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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

EA has potential to light the world, says world advisory firm

18th April 2012

East African countries have the potential to light up the world if they put more money in the energy sector that is currently attracting many foreign investors making use of auditing firms to ensure proper investments are set up.

This was revealed yesterday by a team of international accounting firm, BDO, which met in Dar es Salaam to review the firm’s structure for its East African operations in a move to address the pressing need of potential investors in the region.

According to officials BDO officials about USD47.5bn is expected to be invested in this sector every year until 2015 to generate power of which part of it will serve 20 million residents in the region.

The Group chief financial officer, Georges Chung, said as per the US International Energy Outlook report energy consumption growth in Africa from 2008 to 2035 has grown by 67 percent.

“Kenya and Tanzania are among the countries particularly concerned with that growth. Moreover 20 percent of the acquired land in Africa is used for cultivating biofuels,” stressed Chung, who is also responsible for due diligence, corporate recovery and investigations.

For his part, BDO East Africa, chief executive director Sandeep Khapre said at a press briefing in Dar es Salaam: “We have all it takes to assist companies willing to invest in Africa. Our power lies in our personalised service and knowledge of the terrain”.

He said energy is another sector of interest to investors, mentioning that about USD47.5bn is expected to be invested in this sector every year until 2015.

“About 20 million households need to be connected to the power network if the objectives of national electrification programme in East Africa are to be met.

The CEO earmarked four sectors of great potential for Africa that include agriculture, financial services, energy and transport.

Juvinal Betambira, another BDO official said Tanzania has been growing at an average rate of 6.7 percent since 2006 saying the rate is one of the best in sub-Sahara Africa.

For his part, Yacoob Ramtoola, Group Managing Partner states that the time for Africa to transfom itself economically has come and investors are more than keen to invest on this continent. He said the Foreign Direct investments (FDI) in many East African countries have increased dramatically over the years and increasingly, multinationals feel the need to be accompanied by professionals.

“We have proved that Africa is not just a commercial venture for us, we are Africans and it goes beyond business. It is a duty to contribute to sustainable development, he said

BDO International is the fifth global accounting firm that entered the East African market after signing a partnership deal with DCDM East Africa, a local financial advisory firm, signalling fresh realignments in the region’s financial advisory market.

The entrance of BDO International is likely to further shake up the market structure of advisory firms as mid-level accounting firms that have sought international affiliation continue to threaten the dominance of the ‘big four’ multinational firms, namely PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst and Young and KPMG.

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