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The New Note 8 – Infinix Unveils An All-Rounder for Success
October 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

The new Note 8 was unveiled yesterday and it exudes sleekness and power. The premium online-driven smartphone brand, Infinix, has once again outdone themselves with an excellent all-round smartphone model that is targeted at the mid-to-high end market segment. The new Note 8’s high performance will make it one to watch and for others to envy.

The brand’s new flagship model comes with a high-performance MediaTek Helio G80 processor, the biggest dual front camera screen, 64M Ultra HD 6 cameras and a fast charging, massive 5200mAh battery with super long endurance among others, making it an ultra-sleek, ultra-fast and ultra long-lasting phone.

“We are committed to developing cutting-edge products that will become the industry benchmark, so we are very proud to launch Note 8 in Nairobi. With its looks, power and endurance, the Infinix Note 8 demonstrates Infinix’s capabilities of addressing consumer needs as well as its strength in technical R&D and product innovations. The new Note 8 certainly has all the makings of an elite phone for the elite user, as it has both the appearance and strength to help achieve that successful life we all strive for. This ultra-sleek, ultra-fast and ultra long-lasting phone is not one to be missed.” said Mike Zhang, Kenya Brand Manager of Infinix Mobile.

Excellent all-round performance
The high-performance MediaTek Helio G80 processor with MediaTek HyperEngine Game Technology powering the new Note 8 makes it incredibly fast and ensures that the phone provides a comprehensive strong and smooth all-round performance. This high-performance chipset not only makes it more fluent and more stable, but also delivers an unparallel E-sports experience, where top scores in every game will be a breeze – an ideal choice for game lovers who want an ultra-smooth gaming experience.

MediaTek HyperEngine Game Technology ensures your smartphone always keeps up with you. It features an intelligent resource management engine that ensures sustained performance and longer gameplay Intelligent, dynamic management of CPU, GPU and memory according to active measurements of power, thermal and gameplay factors. Smoother performance in heavy-loading game engines, demanding scenes and intense gameplay. Enhanced power efficiency and connectivity enhancements for even longer and uninterrupted gameplay.

Bringing visual experience to a whole new level
One of the key highlights of the Note 8 is that features the biggest dual front camera screen in industry – a 20.5:9 screen with dual super tiny camera punch hole – allowing the display to wrap around the punch hole and be less of an inconvenience when consuming media.

And to broaden ones horizons even more is the phone’s 6.95″ Dual Infinity-O Display. Its precise cutting ensures that the camera remains clear of any blockages and does not suffer from a degradation of the picture quality.

To complete the users’ audio visual experience, the Note 8 comes with dual speakers surround sound including with DTS and 4 modes that deliver immersive musical experiences for your ears and soul. Allowing users to level up the sound effect to better enjoy the audio experiences while watching their favorite movies or listening to music or gaming.

Making super stable videos easy
To meet the exacting demands of mobile phone users in the 5G era, Infinix has made continuous efforts to improve the camera functions of its smartphones. The new Note 8 comes equipped with a top of the line set of high definition cameras – 64MP Ultra HD 6 Cameras – that will allow users to capture every wonderful moment in life in unbelievable detail, with crystal clear clarity and lifelike beauty.

In today’s world of TikTok and vlogging, there is huge demand to produce professional quality videos while on the go. After intense testing and evaluation by Infinix’s development team, Vidhance’s video enhancement solution was chosen, as it provided top quality video stabilization software. This was successfully implementation in the Note 7 to great reviews.

For uncompromising quality when it comes to video performance and stabilization, the Note 8 will also have leading video-enhancement algorithms from Vidhance®. This will guarantee stability and clarity of videos when using the Note 8.

And should users decide on making a dramatic slow motion video, the phone’s Slow Motion Capture will capture every frame of the action without missing a detail.

Infinix has also found a solution to combat insufficient light situations that has been plaguing users when shooting videos. By spending more than 180 days and nights of unremitting research and development to address this issue, Note 8’s Ultra Night Mode 2.0 can deliver uncompromising results under low light conditions.

Availability
Infinix Note 8 with 6GB RAM+128GB ROM, provide three options of Deepsea Luster, Silver Diamond, and Iceland Fantasy, priced at 21,799KES.

Starting from October 21, Note 8 will be available in following channels including JUMIA, Kilimall, Xpark and offline retail stores in Kenya. For more information about Note 8, please visit https://www.infinixmobility.com/ke/smartphone/note-8.

About Infinix

Founded in 2013 and targeting the young generations, Infinix Mobile is a premium online-driven smartphone brand. With “THE FUTURE IS NOW” as the brand essence, Infinix aims to allow consumers to stand out in the crowd and to show the world who they really are. Infinix is committed to providing the most cutting-edge technologies, bold and stylish designs, keeping consumers on trend and up-to-date.

Infinix has a presence in more than 40 countries around the world, covering Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and South Asia.

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African Development Bank AgriPitch Competition: $120,000 in prizes on offer during African Youth Agripreneur Forum 3-17 November
October 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

The AgriPitch competition is open to youth aged 18 to 35 who hold African nationality or citizenship and who submit their application online by 23rd October.

There are just hours to go until the 23 October deadline to enter the African Development Bank’s (www.AfDB.org) AgriPitch Competition. Selected entries by African youth agripreneurs will be invited to showcase their agribusiness startup plans and compete for a share of $120,000 in funding seed prizes, a slot of the competition’s business development boot camp, an audience of online panel of experts and investors to pitch their agribusiness plans, as well as receive post-event mentoring and training.

The AgriPitch competition is part of the African Development Bank’s fourth African Youth Agripreneurs Forum (AYAF) – one of the continent’s most exciting platforms for African youth in agriculture start-up scene – to be held online for the first time this 3 -17 November, 2020.

“The African Youth Agripreneurs Forum and AgriPitch Competition has always been a high-energy gathering for young entrepreneurs in agriculture to meet, share experiences – and work the room for that next big investment,” said Edson Mpyisi, Coordinator of the Bank’s Enable Youth Program responsible for the event. “The COVID-19 pandemic may keep us from networking in person in 2020, however, the Bank and partners are gearing up to present a dynamic, knowledge-rich Forum online – as well as the most seed funding AgriPitch has ever awarded competitors,” he added.

In collaboration with partners like UN Women, the African Leaders for Nutrition and the Affirmative Finance Action for Women Africa initiative, this year’s AYAF and AgriPitch competition will have two segments:
AYAF webinars held on 3, 10  and 17  November.
The AgriPitch boot camp training from 2 – 13 November, followed by the finalists pitching on 16 and 17 November.
Under the theme Driving sustainable nutrition and gender inclusivity in Africa’s agri-food systems: youth agripreneurs seize the decade, AYAF and AgriPitch 2020 intends to attract hundreds of participants from across the continent including youth agripreneurs and representatives from agribusiness companies, academia, development organizations, financial institutions and government agencies.

“The event highlights how youth agripreneurs address nutrition and gender inclusivity while serving as entrepreneurial leaders within their communities and being involved in the agribusiness sector,” said Bank Director for Agriculture and Agro-Industry, Martin Fregene. “AYAF and AgriPitch aims to provide the knowledge, confidence, financing and networking boosts to grow their startups and make a greater impact,” he added.

The general public is invited to register for the webinars, scheduled to draw speakers and presenters from across the development, nutrition, gender and agriculture landscape. The weekly sessions will address three topics:
Policies for sustainable nutrition and gender inclusivity (3 Nov).
Empowering youth and women in agricultural value chains to address nutrition (10 Nov).
Strategic partnerships for Equity in Agriculture: Financing Women, Youth and Nutrition (17 Nov).
The AgriPitch competition is open to youth aged 18 to 35 who hold African nationality or citizenship and who submit their application online by 23rd October.

Competition organizers will select agripreneurs with promising proposals to participate in the AYAF/AgriPitch online training platform. In this ‘business development boot camp’, AgriPitch competitors can attend sessions on product

development, revenue channel identification, logistics, marketing, business management, investment readiness, financing and other issues, led by coaches, mentors and investors.

At the end of the boot camp, selected agripreneurs will pitch their business proposals to a panel of judges.Competition winners will be named in three categories: early start-up, mature start-up and women-empowered businesses.

In addition to receiving seed funding prizes and post-competition mentoring, winners will be invited for the AYAF online DealRoom. The DealRoom connects expansion-ready, youth-led African businesses with global investors (debt, equity and/or grant).

*SOURCE African Development Bank Group (AfDB
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TymeBank, a leading digital bank in South Africa signs with Network International to empower SME businesses to accept electronic payments
October 21, 2020 | 0 Comments
TymeBank offers a modern alternative to traditional banking brands and aims to make banking more accessible and affordable to all South Africans.

 TymeBank , a leading digital bank in South Africa, looks to empower small and micro businesses to accept card payments, powered by Network International , the leading enabler of digital commerce across Africa and the Middle East.

Following their successful entry into the South African consumer banking market, TymeBank are now planning to build accessible and affordable payment solutions for the small and micro businesses market. A digital-only bank, TymeBank offers a modern alternative to traditional banking brands and aims to make banking more accessible and affordable to all South Africans having already recruited 2.2m consumers in the past two months.

Network International have already enabled TymeBank to become the first new card acquirer in South Africa for more than a decade and have now implemented a solution with both local processing and connectivity to international card schemes. Network will provide a full end-to-end acquiring solution to TymeBank, including the N-Genius™ payment and processing capability through the company’s integrated omni-channel technology platform, Network One. This will enable TymeBank to expand its offering to power digital payment acceptance among South African small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Network International has been at the forefront of driving digital payments acceptance across Africa and the Middle East, offering end-to-end payment solutions to a growing customer base in over 50 countries.

Dieter Botha, Chief Technology & Operations Officer, TymeBank South Africa said: “TymeBank continues to enhance and expand its provision of affordable (low cost) banking and financial services to the South African market. The bank is always on the lookout for capable and forward-thinking service providers who are prepared to join us on our exciting journey. One such service provider is Network International who met and exceeded our criteria. Network provides platforms that are scalable, proven and cost-effective and bring the bank the ability to develop innovative product and service offerings. Network’s acquiring platform, for instance, supports all the many product features and new developments that the bank was looking for. We are therefore proud to announce that the engagement will be launching a differentiated, innovative, low-cost acquiring service to the South African SME marketplace”.

Andrew Key, Managing Director, Network International Africa, said, “Our engagement with digital banking pioneer, TymeBank not only broadens our foothold in South Africa, but also carries inherent synergies that will positively impact digital payment penetration in the country. TymeBank have challenged the traditional banking offering, through technology-driven innovation and we are delighted to support them as they look to increase payment acceptance among the SME sector. We anticipate broadening our relationship with TymeBank with an increased range of services over the coming months.”
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How the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) Has Killed Jobs, Investments and Opportunities for Local Oil & Gas Entrepreneurs
October 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

The African Energy Chamber will file a lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop the implementation of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC)’s reckless foreign exchange (forex) regulations that are anti-African, against small businesses, and against investors.

International energy companies and local services companies spend a lot of time serving people, solving problems, and saving lives with the energy and service they provide. The African Energy Chamber’s (www.EnergyChamber.org) members create jobs, expand economic opportunity for many local communities across Africa and support a prosperous future for all Africans. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, they never stopped working for our continent, and continue to inspire us by getting up every day and working harder because they believe in the power of free market as a force for good in our communities, and in our fight against poverty. At the African Energy Chamber, we get up every day to help them do it. We must fight for the ability of our energy industry to hire, invest, grow, and succeed in Africa.

As 2020 comes to an end, Africans are living in a remarkable moment of uncertainty due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Millions have lost their jobs, and hopes of an economic recovery remains non-existent for a majority of African families. As if that is not enough, bureaucrats at the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) have decided to push through job-killing and investment-killing regulations that are already increasing unemployment, and will ultimately kill any hopes of seeing future investment in Central Africa.

The aspirations of governments and local companies across the CEMAC region to build a vibrant and jobs-creating energy sector have indeed been dramatically affected by the foreign exchange regulations imposed by the BEAC. Such regulations are putting extremely deterring barriers of entry for investors in Gabon, the Republic of Congo, Cameroon, CAR, Equatorial Guinea and Chad, and a bitter halt to any kind of local content development for companies and entrepreneurs in these countries.

While the end goal of the BEAC to fight corruption is noble and must be supported, in essence its regulations prevent the free flow of capital and the repatriation of profits, and deny local companies the ability to compete on equal terms with their foreign counterparts.

Because of the region’s reliance on imports of equipment and material for oil & gas operations, the ability of local companies to establish strong business relationships with foreign partners is central to their competitiveness and ability to secure contracts. However, CEMAC’s forex rules mean its local services companies are now unable to quickly and efficiently pay their foreign suppliers. Concretely, it would take a local services company from CEMAC several months to honour its contractual engagements with an operator, compared to only a few days or weeks for any other competitor not constrained by the same forex regulations.

As a result, companies in Central Africa are condemned to inexorably lose the contracts they have worked so hard to secure from foreign operators and contractors. In a region where oil & gas represents 80% of revenues, the consequences for economic growth and jobs creation could be catastrophic. To make things even worse, BEAC’s Instruction No. 002/GR/2020 of September 2020 on currency transfers outside of the CEMAC region has set up additional taxes of 0.75% on all transfers made outside of CEMAC starting January 1st 2021, on top of existing fees and taxes.

On behalf of the fight against corruption, the African Energy Chamber can only observe a gradual killing of investment in Central Africa, made through the punishment of local entrepreneurs. A big difference needs to urgently be made between fighting corruption and punishing hard working entrepreneurs, and it needs to be done before it is too late. The BEAC cannot love and support jobs while it hates or punishes those who create jobs.

Combined, the CEMAC members produce about 700,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd). They also produce increasing quantities of natural gas, and the region houses up to 5 million tonnes per annum of LNG export capacity, shared between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon. But as it tries to recover from the Covid-19 crisis and the historic crash in oil prices, we can only expect operators to be forced to contract international companies at the detriment of local ones. In Equatorial Guinea, where the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons has pushed for increasing local content compliance, all such efforts are now jeopardized by the BEAC’s monetary policies. Similarly, the latest local content regulations within the new Hydrocarbons Code of Congo (2016) and Gabon (2019) and the new Petroleum Code of Cameroon (2019) are now all made pointless unless the region’s monetary authority takes a drastic policy turn.

The African Energy Chamber, its partners and members urgently call on the BEAC to act in the CEMAC Zone’s own interest, in the interest of its workers and its companies. The need to have a monetary policy that takes into account the concerns and voice of the region’s biggest revenue-generating industry is dire. At a time when Africa gets ready to roll out the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), CEMAC and its business communities risk being further left behind.

If CEMAC energy markets are to recover from the historic crises of 2020 and improve the standard of living of their population through economic growth and jobs creation, the investment climate and business environment must be supported by market-driven policies and the right financial regulations.

Excessive regulation has become a threat to individual freedom and prosperity, and must be curbed as local companies stand to suffer the most. In an era where capital investment in the energy sector is drying out, especially for African oil and gas projects, CEMAC’s heavy-handed approach is not helpful and is counter-productive.

A policy turn is required to properly fight energy poverty, and a relaxation of foreign exchange regulations must be accompanied with lower taxation on local companies, better fiscal terms for exploration companies, particularly corporate taxes, and the promotion of greater prosperity, individual freedom and investment. 

*SOURCE African Energy Chamber

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USAID-Ethiopian airlines partnership to source food from local farmers for in-flight meals
October 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

 Ethiopian Airlines and the United States have announced a new partnership agreement that will enable the Ethiopia’s flagship carrier to source locally grown produce and ingredients for preparing in-flight meals for global passengers.

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam and U.S. Ambassador Michael Raynor signed a memorandum of understanding in which the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide Ethiopian farmers and food producers technical assistance and access to financing in order to ensure they are able to meet the airlines’ standards of quality and volume to serve its customers.

 It is reported that the new business linkages will help farmers and local agribusinesses reach a prominent new market and increase their revenue streams  with annual sales as high as US$10 million in total  while providing Ethiopian Airlines farm-fresh ingredients sourced directly from Ethiopia, reducing the need for foreign suppliers’ processed foods for their catering services.

USAID support will help Ethiopian Airlines identify local suppliers for the list of catering materials the airline might potentially require, as well as provide support to farmer cooperative unions, youth groups, women groups and other local agriculture businesses to enable them to meet production requirements. A U.S. government loan facility also will expand access to financing for local companies, farmer cooperative unions, and others to expand their operations as needed to meet the Ethiopian Airlines quality and supply demands.

“We deeply value our relationship with USAID and extend our appreciation to USAID for all the support. The new partnership consolidates our effort to continue providing high-quality inflight meals to global passengers while intensifying our effort in creating an enabling environment for local farmers across the value chain. We would like to maintain our partnership with USAID on a range of spheres,” said Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam.

“The partnership we’re launching today demonstrates what’s achievable when prominent businesses like Ethiopian Airlines invest in other Ethiopian businesses and individuals, resulting in truly home-grown economic success that has the potential to be a model for other sectors,” said Ambassador Raynor.

This partnership agreement will run through December 2022 and will help pave the way for Ethiopian Airlines and local producers and farmers groups to continue these supply linkages and partnerships into the future.

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Gas Industry Opportunities can revive Mozambique’ s Special Relationship with Germany
October 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
Verner Ayukegba - Africa Energy Chamber
Verner Ayukegba – Africa Energy Chamber

Gas is fast establishing itself as a key player in the global energy transition dynamics as nations seek to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other air pollutants.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, October 13, 2020/ — Mozambique and Germany have a special relationship, that was formalised when the German Democratic Republic established diplomatic relationships with the then newly independent Republic of Mozambique in 1975. Since then, a great many Mozambicans have been educated in Germany. Another 20,000 were employed in Germany as contract workers. Since the 1980’s, Germany has spent more than USD 1 billion in development aid to Mozambique. Whilst this is laudable, this relationship must evolve to change focus away from aid and towards investment, in response to the numerous opportunities in gas development and other sectors.

German companies need to invest in the development of new gas prospects, in the servicing of the existing developments and in the building of a petrochemical sector in Mozambique. Germany has a strong petrochemical industry that can take advantage of the opportunities in Mozambique with Africa’s USD 1.2 Billion population providing a ready market for such an industry. This will ultimately lead to a win-win situation for both countries. It will not only help to generate economic growth, but will also ensure the creation of good paying jobs, skills developing apprenticeships and the transfer of technology to Mozambique.

Gas is fast establishing itself as a key player in the global energy transition dynamics as nations seek to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other air pollutants. The realisation, that developed economies like Germany and fast-growing economies like China can only realistically meet their emission targets without forgoing economic prosperity by adopting gas as a major source of energy has put countries with large gas resources, like Mozambique in the focus of investors. The share of gas as a primary source of energy has been steadily growing since the 90’s, and this trend is expected to continue. In China, gas now accounts for over 7% of primary energy use from about 1% in 1990. In Germany, gas accounts for 27% of primary energy use from about 15% in 1990.

German demand for gas is projected to continue its rapid growth as the country steadfastly continues to implement its in 2010 adopted energy transition strategy known as the Energiewende. According to the plan, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to reduce by at least 80% in 2050 when compared to 1990. Gas is currently Germany’s second most important energy source after oil. It imports nearly all of the gas it consumes, from Russia (40%), Norway and the Netherlands with only 5% sourced domestically. Domestic production is expected to run out within the next decade, setting Germany up for even more imports from outside. There is therefore, a general consensus in Germany that even more gas resources must be secured from abroad to ensure Germany’s economic growth prospects. Plans to source more gas from Russia have however earned the government heavy criticism, including from Germany’s American allies who see this as leading to an over-dependence on Russia and creating potential National security threat to Germany. Diversifying Germany’s sourcing of gas, from new producers like Mozambique therefore presents an attractive proposition for Germany as a nation and German companies in particular.

Mozambique holds 100 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of proved natural gas reserves. It ranks 15th globally, however the country is still largely underexplored. As the government continues to encourage exploration, it is likely, that the proven reserves will increase in the coming years to rival that of more established gas frontiers. Oil Majors Total, ENI and Exxon are leading development efforts expected to initially cost a combined USD 30 Billion. Committed off-takers, include EDF of France, Tokyo gas of Japan and Centrica from the UK who have all committed to be off takers for the next two decade. Notable however, is the absence of German companies either as operators or major off-takers, despite Germany being one of the world’s largest gas importers.

“It is time for German companies to play a greater role in the development of Mozambican gas industry. Germanys needs gas and in exchange, our companies can provide investment capital, technical Know-how, technology and education” said Sebastian Wagner, Executive Chairman of the German African Business Forum.

In November 2019, German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the creation of a USD 1.1 Billion investment fund during the ‘Compact with Africa’ summit in Berlin. This fund, and other institutions in Germany like the KFW development bank offer various instruments to ease German investments in Mozambique. However, there is an increasing realisation, that such government initiatives to invest in Africa in general and in Mozambique in particular are best implemented by channeling the funds through private sector German and Mozambican companies. In a recent online conference organised by the German African Business Forum, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal representative to Africa, H.E Günter Nooke called German companies to take advantage of these opportunities.

Now more than ever, both countries must take the opportunities presented by the development of gas to strengthen their special bond. Mozambican exports to Germany currently stand at USD 270 Million USD yearly and are dominated by aluminium. This amounts to just 3% of total exports. According to Verner Ayukegba, SVP of the African Energy Chamber, there is room for growth and a significant demand for German technology and investments in Mozambique. “Mozambique is one of the most prized investment destinations in Africa at the moment. Mozambican companies are prepared to partner with their German counterparts to service the nascent gas industry.” “We have a golden opportunity here to strengthen both Country’s economies, whilst at the same time making significant strides towards the reduction of greenhouse gasses with the promotion of gas consumption to the detriment of heavier polluters like coal”, Verner concluded.

*African Energy Chamber

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Kenya:Internet data consumption hits high between April and June
October 12, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

More Kenyans used the internet between April and June when the country was in a partial lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While releasing its fourth-quarter financial report for 2019/2020, the Communication Authority (CA) reported a 5.1 percent data usage growth during the period.

The demand for information online saw the increase of internet subscriptions jump from 39 million to 41 million.

“The number of data/Internet subscriptions continued to grow due to increased demand for access to information online, coupled with the transfer of more services to the digital space,” said CA.

The number of people who use videoconferencing services and online stream services also increased.

The access by learners to Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) e-learning content also hit a record him.

Safaricom mobile provides are the most beneficiary in the recent increase in the number of data usage as it registered a 68.7 percent increase.

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The Long Road To Recovery For Aviation Industry in Africa
October 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Alexandre de Juniac

Aviation Industry is currently burning through cash at a rate of USD$300,00 every minute despite re-start of operations. IATA [International Air Transport Association]Alexandre de Juniac Director Generator bares all to the Pan-African Visions through a zoom meeting confirmed through a posted press- release two days ago.

Alexandre de Juniac  explains that Government support to Industry is important at this point in time facing crisis. Juniac points out that Government support to the industry is vital at this point in time if reconnection of economies and support of the million jobs is to remain sustainable.

”We are grateful to support aimed at ensuring that transport remains viable and ready to reconnect economies and support millions of jobs in the travel and tourism. The crisis is deeper than what we ever thought of, longer than any of us imagined. Initially, support programs are running out. Industry has highly in-debted balance sheets. Let us ring alarm bells to Government support’’.  

‘’Government support is needed without adding a burden to debts already felt by the industry. Financial support is really needed for the sector to move on well. The impact has spread across entire travel value chain including our airports and air navigation infrastructure partners who are dependent on pre-crisis levels of traffic to sustain their operations ”

Industry will burn through to $77 billion in cash during second half of 2020. [ almost 13 billion every month or US$ 300,000 a minute despite a restart. Slow recovery sees Aviation Industry continuing to burn through cash at average rate of US$5 to us$6 billion per month in 2021.

Government support is critical without adding more burdens. Financial aid alone from the Governments is expected to sustain the airline industry. . Governments world-wide have provided US$160 billion including direct aid, wage subsidies, corporate tax relief and industrial tax that includes fuel taxes.

‘’We are grateful of the resumption of the aviation industry because this sustain jobs, makes markets grow and improves on our Global Economy of which Aviation Industry has impact to those with jobs and to those who get the support. However, we are not happy if airline industry burns cash through-out.’’

‘’With no time-table for Governments to re-open boarders without travel killing quarantines, we can-not rely on a year-end holiday season bounce to provide bit extra cash to tide us over until spring ‘’

‘’Historically, peak summer season cash supports airlines through to the Winter months in times of known flourishing business. Unfortunately, disastrous season of spring and summer provided no cushion. Airlines burned cash through-out’’.

‘’Let us ring an alarm bell to Governments so that they support airline programs start from now. We want to see the better days of aviation and move on with our history to 2021 ‘’.

IATA estimates despite cutting costs over 50% during the second half the industry went through $51 billion in cash as revenue fell 80% captured to a year ago. Cash drain continued during summer months with airlines expected to go through an additional US$77 billion of their cash during second half of this year and further US$60 to US$70 billion in 2012. The Industry is not expected to turn cash positive until 2022.

‘’Airlines are having extensive self- help measures to cut costs. These range from parking planes, cutting critical expenses, cutting routes and laying off staff in numbers. Airlines are doing this because travelers are postponing travelling due to covid-19 restrictions, fear of contracting the virus, quarantine measures and going through expenses’’.

‘’Increasing the cost of travel at this sensitive time delays a return to travel and keep jobs at risk. So far, they are 4,8 million jobs at risk, US$46 million potential jobs losses and 1,8 trillion dollars of economic activity at risk. Government’s 10% relief to aviation industry is great support.’’ concludes Juric

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Equatorial Guinea and Russia Officially Break Ground on their Geological Mapping Project in Río Muni
October 6, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Rio Muni area is believed to be one of the most promising exploration frontiers in Equatorial Guinea.

Last week marked an important step in the energy cooperation between Equatorial Guinea and Russia, as the first team of Russia’s state-owned joint stock company Rosgeo arrived in Equatorial Guinea to kick off a historic geological mapping project.

The initiative has been in the making for some time, and follows the signing of Memorandum of Understanding during the Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi in 2019 between Rosgeo and the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH). It was followed by the signing of two firm services contracts in May 2020 with JSC Zarubezhgeologia and JSC Yuzhmorgeologia, internationally operating subsidiaries of Rosgeo, for the initial phase of seismic acquisition in transit zone and state geological mapping in the Rio Muni area in mainland Equatorial Guinea.

As a result, JSC Zarubezhgeologia will be performing scouting works for state geological mapping, and JSC Yuzhmorgeologia will be performing scouting works for complex seismic acquisition in the transit zone of Rio Muni. The activities are notably aimed at analyzing landscape conditions for geological surveying and prospecting, determining the scope of mapping drilling, researching the possibility of mineralogical sampling of channel deposits, analyzing technical conditions for the arrangement of geological camp in Rio Muni, and other scouting necessary to prepare for next phases of exploration works. 

Equally important, the program marks the re-entry of Rosgeo into Equatorial Guinea following successful operations of its subsidiary JSC Zarubezhgeologia back in the 1970s. when its activities formed the basis for Equatorial Guinea’s geological exploration industry.

“This is a historic momen for Equatorial Guinea as we welcome once again long-standing partners of our country to explore onshore Río Muni. We expect this region of Equatorial Guinea to become a new natural resources hub both for onshore oil & gas operations but also for mining and minerals. Upcoming exploration activities will provide the foundation for this next phase of growth in our industry, and having Rosgeo on the ground gives us confidence and faith for a successful exploration campaign,” declared H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons.

The Rio Muni area is believed to be one of the most promising exploration frontiers in Equatorial Guinea, which could turn the country once again into a hotspot for natural resources exploration. Increased exploration is expected not only to help in sustaining and increasing domestic output of oil and gas, but also in proving additional reserves in key minerals to help Equatorial Guinea further diversify its economy.

*Africa Energy Chamber
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A Heavy Toll On Aviation Jobs in Africa from COVID-19
October 2, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Muhammadi Albakri IATA's Regional Vice President for Africa and Middle East
Muhammadi Albakri IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and Middle East

IATA, International Air Transport Association has revealed new information related to the Aviation Industry. Muhammadi Albakri IATA’s Regional Vice President for Africa and Middle East says the upsurge of covid-19 continues to deepen damage to the Aviation Industry.

He said there are 4,5 million African jobs on risk in 2020 due to covid-19 in the Aviation and related Industries of Aviation support. This is half of 7,7 million jobs in Aviation. This tells then that 3,2 million jobs may be left in the Region if challenges continue. This he adds, is 40% of Africa’s 440,000 Aviation jobs. Gross Domestic Product supported by Aviation will fall by $ 37 billion., This is 58% below pre-covid-19 levels, he concludes on the first part of his speech sent to this On-Line.

‘’Covid-19 had almost crippled the Aviation Industry World-wide. More to our disadvantage, it continues to deepen. The breakdown has severe consequences in the Aviation Industry. This, to Air Transport connectivity has adverse social and economic consequences for millions’’

‘’No Income means lack of social safety net for many people in and outside the Aviation Industry. If no action is taken, then, it means we are to fall. Governments must carry the role to connect nets. Firstly. It is important to keep boarders closed. Secondly to impose quarantine measures. There are certain measures that deter the Air travel. If taken that way, it deters travelling. This increases economic hardships and creates more poverty ‘’ says Mohammadi Albakri .

He further states that to minimize the impact is vital. It is achieved through covid-19 testing and alternative to restrictive quarantine measures. He says that 31 countries in Africa opened boarders to registered International Air Transport. In 22 of the countries, passengers are still subject to a mandatory 14 -day quarantine.

‘’It is vital to minimize the impact through covid-19 testing and alternative to restrictive quarantine measures. In Africa 31 countries opened boarders to Regional and International Air Transport. In 122, passengers are still subject to a mandatory 14 -day quarantine. It is imperative to test passengers before their departures ‘’.

‘’ . Measures are crippling the Industry’s recovery and ability to economic development. Some measures have caused challenges in the Industry. It now means we have to work much harder than before to restore capacity and confidence in the once booming Industry ‘’, he concluded in the second part of the Press Release.

IATA. This is a Trade association of World Airlines. It was formed in 1945. It encourages Air-Line companies to stick to International technical Standards. It organizes tariff conferences that serve as a forum for price mixing ..

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World Coffee Day: Nestlé Helps Boost Coffee Production in Africa
October 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

Africa accounts for about 12% of the world’s coffee production and the high-quality and taste of coffee from the continent are loved by coffee connoisseurs worldwide.

 Coffee farmer, Francois Dadi Serikpa , from Gnamagnoa in Côte d’Ivoire, joined Nestlé’s  Nescafé Plan  ten (10) years ago. The coffee farms that had been in his family for generations were producing poor yields, making it hard for him to earn a good living to care for his family. Under the Plan, he worked hard with Nestlé agronomists who taught him better farming practices and how to grow coffee sustainably. Four (4) years later, Dadi was very proud to have increased his production five-fold, growing more than two tons per hectare. Dadi embodies the success stories of thousands of farmers across 11 countries, who are part of the Nescafé Plan worldwide.

Dadi is one of the millions of farmers all around the world facing the threat of climate change disrupting coffee production . To grow properly, coffee crops require specific temperature, light and humidity levels. However, rising temperatures will reduce the area suitable for growing coffee by up to 50% by 2050  Water shortages have also left some coffee farms abandoned or converted for other uses. In Côte d’Ivoire, coffee production usually peaks at about 100 000 metric tons a year, but recently took a severe hit when the seasonable rain pattern reduced supply by 15%.

Africa accounts for about 12% of the world’s coffee production  and the high-quality and taste of coffee from the continent are loved by coffee connoisseurs worldwide. Côte d’Ivoire alone is the largest coffee producer in West Africa and the third largest in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, scientists warn that without conservation, monitoring and seed preservation measures , millions of coffee farmers on the continent could lose their livelihoods, impacting the quality of their lives and their families.

Rejuvenating, rehabilitating and replanting

To help revitalize coffee production on the continent, much work is currently underway to boost production, which will improve the incomes of coffee farmers and encourage young people to pursue a career in coffee farming, eventually improving economic development across the region.

For Nestlé in Central and West Africa, sustainable coffee farming is attainable, and the company is joining forces to do this by rejuvenating, rehabilitating and replanting sustainable coffee now, and in the future.

Agricultural techniques, such as adapting the coffee tree crop formation including the structure, number of branches and canopy shapes, have been introduced to enhance growth. Group training, individual farmer coaching and farming tools have also been provided to Ivorian coffee farmers to encourage the advantages of the correct pruning and maintenance of plantlets and trees.

As a result, about 6 750 hectares of coffee trees have been planted and more than 2 000 hectares of coffee farms have been rejuvenated across Côte d’Ivoire, producing over 2 000 metric tons of additional coffee supply and increasing farmer income by 25%.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nespresso also recently announced a long-term commitment to revive the country’s coffee industry, support Congolese farmers and restore production in regions that are under threat.

The future of coffee

Encouraging such behavioral changes in agricultural supply and enhancing economic development cannot be done alone.

Last year, the Inter African Coffee Organisation (IACO) teamed up with the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI) and the International Coffee Organization (ICO) to launch a multimillion fund to support Africa’s coffee industry

In 2018, the Ministry of Agriculture in Côte d’Ivoire introduced a pruning campaign to provide support to coffee farmers and set a target to achieve 350 000 metric tons of coffee production. Although this goal was not met and coffee supply volumes continued to decrease, this kind of action to kick-start production is welcomed, as without collective action, the future of high-quality coffee looks bleak.

“The coffee industry including exporters and producers, together with governments in Africa, and worldwide, must all work swiftly as one to tackle climate change. It is highly important to Nestlé, which is why our CEO, Mark Schneider has signed on to the UNs ‘Business Ambition for 1.5°C’ pledge to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 . We commit to such sustainability goals to advance the health of our planet, drive societal progress and support a sustainable, healthy food system”, said Fatih Ermis, Head of Agricultural Services for Nestlé in Central and West Africa.

Scott Coles, the Business Executive Officer for Coffee at Nestlé Central and West Africa, continued saying, “Working together, we will be able to empower and provide long-term support to local farmers and their communities to rebuild their coffee industries and local economies, while meeting growing demand for coffee in Sub Saharan Africa. All of these steps will go a long way to help fulfill our purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come.”

About Nestlé Central and West Africa:
In Central and West Africa, Nestlé operates in 25 countries and directly employs more than 5 400 people. The region has nine factories and three co-packers. As a company in society, Nestlé helps address the specific nutritional needs of the population by offering tastier and healthier foods and beverages; and by promoting balanced diets and healthy lifestyles. Nestlé’s portfolio in Central and West Africa spans food and beverage categories including dairy, culinary, coffee, beverages, infant nutrition and bottled water. MAGGI®, MILO®, CERELAC ®, GOLDEN MORN®, NESCAFÉ®, NIDO® and PURE LIFE® are just some of our most popular brands in the region. The company’s purpose is “unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come.”

*Source Nestlé

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Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), Huawei Ink Partnership Agreement to Promote Tech-Driven Financial Inclusion, Fintech Capacity Building
September 28, 2020 | 0 Comments

Under the partnership, KBA and Huawei will also aim to promote financial inclusion activities in line with the KBA Strategic Plan for the period 2020 to 2023.

Partnership seeks to promote tech-led financial inclusion as well as Fintech ICT Capacity; The two organizations have convened a summit on ICT and financial inclusion.

The Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) has signed a collaboration agreement with tech-firm Huawei-Kenya that seeks to deepen financial inclusion in the banking sector through further deployment of technology and building fintech capacity.

In the partnership, KBA will work closely with Huawei-Kenya to spearhead industrywide capacity building initiatives aimed at promoting knowledge on financial technology innovation, digital transformation, and other ICT-related programmes in the banking industry.

Under the partnership, KBA and Huawei will also aim to promote financial inclusion activities in line with the KBA Strategic Plan for the period 2020 to 2023. Launched last year, the Plan seeks to promote access to affordable financial services through tech-aided operational efficiency.

Speaking during the signing of the agreement, KBA Chief Executive Officer Dr. Habil Olaka said the cooperation would go a long way in promoting the delivery of efficient banking services in Kenya through knowledge-sharing programmes that will be organized by the two institutions.

“This partnership will further focus on research and knowledge-sharing activities, which will supplement the research initiatives that continue to be spearheaded by the Association’s Centre for Research Financial on Markets and Policy®. In this regard, the collaboration will certainly augment KBA’s and member banks’ knowledge base in engagements with diverse stakeholders from a fact-based perspective,’’ Dr. Olaka added.

The partnership comes on the heels of the the 2020 edition of the Huawei-KBA Online FSI Summit slated for 30th September this Year. The forum is among the initiatives Huawei and KBA are jointly  implementing to promote the delivery of efficient banking services through technology under the cooperation agreement.

Huawei-Kenya Chief Executive Officer Mr. Will Meng welcomed the partnership, saying technology will remain a core driver towards enhancing convenient access to financial services in light of disruptive occurrences such as the ongoing Coronavirus Disease pandemic.

‘’The theme of the upcoming summit is ‘’Building Banking Core Competence through Digital Transformation to Accelerate Inclusive Finance’’. It is one of the initiatives we are rolling out in Kenya in partnership with the Association to ensure we optimally leverage on technology to achieve affordable and accessible financial services in the regional economy,’’ said Mr. Lee.

The summit comes at a time when the global economy is coping with the impact of the Coronavirus Disease. Dr. Olaka noted that the banking industry has continued to tap into the potential of technology to uphold business continuity and supporting customers, a culmination of efficient deployment of technology by the banking sector during this period.

“Beyond the COVID-19 disruption, we see technology as an invaluable enabler of financial inclusion. I have no doubt that the summit along with the KBA-Huawei collaboration will play a significant role in our collective efforts to entrench technology in our operations and sustain our contribution to the national development agenda,’’ Dr. Olaka said.

About the Kenya Bankers Association:
KBA was founded on 16th July 1962. Today, KBA is the financial sector’s leading advocacy group and banking industry umbrella body that represents total assets in excess of USD 40 billion. KBA has evolved and broadened its function to include advocacy on behalf of the banking industry, and championing financial sector development through strategic projects such as the launch of the industry’s first P2P digital payments platform PesaLink. In line with the Government’s policy on public-private partnerships, KBA and Central Bank of Kenya have implemented key projects such as modernization of the National Payments System through the Automated Clearing House, implementing the Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS), and the Kenya Credit Information Sharing Initiative. The KBA members are comprised of commercial banks and deposit taking microfinance banks.

About Huawei-Kenya:
Founded in 1987, Huawei is a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices. We are committed to bringing digital to every person, home and organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. We have more than 194,000 employees, and we operate in more than 170 countries and regions, serving more than three billion people around the world
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