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EDITO
Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Operating over 2,000 brands across the world with one billion units’ sales annually, Nestle announced that it is considering Ethiopia to be one of its manufacturing destinations in the coming years although a final decision is yet to be made on setting up the manufacturing plant, according to FBC. Wosenyeleh S. Fikre, cluster manager of Nestle for the Horn of Africa and the Equatorial African Region, told The Reporter that the Swiss transnational foods and drinks company, headquartered in Vevey, Vaud, Switzerland, has plans to set up a manufacturing plant in Ethiopia where it is identifying untapped opportunities for the future. According to Wosenyeleh, the plant which is to be set up in Ethiopia is likely to focus on diary and dairy products.

The South African poultry industry is in serious distress due to the heavy influx of cheap chicken imports mainly from Europe. Recent media reports from the neighbouring country indicate that imports have put a strain on dozens of poultry farmers who feel at risk of losing business amid a threat of job cuts of up to 130 000 along the value chain by December 2017. South African producers are worried that their businesses are being unfairly crippled by imported portions after tariffs on chicken from Europe were removed at the start of 2012. Indications are that since tariffs were removed under a trade agreement between Europe and South Africa, imports of bone-in portions, such as legs and thighs, have tripled to more than 188-million kilogrammes in 2016, according to the South African Poultry Association (SAPA).

The weather has been dryer than usual in Kenya this season, which has meant that many producers have had to limit the water usage. However, herb producer Mintos Fresh is at an advantage because of where their growing area is located. Located in the Molo region, the area is well known for its fertile lands, lower temperatures and the higher altitude means that there is more moisture than in other regions. Most of their production is focused on coriander, mint and chives, but the company also grows dill and thyme as well, depending on consumer demand. The herbs are currently grown on 15 acres, the chives in high tunnels and the mint and coriander are grown in open fields. Innocent Bosire from Mintos Herbs shared that they own a 20 acre field at another location and they have been looking at this area to expand their production in the next few years.

AFD Group secures €24 million for African Renewable Energy projects, designed to boost private sector investment in on-grid and off-grid renewable energy production in Africa. In order to meet Africa’s constantly increasing energy requirements, support must be provided for mass development of the renewable energy technologies – especially solar energy – that will play such a key role over the coming years, given the recent drop in prices and the emergence of new innovative business models. The EU’s electrification funding initiative, “ElectriFI”, helps to harness and stimulate private sector investment to enhance access to renewable energy. More specifically, it focuses on poorly-served rural populations and regions that suffer from an unreliable electricity service.

Dutch PE firm DOB Equity targets to double its Kenyan portfolio this year, signalling an aggressive round of acquisitions involving local mid-sized firms. The family-owned fund says it is scouting for investment opportunities in Kenya where it already has stakes in eight ventures across sectors such as retail, agribusiness, education, and energy. “DOB Equity is geared to continue its growth and double its investments in impactful, innovative and scalable companies year-on-year,” Brigit van Dijk – van de Reijt, chief executive at DOB Equity, told the Business Daily. “Over the past few years, we have significantly increased our impact in the region by supporting the growth of our companies and investing in a number of strong, solid opportunities.” Ms van de Reijt declined to reveal the value of total investments planned. Last year, DOB Equity made three investments in Kenya.