisation that works closely with governments, multilateral groups and businesses to improve the African continent's trade and investment climate and raise the profile of Africa in the US business community. n
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