11 Oct

Swedish firm moves Sh253bn Malindi power plan to Tanzania

A Swedish firm that wanted to construct Africa’s largest wind power plant in Malindi at a cost of Sh253 billion has relocated the investment to Tanzania, citing frustration by Kenyan authorities.

VR Holding AB had last year expressed interest in building a 600-megawatt (MW) wind farm in the Indian Ocean waters bordering Ras Ngomeni in Malindi, but Ministry of Energy officials turned down the request citing lack of a framework for renewable energy projects of that scale besides low demand for electricity in the country.

The firm’s executives said they have now switched their focus to Tanzania, which shares the Indian Ocean coastline.
“We have opted to look at offshore solutions for Tanzania,” Victoria Rikede, an executive at the company said.

“Kenya is proving to be a very difficult place and besides the grid is too weak to absorb all the power produced and therefore mini-grids is the solution for now,” she added.
Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, has recently been losing mega investments to Tanzania, including a crude pipeline deal with Uganda.

Tuesday, Ministry of Energy officials reckoned that a huge power plant would leave the country with excess power that will only force consumers to pay billions of shillings annually for electricity not used.
This would dim the government’s quest to deliver cheaper power through renewable sources.

Documents seen by the Business Daily show that Kenyan authorities, upon receiving the application, had directed the Swedish company to construct a smaller capacity project. “The company was to give us a proposal for a smaller capacity plant of 50 megawatts. They are yet to do so,” said Isaac Kiva, the director of renewable energy at the ministry.
The Malindi offshore location was identified by the World Bank, according to the Swedish firm’s executives.

They put the cost of generating electricity from the offshore wind farm at €3.5 million (Sh423 million) per megawatt.

This means the 600 megawatt offshore wind park would cost a total of Sh253.8 billion, in what would be the single most expensive private-funded project in East Africa.

Read more: Swedish firm moves Sh253bn Malindi power plan to Tanzania

04 Oct

Tanzania: overcoming financing challenges to launch cashew business

Tanzania. Within two years of starting his business, Fahad Awadh had been named one of 30 entrepreneurs to watch in Africa by Forbes magazine, and also received a US$500,000 grant from the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund.

Awadh is the founder of YYTZ Agro-Processing, a cashew production company that focuses on exporting high-quality nuts from Tanzania, while working closely with local farmers to ensure they are sufficiently included in the value chain.

In 2014, Awadh began looking for a business venture he could invest in – something that entailed value addition in Tanzania.

“I was looking for something with export demand and I came across cashew by looking at what Tanzania produces a lot of, that is exported and valuable,” says Awadh, whose first major entrepreneurial venture was a clothing business he founded with friends while studying at York University in Canada.

“I didn’t know much about cashew so I dug deep and found that while Tanzania is one of the largest cashew producing countries in the world, about 90% of its cashews are exported in its raw form to India and Vietnam where they are processed and re-exported to developed markets. That really stood out for me.”

To understand the ins and outs of the industry, Awadh left Canada for Tanzania to conduct research on cashew production.

“I visited cashew farmers and regulatory authorities because I needed to understand the domestic market supply and the global trade of cashew,” he says.

Awadh also travelled to Vietnam, one of the largest cashew exporters in the world. Here he visited manufacturers of processing equipment and the factory of a reputable cashew producer. These visits exposed him to global best practices, which he later implemented in his own business.

Cashew farmer training in Tanzania
“Understanding the global market and what consumers want helped me make informed decisions about how I am going to process these cashews,” says Awadh. “I knew that if I was going to process in Tanzania, it needs to be mechanised, automated and efficient.

Read more: Tanzania: Entrepreneur overcomes financing challenges to launch cashew business



15 Sep

Uganda: Dar, Kampala Oil, Gas Firms Join Forces

The Association of Tanzania Oil and Gas Service Providers (ATOGS) and their Ugandan counterparts Association of Uganda Oil and Gas Service Providers (AUGOS) have signed an agreement that will see the two working together in the Hoima-Tanga pipeline project.

Speaking at the signing ceremony yesterday, ATOGS cofounder and Vice- Chairman Mr Abdulsamad Abdulrahim said the signing ceremony marks the be ginning of collaboration between the two in a journey to grow the economies of Tanzania and Uganda.

The agreement will see Tanzanian and Ugandan service providers in the oil and gas industry do joint biddings for tenders in different areas of the pipeline project, including transportation of materials.

Uganda’s AUGOS Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Emmanuel Mugarura encouraged Tanzania service providers in the industry to be strong, work together and uphold standards that are required in the industry.

Mr Mugarura said it is only through hard work that the service providers from Tanzania and Uganda can achieve the required standards in the industry.

“It’s through standards that you can stand up and talk…stand up and compete, join tenders and stand up against Chinese, Europeans and Americans who have been in the game longer and they have money. The advantage we have is that we are East African,” Mr Mugarura explained.

ATOGS was formed as a result of AUGOS, after service providers visited Uganda and saw the need to establish an association that brings together local business service providers. One of ATOGS objectives is promoting local content in the oil and gas industry through supporting job and business opportunities for nationals and local businesses in the country.

Earlier, while speaking with ATOGS members, Senior VicePresident (Business Development) of Prezioso Linjebygg Company, Jean -Louis Chassagne said the company has vast experience in executing such major oil and gas projects.

Prezioso Linjebygg is among seven companies bidding for tenders in the execution of Hoima -Tanga Oil Pipeline project.

Read more: Uganda: Dar, Kampala Oil, Gas Firms Join Forces

14 Sep

Tanzania: Boost for Cultural Tourism As Lodge Gets Global Recognition

Kilimanjaro — A South Pare Mountains based cultural mountain lodge has received global recognition, a boost to cultural tourism in Tanzania.

The World Quality Commitment Award (WQC) 2016/7 has been granted to Tona Lodge after reaching the set out criteria by the Madrid-based institution, named BID (Business Initiative Directions).

In a letter sent to the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) and copied to Tona Lodge by Tanzania Embassy in Paris, it is noted that the Award is given to companies, organisations, institutions and individuals in recognition for their quality of service, innovation, and improvement symbolising a success in the business.

The founder of the lodge, Mr Elly Kimbwereza, and the coordinator of South Pare Tourism Cultural Centre accepting the award noted that the potential of cultural tourism in Tanzania was so huge, and time has come for it to be embraced as a mainstream one instead of being sidelined.

He said it was gratifying to receive WQC, saying it was a testimony that cultural tourism was being taken seriously.

He said the award means that nature-based tourism could contribute to social, economic and environmental benefits.

“I have always insisted that cultural tourism is one of the alternatives to rapacious resource extraction. It could earn the desperately sought income and bring in revenues to properly managed villages and protected areas in the Southern Pare,” he said.

There are many hurdles to promotion of cultural tourism in Tanzania despite the abundance in cultural tourism, it is one of the most unheralded and untapped tourist destination, he noted.

To get the award Tona lodge has shown efforts to enhance better understanding among people in the Pare Mountains and directed more awareness on the great cultural heritage and civilisation that values traditions and cultures of the local people as a tool for fighting poverty and elevate the living standards of village people, noted Mr Kimbwereza.

Read more: Tanzania: Boost for Cultural Tourism As Lodge Gets Global Recognition

14 Aug

Tanzania: Commonwealth Boss Extols Isles Development Plans


THE Commonwealth has pledged its continued economic support to Zanzibar whilst commending the Isles government for good implementation of its development programmes.

The remarks were made by Commonwealth Secretary General, Ms Patricia Baroness Scotland when she paid a courtesy call on President Ali Mohamed Shein at the State House in Unguja yesterday.

Ms Scotland lauded the government of Zanzibar for the measures it has been taking to promote the Isles economy and for maintaining peace and tranquility, and vowed to support those efforts.

She thus assured President Shein of her organisation’s support to Zanzibar’s and Tanzania’s development initiatives, adding that the Commonwealth was focused on partnering with all its member countries in improving the lives of the people.

The Commonwealth Secretary General briefed Dr Shein about the works being implemented by Commonwealth in all its 52 member countries, including increasing opportunities in the key sectors of business and economy, women’s and youth empowerment, education and environment protection among others.

She mentioned the development of infrastructure and energy sectors as among areas of priority that will help activate economic growth.

Ms Scotland also expressed her delight on the positive trend of economic growth among Commonwealth member states across Africa and Asia, saying their economy was growing at a rate ranging between 5 and 8 per cent.

Dr Shein was grateful to the Commonwealth boss and welcomed the partnership and support, which he said would help his government to achieve its development targets.

The president said the government is implementing a number of development projects and is taking on board women and young people in its development endeavours and is also working hard to protect the rights of children and elders.

Dr Shein also talked of his government’s achievement in promoting good governance and democracy on the Islands.

From allAfrica

14 Aug

Kenya: Buy-Out Plans Boost Uchumi Shares Despite Drop in Sales


Shares of Uchumi supermarket continued an upward rally at the bourse this week following revelations of possible cash injection by a strategic investor.

While other counters suffered a lull or no-show performance, the retailer shrugged off post-poll jitters to post an impressive Sh4 per share sale for 937,700 shares, up from last Monday’s 3.70 price when it moved 514,100 shares.

On Friday, the government-owned listed firm issued a statement exuding confidence of a impending deal between it and a strategic investor who had pledged to pump in Sh3.5 billion to acquire a stake.

This, they said, would help them settle debts owed to suppliers and property owners in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, with part of the proceeds to be used in replenishing stocks.

The announcement on August 5 elicited positive interest in Uchumi shares that witnessed a sharp rise in trading from the 35,300 shares sold on August 3 to August 5’s close of day price of Sh3.45, where 828,400 shares were dealt.

Uchumi’s chief executive Julius Kipng’etich said the cash-strapped chain was seeking between Sh3.5 billion to Sh5 billion of debt capital through issue of convertible debt instrument or outright purchase of equity or a combination of both.

On Friday, Uchumi said the process of bringing on board a new investor would take four months or less, adding that the funds realised would help revamp its operations, stock up shelves, pay suppliers and rebuild customer confidence.

“The transaction process will come to a conclusion within the stipulated time or less, marking the last mile of Uchumi’s recovery,” said the CEO.

While auditors blamed Uchumi’s woes on mismanagement and abuse of office, the retail sector’s market leader Nakumatt has been suffering financial woes that saw it announce plans to bring in an investor to inject an undisclosed sum of money for a 25 per cent equity.

The firm has sought court intervention to avert seizure of its assets to repay rent arrears for two of its stores while workers have been going without salaries, raising fears on its preparedness to handle expansion into East Africa.

The regional operator with 65 stores across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda has expressed optimism of returning to profitability, but emerging details show all is not well with suppliers, workers and property owners who remain unpaid.

Suppliers Association chairman Kimani Rugendo said talks were ongoing over unpaid deliveries.

In its rescue plan, Uchumi saw Dr Kipng’etich move in, closed its Uganda and Tanzania subsidiaries, as well as several branches in Kenya, and got a not from shareholders to seek injection of fresh capital.

It also sold its Ngong Hyper and Lang’ata Hyper properties on a buy-lease back arrangement.

Source from allAfrica

02 Aug

Mobile contributes $110bn to sub-Saharan economies

sub-Saharan economy

Sub-Saharan Africa is, and will continue to be, the fastest growing mobile market in the world, contributing  $110bn to Sub-Saharan economy

By the end of the decade, there will be more than half a billion mobile subscribers in the region, up from 420 million at the end of 2016.

Among the growth drivers is the under-16 age group, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the population in many countries, and women, who are currently 17 percent less likely to have a mobile phone subscription than their male counterparts.

Mobile is now also a significant contributor to the sub-Saharan African economy. In 2016, mobile technologies and services generated $110bn of economic value, equivalent to 7.7 percent of regional GDP.

This figure is expected to grow to $142bn, or 8.6 percent of GDP, by 2020. The mobile ecosystem also employed about 3.5 million in the region last year, and contributed $13bn to the public sector through taxes.

Here are some of the key trends industry group GSMA has observed:

Transforming industries

Across Africa, mobile is transforming traditional industries and enabling innovative business models to deliver affordable and sustainable services.

Perhaps one of the best examples is mobile money, which has been critical in advancing financial inclusion over the last decade. There are now 140 live mobile money services in 39 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, accounting for nearly 280 million registered accounts.

Today, more than 40 percent of the adult population in seven countries – Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe – use mobile money regularly.

Utilities are another area where mobile is driving innovation. Mobile-based, pay-as-you-go solar enables access to clean energy solutions, with entrepreneurs partnering with mobile operators to deliver the solution.

Growing by nearly 40,000 systems per month, there are now one million home systems installed globally. Some 95 per cent are in sub-Saharan Africa, impacting about 4.8 million people.

We see similar innovation in sectors such as healthcare, agriculture and others. This is just the beginning as we move forward in Africa’s digital age.

Fuelling economies

Local mobile operators have invested $37bn in their networks over the past five years, mainly to deploy new 3G/4G mobile broadband networks across the region.

Fuelled by growing access to mobile data services and smart devices, the local mobile ecosystem is flourishing, supported by investments from operators and others in mobile-focused start-ups and tech hubs.

Seventy-seven tech start-ups across the region raised almost $370m in funding in 2016, up 33 percent from the previous year.

However, this continued growth and investment is not a given. The mobile industry faces several challenges, such as high levels of taxation and outdated regulatory frameworks.

Positive collaboration is needed between governments and the mobile industry to enable innovation and extend connectivity to all.

Connecting everyone

Looking beyond the numbers, mobile is positively impacting African society and helping to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in time for the 2030 deadline.

Mobile operators across Africa are working together to deploy mobile-enabled solutions to deliver key services such as health and education, increase women’s access to mobile, create employment opportunities and decrease poverty.

Of course, the mobile industry cannot solve the challenges of the SDGs alone – no one can. Governments, industry, humanitarian organisations and individuals must come together to build sustainable partnerships.

Having just visited Tanzania and witnessed much of this first-hand, I am struck again by the power of mobile to foster innovation, to fuel economies and to transform lives across Africa.

[Via thisisafricaonline]

05 Jul

New Tanzania law requires government to have shares in mining firms

Tanzania’s parliament amended mining and tax laws late on Wednesday to make it mandatory for the government to own at least a 16 percent stake in mining projects, the state-run Tanzania Information Services said.

“In any mining operations under a mining license or a special mining license, the government shall have not less than 16 (percent) non-dilutable free-carried interest shares in the capital of a mining company,” read the text of the new law.

Read More: Reuters Africa