Next week will see the beginning of 4th annual SADC Industrialization Week taking place in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. The week-long event will operate under the theme, ‘A conducive business environment for inclusive and sustainable industrial development’. One of the main focuses of the conference will be to go through the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap and to identify projects that can be jointly implemented by the public and private sectors within the SADC member states. Tanzanian Minister of Industry and Trade, Innocent Bashungwa joins CNBC Africa for more.
Barrick and Acacia Reach Buyout Deal, Ending Long Standoff
Acacia shares rallied as much as 20% after deal announcement
- Deal may pave the way to solving Acacia’s dispute in Tanzania
The two companies said Friday that they reached a deal for Barrick to buy the roughly 36% stake in Acacia it doesn’t already own. Barrick sweetened its offer to win over Acacia shareholders, some of whom had decried the previous bid as too low. The new offer has an implied value of about 232 pence per Acacia share, a 24% premium to the closing price on Thursday.
“Given all the circumstances, this is possibly the best outcome,” Acacia’s acting Chief Executive Officer Peter Geleta said by phone.
The agreement paves the way for Barrick to negotiate with Tanzania in hopes of resolving a public battle that crippled Acacia’s operations in the country, where it runs three gold mines. Acacia hopes the talks will help set up a “new partnership” with the Tanzanian government, Geleta said.
“I’m pleased that after engaging with shareholders, Barrick has reconsidered its initial offer,” said James Goldstone, a fund manager at Invesco, which holds less than 1% of Acacia. “It’s a compromise,” he said, without elaborating on how his fund would vote.
Its biggest challenge came two years ago, when Tanzania imposed an export ban on two of Acacia’s units and handed the miner a $190 billion tax bill. Since then, the company’s position in the country has deteriorated further, with the government saying in May it would no longer allow Acacia to manage its mines in the country and will only work with Barrick.
Just this week, Tanzania ordered Acacia to stop using a waste-storage facility at its core gold mine, which could disrupt production.
More Info Barrick and Acacia Reach Buyout Deal
Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Bob Collymore has died at his home early morning on July 1, 2019, Safaricom chairman Nicholas Nganga said in a press statement.
The Guyanese-born British citizen took a medical leave in October 2017 to fight cancer and resumed work in July 2018.
“He had been undergoing treatment for this condition since then in different hospitals and most recently at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi. In recent weeks, his condition worsened,” the statement says.
A screen grab of the Safaricom statement following CEO Bob Collymore’s death.
Collymore, 61, is survived by widow Wambui Kamiru Collymore and four children.
Following news of his death, Twitter was flooded with condolence messages.
According to Acacia Mining, discussions between Barrick Gold Corporation and the Tanzania government to resolve disputes between itself and the government are making significant progress. Sadly, Acacia Mining has been excluded from these discussions and expects massive changes to its structure moving forward as Tanzania has no interest in engaging directly with the company.
Barrick has provided Acacia with a set of documents which it has indicated have been extensively negotiated but not yet finalised.
Barrick has also provided the company today with a letter from the Acting Chairman of the Tanzania government negotiating team who have been in discussions with Barrick, dated 19 May 2019, addressed to Acacia’s three operating companies, Bulyanhulu Gold Mine Limited, North Mara Gold Mine Limited and Pangea Minerals Limited.
This letter states that the government is resolved that it will not execute final agreements for the resolution of the company’s disputes if the company is one of the counterparties to the agreements, and that it will only sign such agreements “if satisfied that substantial changes have been made to the management style of the operating companies and of their shareholders”.
Acacia also notes that it has received today an indicative proposal from Barrick to acquire all the issued and to be issued share capital of the company not already owned or controlled by Barrick.
The consideration would be in the form of new common shares in Barrick, with Acacia shareholders receiving 0.153 of a new common share of Barrick for every ordinary share in Acacia.
The board is considering these developments, and will be taking steps to seek clarification of the Tanzania government’s position.
For now, Acacia shareholders are strongly advised to take no action.
This announcement by Acacia was made without the consent or approval of Barrick.
Bagamoyo, a small fishing port about 45 miles north of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, may become Africa’s biggest container port in the next 10 years. China’s largest public-port operator, China Merchants Holdings, is about to start what the Ecofin Agency called “the most significant construction project in the last four decades of Chinese-Tanzanian relations.”
Part of the $10 billion funding will come from the Sultanate of Oman’s sovereign-wealth fund and China’s Exim Bank. There will be a special economic zone modeled on Shenzhen, China. The piers and docks will extend along 10 miles of coastline, and handle 20 million containers a year, more than Rotterdam, Europe’s biggest port. Tanzanian authorities say it will create an industrial revolution in a mainly rural country where 70 percent still live below the poverty threshold.
Tanzania, a rare example of stability in this region, has been governed by John Magufuli since late 2015. He is the political heir of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM or the Party of the Revolution), founded in 1977 by Julius Nyerere. According to Daudi Mukangara, a political scientist at the University of Dar es Salaam, the CCM’s original brand of socialism did not withstand “the neoliberal assault of the late 1980s and ’90s, which denationalized the very notion of nationalism.” Tanzania has one of Africa’s strongest growth rates—5.8 percent in 2018, with a forecast of 6 percent in 2019, according to the IMF—and has begun a massive infrastructure-development program.
The Bagamoyo project will let Oman regain a foothold in Africa; the nearby island of Zanzibar was Omani territory from 1698, and a major center of the slave trade supplying the Gulf states. China, too, is extending its influence in East Africa in Tanzania, which has been a pillar of Sino-African cooperation. Until the mid-19th century, Bagamoyo was an important transit point for copra (dried coconut), ivory, and slaves. Many expeditions, including those of Richard Burton and Henry Morton Stanley, set off inland from Bagamoyo, following routes established by Arab slavers. It was also the base for East Africa’s first Catholic mission, and later briefly the capital of German East Africa before the territory passed to the UK. In 1964 Zanzibar was united with Tanganyika, independent since 1961, and the new state elided the two names into Tanzania.
China, a pioneer in Global South relations, is bringing Africa’s globalization full circle in opening the way for Turkish, Egyptian, Indian, and Gulf operators. The new port agreement was made public in March 2013 during the second official visit of China’s President Xi Jinping to Africa; Tanzania was his first stop. No Chinese leader has visited this region as often since Deng Xiaoping launched his open-door policy in 1978.
Nyerere visited China 30 times, and the Soviet Union only once. Charles Sanga, his last personal assistant, remembers that “At the end of his life in 1999, he believed we had only one true friend: China.” Sanga was Tanzania’s ambassador in Beijing at the time of the first Forum on China-Africa Cooperation summit in September 2000, attended by just four African heads of state, including the then–Tanzanian president, Benjamin Mkapa.
China is Africa’s biggest trading partner, ahead of the United States. At the eighth China-Africa summit in Beijing last September, under the “New Silk Roads” banner, China promised $60 billion: Reuters reported that this would be “$15 billion of aid, interest-free loans and concessional loans, a credit line of $20 billion, a $10 billion special fund for China-Africa development and a $5 billion special fund for imports from Africa.” President Xi said he would not fund any vanity projects: “China’s cooperation with Africa is clearly targeted at the major bottlenecks to development.” In 2000–16, China loaned Africa $125 billion, according to the China Africa Research Initiative in Washington. In 2017 bilateral trade was worth an estimated $180 billion, $75.3 billion of it Chinese imports from Africa. US-African bilateral trade is worth less than $39 billion.
TANZANIA AND THE NEW SILK ROAD
“President Magufuli was elected in 2015 on a program of reclaiming Tanzania’s economic sovereignty from Western investors,” said Rwekaza S Mukandala, former deputy rector of the University of Dar es Salaam; “in his view, China is best placed to help him do this.” Octavian Mshiu, head of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry, and Agriculture, agrees. He recognizes Bagamoyo’s strategic role in “enabling Tanzania’s clear integration in the New Silk Road project and making it a bridgehead for Chinese manufacturing businesses relocating to East Africa.” China views Kenya, Tanzania’s rival as a transit country for commodities from East Africa’s landlocked states, as too problematic. It has become a key US ally in Africa, and is unstable, affected by terrorism and tribalism.
As Tanzania’s main trading partner, China has stayed silent on Magufuli’s slide toward authoritarianism, while the United States and other Western nations have become concerned about the erosion of human rights and the threat to development. They have criticized restrictions on press freedom and freedom of assembly, a cyber-crime act that curtails freedom of information, and a statistics act that prevents the publication of any figures not produced by the government. There has also been criticism of assassination attempts against opponents and the 2017 disappearance of journalist Azory Gwanda.
Magufuli was explicit in November 2018, opening the new Dar es Salaam University library—an elegant building funded by China, alongside the Confucius Institute: “China [is a] true friend who offers help without any conditions. Free things are really expensive.… The only free things that won’t cost you anything are those provided by China.” In 2016, the United States canceled $470 million in funding from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a bilateral development fund, over Tanzania’s violations of public freedoms.
Tanzania and neighboring Zambia are focal points in the war of influence being fought in Africa by the planet’s two biggest economies. It’s Beijing consensus versus Washington consensus: aid without conditions, on the margins of international rules of engagement, in the form of trade agreements dictated by China, versus loans from the IMF and the World Bank, with social and political conditions such as privatizations and reductions in public spending.
Donald Trump’s administration now clearly wants to block China, which it accuses of “deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage over the United States,” as National Security Adviser John Bolton told the Heritage Foundation on December 13. He accused China of resorting to “bribes, opaque agreements, and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing’s wishes and demands.” China is unperturbed by US accusations and has reaffirmed its promise to “contribute to Africa’s development by putting its own development to good use.”
‘ERRATIC AND UNPREDICTABLE’
Bolton mentioned East Africa in his speech on the new US strategy for the continent: Public debt, particularly in Zambia, would leave countries at China’s mercy. That began a war of words between the United States and China. Tanzania, with Ethiopia, Kenya, and Egypt, is officially a country China identified in 2015 for business delocalizations. Magufuli aims to make it a semi-industrialized nation by 2025. He hopes the manufacturing sector will by then generate at least 40 percent of its wealth, not less than 10 percent as it does now.
To finance this program, the government has targeted corruption, misuse of public money, and large-scale theft in the mining industry. Tanzania, Africa’s fourth-biggest gold producer, has altered mining companies’ exploitation contracts, giving the government the right to renegotiate or sever them in instances of proven fraud. The new legislation also does away with mining companies’ right to settle disputes through international arbitration. The tax dispute with Acacia Mining, a subsidiary of the giant London-listed Barrick Gold, which is accused of having understated production for years to save billions in taxes, has ended with an out-of-court agreement with terms and conditions still to be set. Tanzania will receive a 16 percent share in three of Barrick Gold’s mines and 50 percent of the revenue they generate.
Magufuli’s blunt style of politics, “as erratic as it is unpredictable” according to a local journalist, initially won support from local young intellectuals. “Then in 2016 the regime began to slide towards authoritarianism,” said former parliamentarian Zitto Kabwe, 42, who leads the Alliance for Change and Transparency (ACT), to the left of the opposition party, Chadema. Kabwe is critical of the patriotic rhetoric of a government that “still hasn’t had an impact on Tanzanians’ daily lives” and believes that Magufuli’s policy, “though it raises the fundamental question of resource ownership, has weakened growth in the mining sector and scared off investors, who are now afraid of having to deal with the Tanzanian justice system.”
ACT’s manifesto, the Tabora Declaration, is inspired by the 1967 Arusha Declaration, which began the policy of Ujamaa (Brotherhood), and aims to lay the foundations of a socialism adapted to 21st-century Tanzania. Kabwe is critical of the World Bank and the IMF, “which imposed the 1998 mining code, which favors multinational extraction companies, and forced us into a debt trap.” China is no better: It is “advancing its pawns in Africa in its own interest.” He warned against falling into anti-Chinese rhetoric that serves Western interests: “Sixty percent of our external public debt is to multilateral organizations such as Bretton Woods and only 10 percent to China.”
Andrew Huang, a tax consultant with a Tanzanian-registered business, is typical of the several thousand Chinese entrepreneurs in the private sector. He’s been here since the late 1990s, and acknowledges that the government’s measures to tackle the mining sector have disheartened some compatriots, who he admits paid no tax: “Showing firmness, as President Magufuli has done, is a good thing for this country.” A flood of Chinese companies is coming, he insists: “Tanzania’s development is just beginning. Because of Bagamoyo, this country will soon be Africa’s Dubai.”
Continuing its American expansion, Airbus launched a new assembly line on its Mobile manufacturing site in Alabama, United States, on January 16, 2019. The facility is to assemble the new A220 (former Bombardier CSeries) for US-based customers.
The new factory joins the already existing A320 assembly line that opened in 2016. It required an investment of $300 million and will need the hiring of 400 additional people, putting the number of Mobile total workforce at 1,100 employees.
Aircraft production should start in Q3 2019, according to Airbus, with first delivery of a Mobile-assembled A220 aircraft scheduled for 2020. The new A220 production facilities should be fully operational by next year.
The end goal is to meet the current output of the A320 in Mobile, four aircraft per month, by the middle of the next decade. Meanwhile, the Mirabel site in Quebec, Canada, that Airbus acquired from Bombardier is expected to deliver 10 aircraft per month. In total, the European manufacturer expects to deliver 250 aircraft per year by 2025 from its Northern-American based assembly lines.
Airbus has just re-branded the Bombardier C Series jet acquired in a deal with the Canadian plane maker as the A220, setting “double-digit” sales targets.
At the beginning of January 2019, Airbus held an order book for 88 A220-100 and 449 A220-300. Customers now have to wait about seven years for their aircraft, a delay that this new facility aims to reduce.
As for a future assembly line for the A330 MRTT, if Airbus and Lockheed Martin manage to sell it to the US Air Force, Airbus Commercial COO Guillaume Faury, quoted by French media Le Point, said “the question will arise in the future.”
Danielle Bochove, Thomas Biesheuvel and Kenneth Kakuri 12 December 2018.
- Acacia would pay $300 million to Tanzania, people say
- Board and shareholders still need to review final agreement
Barrick Gold Corp. has reached an agreement with the Tanzanian government on a $300 million payment, a milestone toward resolving a dispute that has crippled the miner’s subsidiary in the African country, according to people familiar with the situation.
Executives from the Toronto-based producer and Randgold Resources Ltd., which is being bought by Barrick, met with Tanzanian negotiators on Dec. 7, said the people, who declined to be identified as the talks are private. During that meeting, the two sides made significant progress on a deal that includes Acacia Mining Plc paying $300 million in installments. The terms are now being handed off to a tax working group in Tanzania for review, the people said.
Once that group is satisfied with the numbers, the deal would have to be reviewed by Acacia’s board and the U.K. listing authority, and then voted on by shareholders, which could delay a resolution. Tanzania’s president, John Magufuli, would also need to review the findings of the group to be certain it’s in the best interests of the country, one of the people said.
Barrick, Acacia and Randgold declined to comment, as did Idris Kikula, chairman of the state-run Tanzania Mining Commission.
Acacia shares jumped as much as 6.5 percent in London, before closing up 5.4 percent at 198.9 pence, the highest since January. Barrick rose 3.1 percent at the close in Toronto.
In 2017, Tanzania banned exports of unprocessed metal and slapped Acacia with a $190 billion tax bill equal to almost two centuries of revenue, leading to a collapse in the stock. A preliminary framework agreement struck between Barrick Executive Chairman John Thornton and Magufuli cut Acacia management out of the negotiating process. The deal involved Acacia and Tanzania splitting the economic benefits of operations going forward, which was less contentious than a $300 million payment, according to people familiar with the talks.
The relationship between Barrick and Acacia has been strained and progress moving the deal forward has been slow. Corruption chargeshave been levied against Acacia and some of its employees, further complicating sensitive talks.
The appointment of Randgold CEO Mark Bristow to head the company after the merger was widely seen as offering fresh hope for stalled talks. Randgold’s Willem Jacobs, who will head Barrick’s Africa and Middle East division, was present at the meeting, as was Barrick senior executive Kevin Thomson, the people said.
A deal would be a major victory for Bristow as he prepares to take the helm of Barrick in January. It’s also seen as an important first step should Barrick decide to buy up the shares in Acacia it doesn’t already own. That’s something Bristow has said he personally sees as an option, although talks haven’t been held on the matter.
— With assistance by Steven Frank
John Green 4 December 2018.
Newly appointed Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Joseph Kakunda has stressed on the need for Tanzania’s government to support the local sector, whose contribution to the country’s economy has proven to be vital.
Local firms have faced stiff competition from foreign businesses seeking investment opportunities in the country.
According to a report released by Financial Times mid this year, East Africa accounted for the most FDI inflows in Africa, with Kenya targeted as a preferred investment hub, despite facing competition from Ethiopia, Africa’s fastest growing economy. The emergence of the oil and gas industry as an exciting investment sector has pulled foreign companies in search of business opportunities.
The stewardship of President John Magufuli in the fifth phase government has seen emphasis put on the need for more FDI inflows in the economy, posing a challenge to the rise of the local sector. The government has however vowed to support the growth of local industries and give them space to contribute to the nation’s GDP and offer employment opportunities to the citizens.
The minister reiterated the need to cooperate with local industries to drive President Magufuli’s industrialisation drive of becoming a middle-income economy by 2025.
While visiting the Executive Chairman of the IPP Media Dr Reginald Mengi, he commended the businessman for his efforts to invest in the local manufacturing country to steer economic development. Mr Mengi signed a deal with a South Korean firm to establish a USD 10 million assembling plant in Dar es Salaam. The facility will employ over 1,000 people, expanding its services across the East African region.
In 2013, two years before the election of Magufuli into presidential shoes, Tanzania recorded the highest FDI within the East African Community (EAC), according to a report released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), which stood at USD 1.872 billion.
In 2016, the 16th edition of the African Economic Outlook report published ranked Tanzania ninth in Africa following the government’s strategy to welcome more foreign investments. The nation remains to be a potential investment hub especially in the oil and gas industry and agriculture, the country’s economic mainstay.
As the government creates a conducive and competitive business environment, the local sector cannot be left out to seize the various opportunities to build a sustainable economy through investment incentives such as tax credits across the priority sectors.
Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs published the Business Sector Programme Support Phase IV 2013-2019 document whose objective is to “Improved employment and income opportunities for farmers and micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through green inclusive growth.” The three components of BSPS IV are designed to address some of the major factors that contribute to unleashing private sector growth.
Beatrice Materu 12 November 2018.
- Cashews are an important export for Tanzania but also a major source of livelihood for small-scale farmers
- Statistics show cashew nut exports rose to USD 541.77 million in 2017 from USD 270.6 million in 2016
Tanzania President John Magufuli Monday deployed the military to buy cashewnuts directly from farmers in the southern region of the country.
President Magufuli rejected offers from 13 firms intending to buy the cash crop and assigned the Tanzania People’s Defence Forces (TPDF) to buy the produce at USD 1.43 (Tshs 3,300) per kilo.
“We gave private traders four days till Monday 4pm (+3GMT) to submit their purchasing plans, but traders have come up with difficult requirements and have so far bought cashew nuts at a price of Tshs 3,001 (USD 1.30), with the highest at Tshs 3,016 (USD 1.31) per kilogramme, which are not fair to the farmers,” said President Magufuli.
“In two days’ time, farmers should be paid without any hesitation and the process should start immediately,” ordered the president.
The low prices
On Saturday, President Magufuli sacked the Agriculture and Trade ministers and disbanded the Cashewnut Board of Tanzania (CBT) as the government grapples with how to safeguard farmers from the low prices.
Cashewnuts are an important export for Tanzania but also a major source of livelihood for small-scale farmers in Mtwara, Lindi, Coast and Ruvuma regions.
President Magufuli’s intervention came after farmers boycotted the CBT auctions at the prices of USD 0.7 (Tshs 1,550) and instead wanted at least USD 1.2 (Tshs 2,900) per kilo.
Statistics show cashew nut exports rose to USD 541.77 million in 2017 from USD 270.6 million in 2016, surpassing all of Tanzania’s cash crops.
This year’s yield is forecast to reach 220,000 tonnes.
Separately listed Acacia is locked in dispute in Tanzania
Final decision depends on completion of merger with Randgold
Barrick Gold Corp. favors taking back control of its separately listed Tanzanian assets after completing its takeover of Africa-focused rival Randgold Resources Ltd., according to people familiar with the situation.
Barrick spun off those assets in 2010 into a company now called Acacia Mining Plc. That unit — listed in London but majority owned by Barrick — has been dogged by operational setbacks and is locked in a dispute with Tanzania’s government. The dispute would need to be resolved before any decision is made.
Acacia shares soared as much as 11 percent in London before slipping to close up 7.7 percent. The stock has declined 70 percent in the past two years. Barrick, which gained 1.6 percent in Toronto on Tuesday, has gained 29 percent since the merger was announced.
Once the merger with Randgold is complete, the enlarged group will look for solutions for Acacia, with Barrick favoring taking full ownership of the unit, the people said, asking not to be identified because the plans are private. Barrick currently owns 64 percent of Acacia. A 36 percent stake in the company would be valued at about $303 million, based on the closing price in London Tuesday.
Still, no final decision has been made, the people said. It’s also not clear whether all three of Acacia’s Tanzanian gold mines will be brought back into Barrick, one of the people said.
A spokesman for Barrick, Andy Lloyd, said the Toronto-based company declined to comment.
Randgold’s chief executive officer, Mark Bristow, who has previously criticized the handling of the situation in Tanzania, will assume the same role at Barrick. Tanzania has banned exports of mineral concentrates and slapped Acacia with a $190 billion tax bill. Barrick would need to see a resolution of the Tanzanian disputes first as it wouldn’t want to assume those liabilities, one of the people said.
Bringing the assets back into Barrick would signal a significant U-turn by the Canadian company. Since first spinning them off, it has sold down its stake and tried to sell them to Chinese bidders.
Acacia, formerly called African Barrick Gold, promised gold output of 1 million ounces a year when it first listed in London. Instead, production has declined and this year is forecast to be just half that figure.
Barrick has been leading negotiations in Tanzania but progress has been slow and the relationship between the company and its subsidiary has become increasingly strained. Last week, Acacia was hit with more charges, including money laundering and corruption, and on Tuesday it said a senior executive was arrested. Acacia is seeking its own direct talks with the government and has threatened legal action.
Peter Geleta, Acacia’s interim CEO, has said the Barrick-Randgold merger would be positive, citing the African operating experience of Bristow.