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According to the IMF (Regional Economic Outlook in Sub-Saharan Africa - April 2021), the contraction observed in 2020 due to the pandemic, estimated at 1.9%, is a little less severe than expected last October, but it remains the worst result never recorded in the area. Regional growth is projected to be 3.4% in 2021, but output per capita will not return to its 2019 level until after 2022.

Ivory Coast: The traffic of the port of San Pedro reached 4.75Mtons in 2020 (cotton, cashew nuts, minerals, cocoa, palm oil, rubber, cement products). The relocation and expansion of the container terminal started in 2021. It will accommodate 14,000 TEU vessels with 15.5m drafts. It will offer two berths of 800 linear meters on 30 hectares and 8 latest generation gantries. Expected capacity: 1 MEVP.

In Côte d'Ivoire, the "Société Africaine de Plantations d'Hévéas" (SAPH) is starting the construction of its 6th natural rubber production unit. Location: Soubré (south-west of the country). Investment: 17 billion CFA francs. Processing capacity: 60,000 tonnes of rubber per year, then expansion to 120,000 tonnes per year. Planned start-up date: November 2022.

MSC will increase the capacity of LCT (Lomé Container Terminal) from 2.2 to 2.7 MEVP. Investment: € 29.8 million. With 1.36 MEVP handled in 2020, LCT's share in the overall container traffic of the port of Lomé is around 90%, ahead of TogoTerminal (Bolloré Transport & Logistics).

In Zimbabwe, National electronics assembly plant opens. Company: Zimbabwe Information Technology Company (Zitco), collaboration between the telecoms company TelOne, Flushcord Enterprises and the Chinese company Inspur. Products: Smartphones, computers, tablets, ammeters and other ICT equipment. Planned capacity: 50,000 to 150,000 units / year. Workforce: approx. 100 employees. In the short term, the plant will equip 1,500 schools that will be connected to the Internet by June 2021 (March 30th 2021 - The Herald.

The shipowner Hapag-Lloyd, the world's fifth largest container shipping company, acquires the Dutch shipping company Nile Dutch, which is particularly well established in West and South Africa.

The company Le Piston Français (LPF) inaugurated a new factory in February 2021. Location: Nouaceur (33km south of Casablanca). Production: Circular hard metal parts for jet engines. Investment: 6.16MUSD. Area: 0.7ha, of which 4.1ha is covered. Planned workforce: 100 in 2024. LPF opened its first Moroccan plant in 1999. The company operates 3 production sites, in France, Poland and Morocco.

Morocco has 142 companies in the aeronautics sector. Morocco’s dual strategy, in both manufacture of parts and assembly, is beginning to pay off, as the aeronautics sector has become a major contributor to the national economy. The local integration rate reached 38% in 2020.

According to the African Development Bank, the construction of the road corridor between the port of San Pedro (Côte d'Ivoire) and Bamako (Mali) should be completed in June 2021. The journey times which were 6 hours in 2014 on each of the sections going from Zantiébougou to the border of Côte d'Ivoire and from Boundiali to Kani will be brought back between 1:40 and 2 hours. The establishment of a one-stop-shop, the connection of customs IT systems, a vehicle and goods tracking system will make it possible to go from 10 to 3 days for the processing of containers in the port of San Pedro. The border transit of a truck between Côte d'Ivoire and Mali will be reduced from one day to three hours.

Ethiopian Airlines and Air Djibouti have partnered with the Port of Djibouti to provide an air and sea freight platform from Djibouti airport. The goal is to recover around 50% of the 850,000 tonnes of goods that arrive in Dubai by boat to be transported to the African continent by air.

Pasabahce Egypt (a subsidiary of Turkish glassware and glass packaging producer Sisecam) is upgrading its glassware production plant in Cairo, with $ 30 million in funding from the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Launch of works on the Kano (Nigeria) - Maradi (Niger) rail link. Planned commissioning date: 2023. Work carried out by Mota Engil (Portugal). Investment: 2 billion USD. Link length: 284 km. A secondary link will join Dutse (capital of Jigawa State) to Kano (Nigeria). A significant portion of Niger's import / export traffic now passes through the port of Abidjan.

South Africa: Ford Co is investing $ 1.05 billion to modernize its facilities and increase vehicle production. Location: Silverton Assembly Plant (east of Pretoria). Production increase from 168,000 to 200,000 per year. Investment: $ 683 million (new robotic workshop, stamping unit). Products: Ranger pick-up for the domestic market and exported to nearly 100 countries. Staff: +1200.

In Ethiopia, the Soufflet group starts producing malt in its “Soufflet Malt Ethiopia” factory. Location: Addis Ababa. Initial production capacity: 60,000 tonnes of malt which will eventually be increased to 110,000 tonnes. Barley is supplied from the local sector (Ethiopia is the leading barley producer in Africa with 2.3 Mt/year).

CMA CGM will manage and operate “Pier 55”, the future multipurpose terminal of the port of Alexandria. With a capacity of 1.5 million TEUs, this terminal will be operational in 2022. It will cover an area of 56ha with more than 2km of quays.

In Gabon, the Chinese company Jia Ming Plastics Manufacturing has inaugurated a plant for converting plastic waste into strips. Location: Special Economic Zone of Nkok. The production of recycled plastic straps will be used for the packaging activities of wood exports. Production: 300 tons of strips / month. Direct jobs created: 500. Investment: 1 billion FCFA. The Nkok SEZ is home to 88 companies specializing in wood processing, of which 61 are already operational and 27 are under construction.

Cameroon: Eramet has started the second phase of its exploration work on the rutiliferous block of Akonolinga, in the Center region of the country. The potential of this block is estimated at 500,000 tonnes of rutile.

In 2019, intra-regional trade in Africa weighed 15% of the total total trade of this continent. In terms of containers, according to figures from Container Trade Statistics, intra-sub-Saharan trade weighed 237,000 TEUs during the first nine month of 2019.

Total trafic of Tanger Med harbour reached 5.7 millions TEU in 2020, +18% compared to 2019

The Egyptian company AOI (Arab Organization for Industrialization) and the German company Tönnjes have joined forces to operate an automobile license plate factory. The joint venture was initiated in 2019 at the "Compact with Africa" conference in Berlin. Location: Cairo. Production: 3 to 4 million units per year.

“Complexity of arbitrations in the fight against deforestation, desertification and global warming in Africa” (“Point of view” – Observatoire Europe-Afrique 2030 – 29th January 2021)

“Promote a third generation mini-grids design / manufacture / construction sector in Africa” (Observatoire Europe-Afrique 2030 – August 2020)

Get involved in the activities of the Observatory…

Blog: “Corruption in Africa: a slow improvement, contrasting situations” (October 30, 2020)

The Drewry “World Container Index” of ocean freight has recovered exponentially since the beginning of June 2020. As of January 14, 2021, it stands at $ 5,237 for a standard 40 ‘container, an increase by 320% compared to May 2020.

Case study : “International supply chains: Comparative performances of major ports in the Gulf of Guinea” – Observatoire Europe-Afrique 2020 – 26th April 2020

“Laying the Tracks: The Political Economy of Railway Development in Ethiopia’s Railway Sector and Implications for Technology Transfer”. (Working Paper No. 2021/43 – Yunnan Chen. 2021.  – China Africa Research Initiative, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Washington, DC.)

 “Twenty Years of Data on China’s Africa Lending” – CARI (China-Africa research Initiative) – Briefing paper n°4 – Kevin Acker and Deborah Brautigam – 2021

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