Africa’s largest diamond producing country threatens to sever ties with De Beers

Africa’s largest diamond producing country threatens to sever ties with De Beers: Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi warned Sunday that his country could sever ties with diamond giant De Beers if talks to renegotiate a sale go against his government.

Africa’s largest diamond producing country threatens to sever ties with De Beers

The country is Africa’s largest diamond producer, and Masisi has called on his people to support his government as it tries to strike a better deal, according to Bloomberg, which was seen by Future Leaders Academy of Africa. Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi warned Sunday that his country could sever ties with diamond giant De Beers if talks to renegotiate a sale go against his government.

A 2011 agreement governing the terms of marketing diamonds produced by Debswana – a 50-50 joint venture between the government and De Beers, which auctions most of the gems – was set to expire in 2021.

It has been extended by both parties, citing the coronavirus outbreak as the reason for delaying the conclusion of negotiations, and will run until June 30, 2023.

“If we don’t reach a win-win situation, each side will have to pack up and leave the agreement,” Masisi said at a rally of his ruling Botswana Democratic Party in his village, Mochoba, 65 km from the capital. Gaborone.

Masisi said Botswana was facing a “Goliath” in terms of negotiations.

Under the 2011 agreement, De Beers sold 90% of the diamonds and Botswana sold 10% through its subsidiary, the Okavango Diamond Company. In 2020, Botswana’s share was increased to 25%.

“Now we have had an insight into how the diamond market works and we have discovered that we were receiving less than we should,” said Masisi. “We also found out that our diamonds are profitable and that the (2011) agreement did not benefit us.”

WHO: Africa sees “massive increase” in cholera cases

WHO: Africa sees “massive increase” in cholera cases: “We are witnessing an alarming scenario, where conflict and extreme climate change are exacerbating cholera pathogens and increasing the loss of life”.

Eliza Tangwe, 18, takes a dose of oral cholera vaccine at a health centre in response to the latest cholera outbreak in Blantyre, Malawi, November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Eldson Chagara

WHO: Africa sees “massive increase” in cholera cases

The World Health Organization revealed in a statement that Africa is witnessing a “massive increase” in the number of cholera cases, as the number of cases recorded on the continent in the first month of 2023 alone reached more than 30 percent of the total number recorded throughout the year 2022. According to the WHO Regional Office for Africa, based in Brazzaville, about 26,000 cases and 660 deaths have been reported since the beginning of the year until January 29 in ten African countries. It should be noted that nearly 80,000 cases of infection and about 1,863 deaths have been recorded in 15 affected countries in 2022, while 141,467 cases and 4,094 deaths have been recorded in 2021.

The World Health Organization warned that the continuation of the current accelerated upward trend will mean that cases recorded in the current year will exceed what was documented in 2021, which is the worst year for cholera in Africa in nearly a decade.

Average death rate from infection: about three percent

The organization also said the average death rate from infection with the disease is currently about three percent, far exceeding the acceptable level of less than one percent, noting that the bulk of new cases and deaths have been recorded in Malawi. This is facing the worst cholera outbreak in the country’s history. Recently, Malawi’s neighbors, particularly Mozambique and Zambia, have reported cholera cases. In East Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia are experiencing outbreaks of the disease in the midst of severe and prolonged drought, leaving millions in desperate need of humanitarian assistance.

According to the same source, Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria have also reported cases. Against this backdrop, WHO Regional Director for Africa Matshidiso Moeti said, “We are witnessing an alarming scenario, where conflict and extreme climate change are exacerbating cholera pathogens and increasing the loss of life”.

The car market is growing in Africa

The car market is growing in Africa. After the Covid-19 parenthesis, this market has enormous potential. Governments are setting up industrialization strategies, the big powers and the big manufacturers are eyeing the continent.

Covid-19 has slowed down the expansion of the car market

All automotive experts agree that Africa will be the new vehicle sales market of the future. Currently strongly dominated by the sale of second-hand vehicles, this trend seems to be slowing down to make way for an industrialization of the sector and the promotion of the sale of new vehicles. Several manufacturers have already taken this step and are now producing their vehicles on the African continent. In a context governed by environmental restrictions in Western countries, the main players in automobile distribution are turning to Africa to meet the growing needs expressed by the middle class, giving priority to markets in which the granting of credit for vehicle purchases is still underdeveloped.

The automotive market in Africa has great prospects

The African car market is valued at USD 30.44 billion in 2021, and is expected to reach USD 42.06 billion by 2027, registering a CAGR of 5.55% over the forecast period (2022 – 2027).

The COVID-19 pandemic had a very negative impact on the market, and the majority of the region’s markets have not recovered, and demand is still lagging behind pre-COVID levels. Demand for new vehicles in the African region increased through 2018. In 2019, due to a slowing economy, new vehicle sales declined by 4 percent to 1.17 million units from 1.22 million units in 2018. Passenger cars accounted for 73.81%, while commercial vehicles accounted for 26.18%.

However, demand in key countries such as Egypt, etc., is providing momentum and is expected to continue over the forecast period, creating a positive outlook for the market. Although there was a decline in overall new vehicle sales, commercial vehicles in 2019 increased by 0.33% to 308,319 units from 307,301 units sold in 2018. In 2020, Egypt saw an increase in new vehicle sales of 26.55% to 231,238 units. compared to 182,713 units sold in 2019.

The African market has one of the highest growth prospects in the world. Multinational automakers currently setting up production facilities in Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and other countries clearly indicate that there is potential to boost manufacturing for the automotive market in this region. South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Algeria have significant automotive assembly and manufacturing sectors.

Contract manufacturing is another major growth driver for companies with OEM manufacturing franchises. For example, Kenya Vehicle Manufacturers, in which the government has a stake, holds franchises for Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen and Chrysler. Another local company, AVA, assembles medium and heavy commercial vehicles for Mitsubishi and Fuso and Scania, Toyota, Hino and Tata.

Growing government initiatives expected to increase demand in Africa for cars

The car market is growing in Africa

According to Mordor Intelligence’ report, the African market has strong growth prospects (See map of africa). Governments and regulators in the region have taken steps to import and export used vehicles. For example :

The Zimbabwe Automobile Association, along with other members of the African Council of Automobile and Touring Clubs, has called on importing and exporting countries to take steps to promote safer and cleaner used vehicles in Africa. The formation of the African Automobile Manufacturers Association (AAAM) has begun to benefit from reforms and policies. For example, any car company that sets up a local assembly plant in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana could benefit from tax exemptions of up to 10 years and duty waivers.
The level of infrastructure is also increasing in Africa, which is likely to help the region’s automotive market. West and North Africa is expected to drive growth until 2023, where countries such as Ghana and Morocco are expected to be the major players.

  • Ghana aims to become a developed country by 2030. If the country reaches even half of the target, Ghana’s automotive market is expected to grow at a rapid pace, as economic growth is directly proportional to the growth of automotive markets.
  • Morocco’s integration into the global economy has been facilitated by the signing of numerous free trade agreements with the European Union and the United States. These trade agreements have contributed positively to the emergence of export activities in the country.
  • Governments in the region are taking the necessary steps to encourage OEMs from around the world to locate their manufacturing facilities in the region, which should increase demand for new vehicles.

Big powers and big manufacturers are interested in the car market in Africa

Africa’s population is expected to double over the next 30 years, reaching 2.4 billion by 2050, according to United Nations projections. Over the same period, vehicle sales are expected to rise from 1 million in 2016 to 2.5 million in 2025. In Africa, women account for only 2% of car sales, compared to 33% in developed countries. So there is huge potential for growth. Consequently, the car market is growing in Africa.

A panel calling for a “better integration of the African automotive industry” was organized in the wake of the 14th edition of the US-Africa Business Summit 2022 held in Marrakech. After having relocated a large part of their production to other destinations, the major car manufacturers are now starting to turn massively to Africa, both for production and a growing consumer market. As a result, the giants of the sector are reinvesting in the continent, multiplying the creation of production units.