Custom Search

Money Transfers Job Africa Map Weather

Tag Archive | "Sustainable development"

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

LICEX 2013 Launched Sustainable development and investment opportunities in Lebanon’s infrastructure

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

May 2013 – The Lebanon Infrastructure Conference and Exhibition (LICEX 2013) is taking place in the prestigious Hilton Habtoor Grand Hotel, Beirut on 10 and 11 October 2013 with the support of the Secretariat General of the Higher Council for Privatisation.

Organized by Global Events Partners Ltd (GEP) from the UK and Lebanon’s Planners and Partners S.A.L., LICEX 2013 is also supported by the UK Department of Trade and Industry, the Brazilian Chambers of Commerce and other international and local organizations.

‘’LICEX 2013 will feature an exhibition and conference bringing together the infrastructure community in Lebanon,’’ said Paul Gilbert from the GEP. ‘’Participants will have the opportunity to hear from industry experts about the latest planned infrastructure projects and to discuss the vast investment opportunities available in the country. They will have also a chance to hear from international experts about the latest on the Public Private Partnership.”

“There are a lot of new business opportunities to develop in Lebanon, particularly through possible contracts in the sectors of telecommunications, public transport, power and water management,” explained Dory Renno from Planners and Partners.

Gilbert explained that “LICEX 2013 will open the door for companies to introduce their latest products and services and to position themselves as leaders in their field to develop new business in Lebanon and to take advantage of the infrastructure contracts on offer.”

LICEX 2013 will attract exhibitors and visitors from across the infrastructure supply chain; EPC contractors, Government departments and companies from the following sectors: Construction, Technology, Regulators, Banks, Legal, Consultants, Telecommunications, Electricity, Transportation and Water and Power.

Despite the political instability all around the Middle East, Lebanon has kept a stable economy with a great potential for growth in the future. The constantly increasing interest in the country as a leading tourist destination, along with the emerging oil and gas sector offshore, are just two of many drivers for such an expected growth.

“The timing of the event is excellent,” said Renno, “it coincides with the increased interest and talk about the much-needed partnership between the private and public sectors in Lebanon.” A new PPP law is being prepared within the Lebanese Government, and could be approved at any time.

The programme of LICEX 2013 conference is being developed by government and industry partners. Conference will focus on the following main topics which will be structured in two or three days:

1- The investment climate in Lebanon particularly in infrastructure projects

2- The concept of PPP and its application in Lebanon

3- Presentations by a leading government ministries on their available projects

4- Leading local governments and the projects they have on offer

Speakers will include a large number of high-ranking government officials from involved ministries and governmental organizations, as well as representatives of leading infrastructure companies in Lebanon and internationally.

LICEX 2013 is being developed by the organisers of the Lebanon International Oil and Gas Summit (LIOG) which was held in December 2012 under the patronage of the Ministry of Energy and Water and in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance. It attracted over 330 delegates and 35 speakers from 23 countries representing 150 local and international companies and organizations, including major international oil companies (IOCs).

LICEX 2013 is the next step in the partnership between the UK based Global Event Partners Ltd and their local Lebanese partner company Planners and Partners SAL. Both companies are committed to holding the leading industry events in Beirut, with a strong commitment to Lebanon and its business climate.

To learn more about the event, how to participate and other details on the programme, participating delegates, speakers and sponsors, please visit: www.lebanoninfrastructure.com

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Creating business and market opportunities for Africa’s poor is key to advancing sustainable development in the region.” UNDP Report

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Africa Business

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, May 10, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Involving low-income communities in markets and businesses across Africa is essential for economic growth to translate into sustainable development, according to a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report released today.

 

“Realizing Africa’s Wealth – Building Inclusive Businesses for Shared Prosperity” draws upon 43 in-depth case studies and a database of 600 institutions to portray the state of inclusive business in Africa, looking at a wide spectrum of sectors from banking to agribusiness.

 

Prepared by UNDP’s African Facility for Inclusive Markets, the report examines the approaches and conditions required to bring economic growth closer to low-income communities in Africa, focusing on how businesses can more readily include them as consumers, entrepreneurs and employees. It describes the status of inclusive business in sub-Saharan Africa and the environment needed to support the enterprises and entrepreneurs. It identifies promising opportunities in enabling enterprises and entrepreneurs to build more – and stronger – inclusive businesses. The report calls for more efforts to support inclusive businesses with incentives and investment schemes as well as knowledge sharing about market information and implementation.

 

By working together to increase information, incentives, implementation support and investments required to make businesses more inclusive, the report makes the case that policy-makers, business owners and development practitioners in Africa will be in a position to make dramatic advances across the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

 

“Africa has seen some strong economic growth over the past decade. Nonetheless, rapid economic progress has not brought prosperity to all, and inclusive business represents a promising approach by bringing the benefits of economic growth directly to the poor by including them in value chains,” the Deputy Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa, Babacar Cissé, said. “We need young entrepreneurs and innovators as drivers of inclusive businesses. We need organizations that are willing to take the roles of catalysts, supporters and funders of inclusive businesses.”

 

Making sure all African citizens can become entrepreneurs, consumers, employees or producers, requires business environments that provide opportunities for all. Market information, policies and legal frameworks that reduce transaction costs, financing and logistical assistance are key to ensuring businesses that are inclusive of the poor can succeed. Facilitating business and market creation not only generates income, but also basic goods, services and choices, with important implications for each of the MDGs, the eight internationally-agreed targets which aim to reduce poverty by 2015.

 

The report illustrates the impact that businesses and markets have had on the lives of the poor. In Burkina Faso, the French organic cosmetics company L’Occitane invested in the capacities of local women’s cooperatives, helping 15,000 employees to produce and export quality shea butter, and generate US$1.2 million in profits.

 

In Tanzania, a factory operated by local company A to Z, together with Japanese chemical company Sumitomo, produced 30 million long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets, and employed 7,500 people.

 

In Kenya, Equity Bank and K-Rep Bank funded the country’s national agricultural commodities exchange, which has successfully helped increase the income of thousands of small-scale farmers.

 

“Businesses are key to achieving these advances, but we certainly need more capacity-building entities, such as civil society organizations, governments, developing partners and research institutions, with demonstrated abilities to assist businesses in building inclusive models,” the Chief Executive Officer of Equity Bank in Kenya, James Mwangi, said.

 

The report calls for the development of new inclusive business ecosystem-building initiatives, at national and regional levels, with the support of finance mechanisms to provide resources for coordination, information and funding. It also calls for the creation of centres of excellence to undertake research, document successful approached and share knowledge.

 

The report was launched today by the President of the African Development Bank, Donald Kaberuka, and the Manager of the UNDP Regional Service Centre in Johannesburg, Gerd Trogemann, at a side event of the World Economic Forum for Africa.

 

SOURCE

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“African countries are increasingly focused on the potential renewable energy offers to their economies.”

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Africa Business

Exclusive interview with Dr. Nawal Al-Hosany, Director of Zayed Future Energy Prize, gold sponsors at the upcoming Clean Power Africa.



1) Can you give us some background on the Zayed Future Energy Prize?

The annual US$4 Zayed Future Energy Prize embodies the vision of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who laid the foundation for environmental, economic and social sustainability of the UAE. An annual award, the Prize is managed by Masdar, on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government and seeks to award achievements and innovation in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability, as well as to educate and inspire future generations.

The prize recognises individuals, companies and schools making a significant impact in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability. For more information on the prize, please visit www.ZayedFutureEnergyPrize.com

2) What are you most excited about currently in terms of Zayed Future Energy Prize projects?

The annual US$4 million Zayed Future Energy Prize is fast creating that much needed ripple effect around the world, from China to Mexico and from Germany to Tanzania. Over the past five years, the Prize has continued to award and reward the innovators of our time and we are excited about the impact of the Prize and how it is enabling the world to address our collective future energy challenges.

3) What opportunities do you see in Africa?
African countries are increasingly focused on the potential renewable energy offers to their economies. Egypt, Ghana, Madagascar and South Africa respectively have set ambitious renewable energy targets of 20%, 10%, 75% and 13% of national electricity production by 2020. Africa’s hydropower potential is estimated at around 1,750 TWh and its geothermal energy potential is estimated at 9,000 MW. Over 80% of the continent receives about 2,000 kWH per square metre of solar resources per annum.


Africa represents an important constituency for the Prize. Although some 90% of sub-Saharan Africans living in rural areas lack access to electricity, the continent is blessed with extensive renewable resources. We want to encourage governments, businesses, and civil society to spur economic growth and job creation through renewable energy targets.

4) What do you think are the biggest challenges to the South African / African energy market?

Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050, with a seven-fold increase in GDP if current trends are maintained. In order to provide universal access to electricity and sustain these growth rates, total energy production must double by 2030 from current levels, according to a recent report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Electricity still remains the only sure route to economic growth.

While some 99% of North Africans have access to electricity, only 77% of people in South Africa do. This figure drops to 29% for sub-Saharan populations outside South Africa, according to IRENA.

5) What surprises you about this industry?
Zayed Future Energy Prize has been more delighted than surprised at the submissions and nominations increase of approximately 300 percent over the past five years and we see it as recognition of the value of the Prize.

Our previous winners have collectively reduced the plight of 140,000 displaced persons, provided hundreds of thousands of jobs and provided clean water and electricity to over 8 million people in villages and rural parts of Africa and Asia.

We encourage companies, individuals and schools from across the world to join us in solving the energy challenge and participate by submitting their applications before August 5.

6) Why did you decide to sponsor at Clean Power Africa?
Zayed Future Energy Prize is sponsoring African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa in Cape Town because Africa represents an important constituency for the Prize. I am delivering a presentation on the Zayed Future Energy Prize and will be emphasizing the benefits renewable energy can bring to African countries looking to sustain and broaden economic growth.

7) What will be the main message for the event delegate and visitor?

The Zayed Future Energy Prize will be emphasizing the benefits of renewable energy and what it can bring to African countries looking to sustain and broaden economic growth. The Prize administration will also, naturally, encourage companies, schools and individuals from Africa to submit for the Prize.

8 ) Point to ponder

The time is right for massive investment in renewable energy across the African continent. Renewable energy technologies represented the most cost-effective solution for remote, off-grid areas and for extending electrification grids. Costs of solar photovoltaic have fallen by over 80% over the last two years to less than one US dollar per watt, with further price drops expected.

Renewable energy brings multiple benefits, including increased energy security, job creation, rural development and technological development.

We should not forget that access to energy is particularly important for women, who have traditionally borne the burden of fetching water and cooking over open fires, with attendant respiratory health impacts and fire hazards associated with dirty fuels. The daily lives of these women and their families, is made immeasurably better if they can access clean energy for household needs. These are compelling benefits. I call upon leaders in renewable energy and sustainability in Africa to step forward for nomination this year as the benefits of renewable energy cannot be ignored.

About the Zayed Future Energy Prize: The Zayed Future Energy Prize embodies the vision of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who laid the foundation for renewable energy and sustainability as part of his legacy in sustainable development in the UAE. An annual award, the Prize is managed by Masdar, on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government and seeks to award achievements and innovation in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability, as well as to educate and inspire future generations.

For more information on the prize, please visit www.ZayedFutureEnergyPrize.com or email Serene Serhan at sserhan@masdar.ae

More information can be found on http://www.facebook.com/TZFEP or Twitter: http://twitter.com/zfep

· YouTube video about last year’s winners: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwf2VxivHY4

· Frequently asked questions (FAQ): https://www.zayedfutureenergyprize.com/en/application-process/faq/

· A brochure with further details is available at: https://www.zayedfutureenergyprize.com/resources/media/9185ZFEPHighSchoolFlyerFINAL.pdf

Submission process video tutorial: https://www.zayedfutureenergyprize.com/en/application-process/submission-process-video-tutorial/

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Time for “Dark Continent” to invest in renewable energy

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Africa Business

By Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

Dr Al-Hosany is director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize and the Director of Sustainability at Masdar

In her role as the Director of Sustainability at Masdar; Dr Nawal Al-Hosany leads a team responsible for developing Masdar’s sustainability standards and policies. She is also mandated to oversee the processes of sustainability auditing, monitoring and reporting.

In 2011, Dr Al-Hosany further assumed the post of Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize; where she oversees the implementation of the objectives, mandate and strategic direction of the prize.

Dr-Al Hosany is a board member of Masdar Investment LLC and of the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Meteorology. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

In her commitment to remain at the forefront of the social science and sustainable development landscape, she has participated in numerous continuing professional development courses and continually seeks opportunities to stay updated on latest project management methods, as well as leadership, planning and decision-support mechanisms.

Dr Al-Hosany has been published globally in international journals and newspapers, including the International Journal of Management of Environmental Quality, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Renewable Energy, and International Journal of Renewable Energy Engineering.

Throughout her career, Dr Al-Hosany has been an active member of various boards in the UAE and around the world including the Advisory Panel for the Momentum for Change initiative of the UNFCCC, the Troika Plus of Women Leaders on Gender and Climate Change; the Climate Justice Dialogue Advisory Committee (an initiative of the World Research Foundation), and the Energy Efficiency Global Forum.

Dr Al-Hosany has also served as Sherpa to the UN Secretary General High Level Group for ‘The Sustainable Energy For all’ initiative for its Principle; HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar.

In 2011, Abu Dhabi Magazine cited Dr.Al-Hosany as one of the 40 most influential Emiratis who have helped shape the emirate. She has also received several medals and accolades for her professional achievements, including a Chevening Fellowship from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Emirates Business Women Award in the Professional and Career Achievements category.

Prior to assuming her current roles, Dr Al-Hosany held senior leadership positions with the General Headquarters of the Abu Dhabi Police, including Head of Design and Studies in the Engineering Department. In 2007, she became the first-ever female Deputy Director in the Abu Dhabi Police.

Dr Al-Hosany graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at the UAE University and obtained her PhD from Newcastle University in the UK. She is also credited as one of the first two Emirati women to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 meters above sea level.

 

About the Zayed Future Energy Prize: The Zayed Future Energy Prize embodies the vision of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who laid the foundation for renewable energy and sustainability as part of his legacy in sustainable development in the UAE. An annual award, the Prize is managed by Masdar, on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government and seeks to award achievements and innovation in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability, as well as to educate and inspire future generations.


Most of us are familiar with the satellite image of the world at night, showing Europe and parts of Asia ablaze with light. But despite its enormous size, larger than both China and the United States combined, Africa remains dark, with only a few pinpricks of light here and there.

Africa’s economies have shrugged off a global slowdown to record average growth of almost five percent. After ten years of high growth, 22 out of 48 countries have officially achieved middle-income status, defined by the World Bank as having per-capita income in excess of US$1 000. The combined population of these countries is 400 million people. Another ten states, representing 200 million people, could reach this landmark by 2025, the World Bank said. Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050, with a seven-fold increase in GDP if current trends are maintained. In order to provide universal access to electricity and sustain these growth rates, total energy production must double by 2030 from current levels, according to a recent report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Electricity still remains the only sure route to economic growth.

While some 99% of north Africans have access to electricity, only 77% of people in South Africa do. This figure drops to 29% for sub-Saharan populations outside South Africa, according to IRENA.

Like many other observers, including myself, IRENA believes the time is right for massive investment in renewable energy across the continent. “Africa has the opportunity to leapfrog to modern renewable energy,” IRENA said, noting that renewable energy technologies represented the most cost-effective solution for remote, off-grid areas and for extending electrification grids. Costs of solar photovoltaic have fallen by over 80% over the last two years to less than one US dollar per watt, with further price drops expected.

Renewable energy brings multiple benefits, including increased energy security, job creation, rural development and technological development. Finally, we should not forget that access to energy is particularly important for women, who have traditionally borne the burden of fetching water and cooking over open fires, with attendant respiratory health impacts and fire hazards associated with dirty fuels. The daily lives of these women, and their families, is made immeasurably better if they can access clean energy for household needs.

These are compelling benefits. In my work with the Zayed Future Energy Prize, which recognises and rewards leadership in five categories, I have been privileged to interact with renewable energy pioneers on several continents. Their creativity, persistence and leadership has led to their discovery of innovative solutions tailored for local conditions in business, non-profit and education. Interest has grown steadily over the past five years, with a record 579 nominations received from 88 countries last year – a 36% increase. I call upon leaders in renewable energy and sustainability in Africa to step forward for nomination this year, as with their help, we can finally put to rest the cliché of the dark continent.

For more information on the prize, please visit www.ZayedFutureEnergyPrize.com or email Serene Serhan at sserhan@masdar.ae


· YouTube video about last year’s winners: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwf2VxivHY4

· Frequently asked questions (FAQ): https://www.zayedfutureenergyprize.com/en/application-process/faq/

· A brochure with further details is available at: https://www.zayedfutureenergyprize.com/resources/media/9185ZFEPHighSchoolFlyerFINAL.pdf

· Submission process video tutorial: https://www.zayedfutureenergyprize.com/en/application-process/submission-process-video-tutorial/

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sonelgaz and Condor Electronics featuring Algeria’s leading energy exhibition

Posted on 13 April 2013 by Africa Business

 

7th electro, automation & energy from 18 to 21 May 2013 in Algiers

The 7th edition of Algeria’s leading energy exhibition takes place from May 18 – 21, 2013 at the Palais des Expositions d’Alger – Safex. Amongst numerous market leaders from nine countries, the Sonelgaz Group is one of the major exhibitors and Condor Electronics is the Platinum Sponsor. The event is accompanied by conferences on renewables and on energy efficiency. electro, automation & energy 2013 is organized by the trade fair specialists from fairtrade Messe and its algero-german team. The entrance to the exhibition and the conference is free-of-charge and restricted to professionals only.


Sonelgaz, the state-owned utility in charge of electricity and natural gas distribution in Algeria confirmed their participation as exhibitor at electro, automation & energy 2013. The participation of Sonelgaz includes also the participation of six of its subsidiary companies, namely: AMC – Society for measuring and control systems, CEEG –Engineering company for electricity and gas, CREDEG – Centre for research and development in electricity and gas, MEI – Society for industrial equipment maintenance, ROUIBA Eclairage and SPE – The Algerian society for production of electricity.

Condor Electronics, one of Algeria’s leaders in consumer electronics, now also enters the field of renewable energies and energy efficiency. Being exhibitor and Platinum Sponsor of electro, automation & energy Condor Electronics values this event as the ideal business to business platform to display their innovations and solutions.

Additionally to the strong Algerian participation, numerous international market leaders from China, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Serbia, South Korea and Tunisia already signed in.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a two-day conference with the topic: “Renewables & Energy Efficiency in the context of sustainable development in Algeria”. As in 2012, top-level speakers of the Algerian Ministries of Energy and Mines, of Industry and Commerce and of Environment as well as executives of Sonelgaz, GTP filiale SH, APRUE, CDER and many others will participate.

The organisers recommend to the trade visitors to pre-register for the exhibition at the event’s website in advance. According to Dominik Rzepka, Head of Marketing and PR with fairtrade, pre-registration takes less than three minutes and provides visitors with a free, fast track entry to the exhibition, a personal visitor badge and a complimentary copy of the official show catalogue.

www.electro-automation.info

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“The time for a sustainable use of renewables is now. We do not have a choice. Clean energy is the way to go.”

Posted on 08 April 2013 by Africa Business

Exclusive interview with Engineer Martin Manuhwa, Managing Director of ZAIDG, Zimbabwe and speaker at the upcoming Clean Power Africa conference.

Martin is Vice President of the Federation of African Engineering Organisations (FAEO), President of the Southern African Federation of Engineering Organisations (SAFEO), Vice President of the World Council of Civil Engineers (WCCE) where he chairs the committee on Education, Training and Capacity Building.

 

1) Can you explain your background in terms of renewable energy projects in SADC countries?

I am the Managing Consultant of Zimbabwe Africa Infrastructure Development Group (ZAIDG), a consortium of consulting firms. My experience spans over 20 years in the field of engineering.  I worked in a number of projects involving the Integration of renewable energy systems; and de-centralised rural electrification, including small hydro electric projects, small scale solar power; renewable energy resource assessment, market assessment and planning alternative energy sources and applications.

2) You will address the Clean Power Africa conference in May on “A review of renewable energy policy considerations for SADC countries”.  Can you give us a sneak preview of what you will share with the delegates?

The conference will be held under the general theme, ‘Delivering beyond tomorrow’ and my paper will reinforce critical policy questions to be addressed by SADC in Renewable Energy Policies to deal with energy poverty.

 

The SADC Countries are confronted with a rapidly increasing energy demand in the coming decades resulting from a set of demographic, socio-economic and resource related factors. The Region has a large potential for the use of renewable energies particularly solar energy due to its high level of solar radiation. Only a small variety of solar thermal technologies, mainly solar water heaters, is used in the region.

 

Many inhabitants of SADC suffer from energy poverty. They are exposed to inadequate, unaffordable, ineffective and environmentally unsustainable energy services that fail to support economic and human development. Energy poverty has an effect on, and is affected by, other aspects of poverty, it is vital to explore issues surrounding it, such as gender, the youth and the underprivilleged in the formulation of energy policies.

 

Energy plays a vital role in improving people’s living conditions. Policy makers must fully understood this role in order to craft policies that contribute to development. Access to clean sustainable energy has become part of the international energy policy agenda in recent years. This reflects the recognition of the importance of energy in the delivery of basic services and in generating jobs and income. Energy has a direct impact on the welfare of people, it facilitates the supply of water and fuels agricultural output, helps in the delivery of health and education, creates job and contributes to overall environmental sustainability.

 

3) What are the main challenges with regards to renewable energy policies in the SADC countries?

In spite of the vital role of the energy sector in the economic and social development of the region, the sector has been faced with several challenges affecting its contribution to sustainable development.

 

These challenges are:

    First, energy accessibility to some segments of the poor and rural population.
    Secondly, is the large disparity in per capita energy consumption and energy intensity among those countries, and
    Thirdly, the challenge of relying heavily on fossil fuels to meet their energy demand.

    In recognition of the above challenges, countries in the region have been continuously revising their policy framework aiming at promoting sustainable management of the energy sector.  Varying degrees of progress have been achieved regarding the relevant key energy issues particularly on improving energy efficiency, using of cleaner fuels, promoting renewable energy and more importantly enhancing regional energy integration through the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).

     

    The other major challenges are the lack of curiosity and innovation in Energy Policy Research as evidenced by:

     

      Renewable energy policies in SADC do not emphasize on research and innovation for renewable electricity generation, fuel production, heating and cooling. These activities will address SADC’s shared societal, industrial and environmental interests to develop sustainable economies.

      Research to better understand and address the interfaces between different societal challenges such as assuring food security, fighting pandemic disease, managing climate change, promoting inclusive information societies, and activities aligned with the global “Rio+20″ sustainable development agenda are lacking in the SADC region.

         

        SADC need to address Policy and institutional barriers in order to accelerate the use of Renewables by its citizens.

        Policy, legislative and institutional barriers for promotion of renewable energy in general and solar thermal in particular in the SADC Countries include:

         

          Lack of or weak political will both at the government and private sector level.
          Lack of national targets or strategies for promoting renewable energy resources within the national energy policy framework.
          Lack of or weak legal and institutional frameworks. This includes lack of legal framework for independent power producers (IPPs). In many countries, power utilities still control a monopoly on electricity production and distribution.

          In these circumstances, independent power producers may not be able to invest in renewable energy facilities and sell power to the utility or to third parties under the so-called “power purchase agreements.”
          Weak or Lack of domestic R&D programs and low government expenditures in R&D.

          Market barriers

          Renewable energy market in the region is distorted due to:

            Week capacity of information flow. This is due to lack of industry and professional associations, which promote renewable energy technologies, disseminate information, and undertake advocacy activities.
            Low level of consumer awareness leading to low market demand. This is due to lack of information about technologies, their availability, and their performance. Furthermore, there has been widespread skepticism about performance and reliability of renewable energy technologies due to past technology failures or weak products performances.

            Difficulties to change consumer’s behaviors and attitudes which normally take long time.

            Lack of national standards, testing and certification schemes that led in the past to installations of poor quality solar water heaters causing a variety of technical problems. This has caused widespread negative perception and bad technology reputation among consumers.

            Weak capacity of local assembly/manufacturing, distribution, installation and maintenance of solar thermal technologies. This has caused some countries to rely on more expensive imported systems, and consequently low level of market penetration due to weak purchasing power.

            Lack of training programs for renewable energy professionals, and lack of university level education in issues of renewable energy.

            Low level of awareness of local banking sector on renewable energy, and lack of proper financing schemes. Consumers or project developers may lack access to credit to purchase or invest in renewable energy because of lack of collateral, poor creditworthiness, or distorted capital markets. This is also true in rural areas where third party finance or “micro credit” is absent.

            Subsidies have been playing a critical role in development of rural areas and increasing access to modern energy services to the poor. The number of people under poverty line in the region is high especially in some countries of low per capita income. So, removing of energy subsidies might lead to negative social impacts.

            Economic barriers

            Economically, the renewable energy technologies often face unfair competition in the market due to some economic barriers. These include:

              The subsidies provided by governments for oil and gas especially in the oil producing countries. Even though lower fuel and operating costs may make renewable energy cost-competitive on a life-cycle basis, higher initial capital costs can mean that renewable energy provides less installed capacity per initial dollar invested than conventional energy technologies.

              High custom duties on renewable energy technologies adding to their high initial costs, and impairing their economic feasibility.

              High initial costs of solar water heaters that face strong competition from the gas and electric heating systems which is still more economically attractive option to consumers. This is especially valid in oil producing countries., and exacerbated by low level of awareness about the concepts of Life Cycle Analysis of investments.

              The external costs to societies due to heavy reliance on fossil fuels are not considered compared to clean renewable energy technologies. The environmental impacts of fossil fuels often result in real costs to society, in terms of human health (i.e., loss of work days, health care costs), infrastructure decay (i.e., from acid rain), declines in forests and fisheries, and perhaps ultimately, the costs associated with climate change. Dollar costs of environmental externalities are difficult to evaluate and depend on assumptions that can be subject to wide interpretation and discretion.

               

              4) What is your vision for this industry?

              My wish is to see the up-scaling of the use of sustainable energy sources in SADC and for our Governments to multiply the use of Science Engineering and Technology (SET) in eradicating energy poverty. SET must play an important role in policymaking, including dealing with issues such as climate change. At the moment, SET, policy, politics and climate change are not as connected as they should be. One of the reasons is that policymakers many times don’t consult scientists and Engineers and this is often compounded by the fact that the science and engineering community are not as good as they should be in making sure science is taken up in policy. Engineers and scientists and researchers must run for office, participate in community boards and fight for a seat at the table when such issues as renewable energy and climate change are discussed. They should not be reluctant to be a part of the process, for the good of their country, the good of their research and community.

              5) What will be your main message at Clean Power Africa?

              There is need for the importance of energy policy serving as a catalyst for innovation. The right policy could provide incentives to come up with solutions to expand the effectiveness of energy efficiency, renewable energy and carbon sequestration. The advocates of wind, biofuels and biomass in SADC should have faith that their future is secure, as countries around the world are making renewable resources the centerpiece of energy policies.

              The time for a sustainable use of renewables is now. We do not have a choice. Clean energy is the way to go.

              6) Anything you would like to add?
              Policy Recommendations

              Based on the above analysis, the following set of  policy recommendations needs to be adopted and implemented in the SADC Countries. It should be noted, however, that each of those countries should select the appropriate policy package according to individual national contexts.

              Promote efficient and sustainable use of energy resources

              This is to be achieved through:

                Introduction of appropriate pricing policies in the energy sectors that provide incentives for promoting renewable energy resources.
                Adjust prices in a phased manner that ensures cost recovery and creditworthiness of enterprises to enable them to access domestic and foreign capital markets to finance their expansion, while protecting vulnerable groups through targeted subsidies.

                 

                Remove Key Barriers

                The most important issue is the economic performance of renewable energy technologies (RET) compared to the fossil energy sources that presently dominate the energy markets. In principle there are two approaches to addressing this problem, both of which are indispensable in developing promising strategies:

                  Bringing down the costs of RET and their related energy services, and
                  Abolishing market distortions that discriminate against these technologies, such as direct subsidies

                   

                  Implement legal and regulatory reforms

                  To promote the renewable energy deployment, national policies, strategies and laws should be adopted. The policy framework should foster opening up the market for competition and private sector participation. Examples are laws and regulations for inclusion of renewable energy technologies in energy sector, laws for demand side management, allocate budget for institutions working in renewable energy field and include R&D in various renewable energy programmes.

                  Establish national targets for renewable energy

                  Improve the overall investment climate

                  Develop proper financing schemes

                  Make use of the potential for carbon finance in the region

                  Provide financial incentives

                  Establish Renewable Portfolio Standards

                  Improve energy efficiency and reduce energy intensity

                  Develop standards, testing, and certification schemes

                  Facilitate technology transfer from developed countries to SADC Countries

                  Enhance cooperation in research and development at the national and regional levels

                  Build national capacities in solar thermal technologies

                  Encourage the creation of industry associations

                  Raise public awareness of using the renewable energy technologies

                   

                  Bookmark and Share

                  Comments (0)

                  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

                  Schneider Electric Inaugurates the Electrification of the Village of Pitti Gare in Cameroon

                  Posted on 13 March 2013 by Africa Business

                   

                  About Schneider Electric

                  As a global specialist in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, Schneider Electric (http://www.schneider-electric.com) offers integrated solutions across multiple market segments, including leadership positions in Utilities & Infrastructure, Industries & Machines Manufacturers, Non-residential Building, Data Centres & Networks and in Residential. Focused on making energy safe, reliable, efficient, productive and green, the Group’s 140,000 plus employees achieved sales of 24 billion euros in 2012, through an active commitment to help individuals and organizations make the most of their energy.

                   

                   

                  DOUALA, Cameroon, March 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Schneider Electric (http://www.schneider-electric.com), the market leader in energy management with operations in more than 100 countries, inaugurated the BipBop electrification project in the village of Pitti Gare, in the coastal region of Cameroon. The 200 villagers and several representatives of various organisations involved in the programme were present at the event.

                  Monsieur Jean Abate Edi'i, Préfet de la Sanaga Maritime, et Monsieur Jean-Marc Darboux, Président de Schneider Electric International // Mr. Jean Abate Edi’i, Sanaga Maritime Prefect, and Mr. Jean-Marc Darboux, Schneider Electric International CEO

                  The solution used for the village of Pitti Gare, which is not connected to the national electricity network, rural electrification system using solar power – Villasol – which supplies electricity off-grid to the cassava milling machine and will eventually supply the school and clinic, as well as providing a domestic battery charging service for the people of the village.

                  Monsieur Jean-Marc Darboux, Président de Schneider Electric International, pendant la conférence de presse à Douala // Mr. Jean-Marc Darboux, Schneider Electric International CEO, during the press conference in Douala

                  Pour la première fois, Madame Etoundi, une habitante de Pitti Gare, a l'électricité dans sa maison // For the first time, Ms. Etoundi, Pitti Gare inhabitant, has access to electricity in her house

                  According to Jean-Marc Darboux, President of Schneider Electric International: “Africa is capable of unrivalled technological progress. Some Africans have never owned telephone landlines but today own two mobile phones. Similarly, every new town, every new district should benefit from the latest Smart Grid technologies. And every rural village should have access to renewable off-grid energy without having to wait for conventional solutions to be provided.”

                  The presence of many of Cameroon’s ministers and officials was symbolic, demonstrating the country’s political ambition to develop access to energy.

                  Grâce à l'électricité, les enfants de Pitti Gare vont pouvoir étudier après 18h // Thanks to electricity, children of Pitti Gare will be able to do their homework after 6pm

                  According to the French Development Agency (AFD), 95% of people living in rural areas in Cameroon do not have access to electricity, even though more than 45% of Cameroon’s population live in rural areas.

                  Monsieur Emmanuel NJIKI, Président du Comité de Développement du village de Pitti Gare // Mr. Emmanuel NJIKI, President of the Comity for the Development of Pitti Gare

                   

                  The BipBop programme aims to develop access to a reliable, affordable and clean energy supply for the people at the base of the pyramid, by combining training in energy sector trades, investments in local SMEs and technological solutions suited to the people’s needs and resources. This approach will provide a clear improvement in the health and education sectors, meaning that BipBop is helping to reduce the rural exodus and is working towards sustainable development for local communities and enterprises.

                  La mini centrale Villasol dotée de panneaux solaires inaugurée à Pitti Gare va permettre aux 200 villageois de bénéficier de l'électricité // The mini central Villasol equipped with solar panels will provide electricity to the 200 inhabitants of Pitti Gare

                  View the documentary on the launch of the BipBop progam for access to electricity in Cameroon

                  View the news report on the launch of the BipBop progam for access to electricity in Cameroon


                  http://www.afrik.tv/en/videos/cameroon-energy-autonomy-bush
                   

                  SOURCE

                  Schneider Electric International

                  Bookmark and Share

                  Comments (0)

                  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

                  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

                  Bookmark and Share

                  Comments (0)

                  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

                  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

                  Bookmark and Share

                  Comments (0)

                  AfricaBusiness.com Newsletter

                  * required

                  *





                  AfricaBusiness.com Newsletter



                  Business in UAE
                  Copyright © 2009 - 2016. African Business Environment. All Rights Reserved. AfricaBusiness.com Business Magazine