Emerging Markets Roundup: Africa

PLATINUM MINING PROJECT PROMISES BIG REWARDS

 

By Antonio Guerrero

 

South Africa’s state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has entered into a $420 million public-private partnership to develop a mine that could become one of the world’s largest platinum producers over the next five years.

 

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Tanzania to create special economic zones for foreign investment

Photo Credit: SOLODOV ALEXEY / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

Under the joint venture, known as NewCo, IDC will partner with South African investment consortium Pallinghurst Resources and with the local Bagkatla Ba Kgafela tribe, which owns much of the land surrounding the mine site. The mining complex will have a life span of 30 years and is expected to create about 9,000 jobs.


Tanzania received a $100 million loan from the World Bank to improve its investment climate, boost economic growth and support private sector development. The government’s plan includes turning Tanzania into a regional transport hub, establishing special economic zones and improving access to land, among other measures. According to a World Bank study, Tanzania, Africa’s third-largest gold producer, ranked 127th among 183 countries in terms of the cost of doing business as a result of excessive bureaucracy and an unfavorable regulatory environment. The World Bank predicts the nation’s economy, East Africa’s second-largest, will grow by as much as 7% in 2012–2013.


Kenyan finance minister Njeru Githae says a government plan will soon make it compulsory for all Kenyans above the age of 18 to open a bank account. The move is part of the government’s “Vision 2030” development plan, which includes measures to increase financial inclusion. Githae says the move should prompt the nation’s banking sector, which will benefit from increased deposits and has seen a drop in nonperforming loans to below 3%, to offer clients better returns and lower lending rates. The government is also seeking to make it compulsory for all Kenyans over 18 years of age, regardless of their employment status, to open an income tax file with the Kenyan Revenue Authority.


Zimbabwe’s cabinet has approved creation of the International Finance Center (IFC), an offshore financial hub to be established in the Victoria Falls area. The nation’s central bank and finance ministry are reportedly crafting the necessary regulations. No date was announced for the center’s opening.

 

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