Overview of African Pulp and Paper Industry
South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland are the only African countries where there is an established pulp and paper manufacturing industry. The mills use timber from plantations in South Africa, Swaziland and Mozambique. Angola, Zimbabwe and Northern Mozambique are being considered as potential future sources of raw material.
The major pulp and paper companies operating in South Africa are Sappi, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and Mondi, which forms part of the Anglo American Industrial Corporation group of companies. Downstream companies include Nampak, Kohler and its subsidiary Carlton Paper, and Consol.
In Swaziland, Sappi manages the operations of the Usutu Pulp company on behalf of the other shareholders.
In Zimbabwe, Art Corporation, which is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, and Mutare Board and Paper are the only pulp and paper companies. Trans Zambezi Industries (TZI) is in the process of acquiring a major stake in Art Corporation.
The other countries of Africa are exclusively importers of paper. Sappi and local Kenyan agent, Kensia, have opened the first foreign paper warehouse in the region which will be supplied from Sappi’s mills worldwide.
The forests of West Africa are not suitable as raw material for the manufacture of pulp and paper. Across Africa, forest are being cut down for firewood, the major energy source in many countries, and to provide new agricultural land. Zaire has the largest area of forest, followed by Cameroon with 22 million hectares. Cameroon exported 1,2 million tons of logs in 1994/95, mostly to Europe where it has 28% of the import market. The European Union is stressing environmentally sustainable forestry as part of the Timber Protocol of the Lome IV convention. Cote d’Ivoire has eliminated most of its forests, but Gabon and Ghana are both seen as potential sources.
The Zambian government has announced the privatisation of Zimco subsidiary Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation Limited (Zaffico) which is based in Ndola and has sales offices in Ndola, Kafubu, Kitwa, Kalibu, Luanshya, Kabwe, Lusaka and Choma. The principal activity of the corporation is the establishment and maintenance of timber plantations and the harvesting and marketing of mature timber. Zaffico has vast plantations reserves of pine ( 40 000 ha) and eucalyptus (10 000 ha). Zaffico produces and markets sawn timber of different grades, treated poles, roundwood logs and a small range of carpentry products. They have 90% share of the Zambian pole market and 60% of all sawn timber.