Relief as Emirates Airline introduces easy payment options for Kenyan travelers.
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
On Monday, August 2, Emirates Airlines announced the introduction of convenient payment methods for Kenyan travellers to offer them a better real-time user experience on the airline’s website and app when planning their travel.
In a statement, the airline said customers can now purchase their flight tickets using local debit, and credit cards, mobile money or through mobile banking and have their ticket issued within minutes.
According to Emirates Kenya Manager Christophe Leloup, the new options provide greater convenience for customers by switching from cash to online bank transfers from 12 local banks or three mobile wallet providers.
He said despite the currency, location, bank, or card; travellers will find a payment solution that suits them when booking.
“We have worked very hard to provide them with a secure and frictionless experience through more local banking partners, mobile money providers and a host of other options to facilitate payments,” said Leloup.
Sierra Leone: UBA opens new branch at Adonkia
August 2, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
The United Bank for Africa in Sierra Leone (UBA – SL ) on Thursday 29th June, opened its new branch in the Adonkia community, West of Freetown as part of the Bank’s strive and expansion to reach in every part of the country.
Speaking during the official opening of the Adonkia branch of the bank, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of UBA in the country, Usman Isiaka, said, the bank started operations in the country since July 2008 stating that today the bank can boast of having seven (7) full branches and 4 cash points making a total of 11 service points across Freetown, Bo, and Makeni where he said their customers can conduct their transactions.
“Today, we are here to open our 12th Service point, a full fledge Branch in this beautiful Adonkia environment, a strategic location linking Western Urban and Rural Districts. Moving to Adonkia is a deliberate strategic decision to lead in the execution of the Central Bank’s financial inclusion drive in taking banking to the door steps of the Sierra Leonean public ,’’ he said, adding that the Adonkia branch aims to cater for corporate , the retail unbanked and under –banked customers within and beyond the Adonkia community.
Mr. Usman Isiaka said that the bank will be bringing to the Adonkia community area the new UBA customer experience (CX) Initiative launched earlier this year across UBA Group which focuses on ensuring that we do more than is expected and delight their customers at every point of interactions adding that right from the security staff at the entrance and within the bank’s premises, to the customer service officers among others.
“In this regard, the new UBA Adonkia branch will be providing to the delight of all the banking populace in this community and beyond the following services as obtainable in all other branches of UBA to create a new customer a new experience. Account opening for corporate , small and Medium Enterprise and Individuals , remittance services as Africash, Western Union, Money Gram, Ria, and BnB etc.,’’ the CEO UBA in Sierra Leone added.
Deputy Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL), Sheikh Alhaji Yayah Sesay in his statement congratulated the board and management of UBA Sierra Leone Limited for their laudable effort in taking banking services to the door steps of the people of Adonkia, Goderich and its environs.
“This Adonkia branch is truly modern and beautiful which is a manifestation of the United Bank for Africa’s continued investment in Sierra Leone and the desire to serve its esteemed customers in a conducive and modern environment,‘’ he said.
He said that as one the top listed banks in the world, the UBA enjoys an excellent customer base, a diversified business structure and strong innovation capabilities and market competitiveness adding that the bank has continued to play a leading role in the banking sector in the country’s economy for over a decade.
‘’In these uncertain economic times, several of the developed economies are challenged, to bring about growth and job creation while addressing several fundamental weaknesses in their economies and financial systems. This step by UBA is a significant step in the right direction of addressing these underlying issues. Sierra Leone warmly welcomes the continued participation of Nigerian financial institutions in the domestic financial sector,’’ Sheikh Alhaji Yayah Sesay, the BSL deputy Bank Governor added.
Member of Parliament constituency 110, Madam Khadija Davies, on her part thanked the bank for bringing the Bank’s branch in her community and constituency adding that her community has been lagging behind in terms of development and financial services for a very long time thus appreciating the bank as it will boost development in her community.
She said that her constituency is made up of about 60 to 70 % business people and therefore congratulated the bank and its boards for bringing such a development in her community whilst lobbying the bank to provide loans to businesses in her constituency./
Connecting Africa to the global economy is paramount to strengthening international trade.
July 30, 2021 | 0 Comments
By David Eurin*
Connecting Africa to the rest of the world and unleashing its workforce potential may just be the key to catapulting international trade and markets to a whole new level. According to 2019 United Nations Demographic data, 60% of the African population is under the age of 25, giving this developing continent the largest population of young people in the world. These innovative young minds are eager for a seat at the global economic table, but how do we get them there?
Africa (as a whole) desperately needs to leapfrog into the digital future and catch up with the rest of the world. The continent is in need of proper broadband infrastructure and connectivity to the global economy. The sooner the better as each country in Africa is developing digital skills (albeit at different rates) to offer the world.
Liquid Intelligent Technologies recognises Africa’s potential and connects it to the global economy. We created 100,000km of fibre routes to transport data across the length and breadth of the continent and provided access to submarine cables.
Through our vision, we built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, and with the East to West fibre connection, our fibre routes are the most direct digital corridors across the southern hemisphere. We have set a new benchmark helping the organisation achieve historic milestones in its journey to create a more connected Africa.
The fibre connectivity infrastructure corridors offer a low latency path to connect Asia, Africa and the US as an alternative to busier routes via the Middle East. Our growth is a direct result of the increasing demand for infrastructure to support broadband internet on the African continent. Now more than ever before, local businesses need reliable and extensive connectivity to ensure effective digital transformation.
With all of this in place, it is now possible for companies to expand their operations in Africa using a reliable and extensive network with access to over 100,000 kilometres of the fibre network. This includes access to Cloud, Cyber Security, IoT networks, and state-of-the-art data centres in Nairobi (Kenya), Johannesburg and Cape Town (South Africa) and Lomé (Togo), with more being built such as in Lagos (Nigeria) – keeping Africa’s data in Africa and meeting all required data regulations.
This infrastructure not only enables new trade-in and out of Africa, but it also brings a variety of new benefits to a continent that has for far too long been in much need of more global investment, infrastructure and support. This cross-border connectivity with high speed and access to public clouds allows the region to grow via digital services such as internet banking, access to international education, and the platform to connect hospitals to central databases. It also helps bring governments online and bolster service delivery efforts.
Despite some challenges along the way, we connected Africa and continue to grow our footprint in the region. The likes of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft are also investing in Africa. But one of the crucial advantages of Liquid’s infrastructure is the ability to offer network redundancy. This essentially means that a network in Nairobi, for example, has three or four different route options. If one goes down, there are still others that can be used as a backup. Multiple routes are important because you can never be reliant on a single route.
The time for African strength and economic power on the global stage is coming. The question is who is going to be the first to take advantage of this as the continent’s infrastructure quickly catches up to global standards. Who will be the first in line to unleash the potential of African youth?
About the author
*CEO Liquid Sea & Group Strategy Officer Liquid Intelligent Technologies. David Eurin joined Liquid Intelligent Technologies in 2013. He is responsible for leading the Group’s strategy in his role as Group Chief Strategy Officer as well as heading the International Wholesale division.Prior to Liquid he was a Partner and Head of Africa at Analysys Mason, a management consultancy specialising in TMT. David has extensive experience in the fixed and mobile telecommunications industry, gained in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa where he advised senior management teams on strategic, regulatory, financial and commercial issues. He has an MBA from the Collège des Ingénieurs (France), an MSc from the University of British Columbia (Canada), as well as an engineering degree from ParisTech (France). David was born in France and now lives in London.
Microinsurance can mirror mobile money boom in Africa – if the conditions are right
July 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Marius Botha*
When it comes to mobile money, there’s no doubt that Africa leads the world. From humble beginnings as a peer-to-peer money transfer system back in 2007, it has boomed to nearly $500bn in transactions in 2020, with more than 560 million users across the continent.
According to the GSMA’s State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money 2021, global daily mobile money transactions exceeded $2 billion for the first time last year, and are expected to pass $3 billion a day by the end of 2022. And there’s still more growth where that came from. According to the Wall Street Journal, only 45% of the continent’s population has an active mobile phone.
What’s interesting is that customers are not only using their accounts more frequently, they are also using them for new and more advanced use cases. Many of the socio-economic and development challenges arising from the pandemic are being tackled with mobile money solutions. This suggests that more people are moving away from the margins of financial systems and are leading increasingly digital lives, the report said.
This is particularly good news for the microinsurance sector, which is growing steadily across Africa on the back of mobile network expansion, and is covering millions of people against financial shocks caused by unexpected life events.
Will microinsurance’s growth mirror that of the mobile money space in Africa? It’s hard to say at this stage. Right now, there are 130 mobile-enabled insurance services in 28 countries, with over half offering coverage for life and funeral or health and hospitalisation services. According to the GMSA report, 43 million policies were issued in 2020, two-thirds (29 million) of which were life and health insurance policies.
For microinsurance to show MoMo-like growth a few things have to happen:
First, a shift in existing perceptions of insurance as something that’s expensive, reserved for the middle class, or not to be trusted. This shift is slowly gathering momentum, largely through word of mouth. The more people experience the tangible benefits of microinsurance, the more they talk about it in their community, which drives greater trust – and ultimately, greater uptake.
Secondly, we need greater diversification of product and benefit options. While some insurance providers have already expanded their offerings from life and health insurance to income protection, education and even house insurance, life and health coverage remain the prevailing offerings.
Thirdly, it’s vital to have enabling insurance and telco regulations across the continent. For example, tax on the use of airtime as a premium collection method in some markets will have to be exempted in some countries. In others, restrictions on mobile money premium collections will have to be amended. The challenge is to build in consumer protection mechanisms to prevent over-charging of customer airtime or mobile money wallets from multiple products, and to ensure sufficient balances remain for other spending needs. We certainly don’t want to see outcomes similar to over-indebted consumers burdened with additional debit order or payroll collections for insurance, as has happened in some markets in the past.
Finally, we need to ensure profitable business models for all product providers in the value chain. While mobile channels reduce the marginal costs of accessing information and participating in financial service activities, the industry still relies on driving sufficiently high volumes of transactions at low costs, and low-cost distribution models. Many consumers still demand some level of face-to-face intermediation, which adds a layer of costs to the equation.
The stage is set for microinsurance to boom in Africa – and hopefully follow the mobile money growth trajectory. And that will be good for everyone, most of all consumers who are currently underserved and under-covered. Let the growth begin.
*Group CEO of African Insurtech aYo Holdings
Gender-lens investing and the post-COVID19 economic recovery in Africa.
July 28, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Lindeka Dzedze*
The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed and intensified the already deep inequalities across Africa as unemployment has risen. According to research conducted by McKinsey, women in Africa currently account for more than half of the population, but only generate a third of the continent’s GDP, as of 2018. In addition, 40% of SMEs in sub-Saharan Africa are women owned, but only 20% of these have access to institutional finance, leaving a funding gap of about $42 billion in often overlooked sectors and industries where women are economically active.
A recent IFC report revealed that gender-balanced teams in private equity generate a 20% higher net internal rate of return and according to McKinsey’s research, advancing women’s equality in the workplace would add $28 trillion to annual global GDP, equivalent to the economies of China and the USA combined. The business case for gender lens investing and gender-smart strategies is compelling in the private sector.
While we see significant progress and change taking place as a result of the accelerated interest in economic, social and governance (ESG) investments since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there is a need for more emphasis on the social element, and gender in particular. The investment opportunity for capital allocators is significant.
Progress in gender-lens initiatives seem to have stalled since the onset of the pandemic, and at the current pace, it will take an estimated 140 years to see gender parity in Africa. To speed this up, strategic partnerships and continued multi-stakeholder action is needed to deploy gender-lens capital at scale.
It is for this reason that the Standard Bank Group joined forces with the United Nations (UN) Women HeForShe movement in 2018, with CEO, Sim Tshabalala standing up as a thematic champion of the movement. HeForShe invites men and women to stand in solidarity with gender equality and promote women’s empowerment.
Standard Bank has been intentional and has taken deliberate action in this regard, implementing socially impactful projects that target and empower women across of the continent to be the drivers of Africa’s growth and sustainability.
In 2020 we launched the African Women Impact Fund Initiative (AWIF) in partnership with the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) with the aim of creating a sustainable investment platform to grow the number of women asset managers on the continent. Women currently manage less than 6% of the funds in Africa and typically only get funding for micro type initiatives. We are effectively looking to move women from small-scale money management to making large sustainable capital allocation decisions.
Through the AWIF, we set ourselves an ambitious target to raise $1 billion over ten years for women-owned and managed asset management firms. They will in turn be invested in high-impact businesses and projects across the continent, driving female entrepreneurship.
We are harnessing the power of finance to promote inclusive and sustainable development in Africa. Working in partnership with UN Women, we have collaborated with stakeholders to empower 50 000 women farmers in Malawi, Uganda, Nigeria and South Africa, through modern, climate-smart agricultural practices. This includes working to negotiate equitable market terms and to establish business and social contracts with sustainability-focused retailers.
For over a decade we have also worked with Lionesses of Africa, an established network of over one million female entrepreneurs across the continent, and through this vehicle supported their businesses as they grow from strength to strength.
Change begins at home, and we are also committed to reaching gender parity in executive positions across our operations. Aligned to this we have set ourselves a number of targets and are steadily working towards their realisation. One such target is for 33% representation of women on our board by the end of 2021. Women in executive positions across the group in Africa are now up to 33.6% and we are confident of reaching our target of 40% by 2023. In South Africa, women already make up 36.3% of executive positions and here too, we plan to reach our target of 40% by the end of this year.
Standard Bank’s employees are the biggest champions of this cause and we want to visibly lead in this space, making an impact that is real and valuable to women across the continent. We aim to be even more visible and purposeful in championing gender issues because we recognise that for Africa to emerge out of this pandemic stronger, women must be placed at the centre of economic recovery plans on the continent.
* Standard Bank Group Executive Head of Institutional Clients and Global Markets
Bank Of Ghana Keeps Policy Rate At 13.5%
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Maxwell Nkansah
The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of Ghana has kept the policy rate at 13.5 per cent,
The Governor of the Bank of Ghana, Dr Ernest Addison said headline inflation has eased sharply and reverted within the medium-term target band, driven mainly by the tight monetary policy stance and some base drift effects.
The latest forecast remains broadly unchanged with inflation projected to remain within band and around the central path in the forecast horizon barring any upside risks from fiscal pressures.
On fiscal operations, the budget deficit exceeded its target in the first five months mainly on the back of revenue underperformance.
Going forward, he said expenditure has to be aligned to revenue performance to support the fiscal consolidation efforts.
At 76.6 percent of GDP in May 2021, the level of public debt raises debt sustainability concerns and the Committee reiterated the importance and urgency of fiscal consolidation efforts.
Greater efficiency in debt management would be required, especially in the face of potential further tightening of global financing conditions which could heighten rollover risks and access to new financing in the outlook.
This calls for strong vigilance and complementarity in fiscal and monetary policies to signal to the markets a strong commitment to consolidation.
“On the whole, the Committee assessed that the risks to inflation and growth were broadly balanced and decided to keep the policy rate at 13.5 percent,” he stated.
Namibia Minister, NAMCOR and Petroleum Commission Commit to African Energy Week in Cape Town, Promote Oil and Gas Agenda and Opportunities for Investment.
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
Commitments made by Minister of Mines and Energy Hon. Tom Alweendo, NAMCOR, the Petroleum Commission, and AIPN further position African Energy Week as Africa’s premier energy conference in 2021.
Namibian government representatives, public- and private-sector industry executives, and International Oil Companies (IOC) have committed to African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 in Cape Town on the 9th-12th of November. During a recent visit to Namibia by a delegation from the African Energy Chamber (AEC), the team met with various Namibian stakeholders, gathering key insight into the country’s high potential energy sector and promoting AEW 2021 in Cape Town as the ideal platform to drive investment in and growth across Namibia’s energy sector. By participating at AEW 2021, and taking part in the exciting networking opportunities the conference will present, Namibia is set to accelerate international participation in the country, driving economic growth, and positioning itself as an emerging energy competitor.
With productive meetings underway, many Namibian stakeholders have already declared their commitment to the upcoming AEW 2021. As of yet, the AEC have met with Hon. Tom Alweendo, Minister of Mines and Energy; Maggy Shino, Namibia’s Petroleum Commissioner; Immanuel Mulunga, Managing Director of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR); and Shakwa Nyambe, Managing Director, Association of International Petroleum Negotiators (AIPN)– Africa Chapter and Founder and Managing Director of the Namibian law firm Shakwa Nyambe & Company Inc., all of which have announced their support of and commitment towards AEW 2021. With an emphasis on local content, technical and regulatory affairs, and exploration and production, Namibia will drive a strong narrative for investment in its energy sector at AEW 2021.
The AEC team met with the Minister to discuss Namibia’s upcoming oil boom, the increase in upstream activities, and the role that AEW 2021 will play in advancing the country’s energy sector. Representing a relatively new oil and gas sector, and yet one with significant resources, Namibia is open for investment and is actively seeking partners to develop its industry, establish Namibian energy independence and security, and fast track economic growth. The AEC’s meeting with Hon. Tom Alweendo reiterated the role of AEW 2021 in contributing to Namibia’s oil boom, driving investment as well as both regional and international participation in the country’s emerging sector.
Furthermore, meetings with Immanuel Mulunga from Namibia’s national oil company, NAMCOR, emphasized the potential of the country’s oil and gas sector, providing insight into the current exploration activities across the country. NAMCOR has fully committed to AEW 2021 and will host a Namibia Pavilion at the event, showcasing the range of investment opportunities present in the sector and providing a base for which critical knowledge about the country can be gained. With NAMCOR playing an integral part in the AEW 2021 program, the country is set to drive investment and ensure energy security for years to come.
“Namibia is committed to AEW 2021, and we are honored to announce the participation by government and industry leaders. Namibia represents one of the most lucrative investment destinations in Africa, with emerging oil, gas and mining industries backed by a focused and modern regulatory framework positioning the country as a global competitor in 2021 and beyond. AEW 2021, as Africa’s premier energy conference, is the ideal platform by which Namibia can showcase its energy sector to the world, attracting significant foreign capital that will drive both energy sector and economic growth country wide,” stated NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the AEC.
Finally, meetings with Namibia’s Petroleum Commission highlighted the role of local content and a supportive regulatory environment in advancing Namibia’s energy sector. Maggy Shino has declared that the Commission is fully committed to AEW 2021 and will participate in the event’s exciting program, hosting various technical and regulatory programs in a bid to promote Namibia and drive a constructive dialogue on the role of regulation. Additionally, the Commission, being particularly content driven, is focused on making AEW 2021 a success and will work hand in hand with the AEW 2021 team to ensure as such.
Namibia’s emerging energy sector – comprising approximately 11 billion barrels of oil reserves and 2.2 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves – has attracted significant attention from both IOC’s and oil and gas explorers. Due to the country’s favorable regulatory environment, and under the leadership of Hon. Tom Alweendo, Namibia has seen an influx in upstream activities, positioning the country as one of Africa’s final frontiers for oil and gas exploration. Notably, a recent drilling campaign by Reconnaissance Energy Africa indicated that Namibia’s 6.3 million-acre Kavango Basin may hold billions of barrels of oil, creating the opportunity for an oil boom, driven by progressive policies and a favorable investment climate.
Additionally, Tullow Oil plc is exploring Namibia’s offshore basins and ExxonMobil the frontier Nambie basin in partnership with NAMCOR, with new exploration campaigns by Qatar Petroleum and Shell in Block 2913A and 2914B, as well as the Venus exploration well by Africa Oil Corp, operated by Total Energies, further accelerating upstream activities, all of which are attributed to Namibia’s ease of doing business. The AEC looks forward to the results from these campaigns and aims to further promote the country as a premier investment destination at AEW 2021.
With day two of the AEC’s working visit to Namibia expected to comprise critical meetings with the private sector, Namibia’s role in AEW 2021 has been emphasized. AEW 2021 serves as the ideal platform for African countries to showcase significant opportunities, network with African and global stakeholders, and facilitate the critical deals necessary for Africa’s energy future.
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Banks in Somalia to boost financial inclusion for women and youth.
July 27, 2021 | 0 Comments
Nairobi, Kenya – The AECFis pleased to announce that it has signed partnership agreements with IBS Bank and MicroDahab MFI, to promote women, youth, and agricultural producer groups in Somalia under the aegis of the Finance for Inclusive Growth in Somalia (FIG – Somalia) program funded by the European Union.
Victoria Sabula, CEO of the AECF said,
“The AECF is pleased to have the IBS Bank and MicroDahab MFI as part of our transformational program in Somalia. We believe that this program will reduce challenges that non-bankable populations in Somalia face when they need capital support for their businesses. We also hope that this new access to banking services will provide financial freedom for women and youth in Somalia.”
The Finance for Inclusive Growth in Somalia (FIG-Somalia) program aims to connect women- and youth-owned businesses and producers to financial institutions allowing them to access financing and technical support. It is envisaged that the FIG-Somalia program will reach nearly 8,000 beneficiaries and will create up to 4800 decent jobs; 40% of the program targeted beneficiaries are expected to be women entrepreneurs.
FIG-Somalia is a pilot programme component under the European Union’s Inclusive Local and Economic Development (ILED) programme, whose objective is to contribute to stability in Somalia by extending state authority and services, promoting local reconciliation and peacebuilding, creating inclusive economic opportunities and protecting the most vulnerable.
The objective of FIG Somalia is to revitalize and expand the local economy with a focus on livelihood enhancement, job creation and broad-based inclusive growth for Somali women, youth and producer groups.
The project is part of EU’s “Inclusive Local and Economic Development programme” (ILED). The European Union (EU) and its Member States are supporting stabilisation, inclusive economic growth and protection for the most vulnerable in Somalia through the ILED programme (ILED, EUR 98.2 million). Among ILED’s key objectives is an inclusive and sustainable economic growth based on a sound appreciation of challenges and potentials in Somalia.
About The AECF
The AECF is an African development funder that supports innovative commercial businesses in the agribusiness, renewable energy and adaptation to climate change technology sectors with the aim of reducing rural poverty, promoting resilient communities and creating jobs through private sector development.
The AECF provides patient capital to highly innovative, early-stage and growing enterprises that are hidden gems, poised for greatness, but that struggle to access funding from traditional sources of finance.
Launched in 2008, the AECF has mobilized over US$ 356 million, leveraged more than US$ 749 million in matching capital, improved the lives of more than 27.7 million people, created and sustained 24,733 direct jobs. Up to the present, we have supported 339 impact focused Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in 26 countries across sub-Saharan Africa across 40 value chains aligned to our focal sectors in agribusiness and renewable energy.
About the IBS Bank
IBS Bank is Somalia’s premier regional commercial and Investment bank with its headquarters in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia. The bank currently has ten (10) branches operating in key towns across Somalia.
IBS was incorporated in July 2013 and licensed by the Central Bank of Somalia (CBS).
IBS is the first Somali bank that has introduced full banking products & services to cater for private, public, national & international clients and the first to have started the usage of the SWIFT Code and IBAN which are recognized worldwide. The bank strictly observes international best financial standards and practices in its operations.
The Bank has received the best bank of the year award at Somalia Annual Business Award for two consecutive years. The Bank’s strategy of being a People’s bank with technology geared towards creating financial value to customers has yielded dramatic results with increasing market share realized from new demand for banking services. As a result, the Bank has doubled its business in all forms year on year in the last three years.
About Microdahab MFI
MicroDahab Company (Microdahab MFI) is the leading microfinance institution (MFI) in Somalia, with branches all over Somalia and Somaliland regions from Borama to Kismayo.
It was founded to enhance the growth of small, medium micro-enterprises (SMMEs) and create employment opportunities for the youth, women & productive sector. It is Dahabshiil Group’s way of giving back to the communities, taking them from vulnerability to sustainability to growth. MicroDahab MFI has 22 branches and 5 satellite branches.
New market for Kenya’s avocado in South Korea
July 24, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma
Kenya will start exporting avocados to South Korea effective March 2022, announced Kenya Health Plant Health Inspectorate Service managing director Theophilus Mutui.
Mr. Theophilus Mutui said last week a delegation from Kenya led by the Trade and Enterprise Development CS Betty Maina held discussions with their South Korean counterpart during the Coffee Expo in the Asian country.
“In the meeting, it was agreed that we are going to fast track the issue for pest risk analyses for avocados, and possibly by February-March next year, Kenya will be able to export avocados to South Korea.
“As you are aware, the European Union is our major market for flowers, fruits, vegetables and herbs. Currently, we are working to open up other markets for our produce. Just recently, we were in South Korea where we discussed about enhancing exports of our produce to the Asian nation. This includes crops such as avocado,” said Mr. Mutui.
Apart from avocados, Kenya will also export pineapples, dried pepper, and sim sim to South Korea said Mutui. This will be in addition to coffee, copper paste, tobacco, apparel and clothing accessories, cut flowers, broccoli, and unripe bananas.
Mutui was speaking during a journalists’ awareness workshop programme organized by the Market Access Upgrade Program Kenya.
The $ 4 million Market Access Upgrade Kenya programme seeks to support counties to improve market access of agro-food products to the EU and regional and local markets.
It is supported by the European Union and implemented by United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in partnership with the Kenyan government, county governments, and private sector.
Kenya Airways Launches Fahari Innovation Challenge.
July 20, 2021 | 0 Comments
NAIROBI, 1st July 2021 … Today, Kenya Airways PLC (KQ) launched the Fahari Innovation Challenge, a springboard for new ideas and data-driven innovations to accelerate impact-driven solutions that address some of the societal and business challenges. The Fahari Innovation Hub is part of KQ’s strategy in contributing to the sustainable development of Africa by empowering, partnering and co-creating innovative ideas and strategies with local start-ups and the small-medium enterprises (SMEs) ecosystem.
“We understand that collaborating with start-ups or SMEs is a key driver for meaningful change and mutual benefits and we are looking forward to creating an enabling environment that will accelerate innovative ideas, knowledge exchange and impact business operations,” said Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer, Allan Kilavuka.
“It is for this reason that the KQ Fahari Innovation Hub curated a virtual workshop for innovators and entrepreneurs dubbed the ‘KQ Aviation 101 Workshop’ that brought together various think-tanks, industry leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs and introduced them to opportunities within the aviation industry which includes airports, the food industry, tourism and digitisation. During the workshop, we introduced the KQ Innovation Challenge where we invited entrepreneurs to innovatively find solutions to address some of our business problems and pain points,” he added.
At the pace at which change accelerates, especially now in the middle of a global pandemic, corporates have become increasingly aware of the need to tackle innovation from different perspectives. Kenya Airways recognises that start-ups and SMEs are an invaluable source of innovation that can catalyse growth and provide much-needed business solutions to everyday challenges.
The workshop provided a line-up of speakers from the industry, including Boeing Horizon X, IATA, Kenya Tourism Board, Nas Airport Services, General Electric, Hivos East Africa, and Funkidz Limited. Kenya Airways is running the challenge in partnership with Strathmore University, Qhala and Sndbx who were also present during the event.
“Countless synergies exist between large corporates and startups within many ecosystems. As a company, we are founded on the power of digitisation and its potential to transform industries. Aviation can appear intimidating to those operating outside the sector, but this challenge gets to show the many opportunities in which startups and SMEs can plug into the diversification of Kenya Airways and the aviation sector,” said Dr Shikoh Gitau, CEO of Qhala.
“The aviation value chain goes so much further than the manufacturing of aircraft. Safety, technology, baggage, communication, meals, tourism, and hospitality are just a few examples of areas that entrepreneurs and corporates can collaborate in the aviation space. This initiative views start-ups as thinking partners, and it will be exciting to see the types of innovative solutions that come out of it,” noted Joram Mwinamo, CEO of Sndbx.
About Kenya Airways
Kenya Airways, a member of the Sky Team Alliance, is a leading African airline flying to 41 destinations worldwide, 34 of which are in Africa and carries over four million passengers annually. In 2020 KQ was named Africa’s Leading Airline by the World Travel Awards. It continues to modernize its fleet with its 32 aircraft being some of the youngest in Africa. This includes its flagship B787 Dreamliner aircraft. Kenya Airways offers services Cargo services to key locations including London, Amsterdam, Guangzhou, Sharjah, Mumbai and over 25 intra-Africa routes in addition to its passenger network. The on-board service is renowned and the lie-flat business class seat on the wide-body aircraft is consistently voted among the world’s top 10. Kenya Airways takes pride in being at the forefront of connecting Africa to the World and the World to Africa through its hub at the new ultra-modern Terminal 1A at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi.
U.S.-Africa Energy Forum Kicks off with First Virtual Session, Previews Opportunities for Future U.S.-Africa Cooperation.
July 14, 2021 | 0 Comments
On Monday, the first virtual session of the U.S.-Africa Energy Forum 2021 explored investment success stories on the continent, along with bankable opportunities for future collaboration.
United States of America, July 12, 2021/ — In a bid to drive U.S. investment in the African energy sector, the U.S.-Africa Energy Forum (USAEF) 2021 kicked off on Monday with a virtual session – organized by Energy Capital & Power (EnergyCapitalPower.com) – featuring petroleum ministers from Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea along with leading energy and finance industry leaders.
Under the theme, The U.S.-Africa Energy Partnership: Successes and New Horizons, the first of two virtual sessions identified key factors behind investment success stories on the continent, as well as leading opportunities for future cooperation, centering on the clean energy value chain and full implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Opening remarks were given by H.E. Bruno Jean Richard Itoua, Minister of Hydrocarbons of Republic of the Congo – a veteran of the oil and gas industry and one of the founding members of the National Petroleum Company of Congo – and NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (AEC).
“Cooperation between America and Africa will be a key factor for the global future,” said H.E. Minister Itoua. “In energy, Africa is not the problem. Africa is the solution. This becomes even more true when you talk about the transition. We have substantial quantities of oil, but more importantly, we have substantial quantities of gas – which is the first part of the energy transition – as well as one of the most important potentials for renewables.”
“We can no longer accept that more than 650 million on the African continent go without electricity every day, when there is an abundance of gas and petroleum resources that can be used,” said Ayuk. “At the AEC, we are committed to free-market policies, limited government and finding ways to integrate new projects into our continent. We welcome American ingenuity that has been the driving force behind the U.S. energy revolution to date.”
Panelists included H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea; Alexa Burr, Vice President for Standards & Services, American Petroleum Institute (API); Akinwole Omoboriowo II, Chairman and CEO, Genesis Energy Group; Posso Ganame, Chairman, Texas-West Africa Chamber of Commerce; and Miguel Peñaloza, Business Development / Project Finance, U.S. Export-Import (EXIM) Bank.
For Equatorial Guinea, the U.S. represents the single largest foreign investor in the country and has played a critical role in its hydrocarbon development, as well as more recent domestic gas monetization drive, since the entry of ExxonMobil in 1994 and subsequent discovery of the prolific Zafiro field. According to a poll by ECP, 54% of respondents believe that the Gulf of Guinea remains sub-Saharan Africa’s most promising exploration hotspot.
“American companies like ExxonMobil, Hess Corporation and United Meridian were the ones that made Equatorial Guinea what it is today. If we have energy, infrastructure and local capacity, it has been thanks to U.S. companies,” said H.E. Minister Lima. “Another critical element is the way that they have transferred technology and know-how. For example, the Zafiro field is 90%-operated by Equatoguineans. It hasn’t just been investment, but rather investment in human resources and involvement across upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. Finally, Equatorial Guinea has the highest per capita investment in infrastructure. U.S. companies and institutions advised us to invest in our base infrastructure, so if the oil ends, we can still continue with services.”
In addition to hydrocarbon exploration, panelists highlighted key integrated foreign investment and export opportunities along the clean energy value chain, as well as implementation of the AfCFTA, which aims to accelerate intra-African trade and boost Africa’s trading position within the global market.
“We see a rebound taking place as global energy demand returns to pre-pandemic levels,” said Burr. “Gas and LNG have a particularly important role to play, as the industry intends to expand its use of lower carbon hydrocarbon development and deliver affordable, clean energy while reducing our environmental footprint. This will have an impact on investments and portfolios. At API, we have recently come out with a climate action framework, demonstrating our commitment to investing in lower-carbon technologies. Through our partnerships, we hope to bring that to Africa and commercialize promising new industries that are leading the way.”
“Tariffs for intra-African trade will be eliminated, which is a huge opportunity for U.S. companies to access all African nations and grow their businesses across the continent,” said Posso. “This will save costs. Instead of spending money on tariffs, companies will use that money to expand their business. This is a great opportunity for U.S. businesses to invest in Africa.”
The panelists also highlighted that developing and maintaining financial access to African markets was key to expanding Africa’s energy sector. According to a poll by ECP, 70% of respondents believe that blended financing is best suited to meeting Africa’s energy and infrastructure investment gap.
“With the U.S as a key partner to 54 African countries, there are various initiatives on which U.S. government entities and companies can endeavor to focus. One relates to blended concessionary financing, which has the capacity to enable projects that may not be commercially viable without support,” said Omoboriowo. “We need to get more American companies that are hands on with their investments. For example, companies in the U.S. produce solar batteries and panels. I’m sure we can find free trade areas on the continent where we can localize the factories. My sense is that there are practical, realistic initiatives that the U.S. can collaborate with identified countries.”
For its part, the U.S. EXIM Bank has a congressional mandate to support trade and investment to sub-Saharan Africa and has supported over $12.5 billion in investments in the region to date, with the largest being the five-billion-dollar direct loan to support the export of U.S. goods and services to the Mozambique LNG development.
“As a government agency, we are demand-driven and a tool for U.S. exporters as they develop new technologies, products and services. We support them in being able to get their products sold to Africa,” said Peñaloza. “Power Africa, Prosper Africa under the previous administration, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, the U.S. Development Finance Corporation, the U.S. EXIM Bank – from a governmental perspective, we all try to collaborate and work together.”
USAEF 2021 seeks to introduce American companies to African opportunities, promote greater investment in African nations’ energy value chains, and advance an agenda of sustainable, long-term investment in African energy (including petroleum, clean energy, power infrastructure and mineral resources) and other sectors by U.S. organizations. An in-person networking event will be held in Washington D.C. on July 12, 2021, leading up to the main summit and gala dinner in Houston, Texas on October 4-5, 2021.
*Source Energy Capital & Power
AirLink Continues dorminating skies despite South Africa’s level 4 covid-19 restrictions.
July 11, 2021 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
AirLink the South African based domestic and regional airline will continue to provide regular scheduled service across its network of more than 35 destinations .This is done to support business , trade and tourism . AirLink has the concern to keep the national economies of the Southern African region functioning . The superb service flight keeps the skies in boom business while South Africa is under covid 19 level 4 restrictions to slow the spread of infections in the country.
The fully fledged operational airline adjusted its scheedule of selected AirLink flights so that its customers comply with the revised curfew with minimum disruption to their travel plans.
“”We fully support Southern African governments effort to flatten the infection curb as safety and wellbeing of our customers , curfew and staff is our priority . However together with our service providers , the airports at which AirLink operates , and our customers , we have demonstrated that by applying stringent local and internationally recommended hygiene and bio-security measures that our flights are safe”” said the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of AirLink Rodgers Foster.
He added that at this time businesses and economies are fragile , it is therefore crucial that AirLink continues to provide convinient and efficient air connectivity .
“”At this time when businesses and economies are fragile , it is crucial that we continue to provide convinient and efficient air connectivity”” , he added
While inter provincial travel for leisure to and from Gaunteng province is prohibited , travel to and from Gaunteng is permitted for businesses and essential purpose travelers transiting through Gaunteng to a final destination outside of that province is also permitted .