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Kenya’s Firm Basra Textiles Opens Factory in Zanzibar

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Kenya’s firm Basra Textiles Ltd is setting up a U$51.3 million factory in Zanzibar as it targets to get a pie of the regions clothes market.

It is hoped that the factory, which was launched by President Samia Suluhu Hassan this week, will give a new impetus to Tanzania’s textile industry, which has the potential to become a significant sourcing location for foreign buyers.

With the factory at Chunguni area in Zanzibar, Basra Textiles is targeting export markets across East and Central Africa, its company chief executive officer, Ahmed Othman, said on Tuesday.

The global textile industry was estimated at around $920 billion in 2018, and it was projected to reach approximately $1,230 billion by 2024, available global data show.

Tanzania, which also enjoys duty-free market access to the United States through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa) as well as to the European Union, is unfortunately importing most of its textile requirements mainly from China, India, Pakistan and Korea among others, official data show.

The country’s few locally-processed fabrics (Kitenge and Kanga) are used by domestic users and exported to neighbouring countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as to China.

Thus, with Agoa and EU arrangements, Basra Textiles Lis also seriously eying the EU and the US markets.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which officially came into effect on January 1, this year, also offers new markets for Basra Textiles.

This is because apart from facilitating the movement of capital and people, and taking steps to create an Africa-wide Customs union, the AfCFTA also compels member states to slash 90 percent of tariffs on goods traded within the area.

Mr Othman said the factory will be implemented in three phases whereby upon its completion by 2024, it would provide direct employment to a total of 1,600 people.

“It will produce 250,000 metres of polyester per day, translating into seven million metres per month,” he said.

He said apart from Khanga and Kitenge, the company will also produce bedding among others.

“We target to sell our products in the US, EAC, Central Africa and Europe,” he said.

He said the first phase involves maintenance and repairing of buildings as well as installation of machinery while the second phase was to buy cotton and later produce fabric.

The third phase will involve the construction of a tailoring factory and the fixing of 500 tailoring machines.

It is at that phase that production of clothes will start and the number of jobs created by the factory will rise, Mr Othman said.

 

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Business

Flights From Dubai To Nairobi Resume

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Kenya government has lifted a ban on flights from Dubai entering its territory ending a weeks-long dispute with the United Arab Emirates.

The East African nation had imposed a ban on all inbound and transit passenger flights from the Middle East nation two weeks ago. The ban was lifted Monday midnight, offering a major relief to hundreds of travellers between the two destinations.

The ban did not however affect cargo flights that are normally flown by carriers such as Kenya Airways (KQ) and Emirates airline from UEA into Kenya.

“Kenya shall do a NOTAM lifting the suspension of flights to and from UAE from midnight tonight (Monday),’’ said Gilbert Kibe Director-General Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA).

The ban came a few days after UAE extended the Kenya flight ban after it established that travellers from Nairobi were testing positive for Covid-19 after arrival in the Middle East nation, despite carrying negative test results.

Kibe said the scheme involved a racket of private medical testing centres that colluded with travellers to issue fake Covid-19 PCR results to aid their travel.

The Ministry of Health has however launched investigations into the matter with a view to bringing to book health officials who were involved in the shoddy deal that has now coasted Kenya millions of shillings in lost passenger revenues.

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Bralirwa Shares Trading Badly On Rwanda Stock Exchange

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Since the just concluded festive season, Rwanda’s largest brewer has not been in good books with its clients as retailers repeatedly complain of lack of some products and  sometimes rationing of beers.

“It is very hard to get grand Primus beers. Every time I send someone to get them from the depot we are told that distributors  haven’t supplied,” says Christine Nyiramariza a bar owner in Gatsibo district.

Trending on twitter is a very confusing situation of Amstel beer filled in Mutzig bottles.

According to Rwanda Stock Exchange, as of Friday, the value of Bralirwa share had dropped to Rwf124.

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Equity Bank Gets £37m From British Agency To Lend SMEs

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UK’s Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford MP (pictured above) said his government was extending a total of £37 million to Equity Bank Kenya for onward lending to small businesses.

“Our economic partnership is delivering impressive results, and we have some ambitious, exciting plans for the future. Plans that will deliver for Kenya, and for the UK, long into our shared future,” she said.

This money is being channeled through UK’s development finance institution British International Investment (BII) – formerly known as CDC Group. BII is a key part of the UK government’s wider plans to mobilise up to £8 billion a year of public and private sector investment in international projects by 2025.

This will include BII partnering with capital markets and sovereign wealth funds to scale up financing and help the private sector move in.

BII will prioritise sustainable infrastructure investment to provide clean, honest and reliable financing and avoid low and middle-income countries being left with bad and unsustainable debt.

Ford also stated that the UK will increase its support for green manufacturing in Kenya by providing an additional £400,000 to help Kenya build a green manufacturing industry, increasing its support to the Ministry of Trade and the wider Kenyan manufacturing sector in this area.

Green manufacturing was highlighted by President Kenyatta at COP26 as a key opportunity for Kenya to create new green jobs.

The funding through the UK’s Manufacturing Africa programme will provide expert analysis and advice on how government policy and the organised private sector can help build this industry and create new green jobs for Kenyans.

Kenya is already the third biggest portfolio for BII, with Sh42 billion investments across 83 companies. Those companies support 36,350 jobs and pay Sh2.6 billion in taxes.

“This is how we will deliver world-class projects, characterised by high standards and outstanding expertise, without forcing huge new debts onto countries such as Kenya,” she said.

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