East African trade and investment news

PE firms make 23pc dollar return in East Africa exits

Published on July 11, 2019

Private equity (PE) firms exiting East African investments are enjoying dollar returns of up to 23 percent, underlining the attractiveness of the region for venture capital. PE activity in the region has grown significantly in the past decade, with majority of those that entered the market at the beginning of the decade now exiting after achieving the normal six to eight-year investment cycle for such funds. The findings are contained in a joint report on East African asset classes by I&M Burbidge Capital and the East Africa Venture Capital Association (EAVCA). According to the report, the number of PE funds actively investing in the region increased from about 36 in 2014 to 117 in 2018. "Using data from 18 exits compiled from 10 private equity funds operating in the region and disclosed to us in confidence, the data shows that on average, exit yields ranged between 17 and 23 percent on a dollarised internal rate of return," say I&M Burbidge and EAVCA in the report. Read more. Source | Business Daily

Kenyan farmers have high hopes for new African free trade

Published on July 11, 2019

African leaders are in Niger to put the finishing touches on a plan for the world's largest free trade zone. Once up and running, it will bring all 55 members of the African Union into a single market of well over a billion people. Advocates of the trade deal hope it will bring employment opportunities to millions of people on the continent. Al Jazeera's Malcolm Webb reports from Thika in Kenya about what the free trade agreement could mean for farmers there. Read more. Source | Al Jazeera

Del Monte’s Sh500m plant to feed Coca-Cola

Published on July 11, 2019

Thika-based pineapple juice maker Del Monte will next month open a Sh500 million processing plant within its Thika plantation and expand production portfolio to other fruits. Del Monte managing director Stergios Gkaliamoutsas said that the new facility in Kenol along the Thika-Murang’a highway is expected to create 200 new jobs and will start processing of avocados, mangoes and passion fruits. The new facility will have a processing capacity of 60 tonnes of fresh fruits per year which will be sourced from Kiambu and neighbouring Murang'a County. "Del Monte Kenya plans to source fruit from local and regional growers in Murang’a and Kiambu counties. We will prepare and package the products from the new Del Monte facility for both local and international markets," said Mr Gkaliamoutsas. Currently, the Thika road-based fruit processor has more than 6,500 employees and creates about 28,000 indirect jobs through the production and value addition chain. Read more. Source | Business Daily

Rwanda courts investors for tech and infrastructure development

Published on July 11, 2019

Rwanda is courting investors in digital and traditional infrastructure development at the ongoing annual General Shareholders Meeting of Africa50, a pan-African infrastructure investment firm. With Africa50’s investor base currently composed of 27 African countries, the African Development Bank, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), and Bank Al-Maghrib, the government is keen on showcasing opportunities across various sectors in the country. Among the avenues of investments that Rwanda is showcasing for investment include the Kigali Innovation city, which has 11 components at a cost of $420 million with a number of opportunities present. Read more. Source | New Times

Kagame, Kutesa hold confidential meeting

Published on July 11, 2019

Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Uganda’s Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa met privately on Wednesday night, as both countries seek an end to political tensions that have paralysed the flow of people and goods across their common border. The two-hour meeting happened shortly after Mr Kutesa landed in Kigali, well-placed sources confirmed. The minister delivered a sealed envelope from President Yoweri Museveni to President Kagame but the contents remained a mystery. Sources said the minister was given a response to deliver to the Ugandan leader. Read more. Source | East African

Uganda has excess cane, but govt says it’s not selling to Kenya

Published on July 02, 2019

Uganda has blocked a request to export excess sugar cane from outgrowers in Busoga region to Kenya. Farmers say they have an overproduction of some 500,000 tones of sugar that processors are unable to absorb but the Minister for Trade, Industry and Co-operatives Amelia Kyambadde says the surplus is only temporary and should not cause alarm. Ms Kyambadde told parliament that sugar factories in Uganda have been producing below capacity since 2010 due to a shortage of cane and that opening up the market to neighbouring countries like Kenya would worsen this problem. Read more. Source | East African

Rwanda scoops five awards at tea forum in Kampala

Published on July 02, 2019

Rwandan companies have won five awards at a regional meeting of tea stakeholders underway in Kampala, Uganda. Rwanda also produced the winner of the overall award at the 4th African Tea Convention on Wednesday. The firms including Rwanda Mountain Tea (overall winner), Kitabi BP 1, Nyabihu PF1, Gisovu PD, and Kitabi D1. The companies were recognised for their “best quality tea” after shinning in a recent East African team competition. The convention was organised by the East African Tea Traders Association and attracted participants from mainly across Africa. Read more. Source | New Times

New COMESA project on food health standards to enhance market access

Published on July 02, 2019

Regional countries are set to increase market access for their agricultural products following the commencement of a new capacity building project to mainstream sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards (SPS) priorities into national policies. The project is titled: ‘Mainstreaming SPS capacity building into the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) and other National Policy Frameworks to Enhance Market Access’. The project has a budget of US$464 out of which US$390 is provided by the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) a World Trade Organization (WTO) agency. Read more. Source | CapitalFM

Border: Women traders sue Uganda, Rwanda

Published on July 02, 2019

Women traders operating between Uganda and Rwanda have sued the two governments seeking compensation for losses they have incurred since the border was closed in February. The suit was filed in the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) in Arusha, Tanzania on June 21 by a consortium of three civil society organisations (CSOs) on behalf of about 600 affected women traders. The CSOs are East African Sub-Regional Initiative for Advancement of Women (EASSI), Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) and Centre for Food and Adequate Living Rights (CEFROTH). They want the court to order the immediate opening of the border, arguing that the reasons for closure are not trade-related. The petitioners argue that the two countries are EAC members who subscribe to the regional Common Market Protocol which should not be violated by political disagreements. Read more. Source | Daily Monitor

Bid to boost trade between Ethiopia, Kenya faces hurdles

Published on July 02, 2019

Kenya and Ethiopia are still struggling to conduct robust trade between them despite penning a number of bilateral agreements and instituting several trade-friendly measures. This is according to Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary Ababu Namwamba, who singled out non-tariff barriers for the current subdued bilateral trade. The barriers include long bureaucratic procedures, bans and sanctions. Another hindrance cited is a strict foreign currency regulatory regime by the National Bank of Ethiopia, which cuts across all the foreign nationals, especially those doing small enterprises. Read more. Source | Daily Nation


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