Jamie Ashcroft 25 Feb 2020
“We look forward to updating shareholders as we move to realise the core value of our Tanzanian assets alongside our partners,” said Solo chief Tom Reynolds.
Aminex, in a separate statement, earlier today told investors that alongside partner APT it is teeing up their operations in Tanzania in anticipation of the ‘greenlight’ from regulatory authorities.
It highlighted that there are “positive indications” that Tanzania is re-engaging with the international business community, after a period of reduced corporate engagement, in order to support the country’s power demands.
Aminex chief executive Tom Mackay said: “While we continue to engage in constructive dialogue, Aminex and APT are working diligently to progress workflows such that when the approvals are given, we can quickly move into an operational phase and deliver first gas from Ntorya and begin remediation work on Kiliwani.”
“As of yet, no formal update has been received from the Government of Tanzania in regards to our licences, however we have had positive indications in-country that the government is approaching a place where it can update the international oil companies.”
Specifically, Aminex told investors that the joint venture partners will look to move contingent elements of the 2020 work programme into the firm budget. The Ntorya project has now progressed so that it can move to order long lead items, once there’s approval of the tendering and procurement process.
Solo retains a 25% beneficial interest in the Ruvuma PSA, which is host to Ntorya, and it has an 8.3918% interest in Aminex’s Kiliwani North-1 well.
Tom Reynolds, in Solo’s statement, said: “While this is no affirmative feedback from the Government of Tanzania, we are encouraged to see some positive developments as well as some progress between Aminex and APT.
“As announced towards the end of last year, our Tanzanian strategy is focused on high quality assets and stable cash flow, and we expect these discussions will further increase the likelihood of developing our assets to production.
“We look forward to updating shareholders as we move to realise the core value of our Tanzanian assets alongside our partners.”
Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala, Reuters / 24 January 2020
It was signed by Barrick CEO Mark Bristow and Tanzanian minerals minister Doto Biteko at a ceremony in the commercial capital, Dar es Salaam.
It follows an announcement by the two sides in October in which they agreed to a payment of $300 million to settle outstanding tax and other disputes, the lifting of an export ban on concentrates and the sharing of future economic benefits from mines.
South Africa-born Bristow, describing the dispute as a “long safari” since it emerged in 2017, struck a conciliatory tone in a speech at the ceremony broadcast on state TV. Safari means “journey” in Swahili.
“Many people said your criticism will chase away investors … what it’s done is challenge the mining industry and all of us to embark on something where we win together or lose together,” Bristow said to applause.
Casting himself as a “Zulu boy” born in Zululand, Bristow called it a “historical day” for Africa.
“President, what I am here to do today is to offer you the hand of Barrick,” the CEO added, moving from the lectern to shake President John Magufuli’s hand.
The company said it had budgeted $50 million for brown and greenfield exploration in Tanzania in 2020.
“I thank God for the success of this agreement, said Magufuli, who has made a point of extracting more income from natural resources and described the negotiations as a clash between a cow and a rabbit.
He said confiscated containers of gold and copper concentrate could now be exported to the benefit of Twiga Minerals, a new joint venture set up to manage the Bulyanhulu, North Mara and Buzwagi mines.
“Twiga Minerals represents a structure which allows the government and the people of Tanzania to be involved in the decision-making of everything that we do together,” Bristow said.
Foreign Affairs Minister Palamagamba Kabudi, who led Tanzania’s negotiating team, said Tanzania now owns 16% undiluted shares in Twiga Minerals, as well as a 16% stake in each of the Barrick mines.
“We almost lost hope in the discussions with Barrick and I was ready to tender my resignation to the president for failing to complete this task, but we ultimately got the deal done,” Kabudi said.
The dispute originally involved Acacia Mining, which was bought out by Barrick. The government imposed a ban on exporting mineral concentrates in 2017 after accusing Acacia of tax evasion, leading to a one-third cut in the miner’s output.
Renegotiating all deals
Minerals make up the majority of Tanzania’s exports and are a key source of foreign exchange for Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer.
The government said it is renegotiating mining agreements with all existing companies to get a minimum 16% stake in each large-scale mine, in accordance with mining laws passed in 2017.
Mining licences from now on will be issued by Tanzania’s Mining Commission under the guidance of the president, Kabudi said.
South African miner AngloGold Ashanti’s Geita is the largest gold mine in Tanzania. Other miners operating in the country include Shanta Gold and Petra Diamonds.
“It’s encouraging for all stakeholders in the mining industry that Tanzania and Barrick have formalised an agreement and have started a new chapter in the country,” said an AngloGold Ashanti spokesman.
“This deal is a sigh of relief not just for Barrick or the mining industry in Tanzania, but for investors in the broader region,” said Margarita Dimova, associate director at consulting firm Africa Practice.
A mining executive working in Tanzania said the agreement was positive for the sector: “A lot of key issues impacting projects getting off the ground were being pushed aside until the Barrick deal was sorted.”
The Citizen Reporter 6 January 2020
Dar es Salaam.
After recording trade surpluses for three consecutive years, the fall of exports has turned Tanzania’s trade with Kenya into a deficit.
According to Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA) and Bank of Tanzania (BoT) computations, provisional data shows that Tanzanian trade with Kenya recorded a deficit of $35.8 million in 2018, down from a surplus of $90.2 million in 2017. The last trade deficit between Tanzania and Kenya was recorded in 2014, showing a deficit of $208.7 million before jumping into a surplus of $491.7 million in 2015! However, the trade surplus dropped to $46.1 million in 2016 due to a dramatic fall in exports to $313.8 million, down from $731.4 million in 2015.The computations also show that, in 2018, Tanzanian exports to Kenya were valued at $213.7 million, lower than the $291.5 million recorded in 2017. On the other hand, imports increased to $249.5 million in 2018, up from $201.3 million in 2017. The provisional data shows that, regionally, the trade balance between Tanzania and the other East African Community (EAC) states continued to remain on the surplus side for four consecutive years.
In 2018, Tanzania’s trade with EAC had a surplus of $141.8 million, lower than the $193.3 million surplus recorded in 2017. Tanzania’s trade deficit with the other EAC states was only recorded in 2014, at $108.3 million before jumping into a surplus of $581.7 million in 2015 – and $130.3 million in 2016. Kenya is currently the leading destination and major source of Tanzania’s intra-EAC exports and imports respectively – followed by Uganda. Tanzania’s major exports in the EAC region were beans, maize, sisal rope, tea and mosquito nets. Major imports were medicines and soaps. All in all, Tanzania has continued to record trade surpluses with the other EAC member states, including especially Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
According to the computations, the largest value in terms of a trade surplus in 2018 was recorded with Rwanda ($78.2 million), followed by Uganda ($52.6 million). Burundi was at the bottom, with a trade surplus of $46.8 million in favour of Tanzania.
HIGHER pricing and an increase in volumes saw Tanzania’s earnings from gold exports rise 42% in the year to November, said Reuters.
Citing the east African country’s central bank, the newswire said gold exports rose to $2.14bn in the year to November from $1.51bn during the same period in 2018. Tanzania is Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer after South Africa, Ghana and Mali.
“The increase in volume exported is partly associated with government actions to effectively manage mining activities in the country,” the bank said, without giving details on the volume exported. Total exports rose 12% year-on-year to $9.53bn in the year ending November, said Reuters.
The bank said earnings from tourism, another major foreign exchange earner, rose to $2.52bn in the year to November from $2.45bn in the same period a year earlier.
Tanzania’s minerals legislation has been altered in the last two years to allow for greater state equity participation as well as increases in levies and taxes. The Tanzanian government, led by President John Magaguli, has also recently emerged from a bruising conflict with the former Acacia Resources over unpaid tax allegations.
After having had a large portion of its gold production blocked by the Tanzanian government, Acacia Mining was eventually taken over by its majority shareholder Barrick Gold which has subsequently agreed a joint venture with the government.
In its latest report on Africa’s energy outlook for 2020, the African Energy Chamber, an inter-professional grouping of energy and mining companies in Africa, focuses in particular on the export potential of African natural gas, whose exports in liquefied form will increase significantly.
The gigantic discoveries made over the past decade in Mozambique, Tanzania, Senegal and Mauritania have revealed a total of 200 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas reserves, enough to supply two-thirds of current world demand for 20 years. In addition, there are 200Tcf of proven reserves in Nigeria.
Such growth will depend on investment of more than $75bn, two-thirds of which will be injected into Mozambique.
This prospect is made possible by the fact that, after a decade in which there was a shortage of major investment projects, African gas is attracting new interest from international majors such as Total, ExxonMobil and Shell.
The $50bn to be committed to Mozambican LNG between 2017 and 2025 by Exxon and Anadarko (currently being acquired by Total) is proof of this.
These LNG projects are also rapidly mobilising significant financing, such as the Senegalese-Mauritanian offshore gas field project at Grand Tortue, discovered in 2015, which could come on stream in 2020, the report says (but in 2022 according to our information) thanks to a $10bn investment from BP and Kosmos Energy.
Finally, while investments are less significant, countries with insufficient reserves to install onshore power plants, such as Cameroon, Ethiopia and Equatorial Guinea, are committing to the use of floating liquefaction plants, with production start-ups announced as early as 2020.
JAMES ANYANZWA 4 NOVEMBER 2019
This has seen the International Monetary Fund raise a red flag over the rate at which East African countries are accumulating debt.
The region’s economies have fallen into a financial fix as they attempt to fund persistent budget deficits and implement mega infrastructure projects against a backdrop of declining revenue collection.
As a result, the economies have resorted to massive borrowing, both from the domestic and international markets to quench their loan appetite, with fears that the increasing uptake of commercial loans could push most of them into debt distress.
“An over-reliance on commercial public debt exposes sovereign balance sheets to greater rollover and exchange rate risks. Also, an increase in debt from domestic creditors could crowd out financing for private sector projects,” said the IMF.
So far Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are among the top 50 countries in the world that are highly indebted to China, according to US-based research firm Brookings Institution.
According to Brookings, countries are now shifting away from official multilateral creditors who come with stringent conditions to non-concessional, (commercial) debt with relatively higher interest rates and lower maturities.
But this trend is raising concerns around debt sustainability given the possibility of higher refinancing risks and foreign exchange risks.
The IMF, in its regional economic outlook report for sub-Saharan Africa released last week, says that surging public debt-to-GDP ratios for Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda has left them highly exposed to greater rollover and exchange rate risks.
“With several countries facing increased foreign exchange and refinancing risks, it is critical to enhance debt management frameworks and transparency,” says IMF.
In May, Kenya went for a third Eurobond raising Ksh210 billion ($2.1 billion) to pay off other maturing debt obligations, finance development programmes and fund government operations.
In September, the country’s lawmakers also voted to increase the government’s borrowing ceiling to Ksh9 trillion ($90 billion) in the current 2019/2020 fiscal year, breaching the EAC debt ceiling on debt accumulation, which is set at 50 per cent of the GDP.
According to the IMF, EAC countries will close 2019 with very high debt-to-GDP ratios.
Burundi’s ratio will reach a high of 63.5 per cent from 58.4 per cent last year. It will be followed by Kenya and Rwanda whose debt-to-GDP ratios are expected to increase to 61.6 per cent and 49.1 per cent from 60.1 per cent and 40.7 per cent respectively during the same period.
The debt-to-GDP ratios for Uganda and Tanzania will increase to 43.6 per cent and 37.7 per cent from 41.4 per cent and 37.3 per cent respectively.
Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania are among the top 50 countries in the world that are highly indebted to China.
The EAC Monetary Union protocol, which was signed by the regional heads of states in November 2013, sets a 50 per cent debt-to-GDP ratio as the convergence criteria for the attainment of a single currency regime whose 2024 deadline is currently a subject of review by the member states.
Government debt as a per cent of GDP is an important economic parameter used by investors to gauge the country’s ability to make future payments on its financial obligation thereby affecting the country’s borrowing costs and government bond yields, according to economists at Trading Economics.
According to the IMF, further fiscal consolidation is needed over the medium term among regional economies to reduce debt vulnerabilities and create fiscal space for development needs.
Kenya and Uganda’s total debts as at June stood at $58.1 billion and $12 billion respectively. Tanzania’s public debt stood at $36.78 billion in the same period according to the Bank of Tanzania.
Finance and Planning minister Philip Mpango attributed the increase to new loans secured to fund infrastructure projects such as construction of the terminal III of the Julius Nyerere International Airport, power generation projects, and the construction of roads, bridges and the standard gauge railway line.
In Rwanda, increased public investment, real exchange rate depreciation and government guarantees have aided a surge in national debt according to the World Bank.
According to Brookings Institution, concerns about an impending debt crisis in Africa are rising alongside the region’s growing debt levels.
As of 2017, 19 African countries had exceeded the 60 per cent debt-to-GDP threshold set by the African Monetary Co-operation Programme for developing economies, while 24 countries had surpassed the 55 per cent debt-to-GDP ratio suggested by IMF.
According to the IMF, despite the stabilisation of debt dynamics, public debt vulnerabilities remain elevated in some African countries.
DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – Tanzania denied on Thursday it was withholding information from the World Health Organisation (WHO) on suspected cases of Ebola, saying it was not hiding any outbreak of the disease in the country.
“Reports suggesting that Tanzania has not been transparent about suspected cases of Ebola and is not sharing information with the WHO are false and should be ignored.”
Last month WHO said Tanzania had refused to provide detailed information on suspected Ebola cases.
The organisation said it was made aware on Sept. 10 of the death of a patient in Dar es Salaam, and was unofficially told the next day the person had tested positive for Ebola. [nL5N26D084]
This week the United States and Britain issued travel advisories to their citizens against Tanzania amid persisting Ebola concerns.
Days before WHO’s rebuke of Tanzanian authorities the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention travelled to the country at the direction of U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar, who had also criticised the country for not sharing information.
Mwalimu said Tanzania has investigated some 28 suspected cases of Ebola over the past year, including two cases in September, but they all tested negative.
She said they had shared that information with WHO.
“We are committed to implement international health regulations in a transparent manner,” said Mwalimu.
Authorities in east and central Africa have been on high alert for possible spillovers of Ebola from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where a year-long outbreak has killed more than 2,100 people.
Tanzania and DRC share a border that is separated by a lake.
Reporting by Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala; editing by Elias Biryabarema and David Evans
The East African Business Council (EABC), in partnership with Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) and Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) is pleased to invite you to Uganda – Tanzania Business Forum that will take place from 6th – 7th September 2019 at Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The event offers a platform for businesses to share their experiences, explore investment opportunities across the borders, create business to business networks and to identify and discuss challenges in the presence of the Heads of State, government ministers and policymakers.
This first of its kind, this joint forum will feature an exciting selection of plenary sessions featuring contemporary, relevant discussions about how best to exploit investment opportunities and overcome bottlenecks to bilateral trade between Uganda and Tanzania.
Register your attendance online at https://businessforum.biz/about/
At the planned Trade and Investment Exhibition that will be officially opened by the Heads of State, businesses will have the opportunity to showcase their products and services to leading businesses and key public sector officials. Registration and accreditation to participate in the Uganda Tanzania Business Forum and the Trade and Investment Exhibition as well as registration for participation will be managed online at www.businessforum.biz
They include resource mobilisation to accelerate industrialisation and infrastructure development, as well as stepping up action against trade barriers, red tape and corruption.
“Our focus remains accelerating growth to improve the livelihoods of millions of our people,” said President John Magufuli, the new Sadc chair, as the high-profile event came to an end.
In that vein, the member countries of the bloc signed a new protocol on industrialisation that seeks to attract more investments through innovation and new technologies.
“Industrialisation to boost trade remains key in our development agenda,” he told the closing session of the two-day summit at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC).
Dr Magufuli implored fellow leaders in the 16-nation bloc to take action against barriers to cross-border trade and red tape, saying they hampered the flow of trade and investments.
The annual economic growth of the vast region, covering one third of African continent’s land surface and with a population of 327 million, has not been any better. Last year, the bloc recorded an average GDP growth of 3.1 per cent, which is below the African continental average of 3.5 per cent and also lower than other regional blocs in Africa.
Beside the protocol on industrialisation, the summit, hosted by Tanzania for the second time, signed three other protocols aimed at tackling cross-border crime.
These are the protocol on inter-state transfer of sentence offenders, amendment of a protocol on extradition of suspects and legal assistance in crime matters.
The summit also agreed to establish a disaster risk reduction body to identify, assess and reduce the risk of disasters in the region.
President Magufuli, who assumed the Sadc chairmanship on Saturday, said the fight against corruption was among a raft of measures agreed upon in order to stimulate trade and investments in the region.
He announced that in resource mobilisation, member states have pledged to contribute $31 million to support this year’s expenditure budget of the Sadc secretariat.
For the 2019/2020 financial year, the secretariat of the regional body based in the capital of Botswana, Gaborone, has budgeted to spend a total of $74 million for its activities.
The new Sadc chair was firm on his resolve to ensure that the funds budgeted for the organisation were spent to implement projects that would improve the livelihoods of the people.
He also challenged Sadc member countries to remit their annual budget contributions to the organisation as agreed, noting that delay or failure to remit money would paralyse integration efforts. Unlike the East African Community (EAC), budgetary contributions in the Sadc region are based on economic strength of member countries. For the EAC, the partner states contribute equally. The summit agreed to make Kiswahili the fourth official language of Sadc. Currently, the official languages are English, French and Portuguese, reflecting the diversity of the region.
More Info SADC SUMMIT 2019