According to Bloomberg, SABMiller is planning a new  beer plant in southern Tanzania in the near future. No further information on the location was provided, however the new brewery will most likely be set up in Mbeya or Iringa, the main towns in southern highlands.

Due to rise in global commodity prices, and to make beer more affordable, the giant beer maker is planning to produce more cheaper, locally- influenced beer brands such as Chibuku Shake Shake and Eagle throughout Africa. Using local ingredients such as sorghum and cassava, the home-brew beer market in sub-sahara (excluding South Africa) is estimated to be valued at $3B, almost double the value of industrial beer market drinkers.

According to the company’s third quarter results, “Tanzania delivered larger volume growth of 4% [compared to other countries in Africa] despite infrastructure challenges”. Tanzania Breweries Limited (TBL) is the local subsidiary for SABMiller in the country.

Hello folks

I’m currently coordinating and organizing the event below slated to take place next week in NYC. You are most welcome to attend and show your support. Please visit for further information. Thank you.


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President Kikwete promised that this year’s Leon Sullivan Summit in Tanzania would be of a lifetime. More than 2,000 delegates from 40 countries were expected to arrive for the summit, bringing together African and African-American business and political leaders to Arusha and Zanzibar, Tanzania from June 2-6.

The five day summit which opened yesterday will focus on investment opportunities in Africa, particularly in infrastructure development, tourism and other areas such as energy, manufacturing, housing and capital market.

Andrew Young, Rev. Jesse Jackson and actor Chris Tucker are some of the prominent business leaders attending the summit. Delegates will get a chance to visit Tanzania’s tourist attractions of Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Zanzibar.

For more information about the conference, please see:





Last week, AP published a story quoting a report by United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) citing Tanzania as one of 22 countries “particularly vulnerable” and “threatened” by current global food crisis.

This comes after the Minister of Finance Mustapha Mkulo was recently quoted by Bloomberg News saying that “Tanzania’s ability to meet domestic consumption needs may shield it from the type of food shortages and hunger affecting other parts of the developing world“.

Already, the food prices have caused the annual inflation to shoot to an almost double digit figure of 9.7% in April 2008.

Other “particularly vulnerable” countries are: Burundi,  Tajikistan, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Zambia, Central African Republic, Mozambique, Tanzania, Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Malawi, Cambodia, North Korea, Rwanda, Botswana,  Kenya.

The countries that are “particularly affected”, where the situation is much more dire, are Eritrea, Niger, Comoros, Haiti and Liberia.

The high rising cost of food has led to increased hunger, protests and riots in some countries. “High oil prices, growing demand, flawed trade policies, panic buying and speculation have sent food prices soaring worldwide. Food riots have occurred in Haiti, Egypt and Somalia this year”, AP says.

While there are a some analysts who still believe the jury is still out on the contribution of biofuel industry to the current global food crisis (they believe this emerging industry is being scapegoated), IFAD’s (International Fund for Agricultural Development) presentation at the recently concluded UN’s 16th Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, stated that biofuels “appear to exert direct influence on the feedstock market” and that there are “statistically significant inter-linkages between” biofuels and agricultural commodities. These commodities such as maize, cassava, oilseeds and palm oil, predominantly used as food, and are now grown as feedstock for generating biofuel such as ethanol, particularly in Brazil and United States.

Other mentioned long term causes of the global food crisis are weather-related production shortfalls; gradual reduction in the level of stocks, mainly cereals since the mid-1990s; while on the supply side, change in consumption patterns from starchy foods towards more meat and diary in the last few decades, particularly in countries like India and China, have intensified demands for animal feed grains competing with food for human consumption. 

Ironically, rising food prices can bring a windful and a blessing to those farmers and economies with surplus food to sell to those in need.





The long anticipated flotation of a top Kenyan mobile phone company is expected to proceed today despite calls from some quarters to shelve the plan. Safaricom, billed  as the largest and the most lucrative IPO in East Africa, will be listed on Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) beginning Friday March 28 and close on April 23. The flotation is seen as a major test of investor confidence in Kenya after last December election violence.

The Government of Kenya plans to publicly float 25% (or 10 billion shares) of its 60% stake in the company. The remaining 40% company holdings are held by the British telecoms, Vodafone (VOD.L). Local investors, including citizens from East Africa Community (EAC) nations of Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, are allocated 6.5 million shares. Foreign institutional investors are allocated the remaining 3.5 billion shares.

The company expects to raise 50 billion Kenyan shillings ($767 million) from the listing, at 5 shillings per share. Safaricom’s strength in the Kenyan mobile market has increased significantly over the past 5 years to 80% last year from 57% in 2002. At the time of the launch of its popular “M-Pesa” phone-based money transfer service 11 months ago, Safaricom had 5.8 million subscribers, compared with about 9.5 million now.

Allowing East Africans to directly take part in this IPO is seen as a major step in the intergration of the regional capital markets. Investors from the region, outside of Kenya, will have to open an account with the local Central Depository System Corporation (CDSC) at their local broker in order to participate in the IPO. However, the editorial of the Kenyan daily The Nation was less enthusiastic, questioning “Why can’t these foreign citizens buy shares at the market rate?” It appears old mindsets will die-hard and its going to take time to convince some pundits that capital raising should transcend our so-called “boundaries”.


Tanzania Tourist Board TTB

In case you missed it, there are only a few days left to participate in the “Ultimate Safari Sweepstakes” to Tanzania currently being promoted via CNN and (see or ). Please pay close attention to the rules and terms under which you can participate.

This promotion is part and parcel of the TV tourism campaign launched last October by Tanzania Tourist Board targeting the American market. The TV station has also been airing a separate spot about the sweepstakes for the past few weeks now (alongside the initial TV spot).

For those who have seen this new TV promotion, what are your thoughts?

BOT Bank of Tanzania

In the last few weeks, the Tanzanian government has come under intense pressure from the public, activists and the media to explain why it was quietly recovering money that was misappropriated under the External Payment Arrears (EPA) account operated by Bank of Tanzania (BOT), the country’s central bank (pictured left).

The public demands the release of names of people involved in the scandal and their immediate prosecution. The EPA scandal consists of fraudulent payment of about TSh133 billion ($116 million) made by the Bank of Tanzania to 22 companies in the financial year 2005/06 involving the repayment of the country’s external debt.

As of last week, according to a government pronouncement, nearly half of the money (Tsh 60 billion) had “mysteriously” found its way back into State coffers. The Attorney General and the Inspector General of Police have refused to disclose the names at this stage, pleading for patience because the investigation is still going on.

Speculation has been rife as to why the government would rather recover the loot than prosecute. While others believe the government may be shielding the culprits, the most plausible reason seem to be that the government has figured out that it has a weak case against the culprits in a court of law. It may well be that the EPA contracts the government signed are so weak and with little teeth to enable the prosecution of abusers of the debt servicing vehicle. The worst case scenario will be that the contracts were intentionally weakened by its framers, while eluding the watchful eye of IMF. Therefore, this may yet be another scandal (similar to the mining contracts that later had to be renegotiated), that will expose weaknesses in contract negotiation and contract drafting skills by the country’s State attorneys, and possible corrupt elements within the government who are short-changing public interests.

The scandal has already claimed the Governor of BOT as its first casualty. Daudi Balali was fired by President Kikwete back in January after he was implicated in the investigative reports carried out by Government’s Controller and Auditor General (CAG) and the accounting and audit firm, Ernest & Young. The President has been on an anti-corruption crusade lately. He dissolved his government last month after another multimillion dollar scandal blew up over emergency electricity power supply contract, engulfing his Prime Minister and two cabinet ministers who were subsequently forced to resign.

What are your thoughts? Do you trust the government when it says it is doing the right thing to recover the swindled money and deal with prosecutions down the road?