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The Pan-African Economy in Brief: Thursday, January 13, 2022

Nigeria

 The Association of Manufacturing Companies denounces the tax on sweetened drinks:

In Nigeria, the new taxation on sweetened drinks that was announced by the executive is not going well amongst manufacturers. The so-called measure, which includes a tax of 10 naira on each liter of the product, is intended to decrease the overconsumption of sugar in order to fight against obesity and diabetes.  According to the Manufacturers Association (MAN), the measure could lead to a loss of revenue of around 1.9 trillion naira ($4.6 billion) between 2022 and 2025 and weaken the jobs and income of all players in the supply chain. While the government also plans to increase tax revenues through this process, MAN believes that the final outcome may not be as satisfactory.

Gabon

In Gabon, the Energy and Water Company now faces penalties for blackouts:

In Gabon, the new 20-year concession agreement signed on January 5, 2022 between the State and the Energy and Water Company of Gabon (SEEG) places particular emphasis on consumer protection, according to the Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Alain Claude Bilie-By Nze, in an interview with Gabon 1re. Therefore, in the event of water and electricity cuts, the company could face sanctions from the Agency for the Regulation of the Drinking Water and Electrical Energy Sector (ARSEE) and the State. "When service interruptions occur, which are proved to be due to SEEG, either its production tool or its distribution, and on elements that it could have anticipated, the agreement stipulates that there may now be fines imposed by the government, but also by the regulator. The regulator was set up by the State to make sure that the agreements signed with the operators are respected," states the government member, who recognizes that the State has not often been vigilant in the execution of the old water and electricity distribution contract.

Chinese companies intend to buy 16 million tonnes of iron mineral:

The new agreement is in addition to the two announced on December 15, also with two Chinese companies, Minmetals Corporation, and Changzhou Dongfang Special Steel. This increases to 16 million tons (12 million lump and 4 million fines) the amount of ore that Genmin should potentially transfer to China from Gabon in a few years. In addition to the required government approvals, all three transactions are subject to the conclusion of a legally binding agreement by June 30, 2023. At this time, the Baniaka project is at the pre-feasibility study stage and Genmin anticipates an annual open pit mining operation of 5 million tonnes of iron mineral with bulk shipments. The project's annual production capacity should then be increased to 10 million tonnes. Nevertheless, the company still has some work to do to get to that point, although the three agreements mentioned above are elements that could encourage potential lenders to invest in the construction of the mine.

Mali

Mining companies reflect on new ECOWAS sanctions against Mali:

 The mining operations and exploration activities are not yet impacted by the various sanctions imposed on Mali on January 9, by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). This is what one should learn from the various statements made on January 10, by most of the mining companies and juniors active in the country. The giant Barrick, which runs Mali's largest gold mine, the Loulo-Gounkoto gold complex, stated that its activity has not been affected "so far". Resolute Mining, which operates the Syama gold mine, reported no "immediate impact on production, supply or the safety and security of employees and contractors.

Kenya

The launch of a continuous transport service for shippers from neighboring states:

 On Monday, January 10, Kenya Railways reports that it conducted its first trial shipment of freight from the port of Mombasa to the Ugandan border town of Malaba via the new rail line that connects the SGR network to the Naivasha metre gauge track. The operation was conducted against the backdrop of the rail network operator's intention to offer an end-to-end transport service to shippers in the Great Lakes region, particularly those from Uganda, South Sudan, DR Congo, northern Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi. In some of these land-locked countries, the port of Mombasa constitutes the main channel through which shippers conduct commercial transactions with the rest of the world. This results in heavy traffic and continuous congestion of the port facilities.