Dangote’s net worth set to rise substantially
Africa’s richest man, Nigerian Aliko Dangote’s business empire continues to grow. Contractors are putting final touches on a fertilizer plant valued at $5 billion. Close to it, an oil refinery valued at $12 billion is also taking shape. Dangote already owns Africa’s largest cement plant which is also set to become one of the largest in the world on completion of a fifth production line soon. He also owns many other businesses all over Africa. However, the new fertilizer plant and oil refinery are of much interest at the moment. At their completion, they will increase Dangote Industries’ revenues from the current $4 billion to about $30 billion annually. His personal net worth is certainly going to rise and he will launch another bid to buy English Premiership side Arsenal. This is serious money.
Fuel costs next to nothing in Venezuela
Fuel in Venezuela costs almost nothing. Petrol costs an equivalent of US$0.01 while diesel is even less than a cent. This is probably because Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. In Africa, there are several countries where fuel is also very cheap. In Algeria, petrol costs US$0.35 while in Nigeria it costs US$0.40 per litre. Diesel costs $0.19 in Algeria and $0.31 in Egypt. In order to understand this, we need to consider that average fuel prices in the world are US$1.10 for petrol and US$1.04 for diesel. In Zimbabwe, petrol costs RTGS $3.34 while diesel is about RTGS $3.15. This translates to US$1.33 and US$1.26 respectively using the official exchange rate of 1:2.5. If we use parallel market rates, the price reduces to less than 1 US Dollar per litre.
Rwanda doing everything right
Rwanda seems to be doing everything right when it comes to their economy. They continue to experience rapid economic growth over the recent past. The early 90s civil war and genocide are long gone and almost forgotten now. The economy has been growing at an average of 7% since the year 2000. Inflation is around 4.5%. They are ranked 29th out of 190 countries on the Doing Business 2019 report. They were ranked a distant 158th just in 2007. Zimbabwe is ranked 155th. From relying heavily on coffee exports, Rwanda is industrialising at a fast pace. Renowned car manufacture Volkswagen recently set up shop there, creating at least 1000 jobs in the process. These are good signs and Zimbabwe needs to borrow a leaf from Rwanda.
Africa’s first floating solar park
Burdened by intermittent power supply, Western Cape farmers outside Franchhoek in South Africa have built Africa’s first floating solar park. It produces 60 kilowatts of energy, enough to power their irrigation pumps, fruit packaging and keep the lights on. The floating park also acts as a buffer from the sun thereby reducing evaporation of the dam water. So, while improving power supply, it also preserves water which they use for irrigation. It is believed that having solar panels on the water also improves performance of the parts as water acts as a cooling system. This is innovation at its best.