ecycled plastic wins green success for Kenyan entrepreneur
»Kenyan Lorna Rutto has been named the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards 2011 laureate for sub-Saharan Africa for her creative business idea of making fence posts from plastic waste. Rutto established EcoPost, now known internationally for its contribution to solving Kenya’s waste problem. The company uses 100% recycled plastics to manufacture durable and ecofriendly fencing posts. In its first eight months of operation, Rutto and her team produced 5,000 posts and removed 300 tons of plastic waste from the environment.
he company’s plastic fencing posts are suitable for fencing farms, homes, national parks, game reserves and commercial premises such as cattle ranches and tourist resorts. They can also be used as support beams for houses, cowsheds and garages. The plastic posts are durable, cost-effective, do not rot, are not attractive to termites and cannot be taken for use as firewood.
coPost is also helping to preserve Kenya’s forests and cut down on deforestation. Plastic posts are an affordable alternative to timber, reducing the need for fencing material manufactured from wood. Kenya has about 2% forest cover, but the high demand for wood to produce fence posts for houses, plantations and game reserves is rapidly depleting the country’s remaining forests.
he business has created opportunities for unemployed youth and women, who make a living by collecting, sorting and cleaning plastic waste for reselling. EcoPost works in partnership with about 200 collectors. By the third year of operation, EcoPost aims to create 100 direct and more than 500 indirect jobs.
he awards involve a business plan competition to identify, support and encourage projects by women entrepreneurs. Each laureate receives $20,000 worth of coaching for one year, and networking opportunities.
Africa’s total stock market capitalisation grew from $245bn in 2002 to more than $1,000bn in 2010 – equivalent to compound annual growth of around 22% per year
“A doubling in intraAfrican trade would add 2% to the continent’s gross domestic product” Obiageli Ezekwesili @WorldBankAfrica on Twitter North Africa will return to growth with projection of 4.7% in 2012 and 5.5% in 2013, says World Economic Situation and Prospects 2012
$1.4bnTanzaniaearned$1.4bn from tourism in the year ended October 2011, up from $1.2bn in 2010
$50bnMozambiqueexpects $50bn to be spent developing its liquid natural gas (LNG)
industry over the next 10 years, implementing projects for exporting 20m tonnes of LNG a year
Botswana lifts coal prospecting ban Botswana has lifted its June 2011 ban on new prospecting licences for coal, coal-bed methane and related minerals, following the completion of a study of the country’s coal potential. The ban had been intended to curb speculation. The permit regime is being overhauled to ensure licences are issued to individuals or companies with adequate resources to prospect and develop mines and associated infrastructure. Botswana is heavily dependent on diamonds and is keen to diversify its economy, given Asia’s demand for Africa’s resources, such as coal.
The study suggested Botswana has the capacity and potential to produce up to 90m tonnes per year of coal for export. Zim hikes registration fees Zimbabwe is looking to the mining sector to increase the country’s funds. It plans to raise registration fees for platinum mines to $2.5m from its current $300 to discourage the holding of speculative claims. The application fee for a prospector’s licence for platinum would also rise from $150 to $500,000. For diamond miners, the prospecting fee will remain at $1m, and a fee of $5m will be required to register a claim. The application fee for coal, coal-bed methane gas, mineral oils, natural gas and nuclear energy mineral resources will cost $100,000, compared to $5,000 currently.
Zimbabwe Finance Minister Tendai Biti expects $600m cash inflows from the diamond sector to help fund a $4bn budget for 2012. Xstrata, Glencore in $90bn merger? Miner Xstrata announced plans for all-share merger with Glencore, the world’s biggest commodity trader. The deal would value the combined new business at $90bn, of which Xstrata would comprise $39bn.The new group would be the world’s biggest exporter of coal and the largest producer of zinc. REGIONAL INTEGRATION Free trade from Cape to Cairo The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) , the East African Community (EAC), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are to start talks to create an African Grand Free Trade Area from ‘Cape to Cairo’, to include Libya and Kenya. Africa currently has 14 regional trading blocs.
The 27-nation trade pact would cover a population of more than 525m with a combined GDP of $1 trillion. The intention is to increase trade within Africa, The debt crisis in Europe and the financial crisis in the US have intensified Africa’s need to depend on its own markets to cushion its economy from external shocks. Intra-Africa trade currently
African Business | March 2012 accounts for only 12% of total Africa trade, a small proportion compared to the European Union’s 60%.
CHINAWATCH Uganda signs agreements with China Economic, technical cooperation and double taxation agreements have been signed by Uganda and China. China has urged Uganda to use its new oil and gas resources to propel its industrialisation (see above) and has offered scholarships in China for subjects including political science and technology. Chinese investors have shown interest in starting industries, especially food processing and road construction. China has funded and constructed a building to house offices for the President and Prime Minister. Plans are under way to construct a railway line. MINING DR Congo strikes new gold The new Namoya Gold Project in DR Congo, located approximately 270 km southwest of Bukavu, plans to start bulk earthworks this month. The project will see the development of a mine and gravity heap leach processing facility to treat 2.0m tonnes per annum and produce approximately 131,000 ounces a year of gold bullion. The total capital cost of the plant and associated infrastructure is estimated at $148m. INTERNATIONAL CHAINS African food gets faster Fast food chain KFC (previously Kentucky Fried Chicken) aims to open 130 more restaurants in Africa during 2012, bringing its total number of outlets to 1,000. It opened 70 in 2011. It plans to enter seven new African countries this year: Angola, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, the DR Congo and Madagascar, and to be in 20 countries throughout the continent as it establishes supply chain partnerships. US company Yum! Brands, the owner of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, had a reported turnover in South Africa of about R8bn ($1bn) in 2011. An ad campaign from a South African fast food chain created burgers that spelled out messages in Braille, with carefully placed sesame seeds, for people who are blind. Created to promote its Braille menu, hamburger chefs used tweezers to place sesame seeds on hamburger buns presented to visually impaired diners, with messages like ‘100% pure beef burger made for you’. Wimpy claims the campaign reached 800,000 people with visual impairments. TRADE AfDB and WCO strengthen African customs admin The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Customs Organisation (WCO) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work
10%UNCTADestimatessubSaharan Africa’s export volumes grew by 10.4% in 2010, after contracting in 2008–9. Terms of trade improved too
10 of Africa’s 54 countries have a GDP per capita greater than China; 17 have a GDP per capita greater than India oday, over 150 stocks in Africa have a market capitalisation above $500m – most of them in countries other than South Africa
The use of debit cards and electronic money transfers in Zimbabwe reached $34bn in 2011, a rise of 56% from $22bn in 2010 A subsidiary of China Railway Construction Corp Ltd has signed projects in Nigerian and Dijbouti with a total contract value of 9.1bn yuan ($4.4bn).
$1.5bn he US plans to invest $1.5bn in the Nigerian power sector through US private sector firms wishing to work in Nigeria
TELeCOMS Burkina Faso WiFi deal »Burkina Faso’s capital Ouagadougou is to get WiFi coverage through Telecel WiFi base stations. They will provide blanket coverage for Ougadougou’s business districts, education campuses, hotels, international airport and key residential areas.
uring 2012, the network will be expanded to other cities, including Bobo-Dioulasso and Koudougou, allowing the service to reach over 2m people in the country. GSM network operator Telecel already has more than 1m customers, out of Burkina Faso’s population of 16m.
together to improve customs administration in Africa, encourage reform and modernisation,
with the objective of boosting intra-African trade. The MOU will be a platform for further cooperation on customs issues.
The AfDB’s regional infrastructure financing and WCO’s technical customs expertise are complementary. Their partnership will identify, develop and implement customs capacity building projects, observe international best practices and support regional integration in Africa.
It will also include research and knowledge sharing in areas of common interest. DEVELOPMENT LOANS World Bank to lend Kenya $1.9bn in 2012–14 The World Bank has committed $1.9bn for development projects in Kenya over the next two years: $400m has already been disbursed. The Bank has already invested over $2bn in sectors such as water, energy and transport infrastructure in Kenya.
The World Bank expects the Kenyan economy to grow by 5% this year and 5.5% in 2013.
African Business | March 2012