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Kenya Eyes Geothermal Deal In Ethiopia

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Kenya Electricity Generating Company is among seven entities that have won the first round of call for tenders to drill wells for a 150 Megawatts (MW) geothermal steam power plant in the Oromia region of Ethiopia.

Corbetti Geothermal—the company that is developing the Corbetti geothermal project in Ethiopia—received final bids from the seven firms last month and is expected to pick the winner soon.

The results for the initial call, which have been published by Corbetti shows that KenGen will be competing with Great Wall Drilling Company, Grey Wolf Drilling, Iceland Drilling Company, Marriot Drilling, Schlumberger and a consortium of Baker Hughes-Tsavo Oilfield Services and Parker Drilling.

KenGen is already working on two geothermal contracts in the Horn of Africa country.

The firm, in February 2019, won part of a Sh7.6 billion contract to supply geothermal drilling services to the Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP).

This was followed up with a Sh5.2 billion tender from Tulu Moye Geothermal Operations Plc—an independent power producer located in the eastern region of Ethiopia— to drill wells and offer geo-scientific survey.

Earlier announcement by Corbetti had shown that it expects an agreement for the geothermal wells to be reached and signed shortly after New Year to allow drilling to start in early in the year.

The selected firm will be responsible for drilling three geothermal exploration wells and up to 26 production wells.

The project will be developed in two faces split between 50 MW and 100 MW.

It was not immediately clear how much Corbetti plans to spend on the 150MW. The entire project was estimated to go up to 1,000MW and cost U$4 billion.

KenGen has close to four decades of experience in steam power and runs several geothermal stations in Kenya, with Olkaria I power station being the first geothermal power plant in Africa.

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Business

DRC Opposition Protests Against Phone Tax

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Martin Fayulu, DRCs leader of opposition coalition LAMUKA has called upon all citizens to take to the streets and demand for the abolition of a controversial mobile phone tax.

In June 2020, the DRC government set up – through the ICT, Post and Telecoms Ministry – a CEIR system (Central Equipment Identification Register), with the aim to fight fake devices and the theft of mobile devices.

However, Telephony mobile users claim the Mobile Device Registry (RAM), a controversial new tax is robbing them of their units and making them poorer.

In terms of RAM, mobile operators are cutting a big chunk of units monthly from their customers’ mobile devices, which many users believe is too high and unnecessary.

“We are calling for the immediate withdrawal of RAM. Because it’s theft, a scam. That no one is demobilized. Let’s march and denounce it because it is outright  theft. Once withdrawn, all money collected must be returned, ”said Martin Fayulu.

During a meeting this Saturday, October 16, 2021 in Kinshasa, Martin Fayulu called for the outright abolition of this fee.

During the rally, the leader of Lamuka pinpointed other topical issues, including the issue of appointing the leaders of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI).

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Tanzania’s Economy Records 4.3% Expansion in 2nd Quarter

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Tanzania’s economic outlook seems very impressive as the country registered a 4.3% expansion between April and June according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Compared to the country’s economic performance in the same period last year, there has been a 0.3% upward expansion.

Briefing the media on Friday, Daniel Masolwa NBS Director of Economics Statistics, said, “Real GDP increased to Shs 33.4trillion from Shs 32trillion in the corresponding period in 2020, an equivalent to a 4.3% growth,” he said.

During the second Quarter of 2020, Tanzania’s economy registered the lowest growth rate of 4.0% since 2017 mainly due to the devastating effects of Covid-19 pandemic following the introduction of lockdowns and many countries to mitigate spread of this pandemic.

However, Masolwa tried to cool down any skepticism saying, the annual economic growth in 2021 is projected at a 5.0% rate. In terms of economic activities, he  said, during the period under review, information and communication attained the highest growth of 12.3%, followed by electricity generation at 12.1%.

Meanwhile, other services include arts and entertainment and households as employers (10.8%), accommodation and food services (10.1%), water (8.4%), and mining and quarrying (7.3%).

According to Masolwa, the expansion of economy by 4.3% during the second Quarter of 2021 was spearheaded by key drivers of growth which include Agriculture (13%), transport and storage (8.4%), trade and maintenance (8.1%), manufacturing (7.6%) and construction (7.1%).

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Siemens To Invest In Rwanda’s Vaccine Production

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In 2018, Siemens announced it was considering investing in the Rwandan market and that it had mapped out areas of interest.

This German multinational is the largest industrial manufacturing company across Europe. It also has departments dedicated to investing in African regions.

Four years later, Sabine Dall’Omo the Siemens CEO of Southern and Eastern Africa, on Monday October 10, 2021 led a delegation to Rwanda to discuss potential partnership and investment opportunities.

According to Rwanda Development Board, the Siemens team held discussions with government officials and RDB staff.

This contact between Rwanda and Siemens comes at a time the East African country is mobilising for establishment of a standard Guage railway linking the country to the neighboring countries of Tanzania and Uganda.

Rwanda also has an ambitious futuristic project of introducing Unmanned aerial cable car system in the capital Kigali. For Siemens this could be an opportunity worth tapping into owing to its experience in Automation and Metro Projects.

Another opportunity on offer is enery generation, and transmission. Rwanda needs targets to increase its generation capacity to 556MW by 2024 from the current 235.6MW. The current access to electricity is at 66% but the country’s target is 100% in 2024. Such ambitious targets require courting industry experts like Siemens.

Siemens has revealed that some of its activities coming up in Rwanda include vaccine production and technology transfer for Bugesera International Airport.

In January 2018, Siemens was in Rwanda and had conducted an investment exploration of the opportunities and viability of the market and had announced that they were looking to have deliberations with the government seeking a commitment on working together.

However, Siemens like most european firms pursue investiment models that make it expensive for host countries yet China, India and other asian firms could offer the same at affordable costs.

“Our main focus as a firm is delivering quality as opposed to be being cheap and reducing cost,” said Andre Bouffioux, the Chief Executive of Siemens for Belgium, and West and Central Africa.

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