African Tobacco Farmers Want Their Voices Heard

Africa Brief: $130m for cell towers in Africa and more…

$130m for cell towers in Africa

IHS Holding, a telecommunications infrastructure company, buys and manages the cell towers of mobile network operators. The company said last week it had raised a further $130m which will be used to accelerate its plans for expansion into new and existing markets. The latest funding by IHS is in addition to the $490m of debt and equity that it secured last month. Funding would also be used for acquisitions and investment in new telecommunications infra-structure. It would also help its customers expand coverage and capacity by building new towers, and continue investing in alternative energy and green solutions that have a positive effect on communities throughout Africa. IHS Towers owns and manages more than 10,500 towers and has built more than 3,500 for its clients in Nigeria, Cameroon and Cote d’lvoire, making it Africa’s largest independent mobile infrastructure provider by number of towers managed.

For the full story read: $130m for cell towers in Africa by Thabiso Mochiko published by Business Day on 22/04/2014

Africa’s need for data launches more satellites

Africa’s demand for bandwidth is doubling every year, outpacing the laying of terrestrial telecoms fibre links and encouraging commercial satellite operators to launch more units into orbit. With Africa’s political geography, notably it’s many land¬locked countries, such as Zambia, South Sudan and Rwanda, laying fiber is simply not feasible. At least four satellites are planned for launch this year, as countries with no access to the coast have yet to benefit from at least 10 undersea cables now serving the continent. Satellite operator SES, expects to launch its Astra2G satellite this year, after sending three others dedicated to Africa into orbit in the last year. Nine of its 56 satellites orbiting the earth are allocated for Africa. Europe’s biggest satellite operator Eutelsat plans to fire off its tri-band EUTELSAT 3B this month, after launching another to extend sub-Saharan Africa’s coverage last year. The demand for internet and data services in Africa has been driven by affordable mobile broadband connections. Mobile broadband users could grow by almost eight times to 806 mil-lion by the end of 2018, according to Informa estimates.

Excerpt from: Africa’s need for data launches more satellites by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura published by The Star Business Report on 22/04/2014

Carlyle’s African adventure

Carlyle this week became one of the first major private equity players to launch a dedicated sub-Saharan Africa fund, underscoring the growing investor interest in the continent’s growing middle class. The US-listed alternative investment manager has raised $698m (R7.3bn), almost $200m above its initial target, from both African and international investors wanting to profit from the region’s expanding pool of consumers with extra cash to spend. Marlon Chigwende, co-head of the firm’s sub-Saharan Africa buyout advisory team, said the fund would focus on investments in the consumer, logistics, financial services and telecommunications sectors. “The success of the fund raising reflects investors’ appetite for the strong economic growth that the region has experienced over the last decade, as well as the prospects for future economic development across the continent.” Chigwende said. The region has been the fastest growing developing market in the world outside of China. However, tapping into that growth is not without risks as concerns about domestic strife and shaky demand for natural resources are present.

Excerpt from: Carlyle’s African adventure by Sapa-AFP published by The New Age on 22/04/2014

Mozambique: Economy set to grow faster

Mozambique’s economy is poised to see average growth of 8 percent, up from 7.3 percent over the past 10 years, as infrastructure spending and the development of natural gas projects lift activity “Continued inflows of foreign investment and increased exports point to the maintenance of a relatively stable exchange rate for the metrical against the US dollar, which will keep inflation in single digits, between 5 percent and 6 percent,” said Standard Bank’s chief Economist in Mozambique, Fausio Mussa.

Excerpt from: Mozambique: Economy set to grow faster by Staff Reporter published by The Star Business Report on 22/04/2014

Zimbabwe’s dollar may return

Zimbabwe was weighing the reintroduction of the national currency it abandoned in 2009 as it struggled to meet its monthly wage bill, three members of the ruling party’s decision-making body have said. The country abolished the Zimbabwean dollar after the inflation rate surged to 500 billion percent the year earlier. The party insiders said Zanu-PF’s politburo was trying to decide whether it would do more harm to its image by re-introducing the currency and meeting its wage commitments or continuing to use foreign exchange, protecting the country’s citizens against inflation. A majority of politburo members were against its re-introduction, they said

Excerpt from: Zimbabwe’s dollar may return by Brian Latham published by The Star Business Report on 24/04/2014

Gecamines plans growth in copper output

The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC’s) state mining firm, Gecamines, aimed to boost copper output 46 percent this year, even as it sought funding for new projects, chief executive Ahmed Kalej Nkand said this week. Part of the production might come from a deal with Trafigura Beheer, the second-largest minerals trader, to process a copper tailings stockpile at Gecamines’s Lupoto mine. “There’s still some preparation work” on a processing plant, Nkand said. “Once we’ve finished that, we can start operations”, producing about 3000 tons of concentrate a month over 33 months. Nkand further explained that it will be a great challenge because of electricity problems and a 300-megawatt deficit forcing the country to ration supply to mining companies.

Excerpt from: Gecamines plans growth in copper output by Michael Kavanagh published by The Star Business Report on 24/04/2014

Investments boost growth

Uganda’s economy was forecast to expand 6.8 percent in the next fiscal year as the government boosted investment in road, energy and farming projects to spur growth. Uganda faced disruptions in foreign aid flows in 2012 and last year over a corruption scandal and more cuts to external assistance this year after President Yoweri Museveni signed a law that strengthens punishments of homosexuals.

Excerpt from: Investments boost growth by Bloomberg published by The Star Business Report on 24/04/2014


David Okwara

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