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updated 6:54 AM SAST, Mar 14, 2031
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“Kenya’s Miami”: Africa’s tallest building at Watamu Beach

Its façade inspired by traditional art motifs, a 370-metre-high tower containing luxury suites and a 24-hour casino has been proposed for the Kenyan resort of Watamu Beach, near the town of Malindi.

The Palm Exotjca, near a national park, would be the tallest building in Africa if plans come to fruition. The 61-storey building, designed by Rome-based architect Lorenzo Pagnini, will cater to “the discerning traveller who appreciates life’s finer things”, with a 24-hour casino, 270-bed hotel, shopping mall and nightclub.

There would also be 180 serviced apartments, offices, a conference centre and restaurants. The developer is Palm Exotjca, a consortium of investors from New York, South Africa and 89-year-old Italian billionaire Franco Rosso, who owns hotels in Italy and Switzerland, as well as a chain of beach resorts in Malindi.

Rosso told Kenyan website Business Daily in March that Malindi could soon become Kenya’s Miami. He said: “The beautiful beach, a marine park neighbouring Gedi Ruins, Arabuko Sokoke and Tsavo East National Park have made the historical resort town a tourism destination.”

No start date for the project has been announced, but not everyone is pleased with the plan. A petition calling on the Kenyan government to cancel the project, on grounds that the tower is too big and unsuited to the locale, was set up recently on Change.org, and had 1,126 signatures at time of writing.

  • Published in News

100 Resilient Cities 'game-changer' launched in Cape Town

Cape Town has felt the shock of taps nearly running dry and the shock of floods; the stress of crime and being the murder capital of the country. The daily stress of traffic congestion and being stranded on trains. The stress of poverty and 450 000 people who want to work but cannot find jobs.

Now Cape Town is looking at a different way of tackling these issues. Two years ago, Cape Town, with 99 other cities worldwide, became part of an international programme to build an overall resilience into the city, making it better able to deal with the stress and shocks affecting urban areas.

The network is called 100 Resilient Cities, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation in the US and is hoped to ultimately extend to 1 000 cities or more. On 22 September, City of Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille launched the City's first draft of a resilience assessment, the first step in the process of developing a city resilience strategy. for public comment.

What makes it different is that officials canvassed the public extensively before drawing up the draft, so that it contains a huge amount of public input already. This included workshops with academics, the private sector, officials, NGOs and 11 000 face-to-face interviews with residents in informal settlements.

Before the launch, representatives from cities around the world in the 100 Resilient Cities programme gathered in Cape Town to explore ways that city could become water resilient.

Karin Bruebach, engineer and urban water director at 100 Resilient Cities, who was part of the discussions, said there was no city in the world that was water resilient. The world was, however, improving technology and methods for assessing risks and making predictions. Asked if she thought the City of Cape Town had been prepared for the water crisis, Bruebach said she believed the City had underestimated what could happen, although the risk had already been "on the table".

"Cape Town's resilience journey started in the water journey, and the outcome so far has been absolutely stunning, and it will help other cities around the world dealing with water.

"It is important for the City to take action now by moving the education and communication programme about water away from crisis management to long-term behaviour change." 

  • Published in News

AfDB Launches first Africa-to-Africa Investment Report

Opportunities for investment in Africa outweigh the obstacles, according to a report by leading African companies covered in the African Development Bank’s (www.AfDB.org) new Africa-to-Africa (A2A) Investment Report, the first-ever report on inter-African trade published by the Bank.

The report unearths the realities African companies face when investing in the continent, the emerging trends in A2A investment and the steps African policymakers can take to accelerate intra-African investment.

Africa-to-Africa Investment Report: A first look (https://bit.ly/2Q3p3kh), finds that more African companies are investing in Africa. These companies have confidence in the continent’s long-term growth potential; they are at the cutting edge of their industries, and are capitalising on their knowledge of local markets to generate higher returns and impact.

In line with the Bank's High 5s (https://bit.ly/2kiTUgj) for transforming Africa and the African Union's Agenda 2063, the A2A Report shows what African multinationals are doing to drive investments in Africa, d how they are expanding their African footprint, and gives insights into how to scale-up investments more widely.

The A2A Report features eight publicly-listed and privately-owned African companies operating in consumer services, finance, industry, media and diversified portfolios and investment, with home bases in North Africa (Morocco), West Africa (Nigeria, Togo), East and Central Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya) and Southern Africa (Mauritius, South Africa).

Highlights from the Report’s intra-African investment stories include the importance of having a clear long-term vision, getting up-to-date investment facts, building local partnerships to deliver on the ground and tapping into talent in the local labour force.

The business case for A2A investment is strongly connected to the continent’s integration, growth and prosperity. Although challenges remain, the A2A Report is the start of a broader discussion to fast-track investments, move beyond the wish list and make deals happen. The continent’s policymakers can inspire a greater level of confidence and promote A2A investments by highlighting their role as dependable business partners for African investors.

The Report is part of the Bank Group’s continued championing of investment across Africa, along with the first Africa Investment Forum (AIF) (AfricaInvestmentForum.com), scheduled to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 7-9 November 2018. 

Click here to download the report in English (https://bit.ly/2Q3p3kh)

More information from Chawki Chahed, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Published in News

South Africa set to construct Phase1 of Mzimvubu water project

South Africa is set to embark solely on phase1 of Mzimvubu water project by South African companies despite the Chinese government given a go-ahead to invest.

Minister Water and Sanitation, Gugile Nkwinti, said: “Work on the project is expected to start in January 2019 with the department having already set aside a budget for the construction of the dam in the 2019/2020 financial,” said Gugile Nkwinti.

Mzimvubu water project has two multi-purpose dams on the Tsitsa River, a major tributary to the Mzimvubu River. To make the scheme sustainable throughout its life, the two dams will be operated and built as one integrated scheme. Phase one of the Mzimvubu River catchment will be built by the integrated scheme.

The project is estimated to cost US $1.1bn. Although the construction is dependent on availability of funds, it is estimated that the project will not take less than seven years.

According to Trevor Balzer, Deputy Director General: Strategic and Emergency projects in the department, it’s estimated that 6700 jobs will be created during the construction and an additional 600 jobs during the catchment rehabilitation. He further added that the use of local suppliers and local employment is central to the success of the Mzimvubu project.

A new dam at Ntabelanga on the Tsitsa River will also be built as result of the project. The dam will have a storage capacity of ±490 million cubic metres. It will also include a hydropower plant that generates 7MW of power.

  • Published in News
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