Mobile licence sold for R3.7bn

Fixed-line monopoly operator Telecom Egypt had agreed to pay 2.5 billion Egyptian pounds (R3.7bn) for a mobile licence, it said yesterday. The telecommunications minister announced last month that Telecom Egypt had been offered a mobile licence but it would not include new frequencies, such as 4G mobile broadband services. Hesham El Alaily, the head of the telecoms regulator, said last month that an auction of radio spectrum for 4G mobile broadband services would be held in June 2016. – Reuters


First sovereign rating due soon

Ethiopia expected to get its first sovereign credit ratings within two weeks, Finance and Economic Development Minister Sufian Ahmed said yesterday, paving the way for the country’s first foray on to international bond markets. The three main rating agencies – Moody’s Investors Service, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch – visited the nation in February and March to assess its economy. “I think next week, or the (week after)… the agencies will announce the rating,” Sufian said. Ethiopia, whose economy is among the fastest growing in Africa, is keen to attract international investors to help shift its largely agrarian economy towards textiles and other manufacturing. – Reuters


Maize output jumps 32%

Zambia’s maize production rose more than 30 percent in the 2013/14 season from the previous annual harvest, booking its biggest volume of the grain on record, Agriculture Minister Wylbus Simusaa said yesterday. Maize output rose to 3.3 million tons, from 2.5 million tons in 2012/13. “This is the highest maize harvest recorded in Zambia’s history and provides us with the opportunity to adequately feed the country and export,” Simusaa said. “We plan to export slightly over 300 000 tons of maize to Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi and Kenya.” The planting season in Zambia usually begins with the rains in October or November and harvesting is mostly completed by the end of April or May. Simusaa said Zambia’s maize stocks were estimated at 3.9 million tons, after 597 000 tons were carried over from last year. – Reuters