Taking the spice out of cloves?

Cloves were once worth more than gold and the native spice has been a mainstay of Zanzibar’s economy for the last 150 years. But frustration is growing among farmers in the island and neighbouring Pemba about a battle between the public and private sector which is reducing their incomes and losing Tanzania its dominant position in the world market. Is government intervention a recipe for disaster?

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Published in African Business, January 2015


Milking opportunities

Global demand for milk is expected to outstrip supply over the next decade. In Africa, milk productivity is still far below the global average but efforts are being made to raise this considerably and the private sector is showing the way.

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Published in African Business, November 2014

Going nuts over cashew

Tanzania is one of the largest producers of cashewnuts in Africa and with the world demand for this commodity set to expand substantially, the revenue potential is excellent. But a creaking marketing system and limited local value addition has meant that the real profits from the crop are made elsewhere. What should be done?

Published in African Business, October 2014


New realities of Arab-Africa trade

Africa’s growing middle class, its discoveries of oil and other natural resources, and predictions of double digit economic growth have initiated a new scramble for the continent. While the continent isn’t a new market for the Middle East – trade between the regions dates back to the 15th century – October’s Africa Global Business Forum in Dubai suggests the GCC does not want to be left behind in the race.

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Published in bq, September 15 2014

Developing a good nose for wine

South Africa, the continent’s leading wine producer, has been Tanzania’s big brother and helped develop its grape-growing and wine-producing sector. But as Tanzania’s wines come into their own, will South Africa continue to nurture its SADC partner or will it spell the end of the sibling relationship?

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Published in African Business, July 2014

Purple-tinted future of Kenya’s tea sector

A immunity boosting beverage, it is easy to make, has a deep magenta colour, and neatly side steps the genetically modified plant material debate.

But this isn’t enough to sway the price conscious Kenyan consumer who remains intensely loyal to the black tea variety, and so chances are that Kenya’s purple tea, which is already stocked by supermarkets in Europe and the US, will never appear on local shelves.

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Published in Nairobi Business Monthly, July 2013