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Airbus conquest of Boeing soil: new A220 assembly line in Mobile

Airbus conquest of Boeing soil: new A220 assembly line in Mobile

CLÉMENT CHARPENTREAU                                 

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.

READ MORE Airbus introduces Bombardier C Series jet named A220

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.”

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Barrick Moves Closer to Resolving Acacia Dispute

Danielle Bochove, Thomas Biesheuvel and Kenneth Kakuri                 12 December 2018.

Photo: Barrick Tanzania Open Pit                                                                                                               

  • 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.

Tanzania-Acacia Dispute

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

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Tanzania aims at developing local sector to drive industrialisation

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.

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President Magufuli deploys army in cashew nut standoff

Beatrice Materu                                                                                                                  12 November 2018.

In Summary

  • 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.

Related Content

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.

More Info  Magufuli deploys army in cashew nut standoff

Barrick Favors Taking Back Control of Acacia Mining

and                                                                  October 23, 2018

Image result for barrick gold tanzania         Image result for barrick gold tanzania

  • 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.

Tax Bill

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.

More Info Barrick Favors Taking Back Control of Acacia Mining

Government, opposition tussle over Mohammed Dewji’s abduction

Khalifa Said and Haji Mtumwa                                                                                       17 October 2018   

The unresolved abduction of billionaire businessman Mohammed Dewji has led to a tussle between the government and the Opposition over calls to allow external investigators to join the hunt for the missing tycoon.

The opposition spokesperson for Home Affairs, Mr Godbless Lema, on Tuesday October 16 asked the government to invite foreign experts to investigate the abduction, accusing the police of not showing any serious resolve to find the businessman and arrest his abductors. But in a swift response, Home Affairs deputy minister Hamad Masauni declared that the government had no intention of allowing foreign investigators as police were capable of the work.

It was the second time that a senior government official had affirmed that no foreigners would be allowed to investigate the unfolding events around last week’s incident.

Home Affairs minister Kangi Lugola was the first to state that there was no need to invite forensic experts from outside Tanzania to handle the case.

However, addressing a press conference yesterday, Mr Lema criticised the police for the way they have conducted the investigation so far.

He said by allowing an independent investigator, the government would discredit claims that it may have been complicit in the abduction.

“If you look carefully at statements made by the government, and the police in particular, you’ll see an utter lack of seriousness as far as the (government’s) response is concerned,” said the Arusha Urban MP.

Mr Lema added that the investigation should also be expanded to include other incidents where people have disappeared without a trace in the last few years.

Mr Lugola said last week that at least 75 people had been abducted in the last three years alone, adding that most of the cases – which involved business rivalry, love affairs, witchcraft or revenge – were resolved.

In his first public statement since Mr Dewji was abducted, Mr Lema said the push for independent investigators would help vindicate the government of suspicion that it may have been behind such incidents.

Mr Lema, who is also a member of Chadema’s Central Committee, said the government should realise that seeking help from external investigators on such a matter of national importance was not a sign of weakness.

Rather, he added, it would show that the government was genuinely intent on resolving the mystery surrounding Mr Dewji’s abduction.

But speaking at a press conference in Zanzibar shortly after Mr Lema had spoken, Mr Masauni maintained that the government would not entertain such an idea because it had the capacity to handle the matter.

“I don’t see any reason to invite external investigators because we have enough capacity to carry out the job,” he said.

Mr Masauni urged Tanzanians and other people to volunteer information, which would help the authorities to find Mr Dewji.

Meanwhile, opposition chief whip Tundu Lissu called for action, saying abductions were on the rise. Mr Lissu is recovering in Belgium after he was shot and seriously wounded in an assassination attempt in Dodoma last year.

“We don’t have to involve politics in these incidents because they involve people’s lives. The government should take action,” he told The Citizen’s sister newspaper, Mwananchi.

Mr Dewji, 43, was abducted by unidentified gunmen last Thursday when he went for a workout at the high-end Colosseum Hotel in Oyster Bay, Dar es Salaam.

Police have released 19 of the 26 who were being held for questioning in connection with the abduction of the tycoon, whose family on Monday announced a reward of Sh1 billion for information leading to his safe return.

Mr Dewji was kidnapped by unknown men on Thursday October 11 and is still missing.

More Info Government, opposition tussle over Mo’s abduction  

Tanzania declared the whole nation was in mourning as first bodies of the deceased were buried

AFP                                                                                                                               24th September 2018

Tanzania buries ferry disaster dead as toll hits 224

The ageing vessel, whose hull and propellers were all that remained visible above water, was also carrying cargo, including sacks of maize, bananas and cement, when it capsized.

Tanzia 703x422

Tanzania declared the whole nation was in mourning Sunday as the first dozen bodies were buried from a devastating ferry capsize on Lake Victoria that left people 224 dead.

Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa led “national funerals” on the island of Ukara, where the MV Nyerere had been coming in to dock on Thursday.

He spoke of “great mourning by the whole nation” as the first coffins were placed in individual graves, many of the victims unidentified.

The remainder of the dead were to be buried later or taken away by families wishing for privates funerals.

The prime minister said a memorial would be built on Ukara.

Hopes had faded of finding any more survivors three days after the disaster, even after rescuers pulled out an engineer on Saturday who had holed up in an air pocket in the upturned vessel.

But Majaliwa said divers would continue the grim search in the waters around the boat. The ferry would also be refloated.

He updated the death toll to 126 women, 71 men, 17 girls and 10 boys. Just 41 people survived.

‘Overloading’ blamed for tragedy

Transport Minister Isack Kamwelwe said 265 people had been on board the ferry, which had an official capacity of around a hundred passengers.

The prime minister said initial investigations suggested overloading was one of the causes of the accident.

“We have already arrested all those people in charge of operating and supervising the MV Nyerere. Questioning has begun,” he said.

A broader commission of inquiry into the disaster would also be set up, Majaliwa added.

Witnesses told AFP that the ferry sank when passengers rushed to one side to disembark as it approached the dock. Others blamed the captain, saying he had made a brusque manoeuvre.

The Tanzanian presidency announced on Sunday evening that the inquiry had been “entrusted to the defence and security authorities”.

Transport minister Kamwelwe said on Saturday that 172 of the bodies had been identified by relatives.

Grief and anger

Dozens of wooden coffins had lined the shore on Saturday, waiting to be seen by families as police and volunteers sought to keep hundreds of curious locals at bay.

Aisha William came to collect the body of her husband. “He left on Tuesday around noon, but he never came home. I do not know how I am going to raise my two children,” she said.

Ahmed Caleb, a 27-year-old trader, railed at a tragedy “which could have been prevented.

“I’ve lost my boss, friends, people I went to school with,” he said.

The ageing vessel, whose hull and propellers were all that remained visible above water, was also carrying cargo, including sacks of maize, bananas and cement, when it capsized.

With a surface area of 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 square miles), oval-shaped Lake Victoria is roughly the size of Ireland and is shared by Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

It is not uncommon for ferries to capsize on the lake, and the number of fatalities is often high due to a shortage of life jackets and the fact that many local people cannot swim.

In 1996, more than 800 people lost their lives on Lake Victoria when the MV Bukoba sank off the mainland town of Mwanza, according to the Red Cross.

More Info Tanzania buries ferry disaster dead as toll hits 224

Tanzania to switch to natural gas-powered buses

 Reporting by The Citizen                                                                                       September 18, 2018

Rapid transit bus in Dar es Salaam.

Rapid transit bus in Dar es Salaam. The project, one of its kind in East Africa, is expected to transform mobility and accessibility in the city. FILE PHOTO | NMG

In Summary

Tanzania plans to shift to natural gas-powered buses on its rapid transit routes in Dar es Salaam, a move it says will cut fuel use by up to 50 per cent.

The Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) acting director-general, Mr Kapuulya Musomba, says the entire project will see at least 800 buses switch to natural gas.

“The University of Dar es Salaam and Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology are ready to install the natural gas systems on the vehicles,” he said.

Dar es Salaam Rapid Transit (Dart) chief executive, Mr Ronald Lwakatare, said the system is available to all including private transport operators.

To install the system, a vehicle owner requires between Tsh1.6 million ($700) and Tsh2 million ($875) depending on the size of the vehicle.

“Experts have told us that the use of natural gas would save between 30 to 50 per cent of what one spends on fuel. We therefore agreed that all Dart buses should use natural gas. This will also help cut fares significantly,” Mr Musomba said.

Dart project

Mr Musomba also said that the Dart phase two project is underway.

Phase two runs on the southeast part of the city, a total of 19.3km. It includes procurement of buses and the fare collection system. More than 100 trunk buses with a capacity of 140 passengers will provide both normal (stopping at all stations) and express services (stopping only at connector stations).

Inaugurated in 2015, the first phase of the project comprises 25km of special roads connecting the suburbs to the central business district.

The entire project has six phases which, upon completion in 2035, will benefit 90 per cent of Dar es Salaam residents.

Filling stations

Mr Ben Kisisiwe, a Dar es Salaam resident, says he converted his vehicle from petrol to natural gas and currently spends about Tsh10,000 ($4.38) per trip, saving at least Tsh20,000 ($8.76).

However, he said that with only a single filling station in the city, he sometimes finds it difficult to use his vehicle, calling upon TPDC to increase the number of filling centres which should be operational for 24 hours.

To address this challenge the government will partner with fuel stations to distribute natural gas.

“We plan to use fuel filling stations to distribute natural gas. This means motorists will be able to refill at any nearby petrol station,” Mr Musomba said, noting a deal has already been struck with Camel and Oilcom.

He added that TPDC will build the main natural gas distribution centre at the University of Dar es Salaam.

More Info Tanzania to switch to natural gas-powered buses

Barrick Gold Seeks Chinese Partners in its Tanzania operation

  Natalie Obiko Pearson                                                                                           September 15,  2018
John Thornton Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Barrick Gold Corp. may slash 400 jobs and involve Chinese partners in its troubled Tanzania operations, Executive Chairman John Thornton told the Globe and Mail newspaper.

The Toronto-based company has slashed middle management by half to about 700 and “we want to get it down to 300,” Thornton, who’s been in his role since 2014, told the Globe in an interview in London. The former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. executive wants a leaner, entrepreneurial partnership more like the early days under late founder Peter Munk, the Globe said.

Thornton said there’s “an almost 100 percent” chance Chinese partners will get involved in Barrick’s projects in Tanzania that are operated through its 64 percent stake in Acacia Mining Plc. Acacia has plummeted 84 percent since its high in 2016 amid disputes with the government, which imposed a ban on exports of mineral concentrates last year and slapped the miner with a $190 billion tax bill.

Latest Tanzania Setback Sends Acacia Mining Tumbling Again

The Acacia mines have never paid income tax to the Tanzanian government, which wants a new deal, Thornton told the Globe. Chinese companies can bring capital, technical expertise and — above all — political connections in Africa and Latin America that North American miners can’t match, he told the Globe.

“It’s one thing to be a Canadian company. It’s another to have China as your partner,” Thornton told the Globe. “If I know one thing, I know this is right: we have the thinnest talent in the most difficult areas and we can’t develop all these projects alone.”

Thornton again floated the idea — raised in a town hall with employees last month — about forming a copper company with Chinese miners.

China Copper Partner for Barrick Gold Makes Sense, Thornton Says

Thornton denied speculation that he may exit the company.

“I’m not leaving until this company is in the shape it ought to be in,” Thornton told the newspaper. “I have always stuck at things until I was either chucked out or achieved what I want to achieve.”

More Info Barrick Gold Seeks Chinese Partners, May Slash Headcount: Globe

Tanzania and Uganda Major Natural Gas Pipeline Project

Florian Kaijage                                                                                                                       25 August 2018
Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni (left) withUganda's President Yoweri Museveni (left) with his Tanzanian counterpart John Pombe Magufuli after commissioning the Mutukula one-stop border post on November 9, 2017. The also laid a second foundation stone for the crude pipeline in Ruzinga, Kyotera district in Uganda. PHOTO | PPU


Tanzania and Uganda have signed an agreement for the construction a natural gas pipeline.

The multimillion dollar deal was signed at the end of a three-day Joint Permanent Commission Summit held in Kampala, led by Tanzania’s Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga and Uganda’s Minister for Energy Irene Muloni.

The summit was preceded by a series of meetings that involved permanent secretaries and other senior officials.

The deal was a culmination of work that began during the first Tanzania-Uganda meeting held in April last year in Arusha, in which the two agreed on a number of memoranda and co-operation frameworks.

The pipeline comes just 15 months after Dar es Salaam and Kampala agreed in May 2017, to construct a crude oil pipeline from Hoima in Uganda, to Chongoleani in Tanga.

The project led by French oil multinational Total as the main contactor was launched in Tanga by Presidents John Magufuli of Tanzania and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

This will be the first trans-border gas pipeline in East Africa since the extraction of natural gas commenced in 2004 at the Songosongo Island in Tanzania’s southern region of Lindi.

Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation set August 24, 2018, as the deadline for submission of tender documents for the consultancy services for feasibility studies.

TPDC managing director Kapuulya Musomba told The EastAfrican that he was confident the pipeline construction would be successful given the expertise and experience gained through the construction and servicing of two pipelines — the 532km Mtwara-Dar es Salaam one and the crude oil pipeline that is underway.

He said that apart from carrying natural gas to Uganda, the pipeline will distribute the product along the route.

“About 10 to 15 Tanzania regions will benefit from the pipeline that will also serve as a catalyst for oil and gas exploration,” Mr Musomba said.

Tanzania has a confirmed natural gas recoverable reserve of 57.5 trillion cubic feet.

Mr Musomba, however, did not reveal the source force funding for the project.

The gas to be transmitted is meant for power generation for industrial and domestic use. A half of Tanzania’s power generation depends on natural gas plants generate 684.66MW, those using diesel 125.429MW and hydro 561.843MW.

Uganda plans to set up a mega project to extract iron ore, a key raw material for the production of iron and steel.

During his visit to Tanzania on August 9, 2018, President Museveni underscored the need for improving production of iron, which is required for infrastructure projects, such as the standard gauge railways in Kenya and Tanzania.

More Info Tanzania, Uganda sign gas pipeline deal