Blue International Holdings puts sustainable development and operating responsibly at the heart of its business practice. We are committed to making attractive financial returns, while having a positive impact on the planet.
Operating in Africa
Africa represents approximately 20% of the world’s land mass, 54 countries, 16% of its population - yet only 3% of global GDP. Its potential economic growth forecasts are well documented and underpinned by a demographic premium derived from a youthful population, increasing productivity of the young workforce, urban migration and a burgeoning middle class. Africa is well positioned for decades of ‘catch-up’ economic growth. However, Africa’s growth forecasts will only be achieved if there is substantial investment in the power and mineral mining sectors. Enabling low-cost power and reliable electricity supply is a critical factor in generating sustainable economic growth and growing the mining industry.
Currently, over 600m people in Sub Saharan Africa have no access to electricity. Only seven out of 54 countries have electricity rates exceeding 50%. The rest of the continent has an average grid access rate of approximately 20%. The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa projects that power demands will increase across Africa from 590TWh in 2010, to 3,100TWh in 2040 (SSA: 1,600TWh) – an annual growth rate of 6%. Although Sub Saharan Africa currently consumes less electricity than Brazil, it is forecast that by 2040, demand levels will equal the current combined consumption levels of Latin America and India.
Across the globe, low levels of energy supply are associated with depressed levels of human development. In Africa this association is particularly strong.
The continent maintains the lowest per capita levels of electricity, and simultaneously the lowest human development rankings of any region in the world. Access to electricity affects livelihoods from improved food storage to business productivity, to better health. Underscoring this idea, Goal 7 of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals includes the objectives of ensuring that, by 2030, there will be universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services and increasing substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix. Blue International Holdings firmly believes in energy infrastructure as a driver of development, which is a large part of the impetus for why we do what we do.
African Mineral Resources
Africa accounts at present, for a low proportion of the production of and trade in the major metals iron ore, bauxite, copper or nickel. However, the continent provides great potential in the minerals sector. Africa is believed to possess a significant proportion of global reserves: 30% of bauxite, 60% of manganese, 75% of phosphates, 85% of platinum, 80% of chrome, 60% of cobalt, 30% of titanium, 75% of diamonds and nearly 40% of gold. The rise in commodity prices automatically leads to growth in mining company profits, higher GDP in producing countries and an improvement in those countries’ debt-to-export ratios.
But if value added in the country remains low, if tax revenue rises less quickly than commodity prices, and if this revenue is not efficiently allocated, then higher prices do not produce sustainable development.
It is for these reasons, that Blue International Holdings places local stakeholder engagement and sustainable business principles at the core of its policies and plans for long term investment and development potential in its assets, to build multi-generational operations that deliver economic, environmental and societal value.