Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
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EDITO
Friday, 15 December 2017

A three-member team of auditors from the Food and Veterinary Office of the European Union (EU) is in Ghana to assess the quality of Ghana’s vegetables. The audit will enable the EU office on food safety to reconsider a three-year-old embargo on vegetables export from Ghana to the EU Market. The auditors who are expected to end their duty tour by Saturday, September 21, 2017, will among other things thoroughly assess the sanitary and phytosanitary systems in Ghana required for ensuring the safety of food items and fresh produce.

Friday, 22 September 2017

In a pioneering partnership between global fresh produce business, Halls, an entrepreneurial farmer from Hill Estate and LCL Logistics, the first ever door-to-door export container of avocados out of rural Swaziland has arrived safely at its destination in the United Kingdom. Halls and grower partner, Hill Estate, worked together to overcome the challenges of accessing Hill Estate’s recently relocated pack house, now situated on the farm in a very remote area of the southern district of Shiselweni, one of the most underdeveloped regions of Swaziland. Dedicated supply chain partners, LCL Logistics, were called in to assist with advising on road upgrade and repairs to facilitate the navigation and safe manoeuvring of a fully loaded reefer shipping container over Swaziland’s most mountainous topography.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

A major gathering of ministers and senior government officials from Sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands will take place in the Bahamas on 18-21 September. With up to USD 5.3 billion worth of fish exports entering the international market each year from these regions, the meeting seeks to reinforce shared commitments to improve governance and boost development of fisheries and aquaculture resources. The Prime Minister of the Bahamas Dr. The Hon. Hubert A. Minnis is scheduled to open the two-day 5th Meeting of ACP Ministers in charge of Fisheries and Aquaculture on 20 September, preceded by the Meeting of Senior Fisheries Officials on 18-19 September. The event is especially important for the ACP Group of States, whose 79 member states include more than 60 that export fisheries products, both from maritime and inland fisheries and from aquaculture.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

The new fund will focus on investments in infrastructure in Africa to support sustainable economic growth in the region while delivering an attractive return to its investors A.P. Moller Holding has together with PKA, PensionDanmark and Lægernes Pension launched a new infrastructure fund with a focus on Africa. The fund has received commitments of US$550mn from anchor investors. The fund will be managed by A.P. Moller Capital, which is an affiliate of A.P. Moller Holding, and consists of a team lead by four partners, Kim Fejfer, Lars Reno Jakobsen, Jens Thomassen and Joe Nicklaus Nielsen. The partners all have extensive industrial and investment experience combined with a substantial network in Africa. The new fund will focus on investments in infrastructure in Africa to support sustainable economic growth in the region while delivering an attractive return to its investors.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has granted authority to French multinational banking institution Société Générale (SG) to open a representative office in Kenya following the fulfilment of stipulated authorisation requirements. The move comes as eight other multinational banks eye the Kenyan market. Headquartered in Paris, Société Générale (SG) is one of the leading financial services group in Europe and focuses on segments that include French Retail Banking, International Retail Banking and Financial Services, Global Banking and Investor Solutions.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

A little-known fact about Dutch beer-brewing company Heineken is that it sources half of its raw materials from local, small-scale farmers for its African operations. By sourcing locally, multinationals can save on import costs, preserve foreign exchange and contribute to the economic development of the continent. Yet, buying raw materials from smallholder farmers is not done overnight. Rather, it is the end-result of a multi-faceted commitment that can span up to 10 years. Throughout the continent, the company sources about 50% of its agricultural needs locally, including from approximately 150,000 smallholder farmers. The brewer aims to increase that to 60% by 2020, according to Paul Stanger, Heineken’s local sourcing director for Africa and the Middle East. Beer is typically made from malted barley, hops, yeast, and water (for most lagers), but other ingredients could include sorghum, rice and maize or even cassava. All these crops, with the exception of some varieties of barley and hops, are grown in Africa by smallholder farmers.

The South African citrus industry has been preparing a systems approach to manage false codling moth for the past four years, in expectation of what has indeed come to pass: from 1 January 2018 false codling moth will be a regulated pest in the EU. Dr Sean Moore of Citrus Research International presented information on the systems approach to delegates at a workshop on FCM and other citrus pests, near Groblersdal in the Senwes region, as part of a nationwide CRI roadshow on FCM. “We can scientifically prove that the system we have developed will mitigate the phytosanitary risk and this approach is in line with the International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures of the FAO’s International Plant Protection Convention. It has been developed in conjunction with all stakeholders within the citrus industry. Apart from lemons, which are exempt from the regulation as a non-host for FCM, there will be no other way of exporting to the EU.”

With the EU set to lift caps on sugar production, African producers could be squeezed out of a market that has propped up places like Swaziland for years. When the European Union deregulates its sugar market at the end of September, some of the biggest losers will be in the lush hills of this tiny, landlocked nation. More than 8,000 miles from Brussels, Swaziland’s sugar farmers for over a decade have benefited from the EU’s tight grip on domestic production of the sweetener. Caps on annual production in European countries helped keep prices artificially high and created a market for imports, especially from poor countries that are freed from tariffs. Currently, more than half of the EU’s raw sugar comes from Africa.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Kenya is set to host the second edition of Africa-France Summit next month that is expected to bring over 200 French companies in the country for investment opportunities. The business meet set for October 5 and 6 is projected to bring together over 2500 investors from Kenya, France and other African countries. Dubbed ‘The Encounters Africa 2017’, the event is already attracting strong interest from French companies, as well as from Francophone countries. Event Coordinator Annemijn Perrin says they expect to connect businesses with the aim of closing deals at the summit.

Selling beer is now very competitive in Ivory Coast. Since the arrival of Dutch group Heineken in April 2016, the monopoly enjoyed by Solibara owned by French Group Castel has pushed both companies to engage in a series of advertising campaigns. The advertising campaigns in the form of posters is going on at a time when retailers in the beer business complain of a decline in profits. “A crate of beer in Ivory Coast is now sold for 5000FCFA. How much will one gain after selling the crate. This is because today I sell Solibra products. When you say that beer is made in Ivory Coast then dealers in the product need to benefit from it. I gain about 1000 FCFA from a crate of beer. Who then pays all the other costs. I have just spoken the truth,” a dealer in beer products, Josue Gnahoua said. Solibra holds two thirds of the market and achieved a turnover of 305 million euros in 2016. On the other side is its competitor Brassivoire, which has seized a third of the market in a year.