Africa, June 2021: A new focus report produced by the Oxford Business Group (OBG), in partnership with the International Sugar Organization (ISO), explores the potential that Africa’s sugar industry holds for growth on the back of an anticipated rise in regional demand. The report was presented to ISO members during the MECAS meeting at the Organization’s 58th Council Session, on June 17th 2021.
Titled “Sugar in Africa”, the report highlights the opportunities for investors to contribute to the industry’s development by helping to bridge infrastructure gaps in segments such as farming and refining and port facilities.
The report considers the benefits that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) could deliver by supporting fair intra-African sugar trade efforts and bringing regulatory frameworks under a common umbrella, which will be key to improving competitiveness.
The increased international focus on ESG standards is another topical issue examined. Here, the report charts the initiatives already under way in Africa supported by green-focused investment with sustainability at their core, which will help to instil confidence in new investors keen to adhere to ESG principles in their decision-making.
In addition, subscribers will find coverage of the impact that Covid-19 had on the industry, with detailed analysis provided of the decrease in both worldwide sugar production and prices, as movement restrictions and social-distancing measures took their toll on operations.
The report shines a spotlight on sugar production in key markets across the continent, noting regional differences in terms of output and assessing individual countries’ roles as net exporters and importers.
It also includes an interview with José Orive, Executive Director, International Sugar Organisation, in which he maps out the particularities of the African sugar industry, while sharing his thoughts on what needs to be done to promote continental trade and sustainable development.
“The region is well advanced in terms of sugar production overall, but several challenges still hinder its full potential,” he said. “It is not enough to just produce sugar; producers must be able to move it to buyers efficiently. When all negotiations related to the AfCFTA have concluded, we expect greater investment across the continent and a clearer regulatory framework.”
Karine Loehman, OBG’s Managing Director for Africa, said that while the challenges faced by Africa’s sugar producers shouldn’t be underestimated, the new report produced with the ISO pointed to an industry primed for growth on the back of anticipated increased consumption across the continent and higher levels of output in sub-Saharan Africa.
“Regional demand for sugar is expected to rise in the coming years, driven up by Africa’s population growth and drawing a line under declines triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said. “With sub-Saharan Africa’s per capita sugar consumption currently standing at around half of the global average, the opportunities to help meet increasing domestic need by boosting production are considerable.”
The study on Africa’s sugar industry forms part of a series of tailored reports that OBG is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of country-specific Growth and Recovery Outlook articles and interviews.
Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange to Commence Gold Trading
With the admission of Dukia Gold’s diversified financial instruments backed by gold as the underlying asset, Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange is set to commence gold trading.
According to Dukia Gold, the instruments will be in form of exchange-traded notes, commercial papers and other gold-backed securities, adding that it will enable the company to deepen the commodities market in Nigeria, increase capacity, generate foreign exchange for the Nigerian government to better diversify foreign reserves and create jobs across the metal production value chain.
Tunde Fagbemi, the Chairman, Dukia Gold, disclosed this while addressing journalists at Pre-Listing Media Interactive Session in Lagos on Thursday.
He said, “We are proud to be the first gold company whose products would be listed on the Lagos Futures and Commodities Exchange. The listing shall enable us facilitate our infrastructure development, expand capacity and create fungible products.
“This has potential to shore up Nigeria’s foreign reserve and create an alternative window for preservation of pension funds. A gold-backed security is a hedge against inflation and convenient preservation of capital.”
“As a global player, we comply with the practices and procedures of London Bullion Market Association and many other international bodies. Our refinery will also have multiplier effects on the development of rural areas anywhere it is located,” he added.
Mr Olusegun Akanji, the Divisional Head, Strategy and Business Solutions, Heritage Bank, said the lender had created a buying centre for verification of quality and quantity of gold and reference price to ensure price discovery in line with the global standard.
Suez Canal: Evergreen Blocking Main Commerce Route Was Successfully Refloated – Authority
The evergreen vessel that blocked Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest waterways, was successfully refloated at 4:30 am Egypt local time on Monday, according to Authority.
The vessel has now restarted its engines, stated the Egyptian crew that worked hard to dislodge the vessel.
First moment of the Egyptian crew celebrations after freeing Evergiven in Egyptian Suez Canal world trade will be resumed shortly Thanks #Egypt#Banama #Japan #suezcanel #Suez #قناة_السويس #السفينة_الجانحة #Evergreen #SuezBLOCKED #EVERGIVEN pic.twitter.com/kLyrY00KgO
— Fawzy (@AhmedFawzy007) March 29, 2021
Egyptian authority had announced on Sunday that 369 vessels were on queue and waiting to pass through the blocked Suez Canal.
— Alvin Foo (@alvinfoo) March 28, 2021
However, with the vessel now freed, the authority could announce resumption of operations through the canal on or before Wednesday but could take weeks for all the vessel past through given its daily operation of 50 vessel.
According to Lloyd’s List, the Suez Canal blockage disrupts supply of over $9 billion worth of goods each day. This, experts believe would impact would further drag on global supply chain that had already been impacted by coronavirus pandemic.
“You normally have about 50 or so ships a day going through the canal, obviously at the moment it’s about 300 ships backed up … this is an enormous traffic jam, which is at both ends of the canal,” Tim Huxley, director of Mandarin Shipping said on Monday.
“This will take quite a while for the whole supply chain to get back to normal and that’s gonna have an impact on manufacturers, retailers right across the board,” said Huxley.
500,000 Families Earned $500m Cashew Export, Says FG
The Federal Government on Sunday put the country’s earnings from the export of cashew at $500m and stated that this was supporting about 500,000 families across the country.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, disclosed this in Abuja when he signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United States Department of Agriculture West Africa PRO-Cashew Project.
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said in a statement issued in Abuja by an officer in the press department, Okeh Juliet, that the project would be for the development of the cashew agro industry.
The minister said the initiative would improve productivity, expand the national hectarage of the crop and achieve national food and nutrition security, revenue generation, exchange earnings, wealth creation and employment across the country.
“Nanono informed (his guests) that government’s focus is to continuously and sustainably develop the commodity for export because since the 1990s cashew has increased the Nigerian Gross Domestic Domestic ranking as the second non-oil export foreign exchange earner for the country,” the statement stated.
The ministry added, “It (cashew export) generated about $500m for the country in 2018, providing livelihood for about 300,000 to 500,000 families mostly youths and women in Nigeria.”
The minister was further quoted as saying, “Currently, the national production capacity of cashew in 2020 is 260,000 metric tonnes on 100,000 hectares of land. Average yield is 600kg/ha as against the global average of 1.23kg/ha.”
He said the latest initiative would help the ministry achieve an increased production capacity, rising from 260,000MT in 2020 to 350,000MT by 2023 and processing capacity from 15 per cent in 2020 to 35 per cent by 2023.
To kickstart the collaboration with the USDA West Africa PRO-Cashew project, Nanono constituted the Cashew Value Chain Working Committee to look into the problems and challenges affecting the growth of the sub-sector in Nigeria.
He said the committee with the support of USDA West Africa PRO-Cashew Project would develop a 10-year strategic plan for Nigeria cashew project.
The Chief of Party/ Managing Director, USDA West Africa PRO-Cashew Project, Jeans Guay, said the project was a five-year West Africa project that would be implemented by cultivating on new frontiers in agriculture.
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