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Uganda is hoping to secure an $8 billion loan from China to build a railway network to revamp the country’s transport infrastructure as it prepares to start oil production.

As in other areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, China has become a major investor in Uganda. It has mostly channelled funds into roads, hydro power dams, fibre optic cable networks and other infrastructure, usually offering cheap loans. Read more

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Ford Motor Co announced 17 new vehicles for Sub-Saharan Africa on Thursday, as carmakers jostle for position in one of the last major markets where potential growth remains largely untapped.

The models, among 25 to be introduced by 2016 in a broader product offensive across the Middle East and Africa, draw on the U.S. auto giant’s global vehicle architectures to offer more up-to-date features for markets such as South Africa.

Middle East and Africa is the final frontier for global automotive growth

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East Africa is one of the fastest-growing markets for beauty products and as tastes get more discerning local and international companies are cashing in.

With East Africa’s middle classes developing a taste for high-quality personal care and beauty products, international cosmetics companies like L’Oréal and homegrown ones like Kenya’s SuzieBeauty are rushing to cash in on this fast-growing market.

the clientele has become a very even mix of women and men

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ANALYSIS: Subsistent farmers in rural Tanzania can now use mobile phones to access vital information that helps them increase their harvest. The service has helped bridge the information gap.

Farmers in the remote village of Magole, located 288 km (179 miles) from Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam, have been trying in vain to increase food production. Their sweat and toil often failed because they did not have the know-how.

But all that changed when the idea of using a mobile text messaging platform for farmers was introduced in the village. Farmers can now receive free access to vital agricultural information that helps them fight diseases, increase soil fertility and thereby boost crop yields.

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Nairobi — Barclays Bank of Kenya (BBK) has invested Sh26 million in “Light up Kenya” an initiative aimed at moving more than 100,000 rural establishments to solar energy.

The first phase of this initiative will be implemented in partnership with the Kenya Girl Guides Association.

The project is benchmarked on statistics that indicate that only 32 percent of the Kenyan population is connected to the national power grid.

The remaining 68 percent rely on environmentally harmful and expensive sources of fuel such as kerosene for energy. Read more

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The AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Anthony Maruping, told journalists in Malabo on Monday that the Fund would work to correct balances of payment positions across Africa.

He said such positions were mainly caused by low export of commodities and high import volumes which exerted negative burden on currency stability.

The AMF would be established to basically help to tackle macro-economic matters in Africa, he added.

By Premium Times

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Beijing — In July, nations known as the “BRICS,” Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, announced the creation of a new, $100 billion development bank (NDB). The project is aimed at lending money to developing nations for investments, much like how the American and European-backed International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank operate.

Liu Haifang, a professor at Peking University’s Center for African Studies, said the bank will provide developing countries with more options for financing.

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Plans for five countries in East Africa to adopt cleaner fuel standards in 2015 are likely to help absorb excess low-sulphur oil products coming out of Middle East and Indian refineries, where new capacity is being added, industry sources said.

Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda are due to switch to the cleaner fuels from January 2015, according to documents posted on the websites of the regional intergovernmental organization East African Community (EAC) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

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Maputo — “Your granary will never be filled by your neighbour.” This is a Mozambican saying that was used by Graca Michel, member of International Panel of Elders and a former Mozambican minister of education, to illustrate the point that Africa cannot rely on outside help to achieve food security. Read more