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The Pan-African Economy in Brief: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Ghana

mPharma launches 2022 with a $35 million financing round:

 The Ghanaian health technology company, mPharma, has achieved a $35 million Series D financing round at the start of 2022. Co-founded in 2013 by Gregory Rockson, it obtained $30 million in equity and $5 million in loans. The funding will be used to help support its expansion into its current markets and new territories, while at the same time enhancing its infrastructure and team. "We expect to hire more than 100 engineers to build all of our technologies in-house, including a data infrastructure. We will also invest in healthcare professionals, as well as continue our expansion into eight African markets," reported a statement from Rockson. The round comes three months after the company expanded into Uganda. Last October, the Ghanaian healthcare company acquired a majority stake in Ugandan pharmacy chain Vine Pharmacy.

DRC

Kamoa-Kakula exceeds 2021 guidance and will deliver up to 340,000 tonnes of copper this year:

 In the DRC, Ivanhoe Mines on Jan. 10 released operational results from its Kamoa-Kakula copper complex for the past year. Commercial production began on July 1 and the asset delivered 105,884 tonnes of copper concentrate in 2021, exceeding the most optimistic forecast of 92,500 to 100,000 tonnes. For 2022, the project's first full year of operation, Ivanhoe and partner Zijin Mining plan to triple production, with a forecast range of 290,000 to 340,000 tonnes of copper concentrate. It should be noted that this optimism is based on the success of the complex's development plans, including the second quarter completion of Phase 2.

Gambia

The Gambian government studies the option of connecting the country to a second submarine fiber optic system:

On Wednesday, January 5, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority of The Gambia (PURA) unveiled that the government is considering the option of connecting the country to a second submarine fiber optic system. The new telecoms equipment is intended to help boost the availability of high-speed connectivity for the population. In consultation with telecoms operators and the Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure (MOICI), the telecoms regulator reports that it has been decided that all service providers must also have a permanent backup of traffic on the ACE cable to ensure service availability when the submarine system is faulty.

Tanzania

BHP signs up for Kabanga nickel project development:

In Tanzania, mining giant BHP will be investing up to at least $90 million in the development of the Kabanga nickel-copper-cobalt project. This is according to the announcement made on January 10 by the owner of the asset, the British Kabanga Nickel, which states that the Australian group will enter the company's capital with an initial investment of $40 million. The funds are intended, among other things, for a metallurgical drilling program that will support the upcoming update of the feasibility study. The funds will also be used to finalize construction plans for the local refinery that will process the mineral. These two activities are expected to be completed by the end of the year, while the mine is scheduled to begin production in 2025.

Ivory Coast

Transport: 60 vehicles made in Ivory Coast, "Daily Ivoire" available:

On Monday, January 10, 2022, Ivory Coast released its first 60 vehicles made in Ivory Coast. Thus, the country has an assembly line of minibus type. Located at Sotra Industrie in its workshops in Abidjan-Koumassi, this first assembly unit will market minibuses made in Ivory Coast in the sub-region. This is the result of a collaboration between Sotra and Iveco (40% of Sotra's share) with an annual production capacity of 1,000 26-seater vehicles, configurable as ambulances, refrigerated vans, utility vehicles for transporting equipment and various goods. The vehicles will cost 30% less than those imported. 500 direct jobs have been established. The Prime Minister, Patrick Achi, has indicated that Ivory Coast wishes to keep thinking big in the future. According to him, this plant will meet the country's transport needs.