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2016

June 2016

01 June 2016

Tembo to invest in Strandline Resources

By Staff Writer | Africa Global Funds June 1, 2016

Tembo Capital, a mining-focused private equity fund group, has agreed to invest $6.6m in Strandline Resources to ensure that the firm is fully funded to advance its portfolio of high value Tanzanian mineral sands projects over the next two years.

Under the Strategic Relationship and Subscription Agreement, Tembo will cornerstone a funding package comprising: up-front firm investment of $2.3m by way of placement of ordinary shares at an issue price of 0.7c per share (a 17% premium to the last closing price of Strandline shares); and a fully underwritten pro-rata renounceable rights issue to all eligible Strandline shareholders to raise up to $4.3m at 0.5c per share.

Strandline Resources is an Australian Stock Exchange listed company, that is focused on mineral exploration and development in Australia.

Strandline controls a dominant (2000km²) mineral sands exploration position along the coast of Tanzania, within a major world class mineral sands corridor.

These projects are located along the coast of Tanzania and surrounded by some of the world’s major world-class mineral sands mines, located in neighbouring Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar and South Africa

The initial funding and Tembo’s long term commitment gives Strandline the capacity to fast track development of the high grade Fungoni deposit; undertake extensional drilling and feasibility studies of the high grade Resources at Tajiri; and continue exploration and discovery drilling across Strandline’s high value Tanzanian mineral sands portfolio.

Tom Eadie, Strandline’s Managing Director, said: “The Board of Strandline is delighted to welcome Tembo as a supportive major shareholder, which also has the capacity to provide valuable technical and strategic support.”

“Tembo’s investment and ongoing support strongly endorses the high potential of Strandline’s mineral sands projects and our highly capable team. The company is very excited about having the financial capacity to progress these high potential projects in the manner that they deserve,” he said.

Strandline believes that Tembo can add strategic, technical and financial value to the Company and its projects, to the benefit of all Strandline shareholders.

Strategic, long term relationship with Tembo includes: appointment of John Hodder of Tembo as a non-Executive Director of Strandline; access to Tembo’s strategic & financing networks within Emerging Markets; and potential access to future development funding of up to a further $15m over the medium to longer term.

Strandline has agreed a mandate with Hartleys Limited to act as underwriter and lead manager in relation to the Rights Issue (subject to execution of formal underwriting and sub-underwriting agreements, which are currently being finalized and are expected to be executed imminently).

Tembo has agreed to fully sub-underwrite the rights issue, subject to execution of the relevant formal sub-underwriting documentation.

Strandline will announce the rights issue timetable (including timing for trading of entitlements) and dispatch the associated offer documentation to eligible shareholders in the near future.

“We encourage all eligible shareholders to consider participation in the Rights Issue. Following its completion, Strandline will be well funded for significant activity over the coming 24 months to unlock the value of our Tanzanian portfolio,” said Eadie.

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01 June 2016

Multi-currency system dead, says RBZ as USD demand spikes (Zimbabwe)

By Staff Writer | The Source Zimbabwe June 1, 2016

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) on Tuesday conceded that the multi-currency systema dopted in 2009 was effectively dysfunctional with the economy trading solely on the United States dollar, which has resulted in spiking cash demand, fuelling shortages.

Early this month, the central bank announced the introduction of bond notes as part of a raft of measures to promote exports and ease cash shortages.

But the notes, which central bank governor John Mangudya said will come into circulation in October, are viewed by a sceptical public as a backdoor return of the hated local currency.

Long, winding bank queues and revised bank withdrawal limits, once a feature in the hyper-inflation era of 2008, have returned to haunt Zimbabweans as cash shortages bite.

Zimbabwe six years ago dumped its inflation ravaged local currency, adopting a basket of foreign currencies expanded over time to nine, among them the US dollar, South African Rand, Botswana Pula, Japanese yen, and the Chinese yuan.

But central bank governor Dr John Mangudya said the multi-currency system, as it was envisaged, only worked for a short while.

“There has been a shift from the multi-currency in 2009 to the US dollar in 2016. We have put all our eggs in one basket now which is why the demand for the US dollar has increased,” Dr Mangudya said at a meeting organised by the Roman Catholic Church to discuss pressing economic issues.

“In the southern region they used to use more of South African Rand but they are now using US dollars so it means where we used to import $20 million a month, we are now importing $40 million because there has been a shift from the Rands to the US dollar.”

Mangudya said externalisation of the greenback was largely to blame for current shortages, while blaming Zimbabwe’s “too open economy” for promoting the unscrupulous behaviour.

He said the country’s had failed to manage its foreign currency as imports, which were almost at par with exports between 1990 and 2009, had to date doubled while exports trailed, leading to an average deficit of about $2,5 billion annually.

Mangudya said most Zimbabweans were unaware that exports, primarily tobacco and minerals such as gold, platinum and diamonds were the major source of foreign currency circulating in the country.

“Some of you laugh at the farmers sleeping at the tobacco auction floors but those are the people bringing in the foreign currency,” he said.

The RBZ, Dr Mangudya said, would begin paying exporters the five percent bonus in the form of bond notes in October.

He reiterated the bank would not re-introduce the Zimbabwean dollar in the near future.

Mangudya said the central bank was also encouraging use of plastic money by government institutions and public utilities to reduce demand for cash.

Roman Catholic Church Vicar General for the Harare Archdiocese, Father Kennedy Muguti told the central bank boss that people no longer had trust and confidence in government policies.

“People are still nursing wounds from the past,” he said, alluding to loss of savings when use of the Zimbabwe dollar was discontinued overnight.

Barclays Zimbabwe managing director, George Guvamatanga proposed that the central bank should introduce a maximum withdrawal limit of $500 per week.

He backed introduction of bond notes, arguing that the US dollar was being abused.

”Why should tomatoes that have been produced in Mutoko be paid for in foreign currency, why must workers be paid in foreign currency,” Guvamatanga questioned.

“We need a means of transacting that is not going to be abused. We cannot keep on bringing money into the economy that is disappearing.”

Guvamatanga appealed to bankers to slash charges to encourage use of plastic money. His appeal follows the announcement by Steward Bank chief executive, Lance Mambondiani said his bank would effective Wednesday slash money transfer charges by 50 percent.

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2016

May 2016

31 May 2016

StanChart and USAID’s partnership boosts Zambia’s power grid

By Staff Writer | ESI AfricaMay 31, 2016

Standard Chartered has partnered with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), to deliver a term loan worth $60m to Zambia’s Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO).

The loan will finance capital expenditure tor ZESCO’s Lusaka Transmission and Distribution Rehabilitation Project (LTDRP) as well as provide bridge financing to facilitate new connections to the grid.

This is one of the largest facilities that USAID has delivered within President Obama’s ‘Power Africa’ partnership since the campaign’s launch in 2013.

This facility is Standard Chartered Zambia’s longest tenor and largest facility provided to a Zambian parastatal entity to date.

Andrew Okai, CEO of Standard Chartered Zambia, said: “By using our strengths in structuring financial solutions which promote economically enhancing partnerships and improve the lives of individuals, Standard Chartered can demonstrate our promise to be here for good.”

“This is the Bank’s second Power Africa partnership to benefit Zambia, with the first being Standard Chartered’s Private Equity investment in Zambian Energy Corporation,” he said.

ZESCO is a vertically integrated parastatal whose primary business is to generate, transmit, distribute and supply electricity within Zambia as well as exporting to the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) countries.

It was established in 1970, and its governance has evolved over time to one that defines an arms-length relationship with Government of Zambia.

ZESCO has installed generation capacity of 2,224 MW which comprises 2,212 MW hydro (99%) and 11.3 MW diesel (1%).

The company owns approximately 39,000km of power transmission and distribution lines and has an installed substation capacity of 5,000 MVA in power transformation infrastructure.

ZESCO has four licenses for its strategic business units, generation, transmission, distribution and supply.

“Part of ZESCO’s strategic plan is to improve the quality of electricity and enhance connections to the national grid,” commented ZESCO’s Managing Director, Victor Mundende.

“USAID and Standard Chartered’s support has already delivered more than 15,000 new power connections.  Furthermore, some of the funds provided will be used for other scheduled power system upgrades, contributing to new and existing connections to homes and businesses across the country.  ZESCO remains committed to meeting its aspirations of electrifying 60% of Zambia by 2030,” he said.

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2016

May 2016

24 May 2016

Africa Tech Forum London: 4 reasons why you should be paying attention to Tech Disruption in Africa

In recent years Africa Tech has been receiving a lot of coverage, including in major publications such as the FT, TechCrunch, The Economist and The Next Web.

The world is therefore paying increasing attention to developments in the Africa tech sector.  Below are four reasons why you should be too.

1. Growing investment in Africa tech startups

Venture capitalists and Private Equity funds alike are viewing Africa with increased interest and taking larger bets on the continent. In 2014, over $4.2b was raised close to $500m

Some investors are already reaping the benefits such as the early investors in African online streaming service iRoko TV who it is reported made a 3000% return on their investment. At the upcoming Africa Tech Forum London on 22nd June, our VC and PE panellists will shine more light on the latest investment opportunities that are unfolding across the continent.

2. A growing consumer market that is underserved

Africas growing population is expected to account for one-fifth of the worlds population by 2025. According to McKinsey, Africas consumer-facing industries are expected to grow by $400 billion by 2020, representing the continents largest business opportunity. With sessions such as The profile of the rising African tech consumer market, the upcoming Africa Tech Forum will address how technology is increasingly playing a role in providing a means to better serve and understand this growing market.

3. A source for global tech talent

With nearly 200 million people aged between 15 and 24, Africa has one of the youngest populations in the world. While others argue about the risks this presents, organisations such as Andela and Tunga see it as an opportunity. They are training African youth to become high quality software developers and connecting them with global businesses who are faced with a growing tech talent shortage. This opportunity for talent arbitrage is another of the key points that will be discussed at the Forum in June.

4. A testing ground for inclusive innovation

Africa has become the testing ground for infrastructure-light solutions that can help underserved communities both in the developing and developed world. For example, innovations in mobile banking like M-PESA in Kenya, which has helped the country drive up access to financial services from 41% to over 60%, could hold some answers for the 2 million adults

Eunice Baguma Ball is an Africa tech enthusiast with over 10 years in the Africa mobile and digital sector. She is the organiser of the Africa Tech Forum London, a one day conference showcasing the most exciting technology opportunities unfolding across the African continent to the global business and investor community during London Tech Week 2016.

 

2016

May 2016

13 May 2016

Central bank unlikely to use IMF loan as reserves hit one-year high (Kenya)

By Otiato Guguyu | Business Daily, Kenya May 13, 2016

 

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) is unlikely to draw money from the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) precautionary credit facility as foreign exchange reserves soar to a one-and-a-half-year high, analysts say.

According to the latest CBK weekly bulletin the reserves have touched $7.7 million which is equivalent to 5.01 months of import cover, a high last seen in December 2014.

The shilling, which the CBK mean-rated at 100.6 against the dollar Thursday, an almost nine-month high, has gained ground since it touched 106.1 in September last year.

“The CBK has more power and leverage for monetary policy action when it needs to bring about stability, so it begs the question whether they will need to draw from the IMF facility,” CfC Stanbic Bank regional economist, Jibran Qureishi said.

Kenya in March secured a new loan from the IMF totalling Sh153 billion ($1.5 billion) to be utilised within two years in case of external shocks.

According to the IMF, Kenyan authorities don’t intend to draw the precautionary facility “unless exogenous shocks lead to an actual balance of payments need”. The country similarly did not draw from the previous three-year facility.

A stable shilling, narrowing current account deficit, and the accumulated foreign currency reserves have reduced pressure on the CBK helping ensure it is not caught flat-footed should another forex crisis occur, as was the case last year and in 2011.

“The biggest actual reason the CBK might draw on IMF lines is if a sudden requirement for cash occurred. In my opinion the CBK needs to release more details on the terms of that facility so we know what it is for,” Deepak Dave of Riverside Capital, a markets debt expert said.

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13 May 2016

Dubai operator secures major deal over Berbera Port (Somalia)

By Staff Writer | Addis Fortune | May 13, 2016

DP World, a port operator for Dubai, has pulled the rug from under Horn of Africa countries, signing a deal worth close to half a billion dollars with the government of Somaliland to jointly develop the Port of Berbera. Abduraheman Boreh, Djibouti’s dissident businessman, who brought DP World to Djibouti in the early 2000s, is behind the deal, according to a person knowledgeable of the deal.

DP World has agreed to form a company in a joint venture with the government of Somaliland to co-invest 442 million dollars. But, it is DP World that will manage the new company, with its managers believing it will transform into a regional logistic hub, competing with Doraleh Port in Djibouti.

The Port of Berbera is in the self-declared breakaway republic of Somaliland, 937km east of Addis Abeba. Following its tradition in Djibouti, DP World has targeted Ethiopia – the region’s largest market – as the potential client of the port, where it plans to build a container terminal and free zones.

“[The Port] will provide an additional gateway for Ethiopia that is needed for its growth,” DP World said in its officials statement, released after the signing on May 9, 2016, in Hargeisa.

Ethiopia has been exploring an alternative outlet to the sea through the Port of Berbera since as early as 2003. At this time, the European Commission hired Louis Berger S.A., in partnership with Afro-Consult Plc, to carry out a pre-feasibility study for the regional transport sector in the Berbera corridor. It was an attempt to determine investment viability on the Berbera corridor compared with regional seaports, such as Djibouti, Assab, Massawa, Mombasa and Port Sudan.

Despite the study’s findings, Ethiopia remains uncommitted to jointly investing in Somaliland, though a series of visits have been made by Ethiopian maritime officials and experts over the years.

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2016

May 2016

12 May 2016

The Annual Debate 2016 featured in Nigeria Watch

2016

May 2016

11 May 2016

Rwanda gets $200 million from EU to expand electricity supply

By Staff | The East African |May 11, 2016

Rwanda and the European Union Tuesday signed a €177 million (about $200 million or Rwf157 billion) financing deal that will help the government improve its energy sector.

The government targets to have 70 per cent of the 11 million population access electricity by 2018, from 23 per cent as at last year.

The five-year budgetary support aims at improving the supply, transmission and distribution of electricity in Rwanda, and the management of the energy sector.

The financing agreement is part of a €460 million (about Rwf407 billion) EU grant to Rwanda to support energy, agriculture, and governance.

“Energy is one of the top priorities for the Government of Rwanda,” Claver Gatete, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said, further noting that it “is a prerequisite for the achievement of its main development goal of becoming middle income country by 2020."

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2016

May 2016

10 May 2016

Oando begins multi-billion dollar LNG project in Nigeria

By Staff | Business Day Nigeria |May 10, 2016

 

This picture shows a worker at a natural gas platform.

AFP

Oando Gas & Power Limited, an indigenous developer and provider of gas and power solutions  said yesterday, that it has commenced development of a mini Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) facility through its Transit Gas Nigeria Limited (TGNL) subsidiary in Ajaokuta, Kogi State.

The company says the  pioneering liquefaction plant is primarily directed towards fulfilling the gas supply requirement for captive power plants, embedded generation, and industrial clusters  in northern Nigeria, as well as stranded customers in the south. Off-takers, particularly, power plants and industrial customers who currently utilise liquid fuels such as diesel and LPFO, will be able to lower energy costs by up to 40%, while significantly decreasing carbon emissions.

Oando Gas & Power CEO, Bolaji Osunsanya said, “The establishment of the Ajaokuta mini LNG project is in firm alignment with our mid-to-long term gas conversion strategy. This venture further emphasises our push to broaden our asset portfolio and strengthen our market play within the gas sector; and by providing the gas advantage, we will help spur the development of self-sustaining industrial clusters to bolster the country’s socio-economic growth.

“ LNG is a viable provisional solution and an industry game-changer for the development of gas markets, ahead of the actualisation of a far-reaching nationwide gas pipeline network, as stipulated by the Nigerian Gas Master Plan.”

With an unlimited supply radius across the country, the Ajaokuta mini-LNG project will provide the solution to the perennial power challenges suffered in certain regions by supplying gas to key foundation off-takers, including strategic power plants and commercial concerns, Osunsanya added.

He further stated that OGP provides gas and power solutions to over 170 industrial and commercial customers nationwide, ensuring cost-savings across board, powering economic development, and engendering environmental awareness.

The company commissioned its expanding Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) programme in 2013, and is currently spearheading several long term projects including a 400km South-West to North-West gas pipeline and a Central Processing Facility (CPF) which will serve as the primary gas gathering and processing hub in the Niger Delta.

Commenting further on the company’s strategic direction, Osunsanya said, “We are focused on aggressively developing Nigeria’s gas infrastructure and the midstream sector at large, as evidenced by the ongoing expansion efforts of our various assets. We are poised to conclude the 10km Ijora to Marina expansion of our Greater Lagos pipeline to increase our supply capacity and market, while providing a cheaper power solution for industries and commercial enterprises along the axis.

“In cooperation with the Rivers State Government, we have also begun the 8km build out of the Central Horizon Gas Company pipeline franchise within the Trans-Amadi area, which will have a socio-economic multiplier effect via the availability of power generated, job creation, and the growth of businesses.”

Though Nigeria boasts proven natural gas reserves of 187 trillion cubic feet (TCF), the eighth largest in the world and the largest in Africa, the gas industry has failed to realise its true potential, due to a number of challenges including the lack of a suitable long-term fiscal and regulatory framework, insufficient infrastructure, sabotage in the Niger Delta, and slow market consolidation. Analysts have continually touted gas as a means of diversifying Nigerian revenues from the usual reliance on oil.

“Gas must occur as a market-driven development, and Nigeria is not an exception.  With oil, there is a ready global market existing for the product. However in gas, you start with an end market and then you develop the gas infrastructure, including extraction, processing facilities, pipelines and connecting infrastructure,” said Osunsanya.

Oando’s holistic gas integration strategy includes methods of transmission and distribution through virtual pipeline solutions such as LNG and CNG to fulfill market requirements while the gestation period for the implementation of the Nigerian Gas Master Plan elapses, he said.

The multi-billion naira Ajaokuta LNG facility will commence operations in Q2 2017.

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2016

May 2016

09 May 2016

Coming soon: I&M Bank Rwanda IPO

By Kabona Esira | The East African | May 9, 2016

The Rwandan subsidiary of I&M Holdings is set to go public with the Rwandan government selling its 19.8 per cent stake in an initial public offering expected to be completed later this year.

Director general for financial sector development at the country’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning Eric Rwigamba said the date of the IPO will be announced soon.

The government has instructed transaction advisors to the I&M Bank Rwanda IPO to list within 90 days.

“The agreements have been drafted and are being reviewed. In two weeks, we must have signed them,” said one of the transaction advisors.

Rwanda had planned to sell its stake in the bank — a subsidiary of I&M Holdings listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange — in October last year but leadership changes that saw former chief executive Anand Sanjeev move to Atlas Mara’s Bank Populaire Rwanda made it suspend the sale.

A consortium of brokerage firms including Baraka Capital Rwanda, Baraka Capital Uganda and Core Securities Tanzania and Dyer and Blair Investment Bank are the lead transaction advisors.

“The lead receiving bank is KCB Rwanda, the legal advisors are Trust Law Chambers, Deloitte & Touche LLP is the reporting accountants and KCB is share registrar,” a source following the deal told The EastAfrican.

Listing a blue chip company like I&M Bank Rwanda — the third largest in Rwanda by asset size and one of the profitable banks — will help raise investors’ appetite for shares in the bank.

The 2015 full year financial results released by I&M Bank Rwanda managing director Robin Bairstow indicate that the bank’s net profit increased from Rwf4.5 billion ($5.7 million) in 2014 to Rwf5 billion ($6.4 million) last year.

The RSE is optimistic about the IPO, saying the bank stocks have remained firm, drawing lessons from Bank of Kigali.

“More products mean, more liquidity on the market, more liquidity means investors are creating wealth,” said Celestin Rwabukumba, chief executive of the RSE.

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