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27 October 2010 | By Masato
Although the promoters of Bagamoyo-based Kamal Industrial Estate (KIE) haven’t aggressively marketed the industrial area, the country’s largest privately-owned Export Processing Zone (EPZ) so far, has attracted an overwhelming response from prospective investors. And industry sources describe the positive response as an indication that investors — foreign and local — are eager to invest in Tanzania provided there is favourable business environment.
The Export Processing Zones Authority (EPZA) Director General, Dr Adelhelm Meru, says that with a conducive environment and basic infrastructure in place, wooing investors to Tanzania is no big issue, since investors are always after appropriate business environment. “Once conducive environment is created, they will flow in by themselves,” he adds. Dr Meru says, EPZA, an autonomous government agency and a body corporate established in 2006
to co-ordinate, facilitate, promote and license export-led manufacturing investments in the country, is determined to ensure that land for EPZs is available at strategic areas. The authority has in its three years of existence registered 34 operational companies, with 8,900 direct jobs. The authority also managed to establish five industrial parks—Millennium Business Park Ubungo, Hifadhi Economic Processing Zone Ubungo, Kisongo EPZ Arusha, Benjamin William Mkapa special zone and Kamal Industrial estate at Zinga, Bagamoyo.
Kamal Group, developers of the 400bn/- Bagamoyo project, say construction works have reached an advanced stage, with production scheduled to start early next year. Kamal Group Chairman and Managing Director, Mr Gagan Gupta told the ‘Business Standard’ in Dar es
Salaam over the weekend that “All the basic infrastructure— tarmac roads, water and power—is already in place and construction of the main gate is on its final touches.” He was optimistic of the project, saying even though there had been no aggressive marketing, the estate had already attracted investors from Tanzania, India, Dubai and the UK, with keen interest to invest and some have actually acquired spaces at the facility.
“I don’t think getting (serious) investors to work on the estate will be a problem because right now we are receiving inquiries from various parts of the world even though we haven’t done any advertising,” boasted Mr Gupta, noting that the group’s four subsidiaries—Kamal Refinery Ltd, Kamal Acetylene Ltd, Kamal Alloys Ltd and Kamal Agro Ltd—plan to start production on the estate. He described Kamal Refinery Ltd, which has acquired 10,000 square metres at the estate as, “The first of its kind for refining used motor oil in Tanzania.” He adds that the refinery machinery procurement is halfway, with all the plant layout and building drawings ready. However, Kamal Acetylene Ltd, which will manufacture acetylene gas used for welding and cutting metals, with production capacity of 45 cubic metres per hour, has its plant from India already in the country.
President Jakaya Kikwete laid the foundation stone for the project last June, directing public servants to change mindsets in favour of investors, be they are foreign or local. KIE is described as the largest private EPZ in the country, so far. The project promoters believe that the ambitious project will greatly support the country’s 2025 development vision that seeks to transform a low productivity agricultural economy to semi-industrialised, with a 38 million US dollars (over 50bn/-) sugar plant, a 700,000-tonne annual capacity steel plant, a transformer and motor manufacturing plant; grain and pulse plant for processing 60,000 tonnes per year and an oil refinery are some of the major projects planned at the estate. Mr Gupta said once the estate becomes fully operational, Tanzania will be transformed from her current status of being a net importing to a net exporting country, with many Tanzanians investing in the estate and raking in more hard currencies through exports. “Tanzania is currently spending a lot of her foreign currencies to import products but once the industrial estate becomes fully operational, most of the currently imported products will be produced locally and excesses exported to ear the (US) dollars,” says Mr Gupta.
EPZs are sub-components of the country’s Vision 2025 that envisages at fostering development and fighting poverty through semi-industrialisation strategies, taking on the Southern-Eastern Asia model of export-oriented development. Dr Meru says that basic utilities and infrastructure like ports, airports, roads, railways and reliable power supply are all that investors are looking for and that, “Once we have these things in place, investors will definitely come in.” The EPZs too reduce the amount of initial capital that investors require to get things fixed. According the Dr Meru, “EPZ provides facilitation and aftercare service to new and existing investors. The physical and procedural incentives lower operational costs, thereby enabling investors to be internationally competitive.” The priority sectors for EPZs investment in Tanzania are agro-processing, mineral processing, processing of fish, meat and leather products, textiles and garments making, ICT and engineering related industries and any other export oriented manufacturing operations.
Addressing a campaign rally at Ruvu, Coast Region, CCM Union presidential candidate Mr Jakaya Kikwete assured farmers that the government would give them support in expertise and market outlets for their produce. Pledging his support to the farmers, most of whom were youths earning their living from smallholder vegetable gardens in the Ruvu River valley, Mr Kikwete reassured them that the nearby Kibaha District would soon be turned into an industrial area while a tomato processing and canning factory would be their messiah.
Laying accent on his pledge, Mr Kikwete also told the rally at Mtongani area that experts from Israel were already in the country to lend them a hand in tomato growing. Israel is known for its experience and advanced technology in agriculture, with low costs during the rainy and dry seasons. In the past, Arusha Region hosted Israeli agricultural experts who planted an incredible drought resistant tomato species. The high yield type was harvested for over three months and its fruits remained six months after harvesting. The president’s pledge was thus good news to the youths growing and selling tomatoes, okra, water melons, cucumbers, green peppers and Chinese cabbages. The youths rely on traditional farming methods, planting seeds during the dry season only and drawing water from Ruvu River and shallow wells using jerry-cans.
They neither have training on modern gardening methods nor water pumps and pesticides. And even after working so hard in their small gardens, the youths did not have access to reliable markets. The
most they did therefore was to scramble and sell the little that was possible to passengers and motorists at Ruvu Darajani area. Otherwise, a larger part of their produce would just rot in their homes. Now after the incumbent president’s visit, things are set to change for the better for youth gardeners in Coast Region. If they will exploit this chance well, their region might as well become a role model and all said and done, poverty that has haunted the region for ages might be history. Therefore, let the farmers in Coast Region and other regions take the cue and proceed to step up production to produce sufficient raw material for the envisaged factories. This will be a big step forward towards economic empowerment among Tanzanians.
23 October 2010 | By Newsdesk
Kenya and India are looking forward to double their trade in a period of next two years. Both the countries are eyeing textile and infrastructure projects as means of reviving relations between them.Both the countries have agreed to enhance the bilateral trade up to Sh200 billion towards the end of 2013. Kenya has been expecting India’s aid to change the Export Processing Zones into Special Economic Zones. Nairobi has been also expecting support in developing the textile sector of the country. According to a statement issued by the Ministry for Trade in Kenya, in 2005-06, the bilateral trade between both the countries had valued at Sh50 billion, which further had increased to Sh120 billion in the year 2009-10, registering a rise of 145 percent over a period of four years. In 2005-06, India’s export to Kenya had amounted to Sh46 billion. It increased to Sh112 billion in the year 2009-10. In 2005-06, India’s import from Kenya had valued at Sh3.8 billion. It increased to Sh6.3 billion in the year 2009-10.
19 October 2010 | By All Africa
The Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum Corporation has confirmed a new discovery of natural gas offshore in the Rovuma Basin off the coast of the northern Mozambican province of Cabo Delgado. The deep water Barquentine exploration well, opened on 20 August, discovered the gas. According to n Anadarko press release issued on Tuesday the well "encountered a total of more than 416 net feet of natural gas pay in multiple high-quality sands". The sands were laid down in the Oligocene epoch (from 24 to 34 million years ago) and are the same age as gas bearing sands found earlier at the Windjammer well, also offshore.
The Barquentine well found a deeper deposit of period "an additional 108 net feet of natural gas pay in the Paleocene sands" (between 65 and 56 million years old). "With the Windjammer, and now Barquentine discoveries, we have identified a substantial natural gas resource and proven that two distinct trap styles are working in this region of the Rovuma Basin, which is very positive for our ongoing exploration program," declared Anadarko Senior Vice President, Bob Daniels. "Based on the high-quality resource and sands encountered to date in both the Barquentine and Windjammer exploration wells, we have begun designing an appraisal program that will better delineate the areal extent of this large accumulation."
"These successful exploration wells in this frontier basin are exciting for the people of Mozambique and for our partnership," said Daniels, cited in the release. "We look forward to working with the government of Mozambique as we carry out our appraisal activity in this area and evaluate potential commercialization options." The Barquentine well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 5,150 metres, in water that is about 1,580 metres deep. Anadarko says that, once it has completed its operations at the Barquntine well, the drillship
it is using will move 16 kilometres to the south to drill another offshore well, known as Lagosta. This will be the fifth out of six planned wells Anadarko is the operator with a 36.5-per cent working interest in the Rovuma Basin Offshore Area 1. Co-owners in the area are Mozambique's National Hydrocarbon Company (ENH). With 15 per cent Mitsui of Japan (20 percent), BPRL Ventures and Videocon, both of India, with 10 per cent each) and Cove Energy of Britain with 8.5 per cent.
19 October 2010 | By All Africa
Interest in the industrial segment of the Nairobi Stock Exchange is growing as investors seek to take long-term positions in the sector which promises growth. Since January, the segments price-to-earnings ratio, has been rising from 11.51 to 14.06 by Friday last week and analysts say that the slow but steady increase is from investors who seek to reap returns in a few years to come. George Bodo, a research and investment analyst from Genghis Capital says investors see potential for growth in the industry especially as the government continues its heavy investment in infrastructure and power generation projects. The bet is that the biggest winners will be cement manufacturers, utility providers and related entities.
So far, cement consumption for the first six months is up by 12 per cent compared with a similar period last year according to data from Kenya Bureau of Statistics. "This is a growth segment area with returns in the regions of 2 to 3 years therefore it is difficult to speculate," says Mr Bodo. The long-term return period arises from the nature of the industry which requires heavy capital investments with long payback periods. Electricity generator KenGen's Sh15 billion infrastructure bond of 2009 is meant to run in tranches that will end in 2018. "This is a stock that the market sees as bullish over the long run," says Johnson Nderi, a research analyst at Suntra Investment Bank.
Capital Gains: Long term investors are also wooed by the high dividend yields and this sector has traditionally offered good returns. The high dividend payouts characteristic of the segment attracts long-term investors rather than short-term investors who seek profit in the form of capital gains. Firms such as BAT Kenya, Bamburi Cement and East Africa Breweries have dividend yields which range between 4 and 5 per cent which is considered high. BAT Kenya also has a dividend pay-out ratio of 100 per cent. The dividends should also continue in the long run as some companies such as Utility providers KenGen and electricity distributor KPLC are de facto monopolies, adds Mr Bodo. Other firms are also dominant in their sectors and can be considered monopolies, such include Mumias Sugar Company which accounts for 60 per cent of the sugar market and East Africa Breweries.
But this dominance is also a disadvantage due to the exposure to legislation and taxation. For example, there has been tepid response towards East Africa Breweries ahead of the firm releasing its end of year results and Mr Bodo says the main worry is heavy taxation which has been a leech on the companies' revenues. But Mr Nderi of Suntra Investment Bank says investor interest in the firm is still present because its books are strong enough to accommodate dividends. Other policy and regulatory concerns that are heightening cautious investing are counterfeits and substandard products which are affecting firms such as Eveready and East Africa Cables. Survival for the firms according to Mr Bodo will depend on diversification similar to what Mumias Sugar Company has done and should this happen, it is expected that it will be an impetus for reinvestment. The sugar miller's stock is among the heaviest traded and foreigners have been attracted by its
diversification programmes. But projections that the economy is recovering and the peaceful passage of the new constitution which is a boon to business is expected to lift the market as a whole.
29 September 2010 | By P.Investors
Gulf Industrials (ASX:GLF) is amongst a new breed of Australian resource companies seeking to dominate a niche position in near term, low cost, early cash flow projects in Africa. In Gulf’s case, in industrial minerals. GLF’s approach is multi-tiered as follows:
- Production from the Namekara Vermiculite Project in Uganda
- Develop the Soalara Limestone Project in Madagascar
- Explore for phosphate on the Ugandan tenements
- Other industrial mineral projects in selected African jurisdictions
- Joint ventures with other industrial mineral producers to extract and maximise value in Africa
The GLF management team, helmed by executive chairman Scott Reid, is certainly up to the task having previously developed a number of resource projects in Africa and South America. Industrial minerals are raw materials used in a wide range of industrial and domestic products where demand is generally consistent and long term and exposure to commodity price cycles is less pronounced. Long term cash flows are more predictable and can provide a strong platform for growth by acquisition. In May of 2009 GLF purchased the advanced Namekara Vermiculite Project located in Uganda from Rio Tinto for US$1m. Uganda transitioned to a multiparty democracy five years ago. Investment in Uganda is expected to nearly double this year to $3 billion (Sh225 billion) compared to last year, thanks to growing foreign interest in oil.
Rio Tinto owns a majority interest in the Palabora Mining Company of South Africa where. In addition to copper, it produces 25 - 30% of the worldwide output of vermiculite at 200,000 tonnes per annum, and reported a product specific profit of 40.9 million Rand / US$5.64 million for 2009. The Namekara Project may match Palabora in size, but contains a greater percentage of coarse grained ore, which is in short supply across the globe, largely due to Palabora’s diminishing output of this vermiculite category, and which fetches a more competitive price. GLF’s Namekara Project in East Africa is one of the world’s largest reported vermiculite resources, with the mining lease containing a JORC inferred resource of 54.9 million tonnes at 26.7% of 180 um V and 18.8% 425 um V. In addition, there is potential exploration upside at Namekara with GLF owning three connecting exploration Permits and one mining licence. The Namekara Project is supported by excellent infrastructure.
In June, the Namekara Project attracted financing from industry end-user investor Dupré Minerals, which is a leading U.K. distributor of vermiculite products. Dupre invested $1 million to support the development and ramp-up of the project and signed an exclusive 25 year global distribution offtake agreement with Gulf for vermiculite. After an extensive due diligence, African Lion, which is a long term African investor backed by European and African banks, became a cornerstone investor in GLF in May 2010, investing $1.155 million for a 19.9% stake in GLF.
Jul 13, 2011
LUANDA (Reuters) - Germany wants a closer relationship with resource-rich Angola, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday, on a visit to the southwest African country which she offered coastguard ships and industrial cooperation.
"Germany is ready for an energy and raw materials partnership," Merkel said after meeting Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos in the capital Luanda.
In exchange, Germany could help with infrastructure projects, education and agriculture, as well as the sale of six to eight patrol boats built by Bremen-based Luerssen shipyards.
Dos Santos underlined his will to undertake political reforms in a country which emerged from almost three decades of civil war in 2002.
Oil and gas-producing Angola expects economic growth of eight percent this year, a figure Dos Santos said could reach double-digits next year. Trade with Germany dried up during the economic crisis, but jumped early this year.
Merkel said earlier at a bilateral business conference that German companies had concrete projects, including liquid natural gas operations from 2012 and cooperation in renewable energy.
Dos Santos invited German companies to take part in the construction of three hydroelectric power plants worth $1 billion, and companies also have their eyes on the development of fibre-optic networks, universities and schools.
Turning to political reforms, Merkel said Angola had made great progress since its civil war but could do more to boost transparency, fight corruption and ensure freedom of expression.
18 February 2011
Africa's greatest resources may no longer be diamonds and gold, but instead, its big sun-drenched skies. In coming years, the continent, known for the innovation and determination of its people, could provide enough solar energy to light up some of the world's biggest cities.
A group of students from a girls' college in Mauritius is showing the way. The pupils have recently developed a way of producing 14KW of clean electricity daily, and their project is touted to be a model which other nations in Africa could adopt.
The use of solar power reportedly doubled in 2010, and is expected to grow in 2011 by at least 25%. However, the developing world has been slower off the mark than Western countries to use this technology, although it would derive the most advantage from solar energy - remote regions especially.
Following the Mauritian government's December 2010 call for the population to find alternative means of producing electricity, the students from the Hindu Girls' College in Curepipe, Southern Mauritius, set up a three-kilowatt solar power system on the institute's roof. This simple system provides the campus with at least 20% of the power it needs.
Andrea Gungadin, the rector of the non-profit private college, said that the project is one way of avoiding the high rates that accompany the regular use of fossil fuels.
"We have so much sunshine here. Why allow it to go to waste when we can use it to produce electricity at a time when fossil fuel is becoming scarcer and more expensive?"
The college's system consists of 17 panels and costs around US$4 600. However, project engineer Pavitra Maulloo said in an IPS Africa report that not all institutions could expect to invest that amount.
"Costs will vary depending on factors like the location of the site, the number of panels desired, the structure itself and access to the site," he said.
Mauritius to become sustainable
Mauritian Minister of Energy and Public Utilities Rashid Beebeejaun said the government plans to transform Mauritius into a sustainable island by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and enhancing energy resilience.
"Investments in such a project can be covered within a five year period for an office or institution and in seven to eight years for a home. Afterwards, you just produce, use and sell your electricity for 20 years," he said.
The idea is catching on, and the education ministry recently opened a tender for installation of solar panels at 10 public schools around the island. The ministry hopes to produce a total of 55 000KW of energy with this project, and during the holidays when the schools are empty, surplus electricity will be sold to the Central Energy Board.
Rest of Africa following suit
Mauritius' efforts in curbing climate change are testament to Africa's concern with the issue.
Africa is known as the powerhouse for solar energy, and local and foreign investors are already taking advantage of the continent's rich sunlight.
In June 2010 it was reported that Morocco's solar schemes were attracting big international investor interest. Morocco plans to build five power stations, which will account for 38% of the country's installed power generation by 2020.
Morocco is also hoping to capitalise on the Desertec project, a 400 billion euro plan to use solar power from the Sahara desert to supply 15% of Europe's power by 2050. Major companies including Siemens, RWE and Deutsche Bank are members of the Desertec consortium.
In October 2010 came the announcement that South Africa was to build a solar power park in the Northern Cape, which reportedly has the best solar radiation conditions in the world. The park will reportedly cost $21.8-billion.
The private sector also got in on the act when Matla Thermal Holdings partnered with a Taiwanese consortium to open a fully integrated mass production manufacturing plant for domestic and industrial solar water heaters, the first of its kind in South Africa.
The plant, worth $5.8-million, will be situated at the East London Industrial Development Zone.
Africa a vulnerable continent
In a report published recently in British national daily The Guardian, foreign funders may shift their monies away from social issues to that of environmental justice.
The report quoted from the book Climate Change in Africa, authored by International Institute for Environment & Development director Camilla Toulmin, saying that the continent is the most vulnerable in terms of its delicate ecosystems, yet it is the least equipped to handle the coming calamities, for which it is least responsible.
This is even more of a reason for the public to become environmentally aware and responsible. And like the example at the Hindu Girls' College, the responsibility starts in the classrooms and laboratories of Africa's academic establishments.
"It's not just like producing electricity and earning some money. It is also a way to teach our students about climate change, electricity production from fossil fuel, and why we need to produce it from renewable sources," said Gungadin.
03 February 2011
To make an impact, science and technology must embrace Africa's informal system of making and trading, argues Steve Daniels on SciDev.Net.
For half a century, science and technology (S&T) have promised to bring prosperity to Sub-Saharan Africa, but little progress has been made. This is in part because the African way of making and trading is largely informal, and Western industrialisation has failed to respect informality.
The word 'informal' may conjure images of illicit black market activity or harmful ritualistic practice - the darker, rarer side of informality.
But the informal economy - legal businesses that are largely unregistered and unprotected - comprises a much broader spectrum of activity, from piecing together scrap materials in makeshift workshops to extending credit to loyal customers.
Most products are simple goods like furniture and kitchenware but a select group of advanced craftsmen has developed complex agricultural and tooling machines.
In Kenya, the latest survey of microenterprises, published by the National Bureau of Statistics in 1999, suggests that over three-quarters of non-agricultural employment occurs in the informal economy. If technological interventions are to have impact, they must adapt to this informal mode of making and trading.
Resourcefulness, relationships and reason
The informal spirit, known in Kenya as jua kali, has produced clusters of economic activity throughout Africa's cities and rural market centres. Producers and traders set up shop in close proximity, attracting competitors, labour, customers and support services such as credit providers.
This positive feedback loop has bred some of the largest manufacturing clusters in the world - Gikomba in Nairobi, Kenya, for example, and Suame Magazine in Kumasi, Ghana. These flourish due to three elements: the resourcefulness, relationships and reason (or knowledge) of the entrepreneurs.
Resourceful engineers make treasure out of trash - from oil lamps made of soup cans to grass cutting machines made of scrap sheet metal - and at the end of their useful life, these items are fed back into the web of production by scrap pickers, closing the cycle.
In the absence of formal institutions, relationships take the place of contracts. Yet entrepreneurs manage to pool machines, labour and savings without lawyers, cutting out the middleman.
An understanding of the local context is deeply embedded in informal business. Engineers continuously adapt production methods to available materials and product quality to customers' wallets - precisely the flexibility needed to thrive in that context, however frowned upon by regulators.
But despite the promise of informal clusters, little innovation has emerged in terms of new products that meet local demand - tools that boost agricultural production, for example.
Leveraging the informal
Western science and economics can drive technological advances in the developing world but work better in a system where processes are formalised. What happens, for example, when governments or multilateral institutions introduce factories and corporate parks?
Not much. A factory might employ a dozen skilled workers, but the investment rarely trickles down to the 'indigenous' economy. And enterprises may only import raw materials and export the resulting goods, creating a closed loop with no links to domestic industry.
But we can leverage rather than fight the informal economy. The main barrier to innovation and growth for entrepreneurs is risk - they must ensure that every investment yields a return.
We can reduce this risk by improving access to resources like credit, tools and skills. And we can increase the willingness to take risks by promoting a culture of innovation by using market intelligence, working with customers to co-create products and improving the design process.
But simply reducing risk is not enough: in Kenya, a UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) project provided power and equipment to rural jua kali business owners only to find that they used the new tools to make the same products at the same quantities.
Maker Faire Africa, a festival for craftsmen, has sparked a social movement around informal innovation by rewarding those who demonstrate inventiveness and risk-taking. This movement has incubated new technologies for local consumption, such as a machine for making rope and a tea maker activated remotely by SMS messages.
Bridging the formal
Though resourceful on its own, the informal economy is inextricably linked with the formal economy. For example, factory waste provides materials, and the most reliable commissions are subcontracted from formal enterprises.
And formal systems can have a broader impact. The explosion of access to mobile devices and cloud computing is making a difference in Africa - allowing small businesses to make payments more easily and securely using Safaricom's M-PESA, for example, to contact large groups using technologies such as Kiwanja.net's FrontlineSMS, and maintain virtual homepages using IBM's Spoken Web.
Vast potential remains to use formal technology to empower entrepreneurs in a way that respects decentralised, informal enterprise.
Scientific institutions too are finding value in informal economy research. For example, researchers at the University of Nairobi have formulated surveys and censuses for the sector. And a number of engineering schools are piloting co-creation workshops with local jua kali.
Yet much more can be done to expand these programs and bridge the gap between the formal and the informal. Though the informal economy on its own may not yield prosperity for Africa, technological and scientific interventions that leverage informality will be more likely to succeed.
07 JULY 2011
From BIMBO OMITOOKI in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, (CAJ News) - THE trade volume between Nigeria and Germany is now about €4 billion Euro (about R36 billion) this year.
A delegate, German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria, Andre Ronne, disclosed that while Germany’s major export to Nigeria were machinery, Nigeria mainly exported oil and gas to Germany.
The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, is expected to arrive Nigeria on a state visit to President Goodluck Jonathan and kick off the German-Nigerian Business Forum between July 14 to 15 in Abuja, Nigeria.
The visit would, among other things, enable the two countries explore how both countries would strengthen their relationship for mutual benefits.
Nigeria remained Germany’s second most important trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa, after South Africa.
Mr. Walter von den Driesch stated that the proposed visit by Merkel underlined the importance of the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
According to him, this is the first visit of a German Head of State to Nigeria since 1976 when Helmut Heinrich Schmidt visited the country.
“I believe the visit of the Chancellor is an outcome of success of the recent general elections adjudged to be free and fair,” he said.
“This implies that Nigeria is beginning to get a more positive rating among European countries and the rest of the world. Nigeria is, no doubt, an economic power.”
Chief Operating Officer, Nigerian-German Business Association, Jaiye Doherty, said there were enough grounds for mutual business cooperation between Nigeria and Germany.
“Germany is a reliable partner. What that means is that it brings high quality products into the country. It also means that it sticks to agreement or contract. Now, it is clear that German companies are
interested in increasing their business activities in the country,” he said.