90 cervical cancer centres planned The Tanzanian government has announced plans to set up 90 centres for test and treatment of cervical cancer diseases in 30 councils by June 2017. Minister for Health, Ms Ummy Mwalimu, told a press conference that the World Bank (WB) will finance the construction project and it has already released Ts2bn (US$1 million) for the work. The stations are expected to address a challenge whereby most of the patients are diagnosed when the diseases are at an advanced stage, a situation that defies treatment. “We are going to train 180 health experts for these centres. This means we will deploy two of them at each centre,” she said. It is estimated that the country records 50,000 cases of cancer every year, with only 11.4% getting treatment. (Source: Daily News Tanzania)

Kenya-Decrease in corporate tax rate rises developers’ needs to provide low cost housing

Low cost housing may be seen as the next frontier for investment in the Kenyan real estate sector. This was due to the implementation of a law that reduced the corporate tax rate by half for developers and investors; who aim to build at least 400 low cost homes. Even though the government is yet to identify what is meant by a low cost house, market players have defined it as a development that costs a maximum of Sh2 million to build, and ideally built of people who earn an income between Sh40 000 – Sh60 000. There is an increase in developers shifting their interests toward low cost housing projects as they seek to address the rising demand for affordable housing in the country. (Source: Construction Business Review)

Kenya-Slowed growth in the construction sector

According to report released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, growth in the Kenyan construction sector slowed down in the third quarter of 2016 due to the general slowdown in private real estate development. Compared to the same time frame in 2015, the construction sector grew by 9.3% in 2016 as compared to 15.6% in 2015. The slowed growth can be accounted for by a reduction in civil works of the Mombasa-Nairobi standard gauge railway that is nearing completion. The slowed growth will likely persist due to the uncertainty around the general election that will be held in August, and thus the focus will be on completion of ongoing project developments. (Source: Construction Business Review)


Kenyan Government open to foreign investment, yet protecting local markets French retail chain Carrefour opened its doors at an upmarket shopping mall in Karen, Nairobi in 2016. However, Africa’s biggest retailer, Shoprite Holdings, has not yet made a foray into the country, even though in some major African countries, it has been a dominant layer. African analyst at the Rand Merchant Bank, Celeste Fauconnier suggested that should foreign retailers be interested in wanting to gain access to the market, they need to thoroughly assess the competition and be willing to take a minority share in a local business if they wanted access to the market. According to a 2016 research conducted by Knight Frank on African retail, in sub-Saharan Africa, Kenya is second (391,000m²) to South Africa (23 million m²) in terms of shopping centre space, and Namibia is in third place. According to Oxford Business Group, Kenya ranks as the second-highest formalised retail sector and the average value of consumer spending has risen as much as 67% in the past five years, making it Africa’s fastest-growing retail market. (Source: BusinessLIVE)


Industrial parks get more foreign finance According Sisay Gemechu, head of the Industry Park Development Corporation, European and Chinese financial companies are negotiating with the government of Ethiopia to provide finance for the upcoming industry park project. The World Bank recently allocated a large loan to construct two parks in Addis Ababa – Bole Lemi 2 and Qilinto. Currently the government of Ethiopia is paying for the project from public coffers and cash from Euro bond sales. The Chinese Export Import (EXIM) Bank and the European Investment Bank will be the other options to develop more parks in the country. He hinted that there will be other sources in the future. The World Bank loan has been allocated to construct industry park development projects that will be located in Addis Ababa. (Source: Daily Post


Hydropower plant implements the verified carbon standard The Matebe hydropower plant is part of a wider investment plan, called the Virunga Alliance, which is initiated by the Virunga Foundation to provide access to energy to 4 million people who live and work in and around the Virunga National Park. Through a verified carbon standard (VCS), the plant will produce more than 13,6MW and supply 600,000 people with clean, accessible and affordable electricity. It also provides 12,000 individuals with sustainable employment. The hydro project avoids the use of heavy, polluting, fossil fuel generators thus saving an estimated 50,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

Cote d’Ivoire

Government launches energy project that supports green energy production The Ivorian government launched the Daoukro Energies project and has set a target to increase national energy production from 2,000MW to 4,000MW by 2020; and to more than 6,000MW by 2030. The project will produce solar energy and alternate with thermal energy that will be fuelled by bio-salt, biogas and biomass. The plant is said to be operational in approximately 18 months costing €1.6Bn and generating 1200 jobs. In addition to the construction of 27.5km of access roads connecting the power stations to the town of Daoukro, the populations impacted by this project will have access to drinking water, electricity, health centres, schools and Funds for their various development projects. (Source: Le Patriote

Regional SADC-EU trade partnership comes into effect

All aspects of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the European Union and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) became effective on 1st February 2017. The EU-SADC EPA was signed in October last year and replaces the trade chapter in the Trade Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) between South Africa and the EU. Ongoing negotiations will address outstanding market access issues. (FTW)

Regional – Sub-Saharan Africa

US$90 million fund to start renewable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa The Evolution One Fund is a US$90-million fund that focuses on the clean energy and environment sectors. It has now vended its stake in three assets to an entity controlled by TriAlpha Investment Management’s clients. A different indirect stake in the 138.6 MW Cookhouse wind farm – a fourth asset – was sold to Old Mutual Life Assurance, a present shareholder in the project. The exit of these assets has permitted Inspired Evolution to return Evolution One’s entire capital back to its financiers – all in just more than six years from its last close. The fund will add to tackling the mounting need to substitute aging and incompetent carbon-intensive power plants, as well as add to building cheaper, low-carbon, clean and sustainable energy production aptitude to tackle the projected 130 GW of suppressed demand across sub-Saharan Africa’s high-growth nations. (Source: Construction Review Online)

Regional – Comment

South Africa’s Exports to Sub-Saharan Africa Sustain Manufacturing Recently released trade data from South Africa’s Customs and Excise Department shows that regional markets continue to remain critical to South African companies and to manufacturers in particular. Exports to Sub-Saharan Africa reached R311bn in 2016, or 30% of South Africa’s total export basket by country, making our region the key market for South African exporters. Moreover, Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for around 38% of value-added exports destined for other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Is the market saturated with South African products? Not at all – 88% of all our exports are destined for our SADC partners, with only 12% destined for the other 35 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. These include ‘majors’ such as Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Senegal. Thus, whilst South African companies have made great strides in our immediate region, there are definitely markets that remain untapped outside of this.