Commercial News from Africa

Kenyan government's has begun acquiring land for new railway. The government has begun acquiring land along the Mombasa-Nairobi rail corridor for the standard gauge railway. The National Land Commission has notified 27 landowners of intentions to buy their land. Around 391.6 acres will be bought in the first phase. According to the notice, the biggest losers of land in this first acquisition will be the Kenya Wildlife Service, which is expected to surrender 101.7 hectares (251.3 acres).

New focus on venture capital and private equity financing. In a bid to promote more rapid and inclusive economic growth, Tanzania’s private sector is being urged to focus on non-bank investment financing strategies. According to the minister Tanzania ability to respond against the growing poverty needs a 10 percent economic growth rate; but this currently stands at 6 percent.

Building capacity for cross-border transport. High transport costs remain a challenge for many African countries, particularly those that are landlocked. ECA studies show that landlocked countries have disproportionately high trade-related costs, mainly due to significantly higher costs of inland transport. In the case of countries such as Burundi and Rwanda, inland transport costs account for over 70% of the total import/export costs. Key recommendations from the regional and national workshops included the need to: harmonise road tolls in all countries of the Central Corridor; improve transportation by rail as well as maritime transport in the countries of the Central Corridor; improve road safety along the corridor; and reduce the number of weigh bridges along the corridor, among others.

Liberia and Malawi sign economic pact. The two countries have landed on an agreement for improved economic and technical cooperation. According to a dispatch from Lilongwe, under the Agreement, which will form the basis of a Joint Commission for Cooperation, the two Governments will cooperate in a number of areas, including agriculture and livestock; trade, industry and tourism; monetary and financial arrangements.