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Orange launches Orange Money in Morocco and confirms its position as a major player in mobile money in Africa and the Middle East
March 11, 2020 | 0 Comments
Non-Orange customers can take advantage of the service by downloading the mobile application

CASABLANCA, France, March 10, 2020/ — After securing approval last summer from the “Bank Al Maghrib”, Orange Morocco announces today the launch of Orange Money in the kingdom. This service will allow Moroccans to make mobile payments and transfer money using their phones. Morocco also becomes the 18th country in the Africa and Middle East region of Orange (www.Orange.com) to offer the Orange Money solution.

Orange Money, a secure and instant service

Orange Money offers every mobile user, regardless of their telecom operator, the option of having a mobile wallet backed by their phone number. The solution allows mobile phone users to carry out financial transactions, pay for phone recharges remotely or withdraw money from their Orange Money wallets at points of sale approved by Orange Money Maroc.

Non-Orange customers can take advantage of the service by downloading the mobile application.

Mobile money for financial and societal inclusion

Mobile money is revolutionising Africa’s economy. A key driver in the continent’s economic growth, Orange Money is a real vehicle for increasing the financial inclusion of populations and the digitalisation of the continent.

For the Group, the ambition is to go further and to offer more services with a seamless customer experience.

Orange Money Group growth engine

As one of the Group’s main growth drivers on the continent, the service is constantly evolving for the benefit of populations, companies, institutions and Governments.

Launched in 2008, the Orange Money mobile money solution allows millions of people excluded from the banking system to be able to deposit, withdraw, transfer and make payments easily and simply from their mobile phone, with complete security. 12 years on since its launch, Orange Money continues to record exponential growth. The service is now available in 18 countries. 45 million customers trust this solution and the amount of transactions carried out through Orange Money reached 2.6 billion euros in 2019.

Orange’s ambition is to make mobile money an essential means of payment and to become a leading player in mobile financial services in Africa and the Middle East including savings, credit and insurance in strict accordance with the banking regulations of the countries where it operates.

Orange (www.Orange.com) is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 42 billion euros in 2019 and 147,000 employees worldwide at 31 December 2019, including 87,000 employees in France. The Group has a total customer base of 266 million customers worldwide at 31 December 2019, including 207 million mobile customers and 21million fixed broadband customers. The Group is present in 26 countries. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In December 2019, the Group presented its new “Engage 2025” strategic plan, which, guided by social and environmental accountability, aims to reinvent its operator model. While accelerating in growth areas and placing data and AI at the heart of its innovation model, the Group will be an attractive and responsible employer, adapted to emerging professions.

* SOURCE Orange
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MyOffice has started a Partner Network in Africa
March 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

The first level of the distribution channel will be granted to companies with the special status of master partner for the country or a group of countries in Africa

MOSCOW, Russia, March 10, 2020/ — MyOffice (https://MyOffice.ru/en/), the Russian developer of software for collaborative work with documents, has developed a partner network for operation in the countries of Africa. They are planning to create a two-level distribution channel for sales of software to government and major commercial agencies of the region.

MyOffice is conducting negotiations on the government level regarding contracts in several African countries, including Algiers, Burundi, Gabon, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, and Uganda. The company is interested in finding partners with sufficient expertise on the IT market who are able to provide a full cycle of works in supply of software products to the above-listed countries. Priority will be granted to companies that have experience of working with government agencies and large-scale businesses with annual turnover over $10M. MyOffice sets rigorous requirements both for business expertise of their future partners and their ability to take up complex IT projects. Applications for participation in the partner network can be sent to the specially assigned email — global.sales@myoffice.team.

The first level of the distribution channel will be granted to companies with the special status of master partner for the country or a group of countries in Africa. MyOffice will be actively helping these partners promote their product on the local market, including by conducting educational courses for employees of the partner company on working with the product and establishing business strategies.

To complete their tasks, appointed master partners will develop the second level of the channel out of local market players, integrators, resellers, and suppliers of IT products. They are planning to cooperate using the classic scheme of license supply to the software market — MyOffice, as the platform developer, develops and perfects their product; master partner sells licenses in the region strictly following KPIs, while local companies are concerned with direct introduction, technical support, and personnel training.

“At the moment, several in Africa are already using MyOffice products. For instance, in 2019 we sold MyOffice Professional licenses to the agencies of Burundi Presidential Executive Office and signed a cooperation contract with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Positive examples of introducing MyOffice in key countries of the region will influence their neighbor’s decisions, since they are also worried about issues of confidentiality and data control. I am certain they will be interested in using the most advanced technology for collaborative work with documents and reducing the costs of creating and maintaining IT infrastructure,” says Dmitry Komissarov, CEO of MyOffice.

MyOffice (https://MyOffice.ru/en/) is Russian software for collaborative work with documents and communication on any platform. The My Office suite includes the following applications: Documents, Text, Spreadsheet, Presentation, Email, Calendar, Contacts, the Logos messenger.

One of the features of MyOffice products is full control of your data and high-level protection from external threats and unauthorized access. MyOffice software is easy to use, it helps organize collaborative work with documents on any computer, smartphone or tablet, even working on different OS.

There are also special free versions of MyOffice Education offered to educational institutions (http://bit.ly/38C5Cbc) MyOffice products are widely used in the education system of the Russian Federation to improve computer literacy and train highly skilled professionals for the labor market. Educational institutions in each of the 85 constituent units of Russia use over 1 million licenses of MyOffice Education.

The company offers products in 7 languages, including Russian, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Bashkir, and Tatar. As of 2020, MyOffice has been sold to 1,100 institutions, including federal and regional government agencies. The largest clients are the Federal Tax Service, the Federal National Guard Troop Service, Russian Post, Aeroflot, Russian Railways, and others.

The company was established in 2013. In 2019 Kaspersky Lab, a leading developer and supplier of information security solutions, joined the company’s board of directors.

*SOURCE MyOffice

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Centurion Law Group in Equatorial Guinea to operate under New Local Partnership
March 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

Under this new operational model, Manuel, Anselmo and Santiago are becoming full shareholders of Centurion Law Group in Equatorial Guinea, and legal directors of the company

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, March 9, 2020/ — Mr. Cosby Manuel Oliveira Toichoa, Associate; Mr. Anselmo Santiago Eworo Milam, Associate; and Mr. Santiago Olo Lima, Director of Equatorial Guinea, have acquired the operations of the Centurion Law Group in Equatorial Guinea and will be running the practice as a 100% local entity.

Under this new operational model, Manuel, Anselmo and Santiago are becoming full shareholders of Centurion Law Group in Equatorial Guinea, and legal directors of the company. “As the firm grows, we truly believe that giving our most experienced and local employees leadership is the right way to ensure that Centurion remains a leading practice in Equatorial Guinea and keeps attracting the best legal talent,” stated Nj Ayuk, CEO of the Centurion Law Group and author of ‘Billions At Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals’.

“It’s important to see a firm built from bottom up. I believe the new shareholders have what it takes to continue being the number one law firm in Equatorial Guinea. Clients come to Centurion because our lawyers get results and get the job done. It is that winning mentality that distinguishes us from everyone else. I believe the new shareholders and leadership will continue our tradition of training and developing young lawyers in Equatorial Guinea and providing such opportunity to many more. Manuel, Santiago and Anselmo represent a newer generation in the firm and leaders in law. Their voices and talents are essential in shaping the future of the firm and the rule of law in a fast-changing market environment.  I look forward to seeing them help our clients with their biggest opportunities and challenges in the years ahead”, he added.

Centurion’s office in Equatorial Guinea is the group’s oldest practice, having been established over a decade ago. The firm has been ranked as Band 1 in Equatorial Guinea by Chambers & Partners for five years in a row now with a recognized expertise in sectors such as energy, oil & gas and infrastructure. Centurion has remained the legal advisor of choice for most local and international private companies operating out of Malabo. Its former employees currently serve as judges, in-house counsel, oil company executives, in academia and also in the United nations.

“Mr. Ayuk’s drive and commitment to the rule of law has made him a beloved figure among young lawyers.  He has been a great mentor and trained more than 40 lawyers from Equatorial Guinea in the United States and European law schools and law firms, and gave all of us the opportunity to achieve the highest levels of professional accomplishment. This acquisition reflects our ongoing commitment to developing and advancing lawyers throughout Equatorial Guinea to serve our clients in the public and private sector. We are devoted to advancing and protecting the interests of our clients and the institutional values of the firm and the country,” stated Manuel Oliveira, newly-appointed Managing Director.

*Centurion Law Group

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African Energy Chamber terminates Partnership with Africa Oil & Power
March 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

The termination of the partnership reflects a new strategy for the Chamber to focus on key issues pertaining to the industry and implement its own investment outreach strategies

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, March 9, 2020/ — The African Energy Chamber announces its termination of its partnership with Africa Oil & Power, which it has had since 2018. Under this partnership, the Chamber has supported Africa Oil & Power in the organization of several highly-successful international events and investment conferences. The termination of the partnership reflects a new strategy for the Chamber to focus on key issues pertaining to the industry and implement its own investment outreach strategies.

“We sincerely thank Africa Oil & Power for their hard work until now,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber and author of ‘Billions At Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals’. “Under our partnership, we have been able to work on very important projects and strategic conferences in South Sudan, Angola, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea and the United Kingdom. We believe their journey is only the beginning and wish them the best for the future.”

The African Energy Chamber remains open and committed to supporting initiatives and efforts that are focused on pushing an agenda beneficial to all Africans. From 2020 onwards, the Chamber will be allocating increasing resources to key issues that we believe are important to the oil industry such as creating an enabling environment for the energy industry to grow, attracting investment into Africa,  implementing lower  taxes and better fiscal regimes, supporting gas monetization, promoting women in energy, developing local content, fighting energy poverty and  developing opportunities for the African diaspora to play a role in developing our natural resources at home.

The African Energy Chamber will continue to work in partnerships with several events and conferences, whose list can be found on its website www.EnergyChamber.org.

The African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) works with indigenous companies throughout the continent in optimizing their reach and networks. Our partnerships with international dignitaries, executives, and companies allow for relevant servicing to other international entities looking to operate within the continent.

The African Energy Chamber brings willing governments and credible businesses together to continuing growth of the African energy sector under international standard business practices.

*Source Africa Energy Chamber


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SAFCOIN expands to Nigeria, Uganda
March 8, 2020 | 0 Comments
SAFCOIN continues its mission to bring the power of cryptocurrency to more people in Africa, while reducing transaction costs and promoting job creation.
9 March 2020 – SAFCOIN, an exclusive African cryptocurrency, is now available in Nigeria and Uganda, allowing the unbanked to participate in the digital economy, helping small businesses to establish an e-commerce presence with no start-up costs, and empowering more Africans to access global work opportunities through MobiJobs.Africa.

Launched in South Africa in 2018 after a successful Initial Coin Offering (ICO), SAFCOIN is built on its own decentralised blockchain, which is protected by a network of miners. The SAFCOIN Exchange supports trading in SAFCOIN, Bitcoin, and money trading pairs.

It is also one of the first cryptocurrencies in the world to offer mobile money deposits, as well as card and bank deposits.

“This is significant, since 62% of sub-Saharan Africans are unbanked,” says SAFCOIN CEO Neil Ferreira.
“Users can add funds to their SAFCOIN wallets through mobile money networks including Paga, MTN, and Airtel. Aside from not needing a bank account, the SAFPay payment gateway facilitates these transactions securely and with very low – or no – transaction fees. This is because SAFPay eliminates financial intermediaries, which drastically reduces the cost of sending and receiving digital money.”

Mobile money mecca

Africa is the world leader in mobile money. There are 100 million active mobile money accounts on the continent. In 13 African countries, over a third of adults are active mobile money users, representing 45.6% of the region’s population. This is expected to rise to 66% by 2025.

The proliferation of mobile money accounts throughout Africa supports SAFCOIN’s mission to demystify cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, and to empower more people to be part of the global digital currency revolution and Africa’s cryptocurrency history.

Empowerment through education 

“Blockchain technology is still confusing to many Africans and is preventing its widespread adoption. It’s a relatively new concept for many people, who don’t know how to invest, where to invest, or what cryptocurrency to invest in,” says Ferreira.

“We have two goals. First, we want to simplify the cross-border payment processes between African countries, by eliminating red tape and bulky transaction processes. We hope to see SAFCOIN become an Africa-wide accepted form of payment that boosts trade between countries.”
“Second, we believe that everyone in Africa should have an opportunity to understand and trade with cryptocurrency, and we want to educate them on the power of this alternative asset class and the opportunities it creates. To this end, we will soon open call centres and walk-in centres in Kampala and Nigeria, where users can learn how to trade with SAFCOIN cryptocurrency, on the exclusive SAFCOIN Exchange and on local and international exchanges.”

He adds, “From our experience in South Africa, these centres have been instrumental in helping people far beyond cryptocurrency. They’ve offered support with setting up email accounts, joining online banking for the first time, and accessing mobile applications, bringing more people into the digital economy.”

Jobs for Africa 

These centres will also provide assistance with MobiJobsAfrica’s first blockchain-powered micro jobs platform, aimed at connecting businesses and gig economy workers across Africa, for free.

MobiJobs lets start-ups and SMEs list jobs, search freelancer profiles, and establish an online presence without set-up, hosting, or development costs. It also lets freelancers market their skills, build their experience, and “buy” listed jobs, even if they don’t have a bank account. There are no joining, account, or transaction fees, and jobs are paid for in SAFCOIN, via the SAFPay payment gateway.

SAFPay aims to simplify and reduce the cost of e-commerce trading. It provides an easy way for users to make online payments using SAFCOIN – for free. It also serves as a cheaper, easy alternative for micro traders and small businesses to trade online and access a larger, more dispersed market.

“For businesses, it means frictionless trading across borders. For individuals, it means being able to send money home without paying any transaction fees. Cryptocurrency has the potential to radically transform trade, and SAFCOIN is proud to be part of that revolution,” says Ferreira.

To learn more about SAFCOIN or to create an account, visit https://www.safcoin.africa
or download the SAFCOIN app for Android or iOS. About SAFCOIN

SAFCOIN is a cryptocurrency founded by Africans, for Africans. Launched on 13 December 2018, following a successful ICO between July and October 2018, SAFCOIN is now available in South Africa, Botswana, Uganda, and Nigeria, for Fiat deposits, transactions, and withdrawals.

It aims to promote social and economic growth across the continent, by becoming the chosen source of trading currency across Africa, through e-commerce payments and remittances.

SAFCOIN supports a wide range of payment methods, facilitated through SAFPay, a bespoke cryptocurrency payment gateway that charges zero transaction fees for SAFCOIN payments and a low 2% for Bitcoin payments. This makes SAFPay more affordable than other payment gateways.

The SAFCOIN cryptocurrency is a POW coin that’s mined on a Scrypt algorithm.
For more information, visit https://www.safcoin.africa 
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Business Leaders Share Ideas on Solving Africa’s Biggest Social Challenges
March 6, 2020 | 0 Comments
Many of the continent’s top decision-makers to converge at Kigali Summit

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, March 5, 2020/ — Business leaders from across Africa will seek solutions to some of the continent’s most challenging social issues at the Africa Shared Value Leadership Summit (http://www.AfricaSharedValueSummit.com) in Kigali, Rwanda on 4 – 5 June 2020.

Download Document: http://bit.ly/32OE1lM

The Summit, which will draw leaders from some of Africa’s biggest companies as well as decision-makers from government and civil society, provides a platform for business to collaborate on social upliftment of the continent, as well as to share insights about the most effective ways for companies to solve social challenges as a core part of their business operations.

The decision to hold the 2020 Summit in Rwanda gives delegates an opportunity to learn from the economic and social developments in the country over the last two decades, with the summit’s content aligned with selected priority areas of Rwanda’s National Strategy for Transformation (NST1).

“The solution-seeking sessions enable attendees delegates to discuss specific regional challenges and collectively contribute and suggest possible solutions,” says Shared Value Africa Initiative CEO Tiekie Barnard. “This provides a significant opportunity for delegates to learn and form networks across the continent.”

In line with the Summit’s partnership with Africa Leadership University (ALU), these sessions will be facilitated by students and alumni of ALU School of Business MBA course, with ALU faculty members compiling reportage of these sessions. Undergraduate students will be ambassadors throughout the Summit, while African Leadership Group founder Fred Swaniker will also give a keynote address at the Summit.

The solution-seeking sessions allow some of the greatest minds in Africa to grapple with complex issues:
How does Africa connect across borders to make the continent the global tourist destination?
What is required to create food security in Africa?
Health Care: Outbreaks, pandemics and the future of Africa’s health
Expectations vs reality: tracking the societal benefit of the AfCFTA
How do we build Africa’s Shared Value ecosystems?
Exchanges in conversation: Entrepreneurship and Public-Private Partnerships

“The Shared Value business model, developed by Harvard Business School’s Prof Michael Porter and Mark Kramer, is practised by an increasing number of businesses across the world,” says Shared Value Africa Initiative Founder and CEO Tiekie Barnard. “This provides opportunities to build business initiatives around solving social problems at scale, contributing to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on the continent.”

The Summit has become a platform for Africa’s business thought leaders to exchange insights and share their experiences implementing the Shared Value business model in the diverse African context. The event connects speakers from industries ranging from telecommunications to healthcare, manufacturing and mining.

Discussions enable participants new to Shared Value thinking to learn how to embed shared value into core strategy of the business, and how to develop shared value opportunities to address social and environmental issues. 

As well as the solution-seeking sessions, the Summit will also feature African leaders sharing how their businesses create economic value and value for society, as well as presentations from various industry sectors.

Current Sponsor of the Summit include Abbott, KCB Group and Old Mutual Ltd.

The Summit, which took place 23-24 May 2019 in Nairobi, was attended by more than 350 business executives per day over two days, with more than 18 countries represented.

The Summit also aims to encourage business to contribute to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on the continent. “As with previous years, the UN Sustainable Development Goals will be a theme throughout at the Summit as a guide to the business leaders to demonstrate how business can contribute to achieving the goalsand to addressing e social challenges, a core part of their operations” says Barnard.

Tickets and further information are available at http://bit.ly/3cwp5Nx
About Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI): 
The Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) (http://www.SVAI.Africa), is a pan-African organisation and the custodian of the global Shared Value movement on our continent. The SVAI is the regional partner of the global Shared Value Initiative started by economists Prof Michael Porter and Mark Kramer from Harvard Business School. Prof Porter is a current member of the Rwandan Presidential Advisory Council.

The Shared Value Africa Initiative (SVAI) brings businesses and business communities from across Africa together with a common purpose: build ecosystems to drive the growth of the African economy; shift Africa from being the poorest continent to become the most economically viable; and bring about change at scale to the benefit not only business but also society and the environment. Its main objective is to build one of Africa’s most powerful business networks. The SVAI enables people to partner with and learn from others to sustainably create both economic and societal value through their Shared Value strategy, as well as how to motivate others to make the shift to Shared Value, further influencing change at scale.

Since its inception, the SVAI has been working to establish a strong footprint across the continent, beginning in South Africa. As East Africa is home to some of the fastest-growing economies on the globe, the SVAI believes that this region has the potential to catalyse a business revolution across the continent. Successful economies, such as Kenya (hosts of the 2019 Summit) and Rwanda, influence and motivate others to follow in their footsteps – and, by becoming Shared Value hubs, can influence positive change on our continent.

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African Development Bank trains 100 fashion and creative industry entrepreneurs during Fashionomics Africa Masterclass in Nairobi
March 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

The African Development Bank’s Fashionomics Africa initiative hosted 110 entrepreneurs from the textile, apparel and accessories industry for a workshop on how to establish a successful fashion brand.

Eighty-eight participants of the workshop, the first to be held in Nairobi, were women.

More than a dozen industry insiders, public and private sector leaders shared experiences and expertise on business and financial acumen, access to finance, branding, marketing, networking, and provided a greater understanding of the challenges and opportunities African fashion entrepreneurs encounter.

“This masterclass is long overdue. It is important to have a great platform to create market presence. Creating such a platform for the fashion entrepreneurs to share knowledge has a great impact and we are excited to see that the weakest segments of this industry are addressed today. Kenyans should be proud to put on Kenyan clothes,” said one of the presenters, Hezekiah Bunde, Director at Kenya’s State Department for Industrialization at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives.

Presenters included representatives from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Parsons School of Design, Mettā Nairobi, Google Africa, the Trade and Development Bank, DHL Express, the United Nations Environment Programme, African Import-Export Bank, the Kenya Revenue Authority, the HEVA Fund, Facebook, the Kenya Fashion Council, the State Bank of Mauritius, SheTrades – International Trade Centre, the British Council, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers and Viktoria Ventures. 

“Thanks to a strong apparel tradition, a large and entrepreneurial workforce, and an attractive business environment, Kenya is a compelling new sourcing destination for global brands. However, Kenya also has a deep wellspring of talent among fashion designers and small tailors, who can serve both the global, domestic, and regional markets,” said Eva Joy Ruganzu, Regional Manager of the Portfolio and Implementation Support Division of the East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office of the African Development Bank.

Brendan Christopher McCarthy, Director of Undergraduate Fashion Design at the Parsons School of Design, said Fashionomics Africa had created a space where people could “connect, share experience and create a collaborative community.”

The African Development Bank, through the Fashionomics Africa initiative, intends to attract foreign direct investment into the African textile, apparel and accessories industry, and support the growth of micro, small and medium businesses.

“Thank you so much for creating one of the best workshops/masterclasses that I ever attended! The masterclass has empowered fashion creators in Kenya to understand the effort behind a fashion brand” said Janerose Gatobu, founder of Jagari Limited, who attended the workshop.

The Nairobi Masterclass also highlighted Fashionomics Africa’s partnership with DHL through the Fashionomics Africa Digital Marketplace and Mobile App, that will facilitate access to international and regional markets for African fashion entrepreneurs.

“DHL Express is delighted to partner with Fashionomics Africa, as there is great synergy in our passion for driving development of SMEs in these sectors” said Venessa Dewing, Head of E-commerce at DHL Express Sub-Saharan Africa.

Masterclass organizers also put together a focus group to offer feedback on the new Fashionomics Africa digital marketplace website and mobile app. The business-to-business and business-to-consumer website and app, created for micro, small and medium enterprises along the fashion and creative industry value chain, is designed to inform users about the initiative’s latest innovations.

The two-day session at Baraza Media Lab in Nairobi is Fashionomics Africa’s sixth Masterclass. Previous sessions were held in Addis Ababa, Abidjan, Johannesburg, Kigali and Lagos, empowering more than 800 registered participants since 2017.

*AFDB

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Africa’s airline industry to address coronavirus crisis
March 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Raphael-Kuuchi-International Air Transport Association (IATA) Vice President for Africa.

Aviation Africa, which opens in Addis Ababa on Wednesday 4th March  will be addressing the impact of Coronavirus on the aviation industry.  

A keynote address will be given by IATA’s Special Envoy, Raphael Kuuchi. 

 It is reported that major airlines are attending, and specialist companies are also visiting the show with systems and solutions that will aid the industry in its plans to protect passengers.

 Ethiopian Airlines CEO, Tewolde Gabremariam will be taking part in a one-in-one interview on stage where the decision for his carrier to maintain regular links with China will be discussed.

Conference Chairman Alan Peaford said. “We know there are a number of companies that are cutting back on travel plans at the moment but we are delighted that so many airlines and aviation companies are aware of the importance of the Aviation Africa event and are determined to take part.

“The issues being discussed are important to Africa and by far the majority of our exhibitors, delegates and speakers want our show to go ahead to carry out business – and government advice is such that we can continue as planned, and are looking forward to hosting another successful show.”

Aviation Africa takes place on 4th and 5th March at the Ethiopian Skylight hotel, Addis Ababa.Ethiopia.

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Aviation Africa summit opens in Ethiopia Wednesday
March 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Ethiopian Airlines’ Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tewolde GebreMariam.

One of the most strategically important aviation events in the 2020 calendar opens this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  on  4 and  5 March, 2020. 

Aviation Africa is a 2-day summit and exhibition under the theme ‘Creating a sustainable future for Africa’s aviation industry – Financially, operationally and environmentally – how Africa must adapt for tomorrow’s world’.  Bringing together leaders across the civil aviation industry to discuss and debate the key issues that are driving change across the African Continent.

Ethiopian Airlines Group’s chief executive, Tewolde Gabremariam will be sharing strategy and views on the industry in a one-on-one interview on the main Summit stage. “Throughout our development Ethiopian has raised and tackled issues affecting the potential of the industry. This summit we believe will also help in facilitating a stage of engagement to positively change our industry,” he said.

Airline leaders from across the continent will be joining Ethiopian Airlines either on panels or in the audience including Air Uganda, Mauritania Airlines, Kenya Airways, Egyptair, Emirates, Etihad, Royal Air Maroc and Air Djibouti.  In total over 200 airline delegates will attend.

  It is reported that the exhibition hall is now sold out and will host 100 global aviation companies.  Gold Sponsors Boeing & Airbus are supporting the event along with Silver sponsors Rolls-Royce, Embraer, Lufthansa Technik, Marsh, Navpass, De Havilland Aircraft of Canada, IATP and Skyplan.

Aviation Africa is supported by Ethiopian Airlines and the Ministry of Transport Ethiopia.

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Cameroon: Entrepreneurs schooled on gaining proper business exposure at SBEC 2020 Regional Forum
March 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor*

The regional forum was in its second edition
The regional forum was in its second edition

Ways of growing enterprises and small businesses in Cameroon has come under review at a business networking event in Yaoundé organized by the Denis and Lenora foundation through its Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC) and in partnership with the Canadian Fund for the Local Initiatives Project in Cameroon. The event was organized last Thursday, February 27, 2020, under the theme, “Business networking, a valuable tool for entrepreneurial growth in Cameroon” brought together experts in entrepreneurship, young start-upers, government agencies and business students.

The regional forum which was in its second edition, provided a platform for entrepreneurs to network with government agencies, Banks and microfinance institutions, consultants and other entrepreneurs who can add value to their businesses.

Panelist discussions were held with the topics: how to gain proper business exposure by entrepreneurs in Cameroon; access to finance; governmental support to entrepreneurs in Cameroon and tax registration requirement and declaration procedures for SMEs in Cameroon.

During one of the presentations on how to gain proper business exposure, the Executive Director of GAICAM, Mr. Taminang Search advised entrepreneurs to: (1) build a unique business brand which include logo and name; (2) improve customer care; (3) hire a communication officer or invest in social media to market and publicize their brands on various social media platforms; (5) to sponsor and partner with organizers of crowd pulling events among others.

Mr. Cyrille Choumie head of a division in the Ministry of Small and Medium Size Enterprises, lauded the foundation’s efforts in organizing a timely seminar which could catalyze Cameroon’s economic growth while urging the entrepreneurs to treat their personnel rightly, shun tribalism, and seek for proper information on available government supports to SMEs. One of the panelists on Access to finance, from the National Employment Fund (NEF), enumerated on various procedures and requirements for NEF to fund start-up projects from individuals or groups.

Participants at the SBEC training in Yaounde
Participants at the SBEC training in Yaounde

Mr Enow Batey, founder and managing partner of Fin-tech enterprise, PettyCash, projected that networking could be a great source of financing. “We do not respect the traditional methods in which people raise finances because statistics have shown that these don’t work… however, we have developed a strategy which has worked for our start-up. So, we are recommending and training bootstrapping which is a method of raising finance either from clients, friend or staff. But you have to create very catchy products or services which will warrant your community to invest in future products even before they are even made” he said.

The social entrepreneur Taminang Search said they expect to see a turnaround in the exposure of the participants’ businesses, and a restructuring of their current business strategies and get better testimonies of how this regional forum helped in transforming their businesses. According to the organizers, more of such forums will be organized with the hope that the expertise advice received during such events will be implemented to catalyse Cameroon and Africa’s economic transformation.

*Macwalter Njapteh contributed to this story

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African themeparks and Family Entertainment Centers (FECs) to benefit from ‘DEAL 2020’ in Dubai
February 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
Mr Sharif Rahman – CEO – IEC
Growing infrastructure including malls and themeparks to benefit from the amusement exhibition to be held in March

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, February 26, 2020/ — The region will witness the largest show in the amusement industry – DEAL 2020, to provide an effective platform for the stakeholders within the African entertainment and amusement sector. Over 300 plus exhibitors will be present at the 26th edition of the DEAL 2020 (www.DealMiddleEastShow.com) Show (Dubai Entertainment and Leisure), from across 35 plus countries. Global industry exhibition, (DEAL) (www.DealMiddleEastShow.com), held between 23rd and 25th March, has packed a spectrum of VR concepts that is specifically catering to the African markets. Interested trade visitors planning to visit the show can register on the website and get in touch with the show organisers for special air tickets and accommodation rates.

DEAL 2020 will host 300 plus exhibitors from across the globe. There are several global and regional brands at the show that includes – Amusement Services International, Warehouse of Games, Al Hokair, Semnox, Intercard, Zamperla, Embed, Sacoa, ICE, UDC, Polin Waterparks, ProSlide, Whitewater, HPS Play, SBF-VISA, Guzzi Eugenio, IE Park, I-TPS, Mammamia Rides and QubicaAMF Worldwide among several others.  Furthermore, the African trade visitors can also meet close to 50 plus new exhibitors.

“Apart from the other country pavilions, this year DEAL will host companies under the ‘Korea pavilion’ for the very first time. Korea Creative Content Authority (KOCCA), a government agency which promotes the Korean content industry will be instrumental in bringing some of the best Korean FEC and entertainment companies. Trade visitors from Africa can expect a plethora of creative VR concepts from the Korean brands at its country pavilion during the DEAL 2020 (www.DealMiddleEastShow.com) show,” stated Sharif Rahman, CEO of International Expo Consults (IEC), organizers of DEAL 2020. (www.DealMiddleEastShow.com)

Africa will witness the launch of new retail entertainment hubs and malls in the next couple of years where more global brands will find more space and better infrastructure. It adds that the continent is home to 45 million households having what it terms as ‘discretionary income’. With the new malls attracting brands that were only known through cable television, Forbes Magazine says the African market can no longer be viewed as a secondary one.

DEAL 2020 (www.DealMiddleEastShow.com) is the region’s most important meeting point since its inception for manufacturers, suppliers, buyers, entrepreneurs, businessmen, technologists, and professionals in the leisure, FEC and amusement industries.  Apart from the VR gaming concepts there is a massive representation from other sectors such as arcade, redemption, card machines, rides, water fountains, soft toys, coin machines, gifts, souvenirs, bowling, character costumes, theming services, interactive sports, revenue management systems,  inflatables, laser tag, photobooth, snow park, water park, trains, vending machines, trampolines among other entertainment concepts.

Africa’s VR (virtual reality) gaming space is taking shape with several malls in the country looking to house the best in the VR gaming industry. The VR concept is increasing the business value of the malls with the help of this new disruptive technology. Virtual reality gaming refers to applications where a person can experience being in a three-dimensional (3-D) environment and interact with it during a game. Virtual reality (VR) environments help the user in experiencing the game as reality.

“So, as an African entertainment industry stakeholder, trade visitors can attend dedicated conferences to gain knowledge and industry’s wealth of experience and get a hands-on technology experience at its innovative best. They can implement the same back in the country post networking with industry leaders, and also develop a profitable business relationship at the same time,” added Rahman.

Middle East and North Africa Leisure & Attractions Council (MENALAC), a non-profit Trade Council representing the leisure and attractions will be addressing the industry’s growth parameters, as it will be hosting a power-packed conference that will feature experts from the industry. These industry experts will share their best practices from across the globe with the trade visitors from Africa.

DEAL (www.DealMiddleEastShow.com) has been steadily gaining popularity on all fronts as the African amusement sector stands to benefit immensely from this show. The future looks promising for the African amusement sector which has reported a steady growth on the revenue forefront. Africa has been growing in terms of tourism and infrastructure. We have full faith that we are going in the right path and are confident that the amusement industry in Africa will yield 100 percent results. We are quite pleased to see new faces from Africa at DEAL each year and are sure that they will get to meet new contacts to expand their business even this year,” said Rahman.

African millennials are changing their consumer spending patterns, from markets to malls, where they can eat, socialize and get entertained at Family Entertainment Centers (FEC)s apart from shopping. Also there have been key amusement parks in Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia and South Africa which have enticed people around the African region.

International Expo-Consults LLC (IEC) (https://IECDubai.com) is an internationally recognized trade show management company with an impressive track record of over 21 years of operations in the Middle East and Asia Pacific region. The Exhibition arm of the Dubai-based conglomerate, the Falak Holding; IEC is the organizer of key exhibitions including Sign and Graphics Imaging (SGI), and the Dubai Entertainment, Amusement and Leisure show (DEAL). Falak Holding has been an industry pioneer for the last 34 years having diversified business interests including real estate development; retail – sports, fashion, home furnishings; exhibitions, medical diagnostics, trading and many more as part of its portfolio. Falak Holding is also a key stakeholder and investor in the prestigious Dubai Sports City project.
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The African Energy Chamber Leads a U.S. – Africa Dialogue During the 49 International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC) Annual Conference
February 27, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Chamber is determined to encourage further participation of U.S. companies in Africa’s energy industry.

HOUSTON, United States of America, February 26, 2020/ — The African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/) is participating in the 49th International Association of Geophysical Contractors’ Annual Conference;The Chamber is determined to encourage further participation of U.S. companies in Africa’s energy industry.

With a mission to attract more U.S. explorers into Africa’s oil and gas industry, the African Energy Chamber has launched key discussions on the promotion of further collaboration between the U.S. and Africa as it participates in the 49th International Association of Geophysical Contractors’ (IAGC) Annual Conference this week in Houston, Texas.

In executing this mission, the Chamber alongside the IAGC recognizes the need for Africa to boost onshore and offshore exploration activities and facilitate access to the latest geophysical technologies and industry best practices. Further, the organizations recognize the importance of supporting local content development and joining forces to promote investments, international partnerships and technology transfers.

Beyond exploration, a sizeable opportunity lies in natural gas for the growth of the US-African energy cooperation. As Africa increasingly relies on gas to power its industries and generate economic growth and local value, US capital and technology in gas-to-power and gas monetization and derivatives can bring tremendous benefits to the continent. American expertise, technologies and policies when it comes to natural gas could significantly support Africa’s energy transition if properly shared and transferred.

“Our ongoing conversations in the US with oil and gas players here are very positive, and our talks with the US government have further showed the need for deepening ties in the energy sector, especially in the private sector,” declared Verner Ayukegba, Senior Vice President at the Chamber. “Deal making has been key to our visit here. The presence of the Chamber in Houston is a strong blue print for a new energy contract with Africa. The Chamber has agreed to lead various initiatives in Africa with US companies to bring in capital and technical abilities that will improve growth,” he added.

Although Africa boasts vast petroleum resources and a growing business environment, the Chamber understands that the continent still has a long journey ahead in realizing its full potential. Forming part of the solution to this is ensuring that the business environment remains appealing to U.S. companies, ensuring that they not only enter our markets but continue their business in the long term. As African nations like Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Senegal, Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana are already seeing an uptick in US investment, the also Chamber believes that more has to be done on mid-size investment.

“As the continent increasingly makes advancements in key industries, there are more challenges and opportunities that are presented. With this, it is up to bodies such as the Chamber to note key areas of development and improvement, and forge suitable partnerships and build relationships with governments and private sector companies that will see the continent carry out its plans for economic growth and development,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. “Africa nations must show a commitment to good governance, put in place market-driven reforms, provide better fiscal terms for explore, and ensure an enabling environment to foreign investors so Africa can benefit from a renewed and growing interest coming from the US,” he added.

The African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/) works with indigenous companies throughout the continent in optimizing their reach and networks. Our partnerships with international dignitaries, executives, and companies allow for relevant servicing to other international entities looking to operate within the continent.

The African Energy Chamber brings willing governments and credible businesses together to continuing growth of the African energy sector under international standard business practices.

*Africa Energy Chamber
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