Energy and communications
An alternative and renewable energy technology provider, Ormat enters Tanzania following the July 2013 announcement by international power developer, Symbion, that it would use Ormat’s equipment and know-how to harness geothermal power in keeping with the Power Africa initiative.
Ormat, which is listed on the New York and Tel Aviv stock exchanges, is the second-largest company in the world working in the field of geothermal energy and residual heat, and is already present in Kenya’s Rift Valley at the Menengai geothermal field.
Africa’s pulsing communications sector has also seen the entry of companies from Israel, a country estimated to have the world’s highest-per-capita concentration of hi-tech startups and engineers.
While Balton again dabbles in the sector offering radio-based communication solutions, telecom giant Helios entered Tanzanian space with a bang last July when it purchased over 1,000 mobile phone towers from local cellular operator Vodacom.
The deal between Vodacom and Helios Towers Tanzania, estimated at $75m by Jewish Business News, was the first time that Vodacom or Vodafone had sold some of its African infrastructure assets.
Tanzania is blessed with an abundance of natural resources including gold, diamonds and gemstones, apart from deposits of industrial minerals and base metals and its mineral wealth has also attracted a bevy of Israeli companies.
Gold has been the mainstay of the country’s mineral production, and controversial Israeli tycoon Beny Steinmetz, founder of Beny Steinmetz Group Resources (BSGR), holds interests in some gold fields.
Mining and exploration company Elenilto, a unit of Israel’s Engelinvest Group, expanded into Tanzania in 2009 when it purchased 72 gold, copper and other mineral prospecting and mining licences for an area totalling over 7,500 square kilometres. The company signed additional gold franchises in the Iringa region, and a year before that, in December 2008, Engelinvest purchased approximately 75% of copper mines at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, investing tens of millions of dollars.