May 2013 Whisperings on African Business Developments and Opportunities – May 2013
MAJOR MINING COMPANIES APPEAR TO BE SLOWING THE PACE OF THEIR MINING PROJECTS AND VENTURES IN AFRICA AND IN SOME CASES, EVEN WITHDRAWING THEM. Anglo American has reportedly abandoned its plan to buy a metallurgical coal project in Mozambique’s Zambezi Valley and BHP Billiton has halted its iron ore and manganese operations in Gabon. Vale has alluded that it may be abandoning its iron ore operations in Guinea. It appears that personnel changes to senior management of Rio Tinto and Vale are likely to lead to a more risk-averse and conservative approach.
The development of NUCLEAR POWER PROJECTS IN AFRICA has been limited. Apart from South Africa and its Koeberg plant, only Kenya and Nigeria have made any attempts in this regard. Algeria, Libya and Tunisia have taken some initiative but this has been halted. There have been calls to consider the potential of small nuclear reactors such as those used by the US Navy.
There have been MAJOR CHANGES in the ZAMBIAN POWER SECTOR. The state utility, ZESCO has been restricted to Brownfields Power Projects while Greenfields Power Projects have been opened to the private sector. The Office for Promoting Private Power Investment (OPPI) has been established to promote private investment in the sector. There are also reports that ZESCO and Tata of India have agreed to collaborate on the implementation of Brownfields Power Projects. Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) reports INCREASED POWER CONSUMPTION BY ZAMBIAN MINES in 2012 from 480 MW to 560 MW.
Recent ZAMBIAN LEGISLATION regarding the MANDATORY USE OF LOCAL CURRENCY by operators in Zambia has led to delays in the financial closure of certain projects. One such project is the Kabompo Hydro Power Project in the North West Province being undertaken by Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC). It has been suggested, however, that this legislation could be amended in the near future.
Although a large percentage of indigenous businesses in SOUTH SUDAN comprise general traders, those intending to access this market should clearly identify their areas of expertise, for example, specialisation in the oil sector, commercial property sector etc. This market is still relatively underdeveloped and successful local businesses should be taken more seriously even if their activities are more of an export nature. Due to the lack of local experience therein, a large number of local businesses are overseen by Ethiopians and Eritreans.
Africa Project Access is a South African company providing specialist consulting services and information regarding projects in Africa. Its contact details are –
Contact person: Paul Runge
Telephone: +27(0)11 465 6770
Fax: +27(0)11 465 9580