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Africa in Business: from Blinken to BlackRock

STORY: Here's what's been making the business headlines in sub-Saharan Africa this week.

1. Ethiopia is not yet being let back in to a United States duty free trade program that had been a boon for its textiles sector.

Access was cut to the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, or AGOA, in January 2022 over the conflict in Tigray.

But U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in Addis Ababa on Wednesday (March 15), praised Ethiopia's progress in implementing a peace deal.

"The bottom line is: certainly we share the aspiration of Ethiopia returning to AGOA and, as it continues to implement the cessation of hostilities agreement, it will, it's clearly moving, moving in the right direction."

2. Africa's biggest gold mine is set to be created in Ghana through a joint venture announced by Gold Fields and AngloGold Ashanti.

The companies are combining their Tarkwa and Iduapriem mines but said they are not considering a full-scale merger.

3. Nigeria has topped a list of countries withholding revenues earned by international airlines, a spokesperson for the International Air Transport Association has said.

The country, which was said to owe $743 million, is facing a severe shortage in foreign currency meaning investors cannot convert local currency to repatriate their profits.

4. South Africa's largest listed property group is looking to expand its solar power capacity amid the country's worst rolling blackouts on record implemented by state utility Eskom.

Growthpoint, which owns 541 properties across several countries, said it will more than double renewable energy generation in the coming months to power its retail sites.

5. And finally, a fund managed by BlackRock Alternatives is buying nearly a third of the shares in Kenya's 310-megawatt capacity Lake Turkana wind farm.

Climate-focused funds, like the Climate Finance Partnership, are increasingly training their sites on Africa, which offers growing demand for clean energy and other climate infrastructure.