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Business and Development

10 Africa Construction Projects That Will Transform Major Cities in 2019

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In 2019, construction projects across Africa will begin, continue or reach their conclusions, bringing to various countries and cities important economic stimulators, updated infrastructure and new opportunities.

Here’s a look at some of the largest and most important construction projects happening around the continent, including notes on how they will impact local populations.

1. Bourgreg Valley Development (Rabat, Morocco)

Rabat Grand Theater

Morocco’s $1 billion Bourgreg Valley Development project will bring new neighborhoods, commercial real estate and public spaces to 14,826 acres in the capital of Rabat. At the center of this project will be the Bank of Africa tower, which will stand 820 feet tall — second tallest in Africa only behind The Pinnacle tower in Nairobi, Kenya. 

The Bourgreg Valley Development project is more than just residential and commercial real estate, though. It will also include a house of arts and culture as well as the creation of natural ecological spaces and the preservation of cultivated land. If everything goes as planned, construction on Rabat’s Grand Theater, which is part of the project, will be finished by early 2019. 

The project aims to transform the urban landscape on both sides of the Bouregreg river and to enhance its attractiveness. According to Zarrou, the Director General of the Agency for the Development of the Bouregreg Valley, construction works of the project are “going well.”

2. Konza Technology City (Nairobi, Kenya)

The Kenyan government is making an enormous investment ($14.5 billion) to create a large technology hub just 64 kilometers south of Nairobi. Not only will this hub include data centers and facilities for light manufacturing and software development, it will also include neighborhoods, schools, shopping malls, hospitals and hotels.

3. Modderfontein New City (Johannesburg, South Africa)

Chinese firm Zendai Property Limited has started development activities for Modderfontein New City, an $8 billion project that will bring affordable housing, education facilities and a financial trade center to nearly 4,000 acres northeast of Johannesburg.

Zendai is offering an ambitious vision for Modderfontein New City’s future, suggesting that it can become the New York City of Africa and that it will someday serve as the capital city of the entire continent.

4. Maputo-Katembe Bridge (Maputo Bay, Mozambique)

The Maputo-Katembe Bridge became Africa’s longest suspension bridge when the $750 million project reached completion in late 2018. In 2019, this bridge will provide an important route across the Maputo Bay, reducing the travel time between Mozambique and South Africa and providing a more direct route for trade activity.

The project includes more than just a suspension bridge, though. The overall development also included 200 kilometers of roads and five smaller bridges located around Maputo Bay. During construction, this project also generated more than 3,000 jobs for the local population.

5. Walvis Bay Port Container Terminal (Walvis Bay, Namibia)

Namibia’s Walvis Bay serves as an important port and safe haven for sea vessels. In 2018, construction of a new Walvis Bay Port container terminal began. This new terminal will eventually broaden Namibia’s access to international markets, stimulate economic activity and provide new jobs to the local population.

This project also calls for new and modern port equipment, as well as training programs for those interested in becoming pilots and operators at the new container terminal. Completion of the project is expected in summer 2019.

6. Bridge Jinja (Kampala, Uganda)

In late 2018, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni cut the ribbon on Bridge Jinja, a 525-meter, $112 million cable-stayed bridge that creates an important connection between the capital city of Kampala on the west bank and other Ugandan cities and the Kenyan border on the east bank.

Given that Uganda is a landlocked country, this new bridge will provide an important import-export route through Kenya in 2019 and beyond.

7. Worker Training Academy (Cairo, Egypt)

Work is underway on Egypt’s New Administrative Capital, located 50 kilometers east of Cairo. One of the centerpieces of this new development is a worker-training academy that will occupy about 50 acres.

The academy will focus on training Egyptians construction workers on the latest and most advanced techniques and systems in the industry. Including this academy as part of the New Administrative Capital will help citizens gain jobs while also creating a workforce for future development in Egypt.

8. Caculo Cabaca Hydroelectric Plant (Dondo, Angola)

In 2017, Angolan officials broke ground on the Caculo Cabaca hydroelectric plant in the city of Dondo. Construction of the plant could last up to five years, but, once finished, it is expected to deliver electricity access to between 30% and 60% of the nation’s population.

The project is expected to create jobs for Angolans, and it will also serve to stimulate the economy as the country will be able to export some of the plant’s electricity to the nearby nations of Namibia and South Africa.

9. Pointe-Noire Special Economic Zone (Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo)

The Pointe-Noire Special Economic Zone in the Republic of Congo is an in-development project that will cover nearly 9,000 acres near a strategically important port that also serves as a hub for the oil industry. It will bring vital infrastructure and manufacturing facilities to this key area that serves as the backbone of the country’s economy.

Once completed, the Pointe-Noire Special Economic Zone is expected to stimulate economic activities within the Republic of Congo, while also creating more than 100,000 jobs for Congolese citizens. The project is expected to generate $1.12 billion by 2022, $2.18 billion by 2026 and $3.57 billion by 2031.

10. North-South Corridor Project (Multiple Countries)

Africa’s population is expected to explode in the 21st century, doubling from its current 1.2 billion to 2.4 billion by 2050. All those people will need significant infrastructure improvements and upgrades to traverse the continent and create economic activity that leads to jobs.

The North-South Corridor Project is perhaps Africa’s most ambitious infrastructure project, including roads and railways that span 6,000 miles across seven countries (Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa) at a cost of $1 billion.

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Business and Development

Sustainable Growers Rwanda Improving The Livelihood Of Female Coffee Farmers

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Sustainable Growers Rwanda (SG-R) is a local non-profit. The organization is offering training to low-income female coffee farmers to improve their livelihood. Majority of the low coffee yields are due to wrong farm practices. Some of the farming techniques SG-R are teaching the female farmers are mulching and timely application of fertilizers and pesticides.

The program SG-R is teaching the female coffee farmers has topics like cooperative management, agricultural practices, governance and leadership, home coffee roasting, and gender mainstreaming. The training happened in the Huye District of Rwanda. The female coffee farmers were also trained in quality control and cupping. These are necessary to increase their access to bigger markets. The Regional Director at Sustainable Growers, Christine Condo, said,

“We have a heavy agenda to enrich women’s potential with skills and means. Their focus and discipline inspire me greatly. These initiatives impact positively on the entire life-cycle of their respective families and Communities. We believe that 60 percent of coffee quality is achieved from the farm. That is why we have been training them to take care of coffee from seedlings to roasting, to cupping and marketing.”

Impact of the training to female coffee farmers

Sustainable Growers Rwanda is training female coffee farmers

A lot of Rwandan female coffee farmers are already reaping the benefits of the training. For example, Prisca Mukamurenzi has been suffering from low yield. The 46-year-old female coffee farmer used to harvest one kilogram of coffee from one tree. However, since attending the training, her fortune has changed for the better.

Mukamurenzi was one of the graduates of the SG-R training program comprising of about 3700 female coffee farmers. In attendance were farmers from the districts of Nyamagabe, Gisagara, Nyaruguru, and Huye. Last year Mukamurenzi was able to generate Rwf460,000 (approx. $510) from 250 kg of coffee. She also increased the coffee trees in her garden from 185 to 250.

To ensure the farmers implemented what they learned, SG-R also developed a reward scheme. The reward scheme called “Wakoze neza Muhinzi”, Premium Sharing Rewards was worth Rwf17 million (approx. $19,000). Depending on their level of performance, the women were rewarded with phones, radios, fabrics (ibitenge), mattresses, solar lights, pruning saws, pruning shears, sprayers, goats, pigs, and cows.

About Sustainable Growers Rwanda

Sustainable Growers Rwanda started its training in Nyaruguru District three years ago. However, the training has spread to other districts in the past years. The aim of their training is to improve the quality and prices of coffee as well as enhance transparency in coffee trading. Female coffee farmers in Nyaruguru are now reaping 100 percent increase in yield.

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Business and Development

Tanzanian Government Wants Visitors To Accept This Minor Inconvenience

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Plastic accumulation is becoming a menace around the globe. Marine life often consumes these plastics which eventually get into humans. Many countries around the world are exploring alternatives to plastic use. However, Tanzania is the latest country to officially place a ban on the use of plastic bags. The ban will take effect from the 1st of June 2019. On Thursday 16th of May 2019, the government released a statement titled “Notice To Travelers Planning To Visit Tanzania” which read in part,

“The Government of Tanzania wishes to make an official note to travelers planning to travel to Tanzania that from 1st June 2019 all plastic bags, regardless of their thickness will be prohibited from being imported, exported, manufactured, sold, stored, supplied and used in mainland Tanzania.”

Consequently, the government is planning to set up a special desk at entry points to ensure total compliance. With the announcement, Tanzania joins about thirteen other African countries that have either introduced levy or banned plastic bags. However, the Prime Minister, Kassim Majaliwa is calling on plastic bag manufacturers to find alternative technologies for bags.

The problem with plastic bags and exceptions to the ban

Tanzania bans plastic waste

The major problem with plastic bags is the length of time it takes to decay. Some researchers are speculating it can take up to 1,000 years. Consequently, their accumulation can lead to flooding when they block drainages. Also, they can prevent rainwater from penetrating the soil leading to low crop yield.

However, the government understands the importance of plastic in packaging and makes exceptions for a few. According to the statement, plastics or plastic packaging for sanitary and waste management, foodstuff, agricultural sector, construction industry, industrial products, and medical services are exceptions to the ban. “Ziplo Bags” used for carrying toiletries are also permitted for travelers since they are unlikely to be disposed of in the country. Another part of the statement reads,

“The government does not intend for visitors to Tanzania to find their stay unpleasant as we enforce the ban. However, the government expects that, in appreciation of the imperative to protect the environment and keep our country clean and beautiful, our visitors will accept minor inconveniences resulting from this plastic bags ban.”

Commendations for the new law

The international community is sending their message of congratulations to the Tanzanian government for the historic move. One of such messages came from Dr. Amani Ngusaru, the WWF Country Director. Ngusaru lauded the move as a boost to environmental and natural resources protection.

“Plastic is a number one polluter of environment and a silent killer of our natural environment and resources than most people understand. This is because it takes more than a hundred years for a single plastic bag to decay. We are happy that Tanzania is among the very few African countries to ban the use of plastic bags and we will work hard toward supporting the government in the fight against plastic pollution”.

Other African countries with a plastic control

In 2007, Uganda placed a ban on lightweight plastic bag. However, the ban was never implemented. In August 2018, Kenya introduced a total ban on the use of plastics. Consequently, those using plastics illegally in Kenya risk 4 years in prison or a fine of $40,000. Also, it is illegal to import, produce, use, or sell plastic bags in Rwanda. Currently, there are over 40 countries around the globe that banned, restrict or tax the use of plastics including Italy, France, and China.

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Business and Development

Tanzania Electric Train Commence Trial In July

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Tanzania electric train

Tanzania is reaching for another economic milestone. The government announced that it was it will be testing its maiden self-funded electric train. The train which will run at 160 km/h will be one of Africa’s fastest high-speed trains. The train will also provide a cheaper means of transport to the citizens.

Further details show that the phase running from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro which has 6 in between stations and stretches 300 kilometers will commence operation in December. The trial trains in phase one will be three passenger trains. However, these trains will conduct daily round trips covering the two cities. Each passenger train will be making a minimum of 9 trips per day.

Difference between Tanzania electric train and regular train

The speed train will make use of concrete sleepers. This allows the railway network to carry as much as 35 tonnes of load per axle and increase its durability. Consequently, the rails should be able to last up to 40 years before any major repairs. However, the train bridge can last up to 100 years.

Speaking at the historic launch of the flash butt welding of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) at Soga, outside Dar es Salaam in Coastal region, Eng. Issac Kamwele, the Minister for Works, Transport and Communications said the trial of the speedy electric train will happen in July. However, the trial will only cover a section of the SGR. In comparison to other country’s SGR, Tanzania’s will be fasters. Kenya and South Africa’s SGR can only reach a speed of 120 km/h

The impact this project will have on the economy

Tanzania government is making great strides to boost the economy of the nation. Recently, the government proposed plans to build cable cars for Mount Kilimanjaro. This is projected to double the current 50,000 annual tourists. However, not many think it is a good idea. A few groups think it will lead to the loss of thousands of jobs.

ALSO READ: Tanzanian Government Considering Cable Car For Mount Kilimanjaro And Here Is How People Reacted

The $1.9 billion (Tshs 4.3 trillion) project has already created over 26,000 job opportunities. However, the government is optimistic that the second and subsequent phases will create more opportunities once fully functional.  The first railway lines in Tanganyika (previously German East Africa) were built after Zanzibar’s first tramway. The Ethio-Djibouti SGR project is currently the longest and first trans-boundary electric railway in Africa.

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