afrol News, 21 February - The major oil company Shell has sold its downstream businesses in 14 African countries for around US$ 1 billion. Shell products however still would be sold to Africa.
The giant transaction was announced by the oil product trading company Vitol and the "Africa-focused" finance investor company Helios, which jointly were buying Royal Dutch Shell's downstream operations in most African countries. This included retail, commercial fuels, liquefied petroleum gas, lubricants, bitumen, aviation and marine products under the Shell brand.
Under the agreements, two new joint venture companies said they would "assure continued availability of Shell fuels and lubricants in 14 African countries under the Shell brand," according to a statement issued by the Vitol Group.
The signed-off deal covers existing Shell downstream businesses in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Côte d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Cape Verde, Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar and Mauritius.
"Shell's downstream businesses in Namibia, Botswana, Togo, Tanzania and La Réunion are under review for potential inclusion in the deal at a later date," according to the Vital statement.
However, Shell's fuels, lubricants and refining activities in South Africa, the company's lubricants business in Egypt and its exploration and production businesses, liquefied natural gas interests and most international trading activities in Africa were "not part the proposed deal."
"Africa is a continent we know well," stated Vital CEO Ian Taylor. "These two new ventures allow us to invest in Africa and its fast-growing economies, and grow all the businesses under the umbrella of the world-class Shell brand for the benefit of our customers," he added.
The deal, which now needs to be authorised by government in several countries, was set to be effectuated in the first half of 2012, the three companies noted.
The sale of most of Shell's downstream assets in Africa represents one of the largest business transactions ever done regarding the African consumer market. It comes at a time with massive economic growth in Africa and a strongly growing middle class all over the continent.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.