Friday, December 28, 2007

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The African continent just launched a satellite that will make telecommunications in Africa cheaper, and reliant.

From Africa News

The Rascom-QAF1 satellite has a particular importance for the African countries because it will make it possible for these populations to benefit from broadband communications services. The Rascom system will provide an expanded range of value-added services to all African countries that will be using the system, which will include:

Large-scale, low-cost telecom services in rural areas, based on the use of appropriate technologies;
Inter-urban links in each member-country;
Direct international links between all member-countries;
Direct TV broadcast and Internet access services;
Value-added broadband services.

The African rural and urban areas will be thus equipped with a key infrastructure enabling to deliver communication services to everyone, at very low cost. The satellite-based solutions are particularly adapted to match this type of requirements by ensuring a broad geographic coverage at a cost for connection among the weakest. This program illustrates the common willingness of the African countries to reduce the digital divide and make telecommunications a powerful socio-economic development lever.

Read More

Dura Plast Liberia

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Dura Plast (Liberia) Inc are the pioneer manufacturer of Plastic Products in Liberia.

It produces:

» Poly Tanks (Water Tanks)
» Rigid PVC Pipes
» Pipe Fittings
» Waste Bins
» Other Plastic Products

Uranium exploration in Africa by country

Interesting article about Uranium exploration in Africa. With the focus on clean-fuel and renewable resources, uranium is becoming the hot commodity for nuclear energy.

December 26, 2007

LUSAKA, Zambia—Rising interest in nuclear power and high uranium prices have led to new uranium exploration and mining across southern Africa, home to the uranium-rich Karoo Basin. Here's a glance at some of the countries attracting attention.

Africa momentum for 2008 and beyond

2007 was a banner year for Africa, Africa enjoyed unprecedented growth in telecommunications, financials, and consumer products. No longer does Africa have to depend on the west for trade or aid. Africa now, more than ever has many opportunities for trade with other emerging markets.

For the first time ever, emerging markets are collaborating, partnering and sharing intellectual ideas. The Brazilians are collaborating with Africans in ethanol and other Biofuels, Indians and Chinese are buying world renown brands (ex. Lenovo, Jaguar/Land Rover). India outsourcing providers are building BPO capacity in Africa. The Chinese are building massive infrastructure projects all over the continent.

10 years ago the West mainly dictated how the world ran. The world's major currency was the dollar, and the major financial and commodity markets were only in New York, Chicago, London, and Tokyo. 10 years later we have Asian/Middle eastern markets providing capital infusion to the west. Also, Kuala lumpur, New Delhi, Beijing, Abu Dhabi, Lagos, Accra, Nairobi, and others are becoming the new financial cities.

Despite Africa's great success in 2007, how can it grow in 2008 and beyond? That answer lies in trade and partnerships. Emerging markets have mainly grown because they are providing services and resources to wealthier markets; mostly US and Europe. There will be a time when some services and products from Brazil, Russia, India, and China (BRIC countries) become too expensive to produce or service. Africa has to position itself to cater to these BRIC's, and other world markets.

India is facing a turnover and quality problems with it's BPO sector. Many Indian outsourcers are starting to build capacity in Africa. Everyone knows China is taking resources from Africa back to China for finished products then selling it back to Africans. The Chinese are starting to realize it's cheaper to make finished products in Africa then shipping them from China. Also, the Russians, Middle Easterners and many private equity players are looking at investments in Africa.

Despite the mortgage crisis that is effecting the west; this could be an opportune time for investment in many emerging markets. Pension funds, mutual funds and insurance funds that invested in mortgage back securities got burnt and will keep getting burnt until they liquidate their holdings in these securities. Some are investing their monies in emerging markets, and I'm sure some are looking at Africa for investment.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Alwaleed-backed fund to invest $500m in Africa

JOHANNESBURG —A private equity fund whose biggest investor is Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is raising funds to invest $500 million throughout Africa.

The fund — Pan-African Investment Partners II — aims to ride on the back of strong economic growth on a continent where private equity has made much fewer inroads than in Europe and the United States, a top official of the fund said yesterday.

Read More

Friday, December 21, 2007

Gbenga Odujinrin - Telnet Nigeria

Gbenga Odujinrin is Group Managing Director of TELNET Nigeria Limited. Gbenga, spoke at IBM GIO about Telnet and growth opportunities in the Nigeria economy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Practice Ventures Limited - maker of medical equipment

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Practice Ventures Limited (PVL) is a UK based company (Incorporated 1996), registered also in Nigeria, and is involved with the development and advancement of the healthcare industry, with emphasis on education and training.

Practice Ventures (UK) Ltd along with its affiliate, Prime Technology Medical Ventures (Nigeria) Ltd, has established itself as a trusted, reliable and successful provider of specialist, and non-specialist medical and healthcare equipment as well as localised medical education and training. The company has differentiated itself to customers not only as a trusted supplier of medical equipment, but more importantly as a genuine partner in advancing the long-term health needs of the local populations served by these customers. Practice Ventures has thereby developed an enviable reputation for effectiveness and gained the confidence of leading healthcare institutions in Nigeria.

Divine Chocolate - farmer owned fair trade company

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Divine chocolate is a marketer of fair trade African chocolate. It is owned by Kuapa Kokoo, a co-op of farmers in Ghana.

Kuapa Kokoo consists of:

  • Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Union – a democratic organization of smallholder farmers run for the benefit of its members. Farmers are organized into village societies, area levels and then at a national level with farmers electing representatives at each level and with significant participation of women.
  • Kuapa Kokoo Ltd – the trading arm of the farmers union
  • Kuapa Kokoo Farmers Trust – the body that oversees the distribution of Fair Trade premiums for community projects
  • Kuapa Kokoo Credit Union – providing credit and banking services to the farmers of Kuapa Kokoo

Ghana Cocoa Marketing Company

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The Ghana Cocoa Marketing Company (UK) Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cocoa Marketing Company (Gh) Limited (CMC), a subsidiary of Ghana Cocoa Board.

The company’s primary business is to support Trade, Logistics and Financing activities of the parent company. We inter-phase between our cherished customers and the CMC / Ghana Cocoa Board to facilitate international cocoa business. We also represent Ghana on International Commodity Bodies such as International Cocoa Organization (ICCO), International Coffee Organisation (ICO) and Federation of Cocoa Commerce Limited in London.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dubai World investing in Rwanda tourism

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Dubai to invest $230 million in Rwanda tourism

State-owned enterprise Dubai World to build eight tourism facilities in Rwanda.

NAIROBI - Dubai World, a state-owned enterprise, said Thursday it will invest 230 million dollars in Rwanda's tourism sector.

Through its investment arm, Istithmar Real Estate, Dubai World will build eight tourism facilities in the tiny east African country, including luxury hotels and lodges in national parks as well as golf courses and villas.

It will put up an 60-room lodge in the Akarega National Park, east of the capital, and a five-star tented camp in the Volcanoes National Park, home to hundreds of rare mountain gorillas.

Read More Here

Rwanda Coffee company - Thousand Hills

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Thousand Hills Coffee Company, LLC was formed to supply the United States with quality Arabica coffee from Rwanda and to help subsidize and promote the Rwanda Middle School Project sponsored by the Paraclete Foundation of South Boston, Massachusetts.

Esv Group - Biofuels

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ESV Group Plc
was established to build a substantial biofuels farming business to supply feedstock to the biofuels industry. Its immediate strategy is to build on its existing business interests in farming and logistics in Ukraine and the transhipment of grain from the region. The Group has a highly experienced team in place, both in the UK and Ukraine, with extensive knowledge and relationships across the agri-business markets. ESV has also recently acquired 11,000 hectares with the aim of developing a substantial Jatropha growing business in Southern Africa.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Artee Group of companies

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Today, Artee Group has ventured and succeeded in three major areas namely, manufacturing, wholesale trading/distribution and retailing completing the cycle of producing quality products and delivering them to the customers.

Brands and operations include

Supermarket & Department Stores
Park 'n' Shop, founded in 1988, has become a household name in modern shopping. Its strength lies in its spread and excellent commitment to quality service & delivery. Today there are nine outlets strategically located in different parts of the country.

Food Processing
Cakes 'n' Bakes, the Food Processing Division of Artee Group is a recognized name specially known for its Freshly Baked Products, different varieties of Bread, Cakes and Pastries which are of international standard. Our highly skilled Chefs, Bakers and Patissieres have continued to exhibit high innovative skills to the delight of our customers.

Furniture/Light Fittings
Millennia Interiors is another highly creative and innovative division of the Artee Group. This division produces first class home and office furniture of various designs and specifications in its factory located in Nigeria and also imports designer furniture.

Artee Group are Manufacturers' Representative/Importers for many renowned names in USA, Europe and the U.K. With many companies, we are their sole selling agents in west Africa and for other companies, we are the dealers in Nigeria. A few brands to say are Philips, Moulinex, GE Appliances, Canon Photo & Video, Olympus, REMIA.

Most of the over 25,000 product lines stocked and sold are imported by our Import and Wholesale Division which distributes the products to our various outlets and also sells to other customers from our warehouses which are strategically located around the country for quick response to orders. Our warehouses range from 40,000 sq ft to 200,000 square feet, with the state of the art equipments which includes lifters, trolleys, conveyers

Mineral Water Processing
In the manufacturing arena, Artee Industries is into Forward integration, From Pet to Water, Juices and then to juices. The brand ‘Cascade’ has taken a major market share in Mineral Water. “Cascade" natural mineral water is the solution to contamination-free drinking water. "Cascade" has been drawn from a deep spring and processed through a 14-stage world class filtration system and further ozonised to give you 100% pure and healthy water. "Cascade" water processing plant is run by the most efficient professionals, who are expert with vast experience in this field.

Cemya Group of companies

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Cemya is a Nigerian Group of companies involved in Medical Supplies, Training and Turn-Key Projects in the Medical Field. They are into supplies of Laboratory Equipments and Pharmaceuticals. Are exporters of Agricultural products from Africa.

CEMYA GROUP is a group comprising of:

Cemya Medical
Cemya Enterprises
Cemya Harvests
Cemya IT
Cemya Trade

Sameer tire company

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Sameer Africa Limited, formerly under the name Firestone East Africa 1969 Ltd, was established in Kenya in 1969 as a joint venture between Firestone Tyre and Rubber Company of the USA and the Government of Kenya with the aim of producing tyres for the Kenyan and the East African market. The initial production capacity in 1971 was only 400 tyres per day. In 1985 Firestone Tyre & Rubber Company sold a significant part of their shareholding to Sameer Investments Limited, a Kenyan company. In 1988 when Bridgestone Corporation purchased Firestone Tyre & Rubber Company worldwide, Sameer Investments retained its shareholding in the local outfit. The company got listed in the Nairobi Stock Exchange in 1995, enabling other local investors to buy equity in the company.

The corporate identity changed to Sameer Africa Limited in April 2005 after a successful renegotiation of the technical and management contract with Bridgestone Corporation Japan. This change created an independent tyre producer based in Kenya and aiming to supply the East African and the COMESA markets. The current focus is on growing the export business to take advantage of the favourable tariffs within the region.

The production capacity has grown over the years to the current level of approximately 2,500 tyres per day, with an actual production of more than 500,000 tyres per year consistently over the last few years. This capacity is already being increased further to 4,000 tyres per day over the next one year. This production, which has been technologically backed by Bridgestone & Firestone Corporation over the years has enabled Kenyan local engineers acquire cutting-edge comprehensive tyre making skills and techniques of global repute.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Euvin Naidoo article from Knowledge @ Wharton
Courtesy of White African

Interesting article from Knowledge @ Wharton about TED's own Euvin Naidoo a South African transplant living in New York City.

From Knowledge @ Wharton

Africa's stunning lack of basic services, such as electrical and telephone grids and Internet connectivity, might cause many to despair, but Euvin Naidoo -- a leading advocate for Western investment in the underdeveloped continent -- looks at the map and sees something different: hope.

Naidoo, president and CEO of the South African Chamber of Commerce in America, noted that with the world pushing for alternative sources of energy such as windmills or geothermal power, it will be easier to develop and implement these new technologies from scratch in Africa than to impose them on the entrenched power grid in the West. "The key about disruptive technology is that it really has a chance to innovate at the base of the pyramid," Naidoo said in his keynote address at the 15th annual Wharton Africa Business Forum. "The base of the pyramid is the bottom -- the millions who are underserved."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

George Ayittey speech at World Affairs council in Houston

George and Bono at TED

George Ayittey has coined the term "Cheetah generation" for those who want progressive and sustainable change in Africa. George also believes cheetah's are not blinded by government corruption or coercion.

George goes into great detail about corruption and African economics in his speech he delivered at World Affairs council in Houston.

Watch his speech here

TED William Kamkwamba profiled on Wall Street Journal

My Photo

TED fellow William Kamkwamba is profiled on the Wall Street Journal. William Kamkwamba is a self-taught engineer who built a windmill from an American text book he found lying around. Not only did this windmill work, it powered electricity in his village home.

The whole TED community is proud to see William Kamkwamba progressing so much. William Kamkwamba will be in the states next week.

Please read more here

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

EU - Africa summit

The EU - Africa summit just concluded with really no progress on trade and other issues effecting both Europe and Africa. However, unlike other summits the African leaders were united and succinct. No longer are the days of bulling and telling African leaders what to do and whom they should work with. Today, Africa has many interested players wanting her resources and these resources are in high demand.

Besides the trade issues, many Africans believe political issues should be handled by Africans themselves.

Read more about the summit

Serena Hotels

Operating under the “Serena” brand name, Tourism Promotion Services owns and manages fifteen hotels in East Africa and Asia. TPS’s first hotel ventures were established in the 1970s in Kenya, where Serena safari lodges and hotels have come to be recognized as leaders for the quality of their services, architecture and ecological responsibility.

Since the early 1980s TPS has also owned and managed hotels in the mountainous north of Pakistan and has built Serena hotels in Faisalabad and Quetta. These hotels aim to provide a showcase and a stimulus for local architectural traditions and crafts, as well as accommodation in underserved regional centres. In its most recent phase of development, TPS’s Kenyan holding company (TPS Limited) has floated its shares on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. TPS is also pursuing growth opportunities elsewhere in Eastern Africa, in Pakistan and in Central Asia.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Can Greed Save Africa?

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One of my favorite movies of all time is Wall Street, starred by Michael Douglas. Wall Street is a movie that embraces and rewards greed, despite the fact that this movie break all business rules and ethics. In the movie, Michael Douglas proclaims, "greed is good". The word greed usually has a negative connotation associated with it. In this case, Businesss Week's article, "Can greed save Africa" raises some important points and begs the question will capitalism embrace growth in Africa? In Africa's case, many international investors are flocking to the continent looking at great bargains.

The article talks a little about the illiquid markets and how hard it is for some investors to buy large block of stocks or assets because of the bureaucratic or slow banking sectors on the continent. I remember many investors were saying the same thing about South America in the early 90's. Now, Brazil and other South American economies are enjoying unprecedented growth. Despite all of this, many are still finding great bargains and opportunities all over Africa.

Many institutional investors who have read this article or this blog are going to kick themselves if they don't invest now. The fact is, in 5-10 years there will be more competition to buy or invest in assets in Africa. Africa, now more then ever, has greater choices for trade and investment. We don't have to go begging to our European masters, we can partner with up and coming emerging markets like; India, China, and Brazil.

This article is an important shift in the way the international investors are looking at the new and promising opportunities in Africa.

Africa Web 2.0 - Erik Hersman

Here is an interesting collage of African Web 2.o sites. This is courtesy of my friend Erik Hersman A.K.A "White African" or "Hash".

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