Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

April 2017
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EDITO
Friday, 28 April 2017

With the United Kingdom scheduled to officially advise the European Union next Wednesday of its intention to leave the EU, triggering two years of Brexit negotiations, Caribbean tourism officials recently undertook a mission to the European capital, Brussels. They engaged in a series of meetings with senior parliamentarians and officials in the European Parliament, the European Commission, the CARIFORUM ambassadors, and other key stakeholders and influencers. The mission was led by secretary general of the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) Hugh Riley in collaboration with president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) Karolin Troubetzkoy.

The upcoming Agritech Expo Zambia in Chisamba from 27-29 April will feature a record number of six international pavilions from strong farming countries Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, France, the Czech Republic and Zimbabwe, each showcasing their own specialised products and services to the agri community. “For four years now the German Agricultural Society has been involved in Agritech Expo Zambia” says Martin Botzian, Head of Communication at DLG International GmbH.

State Development Bank of Poland (BGK) has approved a One hundred million US dollars Grant to spur investments in Angola through projects in the fisheries, agriculture, transport and other sectors of the national economy. This is the first funding initiative from the bank for investments in Angola within a long-term credit line, whose terms of conditions would be based on the establishment of the Agreement on Export Credits. In order to achieve this financing, which also aims to ensure the development of fruitful cooperation between the two countries, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the Ministry of Finance and BGK on Tuesday in Luanda to expand and boost relations between the two economies.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

The French Development Agency (AFD) has provided South Africa’s power utility Eskom with a ZAR 6 billion ($477.7 million) credit facility. Eskom, which has delayed the development of several large-scale PV projects over the past years due to grid issues, will use the funds to improve its network and integrate more renewable energy power. The French Development Agency (AFD) has agreed to provide South African power utility Eskom with a multi-tranche 6 billion ZAR ($477.7 million) credit facility. The facility is intended to support Eskom’s plans to improve and expand its power grids. The funds will be used to strengthen transmission lines and substations linked to large-scale renewable energy power plants, AFD said.

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.

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.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya will pay a two-day state visit to Italy from Monday, the state house in Yaoundé announced. Though the statement by the secretary-general at the Presidency did not give details, observers envisage the signing of major investment deals during the visit. President Biya’s plan comes about a year after his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella paid a similar visit to Yaoundé. The president will be accompanied by the First Lady Chantal Biya to the world’s eighth largest economic power. The visit comes barely a month after the holding in Yaoundé of the maiden Cameroon—Italy business forum.

Target group: All stakeholders Consultation Period: 17/03/2017 to 09/06/2017 As part of the Mid-Term Evaluation of the EU’s GSP, DEVELOPMENT Solutions Europe Ltd. will conduct a 12-week online public consultation, which will employ the European Commission’s Better Regulation Guidelines. The purpose of this online public consultation is to collect information, views and opinions on the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and relevance of the GSP Regulation. It will further provide stakeholders with the opportunity to give feedback on the scheme’s economic, social, environmental and human rights impact.Regulation (EU) No. 978/2012 forms the legal framework for the current scheme.