Mar 24, 2017 Last Updated 10:30 AM, Mar 24, 2017

Africa to gain new free trade area

ABN – Over 25 African nations are set to enter into the new Tripartite Free Trade Area deal.

The new free trade area will be bigger by population than the whole of the European Union or NAFTA.

Most of southern and eastern Africa is covered in the deal, which will be signed off on 10 June in Egypt.

The deal is expected to cover 58% of Africa’s economic activity and over US$1 trillion in GDP.

Capital Economic spoke recently of Africa’s economic potential: “Over a longer time horizon, sub-Saharan Africa could also play a much larger role in world trade.

“If sub-Saharan Africa can sustain the pace of GDP growth seen over the past ten years, its share of the world economy could more than double over this time.

“While this would not be as dramatic as China’s rise over the past 35 years, it does still imply that Africa’s share of world trade will rise substantially from where it is today.”


IFC partners with CITIC Construction to launch affordable housing

ABN – World Bank Group member IFC has partnered with CITIC Construction to launch a US$300 million development platform for affordable housing in Sub-Saharan Africa.

It is hoped that the capital raised will be used to develop 30,000 homes over the next five years.

Each housing unit is expected to generate five full time jobs, which will result in almost 150,000 new jobs on the continent.

The project will start with home developments in Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria and it will then expand out into other countries as operations ramp up.

Hong Bo, assistant president of CITIC Group and chairwoman of CITIC Construction, said: “In Angola, through planning, financing, construction and post-construction operation, CITIC Construction has successfully completed the 200,000 units housing programme, new city of Kilamba Kiaxi, with relative infrastructure and utilities in four years.

“CITIC Construction has also founded the CITIC BN Vocational School in Angola which helps youth acquire the skills they need to become professionals.

“CITIC Construction will take advantage of our engineering experience and delivery capability to develop more affordable houses for Africa through the platform with IFC.”

IFC director of Eastern and Southern Africa added: “As Sub-Saharan Africa becomes more urbanised, the private sector can help governments meet the critical need for housing.

“The platform will help transform Africa’s housing markets by providing high quality, affordable homes, creating jobs, and demonstrating the viability of the sector to local developers.

“IFC will work with financial institutions to support mortgages and housing finance that will allow people to purchase the units.”


Frigoglass sells glass operations for $225m

ABN – Frigoglass has announced that it will sell its Nigerian glass operations to GZI Mauritius Limited.

The transaction is estimated to be worth around US$225 million and company shareholders and Standard Chartered Private played a pivotal role in the divestment.

Harry David, Chairman of Frigoglass Board of Directors, said: "After an extensive strategic review process, we are pleased to announce that we reached an agreement to sell the Glass business to GZI.

“The proceeds from the disposal will significantly delever our balance sheet and will allow us to focus on the full growth potential of our core global Cooler business.

“We believe GZI and its leading shareholders, including Standard Chartered Private Equity, are well placed to acquire and further grow a very successful glass business and they are the optimal partner to ensure continuity of quality and overall service support to our customers."

Frigoglass CEO Torsten Tuerling added: "We have identified promising opportunities for profitable, sustainable growth in our Cooler business, driven by Product Innovation, Service expansion, and focusing on capitalising on our unique Footprint.

“Focusing our energy and investments on the core Cooler business will allow us to achieve unprecedented customer excitement and drive long-term shareholder value creation."


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