Africa Business in Brief



AgDevCo and KfW appoint Barak Fund Management to handle the USD20-million Sub Saharan Africa agriculture SMEs fund

AgDevCo and KfW have appointed Barak Fund Management Limited as the new manager of LAFCo, a working capital facility dedicated to agricultural SMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Barak is an alternative investment fund manager which has grown its presence in Africa significantly since the launch of its flagship fund in 2009. LAFCo will become the third dedicated impact finance fund managed by Barak. LAFCo has been operating for the past three years, making 13 loans to agribusinesses and reaching over 129 thousand smallholder farmers over that period. LAFCo loans are between USD500,000 and USD3-million in size, with the opportunity to syndicate for larger facilities. LAFCo is able to offer local currency loans in some countries.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Emirates mulls growing African footprint

Dubai based airline Emirates is considering flight frequencies to key African destinations including Morocco, Ghana, Senegal, Egypt, and South Africa as it sees the potential for growth in Africa. Orhan Abbas, senior vice-president of commercial operations in Africa for Emirates, said that Africa has been one of the strong performing markets for the carrier over the past two years, even amid challenges there. In the year ending March 31, 2019, Emirates saw a 9% rise year-on-year in revenues from its operations to and from Africa, with the region registering the strongest growth compared to other markets. Abbas said the growth in travel into and out of Africa stems from various sectors including leisure, business travel, trade, and religious travel especially for Haj and Umrah from West Africa.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Eni discovers new light oil offshore Angola

Eni has made a new light oil discovery in Block 15/06, in Angola’s deep offshore. The well was drilled on the Ndungu exploration prospect. The new discovery is estimated to contain up to 250 million barrels of light oil in place, with further upside. The Ndungu-1 NFW well is located a few kilometres from Eni’s West Hub facilities, and has been drilled by the Poseidon drillship in a water depth of 1076 meters and reached a total depth of 4050 meters. Ndungu-1 NFW proved a single oil column of about 65 meters with 45 meters of net pay of high-quality oil (35° API) contained in Oligocene sandstones with excellent petrophysical properties. The result of the intensive data collection indicates a production capacity in excess of 10,000 barrels of oil per day.

Source: Africa Business Communities

Angola/São Tomé and Príncipe

Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe strengthen cooperation guidelines

Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe have strengthened their broad lines of cooperation in various fields, under a verbal process signed in São Tomé between delegations of the two countries, according to the local press. The document was made public at the end of the talks held in the São Tomé capital between technical multi-sector delegations headed by São Tomé Foreign Minister Elsa Pinto and the Angolan Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Domingos Custódio Vieira Lopes.

Source: Macau Hub

Burkina Faso

Sarama Resources and Acacia Mining part ways

TSX-listed Sarama Resources has executed a definitive agreement with Acacia Mining to terminate the 2014 earn-in agreement between the two companies regarding the South Houndé Project in Burkina Faso. The Agreement provides for Sarama to resume operatorship and regain a 100% interest in the Project, which is contiguous to Sarama’s neighbouring 100%-owned ThreeBee Project. “We are very pleased to have executed the agreement to finalise Acacia’s exit from the South Houndé Project and look forward to resuming full ownership and management,” says Sarama’s President and CEO, Andrew Dinning. “Acacia’s exit is fundamental to consolidating our regional position and allows us to finally start advancing our key assets up to the value curve and towards mine development.”

Source: Mining Review Africa


Burkina Faso signs USD235-million agreements with WBG for education, finance and inclusive growth projects

Burkina Faso and the World Bank Group (WBG) signed three funding agreements worth USD235-million, the country’s economy and finance minister announced. The first agreement is budget support for inclusive growth, reduction of social inequalities and efficient public spending. It will also help the country improve internal resources mobilisation. The second agreement is for the education sector. It will help fund the creation of African Centres of Excellence as well as training and applied research in science, technology and mathematics. The third agreement will help in the implementation of projet d’appui à l’inclusion financière au Burkina Faso (PAIF) aimed at boosting SMEs, farmers, women and young people’s access to digital financial services and to credit.

Source: Ecofin Agency


Ethiopian helps launch Ghanaian national carrier

Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines is entering into a partnership with Ghana’s government to launch a new Accra based airline. The Star Alliance member is due to send several Dash 8-400s to Accra later in 2019. The airline is yet unnamed but will begin by focusing on domestic routes. With more than 30 million residents, Ghana is Africa’s tenth biggest country, according to It has a stable democratic government, a healthy economy, and abundant resources, making the nation one of the most profitable within the African continent. Recently, there has been significant new infrastructure at Ghana’s airports. This has included a new terminal at Accra’s Kotoka International Airport, a new terminal at Kumasi, and expansion and development at Tamale, Wa and Ho airports.

Source: Ecofin Agency


Ghana signs MoU with Slovenia on economic cooperation

Ghana and Slovenia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) towards developing and strengthening economic cooperation to exploit the wide range of investments and business opportunities between them for the wellbeing of their citizens. Dr Mohammed Awal, the Minister for Business Development, signed for Ghana, while Slovenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Dobran Bozic, signed for his side. The agreement was signed at the margins of the two-day Eighth Africa Day International Conference at Lujbljana, Slovenia, an official statement issued by the Public Relations Outfit of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said.

Source: Ghana Business News


Competition authority approves Commercial Bank of Africa and NIC Bank’s merger

The merger of Commercial Bank of Africa with National Industrial Credit Bank, well-known as NIC Bank, has been approved. This was announced by the competition authority of Kenya in a published release. The authority however required that no employee be fired from the merged entity in the twelve months following the transaction. The merger will be done as an equity exchange. At the end of the merger operation, NIC Bank’s current shareholders will own 47% of the newly created entity and 53% for Commercial Bank of Africa’s shareholders. The new entity will have USD4.41 billion), being the third largest bank in the country after Kenya Commercial Bank and Equity Bank.

Source: Ecofin Agency


KTDA inks USD35-million loan deal to improve tea production

Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, signed a USD35-million funding agreement with Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA), a private institution that encourages local tea production. Signed on May 14, 2019, the loan whose yearly interest rate is 3.6% will help close to 65,000 tea producers as well as owners of processing plants under KTDA’s wing acquire 95,000 tons of inputs. They will thus improve production and increase yields. In its December 2018 financial report, Standard Chartered Bank indicated that Nigeria, Kenya and Pakistan are its largest markets in terms of revenues in the MENA region. It added that its loans and advances in the region recorded a 1% year on year increase during the period.

Source: Ecofin Agency


OVO Foundation funds electrification projects in Kenya

The OVO Foundation has announced that is expanding its energy access project in Kenya, electrifying over 300 schools and health clinics in the hardest-to-reach parts of Kenya. Through Project Jua, the OVO Foundation is supporting the Kenyan Government’s overall electrification programme and helping the country leapfrog the need to power their lives from centralised polluting fossil fuel plants through innovative off-grid solutions. Project Jua builds on its 2017 pilot, in which the OVO Foundation installed 20 solar systems in two of the poorest counties in Kenya: Turkana and Kilifi. The success of this pilot demonstrates the cost-effectiveness of delivering off-grid solar and storage on a relatively small scale in the development sector.

Source: ESI Africa


SBM gets licence to deal in securities

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has licensed Mauritian lender SBM Bank Kenya, which recently took over the collapsed Chase Bank, to operate as an authorised security depository and authorised dealer. The CMA also licensed Nyachae family-linked Credit Bank Ltd to operate as an authorised depository. This brings the number of authorised securities dealers to three and the depositories to 20. SBM Bank officially kicked off operations in Kenya last August after its parent bank SBM Holdings took over the collapsed bank. An authorised securities dealer buys, sells, deals, trades, underwrites or retails fixed income securities.

Source: Business Daily


CBK and Bank of Mauritius brainstorm to deepen cooperation

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) and the Bank of Mauritius held a brainstorming session with a view to enhancing cooperation between the two central banks. Governor Dr Patrick Njoroge headed the delegation from the Central Bank of Kenya and Governor Yandraduth Googoolye led the discussion from the Bank of Mauritius perspective. The central banks exchanged views on banking sector matters, fintech developments, AML/CFT issues, and challenges of relevance to Kenya and Mauritius. They shared their experience with the current regulatory framework. The two institutions also closely examined areas of cooperation across a broad range of central banking issues where they can benefit from knowledge transfer.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Insurance companies take a stake in BIG Moçambique bank

Mozambican bank BIG Moçambique carried out a capital increase by taking on three new shareholders, insurance companies Hollard and Global Alliance of South Africa and Empresa Moçambicana de Seguros from Mozambique, the bank’s executive director Mário Bolota said. The executive director of Portuguese group BIG responsible for business in Africa also told Portuguese newspaper Público that the three insurance companies jointly hold 16% of BiG Moçambique, leaving the group with a share of 83.99 %. The increase of MZM599.4-million increased the bank’s share capital to MZM1.1 billion. The director said the investment by Global Alliance Seguros been made on behalf of institutional investors, such as the Mozal Workers’ Pension Fund and the Global Alliance Pension Fund.

Source: Macau Hub


Federal Government to partner Standard Bank and Stanbic IBTC on funding mining

As efforts are on course to reposition the Mining and Steel sector to take its pride of place as first among equals in terms of contributions to national economic growth, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Hon. Abubakar Bawa Bwari has said that the government will continue to collaborate with International financial partners to revamp the sector. The Minister made the assertion while receiving a team from Mining and Metals Corporate and Investment Banking officials of Standard Bank, and Stanbic IBTC in his office. He reiterated the commitment of President Mohammadu Buhari led the administration to give the Mining sector the desired priority that would enhance sustainable economic growth.

Source: Energy Mix Report


FEC approves USD1-billion Chinese EXIM bank loan for Gurara hydropower project

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved USD1-billion loan from Chinese EXIM Bank for the Gurara II Hydropower project. The Council also approved NGN5.7-billion for the revised estimated cost for the completion of Nkari dam in Akwa Ibom State. Minister of Water Resources, Sulieman Adamu, disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents at the end of the weekly FEC, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja. The Minister said, “The Federal Executive Council approved USD1-billion Chinese loan from Chinese EXIM Bank for the Gurara II Hydropower project which has the capacity to generate 360MW electricity. “Council also approved NGN5.7 billion revised total estimated cost for the completion of Nkari dam in Akwa Ibom.”

Source: Energy Mix Report


AfDB approves USD200-million for Nigeria’s rural electrification projects

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved USD200-million to boost Nigeria’s electrification project, particularly the off-grid expansion being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA). A source in the bank, who did not want his name in print because he was not authorised to speak, said the project is expected to provide electricity to households, medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) and public institutions in a least-cost and timely manner. According to him, the project has four components which include solar hybrid mini grids for rural economic development, stand-alone solar systems for homes and enterprises, energising education as well as technical assistance.

Source: Energy Mix Report

Republic of Congo

Republic of Congo, Trafigura reach agreement on restructuring of oil loans

The Republic of Congo and commodities-trading house Trafigura Group agreed to reorganise several hundred millions of dollars in oil-for-cash loans that the African nation struggled with after crude prices fell, according to people familiar with the talks. The restructuring, which also involves several banks that supported the Trafigura deal, is key for Congo as it will help to unlock financial help from the International Monetary Fund. Congo owes creditors more than USD9-billion and earlier this month agreed to restructure debt owed to China. The deal includes a clause for accelerated repayments if oil prices rise above a certain level. The oil-for-cash loans were channelled via state oil company Societe National des Petroles du Congo, or SNPC.

Source: Energy Mix Report


Société Pétrolière expands liquefied petroleum gas business in Rwanda

Société Pétrolière Ltd, (SP), the East Africa mid and downstream oil company, has installed eight Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage and cylinder filling plants across Rwanda. This doubles the country’s LPG storage and filling capacity. Each of these facilities has a storage capacity of 20m3 and is capable of filling c.a 1,000 bottles per day. The expansion is another step in the development of SP and marks the company’s continued expansion into a wider range of petroleum products in Rwanda and neighbouring countries. The plant will add to SP’s fast-growing presence, training 19 new members of staff to fill and distribute the cylinders which are provided in sizes of 3kg, 6kgs 12kgs and 15kgs.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Rwanda signs nuclear energy deal with Morocco

Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Moroccan Agency for Nuclear and Radiological Safety and Security (AMSSNuR) to collaborate on nuclear energy developments. A joint press statement explained that the MoU is to facilitate the collaboration between the RURA and AMSSNuR in the areas of nuclear and radiological safety and security regulations, radioactive waste management and spent fuel management, emergency preparedness and response, capacity building and facilitation of attachment of the staff and to organise and host national and international meetings. It is also noted that the signed agreement for bilateral cooperation stresses the mutual interest for both RURA and AMSSNuR in pursuing cooperation in the area of nuclear energy use for peaceful purposes.

Source: ESI Africa


DOB Equity backs FMCG company in Tanzania

DOB Equity, a Dutch family-backed impact investor in East Africa, has invested in Jibu Tanzania, a regional producer and distributor of clean drinking water. Brigit van Dijk – van de Reijt, CEO of DOB Equity, said: “DOB’s investment in Jibu supports the supply of quality and affordable drinking water through an innovative franchise model. Focusing on refillable bottles rather than disposables, the amount of plastic will drastically reduce.” The investment intends to support the company’s rapid growth of a replicable franchise store concept in major cities in the country, starting from Arusha. Jibu complements the Tanzanian government by providing new ways of providing access to quality drinking water to households.

Source: Africa Global Funds


KCCA flags off construction of five roads

The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has flagged off a new set of roads to two international firms to start construction work. The KCCA Executive Director Eng. Andrew Kitaka said, “After an exhaustive procurement process, KCCA has signed agreements with two firms to construct five roads. We assure residents of Kampala of quality work. All five roads will be completed within 18 months.” The roads shall be constructed under the Kampala Institutional and Infrastructure Development Project Phase Two. Actual road construction is anticipated to start in July 2019. The contractors have till the end of June 2019 to relocate utilities.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Zimbabwe set to rebase economy after adopting new currency

Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister announced the rebasing of the economy following the adoption of a new currency earlier this year, and said growth would be slowed this year by a drought and a cyclone that hit eastern regions. The economy grew higher than expected in 2018, Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube told parliament. The central bank scrapped the peg between its quasi-currency bond note and electronic dollars against the U.S dollar in February and merged them into a single transitional currency called the RTGS dollar. Rebasing the economy broadly means changing the reference points used to calculate the country’s gross domestic product.

Source: IOL News

This article was first published by ENSafrica ( on 20 May 2019.

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