24 Mar

South Africa Committed to Work with Nigeria for a Better Africa in a Better World

South Africa is committed to work with Nigeria for a better Africa in a better world. This was said by the South African High Commissioner to Nigeria Mr Lulu Louis Mnguni. Mnguni was speaking at a welcoming session for the South African business delegation which arrived in Nigeria on Wednesday, 22 March 2017.

The delegation is in Nigeria to attend the trade and investment mission to that country. The mission started on Monday, 20 March 2017 in Ghana and will kick-off its second leg in Lagos, Nigeria today. The mission is organised by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).

According to Mnguni, the two countries do not only focus on servicing the interests of their own citizens, but also to consolidate the African Development Agenda.

He added that both South Africa and Nigeria were the leading forces in Africa and as they move towards the regeneration of the African continent they both could play an important role as the two major countries with leading economies.

Mnguni told the delegates that South Africa with its vast wealth of expertise had an advantage of assisting other African countries to diversify their economies.

“To this end our Department of Mineral Resources has been hard at work, working with Nigeria,” he said.

The mission forms part of the dti’s objective to identify and create export markets for South African value-added products, and services. It will also serve to promote South African products, and service offerings, whilst creating business partnerships between business communities of the respective countries.

Sectors targeted for the mission are agro-processing, electro-technical, infrastructure, mining, services and capital equipment. The programme for the mission will include trade and investment seminars, site visits and business-to-business meetings.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

23 Mar

Africa’s oil and gas industry set to meet at the 16th Africa Independents Forum in May

Showcasing Africa’s premier projects and upstream operators, the forum provides plenty of scope for corporate independents, international oil, gas and energy companies and Government officials to network, present their projects, propose new ventures and firm up partnerships and investment deals

LONDON, United Kingdom, March 16, 2017/APO/ —

The 16th Africa Independents Forum (www.Africa-IndependentsForum.com), a key event on the international oil and gas calendar, will get underway in London on the 24th and 25th of May.

This annual gathering of Africa’s oil and gas upstream industry is an essential platform for reviewing the state of the industry and exchanging ideas on game-changing opportunities for the future. Showcasing Africa’s premier projects and upstream operators, the forum provides plenty of scope for corporate independents, international oil, gas and energy companies and Government officials to network, present their projects, propose new ventures and firm up partnerships and investment deals.

Being held around the theme of “Shaping the Continent’s Future in Upstream Oil & Gas”, this year’s programme focuses on developing and driving change in the industry. In-depth presentations provide a framework for exploring solutions that move beyond survival tactics to establish best practices that better equip the industry to weather uncertainties and withstand shocks whilst maintaining optimum performance.

A recent Ernst & Young report states that the total deal value for Africa in 2016 was US$4.9 billion across 61 deals, of which 92% were upstream, with downstream deals making up the remainder. Eighty percent of the upstream deals were announced in the fourth quarter, possibly due to a return of confidence in the industry and an expected upturn in operational activity in the ensuing months.

This forecast upswing sets an optimistic tone for the 16th Africa Independents Forum. Confirmed speakers who will share their insights are Pade Durotoye, CEO of Oando Energy Resources; Darran Lucas, Exploration and New Ventures Director at Sasol; Erwin Kroll, Senior Vice President for the Middle East and Africa at OMV Upstream; Neil Ritson, Chairman of Solo Oil Plc and Oisin Fanning, Executive Chairman of San Leon Energy in Dublin.

A highlight of the forum, the 79th PetroAfricanus dinner, will be hosted by ITE (ITE-Exhibitions.com) at The Waldorf Hilton where Jasper Peijs, VP of Exploration Africa at BP, will address members of the PetroAfricanus Club.

Also hosted by AIF is the 8th Global Women in Petroleum & Energy Club Luncheon, organised by Frontier Communications with, as guest speaker, Sandy Stash, Group VP for Safety, Sustainability and External Affairs at London’s Tullow Oil.

In 2015 the Ugandan government, represented by Ernest Rubondo, Acting Director of Petroleum, Directorate of Energy & Minerals, used the AIF to promote its maiden competitive bidding round for the licensing of six blocks in the Albertine Graben which resulted in 17 firms submitting applications for qualification.

Organised by ITE, the forum provides excellent exposure for sponsors, exhibitors and advertisers with a number of tailored opportunities for showcasing and networking. The latest sponsor to come on board is Lagos-based ACAS-Law.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Africa Independents Forum.

17 Mar

Infomineo reveals rising global interest in the Middle East Africa region from Fortune 500 companies

Overall, there was a 17% increase in the number of companies in MEA in 2016 compared to 2015, with Johannesburg being the leading destination for Africa

The Middle East Africa (MEA) region has become increasingly important for the majority of global Fortune 500 countries, according to a new report released by Infomineo (www.Infomineo.com), a global business research company specialising in Africa and the Middle East.

The report focuses on multinationals looking at entering, or already present, in the Middle East and Africa region. Overall, there was a 17% increase in the number of companies in MEA in 2016 compared to 2015, with Johannesburg being the leading destination for Africa.

The Infomineo analysis includes the regional footprint of multinationals in the MEA region, the most commonly chosen cities, and the factors which influence the selection of the region, country and city – each element revealing the dynamic growth patterns within the region and a clear trend of Fortune 500 companies establishing some kind of presence in MEA.

In 2016, 196 Fortune 500 companies had established a dedicated regional headquarters in the MEA region. In the Middle-East, Dubai is the most popular choice with 138 companies establishing a dedicated entity in the city. There has also been a marked uptick in companies deciding to cover MEA from outside of the region – 38 companies up from 22 have established a regional headquarters in areas such as London, Brussels and Paris. The leading destinations on the Fortune 500 list include Dubai, Johannesburg, Casablanca, Nairobi, Lagos, and Cairo. Egypt remains behind the leaders due to political instability, however, it has seen a 250% increase in Fortune 500 investment since 2015. Germany and France are leading in terms of coverage rate while China has the lowest presence in the region.

Industry type plays a pivotal role in the selection of city and country. Financial services are more likely to base MEA coverage from London, while technology companies are more inclined towards Casablanca or Lagos. The latter city is also the premier location for organisations looking to manage their operations across Western Africa with 12 Fortune 500 companies already established in the region. Automotive and Healthcare tend to have a presence in both Africa and the Middle East, while Technology is more inclined to having a presence from the outside.

Nairobi, in Kenya, is the leading destination for the FMCG companies and tends to be the top choice for organisations looking to service Eastern Africa. Dubai and Johannesburg are the most popular hubs overall, but both Casablanca and Nairobi are rapidly gaining traction and international awareness. Casablanca has the highest growth rate overall, while Dubai has the highest count. The same can be said for London, which has tripled its number of regional HQs in the region, acting as an MEA hub. Given the geographical proximity and the talent pool present in the city, it could be that London is playing the role of a first step into the MEA region, especially for Japanese and North American companies.

There are numerous factors which impact on the organisation’s selection of a specific city. These include the local market potential, maturity of the industry, existing competitors, political stability and the quality of the employment market, among others. Determining the attractiveness of a location along these clear lines assures the Fortune 500 companies of a stable and profitable investment and significantly mitigates risk. The most attractive cities are Dubai, Johannesburg, Casablanca and Nairobi, and at the lower end of the spectrum, Cairo, Paris, Algiers and Cape Town.

Through this analysis, organisations gain a thorough understanding of markets and factors which ensure a steady base of operations from which organisations can expand into the growing MEA market, and establish brand and identity within the growing middle classes. Infomineo has undertaken in-depth analysis and research on the MEA region, revealing the various factors inhibiting or inspiring Fortune 500 uptake. Further data on the analysis can be found here.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Infomineo.

14 Mar

Johnson & Johnson Names Winners of First Africa Innovation Challenge

Competition Part of Company’s Eighty-Five Year Commitment to Supporting Entrepreneurs, Science Education Opportunities, and Health Systems across the Continent

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, March 14, 2017/APO/ —

Johnson & Johnson  today named the winners of the first Africa Innovation Challenge at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. The initiative, which received nearly 500 submissions from innovators and entrepreneurs across the continent, sought the best ideas for new, sustainable health solutions that will benefit African communities. The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies comprises the world’s largest healthcare business and its presence in Africa dates back to 1930, including business operations, public health programs and corporate citizenship. The Africa Innovation Challenge is part of the company’s comprehensive approach to collaborate with and support Africa’s vibrant innovation, education and health systems institutions.

In addition to the Africa Innovation Challenge winners, the company also announced today that it is a major partner of Women in Innovation and the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa, programs that seek to substantially increase the number of women on the continent working in the sciences. These announcements follow the prior week’s opening of two new Johnson & Johnson regional offices in Ghana and Kenya, which along with our South Africa-based global public health headquarters, will support health system strengthening and public health programs.

“Africa is one of the fastest growing regions of the world, and Johnson & Johnson is proud to support this growth through strong collaborations that encourage innovation and accelerate advancements in the continent’s health systems,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson. “We are seeing a surge of activity among entrepreneurs and health system leaders to develop important solutions that overcome longstanding health and societal challenges. By working together, we hope to bring meaningful solutions to patients and consumers more rapidly, to help cultivate the next generation of scientists, and to support Africa’s entrepreneurial base.”

Africa innovation challenge

The Africa Innovation Challenge, launched in November 2016, solicited novel ideas with a focus on three critical health areas: promoting early child development and maternal health; empowering young women; and improving family well-being. The three winning concepts embraced these themes as well as the goal of creating ongoing, sustainable businesses:

  • Project Agateka (Burundi) – The development of a sustainable solution to support girls who are unable to afford menstrual pads and underwear is an important need for young women. Project Agateka will provide a direct health solution as well as the opportunity for women and girls to generate income in Burundi. With the inclusion of health information, the initiative also provides health education to support improved sexual and reproductive health.
  • Project Kernel Fresh (Liberia) – Project Kernel Fresh sources natural palm kernels from smallholder women farmers, increasing their income. The entrepreneur cold presses the palm kernel oil to be used in organic cosmetics. The project will also create jobs for young women by training them to sell the products throughout Liberia.
  • Project Pedal Tap (Uganda) Seeking to prevent disease transmission, and a reduction of water use, Project Pedal Tap will develop hands-free solutions for hand water taps in Uganda. The entrepreneurs will create manufacturing capabilities, using mostly recycled materials, which will lead to an ongoing business.

“This was an extremely difficult competition to judge as there were many terrific ideas,” said Josh Ghaim, Chief Technology Officer, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. “The three winning projects demonstrated a strong benefit to local communities and the ability to empower young women, and they also have the potential to deliver ongoing economic support. We look forward to working with these entrepreneurs over the course of the next year to help them build sustainable operations.”

Each of the three winning recipients will receive funding as well as mentorship from scientists, engineers, and operations members from the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Research & Development organization and other areas of the company. […]

Read the full article here: APO

 

13 Mar

It’s time for Eskom to show leadership when it comes to renewable energy

Since 2016, Eskom has refused to sign further contracts under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) which would put more renewable energy on the grid

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, March 10, 2017/APO/ —

Eskom’s on-going scapegoating of renewable energy as the reason behind its financial woes shows a lack of vision, particularly in the light of the urgent need to develop new jobs beyond the coal industry.

Instead, the utility should be leading the country into a greener, more equitable energy future which will help South Africa both create new, cleaner jobs and meet its international obligations to the Paris agreement, which is aimed at urgently limiting the most damaging aspects of climate change.

The transition of jobs from the coal industry has long been a critical area due to increasing levels of automation while the closure of ageing coal stations has been on the cards for years.

This week, in her report to the parliamentary portfolio committee, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Browne once again cited cost as one of the reasons for Eskom’s reluctance to sign renewable energy agreements with independent power producers. However, she failed to sketch the bigger picture surrounding the decreasing price of renewable energy versus the rising environmental cost of coal.

These hidden costs are paid in human health, water pollution and long-term climate change – and more often than not the poorest in the country are most impacted by air pollution and will be hardest hit by climate change.

The government also has an important role to play in ensuring that the transition to a low carbon economy is equitable by assisting in skills development for the renewable industry and mandating that coal mines and plants have an end-of-life policy that ensures that such training is available for their workers.

The government also has an important role to play in ensuring that the transition to a low carbon economy is equitable by assisting in skills development for the renewable industry and mandating that coal mines and plants have an end-of-life policy that ensures that such training is available for their workers.

In terms of their agreements, the independent power producers (IPPs) are required to provide jobs and to share ownership with local communities, compared to the coal mines and power stations where no such requirement exists. As a consequence the IPPs have provided far better socio-economic development gains than the coal industry.

In another argument, Eskom has blamed renewable energy for creating excess capacity with consequent job losses in the coal trucking sector. The truth is that renewables at best currently make up only around 4% of the total energy mix – and the vast majority of our energy still comes from coal, with new coal stations adding to this capacity. Rather, the utility currently faces a cash flow crisis and needs to claw back losses due to mismanagement detailed in the Denton Report.

Finally, the Hendrina, Kriel, Komati, Grootvlei and Camden coal stations, which are set to close, are among the oldest, thirstiest, dirtiest and most costly of South Africa’s coal power stations. (Camden and Grootvlei were previously mothballed and then revived to deal with the 2008 electricity crisis). As aging coal plants reach retirement age, the most cost-effective replacement would be renewable energy.

Sign the Earth Hour Petition

As a consequence of Eskom’s continued reluctance to back renewable energy, WWF South Africa is asking South Africans to sign a petition to the utility as part of this year’s Earth Hour campaign.

Since 2016, Eskom has refused to sign further contracts under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) which would put more renewable energy on the grid. Instead, the utility is resolutely pursuing an electricity programme that relies heavily on coal and is actively promoting an unaffordably expensive and environmentally questionable nuclear build.

Ultimately, South Africa should be aiming for 100% of our energy to come from renewable sources if the country is to honour its climate action commitments to the Paris Agreement. Renewable energy will not only reduce carbon emissions, but can also be scaled up and deployed quickly to match the country’s need for energy – far quicker than large coal and nuclear new builds.

Some renewable energy can already supply cheaper electricity than the newest coal power plants. The cost gap will only increase in the future, with renewables getting cheaper and coal likely to get more expensive.

Dr Morné du Plessis, CEO of WWF South Africa, commented: “In order to avoid the extreme impacts of runaway climate change, we need to reduce our carbon emissions urgently by introducing more renewable energy into the energy mix. Yet, the bulk of South Africa’s carbon emissions come from electricity generated by fossil fuels such as coal and oil. This has to change.

“We know that Eskom has the power to unblock this hold-up, and thus enable all the socio-economic and environmental benefits that will result from the renewable energy programme. By signing this petition, South Africans will be calling on the utility to exercise this power for the greater good of all.”

We urge all supporters to visit the website at www.WWF.org.za/earthhour to sign the petition before Earth Hour which takes place on 25 March 2017 between 8.30pm and 9.30pm this year.

Distributed by APO on behalf of World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

13 Mar

GE’s Fuel-Flexible Power Plant Brings Vital Energy Boost to Ghana

Once operational, the 200 MW plant will be one of the most efficient power plants in the country and will generate the equivalent power needed to supply more than one million Ghanaian homes

ACCRA, Ghana, March 13, 2017/APO/ —

  • GE to Provide 200MW Turnkey Power Plant with Consortium Partner to Amandi Energy Limited in Aboadze, Ghana;
  • Tri-Fuel 9E.04 Gas Turbines From GE to Add Equivalent Power Needed to Supply More Than 1 Million Ghanaian Homes;
  • New Plant Will Help Ghana Tackle Energy Deficit.

GE, (NYSE: GE) the world’s premier digital industrial company, today announced the order of a 200MW combined-cycle power plant to be operated by Amandi Energy Ltd in Aboadze, Ghana. The plant will help to add reliable and efficient capacity to the grid to tackle Ghana’s increasing demand for power. The plant’s construction will be overseen by Metka, a leading international engineering contractor.

This turnkey plant will be powered by GE’s 9E.04 gas turbine  with tri-fuel capabilities. Initially fueled by light crude oil, the switch will be made to indigenous gas from Ghana’s offshore Sankofa natural gas field once available.

“GE’s fuel capabilities are unmatched. Having a turbine that is able to switch between fuels can provide increased plant operability allowing for power generation months before the indigenous gas supply would otherwise be available,” said Boaz Lavi, GM for Amandi Energy Ltd, Ghana. “This is crucial in helping Ghana meet its growing power needs.”

GE will also provide the steam turbine, heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), associated balance of plant, and 7-year CSA. Once operational, the 200 MW plant will be one of the most efficient power plants in the country and will generate the equivalent power needed to supply more than one million Ghanaian homes.

“Our customers have complex fuel needs, and this project illustrates the breadth of solutions we are able to deliver to meet their expectations,” said Leslie Nelson, GM Gas Power Systems at GE Power in Sub-Saharan Africa, “We are pleased that our strong regional presence allows us to get power to our customers, like Amandi Energy, quickly and efficiently.”

The rugged 9E can burn more than 50 types of fuels and can switch between natural gas, distillate and heavy fuel oil while operating under full load. GE’s 9E.04 has multiple features that help reduce fuel costs and increase revenue, such as a 145 MW output and 37 percent efficiency in simple-cycle. GE has more than 3,000 E-class turbines installed throughout the world with 143 million combined operating hours.

GE works with the government, corporate customers and other stakeholders in Ghana to support economic growth through infrastructure development in the power, healthcare and transport sectors. In 2014, GE opened a 200-capacity permanent office in Accra, and now has over 80 employees – 95% of which are Ghanaians.

Distributed by APO on behalf of GE.

10 Mar

Aiteo emerges Nigeria’s leading oil & gas company with record 90kpod output in 1 year

The company is confident that its significant gas resources at OML 29 will transform the country’s oil rich Niger Delta region into a power generation hub of repute before long

LAGOS, Nigeria, March 10, 2017/APO/ —

Integrated energy group Aiteo has announced a peak production of 90kpod just one year after its acquisition of sub-Sharan Africa’s reputedly largest onshore oil bloc OML 29.

Aiteo acquired OML 29 in September, 2015 when oil major Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) fully exited the facility. At the time of the divestment, average production was 23Kbpod. But Aiteo, one of the frontline sponsors of the justconcluded 16th Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference held in the country’s capital Abuja, says it has tripled this figure leveraging the diversity and skills of its work force and bona fides as a dynamic international energy conglomerate.

Its CEO and Vice Chairman Benedict Peters said the company grew production from 23kbbl/d upon takeover of operations to a peak of 90Kbbl/d in one year. He also highlighted several existing and developing projects that could potentially grow Aiteo’s asset production to over 150 kbopd and 200mmscf/d. He said: “Our outlook is bright with 3 producing oil fields and viable crude exports via Bonny terminal. We also have contingent resources to appraise and prospective ones to explore in the medium-to-long term, including full 3D coverage and 2P NNS reserves at 1.6bn bbl. Put simply, we have a clear vision for the future with the experience and assets crucial to providing oil and gas consistently on a regional and global scale.”

Aiteo’s ambitious five-year objectives include tackling the power challenges in Nigeria head-on through its legacy investments in the gas-to-power value chain. “This is a testament to our commitment to the transformation of the entire oil & gas value chain into a world-class landscape,” Peters added.

The company’s main subsidiary Aiteo Eastern E&P is also a major infrastructure provider for Nigeria’s oil industry as the operator of the 97km Nembe Creek Trunk Line, an industry-wide evacuation pipeline for produced fluids covering much of the country’s Eastern Delta region.

Aiteo’s Group Managing Director Mr. Chike Onyejekwe said: “Our growth drivers remain strong leadership, high commitment and motivation, technical and commercial excellence and superior asset base. In the next five years, our operations will continue to be guided by these qualities as we leverage our capabilities comparable to oil majors elsewhere in the world. Indeed, the future is Aiteo.”

In the interim, Aiteo says it is developing a pipeline of power generation projects across Nigeria. The company is confident that its significant gas resources at OML 29 will transform the country’s oil rich Niger Delta region into a power generation hub of repute before long.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Aiteo Group.

02 Mar

President Zuma to Officially Launch Invest South Africa One Stop Shop

The aim of Invest SA OSS is to provide strategic guidance, reduce regulatory inefficiencies, and reduce red tape for all investors looking to invest in South Africa

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma will officially launch the Invest South Africa One Stop Shop (Invest SA OSS) on Friday, 17 March 2017 in Pretoria. The aim of Invest SA OSS is to provide strategic guidance, reduce regulatory inefficiencies, and reduce red tape for all investors looking to invest in South Africa.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says the OSS will be the focal point of contact in government for all investors. He adds that it will significantly shorten and simplify administrative procedures, and guidelines for the issuance of business approvals, permits and licences, thereby removing bottlenecks faced by investors in establishing and running businesses in the country.

“South Africa is one of the most sophisticated, diverse and promising emerging markets globally. Government is committed to ensuring ease of investment in the country by cutting red tape and by making South Africa a more business-friendly destination for investors,” says Davies.

According to Minister Davies, South Africa has investment opportunities abound in all sectors of the economy. He says a host of investment incentives and industrial financing interventions that are aimed at encouraging commercial activity and trade rules, favour a further expansion in South Africa’s burgeoning levels of international trade.

“The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) aims to increase South Africa’s export capacity as well as support direct investment flows. As a department, we have recognised that the OSS has the potential to boost investment in South Africa, and will work to encourage beneficial environments for investors and exporters via investor-friendly policies and incentives,” says Davies.

He adds that the OSS will further serve to co-ordinate Provincial OSS investment centres incorporating the special economic zones, provincial investment agencies, local authorities and the relevant government departments involved in regulatory, registration, permits and licensing matters.

The Invest SA OSS is a government programme to prioritise and promote investment in South Africa. Invest SA One Stop Shop will be housed on the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) Campus in Pretoria.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

20 Feb

Energy Ministers from Uganda, Liberia and Democratic Republic of Congo to address investors at the 3rd Powering Africa: Summit

LONDON, United Kingdom, February 20, 2017/APO/ —

H.E. Patrick Sendolo, Minister for Energy, Land and Mines, Liberia, H.E. Hon Irene Muloni, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda and H.E. Hon Pierre Anatole Matusila, Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Democratic Republic of Congo are the latest speakers to confirm attendance at the 3rd Powering Africa: Summit (www.PoweringAfrica-Summit.com), taking place from 9-10 March 2017 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Washington D.C.

The Ministers will join over 400 investors and 50 speakers in this investment forum exploring global opportunities within Africa’s energy & infrastructure sectors.

U.S. Representative Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee has also confirmed to address delegates at the 2017 Summit. Chairman Royce worked tirelessly to pass the Electrify Africa Act which was successfully signed into law in early 2016. The bill seeks to address the significant electricity shortage in Africa that affects the everyday lives of millions of people. His participation will provide an insight into the act and how it will continue to maintain competitiveness in Africa whilst increasing global security and social stability.

The Summit will take the form of panel discussions and roundtables focusing on sector-specific topics and addressing how bottlenecks can be overcome to drive forward projects. Maintaining US competitiveness in Africa will be a key theme, setting out how commercial partnerships can deliver energy, create jobs, build capacity and spur industrial growth.

26 countries will be represented at the Summit to date, including 16 African countries. A networking reception will take place on the evening of 9th March, and delegates will have the opportunity to arrange meetings with other attendees using an onsite networking app.

This meeting will be co-located with the Growing Economies: Latin America Energy Forum, focusing on investment opportunities in Latin America’s energy & infrastructure sectors.

Distributed by APO on behalf of EnergyNet Ltd..

15 Feb

Linkages, investment and diversification in African mining: Ghana under the spotlight

One of the possible outcomes from the Ghana study is the potential for a national suppliers’ development programme, in partnership with the mining industry, local suppliers, and government

Mining Indaba delegates were offered a sneak preview of some ground-breaking work in Ghana, designed to unpack new approaches to linkages, investment and diversification in the country’s minerals sector during the Linkages Panel Session on 8 February 2017.

The Mining Indaba Special Information Session on 8 February 2016 shared findings from a new economic assessment on linkages and domestic procurement in Ghana, conducted jointly by the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) and the German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR). Ghana invited the study following its recognition of the need for upstream domestic supply linkages, diversification of the country’s economic structure, stronger involvement of the local business sector, and enhancement of its human resource and technological capabilities to create sustainable value from its mineral resources.

Kojo Busia, moderator of the panel session and Acting Coordinator of AMDC, explained that this work with Ghana will help in onboarding the Africa Mining Vision (AMV) through a country-specific mining vision, saying “The Country Mining Vision is where the ‘rubber meets the road’ in implementing the AMV. Ghana is a relatively mature mining country and there is an opportunity for the country to optimize and add value. And this transformation requires examining this from a regional dimension.”

One of the possible outcomes from the Ghana study is the potential for a national suppliers’ development programme, in partnership with the mining industry, local suppliers, and government.

Using Ghana’s experience as a springboard, the AMDC-hosted session also brought together key experts to examine the African mineral sector’s potential for deepening linkages, promote investment and pursue diversification to contribute to broader economic transformation.

The session, which is in partnership with BGR, focused on concrete opportunities in value creation within upstream linkages in the mining sector in Africa.

Johannes Danz, program officer of extractives and development at BGR, noted that the concept of producing locally needs to go beyond locally registered firms, and should involve local production and value addition. Big-ticket items should be the focus of local procurement.

Edward K. Brown, director of policy advisory service of African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) shared the Center’s assessment of local content value addition in 8 African countries. Findings indicate that as many countries have very small markets, establishing domestic manufacturers may suffer from limited demand. Thus we need to look regionally throughout ECOWAS.

As well as Johannes Danz of BGR and Edward Brown of ACET, speakers included: Tony Aubynn, Chief Executive Officer, Minerals Commission, Ghana; Abraham Workwui, Newmont, Ghana; David Noko, Vice President, Sustainable Development, AngloGold Ashanti; and Suleman Koney, CEO of Ghana Chamber of Mines.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).