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60 African countries to participate in the AIM 2013

Posted on 27 April 2013 by Africa Business

Dubai, an inspiring city for African countries in their policies, strategies and sustainable development

African countries look to attract investments in infrastructure, agriculture, energy, mining and tourism during their participation

Victoire Ndikumana Ministry of Trade, Industry, Posts and Tourism in Burundi: AIM is important platform to promote investment opportunities in our country

Gorden Moyo, Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals in Zimbabwe: AIM brings investors from all over the world and government representatives to interact and discuss investment opportunities

Hon Minister Kebba S Touray - Gambia

 

Kebba S. Touray, Minister of Trade, Regional Integration & Employment in Gambia: AIM is great opportunity and platform for strategic networking, establishing partnerships, promotion and learning best practices

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The African countries sees Dubai as an inspiring city for them in their policies, strategies and sustainable development plans. 60 African countries will participate in the 3rd Edition of Annual Investment Meeting (AIM 2013). The AIM runs between April 30 & May 2 and is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. It is set to attract more investments to the UAE, region and enhance investment flows internationally and specially towards Africa that need FDI flows to achieve sustainable development in sectors like infrastructure, energy, agriculture, mining, tourism and many others given the attractive Return on Investment levels in Africa compared to other continents.

Victoire Ndikumana Minister of Trade, Industry, Posts and Tourism in Burundi described the AIM as a global event focused on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). AIM 2013 will be of great importance for Burundi because it provides representatives from the private and public sector an exclusive environment to establish MOUs and exchange views on the importance of multilateral trade agreements, economic governance and strategic cooperation with economic operators in the world in general and the UAE in particular.

Ndikumana said the Burundi looks forward to exchanging with the authorities of the United Arab Emirates and other countries represented at the AIM to learn about their regulation of FDI, the strengths and opportunities of investment offered by their country and then see how to improve trade with them.

We will present foreign investors with the progress made by our country in the promotion of trade and investment and we invite them to visit Burundi in order to assess for themselves the business environment in Burundi, says the Minister. Burundi delegation will present a number of projects for partners and investors. We hope that Burundian businessmen who are participating in this conference will conclude partnership with foreign investors present here, she noted.

The Minister of Trade, Industry, Posts and Tourism in Burundi said trade and investment between Burundi and the United Arab Emirates are doing well. Burundi has many investment opportunities which may be the subject of cooperation between the United Arab Emirates and Burundi. These opportunities include agriculture, livestock and fisheries, fruit, flowers, cereals, oilseeds (oil palm), enhancement of coffee and tea production. She also highlighted the possibilities of hydroelectricity, renewable energy and industrial fishing on Lake Tanganyika, extraction and processing mining: nickel, gold, coltan. Beach tourism and water sports on Lake Tanganyika, development of housing, public buildings, hotel and lodges, marine transportation on Lake Tanganyika and development of infrastructures such as roads, railways, airports, marina and sports are among the major opportunities available in Burundi, according to Ndikumana.

About supporting UAE’s bid to host Expo 2020 in Dubai, the minister noted that a team of experts is analyzing all the bids, and we are waiting for their reports. The government will then take a decision in due time.

Speaking about historical background, she said that Burundi has experienced many years of war and after many years of crisis, Burundians negotiated and signed a peace agreement in August 2000. Currently, peace and stability have been restored and Burundians are rebuilding their country. The authorities of the country are striving for social reconstruction and economic development.

The main challenges the Government of Burundi now faces is the fight against poverty and unemployment, the energy deficit, transport infrastructures low cost like railway, limited access to finance for small and medium enterprises. However, all these challenges are opportunities for investment.

The Government of Burundi has made many reforms to improve the business climate. That is why the country has been ranked as one of the top ten reformers in the 2012 and 2013 Doing Business reports of the World Bank. We welcome all potential investors. We promise that they will enjoy to invest in our country, the minister noted.

The Minister noted that the trade and investment between Burundi and UAE has developed over the past years and many businessmen and women from Burundi regularly visit the United Arab Emirates and specifically Dubai to make purchases of goods and services. In recent years, import from United Arab Emirates have improved strongly from $ 13.7 million in 2008 to $ 32.6 million in 2011, before falling to $ 27.6 in 2012. Burundi’s imports from United Arab Emirates consist primarily of vehicles, rice, flour, fiber fabrics, clothing, carpets, tubes, pipes, wooden furniture, powdered milk, oil, juice, panels, paper and cardboard. Exports to United Arab Emirates are made of gold in the state raw, hides and skins. The UAE’s share in Burundi’s exports has strongly increased from virtually nothing in 2003 to 13% of total exports in 2010. This increase largely reflects gold exports, Ndikumana concluded.

Gorden Moyo, Minister of State Enterprises and Parastatals in Zimbabwe said AIM is an important event in the investment arena as it brings investors from all over the world and government representatives to interact and discuss investment opportunities with the aim of achieving a win-win situation. It also provides opportunities for governments to exhibit information, market their investment opportunities and at the same time learn from current international best practices in investment promotion strategies. The event provides a networking platform and it brings together participants with broader knowledge and appreciation of the importance of FDI in economic development which is important for fruitful dialogue. Dubai is viewed as one of the wonders of the world in terms of investment focus, friendly investment environment and business climates. It provides a location for focused collaboration and sharing of information on the realities and challenges of future beneficiaries.

The Minister will be presenting investment opportunities in SEPs in Zimbabwe in the Agricultural, Energy & Financial Sectors. During AIM, the delegation of Zimbabwe will provide an opportunity to strengthen the trade and investment ties with UAE and the GCC Countries. The Minister’s aim is also to market the investment opportunities in the public enterprises reforms being undertaken in Zimbabwe as the country is looking for strategic investors for two banks namely POSB and Agribank. The country is also looking for investors for the Hydro Power Generating project at Hwange Power station at a cost of US$2.1 billion and the Gairezi Mini Hydro station at a cost of US$90 million.

The Minister will explore possible Lines of Credit for our State Enterprises and Parastatals in Zimbabwe as they are rehabilitating their infrastructures and building new projects. Signing of any Memorandum of Understanding with potential Strategic and Joint Venture Partners is a major priority in this important event. He noted that the emphasis at AIM should be at matchmaking major projects with possible financers or investors. The challenges faced by most countries are to market their abundant investment opportunities especially in developing countries. As the opportunities unfold it is important that information is disseminated to possible investors at the right time. A follow-up report should be produced to appraise the participants of the deals and business contracts established during AIM, says Gorden Moyo.

Kebba S. Touray, Minister of Trade, Regional Integration & Employment in Gambia emphasizes that AIM presents a great opportunity and platform for strategic networking, establishing partnerships, promotion and learning best practices on international policies and strategies for FDI attraction and boost in trade for sustainable growth.

Minister Touray said Dubai is one of the greatest hubs in terms of investment, trade and finance in the world. It is a city that inspires hope and confidence and a demonstration that with the right policies, strategies and dedication, we can all achieve sustainable growth and development for our people.

The Gambia delegation will be promoting both public and private sector projects. Projects from the Government of the Gambia and Public Enterprises: Railway, Business Park Development and Management, Airport City ,tourism and real estate development according to the Minister along with projects from the private sector including Agro processing, Fisheries and ICT.

About their agenda in Dubai, the Minister of Trade, Regional Integration & Employment in Gambia noted thy will discuss strategic networking both at the bilateral, regional and multilateral level to promote our national development aspirations. Also they will exchange of visions , strategies and experiences with leaders from governments, private sector and multilateral institutions to enhance our policies and strategies to boost trade and investment in Gambia and our region. Other objectives during the AIM will be promoting Gambia as one of the best locations for investment in Africa and to promote projects from the government and private sector to individual and institutional investors and financiers along with establishing/strengthening strategic alliances and partnerships.

AIM provides an excellent forum and platform to generate new ideas, enhance international policies and strategies, broker deals and establish strategic partnerships to reignite growth in the global economy through greater investment and trade with emerging and developing countries, says the Gambian Minister.

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Nokia and Airtel partner to deliver consumer value across Africa

Posted on 05 April 2013 by Chancy Namadzunda

By Chancy Namadzunda

Nokia and Airtel announced a broad partnership agreement across Africa to drive closer collaboration and deliver increased consumer value. The agreement, which incorporates areas such as the provision of Nokia Life services, Xpress Browser and Nokia Store Operator Billing for purchases from Nokia Store in key countries, makes it easier and more cost effective for Airtel subscribers to access a range of value adding services.

“Nokia’s commitment to Africa goes beyond the provision of quality mobile phones,” says Olivier Mas, Head of Solution Sales, Nokia Middle East Africa. “Our focus is on bringing real consumer value through relevant content and services and by igniting the local ecosystem to do the same. Partnerships are a critical part of this strategy and we are pleased to be working closely with Airtel Africa to deliver on our consumer promise.”

A key part of the agreement is the provision of Nokia Life services, already available in Nigeria and launching in Kenya this month. The services, which are delivered as richly formatted SMS messages, bring relevant, timely and personalized information to consumers at a far lower cost than other sources. Information is customized and designed to meet basic needs in areas such as education, agriculture, healthcare, livelihood and even spirituality.

The content brings real benefits, such as information for expectant mothers in rural areas who may not have regular access to clinics or pre-natal care. Since its launch in India, Nokia Life has expanded to several countries and has been experienced by more than 95 million people in 18 local languages. The potential for Nokia Life in Africa is enormous and, following on the success of Nigeria, Nokia and Airtel are pleased to now extend this to the East African market, starting with Kenya.

Andre Beyers, Chief Marketing Officer for Airtel Africa, is committed to the partnership. He says, “There are huge opportunities throughout Africa to transform how people communicate and how communities interact.

Delivering on that opportunity through mobile communications for everyone is our focus.  This alliance underlines our commitment to the growth of Africa’s communications sector and contributes towards bridging the digital divide on the continent. Partnering with world class organizations on such a large scale will galvanize the sector in Africa and be a catalyst for growth”.

Airtel is also pleased to announce the upcoming availability of integrated billing solutions for Nokia Store in both Nigeria and Kenya. Customers will shortly be able to download top local and global paid content, including apps and games, from Nokia’s immensely popular mobile application store and pay for their downloads as part of their monthly mobile phone bills or have the amount deducted from their pre-paid balance. Another advantage is that customers will pay for this content in local currency.

This is also great news for developers whereby paid for apps can soon be enjoyed by a broader base of consumers through operator billing, in addition to the existing credit card purchase mechanism. The third area of collaboration is around the provision of Nokia Xpress Browser for Airtel customers in Nigeria and Kenya, delivering a faster, smarter and more affordable way to access the internet. Xpress Browser is Nokia’s cloud-based platform for delivering a better internet experience on a number of mobile devices, including the new Asha range.

The cloud-acceleration technology compresses information by up to 90% to increase download speeds, reduce data costs and render pages in a format specially designed for mobile phones. As many African consumers will experience the internet for the first time from their mobile phone, the customised Nokia Xpress Browser is a valuable tool for Airtel subscribers in Kenya and Nigeria, whether they are seeking basic information, running their small business, or using social media to stay in touch.

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Property players in for a great ride 2013

Posted on 30 March 2013 by Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

It looks as if 2013 is set to provide opportunities for commercial investors, that is if experts are to be believed.

According to many economists, the outlook for the local commercial property sector for 2013 seems to be dim. However, according to Gerrie van Biljon, Executive Director of Cape Town-based Business Partners
Limited, on the back of these dismal views, the current environment in fact provides a good opportunity to purchase commercial property, due to the market still offering reasonable returns.

Van Biljon says that some analysts are talking about rental renewal rate increases of very low percentages or even no escalations for commercial property. “Well-known property economist Erwin Rode predicts a real drop in office rentals of between 7% and 14% throughout South Africa. However, even with low escalations investing in commercial property should be considered. It is after all a long term investment”.

He adds that investing in commercial property as a long term strategic investment decision may offer the long term results other investment instruments do not. “Cash for example offers very low yields for investors.”

However, he stresses that several factors specific to a business owner’s situation should matter much more than the general condition of the market. “If a business is doing well in a prime retail location and the location is important for the future viability of the business, buying should be considered. The final decision should not be an emotional one and should be made with the facts in mind.
Additional cash flow pressure due to the deposit requirements and additional payments should also be considered.”

He remarks that a common mistake made by entrepreneurs is to compare the instalment that will be paid with the rental payments. “Property costs such as rates, maintenance and insurance should be considered. If a business owners purchases wisely and pays a 30% deposit, the cash flow will usually break even within the first two years.”

Van Biljon says that when it comes to commercial property, such as industrial parks and shopping centres, different rules apply. “When it comes to this type of property the focus is on the value and strength of the leases involved. These factors also form a direct correlation with the price the buyer is prepared to pay. For example, having a long term lease with a national company in place will push the value of the property up, whereas multi tenanted units in rural areas with a lesser profile and no anchor tenant  is a less attractive option for investors.”

He explains that the property market has changed significantly over the past five years. “The property boom came to a halt in 2008 and this affected the residential market mostly – property prices hardened and the call for new units reduced dramatically. The commercial market did not experience the same trend. The capitalisation rates, which is used in the market to determine the value, did not negatively change to the same extent as residential prices changed. This resulted in commercial properties holding their value better than most of the residential market segments.”

Van Biljon further comments that in the current situation there are still sound investments available within the market. “When purchasing commercial property much research into the area as well as the structure needs to be conducted by a business owner to ensure that they will reap the benefits of ownership.

“Whatever you buy, always do a careful due diligence,” concludes van Biljon.

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New Study Shows Healthy Food Rebates Positively Impact Shopping Behavior

Posted on 25 March 2013 by Africa Business

RAND Corporation and Vitality research finds discount leads to increased purchases of healthy foods and decrease in junk foods

About Discovery Holdings

Discovery Holdings (JSE: DSY) is an authorized financial services provider. Discovery operates in the healthcare and life insurance markets in South Africa, the United Kingdom and China, as well as the long-term savings and investment market, and short-term insurance market in South Africa. Vitality, Discovery’s wellness program, is the world’s largest scientific, incentive-based wellness solution. It provides individual and corporate wellness initiatives in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States and China. The global Vitality membership base now exceeds 4 million lives. The company’s core purpose is to make people healthier, and to enhance and protect their lives.

About The Vitality Group

The Vitality Group is a member of Discovery Holdings Limited. Vitality wellness programs serve more than 4 million members worldwide at companies in a wide range of sizes and industry categories, improving individuals’ health and wellbeing as well as employers’ bottom lines. With a foundation based on actuarial science and behavioral economic theory, Vitality encourages changes in lifestyle that reduce healthcare costs, both in the short run and long term, by rewarding members for addressing their specific health issues.

 

CHICAGO /PRNewswire/ – A new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that rebates on healthy food purchases cause people to put healthier food in their grocery carts. Led by the nonprofit research organization the RAND Corporation, the analysis examined the purchases of more than 170,000 South African households, of which 60 percent participated in Discovery Vitality’ s HealthyFood program and were eligible for a cash-back rebate of up to 25 percent for healthy food purchases.

The study found that program participation led to an increased consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grain foods and less spending on high sugar, salty and fried foods, processed meats and fast food. According to the research, a rebate of 25 percent increased the ratio of healthy to total food purchased by 9.3 percent, increased the ratio of fruit and vegetables to total food purchases by 8.5 percent, and decreased the ratio of less-desirable food to total food purchases by 7.2 percent.

“This paper provides good evidence that lower prices for healthier foods significantly alter purchasing patterns,” said Roland Sturm, a study co-author and a senior economist at RAND.

Discovery Holding’s incentive-based wellness program, Vitality, is offered to nearly 4 million consumers worldwide. The Vitality Group, based in Chicago, provides Vitality as a standalone program in the U.S. Vitality is offered in South Africa and the U.K. through Discovery’s health insurance subsidiaries, Discovery Health and PruHealth.

“While the research results show that diets can be shifted through the use of incentives, this is only one component of Vitality’s program and our efforts to focus on health promotion and workplace wellness,” said Derek Yach, Senior Vice President, The Vitality Group. “By leveraging the latest in behavioral economics, clinical and actuarial science, we are working to develop innovative programs to help people make healthy choices to reduce the impact and costs of chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes for individuals and organizations.”

Vitality is a comprehensive health and wellness solution that educates, assists, and motivates individuals to engage in a broad set of verified activities with proven outcomes. The program employs sophisticated behavior change models supported by an actuarially-sound incentive program to achieve meaningful and measureable health improvement.

 

SOURCE The Vitality Group

RELATED LINKS
http://www.thevitalitygroup.com

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Africa’s Agriculture and Agribusiness Markets Set to Top US$ One Trillion in 2030

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Africa Business

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Africa has the potential to create a trillion-dollar food market
  • But farmers need better access to help them grow and trade their products
  • A new report outlines challenges and solutions to Africa’s Agriculture and Agribusiness sectors

WASHINGTON –A new World Bank report “Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness,” says that Africa’s farmers and agribusinesses could create a trillion-dollar food market by 2030 if they can expand their access to more capital, electricity, better technology and irrigated land to grow high-value nutritious foods.  The report calls on governments to work side-by-side with agribusinesses, to link farmers with consumers in an increasingly urbanized Africa.

“The time has come for making African agriculture and agribusiness a catalyst for ending poverty,” says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa Region. “We cannot overstate the importance of agriculture to Africa’s determination to maintain and boost its high growth rates, create more jobs, significantly reduce poverty, and grow enough cheap, nutritious food to feed its families, export its surplus crops, while safeguarding the continent’s environment.”

New Findings

Good prospects: Africa’s food and beverage markets are projected to reach $1 trillion by 2030. By way of comparison, the current size of the market is $313 billion, offering the prospect of a three-fold increase, bringing more jobs, greater prosperity, less hunger, and significantly more opportunity enabling African farmers to compete globally.

Performance boost needed: Africa’s agriculture and agribusinesses are underperforming.  Many developing countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, and Thailand now export more food products than all of Sub-Saharan Africa combined.  Even as export shares are falling, import of food products is rising.  The report argues that these adverse trends can be reversed through good policies, sustained public-private investment, and strong public-private partnerships backed by open, transparent procedures and processes along the entire value chain.

Untapped land and water: Africa has more than half of the world’s fertile yet unused land.  Africa uses only two percent of its renewable water resources compared to the global average of five percent.  Post-harvest losses run 15 to 20 percent for cereals and are higher for perishable products due to poor storage and other farm infrastructure.

While pointing to the need for significant investment in infrastructure the report carries an unequivocal warning: in the rush to allocate land for agribusiness, care needs to be taken so that acquisitions do not threaten people’s livelihoods and land purchases or leases are conducted according to ethical and socially responsible standards, including recognizing local users’ rights, holding consultations with local communities, and paying fair market-rate compensation for land acquired.

Adding Value

The report took an in-depth look at entire value chains – the process for taking products from farms to markets – for five commodities, rice, maize, cocoa, dairy and green beans.  Africa is the world’s leading importer and consumer of rice, paying US$3.5 billion for import bills. By increasing rice production, Senegal can help meet local demand but more capital is needed together with greater investment in irrigation and easing restrictions on access to land. Ghana, another top importer, produces more varieties of rice but at significantly higher cost.

“Improving Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness sectors means higher incomes and more jobs. It also allows Africa to compete globally. Today, Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand each export more food products than all of sub-Saharan Africa combined.  This must change,” says Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region.

Success Story

Although much of Eastern and Southern Africa is well suited to dairy production, only Kenya has established a competitive dairy industry. Kenya’s industry is based partly on a formal sector for processed milk and other dairy products, but its dynamic informal sector (based mostly on raw milk) is even more important, supplying over 80 percent of the market. Kenya’s success largely comes from the entrepreneurship of smallholders’ who choose high milk-yielding cross-bred cattle, improved feeds and paid better attention to animal health.  Also, Kenya success points to the importance of improving linkages to the formal sector through cooperative milk collection and milk cooling centers. Even though challenges remain government policy, especially flexibility in setting quality and safety standards for the informal chain were vital.

Looking Ahead

The report says agriculture and agribusiness should be at the top of the development and business agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa. Strong leadership and commitment from both public and private sectors is needed.  For success, engaging with strategic “good practice” investors is critical, as is the need for strengthening of safeguards, land administration systems, and screening investments for sustainable growth.  Concluding on an upbeat note, the report says Africa can draw on many local successes to guide governments and investors toward positive economic, social and environmental outcomes.

“African farmers and businesses must be empowered through good policies, increased public and private investments and strong public-private partnerships,” says Gaiv Tata, World Bank Director for Financial and Private Sector Development in Africa.  “A strong agribusiness sector is vital for Africa’s economic future.”

 

Source: WorldBank.org

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Africa’s Food Markets Could Create One Trillion Dollar Opportunity by 2030

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Africa Business

WASHINGTON, March, 2013 - Africa’s farmers and agribusinesses could create a trillion-dollar food market by 2030 if they can expand their access to more capital, electricity, better technology and irrigated land to grow high-value nutritious foods, and if African governments can work more closely with agribusinesses to feed the region’s fast-growing urban population, according to a new World Bank report launched today.

According to the Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness report, Africa’s food systems, currently valued at US$313 billion a year from agriculture, could triple if governments and business leaders radically rethink their policies and support to agriculture, farmers, and agribusinesses, which together account for nearly 50 percent of Africa’s economic activity.

The time has come for making African agriculture and agribusiness a catalyst for ending poverty,” says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa Region. “We cannot overstate the importance of agriculture to Africa’s determination to maintain and boost its high growth rates, create more jobs, significantly reduce poverty, and grow enough cheap, nutritious food to feed its families, export its surplus crops, while safeguarding the continent’s environment.”

Agribusiness: strong growth opportunities

Due to a combination of population growth, rising incomes and urbanization, strong demand is driving global food and agricultural prices higher.  Supply issues – slowing yield growth of major food crops, slowdown in research spending, land degradation and water scarcity issues, and a changing climate all mean that prices will remain high.  In this new market climate, Africa has great potential for expanding its food and agricultural exports.

Africa holds almost 50 percent of the world’s uncultivated land which is suited for growing food crops, comprising as many as 450 million hectares that are not forested, protected, or densely populated. Africa uses less than 2 percent of its renewable water sources, compared to a world average of five percent. Its harvests routinely yield far less than their potential and, for mainstay food crops such as maize the yield gap is as wide as 60 to 80 percent. Post-harvest losses run 15 to 20 percent for cereals and are higher for perishable products due to poor storage and other farm infrastructure.

African countries can tap into booming markets in rice, maize, soybeans, sugar, palm oil, biofuel and feedstock and emerge as major exporters of these commodities on world markets similar to the successes scored by Latin America and Southeast Asia.  For Sub-Saharan Africa, the most dynamic sectors are likely to be rice, feed grains, poultry, dairy, vegetable oils, horticulture and processed foods to supply domestic markets.

The report cautions that even as land will be needed for some agribusiness investments, such acquisitions can threaten people’s livelihoods and create local opposition unless land purchases or leases are conducted according to ethical and socially responsible standards, including recognizing local users’ rights, thorough consultations with local communities, and fair market-rate compensation for land acquired.

Improving Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness sectors means higher incomes and more jobs. It also allows Africa to compete globally. Today, Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand each export more food products than all of sub-Saharan Africa combined.  This must change,” says Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region.

Value Chains are essential

Rice: Africa has become a major consumer and importer of rice, and Africans import half the rice they eat and pay top dollar for it, $3.5 billion per year and more.  Ghana and Senegal are significant importers.  Senegal is competitive among its neighbors, but it is held back by the difficulty farmers have in accessing land, capital, finance for irrigation expansion and appropriate crop varieties.  Ghana produces fewer varieties of rice than Senegal, but at significantly higher cost, and levies 40 percent tariffs and other charges on imports. Poor grain quality, cleanliness and packaging are major deterrents for consumers constraining the sector’s performance.

Maize: A food staple for many Africans, maize is grown on 25 million hectares or 14 percent of cropped land. In Zambia where people eat on average 133 kilograms of cereals a year, maize provides half the calories in their diets.  Zambia is competitive when importing maize but fails on exports.  High transport costs, higher labor costs and lower yields combine to increase costs by one-third compared to Thailand, a major international producer of rain-fed maize.  The report argues that Zambia’s future competitiveness depends on raising yields, reducing costs, and removing disincentives for the private sector in markets and trade.

In addition, the study reviewed value chains for cocoa in Ghana and dairy and green beans in Kenya.

African farmers and businesses must be empowered through good policies, increased public and private investments and strong public-private partnerships,” says Gaiv Tata, World Bank Director for Financial and Private Sector Development in Africa.  “A strong agribusiness sector is vital for Africa’s economic future.”

Solutions

Agriculture and agribusiness should be at the top of the development and business agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report calls for strong leadership and commitment for both public and private sectors.  As comparators, the report cites case studies from Uruguay, Indonesia and Malaysia. For success, engaging with strategic “good practice” investors is critical, as is the strengthening of safeguards, land administration systems, and screening investments for sustainable growth.

The report notes that Africa can also draw on many local successes to guide governments and investors toward positive economic, social and environmental outcomes.

 

Source: WorldBank.org

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Born in the USA OR Coming to America

Posted on 06 March 2013 by Africa Business

Harris Poll Finds Buying American Still Valued in Increasingly Global Marketplace

 

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world’s leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris offers proprietary solutions in the areas of market and customer insight, corporate brand and reputation strategy, and marketing, advertising, public relations and communications research. Harris possesses expertise in a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer package goods. Additionally, Harris has a portfolio of multi-client offerings that complement our custom solutions while maximizing our client’s research investment. Serving clients in more than 196 countries and territories through our North American and European offices, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients—stay ahead of what’s next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

 

NEW YORK, March 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – At a time when many of the companies thought of as being American as apple pie actually outsource a growing portion of their production abroad, “buying American” has never been a more confusing proposition. Is a product manufactured overseas by a U.S. company more American than an Asian product manufactured in the United States?  What about the parts being used to produce these competing products?  The Harris Poll, conducted by Harris Interactive, set out to address what factors contribute to the perception of a product as “American” in an online survey of 2,176 U.S. adults between December 12 and 18, 2012.

“What many consumers don’t know is that companies very traditionally seen as American, from GE to John Deere to Levi Strauss, outsource varying portions of their operations overseas, so it takes a lot of attention and research to determine if you’re buying American and what that specifically means to you,” said Mike de Vere, President of the Harris Poll.  ”Even the big three automakers – Ford, General Motors and Chrysler – two of whom were thought of as the most American brands in our findings, increasingly have cars in which parts are produced abroad, while Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda have upped U.S. production.”

American Made
Being manufactured in the United States is clearly the top factor in being considered an “American” product, with three-fourths of Americans (75%) agreeing that “A product needs to be manufactured within the U.S. for me to consider it ‘American’.”  This puts domestic manufacture ahead of the importance of being from a U.S. company, being made from American parts, or being American designed.

  • Roughly half of U.S. adults agree that “A product needs to be made by a U.S. company for me to consider it ‘American’” (52%) and that “A product needs to be made from parts produced in the U.S. for me to consider it ‘American’” (47%).
  • Only one-fourth of Americans (25%) agree that “A product needs to be designed by an American for me to consider it ‘American’.”

The majority of Americans indicate feeling that it is either “very important” or “important” to “buy American” for the product types tested, with the strongest such feelings expressed for major appliances (75%), furniture (74%), clothing (72%), small appliances (71%), and automobiles (70%).

  • Perceived importance of buying American products increases with age across all categories; 18-35 year olds place the least importance on the practice, those 48 and older place the most.
  • Additionally, women are more likely than men to indicate that it is either “very important” or “important” to buy American in most categories.

A Nation Not So Divided
In what may come as a surprise, Republicans and Democrats seem to have some common ground on the subject.  Their importance ratings to “buy American” are either similar or identical, and are stronger than those of independents, across several categories.  Top examples of this include:

  • Automobiles (75% Republicans, 74% Democrats, 64% Independents);
  • Home electronics (71%-71%-60%); and
  • Personal electronics (71%-71%-60%).

Job Security
When asked to rate the importance of a series of motivations for buying American, over seven in ten U.S. adults rate each tested reason either “very important” or “important.” Drilling down into the “very important” ratings uncovers more diverse results. The clear frontrunner for this measure is “keeping jobs in America,” with two-thirds (66%) of U.S. adults rating it “very important.” The majority also assign top importance levels to “supporting American companies” (56%), while half do so for “safety concerns with products assembled/produced outside of the U.S.” (49%).

  • On the other end of the spectrum, “Decreasing environmental impact since products don’t need to travel as far” receives the lowest “very important” rating (32%).
  • Women and older adults are again more likely to rate the tested reasons “very important.”

America Loves a Ford
When asked directly, and without any prompting as to brand names, place of manufacture or other factors, to name the company they perceive as most “American*,” U.S. adults’ minds go first to the auto industry, with two of Detroit’s big three topping the list.

  • Ford (15%) is the top mention by a wide margin.
  • Combined (9%) mentions of General Motors / GM (5%) and GM-owned Chevrolet (4%) are next strongest.
  • Other well-known companies to make the list included the golden arches and America’s top-selling soda brand.
    • McDonald’s (4%)
    • Coca-Cola (4%)
    • Walmart (3%)

 

TABLE 1a
IMPORTANCE OF BUYING AMERICAN, BY PRODUCT TYPE – by Generation & Gender
[Summary of combined "Very important" and "Important" ratings]
“Which of the following best describes how important you feel it is to ‘buy American’ for each of these types of products?  Even if you do not typically make purchases in a particular product category, we’d like to know your opinion.”

Base: U.S. Adults

Total Generation Gender
Echo Boomers

(18-35)

Gen. X

(36-47)

Baby Boomers

(48-66)

Matures

(67+)

Males Females
% % % % % % %
Major appliances (refrigerator, washing machine, etc.) 75 57 74 86 85 71 79
Furniture 74 54 76 86 84 71 78
Clothing 72 56 76 80 80 67 77
Small appliances (microwave, vacuum, etc.) 71 53 72 81 81 66 76
Automobiles 70 58 72 76 75 65 74
Sports/exercise equipment (bike, running shoes, etc.) 66 50 70 76 71 64 69
Home electronics (TV, blu-ray player, etc.) 66 49 69 74 76 60 72
Personal electronics (smartphone, tablet, computer, etc. 66 46 69 76 76 61 71
Jewelry 63 47 67 69 70 58 67
Motorcycles 59 46 62 67 61 58 61
Novelty/gift items 59 45 64 66 61 51 66

Note: Multiple response question

 

TABLE 1b
IMPORTANCE OF BUYING AMERICAN, BY PRODUCT TYPE – by Metro Status & Political Affiliation
[Summary of combined "Very important" and "Important" ratings]
“Which of the following best describes how important you feel it is to ‘buy American’ for each of these types of products?  Even if you do not typically make purchases in a particular product category, we’d like to know your opinion.”

Base: U.S. Adults

Total Metro Status Political Party
Urban Suburban Rural Republicans Democrats Independents
% % % % % % %
Major appliances (refrigerator, washing machine, etc.) 75 72 74 81 81 76 75
Furniture 74 71 73 80 79 75 75
Clothing 72 70 72 75 73 75 73
Small appliances (microwave, vacuum, etc.) 71 72 68 77 76 74 69
Automobiles 70 71 67 74 75 74 64
Sports/exercise equipment (bike, running shoes, etc.) 66 64 65 72 73 65 67
Home electronics (TV, blu-ray player, etc.) 66 69 63 71 71 71 60
Personal electronics (smartphone, tablet, computer, etc. 66 66 64 69 71 71 60
Jewelry 63 62 60 69 68 65 59
Motorcycles 59 55 58 66 63 60 59
Novelty/gift items 59 57 56 66 61 61 57

Note: Multiple response question

 

TABLE 2
FACTORS INFLUENCING DESIRE TO BUY AMERICAN – by Generation, Gender & Metro Status
[Summary of "Very important" & combined "Very important" and "Important" ratings]
“In terms of buying American products, how important are each of the following to your purchase decision?”

Base: U.S. Adults

Total Generation Gender Metro Status
Echo Boomers

(18-35)

Gen. X

(36-47)

Baby Boomers

(48-66)

Matures

(67+)

Males Females Urban Sub-urban Rural
% % % % % % % % % %
Keeping jobs in America 90 82 90 94 95 87 93 88 90 92
66 53 57 76 78 59 72 61 65 72
Supporting American companies 87 76 88 93 94 84 90 84 87 92
56 40 55 61 71 49 62 50 56 60
Safety concerns with products assembled/ produced outside of the U.S. 82 71 84 85 93 78 86 81 81 86
49 36 42 56 68 42 56 49 48 51
Quality concerns with products assembled/ produced outside of the U.S. 83 73 85 85 91 80 85 81 82 84
45 36 37 49 61 40 50 45 42 51
Patriotism 76 59 78 82 87 74 77 69 74 85
45 33 38 51 60 42 47 40 45 49
Human rights issues with products assembled/ produced outside of the U.S. 76 65 80 79 84 68 83 77 75 76
39 33 33 43 50 30 48 40 39 39
Decreasing environmental impact since products don’t need to travel as far 71 62 73 75 76 64 77 70 70 74
32 24 30 36 40 25 38 30 31 36

Note: Multiple response question

 

TABLE 3
FACTORS IN CONSIDERING A PRODUCT TO BE “AMERICAN” – by Generation, Gender & Metro Status
“Which of the following statements do you agree with?”

Base: U.S. Adults

Total Generation Gender Metro Status
Echo Boomers

(18-35)

Gen. X

(36-47)

Baby Boomers

(48-66)

Matures

(67+)

Males Females Urban Sub-urban Rural
% % % % % % % % % %
A product needs to be manufactured within the U.S. for me to consider it “American” 75 69 72 81 79 71 79 70 78 76
A product needs to be made by a U.S. company for me to consider it “American” 52 50 46 54 56 48 55 50 51 55
A product needs to be made from parts produced in the U.S. for me to consider it “American” 47 48 45 46 51 48 47 50 45 50
A product needs to be designed by an American for me to consider it “American” 25 27 22 23 25 23 26 24 24 27
Not at all sure 9 14 9 6 7 11 8 10 8 10

Note: Multiple response question

 

TABLE 4
COMPANY PERCEIVED AS MOST “AMERICAN” – by Region & Age & Gender
“What company do you consider to be the most ‘American’?”

Base: *U.S. Adults

Total Region Age Gender
Northeast Midwest South West 18-34 35-44 54-54 55+ Males Females
% % % % % % % % % % %
Ford 15 17 18 12 16 16 20 13 13 17 14
GM + Chevrolet [NET] 9 8 11 8 11 8 9 13 7 9 9
General Motors / GM 5 4 6 4 6 5 5 6 4 6 4
Chevrolet 4 4 4 5 5 3 4 7 4 4 5
McDonald’s 4 3 3 4 5 4 6 5 2 6 2
Coca-Cola 4 3 2 5 4 3 4 5 4 4 4
Walmart 3 3 3 4 3 6 2 3 2 3 4
Harley-Davidson 1 2 3 1 1 * 2 2 2 2 1
Apple 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 1
General Electric / GE 1 2 2 1 1 1 2 * 1 1 1
Johnson & Johnson 1 * 2 1 2 * * 1 2 1 1
Microsoft 1 1 1 1 1 1 * * 2 1 *
Pepsi 1 1 1 1 * 1 1 1 1 1 1
Procter & Gamble 1 2 * 1 - - * 1 2 * 1
Kraft 1 1 1 * 1 1 1 1 - * 1
Levi Strauss 1 1 1 * 1 * 1 2 * 1 1
Disney / Walt Disney 1 1 * 1 * * 1 * 1 1 *
IBM 1 * * 1 * * * * 1 1 *
Other 8 8 7 8 8 10 6 7 7 9 7
None 9 7 8 9 10 7 8 9 10 6 11
Don’t know 15 16 14 18 12 12 14 16 18 7 22
Declined to answer 5 7 5 6 4 7 7 6 3 5 6

Note: Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding

Methodology
This Harris Poll* was conducted online within the United States between December 12 and 18, 2012 among 2,176 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

*Data for “What company do you consider to be most ‘American’” question was conducted online within the United States between January 2 and 4, 2012 among 2,126 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, Harris Interactive avoids the words “margin of error” as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Interactive surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in the Harris Interactive panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of Harris Interactive.

The Harris Poll® #13, March 6, 2013

SOURCE Harris Interactive

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Africa’s Food Markets Could Create One Trillion Dollar Opportunity by 2030

Posted on 04 March 2013 by Africa Business

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Africa’s farmers and agribusinesses could create a trillion-dollar food market by 2030 if they can expand their access to more capital, electricity, better technology and irrigated land to grow high-value nutritious foods, and if African governments can work more closely with agribusinesses to feed the region’s fast-growing urban population, according to a new World Bank report launched today.

 

According to the Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusinessreport, Africa’s food systems, currently valued at US$313 billion a year from agriculture, could triple if governments and business leaders radically rethink their policies and support to agriculture, farmers, and agribusinesses, which together account for nearly 50 percent of Africa’s economic activity.

 

“The time has come for making African agriculture and agribusiness a catalyst for ending poverty,” says Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa Region. “We cannot overstate the importance of agriculture to Africa’s determination to maintain and boost its high growth rates, create more jobs, significantly reduce poverty, and grow enough cheap, nutritious food to feed its families, export its surplus crops, while safeguarding the continent’s environment.”

 

Agribusiness: strong growth opportunities

 

Due to a combination of population growth, rising incomes and urbanization, strong demand is driving global food and agricultural prices higher. Supply issues – slowing yield growth of major food crops, slowdown in research spending, land degradation and water scarcity issues, and a changing climate all mean that prices will remain high. In this new market climate, Africa has great potential for expanding its food and agricultural exports.

 

Africa holds almost 50 percent of the world’s uncultivated land which is suited for growing food crops, comprising as many as 450 million hectares that are not forested, protected, or densely populated. Africa uses less than 2 percent of its renewable water sources, compared to a world average of five percent. Its harvests routinely yield far less than their potential and, for mainstay food crops such as maize the yield gap is as wide as 60 to 80 percent. Post-harvest losses run 15 to 20 percent for cereals and are higher for perishable products due to poor storage and other farm infrastructure.

 

African countries can tap into booming markets in rice, maize, soybeans, sugar, palm oil, biofuel and feedstock and emerge as major exporters of these commodities on world markets similar to the successes scored by Latin America and Southeast Asia. For Sub-Saharan Africa, the most dynamic sectors are likely to be rice, feed grains, poultry, dairy, vegetable oils, horticulture and processed foods to supply domestic markets.

 

The report cautions that even as land will be needed for some agribusiness investments, such acquisitions can threaten people’s livelihoods and create local opposition unless land purchases or leases are conducted according to ethical and socially responsible standards, including recognizing local users’ rights, thorough consultations with local communities, and fair market-rate compensation for land acquired.

 

“Improving Africa’s agriculture and agribusiness sectors means higher incomes and more jobs. It also allows Africa to compete globally. Today, Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand each export more food products than all of sub-Saharan Africa combined. This must change,” says Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development in the Africa Region.

 

Value Chains are essential

 

Rice: Africa has become a major consumer and importer of rice, and Africans import half the rice they eat and pay top dollar for it, $3.5 billion per year and more. Ghana and Senegal are significant importers. Senegal is competitive among its neighbors, but it is held back by the difficulty farmers have in accessing land, capital, finance for irrigation expansion and appropriate crop varieties. Ghana produces fewer varieties of rice than Senegal, but at significantly higher cost, and levies 40 percent tariffs and other charges on imports. Poor grain quality, cleanliness and packaging are major deterrents for consumers constraining the sector’s performance.

 

Maize: A food staple for many Africans, maize is grown on 25 million hectares or 14 percent of cropped land. In Zambia where people eat on average 133 kilograms of cereals a year, maize provides half the calories in their diets. Zambia is competitive when importing maize but fails on exports. High transport costs, higher labor costs and lower yields combine to increase costs by one-third compared to Thailand, a major international producer of rain-fed maize. The report argues that Zambia’s future competitiveness depends on raising yields, reducing costs, and removing disincentives for the private sector in markets and trade.

 

In addition, the study reviewed value chains for cocoa in Ghana and dairy and green beans in Kenya.

 

“African farmers and businesses must be empowered through good policies, increased public and private investments and strong public-private partnerships,” says Gaiv Tata, World Bank Director for Financial and Private Sector Development in Africa. “A strong agribusiness sector is vital for Africa’s economic future.”

 

Solutions

 

Agriculture and agribusiness should be at the top of the development and business agenda in Sub-Saharan Africa. The report calls for strong leadership and commitment for both public and private sectors. As comparators, the report cites case studies from Uruguay, Indonesia and Malaysia. For success, engaging with strategic “good practice” investors is critical, as is the strengthening of safeguards, land administration systems, and screening investments for sustainable growth.

 

The report notes that Africa can also draw on many local successes to guide governments and investors toward positive economic, social and environmental outcomes.

 

SOURCE

The World Bank

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Online Shopping Study Shows Boomers’ Purchasing Behavior Still Growing, Millennials Steady

Posted on 14 February 2013 by Africa Business

-Boomers online purchases in health and beauty category up 12 percent-

 

DENVER, Feb., 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Although the ongoing study by The Integer Group® has shown an increase in online shopping over the last three years, the latest study is showing online shopping overall has leveled out. Even though online shopping is steady, Boomers are continuing to increase their online purchases (up 4.5 percent since 2011) and Millennials who said they are purchasing more online is down 7 percent from 2011. This was revealed in the latest issue of The Checkout, an ongoing shopper behavior study conducted by Integer® and M/A/R/C Research.

“Millennials may be feeling the pinch of a still-slow economy and making the decision to watch spending more closely. It could also be that we are starting to reach a plateau in online-shopping adoption,” said Craig Elston , senior vice president, Insight & Strategy at The Integer Group.

Even though many shoppers in the survey noted that they are shopping about the same amount online as they were three months ago, there are some interesting shifts in purchase categories. Since the January 2012 issue of The Checkout, online purchase of health and beauty has increased significantly among shoppers aged 50 to 64, growing nearly 12 percent. The percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds who say they’ve purchased any products online, even once, has dropped in all categories except books, music, and tickets. Overall, none of these categories saw major growth from 2011 to 2012.

Data for The Checkout comes from a national survey conducted by Integer and M/A/R/C where consumers are asked about their shopping attitudes, shopping behaviors, and economic outlook. Topics range from criteria shoppers use to select retailers, to which in-store stimulus is most likely to drive purchase, to factors that might lead shoppers to leave an aisle empty-handed. The Checkout is available for download at Integer’s blog ShopperCulture.com.

About The Integer Group

The Integer Group (www.integer.com) is one of the world’s largest promotional, retail, and shopper marketing agencies, and a key member of Omnicom Group Inc. Integer lives at the Intersection of Branding and Selling® and creates strategic marketing solutions for clients in categories that include retail, beverage, packaged goods, telecommunications, home and shelter, automotive aftermarket, and power sports. Integer has more than 1,200 employees working in U.S. locations as well as international offices in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North and South America. Join the conversation on shopping culture and brand strategy at www.shopperculture.com.

About Omnicom

Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:  OMC) (www.omnicomgroup.com) is a leading global marketing and corporate communications company.  Omnicom’s branded networks and numerous specialty firms provide advertising, strategic media planning and buying, digital and interactive marketing, direct and promotional marketing, public relations, and other specialty communications services to over 5,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

SOURCE The Integer Group

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“The Ethical Water Exchange is THE platform to transform wastewater into a clean tradable resource: treated wastewater.”

Posted on 11 February 2013 by Africa Business

Exclusive interview with Valérie Issumo, Founder, Prana Sustainable Water, Switzerland.  She will address the Water track at African Utility Week on: “Ethical water exchange – the monetary value of recycled wastewater”.

1) You have created an Ethical Water Exchange which is a trading platform to buy or sell commoditized treated wastewater.  Kindly can you give us some background and facts and figures on the current situation in untreated wastewater in Africa?

The 3 most critical global challenges to be solved urgently are:

-      water pollution endangering our health, planet and growth: how to cope technically with complex chemical wastes (nano pollutants, radioactive)

-      water infrastructures finance

-      river bassin management prioritizing human rights (2500 liters/capita/day including water footprint for 2’000 calories/day) and ecosystems services without geopardizing current small sources of revenues

 

Africa has unfortunately the biggest share in the lack of access to water and sanitation and the official numbers are not reflecting the reality if we add the volumes of intreated wastewater du to bad working status.  These problems of lack of access to sanitation and untreated wastewater endangering our health, our environment and our economy could be solved by matching part of the water footprints of commodities with the supplies of treated wastewater for part of the water input of those commodities. Productions of future crops or extractions can happen and be financed thanks to the matching of purchases & sales commitments via futures contracts which are traded on commodities exchanges or futures markets.

Commodities like gold, coffee, soya, copper, nickel…. traded on futures markets sometimes up to 5 years before their production is a good opportunity to correlate the commitments for those commodities with the water procurement security for those commodities and/or to internalize the externalities for those commodities in order to link the credit lines for those commodities with decentralized wastewater infrastructures.

 

Collection and treating in priority floods, domestic and organic wastewater means that related wastewater become a valuable resource when treated and consequently leads to the development of sanitation. For example, approx. 1’500 liters of water must be used to get one kg of refined cane sugar. If supplementary irrigation is necessary like in Swaziland or in Australia, part of the water footprint can come DIRECTLY from treated wastewater from the communities or activities near the sugarcane fields.

Water depletion or water resources contamination is not yet considered in GDP évaluation (or not enoughly). There is not a sigle product or service that hasn’t got water as input or as water footprint so the water interdependencies are on productions, on health, on social, environmental and economic fields.

Water contamination does not recognize any borders, neither do the international trade.  This makes the challenges global.  Nevertheless water problems or opportunities must be tackled locally.

 

The Ethical Water Exchange is the platform to transform wastewater into a clean tradable resource: treated wastewater. This will help to link & correlate partial water footprints of some commodities traded on futures markets with potential supplies of standard treated wastewater.

To match sanitation with the visibility of committed offers & demands of some commodities with huge water footprints and sometimes traded 4 to 5 years before their productions is a way to leapfrog the urgent & massive needs to reduce bad consequences of untreated wastewater.

 

2) What would the Ethical Water Exchange mean for the African market, for  example the cotton industry?

 

Cotton water footprint is approximately 10’000 liters/kg of cotton a cotton t-shirt has an average water footprint of 2’700 liters of water.  Now guess what happens if noxious wastewater reaches the cotton cultures? Yields and pollination drop, cotton growers must use more fertilizers and – as you can see on this graph – cotton prices become very volatile.

 

Trends of energy that must come from renewable energy is a good opportunity for Positive Energy Wastewater facilities that produce more energy than they consume.

> a wastewater treatment line that links systems based e.g. on activated sludge with increased biogas production via anaerobic digestion

 

On a global level if only 10% of the cotton water footprint for the yearly cotton production of 25 mln tons comes from treated wastewater, access to sanitation for about 3’424’657 persons (generating 20l wastewater/capita/day) can be provided.

 

Pls see case study enclosed case study.

 

3) How big a threat is this to the economies on the continent?  How are the different sectors affected by each other?

 

Many serious reports and analysis state that by 2030, projected global water demand could exceed 40% of the current water supply.  (http://www.grida.no/graphicslib/detail/water-availability-in-africa_3368)

 

The goal is to trade ONLY treated wastewater. Wastewater that otherwise would be dumped as toxic waste with huge negative impacts on people & environment.

 

4) On a practical level, how do you see it operating?

We are awaiting the ISO standards for Treated wastewater re-use for irrigation (http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_technical_committee?commid=616869) in order to complete the specifications of the futures contracts for ethical treated wastewater.

1. A trader can cover the market and sourcing risks for future cotton crops via partial water procurement security by buying futures contracts of treated wastewater.

2A. A water management company using clean technologies generating sludge energy will get a solvent water market by selling futures contracts of treated wastewater. Collection, treatment and supplies must be smart metered.

2B. The combinations of offers/demands for commoditized treated wastewater at listed places allows the financing of decentralized sanitation and COMPETITIVE supplies of treated wastewater for cotton productions. The money goes directly for the right purpose.

3. The ethical or philanthropic part goes for treated waster water into reservoirs to be used in priority for insurance or basic human needs or climate changes needs. The transparent pricing of futures contracts for treated wastewater is calculated according to local constraints SUCH AS THE TREATED WASTEWATER THAT NEEDS TO GO BACK TO NATURE.

 

 

To execute quickly the Ethical Water Exchange solution, we don’t need thousands of actors.

 

Traders and financial institutions active on these futures markets can be the responsible catalysts for the urgent water governance.

A trader prefers to see for example Africa as a market of 1bn consumers rather than a place with 1bn survivors. This trader will ALSO be able reduce the risks of defaults for its sourcing.

 

Any financial institution can condition its credit lines to the use of futures contracts of treated wastewater to reduce the water risk exposures & to get its loans paid back.

 

Investors will choose to finance water footprints where it makes sense & where there is untreated wastewater.  This is for the good sake of efficient water use and consequently reduces the production costs.

 

If we do the same for other commodities traded on futures markets such as gold, wheat or soybean… >>> the Ethical Water Exchange can solve rapidly the vital and economic problems of water contamination or fresh water over-use.

 

Increased sanitation will accelerate the eradication of the first cause of deaths and lost of human energy and consequently help poverty alleviation.

 

If you fear BAD speculation for this new commodity, please note prices will be fixed according to the global offer/demands and final uses with progressive prices according to basic human needs like food security. For example, we all need approximately 2’000 calories a day. It is assumed that to produce 1 calorie of food, about 1 liter water is needed but it would be wrong to give priority to rice if there is for example demand for treated wastewater for copper in the same region because the copper might be used e.g. for tractors for agriculture or for houses which are also basic human needs. If the copper industry has proved that they use water more efficiently than the rice grower according to the water footprint methodologies; it is not difficult to prioritize treated wastewater for the more efficient water user (+ of course for non criminal or drugs purposes).

 

The Ethical Water Exchange is our life, DIGNITY and business INSURANCE.

 

 

5) What will be your message at African Utility Week in May?

Health is Wealth.

We also must think of the water infrastructures in terms of service hierarchy:

- safety

- availability

- affordability

Africa can save the old industrialised countries’ mistakes that have led to the financial and environmental crisis.  The conditions are to better value the African resources and not to bargain the related social and environmental costs.

6) Anything you would like to add?

African leaders should not be shy to follow the European model mainly based on state interventions.

 

 

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