The number of urban Africans almost doubled between 1995 and 2015 and is expected to double again by 2035. Rapid growth is driving the African phenomenon of the megacity — an urban area with a population of at least 10 million. Megacities have economic benefits – economies of scale, innovation, clusters of skilled labor, and higher incomes. But they also struggle with congested slums, unemployment and out-of-control traffic. More than 50 percent of the African urban population lives in slums.
Electricity: Latest News
Kurt Davis Jr., 9:32 am AFKI Original
Infrastructure in Africa is at the forefront of investors’ minds. Private equity investors see great opportunity, especially in power projects. The Ivorian president is a former IMF economist. The Ivorian budget minister is a former Goldman Sachs trader, and they’re on the same wavelength. The Côte d’Ivoire economy is expected to grow 8-9% in 2017 and 2018. Strengthening infrastructure will be key in the next phase of the Ivorian growth story. The government plans to spend $60 billion on infrastructure through 2020.
Dana Sanchez, 4:55 pm
In Burundi, where just 5% of people have electricity, a new 7.5-megawatt solar power plant is under construction. It’s expected to add 15% power generation capacity to the East African country. The groundbreaking was held Thursday in Mubuga. The solar plant will be built on 42 acres, 65 miles from the capital of Bujumbura. Mubuga has never had electricity and is 6.8 miles away from the power grid. Its residents have depended on candles, lanterns, firewood and charcoal since time immemorial.
Global Risk Insights, 12:13 pm
While the world electrification rate is roughly 84 percent, only 19 percent of the sub-Sahara Africa population is connected. The grid is unlikely to expand fast enough to satisfy demand. Pioneering business models relying on pay-as-you-go could push off-grid solar energy to reach 9 million African households by 2020. Despite the early success of off-grid solar energy access through pay-as-you-go payment models, challenges remain.
Staff, 5:36 pm
Poor power supply is partly to blame for the Nigerian government’s inability to build a robust auto industry. That leaves vehicle imports as one of the only ways to meet local demand. Nigeria’s auto market is worth over $4 billion a year, but it does not translate into anything meaningful, a stakeholder said. Starting in 2015, stiff new tariffs were levied on new and used Nigerian vehicle imports. Imports fell more than 50 percent.
Peter Pedroncelli, 1:25 am AFKI Original
The year 2016 was not an easy one for South Africa, but investor outlook for the year 2017 certainly looks more positive. Having survived a tough year, investors are now looking at South Africa to gauge whether or not to invest their funds in the emerging market, but there are a flurry of reasons to give the country a second glance in 2017. We take a look 12 things that are expected to improve investor outlook in South Africa during 2017.
Dana Sanchez, 4:47 pm
Ethiopia was the world’s fastest growing economy in 2015 at 10.2 percent. China has invested heavily Ethiopian infrastructure, funding railways, roads, dams, and sub-Saharan Africa’s first modern tramway in Addis Ababa. Chinese firms have also stepped up engagement in Ethiopian manufacturing and upped their supply of manufactured goods exported from China. Ethiopian Airlines has a new $150 million cargo terminal under construction that is scheduled to be completed by April.
It’s Back: South Africa Invites Foreign Financing ‘Solutions’ On Nuclear Fleet, Cites Koeberg SuccessBy Dana Sanchez, 12:46 pm
Nuclear fleet South Africa – it’s back. After many delays, SA has invited foreign financing solutions, formally jumpstarting its stalled nuclear build program. It put out a request for information from potential foreign contractors. Despite public protests, the government wants to build a new fleet of nuclear power stations. A RFP was delayed following reports that Russia had already secured the deal. France, U.S., China and South Korea are interested too. One thing SA has on its side is experience.
Dana Sanchez, 12:15 pm
The deal could create a new liquified natural gas hub in Africa. BP is on a spending spree, bulking up its new drilling resources after years of selloffs. BP sold assets worth $40 billion since 2010 to cover the $60 billion costs of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. When Kosmos discovered the gas field off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal, investors were skeptical. “We think we’ve opened up one of the largest areas in the Atlantic basin in the last 15 years,” said the Kosmos CEO.
Staff, 4:53 pm
Ethiopia’s controversial Gibe III dam got an official inauguration Saturday. UNESCO has condemned it. Human rights groups say it has displaced people in the Omo Valley and will decrease water downstream all the way to Kenya’s Lake Turkana. A far more controversial Ethiopian dam, Africa’s largest ever, is scheduled for completion in 2017. The Grand Renaissance Dam will produce the equivalent electricity of six nuclear reactors.
Dana Sanchez, 12:01 am
Netherlands based off-grid solar provider Nova Lumos has raised $90 million in financing from private equity investment and development banks to roll out pay-as-you-go solar power systems in Nigeria. It’s the biggest fundraising round to date for the off-grid solar market, and hopes to provide cheaper and cleaner alternatives to kerosene for millions of people living in Africa. Nova Lumos was founded in Israel in 2012. Its “home power station in a box” includes a solar panel activated by text messaging that can supply enough electricity to charge a cell phone, operate a radio and illuminate a home.
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