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Tue, 14 Mar 2017
African CEOs to meet in Geneva to discuss investment in Africa...

Africa CEO Forum will look at revitalising investment flows into the continent and comes at a time when commodity prices are showing signs of recovery

About 20 South African CEOs are expected to attend the Africa CEO Forum, which, is taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, later in March.

The fifth edition of the forum is due to focus on international investments in Africa. It is running from March 20–21.

The forum will look at revitalising investment flows into Africa and comes when commodity prices are showing signs of recovery.

The forum is expected to host 1,000 key decision makers in industry, finance and politics from across the globe.

Some of the local CEOs expected to attend include:

João Miguel Santos, MD of the Boeing Company in sub-Saharan Africa; Thomas Couteaudier, CEO for West and southern Africa at Louis Dreyfus Company; Siyabonga Gama, group CEO of Transnet; Manuel Mota, CEO of Mota-Engil Africa; Ramesh Moochikal, president and regional head of Olam International in South and East Africa Kelvin Balogun, president of Coca-Cola southern and eastern Africa; Mvuleni Geoffrey Qhena, CEO of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC); Farid Masood, CEO of Kansai Plascon Africa; Andrew Darfoor, group CEO of Alexander Forbes; Fabrice Ndjodo, MD of Tana Africa Capital; and Cleopas Sanangura, CEO of Thamani Technology and Systems.

Senagalese President Macky Sall and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn are also due to attend.

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Mon, 13 Mar 2017
Tazara railway needs $200m upgrade

The scale of the investment required to rehabilitate the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (Tazara) has become clear.

New managing director Bruno Ching’andu has calculated how much money will be required to stabilise the operating company, aside from efforts to upgrade the line. It has debts of $700m and needs another $200m for new rolling stock and track improvements.

Tazara was built in the 1970s by the Chinese government, with Chinese finance and workers. It was developed to give Zambia a means of exporting its copper, via the Port of Dar es Salaam, without moving it through Apartheid-era South Africa. It still carries Zambian copper but a lack of investment over many years has restricted revenue. The signalling and telecommunication systems, which have been vandalised over the years, are described by the company as “currently non-existent”.

Ching’andu said: “The debts which the authority acquired in the past have negatively affected the operations of the authority. But, if these debts could be cancelled, the institution can to get back to its normal operations.”

The Tazara Authority cannot raise the finance for the rolling stock and infrastructural improvements while it is so far in debt. The Zambian and Tanzanian governments paid several years’ worth of outstanding fuel bills in the first part of last year, in addition to millions of dollars in employee salary arrears.

In September, the Zambian government said that Tazara needed investment of $1.2bn over the next five years to turn it into a profitable commercial enterprise. Extra capacity is needed to reduce unit transport costs on the line, which currently has haulage capacity of 600,000 tonnes a year but which could carry 2m tonnes a year with the hoped-for investment.

Aside from new investment, a recovery in copper prices would increase demand from the Zambian Copper Belt. However, Tazara could face competition from an alternative copper export route in the near future. The railway from the Copper Belt through Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Angola to the Port of Lobito is being rebuilt. South Africa offers another alternative, either via rail or road.






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Mon, 13 Jul 2015
Breaking News: Third Bailout For Greece

Eurozone leaders have reached a “unanimous” agreement after marathon talks over a third bailout for Greece, EU President Donald Tusk has said.

He said that a bailout programme was “all ready to go” for Greece, “with serious reforms and financial support”.

“There will not be a ‘Grexit’,” said European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker, referring to the fear that Greece would have to leave the euro.

Greece is expected to pass reforms demanded by the eurozone by Wednesday.

Parliaments in several eurozone states also have to approve any new bailout.

Eurozone leaders had been meeting in Brussels for about 17 hours, with talks continuing through the night.

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