NEWS: 01.06.2023

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January 06, 2023

Black soldier flies could lower cost of livestock feed and save consumers money

Emmanuel Ntirenganya from The New Times writes that animal feed based on black soldier flies (BSF) larvae is about 40% cheaper than that with protein from soybean and fish meal. The 2021-2022 annual report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI) showed that reducing soybean meal and fish meal in a ratio of 25% to 50%, and replacing this with BSF maggots, give better results in broiler production compared to feeding rations with broiler concentrates alone. According to Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB), black soldier flies have 70% of proteins needed in the feed for chickens, pigs and fish. Spending on feed accounts for 60–70% of the livestock production cost in the country. This change could lower the cost of production for livestock farmers and save consumers money.

Port reforms are imperative for maritime sector growth in 2023

According to Adaku Onyenucheya at The Guardian, the maritime sector experienced challenges in 2022, which led to the country losing cargo diversion to neighboring African countries as a result of bottlenecks at Nigerian ports. Onyenucheya explains, “due to these bottlenecks, the country witnessed a drop in importation, while government agencies struggled to meet revenue generation targets for the year. Several investors also exited the country as businesses shut down, which affected economic growth.” The maritime industry is crucial for the country’s economy and sectoral reforms have become urgent. The country is quickly working to ameliorate this pressing issue.

Nigerian seafaring at risk over ban on 400,000 Philippine professionals

According to Adaku Onyenucheya at The Guardian, experts have warned that placing a sailing ban on over 400,000 Filipino seafarers from working on European Union-flagged vessels and effectively leaving them jobless will threaten global seafarer’s manpower and leave the world economy staggering. At the moment, Russian Seafarers are almost not available for merchant’s vessels due to the war in Ukraine, noting that if the Philippines seafarers’ workforce is also pulled out over the European Commission audit, the world economy would stagger. Additionally, President of Maritime Professionals Forum (MARPRO), said the issues regarding the training deficiencies of the Philippine maritime institutions is a big threat to global manpower production. With about 400,000 vacancies on foreign vessels, experts believe Nigeria should tap into this opportunity.

Manufacturing firms can save costs by switching to Gas

Femi Adekoya from The Guardian shares that according to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), one of the most significant operational expenses is related to total energy cost. In response, manufacturing firms can save on energy by 30 per cent and as much as 80 percent on diesel, by switching to gas when compared to grid supply. Switching to natural gas by industries also fits well with the global movement to cut carbon emissions as gas is seen as a cleaner option. Clarke Energy, a leader of change, serves industrial clusters in Lagos, Aba, Kano and other parts of Nigeria with gas plants. Their customers say help them reduce their energy cost, improve production process by removing downtimes and by reducing their carbon footprint.

Opportunity for Africa to Replace China as Global Source of Rare Earth Elements

According to AllAfrica, China has a dominant hold on the rare earth elements market, controlling 60% of global production and 85% of processing capacity. Due to growing geopolitical tensions around China and Taiwan, countries like the U.S, Australia, Canada, and others are seeking to reduce their reliance on China as a source of rare earths production and processing. AllAfrica writes that African countries can leverage this search for new sources of rare earth elements to “bring in much-needed revenue to finance core socio-economic objectives and reduce poverty, utilize the African Continental Free Trade Area to improve value addition, and strengthen global trade partnerships.”

Uranium Exploration in Namibia Halted Over Environmental Concerns

According to AllAfrica, Namibia has halted Russia's uranium exploration over concerns about potential contamination of underground water. Namibia is the second-largest producer of nuclear fuel in the world. Namibia's Minister for Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein, said no further water use permit would be granted because of the method of mining proposed. The method is known as the in-situ leaching and was raising too many environmental concerns. The in-situ technique also poses a risk to groundwater, a resource essential to staving off frequent droughts.

Tunisia in need of quick IMF deal

Tunisia’s Central Bank warned that without a quick IMF deal, difficult times lie ahead for the country’s economy. While the country currently struggles with debt worth about 90 percent of its GDP, it now awaits the IMF's approval to access other sources of credit. There is a slight delay, but the deal will resume once IMF’s demands for a law restructuring over 100 state-owned firms is met. The law is up for debate and will soon be presented to the Tunisia Cabinet.

Zimbabwe bans all lithium exports

According to AfricaNews, Zimbabwe has banned all lithium exports following the realization that the government was losing $1.79 billion from exporting it as a raw mineral and not processing it into batteries in-country. According to the government, Zimbabwe has the largest amount of the mineral in Africa and has enough of it to supply a fifth of the world’s needs. If Zimbabwe successfully starts its own battery industry, rather than exporting the mineral raw, it could mean positive changes for their economy.

Prolonged Drought cuts agriculture to below fifth of economy

Data from the third quarter gross domestic product report by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) shows the Agriculture sector is now contributing less than one-fifth of Kenya's economic growth following four consecutive quarters of decline. According to Kepha Muiriri from The Business Daily, a prolonged drought stretching back to last year is attributable to the declining significance of Kenya’s largest economic sector with the peril disrupting both productivity and agricultural exports. Additionally, the agriculture sector carries with it significant ramifications for employment creation.

EVENTS- 01.06.2023

"Investing in African Mining Indaba." Invest Africa. Cape Town, South 6-9 February, 2023.

Reminder:

"West Africa Outlook." Invest Africa. Webinar. 18 January, 2023.

"North Africa Outlook." Invest Africa. Webinar. 25 January, 2023.

"Southern Africa Outlook." Invest Africa. Webinar. 26 January, 2023.

"East Africa Outlook." Invest Africa. Webinar. 1 February, 2023.