Africa Brief: Burger King in Africa, Ethiopia’s Nile dam talks, Kenya’s economic expansion and more

Analysis: Africa’s liking for expensive booze on the up

Not so long ago, for luxury goods retailers the African mar­ket boiled down to a tiny elite, in some cases just a corrupt ruling clique. Not anymore. Although mil­lions of Africans remain stuck in crushing poverty, disposable incomes are on the up. Luxury firms like LVMH, which makes Moet and Hennessy luxury drinks as well as Louis Vuitton handbags, are targeting the burgeoning ranks of what South African retailers call “black diamonds “, or affluent African professionals. Unlike diamond watches or flashy cars, still out of reach to all but a few, luxury alcohol is a dis­play of prosperity even middle-income earners can afford from time to time, giving retailers ac­cess to a larger chunk of the African pyramid. But as in most regions, Africa’s rich remain the prime target.

For the full story, read Analysis: Africa’s liking for expensive booze on the up by Tim Cocks and David Dolan, published by The Star, Business Report on 18/06/13

Burger King to grow in Africa

Burger King Worldwide plans to ramp up expansion in South Africa after opening its first restaurant in the country, it said recently The group would enter other parts of the continent to take advantage of a growing middle class. The maker of the Whopper burger has partnered with Johannesburg-based Grand Parade Investments to set up Burger King South Africa and, opened its first local outlet in Cape Town last month. Burger King would open 12 local branches next year to tap into the country’s huge fast-food market Jaye Sinclair, the chief executive of Burger King SA, said this month. It would then expand in other African countries.

For the full story, read Burger King to grow in Africa by Bloomberg, published by The Star Business Report on 18/06/13

Cloud over talks on Ethiopia’s Nile dam

The foreign ministers of Egypt and Ethiopia met in Addis Ababa yesterday in hopes of defusing ten­sions over a huge dam Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile River. Egypt and Ethiopia began a sharp exchange of words after Ethiopia last month started to divert Nile waters as part of the construction of its $4.2bn hydro­electric project dubbed the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Egypt fears the dam will mean a diminished share of the Nile, which provides almost all of the desert nation’s water needs. Relations between the nations have grown tense quickly. Ethiopia’s parliament unani­mously ratified a new accord that replaces colonial-era deals that awarded Egypt veto powers over Nile projects. The tensions are causing inter­national concern. The Renaissance Dam has been under construction for two years on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia’s Benishangul-Gumuz region near Sudan. The dam is more than 22% complete and is expected to pro­duce 6,000MW, which will make it Africa’s largest hydroelectric power plant.

For the full story, read Cloud over talks on Ethiopia’s Nile dam by Kirubel Tadese, published by Business Day on 18/06/13

Kenya: Economy set to expand 5.7%

Kenya‘s economy would grow an estimated 5.7 percent this year before accelerating to 6 percent next year, the World Bank said yesterday but warned that structural reforms were needed to improve the business environment and attract foreign investment. The country’s economy grew by 4.6 percent in 2012, according to the government, lagging its east African competitors.

For the full story, read Kenya: Economy set to expand 5.7% by Reuters, published by The Star, Business Report on 18/06/13

Fastjet gains African routes

Airline / Low-cost airline Fastjet has been granted permission to launch international flights from Tanzania to SA, Zambia and Rwanda, marking a major step towards establishing the first pan-African low-cost network, the airline announced on Friday. It has decided, however, to hold back the launch of Fastjet-branded domestic routes in SA temporarily.

For the full story read, Fastjet gains African routes by Staff Writers, published by Business Day on 18/06/13

East Africa: Funds flow to oil, gas explorer

Warburg Pincus is leading an investment of up to $600 million (R6 billion) in Delonex Energy a newly formed oil and gas exploration and production company that is planning to tap into the central and east African hydrocarbon boom. The region has become hot property for energy investors after gas discoveries in Mozambique and Tanzania, and other hydrocarbon finds in Uganda and Kenya.

For the full story, read East Africa: Funds flow to oil, gas explorer by Reuters, published by The Star, Business Report on 18/06/13

Mbeki team spotlights loot flowing from Africa

ILLICIT financial flows out of Africa will today come under the spotlight at a meeting in Lusaka, Zambia chaired by former SA president Thabo Mbeki and con­vened by the United Nations (UN) Economic Commission on Africa and the African Union.It is estimated that $50bn leaves the continent each year through illicit flows, which has the effect of reducing taxation, drain­ing foreign exchange reserves and cancelling out investment in­flows. The panel will also help streamline possible initiatives that African countries can undertake either individually, or collectively, to stem the flows and repatriate the stolen funds. Seven countries will be studied by the panel. They include: Nigeria, Algeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique and SA. The flows in question include undocumented commercial trans­actions, money laundering, trans­fer pricing as well as overpricing, tax evasion and false declarations of transactions. The economic commission says that these transactions are facilitated by international tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions that enable the creation and oper­ation of millions of disguised corporations, shell companies, anonymous trust accounts, and fake charitable foundations.

For the full story, read Mbeki team spotlights loot flowing from Africa by Carol Paton, published by Business Day on 18/06/13

David Okwara

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