What a failed Johannesburg project tells us about mega cities in Africa

1 week 2 days ago
An artist's impression of the failed Modderfontein smart city in Johannesburg.

Six years ago a major development was announced in South Africa. Billed as a game changer, it was meant to alter the urban footprint of Johannesburg, Africa’s richest city, forever.

The Modderfontein New City project was launched amid much fanfare, expectation and media hype.

Zendai, a Chinese developer, bought a 1600-hectare site north-east of Johannesburg for the development, which it quickly dubbed as the “New York of Africa”. Early plans showed it was to include 55,000 housing units, 1,468,000 m2 of office space and all the necessary amenities for urban life in the form of a single large-scale urban district. The cost estimate was set at R84 billion.

The developers believed that Modderfontein could function as a global business hub and would become Johannesburg’s main commercial center, replacing Sandton. The project would also change Johannesburg’s international profile by strengthening relations with Asian corporate interests.

But, despite the release of futuristic computer-generated images which led to significant publicity for the project, it was never built. Instead, the land was eventually sold off. Another developer has since begun construction on a much more scaled down project, in the form of a gated-community style housing development.

Modderfontein has faded away from the public consciousness. The story of why it failed has never been adequately told in the media.

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Indian Firm to Build Specialist Hospital in Zimbabwe

2 weeks ago

KIRAN Hospital, one of India's top specialist and health research centres, is seeking to construct a 550-bed sanatorium in Zimbabwe, which will serve local patients and those from other African countries.

In an interview, Australian-Indian foreign investment consultant Mr Satishkumar Gandhi said the hospital will bring convenience to patients who have had to fly to India for specialist and quality healthcare.

Representatives from Samast Patidar Aarogya Trust, the owners of Kiran Hospital, which specialises on cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, endocrinology, laparoscopic surgery, nuclear medicine, neurosurgery, gastroenterology and gastrointestinal surgery, nephrology and bariatric surgery are expected in the country next month.

READ MORE: https://www.herald.co.zw/indian-firm-to-build-specialist-hospital-in-zim/

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UK to Finance Tamale Airport, Bekwai Hospital, Kumasi Central Market Phase 2

2 weeks ago

The Government of the United Kingdom has pledged funds to undertake three major infrastructure projects in Ghana this year.

The Tamale Airport, the Bekwai hospital project and the Kumasi Central Market are all set to receive funding to either undergo major expansion, construction or facilitate the installation of essential equipment as part of the UK government's partnership agreements with the Government of Ghana.

The UK's Minister for Africa, Mrs. Harriet Baldwin, announced the funding support on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at the end of the second UK-Ghana Business Council (UKGBC) Meetings held in London, UK.

"We will be backing the modernization of Kumasi Central Market with a total of 80 million Euros in support of this major trading centre. It's visited by over 800,000 people every day and it will see upgrades of its electrical networks, its water supplies, its generators, its fire detection systems and its public transport.

"Second, we will be backing the expansion of Tamale Airport which will include the construction of a modern, new International terminal building. It's a $56 million US loan which will enable the airport's expansion to improve tourist access and promote economic growth as well as benefiting Hajj pilgrims with a new multi-purpose facility.

"And the third project we're backing is in completing Bekwai hospital. Led by the Eurofinsa Group and insurance firm Ellipse UK, UKEF (UK Export Finance)'s guarantee of a 20 million euro loan will support every aspect of the hospital's construction which will include 120 new beds, an Emergency Department, a Maternity Ward and an Operating Theatre", Mrs. Baldwin said.

The meetings, co-chaired by Mrs Baldwin and the Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, brought together Ministers and other government officials from both countries as well as captains of industry to deliberate on ways to deepen business and other ties between the two countries.

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UK Export Finance (UKEF) supports UK firms to develop critical Ghanaian infrastructure

2 weeks 1 day ago
UK Export Finance
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International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox has today (27 February 2019) announced that UK Export Finance (UKEF) will support UK firms with £130 million for three projects in Ghana. Support will be provided to projects that have a direct impact on the country’s infrastructure and economic development, while delivering opportunities for British companies. The announcement was made at the latest meeting of the UK Ghana Business Council, a strategic partnership designed to encourage trade between the two countries.

£70.3 million of the support will go towards a contract for Contracta Construction UK to develop and modernise Kumasi Central Market, a major trading centre in the Ashanti region which is currently visited by up to 800,000 people daily.

UKEF will provide a direct loan and bank guarantee to Ghana’s Ministry of Finance to fund the contract, which will include improvements to electrical networks, water supplies, generators, fire detection systems and public transport.

A guarantee for a £43.8 million loan will also be provided by UKEF to the Ministry of Finance to support the contract with QG Construction UK for the modernisation of Tamale Airport in the northern region of Ghana. The project will include the construction of a modern new international terminal building, access roads and ancillary facilities exclusive for civil aviation in the existing airport space.

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