GE and Endeavor Powering Ghana
GE and Endeavor Energy, co-leaders of the Ghana 1000 project, and their consortium partners Eranove and Sage Petroleum, have signed an agreement with Excelerate Energy for the reservation of an FSRU that will provide storage and regasification of liquified natural gas (LNG) for the Ghana 1,000, a 1,300- MW power plant that will be located in Aboadze in the Western Region of Ghana. The first phase of the Ghana 1,000 project is expected to be completed in late 2016 and will add 125 MW to the grid. This will increase to 750 MW by 2018 and 1,300 MW within five years.
The Ghanaian government is committed to creating an enabling environment and regulatory frameworks that will help the project sponsors add power quickly to the national grid. “Partnering with Excelerate Energy illustrates the remarkable progress made by the Ghana 1000 consortium, and once complete, it will deliver much-needed power to the people of Ghana,” said Leslie Nelson, GE Ghana CEO. ”We’re partnering with the right stakeholders to offer innovative solutions that will ultimately reduce the cost of power to the final consumer.”
Ghana 1000’s FSRU will have additional capacity to allow other power generators to shift from liquid fuels to LNG for power generation, which could save Ghana up to $1 billion (R11,5 billion) per year.
Excelerate has capabilities to regasify 500 million standard cubic feet of LNG, enough gas to power approximately 3,000 MW.
East Africa
Food, chocolate invest millions to aid African farmers
French food company Danone and US-based chocolate manufacturer Mars have announced a US$120mn (R13,83mn)investment over the next 10 years in an investment fund aimed at increasing the productivity of smallholder farmers in Africa. The Livelihoods Fund for Family Farming (Livelihoods 3F) will implement projects that will simultaneously restore the environment and put degraded ecosystems back on track while improving the productivity, incomes and living conditions of small rural farmers in Africa. According to Danone, Livelihoods 3F will provide upfront financing and technical support to non-governmental organisations and farmers’ organisations to implement projects in the field. It will operate as a mutual investment fund with shared risks and result-based returns.
Victoria Mars, chairman of Mars, said, “The fund will initially prioritise key crops in Mars’ and Danone’s product lines that are dominated by smallholder production. Examples such as vanilla, cocoa, sugar and palm feature among the obvious areas. Other possible options include milk, fruits, mint and peanuts, among others.” Frank Riboud, chairman of the board of directors at Danone, added that the fund will empower farmers, especially women, and improve the livelihoods of farming families in Africa.
Aquaculture training to be given to Zambian farmers

Luxon Kazabu, deputy minister of agriculture and livestock of Lusaka, Zambia has announced that the state will provide necessary training in fish rearing to encourage more farmers to venture into aquaculture to meet the country’s protein demand.
“The government’s decision to embark on fish farming will ensure that many of our farmers especially in rural areas where there are abundant water resources like Luapula, Muchinga venture into fish farming. Currently, we are producing less than 120,000 tonnes but we require about 156,000 tonnes annually,” said Kazabu.
According to the deputy minister, the government will help individuals with the necessary skills such as extensions services, placing of cages and construction of ponds, which is the basic way of fish farming. “The agriculture sector is a key area that will contribute to job creation as well as reduce poverty levels in the country,” said Kazabu.
Kazabu said that Zambia requires about 156,000 tonnes of fish annually. At present the country produces 85,000 tonnes of fish per year with about 6,000 tonnes of fish being imported annually from India, Zimbabwe, China and other countries.
Kwale farmers to benefit from food security initiative

Kenyan director of agriculture David Wanjala has confirmed that more farmers in Kwale will benefit from the food security initiative this year. According to Wanjala the number will increase from 6,000 in 2014 to more than 12,000 farmers. He added that the county government is buying 10 more tractors to help farmers in clearing farms for free and that the project which was launched in 2014 has increased farmers’ harvest.
“The yields per acre in 2014 ranged from three bags to 25 with an average of 10 bags per acre against an average of four without farm inputs,” he said.
– The Star
WBIRF reimburses affected farmers

The World Bank Insurgency Relief Fund (WBIRF) has disbursed N787 million (R44,9)mn to four affected farming communities in Borno State, for investments in “agricultural and livestock production” by farmers to sustain their incomes and national food security in North East sub-region of the country.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Hajiya Inna Galadima warned the affected farmers not to misuse WBIRF, “I urge all the benefiting communities “to make good use of these funds by investing it in farming activities, so that your incomes and food sustainability could be increased and sustained, despite the security challenges you had been facing for the last five or six years in Borno State,” she said, adding that employing the funds for the purpose intended is the only way to sustain the World Bank assisted programme.The development may have also come as a relief to the farmers as insurgency affected farming communities located in 15 local government areas of the state, including the Lake Chad Basin areas of Marte and Kala/Balge.
Inna explained that prudent use of the resources would engender more credibility and assistance from donor agencies, enhancing resource flow that would promote agriculture in Borno State. “The state government would look into the issue of overwithdrawal of funds meant for Borno by other benefiting states through the National Fadama Coordination Office last year,” assured Galadima.
Furthermore, the Borno State coordinator of the Fadama III project, Alhaji Mohammed Sabo Tijjani, said that the scheme was a tripartite project of the World Bank, federal and the state governments to stimulate agriculture growth of peasant farmers.
He said the state government had got $200,000.00 (R2,2mn) for disbursement under the WBIRF.
– Njadvara Musa,Sophie Mbugua
East Africa
Pilot project may save thousands in energy

A pilot project to turn waste into biogas is getting started this month in Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania. Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) through the Bio-resources Innovations Network for Eastern Africa (Bio-Innovate), the effort aims to provide training and technology to agricultural factories to help them generate their own power, save on electricity and cut down on climate changing emissions. According to Joseph Kyambadde, head of biochemistry at Makerere University and one of those involved with the project, their initiative is able to generate on average about 10 to 15 cubic metres of biogas daily from a slaughter house that runs 24 hours a day, turning up to 700 cattle, 200 sheep and 300 chickens each day into meat for the local market. To turn waste into power, the slaughterhouse puts its waste and wastewater through a fermentation process that releases methane, which is then captured and burned to produce electricity. “With 60 cubic metres of gas we (would be) able to run about 15 security lights, 15 deep freezers and 15 refrigerators at the abattoir, helping save around 8 million Ugandan shillings (R31,933.00) per month,” Kyambadde said. To add to the project’s green credentials, it uses solar panels to heat water and raise the temperature in the digester, to allow it to produce the most burnable methane, said Robinson Odong, a biological sciences lecturer at Makerere University and a manager of the biogas project. Besides helping the slaughterhouse get around the city’s frequent blackouts, using biogas for energy has cut the plant’s monthly diesel bill by 90%. “We are now spending 300,000 Ugandan shillings (R1,197.51) per month on diesel instead of 3.5 million shillings (R13,970.00), as the generator now runs on biogas during power blackouts,” said Nsubuga Muhamed, the Kampala City Abattoir secretary.
According to Odong, the project currently treats 40% percent of the Kampala abattoir’s waste, though the facility plans to eventually treat 100%. “There are plans to upscale the technology to completely rely on biogas and sell the excess (energy) to the national grid,” said Kyambadde.
— Thompson Reuters Foundation