Link 9 Mar Wal-Mart, Massmart Merger Approved in South Africa»

JOHANNESBURG—A South African appeals court judge Friday upheld a decision made by the country’s competition authorities to approve Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s acquisition of a majority stake in South African retailer Massmart Holdings Ltd., but imposed two conditions on the entity.

In October, the ministers of three government departments and the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union appealed the decision by the country’s Competition Tribunal to approve the $2.4 billion deal.

The government and union groups said the world’s largest retailer’s entry to the local market would lead to an increase in cheap Chinese imports, hampering local suppliers’ ability to compete and potentially leading to job losses.

The appeals court said Friday that the parties presented “insufficient evidence” that the merger would harm public interests enough to overturn the approval.

The Wal-Mart deal has been used by many investors to gauge how South Africa will react to foreign investment. Wal-Mart’s entry helped boost the country’s foreign direct investment in 2011 to $4.5 billion, after a plunge in the previous year, according to figures from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. But it hasn’t led to a significant rise in investments of similar size.

In February, a senior vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said on a trip to South Africa that many U.S. investors have been watching the response by the South African government to Wal-Mart’s entry before deciding whether to enter the country themselves.

Link 29 Feb 9 notes Beautiful Afrique: How Africa tweets»

Awesome infographic on Tweeting on the continents

beautiful-afrique:

Fantastic data visualisation here visualising how Africa tweets. Uploaded by the Guardian,

Tweetminster and Portland have analysed more than 11.5m geo-located Tweets from the last three months of 2011. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, use of Twitter is dominated by Africa’s richest country South…

Link 29 Feb 3 notes South Africa Faces Competition as the Business Gateway to Africa»

Why countries like Nigeria and Egypt are fast on SA’s heels

Link 22 Feb Wish you were mine»

The Economist explores the trend of African governments asking more rent and bigger ownership stakes from miners 

Link 22 Feb The Top 20 Tech Start-ups in Africa»

Forbes Africa lists the Top 20 Tech Start-ups on the continent

Link 27 Oct 7 notes Emerging Capital Partners Invests in S.African cell tower company, IHS Plc.»

Emerging Capital Partners is once again dipping into the fast-growing mobile phone sector in Africa, this time with a $32 million equity investment in cellular tower company IHS PLC.

South Africa-based investment bank Investec, an existing IHS backer, contributed $20 million alongside ECP. IHS previously raised $79 million from Investec, International Finance Corp. and Dutch development bank FMO, and debt from Standard Bank PLC, said ECP Managing Director Bryce Fort.

IHS owns and manages cell towers throughout Nigeria, Ghana and South Sudan, and has plans to open offices in Uganda and Kenya in 2012. Its clients include telecommunications providers such as MTN Group, Airtel and Etisalat.


ECP is currently investing out of ECP Africa Fund III PCC, which closed with $613 million in July. Other investments from that fund include Financial Bank, which provides banking services in Central and West Africa; Wananchi Group, a television and internet provider; Groupe NSIA, an insurer; and Thunnus Overseas Group, a canned tuna company.

Link 8 Oct 11 notes Persuading Africa's Middle Class to drink Johnnie Walker»

The Economist explores how Johnnie Walker is courting Africa’s elusive middle class.

"THE Q bar in the Westlands district of Nairobi is the sort of place that makes marketers salivate. A few pool tables, a few flat-screen televisions (not all tuned to English football), some prostitutes, but not enough to scare off girlfriends, the bottles tidily arranged behind the bar, a soft gangsta soundtrack, and a crowd full of wage-earning 20-something men. It is just the place to find the elusive African middle class. And, having found it, to persuade it to switch from beer to costlier Scotch."

Photo 27 Sep
Photo 27 Sep "Though wages aren’t high, the chocolate factory offers steady employment in Madagascar’s struggling economy." (source: Wall Street Journal, 24-Sep2011)

"Though wages aren’t high, the chocolate factory offers steady employment in Madagascar’s struggling economy." (source: Wall Street Journal, 24-Sep2011)

Link 27 Sep 76 notes Small Factories Take Root in Africa »

"Across Africa, scores of tiny manufacturers have been going where most multinationals fear to tread. They not only make chocolate in Madagascar, but also leather shoes in Nigeria and hot sauce in South Africa. They’re testing whether a continent with the highest share of unexploited resources in the world, and the lowest per-capita income, can be fertile terrain for industry.

"For decades, Africans have produced what they do not consume and consumed what they do not produce," says Andrew Rugasira, a Ugandan entrepreneur. Two years ago, his company, Good African Coffee, broke ranks with local bean exporters to open the country’s first instant-coffee plant.

Why Africa doesn’t make more stuff has been an enduring mystery of the global economy. As wages rose in manufacturing powerhouses such as China, many economists predicted that factories would flock to cheaper pools of labor in Africa, helping to spur the same sort of rapid industrial growth that lifted living standards cross Asia.

It hasn’t happened.

Africa’s economy has averaged solid 5% annual growth over the past decade, thanks to rising commodity prices and new consumer demand. The continent, however, accounts for just 1% of global manufacturing, compared with Asia’s 25%. Africa’s share of labor-intensive manufacturing—a vital source of jobs for underemployed farmers—is actually shrinking, according to a July United Nations report.” (source: Wall Street Journal, 24-Sep2011).


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