Former Director of State Oil Assets and Entrepreneur Appointed to Lead African Energy Industry Lobby in the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (“CEMAC”) Region
April 9, 2020 | 0 Comments
|Leoncio is based in Malabo where he will act on behalf of the Chamber across all public and private sector energy initiatives in the region|
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, April 7, 2020/ — The African Energy Chamber (http://EnergyChamber.org) has appointed Leoncio Amada Nze, Founder & CEO of APEX Industries, as its Executive-President for the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (“CEMAC”) which is made up of six states: Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, the Republic of the Congo and Equatorial Guinea. Leoncio is based in Malabo where he will act on behalf of the Chamber across all public and private sector energy initiatives in the region.
Leoncio’s appointment comes at a strategic time when African oil markets need leadership and unity to preserve the continuity of oil & gas operations across the industry as oil prices crash and economies suffer from lockdowns. It also represents the next phase of growth of the African Energy Chamber in the CEMAC region, where it has already been active for several years.
The CEMAC region is a well-established petroleum province in Africa and one of the biggest producing region of oil and gas on the continent. The region has been at the core of several pan-African energy cooperation efforts over the past few years, especially in the area of gas monetization, and its local services industry has been growing steadily on the back on solid but pragmatic local content regulations. CEMAC countries are currently focusing on gas monetisation efforts to power industries and create jobs, which are key priorities shared by the Chamber and its partners.
In his role, Leoncio will be contributing to key development priorities for the Chamber, especially developing local content and building domestic capacity, gas monetisation, empowering energy investors, and advocating for policy reforms. Furthermore, Leoncio will support initiatives that ease doing business in the region, and promote investments in oil & gas and key segments of the energy industry. He joins the Chamber after a successful career in the public sector as former General Director of State Entities at the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons, and more recently as founder and CEO of private services company APEX Industries.
“Leoncio brings the perfect balance of public and private sector with a strong track record of working collaboratively to resolve industry issues” declared NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “He understands what it takes to build a private company from the bottom up in our industry, and knows how to engage with government authorities so the interests of the industry are heard. He will be key in the Chamber’s efforts to spearhead a productive public-private dialogue in our industry, and to further promote capacity building and investment around Africa,” he added.
“This appointment is an honour for me and I look forward to working with the most influential energy industry organization in Africa that represents all facets of the oil and gas and renewables industries,” Leoncio Amada Nze said. “What is exciting at this moment are the initiatives and reforms that will make our industry stronger and more resilient that ever. It is time for the local and international private sector in the region to come together and advocate for the future of our industry,” he added.
*Africa Energy Chamber
South Sudan Petroleum Minister Holds Talks with OPEC to Find Solutions on Oil Price War
April 6, 2020 | 0 Comments
|Hon. Puot Kang notably expressed South Sudan’s willingness to work with OPEC and OPEC+ to end the price war in any way possible|
JUBA, South Sudan, April 6, 2020/ — While oil prices rebounded last week on hopes of successful negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Russia, they went back down again today following the negotiations’ delay. Oil prices currently average $25 to $30 a barrel, maintaining their historic low and hurting producers around the world.
Recently appointed Minister of Petroleum of South Sudan, Hon. Puot Kang had talks over the phone with H.E. Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, Secretary General of OPEC today, to try to find an exit out of the current crisis. Hon. Puot Kang also pledged to join the OPEC negotiations on Thursday April 9th, with the hope of reaching a favorable agreement that will stabilize the market and bring benefit to South Sudan and its producing companies.
South Sudan has been part of the OPEC Declaration of Cooperation and OPEC+ for years and a consistent supporter of OPEC’s measures to prevent volatility and maintain market stability. Because 98% of the economy of South Sudan depends on oil production and revenue, the country is one of the hardest hit by the current crisis and prices war.
“South Sudan believes that market volatility is negative for every player in the market and hurts out ability to attract new foreign investment, diversify our economy and promote peace,” stated Hon. Puot Kang. “South Sudan is focused on boosting exploration and opening up new oil & gas fields, and the current scenario hampers our growth targets significantly,” he added.
Hon. Puot Kang notably expressed South Sudan’s willingness to work with OPEC and OPEC+ to end the price war in any way possible. He also further welcomed OPEC’s support in the exchange of information and best industry practices on key matters pertaining to local content development, domestic capacity building, technology transfers and oil revenue management.
*Africa Energy Chamber
Juggling at the Top: What it Takes to Manage a Pan-African Energy Law Practice in 2020
April 6, 2020 | 0 Comments
|Zion believes that a practical mindset and local understanding is how African lawyers can make the difference in a very competitive industry|
|JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, April 6, 2020/ — At 35, Zion Adeoye is the youngest Managing Partner at an African multi-national law firm. Appointed in 2020 to head the Centurion Law Group (https://CenturionLG.com), Zion embodies a new generation of African lawyers leading the continent into the transformations that will place Africa as the 21st century’s success story. As he reflects on his professional journey so far, he shares his lessons to any young Africans in search of a meaningful legal career on the continent.|
Called to the bar in 2011, Zion holds an LLB from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria and a BL from the Nigerian Law School. Having spent most of its early legal career in Nigeria working on cross-border energy transactions, he moved to South Africa in 2017 to take on the position of Senior Associate Attorney at Centurion, before being promoted to Managing Director this year. “By my third year at the University of Ibadan, I knew what I wanted to do was specializing in Energy Law. In fact, I had an unconventional journey because I completed by NYSC programme at the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) before proceeding to Law School,” he recalls. His early career in Nigeria would then take him to the Tax division of KPMG and eventually to top law firms in Nigeria such as Terra Cotta Legal, Olaniwun Ajayi LP and Templars, before moving in-house at the Transnational Energy/Bresson Power Group. Such experience has offered Zion a decade of expertise in energy, finance and taxation law, which has been the pillar of his success at the Centurion Law Group.
Swimming Against the Current: Beware of the Underdog
As a young Nigerian lawyer working for a pan-African energy law firm, Zion has been in the position of the underdog more than once in his career. “When you are a relatively young energy lawyer in Africa and practice law on a meaningful level, you get used to walking into a room and having people questioning your credibility,” he explains. “This is especially true of the oil & gas industry where a lot of deals are still made outside the continent in big places like Paris, London or New York by lawyers who are twenty to thirty years older than you and very often educated in big international universities. I have quickly learned to trust my African education and experience gained from doing deals on the ground. Trusting your abilities is key if you want to make it in this industry.”
From his experience gained doing deals in Nigeria but also Zambia, Uganda or South Sudan, Zion believes that a practical mindset and local understanding is how African lawyers can make the difference in a very competitive industry. “Do not let your age or gender bring you down. At the end of the day, clients will be judging you on the quality of the work you do. Do not be afraid of being the underdog,” he says.
Leading in Unchartered Territory: the Challenges of a Changing Legal Profession
As the legal profession worldwide enters unchartered territory, it is in need of leaders who understand both the evolving needs of clients, but are also willing to adopt new technologies and innovate to make their practice more efficient.
With the launch of its new on-demand legal services platform, CenturionPlus, the Centurion Law Group is bringing to Africa a new legal approach to solving clients’ requirements on a need-basis. “CenturionPlus is an answer to clients’ demand for more flexibility in the delivery and billing of their legal requirements, but also responds to the increasing complexity of corporate and commercial transactions made in Africa,” explained Zion. “Managing an African law firm in 2020 presents a lot of challenges, especially because our continent is growing so rapidly. You need to make sure your team stays ahead the curve and that your practice is constantly innovating to deliver on clients’ expectations. As a team leader, this requires you to build consensus and align your team around one vision and determination,” he added. Despite a challenging environment these past years, Centurion has remained ranked Band 1 law firm in its key jurisdictions such as Equatorial Guinea while its senior lawyers are constantly recognized for their contribution to the industry. At the end of 2019 for instance, Zion was recognized as an ESQ 40 under 40 Lawyer at the Nigerian Rising Stars Award.
Adapting to Change: Managing Multi-Cultural Relations with Clients and in the Workplace
Often described as one entity, Africa is one of the most culturally-diverse continent on the planet. Its 54 countries speak hundreds of languages, have their own particular legal regimes, and are at different stages of economic growth. Growing a pan-African practice requires a deep understanding of social and cultural nuances across Africa, which many executives often under-estimate. “The oil sector is one of the most internationalized industries so by nature you will be dealing with clients from all over the world willing to invest and do business in African jurisdictions that can be very different from one another,” declared Zion. “Do not make the mistake of thinking that because you have done a deal in Ethiopia, you can do the same deal easily in Ghana. Similarly, having as a client a major American oil company is not the same as working on a transaction for a major Chinese oil company. I have seen many law firms and lawyers making these costly mistakes,” he added.
To address this issue, Centurion has kept regionalizing over the years and currently has offices in Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Ghana, South Africa, Mauritius and Germany. It has also diversified its lawyers and attorneys, who currently come from over 10 countries and notably speak English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. “If you want to be successful at managing your law firm, you need a multi-cultural mindset and an understanding that people from different countries and background do business differently and communicate differently,” declared Zion. “I always found that my legal background has been useful in this regard. As lawyers we are used to finding the right balance between technical, financial, commercial and legal aspects of a transaction. Managing your team takes the same approach of arranging different pieces together to attain a common goal.”
With this leadership style, Zion has earned himself a strong reputation among its peers and the firm’s leading clients from across the continent. When asked about what his biggest challenge was on accepting the responsibility of managing the firm earlier this year, he said: “The biggest challenge when you manage a law firm is having two jobs at the same time. As a Managing Director, I have to oversee several support departments such as business development and marketing, along with supporting other lawyers at the firm and coordinating our strategy. But I am also a lawyer with my own practice having to retain our biggest clients.”
*Centurion Law Firm
CenturionPlus helps companies Stay Ahead of the Curve as we grapple with Covid-19
April 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
Amidst this time of crises and the restrictions put on travel and mobility, we have attorneys on the ground that can assist your company with its tailored legal needs
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, April 1, 2020/ — The CenturionPlus team (https://CenturionLG.com) and our on-demand lawyers are working around the clock to help clients navigate the uncharted legal waters sparked by COVID-19. Amidst this time of crises and the restrictions put on travel and mobility, we have attorneys on the ground that can assist your company with its tailored legal needs. This includes in-house and remote legal assistance.
“As we face a new global crisis, we have been overwhelmed by questions and concerns from clients and individuals all around the African continent,” explained CenturionPlus Director Leon Van Der Merwe. “With CenturionPlus, we have developed and adapted a new approach of on-demand, on-the-ground lawyers in all jurisdictions across Africa. This platform is even more relevant given the current global situation and travel restrictions across Africa.”
The need for in-house legal support is indeed now greater than ever. This includes not only assisting clients seeking to address supply chain disruptions, but also those needing guidance on an out-of-court debt restructuring amid financial challenges. “Companies are actively seeking guidance on whether a pandemic allows for contractual obligations to be voided, and we are here to assist them in addressing this challenge,” added Van Der Merwe.
There is no doubt that long after this global health crisis is over, courts will be grappling with untold numbers of litigation disputes concerning whether parties are excused from performance of their contractual obligations. Companies should hence be pro-active in restructuring and re-visiting their current approach and policies. This includes the mobilization of a dedicated legal team that understands your business and can get the job done with flexibility in services and pricing.
During this uncertain period, remember to make this time serve you, don’t serve the time.
What oil companies need to know to maintain resilient energy assets amidst a global pandemic
April 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
Most economic analysts and energy asset operators now agree that 2020 could see negative demand growth for oil globally
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, April 1, 2020/ — In this time of depressed oil Prices and raging scourge of COVID-19, most economic analysts and energy asset operators now agree that 2020 could see negative demand growth for oil globally as industries shut down and countries around the world go on lockdown. Negative economic impacts are also being forecasted for the electricity, renewable energy, and mining industries. This current state of play demands that companies who control and manage the critical energy infrastructure and natural resource assets maintain their vigilance against physical, cyber, and technical security threats as they deal with these colliding “Black Swan” events.
The resilience of oil companies’ operations is essential to the economy, security and overall quality of life for all citizens in Africa and worldwide. “Indications and warnings are illuminating the fact that terrorists, hostile state actors, criminals, hackers for hire, and vandals are currently planning to take advantage of our current state of chaos,” declared C. Derek Campbell, CEO of US-based Energy & Natural Resource Security Inc (ENRS). “We continue to support a lot of energy companies in Africa to mitigate the hostile actions of those with ill-intent. In uncertain times like these, it is companies’ efforts against unexpected threats that ensure that their assets maintain continuity of operations during these trying times,” he added.
Key recommendations oil companies and their contractors should follow to ensure their assets achieve resilience and maintain continuity of operations notably include:
- Assess and Review your current cybersecurity posture against protocols such as NIST-800-171, ISO27001, and CIP Cybersecurity Frameworks.
- Monitor your employees and be cognizant of the IT methods and platforms they use to access your corporate networks while working remotely.
- Via your local national staff, engage the local populations/communities within a 5 to 10-mile radius of your operations to gain an understanding of the atmospherics around your asset.
- Spot check your existing physical and technical security measures to make sure they are fully functional.
- Request a security assessment during your operational down time in order to gain an understanding of your asset’s current vulnerabilities and levels of assumed risk.
“The African Energy Chamber takes security threats in Africa extremely seriously and such risks should not be downplayed when our industry faces turmoil and prices instability,” commented Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “ENRS is a key partner for us and their best-in-class security solutions are what owners, operators, investors and insurers should be implementing to maintain the continuity of their operations and mitigate risk throughout their asset’s operational life cycle.”
When Covid-19 and OPEC Price War strikes Africa’s Oil & Gas Sector
March 26, 2020 | 0 Comments
|The immediate effect of Covid-19 for the sector has been on the demand for crude oil, and on its prices|
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, March 26, 2020/ — African governments set to see decline in revenues; Exploration projects put on hold; Thousands of local jobs at risk if nothing is done.
While the short-term effects of Covid-19 on world economies are already being felt and put millions in a situation of economic distress, their long-term ones are yet to be fully grasped. In sub-Saharan Africa, the impact will be felt even stronger because the pandemic is being combined with a historic crash in oil prices, putting pressure on state budgets and testing the resilience of the continent’s strongest energy companies.
The immediate effect of Covid-19 for the sector has been on the demand for crude oil, and on its prices. Most analysts and operators now agree that 2020 could see a negative demand growth for oil globally as industries shut down and countries around the world go on lock down. The effect on prices has been nothing short of devastating: they have reached their lowest levels since 1991 and currently stand at below $25 a barrel.
For Africa, this means an immediate pressure on state budgets and macro-economic stability. Apart from South Africa, the continent’s biggest economies rely heavily on oil revenue to fuel state budget and public spending and ensure macro-economic stability. All sub-Saharan Africa’s producers had budgeted 2020 with an oil benchmark well above $50, from $51 in Equatorial Guinea all the way up to $57 in Nigeria. With predictions that oil prices won’t go anywhere above $30 for the rest of the year, most budgets need to be re-adjusted and public spending needs to be drastically cut.
According to the Atlantic Council, major African producers could expect multi-billion dollar losses in state revenues this year. Congo-Brazzaville could take the hardest hit, with a loss representing 34% of its GPD, in a country where debt-to-GDP ratio is already around 90%. The same applies to Angola, where oil prices at $30 would generate a revenue loss of almost $13bn, or 13% of GDP. Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Chad could see losses of almost 10% of GDP due to the ongoing crisis. Nigeria finally would suffer the biggest lost with $15.4bn, still according to the Atlantic Council. While it would represent only 4% of its GDP, the impact on marginal producers and local jobs would potentially be devastating. Newer producers would also suffer revenue losses: in Ghana, the the Africa Centre for Energy Policy (ACEP) estimates a potential revenue loss of 53% down to $743 million instead of the $1.567bn the country expected to receive this year.
“Thousands of Africans and expats are going to be laid off in oil-producing countries as companies shut down their drilling rigs and planned projects. We need to face the reality as these times are unprecedented. The uncertainty is even more frustrating for oil companies and the workers. Forgive me but there is blood on the streets, in the water and the air has the coronavirus,” said NJ Ayuk is Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and Petroleum industry lobbyist. “Petroleum-producing countries need to come together and work with the private sector in order to get us through the COVID 19 crisis and mitigate the economic fallout as much as possible. When the US and Europe are talking about a recession, most African countries and the common man on the streets have likely already entered a depression,” added Ayuk.
The long-term effects that Covid-19 will have on the sector in Africa depends on what happens this year and in the following month. Cuts in exploration spending and cancellation of drilling plans today could potentially mean years of delay in new discoveries, reserves replacement and new fields being brought on stream. The biggest international oil companies operating in the continent are all cutting spending by an average of 20% globally, which is set to impact exploration and projects in Africa. While ExxonMobil considers several reductions in spending, Shell has already announced a reduction of underlying operating costs by $3 to $4bn and a reduction of cash capital expenditure of $5bn. Total’s organic capex is being cut by more than $3 billion, representing 20% of its planned 2020 capex. Chevron is also reducing capital and exploratory spending by 20%, including a $700 million cut in upstream projects and exploration.
These IOCs were expected to take major final investment decisions this year or in the near future on multi-billion dollar projects in Africa. These include Shell’s Bonga South-West project, ExxonMobil’s Bosi, Owowo West and Uge-Orso projects, or Chevron’s Nsiko project. regardless of how close each of these were to FID, they are very unlikely to get sanctioned this year. Recent statements from independents are going in the same direction. Woodside Energy for instance is currently reviewing all options to preserve and enhance the value of its Sangomar Offshore Oil Project in Senegal, whose first oil was expected in 2023.
Beyond oil, natural gas and LNG projects are also already being delayed. ExxonMobil’s announcement that it would postpone the green-light on Mozambique’s multi-billion dollar Rovuma LNG project is sending worrying signals for instance. Similarly, BP and Kosmos are already working to defer the 2020 Tortue Phase 1 capital spending for their multi-billion dollar FLNG project in Mauritania and Senegal. Together, Rovuma LNG and Greater Tortue Ahmeyim represent the biggest hopes Africa had to strengthen its position as a new global LNG export hub. Delaying such projects will have significant consequences on forecasted economic growth in each country.
Finally, the long-term impact of Covid-19 is taking shape right now, as exploration programs are put on hold. Much-awaited drilling like FAR’s plans in The Gambia this year have been suspended. Other planned seismic acquisition projects have also already been cancelled, such as EMHS’ CSEM Survey offshore Senegal and Mauritania for BP which was set to begin this month, or Polarcus’ 3D seismic acquisition project offshore West Africa. Meanwhile, most licensing rounds that were set to confirm Africa as a global exploration frontier this year will most likely not live up to expectations. South Sudan for instance has already announced the suspension of its oil & gas licensing round this year.
While African nations grapple with the crisis brought by Covid-19 and the OPEC price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, the initiatives they take today will determine the future of their oil & gas industries for years. Local companies, be they producers or services providers, are at the frontline and need all the possible support they can get to avoid cutting jobs and survive the crisis. As Shoreline Energy CEO Kola Karim recently phrased it, “when the elephants fight, it’s the smaller producers that suffer.” Supporting these smaller producers and their local contractors should be a priority to preserve the long-term future and prosperity of Africa’s oil & gas sector.
*Source Africa Energy Chamber
Prominent UAE investment banker takes on new venture with SKYCAP Investment Management Limited
March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments
Saikat Kumar to steer global financial services industry to new era with a world-class one-stop-shop for investors
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
SKYCAP Investment Management Limited, a diversified financial services firm, has officially soft launched in the UAE. Touted to be a one-stop-shop for global investors (Middle East, Africa, India, South East Asia, US and UK investors), SKYCAP seeks to disrupt the banking and finance industry by providing trusted advice and access to best-in-class investment products and services to support its clients’ goal of wealth preservation and growth.
From its base in Dubai, SKYCAP will offer a wide range of financial products and services, which are mutually reinforcing and can be tailored to a client’s specific needs. Among the firm’s core offerings include Advisory (including Government, M&A, and Capital Raising/Restructuring), Private Equity (Fintech and Special Opportunities), Asset and Wealth Management Advisory, Credit Opportunities Funds, as well as Digital, Forensic, IT Risk Management and BPO services.
SKYCAP has been founded by Saikat Kumar, one of the most respected names in the Middle East banking and financial industry. He is now the Founder and CEO of SKYCAP Investment Management Ltd., after completing his stint as Partner and Senior Executive Officer of Al Masah Capital Limited. With over 23 years of banking and finance expertise under his belt, Kumar has amassed a proven track record in strategy planning, distribution management, client management, risk and compliance, business development, and product management. He has also worked with a number of internationally-recognized firms, to name a few, Fullerton Fund Management (Temasek Singapore), ABN AMRO, Standard Chartered, ICICI Bank and ANZ Grindlays, as well as leading nationalized banks.
“Although the market is in for tough times, given the extraordinarily challenging situation happening across the globe, I believe in the half year onwards, the market will offer investors excellent opportunities to invest in good quality blue chip stocks across the world at cheap valuation and prices. With interest rates at all time low, stocks would offer best upside,” Kumar said.
Despite growing demand and turbulent growth factors, however, the SKYCAP founder said that the supply of credit to the private sector is considerably lower than developed markets such as the USA and UK. Underpinned by very strong values and principles to deliver the best possible outcome for clients, Kumar brought to fruition his vision of a trusted and innovative diversified financial services firm that truly understands and services its clients with utmost transparency and integrity.
“My goal is to always be client-centric and be driven to provide financial solutions and services designed to execute effectively our clients’ vision at the highest level, ultimately delivering on their financial ambitions. Whilst SKYCAP is a new venture, we have all the capabilities that can meet all the investment needs of its shareholders in addition to retail, HNI, UHNI, institutional, family office, SWFs and pension fund investors. Our company is differentiated by a core value of integrity and transparency through a strong, global regulatory framework. Moreover, with an international strategy complementing a global roll-out plan – plus a robust core investment team that is backed by a competent support services function – I am confident that SKYCAP will go on to be the partner of choice for the most discerning investors,” Kumar concluded.
Qatar Airways and other airline companies suspend flights from Mozambique due to coronavirus
March 20, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Jorge dos Santos
Qatar Airways is suspending all its flights from Maputo until 31 May, with the last flight leaving today, indicates a press release from the company seen by Pan African Visions.
South African Airways SAA, Angolan airline TAAG and Portuguese national airline TAP also suspended flights from Mozambique.
Despite not having confirmed cases in Mozambique, countries in the Southern Africa Development Community are ramping up their protective measures, particularly after the confirmation of over a dozen cases in neighbouring South Africa, Zimbabwe, Eswatini and Zambia.
Calls for SA-Mozambique border closure
Mozambique’s main opposition party Renamo called for the South Africa-Mozambique border to be closed. Whatever, health Minister Armindo Tiago said there were international criteria on “when a border is closed” and warned of the economic and social impact of that decision.
On the other, the transparency NGO CIP has called on thursday for urgent measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 in Mozambique, including:
- A state of emergency, to allow measures to be enforced
- Prohibit the entry of non-resident foreigners from the worst-affected countries
- End home quarantine for arrivals from countries with confirmed cases of Covid-19, forcing them to undergo quarantine in specially prepared ‘sanitary units’
- Close all schools, for at least two weeks
- Prohibit gatherings of more than 100 people
- Adopt special checking measures for urban public transport, to avoid overloading with passengers
- Adopt special checking measures for places of regular concentration of crowds, such as places of worship and places of recreation
- Guarantee availability of water in popular public places to minimise the risk of transmission
- Carry out free and obligatory testing in health centres for everyone with flu symptoms
However, according to government spokesman Filimão Suaze, developments in neighbouring countries could justify the announcement of new measures in the coming days.
Registration Opens for 2020 Afreximbank Annual Meetings
March 19, 2020 | 0 Comments
Cairo, 18 March 2020: – Registration for the 2020 Annual Meetings of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), which will be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, has opened, according to information released today by the Bank.
Afreximbank announced that intending participants for the meetings, dubbed AAM2020, could register by visiting the Annual Meetings website at: https://aam2020.afreximbankevents.com where regularly updated information about the venue, programme, hotel accommodation and visas would also be available.
Afreximbank Annual Meetings are open to banking industry professionals, trade and trade finance practitioners and other parties involved in economic development from across Africa and beyond. They are also attended by business and political leaders and have been ranked among the most important gatherings of economic decision-makers in Africa.
The 2020 Annual Meetings, with the theme “Youth, Trade and Development”, will feature a host of high-level speakers in plenaries and side events from 10 to 13 June at the Sharm El Sheikh International Congress Center.
The programme will include a seminar on 10 June, with the official opening of the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders taking place on 11 June. The event will conclude on 13 June with the closed session of the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders.
“In recognition of the critical role that Africa’s evolving demographics will play in the coming decades, AAM2020 will focus on the theme ‘Youth, Trade and Development’. Through a stimulating programme of discussions and activities, we will assess the challenges and opportunities presented by Africa as the world’s youngest continent and home to 90 per cent of the global youth market, with 19 of the world’s 20 youngest countries,” said Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank. “We will explore how Africa can create dividends from this potentially huge advantage, how we should educate our young and develop the most relevant training programmes for them, and what Africa should be doing right now.”
AAM2020 is being hosted by the Government of Egypt represented by the Central Bank of Egypt.
Afreximbank’s last Annual Meetings took place in Moscow in June 2019.
About Afreximbank: The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) is the foremost pan-African multilateral financial institution devoted to financing and promoting intra- and extra-African trade. The Bank was established in October 1993 by African governments, African private and institutional investors, and non-African investors. Its two basic constitutive documents are the Establishment Agreement, which gives it the status of an international organization, and the Charter, which governs its corporate structure and operations. Since 1994, it has approved more than $67 billion in credit facilities for African businesses, including $7.2 billion in 2018. Afreximbank had total assets of $13.4 billion as at 31 December 2018. It is rated A- (GCR), Baa1 (Moody’s), and BBB- (Fitch). The Bank is headquartered in Cairo. For more information, visit: www.afreximbank.com
NIGERIA: FORTHCOMING REPORT TO HIGHLIGHT IMPROVING INVESTOR SENTIMENT AS PROJECT PIPELINE MOVES FORWARD
March 19, 2020 | 0 Comments
Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission signs new MoU with Oxford Business Group
Nigeria’s efforts to attract foreign investment for sectors of its economy earmarked for growth, despite the challenging external environment prompted by the coronavirus, will be mapped out in a new report by the global research and advisory firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).
The Report: Nigeria 2020 will shine a spotlight on the country’s plans to roll out new transport and other infrastructure projects in the coming years as part of a broader bid to accommodate its growing population and rising levels of urbanisation.
Key topics explored will include the growing emphasis on public-private partnerships in Nigeria’s infrastructural drive that is supporting a push to increase the part played by the private sector in the economy.
With the delayed Dangote refinery back in the spotlight in December, when the huge crude distillation column was inaugurated, The Report: Nigeria 2020 will consider the significant contribution that the facility will make to the national economy by processing local crude and, in turn, reducing fuel imports.
There will also be wide-ranging coverage of Nigeria’s ICT development, which is proving to be crucial in helping the country to reduce its reliance on hydrocarbons and encourage entrepreneurial activity.
In addition, OBG will look at both the benefits that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, signed by Nigeria in July 2019, is expected to bring in terms of strengthening trade and commercial activity across the continent, and the challenges that could hinder its success.
The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) has signed a further memorandum of understanding (MoU) with OBG for its forthcoming publication. Under the agreement, the commission will once again help OBG to carry out the research for The Report: Nigeria 2020 and other content that will be made available across its platforms.
Welcoming the partnership, Wen Qian Chang OBG’s Country Director in Abuja, said she looked forward to teaming up again with the NIPC, which, she added, was one of the Group’s longstanding partners.
“Despite global problems, such as the current coronavirus outbreak and lower oil prices, Nigeria remains an attractive emerging market for the international business community, buoyed by a rapidly growing middle-class population and abundant natural resources,” she said. “Our research for The Report: Nigeria 2020 has already highlighted an uptick in business confidence this year.
The Report: Nigeria 2020 willmark the culmination of more than 12 months of field research by a team of analysts from Oxford Business Group. It will be a vital guide to the many facets of the country, including its macroeconomics, infrastructure, banking and other sectoral developments.
OBG’s publication will contain contributions from leading representatives across the public and private sectors. It will be produced with the NIPC, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Oxford Business Group (OBG) is a global research and advisory company with a presence in over 30 countries, from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to The Americas. A distinctive and respected provider of on-the-ground intelligence on the world’s fastest growing markets for sound investment opportunities and business decisions.
Through its range of products – Economic News and Views; The OBG CEO Survey; OBG Events and Conferences; Global Platform, which hosts exclusive video interviews; The Report publications – and its Advisory division, OBG offers comprehensive and accurate analysis of macroeconomic and sectoral developments.
OBG provides business intelligence to its subscribers through multiple platforms, including its own verified subscribers and the ones of Dow Jones Factiva, Bloomberg Terminal, Refinitiv’s Eikon (previously Thomson Reuters), Factset and more.
SAFCOIN launches zero-fee Bitcoin trading exchange
March 19, 2020 | 0 Comments
SAFCOIN, an exclusive African crypto and exchange, has launched a zero-fee Bitcoin trading pair on their exchange. Bitcoin traders in Africa can now trade on SAFCOIN’s USD exchanges without incurring transaction fees.
As one of the first cryptocurrency exchanges to offer this service, SAFCOIN aims to make cryptocurrency trading easy and accessible for more people in Africa. Its clean and simple graphic user interface offers a hassle-fee, easy-to-navigate experience when buying Bitcoin or SAFCOIN.
“The cryptocurrency market has been on a positive trajectory globally,” says Neil Ferreira, CEO of SAFCOIN. “It’s exciting to see the increased adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in Africa. We’re proud to be able to support this growth with current and future projects that we’re developing on the SAFCOIN blockchain.”
SAFCOIN’s mission is to simplify the cross-border payment processes between African countries, by eliminating red tape and bulky transaction processes.
In making SAFCOIN an Africa-wide accepted form of payment that boosts trade between countries, SAFCOIN aims to open up the digital currency market through the widespread use of mobile money accounts.
The whole of African can trade on the BTC/USD exchange with each other at ZERO fees with Fiat deposits done through Credit Card, Bank EFT’s and Mobile Money. The launch of this exchange not only aids to awareness in Africa but increase the crypto network in emerging markets.
Register a free wallet account on https://www.safcoin.africa and start trading Bitcoin on the easy to use graphic exchange
My Office supplies 1M Licenses to Schools of Cameroon
March 18, 2020 | 0 Comments
|This is the first export contract on educational software for My Office of this scale|
MOSCOW, Russia, March 18, 2020/ — The Russian developer of office software “My Office” (https://MyOffice.ru/en/) and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Cameroon have agreed to provide and introduce 1M software licenses of My Office Education in schools and pre-school facilities of Cameroon over the course of 10 years. This is the first export contract on educational software for My Office of this scale.
The agreement was reached during a business mission to Cameroon. The Minister of Elementary Education Laurent Etoundi said there was a need for office software in schools and announced the start of a pilot project to introduce solutions from My Office into educational institutions of the country. The first 500 licenses of My Office Standard have already been sent to the Republic’s Ministry of Education for testing.
The introduction process will start with 10 schools in different provinces of the country. Pre-school facilities, elementary and secondary schools of Cameroon will receive My Office software for free. Higher education institutions will be able to buy any components of My Office ecosystem at a 93% discount. The same conditions apply to educational institutions in Russia. Individual users will have a chance to use mobile versions of My Office distributed for free in app stores on smartphones running on Android and iOS.
“Cameroon plays a special role in Africa. This is a country with the most highly developed system of education. The government made a great effort to double the number of elementary school graduates in the last 20 years for it to reach 4.4 million children today. Over the same period the country has experienced an Internet boom — and now almost a quarter of all population has access to the global network. The Russian software “My Office Education” can reach our goals in providing pupils with convenient and secure solutions required for the modern educational process,” announced Laurent Etoundi, the Minister of Elementary Education.
The Agreement with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Cameroon will mark the start of productive cooperation between the company and government institutions of this African country. The results of the projects will be used in making decisions on introducing My Office in other government agencies of Cameroon.
“Everywhere in the world, but especially in Africa and the Middle East, Russian IT is associated with great quality, security, and reliability. Our contract with the government of Cameroon will turn a new page in the history between our countries. Today, there are about 1,000 private and public elementary and secondary schools in Cameroon, with 500,000 students graduating every year. We are happy to share a modern and advanced solution with the educational system of Cameroon. It will help them resolve the issue of computer literacy in a most systematic way,” said Dmitry Komissarov, CEO of the developer company “My Office”.
“Today the population of Cameroon is over 25.5 million people, 60% of them under 25 years of age while the median age is just 18.5 years. This is the audience that will define social, business and political life of the country in the nearest future. We want to help them learn about the latest technology and software and we believe that My Office products are a great choice for it,” said Jafar Hilali, Director of Carousel Finance SA, master partner of My Office for distribution in the countries of Africa.
The Republic of Cameroon is one of the fastest-growing nations of Africa. In 2018, the country’s GDP was $38.6 billion, and this figure has grown by more than 3.5 times in the last 20 years.
My Office (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 My Office products is full control of your data and high-level protection from external threats and unauthorized access. My Office 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 My Office Education offered to educational institutions (https://myoffice.ru/en/products/education/) My Office 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 My Office Education.
The company offers products in 7 languages, including Russian, French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, Bashkir, and Tatar. As of 2020, My Office 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.