Africa Brief : Indian Bank promotes African Investments, AngloGold to cut Ghana mine jobs in mechanizing efforts and more …
Indian Bank promotes African Investments
SA is among 15 African economies identified by the Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) as an alluring investment and export destination, says the bank’s executive director David Rasquinha. The bank’s role includes promoting infrastructure development in African countries while facilitating private sector development. Indian exporters and investors are showing “huge” interest but are held back by a lack of information about Africa and its opportunities, he says. Besides SA, the most promising African economies for imports are Algeria, Angola, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Cote d’lvoire, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Mozambique. At the moment, it is involved in around 10 projects in SA. Exim Bank has extended $6bn in credit to 45 African countries to facilitate the import of equipment and services from India on deferred credit terms. “The development of core infrastructure must precede commercial ventures. It is only when there is a functioning electricity network, a functioning transport network, then the private sector can use that as stepping stones to build on,” he says. The Exim Bank report on African economies expresses concern that India’s share of imports into Africa is “marginal”. It says, for example, in 2011 India accounted for only a 4.3% share of SA’s total imports and a 3.4% share of Nigeria’s total imports. India’s exports to Africa accounted for only 4.4% of Africa’s global imports in 2011, though this had risen from 2.7% in 2001.
For the full story read Indian Bank promotes African Investments by Gillian Jones published by Business Day on 03/10/2013
AngloGold to cut Ghana mine jobs in mechanizing efforts
AngloGold Ashanti said it plans to cut 400 jobs at its Obuasi mine in Ghana by the end of the year to rein in costs. “The current cost structure is not appropriate; we are transitioning to a more mechanised operation,” Mark Morcombe, the senior vice-president in charge of the mine, said. Obuasi employs 4,800 people. To combat higher costs and the retreat in the bullion price, AngloGold suspended its dividend, is cutting spending and exploration, and is laying off 40% of the 2,000 employees in its corporate offices. The company reported a loss in the second quarter ended June after the precious metal’s price had dropped 23% in the period, a record quarterly decrease. Gold output in the West African nation may fall as much as 18% this year after the drop in prices prompted some mines to cut production. Newmont Mining sees about 300 job cuts by the end of the year as part of a “restructuring process”, Adiki Ayitevie, the company’s regional manager in charge of communications, said. “The situation is quite terrible; we will be losing about 2,000 jobs by June,” Prince Ankrah, general secretary of the Ghana Mine Workers Union, said by phone yesterday. “We understand the situation and are negotiating the best and fair deals for all parties.” The organisation represents more than 20,000 employees in the industry.
For the full story read AngloGold to cut Ghana mine jobs in mechanising efforts by Ekho Dontho published by Business Day on 03/10/2013
Retailers not shaken by Nairobi Mall attack
3 JSE-Iisted retailers that have stores in Westgate Mall, which was the site of a deadly attack on civilians last month, have lost out on operating time but Woolworths insists this is unlikely to affect its plans to expand into Kenya and the rest of the region. Fashion retailer Mr Price, Woolworths and Truworths’ Identity were all operating in the mall at the time of the attack. “All our employees are safe but some are receiving trauma counselling,” it said. “We are following developments very closely with our partners in Kenya.” “Our staff helped a member of the public who was shot in the leg elsewhere in the centre and the person was discharged from hospital the next day” Mr Price said. “We are relieved that no staff member or customer was injured in this tragedy.” African growth rates have been seen as an attractive element for local and international companies but there is an element of risk that was highlighted by the terror attack in one of Africa’s fastest-growing countries.
For the full story read Retailers not shaken by Nairobi mall attack by Zandi Shabalala, The Star, Business report on 03/10/2013
Manage windfalls well, bank tells Africa
Resource-rich countries should curb illicit financial outflows and set up sovereign Wealth funds to manage windfall revenues from hydrocarbon and mineral exports, a senior African Development Bank official said this week. Development research director Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa said African countries could finance most of their development needs through their own resources without depending on external debt if they properly managed their wealth.
Nigeria and Angola have set up funds to manage windfall revenues. Tanzania, has made big offshore natural gas discoveries and its government said last year that it planned to set up a sovereign wealth fund to ring-fence future earnings from its hydrocarbon wealth. ‘A staggering $50 billion (R505bn) in illicit financial flows leaves African countries each year,” said Semkae Kilonzo, the coordinator of Policy Forum. Tanzania has become a focal point for financial transparency campaigners following big discoveries of natural gas, uranium and coal. Zitto Kabwe, the chair of its parliamentary accounts committee, said multinational companies were shifting profits from African countries to tax havens.
For the full story read Manage windfalls well, bank tells Africa by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala published by The Star, Business Report on 03/10/2013
Zimbabwe to give rural farmers $161m in aid
The Zimbabwean government would supply poor rural farmers with $161 million (R1.6 billion) of free seed and fertiliser to improve food security, it said yesterday. Finance Minister Patrick China-masa and Agriculture Minister Joseph Made said the government wanted to help 1.6 million farmers who were unable to afford the inputs. “This is a demonstration of support to agriculture, which is the backbone of our economy,” said China-masa. Made said Britain, the US and EU had contributed to a $20m Food and Agriculture Organisation fund. However, with farmers already preparing land for planting at the end of the month, the aid may arrive too late. Made also said stocks of fertiliser were very low, which could result in companies resorting on imports to meet demand, a process that could take at least two months to complete.
For the full story read Zimbabwe to give rural farmers $161m in aid by Reuters published by The Star, Business report on 03/10/2013