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Emerging African enterprise, Harvest Group, spreads reach to Zambia, launches filling stations, foundation

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One of Africa’s emerging conglomerates, Harvest Group of Companies Limited, has made bold its announced plan to expand its business reach by opening a chain of filling stations in Zambia.

The Group, which has business interests across sectors like energy, e-commerce, logistics, hospitality, and infrastructure development had announced that it would open forty filling stations in the East African country by year-end 2022.

Speaking recently at the commissioning of Harvest retail outlet on the International Airport axis in Lusaka, the Group’s chairman, Ugo Ikoro-Ngadi remarked that “Harvest Group is making huge strides that are not only bolstering our bottom line and transforming the Zambian and sub-Saharan African economy but also improving lives of people.”

The chairman, Ikoro-Ngadi further revealed that the group’s commitment to human development has birthed the Harvest Foundation through which it aims “to incubate at least 50,000 small businesses across Africa in the next half decade “through mentoring, knowledge-sharing and financial support.”

“As a responsible corporate entity, we will keep our promises to impact communities around us, especially vulnerable African women and youths” he added.

He also admitted the group’s understanding of the challenges that may lie ahead in its recent quest but reiterated that as perceptive entrepreneurs, they see bright prospects.

“Our convictions are guided by market intelligence which shows Africa’s youths as an emerging powerhouse, and the continent as an investment destination.” He added.

With over $10 million in annual revenue and the capacity to handle other non-oil offerings that are associated with filling stations, Harvest has the vision is to be the most innovative distributor of quality refined petroleum products in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Petroleum products contribute 9.4% to the total national energy demand in Zambia. The country imports all its petroleum products, that is, petroleum feedstock and finished products.

But the distribution line is largely local, a turf which players like Harvest Group of Companies hope to dominate. The products are distributed to various government-owned depots where Oil Marketing Companies lift the finished products and distribute them to their own depots, service stations, and commercial customers.

Zambia’s Minister of Energy, Peter Kapala while speaking at the commissioning in Lusaka, said that the government was keen on reforms in the energy sector and formulation of policies that are targeted at specific areas of interest for the private sector and centred on the ease of doing business.

The minister also mentioned that such investments are products of “deliberate and intentional private sector-supporting policies fully and meaningfully employed” by the government.

Harvest Group’s investment in Zambia is capable of “empowering the mass of underserved African women and vulnerable youths” in the country. The minister added.

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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed, signs exploration deal with Morocco’s energy ministry

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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed has signed a deal with Morocco’s energy and mining ministry and Adarco Energy for offshore natural gas exploration and production in Morocco.

NewMed made the announcement on Tuesday adding that it will collaborate with Adarco, and each will have a 37.5% stake in the Boujdour Atlantique licence.

NewMed CEO Yossi Abu said, “for a long time now we have recognised a huge potential in Morocco for collaborations in both the natural gas and renewable energy sectors.”

According to the deal, the remainder of 25% is granted to Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, in accordance with the Hydrocarbon Law of Morocco.

NewMed is the main stakeholder in Israel’s huge Leviathan offshore gas field and is looking to merge with Capricorn Energy to create a gas producer focused on Israel and Egypt.

Statista reports that in 2020, approximately 23.3 billion Moroccan dirhams (MAD) of gas and fuel oils were imported into Morocco. This was equivalent to 2.6 billion U.S. dollars and represented a decrease from the previous year when roughly 38.8 billion MAD (4.3 billion U.S. dollars) of oils were imported into the country.

Overall, Spain was the main trade partner in Morocco in terms of gas and fuel oil imports.

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Nigeria’s oil company, NNPC, signs separate gas pipeline deals with Ghana, Guinea, others

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Nigeria’s oil company, the NNPC have signed separate deals with the national oil companies of Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone in furtherance of the planned Nigeria-Morocco Gas pipeline project.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC, Mele Kyari; highlighted the roles played by the participating countries to make the planned commencement of the project to fruition.

“Today, we will be attaining another feat by signing five MoUs with the national oil companies and relevant entities from Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone.

“From inception of the project to this stage, concerted efforts have been made by the governments of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco, which led to the very commendable achievements recorded thus far.

“As the strategic vision of our great leaders gains momentum, I would like to express our appreciation to His Royal Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco and His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria for entrusting NNPC Limited with this strategic project,” he stated.

He added: “NNPC Limited will facilitate the continuous supply of gas and provide other enablers such as the required land for the first compressor station to be deployed in Nigeria, which is among the 13 stations earmarked along the pipeline route.”

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline mega-project had been first discussed during the official visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco in December 2016 to President Buhari in Abuja.

Nigeria and Morocco signed MoU for the gas pipeline in September which would link Nigeria to Morocco as well as supply West Africa and Europe.

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline mega-project had been first discussed during the official visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco in December 2016 to President Buhari in Abuja.

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