Zambia set to surpass DRC in copper production

Africa Brief: Gabon: Talks to exploit iron ore begin, Tsogo Sun goes high end in Nigerian hotel market and more…

Gabon: Talks to exploit iron ore begin

Gabon has opened talks to develop the 1 billion ton Belinga deposit and will launch a tender process in 2016. Belinga is one of the world’s largest untapped reserves. However mining there will not be easy as the deposit is separated from the coast by hundreds of kilometres of rainforest.

Excerpt from Gabon: Talks to exploit iron ore begin, published in The Star, Business Report on 29/05/2014

Tsogo Sun goes high end in Nigerian hotel market

Tsogo sun is attracting a high end niche in Lagos through the Southern Sun. Boko Haram, located in the North of Nigeria, is less of a concern here. This was a huge investment of R700m. Nigeria has recently been renowned as the largest economy in Africa. According to the Group’s offshore operations director the operation has gained a significant market share. There was a demand for a country lacking a hotel like this and this has been showed by increased occupancy rates. Tsogo sun spent a large amount last year refurbishing its hotel in Mozambique. The group also has a presence in Tanzania, Seychelles, Zambia and Kenya. Trade relations in Lagos have shown significant growth over the past few years. Furthermore the air travel between Lagos and Johannesburg has also grown by a large amount.

Excerpt from Tsogo Sun goes high end in Nigerian hotel market, published in The New Age on 29/05/2014

Africa’s prospects ‘hinge on trade’

Africa’s economic prospects were a key point at the Candid business show. Countries like Angola, Kenya, Ethiopia and Nigeria are all of great interest. However unemployment, instability and corruption are still big concerns. The IMF have forecasted that, based on the global model, sub-Saharan Africa will grow by 5.5% this year.With advanced economies slowly picking up speed export demand for African products is growing. Commodity price increases have been fuelled by amplified demand from China and Asia. IMF representative, Mr. Schimmelpfennig, said that for South Africa to grow the government needs to implement the National Development Plan.

With regards to the mining labour disputes he said employers must pay a reasonable wage and ensure working conditions are acceptable and furthermore improve mining productivity. He further stated that BEE is no doubt needed and that the people that are intended to benefit from BEE have the adequate skills and education to be successful in their positions. Additionally associate producer of Candid Business, Arnie Hicks, stated that small businesses face huge challenges and that the banking sector does not contribute to building small enterprises.

by Justin Brown published in The Star, Business Report on 30/05/2014

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Sierra Leone seeks big push to lift its economy, people

Sierra Leone has made strong progress with its economy but now it needs to start focusing on its people. The country now has to attempt to reduce poverty. It will be very difficult to achieve this due to the fact that it is a small country where commercial and industrial activity stood still during the civil war, which was an incredibly gruesome occurrence that was declared over in 2002. AfDB’s chief economist said that it takes up to 15 years for a country to recover from conflict. Nearing the end of this period the currency is stable, inflation is down, GDP is increasing, improvements in infrastructure are taking place and an abundance of natural resources and minerals are available in Sierra Leone. Rehabilitation and reconstruction must now be focused on. Furthermore tourism is increasing and will grow even more if a new airport is built. However the country is number 177 out of 187 in the UN’s Human development index.

by Nicholas Kotch published in Business Day on 30/05/2014

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Infrastructure, institutions and people hold key-Lagarde

Although Africa’s economy was growing poverty was high and government needed to address this by building institutions to educate people. Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth was expected to exceed global average.
It has become a growing investment and there have been huge cash inflows however the benefits have not been widely distributed. Poverty is still affecting about 45% of households. Furthermore civil war in South Sudan, the Boko Haram issue in Nigeria and Islamist militants in Kenya all darken the positive outlook for Africa. As countries tap new funds questions arise as to hoe governments are managing these funds. Africa’s positive outlook faced further risks with its trade partners in advanced economies experiencing slower growth. The IMF head recommended three priorities for Africa: Build infrastructure, institutions and people.

by Pascal Fletcher and Ed Cropley published in The Star, Business Report on 30/05/2014

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Remarkable progress, but Africa has way to go- IMF

IMF has said that leaps made by African economies has been remarkable.
They further stated it was time to start the next stage of its development. However they emphasised that there was still a long way to go to as poverty is still too dominant in sun-Saharan Africa. Although there is economic growth various risks still face the country. Such as lower demand for exports if growth decreases in emerging markets. Some are of the opinion that Africa is not rising for ordinary citizens. The 50 richest people in Africa own about 15% of the GDP. So while some people are benefitting others are not. Mozambique is a good example as despite experiencing growth of over 7% a year it is still one of the poorest countries in the world.

by Sapa-AFP published by The Star, Business Report on 30/05/2014

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Ghana: IMF bailout not off the table

Ghana has not excluded the IMF assistance to finance its current account deficits. They are assessing whether measures put in place to narrow the fiscal shortfalls have been effective.

by Bloomberg published in The Star, Business Report on 30/05/2014

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Zambia: Inflation stays at 7.8% in May

Zambia’s central Statistical office said consumer inflation was unchanged this month. Furthermore the copper exporting nation recorded a lower trade compared to last month.

by Reuters published in The Star, Business Report on 30/05/2014

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Zimbabwe: Interbank loan market restarts

Zimbabwe re-introduced inter-bank lending in an effort to boost confidence in the financial system. The country has secured a $100 m loan from the African Export-Import Bank to recapitalise its interbank market.

by Bloomberg published in The Star, Business Report on 30/05/2014

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Zimbabwe orders miners to resubmit exploration applications

Zimbabwe’s ministry of mines has ordered miners to resubmit exploration applications. The companies must also provide full detail of directors and shareholders. The affected mines are operations owned by Metallon Corp and Essar Group. Zimbabwe which, together with SA, holds more than ¾ of the world’s platinum gazette a law that foreign-owned companies must sell 51% of their shares to black nationals or state approved agencies. Implats agreed in March to sell 31% of its Zimplats unit to a state agency and 20% to employees. Aquarius Platinum submitted a proposal to hand control to Zimbabwe.

Excerpt from Zimbabwe orders miners to resubmit exploration applications, published in Mining Weekly on 30/05/2014

David Okwara

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