11 August 2015

Cameroon: Despite oil and security crisis, Treasury Department rakes in 1.2 trillion in earnings in the first half of 2015

(Business in Cameroon) - The downturn in global oil prices on the international market and the security challenges at the borders with the Central African Republic and Nigeria, which are slowing the performance of the tax and customs administrations, did not seem to affect the Treasury Department. Indeed, in the first six months of 2015, the government was able to raise 1.2 trillion FCFA in revenue, surpassing initial forecasts by 100 billion FCFA, according to Ministry of Finance statistics.
“Cameroon has the advantage of being a country with a diversified economy. Although oil is a part of our budget, it represents around 20% of our revenue. This allows us to say that, with 80% of revenue from domestic taxes, Cameroon is able to face external issues,” explained the Cameroonian Finance Minister, Alamine Ousmane Mey (photo), in the margins of the last board meeting of Banque des Etats de l’Afrique centrale (BEAC).

Ivorian group Atlantique to build a cocoa processing factory in Cameroon

(Business in Cameroon) - Kone Dossongui, Ivorian head of Atlantique (Atlantic Télécom, Atlantic Financial Group) already present in Cameroon through the bank of the same name, was received on July 29, 2015 in Yaoundé, by the Cameroonian Minister of Economy. The Ivorian businessman came to present to Minister Nganou Djoumessi the progress of his plan to create a cocoa consortium in Cameroon.
It is an agro-industrial project in three parts, including the creation of cocoa farms in the country, the construction of a cocoa processing plant and the setting up of a producers’ association.
The project has been so well received by the Cameroonian authorities that it falls in with plans to revive the cocoa-coffee sector, adopted by the Cameroonian government in September 2014. Implemented at the start of 2015, the plan aims to produce 600,000 tonnes nationally by 2020 against the current annual average of 200,000 tonnes.

Africa: A continent of opportunity for pharma and patients

by  on 03 August 2015
The value of Africa’s pharmaceutical industry jumped to $20.8bn in 2013 from just $4.7bn a decade earlier. That growth is continuing at a rapid pace: we predict the market will be worth $40bn to $65bn by 2020.

That’s good news for multinationals and pharmaceutical companies seeking new sources of growth as developed markets stagnate. It’s also good news for patients, who have gained access to medicines previously unavailable on the continent. Yet it isn’t enough to know where the industry’s next growth engine can be found. Leaders must also understand what is driving growth, what challenges they are likely to face, and how to collaboratively work with health systems to win in this complex environment.
What’s driving growth
Africa’s pharmaceutical markets are growing in every sector. Between 2013 and 2020, prescription drugs are forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 6%, generics at 9%, over-the-counter medicines at 6%, and medical devices at 11%. Three factors are driving this growth:
Urbanisation. Africa’s population is undergoing a massive shift. By 2025, two-fifths of economic growth will come from 30 cities of two million people or more; 22 of these cities will have GDP in excess of $20bn. Cities enjoy better logistics infrastructures and healthcare capabilities, and urban households have more purchasing power and are quicker to adopt modern medicines.
Healthcare capacity. Between 2005 and 2012, Africa added 70,000 new hospital beds, 16,000 doctors, and 60,000 nurses. Healthcare provision is becoming more efficient through initiatives such as Mozambique’s switch to specialist nurse anesthetists and South Africa’s use of nurses to initiate antiretroviral drug therapy. The introduction of innovative delivery models is increasing capacity still further.
The business environment. To create a more supportive environment for business, governments have introduced price controls and import restrictions to encourage domestic drug manufacture; required country-specific labeling to reduce counterfeiting and parallel imports; and tightened laws on import, wholesale, and retail margins. In the pharma industry, meanwhile, pharmacy chains are consolidating, horizontal and vertical integration is on the rise, and manufacturing is expanding. A flurry of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, partnerships, and private-equity deals are further extending Africa’s markets.
What it takes to win

10 August 2015

Brought to you by: The Anzisha Prize

For many African women, the opportunities for becoming an entrepreneur and growing formal businesses are even scarcer than for their male counterparts.
Women typically struggle more with accessing loans from banks and other financial institutions in many African countries, and are often not given the same opportunities in education due to beliefs around traditional roles of men and women. For many low-income families, when given the choice to send either the son or daughter to school, the son is typically given preference.
This year, only 27% of applicants for the Anzisha Prize were women. However, one country stands out – Rwanda. While its small population meant overall number of applications from the country was only a fraction of Nigeria’s, what was interesting is that close to 60% of applicants were women.
This seems to represent the country’s overall focus around women empowerment. After Rwanda’s genocide in 1994, women made up 70% of the population, and President Paul Kagame has since introduced a number of initiatives to support women in business, education and politics. In fact, Rwanda has caught the attention of international media over the years for being the only country in the world to have more women members of parliament than men.
“It is exciting to see Rwanda take such progressive steps. Women empowerment has considerable benefits for any economy’s growth and development, and we hope that other African countries follow Rwanda’s example,” says Grace Kalisha, senior programmes manager at the African Leadership Academy.
In celebration of Rwanda’s impressive proportion of women applicants, The Anzisha Prize has highlighted some of these entrepreneurs below.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Finalists for the Anzisha Prize, Africa’s premier award for its youngest entrepreneurs, have not yet been announced. The entrepreneurs profiled below have been selected randomly, and are not necessarily winners.