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ACP-EU Trade

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

October 2018
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EDITO
Friday, 19 October 2018

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.

Danish fish feed group Aller Aqua will continue to “take risks” when it comes to developing emerging aquaculture markets, CEO Hans Erik Bylling, told Undercurrent News. The firm has grown rapidly in recent years and in 2017 will open two new plants in Zambia and China to bring its total up to six – doubling its overall production capacity, to around 300,000 metric tons. However, its recently-reported 2016 results showed that depreciation in the Nigerian and Egyptian currencies had hit the group's bottom line profit. “That's something that's very hard to protect yourself against,” said Bylling, during AquaNor 2017.

On 7 September 2017 in Douala, the Cameroonian economic capital, Guinness Cameroon, local subsidiary of the Diageo group, officially presented the first whiskey brand locally produced by the company. It is the Scottish whiskey “Black & White”, for which Guinness Cameroon, after a few years of negotiation with the owners of the brand, was granted all required authorisations for local production. To achieve this, the management of the company revealed, this subsidiary of the Diageo group had to purchase a liquor production unit.

Arla is adding another market to its Sub-Saharan Africa business region by establishing a new sales and packaging facility in Ghana. The new subsidiary will begin selling Arla’s branded dairy products in Ghana from September 2017 in response to growing demand for nutritious dairy products. The new Arla-owned subsidiary, Arla Foods Ltd., will be based in Accra, Ghana and will supply products from its Dano range also sold in Nigeria, including powdered milk, which is in demand among the rapidly growing middle class in urban areas, and butter and cheese from value-added brands like Arla and Lurpak. The move by Arla is in line with the company’s business strategy, Good Growth 2020, which aims to develop new markets for Arla’s products outside the EU to improve the milk price for the 11,200 farmer-owners who own the company.