Talking Drums

The West African News Magazine

Markets Around Africa

Entrepreneurs in Senegal, Mauritania show the way

Compiled by Ben Mensah

Do not lose hope if your small to medium sized enterprise in Africa or any other ACP country cannot take advantage of the offers of finance and technology from Europe published so far in this column.

For under the Lome Convention, the Centre for Industrial Development (CID) has not relented in its efforts to mobilize the know-how of European industry for industrialisation of Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

Two more of such offers are on hand to be contacted by ACP entrepreneurs through CID quoting their reference numbers.

A Danish company (Ref 83/87a) wishes to get in touch with ACP companies to manufacture wood-based building components (roof trusses, floor, wall and roof components) for both private housing and public buildings, such as factories, offices, schools, health centres etc. It expects to make optimal utilisation of local raw materials.

The Danish company is open to joint venture agreements, licencing arrangements, sale of know-how, or the provision of turn key operations. The project requires a plot of 10,000-15,000 m² with a capacity for prefabricated components for approximately 300-500 houses per year.

Investment in production machinery and equipment is expected to be US$0.5 million.

An Irish company (Ref 83/88a) interested in producing in ACP countries the following products from polyethylene film:

a) heavy duty sacks (printed) for fertil- izers and other products. 6,000,000 units a year for an estimated investment of US$1,765,000. b) Shrink wrap: 300 tons a year for an investment of about US$176,500.

c) Light gauge bags: 300 tons a year for an investment of about US$235,000. The company is open to joint venture agreements.

On the other hand you may seize the opportunity of submitting the details of your enterprise to the CID which in turn will advertise it in its publications for the attention of prospective EEC industries. The CID address is Rue de l'Industries 28, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium.

Two of such descriptions from Senegal and Mauritania which were lodged with the CID are reproduced below not only to guide you but also to assure you of a similar prompt action on your application.

A Senegalese promoter with experience in the leather and skins sector wishes to establish a hides and skins tannery with the following annual capacities:

Cowhides - 64,000 Sheepskins - 91,000 Goatskins - 45,000 Total - 200,000

Of the envisaged production 70,000 units a year are to be finished leather for the local garment industry. The rest of the production is to be exported semi-processed.

The promoter requires an EEC partner who will supply equipment and provide technical and marketing assistance and who will, if possible, take a share of the equity.

An existing firm in Mauritania wishes to extend its production of cardboard boxes by installing a unit to produce corrugated cardboard.

Financial arrangements for this project are almost finalized.

An EEC technical partner is required to supply equipment, take charge of start-up and assist with the overall organisation of production. A second hand installation in good condition will be preferable due to low capacity requirements. Canada's food aid to Africa The Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for External Affairs, Mr Allan J. MaCeachen, has announced that Canada will contribute an ad- ditional 4,490,000 dollars in humanit- arian assistance for victims of what might well become the most serious famine in African history. The funds will be used primarily for food aid, but will also help to provide clean drinking water and basic health care. This emergency assistance will be made available through the Canadian rate.

International Development Agency (CIDA) and will be administered by the League of Red Cross Societies (3,000,000 dollars) and three non governmental organisations: the Canadian Catholic Organisation for Development and Peace (925,000 dollars), Canadian Council of Churches (455,000 dollars) and the Lutheran World Foundation (110,000 dollars).

Canada has already provided 75,000,000 dollars in food aid during the past year to governments of the most seriously affected countries, and 15,000,000 dollars, earmarked for the drought victims of Africa, to the international emergency food reserve administered by the World Food Programme.

While helping to abate immediate distress, Canada is also providing long term assistance to African economies to increase their agricultural production and their ability to cope with food shortages. World Bank loan for gas project Nigeria has obtained a World Bank loan of about 16,700,000 naira to speed up the development of the country's gas resources. A statement in Lagos signed by the bank's resident representative, Eichright Houssein, said the loan would, among other things, assist the country in preparing the first major infrastructure project in the gas sector.

It will also cover the basic engineering requirements of the Lagos pipeline ELP gas system. The ELP gas system is described as the Government's highest priority project in the energy sector.

The statement said that the loan agreement provided for an extensive programme to train Nigerian National Petroleum Company staff to reinforce their capacity to handle the existing gas system and other development projects being planned. The country's gas reserves are estimated at about 85 trillion standard cubic feet. The World Bank loan is for 17 years, including four years grace with a variable interest

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