Kigali climbing the ranks of Africa’s most liveable cities

Africa Brief : African risks ‘no different to emerging world’, Chinese bank to fund Kariba and more…

African risks ‘no different to emerging world’

Operating in Africa is not without its challenges whether it is local infrastructure, fragmented regulations or unreliable systems, but this is just normal in the course of doing business according to Procter & Gamble MD. The global consumer goods has grown tremendously in the past decade. Procter & Gamble plans to build a R1.6bn plant in SA in line with the growth, while Unilever has invested R500m in an ice cream factory in Midrand.

For the full story, read African risks ‘no different to emerging world’ by Zeenat Moorad published by Business Day on 12/11/2013

Zimbabwe: Chinese bank to fund Kariba

Zimbabwe and the Export-Import Bank of China had signed an agreement for a $355 million (R3.6 billion) expansion of the Kariba hydroelectric power plant in a bid to ease power shortages, Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said

For the full story read, Zimbabwe: Chinese bank to fund Kariba by Bloomberg, published by The Star Business Report on 12/11/2013

Coega wind factory fast nearing completion

The construction of the multimillion-rand wind lower factory which got off the ground in March at Coega Indus¬trial Development Zone (IDZ) in the Eastern Cape is likely to be completed in record time. The aim is to have the facility up and running in under 11 months after construction started in March so that the DCD Group is able to supply its first two customers by February 2014.  We faced some challenges, but we also realised some noteworthy engi¬neering feats that allowed us to fast track the project – such as the design, creation of shop drawings and manu¬facturing of steel that was cardinal to the successful delivery of the factory,” Frans Xamuhuya  of Worley Parsons.

Excerpt from Coega wind factory fast nearing completion by Bernard Sathekge, published by The New Age on 12/11/2013

Gordhan blasts African cash ‘smugglers’

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has attacked companies for smuggling cash billions out of Africa, the SABC reported yesterday. He told the G20 African conference in Johannesburg African economies would be better off if this type of looting did not take place.  Gordhan also blasted big corporations which make huge profits, but contribute little to tax.

Excerpt from Gordhan blasts African cash ‘smugglers’ by Sapa published by The New Age on 12/11/2013.

Konkola tries to calm indignant Zambians

Konkola  Copper Mines has apologised to the president of Zambia after the country revoked the work permit of its chief executive. Kishore Kumar (chief executive) would not be allowed in back into the country, his work permit was cancelled after Konkola said it would retrench 1529 workers. Kumar had told Labour Minister that the president’s remarks on cancelling of the company’s licence if workers were fired “mere rhetoric”. Konkola has subsequently apologised to the president and nation for the unfortunate remarks published in the media. The government threatened last month to shut Shoprite stores after the retailer fired 3 000 workers who went on strike over pay.  Shoprite subsequently backtracked on the sackings.

For the full story, read Konkola tries to calm indignant Zambians by Bloomberg/Reuters, published bythe Star Business Report on 12/11/2013

Mugabe threatens to stop platinum exports to SA

Zimbabwe may halt exports of raw platinum to South Africa to force mining companies to build a refinery in the country as a two-year deadline has expired, state media quoted President Robert Mugabe as saying.  Mugabe told a meeting of the Zanu-PF party that the platinum producers were ignoring a government directive two years ago to set up a refinery in the country.   Zimbabwe produced 350 000oz of refined platinum in 2012, which is 6% of world production, according to the Chamber of Mines. The chamber of mines said Zimbabwe would need  to raise platinum output to 500 000 ounces a year to justify the refinery. The cost to build is estimated at $2bn which is close to a fifth of the country’s GDP.

For the full story read, Mugabe threatens to stop platinum exports to SA by Reuters, published by The New Age on 12/11/2013

Tech startups in Africa face tough times

Business lead¬ers and investors said the sector in Africa is held back by lower internet penetration as well as scarcity of early-stage capital and a lack of professional management expertise. Part of the problem for African tech start-ups is that internet use is low. 16% of Africa’s one billion people use the internet, half the rate in Asia Pacific and below a global average of 36%. Experts say information technology could help Africa overcome infrastructure inadequacies but the problem is affordability. The cost of mobile broadband is between a fifth and a half of average income as compared to 2% to 5% in other developing countries. The scarcity and costliness of finance also impedes success.

Excerpt from, Tech startups in Africa face tough times by Reuters, Published by The New Age on 13/11/2013

Angola Cables capitalizes on location to link Brazil and Asia

Customs officers in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have seized 375kg of coltan en route to Rwanda. The seizure was made at the Great Bar­rier border crossing. Officers stopped a jeep headed towards Gisenyi in Rwanda and found the coltan. The metallic ore is used in electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops.

Excerpt from, Angola Cables capitalizes on location to link Brazil and Asia, by Colin McClelland Published by The New Age on 13/11/2013

Brazil’s Camargo likely to bid for Ghana’s projects

A privately-owned television station set up just two months ago to report on Zimbabwe’s elections has suspended operations because of a lack of funding. 1st TV said “We have to go off air while we raise more resources and source more programmes”. The station was set up to counter state-backed channels, which are often favourable to longtime President Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe has one television station owned by the public broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), which also runs four radio stations. Two independent television stations launched in the mid-1990s went off air following funding challenges. Following the loss of the signal from SA’s SABC, Zimbabweans have relied on the Wiz-tech free-to-air platform to access alternative television stations.

Excerpt from  Brazil’s Camargo likely to bid for Ghana’s projects by Harare, by Pauline Bax Published by The Star Business Report on 13/11/2013

China lends $319m to Zimbabwe for power upgrade

The world’s large econo­mies were beginning to under­stand that “their actions, or lack of action”, had an impact on the rest of the world, Fi­nance Minister Pravin Gord­han said. The recent decision by the US Federal Reserve to delay ta­pering its liquidity programme signalled recognition of the spillover effects of US policy, he added. A quantitative easing (QE) programme was in­troduced in the US to counter the impact of the 2008/09 finan­cial crisis and the economic re­cession. High levels of liquidity meant abnormally low interest rates in the US sending international inves­tors into emerging economies seeking higher returns. Gordhan warned that developments in the US would create another bout of uncertainty next month. Democrats and Republicans are divided on whether to lift the country’s debt ceiling. If the US Con­gress cannot agree on the next move by October 17, the govern­ment will run out of cash to pay its bills. A similar stand-off in August 2011 destabilised global financial markets and sent the rand from R6.7 to the dollar at the start of that month to R8.6 over the next two months. Gordhan went on to discuss how Africa could create a buffer against adversity else­where. He spoke of the need for ”sustained and sustainable growth” in Africa. In this context he stressed the need for trade flows within Africa and also with the rest of the world.

For the Full story read, China lends $319m to Zimbabwe for power upgrade, by Ray Ndlovu Published by Business Day on 13/11/2013

Zimbabwe’s output set for record

Zimbabwe’s platinum producers were on course to reach record output but the policy of having to sell majority stakes to black citizens might inhibit investments in future expansion. Production would probably reach 400 000 ounces this year.

For the full story read,  Zimbabwe’s output set for record byBloomberg, Published by The Star, Business Report on 13/11/2013


David Okwara

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