February 2021 / Focus Africa

February 10 2021

African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement – Malawi and Zambia Deposit Instrument of Ratification

On 15 January 2021 and 5 February 2021, Malawi and Zambia deposited their instrument of ratification for the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (AfCFTA) as 35th and 36th country respectively. The AfCFTA has so far been signed by 54 countries and entered into force on 30 May 2019 and became effective on 1 January 2021. Further developments will be reported as they occur.

Note: To date, 36 countries (Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, eSwatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritania, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Rwanda, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, São Tomé and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe) have deposited their instrument of ratification.

February 17 2021

Tanzania: Gold Industry Set for Giant Leap

Construction of gold refining machinery worth 8.9bn/- in Mwanza with a capacity to process over 480 kilograms per day is complete.

Mwanza Precious Metals Refinery Ltd, a joint venture of State Mining Corporation (STAMICO), Dubai-based Rozella Genera Trading LLC and ACME Consultant Engineers PTE Ltd of Singapore, will be one of the best state-of-the-art gold refineries.

STAMICO Acting Managing Director Dr Venance Mwasse told Minister for Minerals Mr Dotto Biteko on Monday that the refinery plant, the first among three gold refineries currently under construction in the country, was set to be in operation the following month.

February 10 2021

AfDB, FAO and South Sudan ink protocols for US$14m grant to boost agricultural markets

SOUTH SUDAN – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has signed protocols to disburse a US$14 million grant to the Government of South Sudan to boost agricultural markets in a project to be implemented by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The Agricultural Markets, Value Addition and Trade Development (AMVAT) project aims to enhance agricultural productivity and boost the marketing and trade of agricultural products in South Sudan.

The project will be implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in close liaison with the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

The five-year project will help increase the productivity and incomes of almost 20,000 farming families in Central and Eastern Equatoria and Jonglei states, most of whom are formerly internally displaced persons who have now returned to their homes.

The project will create aggregation business opportunities for farmers and traders, including women and youth, and provide them with new skills and the agro-processing equipment they need to produce competitive products.

Twenty aggregation business centres will serve as ‘one-stop shops’ where farmers can access extension services and connect to markets for their value-added products.

Farmer groups joining the aggregation centres will have their products not only tested and quality certified, but also traded with the private sector on their behalf.

“A diversified economy away from oil and long-term growth depends on promoting agribusiness development,” said Athian Ding Athian, South Sudan’s Minister of Finance and Planning at the signing ceremony. “

February 10 2021

Dangote urea fertilizer plant set to open in first quarter of 2021

NIGERIA – Dangote Industries Limited has announced that its US$2.5 billion granulated urea fertilizer plant which is located at Ibeju Lekki, Lagos State is set to commence full operation in the first quarter of 2021 after its take off suffered some setbacks owing to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dangote Urea fertilizer plant is set-up to boost food sufficiency in Nigeria by tapping into the country’s demand for fertilizer, a critical component for boosting productivity.

According to recent information, the newly completed fertilizer complex is said to have gulped US$2.5 billion under the first phase of the project, as Africa’s most diversified manufacturing conglomerate extends dominance into the fertilizer market.

“This plant in five-ten years will change Nigeria agriculture and economy, as the efforts by Dangote Industries will help to ward off the crisis encountered in local production which has impacted agriculture,” the Minister of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Alhaji Sabo Nanono during a tour of the fully completed facility in 2020, said.

Dangote fertilizer plant is expected to have an annual processing capacity of 3 million tonnes of Urea

“The new fertilizer plant will make fertilizer available to Nigerian farmers, now we can forget all those merchants of fertilizer that have been confusing this country for the last society 40 years.”

Dangote fertilizer plant which is fully owned by Dangote Industries is expected to manufacture 3 million tonnes per annum capacity of urea, cut Nigeria’s fertilizer imports, and generate US$400 million annual foreign exchange, in export to other African countries.

“What we are now trying to do is customize the fertilizer, as soil condition in Kaduna is different from the soil condition in other states. This is because the climatic condition is different and the crop could be corn, maize, rice or sugar.

“So, each crop and each type of soil requires slightly different type of materials, so what we are trying to do is we are trying to analyze all the soil through a mapping process, and then customized the fertilizer to match the area specifications,” Dakumar Edwin, the Group Executive Director, Capital Projects and Portfolio Development, Dangote Industries Limited, said.

It is important to understand that the capacity of the plant would later be expanded to produce multiple grades of fertilizers for the African continent.

Meanwhile, OCP Africa, a subsidiary of leading global provider of phosphate and its derivatives in the region, OCP Group, broke ground for the establishment of US$13m Agricultural Centre of Excellence in Sokoto State, Northern Nigeria.

The facility will comprise of a fertilizer blending plant and a training center for farmers, fertilizer blenders and other stake holders in the agricultural value chain.

Having a production capacity of 200,000 MT per annum, the blending plant is expected to become operational in July 2021.

February 15 2021

Uganda to establish US$8.1m fruit processing factory spearheading value addition in agriculture sector

UGANDA – Delight Uganda Limited (DUL), a Ugandan fruit processing company producing juices under the brand name Cheers, has partnered with the government to establish a Shs30 billion (US$8.1m) fruit processing plant in Nwoya district, Northern Uganda.

This is a public-private partnership aimed to increase productivity and competitiveness within the agricultural sector.

According to reports by Daily Monitor, the project will be funded by the government and it has already secured Ush 16 billion (US$4.3m) from the current financial budget.

The National Agriculture Advisory Services (NAADS) has contributed Ush 6 billion (US$1.6m) while the Uganda Development Cooperation offered Ush.10 billion (US$2.7m). The balance will be provided in the subsequent budgets.

“This will increase incomes through increasing production and productivity for both households and the economy and promote value addition of agricultural products,” said Minister of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, Mr Vincent Ssempijja during the signing of the partnership.

The establishment of the plant will promote the nuclear farming model- which will in turn boost proper planning and marketing of agricultural produce and promotion of the agricultural value chain.

Ms Julian Adyeri Omalla, the chief executive officer of DUL, said her dream of setting up a factory which started in 1996 requires a lot of cooperation from the private and public sectors.

“Something that started as a family project has expanded and is benefiting the community of Northern Uganda which now boasts of employment for the informal sector,” Ms Adyeri said.

She added that the collaboration brings on board experts to train small holder farmers on how to add value to their products.

February 15 2021

The African Development Bank: a strategic partner in developing resilience and sustainable energy in the Sahel

The Sahel Alliance will hold its second general assembly in N'Djamena, Chad on Monday, 15 February 2021. The meeting will take place on the side-lines of a summit for the G5 Sahel countries— Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Chad—as well as France. The African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) played an active role in the formation in July 2017 of the Alliance, an international cooperation platform to spur development and stability in the Sahel region.

To foster closer synergy with development partners, the Sahel Alliance has invited the African Development Bank to lead a working group on agriculture, rural development and food security.

The Bank's extensive experience in the Sahel region in the management and control of water, agri-pastoral and fisheries development, as well as the sustainable management of natural resources, attracted it to the Sahel Alliance.

Agriculture and food security is of strategic importance to the Bank, which counts Feed Africa as one of its High-5 strategic priorities.

The Bank’s current Sahel portfolio includes three key projects aimed at strengthening the resilience of ecosystems and populations and ensuring food security through investment in agriculture and livestock farming as well as sustainable management of natural resources.

The Bank’s flagship Desert to Power solar initiative, valued at $20 billion will turn the Sahel region into the world’s largest solar zone giant solar zone with up to 10 000 MW of solar generation capacity. Eleven countries are beneficiaries of this initiative: Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Chad.

Spanning Burkina Faso, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and the Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), the Programme for Building Resilience to Food and Nutrition Insecurity in the Sahel (P2RS) advances resilience to climate change, long-term financing of the agricultural sector, and developing trade and regional integration.

By providing long-term sustained investment in building the resilience of Sahelian households, P2RS, which is mobilizing more than $250 million for its first phase and $750 million over 20 years, is contributing immensely to breaking the cycles of famine in the region. It also promotes the development of rural infrastructure and creates thousands of jobs for rural youth through the development of regional value chains and markets.

Another project that demonstrates the Bank's commitment to the region’s development is the ongoing implementation of the Programme for the Rehabilitation and Strengthening of the Resilience of Socio-Economic Systems in the Lake Chad Basin (PRESIBALT), which covers Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic and Nigeria.

The project, valued at approximately $70 million, provides skills enhancement training to young people to prepare, them for the local economy, thereby reintegrating vulnerable members of society in a region plagued by political insecurity and extreme weather. PRESIBALT also provides socioeconomic support to women and youth

The Bank is also implementing a third major initiative – the Integrated Development and Adaptation to Climate Change Programme (IPCCP) — to strengthen the populations of the Sahel.

With a budget of more than $205 million, the IPDCDC, which covers Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and the Niger Basin Authority, will directly benefit about four million people, 51% of them women, between 2019 and 2024.

Through an integrated and inclusive approach, the IPDCDC will recover 140,000 hectares of degraded land and construct 209 hydraulic structures for agri-pastoral and pisciculture activities. It will implement 450 sub-projects to help develop the agricultural chain and create 184 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) run by young people.

In addition, more than 100,000 households will be strengthened to adapt to climate change. The scheme will also operate a financing mechanism for sustainable natural resource management activities in the Niger River Basin.

February 28 2021

Africa in Review by the Numbers – Kili Partners

$24 million

First close for South Africa’s Hlayisani Growth Fund to invest into high-growth, high-impact businesses. The round was led by Standard Bank and prominent South African family offices. The fund also revealed it made seven investments last year worth a combined $13.6 million (Disrupt Africa)  


Growth in the value of mobile payment transactions in Rwanda in 2020, hitting $7.3 million, according to statistics from the central bank. The increase is largely driven by government policy to encourage the adoption of digital payment as a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19. (The New Times)  

10 million

People in DRC expected to get connected via solar-powered cell towers in a project led by Canada's NuRAN Wireless and Orange DRC. The partners will construct and operate 2,000 solar-powered communication masts across the country, focusing on rural communities. The network-as-a-service contract is NuRAN's second in Africa, after a similar project with Orange Cameroon. (ESI Africa)  


Woman and African was appointed as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation on Monday; Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala will be heading the multilateral trade body from March 1, 2021 to August 31, 2025. The decision was taken by consensus at a special meeting of the organisation's General Council. Okonjo-Iweala is the former Finance Minister of Nigeria and World Bank economist. (The Economic Times)  

15 MW

Electricity set  to be produced in the first phase of Rwanda's Shema Power Lake Kivu (SPLK) methane gas extraction project by June this year, according to engineers. Once fully finalised at the end of 2022, the $400 million project will add 56 MW to the national grid, significantly increasing the country's power generation capacity. (The New Times)  

47,000 hectares

Area of forest lost to cocoa production in Côte d’Ivoire, in 2020 despite pledges to halt deforestation. The figure represents a 20% improvement on annual forest loss recorded in 2015. The West African country is the world’s top cocoa producer but has lost more than 85% of its forest cover since 1960, mainly due to cocoa farming, according to the government. (Reuters)  


The coupon on Ecobank Nigeria's $300 million bond issued on the London Stock Exchange. The first non-sovereign bond from Africa this year, the bond is a milestone capital raise for the banking sector in Nigeria, with its coupon rate representing the lowest ever achieved by a Nigerian financial institution for a benchmark bond transaction. (Africa Global Funds)  

$3 billion

Cost of phase one of Egypt's integrated electric train system being implemented by Siemens. The initial phase covers 460 km running between the Red Sea and Mediterranean coast, passing through the New Administrative Capital. Expected to take two years to complete, the works will create 15,000 jobs. (Egypt Independent)  


Motor vehicles assembled in Kenya in 2020, representing 63.6% of all new vehicle sales that year. The number largely comprises commercial vehicles, a segment which benefits from a ban on imports and tax advantages for knocked down imports to support local manufacturing. (Business Daily)   Review by Kili Partners . Powered by Asoko Insight