Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

December 2017
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EDITO
Wednesday, 13 December 2017

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.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Portugal, Spain, Greece and Italy broke European Union law by authorizing vessels to fish in the territorial waters off Gambia and Equatorial Guinea, according to the findings of conservation group Oceana published on Tuesday. Fishing vessels from Europe and Asia are drawn to West Africa, particularly for high-value tuna. Many ships operate legally but West African states are vulnerable to illegal fishing because of corruption and a lack of maritime policing capacity. Using data from their onboard tracking devices, Oceana found that 19 vessels illegally spent over 31,000 hours in Gambia and Equatorial Guinea’s exclusive economic zones - waters which extend 200 nautical miles from the coast - from April 2012 to August 2015.

NESTLE Zimbabwe is looking at reviving coffee estates in the Eastern Highlands through contracting small-scale farmers, sources familiar with the development have said. The company, a unit of the world’s largest food and beverage firm, Swiss-based Nestle Global, is looking into the wider scope of the re-development of the coffee industry in Zimbabwe. “Coffee fits well into a wider range of Nestle products and it is an area that Nestle Zimbabwe is looking at; possibly reviving the estates in the eastern highlands,” said one source. “As such, some preliminary studies are being done; obviously to determine the model that could be used to resuscitate the industry. It is a project that has involvement of other stakeholders such as the Agriculture Marketing Authority and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.”

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

According to statistics published by the European Commission, cocoa processed into paste and powder is the second most important African product exported to the EU. In its publication of 22 August 2017, the Quotidien de l’Economie states that according to the European Commission’s ‘Agri-Food Trade Statistical Factsheet EU-Sub-Saharan Africa’, agricultural foodstuffs in 2016 accounted for 12.5% of the European Union’s (EU) exports to sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), including South Africa. The most important export to the EU in terms of value is cocoa beans, which last year accounted for 36% of the total, up 15.1% from 2015.

At the request of France, Emmanuel Macron and Alassane Ouattara met for the second time in less than three months, on 31 August at the Élysée Palace. The two heads of state met face-to-face (as did their wives) for a quarter of an hour in the Palace gardens, before joining their teams for a lunch that also included French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire, French ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Georges Serre, and Gilles Huberson, who will succeed him in mid-September. This graduate of the French military academy of Saint Cyr got along very well with Patrick Achi, the Secretary General of the Ivorian Presidency. Among the topics discussed were the implementation of projects financed by France, including the Abidjan metro, to which France is contributing €1.4 billion, and which is due to be launched in November.

Côte d’Ivoire ranked sixth in Africa in 2016 in terms of new projects financed by foreign capital, with a total of 33 projects. This figure, up by 27%, makes Côte d’Ivoire the third best performer behind Algeria (+42%) and Tunisia (+60%). Côte d’Ivoire benefited from $747 million in new capital for projects, resulting in the creation of 3,787 new jobs. In 2016, Morocco and France provided the most foreign direct investment for new projects in Côte d’Ivoire, with France first in terms of the number of new projects supported (nine in total), and second in terms of capital injected ($108 million). The United States contributed $22 million to three projects.

GreenWish Partners (‘GreenWish’), an independent renewable energy producer in Africa, has announced the signature of a partnership with Orange to implement the energy transition of its telecommunications towers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This partnership will see GreenWish and its operating partner Sagemcom deploy hybrid solar power generation solutions that combine solar energy, battery and diesel in support of greater energy efficiency. This first tranche of 250 telecom towers across the whole of the DR Congo marks the launch of a new electricity supply model for Orange in the country. This model, known as ESCO (Energy Services Company), has already been launched in India and the United States.

The Bolloré Consortium has been designated for the partial take-over of Necotrans’ activities in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Cameroon and Burkina Faso. This was the decision handed down by the Commercial Court of Paris on 25 August 2017, in the context of its judgement on insolvency proceedings of the Necotrans group, Bolloré’s main rival in Africa, mainly in the management of port terminals, the oil and gas sector, and mining logistics.