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Tagged with "business"
Africa beer sales surge despite church and mosque Tags: African News Business Religion Africa beer
JOHANNESBURG/LAGOS - Beer sales in Africa are surging because of economic and population growth, a trend rubbing against the grain of another demographic factor defining the region: intense religiosity.

By almost any measure, Africa is an exceptionally devout place and the major growth area for Christianity and Islam.
 
This should have implications for investors, especially in the fast-growing retail and beer sectors: they must navigate sacred sensitivities in areas such as marketing and factor the faithful into forecasts and demographic profiles for the continent's population of just over a billion.
 
Brewing executives have said they tone down their advertising campaigns in Africa, and these do tend to be conservative.
 
In Nigeria for example, scantily-clad women tend not to feature on billboards promoting beer brands. Instead, a man in a suit is portrayed sipping a refreshing cold lager, or more often than not the ad shows just a giant bottle and glass.
 
According to a 2010 report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, the number of Muslims living in Sub-Saharan Africa rose 20-fold from 1900 to 234 million.
 
Christianity has grown at an even more blistering pace, with numbers soaring almost 70-fold over the same period of time to 470 million from just 7 million.
 
And in the case of Christianity, much of this growth has been concentrated in Pentecostal churches and other evangelical denominations which, like Islam, tend to frown on alcohol.
 
The Pew survey also questioned people in 19 African countries about their views on alcohol consumption and found that majorities in all but 3 countries - Cameroon, Chad and Democratic Republic of Congo - found it morally objectionable.
 
"Views on this issue are related to how religious a person is," said Neha Sahgal, a Pew research associate.
 
"What we found is that in most of the countries those who pray several times a day are more likely to find drinking alcohol morally objectionable than those who pray less," she told Reuters in a phone interview.
 
RELIGIOUS AND THIRSTY
 
Against this backdrop of piety, the conservative approach to advertising seems to be working.
 
Home to some of the world's fastest growing economies, Africa's thirst for beer and spirits is surging: analysts estimate beer volumes rose around 7 percent last year. Excluding the mature South African market, growth reached more than 10 percent.
 
Drinks companies want to maintain the momentum.
 
SABMiller is investing up to $2.5 billion over the next five years to build and renovate breweries on the continent. African sales of rival Diageo, the maker of Guinness, have risen by an average 15 percent in each of the last five years, accounting for 14 percent of the group's total.
 
Nigeria's 160 million people are now the world's second biggest consumer of Guinness, after Britain, and analysts expect it to take the number one slot within a couple of years. Cameroon, with a much smaller population of around 20 million, is the fifth biggest.
 
In Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, which is evenly divided between Islam and Christianity, church and mosque numbers are exploding alongside beer consumption.
 
Beer turnover in Nigeria is growing faster than its economy.
 
"At the moment, beer consumption is about 19.5 million hectoliters in 2012 and growing at about 8-9 percent per annum," said Esili Eigbe, an analyst at Stanbic IBTC, who covers the brewery sector.
 
A number of factors could explain this.
 
Africa's population is young and many of the region's converts find their religious zeal only as they grow a little older. In any case, most people's drinking peaks in their 20s.
 
And a lot of Africans, like a lot of people on other continents, are both religious and thirsty.
 
"People's sense of morality sometimes doesn't correspond with their behaviour. This is not unique to Africa," said Sahgal, an expert on polling on religious issues.
 
Some Africans are perfectly comfortable with this fact.
 
"Islam advises against alcohol but does not force you. I drink to help me relax after a hard day's work," said Wasiu Abudu, a 42-year-old auto mechanic who lives in Lagos.
 
Source: Reuters
Forbes Hails Changes in Africa’s Business Environment Tags: Business News African News News
The vice president of Forbes media says the launch of the Forbes Afrique magazine is a sign of better business possibilities in Africa. Christopher Forbes said his organization is celebrating free enterprise and the entrepreneurial spirit following the official launch of the Forbes Afrique magazine.
 
“We are at a unique moment in time [and] there [are] a lot of exciting things happening in Africa. And also things aren’t going so well in the rest of the world that we can’t keep pointing fingers saying we know best,” Forbes said in Brazzaville.
 
“The moment is right for a magazine like Forbes to be launched here, where we celebrate free enterprise and the entrepreneur spirit because we are seeing that emerge in francophone Africa and in fact throughout Africa.”
 
He said some African countries are becoming less volatile, which he said is a better environment for business development.
 
“There is greater stability here, the rest of the world have realized that we didn’t always get it right doing some of the other things that we’ve done. There are natural resources here, but there is also a change in mindset here,” said Forbes.  
 
 Some analysts say Forbes Afrique could face stiff competition from other French language magazines with deeper roots in the francophone countries of Africa.
 
Forbes magazine has an African English version published in South Africa. But, Mr. Forbes said it was appropriate that French-speaking African countries to have a magazine that addresses business aspects in francophone Africa.
 
 
“French speaking Africa needs the capitalist tool as well,” Forbes said.
 
Officials of the magazine say Forbes Afrique’s readership will include policy makers and business people and everyone whose ambition drives them to reach positions of responsibility in the business world.
 
But Forbes also warned potential investors to make sure they work with reputable businesses in Africa.
 
“Choose your partners carefully,” he said. “We are very lucky in our partner Mr. [Lucien] Ebata.  I think that’s a key thing. Get the best advice and get to know people on the ground.”
 
 “It isn’t [only] that these resources can be useful for the rest of the world, they’ve got to be useful for the people living here [in Africa] as well and being enjoyed by a much broader spectrum of the population.”
 
He said Forbes Afrique magazine is in Africa to stay.
 
“When my grandfather started the [Forbes] magazine in 1917, his very first editorial was that business isn’t about pilling up millions, it’s about creating happiness,” said Forbes. 
 
“As long as this generation of entrepreneurs will increasingly … realize that it’s not just about realizing their visions, but their visions enriching the lives of others;  that is a very important part of real capitalism.”
 
Forbes said the business climate is getting better in African countries, which he said is encouraging to local and international partners looking to invest on the continent.
 
Source: voanews
China state news agency slams Clinton remarks on Africa trip Tags: African News Politics Africa Do Business
China’s official news agency hit back on Friday at suggestions by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Beijing is only interested in Africa for its natural resources, adding a further layer of tension to already testy Sino-U.S. ties.
 
Speaking in Senegal earlier this week, Clinton did not name China, but said Washington wanted a “partnership that adds value, rather than extracts it”, adding the days of outsiders taking Africa’s wealth for themselves should be over.
 
Xinhua news agency hit back at Clinton’s comments, saying her Africa trip was a “plot to sow discord between China (and) Africa”.
 
“Whether Clinton was ignorant of the facts on the ground or chose to disregard them, her implication that China has been extracting Africa’s wealth for itself is utterly wide of the truth,” it wrote in an English-language commentary.
 
“Ironically, it was the Western colonial powers that were exactly the so-called outsiders, which, in Clinton’s words, came and extracted the wealth of Africa for themselves, leaving nothing or very little behind.”
 
Clinton’s trip is partly aimed at promoting United States trade and political ties to African nations as an alternative to China, whose influence has been growing fast as Beijing works to win access to the continent’s rich cache of minerals, timber and oil.
 
Chinese President Hu Jintao last month offered $20 billion in loans to African countries over the next three years, boosting a relationship that has been criticised by the West and given Beijing growing clout in the resource-rich continent.
 
But critics say China supports African governments with a no strings approach to aid despite dubious human rights records as a means to get access to resources, a charge denied by Beijing.
 
Xinhua said Clinton’s “hidden agenda” in Africa was plain to see.
 
“As commentators across the world have pointed out, the trip is aimed at least partly at discrediting China’s engagement with the continent and curbing China’s influence there. Her remarks betrayed an attempt to drive a wedge between China and Africa for the U.S.’ selfish gain.”
 
While such commentaries are not official statements, they may be read as a reflection of Chinese government thinking on important issues.
 
Source: channelstv
West African countries cut taxes to fight food prices Tags: Politics And Social Issues Western Africa Business Mews African News Mali News Niger News Ivory Coast
West African countries - Mali, Niger and Ivory Coast have slashed or removed taxes on a range of imported basic foods as they try to contain rising food prices, which led to protests in a number of countries when they last spiked five years ago. Grain prices hit record highs on international markets in July as drought scorched crops in the U.S. midwest and Russia, prompting the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization to warn that it was concerned about prices although it did not yet see a repeat of the 2007/08 crisis.

Russia's heatwave has fuelled speculation about export restrictions in the Black Sea producer, while U.S. corn and wheat prices at times rose by 50 percent in the last six weeks and remain close to highs.
 
High food prices sparked riots in countries such as Egypt, Cameroon and Haiti five years ago, although the UN has pointed out supplies of staple rice are more comfortable this time.
 
Global food price pressures come as many in West Africa celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which traditionally drives up prices, and as a food crisis affecting some 18 million people across the Sahel peaks with the onset of annual rains.
 
"I know we are in a period of rising prices, especially when it comes to basic foods like sugar. But I call on businesses to respect promises that they made with the ministry of trade," Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou said in a speech late on Thursday, referring to meetings between the government and traders last month.
 
Niger has removed all taxes on imported cereals but figures produced by the country's SIMA agricultural information index showed the price of cereals was 45 percent higher in July than during the same month last year.
 
In markets in the dusty capital, 100 kg of millet now costs 30,000 CFA francs, up from 25,000 CFA the month before and 19,000 at the same time last year.
 
The same amount of maize cost 25,000 CFA francs in July, up from 19,000 CFA the month before, according to SIMA.
Saley Saidou, the land-locked nation's trade minister, blamed failed rains in Niger and the high cost of transport from ports in nations to the south, as well as world prices for the increases.
 
Alarm is growing that an expected fall in U.S. grain exports could cause shortages and further jumps in prices worldwide.
Niger, a uranium-producing nation that straddles the south of the Sahara, saw street protests against the cost of living during the 2007-8 food price spike.
 
Neighbouring Mali, which is gripped by a political crisis in the south and whose northern desert zone is occupied by a range of Islamist forces, has slashed taxes on imported rice and sugar as it too seeks to keep prices under control.
 
Customs and value added tax on imported rice were reduced in May to a combined 2.5 percent, down from 31.28 percent. Meanwhile, the tax bill for sugar importers has been brought down from 105 percent to 2.5 percent.
 
The move is a welcome relief for a country seeking stability after a March coup precipitated the fall of the north to a mix of rebel forces.
 
"This year I was surprised to buy a kilogramme of sugar even cheaper than the price fixed by the authorities," said Moussa Doumbia, a stonemason. "Long may it continue."
 
Even top cocoa grower Ivory Coast, which with its ports is spared the same costs of transporting goods hundreds of kilometres north towards the Sahara but is still recovering from months of post-election violence last year, has been forced to act.
 
The government this week temporarily suspended all taxes on rice imports, estimated at some 900,000 tonnes a year, denying the government some 7 billion CFA in revenues.
 
"This decision was taken as the government wants to maintain the price of rice at a level that corresponds to the purchasing power of the Ivorian population," government spokesman Bruno Kone said after a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
 
Source: Reuters
China strengthens Africa ties with $20 billion in loans Tags: African News China In Africa Politics Business News Investments
Chinese President Hu Jintao on Thursday offered $20 billion in loans to African countries over the next three years, boosting a relationship that has been criticized by the West and given Beijing growing access to the resource-rich continent.

The loans offered were double the amount China pledged for the previous three-year period in 2009 and is the latest in a string of aid and credit provided to Africa's many poverty-stricken nations.
 
The pledge is likely to boost China's good relations with Africa, a supplier of oil and raw materials like copper and uranium to the world's most populous country and second-largest economy.
 
But the loans could add to discomfort in the West, which criticizes China for overlooking human rights abuses in its business dealings with Africa, especially in Beijing's desire to feed its booming resource-hungry economy.
 
Hu brushed off such concerns in his speech at the Great Hall of the People, attended by leaders including South African President Jacob Zuma and Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema, a man widely condemned by rights groups as one of the world's most corrupt leaders.
 
"China wholeheartedly and sincerely supports African countries to choose their own development path, and will wholeheartedly and sincerely support them to raise their development ability," Hu said.
 
China will "continue to steadfastly stand together with the African people, and will forever be a good friend, a good partner and a good brother", he added at the summit held every three years since 2000.
 
Hu also pledged to "continue to expand aid to Africa, so that the benefits of development can be realized by the African people". He did not provide an amount.
 
Hu said the new loans would support infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and development of small and medium-sized businesses in Africa.
 
"CHEQUE BOOK" APPROACH
 
Critics say China supports African governments with dubious human rights records as a means to get access to resources.
 
The EU has rejected what they call China's "cheque book" approach to doing business with Africa, saying it would continue to demand good governance and the transparent use of funds from its trading partners.
 
Such criticism draws rebukes from China that the West still views Africa as though it were a colony. Many African countries say they appreciate China's no-strings approach to aid.
 
"Africa's past economic experience with Europe dictates a need to be cautious when entering into partnerships with other countries," Zuma told the forum.
 
"We are particularly pleased that in our relationship with China we are equals and that agreements entered into are for mutual gain," Zuma added.
 
"We certainly are convinced that China's intention is different to that of Europe, which to date continues to intend to influence African countries for their sole benefit."
 
China's friendship with Africa dates back to the 1950s, when Beijing backed liberation movements in the continent fighting to throw off Western colonial rule.
 
GROWING TRADE LINKS
 
Chinese state-owned firms in Africa also face criticism for using imported labor to build government-financed projects like roads and hospitals, while pumping out raw resources and processing them in China, leaving little for local economies.
 
"Certainly quite a number of us are thinking we need to move into more value addition," South African's Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies told Reuters.
 
"We need to export mineral products in a more processed form ... We need to bite this bullet very seriously."
 
Trade has jumped in the past decade, driven by Chinese hunger for resources to power its economic boom and African demand for cheap Chinese products.
 
China's trade with Africa reached $166.3 billion in 2011, according to Chinese statistics. In the past decade, African exports to China rose to $93.2 billion from $5.6 billion.
 
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China 601398.SS, for example, the world's most valuable lender, has invested more than $7 billion in various projects across the continent.
 
Source: Reuters
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"WHY ALL OF THIS ARE HAPPENING IN AFRICA.IS THIS A CASE OF END..."
In: African woman Naked Her Self For RICHES (PHOTOS, Cameroon)
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