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Afreximbank to establish southern Africa regional office and trade centre in Zimbabwe
May 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire     

President Mnangagwa and Afreximbank President, Dr Oramah

   

The African Export lmport Bank (AFREXIMBANK) is to establish its Southern Africa regional office and a trade centre in Harare, Zimbabwe.  According to the bank in a statement, the complex will be established on a 12000 square metre plot of land in Newlands,Harare.       

    It is reported that the 20 000 sqm proposed iconic mixed- use business complex is expected to provide an integrated one-stop-shop for trade facilitation and trade finance.It is also expected to offer a range of facilities, which include,corporate office space,conference and exhibition centre,innovation and incubation hub,knowledge centre,including hotel and retail facilities.             

The bank has already invited expressions of interest to qualified contractors for the initiative.

 Afreximbank is a pan-African multilateral financial institution headquartered in Cairo,Egypt established to provide financing solutions and advisory services for the expansion, diversification, promotion and development of intra and extra-African trade.

     

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Dangote, MTN emerge most admired African brands
May 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
The 2020 survey was conducted between February and April 2020 and yielded over 15,000 brand mentions and over 2,000 unique brands.

For the third time in a row, Dangote Group has emerged as the most admired African brand, of African continent origin, by consumers, paired with the telecommunication giant, MTN in a survey of 100 Africa best brands announced in a novel global virtual event that incorporated the market openings of Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria.

GT Bank returns to the top spot in financial services and the United Kingdom’s BBC retains its media category ranking as the most admired media brand in separate category sub-surveys of the most admired financial services and media brands in Africa. African brands only occupy 13 of the 100 entries, seven less from last year.

Established 10 years ago, to coincide with the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the world’s biggest single sporting event, the Brand Africa 100: Africa’s Best Brands survey and rankings have established themselves as the most authoritative survey, analysis, and metric of brands in Africa.

African brands only occupied 13 of the 100 entries, 7 less from last year’s. Founder and Chairman of Brand Africa and Brand Leadership, Thebe Ikalafeng during an online interactive session via Zoom said: “African brands have an important role in helping to build the image, competitiveness and transforming the continent’s promise into a real change. It’s concerning that in the 10 years since the triumphant FIFA World Cup in South Africa which globally highlighted the promise and capability of Africa, and despite the vibrant entrepreneurial environment, Africa is not creating more competitive brands to meet the needs of its growing consumer market.” Global Client Development Manager, GeoPoll, Caitlin van Niekerk said: “The reach and accessibility of mobile across the continent enabled us to survey respondents across a representative sample of countries quickly and effectively, giving us vital and timely results at a critical time. Kantar has been the insight lead for Brand Africa since inception in 2010.”

It is a consumer-led survey which seeks to establish brand preferences across Africa. The survey is conducted among a representative sample of respondents 18 years and older, in 27 countries which collectively represent 50 per cent of the continent, covering all economic regions and accounting for an estimated 80 per cent of the population and the GDP of Africa. The 2020 survey was conducted between February and April 2020 and yielded over 15,000 brand mentions and over 2,000 unique brands

Out of the top 100 brands in 2010/11, only half still appear in this year’s list due to mergers, acquisitions and the obsolescence of many brands. The most prominent changes are in the technology category with the demise Blackberry (#32 in 2010/11), the consolidation of Vodafone (#54 in 2010/11 and now #13 in 2020) which acquired Vodacom in 2008 and re-branded in 2011, Etisalat (#40 in 2010/11) re-branding to 9 Mobile in 2017 and Motorola (#39) being acquired by Lenovo in 2014. A Chinese brand, Tecno, has raced up the ranking from #33 to #5 in the rankings – a dominant performance for one of China’s premier global brands that are not even sold in China

In his reaction, Group Chief Corporate Communication Officer of the Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina said the management was not unexpected of the ranking because  the company has a long standing reputation for quality, relevance compliance and social stewardship. “Our mission and vision engage and inspire us to by extension connects us to with both our internal and external stakeholders.  

“We fervently believe that only Africans can develop Africa, and this gives us stronger sense of relevance  in all the countries where we have our operations. We are touching lives by providing their basic needs and empowering Africans more than ever before creating jobs reducing capital flight, helping government conserve foreign exchange drain by supporting different industrial infrastructural projects of African government.”

Mr. Chiejina stated further that Dangote Cement has been producing high quality and affordable cement, reducing poverty, engaging in unprecedented philanthropy and above all respecting the laws of the land where we operate. “All these are our credo and we do not compromise it, it is our way. And the ranking is just an acknowledgement of all these by our stakeholders, We keep our brand promise and stay authentic.” he concluded
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The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and Ecobank Group announce the key focus areas of their joint initiative to support Africa’s Micro Small and Medium Enterprises
May 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are critical to the African economy as they account for almost 85% of all private sector employment

AUDA-NEPAD (the African Union Development Agency) and Ecobank Group kick-start their collaboration to strengthen Africa’s response to Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). High level representatives from the African Union Commission, regional development banks, development financial institutions, international organisations and commercial banks from the continent came together to focus their efforts on supporting the MSMEs segment and protect the livelihoods of millions of Africans. A virtual workshop facilitated by McKinsey held on May 26, 2020 provided an opportunity to reinforce the commitment of national, regional and continental institutions to work together to support MSMEs following the COVID-19 pandemic.

MSMEs are critical to the African economy as they account for almost 85% of all private sector employment. Vulnerable jobs are in 5 sectors in Africa, including Trade, Agriculture, Manufacturing, Construction and Hospitality. Some 25 – 160 million jobs in Africa are vulnerable due to the impact of COVID-19. This presents an opportunity to come together to increase capabilities available to MSMEs across the continent. Leaders acknowledged the need to continue ongoing efforts to support MSMEs while leveraging organizational capabilities for medium and long-term support.

Governments have committed in average $20 billion to support MSMEs recovery, however access to existing commitments will likely be limited to registered medium enterprises due to criteria outlined by governments and the reducing appetite of commercial banks to loan to small scale enterprises. The funds allocated for MSMEs are insufficient in most countries, leaving the biggest gaps in micro to small unregistered businesses. Based on this estimated financing gap, only 6 out of 20 countries have made commitments that can cover the MSMEs labour costs, including South Africa, Egypt, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Chad and Cape Verde. For this reason, partnerships such as that being co-led by Ecobank Group and AUDA-NEPAD are vital.

AUDA-NEPAD Chief Executive Officer Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki emphasized that success of this initiative will depend on the number of partners and of the quality of the partnerships. He commended all the attendees for their interest and called their respective organizations to join as partners to drive this mission together.

Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group CEO remarked, this initiative is focused on empowering MSMEs and to ease restarting and growing Africa’s economies with the knowledge that a significant number of jobs will be lost and businesses incapacitated. The workshop provided a platform for stakeholders from East, West, Central, North and Southern Africa to identify priority areas and strengthen our collective approach to safeguarding this sector, especially the micro enterprises. We believe that a multilateral approach which includes organisations, private sectors and governments will be beneficial and imperative for a successful implementation of support for Africa’s MSMEs.

About the Platform:
The AUDA-NEPAD and Ecobank Group will work with other African likeminded institutions and businesses to utilize the platform for monitoring and benchmarking, thus allowing members and MSMEs to share their experiences, best practices, national policies, and challenges, and avail resources to support African businesses and economies to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic. This will help prioritise the Agency’s actions in the short, mid and long term towards the Member States and the partners, to (i) mitigate COVID-19 economic impact, and (ii) leverage on lessons learned from the 100,000 SMEs project and other national, regional and continental initiatives to increase African economies’ level of resilience amid the pandemic.

About the AUDA-NEPAD COVID-19 Response Plan of Action:
The AUDA-NEPAD COVID-19 Response Plan of Action is a proactive, efficient and direct response in enhancing continental coverage, and improving access to sustainable and resilient health services while ensuring the protection of Africa’s economic foundations. The set of thematic areas that have been addressed by the plan create an ecosystem for the private sector to contribute to its implementation and to benefit from its added value, by opening new markets based on a win-win approach. The AUDA-NEPAD will be a recipient of financial investments and donations for its COVID-19 Response Plan of Action. The Agency plays the role of broker between various service providers and governments, as well as coordinate the value chain from operations to institutional mechanisms.

About Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’ or ‘The Group’):
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’) is the parent company of the Ecobank Group, the leading independent pan-African banking group. The Ecobank Group employs over 15,000 people and serves about 20 million customers in the consumer, commercial and corporate banking sectors across 33 African countries. The Group has a banking license in France and representative offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Beijing, China; London, the UK and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. The Group offers a full suite of banking products, services and solutions including bank and deposit accounts, loans, cash management, advisory, trade, securities, wealth and asset management. ETI is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchanges in Lagos, the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra, and the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières in Abidjan.

* SOURCE Ecobank
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Senegal: A West African Leader on the Rise
May 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Thomas Hedley*

Senegal has demonstrated strong ambition for economic development and rapid progress towards becoming an attractive investment destination

Although they are located 1,800Km from each other, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal vie for the place of economic leader in West Africa, with a slight advantage for the former which, thanks to its leading economic capital Abidjan, was able to attract many investors, particularly French speaking.

The population of Senegal reached 15.85 million people in 2018 compared to 25 million in Côte d’Ivoire. The same difference can be observed when looking at gross domestic product (GDP) since Senegal reached $25 billion in GDP in 2018, while Côte d’Ivoire reached $43 billion dollars. The competition between the two countries is justified by a recent common history, where Senegal acquired independence from France just two years after Côte d’Ivoire, in 1958 and 1960 respectively.

Both countries are members of the Economic Community of West African States. The diplomatic group is led by Nigeria, which represents the economic engine of the region, followed by Ghana, also an English-speaking country. Next come Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal in third and fourth position.

Thanks to an ambitious economic development plan initiated in 2014, the Senegal Emerging Plan (PSE), Senegal has managed to attract more foreign investors over the years. The objective of the PSE is to proclaim Senegal as an ‘emerging country’ according to the United Nations, which is characterized by a set of criteria making it possible to declare that the country has made decisive progress in terms of economic and social development. The notion of ‘emerging country’ also translates a notion of stronger influence on the international as well as regional community.

Senegal is a country blessed with an excellent geographical location, at the westernmost point of the African mainland, featuring a large Atlantic coastline. Relatively developed transport and hospitality infrastructure translates to a great tourism potential. The Sine Saloum Delta region is the south is globally recognized spot for natural ecosystems and wildlife viewing, while the former capital Saint-Louis, north of Dakar, is praised for its colonial architecture heritage. 1,4 million tourists visited Senegal in 2017, up 40 percent from 2014. The sector generates over 300,000 jobs.

Phase 2 of the PSE, which was launched in 2019, aims in particular to make Senegal independent from an energy point of view and endowed with universal access to electricity by 2025. The plan includes a strong renewable energy aspect. Several solar park projects have come online since 2014 as well as the commissioning of the largest wind farm in West Africa, Taiba N’diaye, whose official inauguration took place in February 2020.

Since the launch of the PSE, Senegal has experienced a sustained and very stable growth rate of around 6% per year. While the COVID-19 epidemic may indeed affect the 2020 targets, the medium-term outlook remains very optimistic. The first productions of the Sangomar and Grand Tortue Ahmeyim fields, respectively of oil and gas, are planned for 2022 and 2023, with final investment decisions signed on the two projects. The Taiba N’diaye wind farm, planned to increase electricity production by 15%, is in operation. The first solar park went online three years ago and five more have been launched since then and two are in the pipeline. In addition, Senegal is part of the Senegal River Development Organization (OMVS) which aims to generate electricity from the Senegal river.

Almost simultaneously with the launch of the PSE, an oil exploration team comprised of Australian FAR Ltd and Woodside Energy, as well as the British company Cairn Energy and Senegalese Petroleum Company (Petrosen), announced a large oil discovery off the coast of Dakar in deep waters. A year later, exploration company Kosmos Energy announced a very large gas discovery offshore in very deep waters, straddling the border with Mauritania. British Major BP has acquired operator status on the Grand Tortue Ahmeyim project, which aims to be the fastest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project ever developed. Although the COVID-19 epidemic is threatening what was originally planned, targets remain the same as pre-crisis.

Senegal has decisive key success factors: an attractive geographic position, strong political and institutional stability, a very strong political will towards reform and progress, a flexible regulatory framework for investors and a stable business climate. Since the PSE did not foresee a strong development of the hydrocarbon sector, the discoveries of 2014, 2015 and the following ones constitute an excellent additional growth lever for a highly promising country.

The development policy undertaken by President Macky Sall following his election in 2012 is a long-term policy, aiming the build the foundations of a solid economy, based on key sectors such as industry and energy, including a significant component of local content across the value chain.

*SOURCE Africa Oil & Power Conference
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Young population, failing currencies and costly payments will drive Africa towards cryptocurrencies – says Luno
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments
Luno's new report was made in conjunction with Arcane Research
Luno’s new report was made in conjunction with Arcane Research

Luno, the global cryptocurrency platform, has unveiled a new report that explores the opportunity presented by cryptocurrencies in Africa and highlights the potential for cryptocurrencies to thrive as a result of the economic landscape and demographic trends of the continent. 

The State of Crypto: Africa report, which has been made in conjunction with Arcane Research, states that high inflation rates, volatile currencies and lack of banking infrastructure, combined with a growing, young and mobile-native population make Africa ideal for rapid adoption of cryptocurrencies. However, the report also states that lack of the typical infrastructure seen in other regions such as nodes, mining operations, supporting merchants, ATMs and exchanges present some obstacles that must be overcome for cryptocurrencies to reach their full potential in Africa.

Along with the report, Luno is also set to unveil a new documentary “Banking on Africa: The Bitcoin Revolution”, that follows the journey of some of Africa’s Bitcoin pioneers as they seek to leverage cryptocurrency to leapfrog standing world economic powers. The documentary, which will be available on Amazon Prime on Friday, 22 May, is a 45 minute video featuring key crypto personalities based in Southern Africa. These include, Riccardo Spagni (Fluffy Pony), Simon Dingle, Dawie Roodt and Sonya Kuhnel .It also follows the stories of Lorien Gamaroff (founder of blockchain-based social outreach project, Uziso) and Alakanani Itireleng (founder of the SatoshiCentre, Botswana), with a glimpse at the spectrum of applications of Bitcoin and blockchain technology.

According to recent Google Trends data Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa are ranked as 3rd, 8th and 13th on the topic of cryptocurrency respectively. Other surveys also highlight the growing appetite for cryptocurrencies on the continent, with one survey of internet users that owned cryptocurrency, placing South Africa as third highest worldwide at 13 percent and Nigeria as 5th at 11 percent. Another survey showed that 16 percent of South Africans had either used or owned cryptocurrency, ranking only behind Turkey, Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina. 

“While much of the focus elsewhere has been on investment, speculation and trading, Africa, more than any other continent, has a need for the utility of cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies present an ideal antidote to many of the financial challenges in Africa and the current context presents fertile ground for an alternative to germinate,” says Marius Reitz, General Manager for Africa at Luno

Reitz also added that “there is clearly a lot of work to be done, especially with crypto-specific infrastructure, but this also presents a huge opportunity to deliver much needed transformation of financial systems across many countries on the continent”.

Tjoborn Bull Jenssen, CEO of Arcane research, also added that, “The State of Crypto: Africa is the most comprehensive case for cryptocurrencies in Africa to date. Africa is one of, if not the most promising region for the adoption of cryptocurrencies and it is vital that as much attention as possible is brought to this fact. The opportunity to transform financial services in Africa is a significant one and we are pleased to have worked with Luno to put this report together”.  

Luno is a leading global cryptocurrency company on a mission to upgrade the world to a better financial system. With a team of over 300 and currently has its headquarters in London with regional hubs in Singapore and Cape Town.

Luno is ranked in the top-ten of the CryptoCompare Exchange Benchmark published on November 19th, 2019.

With over 4 million customers (wallets) spanning over 40 countries, Luno’s products and services make it safe and easy to buy, sell, store and learn about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP.

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Ecobank Group and Google collaborating to deliver digital solutions tailored for Ecobank’s Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) customers
May 21, 2020 | 0 Comments
Josephine Anan-Ankomah, Ecobank’s Group Executive for Commercial Banking
The aim is to assist African businesses remain relevant and fulfil their potential by embracing digital capabilities

Ecobank Group , the pan-African Bank, in collaboration with Google is helping to equip African SMEs with the necessary digital skills to navigate the rapidly evolving business world. The aim is to assist African businesses remain relevant and fulfil their potential by embracing digital capabilities.

Josephine Anan-Ankomah, Ecobank’s Group Executive for Commercial Banking said: “As a longstanding pioneer in providing cutting-edge digital solutions for African businesses we are delighted to collaborate with Google to offer timely and relevant solutions, including Google My Business and Google Ad products. These are specifically tailored to meet the needs of our SME customers.”

“Our objective is to be the partner of choice for SMEs, by meaningfully supporting their success and growth. It is therefore a natural step for us to work with Google to help improve the capabilities of our SMEs customers. We are focused on helping them thrive by adopting technology, which is becoming increasingly essential for survival of businesses today.” Added Josephine Anan-Ankomah.

Ecobank’s invaluable eBanking product suite is increasingly relevant in this era of lockdowns and physical distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With this robust platform, Ecobank provides 24/7 access to customers, conveniently meeting the evolving cash management, payment and collection needs of businesses. It is essential that African SMEs take full advantage of the commercial opportunities having a digital presence provides. It will ensure comprehensive engagement between SMEs and their customers as well as potential new customers. Ecobank’s digital banking suite, coupled with its collaboration with Google, will empower SMEs to win.

 The digital packages are expected to be available to Ecobank’s SMEs customers across sub-Saharan Africa in May 2020.

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’)  is the parent company of the Ecobank Group, the leading independent pan-African banking group. The Ecobank Group employs over 15,000 people and serves about 20 million customers in the consumer, commercial and corporate banking sectors across 33 African countries. The Group has a banking license in France and representative offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Johannesburg, South Africa; Beijing, China; London, the UK and Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. The Group offers a full suite of banking products, services and solutions including bank and deposit accounts, loans, cash management, advisory, trade, securities, wealth and asset management. ETI is listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchanges in Lagos, the Ghana Stock Exchange in Accra, and the Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières in Abidjan.
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The Development of Equatorial Guinea’s Mining Industry will give a Boost to Economic Diversification and Jobs Creation
May 19, 2020 | 0 Comments
Leoncio Amada Nze, President for CEMAC at the African Energy Chamber
Equatorial Guinea intends to fully tap into its minerals potential, especially in the Rio Muni area

Recent developments coming from Equatorial Guinea on the development of its mining and minerals industry are extremely positive and need to be welcomed and applauded. As the demand for key minerals such as lithium, graphite, cobalt, aluminum, copper and nickel is expected to rise and gold prices hit record highs, Equatorial Guinea has a unique opportunity to tap into an industry that has proven successful across the continent.

Last year, the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) organized the country’s first Mining Bidding Round, EG Ronda 2019. It raised the interest of several mining investors, and was followed by the adoption of a new Mining Regulation earlier this month, and the signing of five exploration and prospecting contracts, announced today. In doing so, Equatorial Guinea intends to fully tap into its minerals potential, especially in the Rio Muni area, which is highly prospective in minerals such as gold, diamonds, base metals, iron ore and bauxite.

Across sub-Saharan Africa, mining is generating billions of dollars of revenues for state coffers and supporting thousands of jobs, from West to Southern Africa. For a country like Equatorial Guinea, one of Africa’s top oil & gas producers and whose economy heavily relies on hydrocarbons, the political will behind mining is a very positive move.

“Equatorial Guinea is getting serious about developing its mining industry, and we applaud that move,” stated Leoncio Amada Nze, President for CEMAC at the African Energy Chamber. “The country has tremendous minerals potential, and the development of a value-chain for mining, from services all the way to processing, could generate thousands of jobs for Equatoguineans, create new associated local businesses, and new economic centers bringing business activities closer to rural areas along with other ripple effects in the economy,” he added.

Equatorial Guinea’s steps towards developing a local mining industry notably align with Equatorial Guinea’s Economic Diversification Policy designed by the Government following its Second National Economic Conference. Under the ongoing Year of Investment 2020 for instance, the MMH is promoting key projects in the mining and minerals industry, notably including an industrial mining area with a gold refinery.

*Africa Energy Chamber
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Equatorial Guinea awards Contract to American Company Nexant for Methanol-to-Derivatives Plant
May 14, 2020 | 0 Comments
The project is part of the Year of Investment and was previously agreed during a meeting last January

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) of Equatorial Guinea, in collaboration with the Atlantic Methanol Production Company (AMPCO), awarded American company Nexant the feasibility study for the construction of a new formaldehyde production plant in Punta Europa.

The project is part of the Year of Investment and was previously agreed during a meeting last January between H.E. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Marathon Oil Chairman, President and CEO Lee Tillman and Executive Vice President Mitch Little.

Formaldehyde is a key component in the manufacturing of plastics, clothing, paper, and is widely used in industries derived from wood. The construction of such a facility in Equatorial Guinea would open doors for the establishment and growth of such related industries in the country. The feasibility study for the project is expected to be ready by mid-June 2020, and is part of the ongoing Year of Investment 2020.

“We are on track to deliver several projects under the Year of Investment 2020 following the award of the feasibility study for a 5,000 bpd modular refinery to VFuels last month, and the award of the feasibility study for the methanol-to-derivates plant this week,” declared H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima. “These are two landmark projects of the Year of Investment that will boost the local transformation of domestic oil and natural gas and create substantial jobs for the country,” he added.

The Year of Investment 2020 projects aim at attracting investments across Equatorial Guinea’s midstream and downstream industries and promote infrastructure that adds value to the hydrocarbons industry of the country through job creation. In light of the ongoing economic crisis in the region, the Year of Investment has also become a way for Equatorial Guinea to ensure a quick and sustainable recovery of its economy by promoting investments in key infrastructure projects that can create local value and generate revenue for the country. Key projects being promoted under the Year of Investment notably include a modular refinery for domestic supply, an additional modular refinery which could be destined for exports, storage tanks for refined products, methanol derivatives manufacturing, an industrial mining area with a gold refinery, and a urea plant project.

*Africa Energy Chamber

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New Gas Master Plan to boost Africa’s First Offshore Gas Mega Hub in the Gulf of Guinea
May 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

Offshore gas mega hub will be the first such venture offshore Africa and aims at pooling stranded gas across the Gulf of Guinea

Equatorial Guinea continues to lead the development of natural gas production and monetization in the Gulf of Guinea, with the award of a new contract for a new Gas Master Plan to support the ongoing development of its offshore Gas Mega Hub.

In collaboration with Marathon Oil Corp and EG LNG, the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) awarded a contract for the development of a Gas Master Plan to British company Gas Strategies on Tuesday. The work is part of the development of Equatorial Guinea’s Gas Mega Hub, for which Definitive Agreements towards the monetization of the Alen unit were signed in April 2019.

The offshore gas mega hub will be the first such venture offshore Africa and aims at pooling stranded gas across the Gulf of Guinea by maximizing existing infrastructure at Punta Europa. While key facilities there, such as EG LNG and Marathon’s methanol plant, have traditionally been relying on gas feedstock from the Alba Field, declining output requires to gather gas from additional fields and reserves in the region.

“Equatorial Guinea has given natural gas a priority in terms of development and monetization, and we believe gas is the key to industrialization and jobs creation,” declared H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. “With key initiatives such as LNG2Africa, the ongoing offshore Gas Mega Hub and the Year of Investment 2020, we are going to complete key gas projects in upstream, midstream and downstream that will further diversify our economy, provide opportunities for our local companies, and create jobs for our citizens,” he added.

Under the development, Punta Europa is set to become a gas processing center for all stranded gas fields in the Gulf of Guinea, and could open up economical avenues to monetize offshore gas in Cameroon and Nigeria as well.

The new Gas Master Plan represents an important step towards the realization of this vision, and will help in accelerating and coordinating offshore gas developments, which could eventually lead to the construction of additional liquefaction capacity on Punta Europa.

*African Energy Chamber

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Namibia’s Minister of Energy and the Oil and Gas sector to discuss the Future of the Namibian Energy Industry in Exclusive Webinar
May 12, 2020 | 0 Comments
Namibia’s Minister of Energy Tom Alweendo

The free webinar will be hosted under the theme, The Future of the Namibian Energy Industry; Hon. Tom Alweendo will be joined by Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org), NJ Ayuk; The discussion will be moderated by Africa Oil & Power Field Editor, Thomas Hedley and Lawyer and Energy Specialist, Gawie Kanjemba; Follow the conversation through the #AECWebinars and #AOPWebinars.

Continuing its Africa energy series webinars, the African Energy Chamber will present an exclusive webinar with the Nambian Minister of Energy. Hon. Tom Alweendo on Friday, May 15, 2020 at SAST. Hosted by African Oil & Power, the open to public webinar will explore the future of the Namibian energy industry in the context of the current global climate.

As 2020 was planned to be a strong year for exploratory drilling in the country, the conversation will look at the state of the country’s upstream industry and its development potential. Hon. Tom Alweendo will be joined by Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber, in the discussion moderated by Namibian Lawyer and Energy Specialist, Gawie Kanjemba, and Africa Oil & Power Field Editor, Thomas Hedley.

In light of Namibia’s push to develop a sustainable and clean energy industry, participants will also discuss the country’s key energy infrastructure and power projects with a particular focus on gas-to-power and renewable energy.

“In Namibia particularly, after 30 years of independence, we have grown the economy over ten folds and remain one of the countries with the highest GDP per capita in Southern Africa,” said Hon. Tom Alweendo. “Exploring resources like oil & gas can translate into a tool for transforming the economy even further. The shareholders of Namibian resources are the Namibian people, it is thus important to work with organizations like the Africa Energy Chamber and Africa Oil & Power, to map out a future that speaks best for Africa,” he added.

“Our next Africa energy series of webinars takes us to a true African energy frontier and we are honored that Hon. Tom Alweendo is joining us in this conversation,” declared NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “Namibia has a tremendous potential for energy investments across the value-chain and should not be overlooked when it comes to building a sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa.”

As international oil companies farmed-down their interests in Namibia’s offshore, a series of leading independents came in and invested, raising hopes to see world class disocveries in the near future. These notably include Chariot Oil & Gas, Tullow Oil, Africa Energy Corp, AziNam, BW Energy, Chariot Oil & Gas, Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas, Global Petroleum, Impact Oil & Gas, Maurel & Prom and Tower Resources. The country is also home to the giant Kudu gas field, where 1.3 Tcf was gas was discovery in 1974. The block is currently operated by BW Energy, who remains committed to finding a viable commercial development option for the field. Kudu’s development is seen as key to resolving the energy crisis in Namibia and developing strong gas-to-power capacity.

*African Energy Chamber

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African Energy Chamber issues Urgent Advisory Guidelines for the Management and Safety of Oil Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic and Africa-wide Lockdowns
May 12, 2020 | 0 Comments
This is aimed at mobilizing, demobilizing and putting back our energy sector to work safely across the continent

Amid the ongoing effects of lockdowns in oil and gas-producing countries such as Nigeria, Angola, Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan and Cameroon, the African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) hereby issues pragmatic commonsense advisory guidelines for governments, oil companies and personnel.

This is aimed at mobilizing, demobilizing and putting back our energy sector to work safely across the continent. The guidelines are open for free consultation on www.EnergyChamber.org.

In light of the prolonged Covid-19 pandemic, the oil & gas industry has been heavily strained, increasing the need to pay critical attention to workers’ safety and putting in place procedures to ensure their transitioning in and out of the workplace. Currently, travel restrictions have forced oil operators to maintain their personnel for extended periods of time on remote sites, increasing the risks of Lost Time Injury.

“We must always prioritize the health, safety and well-being of brave oil workers who continue to defy insurmountable odds to keep energy production ongoing across the continent,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “All upstream oil & gas operators are experiencing similar challenges due to reduced workforces and extended periods of lockdown and travel restrictions. Our guidelines put the safety of workers, host communities and oil operators at the core of the industry’s operations and sector recovery.”

“These non-exhaustive guidelines will assist operators and governments in ensuring the movement and safety of offshore and onshore oil workers so oil & gas operations can continue while preventing any additional spread of Covid-19,” concluded Ayuk.

In order to ensure that oil & gas health and safety standards and practices adapt to a new normal, the African Energy Chamber has worked with its partners to issue this new set of advisory guidelines. These guidelines notably take into account local regulations in host countries, and are heedful of the need to protect local communities from exposition to any potential Covid-19 transmission.

Such advisory guidelines notably include a series of agreements and protocols governing health monitoring and travel authorizations given to oil workers before, during and after their mobilization on site. They take into account the best international healthcare practices in order to ensure both a safe continuation and resumption of onshore and offshore activities, while preserving the health of oil workers, host countries and host communities.

*African Energy Chamber
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Energy Lobby to Host Webinar on Financing the Recovery of African Oil and Gas Markets
May 7, 2020 | 0 Comments

The webinar is part of the Africa Energy Series, and will be hosted by the African Energy Chamber in partnership with Africa Oil & Power on May 15th at 12:30 London time (GMT+1)

In line with its recently-released Common-sense Energy Agenda that calls for banking and financial support to the oil & gas sector, the African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) will be hosting a webinar exploring the role of Private Equity, gas monetization and African marginal oilfield producers in supporting economic recovery. The webinar is part of the Africa Energy Series, and will be hosted by the African Energy Chamber in partnership with Africa Oil & Power on May 15th at 12:30 London time (GMT+1).

The webinar will benefit from the participation of Kola Karim, Managing Director and CEO of Shoreline Energy International, a leading Nigerian independent oil producer; Nyonga Fofang, Managing Director of Bambili Group, an Africa-focused private equity firm; and Steve Brann, Senior Investment Manager at Vitol. It will be moderated by Shawn Duthie, Managing Director of Inyani Intelligence, and James Chester, Acting CEO of Africa Oil & Power.

“We have to come to terms with the new realities of our energy sector and it is time to explore concrete solutions to finance and support our recovery and ensure future sector growth,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “The future of our markets relies on mobilizing capital in innovative ways and structuring deals that work for our companies and our industry,” he added.

The discussions on May 15th will notably center on the role private equity can play in ensuring the come back of Africa’s energy sector, along with exploring ways African independents can navigate the current climate and position themselves for future recovery. In addition, a highlight will be given to gas by debating on the future of African and global LNG trade.

As global markets face a shortage of liquidity in years to come, the African Energy Chamber believes that only stronger industry cooperation and dialogue can result in maximizing capital inflows into Africa. This requires new ways of thinking and new financing strategies to develop assets, get projects off the ground and ensure that the recovery of the sector translates into local jobs creation and revenue generation.

*Africa Energy Chamber

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