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ReConnect Africa is a unique website and online magazine for the African professional in the Diaspora. Packed with essential information about careers, business and jobs, ReConnect Africa keeps you connected to the best of Africa.

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Angolan Exports to Reach US$28 Billion in 2006


Angolan exports are expected reach nearly US$28 billion, by the end of the year, compared with US$23.2 billion in 2005.  Speaking at a lecture under the theme "The role of the Reserve Bank in the development of Angola", Amadeu Mauricio, the Governor of the country’s National Reserve Bank (BNA) revealed that the exports on the oil sector will reach US$26 billion. In 2003 they accounted for only around USD 8.7 billion. The rapid increase in export income has been the main factor behind the strengthening of the country’s balance of payments.  Source: ANIP

South Africa launches Neotel Telecoms Network

A second telecommunications network operator, Neotel, has been launched in South Africa.  Derived from the Setswana word "neo", meaning gift, the company intends to open up new opportunities for businesses and for South Africans on the global stage, taking on Telkom, the country’s only fixed line provider to date. The company announced a R11-billion capital expenditure plan and its intention to develop its network and services to both corporate and retail markets by the second quarter of 2007.  The expectation is that a second network operator, by ending the monopoly in South Africa’s fixed line telecommunications market, will help reduce the high costs of telecommunications in South Africa.  Neotel has a number of major shareholders including Transnet, Eskom and SEPco, a strategic equity partner.  

Auto Africa 2006 Showcases South African Car Industry

The Auto Africa 2006 motor show, taking place at Johannesburg's Expo Centre from 26 October to 5 November, will highlight the growing importance of the local automotive industry to South Africa's economy.  The show is expected to attract over 20,000 visitors from around the world, bringing all aspects of South Africa’s motor industry together and showcasing the best of South African and global automotive companies.   The exhibition is one of only 22 exhibitions worldwide that are on the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) list of accredited international motor shows for 2006. A number of important industry-related conferences will take place during Motor Industry Week to promote trade and business-to-business exchange.

Social Investment Exchange in South Africa set to Boost Investment

A new social investment exchange to lead the way on transparency has been launched at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange to help boost investment in social causes and reduce poverty.  The exchange, dubbed the South African Social Investment Exchange or Sasix, is the brainchild of a local NGO, GreaterGood.  Modelled along traditional stock exchange lines, Sasix hopes to help NGOs raise funds for poverty-reduction projects by attracting investors with a social conscience.  Launched in June as a tool to break the cycle of poverty in South Africa, the transparency with which Sasix operates and its investments in enterprise development have been viewed with interest by corporate social responsibility activists. At every stage of a project’s implementation, investors will be able to obtain regular progress reports. At the end of the project, a performance analysis is conducted to give investors an understanding of whether the project met expectations and an idea of the lessons that were learnt. Source: Ethical Corporation

South Africa to get new Low Cost Airline

A new low-cost independent airline called Low Cost Airlines is expected to start activities in South Africa before the end of the year 2006. The company promised to be the first truly low-cost airline in South Africa with high operational efficiency.  Source: Tourism Africa News

Tunisia Wins Annual ADB Prize for Road Network

The annual ADB Prize for the best performance was awarded to the Tunisian road network.  The Tunisian road network was selected by the Department of Evaluation of Independent Operations (OPEV) as the best for 2006 within the framework of the annual Prize of the best performance.  According to the African Development Bank, this development project represents an exemplary performance in terms of implementation of a project by the bank. The project obtained recognition in all the categories of the independent evaluation by OPEV and, in particular, for its relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, viability, and its impact in terms of institutional development and follow-up/evaluation. Source: Tourism Africa News

World Bank Libya Country Economic Report

A recent World Bank Country Economic Report headlines the new website for Libya launched by the region. The report says that the Libyan economy is dominated by hydrocarbons and the public sector. Sizeable oil wealth has supported decent living standards for Libya's population and socioeconomic development compares favorably with standards in other Middle Eastern and North African countries. The main challenge for Libya is to promote growth of the non-oil sector, and diversify its economy.  Source: World Bank

Agrinvest to Invest US$250,000 in Product Preservation Facilities

Angolan agricultural sector company, Agrinvest, is set to invest US$ 250,000 on refurbishing a set of warehouses and refrigeration units used for preserving products. The refurbishment work, which is taking place to the south of Luanda, will include the installation of offices and sales and storage warehouses. The development is intended to ensure that the agricultural products grown at Agrinvest’s farm, located in the Bengo province, are delivered in good condition. Agrinvest has decided to set up preservation warehouses in Luanda in order to prevent products from being exposed to excessive heat and to keep them closer to the city’s supermarkets, which are the company’s main customers.  Source: ANIP

75 Percent of Luanda's Adult Population has Mobile Phone

A study carried out by the Angolan market research company, Audit, concluded that 75.9 percent of the population of Luanda over 18 years of age owns a mobile phone. The study of the quality and satisfaction of the mobile telecommunications market was performed at the request of the Angolan Telecommunications Institute (Inacom), and took place between September of 2005 and April of 2006, a period in which mobile phone use in Luanda grew 11 percent. The study, which was carried out with a sample of 1,500 people, also concluded that of the people that did not own a mobile phone, 88.8 percent planned to acquire one within the next six months. Source: ANIP

SABMiller acquires India's Foster

SABMiller has acquired the Foster's business and brand in India for $120million. SABMiller is listed on both the Johannesburg and London Stock Exchanges and is one of the world's largest brewers with brewing interests or distribution agreements in over 60 countries across five continents. In the year which ended March 31 2006, the group reported $15.307mn in revenues and profit before tax of $2.453mn. SABMiller India, through its national network of breweries, will extend Foster's Lager through its national networks to seek significant cost benefits from brewing and distributing the brand locally.

Angola's Unitel and Sweden's Ericsson Sign US$150 Million Agreement

Angolan mobile phone company Unitel and Swedish manufacturer Ericsson recently signed a contract to supply and install equipment and services worth USD 150 million. This amount is part of Unitel's investment plan for the year, which is expected to reach USD 250 million. According to a Unitel statement, the contract with Ericsson was signed as part of a strategy outlined by the company to improve service levels. Specifically, Unitel plans to upgrade its infrastructures and systems and expand its coverage area this year to a total of 52 municipal regions. Source: ANIP

South Africa to invest in Mauritius

Several major South African companies plan to invest in the Indian Ocean Island, according the Mauritian Minister of Finance, Rama Sithanen who made a recent visit to South Africa. Among these South African companies are hotel groups that have expressed their interest in investing in Mauritius. Mauritius aims to attract two million tourists by 2015, up from about 700,000 per year at present.  Source: Tourism Africa News

Angola to host 2010 African Nations Cup

Angola has won a four-way contest to host the 2010 African Nations Cup. The Southern African state was the unanimous choice of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) executive committee, ahead of Libya, Nigeria and a joint bid by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. This will be the first time a Portuguese-speaking country stages the nation’s cup and only the second time the event has been held south of the continent after South Africa stepped in 10 years ago when Kenya withdrew.

IMF Commends Ghana for Fiscal Prudence

Ghana has been commended by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for maintaining a prudent fiscal policy. The IMF said Ghana, at its current development pace, could achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of halving poverty in 2012 ahead of 2015 deadline. Briefing the media in Accra after a Staff Mission to Ghana, Mr Sam Itam, Senior Advisor in the African Department of the IMF, said even though the situation might not be true for most African countries, Ghana’s economic performance over the last few years has been very satisfactory with real GDP growth increasing from 3.7 per cent in 2000 to 5.9 per cent in 2005. Mr Itam noted that the situation had led to a more than doubling of the growth of real GDP per capita from 1.2 per cent in 2000 to 3.2 per cent in 2005. Source: Databank

Russia Pledges a Boost in Economic Ties with South Africa

Russian President Vladimir Putin pledged to boost business ties with South Africa on a landmark visit. He said economic ties between the two nations, both with vast mineral and diamond reserves, lagged far behind the political affinity they enjoyed. "The decades-long interruption in ties between South Africa and Russia is now history," Mr Putin said. This was the first trip by a Russian president to the country. Moscow once aided South Africa's ruling party, the ANC, which received military training and financial support from Moscow during its years of fighting apartheid. Source: Databank

Japan Pledges Support to Kenya’s Agriculture and Fisheries

The launch of the Japan-Africa partnership programme in Nairobi saw Japan pledge $10bn into developing Africa's agriculture, fishery and forestry sectors. Japanese agriculture, fishery and forestry minister, Shoichi Nakigawa, said the funding would be released over a three year period. Japan would post 10,000 experts to study and eliminate trade barriers between developing countries and the global market. Assistance would also be given to support production and processing for agriculture and fisheries. Source: Databank

Nigerian President Urges Stock Market Integration

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on African Stock Exchanges (ASE) to embrace integration as a shortcut to the critical mass required for exploiting the economy of scale and competing in a globalised securities market where size has become a major success factor. Obasanjo observed that already the African Stock Exchanges Association (ASEA) has adopted harmonised listing requirements to facilitate cross-border listing among stock exchanges of the continent. He added that the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission have signed Memorandum of Understanding with some African Stock Exchanges and regulators, leading to inward and outward listings between Nigeria and South Africa by companies quoted on both exchanges. Source: Databank

Central Bank of Nigeria Announces $7bn Budget Surplus

The Central Bank of Nigeria announced a budget surplus of $6.99bn for the first six months of 2006, against a projected budget deficit of $7.4bn (94.5bn naira) for the same period.  According to the CBN, Nigeria's GDP grew by 7.5 percent compared with the 2.7 percent recorded during the first quarter of the year. The Nigerian government has projected 10 percent overall growth for 2006, up from 6.2 percent in 2005. The Central Bank added that foreign exchange sales to authorised dealers rose dramatically from $0.68bn in the preceding quarter to $2.93bn, an increase it attributed to the increased liberalisation of the foreign exchange market.  

SA in Global Top 30 for Doing Business

South Africa ranks among the top thirty countries in the world in the World Bank's Doing Business 2007 report, released in Washington on Tuesday. Doing Business is an annual report that measures the ease of doing business in 175 economies around the world. The 2007 Doing Business report ranks economies on their ease of doing business, from 1 - 175, with first place being the best. A high ranking on the ease of doing business index means the regulatory environment is conducive to the operation of business. This year's report measured the effect of 213 reforms that reduced the time, cost, and hassle for businesses to comply with legal and administrative requirements. The report found that that Africa had made some of the greatest progress of all the regions in the preceding 12 months. Two-thirds of African countries made at least one reform, with Tanzania and Ghana ranking among the top 10 reformers. The report is published annually by the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation. www.doingbusiness.org

World Bank Supports eRwanda Project

The World Bank has approved US$10 million to support improvements in Rwanda’s operations and service delivery systems, particularly in rural areas, with a focus on the use of technology as an enabler to growth and development. The project aims to modernize key internal systems of the government that are critical to its overall development strategy.  Source: World Bank  

Angolan Government Approves New Model for Buying and Selling Diamonds

The Angolan government has approved a new model for the buying and selling of diamonds and the plan for sale to preferential customers, as part of the new sector policy approved in May. The model, approved by the Permanent Commission of the Council of Ministers, aims to provide the government with a legal framework with which to regulate contracts drawn up by Angolan diamond sales company, Sodiam. The new model follows the new diamond sales policy approved at the beginning of May, approximately six months after the first diamond cutting factory was opened in Angola, thus allowing Angola to export cut diamonds as well as diamonds in the rough. Diamond production in Angola totalled over 6 million carats in 2005, with Angola’s state diamond company Endiama estimating it will reach 10 million carats at the end of this year and 19 million in 2009. Angola is currently the sixth-largest diamond producer in the world, but, due to the quality of its stones, is the fourth in terms of revenue from diamond mining.  Source: ANIP

Angola's Banking Sector sees a Renaissance

The Angolan banking sector is seeing a renaissance. Three new banking groups are scheduled to start up activities during the coming months and more than 10 have signalled an interest in seeking the necessary authorizations to be able to operate on the national market. Although it will be difficult to evaluate the impact that the new competitiveness will have on the profitability of existing banks, successes for newcomers are possible, as shown by the Banco Internacional de Crédito (BIC), which after only one year managed to gain fourth place on Angola's bank rankings, in terms of deposits. 

Acergy S.A. Awarded USD 150 Million Offshore Installation Contract in Angola

Acergy S.A. announced that it had been awarded a contract by Cabinda Gulf Oil Company, a subsidiary of Chevron, for the installation of the export pipeline system on the Tombua Landana development offshore Cabinda, Angola. The contract, valued at approximately US$150 million, is for the installation and tie-in of two export pipelines that will connect the Tombua Landana drilling and production platform and the Benguela-Belize oil and gas pipeline transportation system. Offshore installation is planned for mid 2008. Acergy S.A. is a seabed-to-surface engineering and construction contractor for the offshore oil and gas industry worldwide.  Source: ANIP

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