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Latest News June 6, 2017

June 6, 2017

news From All Africa

  • 24th Annual Africa Oil Week 2017 – the mainstay event for Africa’s oil and gas industry

    ITE is pleased to host the 2017 edition of the globally recognised Africa Oil Week (www.Africa-OilWeek.com), the world’s longest running oil and gas conference on the African continent, from the 23rd -27th October in Cape Town, South Africa.

    Africa’s premier event is host to over 1,250 industry players from around the world, bringing together cross-continent multinationals and offering a content rich programme, a quality industry exhibition and five-star networking. Regarded for its high-level participation and onsite deal-flow, with sizeable in-room investor and finance potential, Africa Oil Week delivers exposure of Africa-wide state and private acreage opportunities, transaction and new venture assets and potential, exploration and production developments, and an overview of Africa’s hydrocarbon future.   

    Now in its 24th year, Africa Oil Week, being held at the Cape Town Convention Centre, continues to provide the most trusted and reliable platform for governments, national oil companies, corporate players, independents and financiers, along with service and supply operators, to share deep insight and linchpin strategies and engage in meaningful debate and conversations set to drive and strengthen Africa’s rapidly evolving upstream industry.

    With over 160 speakers from the corporate and public sphere, this year’s event promises a programme designed around industry solutions that set the standard for adjusting business models to new demands. Experts will share strategies that enable the upstream industry to advance carefully, yet optimistically, as the investment environment improves, with companies pursuing asset deals, and oil price gains remain in place. Innovation, flexibility, capabilities, technology and reforms are the keywords of the new strategies being deployed to face the future of the upstream industry with confidence and Africa Oil Week provides opportunities for exploring them all.

    Being held as part of this year’s event and strengthening its core offer are the 17th Africa Independents Forum (23rd Oct), the 24th Africa Upstream (24th-27th Oct), the 5th Africa Local Content Forum (23rd Oct) and the 5th Young Professionals in Oil, Gas & Energy session. Special highlights are the 80th PetroAfricanus Dinner (http://APO.af/eR8fBY), hosted by ITE on 24th October at Cape Town’s iconic Mount Nelson Hotel, and the 9th Global Women Petroleum & Energy Club Luncheon (25th Oct).

    Delegates who register by 16th August qualify for the substantial Early Bird Discount while companies registering three or more delegates benefit from an additional 10% discount. All registration fees include access to the 17th Africa Independents Forum and the 24th Africa Upstream Conference and Exhibition.

    Numerous opportunities (http://APO.af/YTvQkf) exist for partnering with Africa Oil Week as a sponsor and/or exhibitor and media partner.

    For more information: www.Africa-OilWeek.com.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Africa Oil Week.

    Press contacts: 
    Sonika Greyvenstein 
    Tel: +27 11 880 7052
    Sonika.Greyvenstein@ITE-Events.com

    Amanda Wellbeloved
    Tel: +27 11 880 7052
    Amanda.Wellbeloved@ITE-Events.com

    London office: +44 207 596 5076

  • Republic of Korea Warship ROKS Choi Young and European Union Naval Force Warships Strengthen Counter-Piracy Cooperation off Coast of Somalia

    The Republic of Korea warship, ROKS Choi Young, has been deployed as part of EU NAVFOR off the coast of Somalia. The invaluable cooperation between the Republic of Korea and European Union warships is helping to strengthen maritime security to keep seafarers safe as they transit the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden.

    ROKS Choi Young is a Sun-sin class destroyer and entered service in September 2008. Equipped with the latest military and surveillance technology, she is perfectly suited to counter-piracy operations.

    Commenting on what was the second integration of ROKS Choi Young to EU NAVFOR, Operation Atalanta’s Force Commander, Rear Admiral Rafael Fernández-Pintado Muñoz-Rojas said “By cooperating with the Republic of Korea Navy, we were able to show how EU NAVFOR develops its understanding of the maritime security situation off the coast of Somalia by talking to local coastal communities and conducting surveillance at sea. This in turn enabled the Republic of Korea Navy to assess how their capabilities can be best employed to contribute to Operation Atalanta’s counter-piracy efforts and importantly, to pass this knowledge on to the next Republic of Korea warship that will participate in EU NAVFOR.”

    During the last week ROKS Choi Young and EU NAVFOR warships cooperated at sea to carry out combined operations and training.

    The commander of the Republic of Korea fleet, Vice Admiral Jung Jin-sup stated: “The first combined operation between the Cheonghae unit and EU NAVFOR at the end of February was highly successful and this further coordination has taken our cooperation a step further.”

    Distributed by APO on behalf of EUNAVFOR Atalanta.

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    EUNAVFOR Atalanta
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  • Media Invitation: Join Mandela Washington Fellows from Across Southern Africa in Johannesburg June 7-8

    The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, the flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), is hosting the Southern Africa Regional Conference for Mandela Washington Fellows in Johannesburg, South Africa from June 7-8, 2017. More than 100 promising young leaders from 14 countries will gather to debate and collaborate on the issues affecting the Southern Africa region. They will be joined by some of Africa’s most notable leaders in the private sector, representatives of the United States Government, and international and local organizations.

    USAID and IREX support Mandela Washington Fellows with continuing professional development opportunities in Africa, to advance their leadership trajectories. The Southern African Fellows include participants from Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. 

    Members of the media are invited to cover the following sessions on June 7 & 8, 2017:

    Wednesday, June 7
    9:00 AM – 10:30 AM:  Opening Session, including remarks by:
    •    Jessye Lapenn, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy Pretoria
    •    Lebohang Chaka, CEO, AfroVisionary Legacy 
            
    11:00 AM – 12:20 PM:  Panel on Internet connectivity as a human right, featuring representatives from the African Union and the International Telecommunications Union
    3:30 PM – 4:50 PM:  Plenary Workshop, “Failing Fast – helping Fellows find their 
    solutions.” 

    Thursday, June 8
    9:15 AM – 10:30 AM: Plenary Workshop on leadership 
    •    RSVP:  Members of the media may register in advance by contacting Alex Cole at newsroom@irex.org.  Journalists must present credentials upon arrival.  Attending journalists must be seated 30 minutes prior to the start of each session. 
    •    All events are at the Southern Sun O.R. Tambo.  
    •    Please remain in the auditorium if you would like to conduct one-on-one interviews at the conclusion of the formal program. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa.

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    U.S. Embassy Pretoria, South Africa
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  • President Zuma to Address 69th World News Media Congress

    President Jacob Zuma will on Wednesday, 07 June 2017, address the Opening Ceremony of the 69th World News Media Congress which provides a platform for international press to reaffirm its commitment to defend and promote freedom of expression, in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.  

    The annual congress, which is organized by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), is a forum which brings together more than 1000 newspaper publishers and chief editors from over 80 countries to discuss issues and challenges facing the media sector.

    “South Africa is honoured to host this important gathering of international press on behalf of the African continent. We look forward to a meaningful dialogue and innovative ideas that will improve the media sector and ensure that the media play a leading role in building a peaceful and prosperous world,” said the President. 

    President Zuma has reiterated government’s commitment to the ideals of a free and independent press as well as the protection of right to freedom of expression and access to information as entrenched in the Constitution of the Republic.

    The Congress will take place as follows:
    Date: Wednesday, 07 June 2017
    Time: 18h00
    Venue: Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre, Durban

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Presidency.

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    Republic of South Africa: The Presidency
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  • Greek Embassy in Qatar takes on diplomatic representation of the Arab Republic of Egypt

    During Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias' telephone conversation today with the Foreign Minister of Egypt, Sameh Hassan Shoukry, the Egyptian side requested that the Greek Embassy in Doha take on diplomatic representation of the friendly Arab Republic of Egypt in Qatar.
     

    Within the framework of the traditionally friendly relations Greece maintains with the Arab world, Mr. Kotzias responded positively to his Egyptian counterpart's request.

    Greece is at the disposal of all sides to contribute in any way to the benefit of regional cooperation and stability.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic.

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    Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Republic
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  • The Africa Energy Forum arrives in Denmark June 7-9, 2017

    Forum Overview

    The 19th Annual Africa Energy Forum (AEF) will take place from June 7-9, 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    Nineteen years in the running, AEF brings together senior-level representatives from all corners of the energy value chain to form partnerships, identify opportunities and collectively move the industry forward. 

    Download the brochure

    AEF 2016 attracted 2,100 participants from 80 countries, 32 of those being African. In addition 5 major energy deals and mergers were announced, demonstrating the role of the conference as a platform for industry developments.

    The event will bring together African ministers, including:

    • H.E. Hon Advocate Sadique Kebonang, Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Botswana
    • H.E. Hon Professor Alpha Oumar Dissa, Minister of Energy, Mines and Quarries, Burkina Faso
    • H.E. Hon Irene Muloni, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda
    • H.E. Hon Dr. Seleshi Bekele, Minister of Water, Irrigation and Electricity, Ethiopia
    • H.E. Hon Obeth Kandjoze, Minister of Mines and Energy, Namibia
    • H.E. Hon Amina Moumouni, Minister of Energy, Niger
    • H.E Hon Ingele Ifoto, Minister of Energy and Hydraulic Resources, Democratic Republic of Congo
    • H.E. Hon Ambassador Henry Macauley, Minister of Energy, Sierra Leone
    • H.E. Hon David Mabumba, Minister of Energy and Water Development, Zambia
    • H.E. Hon Senator Tsitsi Veronica Muzenda, Deputy Minister of Energy and Power Development, Zimbabwe
    • H.E. Hon Basile Atangana Kouna, Minister of Water and Energy, Cameroon
    • H.E. Hon Guy-Bertrand Mapangou, Minister of State in charge of Water and Energy, Gabon
    • H.E. Hon Lantoniaina Rasoloelison, Minister of Water, Energy and Hydrocarbons, Madagascar
    • Ministry of Energy, Mines and Sustainable Development, Morocco
    • Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy, Mozambique

    With special Guest:

    • Honourable Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Former Chairperson of the African Union Commission

    Also in attendance:

    • 13 Government Officials
    • 30 Representatives from Country Utility and Power Pools
    • 16 Regulatory Authorities

    Distributed by APO on behalf of U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

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    U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA)
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  • IMF Executive Board Approves US$224.2 Million Under the ECF Arrangement for Sierra Leone
    • The Executive Board’s decision will enable a first immediate disbursement of SDR39.166 million (about US$54.3 million).
    • Growth is expected to reach 7 percent in the medium-term. Under the program, inflation is expected to fall to 12 percent by end-2017, further declining to 9.5 percent in 2018 and narrowing by about 0.5 percent each year thereafter. 
    • The program aims at supporting important policies targeted at reducing inflation and significantly increasing domestic revenues, while increasing infrastructure spending and bolstering the social safety net.

    On June 5, 2017, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF)[1] for Sierra Leone for SDR 161.778 million (about US$224.2 million, or 78 percent of Sierra Leone’s quota) in support of the authorities’ economic development efforts.

    The program will build on the lessons from the previous ECF arrangement. It aims at supporting important policies targeted at reducing inflation and significantly increasing domestic revenues, including by eliminating numerous tax and duty exemptions, while increasing infrastructure spending and bolstering the social safety net. The ECF program is also expected to play a catalytic role to maintain external support. In the medium-term, the arrangement will provide the framework for structural progress on revenue mobilization, public financial management and financial sector reforms, as well as increased reserves.

    The Executive Board’s decision will enable a first immediate disbursement of SDR39.166 million (about US$54.3 million). The remaining amounts will be phased over the duration of the program, subject to semi-annual reviews.

    Following the Executive Board discussion on Sierra Leone, IMF Deputy Managing Director Mr. Tao Zhang and Acting Chair, said:

    “The new program provides support on three broad fronts: (i) provide financing space in the short-run to fund critical spending; (ii) make a strong contribution to the reduction of poverty; and (iii) support a medium-term structural reform framework, most critically in domestic revenue mobilization, public financial management (PFM), and financial sector reform.

    “For the medium-term, the new program focuses on forceful revenue mobilization supported by a medium-term Revenue Mobilization Strategy (RMS), which the authorities will design and implement. On the expenditure front, the authorities are in the process of finalizing the regulatory framework for the recently passed PFM Act. The PFM Act will enhance the efficiency of spending, support medium-term budget planning, and consolidate the cash resources of various ministries, departments and agencies under the roof of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

    “In the short-run, the ECF arrangement will help create fiscal space, which will be used to scale up infrastructure and social spending to support higher and inclusive growth. To further this goal, the authorities’ decision to prioritize public investment, consistent with a moderate risk of debt distress rating, is welcome. The authorities’ efforts to expand the social safety net are also to be commended.

    “The authorities’ commitment to implement a fuel subsidy reform no later than the second ECF review is important for a sustainable budget. In the meantime, the alternative actions taken to compensate for the delay in the implementation of this reform are welcome. These measures are the elimination of all import duty and GST exemptions as well as the collection of royalties from mining companies based on published market prices.

    “Sierra Leone’s risk of debt distress remains moderate. Financing needs, particularly for large-scale investment projects will need to be covered mostly with grants and concessional loans. In addition, non-debt generating options should be considered for the proposed new airport.

    “Monetary policy will remain focused on lowering inflation to single digits. The Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) shall seek to build reserves, while allowing further exchange rate flexibility and limiting its interventions to smooth exchange rate volatility. The BSL should also take firm action to strengthen the financial system, based on the conclusions of the recently completed diagnostics for the two state-owned banks. The establishment of a civil registry and financial sector reforms, including the move toward risk-based supervision, should help increase credit to private sector.

    “Structural reforms aimed at enhancing governance and improving the business environment will help increase support for private sector participation in the economy and promote economic diversification.”

    [1] The Extended Credit Facility (ECF) is the IMF’s main tool for medium-term financial support to low-income countries. Financing under the ECF carries a zero-interest rate, with a grace period of 5½ years, and a final maturity of 10 years. 

    Distributed by APO on behalf of International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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    International Monetary Fund (IMF)
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  • Government Committed to Supporting More Black Industrialists – Minister Davies

    The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies has reiterated government’s commitment to supporting more black industrialists in order to achieve deeper levels of industrialisation and economic transformation. Minister Davies was speaking during the opening ceremony of the state-of-the-art R100 million manufacturing facility belonging to the United Industrial Cables (UIC) in Alberton.

    The 90% black-owned company, which manufactures specialised cables for clients in the energy, transport, communication and mining sectors has been supported to the tune of R46 million by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) through its Black Industrialists Incentive Scheme.

    “The space and opportunities for black companies in the manufacturing sector have been limited. Therefore it is imperative for government to support more real, genuine and serious black industrialists to enable them to operate in the mainstream of our economy. This will not only achieve higher and deeper levels of industrialisation, but it will also go a long way in radically transforming the ownership of the country’s economy, and increasing inclusive growth. It was against this background that we started the Black Industrialists Programme,” said Davies.

    He added that UIC was one of the 46 companies that the department has supported under the programme, and emphasised that a hundred black industrialists will have been supported by the end of this financial year.

    Minister Davies said industrialisation was critical in bringing about fundamental change in the structure of the economy which is still depended on the production of exported primary commodities. The Industrial Policy Action Plan, he said, has been initiated by government to promote industrialisation in the country.

    “The Black Industrialists Programme aims to accelerate the participation of black industrialists in the country’s economy, selected industrial sectors and value-chains, as reflected by their contribution to growth, investment, exports and employment, amongst others.  As we roll out the industrialisation, infrastructure and localisation programmes, we need to support more black industrialists. In this way, we can create new industries, build on new expertise of people, and achieve more industrial development for the benefit of the country’s economy,” said Davies.

    The Managing Director, Mr Andy Matakanye of UIC said the dti funding, together with the support provided by the Industrial Development Corporation, has enabled the company to establish a world-class facility that will enable it to produce a range of copper cables including Optical Ground Wires, a product that was previously only available as an import. This will make UIC the only manufacturer of this particular cable in Africa. More than 200 jobs will be created by the company as a result of the support it received.

    The United Industrial Cables is established by a group of young black professionals with extensive experience in cable manufacturing, finance and project management, with the aim of transforming the South African cable manufacturing industry.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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    The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa
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  • PayU moves to connect businesses to N200bn online payment market

    PayU (www.PayU.com.ng) has rolled out strategies to intensify efforts to connect businesses to Nigeria’s online payment market. Annual online payments in Nigeria is estimated to surpass N200 billion this year from N167 billion in 2016.

    Country Manager of PayU Nigeria, Ms Juliet Nwanguma,  says, “In order to pursue PayU’s aggressive expansion in the online payment market in Nigeria, we have identified businesses that can benefit from our  global expertise across 16 markets where we offer over 250 payment options.”

    With over 2.3 billion users world-wide, PayU is confident it can help businesses grow their market share and help them to achieve their business objectives.

    Data recently released by the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) showed that 5.5 million transactions worth N46.7 billion were generated through online sales in the first quarter of 2017. This is an increase in the quarterly average of 3.5 million transactions worth N33 billion in 2016. This 58% growth is a clear indication of the increased confidence and preference for online sales amongst Nigerians.

    The double digit growth, according to Nwanguma, is far below the potential of the market for online payments in Nigeria. 

    Nwanguma noted that in a country of over 180 million people, consisting of 61 million active bank customers and where e-payment transactions are worth N56 trillion in a year, the potential for online payments in Nigeria is huge and waiting to be tapped.

    She disclosed that the mission of PayU is to leverage on Nigeria’s 97 million active internet users to popularise and increase online payments in Nigeria.

    “At PayU, we believe that with the deployment of appropriate strategies and products which are designed to encourage more businesses to adopt online payment, the market in Nigeria can record triple digit growth in both volume and value of online payments. This is the driving philosophy of PayU’s operations in Nigeria” she said.

    Since last year when we entered the Nigerian market, we have used our globally tested products such as tokenisation, recurring payments for subscription services and single click payments for faster checkout. Our range of services according to different business categories especially the PayU Easy service allows start-ups to start selling online instantly without the need of a bank account or trading history. ”

    “PayU has succeeded in successfully assisting small, medium and large organisations with their online payments. In particular, the robust and flexible features of PayU Plus and PayU Enterprise have assisted merchants to grow and expand their online payment business.” 

    PayU offers merchants safe, secure, online shopping.  Their products are   PCI DSS Level 1 compliant which mean they are required to meet extremely stringent security criteria. All card details are secured by secure socket layer (SSL) and transfer layer security (TLS) encryption and reinforced through various encryption processes in order to provide protection for all payment information.   They also are 3D secure enabled which gives consumers added security when shopping online. 

    The increased preference for online payments among Nigerians offers new opportunity for businesses to increase patronage and grow revenue. 

    The global expertise of PayU, combined with its easy-to-use and secure online products provide the channel to leverage on this opportunity and achieve business objectives.

    Distributed by APO on behalf of PayU.

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