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Famous Brands reins in acquisition pipeline, focuses on growth path

By: Natasha Odendaal     29th May 2017 After wrapping up the 2017 financial year with seven successfully integrated acquisitions and a strong financial performance, JSE-listed Famous Brands plans to remain strongly focused on growth in a difficult operating climate. However, while the group remained acquisitive by nature and was... 

G7 leaders turn gaze to Africa, climate harmony elusive

By: Reuters     29th May 2017 Leaders of the Group of Seven wealthy nations met African heads of state on Saturday, the final day of their annual summit which has been marked by discord over climate change, but unity on tackling terrorism. Italy had hoped to make Africa the major focus of the annual G7 gathering, holding the... 

Nigeria oil governance bill aims to break up state oil company NNPC

By: Reuters     29th May 2017 The long-awaited oil governance bill passed by Nigeria's upper chamber of parliament proposes breaking up the state oil company into three commercial entities supported by a regulatory body and a fund to oversee the distribution of money. The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, passed on Thursday... 

Nigeria's 'bad bank' says nearing sale of Peugeot car assembly plant to Dangote

By: Reuters     29th May 2017 The Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON), the country's 'bad bank' set up following the banking crisis, is close to selling Peugeot Automobile Nigeria (PAN), a local car assembly joint venture, to Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, and two Nigerian states. "We have concluded all... 

Down with State security! Long live national security!

By: Keith Campbell     26th May 2017 Why does South Africa have a Ministry of State Security? (The official South African Government website refers to it as a Ministry, although it is also officially referred to as a Department.) Let me make the question clearer: why does South Africa have a Ministry/Department of STATE Security? As... 

Innovative solutions necessary for healthcare in Africa

     26th May 2017 There was a definite urgency to focus on economic diversification, revitalisation of manufacturing, and harnessing of innovation to weather the economic storm forecast for the continent apparent among regional and global leaders in business, government and civil society who attended the World... 

SA auto firms join Tripartite Free Trade Area talks

By: Irma Venter     26th May 2017 South African vehicle manufacturers in April joined the negotiations around the formation of an African Tripartite free trade area (TFTA).   The local industry was pursuing duty-free access for new vehicles made in South Africa to the markets included in the TFTA, said National Association of... 

Nigeria oil Minister says not opposed to eventually joining output cuts

By: Reuters     25th May 2017 Nigerian Oil Minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu said on Thursday that conceptually Nigeria was not opposed to joining Opec production caps but would have to wait and see if production came back to acceptable levels. "We are targeting that by the end of the extension period (9 months) we are trying to... 

Sub-Saharan Africa middle class represents R1.3tr a month market

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th May 2017 A University of Cape Town (UCT) Unilever Institute of Strategic Marketing initiative, the African Lions research project, has established that the sub-Saharan African middle class, comprising around 100-million people, represents a R1.3-trillion a month market and is growing. Carried out... 

South Africa remains largest FDI hub in Africa, report shows

By: Mia Breytenbach     19th May 2017 South Africa remains the leading foreign direct investment (FDI) destination in Africa, with a 6.9% increase in FDI projects in 2016, according to financial services advisory firm EY’s latest ‘Africa Attractiveness’ report, published earlier this month. The report provides an analysis of FDI... 

Erin Energy appoints new chairperson, CEO

By: Anine Kilian     18th May 2017 JSE-listed Erin Energy on Thursday announced that it has elected Frank Ingriselli to succeed John Hoffmeister as chairperson. Ingriselli, who is CEO of Blackhawk Energy, has more than 36 years of experience in the energy industry, with wide ranging oil and natural gas exploration and production... 

Nigeria's NNPC finalising $6bn worth of oil-for-product swaps

By: Reuters     18th May 2017 Nigeria's state oil company is in the final stage of signing $6-billion worth of deals to exchange more than 300 000 bbl/d of crude oil for imported gasoline and diesel, sources with direct knowledge of the process told Reuters. The contracts, which come three months later than expected, include... 

Zuma could be called in to get SAA money back from abroad – Deputy Finance Minister

By: African News Agency      18th May 2017 If all else failed, National Treasury might enlist the help of President Jacob Zuma to secure the repatriation of South African Airways funds from fellow African states, Deputy Finance Minister Sifiso Buthelezi told MPs on Wednesday. Buthelezi told Parliament’s standing committee on finance the... 

South African selected as finalist for Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     17th May 2017 South African rocket scientist Andre Nel has been selected as a finalist in the UK’s Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. Nel invented a hybrid, solar microgrid solution, the GreenTower Microgrid, which uses 90% less energy to heat water. 

African countries look to minigrids to light up rural areas

By: Kim Cloete     17th May 2017 African countries are increasingly looking towards minigrids to provide people living in remote areas access to electricity. Government officials from Ghana, Uganda and Nigeria have told delegates at the African Utility Week, in Cape Town, this week, that minigrids are the way to go for many... 

African Export Import Bank to invest up to $500m in Gambia

By: Reuters     16th May 2017 The African Export Import Bank (Afreximbank) will invest up to $500-million in Gambia, its president said, an economic boost to the impoverished West African country ostracized by investors under former president Yahya Jammeh. The money will go towards tourism, infrastructure and agriculture in... 

SA Auto Inc pursues duty-free access for new vehicles in African markets

By: Irma Venter     12th May 2017 South African vehicle manufacturers in April joined the negotiations around the formation of an African Tripartite free trade area (TFTA).   The local industry was pursuing duty-free access for new vehicles made in South Africa to the markets included in the TFTA, said National Association of... 

BMW’s Rosslyn plant to start producing X3 early next year

By: Irma Venter     12th May 2017 Production of the new X3 at the BMW plant in Rosslyn, outside Pretoria, for the local and export markets will start in the first half of 2018, says BMW Group South Africa (SA) and sub-Saharan Africa CEO Tim Abbott. The plant currently produces the 3 Series sedan, also for the local and export... 

K-1 solar photovoltaic project, Nigeria

By: Sheila Barradas     12th May 2017 The project aims to strengthen northern Nigeria's electricity network. 

Vertical roller mills enhance cement plant

     12th May 2017 High-quality cement manufacturer and supplier United Cement Company of Nigeria (Unisem) is using two vertical roller mills (VRMs) from export-oriented engineering company Loesche at its successfully commissioned new Cement Plant 2 at Mfamosing, in Cross River state, Nigeria. Loesche received the... 

LafargeHolcim won't be diluted by African unit's capital hike

By: Reuters     10th May 2017 Cement group LafargeHolcim will take part in a capital increase by Nigeria-based Lafarge Africa to avoid diluting its nearly 73 percent stake, it said on Wednesday. Lafarge Africa said this week it wants to raise 140 billion naira ($460 million) in fresh equity and convert some loans into shares... 

Modest rebound in sub-Saharan Africa growth to be boosted by recedence of 2016 growth mitigating factors – IMF

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     9th May 2017 Growth momentum in sub-Saharan Africa remains fragile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says, noting that, with policy response being "behind the curve", pressures on sovereigns rising and spillovers to the private sector intensifying, the near-term outlook for growth in the region is likely... 

Redefine confident of maintaining growth in future, even in uncertain environment

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     8th May 2017 JSE-listed Redefine Properties, which posted 7.5% distribution growth to 4.82c a share for the six months to February 28, on Monday said it was “well-poised to weather the coming storm” owing to its diversified asset platform. During a media briefing, CEO Andrew Konig outlined that the real... 

FAO to lead Africa’s intervention against fall armyworm

By: Anine Kilian     5th May 2017 The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has been tasked with coordinating control and management interventions to combat the fall armyworm infestation in Africa. Centre for Agricultural and Biosciences International sanitary and phytosanitary coordinator Dr Roger Day estimates... 

Company expands in key African markets

By: Robyn Wilkinson     5th May 2017 Despite challenging macroeconomic headwinds causing a slowdown in consumer spending in many African markets in 2016, packaging company Nampak remains confident of the demographic fundamentals underpinning long-term packaging growth on the continent. 

Nigeria village suing Eni for damages from pipe explosion – lawyer

By: Reuters     5th May 2017 A Nigerian village has filed a lawsuit in Milan against Italian oil company Eni demanding compensation for damage caused by an oil pipeline explosion in 2010, an Italian lawyer representing the village said on Thursday. The village of Ikebiri in the Niger Delta is asking Eni for €2-million... 

Economic uncertainty affects African imports

By: Robyn Wilkinson     5th May 2017 As global economic volatility places pressure on importers in many African countries, more businesses are investigating the option of trade finance, currently regarded as a broader import finance solution rather than just a transactional one, says South African import transaction specialist... 

Intra-African trade and investment to drive long-term development

By: Robyn Wilkinson     5th May 2017 While the current reality is that many African countries have become reliant on foreign direct investment (FDI) to implement their development plans, the longer-term goal should be for these countries to become self-sufficient, says Thomson Reuters Africa corporates and partnerships head Kamal... 

Nigerian statistician-general says economy on way out of recession

By: Bloomberg     5th May 2017 Nigeria’s economy, which contracted in 2016, performed better in the first three months of this year than during the previous three quarters on improved oil production and factory output, according to statistician-general Yemi Kale. “From the numbers we are seeing, certainly things are improving,... 

Report identifies key areas for growth in Africa

By: Robyn Wilkinson     5th May 2017 Well-balanced economies that have shown steady performance over an extended period present key opportunities for growth and development in Africa, while those with high political risk will continue to fail to instill confidence in foreign direct investors, says trade credit insurer Coface. 

World Bank cuts sub-Saharan Africa’s 2017 growth forecast

By: Bloomberg     5th May 2017 The World Bank cut its growth projection for sub-Saharan Africa this year because of weak expansion in the region’s three biggest economies. The area’s gross domestic product will expand 2.6 percent in 2017, the bank said in a copy of its Africa Pulse report. That compares with a January... 

Nigeria plans to set up national airline, develop aviation capacity

By: Reuters     4th May 2017 Nigeria has appointed advisers to help it set up a national airline and develop its aviation infrastructure – currently seen as a barrier to economic growth – to create a hub for West Africa, junior aviation minister Hadi Sirika said on Wednesday. Sirika said a group of six firms including German... 

Africa’s powerhouses South Africa and Nigeria should work together

By: African News Agency      4th May 2017 Africa had the potential to overcome poverty but would need the continent’s two economic powerhouses – South Africa and Nigeria – to work together. This was the view of two leading businessmen from the two countries who took part in a session at the World Economic Forum on Africa taking place in... 

Business aviation company reports strong first quarter growth at its African bases

By: Keith Campbell     3rd May 2017 Business aviation company ExecuJet reported on Wednesday that its African operations had enjoyed significant growth in activity during the first quarter of this year. The company, which is part of the Luxaviation Group, has Fixed-base operations (FBOs) at Lanseria International Airport (northwest... 

South Africa remains largest FDI hub in Africa – report

By: Mia Breytenbach     3rd May 2017 South Africa remains the leading foreign direct investment (FDI) destination in Africa, with a 6.9% increase in FDI projects in 2016, according to financial services advisory firm EY’s latest ‘Africa Attractiveness’ report, published on Wednesday. The report provides an analysis of FDI investment... 

MTN reports upward swing in Q1 revenue

By: Natasha Odendaal     3rd May 2017 Telecommunications giant MTN Group on Wednesday reported an improved first-quarter operational performance as it works to recover from significant losses in 2016. The JSE-listed group delivered increases in revenue across several operations during the three months to March 31, with significant... 

LafargeHolcim Q1 sales, core profit beat forecasts

By: Reuters     3rd May 2017 LafargeHolcim beat expectations for sales and core profit in the first quarter, it said on Wednesday, a bittersweet performance for the cement and building materials company as it begins a search for a new chief executive. The world's largest cement maker is looking for a new CEO to replace Eric... 

Africa needs to change economic, taxation policy to uplift the poor – Oxfam

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     2nd May 2017 Seven of the 20 most unequal countries in the world are in Africa, an income study by Brookings Institute reveals, with Swaziland ranking the world’s most unequal, closely followed by Nigeria. In South Africa, three billionaires own the same wealth as the poorest half of the population – around... 

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