Africa's richest man, Aliko Dangote, plans to invest up to $8 billion to build a Nigerian oil refinery with a capacity of around 400,000 barrels a day by late 2016, the tycoon told Reuters on Tuesday, almost doubling Nigeria's refining capacity.
"This will really help not only Nigeria but sub-Saharan Africa. There has not been a new refinery for a long time in sub-Saharan Africa," Dangote said in a telephone interview.
The country currently has the capacity to produce some 445,000 barrels per day among four refineries, but they operate well below that owing to decades of mismanagement and corruption in Africa's leading energy producer.
Nigeria, the continent's second-biggest economy, relies on subsidized imports for 80 percent of its fuel needs. A surge in domestic capacity would be welcomed by investors in Nigeria, but it would cut into profits made by European refiners and oil traders who would lose part of that lucrative market.
Dangote said the country's ability to import fuel would soon be challenged. "In five years, when our population is over 200 million, we won't have the infrastructure to receive the amount of fuel we use. It has to be done," he said.
Past efforts to build refineries have often been delayed or cancelled, but analysts have said Dangote should be able to build a profitable Nigerian refinery, owing to his past successes in industry and his strong government connections.
The Dangote Group's cement manufacturing, basic food processing and other industries have helped lift his personal fortune to $16.1 billion from $2.1 billion in 2010, according to the latest Forbes estimate.
Nigeria has two refineries in its main Port Harcourt oil hub, one in the Niger Delta town of Warri, and one in Kaduna in the north that serve 170 million people. Not one of them functions at full capacity.
Analysts have said previous attempts to get refineries going have been held back by vested interests such as fuel importers profiting from the status quo. Dangote said this concerned him.
"The people who were supposed to invest in refineries, who understand the market, are benefiting from there being no refineries because of the fuel import business," he said. "Some ... are going to try to ... interfere."
Nigeria's government subsidizes fuel imports to keep pump prices well below the market rate at a cost of billions of dollars a year. Fuel subsidies are the single biggest item on the country's budget.
Dangote said making a new refinery run at a profit would work even if the government failed to scrap the subsidized fuel price that has deterred others from investing.
"We've done our numbers and the numbers are okay."
Africa Internet Summit (AIS) 2013, formerly the joint African Network Operators’ Group (AfNOG) and the African Network Information Centre (AFRNIC) Meeting is pleased to announce that the Africa Internet Summit 2013 would be held in Lusaka, Zambia from 9 to 21 June 2013. Every year, hundreds of people from across the African and Global ICT industry attend the AIS Event.
" While AIS fuels the rapid growth of Internet in Africa with trained technical capacity, our content has been determined by the needs of the community. In so doing AIS's output training capacity has multiplied in the past decade and the community flourished " Dr. Nii Quaynor.
The two-week event includes several training sessions, meetings and plenaries. AfNOG is holding its Workshop on Network Technology, several full-day Advanced Tutorials (10 - 14 June), a Unix Boots Camp (9 June), Africa Internet Standards Workshop (15 June). AFRINIC will be conducting an IPv6 (15 - 17 June) and Internet Resource Management Training (15 June)in addition to its three-day Meeting that includes two-day plenaries and an African Operators Day (19 June). The AIS will also have a day dedicated to Cybersecurity (the CERT cybersecurity Day on 15 June).
The AfNOG Meeting will be held on 18 June and the AFRINIC public policy meetings on 20 and 21 June 2013.
In addition, several side meetings and workshops will be hosted in collaboration with other AF* organisations.
An arrest warrant has been issued against the Chief Executive Officer of the largest mobile telecom network in Ghana MTN, Michael Ikpoki, together with two of his subordinates, Jemima Kotei, Customer Relations Executive, and John Hoffman, Chief Technical Officer, by an Accra Fast Track High Court.
The warrant was issued against the MTN boss based on the fact that he failed to appear in person in court in a case between MTN Ghana and Dr. Raymond Atuguba.
Ikpoki was expected to appear in court on Thursday to answer questions as to why MTN has not complied with the directives of the court to fix communication services for Dr Atuguba.
There are two standard methods of measuring the wealth of countries and how rich or poor its inhabitants are. The measure most often used is Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which represents the size of a country’s economy. The rankings below were published in Wikipedia from International Monetary Fund’s 2011 gross domestic product per capita (GDP per capita) report and reflecting the countries with the lowest purchasing power parity (PPP). Since 1970, there has been encouraging news emerging from developing countries.
According to the UN’s 2010 Human Development Report, life expectancy in developing countries has increased from 59 years in 1970 to 70 years in 2010. School enrollment climbed from 55% to 70% of all primary and secondary school-age children. Also, in the last forty years, per capita GDP doubled to more than ten thousand U.S. dollars. Poor countries are catching up with the wealthier countries, but not all countries are making fast progress.
For example, some countries in Sub-Sahara Africa have little or no progress, largely due to the HIV epidemic and civil wars.
The 10 Poorest African Countries:
#1. Congo, Democratic Republic of the
GDP Per Capita: $348 (As of 2011)
Not to be mixed with the neighboring Republic of Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo has become the poorest country in the world as of 2010. Democratic Republic of the Congo was known as Zaire until 1997. Congo is the largest country in the world that has French as an official language – the population of D.R Congo is about six million larger than the population of France (71 million people in D.R Congo vs 65 million in France). The Second Congo War beginning in 1998 has devastated the country. The war that involves at least 7 foreign armies is the deadliest conflict in the world since World War II – by 2008 the Second Congo War and its aftermath had killed 5.4 million people.
GDP Per Capita: $456 (As of 2011)
Liberia is one of the few countries in Africa that have not been colonized by Europe. Instead, Liberia was founded and colonized by freed slaves from America. These slaves made up the elite of the country and they established a government that closely resembled that of the United States of America. In 1980 the president of Liberia was overthrown and a period of instability and civil war followed. After the killings of hundreds of thousands, a 2003 peace deal was led to democratic elections in 2005. Today, Liberia is recovering from the lingering effects of the civil war and related economic dislocation, with about 85% of the population lives below $1 a day.
GDP Per Capita: $487 (As of 2011)
The government of Zimbabwe released its largest bank note 100 trillion dollar bill issued on January 2009. In addition to the economic problems the life expectancy of Zimbabwe is the lowest in the world – 37 years for men and just 34 for women. One of the problems for the early deaths are the 20.1% of the population with HIV and AIDS. The health issues aren’t seeing any improvement.
GDP Per Capita: $615 (As of 2011)
Burundi is known for its tribal and civil wars. Burundi have never really had any peaceful time between the everlasting civil wars as a result its the fourth poorest country. Owing in part to its landlocked geography, poor legal system, lack of economic freedom, lack of access to education, and the proliferation of HIV and AIDS. Approximately 80% of Burundians live in poverty and according to the World Food Programme 57% of children under 5 years suffer from chronic malnutrition; 93% of Burundi’s exports revenues come from selling coffee.
GDP Per Capita: $735 (As of 2011)
Affected by the Italian colonizers of the 19th century. Eritrea’s advantage of controlling the sea route through the Suez Canal made the italians to colonized it just a year after the opening of the canal in 1869 and same reason the British conquered it in 1941. The present Eritrea’s economic conditions have not improved and real gross domestic product growth averaged 1.2 percent between 2005 and 2008; in 2009 GDP growth was estimated at 2.0 percent.
#6. Central African Republic
GDP Per Capita: $768 (As of 2011)
Despite its significant mineral resources; uranium reserves in Bakouma, crude oil, gold, diamonds, lumber, hydropower and its arable land, it remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Diamonds constitute the most important export of the Central Africans Republic, accounting for 40–55% of export revenues. The 2010 UNDP Human Development Report ranks CAR near the bottom of its Human Development Index (159th out of 162 countries) and unlikely to meet its MDG goals. The proportion of Central Africans living on $1 a day has decreased slightly to 62% but it needs to be half of that in order to reach the 2015 goal.
GDP Per Capita: $771 (As of 2011)
With over 80% of its land is covered by the giant desert of Sahara, Niger has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita in Parity Purchasing Power (PPP) terms of US$771 as of 2011, one of the lowest in Africa. Niger’s poverty is exacerbated by political instability, extreme vulnerability to exogenous shocks and inequality which affects girls, women and children disproportionately. In January 2000, Niger’s newly elected government inherited serious financial and economic problems including a virtually empty treasury and was qualified for enhanced debt relief under the International Monetary Fund program for Highly Indebted Poor Countries.
#8. Sierra Leone
GDP Per Capita: $849 (As of 2011)
A West African country with English as its official language, Sierra Leone has relied on mining, especially diamonds, for its economic base and home to the third largest natural harbour in the world where shipping from all over the globe berth at Freetown’s famous Queen Elizabeth II Quay. It is among the top diamond producing nations in the world, and mineral exports remain the main foreign currency earner and also among the largest producers of titanium and bauxite, and a major producer of gold. Despite this natural wealth, 70% of its people live in poverty. If you have seen the movie Blood Diamond you should know that it is based on Sierra Leone.
GDP Per Capita: $860 (As of 2011)
Malawi has one of the lowest per capita incomes in the world, with 53% (2004) living under the poverty line. In December 2000, the IMF stopped aid disbursements due to corruption concerns, and many individual donors followed suit, resulting in an almost 80% drop in Malawi’s development budget. In 2006, Malawi was approved for relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program. In December 2007, the US granted Malawi eligibility status to receive financial support within the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) initiative. Agriculture accounts for 35% of GDP, industry for 19% and services for the remaining 46%. In addition, some setbacks have been experienced, and Malawi has lost some of its ability to pay for imports due to a general shortage of foreign exchange, as investment fell 23% in 2009.
GDP Per Capita: $899 (As of 2011)
This small, sub-Saharan economy suffers from anemic economic growth and depends heavily on both commercial and subsistence agriculture, which provides employment for a significant share of the labor force. Cocoa, coffee, and cotton generate about 40% of export earnings with cotton being the most important cash crop. Togo is among the world’s largest producers of phosphate. Approximately one half of the population lives below the international poverty line of US$1.25 a day.
GDP (gross domestic product) is the sum of the gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources.
GDP PPP (purchasing power parity) is gross domestic product converted to international dollars using purchasing power parity rates. An international dollar has the same purchasing power over GDP as a U.S. dollar has in the United States. Purchasing power parities (PPPs) are the rates of currency conversion that eliminate the differences in price levels between countries.
GDP (PPP) per capita is GDP on a purchasing power parity basis divided by population. Please note: Whereas PPP estimates for OECD countries are quite reliable, PPP estimates for developing countries are often rough approximations..
Switzerland, for the fourth consecutive year, tops the overall rankings in The Global Competitiveness Report 2012-2013, released today by the World Economic Forum. Singapore remains in second position and Finland, in third position, overtaking Sweden (4th).
The report confirms that Africa’s competitiveness has been improving in recent years, although the region continues to be characterized by wide regional disparities. South Africa (52nd) and Mauritius (54th) continue to lead the rankings, followed by Rwanda (63rd), Seychelles (76th) and Botswana (79th).
Top 10 African Competitive Economies on
Tunisia (44 on World map)
South Africa (54)
Kenya is ranked number 11 in Africa and 106 worldwide. Here is the full list
However, 14 of the 20 overall lowest-ranked economies are from Africa. The region has been improving in recent years in specific areas, such as educational attainment and goods market efficiency, but a persistent infrastructure deficit and health concerns continue to be significant bottlenecks.
This year’s Global Competitiveness Report introduces five additional sub-Saharan African economies: Gabon (99th), Guinea (141th), Liberia (111th), Seychelles (76th) and Sierra Leone (143rd). Looking forward, countries in Africa continue to require comprehensive efforts across the board to improve their competitiveness.
Despite growing its overall competitiveness score, the United States continues its decline for the fourth year in a row, falling two more places to seventh position. In addition to the burgeoning macroeconomic vulnerabilities, some aspects of the country’s institutional environment continue to raise concern among business leaders, particularly the low public trust in politicians and a perceived lack of government efficiency.
On a more positive note, the country still remains a global innovation powerhouse and its markets work efficiently.The report suggests that Switzerland and countries in Northern Europe have been consolidating their strong competitiveness positions since the financial and economic downturn in 2008. On the other hand, countries in Southern Europe, i.e. Portugal (49th), Spain (36th), Italy (42nd) and particularly Greece (96th) continue to suffer from competitiveness weaknesses in terms of macroeconomic imbalances, poor access to financing, rigid labour markets and an innovation deficit.
The large emerging market economies (BRICS) display different performances. Despite a slight decline in the rankings of three places, the People’s Republic of China (29th) continues to lead the group. Of the others, only Brazil (48th) moves up this year, with South Africa (52nd), India (59th) and Russia (67th) experiencing small declines in rankings.
Download the full Global Competitiveness rankings
Behind Singapore, several Asian economies are performing strongly, with Hong Kong SAR (9th), Japan (10th),Taiwan, China (13th) and the Republic of Korea (19th) all in the top 20.
In the Middle East and North Africa, Qatar (11th) leads the region while Saudi Arabia remains among the top 20 (18th). The United Arab Emirates (24th) improves its performance while Kuwait (37th) declines slightly. Morocco (70th) and Jordan (63rd) improve slightly.
In Latin America, Chile (33rd) retains the lead and a number of countries have improved their competitiveness, such as Panama (40th), Brazil (48th), Mexico (53rd) and Peru (61st). Read more highlights of the report.
“Persisting divides in competitiveness within regions, between regions and among emerging markets are harming productivity, and this is jeopardizing our future prosperity,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum. “We urge governments to act decisively by adopting long-term measures to enhance competitiveness and return the world to a sustainable growth path.”
Xavier Sala-i-Martin, Professor of Economics, Columbia University, USA, said: “The Global Competitiveness Index provides a window on the long-term trends that are shaping the competitiveness of the world’s economies. In this light, we hope it offers insight into the key areas where countries must act if they are to optimize their economic development.”