Centurion Law Group leads market entry of Turkish Airlines in Equatorial Guinea
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments
|As part of its mission to open new routes and expand its fleet in 2020, Turkish Airlines has added Malabo, Equatorial Guinea to its route network|
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, January 20, 2020/ — Pan-African law firm Centurion Law Group (www.CenturionLG.com), leads the entry of Turkish Airlines into Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Operations on the new route will commence 7 February 2020; The entry of Turkish Airlines into Equatorial Guinea supports the objectives of the Year of Investment Initiative led by the Ministry of Mines and Hyrocarbons.
As part of its mission to open new routes and expand its fleet in 2020, Turkish Airlines has added Malabo, Equatorial Guinea to its route network.
Represented by pan-African law firm Centurion Law Group in its entry into Central Africa, the airline continues to offer more destinations than any other in the world. Operations are set to commence on 7 February 2020, offering the Malabo route three times a week.
“Centurion Law Group is proud to have lead the market entry of Turkish Airlines in Equatorial Guinea. It is yet another show of our commitment to the development of Africa through facilitating strategic deals with positive externalities both in-country and on a regional scale,” said Zion Adeoye, Managing Director at Centurion Law Group. “This particular deal is also of great significance to us as it supports the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons’ objectives as represented in the Year of Investment initiative, which is aimed at directing foreign investment into key industries in Equatorial Guinea,” he added.
“This partnership withTurkish Airlines will open the country up to new opportunities not only in the aviation sector but to other industries as well. It is also another way for Equatorial Guinea to attract new business and investment while offering the people of Equatorial Guinea a direct route to the beautiful country of Turkey,” Santiago Olo Lima, Director at Centurion Law Group, Equatorial Guinea. “Our partnership truly speaks to the direction Africa is headed.”
The new service will link to the existing Nigeria, Port Harcourt route and will operate in the rotation: Istanbul – Port Harcourt – Malabo – Istanbul, building on the airlines’ already attractive logistical positioning.
“We are thrilled to have been part of this, it is a noteworthy achievement for Equatorial Guinea and us at Centurion as it allows us to once again utilize our expertise in the aviation industry,” said Manuel Oliveira, Senior Associate Attorney at Centurion Law Group.
Beyond its oil and gas offerings, Centurion Law Group has been active in Equatorial Guinea’s aviation industry, having previously represented Lufthansa Airlines.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Centurion Law Group.
About Centurion Law Group:
Centurion (www.CenturionLG.com) is a pan-African corporate law conglomerate. Operating at the cutting edge of business practices today, Centurion stands ready to provide outsourced legal representation and a full suite of legal services to new, expanding and established corporations.
Across Africa, Centurion provides a service tailored to your operating environment, the nature and structure of your business, your level of risk tolerance, and your overall objectives. Our alternative billing arrangements provide our clients with a greater degree of certainty about their legal costs.
Centurion is committed to the highest ethical standards and we recognize that our firm must take a leadership role in the legal profession in Africa.
Executive appointment: Tarek El Nahas to join Mashreq as Head of International Banking
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments
Tarek spent 25 years at Citibank, most recently as the Head of Corporate and Investment Banking for North Africa, Egypt and Levant, managing teams across 6 countries in the MENA region
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, January 20, 2020/ — Mashreq (https://www.Mashreqbank.com/), one of the leading financial institutions in the UAE, has appointed Tarek El Nahas as its new Head of International Banking Group.
Tarek spent 25 years at Citibank, most recently as the Head of Corporate and Investment Banking for North Africa, Egypt and Levant, managing teams across 6 countries in the MENA region. He has held several senior roles in Egypt, Algeria and the UAE and has extensive experience across a wide range of disciplines, including corporate finance, investment banking, derivatives and structured products, commercial banking and corporate banking. Tarek’s wholesale banking experience extended to working with large corporates, financial institutions, sovereigns and the public sector. Tarek has a BA in economics and political science from the American University in Cairo and a MSc in economics from the London School of Economics.
Commenting on the appointment, Ahmed Abdelaal, CEO, Mashreq Bank, said, “I am delighted to welcome Tarek to the Mashreq family. Our legacy has been built upon a commitment to developing our leadership capabilities and as we look to grow our international presence Tarek’s experience will be invaluable.
“Tarek will take over from Jan-Willem Sudmann later this month. Jan played a pivotal role in the success of Mashreq’s international banking story for the last 4 years. We wish Jan good luck and gratitude for his service to Mashreq.”
Tarek El Nahas, added: “I am excited to be joining Mashreq. Mashreq is recognized for innovation and service excellence and with my regional experience, I look forward to collaborating closely with my new colleagues to enhance the banks customer experience and creating further inroads to the international business group for Mashreq.”
One of the UAE’s best performing banks for five decades, Mashreq (https://www.Mashreqbank.com/) is a leading financial institution with an expanding footprint across the Middle East. We have international offices across Europe, Asia, Africa and the US, and a strong presence in all the financial capitals of the world.
As the oldest bank in the UAE, our 51-year old journey can be traced back to humble beginnings in 1967, followed by periods of rapid growth and strategic expansion. Throughout our history, Mashreq has differentiated itself by pioneering new-to-market concepts and launching unique products and services.
Our innovative approach sets us truly apart. It also continues to win us numerous awards and accolades in all the fields of banking we operate in – Digital, Corporate, Retail, International, Treasury and Islamic, and across the multiple banking channels we deploy – mobile, digital, online, traditional and telephony.
Mashreq is proud to be the only institution in the UAE to be awarded the Gallup Great Workplace Award for six consecutive years from 2014 to 2019.
Equatorial Guinea Speeds Up Year of Investment Drive with Nigerian Investors
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments
The delegation from Equatorial Guinea met with several Nigerian executives from the Africa Finance Corporation, Polaris Bank, Sterling Bank, First Bank, UBA and Zenith Bank
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, January 20, 2020/ — In line with its commitment to attract regional capital investment into the country, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, met with high-level Nigerian investors, bankers and financiers to discuss the opportunities offered by the country’s Year of Investment initiative.
The delegation from Equatorial Guinea met with several Nigerian executives from the Africa Finance Corporation, Polaris Bank, Sterling Bank, First Bank, UBA and Zenith Bank but also captains of the industry such as Simbi Wabote, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.
Such discussions with all the leading figures who have been a true engine of growth for the Nigerian economy is essential as Nigeria continues to be Africa’s largest economy. Minister Obiang Lima presented key opportunities for them to expand their portfolio by investing in Equatorial Guinea. The Equatorial Guinea delegation also listened to their expectations on investing in Equatorial Guinea, while advising Nigerian businesses on the latest development and opportunities offered to African investors within the country’s rapidly developing oil and mining sectors.
A clear consensus came out of the discussions that only Africans can fully develop Africa while working with other partners coming from Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America.
“Equatorial Guinea’s mission is to cut the dependence on foreign imports. It is important to boost local entrepreneurship, energy security and using our products to grow the local economy while engaging the regional market,” declared Minister Obiang Lima.
As such, H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima committed to using Nigerian expertise to develop local content in Equatorial Guinea and also work with Nigeria on gas-related matters, oil market stabilization with OPEC, and industry coordination through APPO. “The great relationship that has existed between H.E. President Muhammadu Buhari and H.E. President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has really opened many doors for us. We don’t take this engagement lightly and we must deliver. More than before, I am optimistic that we are going to have better collaboration and sign deals that will improve the lives of Nigerians and Equatorial Guineans and ensure our relationship reaches new heights,” added H.E. Gabriel Obiang Lima.
In that regard, Minister Obiang Lima confirmed his participation and attendance at the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, set to take place in Abuja on February 9-12, 2020.
African Energy Chamber encouraged by Kosmos Energy on Recent Appointment of New West Africa Regional Director
January 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
African Energy Chamber demands more action from International Oil Companies (IOC’s) and Governments on empowering women in Oil and Gas
DAKAR, Senegal, January 13, 2020/ — The African Energy Chamber (EnergyChamber.org) is encouraged by Kosmos Energy’s appointment of Senegalese national Khady Dior Ndiaye as Vice President and Regional Director for West Africa.
The appointment is a very positive step towards promoting women in leadership positions in the oil sector and recognising the extremely talented energy leaders emerging out of West Africa.
“The appointment of Khady Dior Ndiaye is a brilliant move and in line with our belief that women can and should lead,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber and author of Billions At Play. “The oil industry cannot be the last bastion of male domination. Congratulations to Kosmos Energy on showing the way for others in Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Mozambique, Nigeria, Angola or South Africa to follow!”
Khady Dior Ndiaye has demonstrated her leadership skills working for Citibank in Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal. She will lead Kosmos Energy’s operations in the region at very important times for the company and for Senegal who expects to be producing first oil and gas within two years. The African Energy Chamber wishes her all the best in her new role and assures her of all its support to lead the region towards greater prosperity.
Boon for African Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) as African Guarantee Fund receives USD 33 Million Capital Increase
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
The African Guarantee Fund is focused on its goal to provide financial guarantees for over 10,000 SMEs annually through partner financial institutions
NAIROBI, Kenya, January 9, 2020/ — Africa’s leading Guarantee Institution, African Guarantee Fund (AGF) (http://www.AfricanGuaranteeFund.com/) has received an additional USD 33M financing from German lender KfW Development Bank , in a move that will catapult AGF’s efforts to enable African SMEs continue to play their critical role in driving Africa’s economy.
This new financing comes at a time when the continent’s SME sector has been singled out as a key driver of growth. This now places AGF firmly on the driver’s seat as the champion that eases access to financing for SMEs across the continent.
The African Guarantee Fund is focused on its goal to provide financial guarantees for over 10,000 SMEs annually through partner financial institutions and as a trickledown effect, create 30,000 jobs per year.
“We are excited about the confidence our shareholders and partners have in what we are doing in Africa. This capital injection will go a long way in ensuring that we continue to make a positive impact in the continent. So far, we have cumulatively issued more than USD 1 B worth of guarantees making available about USD 1.7 billion for SME financing through our Partner Financial Institutions. This has led to the creation of more than 100,000 additional jobs,” says Felix Bikpo, Group CEO of African Guarantee Fund.
Out of the 20,000 African SMEs from various economic sectors that have so far benefited from AGF guarantees, the institution is very proud that 60% of these SMEs are owned by youth who are the majority in Africa today, and 30% owned by women, both being demographics that heavily impact Africa’s economy.
“Our experience traversing Africa has shown us that Women in Africa are tenacious entrepreneurs, even though they face a gender financing gap of USD 42 billion. The capital increase from KfW will largely be used to increase financing of women owned or led businesses. This is in addition to our partnership with the African Development Bank through the recently launched Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) which currently has a USD 251 million commitment from G7 countries.” added Mr. Bikpo.
About African Guarantee Fund:
African Guarantee Fund (http://www.AfricanGuaranteeFund.com/) is a non-bank financial institution whose objective is to promote economic development, increase employment and reduce poverty in Africa by providing financial institutions with guarantee products and capacity development assistance specifically intended to support SMEs in Africa.
African Guarantee Fund was founded by the government of Denmark through the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the government of Spain through the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). Other shareholders include: French Development Agency (AFD), Nordic Development Fund (NDF), Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and KfW Development Bank (KfW).
AGF has a rating of AA- by Fitch Ratings Agency.
NIGERIA’S BID TO BOOST INVESTMENT SET FOR ANALYSIS IN NEW REPORT
January 8, 2020 | 0 Comments
Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry signs first-time MoU with Oxford Business Group
Abuja, January 2020: Nigeria’s efforts to liberalise its economy and increase foreign investment will be explored in a new report by the global research and advisory firm Oxford Business Group (OBG).
The Report: Nigeria 2020 will look in detail at the country’s plans to enhance its business environment by improving the regulatory framework currently in place and reducing bureaucracy.
There will be detailed coverage of the sectors of the economy identified as ripe for growth, including real estate, mining, agriculture and ICT, which are combining to help drive non-oil activity.
The Report: Nigeria 2020 will also shine a spotlight on the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA), as the initiative enters its operational phase. OBG will consider both the potential for regional growth that the free trade area holds and the challenges that risk delaying its progress. Readers will also find analysis of the opportunities that the AfCTA could signal for Nigeria, which was one of the last countries to sign the agreement.
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has signed a first-time memorandum of understanding with OBG for its forthcoming publication. Under the agreement, the ACCI will help OBG in its research for The Report: Nigeria 2020 and other content that will be made available across the Group’s platforms, which is expected to include charting the economic expansion under way in the capital city of Abuja.
Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, President of ACCI, said he looked forward to teaming up with OBG for its forthcoming report, which he said came at a time of heightened economic activity in Abuja.
“These are significant times for the Federal Capital Territory and Abuja in particular, which continues to attract investment for a wealth of projects across the economic sectors,” he said. “Oxford Business Group’s reports on emerging markets are known to be leaders in their field, providing investors with accurate, reliable data which can sometimes be difficult to come by. I have no doubt that its report on Nigeria’s evolving economy will serve as a valuable tool for business leaders keen to participate in the next phase of the country’s development.”
Abuja-based Country Director Wen Qian Chang agreed that efforts to attract investment for large-scale infrastructure and real estate projects in Abuja against a backdrop of rapid urbanisation were gathering pace.
“The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry plays a key role in promoting economic and industrial development within the Federal Capital Territory and highlighting the investment opportunities available in this rapidly developing city,” she said. “I’m delighted that our team, and ultimately our readers, will benefit from the chamber’s input as we begin the next phase of our research for this timely report.”
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 also contain contributions from leading representatives across the public and private sectors. The Report: Nigeria 2020 will be produced with the ACCI, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission. It will be available online and in print.
Click here to subscribe to Oxford Business Group’s latest content: http://www.oxfordbusinessgroup.com/country-reports
About Oxford Business Group
Oxford Business Group (OBG) is a global research and advisory company with a presence in over 30 countries, from Africa, the Middle East and Asia to the Americas. OBG is 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 Business Barometer CEO Survey; OBG Events and Conferences; Global Platform, which hosts exclusive video interviews; The Report publications – and its Consultancy division, OBG offers comprehensive and accurate analysis of macroeconomic and sectoral developments.
OBG provides business intelligence to its subscribers through multiple platforms, including its subscribers, CNKI, Dow Jones Factiva subscribers, the Bloomberg Professional Services’ subscribers, Refinitiv’s (previously Thomson Reuters) Eikon subscribers, and more.
For more information, please contact:
Marc-André de Blois
Director of PR and Video Content, Oxford Business Group
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Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) supports development of Algeria’s energy sector through two loan facilities to Sonatrach Petroleum Investment Corporation worth USD 250 million
December 23, 2019 | 0 Comments
Loans to support Sonatrach’s efforts to diversify energy assets, ensure steady crude oil supplies and increase geographic footprint
DAMMAM, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, December 23, 2019/ — Loans to be used to carry out maintenance works on Sonatrach’s refinery in Italy, its first overseas investment in Europe, and purchase of Aramco crude; Loans to support Sonatrach’s efforts to diversify energy assets, ensure steady crude oil supplies and increase geographic footprint.
The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) (http://www.APICORP.org/), a multilateral development financial institution, agreed to two loan facilities worth a combined USD 250 million with Sonatrach Petroleum Investment Corporation (SPIC), a subsidiary of Sonatrach International Holding Corporation owned by Sonatrach, the Algerian state-owned national oil company.
The first loan, a USD 100 million bilateral pre-financing facility, will be used to fund the maintenance of the Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana complex in Sicily, Italy, which Sonatrach acquired from ExxonMobil in December 2018. The second loan, a USD 150 million unfunded and syndicated letter of credit, is for the purchase Saudi Aramco crude oil by Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana.
Dr. Ahmed Ali Attiga, CEO of APICORP, said: “APICORP is committed to supporting and financing Sonatrach in its first overseas acquisition. This is part of our mission to continue playing an active role in the development of our member countries’ broader energy sector and contribute to diversification and geographic expansion. As a trusted financial partner to the region’s energy sector, we remain steadfast in our mission to continue exploring opportunities in Algeria and other member states and provide solutions that drive innovation and bolster the sustainability of this vital industry.”
Nordine Bouteldja, Managing Director of SPIC commented, “Our strategic investment in international refining through Sonatrach Raffinera Italiana will contribute to meeting local energy demand and address imbalances in petroleum supplies. This is of key importance to our efforts to diversify our energy assets and secure reliable supplies of crude oil, as part of our drive to meet local energy demand and address imbalances in petroleum supplies to the domestic market.”
Located in Augusta, Sicily, Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana is Sonatrach’s first overseas acquisition. The integrated refinery complex, which has access to the major global shipping routes through the Mediterranean Sea, boasts a conversion rate of 200,000 bpd and can produce a wide range of downstream products, including gasoline, distillates, fuel oils, lubricants, asphalts and chemicals.
Earlier this year, Sonatrach designated APICORP as one of a select group of financial institutions to provide advisory on project management and financing-related matters.
International legal firm Allen & Ovary’s Paris office was the legal advisor to APICORP on the transactions.
The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) (http://www.APICORP.org/) is a multilateral development financial institution established in 1974 by an international treaty between the ten Arab oil exporting countries. It aims to support and foster the development of the Arab world’s energy sector and petroleum industries. APICORP makes equity investments and provides project finance, trade finance, advisory and research. APICORP is rated ‘Aa2 with a stable outlook’ by Moody’s, and is headquartered in Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Q & A with Twiga Foods Co-founder & CEO, Peter Njonjo
December 23, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ajong Mbapndah L
AsTwiga Foods Takes Lead in Setting Standards for production and distribution in Sub-Saharan Africa, PAV caught with its Co-Founder and CEO Peter Njonjo for a Q&A on important developments, and way forward for the Kenyan company.
Could we start by getting an introduction of Twiga Foods, and how its creation came about?
Peter Njonjo: Twiga Foods was created to address issues around food production and distribution in Sub-Saharan Africa. When you consider that a disproportionately high percentage of disposable income is spent on food – 55 percent in Kenya and 60 percent in Nigeria. Compared to 8 percent in the UK – it made sense to explore ways to bring costs down.
Since we started Twiga in 2014, we have also come to realise that Africa’s food production challenges actually begin with fragmented consumer retail. The Continent is dependent on small farmers because the Continent’s retail is dependent on small informal vendors.
With current fragmentation, it makes no sense for a farmer to plant 50 acres of potatoes, or 30 acres of bananas, because they’d have no route to sell those volumes into a fragmented marketplace. However, staying small is extremely inefficient: a farmer with less than 3 acres achieves only 14 percent of the yield/acre of a farmer with more than 20 acres, ensuring the cost of food remains far too high.
Our approach is to “re-engineer” the agricultural value chain as an end to end tech-enabled market, rather than seeking to optimise existing fragmentation. By aggregating a fragmented retail space, we aim to enable the creation of an efficient domestic agricultural production industry, when before there was none, while generating incremental value for all market participants.
How are your services provided and how much of Kenya does it cover?
Peter Njonjo: Twiga’s m-commerce platform enables vendors to order fresh produce, as and when needed, from farmers across Kenya. As a result, farmers have guaranteed access to a fairly priced, transparent, mobile marketplace and vendors can consistently source high-quality produce, which is conveniently delivered for free to their doorstep within 18 hours of ordering.
At the moment, we are mainly working with vendors in Nairobi and farmers on the outskirts, but we are hoping to expand into Mombasa and Nakuru in the coming months
Twiga Foods was recently in the news for Securing $30M to digitize food distribution, can you shed some light on this?
Peter Njonjo : Our latest funding round was led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from existing investors including the International Finance Corporation, TLcom Capital and Creadev. An additional $6 million in debt was raised from OPIC and Alpha Mundi.
This new investment will fund the continued development of our proprietary technology and logistics assets to support the roll-out of its distribution system and lay the foundations for expansion into other cities on the continent.
Our aim is to bridge gaps in food and market security, and this funding will also help us to do that. Since launching in 2014, Twiga Foods has transformed the lives and businesses of more than 17,000 farmers and more than 8,000 vendors but there is still a long way to go.
With the financing, where does this lead Twiga Foods, any projections for the next five years for instance?
Peter Njonjo: We plan to expand into Mombasa, and possibly Nakuru, within the next year. After that, the next step would be to expand across the continent, starting with French-speaking West African countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Senegal etc) and then Nigeria.
We are also building a new distribution centre that will have state-of-the-art cold rooms, conveyors and sorting equipment, which will enable Twiga to offer supply chain services for both agricultural and FMCG products. The distribution centre should be ready by February 2020.
To other young aspiring entrepreneurs who will want to emulate the success of Peter Njonjo, what words of wisdom can you share with them based on your experiences?
Peter Njonjo: The first piece of advice I would offer aspiring entrepreneurs is that they should always seek to be part of the solution. In the early days of my career, I was so keen to identify problematic situations and things that didn’t work but didn’t always prioritise finding a solution to these problems I’d identified. On one occasion, my boss actually told me he would fire me if I brought him one more problem. Thankfully, that did not kill my curiosity. It was the trigger I needed to think differently which has been a great asset for me in my career.
The second thing would be to always stay curious. Curiosity is a state of mind that allows you to discover so many things. It will also lead you to ideas that will differentiate you from everyone else. As an entrepreneur, this differentiation is an invaluable asset to have. One that will be very useful for helping your consumers and customers see value in the product or service you have to offer
The African Continental Free Trade Agreement is expected to go into effect next year, any strategy in the works for Twiga foods to benefit from the changes it will bring?
Peter Njonjo: One of our main objectives is to solve the problem of reliable access to food across Sub-Saharan Africa and the AfCFTA provides an effective framework for achieving that. At the moment, we are focusing on Kenya because it is the market we know. However, when the time is right for us to expand outside Kenya, we will be doing so with a nuanced approach that factors in all the peculiarities of each market. The AfCFTA makes it easier for African countries to trade goods and we are looking forward to exploring the opportunities that come with it.
Equatorial Guinea to Convert Punta Europa Methanol Plant to Modular Refinery
December 19, 2019 | 0 Comments
The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons is dissatisfied by declining gas production and expects new investment to upgrade Punta Europa facilities
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, December 18, 2019/ — A feasibility study is underway on the potential to convert Equatorial Guinea’s methanol plant at Punta Europa; The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons is dissatisfied by declining gas production and expects new investment to upgrade Punta Europa facilities
The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) is ordering the dismantling of the methanol plant owned by the Atlantic Methanol Production Company LLC (AMPCO) at the Punta Europa Gas Complex on Bioko Island, calling instead for a modular refinery.
This move notably echoes the Ministry’s discontent over Marathon Oil’s work program and budget when it comes to exploration and production on their current acreage in the country, which do not reflect the expected level of investment and commitment for key assets such as the Alba offshore field and the methanol plant, which the American company operates.
“The Punta Europa complex is the crown jewel in Equatorial Guinea’s gas processing infrastructure and is central to our long-term plans for gas monetization. However, due to a lack of investment in the Alba field and the methanol plant, a modular refinery would be a more productive project for that space,” said H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons.
The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea has commissioned a feasibility study to convert the methanol plant at Punta Europa. The methanol plant is a component of the larger Punta Europa gas processing facility owned by Marathon Oil and its partners. Marathon Oil Company holds 45 percent shares in the methanol plant.
As part of the country’s new Gas Mega Hub project — which aims to provide additional gas supply to processing facilities both onshore and offshore — new investment in the Punta Europa complex is needed. The plant is currently supplied by Marathon Oil’s Alba field, which has seen declining production. The first phase of the gas mega hub project is to implement a new gas supply agreement signed between the MMH and Noble Energy, operator of the Aseng and Alen fields in Block I/O. Gas will be supplied to the Punta Europa gas complex, which includes the Malabo power station, AMPCO methanol plant and the Equatorial Guinea LNG plant. The agreement, combined with new subsea pipelines linking the Aseng, Alen and Alba fields, will replace some of the gas production lost as the Alba field declines.
Even as the Alba field declines, however, Noble Energy, Kosmos Energy and Trident Energy have made major discoveries after an aggressive 2019 work program.
Noble Energy made a discovery in the offshore Block I in August 2019, when the Aseng 6P well was drilled to a total depth of 4,417 meters. Kosmos Energy and Trident Energy struck oil in November, making a discovery when the S-5 well was drilled at a total depth of 4,400 meters and encountered 39 meters of net oil play in the Santonian reservoir, in the offshore Rio Muni Basin. The discovery was the first well drilled in Kosmos’ infrastructure-led exploration (ILX) in offshore Equatorial Guinea. The drilling of the S-5 well was accelerated following exciting 3D seismic acquired in 2018.
“New investment is what is needed to continue to drive Equatorial Guinea forward. We are very pleased to be working with companies like Noble Energy, Kosmos Energy and Trident Energy, which remain committed to strong work programs and new opportunities for growth,” the Minister said.
An expected direct investment of a minimum of $1.4 billion — a firm $1.2 billion and a contingent forecast of $273 million predicted for 2020 — is associated with the drilling of two wells and the continuous development of six existing wells in Equatorial Guinea in 2020.
*Africa Energy Chamber
Uganda, Ghana and Botswana have highest percentage of women business owners in the world, finds Mastercard Index
December 19, 2019 | 0 Comments
Third edition of Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs profiles the progress and achievement of women entrepreneurs across 58 societies around the world
| KAMPALA, Uganda, December 18th, 2019 -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- The third edition of the Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE) has listed three African countries as global leaders in terms of women-owned businesses. Uganda, Ghana and Botswana are ranked as the top three countries with the highest percentages of women-owned businesses across the 58 markets evaluated around the world. |
Based on publicly available data from international organizations including the International Labour Organization, UNESCO and the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, the global Index tracks the progress and achievements of women entrepreneurs and business owners at three levels: (i) Women’s Advancement Outcomes, (ii) Knowledge Assets & Financial Access, and (iii) Supporting Entrepreneurial Factors.
The results reaffirmed that women are able to make further business inroads and have higher labour force participation rates in open and vibrant markets where the support for SMEs and ease of doing business are high. They are also able to draw from enabling resources, including access to capital, financial services and academic programs.
Although the available support in open markets is a significant indicator of success, the Index also revealed that it is not the only consideration. Despite traditionally featuring less favourable conditions, five of the eight African countries evaluated in this Index made it into the top 10 markets leading in women business ownerships. These “driven-by-necessity” entrepreneurs are determined to succeed despite a lack of financial capital and access to enabling services.
Beatrice Cornacchia, Mastercard’s Head of Marketing and Communications for the Middle East and Africa, said: “Women entrepreneurs continue to have a direct impact on economic growth and the wellbeing of society. In sub-Saharan Africa in particular, women continue to demonstrate an unwavering commitment to supporting their communities through entrepreneurship. But to unlock the full potential of the African continent, we must continue to foster an entrepreneurship ecosystem for women that helps them to overcome barriers – whether cultural, legal, social or traditional.”
Other key African insights:
Women are achieving gender parity with men in terms of entrepreneurial activity in several markets including Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda. Meanwhile, improvements in Angola and Malawi, also helped narrow gender disparity.
Nigeria had the second highest proportion of women in professional/technician roles among the 58 markets surveyed, and an exceptionally high percentage of females as entrepreneurs. Specifically, nearly four in every 10 working age women are engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activity (40.7% compared to 39% for men). South Africa was one of the top scoring nations when it came to women having equal access to tertiary education, and it also scores higher than its African counterparts with regards to financial inclusion (86%) compared with men. The findings also highlighted women’s abilities to thrive as business owners and pursue opportunities. According to the World Bank, 45% of economies around the globe have laws constraining women’s decision to join and remain in the labour force. In addition to shining a light on the progress of women entrepreneurs on a global and regional scale, Mastercard is committed to designing a better world for women that creates limitless possibilities for us all. In Africa and South East Asia, Mastercard is fuelling women-led businesses with access to micro-credit and new digital marketplaces through platforms like Jaza Duka and the Mastercard Farmer Network. In South Africa, Mastercard has collaborated with Junior Achievement South Africa to run a 20-week entrepreneurial development programme, empowering women between the ages of 18 and 35 to start and run their own businesses. Furthermore, the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth is providing philanthropic support to enable financial literacy training and access to vital tools and services for women entrepreneurs in underserved markets.
Download the full report of the Mastercard Index for Women Entrepreneurs here.
Methodology The Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs 2019 is the third report profiling the progress and achievement of women entrepreneurs/business owners across 58 societies around the world. With Angola as the newest market added to the Middle East & Africa region, the Index expands its attempt to track the factors that underpin the gender gap among business owners. Representing nearly 80% of the world’s female labour force, it highlights how the 58 markets differ at three levels: (i) Women’s Advancement Outcomes, (ii) Knowledge Assets & Financial Access, and (iii) Supporting Entrepreneurial Factors. The results also shed light on which factors and conditions are the most conducive in helping to narrow the gender gap among female entrepreneurs/business owners, the most inhibitive and disabling, thereby weighing on women’s ability to thrive in business.
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.
*courtesy of AMA
Equatorial Guinea Expects Major Oil & Gas Investments in 2020
December 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
The country estimates $1.2 billion in investments and a contingent forecast of $273 million into its hydrocarbon sector in 2020
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, December 16, 2019/ — The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons has concluded its work program and budget meeting evaluations after technical negotiations with oil and gas companies; The country estimates $1.2 billion in investments and a contingent forecast of $273 million into its hydrocarbon sector in 2020; The country is actively pursuing international investors in an effort to increase exploration activity and boost its oil and gas sector.
Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) has concluded its evaluation of work programs and budget meetings of multiple oil blocks in the country, corresponding to the 2020 fiscal year, which has yielded many successful results.
A major outcome of these meetings is the expected direct investment of a minimum of $1.4 billion; a firm $1.2 billion and a contingent forecast of $273 million predicted for 2020, associated with the drilling of two wells and the continuous development of six existing wells.
The expected investment will support several oil field projects, aid in the generation of reservoir models and assist in the preparation of drilling equipment in identified prospects up until the first quarter of 2021. The investment will also generate a robust amount of direct and indirect jobs in the country’s hydrocarbon sector specifically for citizens of Equatorial Guinea.
“We expect 2020 to be the biggest year of investment in Equatorial Guinea’s hydrocarbons industry in years. This is a strong sign of our industry’s enduring attractiveness and will enable us to continue increasing oil and gas production, support local companies and create jobs.” Stated H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons.
In 2019, Noble Energy, Trident Energy and Kosmos Energy, all made offshore discoveries and will enter 2020 doing further appraisals. Those offshore campaigns are expected to yield positive results in Equatorial Guinea’s efforts to reverse oil production declines.
Noble Energy made a new discovery in Block 1 offshore Equatorial Guinea in August and Trident and Kosmos Energy made a joint oil discovery at the S-5 well in November.
*Africa Energy Chamber
Equatorial Guinea Pledges Continued Support to Foreign Operators in its Hydrocarbon Sector
December 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
Equatorial Guinea continues to be proactive in encouraging foreign direct investment into the country
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, December 16, 2019/ — New rules introduced by the Bank of Central African States has created a challenging environment for foreign investment into CFA union states; The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons will continue to support foreign operators in its hydrocarbon sector; Equatorial Guinea continues to be proactive in encouraging foreign direct investment into the country.
Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) recognizes that new financial measures passed by the Bank of Central African States (BEAC) will create restrictions for international oil companies. The MMH is prepared to provide continued support to its foreign operators as they put more capital into Equatorial Guinea’s resources.
In June, the BEAC introduced new rules to bring order to a monetary bloc flooded with petrodollars – which often end up in offshore bank accounts after bypassing local economies completely – and curb money laundering and diminishing foreign exchange reserves that are causing cash flow shortages across the CFA union.
The new rules state that all foreign exchange transfers over $1,680 be vetted for approval by the bank, and that all export proceeds above $8,400 be repatriated in 150 days to a local bank account. These stringent rules have resulted in transaction delays of up to three months.
“Equatorial Guinea understands the need to be proactive in promoting investment and reaching out to global energy stakeholders. We will continue to support investment into our hydrocarbon sector, despite challenging circumstances. We welcome all investors to help us further develop our oil and industry,” says H.E Gabriel Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Equatorial Guinea.
The central African CFA union comprises Chad, Congo Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Cameroon and Central African Republic – all but the last of them among sub-Saharan Africa’s top oil producers, whose financial dealings are among the world’s most opaque.