The Pan-African Economy in Brief: Saturday, April 15, 2019

The government wants to focus on special economic zones to double its manufacturing production by 2025:
In Nigeria, the government wants to focus on special economic zones to double manufacturing production by 2025. This was announced this week in a press release from the Nigerian Ministry of Industry and Investment. According to the release, this measure will increase Nigeria's manufacturing output to 20% of GDP from the current 10%. To do this, the government set up the Nigeria SEZ Investment Company. Its main role will be to mobilize the necessary financing for the establishment of several industrial parks in the special economic zones of Lagos, Abia State and Katsina State...

Tea exports can now be made directly to the Mombasa auctions:
In Tanzania, tea exporters now have the opportunity to auction their shipments directly from Mombasa. Indeed, reports the Thecitizen site, a warehouse approved by the East African Tea Trade Association (EATTA) has been installed in the country's commercial capital. Thanks to the infrastructure, the actors can now deliver samples for approval at the said centre and sell them before exporting directly to the Mombasa auctions via the port of Dar es Salaam. Previously, they had to export their production to Mombasa and store it in an EATTA-approved receiving warehouse before delivering it to the auction centre...

Gabon wants to reduce its external food dependence to 50% by 2022:
How to get the country out of its very high external food dependence? The Gabonese authorities are in no way short of initiatives. The latest one is the one just proposed by the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Food and Seed Program Implementation, Biendi Maganga Moussavou, Indeed, the latest discovery of Minister Biendi Maganga Moussavou concerns the development of modern agro-industry and the establishment of high productivity agricultural zones (ZAPs). In order to implement this strategy, positioning sites have already been selected for the first phase. Thus, the localities of Kango and Ntoum for the Estuary will be specialized in the value chains of Chicken, Pork, Sheep and Food Products; Franceville in Haut-Ogooué will be specialized in the value chains related to tuber plants, other food crops, and chicken; Bitam, in Woleu-Ntem, will specialize in coffee and cocoa, rubber, palm oil and Idemba in Ngounié, will focus on the production of rice, corn and soybean...

The government sells two public rice mills to SOBETRI for 1.5 billion CFA francs:
Benin, Yesterday, at the end of a Council of Ministers, the executive approved the transfer of two public rice mills to the Société de transformation de riz (SOBETRI) for an amount of 1.5 billion CFA francs. The two plants currently at a standstill are located in Glazoué and Malanville in south-central and northern Benin respectively. Under the terms of the contract, the Company undertakes to increase the combined processing capacity of the two facilities to 48,000 tonnes of rice per year. It should also invest 10 billion CFA francs in the renovation and start-up of production activities with the objective of creating 1,020 direct and indirect jobs...

Standard Chartered will pay $18 million to the US authorities following disputed transactions by its subsidiary in Zimbabwe:
The multinational banking company Standard Chartered Bank has agreed in an agreement with the American authorities to repay an amount equivalent to $18 million. The initiative aims to close a case, which could result in civil liability, over possible violations of US financial laws by its subsidiary in Zimbabwe. This situation arises because several clients of the banking group listed on the London Stock Exchange, and appearing on the list of persons designated as undesirable by the US Treasury Department, in charge of controlling assets abroad, have carried out several financial transactions, from their accounts held within Standard Chartered Bank Zimbabwe, and towards the group's US subsidiary, and other US financial institutions...

400 MW of production for 550 MW of demand; load shedding in sight for the coming months:
In the Republic of Congo, electricity demand is 550 MW at peak hours for a maximum production of 400 MW. A state of affairs that requires the authorities to set up a series of load shedding operations. "Demand is far greater than supply. We relieve to preserve the equipment in saturation. If people are allowed to consume excessively, cables and transformers will burn. To prevent this disaster from happening, the cutting and severing system had to be put in place," explained Jules Saturnin Souka, distribution director of the Congo Electric Power Company (E2C)...