All posts by Michael Patotschka


Mozambique accelerated customs clearance

The Mozambican Tax Authority reports that sophisticated new scanners have been installed at border posts and airports to combat smuggling and crime.

The international airports at Maputo, Beira, Tete and Vilanculos, as well as the Maputo corridor road in the Ressano Garcia area now have inspection systems to improve customs security. The systems will be rolled out soon at more airports and a number of ports and border crossings.

The president of Mozambique Tax Authority, Rosario Fernandes, said in officially launching the system at Chingodzi Airport in Tete that the devices would help control entry and exit of goods in line with best practices worldwide.

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Centenary City Nigeria’s “Smart City”

Out of Nigeria’s glorious Centenary celebrations, a major legacy will be created – the development of Centenary City. ?Built from scratch along Airport Road in Abuja, Centenary City will be the second-largest private city development in history, and signals a new national economic awakening.

Centenary City will promote world-class multinational and domestic businesses in a planned environment that will encourage business and trade in the 21st century. Around 100,000 people will live in the new city, with a further 500,000 expected to pass through it daily.

In a concerted effort to boost trade and investment in Nigeria, and following the success of Dubai, Monaco, Shenzhen, Singapore and Songdo, Centenary City will incorporate a free trade zone, duty free regime, tax holidays and non-regulated banking services.

According to Nigeria’s Minister of Information Labaran Maku, at least 16 private sector companies will invest around $4 billion in the development of 10 districts in the city. The Federal Government will provide the land in the FCT and agree the design, but will have no further input.

The concept of Centenary City is exciting and far-reaching. The aim is to synchronise the demands of today’s society with the expectations of tomorrow, and allow the city to develop in a sustainable, ecologically and socially responsible manner.

As well as signposting the Nigeria of the future, Centenary City is designed to be a centre for the preservation of Nigeria’s political history, and the documentation of the country’s contributions to the political, cultural and economic development of Africa.

Centenary City will be beautiful, merging the natural landscape with great architecture, and creating an environment that is alive and productive. It will be a green city with a natural buffer that envelops the entire conurbation, and will include a central park to provide a green spirit to give clarity and iconic power to the city centre.

While flexible topographies will create a flowing and vibrant city, Centenary City will be formed around an urban grid that is modular and organic, with an efficient traffic system where people and transport can co-exist successfully. Public areas will feature a prominent cultural core, with symbols of Nigeria’s unity and strength, and the commercial centre will boast the latest in office architecture, exotic hotels, shopping malls, convention centres, theatres and cinemas.

Elegant high-rise apartment blocks will mix with family houses, served by schools and a university campus, health centres and theme parks. Sport will also be given great prominence (there is already an offer of sponsorship for an Institute of Sport that will include a mini stadium and signature golf course). A modern sports hospital will provide cutting-edge sports medicine and diagnostic tools, and plans are being made for it to perform double bundle arthroscopic posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (knee surgery), with a view to attracting medical tourism to the city.

The city will benefit from a constant power supply, with a gas-fired 500 MW power plant connected directly to a gas terminal. Water management will ensure that 60% of water will be recycled, and waste will be reduced as close to zero as possible. Domestic waste will be used to create nutrient-rich soil fertiliser, or incinerated as an additional power source.

As a preferred destination for multinational and domestic businesses, it is expected that the top corporate bodies in Nigeria will have a major presence in the city.

Federal and Presidential presence

Centenary City isn’t the only major construction planned to celebrate Nigeria’s centenary. Visitors to Abuja will be welcomed by a new Abuja City Gate (expected to become a major tourist attraction in its own right), a new ceremonial arcade will be built in Eagle Square for government ceremonies and activities, and a presidential retreat is planned as an alternative operational base for the president.

The Presidential Archives will house the history of Nigeria’s political development and the contributions of the country’s presidents, while the Institute of Federalism in the University Campus will become a world-class institution for the preservation of Nigeria’s political history.

With its outstanding infrastructure and secured business environment it is expected that Centenary City will become a popular business and tourist destination by the end of its planned five-year development cycle.

The city will demonstrate the harmony between nature and the work of man, and set an ideal example for the future of urban development in Nigeria – reinforcing the nation’s collective destiny for the next 100 years.

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Angola’s economic boom

Angola is experiencing an unprecedented economic boom. In May 2008, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting countries (OPEC) confirmed Angola’s oil production at 1.9 million barrels per day. The growth in this industry has had substantial spillover effects, spurring investment in the financial services, construction, and agriculture sectors. According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Angola’s GDP grew by over 20% in 2007 making it Africa’s fastest growing economy and the fourth fastest in the world. New businesses are registering everyday, fostered by an environment of peace and stability in the country and a new private investment law, that has expanded incentives for investors. Although a majority of U.S. companies remain focused on the oil and gas sector, non-oil sectors have also seen an increased presence of U.S. companies.

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Angola restores to former position

Angola is one of the fasted growing economies in the world. It has estimated reserves of 10 billion barrels of oil, and is the fourth largest producer of diamonds in the world; has million hectares of arable land; many valuable minerals and one of Africa’s largest water reserves.

This country was once the world’s fourth largest coffee producer, a major iron ore producer and an exporter off high-quality marble , food and sisal. Now, following the advent of peace, the GoA plans to restore Angola to its former position in the global economy. Inflation has been extremely stable in recent years, and continues it’s downward trend while the exchange rate has stabilized.

With record oil prices and production, the GoA has rightfully seized this opportunity to diversify the country’s economy and promote private investment. the GoA has attempted to accomplish this challenge through policy reforms, particularly, the establishment of development zones. There are early indications that these reforms have had some success in improving the business climate and increasing investor confidence in the country. To this point, Angola has received lines of credit from China, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Spain, France and the E.U. GoA is offering incentive packages based on development zones.

Since signing the latest peace agreement in early 2002, Angola has experienced 6 years of sustained stability and growth that has been critical to its development and growth. In the past three years, the country has embarked on an ambitions reconstruction program. Luanda, the capital of Angola, has characteristics of a city with a great development potential. The Government of Angola (GoA) views civil construction as the country’s top priority within this new socio-economic context. Several buildings are being built in various points of the capital. Many of the provinces outside of Luanda are also developing through expanding necessary infrastructure to better connect the country.

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