• KAEME • TANZANIA AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK • TOMATO JOS • FES GROUP • HEWA TELE INSPIRATION
TONY ELUMELU CHANGING AFRICA THRO DEALS & PHILANTHROPY
GHANA: THE EMERGING POWERHOUSE OF WEST AFRICA INDUSTRY INSIGHT
RENEWABLE ENERGY TO POWER AFRICA’S FUTURE TRAVEL
ZAMBIA: AN ADVENTURER’S PARADISE WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
YEAR 3 ISSUE 2. NO. 4
FOOD EXPO KENYA EDITION
DATE: AUGUST 5-7, 2021 | VENUE: SARIT EXPO CENTRE NAIROBI, KENYA
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CONTENTS - DECEMBER 2020 | YEAR 3 ISSUE 2. NO. 4
6 8 9 14 20 32
EVENTS CALENDAR 16
EDITORIAL BRIEFINGS INSIGHT West Africa’s healthcare systems and startups attract new investments, grow into Africa
INSIGHT Renewable energy to power Africa's future
COMPANIES THAT RUN AFRICA MTN: Connecting Africa and the world
INSIGHT Oil and Gas Discoveries Set to Open New Investments in Namibia, Angola and South Africa
INSIGHT Africa’s digital revolution needs data centres
TRAVEL: ZAMBIA The undiscovered traveller's paradise
COMPANY FEATURE: KAEME Personal Care Products With A Purpose
TANZANIA AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT BANK
Financing Tanzania's Agricultural Future
COUNTRY FOCUS: GHANA The Emerging Powerhouse Of West Africa
COMPANY FEATURE: FES GROUP Building Southern African Agriculture Through Technology
COMPANY FEATURE: TOMATO
Fresh Start For Nigeria's Tomato Value Chain
COMPANY FEATURE: HEWA TELE Boosting Oxygen Supplies To Kenya's Healthcare System DECEMBER 2020
AGRICULTURE & FOOD International Production & Processing Expo 26 - 28 Jan 2021 Atlanta, USA www.ippexpo.org African Fine Coffee Conference & Expo 17 - 19 February 2021 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia www.afca.coffee/conference/ West Africa Agribusiness Show 23 - 25 February 2021 Lagos, Nigeria www.waashow.org China International Agrochemical & Crop Protection Exhibition 03 - 05 March 2021 Shanghai, China www.cacshow Africa Food Safety & Quality Summit 08 - 12 March Nairobi, Kenya & Virtual www.foodsafetyafrica.net Seafood Expo North America 14 - 16 March 2021 Boston, USA www.seafoodexpo.com Agro & Poultry East Africa 09 - 11 April 2021 Nairobi, Kenya www.mxmexhibitions.com/ agropoultry_kenya/ AgriTech Expo Zambia 15 - 17 Apr 2021 Chisamba, Zambia www.agritech-expo.com Africa Dairy & Drink Innovations Summit & Expo 1-30 June 2021 Nairobi, Kenya & Virtual www.afmass.com/dairydrink AFMASS Food Expo Kenya 05 â€“ 07 August 2021 Nairobi, Kenya www.afmass.com
AUTO & AUTOMOTIVE Equip Auto Algeria 01 - 04 March 2021 Mohammadia, Algeria www.equipauto-algeria.net Geneva International Motor Show 04 - 14 March 2021 Geneva, Switzerland www.gims.swiss Tire Technology Expo 02 - 04 March 2021 Hanover, Germany www.tiretechnology-expo.com
BANKING & FINANCE International Trade Fair, Business and Investors Summit 25 - 29 Jan 2021 Toronto, Canada http://internationaltradefair.ga/ Arab African International Investment Forum 24 - 26 March 2021 Jeddah, Saudi Arabia www.comesaria.org International Conference on Economics and Financial Engineering 02 - 03 Jan 2021 New York, USA www.istdst.org
BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION International Conference on Architectural and Environmental Engineering 02 - 03 Jan 2021 New York, USA www.istdst.org Decorex SA Durban 19 - 22 March 2021 Durban, South Africa www.decorex.co.za Big 5 Construct Egypt 26 - 29 Jun 2021 Cairo, Egypt www.thebig5constructegypt.com
ELECTRIC & ELECTRICALS International Battery Seminar & Exhibit Virtual 09 - 11 March 2021 Virtual www.internationalbatteryseminar.com China (Guzhen) International Lighting Fair 18 - 21 March 2021 Zhongshan, China www.cantonfair.net Middle East Electricity 22 - 24 March 2021 Dubai, UAE www.middleeast-energy.com Global Sources Consumer Electronics 11 - 14 Apr 2021 Hong Kong, China Electric & Electronics www.globalsources.com
ENVIRONMENTAL & WASTE International Conference on Environment and Natural Science 13 - 14 February 2021 Brussels, Belgium www.iastem.org Waste Technology India Expo 17 - 19 February 2021 Mumbai, India www.wastexpoindia.com International Conference on Water Management Modelling 24 - 25 February 2021 Brampton, Canada www.icwmm.org
HOSPITALITY & TOURISM East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition 10 - 13 February 2021 Istanbul, Turkey www.emittistanbul.com HORECA Lebanon 23 - 26 March 2021 Beirut, Lebanon www.horecashow.com WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
POWER & ENERGY
LOGISTICS & TRANSPORT
Annual Power Tech Africa 01 - 02 February 2021 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia www.bricsaconsulting.com/event/5thannual-powertech-africa/
International Wireless Communications Expo 22 - 25 March 2021 Las Vegas, USA www.iwceexpo.com
Medical Fair India 25 - 27 February 2021 New Delhi, India Medical & Pharma www.medicalfair-india.com
Solar Finance & Investment Europe 03 - 04 February 2021 London, UK www.financeeurope.solarenergyevents. com
Convergence India 24 - 26 March 2021 New Delhi, India www.convergenceindia.org
International Dental Show 09 - 13 March 2021 Cologne, Germany Medical & Pharma www.english.ids-cologne.de
Renewable Energy Expo - Chennai 19 - 21 February 2021 Chennai, India www.renewableenergyexpo.biz Africa Mini Grids Summit 25 - 26 February 2021 Nairobi, Kenya www.africaminigrids.com/ Africa Energy Indaba 02 - 03 March 2021 Cape Town, South Africa www.africa-energy-forum.com The Alliance for Rural Electrification Energy Access Investment Forum 17 - 18 March 2021 Lusaka, Zambia www.ruralelec.org
MINING, OIL & GAS International Petroleum Week 23 - 25 February 2021 London, UK www.ipweek.co.uk Australasian Oil & Gas Exhibition & Conference 10 - 12 March 2021 Perth, Australia www.aogexpo.com.au World Gold Forum 13 - 15 Apr 2021 Online www.worldgoldforum.com
International Conference on Networking, Information Systems & Security 01 - 02 Apr 2021 Kenitra, Morocco www.medi-ast.org/NISS2021/
LOGISTICS & TRANSPORT International Conference on Marchitime Logistics and Ports January 25-26, 2021 Paris, France www.waset.org/Marchitime-logisticsand-ports-conference-in-january-2021in-paris Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Africa Forum 03 - 05 March 2021 Accra, Ghana www.ciltinternational.org Transport Evolution Mozambique Forum & Showcase 13 - 15 Apr 2021 Maputo, Mozambique www.transportevolutionmz.com Annual East Africa Transport and Infrastructure 26 - 27 Apr 2021 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia www.bricsaconsulting.com/event/7thannual-east-africa-transportinfrastructure/
The Pharmacy Show 24 - 25 March 2021 Johannesburg, South Africa www.thepharmacyshow.co.za EgyMedica 01 - 03 Apr 2021 Cairo, Egypt www.egymedica.com Ethiopia Medical & Health Expo 06 - 09 Apr 2021 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia www.ethio-health.com
EDUCATION & TRAINING Lagos International Education Fair 29 - 30 January 2021 Lagos, Nigeria www.educationfair.com.ng International Conference on E-Education, E-Business, E-Management and E-Learning 27 - 28 February 2021 Mississauga, Canada www.theires.org/Conference2021/ Canada/1/IC4E/
International Conference on Vehicle Technology and Intelligent Transport Systems 28 - 30 Apr 2021 Online www.vehits.org/
Year 3 Issue 2. No.4 WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Pan-African trade will not thrive without opening up of DRC By Francis Juma, Publisher
FOUNDER & PUBLISHER Francis Juma EDITORIAL Jacky Mbithe I Elly Akoko | Paul Ongeto ADVERTISING & SUBSCRIPTION Jonah Sambai | Hellen Mucheru | Virginia Nyoro CONTRIBUTORS Nick Cummins - Eways Aviation NJ Ayuk - African Energy Chamber Kabir Chal - Actis Funke Okubadejo - Actis
FW AFRICA P.O Box 1874-00621, Nairobi Kenya Tel: +254 20 8155022, Cell: +254 725 343932 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Corporate website: www.fwafrica.net RELATED PUBLICATIONS
Africa Inc. is published 6 times a year by FoodWorld Media Ltd. The magazine is distributed into a number of sectors of the industry in Africa. The magazine is available through subscription for the other stakeholders in the industry, including suppliers to the sector. Postage is paid at Nairobi, Kenya. Send address changes to FoodWorld Media Ltd by phone or email. Copyright 2020. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission from the editor is prohibited. All information is published in good faith. While care is taken to prevent inaccuracies, the publishers accept no liability for any errors or omissions or for the consequences of any action taken on the basis of information published.
With an estimated population of 90 million and landmass of more than 2.2 million km2, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the most important countries in Africa in terms of population and size. Despite its population, size and abundance in resources, the DRC is one of the least accessible and connected countries in Africa. Strategically located at the centre of Africa, the country can be equated to being the heart of the continent. The country’s population soldiers on in spite of the tough terrain and poor leadership that continues to hold back the country from realizing its full potential. As Africa gears up for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to begin its operations in January 2021, it is an important moment to consider how DRC’s challenges, especially its poor and dilapidated road, rail and shipping infrastructure, can be improved. We think this is an important point to start the opening up of DRC to its neighbours
and to the rest of the continent to facilitate trade within the region. The planned building of three roads in Eastern DRC through the cooperation of and funding by the Uganda and DRC governments is a good start. With nine neighbouring countries, the DRC is ripe for cooperative agreements with its neighbours that can, with time, open up the country to the rest of the continent. The DRC’s strategic location at the middle of Africa means that despite the availability of alternative means of moving around Africa, to derive the best opportunities within and around the continent will be faster and more efficient when goods and people can move freely between Eastern and Western Africa and between the Southern and Northern Africa regions with ease - through the DRC. It is the right time for DRC’s neighbours; the African Union and development partners to make their voice heard in helping DRC realize its potential and thereby improve intraAfrican trade. WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
The latest news updates and analytical reviews from Africa's and World of business, deals and sustainability MultiChoice acquires 20% stake in BetKing for US$116m
SOUTH AFRICA – MultiChoice Group has expanded its repertoire with an agreement to buy a 20% stake in Africa-focused sportsbetting platform BetKing for as much as US$116 million, giving it access to a sector that emerged as a winner from lock down restrictions that have encouraged homebound entertainment. “Sports betting is an interesting market that is aligned to our pay-TV business,” said MultiChoice CEO Calvo Mawela. “We have a lot of sport on our platform, and many people that are betting watch more games.” he said. BetKing started in Nigeria and has shown rapid growth over the past two-and-a-half years, according to the CEO. They plan to be pan-African and will be entering South Africa at some stage too, he said. DStv packages include live English soccer, while MultiChoice agreed to a deal with Walt Disney earlier this year to add two ESPN channels showing US pursuits such as basketball. Meanwhile, MultiChoice has plans to develop more local productions with Vivendi’s Canal+, the French media group that’s built a 12% stake in Africa’s largest pay-television provider. While Canal+ has described its acquisition of shares in Johannesburgbased MultiChoice as “a long-term financial investment”, the South African group has seized on the opportunity to work with its new investor, according to Mawela. “We have started a collaboration with Canal+ on co-productions that will also help WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
with sharing costs,” Mawela said. “More and more Africans like to see one of their own on television, and that is why we are shifting our strategy to focus even more on local content.” The duo have already teamed up on Blood Psalms, a drama based on pre-colonial South African mythology, which is due to be broadcast on MultiChoice’s Showmax streaming service next year. The making of higher-budget African shows will help Showmax grow a local content offering that’s helped it differentiate from Netflix, which is seeking to expand on the continent and has started to produce its own dramas set in South Africaand beyond. MultiChoice launched Showmax in part to head off the threat from its larger US rival, and the service can be subscribed to separately or as part of a DStv package. MultiChoice may also be able to sublicense the rights to certain international shows to Canal+ to broadcast in Frenchspeaking African territories, another costsharing initiative, according to the CEO. “As much as you have competitors, there are projects that can be identified that you can work on together,” he said. MultiChoice, spun out of Naspers in February of last year, reported a 6% increase in active subscribers over the six months to September, breaching the 20 million mark for the first time. Revenue and operating profit also gained, according to its first-half earnings statement.
Sports betting is an interesting market that is aligned to our pay-TV business. We have a lot of sport on our platform, and many people that are betting watch more games
DEALSTREET AFRICA NEWS
Transcorp Consortium acquires Afam GenCo
NIGERIA – Transcorp Consortium, a leading industrial holding company, has announced the 100% acquisition of the 966MW installed capacity Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited (jointly referred to as Afam GenCo), at an acquisition cost of N105.3 billion (US$272m). “Today marks a milestone for the country with a return to private sector investment in the power sector,” His Excellency, the Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo said. The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) had October 2019 approved Transcorp Power Consortium as the preferred bidder for the Afam Electricity Generation Company (Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited). The Afam IV-V Power Station, located in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State, was owned by the defunct PowerHolding Company of Nigeria. 8
Liquid Telecom raises US$307m in rights issue
SOUTH AFRICA – Fibre network operator Liquid Telecom, has raised US$307 million through a rights issue to fund a rapid expansion of its data centre business across Africa. The rights issue included an additional $40 million from UK development finance institution CDC Group, the group said in a statement. Africa’s largest fibre network operator is planning to expand its data centre unit in five of the continent’s fastest growing countries including Egypt and Nigeria, said Stephane Duproz, Liquid’s Africa Data Centres head. Global technology giants are competing to establish affordable and efficient ways to extend high-speed Internet and data storage across the continent, where demand is picking up as hundreds of millions of people start gaining access to Web services. Although Africa’s data centre capacity has doubled in the past three years, it still accounts for less than 1% of the global total, according to data from Xalam Analytics. Giants like Amazon, Huawei Technologies and Microsoft are among the companies that have been investing in data centre capacity in African countries in recent years. The African market is also attracting buyout firms as well. Boston-based private equity firm Berkshire Partners acquired a stake in Teraco Data Environments, and Actis invested in Nigeria’s Rack Centre. Liquid has bought land in Nigeria and Ghana and is scouting for locations in other major countries across the continent, Duproz said. The company is also acquiring a data centre from Standard Bank Group in South Africa and building another nearby in Johannesburg. “This will play an important role in addressing the increasing demand for digital services and help close the digital divide between Africa and other regions,” said CDC CEO Nick O’Donohoe. Liquid Telecom, which is majority owned by Econet Global, has built more than 70,000 km of fibre, and operates five data centres in South Africa, Kenya, and Rwanda.
Private equity firm AfricInvest acquires minority stake in Fidelity Bank Ghana
GHANA – AfricInvest, a pan-African investment and financial services firm, has acquired a minority stake in Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited, Ghana’s largest private bank. The acquisition was carried out through its two funds, AfricInvest Fund IV and FIVE (AfricInvest Financial Inclusion Vehicle), from Kagiso Tiso Holdings Proprietary (KTH), a South African private investment company. The Bank obtained its universal banking license in 2006 and has since grown to be the largest privately-owned Ghanaian bank that offers a full range of innovative products and services in retail and business, through an ever-growing branch network and various digital channels. It also provides investment banking services through its wholly owned subsidiary, Fidelity Securities Ltd., as well as offshore banking services through its wholly-owned subsidiary Fidelity Asia Bank Ltd in Malaysia. “We are pleased to partner with Fidelity Bank in its transformation strategy to become a key player in Ghana’s financial ecosystem,” Skander Oueslati, Chief Investment Officer of AfricInvest, said. “The transaction is reflective of the type of investments AfricInvest pursues, with an emphasis on sustainable growth, innovation, strong management capacity, and clear visibility on stakeholder value creation. We are excited to play a part in this journey and will be fully supportive by leveraging our network and expertise.” The bank has embarked on a digital transformation plan through a five-year strategy to become one of Ghana’s top three banks. The investment in Fidelity Bank marks the first transaction for AfricInvest IV, the firm’s flagship pan-African strategy, and adds a fifth portfolio company to FIVE, representing its first exposure to West Africa.
Norsad Finance invests longterm debt facility in Nova Pioneer Education Group KENYA – Norsad Finance Limited, an impact investor providing structured financing solutions to mid-market growth companies in Southern Africa, has provided a long-term debt facility to Nova Pioneer Education Group, a regional education group with a footprint in sub-Saharan Africa. Using its teaching methods that inculcate critical thinking and innovation, the schools’ academic model is based on students learning by creating and exploring, rather than memorizing and hence producing graduates ready for 21st century jobs, according to Chinezi Chijoke, Founder and CEO of Nova Pioneer Education Group. The facility will help fund the expansion of some of its existing property sites to accommodate new learners. Other significant investors in Nova Pioneer include Toronto listed Fairfax Africa Holdings Corporation. “We are delighted to partner with Nova Pioneer as an education platform which we would like to support in its regional growth and achieving its vision which is linked to our purpose of building a better Africa,” Oteng Sebonego, Investment Director at Norsad, lead in the transaction said.
South African fund PRIF buys into Kenyan data firm Icolo KENYA – South African investment fund Pembani Remgro Infrastructure Fund (PRIF) has acquired a 20% stake in a Kenyan data storage firm, Icolo Limited for an undisclosed sum. The move will see the firm expand its operations across the country and will see PRIF Africa Holdings Ltd acquire the stake of the issued shares with controlling rights in Icolo Ltd. Icolo designs, builds and operates state of the art carrier neutral data centers to serve a broad spectrum of clients – telecom carriers, ISPs and peering points, IT and cloud providers, content providers, enterprise and financial services customers. Their data centers are hyper-connected hubs and provide colocation services which include power, security, network access, redundancy, rack space, and precision cooling to its customers. Pembani Remgro is an infrastructure fund which invests in a broad range of infrastructure assets across the African continent. Founded by two of South Africa’s richest men, has raised US$345 million to invest in electricity generation, transport and logistics in Africa.
Humania secures US$108m equity funds to improve healthcare in Egypt, Morocco
NORTH AFRICA Humania, a private healthcare company has secured US$108.5 million in equity funds from IFC, IFU and PROPARCO to help improve medical care in Egypt and Morocco. A statement from IFC revealed that the equity package includes US$45 million for IFC’s own account, US$63.5 WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
million from other investors, including US$43.5 million from IFU on behalf of the Danish SDG Investment Fund, and US$20 million from PROPARCO. IFC stated that the financial support will help Humania develop a network of high-quality tertiary hospitals in Egypt and Morocco. The project has been hailed by IFC as
crucial especially at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic puts pressure on healthcare services in the Middle East and North Africa. For IFC, this is the second partnership with Humania this fiscal year. With these two partnerships, Humania North Africa has become a $360 million healthcare platform. “Our partnership with IFC, IFU and PROPARCO will help us make important investments during a time when
the demand for quality healthcare keeps rising,” said Sobhi Abdul Jalil Batterjee, Humania & BAB Chairman. “It will allow us to provide affordable, highquality healthcare, including specialist services, as Egypt and Morocco contend with COVID-19,” the Humania Chairman added. The project will also include a new high-quality multi-speciality hospital in the new eco city of Zenata, Morocco.
Sudan to build 500MW of solar power
SUDAN - An unnamed United Arab Emirates solar company has committed to build several large-scale PV plants across Sudan and will be granted a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement at a competitive price. Sudan’s minister for energy and mining, Khairy Abdul Rahmanhas and the general director of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, signed a memorandum of understanding for the deployment of solar power plants with a combined capacity of 500 MW in the country. These projects would represent the country’s first attempt to deploy utility scale PV capacity. Sudan has one of the lowest levels of solar development in Africa, although it has one of the best levels of solar radiation in the whole continent. Most of Sudan’s electricity generation comes from around 3.2GW of hydropower.
DEALSTREET AFRICA NEWS
Fintech startup FinChatBot raises US$1.6m to expand into Europe, West Africa
SA's Kagiso Capital pumps US$6.4m into Alphawave Group
SOUTH AFRICA – South African startup FinChatBot, a creator of conversational artificial intelligence (AI) solutions for the financial services industry, has raised a US$1.6 million funding round to help it expand into Europe and West Africa. Established in 2016, FinChatBot develops solutions that have become key conversation and customer service channels for most financial service providers in South Africa. The startup now services more than 20 top-tier financial service providers, including banks and insurers, helping them to sell and service financial products with no human intervention. With clients including MTN Financial Services, Sanlam, Santam, Hollard, MiWay and Bidvest Insurance, FinChatBot is well-established in South Africa and now plans to scale
SOUTH AFRICA – Investments holding company Kagiso Capital has invested US$6.4 million in Stellenbosch-based specialist technology investment firm Alphawave Group. Earlier this year, Alphawave received a big investment from US-based Five Elms Capital into one of its subsidiaries, Skynamo. Alphawave has 12 businesses that focus on everything from sensor technology to electronics and software developmentfor augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Companies in its fold include EMSS Antennas, Inrange, FieldSense, FarmRanger, Saigen, Callbi, Predictive Insights and Sozo Labs. “Before the lockdown, we had multiple investment companies talking to us, but we were not actively looking for funding,” said Alphawave CEO Frans Meyer. “We generate cash from established businesses in our portfolio to invest in new ventures. Capital of this kind can, however, accelerate the current businesses. It allows us to attract top talent more aggressively, finding technical people with sound engineering ethos and unique, internationally competitive skills in the domains we specialise in.” The investment will also allow Alphawave to grow through acquisitions, rather than purely organically. Kagiso Capital CEO Kgotso Schoeman said: “We want to rapidly impact innovation in this country and we think Kagiso’s interest and contribution on strategy, together with Alphawave’s experience and skills, could have profound effects, drawing talent from the broader demographics of our country into internationally competitive science and engineering firms.” “You wouldn’t typically put together a 25-year-old Stellenbosch-based technology company with a black investmentcapital firm, but it makes so much sense. This is how we should be approaching business in South Africa where we can complement each other,” Lebogang Mosiane, Kagiso Capital’s chief operations officer, said.
10 AFRICA INC.
internationally after raising US$1.6 million in funding. “By implementing our solutions, financial service providers are able to double their conversion rates, reduce operational costs by more than 60 per cent, retain customers better, and gather more data about customers which can be used for product innovation and customer retention,” said Antoine Pailluseau – Co-Founder and CEO, FinChatBot. The investment round come from French investment holding company Saviu Ventures, the Mauritiusbased Compass Venture Capital, and South African venture capital firm Kalon Venture Partners. Both Compass Venture Capital and Kalon Venture Partners are solidifying their positions, having previously invested in FinChatBot in 2018.
FinChatBot will use the funding primarily to grow its team and expand into West Africa and Europe with the opening of three offices in France, the United Kingdom (UK) and Portugal. The startup’s co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Antoine Paillusseau said he was grateful for the support of investors that believe in the startup’s vision of becoming the leader in selling and servicing financial products with the use of conversational AI solutions. “By implementing our solutions, financial service providers are able to double their conversion rates, reduce operational costs by more than 60 per cent, retain customers better, and gather more data about customers which can be used for product innovation and customer retention,” he said.
Naspers invests US$2.9m in online learning platform The Student Hub SOUTH AFRICA – Naspers, the South African e-commerce group, has announced an investment of US$2.9 million in online learning platform, The Student Hub. The Student Hub platform helps TVET colleges to overcome physical infrastructure constraints and improves students’ access to vocational education and training. The Student Hub digitises TVET course content to present curricula in a personalised and learner-centric environment through a 100 percent online distance learning model, as well as through a blended learning model to students who attend classes in person at TVET campuses nationwide. The platform provides tools for lecturers and tutors to track individual student performance and for heads of faculties to measure the productivity and performance of lecturers in real time, resulting in a marked increase in pass rates. Its crowdfunding tools assist students in financing their studies and enable donors. Naspers said it was on track with an original US$293 million investment commitment in growing South Africa’s tech sector.
Endeavour Mining merges with Teranga Gold to make it a top 10 senior gold producer BURKINA FASO – Endeavour Mining Corporation has announced plans to acquire leading west African mier miner Teranga Gold Corporation The merger, will create a new top 10 senior gold producer with industryleading low production costs, synergies and diversification across three countries, with six core operating mines, which is strategically positioned as the largest gold producer in Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. La Mancha, the vehicle which Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris holds his stake in Endeavour, will invest a further US$200 million into the combined miner, leaving it with a 19% stake. The combined miner, which aims to list in London next year, will produce about 1.5 million ounces of gold a year and with a proforma market capitalization of (US$5.8bn), it would also be among the most valuable precious metals companies currently listed on the London Stock Exchange.
8 African e-commerce startups selected for Facebook Accelerator program AFRICA - Eight African e-commerce startups have been selected to apply for a Facebook-run accelerator that will offer them access to mentorship and training as well as the company’s technologies and networks. Facebook Accelerator: Commerce is a 12-week nonequity programme supporting innovative commerce startups who renew shopping experiences for buyers and sellers. Throughout the virtual
programme, the selected startups will have access to a dedicated Facebook mentor, comprehensive training, Facebook’s suite of products and technologies, and a valuable network of product experts and fellow founders to connect with. 36 innovative commerce startups in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America have been selected to take part. The startups were chosen for having products focused on driving customer value,
diverse and focused leadership teams, ground-breaking technology or research and evidence of business growth. Egyptian firms included commerce chatbot-building platforms Botme and WideBot, and Convertedin, an ad automation platform for retailers and e-commerce businesses. South Africa had BoxCommerce, a platform for small and medium-sized businesses to create e-commerce websites, and ShoppingFeeder,
a leading feed management and multi-channel marketing platform for online stores. Kenya had Digiduka, which helps informal retailers get access to digital inventory, and next generation addressing system OkHi, while completing the list of African participants is Ghana’s FeedGeni, a product feed generator that helps online merchants increase product visibility and sales by listing their products on shopping engines.
Fintech Ukheshe to acquire Masterpass developer Oltio SOUTH AFRICA - Fintech player Ukheshe has agreed to buy Oltio from Mastercard, the company that developed the digital payments platform for Masterpass, Mastercard’s QR code payments service. The deal value has not been disclosed, but TechCentral has reported as per its understanding that it runs into multiple millions of US dollars. Ukheshe has an established partnership with Mastercard and is a participant in the payment giant’s Accelerate programme. The programme allows it to tap into Mastercard’s technology, data, expertise, and global network of corporate clients and fintechs to help scale its operations globally. Ukheshe will continue to provide the same support to the banks and other service providers that currently offer Masterpass, ensuring business continuity with no impact to consumers or merchants,” financial inclusion in South Africa.”
West Africa’s healthcare systems and startups attract new investments, grow into Africa
The COVID – 19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in African economies in managing emergency health hazards, and exponentially accentuated various healthcare deficiencies – from a lack of medical supplies and care facilities, to inequalities when it comes to the delivery of quality healthcare services. Despite the many challenges faced by the healthcare sector in West Africa, two countries, Ghana and Nigeria, which are the two largest economies in the region have received quite a boost in the past one year, with companies and governments investing millions of dollars, most especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
HEALTH-TECH SECTOR BOOMS
The health-tech has increasingly become attractive to investors in Africa and investment in e-health startups continues to grow. According to High Tech Health report, the number of startups active in the health-tech space in Africa has grown by 56.5% over the 201720 period, hitting an all-time high of 180 active companies. The report found that investments 12 AFRICA INC.
in this space reached record levels in the first half of 2020, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. So far this year, Africa's e-health startups have raised over US$90 million, with more than half of all funding to have gone into the space in the past five years having been transacted in the first half of 2020. While the southern, eastern and northern Africa based start-ups have received strong investor interest; Western Africa has been particularly active in the past one year Accra, Ghana based tech-enabled healthcare company mPharma secured a US$17 million fundraising round in May 2019 from Novastar Ventures with participation from the CDC Group alongside existing investors including former Novartis CEO and chairman Daniel Vasella, Silicon Valley investor Jim Breyer and Dompe Holdings. This funding was to help the company to expand its vendor management inventory (VMI) system and QualityRx platforms, which are being used by 250 pharmacies in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This came after the start-up had raised over US$9 million in a Series-B funding round in January 2019. WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Nigerian health startup Healthlane received US$2.4 million in investment funding from a number of investors including British based Venture Capital fund Digital Horizon in June this year. Other investors in the portfolio included Sequoia Capital, Silicon Valley Bank, TSVC, Supernode Ventures, CRE Africa, Capitoria, Ping An Good Doctor, as well as several early investors. In Nigeria, the country’s leading integrated digital payments and commerce company Interswitch acquired 60% stake in healthcare technology company, eClat, in November 2019. The payments company revealed that it sees its latest acquisition, eClat, which currently operates in Lagos, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Enugu and Ondo states in the country, as a vehicle for addressing Nigeria’s long-standing challenges in healthcare delivery. The move would enable Interswitch to integrate its famed payments infrastructure with eClat’s seven-year experience in providing support services to healthcare service providers and this could prove an innovative combination from one of Africa’s biggest companies. Funding rounds have also increased significantly within the healthcare research and development startups. 54gene, an African genomics research, services and development startup with offices in Nigeria and USA, closed a Series A round of US$15 million in April this year to allow it to scale operations. The startup had raised a US$4.5 million seed round in 2019. Launched in 2019, 54gene is a research, services and development company that utilizes human genetic data from diverse African populations to improve the development, availability and efficacy of medical products that will prove beneficial to Africans and the wider global population. The US$15 million in Series A round was led by Adjuvant Capital, a life sciences fund backed by the International Finance Corporation, Novartis, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The round included participation from Raba Capital, V8 Capital, and Ingressive Capital, as well as follow-on investment from Y Combinator, Better Ventures, Fifty Years, KdT Ventures, Aera VC and Pioneer Fund. During the year, 54gene also partnered with US firm Illumina to power the creation of a world-class genomics facility in Lagos, which will be used in advancing genomics research in Africa. The genomics facility will be equipped with a suite of Illumina’s cutting-edge sequencing and high-density microarray technology platforms, which will generate genetic information for health research and drug development. Illumina will also deliver its training to support the use of
its sequencing and microarray equipment and ensure ongoing support for 54gene’s growing team of molecular scientists. Meanwhile, Founders Factory admitted Nigerian e-health startup RxAll into its Africa Venture Scale program, which provides access to funding and additional support services to promising startups from the continent. The company launched its African operations in Johannesburg in 2018, from where it plans to design, build and scale 140 disruptive tech startups across Africa over the next five years. RxAll, one of the e-health startups that are expected to benefit from the partnership between Founders Factory and Netcare, is dedicated to providing high quality medication to patients that need them.
AMOUNT OF FUNDS RECEIVED BY HELIUM HEALTH TO EXPAND ITS REACH IN AFRICA
MAKE THEM DIGITAL
In the medical records area, Helium Health, a Lagos-based electronic medical records provider, raised US$10 million in Series A funding to expand its footprint in its existing markets and move into new ones. Global Ventures and Asia Africa Investment & Consulting (AAIC) led the funding round, plus others including Tencent, Ohara Pharmaceutical Co, HOF Capital, Y Combinator, VentureSouq, Chrysalis Capital, Kairos Angels and Flying Doctors Healthcare Investment Company. Founded in 2016, Helium Health takes hospitals and clinics instantly digital with its flagship Electronic Medical Records/Hospital Management Information System (EMR/HMIS) product, which the company says is the most widely used such solution in West Africa. In addition to growing its current customer base in Nigeria, Ghana, and Liberia, the company will use the funding to support expansion into new markets in North Africa, East Africa and Francophone West Africa. Nigeria based startup Field Intelligence closed a US$3.6-million Series-A funding round in March this year led by Blue Haven Initiative, with investors including Newtown Partners via the Imperial Venture Fund and Accion Venture Lab, to further roll out its product: Shelf Life, a supply chain finance platform for pharmacies in Africa throughout Nigeria and Kenya, as well as the development of additional services for Shelf Life clients and their patients. Since inception, Shelf Life claims it has maintained 96% stock availability for its clients, up from a pre-Shelf Life baseline of 60%. It further adds that it the product is an alternative to traditional inventory finance. London’s TLG Capital, in partnership with Medical Credit Fund invested through its Credit
During the year, 54gene also partnered with US firm Illumina to power the creation of a world-class genomics facility in Lagos, which will be used in advancing genomics research in Africa
THE TEAM MEMBERS AT HELIUM HEALTH
Opportunities Fund into Nigerian retail chain, Express Pharmacy to expand its footprint across Lagos with the roll out of new pharmacies along busy commuter routes and in under-served communities. The investment was made through Medical Credit Fund in partnership with TLG’s Credit Opportunities Fund. Express Pharmacy targets the under-served middle to low income earners who do not have access to quality medication. It is among the champions taking the lead to help to solve the problem by implementing measures such as the standardization of its supply chain across its retail stores to ensure the availability and the authenticity of the medicine it distributes to its customers.
GOVERNMENT PROVIDES SUPPORT
In June 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) unveiled a grant scheme to help strengthen the public healthcare system with innovative financing of research and development (R&D) in new and improved drugs, vaccines and diagnostics of infectious diseases in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the country. The Scheme, called the Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme (HSRDIS) was intended to boost domestic manufacturing of critical drugs and vaccines within the country, as the Covid-19 pandemic that has hit the country continues to grow, showcased 14 AFRICA INC.
the need for local manufacturing of drugs, vaccines and vital supplies such as protective personal equipment, masks and gloves. The Scheme, funded from the CBN’s developmental component of its N220 billion (US$575 million) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Fund (MSMEDF), fixed the maximum grant amount at N50 million (US$130,000) for research activities and N500 million (US$1.3m) for development/ manufacturing activities in the sector. One of the first beneficiaries of the fund to support its business operations was May & Baker, one of Nigeria’s leading pharmaceutical companies, which received US$2.58 million (N1 billion).
US$26M FUNDS RAISED BY GHANA'S MPHARMA IN 2019 FOR THE FIRM TO EXPAND ITS VENDOR MANAGEMENT INVENTORY SYSTEM & PLATFORMS FOR PHARMACIES IN GHANA, KENYA, NIGERIA, ZAMBIA AND ZIMBABWE. WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Denmark’s IFU invests US$1.5m in Zambia’s GreenCo
ZAMBIA – Africa GreenCo Group, in conjunction with its Lusaka-based operating company GreenCo Power Services (GreenCo), have announced an investment of $1.5 million by Denmark’s Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and Private Infrastructure Development Group’s InfraCo Africa (InfraCo). The investment completes GreenCo’s operational establishment in Lusaka as an intermediary renewable energy buyer/ supplier and power services provider and is a precursor to the 2021 capitalisation of their credit support for Independent Power Producers (IPPs). “The operationalisation of GreenCo is a great example of national action, and indeed international cooperation, as we strive to deliver affordable energy for all. Notwithstanding the current global economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that we plan for the future, one where renewable energy helps drive sustainable social and economic growth in Zambia,” Zambian minister of energy, Matthew Nkhuwa said. The renewables company underlined that its transformative role is to mobilise significant private sector investment for renewable energy, to strengthen the national and Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) electricity markets, and to facilitate a shift away from the current single buyer model. GreenCo says its model offers key innovations in the architecture of the electricity market and achieves better value – with more electricity generation and improved security of supply – in partnership rather than in competition with established industry players.
Mini-grid supplier Nayo expands deal with energy storage company Eos
NIGERIA - Nayo Tropical Technology, a leading clean energy mini-grid supplier has expanded its partnership with US based energy company Eos in an effort to up its ability to supply more Nigerians with electricity. New Jersey based Eos Energy Storage manufactures electricity storage systems using zinc batteries. The expanded partnership is an important milestone for Nayo Tropical, as it will lead to greater access to electricity storage equipment - a key element in the deployment of renewable energy mini grids. Electrification of rural communities remains a challenge for central grids, as communities tend to be spread across vast swathes of land. A recent study conducted by BloombergNEF and Sustainable Energy for All reported that the potential for solar powered mini grids still remains huge, given that at least 620 million people in the continent were yet to be connected to electricity. The report even states that given the current trends in uptake of mini-grid solar systems, the Sub-Saharan Africa solar mini-grid market could be worth US$128 billion by 2030. With the partnership, Nayo will now be better equipped to take advantage of this attractive and increasingly growing market. In West Africa, where 48% of the population still does not have access to electricity according to data from the World Bank, Nayo even has a greater opportunity to expand its mini grid offering and connect more people to electricity. To this end, Nayo says that it is executing engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts for green mini grids for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and rural households. The Abuja-based company plans to rely on its partnership with Eos Energy Storage to carry out its new projects, including the construction of four mini-grids with electricity storage systems in the first quarter of 2021. In total, the off-grid solar system provider will build 25 mini-solar grids in West Africa, while Eos Energy Storage will build on these projects to spread its electricity storage solutions in West Africa.
Sudan to build 500MW of solar power
SUDAN - An unnamed United Arab Emirates solar company has committed to build several large-scale PV plants across Sudan and will be granted a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement at a competitive price. Sudan’s minister for energy and mining, Khairy Abdul Rahmanhas and the general director of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, signed a memorandum of understanding for the deployment of solar power plants with a combined capacity of 500 MW in the country. These projects would represent the country’s first attempt to deploy utility scale PV capacity. Sudan has one of the lowest levels of solar development in Africa, although it has one of the best levels of solar radiation in the whole continent. Most of Sudan’s electricity generation comes from around 3.2GW of hydropower.
Egypt’s green economy receives US$258.87m funding EGYPT – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union (EU) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) working with the EBRD’s local partner banks will offer sub-loans to businesses for green investments in energy, water and resource-efficient solutions in Egypt. The Green Value Chain programme, with a volume of up to US$82.37million, will allow small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to invest in advanced technologies and climate mitigation and adaptation solutions that improve competitiveness and enhance the development of green value chains. The programmes are complemented by EU grants of more than US$35.30m and GCF concessional cofinancing as well as technical assistance of up to US$24 million. EBRD Managing Director Heike Harmgart said Egypt has great potential to build a lowcarbon future.
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Malawian solar power plant gets US$67m funding from ATI MALAWI – Nkhotakota Solar Power Plant, one of Malawi’s first commercial scale independent solar power projects, has received US$67 million from the Africa Trade Insurance Agency to enable it to add 37 MWac of clean energy to the national capacity, currently estimated at 362 MWac. The solar plant, which is being developed in two phases of 21 MWac and 16 MWac, is the second renewable energy project to be backed by the African Trade Insurance Agency’s (ATI), Regional Liquidity Support Facility (RLSF). The completed project will supply electricity for up to 150,000 Malawian households. The Nkhotakota Solar Power Plant is part of the Malawian government’s plan to move the country from its reliance on hydropower, which currently represents over 90% of its energy mix. In 2017, ATI and the German Development Bank, KfW, with financing from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, launched the RLS to help tackle climate change and attract investments by supporting renewable energy projects in ATI’s member countries.
Kenya Bankers Association, KCIC Group sign deal to advance green financing KENYA – The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) and the Kenya Climate Innovation Centre (KCIC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at advancing the green finance agenda in Kenya. Through the agreement, the partners will seek to promote the growth of large and small enterprises by leveraging on climate change innovations and research. They will also collaborate on resource mobilization, capacity building as well as policy advocacy towards promoting the implementation of green finance initiatives, besides designing enterprise support programs meant to address some of the barriers that both large enterprises and SMEs face while running their businesses. Speaking on the partnership, KBA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Habil Olaka noted that the partners will collectively seek to position enterprises to drive social-economic transformation.
UNCDF invests in Tanzania’s Mpale solar power mini grid project
TANZANIA – The UN Capital Development Fund has invested in a 50kW solar power micro grid project in Mpale Village, Tanzania, a project aimed at expanding access to affordable, reliable and clean energy. The Mpale 50kW solar village micro grid project is vital in increasing rural electrification, which will directly and indirectly impact 3,000 people in Mpale village. The project will contribute towards the sustainable and inclusive development of Korogwe District and beyond, by generating important transformative impacts. Prosper Magali, the Project Manager at Ensol, a private sector company, said the idea of developing the Mpale 45KW solar mini grid was to connect rural communities with electricity, noting the challenges of energy distribution to remote areas. For UNCDF, it was important to demonstrate the development impact of this off grid renewable power plant as opposed to diesel generated power plants at this most remote and difficult to reach mountainous villages in Korogwe district. Once this first project is built, the local developer can demonstrate to local banks and other investors that there is proof of concept and a successful track record.
US$120M AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK'S LOAN TO TANZANIA TO FUND CONSTRUCTION OF A 50MW HYDRO-POWER PLANT IN WESTERN TANZANIA, THAT WILL PROVIDE RELIABLE RENEWABLE ENERGY IN KIGOMA REGION. WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Azelio AB partners with solar EPC contractor Jet Energy for storage projects
MOROCCO – Swedish energy storage specialist Azelio AB has partnered with Moroccan solar Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor Jet Energy to deliver around 45 MW of storage projects in Francophone Africa in 2021-2025. The companies have signed a memorandum of understanding under which Jet Energy is to serve as project developer, with Azelio providing its thermal storage technology TES.POD. The collaboration will focus on Morocco in particular and in Frenchspeaking African countries in general, with the first projects targeting 50 KW in 2021, Azelio said. From then on, the partners expect to deliver 5 MW in 2022, 10 MW in 2023, 15 MW in 2024 and 15 MW in 2025. The MoU arrives eight months after Azelio finalised the installation of its thermal storage system at the 580-MW Noor Ouarzazate hybrid solar power complex in Morocco. Several power generation projects developed by Jet Energy in French-speaking Africa will soon have storage systems. “French-speaking Africa is one of the markets where we see that our technology for long-term (30 years) energy storage (TES.POD) can bring great benefits. We are delighted to be working with Jet Energy in their efforts to provide customers with reliable and affordable renewable energy production around the clock,” said Jonas Eklind, Azelio’s CEO. The storage systems that will be installed in French-speaking Africa use recycled aluminium as the storage medium and are therefore free of rare minerals hence not suffer from a reduction in storage capacity over time. This partnership comes about 8 months after the inauguration of Azelio’s first thermodynamic solar energy storage system in Morocco. WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Mozambique launches tender for 120MW Solar PV and 40MW wind projects
MOZAMBIQUE - The Mozambican government has launched a tender for 4 renewable energy projects with a collective investment capex of around Euro 200 million. The projects are assisted with funding of Euro 37 million from the European Union in partnership with the French Development Agency. According to a statement from the European Commission which together with the French Development Agency (AFD) are supporting the country’s Projeto de Promoção de Leilões para Energias Renováveis (PROLER) auction scheme for renewable energies. Through this procurement exercise, the country’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources is seeking to build three 40MW solar plants in the districts of Dondo, Manje and Lichinga respectively and a 40MW wind project in Inhambane. The initiative is part of the Renewable Energy Auctions Promotion Program (PROLER), which contributes to increasing production capacity and diversifying sources of energy in the country. The process aims at favouring competitive and transparent bidding processes for the selection of private investors with technical and financial strength interested in investing in renewable energy generation projects which will result in the choice of lower cost solutions for the consumer. The program is being implemented with the help of Mozambican utility Electricidade de Mocambique (EDM) which is likely to be the future buyer of the renewable energy generated.
Ghanaian power authority launches US$48m solar power plant GHANA - Bui Power Authority, the managers of the Bui Hydropower Dam project in the Banda District of the Bono Region in Ghana, has started the construction of a US$48 million solar power project to augment its power supply system. The first phase of the solar development project, which is a 10 MW power is set to be completed before the end of 2020, while the second phase, a 40 MWp, is planned to be completed by the end of the year. Upon completion, the solar farm will add 250 Megawatts (MW) of power to the existing 400 MW dam’s production capacity. A 1MW floating plant was also under construction on the Bui Reservoir, a project which would be the first of its kind in the West Africa sub-region. The Government of Ghana has identified renewable energy as one of the options that could contribute to the overall energy supply mix and minimise the adverse effects of energy production on the environment.
Development bank group invests US$867B in green finance in 5 years
GLOBAL - At least 18 companies operating in renewable energy have received US$4.6 million under the KenyaOff-Grid Solar Access Project (KOSAP), a funding that will enable them to provide stand-alone solar systems and clean cooking solutions to households in 14 counties currently underserved by the national electricity grid. More than half of the funding, nearly $3 million, was provided to 10 suppliers of standalone solar systems, including Greenlight Planet Kenya, Solibrium, Solar
Integrated Appliances, Raj Ushanga House, Azuri Technologies, d.light, Livelyhoods Kenya, BioLite Holdings, Mobisol (a subsidiary of French giant Engie) and Pawame. The companies will supply and install about 165,000 solar home systems in the 14 counties involved in the KOSAP project. The systems will have to consist of at least two fixed lamps, a portable lamp, radio, and mobile phone charging stations that meet global lighting standards. The other companies that were awarded
US$2 million include Rafode Renewable Energy, Solar Integrated Appliances, Raj Ushanga House, MK Light Africa, Livelyhoods Kenya, BioLite Holdings, Africa Clean Energy and Kenya Women Finance Trust. They are expected to sell about 85,000 cookers in five counties in this East African country. The KOSAP project is being implemented by the Kenyan Ministry of Energy through the Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) and the Rural Electrification and Renewable Energy Corporation (REREC) and is funded by the World Bank through its subsidiary, the International Development Agency (IDA).
India’s Waaree Energies opens new facilities in West Africa
GUINEA - Waaree Energies, India’s largest solar module manufacturer, has strengthened its presence in the Western part of the African continent by opening its franchise and a new showroom in Conakry, Guinea. “Franchise shall prove to be a torchbearer in the solar mission of Guinea. With the introduction of high-quality Waaree solar products, a lot of people will be pulled from darkness to light, a lot of children can study, schools will have electricity, farms will have solar pumps for irrigation, factories and commercial complexes shall have clean power supply. Waaree is committed to doing its bit in helping Guinea energy secured,” the firm stated. WAAREE is the flagship company of WAAREE Group and has the country’s largest Solar PV Module manufacturing capacity of 2 GW and is one of leading players in India in EPC services, project development, rooftop solutions, solar water pumps, and other solar products. WAAREE has its presence in over 350+ locations nationally and 68 countries globally. The firm has a strong order book and has already supplied nearly 3.1 GW of solar panels to date globally and commissioned over 600 MW of solar EPC projects in India.
Efficiency for Access Fund gives US$3.7m to solar related technologies in Africa
AFRICA - The Efficiency for Access Research and Development Fund has allocated more than US$3.75 million to 20 start-ups, three of which are based in Africa for the development of solar-powered technologies. This funding follows a call for projects, which saw the participation of several African start-ups. 18 AFRICA INC.
Jirogasy, a Madagascar based connected objects and solar kits specialist developed “Jirodesk V2”, a solar computer project which aims to develop a solar-powered, allin-one, energy-efficient computer that can be assembled locally. Once the pilot project is completed, the company aims to provide solarpowered computers to more than 10,000 Malagasy students each year. The new computer will enable accelerated digitization of education in Madagascar, especially in areas that are not connected to the national grid or have a low electricity supply. Tanzania’s Simusolar’s solution also caught the attention of
Efficiency for Access. The startup is developing a project called “PAYG Bridge” to facilitate data synchronization and the distribution of solar-powered pumps. These pumps will enable smallholder farmers in Tanzania to irrigate their plantations. Simusolar’s pumps and other solar-powered devices are accessible to low-income populations through pay-as-you-go systems. Within the framework of Modern Energy Cooking Services, six other start-ups have received funding from Efficiency for Access. The British cooperation and the IKEA Foundation of the late Swedish billionaire Ingvar Kamprad support the initiative.
Renewable energy to power Africa's future
Africa is hungry for affordable, clean, and sustainable energy. About 510 million people in the continent are yet to be connected to electricity. The continent’s rapidly expanding manufacturing sector is also crying for connection to affordable and stable power. Due to these factors, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that African energy demand will grow twice as fast as the global average over the next two decades. Thankfully, Africa has abundant sources of renewable energy, which it can tap in to to meet its rising appetite for energy. IFC estimates that the continent has a total wind potential of over 59,000 GW — equivalent to 90 times the current global installed wind capacity and enough to satisfy the entire continent’s electricity demands 250 times over. Another interesting feature about Africa’s wind power is its even spread across the continent. According to IFC, 27 countries in Africa have enough wind potential on their own to satisfy the
entire continental electricity demand — estimated at 700 TWh annually. Algeria has the highest resource with a total potential of 7,700 Gigawatts (GW), equivalent to over 11 times current global installed wind capacity. Fifteen other countries including Mauritania, Mali, Egypt, Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya have technical wind potentials of over 1,000 GW. Africa, being at the tropics, is also home to one of the best solar irradiations in the world. The International Energy Agency estimates that the continent has a theoretical potential of 660,000 TWh of solar photovoltaic energy. IRENA further estimates that Africa also has total theoretical potentials of 470,000 TWh of concentrated solar power energy. This potential, if fully exploited, will produce energy that is far and above the continent’s annual energy needs. Apart from solar and wind, the region also has considerable potential for hydro and geothermal energy. IEA estimates that the continent has the potential to produce up to 15GW of geothermal DECEMBER 2020
In Morocco, about US$5.6 billion has been invested in renewable energies over the past 10 years. Today, Morocco has over 3,685MW of renewable energy, of which 700 MW is solar, 1,215 MW is wind and 1,770 MW is hydro.
Africa is hungry for affordable, clean, and sustainable energy. About 510 million people in the continent are yet to be connected to electricity. The continent’s rapidly expanding manufacturing sector is also crying for connection to affordable and stable power. Due to these factors, the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that African energy demand will grow twice as fast as the global average over the next two decades. Thankfully, Africa has abundant sources of renewable energy, which it can tap in to to meet its rising appetite for energy. IFC estimates that the continent has a total wind potential of over 59,000 GW — equivalent to 90 times the current global installed wind capacity and enough to satisfy the entire continent’s electricity demands 250 times over. Another interesting feature about Africa’s wind power is its even spread across the continent. According to IFC, 27 countries in Africa have enough wind potential on their own to satisfy the entire continental electricity demand — estimated at 700 TWh annually. Algeria has the highest resource with a total potential of 7,700 Gigawatts (GW), equivalent to over 11 times current global installed wind capacity. Fifteen other countries including Mauritania, Mali, Egypt, Namibia, South Africa, Ethiopia and Kenya have technical wind potentials of over 1,000 GW. Africa, being at the tropics, is also home to one of the best solar irradiations in the world. The International Energy Agency estimates that the continent has a theoretical potential of 660,000 TWh of solar photovoltaic energy. IRENA further estimates that Africa also has total theoretical potentials of 470,000 TWh of concentrated solar power energy. This potential, if fully exploited, will produce energy that is far and above the continent’s annual energy needs. Apart from solar and wind, the region also has considerable potential for hydro and geothermal energy. IEA estimates that the continent has the potential to produce up to 15GW of geothermal energy, while hydro energy is estimated to have capacity to meet Africa’s current energy needs two times over. Most of the hydropower potential is concentrated in DR Congo, which has potential to produce up to 100GW of power.
The falling costs of renewable energy and their minimal impact on the environment are especially making them attractive to governments across Africa. In cognisance of renewable energy’s importance, most African governments have set up ambitious goals of sourcing some, if not 20 AFRICA INC.
most of their energy from renewable sources. Morocco in the North has for instance set an ambitious target of sourcing 52% of its power from renewable energy by 2030. Despite having huge reserves of gas, which it currently uses to produce electricity, Ghana, in West Africa, has also set an ambitious target of producing up to 10% of its energy from renewable sources. In Kenya, over 70% of grid electricity is sourced from renewable energy, mainly hydro and geothermal. The country has an ambitious target of sourcing 100% of its energy from renewable sources before 2030. South Africa, which has for a long time sourced its power from coal, has also launched an ambitious goal of producing at least 17GW of energy from renewable sources to meet rising demand for electricity in the country and surrounding SADC region.
The attention that renewable energies have received from governments across Africa has led to a number of renewable energy projects worth millions of dollars being implemented in the continent. In Morocco, about US$5.6 billion has been invested in renewable energies over the past 10 years. Today, Morocco has over 3,685MW of renewable energy, of which 700 MW is solar, 1,215 MW is wind and 1,770 MW is hydro. Its counterpart Egypt is also ramping up its renewable energy production with a number of projects either commissioned or under construction. Of Egypt’s renewable energy projects, the US$4 billion Benban solar park is arguably the most important. Upon completion, the solar park is estimated to produce about 1.5GW of power, making it the largest project of its kind in the world. Egypt’s Ras Ghareb region has also seen increased concentration of wind power farms given that the region has the most excellent wind speeds in the world. Recently, the Red Sea Wind Energy company secured US$50 million for the development of a new 500MW wind farm in this region, which on commissioning will contribute towards the country’s ambition to produce 20% of the country’s electricity from clean sources. In sub-Saharan Africa, a new trend in renewable energy investments in the name of offgrid solar has emerged to cater for the region’s unique energy needs. Most of the people in subSaharan Africa are low-income earners with low energy consumption needs and therefore largescale investments would thus prove unfeasible, as returns would not be able to cover the cost of the investments. This has made the region to be unattractive to any form of investments and WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
largely explains why more than half of its people are still not connected to electricity. With an ability to be varied in both scale and cost, off grid power is however proving to be a solution to electricity challenges in subSaharan Africa, helping connect millions of its inhabitants to electricity. According to offgrid solar association GOGLA, the off-grid solar market is now growing at rate of 40% per annum, with more than 2.43 million units of offgrid solar products being bought in 2020 alone across the Continent. The potential of the market has led to the mushrooming of start-ups aiming to meet the increasing demand for solar – and with it a ballooning of investors seeking to grab the market as it grows. In October 2020, solar home systems provider Easy Solar raised US$5 million to expand its operations in West Africa. The same month, Nigeria launched an ambitious project to connect at least 5 million homes to off-grid energy within the next 12 months. In September, Lumos, a leading provider of energy solutions in Africa also raised US$35 million from the US International Development Finance Corporation to expand the market for its solar solutions. Multinational energy companies such as Bboxx and Ignite Power have also set up shop in Africa, a testimony of off-grid’s potential to connect millions of Africans to electricity. Apart from off-grid solar, governments in the region have also invested heavily in some large-scale renewable energy projects to benefit their citizens. In January 2020, Senegal, which aims to produce over 30% of its power from renewables, overtook its neighbours to commission the region’s largest wind farm with capacity to generate 158MW of power. A major investment was also unveiled in May when Nek, a Swiss based energy company announced plans to generate 1,000 MW of electricity from several wind farms in Ghana. Uganda has also announced plans to develop a 120 MW wind farm and 80 MW solar PV plant in the Karamoja region. Renewed interest has also been made in hydro with Ethiopia pushing ahead with plans to produce 6GW of hydro from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, despite intense opposition from Egypt. Kenya, which is home to the Lake Turkana Wind Farm, Africa’s largest inline wind farm, is also in the process of ramping up its geothermal power potential. The country’s The Olkaria V plant came on stream in September 2019, adding 160 MW additional capacity to the national grid. Ethiopia and Uganda have also expressed interest of developing their own geothermal plants over the past year with the former already launching a 150
MW facility, which it hopes to develop to 1 GW in future.
IEA predicts that 600 million people in sub-Saharan Africa will still not have access to electricity by 2030. This presents huge opportunities for investments in affordable renewable energy solutions to cater for this group of people. Off-grid solar offers the greatest potential of connecting millions within a short period of time and at a relatively lower cost. According to a report by GOGLA, private companies will be required to invest up to US$7.7 billion in order to meet demand for off-grid solar solutions. As the economy expands and more people are connected to electricity, overall electricity demand in Africa is also projected to increase four fold by 2040, according to IEA estimates. This increase in demand is expected to necessitate further investments into renewable energies, particularly wind and solar power. Africa’s cash-strapped governments however lack the financial resources to help fund projects themselves, creating a window for private sector to join the renewable energy revolution. Public Private Investment (PPI) and Independent power producers (IPPs) are expected to become even more popular in future, presenting more opportunities for private sector involvement in energy generation in the continent. The Renewable Energy Independent Power Producers Procurement Programme of South Africa (REIPPP) is a classic example of the potential of private players in accelerating Africa’s transition to renewable energy. The program, which currently plans to bring to the national grid 8 of the 10 largest solar power projects in South Africa, aims to produce at least 6.8GW of renewable energy by 2030. Moving into the future, this backdrop creates a huge growth platform for companies operating in the renewable energy development sector. To succeed in the challenging market that is Africa, these companies however, need to continuously innovate and develop solutions that are tailored for local needs. With innovation, one can never go wrong, particularly in a continent that desperately needs to connect its people to electricity.
400% PROJECTED RISE IN DEMAND FOR ELECTRICITY IN AFRICA BY 2040 INTERNATIONAL ENERGY AGENCY
In Kenya, over 70% of grid electricity is sourced from renewable energy, mainly hydro and geothermal.
Microsoft launches next-generation Xbox gaming consoles as Sony’s PS5 gets sold out on launch day
USA - Microsoft Corp. has launched two new models of its Xbox gaming console, seven years after the debut of the previous version, to capture a pandemic-driven boom in consumer spending on games. In the same vein of launching new products, Sony Corp also launched the much-awaited PS5,
with the product quickly selling out the same day the company launched its products. Reuters reported that the nextgeneration console, which retails for US$500 or US$400 without a disk drive, was sold out on major retailing sites in Japan with some conducting lotteries to distribute limited stock.
The Xbox Series X - which the company has described as the “world’s most powerful console” - will retail for US$499.99 and a lower-priced Xbox Series S will sell for US$299.99. The two-products Xbox series X and PS5 are expected to compete against each other in the entertainment market. PS5 is however widely viewed as leading the console race due to its bigger fan base and a broader range of exclusive gaming titles available at launch. The two products however quickly sold out with analysts projecting a shortage of consoles from Sony and rival Microsoft Corp extending into 2021.
Centum Real Estate floats US$37m housing project bond KENYA - Centum Real Estate Limited, a subsidiary of the Nairobi Securities Exchange -listed Centum Investment Company Plc, has opened a US$37 million project bond issue to finance its ongoing housing projects. The subsidiary is the holding Company for the Group’s Vipingo Development Limited in the Kenyan Coast, Pearl Marina Estates Limited in Uganda, Uhuru Heights Limited in Nairobi and Centum Development Kenya Limited. The Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority-approved paper opened on 13th November 2020 and to closed on 2nd December 2020. Proceeds from the bond 22 AFRICA INC.
will be allocated exclusively to the subsidiary’s ongoing affordable, middle-income and high-end housing projects in Kenya. Samuel Kariuki, CEO, Centum Real Estate said thet the bond offered an opportunity for investors to get a piece of Kenya’s real estate pie without taking the risk of getting involved in actual project development. The 3-year, zero coupon bond will be issued at a discount rate on the 3-year Treasury bond plus a market-determined margin. The firm that has a US$320m balance sheet, will also have a green shoe option of taking up to US$18.3 million more if the bond is oversubscribed.
Amazon diversifies into drug retail, launches online pharmacy in US
USA - American multinational technology company Amazon.com has launched an online pharmacy for delivering prescription medications in the United States. Amazon’s new online pharmacy will increase competition with drug retailers such as Walgreens, CVS Health and Walmart. Called Amazon Pharmacy, the new store lets customers price-compare as they buy drugs on the company’s website or app. Shoppers can toggle at checkout between their co-pay and a non-insurance option. Amazon says that members of its loyalty club Prime will enjoy huge discounts when making drug purchases on its site. The move builds on the e-commerce giant’s 2018 US$750 million acquisition of PillPack, which Amazon said will remain separate for customers needing pre-sorted doses of multiple drugs. Over the past two years, Amazon is reported to have worked to secure more state licenses for shipping prescriptions across the country. Lack of licenses had been an obstacle to its expansion into the drug supply chain, according to analyst notes from Jefferies Equity Research. The web retailer however expects to see increased sales of prescription drugs on its site as more states grant it trading licenses. The company, founded as an online bookseller, has disrupted industries including retail, computing and now potentially pharmaceuticals, drawing criticism of its size and power from labour groups and lawmakers along the way. Take-up of online ordering of drugs has been low, according to market research from J.D. Power. Amazon however, injects a new look and feel into a space that has been dominated by a few large mail order pharmacies like CVS, Cigna Corp and UnitedHealth’s Optum, analysts from brokerage Evercore ISI said in a note. WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Elon Musk’s SpaceX becomes first privately owned spacecraft in space
USA - Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX has launched four astronauts on a flight to the International Space Station in November 2020, marking NASA’s first full-fledged mission to send a crew into orbit aboard a privately owned spacecraft. On board SpaceX’s newly designed Crew Dragon were four astronauts including Mike Hopkins, mission pilot Victor Glover, physicist Shannon Walker and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi. The 27-hour ride terminated at the International Space Station an orbiting laboratory some 250 miles (400 km) above Earth. According to Reuters, Noguchi is making his third trip to space after previously flying on the U.S. shuttle in 2005 and Soyuz in 2009. NASA is calling the flight its first “operational” mission for a rocket and crew-vehicle system that was 10 years in the making. It represents a new era of commercially developed spacecraft - owned and operated by a private entity rather than NASA - for sending Americans into orbit. NASA contracted SpaceX and Boeing in 2014 to develop competing space capsules aimed at replacing its shuttle program and weaning the United States from dependence on Russian rockets to send astronauts to space. SpaceX’s launch was the first of six operational missions for NASA. The company has also booked private astronaut missions, including one slated to carry actor Tom Cruise in the coming years.
US$120M AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT BANK'S LOAN TO TANZANIA TO FUND CONSTRUCTION OF A 50MW HYDRO-POWER PLANT IN WESTERN TANZANIA WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Apple launches MacBook laptops powered by its own computing chips
USA - Apple Inc. has introduced a MacBook Air notebook and other machines that are powered with its first central processor designed in-house for Macs. The new chip, called M1, will be designed using Arm technology and are touted to be a great boon for Apple computers, which are overshadowed by the company’s
iPhone, but still rack up tens of billions of dollars in sales per year. The new chip marks a shift away from Intel Corp. technology that has driven the electronic brains of Mac computers for nearly 15 years. Analysts believe that Apple’s new development may re-ignite PC chip war pitting Apple against competitors
such as Intel Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Apple's forthcoming machines already have competition from Qualcomm, which since 2016 has worked with Microsoft Corp. to adapt the Windows operating system to Qualcomm's Armbased processors. Analysts opine that the move to produce its own chips will tie its computers and iPhones closer together technologically while Apple hopes developers will now create families of apps that work on both its computers and phones.
Huawei to sell budget-brand smartphone unit for US$15 billion CHINA - Huawei plans to sell its budget-brand smartphone unit Honor in a 100 billionyuan (US$15.2 billion) deal to a consortium led by handset distributor Digital China and the government of its home town of Shenzhen. The all-cash sale will include almost all assets including brand, research and development capabilities and supply chain management. Sources close to the matter told Reuters that Digital China, which also partners Huawei in businesses such as cloud computing, plans to finance the bulk of the deal with bank loans. The company will be joined by at least three investment firms backed by the government of financial and technology hub Shenzhen, with each owning
10% to 15%, they said. Reuters reported that after the sale, Honor plans to retain most of its management team and 7,000plus work force and go public within three years. Huawei established Honor in 2013 but the business mostly operates independently and is one of several brands seeking growth by turning phones into controllers of internetconnected devices such as home appliances. According to analysts, the divestment could mean Honor is no longer subject to Huawei’s U.S. sanctions. They are however sceptical about the company’s overseas operations as the U.S. policy on a spin-off is not clear and Huawei’s huge marketing support may not be present.
Ericsson signs key deals in Sub-Saharan Africa,sees strong demand AFRICA Encouraged by a series of signed contracts, Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company Ericsson, says it has seen strong demand for its services in Sub-Saharan Africa, signalling rapid growth of mobile connectivity across the region as consumer demand for enhanced mobile services increases. The company says a series of recent wins for Ericsson highlight the company’s growing footprint in the region as service providers strengthen their networks to meet growing demand from consumers and enterprises. Ericsson says it has signed a series of contracts in Kenya, South Africa, Madagascar and Benin, among others which highlights its growing footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa. The company noted that the latest data shows Africa is one of the fastest-growing mobile markets and the need for more effective technology, higher data speeds and availability of ample spectrum is evident. 24 AFRICA INC.
Ecobank Group launches new initiative that targets businesses owned or managed by women
TOGO - The Ecobank Group, a pan-African banking conglomerate, has officially launched a new initiative that targets businesses owned or managed by women across 33 markets, to contribute to the continent’s economic development and financial integration. The new ‘Ellevate‘ programme equips women with financing, business, and leadership training as well as financial tools and resources for success. It is designed to help women reach their full potential by empowering, growing and supporting them with customized financial and value-added solutions. Access to finance, perceptions of creditworthiness, gender discrimination, and violence against women are some of the significant challenges that are yet to be solved. The Ecobank Group recognises the strategic importance of women on the continent and the need to continually support them to reach their full potential. “Ellevate by Ecobank is designed for businesses owned by women, managed by women, businesses with a high percentage of female board members or employees and companies that manufacture products for women,” added Josephine Anan-Ankomah. “These businesses will benefit from smarter cash management solutions, favourable lending rates and value-added services such as leadership training and networking opportunities. All these will ensure that their businesses can scale and remain sustainable. We intend to allocate 10 percent of our Commercial Banking loan portfolio to help bridge the financing gap.”
CDC, EBRD and others create African pharma manufacturing platform AFRICA - Development Partners International (DPI) through its ADP III fund, CDC Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have joined forces to create a a new panAfrican biopharmaceutical platform. The platform will execute a buy and build strategy to improve the availability and affordability of essential pharmaceuticals across Africa and has received an initial US$250m in capital from its founding investors and plans to raise up to an additional US$500m to execute on its industrial strategy and fund further acquisitions across Africa. Abhinav Sinha, Director & Head of Manufacturing at CDC, said: “The African pharmaceutical industry remains chronically underdeveloped, with over 80% of prescription and over-the-counter drugs imported from outside of Africa. This platform is being built from the ground up to specifically address the challenges facing African healthcare providers and improving health security.” The initial capital has been used to fund the acquisition and combination of Adwia Pharmaceuticals, an Egyptian generic drugs manufacturer, and Celon Laboratories, an Indian oncology and critical care specialist. The platform will leverage its manufacturing and R&D centre of excellence in India to strengthen its local manufacturing operations in Africa, while capturing synergies from centralised supply chain management and business development. Itis designed to compete in large, fastgrowing markets as well as high-demand, differentiated therapeutic areas such as oncology through innovation and cost leadership and hence improve the delivery of essential and affordable specialty generic pharmaceuticals across the African continent. Hocine Sidi-Said, CEO of the platform comments that the creation of the new biopharmaceutical platform will fundamentally change the way specialty medicines are made available across Africa, adding that they will also invest in broadbased and high-growth specialty generics assets across Africa, in high-demand areas such as oncology, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, respiratory issues, and critical care.
Kenyan mobility startup QuickBus to expand to West Africa after securing funding SUDAN - QuickBus, a Kenyan mobility startup, is planning to expand to Nigeria and Ghana after witnessing impressive growth in the five markets it is already operating in. Quickbus was formally launched in 2019, as an online ticketing aggregation service, enabling the user to perform price comparisons and make bookings. Their business model involves sending proposals to bus companies, offering them a wider reach on their digital platform. Once an agreement is reached, they both agree on a revenuesharing model. Having initially launched in Kenya, the startup is now also active in four other markets, namely Uganda, South Africa, Angola, and Zambia. Managing director Humphrey Wrey said the startup was growing fast. This growth is set to continue, with QuickBus shortly expanding into West Africa. The startup has processed over US$750,000 worth of tickets to date and takes a 10 per cent commission on tickets sold on its platform. “The goal is to become the number one platform to plan and book intercity bus journeys, servicing the 800 million people who live and travel in sub-Saharan Africa,” said Wrey. With this in mind, QuickBus closed a US$1 million seed round at the end of last year, and Wrey said it is closing another one now as it gears up for a Series A by the middle of next year. QuickBus has also secured seed funding led by Shorooq Partners (based in the UAE) alongside the Oman Technology Fund and EchoVC. The team is currently present in Angola, Uganda, South Africa, and Zambia with partnerships with more than 40 bus companies secured in these countries. Wrey said that in the past two months, the startup has increased its revenue by 100 after seeing a slump in numbers during the pandemic-induced lockdowns across its markets. Shorooq, the lead VC in the startup’s seed round is enthusiastic of the startup’s growth and thinks it can carry on the progress into next year. “With the recent backing from the UK government and QuickBus’ clear path to a continent-wide expansion in 2021, we remain excited and humbled to be a part of the company’s journey.”
AFCAC, IATA and AFRAA join forces to promote aviation safety and connectivity across Africa
AFRICA - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and African Airlines Association (AFRAA) have joined forces with the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) on a threeyear safety project. The objective is to provide technical support to the African air operators of states party to the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM) to ensure that they achieve and maintain global aviation safety standards. The initiative is backed by African Development Bank grant funding provided to AFCAC and is specifically for carriers in countries that have signed up to the African Union’s (AU) flagship Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) program. The project will identify eligible airlines, conduct gap analyses and recommend corrective
actions for each participating carrier to prepare them for IATA Operational Safety Audits (IOSA) or IATA Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) evaluation. In addition, participating airlines’ personnel will receive quality and safety management systems training. IATA, AFRAA, and AFCAC will also host workshops and training sessions held at their facilities in Nairobi, Johannesburg and Dakar. Airlines wanting to take advantage of the SAATM’s market and commercial expansion benefits are required to be certified either through IATA’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) or Standard Safety Assessment (ISSA) programs. “This project will not only bolster safety standards in line with the Abuja Declaration on Safety in Africa.
It will also help operationalize the SAATM and reinforce the development of sustainable commercial air transport in Africa, which is crucial to the recovery and future growth of economies throughout the continent that have been devastated by the COVID-19 crisis,” said IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Muhammad Ali Albakri. SAATM was launched in January 2018 and provides a logistics pillar which is crucial to the success of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), facilitated by the movement of people and promoting trade and economic integration. 34 of the AU’s 55 member countries have signed the commitment to establish the SAATM.
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TONY ELUMELU: CHANGING AFRICA THROUGH DEALS & GIVING BACK Through his Heirs Holdings, one of Africa's most important business conglomerates, Tony Elumelu continues to invest in some of the key sectors in Africa, including banking, hospitality, power, oils and gas and more - while building the capacity of Africa's next wave of entrepreneurs.
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON: TONY ELUMELU
Tony Elumelu has one philosophy that drives his business empire: a belief in “Africapitalism” - a belief that the private sector is a key enabler of economic and social wealth creation in Africa.
Tony Elumelu is an African economist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is one of Africa's billionaires, having joined the exclusive list in 2014. He is the Chairman of United Bank for Africa, one of the largest financial services groups on the African continent with more than 18 million customers with a footprint in 20 countries in Africa as well as in New York, London and Paris. As of December 2019, the UBA group's financial assets were valued at US$14.6 billion with shareholders' equity of US$1.56 billion. But while some may see investing in Africa as a gamble, Elumelu, a Nigerian multi-millionaire, knows how rewarding taking a bold risk can be. In 1997, Elumelu led a small group of investors to take over a small, financially distressed commercial bank in Nigeria. Just a few years later, the bank became a top-five financial service provider in Nigeria and would eventually merge with UBA. Following his retirement from UBA in 2010, Tony Elumelu founded Heirs Holdings where he is the Chairman. Through this family owned investment company, he is committed to improving lives and transforming Africa with a portfolio spanning the financial services, power, oil and gas, real estate and hospitality and healthcare with operations in 23 countries worldwide. Tony is also keen to entering the already crowded insurance sector, a move that is already causing jitters, as he will bring major disruptions in the Nigeria’s insurance space, according to analysts. Tony Elumelu also owns a controlling stake in Transcorp, a publicly traded Nigerian conglomerate with interests in hospitality, power generation and energy. Through Transcorp
Hotels Plc., incorporated in 1994 in Nigeria, he owns the prestigious Transcorp Hilton Abuja and Transcorp Hotels Calabar. In September 2012, during the privatization of Nigeria’s national power assets, Transcorp Plc. won the bid for the Federal Government of Nigeria’s distressed power generating company, Ughelli Power Plc. – operator of Ughelli Power Plant. The US$300 million investment was part of strategic investor Heirs Holdings’ commitment to USAID’s Power Africa initiative and in November 2015, Transcorp Ughelli Power Limited and Ughelli Power Plc. merged, and Transcorp Power Limited was born. The merger harmonized the management and operations of Transcorp’s power business for greater efficiency, producing 972MW of power, with plans to grow it to over 3,000MW in the next few years. Tony Elumelu’s latest acquisition is that by his Transcorp Consortium, which announced 100% acquisition of the 966MW installed capacity Afam Power Plc and Afam Three Fast Power Limited jointly referred to as Afam GenCo at an acquisition cost US$272m, a move that applauded by Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as a key milestone for the country as the privet sector investment in the country’s power energy sector. “Bringing affordable, dependable power to the Nigerian people is core to Transcorp’s mission. Our significant investments in the power sector are demonstrations of our contribution to the economic transformation that I know Nigeria is capable of,” The Chairman of Transcorp, Tony Elumelu, said during the signing ceremony in State House in Abuja. The acquisition marked a significant milestone for Transcorp in pursuit of its corporate purpose of improving lives and transforming Nigeria.
ADMIRED BY FRIEND AND FOE
“A mere handshake says a lot about Tony Elumelu. His gritty grip underlines his charming, tenacious personality: a man who hardly backs down from any challenge. The same engaging qualities have propelled him from a modest beginning in Nigeria to becoming chair of the United Bank of Africa, and one of the most innovative and ambitious business leaders of his generation,” Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote once remarked about Tony. Tony Elumelu has one philosophy that drives his business empire: a belief in African capitalism or “Africapitalism”, which is a belief that the private sector is a key enabler of economic and social wealth creation in Africa. He believes that “Africapitalism” positions Africa’s private sector, and most importantly, entrepreneurs as the 28 AFRICA INC.
catalyst for the social and economic development of the continent. Anthony Onyemaechi Elumelu was born in Jos, Plateau state, Nigeria on 22 March 1963 and hails from Onicha-Ukwu in Aniocha North Local government area of Delta State. A self-made billionaire, whose source of wealth is majorly through his investments; he is a true economist, an entrepreneur in every sense of the word and a philanthropist. “Africa’s development has become somewhat of a personal mission. It is my belief that Africans should take primary responsibility for our own development – because, to be blunt, no one is going to develop Africa but us. I also believe “charity” as conventionally defined is not the best solution for our continent. Instead, we need a “new philanthropy” that focuses on building the capacity of the private sector to create jobs and wealth – and that this leads to sustainable development. “I firmly believe that we should be strategic and catalytic in our philanthropy. It is not, and should not be, about simply providing funding, as this is only one of many possible tools for impact. I would encourage entrepreneurs to give their time and experience, and use their influence, to create impact.”
AWARD WINNING TONY
In 2014, Tony founded The Tony Elumelu WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Foundation (TEF), which is a leading philanthropic initiative in Africa that champions entrepreneurship and entrepreneurs across the continent. It is through this foundation that many have come to know him. Whether in the continent or overseas, you are most likely to find Elumelu promoting African business and entrepreneurship. At the US– Africa Business Forum, which was organized by Bloomberg and the United States Department of Commerce held alongside the 2016 United Nations General Assembly, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce commended Elumelu for his pivotal role in US-Africa business relations. Besides his vast business ventures, he serves in and chairs several government and nongovernmental bodies. He serves as an advisor to USAID’s Private Capital Group for Africa (PCGA) Partners Forum and was the key driver in the formation of the National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN) and serves as the vice chairman as well on the Nigerian President’s Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council (ATIC). He is also the Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute Dialogue Series on Global Food Security and was one of the co-chairs of the 26th World Economic Forum on Africa in Kigali, Rwanda in May 2016. Tony sits on several boards and has chaired many initiatives for African development. According to Forbes, Tony Elumelu owns
TONY (RIGHT) AT THE SIGNING CEREMONY FOR THE ACQUISITION OF THE AFAM GENCO DEAL
Africa’s development has become somewhat of a personal mission. It is my belief that Africans should take primary responsibility for our own development
INSPIRATIONAL PERSON: TONY ELUMELU
Tony has harnessed Africa’s youth bulge to catalyse development and protect the future, committing to investing in young entrepreneurs per year across the 54 countries in Africa, as he forges on, striking a fine balance between personal satisfaction and societal impact
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extensive real estate across Nigeria and a minority stake in MTN Nigeria, among other assets. In September 2020 the Time Magazine named him among the 100 Most Influential People of 2020. Needless to say, Tony Elumelu is a wealthy man, having made fortune not only for himself but his family at large. Currently, his estimated worth is put at US$1 billion in 2020, according to Forbes magazine. Just like other great men and women who have excelled in their respective careers and disciplines, Toni Elumelu has received several honours and awards. Some of the awards and recognitions include: Member of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (MFR), which is a national title that was conferred on him in 2003. New African Magazine also named him as one of the 100 Most Influential Africans in Business in 2012.
TONY ELUMELU FOUNDATION
After deepening the financial market in Africa, he has found an equally important niche: giving a voice of hope to millions of youths across Africa. Tony has harnessed Africa’s youth bulge to catalyse development and protect the future, committing to investing in young entrepreneurs per year across the 54 countries in Africa, as he forges on, striking a fine balance between personal satisfaction and societal impact. Through his Tony Elumelu Foundation, a leading champion in entrepreneurship in Africa with an objective of objective of empowering women and men across our continent, he is catalysing economic growth, driving poverty eradication, and ensuring job creation. He believes the private sector’s role is critical for Africa’s development and that the private
support, advisory and market linkages to over 1 million Africans through its digital networking platform, TEFConnect. Tony believes that as an entrepreneur like himself, he understand what it feels like to yearn for a lifeline, to hope for a ‘big break’, to look forward to enjoying some luck. From the texture, focus and demography of Tony Elumelu’s philanthropy, it would seem, without being told, that it is an altruistic personal motivation to support a cause close to his heart, part of which is sharing an overflowing gift of entrepreneurship with people across countries.
AFRICA SHINES POST COVID-19
sector must create both social and economic wealth. In 2015, the Foundation launched the TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, a US$100 million commitment by Tony to empower 10,000 African entrepreneurs over 10 years. Building on the Programme’s success and its unique ability to identify, mentor and fund entrepreneurs across Africa, the Foundation is increasingly sharing its robust delivery platform and working in partnership with institutions such as the United Nations Development Programme, the African Development Bank, the International Committee of the Red Cross, GIZ, and United Bank for Africa to create meaningful and permanent impact across Africa. Thus far, the Foundation has trained, mentored, and funded over 9,000 young African entrepreneurs across Africa through the program, which provides capacity-building WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Even as the COVID-19 pandemic inflicts a devastating toll on the global economy, Tony insists that now is the time to invest in the continent, with the 57-year-old pitching for investors to put their bets on Africa’s economy. “Africa is a land of opportunity. Challenges exist in Africa, but we also have a huge return on investment,” Elumelu said during a TIME 100 Talks discussion with contributor Kim Dozier. “There’s no better time to make that bet than the time we live in,” he said. “Today there’s more market stability than ever before and there’s a willingness and realization by African leaders that capital will come to where it’s welcome. So, they are trying to make an enabling environment in their markets and in their countries to attract foreign investments,” he told Forbes. Elumelu also noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has incidentally elevated some economic opportunities on the continent: quarantining and social distancing has catalyzed booming business online. “In the banking business, there’s a whole transformation of banking heightened by COVID-19. Now you have less than 15% of our over 20 million bank customers across Africa transacting in the bank,” Elumelu explained. “Most of them are transacting online, which is about 85% of 20 million customers—that’s significant.” Tony said in interview with Time magazine. While the odds may not appear to be in favor of African countries—and many countries hardhit by the coronavirus—Elumelu insists that giving people hope can make all the difference in emerging from the economic dredge of the pandemic. “The difference is having economic hope, the difference is always thinking positive and knowing that tomorrow will be better than today,” Elumelu said. “Don’t let your economic aspirations die with COVID.”
Africa is a land of opportunity. Challenges exist in Africa, but we also have a huge return on investment. There’s no better time to make that bet than the time we live in
COMPANIES THAT RUN AFRICA: MTN
MTN: Connecting Africa and the World
Founded in 1994 as M-Cell, the MTN Group has outgrown its humble beginnings in South Africa to become a formidable force in the telecommunications industry. Today, with a mobile subscriber base of about 273 million, MTN is the eight largest mobile network operator in the World and the largest in Africa. With a workforce that is believed to be in excess of 19,000, an asset base valued at US$19.43 billion and revenues exceeding US$9 billion as at 2019, MTN controls significant wealth in the continent, making it a true herald of our Companies That Own Africa segment.
MTN was, however, not always the giant that it is today. 27 years ago, the company was non-exist, even on paper. The transition from Apartheid to democratic government, however, created a new impetus for black-owned businesses to thrive in the newly born South African republic. With
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only one in 100 black South Africans owning a phone line, black empowerment company New Africa Investments saw an opportunity and approached the government for a mobile phone license. The government, desperate to shift key industries away from white-minority ownership, gave the founders their blessing, paving the way for MTNâ€™s path to success. Soon after its launch, MTN launched a number of innovative solutions such as the Prepaid Pay As You Go model and the Short Message Service (SMS), aimed at making mobile communications affordable to all South Africans. Its affordability and black ownership background made the company popular among South Africans, especially the majority black population. 4 years after its launch, MTN had achieved so much success in South Africa that it was now ready for exploring further opportunities in the underserved markets of Africa, north of Limpopo.
EXPANSION INTO AFRICA AND BEYOND
In a bold move to bring world-class communication to the developing world of Africa, MTN began its expansion in 1998 with the acquisition of licences in Rwanda, Uganda and Swaziland. In all the three countries, MTN achieved remarkable success, helping connect thousands, and now millions, who had heretofore not enjoyed the convenience of mobile communication. The successes recorded in the three countries emboldened an ambitious MTN to explore further expansions into the vast and untapped African market. Within the first 5 years of the 21st century, MTN had expanded its reach to more than 7 African countries, boasting of a total subscriber base of 25.4 million and revenues of more than US$1 billion. At its peak in 2018, MTN had expanded to 22 markets spread across Africa, Middle East and Europe. MTN Nigeria was arguably the company’s most profitable bet to date. The subsidiary was launched in February 2001, 19 years later and US$1.8 billion of investments, MTN Nigeria is the group’s most profitable venture accounting for and about a third of its total revenues.
LEADING INNOVATIONS IN THE CONTINENT
“Innovation and being a step ahead are hallmarks of our company,” says MTN South Africa CEO Godfrey Motsa. Motsa could not be far from the truth, as the company has been continuously innovating since the first call was made on its network in 1994. Two years after its launch, MTN introduced SMS to South Africa and was the first telco to roll out Pay As Go model for calls, making communication easier and affordable to South Africans. As the Internet started picking up at the turn of the century, MTN was again at the forefront, becoming a tier one Internet service provider in 2001, to better serve South Africa and several other African nations where it had already set base. In 2002, MTN again pulled an industry first by installing solar-powered payphones in Uganda’s Lake Victoria region where electricity was unheard of at the time. A year later, MTN brought video calling to Africa and later intensively invested in 3G networks, becoming the first operator to bring the network to the African market in 2005. With digital becoming increasingly popular, MTN innovated again, launching online banking services in 2007 to make it easier for people to access money in their bank accounts. Later that year, MTN partnered with Multichoice to provide mobile TV in South WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Africa. Come 2009, MTN launched one of its most impactful innovations yet - the mobile money service popularly known as MoMo. Styled after M-Pesa, which was launched two years earlier by Safaricom, MoMo went on to achieve what M-Pesa couldn’t, scale. Unlike Safaricom, which was confined to Kenya, MoMo during its launch was rolled out in 7 countries, 6 in Africa and Yemen in the Middle East. 13 years later, MoMo has gone ahead to attract over 40 million subscribers, helping drive financial inclusion in some of its major markets such as Ghana and Uganda. According to MTN, the value of MoMo transactions have grown overtime to hit US$96.1 billion in 2019 with 9,200 transactions processed per minute. MoMo is trully driving the financial inclusion agenda in Africa, helping connect even the poorest and underserved communities to a robust, effective and convenient financial service. Moving into the future, MTN is still playing its role as a leader in innovations that matter to Africans. The company is currently investing heavily in technological capability to take Africa to the next level of telecommunication - 5G.
Moving into the future, MTN is still playing its role as a leader in innovations that matter to Africans
A BUMPY RIDE TO SUCCESS
MTN’s journey to Africa’s most valuable brand has, however, not been a smooth ride. The telco DECEMBER 2020
COMPANIES THAT RUN AFRICA: MTN
The work of piloting the MTN’s ship into the future now rests on Zimbabwean Ralph Mupita, an engineer and an alumnus of the Harvard Business School who assumed the role of CEO of the Group in August 2020.
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giant has had to contend with a number of challenges in its goal to become the continent’s largest brand. In 2015 for instance, the telco was slapped with a US$5.2 billion bill by Uganda over the failure to switch off unregistered sim lines on its network. It took the intensive lobbying and intervention from its home government to have the fine reduced to the final US$1.17 billion to be paid over a period of 3 years. Its Nigerian operations are routinely attacked by angry Nigerian mobs in retaliation to periodic xenophobic attacks to Nigerian nationals in South Africa. Apart from Nigeria, MTN has also been facing a number of challenges in various other markets from Ghana to Afghanistan and Iran. In Iran where the company controls a 48% stake in Irancell, the company has had to fight cases to prove the legitimacy of its operations. It has been accused of illegally obtaining a mobile operating license, to helping Iran procure critical US technology at a time when sanctions were imposed on the country. It is also due for a court hearing in 2021 after it was accused of aiding the Taliban, providing the insurgency with money that was used to attack and kill U.S. troops. In Ghana, the company had to go to court to prevent the national communications authority from declaring it as a dominant market player, which could have exposed it to tighter restrictions. In its home market South Africa, things have not been good either. The company has been grappling with stagnating growth, shedding over 2 million subscribers to competitors within a span of two years. South Africa's sluggish economy, rising living costs and high unemployment are not helping MTN's business either. Consumer prepaid revenue has also been declining, plummeting 2.7% YoY compared to a 5.1% YoY decline in the three months to June 2019. To add to its woes, South African regulators have been pushing for lower data prices to help the industry’s poorer customers, a factor that is constraining the company’s revenues even
DEFINING A FINTECH FUTURE
Despite its challenges, MTN is soldering on with its ambition to remain the top telecommunications company in Africa. Its BRIGHT strategy is a significant driver of the company’s future with ambitious target of achieving 300 million active subscribers by 2022. In response to increasing competition from competitors across all its markets, MTN is also shifting focus to more lucrative financial services, mobile gaming and music streaming – hoping investments in these areas will offset the falling margins in bread-andbutter telecom services such as phone calls. Going into the future, MTN plans to pull out of the Middle East to concentrate on its panAfrican strategy and simply its portfolio. Letting go of the extremely risky and controversial markets will be a breather on the MTN and boost up its financial war chest even as it seeks to further expand in Africa. The company has already announced intentions to venture into the lucrative Ethiopian market with a population of more than 105 million people. Fitch analysts also project that Angola is the other market that MTN would be interested in following the willingness of the government to open the sector to private investment. The work of piloting the MTN’s ship into the future now rests on Zimbabwean Ralph Mupita, an engineer and an alumnus of the Harvard Business School who assumed the role of CEO of the Group in August 2020. Mupita, who has been critical to the implementation of MTN’s Bright Strategy and his rich experience in finance having worked for Old Mutual for 16 years, is an excellent choice for the company, as it shifts focus to fintech as the next driver of growth. The story of MTN’s evolution from a good idea into a multibillion-dollar company in less than two decades is the stuff of corporate legend. In a short 26 years, it has become one of Africa’s top multinational companies in an industry that has revolutionised the African continent and beyond. What is clear is that since inception 25 years ago MTN has been a significant contributor to the economies and communities within which it operates. A lot of this has been with respect to the infrastructure that is the backbone of the economies that MTN operates in, and often, that enables connectivity of people in the most remote areas. Confident in his company’s future, MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa says “Our network is futureready as we look forward to the next 25 years as Africa’s best and most trusted network.” WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
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Your business has a unique story. Work with us to showcase your organisation to our readers in Africa and across the World. AFRICA INC. magazine is read by some of the most important business owners, C-suite managers and other key decision makers from the private sector, Government, NGOs, embassies, consulates, development organisations and other sectors across the breadth of Africa and the World. Full of inspirational and impactful interviews with CEOs and other leaders, the magazine, available in print and digital formats, is the voice of business in Africa. We tell African business stories better than any other publication. The magazine tracks, reports and celebrates the huge strides that are made by organisations in the Continent - from well established
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38 AFRICA INC.
KAEME: PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS WITH A PURPOSE The personal care industry in Africa is changing to meet the needs of a young, vibrant population. Kaeme is a young start-up based in Accra, Ghana that is leading the way in producing high quality personal care products from Ghana for West Africa, Africa and the World market. We interviewed the proprietor of Kaeme, the jubilant entrepreneur Freda Obeng Ampofo on starting the business, its growth prospects and her future aspirations
COMPANY FEATURE: KAEME
The future of the personal care industry in Africa is young, authentic, hip and vibrant. With a young, rapidly urbanizing population that is conscious of how they look, what they wear and what they consume, Africa is set to be the next big market for anything that makes us all look and feel good – and ready for that Instagram moment! These attributes are shared by and are quite like Kaeme – a young premium brand from Ghana that specialises in personal care products such as Shea soufflé, liquid black soap, soy candles and African-print toiletry bags. The Kaeme name comes from the Akan tribe in the West African country and means ‘forget me not’, and literally translates to ‘remember me’, says the company’s Founder and Chief Mixer (ever heard of that title before?), Freda Obeng Ampofo – who, just like the brand, is herself a vibrant, effervescent 40 AFRICA INC.
and lively young lady with a charming smile and a characteristic hairdo that is unpretentiously African, bold and loud – and which you never really get to forget once you interact with Freda.
STARTING FROM SCRATCH
Born in Ghana, Freda has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations with a minor in Economics and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs. She started the company after a career working with international organizations and advocacy groups in Ghana and in the US. Having grown up in Ghana, she always enjoyed travelling and had been fascinated by different cultures, during which time she had ideas of one day producing Shea butter beauty products – which have a rich history in Ghana and West Africa.
for more. Her thriving small network grew, sales orders were coming and her business idea came into fruition in about 18 months. And that’s how the Kaeme business was born.
IMPORTANCE OF SHEA BUTTER
Freda is sentimental about her childhood days in Ghana as the youngest and only girl plus four brothers. She fondly and vividly remembers her mother using Shea butter on her - and ensuring that she had a good Shea butter product to help her skin moisturized every day. “When I started travelling, my mother would give me African black soap and Shea butter as treats and gifts for me and this would make me feel very special,” she says nostalgically. Over time, Freda started mixing her own products and trying out different formulations to make them more exciting, as well as making for her friends when they had special days such as birthdays and anniversaries. It seems Freda was doing something right, as her friends and those who had an experience with her products, initially as souvenir for guests during Ghanaian weddings or anniversaries, would then call to ask WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Shea butter is a fat extracted from the nuts of the African Shea tree. The tree, from which Shea butter is extracted is native to Africa and is common across the dry savanna regions of Africa – from Senegal, across Nigeria, Ghana and other West African countries to Sudan, into the foothills of Ethiopian highlands and Kenya in the east. The Shea butter is ivory in color when raw, with processed versions being white. It is widely used in cosmetics as a moisturizer, salve or lotion. Shea butter is also edible and is used in food preparation in some countries in the region. In Ghana and many African countries newborn kids skin care regimen is purely Shea butter, as it is smooth, natural, largely organic and has no allergic reactions. Freda’s upbringing was no different. She confesses Shea butter was the only product her mother used on her for her whole childhood. He mother, just like millions of others, believe that Shea butter to be safe to use, abundant in vital nutrients and that they it is organic in its own right. “The farms here are not certified organic by European or American standards but the land has no chemicals being used and the Shea butter is so good for the body and we fully trust it with kids, even new born, and it has been used since centuries ago for healing wounds, moisturizing hair, treating acne, eczema, dermatitis, etc. It is believed to be Shea butter – plus the black soap are magical products, cure-me-all that ensure that even 80-year old women have some of the most envied flawless skins, due to the many years of use of the two products.” Freda notes that the black soap is made from potash delivered from burnt cocoa pods or burnt green plantation leaves then mixed with Shea butter and coconut oil and then baked in an oven. “The real authentic black soap is incredibly good for the skin, just like the Kaeme black soap,” she exudes.
Freda started the company after a career working with international organizations and advocacy groups in Ghana and in the US. She always enjoyed travelling and had been fascinated by different cultures, and had ideas of one day producing Shea butter beauty products
THE BRAND AND PRODUCTS
Freda is fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel early in her life to a lot of countries. In her travels, she came across luxury cosmetic products that had little amount of Shea butter in their formulations but with incredibly high price tags. This realization drove her further in her zeal to start and grow the business to reach more customers worldwide as her products were authentic and had the purity of the Shea DECEMBER 2020
COMPANY FEATURE: KAEME
THE COMPANY'S PRODUCTS INCLUDE SHEA BUTTER SOUFFLES, AFRICAN BLACK SOAP, SOY CANDLES & TOILETRY BAGS
We chose the Kaeme name very specifically for a reason because we wanted our customers to remember us every time they use our products and they had an interaction with us
42 AFRICA INC.
butter from Ghanaian villages that was not overprocessed, as other international brands were. In her own words, Shea butter was like gold and Ghanaians were basically just not doing much value addition, hence allowing international brands to dominate the personal care and luxury beauty products markets. Kaeme has grown her brands of products beyond the flagship brands Shea butter and black African soap to several variants of the same to suit every scent and customers characters and includes some interesting twists. Freda says that the Kaeme brand is inspired by the joy of unforgettable memories and cherished experiences, with each product crafted to captivate the senses and make a lasting impression. The proprietor chose the name for the start up as she wanted a product that is good in quality, truly African in its origin and ingredients, with a short name that is visible and has a sentimental value. “We chose that name very specifically for a reason because we wanted our customers to remember us every time they use our products and they had an interaction with us,” she says and further explains that the brand is hinged on remembrance and feelings. The young company values local resources immensely and uses raw, unrefined Shea butter and authentic black soap sourced from a women’s cooperative in Ghana to make Kaeme products by hand, one small batch at a time. “We also use a selection of pure carrier and essential oils to create distinct sensory experiences that are also free from additives or dyes.” She adds that
they believe in excellent skincare and make each product with love to hydrate, nourish and protect the consumer’s skin. The Shea soufflé and liquid black soap are available in a captivating array of scents that offer variety and a luxurious experience. They also offer unscented products for sensitive skin or as a fragrance-free alternative. To grow a brand with wide reach of customers has been a mammoth task for Freda and her team, especially for beauty and personal care products, where customers must have total trust in the products they use on their skins. Armed with the strength of a good product that was readily accepted by the small group of people who tried it, she embarked on a brand strategy that would see her make some improvements on both the production process and reaching out to a larger market beyond her family and friends. In the early days of her journey, Freda continued producing from her house during the week and would use Friday, her full-time-job off day, to deliver the products to her customers. This became her piloting process that proved that her products were in high demand, as most of the time they would not even be able to supply all the orders.
The Kaeme brand has been in existence for about four years, including the early days when she was going through the process of formalizing the brand. To access markets, the company works with
distributors, retailers and established stores. “We also have an online website portal, which is where a lot of people know us from. We also utilize social media, which is a big thing especially in this Covid-19 era. It has been tremendously helpful, but I would say our website has been the main way of us reaching out to our customers, especially those ones outside of Ghana - that’s where our potentials customers first get to know about us and get to contact us.” As the business grew, Freda moved the business to its first production facility. “I used to make the products in my apartment and am incredibly grateful to say that I no longer do so. We have a facility that is solely dedicated to making the products, store as well as for distribution to our retailers and distributors. We also have a place to sell to the general public, depending on customer’s orders. At this facility, we are able to produce a lot of stock, as much as the customer wants.” However, with growth came challenges. “It hasn’t been easy, there have been a lot of challenges; the big one is logistics, especially in terms of trans-boundary transportation when shipping out of the country or importing things from outside the country, plus currency fluctuations etc. However, one thing I have realized is that there is always a solution. Sometimes it takes months, sometimes years, but we are always trying to find ways of making things work. There are still a lot of things we are working on in terms of trans-boundary issues,
but we have also made a lot of progress. Another challenge is getting certification. In our case, our products are sensitive products, as you are going to put it on your skin, so we must be careful what we put in there and how the market handles that, but we are delighted that the institution that handles these matters here has been very accessible and immensely helpful in assisting us to attain that certification.” Despite these setbacks, Freda says that it is the joy of serving her customers that pushes her and the team to continue with their mission. “I think about the reviews we get from our customers and how it really changes their lives. These reviews keep me going and keep me wanting to make more life changing products. I love what I do; I love my customers and hearing their feedback. I also love working with the people I work with. All these come together to cross out the negative challenges that we face. I think these challenges are not unique to us only; other businesses in Africa also go through them. I think doing business in Africa generally is tough, because we do not have certain systems in place; you do not have the assistance you need as a small business, but it’s something that is also slowly changing. So we as entrepreneurs will have to just keep working through it until when we get to a time that we have a system that is good for us.”
FREDA (RIGHT) WITH HER TEAM, WHICH IS DEDICATED TO PRODUCING QUALITY PRODUCTS THAT MEET THE COMPANY'S VARIED NEEDS
It hasn’t been easy, there have been a lot of challenges; the big one is logistics, especially in terms of transboundary transportation, plus currency fluctuations etc. However, one thing I have realized is that there is always a solution
THE OPPORTUNITY IS HUGE
Having lived abroad for many years, Freda is convinced that African countries have
COMPANY FEATURE: KAEME
We chose the Kaeme name very specifically for a reason because we wanted our customers to remember us every time they use our products and they had an interaction with us
44 AFRICA INC.
opportunities to utilize local resources to meet the unique needs of its population, create local jobs, improve economies and serve the world market with their unique products. She adds that her realization of the fact that most of Shea butter products being sold abroad has little Shea butter in them and yet was ridiculously expensive was her reckoning to think of starting Kaeme. “When I returned to Ghana, I wanted to put Ghana and Africa on the map for something that is ours - something that we could call our own. Something that we really are part of because what I realized in my travels was that every time you see a lot of Africans, we try not to be Africans. We always want to be the other thing - never who we are as Africans. That is something that really bothered me. “I wanted to come back home and basically create a brand that was globally competitive using locally sourced raw materials in a way that tells the world that: ‘Hey am Ghanaian, am African and am really proud of it. Am using locally sourced raw materials that I am really proud of and making products that are so great for your skin and am so proud that it’s made in Ghana and it is from Ghana, Africa to the rest of the World.’
It was really to show the rest of the World that good things can come out of Africa and am proud of what we have here in my country Ghana and on the African continent and I want to share this with you. For me there is that bit of patriotism - I felt that in Africa we have a lot, we really need to own it, we need to be proud of it and really focus on that instead of always looking for what is good from outside, because we have a whole lot to be proud of here in Africa.” She adds that there is definitely a strong opportunity in the beauty industry in Ghana and Africa - evidenced by the amount of beauty companies that are springing up every other day and that there is a lot of room for everyone to grow and every one to take a piece of the pie.
SUSTAINABLE FUTURE WORRIES
Freda says that she is focused on building a globally competitive business, as her business grows further. “Globally competitive is very important to me because I want to see Kaeme on the same shelves as high end brands all over the world, whether it is L’Oreal, Gucci, or Louis Vuitton. I want Kaeme to be able to be on the same shelves with these brands and still feel confident as a WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
serving those within the continent. She reveals that whet keeps her awake at night is the fear of growing the business but still not being able to meet every consumer’s needs, either due to logistical or production challenges – one of which is due to her main raw material: Shea butter. “The Shea butter tree takes about 20 years to grow and be harvested for their fruits. I am thinking of the sustainability of these trees, which for now we do have a lot of and it’s great. But as the World moves towards using Shea butter more extensively, what does this mean for our industry? I know that 10-15 years ago, Europe started using Shea butter in their chocolates and their food products - that is now a whole continent using Shea butter that wasn’t using it before! In addition, they are now using the butter in cosmetics as well. If you do the math, then the sustainability of Shea butter tree that takes 20 years to grow is a real concern. I sometimes wonder when Kaeme becomes a hugely successful brand in the World, and then suddenly, there is no sufficient Shea butter raw material, what happens from there? This troubles me, but it’s a good challenge, because I can start thinking about this now and look for solutions now, so that in the future we are better prepared.”
CHANGING AFRICAN WOMAN
product of Africa; this is something we continue to work on. Currently, we look to strengthen our existence in the continent of Africa because I believe charity begins at home, so as much as it is important to be in big cities across the World, we feel we need to serve people at home first, our continent first, for a lot of reasons.” While the company’s range of products is available in many countries in Africa, Freda is dedicating this year and next to solidify the relationships and partnerships they have across the continent. “That means that if we have one stockist in Kenya, we want to make sure that we are interacting and engaging with this stockist, pushing customers to them as much as possible and trying to figure out what their issues are and trying to fix them; and making sure we make them feel part of the big Kaeme family. The second reason for focusing on the continent is to get a chance to fill gaps before we become too big and lose the handle on the problems that we have. This will give us the opportunity to really tackle each challenge systematically in a way that is healthy for us and for our customers.” However, they will continue serving their global customers, but not just in the major way that would be WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Freda says that she is confident of further growth of her business, considering the changing face of the African woman. “Using Ghana as an example, when I came back here a few years ago, people were still not used to wearing their African dress and African hair and it was really looked down upon. Thereafter, more and more Ghanaians started coming back home from abroad from big countries and from big jobs and they started appreciating Ghana, what we do and all things Ghanaian and it sort of started this invincible movement of made in Ghana proud.” “I love made in Ghana, I love being who I am. This went from wearing African print to being really proud of it or leaving your hair naturally. It was just about being proud and feeling about what you own. I remember companies in Ghana having their employees wear local African print outfits on Friday’s local outfits, which is very positive. It’s a trend that started a few years ago and that continues to get better. It’s really stirring up conversations on who we really are and what we put clarity on and all of that. It’s an exciting time for me; am really proud to be in Ghana right now and to call myself a Ghanaian. It’s important that when Africans go and seek education knowledge and skills abroad, that they come back and make their country and continent better,” she concluded
Freda says there is definitely a strong opportunity in the beauty industry in Ghana and Africa - evidenced by the amount of beauty companies that are springing up every other day.
46 AFRICA INC.
Farming & Engineering Services
Engineering & Agribusiness Services
FES GROUP: BUILDING SOUTHERN AFRICAN AGRICULTURE THROUGH TECHNOLOGY Farming & Engineering Services (FES) is an agricultural solutions company based in Blantyre, Malawi. With a diverse range of services to the sector, the company prides itself in its rich history and exemplary customer service to its customers. The company has recently received investment by leading private equity funds and has also entered the Zambian market to grow its footprint in Southern Africa region WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
COMPANY FEATURE: FES GROUP
ABOVE - MIKE ALDWORTH, THE MANAGING DIRECTOR OF FES GROUP IS AN AGRICULTURALIST WITH WIDE EXPERICES IN FARMING CPTRACTING OPERATIONS.
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For more than 50 years and counting, one company has straddled the agriculture landscape in Malawi like no other. Farming & Engineering Services (FES) started its operations in the country in 1967 with a single brand franchise for Massey Ferguson tractors and has never looked back, adding more world famous brands to its stable and expanding its service offerings to its customers across the country with a sense of purpose and focus. And now, 53 years later, the company is undergoing a new phase of transformation, after new investors joined the business, with its new strategic direction geared towards the broader Southern Africa region and beyond, while seeking to adopt new technologies of the future to tap into new opportunities in the agriculture and related industries. Led by Mike Aldworth, the Group Managing Director, an agriculturalist with significant experience in farming contracting operations in the country, the company is set to undergo a transformation, as it taps into the more than 140 years experience of its team who are professionals from different countries and backgrounds in the agricultural, technical, industrial, financial and management fields of the industry. Aldworth, who also has an extensive background in the banking industry, believes that FES Group’s success is due to two main factors: “For me it would be two key things to follow: stick to your core business: for us agriculture is
our core business and it is a big space; and two, is to diversify within your core business. That has been our saving grace through thick and thin, tough economic times, political upheaval: that our business is diverse, so if the retail side is under pressure because of global economic issues or oil prices, then our contracting business picks up because our customers start to realize that maybe they should spend more on irrigation and not spend on buying a new tractor.”
GROWING BEYOND MALAWI
FES prides itself for the range of services it provides to the agriculture and related industries in Malawi. And Aldworth and his team is focused on delivering on this goal, to every customer they serve, and to deliver the services using the latest technology. “We are an agricultural solutions company operating in the modern era. We embrace technology to farm as efficiently as possible and we offer our agricultural markets a complete solution package in one company. We have multiple products: irrigation, agronomy, drone services and we sell tractors and implements. We service and sell parts and we have an emerging farmer department that looks after their specific needs.” Having started off as a single brand sales franchise for the famous Massey Fergusson tractors in 1967, the company’s longest partnership, and which it proudly continues
to serve, Aldworth reveals that FES has over the course of the past five decades, had a slight evolution in its business, as it expanded the scope of its services and partners in the agricultural equipment distribution and servicing in Malawi. FES offers its integrated agricultural solutions to the agricultural sector in Malawi through its branches in Blantyre and Lilongwe and depots in Dwangwa and Nchalo, to a broad customer base of commercial estates, small-to-mediumscale farmers and multinational corporate clients and is the single largest investor in Malawi's agricultural equipment industry, providing turnkey solutions, maintenance, spare parts and direct access to equipment for agricultural contracting services. The companyâ€™s customers have access to dedicated on-site workshops, engineering shops, a large contracting fleet and fully mobile fieldservice workshops, which is served by a dedicated team with local experience and expertise. While the Malawian market has been the home base for decades, the company also services clients in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. In early 2020, FES expanded its business into Zambia, where it acquired the assets of agricultural equipment supplier BHBW Zambia, thereby securing the Massey Ferguson and Challenger franchises for Zambia to add to its Malawian dealerships. FES intends to expand on the product range and replicate its successful business model of equipment dealership combined with precision contract farming and other agricultural solutions in Zambia. Aldworth says that Zambia, which has a much more developed agricultural industry than Malawi, offers good prospects for growth of their business as the company strategizes to grow and offer its services closer to the Zambian market, where it has since recruited an in-country team and opened offices. He adds that the company is excited with its entry into Zambia, since they do have a lot of skills and experience to share with the Zambian agriculture sector.
DIVERSIFIED EQUIPMENT SOLUTIONS, GLOBAL BRANDS
FES holds the leading position as the single largest distributor of several international brands of agricultural equipment in Malawi as the sole franchise holder in the country across a diverse number of areas, and as it enters Zambia, it has expanded the distributorship model and services it offers the industry. The company has exclusive distribution deals for mechanized agriculture and precision technology with leading international brands such as Massey Ferguson, Challenger, Bomag, WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Baldan, Falcon and Trimble, where the company offers its clients in-depth technical, industry and managerial skills, innovative turnkey solutions, maintenance and pare parts plus full after sales, maintenance and backup support services for its range of tractors, harrows, rippers, planters, ploughs, ridgers and GPS positioning equipment. In the earth-moving space, FES offers Komatsu brand equipment that are used for excavation, grading and loading in agriculture, construction and infrastructure sectors with full after-sales, maintenance and backup support services to its customers. It also offers global leading material handling Toyota Forklifts equipment that maximize warehouse space and are safe, efficient and cost-effective for midsize and large industrial facilities, including food-grade options that meet strict food safety requirements. In the irrigation sector, the company is the leading sole distributor for Zimmatic and Netafim drip and micro-irrigation systems, centre-pivot sprinklers, hose systems, pump stations and pipeline networks that come in PVC or steel construction. The company has an in-house consultant with specialty in the design and installation of water supply solutions and irrigation systems, while it offers advice, technical support and maintenance and spare parts of water and irrigation systems. FES has extended its range of services to include power supply solutions, where it offers AJ Power generators with capacity from 10 KW to 3.3 MW, which offer highly efficient and cost-effective off-grid power solutions to its customers across the country. It also offers bulk water supply services including canal excavation, building, modification and maintenance services to manage water flow and the construction of large water storage dams. It is also the exclusive distributor of BOMAG compaction equipment; milling machines, finishers and stabilizers machinery, soil stabilization equipment and binder spreaders. Beyond the equipment side, FES provides a range of contracting and leasing solutions across the agricultural supply chain using advanced technologies to drive increased yields, productivity and reduce input costs. With precision land preparation for close to 3,000 hectares annually; the company is the largest contracted agriculture services provider company in Malawi. It also offers equipment leasing and long-term contract solutions services that allow its customers to reduce their capital outlay, which is backed by a well-experienced national team that manages full maintenance service for leased equipment, key supplier support, service
We are an agricultural solutions company operating in the modern era. We embrace technology to farm as efficiently as possible and we offer our agricultural markets a complete solution package in one company
COMPANY FEATURE: FES GROUP
THE DRONES ARE USED FOR TOPOGRAPHICAL SURVEYS, PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION AND SPRAYING FOR PREAND POST-EMERGENT HERBICIDES, PESTICIDES AND CROP RIPENERS.
FES has a large number of clients, which allows us to invest in top-ofthe-range equipment that can get the job done much quicker
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agreements, generator maintenance contracts, telecoms tower maintenance, mining services and stock of parts and spares. The company has adopted the use of advanced technologies and smart farming techniques to solve challenges across the entire agricultural supply chain, thereby minimising input costs and maximising yields and efficiencies through GPScontrolled tractor steering and optimised route planning, GPS real-time data collection with accurate positioning, efficient manipulation and analysis of large amounts of geospatial data to reduces the risk of crop failure, while improving the bottom line for its customers. To delve deeper into new technologies, the company recently added drone services to its portfolio of services – one of only two licensed operators in Malawi, and soon operational in Zambia. The company’s current drone technology is utilised for topographical surveys, plant health inspection and spraying for pre- and post-emergent herbicides, pesticides and crop ripeners.
MORE THAN JUST EQUIPMENT
Aldworth says that FES has invested heavily in providing spare parts and support to its range of equipment and services, so that its customers can experience better services and support from its teams of qualified technical personnel. The company has impressive stock holding that covers its entire range of equipment and also holds consignment stocks with its customers with large fleets, while the technical teams utilize direct online portals to place international orders. It also predominantly transports its spares through airfreight to speed up deliveries.
The firm’s Lilongwe and Blantyre workshops are fully equipped to handle complete rehabilitation, fuel-injection equipment overhauling, engine and transmission rebuilds and spray painting works, while it also does onsite service and equipment repair on-site for isolated customers. Aldworth stresses that FES success has also been in identifying, recruiting and training the right people to work in the company. He reveals that the company’s technicians receive continuous training and development in their fields from international experts, while also extending training to clients’ operators and technicians. “We have a very stringent and rigorous maintenance program and we look after our equipment very well, we don’t take any short cuts, we don’t buy any pirate parts and we use only parts from the original manufacturers. We make sure that our tractors should last 20-30,000 hours; this might sound a lot to a farmer but that’s what a tractor is meant to do – it is a diesel engine and if you look after it, it will last a long time.” “We have learnt to invest in the right kind of staff with the right skills. . Southern Africa is a very agriculturally orientated space. There are a lot of people who understand agriculture. Find those people and employ them in your business: you need the best possible person. Getting the right kind of person into your business is the best ever investment possible.”
MODERN TECHNOLOGY FOR AGRO SECTOR
In the last couple of years, Aldworth concedes that from a technology point of view, there has been increased urgency into tapping into WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
new technology to meet the challenges that the agriculture sector in Africa faces, and the company has taken the lead, while adding that farmers in Malawi and Zambia have also not been left behind. “Food security in Africa is a real issue and climate change is making agriculture more and more difficult because our rainfall patterns are more difficult to predict. The weather is getting hotter and storms that come are more intense, so we just felt that from a business point of view, we needed to push technology into the agriculture market, so that farmers could maximize input costs. FES has a large number of clients, which allows us to invest in top-of-the-range equipment that can get the job done much quicker.” He explains it could take a typical farmer three weeks to plough out his or her fields using a medium-sized tractor, whereas the latest models can complete the task in a fraction of the time. And the quicker crops such as maize get into the ground, the greater the potential yield come harvest time. He asserts that technology is the route forward for agriculture in Africa and that from his experience if technology is proven, then adoption rate is high, although it might be a challenge in smaller farms in the Continent. “Technology is widely available and technology is also becoming a lot cheaper than it was 10 years ago, as technology space grows, so do apps become more available and more widely used. It is a huge opportunity.” He further adds that with reduced incomes from farming and efficiencies brought by technology adoption are critical for present day farmers in Africa to succeed, asserting that climate change is a big issue, with weather patterns changing in Africa: severe storms, flooding and drought. “In Southern Africa, we have had some very strong storms and cyclones. Cyclone Idai, which came through the Southern Africa region into Malawi, caused huge devastation. In 2019, we also had flooding in Malawi. From an agricultural point of view, the key would be to say we have to use our current resources more efficiently. For example, we have to utilise water more efficiently; so drip irrigation becomes very important. It is quite capital intensive but water usage/efficiency and water foot print is significantly better than any other system.’ He has also called for the adoption of solar technology and look at different crops for different environments, while improving soil fertility. “Farmers in Southern Africa should look at diversification: can we plant other crops that are traditionally imported? Can we start growing them so that we have availability and also making
more efficient use of our resources.” “We all know that input costs are rising on the one hand and returns from farming are either stagnant, or in many instances, the farmer’s revenues are decreasing because of the rising input costs. We looked at ways to make agriculture more efficient from a smaller space of land. We also recognized that, especially in Southern Africa, populations are growing and people need to eat, while arable land is being taken up by villages and towns, so the land that is available needs to be productive than it has ever been in the past – hence the need to get into real technology in agriculture to make it more efficient.”
CONTRACTING BUSINESS THAT REDUCES COSTS
A majority of farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa have for generations considered the ownership of a tractor and other agricultural equipment and implements as critical to succeeding in commercial crop farming. While contract farming is relatively established in mature agricultural markets, FES was the first company to offer a full-suite of services in Malawi. It counts the country’s biggest farming estates as its clients and also offers a wide range of products and services to smallholder farmers. In addition to the savings on equipment, farmers can achieve improved yields by outsourcing functions such as land preparation, according to Aldworth. FES has been a pioneer in moving farmers to a new business model that reduces the need for extensive ownership of equipment by farmers by introducing contract farming solutions, including land preparation, crop spraying, material handling, bulk water management, full maintenance leasing and harvesting. “About 23 years ago we moved into contracting. We started off with 3 tractors, where we had a full maintenance lease with a contracting company. That business has now grown significantly: we now own about 150 diesel tractors and other equipment, all aimed at agriculture. Along the way in the last 20 years, we have taken on other world-famous brands – Komatsu, Toyota Forklifts, to mention a few. We have expanded our product offering into irrigation, where we are the agents for Zimmatic and Netafim in Malawi,” he informs us. “What it means is farmers don’t need to invest in capital-intensive equipment only used for a short period in the year. FES will provide the equipment and perform the work on a contract basis at a rate charged per hour or per hectare. One of our expert team members will even provide farmers with advice on the best
To delve deeper into new technologies, the company recently added drone services to its portfolio of services – one of only two licensed operators in Malawi, and soon operational in Zambia.
COMPANY FEATURE: FES GROUP
agricultural practices,” says Aldworth. He advises that the number one priority for a farmer must be to stretch the assets at the farm by having better, more efficient use of capital, adding that when a farmer owns, for example, a tractor, he may use it only twice a year for about 200-300 hours, while a contracted tractor used by many farmers in a district may be utilized for 2500 hours a year, thereby spreading the capital cost of the tractor over a much bigger area. “I would advise that the farmer invests in the farm, to upgrade the irrigation systems, apply the right fertilizers, get the soils tested and make sure the water quality is right and make sure to plant at the right time of the year. We can’t control the weather but we can control the irrigation and the capital expenditure.”
PRECISION AGRICULTURE OF THE FUTURE
Aldworth says that the recent investment in the company shows that “the business model is an attractive business model, it shows that what we are doing is heading in the right direction and am very pleased with that.”
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Aldworth insists that the challenges with climate change and the tightening margins in farming means that African farming has to drift towards precision agriculture to thrive. In this regard, two investments stand out at the company. The first is the company’s investment in a soil, leaf, oil and water-testing laboratory by the Group – the first independent soil management lab in Malawi. Led by a team of agronomists and laboratory managers, Agrilab performs research and testing and also provides advisory and consultancy services to help farmers increase their yields, improve their crop quality and build a sustainable food supply. Aldworth highlights the importance of optimal usage of fertilizer in crop farming in Africa. “One of the biggest input costs in growing any crop is fertilizer, but how do you know the correct fertilizer for your crop in the soil conditions you have? The laboratory evaluates the health and fertility status of the soil sample brought in by a farmer and then we can give the farmer the correct fertilizer that the farmer should utilize, so that the farmer doesn’t waste money on fertilizer that the crop or the soil can not utilize. The laboratory gives a more scientific approach to agriculture.” He adds that they are going to integrate the laboratory’s work with its mechanization and irrigation solutions to further add value to its customers, while a mobile app is in the works. The laboratory, which is a member of GLOSOLAN, the Global Soil Laboratory Network, is working towards receiving ISO Acreditation by the end of 2020. Secondly, the company is excited about its entry into drone technology in agriculture space, and Aldworth stresses that these new tools will
further enhance their technical capability in the region while reducing costs and complexity to the farmer. “A lot of crops in Africa get sprayed with chemicals to control pests or weeds using airplanes, which are quite expensive, big pieces of equipment and do a good job. However, drones are smaller in size and capacity but a lot more accurate and efficient with a lower cost impact on the farmer’s business. This year, we have seen the impact of using drones. In the past, we sprayed fields using a crop sprayer. We would achieve 70-80% efficiency. With a drone, we have increased spraying efficiency up to 95%. With drones we also have less safety issues. It is a lot easier to manage. I do think it is the way forward in agriculture.” He adds that from a chemical point of view, there is a lot of focus on what chemicals do to the environment and the drift that it does to neighbours’ farms; with drones you can make a significant improvement on efficient use of the chemicals. The lab and drone technologies add to FES Group’s technology enabled services, including the use of GPS-guided auto-steer technology on tractors, which improve precision and efficiency in tasks such as land preparation, planting and fertiliser application.
NEW INVESTORS, NEW HORIZONS
Aldworth reveals that the recent investment by Phatisa, a food-focused African private equity firm supported by a pool of UK and European development finance institutions, Norfund, Mbuyu Capital and DEG is a great endorsement WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
of the founding owner’s business; and shows that “the business model is an attractive business model, it shows that what we are doing is heading in the right direction and am very pleased with that.” “These are large companies which have significant expectations, and I think we can deliver on those expectations because we have an attractive business model that is also diverse with many revenue streams that take care of any risk issues that any investor may have. From our company point of view, the investment will also open up for us more opportunities in the future. These companies have exposure across the globe and if they like our business model and we are successful in our partnership with them, I can’t see the reason why that business model can’t adopted further on than just Zambia and Malawi. Certainly, we would like to see our model grow into other countries,” Aldworth informs us. He adds that it was hard work going through the due diligence but it was a great experience. “We have a fantastic people working for us, we have some really nice ideas and we interacted nicely with them, they asked a lot of questions that made us think a few times about some of our ideas in our business and we took away some learning from these discussions, some of which we could look at in future. Now, we can just focus on growing the business.”
and in Zambia, where they have entered into, revealing that they have had a few strategic thinking sessions on how to put more resources and focus on this sector. The company has done a pilot project for about 12 months where it investigated the market’s needs and challenges, after which it has created a department to focus on the sector and has employed people. “We are looking at all the emerging farmers in this country. For example, in the central and northern regions of Malawi, there are a lot of farmers who are diversifying away from crops like tobacco and so we are providing for them mechanical and irrigation solutions and agronomy services plus soil testing services. For small-scale farmers they offer smaller solutions for quarter or half hectare kits so that those farms can have access to irrigation and other technologies. “I think it is a significant market and we have some key criteria to ensure that the farmers selected have a sustainable project and have passion for the job. We also sign off take agreements with the farmer so that there is a larger player in the market who will buy their crops and we also engage with financiers to provide critical finance for equipment purchase to these farmers.” As the future beckons, he says that they are looking at boosting FES Group’s product offering, for example, new irrigation systems, sub-surface drainage systems, further expand the drones business, and boost its bulk water schemes, they also want to build dams in farming communities. “As long as it is within our core function of agriculture, we are right,” he says emphatically. He further highlights the fruits and vegetables sector in the region, which has not been fully exploited to its full capacity. “What I would want to see more of is the potential development of the export market for these crops. The infrastructure to make this happen needs some attention: cold storage at airports, hot houses during winter etc., especially in Malawi, but it is a lot more developed in Zambia. There is opportunity but I think it should be aggregated, with formal agreements with some of the larger shopping complexes instead of the current informal markets. The weather conditions in Zambia and Malawi are fantastic for growing vegetables.” His final advice to farmers in Africa? “I would encourage farmers to look around them, reevaluate and think outside the box. With farming, it is hard work, it’s sweat, it’s long hours – let’s make our assets sweat for us, spend your time and resources wisely.” he concludes
Aldworth reveals that they are looking at boosting FES Group’s product offering, for example, new irrigation systems, sub-surface drainage systems, further expand the drones business, and boost its bulk water schemes, they also want to build dams in farming communities
Aldworth believes that even as they grow beyond the borders of Malawi, there are still opportunities to impact the small scale farmers in the country WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
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Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank
TADB: FINANCING TANZANIA'S AGRICULTURAL FUTURE Raising financial resources in Africa remains one of the biggest impediments to the growth and sustainability of agriculture - especially in Tanzania, which is one of the countries with the brightest prospects to boost agricultural productivity in the Continent. Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank's Managing Director outlines how the Bank is seeking to change this narrative
COMPANY FEATURE: TADB
The transformation of Tanzania’s agriculture sector offers huge opportunities for acceleration of job creation, economic growth and poverty reduction – in a country with vast land resources, adequate water and fertile soils. Looking at key figures closely, the opportunity for Tanzania’s agriculture is vast. The East African country has 29.4 million hectares of irrigable land but only about 2% of this is irrigated. It is also endowed with over 25.8 million cattle, 17.1 million goats, 9.2 million sheep, apart from being an important producer of fruits and vegetables, cotton, coffee, tea, sisal, cereals, tobacco, nuts (such as cashew) and oilseeds such as sunflower. Further, with about 62,000 square kilometers of fresh water resources and a long coastline, all available for fisheries development, Tanzania must surely be able to feed itself, with adequate surplus to trade with the rest of the World. According to a 2019 report by the World Bank, recent positive trends, for example, a notable rise in the number of medium-scale farmers “offer a tremendous opportunity to catalyze private investment, both local and foreign, and
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raise the incomes of the poor. Since agriculture already accounts for a quarter of total GDP and two-thirds of jobs, enhanced agricultural growth must be part of the strategy to create more and better jobs and alleviate poverty,” said Bella Bird, World Bank Country Director for Tanzania. The report reiterated the importance of having supportive public policies and spending, which crowds in more private investments needed to catalyze nascent agricultural transformation in the country. According to the World Bank and analysts, Tanzania has vast potential for mechanized agriculture, aggregation and value addition, modern post-harvest management technologies and in agro-processing of its huge agricultural production that is mainly exported in raw form, leading to exportation of an estimated 100,000 or more jobs.
FACING UP TO THE CHALLENGE
One such organization that has the mandate to facilitate the growth and transformation of the agriculture sector in Tanzania is the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB).
TADB is the apex national-level Development Finance Institution (DFI) vested with the mandate of financing the agricultural sector in Tanzania. “Our role is catalysing credit delivery to agriculture and thereby accelerating the sector’s growth. Our operations are both commercial and developmental in nature, and are carried out under the provisions of Acts and Regulations governing the banking and finance sector; particularly development finance regulations administered by the Bank of Tanzania,” says the Bank’s Managing Director, Japhet Justine. Justine discloses that agriculture is an important ingredient in Tanzania’s economic and industrial transformation, adding that the country is already the breadbasket in the East African region, and has great potential to supply to other countries beyond the region as well. “With the current rate of population growth and rapid urbanization, the opportunities that Tanzanian agriculture offers are enormous. With the right investments and scale, we can sure take up the opportunity to expand and be an important supplier of agricultural and food products to the rest of Africa and beyond.” TADB, which is celebrating its 5th year anniversary in 2020, aims to facilitate the achievement of two broad goals: facilitating the attainment of sustainable food self-sufficiency and security in Tanzania; and driving the transformation of agriculture from subsistance to commercial in the country, in order to effectively and sustainably contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction. According to Justine, as a national level DFI, the Bank is responsible for leading resource mobilization initiatives for financing agriculture WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
and facilitating financial inclusion of small-scale farmers, along with leading capacity-building strategies for strengthening agriculture value chains. It plays an active role in supporting the Government to shape and implement policies for agricultural and rural transformation, with such undertakings carried out within the context of national agriculture policies, strategies and programmes, particularly the Agricultural Sector Development Programme (ASDP). He underlines that to build a lasting impact in Tanzania’s agriculture, the Bank priorities are long term in nature, with a focus on four key strategic objectives. One key strategy the Bank utilizes is facilitating greater access to inputs and mechanized technologies by small-scale farmers across the country. “Our strategy around this has been supporting farmers through their organizations by issuing short-term loans for purchase of inputs such as improved seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides; and medium term loans for purchase of mechanized technologies such as tractors, planters and combined harvesters.” The Bank also supports farmers through its credit guarantee scheme, SCGS, where it has facilitated greater access to inputs by over 1 million farmers and enabled the purchase of 73 tractors, planters and combined harvesters by farmers since its inception. The Bank’s objectives around this priority are closely intertwined with its objectives of spearheading financial inclusion of small-scale farmers and the rural sector in general. The second strategy is developing functioning markets for agricultural commodities, where the Bank supports the aggregation of harvested crops from smallholder farmers through their
THE BANK CONTINUES TO OPEN NEW LOCATION ACROSS THE COUNTRY TO MEET CONSUMER NEEDS (FAR RIGHT), IT HAS PROVIDED FUNDING FOR FARMERS TO BUY CRITICAL EQUIPMENT LIKE TRACTORS (RIGHT)
With the current rate of population growth and rapid urbanization, the opportunities that Tanzanian agriculture offers are enormous.
COMPANY FEATURE: TADB
It is important for us to develop the country’s capacity for agroprocessing as a sure way to create reliable market arrangements for smallscale farmers supplying to local processors
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associations and cooperative unions, and linking the unions with larger markets. “Our work around this priority is done in collaboration with other important players including the Tanzania Mercantile Exchange and the Warehouse Receipt Regulatory Board.” He reveals that this strategy has worked very well. In the coffee sub-sector they have revived three defunct cooperative unions in the country’s largest coffee producing region of Kagera, where, during the past three seasons starting 2018, they have injected around TZS 69 billion (about US$30 million) to support operations of the important sector. The Bank’s third priority is supporting agroprocessing and value addition of agricultural produce in the country. He explains the importance of this strategy, adding that for many years, Tanzania has been exporting raw produce to markets abroad, a situation representing huge missed opportunities in terms of the value of exports and employment. “It is important for us to develop the country’s capacity for agroprocessing as a sure way to create reliable market arrangements for small-scale farmers supplying to local processors. Our focus, therefore, is to reverse this by supporting investments in agroprocessing factories that add value to various crops. We are proud to have funded investments in over 24 agro-processing facilities in various regions across the country over the last 5 years,” he reveals. In this regard, the Bank has started to build the momentum in bringing together stakeholders in various value chains to build local capacity and drive investments in agro processing. In February 2020, the Bank had a successful forum aiming to close the demand gap in the edible oil subsector that brought together players from the banking sector, insurance companies, development partners, research institutions, input suppliers, processors, and Government ministries and agencies to discuss opportunities for developing products and appropriate policy package to attract investments in the sub-sector. Justine says that he believes that through these kinds of partnerships, TADB can work together with partners to deliver on the country’s agricultural transformation agenda. The Bank also has the priority to build the country’s capacity for irrigation agriculture, where it is working with the national body responsible for irrigation to revive some of the country’s defunct irrigation schemes, expand functioning schemes and construct new ones in various parts of the country. He reiterates that improving access to irrigated agriculture is an important initiative as far as building Tanzania’s ability to cope with the impacts of climate change
and move the country’s farmers away from rainfed agriculture.
HOW TADB OPERATES
As Tanzania’s only national level DFI focused on the agriculture sector, TADB works across the vast country, covering all the 27 regions, with a specific focus on the agro sector. To ensure that it creates broad based impact, The Bank’s approach to financing the sector is value chain based, where it implements financing and other interventions along the entire agricultural value chain, covering activities from input production and supply to agricultural production itself, aggregation, agroprocessing and trade, including export in the crop production, livestock keeping, forestry, fisheries, and aquaculture sub-sectors. To deal effectively with its broad customer base, TADB ensures that it has an understanding of the great variability of needs and the wide range of players in the different agricultural subsectors, so as to offer tailor-made products to fit different requirements. “We maintain an open door policy, whereby a customer is encouraged to meet with our Business Development team, lay out the details of their project and its specific needs and it is only then that we head to the drawing Bank to design an appropriate package that would support the undertaking at hand.” Ultimately, the specific individual or company will be supported with a package covering any of the following: financing for purchase of farming inputs; purchase of farm assets such as tractors, planters and combined harvesters; financing for construction or installation of irrigation infrastructure; or project finance if the need is to invest in agro-processing. Similarly, TADB offers a guarantee product for small-scale farmers and agro-SMEs called the Smallholder Farmers Credit Guarantee Scheme (SCGS), which offers cash guarantee covers to commercial and community banks against loans extended to smallholder farmers and agro-SMEs. The SCGS was officially launched in 2018.
FIVE YEARS OF IMPACT
The bank was formed solely for the purpose of financing the agricultural sector and is the only DFI of this nature in the East African region. Justine opines that whereas other players including commercial banks focus on purely commercial motives, TADB’s mandate requires it to deliver against the country’s developmental objectives for the agricultural sector and is thus committed to facilitating the transformation of agriculture into a commercially oriented sector capable of delivering on the nation’s food security objectives, alongside contributing to WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
About the Managing Director Japhet Justine
Good governance, digitalization and agriculture are at the core of the development agenda in Africa
Japhet Justine has an extensive experience in leading, managing and transforming retail and banking businesses at leading national and international companies. He has a Masters of Philosophy in Development Finance from the University of Stellenbosch Business School, Cape town – South Africa and a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Accounting. Before joining TADB as the Managing Director, he was the MD at Tanzania Women Bank, while he has also served regionally before as the Regional Head of Retail at BancABC in Zambia, where he successfully restructured and merged two banks - Finance Bank Zambia and BancABC - in 2016. Through his prior experience he is fully committed to changing the dialogue towards enhancing client-investor engagements in financing strategic projects, as well as mobilizing investment in Tanzania that will generate social benefits using a Mobilize, Deploy and Recycle approach. He recognizes that at the heart of this dialogue lies operating models that integrate both commercial project finance and development finance elements, which he believes are necessary not only to galvanize transformation of traditional farming systems but to also boost sustainable economic development in the country. Well rounded and grounded in banking the sector, keen about the vast opportunities in Tanzania’s agriculture potential and with a
deep passion for development, Justine believes that being the leader at TADB gives him the opportunity to deliver in sectors he holds dearly to his heart – with a purpose that aims to alleviate poverty and improve the livelihoods of Tanzanians. “Growing up in rural Tanzania, I have had the opportunity to experience both rural and urban environments. Through this, I am able to comprehend various mindsets, various challenges on the ground and fathom the opportunities present in Tanzania agriculture and beyond. Tanzania is a beautiful country that has everything from its fertile land for agriculture, industry, mining and you name it; yet so many opportunities remain untapped. This inspires me to continue the work to crowdin investors and want to develop innovative tools and programs that will allow investors to tap into these opportunities and drive the economy of Tanzania,” he reveals. A persistent and passionate dreamer with forward-looking instincts, Justine pushes his team to go beyond their limits to be innovative, to grow and collaborate in order to find solutions that will streamline internal processes and cultivate outcomes that will touch lives across the agricultural sectors in Tanzania. He adds that he is highly invested in organizational transformation – especially through digitalization – of the agriculture sector and building on partnerships to leverage on each actor’s experience and harness the much needed synergies to transform Tanzania’s agriculture. He also believes that a collaborative approach with all potential partners being involved in the sector will result in impactful and long-lasting solutions to the agriculture space, not just in Tanzania but Africa at large. He adds that good governance, digitalization and agriculture are at the core of the development agenda in Africa, and draws his inspiration from Akinmwumi Adesina, the President of the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) - admiring the work he has done for the agriculture sector in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, especially through the work at AfDB. “Now that is one person I would like to have breakfast with and exchange notes with and perhaps he can give me some tips on how I can be the first Tanzanian President of AfDB!” he reveals DECEMBER 2020
COMPANY FEATURE: TADB
Our strategy has been to develop capacity for off-take of produce as an incentive to farmers to increase production. This approach has proven highly successful.
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industrial development, economic growth and the reduction of poverty. “Given the multitude of matters and opportunities that lie in this large sector of the Tanzanian economy, we do recognize and value the contribution of other institutions – public, private, NGOS, and others - in championing the agricultural transformation agenda.” He adds that the Bank is strongly committed to working with such partners to create required synergies in delivering its mission. As the Bank commemorates its fifth year in operations, Justine discloses that they have made tremendous strides in a number of key deliverables, including lending, impact on farmers, training and capacity building and its improving access to its services in the country. In terms of lending, he reveals that TADB has issued direct loans of over TZS 183 billion (US$79 million) in the last 5 years that have financed over 150 projects, and in the process impacting over 1.7 million farmers in all regions of Tanzania. The Bank has also facilitated the issuing of over TZS 50 billion (about US$21.7 million) to over 700,000 smallholder farmers in 29 cooperatives and 19 SMEs through the guarantee product SCGS. “In just 2 years, we have managed to expand the reach of the SCGS scheme by enrolling 8 participating financial institutions including two giant lenders in the country - NMB Bank and CRDB Bank – who, together, control about half the market share of commercial lending in Tanzania.” He adds that through SCGS, the Bank, in partnership with the eight financial institutions, has provided loans worth a total of TZS 46.65 million (about US$20 million), impacting over 6,000 smallholder farmers directly. To build capacity of its stakeholders, the Bank has trained over 20,000 farmers nationwide on topics including farming as a business, governance of farmers groups, financial management and good agricultural practices. “We have also launched a financial inclusion initiative called Mfumo Jumuishi – an initiative which promotes financial inclusion of otherwise marginalized groups including smallholder farmers. Through this initiative we have successfully registered and facilitated the opening of 600,000 bank accounts for cashew nut, coffee and cotton farmers in the country.” He adds that over the last 5 years, TADB has also managed to expand its services country-wide with the introduction of its Clustering and Value Chain Financing approach, where it currently operates 4 zonal offices, with plans to expand to 6 zones in the country, bringing its services closer to its customers.
ALIGNING STRATEGY WITH THE CHALLENGES
For a sector that has experienced limited support from financial service providers for decades, not just in Tanzania but in most African countries, Justine admits that it has indeed been a steep learning curve for the Bank for the last 5 years, but he believes they have made huge strides in bringing the right focus on the agriculture sector by the government and other stakeholders. “In some instances, you would have on one hand value chains with huge opportunities but on the other, great fragmentation and asymmetry between players; a situation which dampens the available opportunities, leading to lenders shying away. A prime example of this is the oil palm value chain, which has huge opportunities for growth,” he says. “In response, our strategy has been to develop capacity for off-take of produce as an incentive to farmers to increase production. We believe that once we succeed in developing reliable off-takers, it would be easier to get a positive response from farmers in terms of increasing investments in their farm operations. This approach has proven highly successful.” He gives the example of the successful project in the Kagera region, where, starting in 2018 they facilitated off taking of all coffee from farmers by 3 previously defunct cooperative unions. “Farmers’ response has been highly positive, therefore, we are now rolling out a plan to expand production by facilitating expansion of the country’s capacity for coffee seedling production followed by a campaign for expansion of coffee production not only in Kagera but in other coffee growing regions of the country
as well. To this end, we are currently exploring opportunities to create multi-stakeholder partnerships based on interventions that will develop sustainable agricultural value chains in the sector.” He reveals that the same strategy has yielded great success in terms of financing agroprocessing factories as primary off-takers of produce from small-scale farmers, adding that TADB boasts 24 new agro-processing factories that have been funded under this strategy. “Going forward, as we plan to increase our impact, we will be looking into rolling out more innovative approaches to financing the sector including employing models such as wholesale lending through partner banks and other institutions, project co-financing and related models. In terms of institutional capacity, we continue to strive to build a learning organization guided by evidence and best practices. We continually endeavor to build capabilities in all the important areas of our operations, ranging from financial capacity to human capital, processes and systems that will enable us to create sector-wide impact consistent with the bank’s mandate and stakeholders’ expectations.” However, to deliver on its strategy has not had its setbacks. While the Bank has had great success, it has been faced with cases where they were forced to either restructure or write down some accounts where some farmer organizations fell short of their revenue expectations due to market downswings. “However, these lessons came early and we were able to salvage a good number of accounts by imposing robust monitoring measures in subsequent seasons. Our new strategy now starts with interventions on the market side and working backwards in multiWWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
stakeholder partnerships to expand farmers’ capacity to produce and facilitate linkages with other actors (agro-input suppliers, technology suppliers etc.) that can create a value chain that reliably satisfies market demand.” To adequately manage and deliver on its mandate, TADB recognizes and highly values the contribution of its people. It has therefore focused on creating multi-disciplinary teams of enthusiastic, skilled and committed professionals capable of delivering and sustaining economywide impact through targeted interventions in the agricultural and allied sectors. Justine reveals that attracting talent is a huge challenge for banks thus attraction, development and retention of the best talent is at the heart of the Bank’s human capital development programs. “To stay ahead, we offer attractive incentives and opportunities for career and personal development for all staff and strive to remain an employer of choice, where work is enjoyable and fun yet engaging and intellectually stimulating.”
DIRECT LOANS ISSUED BY TADB IN THE LAST 5 YEARS FOR OVER 150 PROJECTS, IMPACTING OVER 1.7 MILLION FARMERS IN TANZANIA
A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE IN FOCUS
According to Justine, although significant progress has been made as far as moving the agricultural agenda forward in Tanzania, some critical challenges still remain, the largest being the challenge of climate change and its adverse impact on agricultural production – especially as it disproportionately affects small-scale farmers. “The shift in weather patterns means that there is a much greater risk in smallholder agricultural production now than ever and it is imperative that all actors – public and private must now work together to implement strategies to build the resilience and adaptation capabilities of smallholder farmers against the adverse impacts of climate change.” However, he divulges that the Government of Tanzania is implementing different measures at the national level to mitigate the impact of climate change in the country, including the enactment of the National Climate Change Strategy (2012), the Agriculture Climate Resilience Plan (2014–2019), and the National Climate-Smart Agriculture Programme (2015–2025), which signify the Government’s commitment to make Tanzania’s agriculture climate-smart by 2030. The TADB has taken the lead to bring together actors in the agriculture value chain, including policy and decision makers, research institutions, civil society, farmers’ organisations, the private sector and others to mainstream climate smart agriculture in planning and executing agricultural development strategies. Further, it offers financial support for the implementation of these strategies
To stay ahead, we offer attractive incentives and opportunities for career and personal development for all staff and strive to remain an employer of choice
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Agriculture & Food
TOMATO JOS: FRESH START FOR NIGERIA'S TOMATO VALUE CHAIN Tomato Jos is involved in the growing and development of a viable local commercial tomato value chain in Nigeria â€“ a critical produce that is used widely in the cuisine of the country and West Africa region, but which is largely imported to meet rising demand. Mira Mehta, the Founder & Managing Director of the company has her an eye on the future, with a new tomato processing plant in the works and more . . .
COMPANY FEATURE: TOMATO JOS
It is said that behind every challenge or obstacle lies an opportunity. This is exactly what Mira Mehta, a Finnish/Indian and American citizen medical officer found out when she first moved to Nigeria in 2008 to work for the Clinton Foundation, and felt the desire to contribute to the development of the local tomato value chains in the country. “I used to drive around in certain areas of the country and certain times of the year and saw farmers throwing their tomatoes away. It looked like you were driving on a red carpet, because on either side of the road, it was just tomatoes for miles,” says Mira. “Farmers had lined the roads with tomatoes to dry and preserve because prices were at an all-time low,” she adds. That striking image of rotting tomatoes and yet all tomato paste consumed in Nigeria is imported from China led her to the idea of setting up Tomato Jos, an initiative that would create impact among the rural poor tomato farmers in
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northern Nigeria. It is interesting to note that as of 2008 Nigeria produced 65% of the tomatoes grown in West Africa, but interestingly, it was also the largest importer of tomato paste in the world and for Mehta, this just didn’t make sense. It was a huge problem but also an opportunity. Six years later, Mira finally decided to get a sustainable solution to the wastage the tomato farmers in Northern Nigeria were facing. She teamed up with a friend Shane Kiernan to launch Tomato Jos: a for-profit social enterprise whose mission is to make farming profitable and sustainable for smallholder farmers. In late 2014, the team set up operations in Panda, Nasarawa State, a few hours outside of Jos with the aim of selling and producing a branded tomato paste product, which are entirely made in Nigeria with tomatoes grown in Nigeria. Having built the farming side, the next step was to build the processing side. “There is a huge
work on their own farms.
BRINGING INVESTORS IN
market of tomato paste in Nigeria, it’s a huge market of US$500 million because Nigeria is so large and tomato features very prominently in our national cuisine.” For the last 6 years, Tomato Jos has been focusing on the farming side of the tomato value chain, because, as Mira informs us, without the solid foundation of farming, the tomato processing side will not work. The company had to get the farming matrix right and ensure steady and continuous supply of tomatoes to feed into the factory gets up and running. “We have three models for tomato production: the nucleus method where the company owns the commercially run operation; the model farm program in which we sublease our farm to small holder farmers and we give them a loan package comprising inputs, training, extension services and provide irrigation” Mira explains. The last model is the out-grower program, in which the farmers receive inputs, training, extension but
In May 2020, Tomato Jos secured a US$4.2m Series A funding round led by Goodwell Investments, via its West Africa partner Alitheia Capital with participation from Acumen Capital Partners and VestedWorld. The funding is meant to boost the transition of the company to its next stage of growth, which is the processing and distribution of tomato products. Tomato Jos will work with thousands of smallholder farmers on over 2,600 hectares of land, putting more than US$1 million of direct income into the local economy each year as a result of this milestone funding. “Processing has always been the plan for Tomato Jos, but to get there, we spent a long five years working only on farming and primary production to make sure that we had a really solid foundation in place”, commented Mira at the announcement of the funding round. “Everyone at the company is extremely excited to take this big step forward into the world of food processing and value-add production.” “Acumen Capital Partners is thrilled to join Tomato Jos’ investors to help the company continue to develop a world-class vertically integrated tomato processing operation in Nigeria. Tomato Jos is positioned not only to locally produce tomato paste, which is mainly imported into Nigeria, but to help Nigerian smallholder farmers increase their income by increasing their yield by 3-4x,’’ said the Managing Director of Acumen Capital Partners. A partner at Alitheia, Mobola da-Silva commented, ‘’Tomato Jos has chosen the right market, business model, and management to succeed as a truly inclusive business within this management. As an agro-processing company that sources from local smallholder farmers and provides access to finance in the form of farming inputs to farmers, Tomato Jos is a good fit for uMunyhu’s inclusive strategy of investing in agribusiness.’’ A lot of businesses in Africa find it difficult to attract investors, especially startups. How did Mira manage to convince investors to pump money into the project? Mira, who considers herself a Nigerian and not as an American, her country of birth, says that she sees Nigeria to be a huge market for now and in the foreseeable future. She explained how she was able to fundraise to meet the needs of her expansion plans for the company. “One thing that is important for everybody is to have a large addressable market. The fact that I am doing this in Nigeria and not in Burundi
The striking image of rotting tomatoes and yet all tomato paste consumed in Nigeria is imported from China led her to the idea of setting up Tomato Jos
COMPANY FEATURE: TOMATO JOS
A lot of what I have done is to try and cultivate relationships with the lead investors who ended up investing in our business
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or Ghana or somewhere else is something that draws attention because there is a truly clear large market, and it is a clear opportunity. The other important thing is for the entrepreneur to demonstrate their focus and their commitment,” she explains. “The third thing that is especially important for entrepreneurs is knowing that somebody who is telling you no today may be a just a few years from saying yes. A lot of what I have done is to try and cultivate relationships with the lead investors who ended up investing in our business. I talked them to invest in my business in 2017, but they said it was too early stage and I said, “Ok, lets have quarterly calls and I will keep you posted on how we are progressing.” Two years later, when I invited them for an investor day, they already had some ideas of what I was doing and it was easier for them to start thinking of how to invest in us,” Mira stressed. “The last thing is if you want to raise equity money, you must give up ownership, figure out of yourself what is the right balance of how much do you want to grow and how much are you willing to give up in order to get that growth.” A board of five people runs the company. “I am not the sole decision maker anymore and that makes investors that much important because you have to say I am bringing somebody on the table who has veto power on major decisions. I need to know if we have same values and that we are going to at least be able to have constructive conversations and bring something to the table as a decision maker. And I think those are the things for me that have helped to make this happen” Pressed on what drove to move from her medical profession to agriculture and food industry, Mira explains that it is her desire to help people and her family history in business that made her see the opportunities in the tomato value chain in Nigeria. “I moved to Nigeria in 2008 to work for the Clinton Foundation in HIV related work and I felt this underlying desire to help people and give people more opportunities.
Through my work at the Foundation, where I worked for four years, I started to realize that helping people broadly was just one aspect of what I really cared about” “So, one of the first things we want to do is just get that logistics right. Make sure we can run at full capacity, able to do the things that can make this factory profitable. This small factory will only be able to produce less than 1% of the total requirement for the country. Even if it is huge for us, it is small compared to this country. So, the first step is just how to get the process right. The second step is for us to steer the process we envision being a brand with 10% of the market share of the country and that means we will have to grow significantly. We will need more farmers, large factory equipment and of course more marketing and distribution so that is the five-year goal. The short-term goal is to get this factory to work,” explains Mehta. One of the challenges Tomato Jos has to grapple with is low productivity of tomatoes in Nigeria, which are averaging 5 tons per hectare against global average of 35 tons per hectare but this being addressed through capacity of the farmers and already a dramatic shift in productivity which will translate to higher profitability for the farmers and a much larger stream of tomatoes for the factory.
TOMATO IS BIG IN NIGERIA
Nigeria is Africa’s number 2 tomato producer and largest importer and is part of the western Africa belt, where one of the popular cuisines is jollof rice, which contains rice, tomatoes and spices curry powder, thyme pepper and onions. The other popular dish is called stew, usually red stew consumed with white rice, plus a lot of spices, tomatoes, oil, onion and spice curry powder and pepper. Often time’s people use tomatoes in addition to tomato paste in local dishes across the region. When tomatoes are too expensive, they use tomato paste only. Most families in the region consume jollof rice and stew dishes frequently, which is the
FUNDING RECEIVED BY TOMATO JOS IN 2020 IN SERIES A FUNDING TO ENABLE THE COMPANY TRANSITION TO PROCESSING TOMATOES
driving force behind the huge demand for tomato paste in Nigeria and the region at large. One of the biggest challenges the company is facing is infrastructure. “We don’t have regular power and water, forcing us to do boreholes and get power from generators. You have to do these things by yourself. So, it’s not the same kind of infrastructure that you can get in another country,” says Mira. “In future the other challenge is going to be maintenance. There is a lot of expensive equipment and we want to make sure that this equipment lasts us for many years. We have seen other businesses and government businesses really struggle as they will buy real great equipment, but they do not maintain it very well and in 5 years the equipment is no longer running at all or at low capacity. So, we need to watch out for that,” Mira adds.
BUILDING LOCAL CAPACITY
Mira advices that with the plunging oil prices across the globe, economies that heavily rely on oil, like Nigeria, may need to rethink their strategies by encouraging investments in other sectors that can create economic opportunities among the rural poor populations. The investments by Tomato Jos in the tomato farming and now, processing, fits squarely in the government of Nigeria’s strategies to reduce imports of critical food products such as sugar, WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
rice, cassava and tomatoes. “I really believe that Nigeria can diversify away from oil and one area that I struggle with is a lot of non-profit or for-profit organizations focus on the need to reach some magic number of farmers. For me, the reason why our company is so impactful is sustaining on enormous change in people’s incomes for some of the farmers in our programs. That has a huge knock on effect across the whole community,” she explains. “They say there is a ten times multiplier for every dollar spent in a rural area. So one of the challenges I face and one of the things that has prevented me from getting UN funding or other investors is the fact that I am not willing ‘to say my goal is to reach 10,000 farmers.” “My goal is to reach a thousand of farmers and to give them ten times change of their income. This will dramatically change their lives forever and I believe this is more impactful than the broader approaches that are more marginal. This makes me a bit more different and sometimes unpopular because it’s a different kind of rhetoric but at the end of the day if I consistently speak that message and if my farmers and my team consistently demonstrate what that impact looks actually shift not just the poverty level in our area of work but we can also impact in just as impactful and I think to me that would be huge services,” she concludes
My goal is to reach a thousand of farmers and to give them ten times change of their income. This will dramatically change their lives forever
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HEWA TELE: BOOSTING OXYGEN SUPPLIES TO KENYA'S HEALTHCARE SYSTEM As the Covid-19 pandemic ravages the World, the need and relevance of oxygen in human health has become one of the most important commodities. Hewa Tele, a social enterprise that provides oxygen to medical institutions has become critical to the current and the future of healthcare in Kenya and the region.
COMPANY FEATURE: HEWA TELE
DR. BERNARD OLAYO (RIGHT) &DR. STEPHEN ADUDANS (LEFT) ARE COMMITTED TO ENSURE ADEQUATE OXYGEN SUPPLY TO BOTH PRIVATE AND PUBLIC HOSPITALS IN KENYA
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Not many people get their names mentioned by US billionaire Bill Gates, leave alone make it to his Heroes in the Field listing. Since 2017, only 23 individuals have made it to this honourable list that includes some of the most impactful people who, through their actions, are making a change in the public health sphere across the World. Dr. Bernard Olayo, a doctor and the Founder & Executive Chairman of The Center for Public Health and Development (CPHD), a non-profit organization based in Nairobi, Kenya, is one of them. A rare accolade for a man who grew up near the edges of River Yala that transverses Western Kenya, as it rolls slowly into Lake Victoria – and bringing with it multitudes of illnesses, including malaria and pneumonia, that pervade the lake basin region – killing thousands of young people and adults alike in its wake every year. For Dr. Olayo, making it to Bill Gates list in 2019, is an important accolade and a great way to recognize the work he and his company have been doing in Kenya; but the greater recognition is the many thousands of lives that they are saving every year through their Hewa Tele program, which continues to make all the difference across Kenya.
OXYGEN IS VITAL FOR HEALTH
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause
loss of lives and livelihoods across Africa and the World, one often talked about remedy to managing the pandemic has been oxygen. Critical in helping manage this debilitating disease especially in a resource poor continent like Africa, the need and importance of oxygen in oxygen in Africa has taken a new dimension with the emergence of Covid-19, and yet it is one of the key elements that continue to hinder the delivery of proper healthcare across the Continent. Hewa Tele is a social enterprise with a mandate to supply oxygen to needy patients in public and private hospitals in Kenya. Established in 2013, following an assessment in Western Kenya that showed a huge unfulfilled need for medical oxygen in the region, Hewa Tele, which means ‘abundant air’ in Kiswahili, and its affiliate Mediquip Global, support the provision of healthcare by providing affordable oxygen, building essential infrastructure and training healthcare professionals for effective health service provision in Kenya. “The Hewa Tele name talks about our mission, which was set up as an enterprise that would help to bridge the oxygen gap in hospitals in sub-Saharan Africa. Oxygen is an essential medicine, and if you don’t get it, especially if you have a disease that compromises the function of your lungs, for example pneumonia and most recently, Covid-19, you will end up with many
people dying. Our goal is to contribute towards saving these lives through this technology,” Dr. Olayo informs us. “The gap when we started was huge, and close to half of the children in a setting where the doctor has made a prescription that a child needs oxygen in Kenya do not receive oxygen. That gap is so big that in hospitals, they ration oxygen. You are given oxygen when you are critically ill and about to die, and therefore people associate the administration of oxygen with death. That’s why in most of our rural hospitals when you put oxygen on children the parents remove it, because they don’t want their children to die. Most of our hospitals below the provincial level barely have enough supply of oxygen every day,” Dr. Olayo explains, adding that oxygen is an essential medicine that should be available at all health facilities in Kenya and the region. Dr. Stephen Adudans, who is the Executive Director at CPHD, adds that providing oxygen in the region faces many challenges. “There are three things that make oxygen very critical when it comes to what we are doing. The first is access. One out of 5 newborns that come to our health facilities in sub-Saharan Africa and especially in Kenya will require oxygen, but almost half of them will not get it. Second is affordability. Oxygen is expensive because of the ways that we manufacture it and also because of the terrain we have in sub-Saharan Africa, the cost of distributing it makes it quite expensive. The last issue is safety. Oxygen is a drug, it is a medicine, if it is given in the right way it can be therapeutic but if it is not monitored well, it can cause problems. Babies who are given oxygen within the first days of birth can go blind, therefore oxygen has to be given in a safe manner. We ensure the safety of oxygen by using simple technologies, where we monitor how much oxygen is in the blood and ensure that we are able to stop administering it when the patient has had enough of it.” Providing more information on the affordability issue, Dr. Olayo informs us that African healthcare facilities are faced with higher prices compared to global prices for medical oxygen. “A litre of oxygen in Sub-Saharan Africa costs roughly 13 times what it costs in Northern America and 10 times what it costs in Europe,” explaining that while African countries are generally poor, they are paying more than their richer global counterparts for the same commodity. “Our role is to try and work with governments and hospitals to try reduce that price. We have cut our prices by close to half of the prevailing market and we want to continue reducing the prices as we build our economies of scale and build more plants and efficiencies.
“The challenges with providing oxygen are further compounded by lack of training in the administration of oxygen in the hospitals in the region. These are the 3 major gaps we have seen and want to address.” Dr. Olayo reveals that oxygen being an made an essential drug was only recently given more impetus in 2017, when the World Health Organisation (WHO) decided to enlist it as an essential drug, just like others, meaning that “oxygen has to be available at all levels of care, which is a huge task for the government and for other private sector players.”
WORKING WITH PARTNERS
The Center has been operating for the past several years in East Africa to improve healthcare systems through the provision of infrastructure and training programs to complement government efrorts and investments in the region. CPHD’s award-winning Hewa Tele concept was set up in 2013 and in September 2014, it opened its first oxygen plant at the Siaya Referral Hospital, the main government facility in Siaya County in Western Kenya, in partnership with the hospital, the GE Foundation and Frog Design. The plant, which is fully operational, distributes oxygen to over 10 countries, reaching more than 3 million people in Western Kenya. “We operate a milkman model, where we set a large plant within the busiest hospital in the region, where we produce oxygen for that hospital and then we distribute the oxygen to between 5060 other health facilities within a radius of 100 miles or 160 kilometers,” Dr. Olayo enlightens us. The second plant is located at the former Nakuru Provincial General Hospital and a third one is at at the Mama Lucy Kibaki Hospital in Nairobi. He reveals that the 3 plants have enabled Hewa Tele to meet the needs of almost 156 facilities on a monthly basis. Dr. Adudans informed us that at the facilities, they have adopted the pressure swing adsorption technology of purifying oxygen gas from the air, which relies on a simple technique that is also less costly. “We use a naturally occurring salt called Zeolite, which has a unique property of getting attached to nitrogen at high pressure and temperature.” This approach entails passing cleansed air through a seedbed full of Zeolite at high temperature and pressure, which takes out nitrogen in the air, resulting in a relatively high concentration of oxygen, about 95%. The oxygen is then compressed at a pressure of 2000 psi or 170 bars before it is packaged in cylinders for delivery to healthcare facilities in the region. Once delivered at the hospital, CPHD ensures that the right infrastructure is in place
The Hewa Tele name talks about our mission, which was set up as an enterprise that would help to bridge the oxygen gap in hospitals in subSaharan Africa. Oxygen is an essential medicine
COMPANY FEATURE: HEWA TELE
HEWA TELE INSTALS AND MAINTAINS THE OXYGEN PLANTS TO ENSURE OPTIMUM UTILISATION AND EFFICIENCY.
I’ll attribute our success to quantifying the program for the government, for them to see the gap in their system and also for them to estimate potential savings that would arise if they go through with the project
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to administer the oxygen to patients using the right tools and with patient safety in mind. “We can have a lot of oxygen available but if it’s not safety administered to the patients, then there is no need for it. At the hospital, we must have the right piping system, which is very crucial to ensure there is safe delivery of oxygen to patients. One very vital thing is monitoring the amount of oxygen in the blood of the patient because oxygen can also be injurious to the body.” Dr. Adudans reiterates the critical role oxygen has in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic, explaining that approximately 80% of those with the disease will be asymptomatic and they will never know they had the disease, because they will not develop any symptoms. Another 15% will have some kind of clinical presentation or mild symptoms, while about 5% will have severe symptoms. “Those with severe symptoms will require oxygen treatment, and if the application of oxygen starts early, we can actually save their lives, without the need for ventilators. My worry is that as a country we have less than 500 functional ventilators. If the number of severe cases go up, we won’t be able to serve them, but if we are able to catch them early, we can put them under oxygen and save their lives.”
PARTNERSHIPS THAT WORK
The operationalization of the Hewa Tele oxygen plants requires a synchronized partnership arrangement between CPHD and the hospitals in which they are built and the entire healthcare system in the region the plant serves. “The type of approach we used is what we call in public-private partnership field as buildoperate-transfer (BOP). I’ll attribute our success to quantifying the program for the government, for them to see the gap in their system and also for them to estimate potential savings that would arise if they go through with the project. We are not asking hospitals to seek more budgetary allocation; we are saying that we will offer oxygen at a cheaper price. The savings they make should in turn be allocated to us. For example if they used to buy a cylinder of oxygen at KSH. 4500 (approximately US$45) and we sell it to them at about KSH. 2500 (US$25), the money on top should be allocated to our oxygen eco-system. It was difficult for the first project but simpler for the consequent ones,” Dr. Olayo divulges. However, he reckons that the three plants are not adequate to service the huge needs of the healthcare system in the country, adding that they are seeking more partners to enable them deliver more of such plants across the country. “If we were to setup what we would consider our model plant that can serve between 50-
60 facilities within a radius of 100 miles in Kenya, that has cylinders, distribution trucks and everything else right, we would need to raise capital of around US$1 million (KSH. 100million). Getting such amount for us is very difficult since we are a small organization. If we had no capital limitations we would in the next 3 years expand in Kenya into five high priority areas, where the need is there but is not met adequately, including Mombasa, the Mt. Kenya region, the Meru-Isiolo area, Bungoma county in Western Kenya and in the northern region of Kenya, around Garissa. With 5-10 more plants, we can actually meet the need for oxygen in this country,” he assures.
CAPACITY AND RESOURCE GAP
Considering the huge gap between the demand and supply situation of oxygen in the country, Dr. Olayo asserts that the issue of having the right technical knowledge is key to delivering on their mandate, revealing that Hewa Tele is a system that serves the needs of the people across the country because of its focus on delivering WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
be imported into the country from overseas due to lack of a local supplier of the specialized cylinders, increase complexity and raise the cost of healthcare in the country. On whether the Hewa Tele system can be easily adopted in most African countries, Dr. Olayo reveals that the healthcare systems in many African countries are saddled with lack of vital resources, including oxygen. “If you have a good idea you would hope that you can go all over the place and replicate this system anywhere, but public health does not work like that. It requires that other people copy your good idea and then they can go and replicate the idea in their own country or region - may be with some advice from you. That way, the concept can grow much faster,” he warns. He updates us that similar ideas have been replicated in Ethiopia and Rwanda and that there are conversations with counterparts in Nigeria to establish the same. The Centre plans to scale up its operations in Uganda, potentially in northern Tanzania and maybe Malawi. “We see two approaches; one where we can directly set up more plants in these places, and the second one is where we shall give templates or playbooks to other partners to set up plants using their own resources.”
COVID-19 AS AN OPPORTUNITY
oxygen safely and affordably, while working with the right partners and dedicated staff, but the challenge comes in setting the eco-system. “If you look at the nature of raw materials you need to produce oxygen, then you will think it is easy to set up a good plant. The raw material here is air and it differs from area to area; some places are humid, while others are dry and therefore require different types of adjustments on the plant. Most people go for off-the shelf plants and thus incur more costs in adjusting them to suit their environments. Also, there is the problem of availability of skills, whether it is in maintaining or assembling the plant.” He explains that working with government agencies has its fair share of challenges, especially in terms of delayed payments and challenges in having the procurement of oxygen being given the urgency and priority it deserves, all the time. Further, higher costs of electricity in the country negates their focus on delivering affordable oxygen to the hospitals in the country; plus the high costs and supply chain inefficiencies due to the fact that oxygen cylinders have to WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Dr. Olayo asserts that the Covid-19 pandemic has provided Africa with the opportunity to improve its healthcare systems, including building up the capacity to locally manufacture equipment and spare parts. “The pandemic showed everybody the importance of having a functional health system, not just one that treats people but also one that prevents spread of diseases. It has been a time to rethink about our health system and how important it is. We now know that if we don’t prepare measures to control pandemics and epidemics, we can lose a whole school year, airlines can shut down, money can lose 10% of its value and the tourism sector can shut down. Previously it wasn’t clear. This is the second lesson after the 2014-2015 Ebola pandemic.” “In the future, as Hewa Tele, we feel there is an opportunity for the government to actually invest more into health and not just depend on donor funding and that way we can build a sustainable, resilient system that can withstand another pandemic. If you look at the history of public health, pandemics have become more frequent in the last 20 years. We would be foolish if we don’t learn from this and prepare. We don’t know when the next one will come,” he concludes
COST OF SETTING UP AN OXYGEN PLANT WITH ADEQUATE CYLINDERS AND DISTRIBUTION INFRASTRUCTURE TO SERVE 50-60 HOSPITALS
The operation of the Hewa Tele oxygen plants requires a synchronized partnership arrangement between CPHD and the hospitals in which they are built
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GHANA: THE EMERGING POWERHOUSE OF WEST AFRICA The west African nation of Ghana has become an important business location in the region, riding on its peace and tranquility over the last few decades and a deep human resource. Recent discoveries and exploitation of mining, oil and gas resources have boosted the opportunities in Ghana that are worth any investor's focus.
COUNTRY FOCUS:: GHANA
THE BRITISH MULTINATIONAL TULLOW IS ONE OF THE MAIN PLAYERS IN GHANA'S THRIVING OIL SECTOR. LOCAL FIRMS ARE NOT LEFT BEHIND.
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Ghana has achieved so much in very many fronts that it would be impossible to talk about SubSaharan Africa without mentioning it. With a population that is slightly over 31 million, Ghana is emerging as an economic powerhouse in West Africa, giving Nigeria (Africa’s largest economy) a run for its money. According to data from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Ghana overtook Nigeria as West Africa’s one of the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) destinations in West Africa, attracting US$2.319 billion in 2019 US$3.3 billion against Nigeria’s US$3.299 billion. According to the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC), despite of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, Ghana attracted total FDI of US$785.62 million during the first half of 2020, a 409% increase compared to the same period in 2019, further underscoring Ghana’s economic resilience. Ghana’s rise to prominence in Africa’s economic scene is anchored on its predictable political environment, abundant resources and hard working and well learned population that have reignited investor confidence to invest in the country’s economy.
The government of Ghana has taken steps to improve ease of doing business by shifting to e-government services, advancing digitisation, introducing tax reductions, streamlining regulations, and reducing waste and corruption. Ghana’s relative political and economic stability and the promising future offered by the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is headquartered in the country, make Ghana an attractive destination for investors seeking to tap into the over US$1.1 trillion African market.
The finance sector is the largest and most robust among the services sector, directly accounting for about 10% of the country’s total GDP. Before 2017, Ghana’s finance sector was in “considerable state of distress” characterized by severe challenges with solvency, liquidity and asset quality. A clean-up campaign by the Bank of Ghana in 2017 however created a leaner and well-capitalised industry able to greatly finance the country’s economic growth, which resulted in reducing the number of universal banks from 35 to just 23. According to 2019 financial results, the top WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
financial sector and it would be safe to say that the future of banking in Ghana is digital. In the digital space, a lot of opportunities still exist which can be tapped into to spur further growth. For instance, at least 40% of Ghana’s population is still underbanked, which presents a huge opportunity that can be leveraged to create more business. Another opportunity for investment is in the cyber security space. Shift to digital banking has created new security vulnerabilities in the banking sector necessitating greater investment in cyber security in order to secure deposits and prevent online fraud. Ghana’s expanding economic sectors, particularly manufacturing, mining and services are also expected to continue creating a high demand for various financial services, catalysing further growth in the sector.
TOURISM AND HOSPITALITY
5 banks in Ghana by asset value are Ecobank Ghana (US$2.27 billion), Absa Ghana (US$2.18 billion), Ghana Commercial Bank (US$2.16 billion), Zenith Bank (US$1.21 billion) and Consolidated Bank of Ghana (US$1.19 billion). Ghana Commercial Bank, with a market share of about 14% and a network of 160 branches, is however, the biggest bank by branch and customer numbers. During the recent past, Ghana has also experienced an explosion in mobile banking as more and more citizens gain access to smart phones. Today, Ghana is the fastest-growing mobile money market in Africa, with registered accounts increasing six-fold between 2012 and 2017. The growth in mobile money catalysed other initiatives such as agency banking which also grew 25-fold between 2012 and 2017 in response to a need to provide users more cash-in and cash-out opportunities. Data from the Bank of Ghana reveal that mobile money is the most popular form of transaction with over 226 million transactions valued at US$7.79 billion being transacted in the one-year period ending June 2019. The explosion of digital banking has transformed Ghana’s
With the likes of Morocco, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya and Seychelles dominating Africa’s tourism industry, Ghana would be an unlikely destination of choice for many. That however does not mean that this West Africa is lacking when it comes to tourist attraction sites. From the spectacular sceneries of Canopy walkway in Kakum National Park to the historical slave castle of Cape Coast Castle, Ghana has a decent mixture of attractions that promise to capture the heart of every visitor. The country’s rich culture is a tourist attraction on its own. Annual traditional festivals such as the Apoo Festival and Aboakyer Festival are still major events in Ghana, attracting hundreds or locals and foreign tourists. On assuming power, President Nana AkufoAddo promised to make tourism a priority sector given its potential to create employment. He put Ghana’s tourism on an upward pedestal when he announced 2019 as the Year of Return, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of African slaves in America. The flurry of activities centred on this event attracted tourists from all over the world. Tourists from US increased by 26%, those from UK by 21% and those from Germany increased by 22% - the largest increase of tourist numbers to be ever recorded in Ghana’s recent history. To augment the gains of the Year of Return, the Ghana Tourism Agency has enhanced on efforts to market the country in international markets, activities that have catapulted Ghana as an important tourist destination, with the sector’s growth promising. The growing tourism sector has rejuvenated the hospitality sector with the unveiling of new world-class hotels in Accra. Some of the recently
The operation of the Hewa Tele oxygen plants requires a synchronized partnership arrangement between CPHD and the hospitals in which they are built
COUNTRY FOCUS:: GHANA
THE MINING SECTOR HAS BECOME A KEY DRIVER OF GHANA'S ECONOMY. THE COUNTRY IS THE LARGEST GOLD PRODUCER IN AFRICA. OVERTAKING SOUTH AFRICA IN 2019
launched luxury hotels include the 269-room Kempinski Gold Coast 5 star hotel, the 208-room Accra Marriott Hotel and the Ascott 1 Oxford Street Hotel. Most hotels are being developed in the country’s capital Accra, with much of country lacking necessary hotel amenities for tourists. As Ghana continues to market itself as a leading tourist destination, the demand for hotel facilities, particularly in regions outside Accra, which are underserved are expected to exponentially rise, present a new growth opportunity for the hospitality sector.
4M NUMBER OF FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC FLIGHT PASSENGERS IN GHANA IN A YEAR, A GROWTH OF MORE THAN 300% IN 10 YEARS 78 AFRICA INC.
Ghana’s healthcare sector is one of the most advanced in West Africa and is comprised of a mixture of public and private health institutions. Most of the healthcare services are provided by public hospitals (60%), with private hospitals catering for 40% of the population. The expanding population is, however, creating a demand for health services that public hospitals cannot adequately cater for. This has led to the rise in the number of private hospitals throughout the country. A number of these institutions have attracted funding from international investors to expand services in response to the uptick in demand for healthcare. Nyaho Medical Center recently secured a US$5.2 million facility from the IFC to augment their operations in Accra and to expand into other parts of Ghana. A few months later, Ghanaian health-tech company, mPharma
raised $17M from CDC and others to expand its work of connecting Africans to affordable quality prescription drugs. Speaking of prescription drugs, Ghana has one of the most vibrant pharmaceutical manufacturing sectors in West Africa. The government has thrown its weight behind the over US$1 billion industry, reducing tariffs on pharmaceutical inputs by 30%. The government is also actively advocating for regional integration around pharmaceutical imports within ECOWAS to make it easier for pharmaceutical companies to trade across borders in a potentially expanded market. Overall, demand for private care is growing, along with the middle class, opening up opportunities for private product and service development. In addition, the provision of health insurance, as well as the import, distribution and production of pharmaceuticals, are segments that present opportunities for investors.
TRANSPORT AND LOGISTICS
Road currently dominates Ghana’s transport sector, accounting for 98% of all freight and 95% of all passenger traffic in the country. The road infrastructure is developed and maintained by the government through various departments, most notably Ghana Highways Authority. Ghana being a developing nation, majority of its people rely on public means to get around. Buses and mini-buses are the mainstay of this transport, moving about 60% of the entire WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
population on a daily basis. In 2019, Scania West Africa introduced a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system comprised of 245 buses in one of Accra’s main transport corridor which proved to be a success, presenting a model that could be replicated in other Accra transport corridors and eventually to the entire country. Demand for comfortable public transport has also attracted ride-hailing companies to Ghana. Uber was the first to launch in 2016 and its success attracted Bolt to the country and now China’s Yango has set up shop, as well. Railway transport has experienced a new impetus for growth under President Nana Akufo-Addo’s government. Rehabilitation works of the 947-km narrow gauge railway have already begun in earnest with restoration of passenger rail service beginning for the first time since 2007. Furthermore, Ghana is launching a standard gauge railway to modernize and increase the speed and efficiency of its rail network. In October 2020, the government launched the construction of the 83.5-kilometre standard gauge railway line from Kumasi to Obuasi, a project that followed the inauguration of a 15-kilometre standard gauge railway connecting Sekondi with Takoradi via Kojokrom. A major opportunity in Ghana’s rail sector is in the future privatization of the railway management. The government has plans to concession the eastern, western, and central railway lines to competent partners for a period of 25 years. Aviation in Ghana is rapidly expanding with passenger numbers growing by almost 300% within a period of just 10 years. Today, at least 4 million passengers both local and foreign, use Ghanaian airports annually. Domestic air travel is particularly expanding at a faster rate thanks to improved airport infrastructure and a growing domestic tourism market. According to data from Ghana Civil Aviation Authority, the domestic aviation market expanded by 40% in 2019, thanks to passengers increasing from 415,000 in 2018 to 690,000 in 2019 alone. The rapidly expanding aviation sector has made the unveiling of a national flag carrier one of the priorities of the Ghanaian authorities. To this end, the government has partnered with EgyptAir to launch a national carrier. A memorandum of understanding has also been signed with Boeing for the manufacture of three 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft to help take Ghana back to the skies. As the nation awaits its national carrier, a number of vibrant local airlines have been filling the void. Africa World Airline, Ghana’s largest local airline accounting for over 13%
of local capacity, has for instance been taking thousands of Ghanaians to the air, launching flights to all of Ghana’s 3 major airports and even to international destinations such as Nigeria and Ivory Coast. International airlines, however, account for the bulk of Ghana’s air passengers. Some of the major airlines flying into the country include Emirates, Qatar Airways, Egypt Air, Kenya Airways, Ethiopian, and KLM among others. Expansion in the domestic market, coupled with improved airport infrastructure presents a great opportunity for investment in Ghana’s aviation sector. Ghana’s rapidly expanding manufacturing and hydrocarbons sector presents good news for the transport and logistics sector, while the uptick in manufacturing and industrial base, presenting further opportunities for the sector.
MANUFACTURING & RETAIL
Ghana’s manufacturing sector has been rapidly expanding in the recent past thanks to supportive policies and initiatives from the government. The 1-District-1-Factory Initiative, which is President Nana Akufo-Addo’s initiative aimed at turning the country into a middle-income industrialized country, has been one of the highlights, providing incentives such as tax breaks for private sector players to set up factories and facilities in each of Ghana’s districts. It has seen the establishment of over 76 factories in the country since its launch in 2016, according to the government. The US$77.26 million Twyford Ceramics factory in Shama District, the US$15 million
LOCAL VALUE ADDITION IS A PRIORITY IN GHANA, TO IMPROVE THE INCOMES TO FARMERS AND BOOST LOCAL ECONOMY.
Expansion in the domestic market, coupled with improved airport infrastructure presents a great opportunity for investment in Ghana’s aviation sector
COUNTRY FOCUS:: GHANA
Over a decade, Ghana has been able to add over 230,000 square meters of mall space. This is a significant feat given that 12 years ago, the country did not even have a single mall
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Ekimufi Factory in Ekimufi, and the US$28 million Kasapreko beverage factory are some of the large manufacturing plants created out of this initiative. The 1D1F initiative projected to have 238 projects in total, opening opportunities for the establishment of more factories in underserved districts. Apart from the 1D1F initiative, Ghana has also aggressively pursued an automotive development policy aimed at making the country a fully integrated and competitive industrial hub for the automotive industry in West Africa, with the project already bearing fruits. In August 2020, the President presided over the commissioning of Volkswagen’s vehicle assembly facility in Accra, while two other automakers, Nissan and Toyota, have also signed MoUs with the government for establishment of vehicle assemblies in the country. Riding on the economic tide that Ghana has been experiencing in the recent past, the retail sector in the country has been rapidly expanding. Melcom, one of the country’s oldest and largest supermarkets has been rapidly expanding, and currently boasts of over 42 branches. The country’s increasingly attractive retail sector has also attracted foreign retailers most notably Game and Shoprite - all from South Africa. Game has 4 stores in the capital while Shoprite has a total of 10. Ghana, like much of Africa, is also experiencing a boom in mall development. In just
over a decade, Ghana has been able to add over 230,000 square meters of mall space, according to international real estate group, JLL. This is a significant feat given that 12 years ago, the country did not even have a single mall. Today, malls are sprouting all over Ghana, attracting thousands of shoppers and further driving growth in the retail sector. The West Hill Mall is the largest and most popular of them all. According to the developer, the investment firm Actis, the mall attracts over 1.2 million visitors in a year, further underscoring the potential of these establishments in driving Ghana’s retail sector. According to Market Research, the Ghana retail industry market was valued US$311.7 million in 2018 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.6% to reach US$927.29 million by 2026, while the World Bank estimates the household final consumption expenditure has grown by 11.3% over the last three years. With a population that ranks 48th in the world and continues to grow at an annual rate of 2%, Ghana’s retail sector is expected to continue on the upward trajectory, attracting investors both local and international in its wake.
MINING, OIL AND GAS
The mining sector plays an important role in the Ghanaian economy, attracting more than half of all foreign direct investment (FDI) while generating more than one-third of all export revenues. It is the largest tax-paying sector in the
country and makes a significant contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) and employment creation. Among the minerals, gold is by far the most important, contributing over 95% of the country’s total mineral revenue. Foreign firms today largely control the sector with the government maintaining a 10% stake in all active companies. Ghana is the top gold producer in Africa and No. 7 in the World, overtaking South Africa in 2019 with a reported 142.4 tonnes of gold, as key producers move from South Africa to the country, attracted by cheaper and easier to mine deposits. Some of the major players in the industry include US-based Newmont Mining Corporation, South Africa’s Gold Fields Ghana and AngloGold Ashanti, and Canada’s Golden Star Resources. According to World Bank, small-scale miners still play an important role in the gold mining sector, accounting for about 35% of the nation’s total output. The government has worked on regularizing the sector, introducing new laws that miners had to meet and eventually lifting the ban on the trade in December 2018. Investments in the sector are increasing. In 2018, AngloGold Ashanti invested about US$500 million to recapitalise its iconic Obuasi mine in Ghana into a modern, mechanised mine that will produce, on average, 350,000-400,000 ounces of gold per year. The following year, Newmont Goldcorp invested about US$160 million to upgrade its goldmine at the Ahafo mine, to
increase average annual gold production at the mine by between 75,000 and 100,000 ounces for the first five years, starting in 2020. The capital injections into the sector are testament to its potential for growth, with companies expected to continue investing in their mines to ramp up production and reduce operational costs – as they seek to take advantage of recent rise in gold prices amid COVID-19 pandemic. Fitch Solutions forecasts gold production in Ghana to achieve substantial growth in 2021 on the back of the achievement of steady operations at Phase 2 of AngloGold Ashanti’s Obuasi Project. A recent conflict concerning Ghana’s gold royalty fund’s listing on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) however poses a policy uncertainty in the Ghanaian mining sector in the near term and may affect future investments in the sector Apart from gold, Ghana also has considerable deposits of bauxite and manganese. Increased demand for these minerals particularly from China has renewed investor interest and resulted in increased investments into the sector. In 2016 for instance, Chinese company TMI acquired a 90% stake in the Ghana Manganese Company and injected substantial capital into the company, modernizing equipment and expanding operations. With increased capacity, Ghana was able to export 5.05 million tonnes of manganese in 2019, a 5-fold rise compared to the 1 million exported prior to 2016. Ghana’s manganese is highly sought after in the international market given its relatively high manganese-to-iron ratio. According to Roskil, Ghanaian ore is particularly in high demand as a feedstock for the production of electrolytic manganese metal, a factor that will provide incentives for future investment in the sector. Bauxite has also attracted considerable investor interest particularly from China. In 2018, China signed an MoU with Ghana that will see up to US$15 billion injected into bauxite mining, refining and also into supporting infrastructure including a railway line. Ghana is a one of the African countries to join the exploration of oil and gas in the recent decade. Until 2007, the country was nowhere among the list of Africa’s oil producers. The discovery of oil in 2007 and its commercialization in 2009, however, put Ghana on a new growth pedestal. In 2011, thanks to the new oil boom, Ghana with an annual growth rate of 11% was the fastest growing nation in the World. Oil has overtaken cocoa as the as the country's second biggest foreign exchange earner. With an estimated oil reserves of about 7 billion barrels of oil, Ghana’s black gold is not about to run out
Ghana has aggressively pursued an automotive development policy aimed at making the country a fully integrated and competitive industrial hub for the automotive industry in West Africa
COUNTRY FOCUS:: GHANA
soon and it is attracting a number of international and local oil companies. Kosmos Energy, Tullow Oil Ghana and Anadarko are some of the industry’s major players. Government-owned Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) is also a chief player in the sector, controlling a stake of 13-15% in all the three oil fields that are currently active. The success of Ghana’s three oil-producing areas has caught the attention of international hydrocarbons players such as Eni, ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Texaco and Tap Oil, heralding opportunities for further growth in the sector. However, with major oil companies such as Total and Shell abandoning oil exploration in favour of renewable energy, a silver lining to Ghana’s oil industry is its gas potential. The country has proven gas reserves that are in excess of 6 trillion cubic feet. Unlike in many African countries, such as Nigeria, where gas worth millions of US dollars is flared, in Ghana is proving to be a useful alternative feedstock for the country’s power generation system.
Agriculture is fundamental to Ghana’s economy and as recently as 2010 accounted for over 50% of the country’s total employment. It was also the second largest foreign exchange earner behind gold. Its prominence has however ebbed away over the past years owing to the discovery of oil and an expanding manufacturing and services sector. Nevertheless, the sector is still important to the economy of Ghana, accounting for 28% of total employment and 17% of the country’s GDP. In recent years, the government has made steps towards reinvigorating the sector so as to exploit its full potential. In 2016 for instance, Ghana launched the “Planting for Food and Jobs” with the aim of modernizing the country’s agriculture so that it not only produces food, but also creates highly rewarding jobs for the country’s teeming population. Through a number of interventions such access to subsidised, improved seeds and fertilizers, introduction of mechanization and irrigation and provision of extension services to farmers, the initiative seems to be achieving some level of success. According to government figures, maize production in 2018 increased 89% when compared to 2016 levels, while rice production went up 48%, while there was a twofold increase in soya bean production. The “Planting for Food and Jobs” initiative has been further complemented by the 1D1F initiative which has seen the inauguration of a number of food factories such as the Ekimufi 82 AFRICA INC.
Fruits Factory and the Kasapreko Beverages factory, which create a ready market for the farmers produce. With a market for produce, farming in Ghana is once again productive. According to data from the government, the implementation of the “Planting for Food and Jobs” has created over 2 million jobs during the 4-year period that it has been in existence. Ghana’s agricultural story would not be complete without the mention of the country’s cocoa industry. The country is the second largest producer of cocoa beans in the world behind Ivory Coast. The crop had been the second largest earner of foreign exchange to the country up until 2010 when oil took its spot and negated it to third place. Despite its importance in Ghana’s economy, the value of this crop has not been fully utilized. Ghana only processes a mere 15% of the crop, exporting the rest as raw cocoa beans. There is thus an immense potential in the value addition of Ghana’s cocoa, given that the intermediate products market and the final consumer goods market have a total value of US$105 billion as compared to value of the raw beans market which is a mere US$9 billion. The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has unveiled an ambitious plan to help the country process 50% of its beans. This year, it secured US$60 million fund to jump-start this process. The finances will be used to rehabilitate infrastructure in cocoa growing areas, finance irrigation projects, provide warehousing and support processing and value addition to the cocoa beans. With such investments in the cocoa sector, it’s only a matter of time before significant growth in the value addition side of the crop is achieved.
After a period of stagnation, a number of farreaching economic reforms introduced in Ghana have put the country back on a growth trajectory. Initiatives such as the 1D1F project, the automotive development policy, and the Planting Foods for Jobs initiative have all eased the way of doing business in the country, making it attractive for investors. The country’s political stability and internal security are also factors that make the country even more attractive to investment. While further progress remains to be made in areas including taxation and insolvency regulation, Ghana has certainly proved itself as a preferred destination for foreign direct investment. With the upcoming implementation of the AfCFTA, the future can only be bright for this West African nation WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
Understanding Ghana’s Airport Landscape By Nick Cummins - Eways Aviation
Ghana is set to become West Africa’s next big aviation hub by bringing its technological, societal, and strategic location to the fore. Why is Ghana’s aviation industry so dynamic, serving over two million international passengers per year, and what can we expect from its airport landscape? Let’s explore. The country as a whole is rapidly expanding with a 40% increase in passenger numbers, from 415,000 domestic travelers in 2018 to 690,000 in 2019 alone. This is thanks to an increase in government investment in airport infrastructure (such as opening the new Wa airport), an increase in flight frequency by airlines, and a push for global tourism by the Ghanaian government.
the globe, this airport is the main entryway for passengers into the region. It has three modern terminals, with selfcheck-in systems, in-terminal shopping, and facilities that meet IATA standards. Plus, the runway is long enough to sustain even the most heavily loaded Airbus A380, and is the center of the countries air-freight operations. If anywhere is an indication of the government’s investment, it is this airport, with a very high 83.3% of all Ghanaian flights originating here.
Ghana has two major international airports, and then several secondary domestic airports, for a total of five operating airports: Kotoka, Ho, Kumasi, Tamale, and Wa.
Kumasi International Airport – The second international airport of Ghana, and serving the city of Kumasi. In 2018, the airport authorized a US$200 million renovation, including a runway extension to accommodate modern wide body aircraft and a new terminal. The new facility will be able to facilitate up to one million passengers a year, a significant leap from its 2012 numbers of 42,000 a month.
Kotoka International Airport – Serving the most significant urban area of Ghana, the city of Accra, the airport saw over 3,019,065 passengers in 2019. In operation for many years, the airport has undergone several facelifts to allow up to 8,000 passengers per day. With routes spanning
Ho Airport – Domestic airport for the city of Ho, its construction began in 2015, with a completion date of 2017. Today it is used primarily as a pilot training base, with a passenger capacity of only 150,000 passengers a year. Local carrier Africa World Airlines has indicated that they DECEMBER 2020
COUNTRY FOCUS:: GHANA
wish to start regular operations to the area, for tourism and business investment.
It is therefore considered a regional airport and is only used for charter services at this stage.
Wa Airport – The newest airport in Ghana, it opened in 2019 and started operating domestic services to the capital airport in Accra. It has gathered the attention of the local airline, Africa World Airlines, who is operating tourist routes to the area. “The decision to launch this service is part of AWA’s commitment to providing safe and affordable air transportation to all Ghanaians. This new airport in the Upper West will help boost existing business travel to the region, as well as create new opportunities for tourists exploring Mole National Park and its surroundings,” Head of Commercial Richard Kyereh said to CHAviation.
Takoradi Airport – The airport for the urban area of Sekondi-Takoradi, this airstrip is primarily a military airbase, but it does allow access to the area for light aircraft. Unlike Navrongo, the runway is paved. Alas, because this is a military base, passenger flights are somewhat restricted, and the region can’t grow without a bespoke commercial facility. “We have a lot of tourists going to the Cape Coast area, there is a lot of development going on in the oil and gas enclave in the Western Region, and the Takoradi Port is there as well. The fishing harbour in Elmina is also there. All these show that people will be traveling to and from the Central and Western Regions, so we plan to move on that,” Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Adda, told AviationGhana,
Navrongo Airport – The domestic airport serving the city of Paga. It is located to the extreme north of the country and the runway is unpaved.
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Sunyani Airport – The main airport for
for the Takoradi constituency, spoke of plans to expand Tamale International Airport operations with a new terminal and other facilities, as part of Ghana’s plans to become an aviation hub. “The Tamale Airport would one day become the only facility where Hajj pilgrims will travel from Ghana to Saudi Arabia for their annual religious activities,” he said to DagBon.net Yendi Airport – The four-acre site was secured back in 2018 with plans to develop into a regional airstrip. According to the most recent satellite images, the area consists of a simple unpaved runway that light aircraft can land on, but the site does not have any other facilities nor any serviced operations to speak of. The land was released by the local government after seeing the benefits of aviation in other areas.
WHAT FUTURE PLANS ARE ON THE HORIZON?
the Bono region and the city of Sunyani, little information is regularly published online for this western region’s airport. Due to several defects regarding the runway, the Ghana aviation ministry has asked the airport operator, Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL), to rehabilitate the runway for regular airline services. The terminal building has been renovated with modern security facilities and expanded passenger comforts. Tamale Airport – Located in mid-northern Ghana serving the named city, this airport is international in everything but name. With custom facilities, an impressive three and a half kilometer paved runway, and gates for airlines to spare, this airport is all set to welcome international arrivals. So far the airport has been used for pilgrimage but thus far only operates charter domestic and private flights. This airport is on the map as a growth hub for airlines. Mr. Darko-Mensah, the Member of Parliament
The first step is to deal with the current Covid-19 crisis. As of the 1st of September, 2020, Ghana had allowed international travelers to return to the country, with the GACL focusing on a special sanitization program to keep all facilities clean and safe for passengers. In addition, passengers who arrived at the border needed to undergo a COVID test on-site before they were released into the country. With a return of business and eventual tourist trade, the government can get back on track with its grand aviation plans. And grand they are, with a plan to increase the functional airports up from five to ten with a 24.7 million GHC (US$4.2 million) feasibility study. The study, due at the end of the year as part of the roadmap for future aviation growth, will recommend ten new airports and heliports, as well as seven other aviation projects. One issue that is hampering further development in this region is the lack of night flights. Because many of the airports above don’t have lights or aerodrome radar facilities, air traffic can only operate during the day. According to Africa World Airlines Chief Operations officer Sean Mendias in 2019, this fact is a critical roadblock to preventing growth. “We effectively have a 12-hour domestic operations window – between 06:00 and 18:00 – and the 10 minutes that I can save by using a jet will give me an extra rotation during the day. Also, reliance on turboprops would restrict us to being a domestic operator; we wouldn’t be able to use a Q400 to serve Abuja or Freetown, and that’s where the money is. The domestic [Ghanaian] market has the volume and is our overall revenue driver, but regional African flights, with their higher yields, are our profit driver.”
One issue that is hampering further development in this region is the lack of night flights because many of the airports above don’t have lights or aerodrome radar facilities
ZAMBIA: THE ADVENTURER'S PARADISE 86 AFRICA INC.
For most travellers into and within Africa, the prospect of Zambia as a tourist destination does not come to mind at first glance. However, Zambia offers some of the most breathtaking opportunities to see Africa as it truly is: raw, green and unexploited. Here we give you a glimpse onto some of the countries physical features you may want to explore DECEMBER 2020
The Southern African country of Zambia is one of the least known tourism destinations despite its abundant wildlife, huge water bodies and open spaces, outstanding and varied landscape, and friendly and welcoming people with a wide array of cultural practices and ceremonies. Located at the intersection point of Southern and Eastern Africa, Zambia lends itself the perfect location to experience lush savanna, lakes and rivers, mountains and walking trails to boot and is a perfect location for those looking to experience Africa. While the average person may know Zambia as the place with the Victoria Falls and probably the Zambezi River, the country has more to offer than just these two national treasures – which are interestingly shared by many countries in Southern Africa. The country has one of the most extensive water resources in Africa, with 17 waterfalls, 4 big lakes and hundreds of rivers and other water bodies, big and small, meaning that for those with a love for water and water sports, you will be spoilt for choice in this marvelous country Below are some of the most interesting places to visit and what to do in Zambia, according to Zambia Tourism (www.zambiatourism.com):
WHERE TO VISIT THE NATIONAL PARKS
Zambia has one of the most extensive water resources in Africa, with 17 waterfalls, 4 big lakes and hundreds of rivers and other water bodies
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Zambia is one of the largest countries in Africa, covering 752,614 square kilometres, of which 30 % of this is reserved for wildlife, making the country to have some of the largest land that is protected by the government in Africa. The country has a total of 20 National Parks, which cover close to 8% of the total land area of Zambia mainly established to conserve faunal biodiversity, protecting the integrity of one or more ecosystems for present and future generations, according to the Ministry of Lands, Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. With abundant wildflife and unique features, some of the country’s most famous national parks are South Luangwa, Kafue and Lower Zambezi, which compete with some of the finest game parks in the world. Kafue National Park - Found in the centre of western Zambia, Kafue National Park is the oldest and largest of Zambia’s national parks, covering a massive 22,400 km2. The park straddles three provinces in the country: NorthWestern, Central and Southern provinces. First established as a National Park in the 1950’s, Kafue is one of the largest national parks in the whole of Africa. Despite its size and
prominent location only two hours drive from Livingstone, it remains little known and largely unexplored with vast tracts of its virgin bush still untouched. Thanks to its size and variety of habitat types the Kafue holds a fantastic diversity of wildlife. South Luangwa National Park - Founded in 1972, experts have dubbed South Luangwa National Park to be one of the greatest wildlife sanctuaries in the world. The concentration of animals around the Luangwa River, and its oxbow lagoons, is among the most intense in Africa. The Luangwa River is the most intact major river system in Africa and is the life-blood of this 9059 km2 Park. The Park hosts a wide variety of wildlife, birds and vegetation. The now famous ‘walking safari’ originated in this Park and is still one of the finest ways to experience Africa’s pristine wilderness first-hand. The changing seasons add to the Park’s richness, ranging from dry, bare bushveld in the winter, to a lush, green wonderland in the summer months. There are 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species in South Luangwa National Park. The only notable exception is the rhino, sadly poached to extinction. With about 400 of Zambia’s 732 species of birds appearing in the Park, including 39 birds of prey and 47 migrant species, there is plenty for the birdwatcher to spot, whatever the season. Lower Zambezi National Park - This Park lies opposite the famous Mana Pools Reserve in Zimbabwe, so the whole area on both sides of the Zambezi River is a massive wildlife sanctuary. The River’s edge is overhung with a thick riverine fringe, including ebony and fig trees. Further inland is a floodplain fringed with mopane forest and interspersed with winterthorn trees and huge acacias. The hills, which form the backdrop to the Park are covered in broadleaf woodland. Even though the Lower Zambezi National Park covers an area of 4092 square kilometers, most of the game is concentrated along the valley floor. There is an escarpment along the northern end, which acts as a physical barrier to most of the Park’s animal species. Enormous herds of elephant, some up to 100 strong, are often seen at the river’s edge. ‘Island hopping’ buffalo and waterbuck are common. The Park also hosts good populations of lion and leopard, and listen too for the ubiquitous cry of the fish eagle. Nsumbu National Park - Lying on the southern shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Northern most
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tip of Zambia, Nsumbu National Park covers an area of just over 2000 square kilometers. It includes 100kms of some of the most pristine shores of this vast lake. Its beauty ranges from sandy beaches, vertical cliffs, rocky coves and natural bays to the rugged hills and deep valleys of the interior. The Lufubu River winds its way through the Park and pours into Lake Tanganyika. Tondwa Game Management Area, an IUCN Category VIII Multiple Use Management Area of 54,000, as it is called locally, buffers the western boundary of Nsumbu National Park. The much larger Kaputa Game Management Area (360,000 ha) is also contiguous with the National Park to the north-west and south-west, and therefore the National Park completely surrounds Tondwa. Nsumbu National Park and the two Game Management Areas thus form important parts of a network of Protected Areas in Zambia. The Park is dissected from west to east by the sizeable and perennial Lufubu River, which also demarcates the eastern boundary of the Park up to the river’s discharge into Lake Tanganyika. Nkamba and Chisala Rivers are ephemeral and smaller than the Lufubu, draining Tondwa Swamp into Nkamba and Sumbu Bays respectively, the former through an attractive valley with abundant wildlife. Much of the park is covered by combretum thicket, but along the lakeshore there are many strangler figs and candelabra trees along with the strange and interesting boulders balanced on top of one another.
The Victoria Falls - Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. In more modern terms Victoria Falls is known as the greatest curtain of falling water in the world. Columns of spray can be seen from miles away as, at the height of the rainy season, more than five hundred million cubic meters of water per minute plummet over the edge, over a width of nearly two kilometres, into a gorge over one hundred meters below. The wide, basalt cliff over which the falls thunder, transforms the Zambezi from a placid river into a ferocious torrent cutting through a series of dramatic gorges. Facing the Falls is another sheer wall of basalt, rising to the same height, and capped by mist-soaked rain forest. A path along the edge of the forest provides the 90 AFRICA INC.
visitor prepared to brave the tremendous spray, with an unparalleled series of views of the Falls. The Kalambo Falls - The impressive Kalambo Falls can be found in the Northern Province, 33 kilometers from Mbala on the Kalambo River, which forms the border between Zambia and Tanzania. This spectacular jet of water falls in a single uninterrupted stream 221 meters down into the gorge below and then on into Lake Tanganyika. They are the second highest falls in Africa and the twelfth highest in the world.
RIVERS & LAKES
The Zambezi River - The Zambezi is the fourthlongest river in Africa, the longest east-flowing river in Africa and the largest flowing into the Indian Ocean from Africa. The river is World’s 4th most extensive river system after the Nile, Zaire and Niger Rivers with a basin area of 1,390,000 km² and is 2,574 km long For about 500 kilometres it serves as the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe thundering over the Victoria Falls and through the narrow, steadily deepening Batoka Gorge, providing a fantastic playground for white-water rafting, kayaking, river boarding and jet boating. Its unique value is that it is less developed than other rivers regarding human settlement and many areas along its banks have even been granted protected status. The Lower Zambezi National Park flanks the river on the Zambian side and Mana Pools National Park on the Zimbabwean side. This whole area of the Zambezi supports one of Africa’s most important wilderness areas as it provides sustenance to a diverse array of game, birdlife and fish species. The Zambezi’s most noted feature is Victoria Falls, but there is also so much more. Other notable falls include the Chavuma Falls at the border between Zambia and Angola, and Ngonye Falls, near Sioma in Western Zambia
Oil and Gas Discoveries Set to Open New Investments in Namibia, Angola and South Africa NJ Ayuk is the Chairman, African Energy Chamber. Courtesy: African Energy Chamber
Last spring, the Maersk Voyager, an ultradeepwater drillship under contract by French supermajor Total, drilled a wildcat well in the deepest water ever - 3,628 meters (11,903 feet) in Block 48, a massive area with potentially huge oil reserves in the Congo basin offshore Angola. The record-setting achievement wasn’t a success just for Maersk and Total. It also represented a victory for Angola and state oil company Sonangol in their search for new oil, part of a campaign to reverse a recent trend of production declines. The high-impact concept well was long anticipated, and it didn’t take long for other global players, including Qatar Petroleum (QP), to buy in. As part of its bid to expand its exploration portfolio, QP acquired a 30% stake in Block 48 in August, its first venture into Angola’s promising deepwater acreage. If Angola were the only southwestern African nation making oil and gas news, that would still be a pretty good story. But the fact is, Africa’s WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
southwestern coast is home to perhaps the most globally anticipated wildcats of 2020 and 2021 - exploration that continues despite the added challenges of COVID-19, which has constrained operating and capital budgets. As the African Energy Chamber noted in our 2021 outlook, if successful, prospects in Angola, Namibia, and South Africa, could “open new basins for development and trigger big investments towards the latter half of the 2020s.” That’s headline making, indeed. Combined with Block 48, the Venus-1 prospect in Namibia, and South Africa’s Brulpadda and Luiperd, the region holds world-class resource potential. The key is translating that potential into real benefits for all Africans.
BUILDING MOMENTUM IN ANGOLA
For nearly 70 years, oil has been a mainstay of the Angolan economy, contributing about 50% of the nation’s gross domestic product and around 89% DECEMBER 2020
of exports. The country holds the continent’s second-largest proven oil reserves and is behind only Nigeria in terms of production. (Angola also has Africa’s fourth-largest proven natural gas reserves, although historically it hasn’t produced much commercially.) In recent years, though, the drop in oil prices scared off foreign investment, putting pressure on Angola’s well-established oil and gas industry as well as its oil-based economy. Despite its vast resources, not only was production on the downturn, there had not been a major new discovery since 2011. Without fresh finds, consultants Rystad Energy, S.A. said, volumes could drop below 1 million barrels per day by 2025, far below capacity and less than half the 2008’s daily output. That forecast was more than enough to spur Angolan President João Lourenço into action. Following his election in 2017, he promised Angola an “economic miracle” and immediately began incentivizing participation in the nation’s oil and gas industry as part of his turnaround plan. Lourenço’s lures, including better contract terms that would make foreign investment more profitable, paid off. With reforms such as tax relief and a standalone oil industry regulator in place, Total - which has been operating in Angola for six decades - moved quickly in 2018 to take over Block 48 and was awarded Block 29 in the Namibe basin earlier this year; Italy’s Eni was awarded neighboring Block 28 about the same time. Angola also awarded several offshore blocks to Norway’s Equinor and BP. (There are approximately 50 blocks in the Namibe basin, but whether they will all be put into play remains to be seen.) Eni and its partners also began production at Agogo-1, pumping a modest 10,000 barrels per day. While that may sound small, it contributes to a much larger sum: Taken together, Rystad said, production from new Angolan projects - that is, those begun just in the last five years - should yield 549,000 barrels per day by 2025.
FISCAL REGIME SETS STAGE FOR SUCCESS IN NAMIBIA
If early seismic data is to be believed, compared to Angola there is equal, if not even more, promise in new discoveries offshore Namibia. Altogether, more than 11 billion barrels in oil reserves have been found off the Namibian coast, and scientists compare Namibia’s geology favorably to the presalt fields offshore Brazil, which hold 16 billion barrels of crude reserves. Yet Namibia’s basins are considered underexplored, meaning there’s ample opportunity for foreign and domestic 92 AFRICA INC.
investment. The possibility of high-impact discoveries has attracted the likes of Total, ExxonMobil, QP, and Kosmos Energy, which has had significant wildcat success in Africa over the past dozen years. Currently, all eyes are on Total’s possibly playopening Venus 1- prospect, which may turn out to be the largest discovery in Africa in a decade. An ultra-deepwater well in the Orange Basin, which straddles the border with South Africa, Venus-1 is thought to have at least 2 billion barrels of oil in place. If Venus-1 is successful, it’s like to attract even more attention to the area. Fortunately, the Namibian government’s oil-friendly policies make it easy for foreign companies to do business there. The fiscal regime is positive, and the state-owned oil company, the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), is a cooperative partner. It also helps that Namibia is politically stable and has some of the best-developed infrastructure on the continent, including a modern electricity distribution grid.
If early seismic data is to be believed, compared to Angola there is equal, if not even more, promise in new discoveries offshore Namibia
GROWING EXCITEMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
Like its neighbors to the west, South Africa has been the site of considerable excitement over frontier discoveries, including Total’s Brulpadda, which opened up the Outeniqua basin in 2019. Brulpadda is considered a world-class oil and gas play that holds as much as 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent of gas and condensate light oil. Brulpadda is considered an antidote to the cascade of ailments South Africa - like many countries with petroleum resources - has experienced in recent years: a drop in oil and gas exploration following a decline in commodity prices. It is likely that PetroSA’s gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant will provide a ready domestic market for Brulpadda, as will the nearby petrochemical and industrial facilities. It is also possible the discovery will help South Africa accelerate the use of gas for electricity. Total continues to explore other parts of the Outeniqua basin and just last month discovered gas condensate on the Luiperd prospect, where it is a joint venture partner with QP, CNR International, and an African consortium called Main Street. In an announcement, Total said that the Luiperd well was drilled to a total depth of about 3,400 meters and encountered 73 meters of net gas condensate pay, making it even larger than the main reservoir at Brulpadda. Total and its partners have decided to commercialize the Luiperd gas rather than drill another exploration well in the program.
AFRICANS MUST REALIZE THE BENEFITS
What remains uncertain is to what degree each country will continue working to ensure its natural resources are used to lift people out of poverty
There’s no question that these discoveries have made southwestern Africa an exploration hot spot. Neither is there any doubt that the governments of Angola, Namibia, and South Africa have facilitated and even accelerated the discovery and development processes by making it easy to do business there. (In the case of South Africa, its fiscal terms for oil and gas companies are described as “very generous.”) What remains uncertain is to what degree each country will continue working to ensure its natural resources, whether newfound or long established, are used to lift people out of poverty. True, African involvement in joint ventures leads us to assume that the best interests of every citizen are being considered. But this is a time for the oil and gas companies that are involved in these megaopportunities to redouble their efforts to support local communities and people. These companies are our guests in Africa, but the price of a welcome to our resource riches can’t be merely contractual, a handshake between governments and businessmen. The more they profit, the more Africans should benefit. This idea is at the heart of the concept of Shared Value, which has been defined as “a framework for creating economic value while simultaneously addressing societal needs and challenges,” and as the “practice of profit in a
way that creates value for society.” Shared Value doesn’t suggest that businesses should act as philanthropies or charities, giving handouts to those who exhibit need. It goes beyond the idea of corporate social responsibility, which is often based on volunteerism and one-off donations. Perhaps most important, Shared Value recognizes that companies can only stay in business if they are making money. As consultants FSG described it, the value companies and the community are sharing is “worth,” that is, economic value on a financial sheet and societal value in the form of progress on social issues. Shared Value recognizes that companies have a responsibility to take on social challenges through the business itself. It is in their economic interest to do this. In Africa, one way they can do that is by supporting capacity building. As the Shared Value Initiative noted, despite the substantial economic output of the oil and gas industry, it has “not always translated into societal improvements in host countries and communities… companies are losing billions of dollars a year to community strife,” much of it due to underemployment. As more companies are attracted to southwestern Africa and these exciting new developments, we can only hope that they will recognize that where opportunity exists for them it should exist for everyone. And they have the power to make it so. That would be really big news DECEMBER 2020
Africa’s digital revolution needs data centres Kabir Chal is the Director, Real Estate in Kenya & Funke Okubadejo is the Director, Real Estate in Nigeria at Actis. Courtesy: AVCA
Have you ever wondered what happens every minute on the internet? The answer is a lot! The world’s most popular apps and websites have seen significant growth over the last four years and will continue to grow rapidly as more people access the internet and the cost of access falls. Internet users grew from 3.4bn to 4.6bn from 2016 to 2020 but the main story is rising use per capita. We live in a world where huge amounts of data are being produced and consumed. All of it needs a home and that home is the data centre. The global data boom is not only being driven by consumer usage. Automation and machine learning are significant players in this story giving birth to what is widely known as the Internet of Things (‘IoT’). IoT refers to the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data. The lead role however is cast to the Cloud– the ethereal space out there where people store their memories, where companies host their applications and increasingly computing is taking place. To many of its end users the Cloud 94 AFRICA INC.
is a virtual concept, out of sight out of mind. The reality is that Cloud needs somewhere to live, somewhere that maintains the ambient conditions to allow it to operate at peak performance. That somewhere is the data centre. Cloud is responsible for the recent explosion in data centre growth globally.
HIGH GROWTH IN DATA CONSUMPTION, OFF A LOW BASE
Africa is one of the fastest growing data usage regions in the world – albeit from a low base. In addition to the active mobile network operators, this has caught the attention of several global majors including Google, Facebook and Amazon all of whom are making substantial investments to help boost Africa’s network infrastructure to cater for this demand. One of the key areas needing investment is the data centre sector which sits at the heart of the digital revolution. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, in 2019, 54% of SSA’s mobile subscriptions were data users of which 11% were on 4G networks. By 2025, 72% of SSA’s mobile subscriptions are expected to be data users with those on 4G WWW.AFRICAINCMAG.COM
networks growing to 29%. From 2019 to 2025, SSA is forecast to be the world’s fastest growing region in terms of new mobile subscriptions – 4% per annum (compared to 1% in Latin America and China), with absolute subscription numbers second only to Asia. Over the same period, smartphone subscriptions are forecast to grow at 9% per annum, second only to MENA. SSA is by far the fastest growing region globally in terms of monthly mobile data consumed (per smartphone)– 52% per annum. Whatever scepticism there is to be had around affordability of, and access to, data in Africa, the reality is that data usage is growing at tremendous rates and infrastructure investment has not kept up.
Google, Facebook and Amazon all of whom are making substantial investments to help boost Africa’s network infrastructure to cater for this demand
LATENCY AND REGULATION POINT TOWARDS HOSTING DATA LOCALLY IN AFRICA To date, a large amount of content is being stored in offshore data centres (mainly Europe and the US) servicing African markets through sub-sea cable linkages. This was fine at a time when usage levels were lower but started to prove problematic as an increase in users began to challenge bandwidth and the broader network investment, thereby introducing greater latency. This has caused several international cloud and content providers to explore hosting their content locally in data centres and, in the last three years, heralding the entries of: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Netflix etc. to South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. The renewed global focus on data sovereignty has prompted several African countries to revisit their own regulations which has brought further impetus to data centre development across the continent. For instance, in Nigeria, the Government requires data to be hosted locally for key sectors - oil & gas, financial services and
public sector. Latency and data sovereignty regulation are two major drivers for hosting data locally. Cloud made its first major appearance in Africa last year with Azure establishing a presence in two South African data centres and AWS building three of its own facilities in Cape Town. Reading across from trends in other markets, one would expect Google to follow suit very soon. These majors are also actively looking at East and West Africa and the expectation is that they will have an initial preference to host their cloud platforms in thirdparty data centres.
INVEST IN NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE It is easy to understand why Google and Facebook may be well placed to have good insights into Africa’s data consumption and indeed the trajectory of its growth – as the adage goes, actions speak louder than words. In 2019, Google announced the Equaino cable that will connect the West Coast of Africa with Europe – the project being only the third privately funded cable project by Google. In 2020, Facebook announced that it was joining to lead Project Mercury, an ambling subsea cable project. The 2Africa cable will connect Africa’s circumference starting and ending in Europe. Both cables will add a huge amount of internet capacity to Africa and help to substantially reduce broadband costs. Localising the hosting of content and increasing the peering, the exchange of data directly between internet service providers (‘ISP’), rather than via the internet) carries substantial benefits to the end user: cost and latency being the most obvious. In 2010, the Internet Society set an ambitious goal to see 80% of African internet traffic hosted locally by 2020. In order to achieve this, pieces of the ecosystem needed to come together: Africa needed more DECEMBER 2020
people now rely on it more for work, education, communication, entertainment etc. It is unlikely that this will materially abate once the pandemic eases, putting further urgency on the build-out of network infrastructure, like data centres, to cope with the increase in traffic and dependency. Across major developed market economies, Ericsson reported a 10-20% increase in mobile data traffic in Q1 2020. Over the same period, MTN Nigeria recorded a 60% growth in data revenues, supported in part by the addition of 1.7m active data users to its network. Both the IXPs in Kenya and Nigeria recorded record daily spikes in peering volumes during COVID-19’s lockdown restrictions. subsea cable capacity, fibre networks needed to be expanded, more data centres needed to be built and internet exchange points (‘IXPs’), where ISPs and content delivery networks (like Facebook) exchange internet traffic, to be established. A case study done in 2020 on Kenya and Nigeria has shown tremendous progress. In 2012, approximately 30% of each country’s traffic was localised; today that figure has grown to around 70%. Growth in peering volumes through IXPs in both markets was exponential as were cost savings from exchanging traffic locally (in doing so avoiding expensive international transit). The IXPs in Kenya and Nigeria have seen their respective peering traffic volumes grow 19fold and 400-fold respectively with significant cost savings estimated at US$6m p.a. and US$40m p.a. respectively. In addition to lower data bundle prices for consumers, both countries have seen significant increases in the number of mobile internet users - 100-fold for Kenya and 4-fold for Nigeria to 42% of the population. IXPs are hosted in data centres and it will be no surprise to note that over the same period data centre capacity in Nigeria has grown 3-fold, whilst Kenya’s has almost doubled. That said, Xalam Analytics contextualise in their latest publication, Africa Data Centre Gold Rush, that the entire installed data centre capacity in SSA is less than half than that of London’s and is broadly on par with Paris.
COVID-19 ACCELERATES DIGITAL REVOLUTION
COVID-19 and the lockdown restrictions that followed had a huge impact on data consumption globally. Data traffic increased by between 20 - 100%, on a like-for-like basis, across the world’s largest markets. The pandemic ushered in a closer relationship with the internet where
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PAN-AFRICAN DATA CENTRES
Notwithstanding the strong sector fundamentals and secular growth trends supporting the data centre sector in Africa, it remains relatively underinvested in SSA (excl. SA). There are a number of reasons for this, including: it is a capital-intensive sector; there is little local expertise in developing and operating data centres; most markets present challenges when dealing with power, real estate and fibre connectivity. The impression of a challenging operating environment in Africa may deter international strategic players from entering SSA (excl. SA) on a greenfield basis, providing an opportunity for investors who have experience of investing in the development of power, infrastructure and real estate assets across Africa.
Ghana has aggressively pursued an automotive development policy aimed at making the country a fully integrated and competitive industrial hub for the automotive industry in West Africa
ACTIS IN ACTION
Actis, through its Africa Real Estate Fund, established a US$250m Pan-African data centre platform. The platform is focussed on establishing a network of data centres in Africa’s largest markets following a buy-and-build strategy. Actis has partnered with an experienced ICT private equity firm, Convergence Partners as well two industry experts Tim Parsonson and Frank Hassett. The platform completed its first acquisition of a majority stake in Nigeria’s leading data centre, Rack Centre, and has swiftly embarked on an investment programme that will see capacity increase by up to 15-fold depending on demand, In parallel to being on track to double capacity to 1.5MW by Q1 2021 and the development of a 13MW facility is already on track for completion by Q4 2021. The platform is now being built out and in parallel evaluating a number of acquisition opportunities across key markets
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