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Uhuru, Trump agree to improve trade and security

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta and his US counterpart Donald Trump have agreed to bolster tourism, trade relations and improve security, especially in the Horn of Africa.

Speaking on Monday during a bilateral meeting at the White House, President Kenyatta said the US has been instrumental in the fight against terrorism and seeks to partner with it in streamlining other sectors.

“We have had very strong and excellent cooperation with the US in security and defence, especially in the fight against terrorism. Most importantly, we are here looking to enhance our partnership in trade and investment,” President Kenyatta said in Washington, DC.


President Trump said Kenya and the US will continue to work together to grow their partnerships in trade, investments and security.

“We do a lot of tourism; we do a lot of trade and defence. And we are working very hard to improve security right now. We appreciate very much your being with us here,” President Trump said.

The two leaders also discussed the benefits of direct Kenya Airways flights from Nairobi to New York, which will commence in October.

They cited the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) as one of the key initiatives whose effect will be enhanced through the milestone.

President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret were formally received by Mr Trump and his wife Melania at the White House in Washington, DC at 2.00pm (9pm in Nairobi).

After discussions in the Oval Office, they were joined by their delegations for bilateral talks in the Cabinet Room.


The First ladies also held talks in the Diplomatic Reception Room in the West Wing of the White House.

President Kenyatta is now the third African president to be invited by President Trump after Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari in April this year.

Earlier, Mr Kenyatta had met businesspeople and under the umbrella body Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU), and signed investment deals worth billions of shillings.

He boosted their confidence to invest in Kenya to help him achieve the ‘Big Four’ development agenda.

Source: Infrastructure


First solar PV plant to be installed at Liberty Midlands Mall in South Africa

The first solar PV plant is set to be installed at Liberty Midlands Mall in South Africa; this is according to Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) in partnership with Liberty Group.

L2D asset management executive for Liberty Midlands Mall Brian Unsted confirmed the reports and said that the plant will be a grid tied, roof-mounted PV installation comprising 2 900 panels, which will supply around 1 MW of energy to the mall.

L2D’s strategy

“Reducing carbon footprints across our retail portfolio is a priority for L2D. The solar PV project for Liberty Midlands Mall will serve as the first initiative of its kind in our portfolio and will act as a benchmark for future solar plant project roll-outs,” he said.

Liberty Midlands mall’s solar PV plant aligns with L2D’s strategy of investing in renewable energy for improved efficiency and the management of natural resources for the benefit of the environment.

“We have put in place an effective framework to continually improve our environmental impact, an initiative that remains integral to our commitment to improve our operations,” Unsted added.

Mono Crystalline technology

The solar plant for the mall will be a grid tied, roof mounted PV installation made out of premium Mono Crystalline technology comprising 2 900 panels which will supply approximately 1 MW of energy to the mall and is designed and manufactured to last a minimum 25-year lifespan.

The installation will be the largest commercial solar plant in the retail industry in Pietermaritzburg. The mall’s expansion will operate mainly on solar energy and be off the grid for most daylight hours.

The installation of the plant will be done in September this year and will be commissioned on the roof of the mall’s 22 000 m2 Phase 3 extension that was launched in March. The completion date is set for the first quarter of 2019.

Source: Infrastructure


Guinea’s Samba Ngallo dam hydroelectric supply project to reach Gambia

The government of Gambia through the Officials from The Gambia River Basin Development Project (OMVG) has announced that interconnection transmission and distribution line for the hydroelectric power supply of the Samba Ngallo Dam project in Guinea will reach Gambia in 2019.

Fafa Sanyang, Minister of Energy in Gambia confirmed the news and applauded that the OMVG interconnection project will set the country’s energy road map on a positive path in opening the region’s energy market.

“The project is a part of The Gambia’s Energy Roadmap and one of the cheapest and clean sources of energy. It also opens up the West African energy market. Other dams are being built and ready; and we are targeting to supply the entire West Africa,” said Fafa Sanyang.

OMVG Interconnection project

The OMVG Interconnection project consists of phase one construction of 1,677Km of 225-volt transmission network capable of handling 88MW of energy. It will be the extension of West African Power Pool transmission network.

Phase two of the project will entail construction of 15 substations of 225/30kW each. Two of the substations will be build in Gambia. The project is expected to take 18 months to complete the transmission works on the grid. Other member countries in the project include Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry.

“The OMVG transmission lines construction has today reached 16 contractors, and materials for the interconnection lines are already on the ground in all the four countries. We are looking at the renewable energy from the dams to be distributed to the countries,” said Dr Antonio Serifo Embalo, chairman, council of ministers, OMVG.

“Already we have mobilized the financing, which is US $722 m. The four countries have signed the contracts. We are also working on the transmission and distribution lines all the way from The Gambia to Senegal,” he added.

Source: Infrastructure


Kenya to sign US $3.8 bn SGR phase II deal in September

Kenya government has scheduled to sign the US $3.8 bn contract for the second phase construction of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) this September. This is according to James Macharia, Transport and Infrastructure Cabinet Secretary, who said the deal will be concluded during this year’s Forum on China-Africa Corporation (FOCAC) that will be held from September 1-5 in China.

“We shall be travelling to China on the first week of September for the FOCAC summit and we shall sign the US $3.8 bn contract for the second phase of the SGR from Naivasha to Kisumu,” said James Macharia.

SGR phase II funding

The CS describes the the phase II project as a great opportunity for investors to build industries and houses along the corridor, beginning from Mombasa to Kisumu. He added that the signing of the deal will put the cost of the complete project at US $8bn. However it not yet known who the financier of the phase II of the SGR project is.

According to CS Macharia, the Mombasa-Nairobi phase will cost US $3.3bn, the extension to Naivasha to cost US $1.5bn and the final phase will cost US $3.8bn. Phase 2B of the project will start at the planned Naivasha Industrial Park where Phase 2A ends.

Inland Port

Meanwhile, the government is also planning to put up a modern inland port that will pass through Narok, Bomet, Kericho counties and terminate in Kisumu. Additionally, the railway line will have 25 stations, a county station in Kisumu, six intermediate stations and 18 crossing stations.

According to the project contractor, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the laying of tracks and rail sleepers is being carried out from Narok towards Nairobi. The 120 km Nairobi-Naivasha line is the first of the three segments that make up Phase II of the SGR project that ends in Malaba town located at the Kenya-Uganda border.

Stations construction

“construction of the stations has been ongoing in Ongata Rongai, Ngong and Suswa towns. We are on course to complete the 4.5 km Ngong tunnel in August, the first and longest railway tunnel in the country,” said Steve Zhao, the CCCC Kenya SGR project spokesman.

6% of the railway line will consist of three tunnels measuring 7.147 km and it will have 27 bridges measuring 17.3 km, accounting for 14.4% of the total project length.

Source: Infrastructure


India- Africa trade valued at $62billion

As India marks its 71st Independence day ties between Africa and India increasingly strengthening as both parties seek mutually beneficial partnership largely through trade.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently said that the current India-Africa partnership includes implementation of 180 lines of credit worth USD11bn in over 40 Africa countries and USD600 million in grant assistance.

Today India’s trade with Africa is over $62 billion with plans to increase this volume further.

The Indian government says that they have taken a long-term view of its engagement with African countries by participating in existing institutions in order to support the continent’s drive to build itself from within.

One such example is the Government of India’s recent decision to invest USD10 million in the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI).

The shareholding positions India as the first non-African government to become a member of the pan-African and multilateral investment and credit insurer with the expected result of boosting India’s trade with Africa.

The Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) will represent the government’s shareholding in ATI.

ECGC’s most recent results show the company has $99 billion in exposures and it insures 32 per cent of India’s exports.

ECGC has operated in Africa since the 1960s with plans to deepen its engagement in Africa.

“India’s membership in ATI is a landmark development for a symbiotic relationship between the two fastest growing regions in the world. It is indeed a proud moment to be the first non-African state shareholder of ATI. This partnership will not only give a fillip to the bilateral trade but also will contribute towards development of projects and enhance capacities and skills,” noted Geetha Muralidhar, Chairman and Managing Director.

The partnership is expected to help ECGC leverage its capacity to support even greater volumes of Indian exports into Africa.

For ATI, India’s investment enables it to provide much needed capacity to the continent.

Lenders are bound by regulations that prevent them from lending significant amounts to sub-investment grade sovereigns, which is the case for most African countries.

Institutions such as ATI that can offer investment insurance can help to mitigate the risks and thereby bring added lending and investment capacity to African markets.

“We are delighted to welcome the Government of India to the ATI family. This is a historic initiative that is also important because it underscores the possibilities of South-South cooperation and for developing regions to partner more with each other – drawing on natural synergies to further each other’s development objectives,” commented George Otieno, ATI’s Chief Executive Officer.

Source: Infrastructure


Eritrea hopes planned port attracts global investment cash

Eritrea is considering building a port on its Red Sea coastline to export potash from deposits being developed in the Horn of Africa nation, a mines ministry official said.

Plans for the harbor signal the country’s reemergence as a potential investor destination after its surprise rapprochement with neighboring Ethiopia last month ended two decades of political tensions. The facility could be used to ship potash from Ethiopia and adds to a series of port developments in the strategically located region by nations including Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and the self-declared Republic of Somaliland.

The port would be situated at the Bay of Anfile, 75 kilometers (47 miles) east of the 1.2 billion-metric-ton Colluli potash deposit, Alem Kibreab, director-general of mines in the Ministry of Energy and Mines, said in an interview in the capital, Asmara. A feasibility study is under way, with the start of construction envisaged about five years after a mine starts operating there, he said.

“To begin, the company has to make money,” Alem said.

The mine will be operated by Colluli Mining Share Co., jointly owned by Danakali Ltd. of Australia and the state-owned Eritrean National Mining Co. Colluli contains deposits of high-grade fertilizers suitable for use on fruit and coffee trees and vegetables, according to Danakali’s website. It’s situated in the Danakil Depression, a geological area that stretches into Ethiopia and is regarded as an “emerging potash province,” the company said.

Danakali expects construction of the $320 million mine to start later this year, Chairman Seamus Cornelius said by phone from London. The company is engaging bankers to secure funding for construction of the mine, he said.

“Those discussions have accelerated” following the recent rapprochement between Eritrea and Ethiopia, he said. “With the rapid changes and the rapid improvement in the geopolitical situation, things we weren’t thinking were possible in the past are now possible.”

Construction of the mine is expected to take about two years, before the start of production that will eventually rise to 472,000 tons per year, Cornelius said. Output initially will be shipped from the existing Eritrean port of Massawa, which has sufficient capacity to handle the mine’s exports but is further away than Anfile, he said.

Alem said Anfile could be used by potash projects being developed in Ethiopia as an export route, instead of Djibouti, which is farther away. Oslo-based Yara International ASA plans to establish a $700 million potash plant near the Eritrean border, while British Virgin Islands-registered Circum Minerals Potash Ltd. has a mining license there covering 365 square kilometers (141 square miles).


Source: Infrastructure


Nigeria: NNPC, Seplat collaborate to deliver 3.4bscfd of gas by 2020

As part of efforts to bridge the projected medium-term gas supply gap expected by 2020, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Seplat Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) have signed five agreements to expedite the development of a project aimed at delivering about 3.4 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day by 2020.

The project, Assa North and Ohaji South (ANOH) gas development scheme, is one of the 7 Critical Gas Development Projects (7CGDP) which is aimed at boosting gas production and infrastructure development.

Speaking at the event, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru, explained that a special purpose vehicle known as ANOH Gas Processing Company (AGPC) was being promoted by the Corporation and Seplat to develop, build, operate and maintain the ANOH Gas Processing Plant, with an initial capacity of 300 million standard cubic feet per day in Imo State.

Represented by the Chief Operating Officer, Gas and Power, Engr. Saidu Mohammed, the GMD said NNPC would do everything possible to ensure that the project was successfully delivered.

He urged the AGPC to work hard and deliver the project on schedule, within budget and to specification, stressing that it was designed as world-class gas processing plant with capacity to deliver between 3billion and 3.4billion standard cubit feet of gas daily.

“Following the execution of Heads of Terms (HoT) by the Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company (NGPTC) on behalf of the NNPC, Seplat and AGPC on December 19, 2017, the Steering Committee for the AGPC project has provided the leadership and broad guidance for the development and finalisation of the various commercial agreements required to underpin the project,” Dr. Baru stated.

On his part, the Chief Operating Officer of Seplat, Mr. Austin Avuru, described the ANOH Gas Processing Plant as a landmark project which captures the essence of the gas infrastructure development initiative of the Federal Government as encapsulated in the 7 Big Wins and 12 Business Focus Areas programmes.

He expressed confidence that AGPC would deliver the project within the next 18 months and achieve its objective of being a key gas supplier to both the domestic and export market.

The MoU signed include: the AGPC Shareholders Agreement between AGPC, NGPTC and Seplat; AGPC Share Subscription Agreement between AGPC, NGPTC and Seplat; Wet Gas Sales and Purchase Agreement between, NNPC, Seplat and AGPC; Gas Sale and Purchase Agreement between AGPC and Nigerian Gas Marketing Company (NGMC); and Gas Marketing Agreement between AGPC and NGMC.

The Nigerian Gas Processing and Transportation Company (NGPTC) and the Nigerian Gas Marketing Company (NGMC) are all Gas and Power subsidiaries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) which is saddled with the responsibilities of managing the nation’s abundant hydrocarbon resources on behalf of the Federal Government.

Source: Infrastructure


Phase I of Lagos Light Rail project in Nigeria to go operational in 2022

Nigeria’s Marina to Mile 2 section of the Lagos Light Rail project known as the Blue Line Rail, will become operational in 2022.This is confirmed after the Lagos State Government signed a major agreement with an international railway systems aggregation and rolling stocks manufacturer, Alstom SA of France, on the operation of the state Rail Mass Transit.

According to the Managing Director of Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, Abiodun Dabiri, the partnership is due to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s commitment to transforming public transportation.

Mr. Dabri  said a consortium of experts engaged by the state government to undertake a technical due diligence on the LRMT Blue Line Project (Mile 2-Marina) had developed a road map to bring the railway project to passenger operations and maintenance infrastructure that would be needed for the commencement of the operation.

Project length

Dabiri said for ease of implementation, the work plan had been divided into two phases, with phase one aimed at demonstrating the non-public operation of the existing rolling stock before end of second quarter of 2019.

“For this purpose, a track length of about 3 km from Iganmu Station to National Theatre will be electrified. This operation would be done with the rolling stocks already supplied for the Blue Line project,” said Dabiri

“This phase would allow the completion of all the preliminary works that would lead to the financing of the main works in Phase two. Phase one will be fully financed by Lagos State Government through Internally Generated Revenue (IGR),” he added.

Phase two, which is expected to be completed in 39 months, would entail the provision and installation of railway operations’ systems for the project from Marina to Mile 2 and the delivery of a passenger-ready Lagos Blue Rail Line by 2022.

Source: Infrastructure


Rwanda’s largest inland cargo handling facility to near completion

Construction works of Rwanda’s largest inland cargo handling facility nears completion following completion of the first phase. This is according to Sumeet Bhardwaj, Chief Executive Officer of DPW Logistics Rwanda Ltd who hopes the facility will be operational by the end of the next quarter.

The 60ha Masaka based facility had been initially slated to be complete by July this year; however, among the remaining processes is the acquisition of operational permits that will allow the commencement of operations. Bhardwaj says they only acquired the construction permit in August last year. Currently completion and installation of machinery and equipment is underway.

Dubai Ports World (DPW) Group had signed a 25-year concession agreement with the Rwandan government in 2016 to construct and manage the facility dubbed ‘Kigali Logistics Platform’ (KLP).

Also Read:Transnet to operate inland manganese terminal

Improved efficiency

Once complete, the cargo holding facility is expected to improve efficiency and reduce logistics cost by embracing the use of modern machinery. The facility, which is built on 969,000 sq ft, will have features such as a container yard and a bonded warehouse, among others. The facility is supposed to have 50,000 twenty-foot equivalent units and 640,000 tones of warehousing space.

It is estimated that trucks often spend between a week and 10 days waiting at the current main cargo handling facility. This not only consumes time but also takes up resources as the waiting fees per truck are usually between US $150 and US $200 per day. However, Bhardwaj says the new facility will reduce the waiting time for trucks as it has adequate space for the offloading of cargo. He further said the new facility will also eliminate the waiting costs and allow truckers and clients concentrate elsewhere.

The size and capacity of the facility will allow trucks to deposit their containers at the facility as opposed to waiting until the assets are cleared.”We are also automating the entire process to increase efficiency and over time we will set up a paperless system. We have been conducting training and workshops with stakeholders such as freight-forwarders,” Bhardwaj added.

Mobile application

The second phase of the facility’ construction is currently being signed, with Bhardwaj saying that it has taken up a considerable amount of funding. The initial cost of the facility was estimated at about US $35m.

DPW is also rolling out a mobile application to enable clients to process their cargo online and remotely eliminate the manual processes.  “We have also integrated with Bank of Kigali and Rwanda Revenue Authority to enable clients process taxes further easing the process,” he added.

On his part, the Minister for Trade and Industry Vincent Munyeshaka said as per the Government’s agreement with the firm, the new cargo handling facility will address challenges in logistics. He said the agreement will also provide a working space for the firm formerly operating in the main Magerwa dry port as well as other firms and stakeholders.

Source: Infrastructure


Egypt to implement 4Mw solar power project in Uganda

Egypt is set to implement a 4MW solar power project in Uganda that is geared at improving the country’s renewable energy performance. Access to modern energy services through renewable energy development is a major concern for the energy sector in Uganda.

The grant agreed between the two countries states that, Egypt will provide the necessary equipment and engineering services while Uganda will provide the 7.5-hectare land upon which the project will be implemented. The latter will also cater to the logistics of the project in terms of taxes and shipping cost from Mombasa, Kenya. The project will be Uganda’s third largest power station.

Third large solar power station

The Egyptian engineers from the Ministry of Electric & Renewable Energy Authority headed by Senior Eng. Mohammed A. Abdel Aziz, in accompaniment of the Project Manager, Eng. Reda Shaban Ali, said they have inspected the terrain of the proposed site which they have found appropriate for the solar plant.

The project will be the third large solar power station to be implemented after Access Solar’s 10MW station in Soroti and Tororo North Company’s 10MW installation just outside Tororo municipality. The power station will be connected to the grid through Tororo substation.

Uganda’s energy potential

According to Mr. Wilson Wafula, the Commissioner Renewable Energy at Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, the project will be beneficial to both community and country but most importantly to the University which will use it as a training spring board for students to graduate in renewable energy programs.

Uganda’s estimated renewable energy potential stands at 5,300 MW. Rural electrification will not only attract investments but have a ripple effect on major sectors as industry and agriculture. The country highly relies on agriculture as the backbone of the economy which according to Mr. Wafula more investment to better its performance would serve the country right.

Source: Infrastructure

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