Month: January 2016

Zambia gets $243 million loan for rehabilitation of the Chinsali-Nakonde Road

Zambia has signed two loan agreements, worth $243 million, with the Africa Development Bank (ADB) for rehabilitation of the Chinsali-Nakonde Road. This came to light at the Signing Ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance Headquarters in Lusaka. Of the $243 million Loan, $193 million is from the ADB while $50 million is from the Africa Growing Together Fund, a trust fund by the CHINESE Government to support Africa’s economic transformation. Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda signed the Loan on behalf of the Zambian Government. He said the two hundred and 10 kilometre stretch of the Chinsali-Nakonde Road is an important project as it is part of the Great North Road-a gate to the Far -East where Zambia ferries it copper to CHINA for export.

Zambia’s Mobile phone users jump from 2.6 million to 10.9 million in 8 years

ZAMBIA has recorded significant increase in the number of mobile phone subscribers from 2.6 million in 2007 to 10.9 million in 2015 due to increased investment in the sub-sector by mobile service providers. Similarly, the increase in subscriber base corresponds to an improvement in service penetration relative to the population from 22.5 percent in 2007 to 70.3 percent in 2015, in a country with over 14 million people. The number of internet users increased from 2.3 million in 2012 to five million in 2015 with majority users being through mobile cellular networks, who account for 99 percent. This increase represents a 32.2 percent rise in 2015 compared to 17.3 percent in 2012.

IMF WARNS ZAMBIA

ZAMBIA and other countries with emerging markets will need to develop new structural reforms because their economies will worsen this year due to weak pick-up in global growth, says the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) update. IMF economic counsellor and director of research Maurice Obstfeld says 2016 is going to be a year of ‘‘great challenges’’ and policymakers should be thinking about short-term resilience and the ways they can bolster it, but also about the longer-term growth prospects. The WEO update underlines the urgent need for policymakers to raise actual and potential growth through a mix of demand support and structural reforms. According to the update, growth forecasts for most emerging markets and developing economies reveal a slower pick-up than previously predicted.

Govt to make ZINWA commercial entity

The Government of Zimbabwe is working on the creation of a water and waste water regulator which will ultimately result in the commercialization of the current Zimbabwe National Water Authority The need for a regulator came after the realization that ZINWA was acting as both “player and referee” in the water sector while at the same time there were clashes over mandate with other regulatory authorities such as the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority and the Environmental Management Authority. According to a Needs Assessment and Business Opportunities Report commissioned  by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, this will enable ZINWA to improve performance, become financially sustainable and meet new legislative requirements.

Zambia increased Copper output despite Load Shedding and low prices

Reuters reports that Zambia’s copper production inched higher to 711,515 tons in 2015 from 708,000 tons the previous year mainly due to a new mine owned by Canada’s First Quantum Minerals, the Chamber of Mines said on Friday. An electricity shortage and weaker copper prices due to slower growth by top consumer China have piling pressure on Zambia’s mining industry, threatening output, jobs and economic growth in the southern African nation, and put its currency on the back foot against the dollar. Zambia’s policy flip-flops on royalty taxes during the year also  caused concern among mining firms, forcing them to suspended major capital investment in mines or new projects. However, a government spokesman said in December Zambia would introduce a variable tax on mineral royalties that will be adjusted according to metal prices.    

‘Govt must stimulate domestic demand’

ZIMBABWE’S persistent deflationary environment is seen forcing Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor John Mangudya to take an inflation-oriented stance in his monetary policy statement that is due early this year. Leading UK based research unit NKC African Economics (NKC) said the country has no choice but to tackle deflation given that it is detrimental to productive sectors of the economy, consequently reducing economic growth.

Kenya plans spending cuts to curb surging budget deficit

John Aglionby in Nairobi The Kenyan government plans to cut spending by 1 per cent of gross domestic product in the next six months as it seeks to rein in its ballooning budget deficit and create “buffers” to counter emerging market turbulence. Kenya’s decision to cut its budget mirrors that of South Africa, which is also trying to reduce public sector spending. Ghana, with help from the International Monetary Fund, is seeking to reduce its budget deficit.3 In contrast, Nigeria has decided to increase spending in a bid to boost growth while leaders in Uganda and Zambia, which both face elections this year, are also lifting government spending.

Mauritius leads investment flows into Zim

According to the latest statistics (2009-2015) from the Zimbabwe Investment Authority, Mauritius is the largest source of investment flows accounting for $4,56 billion, China is the second largest source country at $2,81 billion with the most significant amount of $1,09 billion coming through in 2011, while the British Virgin Islands is on sixth at $760,54 million. According to the figures, $400 million will be invested in the energy sector, manufacturing $500 million and $300 million in the mining sector. Total investment approved amounted to $3,16 billion from 170 projects. The projects are forecast to create 13 377 jobs and about $30 million in export earnings.

Zesa in debt recovery plan

Zesa is working on a debt recovery strategy to pin consumers, including bigwigs who owe the power utility $1 billion in unpaid bills, Energy and Power Development Minister Dr Samuel Undenge said yesterday. Some Government Ministers and senior civil servants are not paying their electricity bills, with some owing tens of thousands of dollars at their homes and farms. If they don’t pay for the services, Zesa will come to a stage where it will not be able to deliver that service. The move would have seen consumers being forced to pay high monthly instalments towards servicing their debts before accessing electricity. Though Zesa’s proposed tariffs have remained a secret, sources said the utility wanted the price pegged at 14 cents per kilowatt per hour up from 9,86c/Kwh. The average electricity cost in the Southern African region is 14c/kWh.

Africa’s Richest Man Aliko Dangote To Launch $400 Million Cement Plant In Zambia

MAR 13, 2015 Forbes  A $400 million cement plant in Zambia owned by Dangote Group will be commissioned and commence operations by the end of March, according to a report by the Lusaka Times. Speaking to a group of Journalists on Thursday at departure at Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe International Airport in Ndola, Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man and owner of the Dangote Group, said that the commissioning of the new cement plantwhich is located in Masaiti district in the Copperbelt, had been delayed as a result of flooding and a delay in getting the requisite permits from the Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA). Once operational, the Dangote Cement Plant will have a production capacity of 1.5 million tonnes annually and will create at least 1,000 jobs. Meanwhile, Dangote is constructing another Cement Plant in Chilanga, a small town 20 km south of Zambia’s capital city, Lusaka. The cement plant in Chilanga will cost an estimated $420 million. “We have made good progress on the plant in Lusaka, we have already got permission to get into the land and start mining, so hopefully the same contractor might move there and build an identical plant with the one in Masaiti,” Dangote said. Aliko Dangote has been Africa’s richest man for the past 5 years. His current fortune is estimated at $15.9 billion derived from investments in cement, sugar and flour.