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Brazil’s Odebrecht to Finish Luxury Condominiums by 2008


Brazilian construction company, Odebrecht, is expected to conclude two luxury residential condominium projects in Luanda by 2008, each with an area of 209,000 square meters. The Atlântico Sul and the Riviera Atlântico condominiums are locate in the Angolan capital, Luanda. Atlantico Sul, which is Odebrecht’s first real estate project in Angola, launched in the 1990s, has 100 lots, one less than the Riviera Atlantico, which was launched in 2004. The Brazilian company’s real estate projects saw greater dynamics as of 2004, with projects such as Angola’s first shopping mall, Belas Shopping and Belas Business Park, which is still under construction.
Odebrecht has 26 projects underway and ten concluded in Angola. According to the company’s Chairman, Emílio Odebrecht, the company plans to double investment in Angola over the next two years.

R70 Billion for South Africa’s Transport

According to South African Transport Minister, Jeff Radebe, the transport department will be investing more than R70-billion in the country's public transport system and road infrastructure. According to the Minister, investment on public transport, from roads to public transport and transport infrastructure is more than R70-billion, equivalent to a sizeable percentage of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). By 2020, passenger movements in the cities would be more than double and traffic would grow tremendously.

World Bank commits US$5.7 billion to Africa

The World Bank has committed a record US$5.7 billion, under the International Development Association (IDA) to Sub-Saharan Africa in the last financial year. The World Bank said the amount exceeded the development funds of the previous year by $1 billion. The IDA is the concessionary affiliate of the World Bank, which gives interest-free loans to the world's poorest countries. The International Finance Corporation, which is the Bank's private sector arm, provided $1.38 billion in financing for its own account and mobilised an additional $261 million in financing through syndications. The Bank said Africa, which it calls its "first priority," is in its third year of economic growth at levels above 5 percent. A significant factor in the Bank's increased commitment is its expanding investment in infrastructure, particularly electricity generation. In the year up to 30 June 2007, the Bank committed $2.4 billion of IDA funds to infrastructure projects, $660 million of which was lent to the energy and mining sectors and $870 million to the transport sector.

South Africa Performs Well on Governance

South Africa performed steadily in the World Bank's latest Worldwide Governance Indicators report, showing improvements in all but one of the categories. The 2007 report, the sixth of its kind, covers 212 countries and territories, building on research on the importance of governance and its impact on development from 1996 to 2006. The indicators measure voice and accountability, political stability and absence of major violence and terror, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law, and control of corruption. The lowest reading on South Africa's report is that of 44% for political stability, though it has been steadily rising from a low of 13% in 1996. The highest score is almost 77% in the effective governance category, just shy of the 78% high set in 1998. The best performer for South Africa over the decade has been the regulatory quality category, which has risen from 51% in 1996 to 70% in 2006. It has also risen by almost 4% over the past year.

Angolan Government Approves Modernization Project for National Breweries

The Angolan Cabinet Council recently approved projects for the expansion and modernization of the Angolan breweries EKA and CUCA. This is part of the Angolan government’s commitment to promoting investment projects in the socio-economic field, and enhancing entrepreneurship. The projects will cost approximately US$ 42.02 million and US 92.6 million for EKA and CUCA, respectively. Source: ANIP

United Nations Summit to address Africa' Digital Gap

Africa's need for infrastructure and communication technology to develop and bridge the digital divide is to be addressed at a United Nation's (UN) summit in October. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the head of the UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have endorsed the "Connect Africa Summit", to be held in Kigali, Rwanda, from 29 to 30 October. The summit will bring together the private sector, governments and international organisations to seek ways to address the "digital divide" across the continent and to promote the use of information technology to achieve development goals. According to the Secretary General, the Summit represents an important step not only in overcoming the digital divide but also to help countries achieve the set of global anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). While investment in ICT infrastructure in Africa has improved dramatically in recent years, representing a total of $8 billion in 2005, up from $3.5 billion in 2000, and growth in mobile phones has increased 400 percent, Africa has fallen back in overall connectivity, according to the ITU. The Connect Africa Summit will be organised by the ITU, the World Bank and the UN Global Alliance for ICT and Development (GAID), in partnership with the African Development Bank, the African Telecommunication Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.

Reliance makes a strategic acquisition in East Africa

Reliance has acquired a Majority stake and Management control of Gulf Africa Petroleum Corporation (GAPCO), a company which has a significant presence in East Africa in the petroleum downstream sector. The acquisition has been made through a wholly owned subsidiary, Reliance Industries Middle East, Dmcc (RIME) registered in United Arab Emirates. GAPCO, an entity based in East and Central Africa with headquarters in Mauritius, owns and operates large storage terminal facilities and a retail distribution network in several countries – including Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya. It also owns and operates large storage terminals in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda and other depots in East and Central Africa. Reliance owns and operates the world’s largest green field refinery in India. Acquisition of GAPCO by Reliance is a strategic step towards achieving its global vision in the petroleum downstream sector by integrating the entire value chain consisting of Refining, Shipping, Trading, Terminalling and Marketing through retail and wholesale segments. Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) is India’s largest private sector company and ranks amongst the world’s Top 200 companies in terms of profits.

Angolan Airlines to Launch Electronic Ticket

Angolan Airlines (TAAG) will launch electronic ticketing this year, in replacement of the current paper ticket system. The issuing of the electronic ticket is one of the International Air Transportation Network (IATA) recommendations, and integrates the company into the advanced technological world. The electronic ticket also has the advantage of reducing costs, and enables the passenger to purchase their ticket online from anywhere.

New Head for NEPAD Nigeria

Dr Tunji Olagunju, a former Ambassador to South Africa, has been appointed Chief Executive of NEPAD Nigeria and special advisor on NEPAD to Nigeria's President Umaru Yar’Adua. In addition four offices dealing with various aspects of NEPAD have been merged into a single office as NEPAD Nigeria. Source: NEPAD

Angola to Have 39 More Hotels by 2010

Angola will receive 39 new hotels of various categories in the coming months involving estimated investments of US$ 500 million. The investment is just in time for a number of upcoming sporting events being staged in Angola, such as the African Nations Cup in 2010, Afrobasket, and the African Women’s Handball Championships. Angola’s hotel sector is set to grow by about 8% annually over the next few years, with a parallel expansion in restaurants and overall improvement in quality of services.

Neotel’s Neolink Receives a Good Response in South Africa

Neotel launched their Neolink leased line services earlier this year, and the initial market response has been positive the company says. Neotel launched its National Private Leased Line services – called Neolink - in May this year. NeoLink provides companies with dedicated leased line services offering point-to-point connectivity. NeoLink give symmetrical capacity with transmission speeds of 2, 34, 45 or 155 Mbit/s, and Neotel points out that clients have a choice of interfaces tailored to their needs. According to the company, the response from businesses has been very positive, with Neotel following a ‘targeted approach’ with their Neolink products, engaging mainly with large businesses. Neotel currently has next-generation DWDM and SDH-based optical fibre network links in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town. Source: MyBroadband

BFA and CLUSA to Finance Agricultural Projects in Angola

Banco de Fomento Angola (BFA) and Cooperative League of the USA (CLUSA) have signed an agreement to provide financing for agricultural projects and select production chains. The agreement includes joint monitoring of project implementation and development and the training of CLUSA personnel in services and financial markets. CLUSA is responsible for the implementation of the 5-year ProAgro Angola program (Agricultural and Financial Development Program), financed by Chevron and USAID. BFA’s strategy includes partnerships with specialized institutions, the creation of a unit to analyze projects and set up financing operations, and the comprising of a team of highly skilled Angolan and international experts. In June of 2007, BFA signed its first agricultural cooperation agreement with the Southern Angolan Cattle-Raisers Cooperative (CCGSA) and CLUSA. BFA will soon set up its first branch in Ganda municipality located in the Benguela Province.

Ghana Hits Oil Again

Tullow Oil has made another significant oil discovery in Ghana estimated at 800million barrels, in a block adjacent to the one where it made a big discovery in June, supporting investor hopes that the country will become a major profit centre for the firm. London-based Tullow said in a statement on Wednesday that the Hyedua-1 well discovered "a significant light oil accumulation", in the Deepwater Tano block, which Tullow operates and in which it has a 50 percent stake. U.S.-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp and private-equity backed Kosmos Energy own 18 percent each. Drilling may start as early as 2011. Source: Databank

Angola Revises State Budget for 2007

The Angolan Government has recently revised the General State Budget for 2007. There will be greater amounts of money allocated to Angola’s economic and social sectors with increases of 10.2 and 3.3 percentage points, respectively. Currently the economic sector receives 24.2% and the social sector receives a 31.6% share of the overall budget. New projects include the rehabilitation of major roads in Luanda city (US$ 412 million), a resettlement program (US$ 100 million), the Cambambe dam modernization (US$ 25 million), and a programme to upgrade the national hospitals’ response ability (US$ 30 million).

South African Tourism Continues to Boom

The number of tourists visiting South Africa between January and May 2007 grew by 10% compared to the same period last year, driven by increasing numbers of visitors from Nigeria, Kenya and France, according to the country’s Tourism Minister. Speaking at the launch of Tourism Month, the Minister added that South Africa was benefiting from its new airlift strategy which has increased access by foreign air carriers to South Africa. He noted the growth from African air markets in the first five months of the year, led by Nigeria with a 22% increase in arrivals and Kenya at just over 12%. South Africa has also attracted visitors from North and South America, with over 140,000 arrivals from the United States, Canada and Brazil, a 5% increase over last year. The contribution made by tourism to South Africa's gross domestic product (GDP) also rose from 4.6% in 1993 to 8.3% in 2006. Over 8 million tourists visited South Africa in 2006 and the sector employed almost one million people in 2006, an increase of 9.6% over 2005.

Dana Gas makes Oil discovery in Southern Egypt

Dana Gas has made the first ever oil discovery in Southern Egypt from its El Baraka-1 exploration well drilled in Komombo Concession in Upper Egypt. The El Baraka-1 well was drilled by Dana Gas' Upstream Division, Centurion Petroleum Corporation, to a Total Depth of 8712 feet and the well penetrated several oil bearing zones. Dana Gas is currently the 6th highest natural gas producer in Egypt, a country whose gas reserves have doubled in the past 5 years to over 70 trillion cubic feet. Dana Gas aims to drill 12 wells by the end of 2007.

Banco Keve’s Capital Stock Rises to US$ 50 Million

The Angolan bank, Banco Keve, will increase their capital stock by 20% (USD 40 million to USD 50 million) by October of 2007.The increase in stock will position Banco Keve for major advances and successfully fulfill its business plan for the next 3 years. In the first quarter of 2007, Banco Keve had an above average performance within the banking sector, with a deposit growth of 46% (31% growth over 2006).For the first half of 2007, investments in financial products surpassed USD 50.2 million. Over the past three years, shareholders recouped their investments and doubled the value of their initial investment, which motivated a boost in the bank’s capital stock. By the end of 2006, the bank was managing over USD 150 million in third-party funds and made loans over USD 100 million.

South Africa Accelerates 'e-skills' Programme

The South African government is to establish a council to oversee the development of "e-skills" in the country, while a number of leading local and international IT companies are to set up new training centres in the country. The new e-skills council, comprising members of government, business and academia, is intended to rapidly drive the process of improving ICT skills in the country, according to South African President Thabo Mbeki. Hewlett Packard has announced a R150-million initiative, dubbed the HP Business Institute, designed to provide subsidised training to small black-owned ICT companies. Microsoft, Cisco and Oracle have also announced proposals for the launch of centres to provide ICT training and job placement.

308,000 Jobs Created in Angola in 2006

Approximately 308,000 new jobs were created in 2006 in diverse sectors of the economy. Agriculture created the most jobs in 2006, followed by the social and construction sectors. While agriculture is the biggest employer, it received only 0.82% of investments. The non-oil economy grew 25.70%, well above the 14.7% for 2005. Among the best performing sectors in 2006, the transformation industry grew 44.7% and the construction industry grew 30%. Total economic growth in Angola for 2006 was 18.6%. As a direct result of the economic growth rate, per capita GDP rose from USD 1,985 in 2005 to USD 2,565 in 2006. According to government officials, the budget management policy was accountable for a majority of the fine economic performance in 2006. The result was a GDP surplus of 16.7% in 2006, compared to 8.5% in 2005. The positive cash balance was 11.5%.

BP Spends US$ 40 Million on New Offices in Luanda

The Angolan subsidiary of the British multinational company BP invested a total of US$ 40 million, from 2005 to 2007, in the construction of new offices in Luanda. The office space has an area of 45,000 square meters and will assist in the development plans for Block 18 and the continued exploration of Block 31. Over the past 10 years, BP has accumulated a work force of approximately 120 people in Angola.

Ghana Oil Company Goes Public

Ghana Oil Company, a wholly owned government oil marketing company, is going public following final regulatory approval by the Securities Exchange Commission. The company is offering 89,815,187 (43%) shares to the public, private individuals and corporate investors. The share offer is pegged at 20 Ghana pesewas and opens for a minimum of 300 ordinary shares. GOIL Management confirmed the approval in a statement issued in Accra this week. It named Merban Stockbrokers Limited, SDC Brokerage Services Limited and Gold Coast Securities powered by MMRS Ogilvy as the sponsoring brokers. GOIL enjoys a current market share of 18%, dominating the lubricant and LP Gas trade and is major player in the general retail business. Source: Databank

Nigeria Scraps State Oil Company

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua is to scrap the state-owned oil corporation and restructure the industry. A national energy council will instead be established to oversee the notoriously corrupt oil sector. The council, headed by the president, has six months to create five new organisations out of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Nigeria is the world's eighth-largest exporter of crude oil but relies on imports for its fuel needs. There are often fuel scarcities and the subsidised price of fuel is regularly flouted. The country loses millions of dollars of oil through illegal sell-offs, and reform of the oil sector is one of the newly-elected government's key aims. Source: Databank

Minister says Ghana Telecom Privatisation on Course

The Ghanaian Government says it is on course to privatize Ghana Telecom by the end of the year. According to the country’s Minister of Communication, the transaction advisers have been working assiduously to ensure that final bidders are chosen on time. The Ghanaian Government last May selected Ecobank Development Corporation (EDC) and Societe Generale (S-G) as transaction advisors for the valuation of the company. Though France Telecom has expressed interest in buying a stake in Ghana Telecom when the privatization process is complete, it is not known whether it will succeed. About 51% of GT’s shares are expected to be off-loaded to a strategic investor, while the remainder will be listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange (GSE). The Government is expected to retain about 20 percent stake in Ghana Telecom. Source: Daily Guide

Subsea 7 Awarded US$ 80 Million Contract in Angola

Norwegian offshore contractor, Subsea 7, has been awarded a three-year deal, valued at over USD 80 million, by BP Angola, with an option to extend for another two years. The contract, which will begin immediately, includes support services in the B lock 18 Greater Plutonio development. Subsea 7 and its subsidiary, Sevenseas Angola, will provide project management and engineering for the maintenance, repair and light construction work that is required in this deepwater field.

AccessKenya to buy Openview Business Systems

AccessKenya Group, Kenya’s only publicly listed ICT company, has an agreement with the owners of Openview Business Systems, one of Kenya’s leading IT services providers, to purchase 70% of the issued share capital of that company. The completion of the transaction will be subject to the customary required approvals. Openview Business Systems is one of the market leading companies in offering IT solutions to enterprises and corporate customers in Kenya, with a number of blue chip customers including most of the leading banks, Insurance companies and parastatals. The Company won the CSK “IT Solution Provider of the Year” awards in both 2005 and 2006, and is also an IBM Premier Business partner, an Oracle certified partner, a NetApp Gold partner and a CISCO certified partner among other certifications. The consideration for the 70% share purchase is a combination of cash and approximately 4 million AccessKenya Group shares, together with some deferred consideration based on the performance of the business for the rest of 2007.

Telkom South Africa to Invest US$1bn in Nigeria’s Multi-Links

Telkom South Africa is to invest around US$1 billion in the expansion of the network of Multi-Links, its new Nigerian subsidiary, over the next five years. Telkom acquired Multi-Links Nigeria, the National Unified Access operator, in March 2007 in a deal worth U.S. $280 million. According to Chief Executive Officer of Multi Links, Justina Ramayia, the investment is expected to take a bouquet of telecommunication services to most parts of the country by the time it is concluded. Multi-Links have embarked on an aggressive rollout program to increase capacity and coverage of all 36 states of the Federation in the next 5 years. Currently, Multi-Links has a network that covers six states including Lagos and the Federal Capital, Abuja and most of the towns and cities in between. With the new investment planned, the firm will have network coverage of around 80% of the population. Source: Biz-Community .

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