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North American Kariya Energy set to acquire oil and gas assets in various African jurisdictions, targeting producing assets and developing small-scale LNG
September 8, 2020 | 0 Comments

Kariya Energy’s technical and financial strength puts it in a position to bring Canadian and American ingenuity into the growing oil and natural gas market in Africa

Kariya Energy announced today that it will enter into various definitive agreement to acquire upstream and midstream oil and gas assets in African countries.

Kariya Energy’s technical and financial strength puts it in a position to bring Canadian and American ingenuity into the growing oil and natural gas market in Africa.

Kariya Energy and its management team’s engagements and experience with various deep and shallow water projects in Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Congo DRC, Congo Republic and Gabon makes these countries great investment possibilities. After spending 16 months reviewing data from various IOC’s, Kariya Energy will be pursuing acquisitions of various exploration and development plays either through Farm-in deals or operatorship through risk service contracts, or direct negotiations with sovereign governments.

Kariya Energy will continue with its current and ongoing support by providing technical, financial, and operational support for oil and gas companies currently operating in Nigeria, Congo and Gabon.

Kariya Energy’s strategy has focused on the innovation and evaluation of new opportunities for resource extraction with great technology that has produced results.

Kariya Energy will pursue profitable small-scale LNG projects across Africa, a niche that its leadership has been skilful in building and making it profitable and scalable, boasting significant potential across the African market.

With its technology, Kariya can turn around African small-scale LNG and work with partners in addressing off-grid power generation for industrial and residential needs in remote locations and deal with issues around energy poverty. Kariya Energy.


About Kariya Energy:
Kariya Energy  is an energy firm focused on upstream and midstream petroleum industry operations and investment.

*SOURCE Kariya Energy.

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CenturionPlus to support Mozambique’s Economic and Energy Boom with In Country Presence
September 7, 2020 | 0 Comments
Keseena Chengadu, Director of CenturionPlus
Keseena Chengadu, Director of CenturionPlus
CenturionPlus will especially focus on supporting new joint-ventures and partnerships in Mozambique to build domestic capacity.

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 7, 2020/ — Centurion Law Group is delighted to announce the launch and opening of its lawyers-on-demand service CenturionPlus in Mozambique. Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Mozambique remains in the top 15 of the fastest growing economies this year, and is expected to grow by almost 5% next year. On the back of massive LNG projects under-development that represent billions of dollars, the Mozambican economy is set to be one of the world’s most dynamic in the coming years.

CenturionPlus will especially focus on supporting new joint-ventures and partnerships in Mozambique to build domestic capacity, assisting foreign investors to work in country, helping state entities to build an enabling environment, supporting local content development for national companies, and empower local Mozambican lawyers. The upcoming gas revolution in Mozambique will notably create tremendous growth opportunities for the local services industry, opening up the door to new regional and international partnerships that can create jobs and nurture the development of a strong local industry in Southern Africa.

As a tailored legal service offering, CenturionPlus is adapted to respond to a growing need for flexible and bespoke legal services in Mozambique. As the country develops, the need to build legal capacity domestically while bringing in world-class regional and international expertise in key areas such as oil & gas or energy infrastructure is growing. By leveraging on its network of carefully vetted African and international lawyers and consultants, CenturionPlus can both inject know-how and expertise into the local industry while offering best-in-class legal solutions to the country’s rapidly developing economy.

“Our clients have made so much progress in Mozambique thanks to our work. They value our great insights of the country’s legal framework. Mozambique will be Africa’s next growth success story on the back on upcoming LNG projects and increasing domestic monetization and valorization of natural gas. Such activity will have positive effects across all sectors of the economy, offering a unique opportunity for CenturionPlus to make a difference for its growing base of clients in the country, but also for the legal industry of Mozambique,” stated, Zion Adeoye, Managing Director of Centurion Law Group.

“CenturionPlus is now ready to take the lead on any projects in Mozambique. Our dedicated pool of commercial and corporate lawyers both in and outside of Mozambique offer the best blend of local anchorage and on-the-ground presence with the best global practices in the legal industry. We truly look forward to bringing new legal solutions that benefit both investors coming into Mozambique, and the country’s local economy as a whole,” added Keseena Chengadu, Director of CenturionPlus.

About CenturionPlus:
Launched by pan-African energy and corporate law conglomerate Centurion Law Group in 2018, CenturionPlus has become one of the fastest-growing on-demand legal service on the continent. Having recently expanded across Western Europe, CenturionPlus is now globalizing a new approach to the practice of the law, combining flexibility of service with cost-efficiency without compromising on quality. With a pool of over a 100 carefully-vetted lawyers on demand, CenturionPlus is able to answer to any legal needs or requirements with agility and speed, ensuring that the needs of both clients’ short and long-term legal services are met.
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COVID-19: Netherlands’ Corendon International Travel Cancels All Winter Flights to The Gambia
September 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Rene Oude Groeniger

Rene Oude Groeniger, Purchasing Manager for Corendon International Travels, a leading Dutch Tour Operating Company in The Gambia has revealed that all winter flights to The Gambia are cancel.

He disclosed that Corendon is concern with the instability of the country relative to the upsurge of the Covid-19 cases in the country as well has the strict regulations put up by the government in their efforts to reignite the tourism industry back to normalcy.

Last year the Dutch Company brought four flights weekly into the country with an estimated figures close to fifteen thousand (15000) into the country from October until April.

The cancellations came barely one week when Gambia government announces reopening of the tourism industry that has been crippled by the global corona virus pandemic.

“It does not look good for winter to serve The Gambian Tourism Industry with client from Holland. And yes, indeed we pulled out of The Gambia because we need to plan in advance about our flight operation for Winter 2020-2021,” Rene Oude Groeniger, Purchasing Manager, Corendon International Travels, The Netherland.

He added: “We also noticed that the situation in The Gambia is also not stable at all. We have seen serious increases with Covid-19 cases in the last weeks, on top of it Gambian government requires 2 weeks quarantine and they also want to keep passport from clients which is not even normal.”

He disclosed to this medium that it will take 4-6 months before Corendon will be able to bring tourists into the country, bemoaning the destruction of another important tourist’s season for the country.

“So all the signs at the moment gives the indication that, with the best scenario it will take at least 4-6 months to bring back the clients to The Gambia. I am afraid that the important Winter Season will be completely destroyed I terms of arrivals,” Groeniger told journalists.

He said whereas The Gambia decides to open its borders for the upcoming tourist’s season, his company will still needs the approval of the Dutch government before it can start any form of operation in the country.

“It is important to know that Gambia might open the borders for his tourists but we (Corendon International Travels) will also need the approval from our own government to fly to The Gambia. This approval from Dutch   government is very crucial for us, so it depends on both destinations whether they can operate or not,” he noted.

According to him, if the circumstances changes quickly than expected Corendon may also consider changing its plans and start operation immediately, adding that with the current situation ‘it looks like we need a miracle’.

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Kenya:Mobile Money transactions jump by 14.96 percent in July
September 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma

Dr Patrick Njoroge ,CBK Governor
Dr Patrick Njoroge ,CBK Governor

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has revealed that over Ksh.450.98 billion was transacted via mobile phone.

This was an increase from Ksh.392.17 recorded in June.

Economic analysts have attributed the rise in transactions to the gradual resumption of economic activities in the country.

At the beginning of July, the government lifted the partial lockdown imposed on the Nairobi, Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, and Mandera.

The curfew was also moved from 7 pm to 9 pm and the lockdown in Nairobi’s Eastleigh estate lifted.

The value of mobile money transactions declined to Ksh.308 billion in April due to curfews, lockdowns, and travel restrictions aimed to stem the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, these measures led to job losses to many Kenyans, and numerous businesses were shut down. However, there has been a constant increase since May.          

The government recommended a cashless payment system urging the public to pay for services and goods using mobile money.

Furthermore, waived charges for electronic transfers and mobile money providers waved fees for transactions less than Ksh.1, 000.

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Liquidation Proceedings in South Africa Post-COVID: how to respond to creditors unjustified attempts to liquidate a business
September 2, 2020 | 0 Comments
To circumvent liquidation, proactive engagement with creditors at the early stages of financial distress is imperative.

 It is well documented that the COVID-19 pandemic is taking its toll on businesses. Commerce in most sectors are fighting to keep their doors open, grappling with creditors to avoid winding up proceedings and its far-reaching implications.

In the past few months our offices have experienced a significant increase of queries relating to creditors threatening with liquidation proceedings. In this article we explain what can be done in these situations.

The impact of COVID-19

In a recent survey by Stats SA, the national statistical service of South Africa, conducted during the lockdown, they asked a total of 707 businesses in the formal sector how the current crisis is affecting their business operations. In their response to the survey, the businesses outlined the pandemic’s detrimental impact on turnover, trading, workforce, imports and exports, purchases and most importantly, the business survival.

The outcome is an unfortunate indicator of Businesses being confronted with insolvency and many critics believe the impact is much greater.  Here are some of the key findings:
Four in ten businesses conveyed that they cannot continue to operate:
42.4% of the respondents indicated that they will not have the financial resources to continue with their operations, with 54% confirming that they will only be able to survive without a turnover for one to two months.
Almost half of responding businesses have temporarily closed their doors: 
The hospitality, construction, manufacturing, trade and mining reported the highest percentages of temporary closure.
Five in six businesses have experienced a drop in turnover:
85.4% of the participants indicated that during the period of March to April 2020, turnover was below the normal range.
Almost two-thirds of businesses feel that this pandemic will be worse than the 2008/09 recession:
The recent findings published by the National Dynamics Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey, reported that approximately three million people lost their jobs over the lockdown period in South Africa.

The pandemic forced businesses to enter into unforeseeable and unplanned commercial loan agreements in an attempt to keep the boat afloat and to settle burdensome overheads. Creditors are now implementing legal proceedings against their debtors to save their own businesses through relying heavily on liquidation proceedings. But is this the right legal avenue to follow?

Action of motion proceedings?

To understand the possibility of a creditor instituting legal proceedings, it is important to shortly address the difference between action and application proceedings. A creditor can either institute legal proceedings by application on notice of motion supported by affidavits, or by summons initiating action or trial proceedings. Liquidation proceedings are in the form of motion proceedings.

The most salient distinction is that action proceedings envisage the presentation of facts and evidence verbally in court during a trial, whereas application proceedings envisage the presentation of facts and evidence in affidavits that will be read by a judge before hearing arguments in court on the issues raised in the affidavits.

It is imperative to note that application proceedings are usually heard in court shortly after their initiation, whereas action proceedings may be heard several years after their initiation. Application proceedings are usually disposed of more expeditiously than action proceedings. As a result, application proceedings are generally cheaper and lead to a relatively speedy resolution of disputes compared to action proceedings.

Liquidation proceedings are the easy way out for creditors in need of expeditious results. It may be for this reason that creditors are often advised by their legal representatives to follow this route.

Section 345 Notice of the companies act

The initiation of action proceedings usually commences with a letter of demand, demanding debtors to make payment, following with a summons if payment is not made.

Liquidation proceedings, initiated by creditors, usually originates by instructing the Sheriff of the relevant court to serve a Section 345 notice of the Companies Act on the registered address of the Company. Section 345’s effectiveness lies in the threat of a liquidation application based on the deeming provisions relating to commercial insolvency.

It is trite law that commercial insolvency, being the inability of a company to pay its debts as it becomes due and payable, justifies the liquidation of a company. When faced with a section 345 demand based on an amount that is allegedly due and payable, the options of a company are limited. The Company has 21 days to either pay, secure or settle the amount claimed to the satisfaction of the creditor or alternatively, show on a balance of probability that the alleged indebtedness is disputed on bona fide and reasonable grounds.

If the company neglects to adequately respond to a section 345 demand within 21 days it will run the risk of being deemed to be unable to pay its debts and ultimately face a liquidation application based on its deemed commercial insolvency.

If a company elects to dispute the alleged indebtedness it must send a detailed response within the three weeks allowed for under section 345 of the Act recording the basis upon which the alleged liability to pay is disputed, mindful also of the legal principles that will apply, if a liquidation application is to follow.

Liquidation proceedings are not intended to be used as a means of deciding claims which are bona fide and reasonably disputed. Its foundation lies in the fact that court will not entertain factual disputes in application proceedings because of the need to hear oral evidence to properly adjudicate the factual disputes. An application for liquidation will thus fail if the alleged liability to pay is disputed on bona fide and reasonable grounds.

Creditors frequently exploit the shortcut of utilizing liquidation application proceedings as debt collecting tool with an attempt to scare the debtor to pay immediately. This is a common tactic used by legal representatives to force debtors to pay unrealistic amounts purportedly due.

It has crystallised in numerous of case law that the unjustified attempt to liquidate is a clear abuse of court processes and to be deprecated. Such application will be mala-fide and courts easily grant punitive cost orders against such applicants.

Factual Dispute & Bona Fide Defence:

The question to consider is whether the specific matter can be argued on paper through application proceedings or if oral evidence and witnesses are required to properly adjudicate the matter.

Legal representatives of creditors should, before instituting liquidation proceedings, consider if there is real, genuine and clear factual issues at hand that cannot be realized on paper. Real issue of fact can be described as real, genuine bona fide dispute of fact that can only exist where courts are satisfied that the party who purports to raise the dispute has in his affidavit seriously and unambiguously addressed the facts said to be disputed.

Thus, it is imperative to ascertain and address the facts in dispute and the grounds upon which the dispute is founded.

Conclusion

To circumvent liquidation, proactive engagement with creditors at the early stages of financial distress is imperative. An open line of communication and the right legal team to provide advise and guidance are key.

Companies should immediately obtain legal assistance when faced with an application for liquidation in terms of Section 345 of the Companies Act.

The legal representative will identify if the application is a misuse of legal process or may even recommend alternatives like business rescue proceedings to save your business.

*Centurion
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Nestlé Central and West Africa Region appoints new Chief Executive Officer
September 1, 2020 | 0 Comments
Mauricio Alarcon

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Mr. Alarcon has a robust and in-depth understanding of Central and West Africa

Nestlé has appointed Mauricio Alarcon as new Chief Executive Officer of Nestlé Central and West Africa Ltd, effective September 1, 2020.

Mr. Alarcon has a robust and in-depth understanding of Central and West Africa. In 2014, he became Managing Director of Nestlé Côte d’Ivoire where he drove business growth and efficiency. He also headed Nestlé’s operation in Senegal, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Gambia, Mauritania and Cape Verde.

In 2016, he became the Managing Director of Nestlé Nigeria, the largest Nestlé operation in the region. During his tenure in Nigeria, Mr. Alarcon was a catalyst for change and innovation to achieve superior business performance amidst a volatile environment. He also demonstrated a strong personal commitment to improving the lives of people within the company as well as in the communities it operates.

Mr. Alarcon is a Mexican national with a Master’s degree in Engineering from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He worked in the banking sector before joining Nestlé Mexico in 1999. In 2004, he was appointed as Marketing Manager for the Ice Cream business in Australia. He moved to Nestlé’s North and Eastern Africa Region as Business Executive Manager for Ice Cream in 2010, transforming the business by doubling turnover and improving profitability.

“I’m honored and excited to lead Nestlé Central and West Africa Ltd. I look forward to joining forces with all our stakeholders to deliver Nestlé’s purpose, which is to unlock the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come”, said Mr. Alarcon.

“We will achieve this by bringing to life our vision of delivering affordable and accessible nutrition to everyone in Central and West Africa. We will also continue to build strong communities by improving livelihoods as well as intensify our efforts to protect our planet for future generations.” he added.

About Nestlé Central and West Africa:
In Central and West Africa, Nestlé operates in 25 countries and directly employs more than 5,400 people. The region has 9 factories and 3 co-packers. As a company in society, Nestlé helps address the specific nutritional needs of the population by offering tastier and healthier foods & beverages; and by promoting balanced diets and healthy lifestyles. Nestlé’s portfolio in Central and West Africa spans food and beverage categories including dairy, culinary, coffee, beverages, infant nutrition and bottled water. MAGGI® MILO®, CERELAC ®, GOLDEN MORN®, NESCAFÉ®, NIDO® and PURE LIFE® are just some of our most popular brands in the region. The company’s purpose is “unlocking the power of food to enhance quality of life for everyone, today and for generations to come.”
*SOURCE Nestlé
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Addis Ababa Bole International Airport unveils its new aviation infrastructure blending modernity with bio-safety
August 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

Ethiopian Airlines Group, the Largest Aviation Group in Africa has announced successfull completion of  a new passenger terminal at its hub Addis Ababa Bole International Airport with emphasis on Bio Security and Bio Safety measures.

 It is reported that the new terminal has check-in hall with 60 check-in counters, 30 self-check-in kiosks, 10 self-bag drop/SBD/, 16 immigration counters with more e-gate provisions, 16 central security screening areas for departing passengers are the new faces of the airport.

  In addition, it has three contact gates for wide body aircraft along with ten remote contact gates with people mover – travellator, escalator, and panoramic lifts.

  It will house 32 arrival immigration counters with eight e-gate provisions at the mezzanine floor level.

Regarding the expanded infrastructure, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines remarked,

 “I am very pleased to witness the realization of a brand-new terminal at our Hub. While Addis Ababa Bole International Airport has overtaken Dubai to become the largest gateway to Africa last year, the new terminal will play a key role in cementing that position. What makes the new terminal unique is that it’s the first terminal in the world to be completed after Covid-19. It was designed, not re-purposed, with Bio safety and Bio security in mind. I’m sure our esteemed customers will highly appreciate that. “

Aviation infrastructure expansion is one of the core pillars of Ethiopian’s Vision 2025. Ethiopian is continuously working on expanding airport facilities. The features of the new airport play a key role in protecting passengers’ and employees’ safety as airport experience becomes contactless.

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Economic War: Understanding the Black Wall Street and Redirect Mall
August 25, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Economic War is focused on fighting for Africa’s Economic Independence, Economic Emancipation.

The leader of Africa’s first Economic War, Charles N Lambert, in a video released on Sunday, gave a detailed explanation of what the Black Wall Street and Redirect mall is all about.

In the video, Lambert gave a historical insight into the Black Wall Street and Redirect Mall as Economic Revolution.

And I must tell you that the video is a must watch for any African seeking understanding regarding the pursuit of Africa’s economic independence as it provides the very first ideological transfer from African Americans to Africans.

Lambert explains the opportunities that come from the Economic War for an African who will apply to Work as an Internal Army in the Economic War. This provides an opportunity for you to have a full-time job and this earns you $ 5,000 per month upon confirmation by the organization.

The Economic War is focused on fighting for Africa’s Economic Independence, Economic Emancipation and as its first kind, Lambert refers to it as Africa’s first economic revolution.

He explains revolution as an attempt to try and change the status quo.

Lambert further stated that if Africa can change its political status quo, gain political independence, we can also gain Economic independence, save the continent from being economically extremely poor and stop being dependent on foreign nations.

An Economic War, is a commerce-driven, orchestrated attempt, to balance altered trade deficit for a region. According to Lambert, this is done by simply ensuring that money leaving the continent is controlled, to avoid the haemorrhage of funds and capital flight.

Some African leaders have in the past attempted to save Africa from the haemorrhage of funds but failed due to the influence of the economic invaders that dominated African trade structure.

Now you can see that the Economic War movement is a revolution to lead Africans into economic independence and you must see yourself as a warrior that must win this economic battle for Africa by coming in as an Internal Army.

The Internal Army has five different roles and they involve over 600 people in Africa, and can be called the BWS600.

As an Internal Army, you will use the platforms that the Black Wall Street has put in place to strategize and fight the Economic War to help Africa recover and eradicate the deficit.

The Black Wall Street led by Lambert are a group of people who are dedicated to liberating Africa from poverty, they are the engine of capital generation for the industrialization of the African continent and leverages on capital flight to generate capital for funding of job, creating commercial undertaking for Africa which they’ve tagged ”The Economic War”.

A recipe has been tested and proven to be effective enough to help in the Economic War. This recipe is used to trap wealth inside of the community, you monitor the money, make sure it doesn’t leave the region to avoid capital flight.

The recipe was extracted from the backdrop of Economic Success of a group of people called “The Black Wall Street” who were racially and physically destroyed in the 1921 Tulsa race massacre in America.

In the summer of 1921, these worst episodes of racist violence in American history erupted in the heart of one of the most prosperous Black communities in the nation.

Dubbed “Black Wall Street” due to its affluent black residents, the Greenwood neighborhood of Oklahoma, where the Race Massacre took place, was a hub of Black success featuring Black-owned homes and establishments, including banks, restaurants, and hotels, in a community that included accomplished lawyers, doctors, and dentists. It was one of a few predominantly Black areas that thrived economically after the end of the Civil War and into the 20th century, when racial discrimination was the order of the day.

According to Lambert, this group of Africans who referred to themselves as the Black Wall Street became so prosperous and financially buoyant more than the whites who became upset with the success of the Africans.

History has it that the Black Wall Street community boasted more than 300 black-owned businesses, including two theatres, and even a pilot who owned his own private aeroplane.

The success of this black community, however, caused some white people in Tulsa to become envious and angry, according to Mechelle Brown, director of programs at the Greenwood Cultural Center.

The worst of it happened after an elevator incident between a 17-year-old white girl named Sarah Page and a 19-year-old black man named Dick Rowland.

Page worked as an elevator operator and Rowland would use the elevator almost every day.

On a particular day after the elevator doors closed and Sarah Page and Dick Rowland were alone in the elevator a few moments, there was a scream.

After the elevator doors opened, Roland ran and was later arrested. Page initially claimed that she was assaulted. The encounter sparked widespread outrage among white people, who rioted through Black Wall Street, burnt buildings owned by the blacks and killed over 300 black people.

It is on this backdrop that Charles N Lambert is championing the recipe of the Black Wall Street to be applied in Africa’s first Economic War.

Lambert believes that if these group of people were not killed and their businesses destroyed, they would have come down to Africa to industrialize the continent. And if the recipe they used 99 years ago could be applied in Africa’s first Economic War, Africa will be industrialized and restored economically.

Their desires, goals, objectives, passion, commitment, dedication, zeal, the height of their dreams would have been to implement the principles of the Black Wall Street for the entire Africa.

However, in applying the recipe to win the Economic war, to make sure excess money does not leave Africa, the Black Wall Street led by Lambert designed a platform called the “redirect mall” to sell African products to save the continent from losing over $203 billion on capital flights annually.

The Redirect Mall is an online Mall dedicated to fighting the Economic War. It is a place where Africans can buy African products in bulk as this will help retain the movement of money within Africa.

The Redirect Mall is to make sure Africans have easy access to goods produced by manufacturing companies in the continent. With the redirect mall, Africans can trap the resources and invest in African corporations to create more jobs for the people, thereby bringing industrialization to our doorsteps.

*SOURCE Black Wall Street courtesy of APO
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“AFRICA’S BUSINESS HEROES” COMPETITION 2020 ANNOUNCES TOP 20 FINALISTS AND ENTERS PRE-FINALE STAGE
August 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

  • Announcement of top 20 finalists for the Jack Ma Foundation-promoted prize
  • Entrepreneurs from across Africa, representing wide spectrum of business sectors compete to showcase the best of their entrepreneurial spirit and drive
  • Tough selection process ahead for a chance to enter the Top 10 at the grand finale

Hangzhou, 19th August 2020 – The 2020 Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) prize competition, a flagship philanthropic program established by the Jack Ma Foundation’s Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative (ANPI), has shortlisted the top 20 finalists competing for a spot at this year’s finale. The twenty entrepreneurs are one step closer to the finishing line as they impressed the panel of high-profile judges, and now have a chance to become one of the ten entrepreneurs entering the grand finale, and competing for their share of the US$1.5 million prize pool.

The top 20 entrepreneurs have come a long way from the pool of over 22,000 applications that ABH garnered from all 54 African nations earlier this year. The level of female representation is significant (55%) and the average age of the group is 34. They represent 11 key sectors and industries of the African economy, such as agriculture, fashion, education, healthcare, manufacturing, e-commerce, renewable energy, financial services, food & beverage services, retail, transportation, and span 14 countries (Algeria, Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe).

Jason Pau, Senior Advisor for International Programs with the Jack Ma Foundation, said “As we approach the final phases of the 2020 Africa’s Business Heroes competition, I am incredibly impressed by the talent and energy of the entrepreneurs we have met during the selection process. This is no surprise though, as we are aware of the strength of the entrepreneurial spirit of Africa and the unique drive of businesswomen and businessmen in the continent. This strengthens even more the commitment of the Jack Ma Foundation to spotlight today and tomorrow’s African entrepreneurs, supporting them while they build successful businesses and positively impact their local communities”.

On August 18th, the top twenty Africa’s Business Heroes finalists had the opportunity to participate in a second virtual bootcamp, a unique event to exchange and learn from inspiring personalities from the African entertainment, sports and entrepreneurship scene – including Anita Erskine, UN SDG Advocate and ANPI’s Brand Ambassador and Official Host of “Africa’s Business Heroes” program; NBA Hall of Fame inductee and philanthropist Dikembe Mutombo; Sean Tong, Partner at Boyu Capital Advisory and Jack Ma Foundation’s Board Member; and the top three finalists from last year’s debut edition of ABH, Temie Giwa-Tubosun, Omar Sakr and Christelle Kwizera.

The virtual gathering was an extraordinary sharing and networking moment for the participants, who will now have the chance to connect with each other and leverage the synergies while preparing for the semi-finale. Speakers at the bootcamp webinar reminded candidates that despite the current unprecedented circumstances, entrepreneurs who can adapt, be flexible and react quickly will also be able to unlock opportunities. Discipline, passion and dedication are also essential elements to accomplish any dream and goal. Moving forward in the competition, solid communications and storytelling will also be crucial for the finalists to illustrate their business in a compelling and clear way, bringing to life the values that set their business apart and create positive impact on their communities and across Africa.

Highlighting the investor point of view, Sean Tong emphasized that a great vision should always come with a relentless pursuit of excellence and execution. The digital, connected world we live in makes it an exceptional time for entrepreneurs to launch their ventures, but business leaders are increasingly challenged to learn and adapt fast. He also added: “I am very excited to see the excellent quality of the business projects at Africa’s Business Heroes this year, and the remarkable dedication and passion these entrepreneurs have put into turning them into successful and investable enterprises. While progressing through the competition, it will be very important for the candidates to demonstrate even more clearly the viability of their ventures and how they are able to match their vision with sustainability and profitability. I wish them all the best of luck on this journey and beyond – they are already Africa’s Business Heroes”.

Candidates will now progress to the semi-final stage of the competition, and will face even more intense scrutiny from a 7-judge panel, which will test the solidity of their business plans, their motivation and vision, and ability to clearly articulate why the ground-breaking nature of their ideas can solve pressing problems and catalyze change for society, inspiring others to do the same.

The semi-final judges, selected from amongst leading entrepreneurs, VCs and start-up accelerators, and distinguished public figures in Africa, are:

  • Fatoumata Ba – Founder of Janngo
  • Marième Diop – Investment Manager at Orange Digital Ventures
  • Hasan Haider – Managing Partner of 500 StartUps, MENA Region
  • Rene Parker – Director at R Labs
  • Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard – Founder and Chairman of APO Group
  • Fred Swaniker – Founder of ALU
  • Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu – Founder of Sole Rebels & Garden of Coffee

The selection process to spotlight the 2020 Africa’s Business Heroes finalists will continue over the next few weeks. Following the semi-final pitch, the top 10 finalist roster will be revealed this Fall. ABH will culminate in a grand finale show later this year, where the ten finalists will take the stage to pitch to business mavens, including Jack Ma, Joe Tsai, and Strive Masiyiwa.

Please visit africabusinessheroes.org and follow @africa_heroes on Twitter to receive the latest updates on the Prize. Watch here the “Looking for Africa’s Business Heroes” documentary featuring the inspiring journeys of the 2019 ABH finalists.

About ANPI

The ANPI is the flagship philanthropic initiative spearheaded by the Jack Ma Foundation aimed at supporting and inspiring the next generation of African entrepreneurs across all sectors, who are building a more sustainable and inclusive economy for the future of the continent. Over a ten-year period, ANPI will recognize 100 African entrepreneurs and commit to allocating US$100 million in grant funding, training programs, and support for the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem. The ANPI organizes the “Africa’s Business Heroes” prize competition and show, in which ten finalists have the opportunity to pitch their business to win a share of $1.5 million in grant money. Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba Group and the Jack Ma Foundation, first created the prize after he made his first trip to Africa in July 2017 and was inspired by the energy and entrepreneurial potential of the young people he met with.

About Jack Ma Foundation 

Established by Jack Ma, the founder of Alibaba Group, the Jack Ma Foundation was founded on 15 December 2014 and has been focusing on education, entrepreneurship, women’s leadership, and the environment. The Foundation aspires to be a reliable, participative, and sustainable philanthropic organisation. The Jack Ma Foundation has so far supported projects worldwide including the Jack Ma Rural Education Program, the Africa Netpreneur Prize Initiative, the Ma & Morley Scholarship Program, and Jordan’s Queen Rania Foundation. Additionally, the Foundation has also funded a number of projects in its priority areas. The Jack Ma Foundation is committed to empowering rural educators, entrepreneurs, rural children, young start-ups, and women to equip them for the future and to help build a happier, healthier, more sustainable and more inclusive society. 

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Zimbabwe’s insurance company Zimnat enters South African funeral insurance market
August 25, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

 Zimbabwe’s  Zimnat Group has extended its insurance arm into South Africa to enable Zimbabweans living there to take out insurance cover for funeral expenses, including the cost of bringing their bodies back to Zimbabwe should they die in South Africa.

Various news sources have reported an increase in the number of Zimbabweans illegally smuggling the bodies of relatives into Zimbabwe from South Africa, since the cost of a decent journey back home for burial falls beyond the reach of many.

In response to this undignified way of bringing back home the body of someone who may have spent years away from home working in a foreign land, Zimnat International Services was formed,  providing affordable funeral cover to Zimbabweans living in South Africa, thus ensuring that in the event of death they are brought back home with dignity.

The cover, branded Homecoming Plan, pays out a lump sum upon the death of a covered member or a member of his or her family or extended family. The lump sum can be used to fund repatriation of the body and other funeral expenses to ensure the person is given a befitting send off.

Premiums are payable in rands. The benefit is also paid in rands. A family of six can be covered for R90 000 for just R150 per month, meaning that each person is covered for R15 000.

There is no waiting period for accidental death. The principal member can add family members back home to the plan. The plan also covers COVID-19 related deaths. No medical examinations are required before taking out the cover.

Zimnat Group chief executive officer Mustafa Sachak said the Group had been moved by the plight of Zimbabweans dying in South Africa, whose families are unable to find the funds for repatriation of their bodies, leading to them resorting to undignified means of bringing their bodies home.

“We believe that we all deserve a decent burial, regardless of where we are. An estimated between one and three million Zimbabweans are currently living and working in South Africa and it is our responsibility as an organisation to make their life better through ensuring they maintain their dignity even in death.

“The Homecoming Plan is the perfect solution for Zimbabweans looking for affordable guaranteed cover that will bring them back home with dignity,” he said.

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COVID-19 and African Economies: Entrepreneurship should be encouraged – Charles Boamah
August 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Charles Boamah, Former Senior Vice President at African Development Bank Group

Charles Boamah, Former Senior Vice President at African Development Bank Group has reiterated that African countries should embrace entrepreneurship looking at the issues that the COVID-19 has come with. Mr Charles Boamah was speaking to Dr Denis Foretia, Executive Chairman – Nkafu Policy Institute and Co-Chair – Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation during a Nkafu Policy discussion on “COVID-19 and African Economies: A conversation with Charles Boamah”.

Just barely 4 months when Africa recorded its first coronavirus case, there has been an upsurge in the number of cases and fatalities. According to the Africa CDC, the continent has recorded 476,200 COVID-19 cases, which is considered very low when compared to other continents.

However, Africa may yet be worst hit by this invisible disease. It’s already fragile health systems, poverty and very dense urban agglomerations are likely to increase the vulnerability of the continent and maybe the lethality of the virus. According to Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the World Health Organization, Africa should “wake up” to the COVID-19 threat and prepare for a worst-case scenario.

Mr Boamah has thus called on respect for the protocols that have been put in place. The COVID-19 has been a wakeup call to the African continent in strengthening must of their health systems.

In the question and answer session, Mr Boamah acknowledged gender and said it is very critical in this COVID-19. To stop the “bleeding” major measures to help businesses should be taken. Infrastructure needs to be built to help the population. “There is too much expectation that it should be done by the government. There needs to be improved policy environment, create an environment that will enable greater private financing,” He said.

Speaking, Dr Foretia said the meeting is coming at a time of great uncertainty. COVID-19 has brought untold sufferings on many across the continent and the world. Various interactive conversations have been held with personalities across the board with others programmed.

The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to affect countries across the African continent. Many countries implemented stringent measures to curb the spread of the pandemic in their country. Last month, some of these countries who had implemented these lockdown measures and others started reopening with various issues.

“I do not think anybody had an idea of the scale of such a disease. Out of the total number of cases worldwide, just 5% is in Africa, with a lower death rate. The recovery rate in Africa is higher than the global average,” Mr Charles Boamah said.

“… The pandemic has been detrimental in most economies of the African continent. There have been economic downturns and many of the African countries have seen contractions in their economies due to the pandemic. COVID-19 has brought to light some of the problems that existed in the continent such as infrastructural issues and others.”

Governments across the African continent have put some barrier measures against the COVID-19 and called on their populace to adhere to the measures. Mr Boamah, however, says some of these measures have issues. To him, the government is calling for people to wash their hands frequently and others but that the situation is different with many not privy to water and others.

According to Dr Foretia, the issue of job and youth unemployment has always been and will be after the COVID-19 pandemic. He thus asked the question on what can be the solution to this perennial problem on the African continent.

Attempting an answer, Mr Boamah said that the formula amongst youths is that they will go to school, graduate and then go to look for jobs in the government and big companies. He said that entrepreneurship needs to be embraced. “COVID-19 is a wakeup call that there are things that should be done. Young people are coming with innovations that tackle the disease, innovation needs to be supported,” Mr Boamah stated.  

Dr. Denis Foretia, Executive Chairman – Nkafu Policy Institute and Co-Chair – Denis & Lenora Foretia Foundation

In the wake of this pandemic, the African Development Bank has rolled out emergency response support which began in March to assist African countries and has provided packages for financial relief, preparedness and response.

This event was aimed to present a clear and accurate picture, highlighting where efforts can be concentrated in the management and mitigation of COVID-19 on the African continent.

Areas of the discussion focused on preventing and responding to the international spread of disease while avoiding unnecessary disruption to traffic and trade, mobilization of International Economic Support to fight against COVID-19 in African, the current health landscape and related challenges while considering the road ahead amongst others.

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African Development Bank debars four companies involved in fraudulent and collusive practices for 24 months
August 21, 2020 | 0 Comments

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 20 August 2020 – The African Development Bank Group on 20 August 2020, announces the 24-month debarment of Sangtech International Services Limited, Sangar & Associates (Nigeria) Limited, Mashad Integrated and Investment Co. Limited and Medniza Global Merchants Limited. All four companies are registered in Nigeria.

An investigation conducted by the Bank’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption established that the debarred companies engaged in fraudulent and collusive practices during a tender for the supply of water meters, automatic meters and house connection materials, under the Zaria Water Supply Expansion and Sanitation Project in Nigeria.

The sanction renders Sangtech International Services Limited, Sangar & Associates (Nigeria) Limited, Mashad Integrated and Investment Co. Limited and Medniza Global Merchants Limited ineligible to participate in Bank-financed projects during the debarment period. Additionally, the 24-month debarment of the companies qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks under the Agreement for Mutual Recognition of Debarment Decisions, including the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank Group.

The Zaria Water Supply Expansion and Sanitation Project in Nigeria is co-financed by the African Development Fund, an entity of the African Development Bank Group.

About the Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption

The Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption of the African Development Bank Group is responsible for preventing, deterring and investigating allegations of corruption, fraud and other sanctionable practices in Bank Group-financed operations.

For more information visit https://www.afdb.org/en/about-us/organisational-structure/integrity-and-anti-corruption/

*AFDB

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