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Sub-Saharan Africa steps up efforts to boost local food & beverage manufacturing

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Opportunities for equipment suppliers as SSA looks to step up manufacturing capacity

Countries across sub-Saharan Africa are actively seeking to reduce their dependence on food imports and grow local manufacturing, pointing to future demand for food and beverage processing machinery and equipment across the continent. The need to step up local production has become more pressing as the current crisis grounds international flights, constrains air cargo capacity and potentially increases the cost of imports.  

This is according to Liz Whitehouse, MD of African market researchers Africa House.  

African food imports, expected to top $110 billion annually by 2025, are seen as increasingly unsustainable. Bolstering local production capacity is regarded as key to economic growth as the continent’s population booms and rapid urbanisation takes place. The growth of urban middle-class consumers in Africa could lead to $645 billion in growth in consumer spending between 2015 and 2025 – $167 billion in food and beverages, McKinsey reports

“Across sub-Saharan Africa, we see a trend for governments to want to move away from food imports, and incentivise improved agriculture, agro-processing and food and beverage manufacturing locally,” she says.  Cameroon’s Ministry of Commerce recently announced plans to suspend the importation of about 50 products,  Angola’s  Produção Nacional, Diversificação das Exportações e Substituição das Importações (Program to Enhance Production, Diversify Exports and Substitute Imports; PRODESI) seeks to replace imports with locally manufactured goods and diversify exports, and last year Nigeria clamped down on funding for food imports. “We expect to see moves along the same lines in countries like Mozambique and Tanzania, so there will be opportunities to supply manufacturing machinery and equipment into these markets, as entrepreneurs start entering the manufacturing arena,” says Whitehouse.

South Africa, despite its sophisticated food manufacturing sector and strong consumer market, is currently facing slow domestic economic growth. Manufacturers are now challenged in controlling production costs while still meeting consumer demand, which has remained steady. This could see more investment in advanced technologies to boost efficiencies and help manufacturers control costs. 

South African food manufacturers are also increasingly looking to the export market, meaning they will likely focus more on technologies that support product consistency and quality to meet global food standards.

The South African government is prioritising the sector: food and beverages is the biggest component of South Africa’s manufacturing industry, with the government actively encouraging further development of agriculture and the agro processing sector. South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry has in the last three years funded the food-processing sector to the value of R736 million in incentives, while its Enterprise Investment Programme (EIP) incentive has disbursed funds of R636 million and facilitated investments of R3.7 billion in the sector, and a Co-operative Incentive Scheme has disbursed more than R100 million in support of agro-processing. In addition, two major projects in food-processing benefited from tax incentives to the value of R1.1 billion.

Also Read: Meet Seipati Mokhuoa – CEO Southern African Women In Leadership (SAWIL)

Imported machinery, equipment needed for growth

While efforts are underway to stimulate agro-processing and manufacturing capacity, most of the necessary manufacturing machinery and equipment is not produced locally. 

Whitehouse notes that most machinery and equipment for the manufacture of food and drink in South Africa is imported. As South Africa is a key gateway into the rest of the region, this equipment is also sold out of South Africa into sub-Saharan Africa. “Companies in Southern Africa would look to South Africa as their source of foreign machines and equipment, and demand is likely to pick up as their manufacturing capacity grows,” she says. “In 2019, South Africa’s imports of Machinery for the industrial preparation or manufacture of food or drink (HS8438) amounted to R1.8 billion. Importantly this reflects a 64% increase in value over a five year period from 2015. Exports from South Africa of machinery in this tariff heading to SADC amounted to R407 million in 2019.”

SA a gateway to sub-Saharan Africa 

South Africa remains a strategic gateway between sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world, which is why delegates from across the continent converge in South Africa at international exhibitions and conferences such as food & drink technology (fdt) Africa. fdt Africa 2019, which was co-located with IFAT Africa and analytica Lab Africa, attracted over 8,000 visitors from across the continent to assess products and services from 65 exhibitors from 13 countries and view country pavilions hosted by China, India and Germany.

“There is keen mutual interest in boosting trade between global and southern African businesses. food & drink technology (fdt) Africa, which covers the entire food and drink value chain including processing, packaging, filling and logistics, is proving to be a key networking opportunity and product showcase for African decision makers,” says Whitehouse.

food & drink technology (fdt) Africa, the biennial trade fair for the pan-African food & beverage sector, will be back in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2021. The fourth edition of this successful exhibition will be held from July 13-15, 2021, at the world class Gallagher Convention Centre.

The trade fair and its accompanying programme, including a high-quality exhibitor forum, is the third successful offset of Messe München’s drinktec, the world’s leading trade fair in the beverage and liquid food industry. It is the ideal platform to present food and drink technologies to a high calibre audience of trade professionals and decision makers from across Africa. 

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Press Release

João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, The President of the Republic of Angola To Speak At The Angola and Turkey Business Forum

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João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, The President of the Republic of Angola (Image: Claudia Padayachy)

The President of the Republic of Angola, João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, will give the inaugural speech at the Angola-Turkey Business Forum, to be held at the Ato Congresium Conference Center in Ankara, Turkey, today, 28 July 2021, at 9:00 am local time.

President Lourenço, who will address the Turkish business community, will take this opportunity to highlight Angola’s economic potential and the opportunities that the country offers. He will also discuss his government’s commitment to economic growth and development through the private sector as well as the multiple initiatives that have been adopted to improve the business environment.

This Forum is part of the official program of President Lourenço’s visit to the Republic of Turkey and is the perfect opportunity to inform the local business community and investors of Angola’s new business environment. Numerous ongoing reforms and support policies for private investment and the diversification of the economy have been put in place.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of AIPEX, António Henriques da Silva, will present the numerous investment opportunities in the Republic of Angola.

Turkey’s Minister of Commerce, Mr. Ahmet, and the President of DEIK, are also expected to present at the Forum. 

Around a hundred Angolan and Turkish companies from various sectors are expected to participate in the event.

The Angolan and Turkish business communities will soon enjoy closer ties, with the launch of two direct weekly air connections between Luanda and Ankara through Turkish Airlines.

The  Angolan presidential delegation comprises Manuel Nunes Júnior – Minister of State for Economic Coordination, Edeltrudes da Costa – Minister and Cabinet Director of PR, Tete António – Minister of Foreign Affairs, João Ernesto dos Santos – Minister of National Defense and Homeland Veterans, Sérgio dos Santos – Minister of Economy and Planning, Ricardo Viegas de Abreu – Minister of Transport, João Baptista Jorges – Minister of Energy and Water, Manuel Tavares de Almeida – Minister of Public Works and Spatial Planning, Diamantino de Azevedo – Minister of Mineral Resources , Oil and Gas, António Francisco de Assís – Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Victor Fernandes – Minister of Industry and Commerce and Antonio Henriques da Silva – Chairman of the Board of Directors at AIPEX.

Over the last 18 years, Turkey has significantly increased its presence in Africa, going from 12 embassies and investments of around USD 100 million in 2003 to 42 embassies and around USD 6.5 billion in direct investments in 2021.

From 2003 to 2019, Turkey’s trade with Africa increased about five times, and now some 51 African cities are served by Turkish Airlines, which plans to start flights to Angola soon. (Source: issafrica.org and AIPEX).

To date, Angola has registered around USD 200 million in investments of Turkish origin, especially in mining and steel. President João Lourenço’s visit to Turkey will boost economic relations between the two countries and, in the medium term, an increase in Turkish investment in Angola is expected in priority sectors, namely, industry, mining, energy, tourism and transport, in addition to trade, where the two countries already have strong links.

The trade balance between the two countries is unfavourable for Angola, data from the General Tax Administration (AGT) indicate that from 2015 to 2020, Angola’s imports from Turkey was around USD 1,702,737,951.00, while exports from Angola to Turkey in the same period were only 41,960,419.00 USD.

 

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Press Release

Wärtsilä to modernise power generation at Nigeria’s oldest and largest food company, Flour Mills Nigeria

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Wärtsilä will enable leading Nigerian food company to modernise its power generation facilities to meet everyday production needs

The technology group Wärtsilä will supply fuel-flexible dual-fuel engines to extend, improve, and modernise power generation for a captive power plant at Nigeria’s oldest and largest food and agro allied company, Flour Mills Nigeria. The company’s Lagos-based power plant is needed to ensure sufficient capacity and a reliable electricity supply around the clock to meet its food production requirements, and commitments to its customers. The two received orders were booked by Wärtsilä in March and June. 

The first order comprises a 9-cylinder Wärtsilä 34DF dual-fuel engine generator set and is an extension to the existing generating capacity provided by a similar Wärtsilä engine generator set that has been successfully operating since 2017. The second order comprises a 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 34DF engine generator set and is intended to replace an existing inefficient mono-fuel generating asset in the plant with efficient dual-fuel generating capacity as part of Flour Mills Nigeria’s captive power plant modernisation plans. The Wärtsilä engine generator sets will be delivered during 2021 and are expected to become fully operational in early 2022. 

The multi-fuel capability of the Wärtsilä engines, which can switch seamlessly from natural gas to liquid fuel mode while running at full load, facilitates continuous supply of electricity to critical loads in the event of uncertainties in the quality and quantity of the gas supply. In addition to maximising the availability and reliability, this inherent capability provides a valuable hedge against fuel price increases, and lends itself to accommodating future fuel infrastructure developments. 

Also Read Wärtsilä Optimised Maintenance agreement supports growth ambitions of a privately-owned Nigerian supplier of energy to the national grid

“It is always gratifying to receive repeat orders from a customer, not only because it signifies their satisfaction with our solution, but also because it cements the relationship between our companies. Operational flexibility and efficiency, which are features of the Wärtsilä engines, are becoming key issues in energy production, and are especially relevant for production facilities with a critical need for a reliable electricity supply,” commented Marc Thiriet, Energy Business Director, Africa West. 

The Nigerian government’s 30-30-30 vision document for the power sector aims to achieve a capacity of 30,000 megawatts of electricity by the year 2030, with at least 30 percent being supplied from renewable energy sources. The selection of fast-starting and stopping Wärtsilä engines means that should the customer have access to solar or wind power in the future, these engine generator sets can provide smart back-up generation to balance the fluctuating supply from renewables.

Wärtsilä has a leading position in supplying flexible power generation to West Africa with 4792 MW of capacity installed, of which 667 MW in Nigeria. Wärtsilä has operated in the country since 2010 and has about 90 employees locally.

 

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Investment

Yoco raises US$83m to scale its financial ecosystem for small businesses in South Africa

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Yoco Founders (Images: Ivy Shirinda-JNPR)

Yoco, South African payments and software platform, has secured $83 million (R1.2 billion)  in Series C funding amid a surge in demand for digital payments amongst African small businesses.

The latest investment round brings the total funds raised to date, by Yoco, to US$107 million. These funds will enable Yoco to accelerate the development of its financial ecosystem, which already includes online and in-store payments, business software and capital, as well as expand its market presence beyond South Africa.

Among the company’s new investors are Dragoneer Investment Group, which is making its Africa investment debut, Breyer Capital, HOF Capital, The Raba Partnership, 4DX Ventures, TO Ventures, Futuregrowth and several current and former executives from global tech leaders such as Coinbase, Revolut, Spotify and Gojek.

“We are excited to partner with such world-class investors who have joined our quest to break barriers and create access to financial services for millions of small businesses across the continent.” said Katlego Maphai, the chief executive office of Yoco, “Looking ahead, this investment will unlock capacity for us to accelerate product development for our merchants and continue on our growth trajectory in South Africa and beyond.”

In less than six years, Yoco has become the preferred payments partner for over 150 000 small businesses across South Africa, processing more than US$1 billion in card payments per year. Importantly, Yoco’s growth has been driven almost exclusively by small, independent businesses that were previously cash-only due to the complexity and high costs of existing alternatives.

Carl Wazen, Yoco’s chief business officer, says that despite being the largest payments platform in South Africa, Yoco is still at the beginning of its journey.  “There are over 6 million small businesses in South Africa and well over 100 million across the Middle East and Africa that still transact only in cash.” Wazen says “recent consumer behaviour shows a shift away from cash and businesses have to rapidly adapt to this change. This presents a huge opportunity and it is our mission to support that transition.”

Yoco team

Yoco has big plans for seizing this opportunity by continuing to deepen its market presence in South Africa and expanding into Africa and the Middle East region over the next two years. The goal, according to Wazen, is to reach at least a million merchants within the next four years.

“Working so closely with small businesses during a global pandemic, and in particular through a challenging socio-economic environment in South Africa, we have a firsthand account of how agile these businesses need to be in a rapidly changing world,” says Maphai.

“Removing barriers and levelling the playing field by creating access to financial tools is a big part of answering these challenges. Yoco is at the forefront of solving what is critical for small businesses and enabling them to thrive. This new capital injection translates into an acceleration of access for small businesses in our region and beyond, bringing our vision of open commerce forward,” concludes Maphai.

 

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