The Future of LTE in Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Brief: Vodafone expansion, Zimbabwe’s indigenisation of mines and banks, and more

Vodafone reaps rich rewards from African expansion

Africa has turned to one of the biggest profit generators for Vodafone, helping to make up for the European slow down. Africa will be the industry’s fastest growing region by subscribers over the next 5 years as firms build advanced networks and customers switch to broadband. Vodafone reported a R12.9bn EBITDA, which is 15% up from the prior year.

For the full story, read Vodafone reaps rich rewards from African expansion by Bloomberg, published in The Star, Business Report on 10/01/2013.

Landmark BEE deal for Impala in Zimbabwe

Group now free to pursue growth despite ‘fundamental change’. After two years of uncertainty, the subsidiary to Impala Platinum, Zimplats, has finally signed a R8.3bn ($971m) deal with the Zimbabwean government to sell a 51% stake in the Zimplats mines to black Zimbabweans.

In return for this indigenisation of the land are that the government will repay the $153m of the 51million ounces of unmined platinum reserves which the group had returned to the state in May 2006 as per empowerment credits and undertakes to cut land rentals to pre-June 2012 levels.

For the full story, read Landmark BEE deal for Impala in Zimbabwe by Allan Seccimbe and Tawanda Karombo, published in Business Day on 14/01/2013.

Take-away order for fast-food operators

Harare – The fast food franchise operator in Africa, Innscor, has been under careful scrutiny by the National Indigenisation and Empowerment Board of Zimbabwe. The company has been given an ultimatum to comply with the country’s contentious indigenisation laws, which are being pushed by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu (PF) party ahead of elections expected this year.

CEO of the Indigenisation and empowerment board Wilson Gwatiringa has requested Innscor to comply with 7 days. Mr Gwatiringa expresses concerns of how the group misrepresented itself in alleging it was up to 80% complient with the indigenisation laws. Although unofficial, Innscor executives have agreed to speedily comply with the laws.

For the full story, read Take-away order for fast-food operators by Tawanda Karombo, published in Business Day on 14/01/2013.

Zambia: First Quantum to mine nickel

First Quantum Minerals was planning to invest $275 million (R2.4bn) in a new nickel mine in Zambia, an official at the Canadian mining firm said on Saturday The Enterprise nickel project, was the second of three mines planned by First Quantum in Zambia. The mine would produce an average of 38 000 tons of nickel in concentrate annually with scope to increase to 60 000 tons when market conditions allowed.

For the full story, read Zambia: First Quantum to mine nickel by Reuters, published in The Star, Business Report on 14/01/2013.

Zambia to raise statutory reserve ratio

Increase the minimum reserve requirement that commercial banks must hold on January 28 in a bid to keep a lid on lending, mop up liquidity, and rein in inflation in the Southern African country. “We are increasing the reserve ratios from 5% to 8% with effect from January 28,” Bank of Zambia deputy governor in charge of operations, Bwalya Ng’andu said.

For the full story, read Zambia to raise statutory reserve ratio by Reuters, published in The New Age on 14/01/2013.

Banks next in line says Zimbabwe

After the completion of its programme to “indigenise” mines, the Zimbabwean government has turned its attention to foreign banks — including Standard Bank and Barclays — and is warning them to hand over 51% of their shares to locals. Despite warnings from Investors and economists saying this is too much of an aggressive approach to sensitive banking sector, empowerment minister Saviour Kasukewere plans to enforce the law on banks as part of the rallying campaign for Zanu (PF).

The banks affected are Barclays, Standard Bank, Standard chartered and Nedbank’s MBCA. MBCA and Barclays have previously said they are negotiating with government regards the law.

For the full story, read Banks next in line says Zimbabwe by Tawanda Karombo, published in Business Day on 15/01/2013.

David Okwara

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