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The East African : February 17th 2014
The EastAfrican NEWS FEBRUARY 15-21,2014 19 deal? Deadline looms for Citadel response terrorism to the operations of the proposed crude export pipeline. “It is likely that a lot of crude will go to rail while the potential growth that is going to be generated by the oil and gas industry will require a lot of capacity for movement between Mombasa and the hinterland,” said another commentator. More significant, however, is RVR’s transition from red to black territory. Performance improved from negative to positive EBITDA (earnings before income tax, depreciation and armotisation) in 2013 as investments undertaken over the past couple of years began to pay off. Some $160 million of a planned $287 million investment package has been injected into the business. That figure is a combination of debt and $80 million in shareholder funds. RVR is also on a better foot- terrain has played in its favour, radically changing the company’s prospects. Not least among these developments is the Kenya government’s push for what some consider an overpriced standard gauge railway, whose economics could make the metric gauge line operated by RVR a cheaper route to the hinterland for the foreseeable future. According to numbers from a Kenya government study that compares the probable cargo tariffs on the SGR and the RVR metre gauge, the latter will enjoy a cost advantage of almost 50 per cent. It would cost $723 to ship a container between Mombasa and Nairobi on the SGR, for instance, compared with only $377 on the metre gauge. Sources in the oil indus- try also allude to near-term concerns about the threat of ing than the SGR, which, according to sources, has not secured funding yet. While the Chinese government has in principle agreed to finance the project, a firm agreement is yet to be hammered out, as concerns mount over the cost of the project. It is understood that China feels that the $3.6 billion cost assigned to the Mombasa-Nairobi leg makes the project economically unviable. Studies also show that the SGR will only be nine hours faster than the metric gauge between the two points, a cost shippers will be happy to live with at the lower tariffs the metre gauge will offer. RVR, which saw a 40 per cent growth in volume of cargo carried during 2013 and a halving in line blockage, has been slowly improving operational efficiency. The business has been fur- ther boosted by new interest by Uganda’s steel indus- PUT OPTION A put option gives the owner the right, but not the obligation to sell a specified amount of security at a certain time and price and within a certain period. The device is used to protect against a decline of the price of a stock below a specified price. try that has seen one shipper sign a contract to move 10,000 tonnes between Mombasa and Kampala monthly. Running time between Nairobi and Mombasa has improved by six hours while four hours have been shaved off the MalabaKampala leg. All these developments make Citadel’s stake an unlikely candidate for acquisition and in effect, TransCentury may have only succeeded in setting the terms for its exit from the business. For Citadel, loss of the ma- jority stake in RVR would be a major setback for its plans to emerge as a leading investment company on the continent. As part of this strategy, Citadel is pursuing control of 10 platforms, including transportation, “with a view to maximising shareholder value through long-term holding periods to take full advantage of prevailing macro trends,” the company said in its financials for 2012. For TransCentury, a buyout of its stake would end its dalliance with the biggest transportation venture on its portfolio. Additional reporting by Washington Akumu International Potato Center POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT Ref.: 14-07 VDS/RRS/SSA Virus degeneration study Regional Research Associate The International Potato Center is seeking a committed specialist, preferably with extensive experience in sweetpotato virus disease epidemiology, virology & germplasm management. The position will serve a new 3 year effort focused on the validation and scaling out of low - cost net tunnel technology with farmer multipliers. The effort will be led by the Tanzania Lake Zone Agricultural Research and Development Institute (LZARDI). The Center: CIP is a not-for-profit international agricultural research-for-development organization with a focus on potato, sweetpotato, and Andean roots and tubers. The position: This position will be based in Mwanza, Tanzania. This position requires working in collaboration with public and private sector research to investigate virus degeneration in sweetpotato and to build capacity in the production of quality, disease free sweetpotato planting material and sweetpotato crop production. Main Duties and Accountabilities: · Collect field data for the virus degeneration study and for the technical feasibility of the net tunnel technology with decentralized vine multipliers (DVMs). · Provide training to agricultural research and extension providers in the production of quality sweetpotato planting material ensuring that gender aspects are considered and incorporated into the training. · Support the design, implementation and monitoring of an inspection scheme for sweetpotato QDPM in collaboration with LZARDI, Tanzania Official Seeds Certification Institute (TOSCI), NGO partners and DVMs. Selection Criteria: · MSc degree in: bio-technology, crop protection, agronomy, horticulture, seed technology, plant science, or other relevant agriculture discipline. · At least 5 years of relevant research experience in managing a vegetatively propagated crop, preferably sweetpotato. · Experience in diagnostics, and or molecular biology, and or virology. · Ability to work in an international agricultural research center. Conditions: This is will be an employment contract for two-years (with a three month probation period) with the possibility of renewal, subject to availability of funding. Applications: Applicants should apply by email, sending a cover letter summarizing their relevance to this position, a full C.V. and the names and contact information of three referees knowledgeable about the candidate’s professional qualifications and work experience to email@example.com, copied to Margaret McEwan (M.McEwan@cgiar.org). The reference name of the position should be clearly marked on the subject line of the email message. Screening of applications will begin on February 21, 2014 and will continue until the post is filled. For full details of the TORs, please visit our website: http://www.cipotato.org/ CIP seeks diversity and gender balance in its staff. Women and citizens of developing countries are particularly urged to apply.
February 10th 2014
February 24th 2014