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EDITO
Sunday, 19 November 2017

Group of French and African private and public sectors investors have launched a €77 million investment fund to support investments in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Africa and France, the first of cross-border investment fund dedicated to the development of African and French SMEs. The Franco-African Investment Fund (FFA), with investible funds of 77 million euro is aimed at accelerating the growth of innovative and entrepreneurial African and French SMEs with development projects on both continents. FFA will have a lifespan of 10 years. Investors in the FFA included Societe Generale Orange, BpiFrance, Africinvet, Caisse Nationale de Prevoyance Sociale of CDI, Proparco (AFD), SAHAM from Morocco, Financecom, the pension fund of the Central Bank of Kenya, other private investors in Kenya and United Capital Plc, a publicly quoted Nigerian company. The fund is sponsored by BpiFrance and Africinvet.

Ethiopia and Finland have reaffirmed their commitment to boost bilateral relations and expand l cooperation between the two countries. This has been emphasized today (January 23, 2017) during a meeting between State Minister Mrs. Hirut Zemene and Mr. Pekka Olavi Haavisto, a Special Representative on Mediation at Finland’s Ministry of Foreign affairs. The Special Representative highlighted Finland’s dedication to strengthen and deepen strategic partnership and cooperation with Ethiopia for the benefit and welfare of the peoples of both countries.

East Africa is the fastest growing region on the continent and its development prospects remain positive, a UK-based accountant’s body says. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) say in its latest report that the more diversified East African economies are faring better than those of southern, central and western Africa. “Growth prospects remain divergent by region, with Central and West African economies struggling with weak commodity demand,” the Economic Insight: Africa Q4 2016 report says. The report produced in partnership with Oxford Economics provides a snapshot of the continent’s economic performance.

The Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) is expected to kick off operations in 2017, with funding from Germany, France, the World Bank, and a few other financing institutions. According to the ministry of finance, led by Kemi Adeosun, “the DBN will have access to US$1.3bn (N396.5 billion), which will be provided by the World Bank (WB), KfW (German Development Bank), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Agence Française de Development (French Development Agency)”. “Additionally, the DBN is currently finalising agreements with the European Investment Bank (EIB),” the ministry said in a statement, which further explains the dealings of the bank.

The South African Citrus Growers Association (CGA) has expressed relief and anger at the admission of the Spanish Citrus Management Committee (CGC) that there were no South African citrus on the shelves of Spanish supermarkets during December 2016. Spanish growers’ union Unió de Llauradors alleged that “bad quality” citrus from South Africa was putting pressure on Spanish citrus growers. The CGC now says that the oranges were erroneously labelled as South African and were, in fact, of Spanish origin. The South African Citrus Growers Association CEO, Justin Chadwick, calls the allegations “a slap in the face” for South African growers.