CBZ issues US$50m bond to finance Zimbabwe’s agriculture sector

ZIMBABWE – CBZ Bank Limited, one of Zimbabwe’s commercial bank has rolled out a US$50 million bond that will finance the 2019/20 agriculture season. According to the bank, the bond instruments will finance the importation of farming inputs specifically for maize and soya bean as efforts to improve production of the two essential food crops. Agriculture financing remains one of the major challenges facing the sector that oils the Zimbabwe economy while foreign currency shortages for the importation of inputs not locally available adds to the conundrum. The year 2019…

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Nigeria’s ranking in AT Kearney’s global retail index for developing country drops

NIGERIA – Nigeria’s ranking in the global retail development index dropped in 2019. A report by global research firm, AT Kearney, showed that the country moved three steps downward from the 27th position recorded in 2017 to 30th position in 2019. The index ranks 30 developing countries from a list of 200 nations on a scale of zero to 100 based on country risk, population size and wealth. Nigeria with a population of 196 million people had a national retail sale of US$105bn, down from US$109bn recorded in the last…

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Kenyan agri-tech startup Farmshine to expand to Malawi after successfully raising funding

KENYA – Kenyan agri-tech startup Farmshine expects to begin a partnership with a large development project in Malawi as it starts to expand in the wake of securing funding, reports Disrupt Africa. Farmshine operates a global agriculture platform where farmers, buyers and service providers can trade on mutually beneficial terms. Its agriculture operating system enables smallholder farmers to aggregate and sell their harvests directly to large commodity companies. Combined with on-the-ground support from Farmshine’s field officers, the mobile app ensures that farmers are offered clear, fair and reliable contracts from…

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Ethiopian government to review the new excise tax rate on bottled water

ETHIOPIA – The Ministry of Finance of Ethiopia is reviewing the new excise tax rate imposed on bottled water following strong resistance from water bottlers. Through their association, water bottlers strongly opposed the 15pc excise tax imposed on the selling price of bottled water products. Drafted by the Finance Ministry, the bill was tabled to legislators in parliament a few weeks ago. Last week the Budget & Finance Committee of the parliament held a public hearing on the bill, which is going to replace the 17-year-old proclamation. Bottled waters are…

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Tongaat Hulett shareholders approves its credit acquisition plan

SOUTH AFRICA – Shareholders of South African based diversified agribusiness firm, Tongaat Hulett have given it the greenlight to access new credit lines, which will help keep the company afloat. Tongaat said shareholders representing more than 91% of shares voted in favour of its proposal to change the company’s memorandum of incorporation (MOI), the document that sets out the rules governing the conduct of each company in line with the Companies Act. Tongaat announced in November that it was in talks with its debt providers in SA who had agreed…

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Kenya to receive US$98.5m from the World Bank to develop sustainable fisheries sector

KENYA – Five coastal counties in Kenya are set to benefit from a Sh10 billion (US$98.5m) funding from the World Bank to develop fisheries sector and harness opportunities in the blue economy. Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu counties have been listed as beneficiaries of the fund secured by the national government through the State Department of Fisheries and the Blue Economy programme. The funding is meant to support the Kenya Marine Fisheries and Socio-Economic Development (Kemfsed) project which will be rolled out this year, so as to attain…

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Maghreb Private Equity Fund IV acquires additional stake in Tunisian Cheese maker Land’Or

TUNISIA – Maghreb Private Equity Fund IV (MPEF IV) has acquired 1.8 million new shares, representing 16.20% of the capital of the Tunisian agrifood firm Land’Or. This acquisition allows the private equity fund dedicated to small and medium-sized businesses in North Africa to increase its capital in Land’Or which directly owned 5.40% of shares in the company to 21.6% of shares. Land’Or is one of the leading Tunisian agroprocessing companies in North Africa specializing in cheese making. Since its opening in 1994, the company has managed to establish itself as…

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The Kenyan Cabinet approves US$29.5m Cherry Advance Revolving Fund regulations to boost coffee production

KENYA – The Kenyan government has approved Kshs. 3 Billion (US$29.5m) Cherry Advance Revolving Fund regulations to boost coffee farming in the country. The government has established the Rules and Regulations titled “The Public Finance Management (Coffee Cherry Advance Revolving Fund) Regulations, 2019” to govern the management of the Fund which has been published in the Kenya Gazette. Stakeholders in the coffee sub-sector and members of the public in general have been invited to submit written comments and feedback by 15th January 2020 to enable the roll-out of the funds.…

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South African packaging group Nampak officially opens new technical hub

SOUTH AFRICA – Africa’s paper and packaging product manufacturing giant, Nampak has officially launched its Liquid Carton divisions’ new Technical Hub in Roodepoort, Johannesburg. The new plant complements Nampak’s existing liquid carton facilities, which include a sales office in Bryanston, Gauteng; a printing plant in Isithebe, KwaZulu-Natal; a research and development (R&D) facility in Cape Town, and sister carton producing plants in both Malawi and Zambia. Following renewed popularity and rising demand for liquid cartons, Nampak says the new Technical Hub was custom built to maintain, and service the growing…

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Malawi Agricultural and Industrial Investment Corporation launched

MALAWI – The newly established Malawi Agricultural and Industrial Investment Corporation (MAIIC) is now in full force to drive private sector led economic development in the country. MAIIC chief executive officer, Taziona Chaponda said during the event that robust private sector is vital for the development of any country. He said the institution, operating under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, will work closely with businesses to build their capacity to better articulate their business plans and work with the commercial banks in ensuring economic gains. “The establishment of MAIIC…

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