Saudi Arabia to Sign Contracts Worth $533 Million with African Countries

Saudi Arabia – The Saudi Fund for Development (SDF) is poised to sign agreements totaling $533 million with various African countries and institutions. These agreements are part of Saudi Arabia’s strategic expansion of its development and investment initiatives in Africa.

According to Africa News Agency, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, which manages assets exceeding $700 billion, is also expected to announce substantial investments across the African continent. This move signifies a deepening of economic ties between Saudi Arabia and African nations, potentially leading to significant economic growth and development opportunities in the region.

Ford Announces $281 Million Investment for Hybrid Vehicle Production in South Africa

South Africa – American automobile giant Ford is set to invest 5.2 billion rand ($281 million) in its South African factory for the production of hybrid vehicles. The investment will facilitate the production of the Ranger plug-in hybrid model, which is expected to roll out by the end of 2024.

According to Africa News Agency, The significant investment by Ford underlines South Africa’s role as a key player in the global automotive industry, particularly in the context of the increasing demand for environmentally friendly vehicles. Approximately 75% of vehicles manufactured in South Africa are exported, primarily to European countries, which are progressively moving towards banning the sale of thermal engine vehicles by 2035. The automotive sector in South Africa is a vital component of the national economy, accounting for 5% of the country’s gross domestic product and generating over 100,000 direct jobs.

Transnet Grapples with Revenue Loss Due to Increasing Theft and Vandalism

Pretoria, South Africa – The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises expressed serious concerns about the impact of theft and vandalism on Transnet’s revenue, following a briefing from the entity on its annual report and financial statements for the 2022/23 financial year.

According to parliament of South Africa, Transnet reported a significant increase in cable theft in the freight rail division over the past five years, with security-related incidents of theft and vandalism of infrastructure rising by 179 percent. This escalation has led to soaring revenue losses and repair costs. Committee Chairperson Mr. Khaya Magaxa highlighted the alarming amount spent by Transnet on private security, a concern also raised by labor union representatives questioning the efficacy of the security companies hired.

The committee observed that efforts to combat theft and vandalism are falling short, as evidenced by the low conviction rate of perpetrators. Another area of concern is the underspending on capital projects, which could further impact Transnet’s revenue-generating capacity.

The committee noted that Transnet failed to meet various targets in the reviewed year, with only 26.3% of targets achieved, a decline of 12.3%. Members emphasized the need for a turnaround plan to ensure tangible progress and vowed to monitor developments closely.

Board chairperson Mr. Andile Sangqu agreed with the committee’s observations, citing the lingering effects of state capture. He also highlighted Transnet’s need for assistance in addressing its substantial debt of R130 billion.

On the topic of privatization, Minister of Public Enterprises Mr. Pravin Gordhan reassured that no such plans are in motion. However, leveraging private-sector participation is necessary given Transnet’s debt level and operational constraints.

The committee also expressed dissatisfaction with meeting Transnet and its new board post the resignation of three top executives, noting that the entity reported a loss of R5.7 billion in the 2022/23 financial year.

Morocco Launches First Locally Manufactured Cars by Neo Motor

Morocco – Neo Motor, a Moroccan car manufacturer, is set to market its first locally made vehicles this month, marking a significant milestone in Morocco’s automotive industry. The company has already registered around 200 orders, with the first deliveries slated to fulfill orders received in March and April.

According to Africa News Agency, the factory, located in the Kenitra region, was constructed with an investment of around 156 million dirhams. The facility boasts a production capacity of 27,000 units per year. This development is expected to boost local vehicle and spare parts production projects, contributing to the growth of Morocco’s burgeoning automotive sector.

Bogandé Holds Session to Adopt Initial Budget for 2024

Bogandé, Burkina Faso – The special municipal delegation of Bogandé convened on November 9 and 10, 2023, for its ordinary session, focusing on the adoption of the initial budget for the 2024 fiscal year. The session was presided over by PDS Taugolo PARE and held in the town hall of Bogandé.

According to Burkina Information Agency, members of the special municipal delegation reviewed various budgetary documents before unanimously voting on the initial budget for 2024. The approved budget amounts to 353 million 687 thousand 627 CFA francs in revenue and expenditure. This includes 189 million 531 thousand 827 CFA francs for the operating section and 185 million 312 thousand 053 CFA francs for the investment section.

The session also involved deliberations on several key issues, including setting the discount rate for the sale of municipal stamps, modifying budgetary forecasts, and establishing several committees. These committees comprise a Self-assessment Monitoring Committee for the Municipality’s Performance Measures, a Management Committee for Upkeep and Maintenance (GEM), a Social Project Management Unit (MOS), and the adoption of the initial budget for 2024.

PDS Taugoulo PARE used this occasion to motivate members of the special delegation, town hall department heads, and community partners to achieve greater results in municipal development. The session began with a minute of silence in remembrance of former mayor Max Adolphe Lankoandé, who passed away in October, and the four VDP members who fell on November 7.