SPORT Brand-new look for Kenyan athletics stars A Kenyan company has developed a local brand of sportswear for the country’s elite, ensuring that when they compete internationally, their gear reflects a sense of national pride and commitment. Hussein Kurji, designer and head of operations for Kourage Athletics, said: “There are a lot of Kenyan athletes and you always see them wearing Nike and Adidas, and not something from their own country. We do have quite a good track record when it comes to running, so why not match that with an equally big clothing brand?”
he kit is designed, manufactured and managed in Kenya by locals at Viva Africa, a Kenyan owned and operated factory. Garments use the same type of quick-dry fabric as leading sports brands as Nike and Adidas, and are tested under extreme conditions, in snow on Mount Kenya and in the heat of the Rift Valley plains. Every purchase injects revenue back into the Kenyan economy.
142Chinahasworkedon142cooperativeagricultural projects with 14 African countries to date
207 exhibitors from 37 African countries attended the World Travel Market – DR Congo for the first time
88 Man-made products as percentage of China’s exports to Africa
90% Raw materials as percentage of Africa’s exports to China
ECONOMY SA plans special economic zones In a bid to spur growth, South Africa will boost industry by creating special economic zones, with the objective of drawing increasing its involvement in manufacturing from just mining and shipping of raw materials. Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced the plans as part of an R25bn ($3bn), six-year industrial stimulus package. The zones will include tax breaks for companies that build facilities and infrastructure assistance, such as transport and power connections. Gordhan’s growth forecast this year has been downgraded this year to 3.1%, in line with many economists, below the 3.4% rate predicted.
AGRICULTURE Zim farmers turn to tobacco Small-scale farmers in Zimbabwe are are turning to tobacco because they are paid immediately on delivery whereas the state-run cereal distribution monopoly can take months to pay for maize. Tobacco produc-
tion fell from 237m kg in 2000 to 49m in 2008; however, the Zimbabwe Tobacco Association (ZTA) said 132m kg was auctioned in 2011. Commercial farmers have not exploited maize production because of price controls – at $285 a ton – and opted for cash crops such as paprika, cut flowers and cotton. Of the 67,000 tobacco growers registered in 2011, only about 17,000 are considered large growers. This year the average price of tobacco per kg was $2.73, slightly lower than the previous year of $2.89.
MINING Australia goes underground in Africa Over the past two years there has been a big jump in Australian groups going to Africa, says Tony Harwood, executive chairman of Universal Coal.
About 40% of all Australian overseas mining projects are now in Africa. More than 240 Australian companies active in the mining and infrastructure
Snippets Around Africa THIS MONTH
WORLD BANK World Bank head Robert Zoellick (below) said it is in “very early stage” talks with China to promote the transfer of low-value manufacturing jobs to Africa to boost employment in sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa.
BOTSWANA Botswana has maintained one of the world’s highest economic growth rates since independence in 1966, and is now a middle-income country with a per capita GDP of $13,100 in 2010.
COTE D'IVOIRE Côte d’Ivoire plans to spend CFA5bn ($10.4m) on expansion of its western port of San Pedro, constructing a terminal for exports of mineral, including manganese ore and iron. The country is also mobilising works that will allow quay rail extension at Abidjan port.
zimbabwe The National Railways of Zimbabwe has begun replacing 144 km of permanent way with rail secured from China and plans to procure more motive power and passenger rolling stock from China.
ANGOLA 5,000 new houses are due to be built in two years in the city of Kilamba, in Angola, via a partnership with the China International Fund Limited (CIF) in an area of 250 hectares.
African Business | December 2011