Africa Brief: Nigerian oil refinery, Pfizer baby formula, and Kenyan data centre

Nigeria: Tycoon invests in oil refinery

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, planned to invest up to $8 billion (R73bn) to build a Nigerian oil refinery with a capacity of about 400,000 barrels a day by late 2016, almost doubling Nigeria’s refining capacity he said on Tuesday:

This will really help not only Nigeria but sub-Saharan Africa. There has not been a new refinery for a long time in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Past efforts to build refineries have often been delayed or cancelled, but analysts expected Dangote to be able to build a profitable Nigerian refinery because of his past successes in industry and his strong government connections.

For the full story, read Nigeria: Tycoon invests in oil refinery by Reuters, published in The Star, Business Report on 18/04/2013.

Aspen makes offer for Pfizer baby formula units

Pharmaceutical group Aspen Pharmacare has offered R1.9bn to acquire Pfizer’s baby formula business in Australia and Southern Africa from Nestle. Aspen announced yesterday that it has reached an agreement with Nestle SA to acquire licences, assets and shares in its infant nutrition unit, which distributes a portfolio of products in Australia, SA, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zambia. The portfolio covers infants, toddlers and early childhood, with premium, speciality and standard ranges encompassing brands such as S26 Gold, S26 and SMA.

For the full story, read Aspen makes offer for Pfizer baby formula units by Andile Makholwa, published in Business Day on 19/04/2013.

Business Connexion plans data centre in Kenya

Technology firm Business Connexion is ramping up its activities in Africa with plans to open a data centre in Kenya and expand some of its products and services into other countries on the continent where it has a presence. The company’s foray into the continent is gaining traction following poor performance in the past. In February, Business Connexion opened a data centre to offer services such as cloud computing. There are plans for a similar centre in Kenya.

For the full story, read Business Connexion plans data centre in Kenya by Thabiso Mochiko, published in Business Day on 19/04/2013.

Higher volumes in Asia and Africa boost SABMiller

SABMiller, the world’s second-largest brewer, yesterday reported a higher than expected 4% rise in larger volumes on an organic basis in the three months to March 31, as strong performances in Asia, Europe and Africa made up for a weak demand in Latin America, its largest market. The maker of Miller Lite, Grolsch and Peroni said lager volumes on an organic basis were up 3% for the full year. The company’s share price increased 1.93% to close at R474.50.

For the full story, read Higher volumes in Asia and Africa boost SABMiller by Zeenat Moorad, published in Business Day on 19/04/2013.

Africa policies ‘neglect aviation’

Economy/State policies towards aviation in Africa tend to see it as an “elite” product, rather than as a critical component of the continent’s economic infrastructure. As a result, it is heavily taxed, often in violation of global principles that prohibit the taxation of jet fuel for international operations, the International Air Transport Association said yesterday.

For the full story, read Africa policies ‘neglect aviation’ by Bekezela Phakathi, published in Business Day on 19/04/2013.

Developed world ‘invests far more in Africa than China’

Africa’s annual trade with China has doubled to $199bn since 2008, however, Chinese foreign direct investment into the continent, which is just 3%, is miniscule compared with the developed world, a senior Chinese banker told the China-Africa Business Summit in Sandton this week.

China’s increasing presence in Africa comes amid perceptions in the European Union (EU) that SA’s relationships with Brazil, Russia, India and China, as part of the Brics group of nations, are meant to replace that of its biggest trading partner. This despite the EU accounting for R382bn in trade with SA last year, according to widely published data, compared with R328bn for China and the US combined.

For the full story, read Developed world ‘invests far more in Africa than China’ by Mark Allix, published in Business Day on 19/04/2013.

David Okwara

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