28 Apr

Unpacking Kenya as an investment destination

Kenya is one of the more pleasant countries to visit in Africa. It offers a mix of third-world buzz and opportunity along with first-world luxuries such as shopping malls, quality internet access, enough infrastructure to get things done and, more recently, craft beer.

Add to that Nairobi’s near-perfect climate (you know it is good when you’re undecided on whether to pack a business suit or not… it is just too warm for a suit, but tolerable nonetheless). It is not surprising then that so many NGOs and organisations, such as the UN, have a strong presence in Nairobi. It always interests me that there are so many large embassies in Africa: How many high-level political discussions are there between Austria and Kenya, for instance, or Iran and Kenya, or Canada and Kenya? I suppose if, as a Ukrainian, you get altitude sickness while climbing Mount Kenya, it will be comforting to know that the embassy in Nairobi has people who speak your language and can bring you some flowers before you fly out.

Regulation weighs on market

The stock market has been under considerable pressure since the beginning of 2015. It is not surprising then that Kenya was screening well on valuation. The Kenyan banks have come under pressure after the president passed a law capping the interest rates that banks can charge. Cellphone giant Safaricom is being investigated for market dominance and both the listed brewer and the listed tobacco businesses have been hurt by higher taxes as government needs revenue. With that in mind, we set off to see if conditions are likely to improve.

The Kenyan economic situation is worrying – the current account deficit is wide, the fiscal deficit is wide, there is a drought risk (agriculture accounts for 30% of the economy) and there are elections later in the year. In addition, the interest rate caps mean that lending has slowed, which will put the brakes on economic growth. All this means that there is risk to the currency. However, the shilling, which the Kenyan authorities insist is not managed, has been remarkably stable at around 100 KES/USD over the last 18 months.


Read more here: Unpacking Kenya as an investment destination

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.

13 Feb

Dangote Sets to Launch 25,000 Hectares of Rice Outgrower Scheme in Sokoto

Dangote Rice, a subsidiary of Dangote Group is set to launch in Sokoto. Sokoto state it’s multi-million naira 25,000 hectares of rice outgrower scheme with a prospect of hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities for the rural communities inhabitants.

President of the Group, Aliko Dangote disclosed at the weekend that the Company will on Wednesday, flag off with a pilot project of 500 ha by Gonroyo dam, in Goronyo community. Gonroyo dam is the second largest in the country, after Kainji.

The flag off ceremony which will be performed by the governor of the state, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwa will witness seedlings being distributed to the primary local farmers who will in turn plant the seed after which Dangote Rice company will purchase from them for milling and final processing.

Sokoto state is the second after Jigawa out of the 14 states spread across the state where Dangote Rice plans to operate outgrower scheme to empower local farmers and create job opportunities for community dwellers and reduce migration to the cities.

Dangote Rice projects in the 14 states, when, operational, will generate a significant number of jobs and increase take-home income for smallholder farmers, all while diversifying Nigeria’s economy and reducing the nation’s food import bill.

Statistics from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) estimates that rice demand in Nigeria reached 6.3 million MT in 2015, with only 2.3 million MT of that demand satisfied by local production.

This local production shortfall leaves a gap of 4.0 million MT that is currently being filled through formal importation of rice or illegal imports over land borders.

By year-end 2017, Dangote Rice plans to produce 225,000 MT of parboiled, milled white rice. This will allow us to satisfy 4% of the total market demand within 1 year. Our model can then be successfully scaled to produce 1,000,000 MT of milled rice in order to satisfy 16% of the domestic market demand for rice over the next 5 years.

Due to the current economic crisis, domestic prices for agro-commodities have risen dramatically over the last 12 months, making local agriculture an attractive investment. Dangote Rice Limited  seeks to take advantage of this economic trend and the favourable policies laid out in the FMARD’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda.

Dangote Rice has a mandate to locally high-quality milled, parboiled rice for the Nigeria market. This goal will be achieved by sourcing the raw material (paddy) required from the Dangote Rice Outgrower Scheme. […]

You can read the full-story here: APO


04 Nov

Tanzania: Tourism in Zanzibar Booming

Zanzibar — The tourism sector in Zanzibar is booming with increased number of arrivals which puts the Indian Ocean archipelago on track to meet Vision 2020 growth targets.

According to the Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (ZATI), tourists arrivals for half of 2016 had already exceed the number of arrivals recorded for the whole of 2015.

“We are on track for meeting the Vision 2020 target of reaching 500,000 tourists per year. What counts now is making sure that the Government listens to the private sector,” ZATI Chairman, Seif Miskry said in a statement.

He said there is a challenge for Zanzibar to remain competitive in the demanding tourism market by improving quality and address problems associated with taxation in the industry.

“We have to work together with the government to succeed in this goal,” he noted in a press statement issued yesterday. He applauded the recently concluded ZATI Tourism conference in Stone Town which attendees from both the private and public sector tourism stakeholder said it was a great success.

“The public sector and private sector went through a number of subjects, mostly concerned with the ease of doing business in Zanzibar, and now ZATI has a list of advocacy issues with which to follow up with the public sector over the next 12 months, on behalf of its members.

ZATI’s role is to represent the needs and interests of its membership to the public sector and so it is a key part of this is to bring the Government and the private sector together regularly. We have had such a good response from both sides, I am sure we will be repeating this event.”

He said the purpose of the conference was to re-launch a fresh new-look ZATI to coincide with the appointment of the new board, together with the publication of a new Zanzibar brochure, and bring together the tourism private sector for information sharing and discussions with the Zanzibar Government representatives on aspects of the tourism industry in Zanzibar and open up subjects for future dialogue.

There were 120 people attending from the private sector, including large and small hotels, tour operators, airlines and local businesses – both new and longterm investors, and both foreign and local investors.

He said the tourism sector of Zanzibar is one of the key areas driving towards Vision 2020 and Poverty Eradication. Tourism contributes more than 80 per cent foreign exchange in Zanzibar and provides the highest private sector employment. It enriches many of other industries including transport, communications, fisheries, farming, building, technology, and trading.

Distributed by AllAfric

07 Oct

UK aims to drive Renewable Energy Investment in Kenya

The British High Commission, in conjunction with Barclays Bank of Kenya, yesterday held an event in Nairobi bringing together leading players in the local renewable energy sector with investors from the UK.

The UK-Kenya Renewable Energy Conference (REC 100) aimed to secure investment into Kenya’s growing renewable energy sector, building a strong pipeline of deals to accelerate the nation’s pace of affordable electrification.

The Conference brought together 100 representatives from Kenyan and British firms across a range of low carbon solutions. Speakers included Energy & Petroleum Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge, British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey, CEO of Barclays Kenya Jeremy Awori, and Lord Clive Hollick the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Kenya & Tanzania.

The collaboration between the UK and Kenyan renewable energy sectors is underpinned by a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Governments in May of 2016, which saw the UK commit Ksh 70 billion to support the development of strategic renewable energy projects in Kenya. The MoU also promotes opportunities for private sector trade and investment by the UK in Kenya’s renewable energy sector.

Speaking at the Conference, the British High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey said:

The UK and Kenya are at the vanguard of renewable energy, clean technology and innovation. Kenya has one of the most active renewable energy sectors in Africa, and the UK is a global leader in many of the sectors for which Kenya has greatest demand.

We are excited by this growing UK-Kenya partnership in renewables, working together to bring clean, sustainable energy to the Kenyan people and accelerate Kenya’s development and economic growth.

Barclay’s Bank of Kenya CEO Jeremy Awori said:

Our expertise in investment financing and knowledge of the energy sector and its technologies position us to take advantage of falling renewable energy costs by partnering with the right investors to help Kenya achieve the government’s 5000MW plan by 2017.

Kenya’s energy sector has experienced strong growth over the past decade with the country bringing online 576MW of new base load capacity since 2013. This increased energy production has coincided with higher grid connectivity, improving Kenya’s grid electricity access rate from 27% in 2012 to 55 % in 2016.

Despite this, the country still has a low electrification rate by development standards, meaning that more power projects must be developed in order to meet demand, achieve the Government of Kenya’s targets and deliver accessible pricing.

Distributed by APO on behalf of British High Commission Nairobi.