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Dangote cement sustains 54,000 jobs in 4 African countries
June 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dangote told the shareholders that the year 2019 was a strong year given the tough business environment across most of its operating geographics.

Nigeria, June 21, 2020/ — President of Dangote Group , Aliko Dangote has said that despite the challenging economic situation in 2019, Dangote Cement  was able to sustain 54,000 jobs in four African countries, where the company has its operations. The countries are Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal and South Africa.

The business mogul who disclosed this to shareholders at the company’s 11th Annual General Meeting in Lagos said that more jobs would be created as the company intensifies the export of clinker to other neighboring countries from Nigeria.

“According to our 2019 socio-economic impact assessment study specifically on our operations in Nigeria, Ethiopia, Senegal, and South Africa, we sustained 54,005 jobs (direct, indirect, induced) in these four markets in the year under review,” he said.

Dangote told the shareholders that the year 2019 was a strong year given the tough business environment across most of its operating geographics, disclosing that the group recorded volumes of 23.7 million metric tons and revenues of ₦891.7 billion.

He said: “We recorded a strong EBITDA margin of 44.3 percent. As a result of this performance, the board has recommended for your approval a dividend of ₦16.00 per ordinary 50 kobo share.”

Speaking on the local Nigerian operations, he said: “Nigeria’s cement market grew slightly in 2019. We estimate that total market consumption was up between 2 per cent-3 percent on the 20.7Mt estimated in 2018.”

Dangote explained that the modest performance was in spite of the fact that the market generally was impacted negatively by the disruptions related to the 2019 election cycles, heavy rains and the loss in land export volumes due to the border closure.

“Dangote Cement’s Nigerian operations remained at 14.1Mt in 2019, including export sales of 0.45Mt. Domestic sales in Nigeria were nearly 13.7Mt, compared to 13.4Mt in 2019. This implies a 2 percent growth mirroring the estimated GDP growth for the year. However, land exports reduced to 0.45Mt from 0.7Mt for the full year owing to the border closure in the last few months of 2019.

“The Bag of Goodies promotion, launched in July, drove strong increases in our Nigerian volumes in the third quarter”, Dangote pointed out, adding that the innovative marketing effort enabled the company to maintain its market share despite the 4.5Mt new capacity which came into the market during the year.”

He alluded to the new feat by Dangote Cement in commencing export of clinker via shipping from the Apapa and Onne ports to West and Central Africa, adding that the management was encouraged by the performance of its offshore operations.

Recall that the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, while lauding the investment drive of Dangote recently said that he was excited with the progress made at Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical plant so far, said that when it becomes operational, the refinery and petrochemical plant would increase its workforce from the current 34,000 to over 70,000.
*Dangote Group
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Legal Alert: Understanding the DOs and DONTs of Equatorial Guinea’s Deconfinement Measures
June 19, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Government of Equatorial Guinea decided on June 15th, 2020 to ease the sanitary emergency and reduce the containment measures.

Decree N°45/2020 dated June 15th, 2020 has eased the sanitary emergency and the confinement measures adopted to fight against Covid-19 in Equatorial Guinea. Here is what you need to know.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea decided on June 15th, 2020 to ease the sanitary emergency and reduce the containment measures which had been in force since since March 2020.

Such measures notably include:
Total freedom of movement of people only in the major capitals of the country, namely Malabo and Bata. For other localities in the country, freedom of movement will only be effective within the territorial limits of localities,
The de-confinement process will be carried out in four (4) phases,
The technical committee handling the country’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic will periodically assess the epidemiological impact of these measures. In the event of a resurgence of the pandemic in a neighborhood, city or concrete area, appropriate measures will be taken to contain the development of the pandemic and give sufficient health assistance to the people affected,
Any positive or negative development of the epidemiological situation on all or part of the national territory will lead the Government to review its position.
1. Authorized activities during the first phase of deconfinement in Equatorial Guinea

All public establishments, hospitals, markets, supermarkets, banks, airports, ports and traditional healers will have to adopt appropriate protective measures such as social distancing, washing and disinfecting hands, taking body temperature using thermo flash.

Similarly, companies with more than ten (10) employees, public establishments, banks, autonomous entities, shopping centers, hotels, restaurants, public and private centers, schools, must also have a thermo flash for temperature measurement and hydro alcoholic gels, and must respect the distancing and protection measures established by the authorities and carry out daily disinfection of all their installations before starting the next working day.

Public administration and the private sector will have to promote practices such as teleworking or alternating work in order to reduce the concentration of people in public places. The use of masks will be compulsory and necessary in all places open to the public, public transport and private vehicles when accompanied by other people. Finally, heads of public administration, public and private companies must ensure that their staff have masks and gloves for their own protection and will provide them with the equipment necessary for constant hand washing,
The reopening of national and international flights as well as the national and international maritime transport of goods subject to the following conditions:
All passengers from abroad must present a negative PCR certificate carried out within 48 hours at the latest. Passengers without this certificate will be obliged to take the test upon arrival in Equatorial Guinea. The costs of the test as well as the hotel costs pending the results of the test will be at their expense.
Measures will be adopted at airports and ports to reduce the risk of contamination of travelers and crew members of planes and boats,
Diplomatic missions and international organizations must communicate to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation within a reasonable time the list of their personnel and family members, indicating the date of arrival, the flight number and the place of origin,
People from abroad must scrupulously respect the hygiene and sanitary protective measures against Covid-19 upon entering Equatorial Guinea, established by the authorities, including a compulsory quarantine of 14 days,
Temperature measurements will be systematic in airports and ports,
Asymptomatic people will be systematically placed in quarantine for 14 days in their homes or their places of residence,
People tested positive will be taken to Government healthcare centres,
These measures also apply to members of diplomatic missions, consular and international organizations who arrive in Equatorial Guinea to take office,
Any member of the crew of an airplane or a boat wishing to leave the port or airport area must undergo the PCR test at their expense.
Regarding the maritime transport of passengers between Bata and Malabo and vice versa, those responsible must systematically take the temperature of each passenger on departure and arrival and ensure individual protection measures.

Resumption of all economic activities in all businesses subject to the following conditions:
The use of the mask will be compulsory in all places of business and those responsible will have to take measures to avoid the agglomeration of customers in front of payment counters and to respect social distancing,
Those responsible will have to take measures to avoid the agglomeration of customers in front of places of business.
Resumption of school and academic activities subject to the following conditions:
Respect for protective measures during the end-of-year exams, namely the compulsory use of protective masks, avoid agglomerations of students inside the school, returning immediately to their homes at the end of the exam,
The teaching and management staff of school centers must have safety masks, hydro alcoholic gels and a constant hand washing device.
Resumption of activities in the hotel and restaurant sector while respecting hygiene, protection and social distancing measures subject to the following conditions:
Restaurants will have 50% of their capacity and respect the required distance between the tables and in their terraces,
Managers of hotels and restaurants will have to ensure that their staff have masks and gloves when serving customers while respecting opening and closing time,
In addition, all private clinics, medical consultations, pharmacies must inform the rapid response service and communicate to the nearest public hospitals suspected cases of patients with symptoms of Covid-19. Any violation of this provision could cause the closure of the private establishment. All traditional healers must inform the nearest public hospitals of suspected cases of patients with respiratory difficulties and use the toll-free numbers provided by the Government (1112 for Bata and 1111 for Malabo) or contact the competent administrative authorities in order to obtain the transfer of patients to the nearest referral hospitals. Any violation of this provision could result in the closure of the establishment.
2. Activities that remain prohibited during phase 1 of deconfinement in Equatorial Guinea

The following activities are prohibited during the first phase of deconfinement:
Civil, traditional or religious wedding ceremonies,
The celebration of conferences, congresses, face-to-face seminars, sports leagues and popular events,
The celebration of face-to-face religious acts,
Diplomatic and consular missions of Equatorial Guinea abroad will not be able to issue an entry visa to Equatorial Guinea except for reasons of diplomatic reciprocity.
All cultural activities at the end of the school year are prohibited, as well as agglomerations during the delivery of report cards. Schools should favor the delivery of reports to parents of students while respecting social distancing.
All patronal festivals, funerals, cultural activities, the hotel pools and nightclubs will remain closed.
Nightclubs, game rooms, casinos and all other playing places will also remain closed throughout the territory.
For any clarification or question on your business activities in Equatorial Guinea during or after lockdown, please contact Centurion’s Partner Mr. Anselmo Santiago Eworo Milam at anselmo.eworo@centurionlg.com

*SOURCE Centurion Law Group.
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African Development Bank joins Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network
June 18, 2020 | 0 Comments

By joining the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network, socially responsible issuers are provided a unique opportunity to bring attention to their concrete actions

Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) on Wednesday announced the inclusion of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org), one of the world’s  largest issuers of social bonds, in the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network (NSBN). The NSBN is a global and publicly available platform designed to improve transparency in the market for green, social and sustainability bonds.

Ten Bank bonds were added to the platform, including its landmark $3 billion Fight COVID-19 Social Bond launched in March 2020, the largest Social Bond ever launched at the time in international capital markets. Fight COVID-19 remains today the largest dollar-denominated Social Bond. It aims to help alleviate the economic and social impact of the pandemic on livelihoods and Africa’s economies.

By joining the Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network, socially responsible issuers are provided a unique opportunity to bring attention to their concrete actions in terms of financing climate change and green growth.

“Nasdaq welcomes the inclusion of the African Development Bank on our Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network especially with its Fight Covid-19 Social Bond, launched to alleviate the impact of the pandemic on African economies and livelihoods,” said Ann-Charlotte Eliasson, VP, Head of EU Bond Listings and Sustainable Debt.

“We are proud to offer visibility to an issuer with such a strong social mandate, which the world needs more than ever, especially in these challenging times.”

Since the launch of Nasdaq Sustainable Bond Network (https://bit.ly/2N2BuNN) in December last year, more than 40 issuers from 13 countries have added over 4,000 bonds to the platform, including the Nordic Investment Bank, HSBC and Fannie Mae.

“The Nasdaq Sustainable Bond platform allows us to showcase our work in combating poverty and in helping move the African continent forward. Our Fight Covid-19 social bond is about saving lives and livelihoods,” said Hassatou Diop N’Sele, Treasurer of the African Development Bank.

The African Development Bank established its Social Bond framework in 2017 and has raised the equivalent of $5.5 billion through five transactions supporting 89 eligible social projects in 28 African countries as of 31 December 2019. In 2018, the Bank was designated “Second most impressive social or sustainability bond issuer” at the Global Capital SRI Awards and the Bank’s NOK 1 billion 3-year Social Bond issued in 2019 was awarded “Social Bond of the Year” by Environmental Finance.

*AFDB

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Dangote to boost Economic Diversification with Maiden Clinker Shipment
June 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) commended Dangote Cement for leading the way for Nigeria to become one of the biggest cement and clinker exporter in the world.

To reaffirm its status as the biggest cement producer in Africa, Dangote Cement (www.DangoteCement.com) has set the pace with the exportation of 27,800 metric tonnes of clinker to a neighbouring African country.

With this historic maiden voyage from its Export Terminal located in Apapa Port, Lagos weekend, Dangote has gradually made Nigeria, which until recently was one of the world’s largest bulk importers of cement, first self-sufficient in cement production, and now an exporter of cement clinker to other countries.

The exportation of clinker from the Dangote Cement Export Terminal will also place Nigeria as one of the leading clinker exporters in the world. The company is expected to increase the quantity of clinker export to other African countries within the next few weeks, it was further learnt.

It said this development would enable Dangote Cement take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area, and by so doing contribute to the improvement of intra-regional trade within the ECOWAS region.

The Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) has therefore commended Dangote Cement for leading the way for Nigeria to become one of the biggest cement and clinker exporter in the world.

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0025.JPG

Speaking during the departure of the ship conveying clinker from the Export Terminal at the weekend, Group Executive Director, Dangote Group, Alhaji Sada Ladan-Baki said the increased exportation of clinker and cement to other African countries would not only place Dangote Cement among top clinker exporters in the world, but would also boost Nigeria’s foreign exchange earnings and reduce unemployment in the country.

“The beauty of what we have done is that we are going to be generating foreign exchange for the country in terms of dollars and Euros. For every batch of clinker we export, the money comes back to Nigeria. The amount we are talking about is not small. Presently, Dangote Cement should either be number one or number two exporter of cement in Africa and the revenue we have generated in the form of foreign exchange is running into millions. Today, we have formally launched the Dangote Cement Export Terminal. We are still going to do another major launch when the second ship is going out of the country,” he added.

Alhaji Sada recalled that only a few years ago, Nigeria was one of the world’s largest bulk importers of cement, saying that “Dangote has gradually made Nigeria self-sufficient in cement production as well as an exporter of clinker to other countries.

He disclosed that the company would also be launching its export terminal in Onne in the next few days, adding that the export terminal would enable the company export clinker, initially to its grinding facility in Cameroon and then to new grinding plants the company is building across West Africa.

He explained that not only would this generate useful foreign currency for Dangote Cement to support other expansion projects outside Nigeria, it would also help to increase the output of the Nigerian plants, saying these would help to improve job creation and increase prosperity in Nigeria.

He stated: “This terminal will assist Dangote to actualise the full potential of the company’s investment in cement. You know as usual, when the rain comes, sales decline, but not clinker export. This feat by Dangote is going to generate a lot of jobs because the Export Terminal has already created jobs to many Nigerians. As at now, the numbers of employed Nigerians at the terminal have reached 100. We are targeting about 200 to 300 workers in Lagos Terminal alone.

“But, apart from job creation opportunities, the exportation of clinker by Dangote will position the country to participate fully in the Africa Free Trade Liberalisation Agreement when it comes into being, so that Nigeria will be protected against foreign products. It will also help the country compete effectively with every country that are in the business of exportation of clinker. At Dangote Cement, we are going about it aggressively and we are seeing it as an opportunity.”

Alhaji Sada said the company has also concluded plans to increase its clinker and cement export to other countries. “This vessel, being the maiden ship is exporting 27,800 metric tonnes to Senegal and this is just a tip of the ice-berg as to what we have in plan. What we have in plan is to send clinker from Nigeria to Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Ghana. Cameroon as an example, takes about 82,000 metric tonnes every month. Our target is to export at least 4 million metric tonnes of clinker annually to various parts of Africa.

“That is our target that we hope to achieve within the next one to two years. This particular voyage is going to our sister company in Senegal. We have an integrated plant of 1.5 million tonnes and this one is expected to give the plant additional clinker that is required for the plant to sustain production. In the next one week or two, we are going to be shipping 82,000 metric tonnes to Cameroon in batches of about 25,000 to 29,000 metric tonnes per voyage,” he added.

Speaking on Dangote’s achievement, the Acting Director-General of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Chuma Oruche praised the wealthiest man in Africa for leading the way in the export of product from Nigeria to other countries.

According to him, this feat by Dangote Cement is capable of boosting Nigeria’s foreign earning and reduce unemployment in the country.

He said: “The export of clinker by Dangote Cement at the weekend will definitely be beneficial to Nigerian economy in terms of export earnings, job creation and wealth creation for families connected with these achievements.”

*Dangote Group

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Gabon Prepares to Open Oil, Gas and Power Opportunities, Stimulate COVID-19 Recovery
June 15, 2020 | 0 Comments
The event will gather stakeholders and investors to promote the development and expansion of Gabon’s energy sector as a pillar of economic development.

Gabon Oil & Power, taking place on March 15-16, 2021, in Libreville, will be the leading investment platform for Gabon’s oil, gas and power industries; The conference will showcase the country’s investment appeal which includes a long-established history of oil discoveries, a renewed and attractive petroleum code and a new push for power generation projects; The event will gather stakeholders and investors to promote the development and expansion of Gabon’s energy sector as a pillar of economic development and a means to recover from the impact of COVID-19.

Africa Oil & Power (AOP) (www.AfricaOilandPower.com), together with the African Energy Chamber, will organize the first Gabon Oil & Power 2021 conference on March 15-16 in Libreville. The event will be the prime energy investment platform for one of Africa’s most established oil and gas markets and will provide the venue to showcase oil, gas and power investment opportunities in the post-COVID-19 recovery period.

While Gabon is capitalizing on the success of its new and improved Petroleum Code –which has attracted the interest of a myriad of international exploration and production companies and has seen  several new production sharing agreements signed in its 2020 bid round – Gabon Oil & Power 2021 is the ideal platform for policymakers, investors and dealmakers to network and discuss the future of the industry.

The growing interest in renewable power generation solutions and Gabon’s continued stewardship of the environment will be showcased during high-level panel discussions, while economic diversification, empowerment of women through the global Equalby30 initiative, and local content policies will also be highlighted at the event.

“Gabon’s recent changes to its oil and gas legal framework, combined with its proven history of oil success and offering of new opportunities in offshore acreage makes it one of the most appealing oil markets on the continent right now. Gabon Oil & Power 2021 will be the vehicle through which those investment opportunities will be better showcased to all relevant stakeholders in the industry,” said João Gaspar Marques, Director at Africa Oil & Power.

Gabon Oil & Power 2021 is one of a series of country-specific and industry-wide conferences organized by AOP throughout the continent, including events in Angola, South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, South Sudan, Senegal, Mozambique and Nigeria. AOP will work with all actors in the Gabonese oil, gas and power sectors, from government officials to private sector players, to define opportunities and help new and existing investors find success in the market.
*Africa Oil & Power Conference

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Prof. Benedict Oramah Re-appointed as Afreximbank President
June 14, 2020 | 0 Comments
Bank President Prof. Benedict Oramah is rewarded with a second term

Shareholders of African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) have voted and re-appointed Prof. Benedict Oramah as President of the Pan-African multilateral financial institution for a second 5-year term.

The decision was announced today in Cairo following Afreximbank’s 27th Annual General Meeting of Shareholders which was held by circulation of resolutions due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

In an acceptance statement released shortly thereafter, President Oramah told Shareholders that the Bank’s ultimate goal under his second term of office is the realisation of Africa’s strategic ambition to create an integrated market.

“We want an Africa where the foundations of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) are laid expeditiously so that the 84,000 kilometres of borders that have divided us for ages can begin to come down,” said prof. Oramah who added that AfCFTA would “drive the industrialisation of Africa, support the emergence of regional value chains, turn Africa’s creative and cultural assets into engines of growth, grow jobs for the continent’s youth, convey respect to Africans wherever they may be and better prepare the continent to compete more effectively in the global markets.”

Prof. Oramah highlighted that between 2015 and 2019, Afreximbank disbursed more than US$30 billion in support of African trade with over US$15 billion channeled towards the financing and promotion of intra-African trade.

“We will aim to double intra-African trade financing so that by the end of my term, it will constitute no less than 40% of the Bank’s total assets, with aggregate disbursements, on a revolving basis, over the 5 years exceeding US$30 billion,” he announced.

In office since 2015, Prof. Oramah’s re-appointment was one of the key decisions taken by shareholders during the Bank’s 2020 General Meeting.

A resolution proposing the re-election of Mr. Stefan-Luis Francois Nalletamby as a director representing Class “A” Shareholders and Mr. Kee Chong Li Kwong Wing as a director representing Class “B” Sharefolders was also approved by the meeting.

In addition, the 2019 audited accounts were approved, as well as the proposal to raise an additional US$500 million in equity within Afreximbank’s current Strategic Plan dubbed “IMPACT 2021-Africa transformed”. The approval to raise additional equity was in recognition that an amount of US$1 billion earlier authorized to be mobilized had almost been fully raised.

“I make a commitment that with your support, the Bank will remain well capitalised throughout my term of office and beyond. We will continue our efforts to diversify sources of equity to include the markets while ensuring that the Bank’s development focus remains unchanged,” President Oramah assured the Bank’s Shareholders.

*AFREXIMBANK

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Voith Group’s results remain solid in the first half of the fiscal year 2019/20
June 9, 2020 | 0 Comments
Dr. Toralf Haag signing a memorandum of understanding with the Angolan Minister for Energy and Water João Baptista Borges in the presence of Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and the Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço.

Group sales slightly up from the previous year
• EBIT in the Group has increased and all three lines of its core business
have positive figures
• Orders received remain at a high level, in particular to the further
growth of Voith Paper
• M&A strategy has advanced successfully
• First negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Voith Group’s
figures for the end of March

HEIDENHEIM. The Voith Group continued to show solid results in the first
six months (October 2019 through end of March 2020) of the current fiscal
year 2019/20, despite a very challenging market environment. Voith’s figures were negatively affected beginning late March by the COVID-19 pandemic, which first appeared in China – one of Voith’s important markets before spreading around the world towards the end of the reporting period.
The pandemic went hand in hand with contact restrictions in many places,
initial production stoppages and a noticeable reluctance on the part of customers to invest.

Despite this, Group sales of EUR 2.08 billion were slightly higher than in
the same period in the previous year (EUR 2.07 billion). Orders received
were worth EUR 2.17 billion, almost as high as in the previous year (EUR
2.29 billion). The value of orders received was EUR 5.58 billion on the reporting date of March 31 and was slightly higher than the high-level in the previous year (EUR 5.54 billion). Voith was able to increase its operating
results slightly in the first half of the fiscal year. EBIT increased by 3 percent to EUR 79 million. All three lines of our core business were clearly in the black while future investments in Digital Ventures continued to impact results, as planned. The Voith Group’s EBIT margin rose slightly to 3.8 percent. The net result rose significantly to EUR 23 million (previous year EUR
18 million).

For the first time, the figures for the first half of the fiscal year also include
BTG, which was integrated on December 1, 2019. The new Voith subsidiary, a provider of integrated, highly specialized process solutions for the
global pulp and paper industry, contributed EUR 51 million of incoming orders, sales of EUR 48 million and operating results of EUR 7 million.

“The Voith Group was in a highly robust operative and financial condition
when the COVID-19 crisis broke out. It is at times like these that our broad
sectoral and geographical positioning pays off. We are confident that Voith
will come through the crisis well and that it is optimally placed to continue
on its present course of sustainable and profitable growth,” stated Dr.
Toralf Haag, Voith President and CEO.

Acquisitions further strengthen core business
In addition to the crisis management which is necessary during the COVID19 pandemic, Voith is continuing to focus on its targeted strategy of
strengthening its core business, in particular through further M&A transactions. The most recent successes in the last few months have been the first steps towards founding the HMS – Hybrid Motion Solutions GmbH
joint enterprise with Moog Inc., a developer, manufacturer and supplier of
electrical, hydraulic and hybrid drive solutions. The partners will work together to build business with hydraulic drives in various industry markets.
Voith is also planning to acquire Traktionssysteme Austria GmbH (TSA) together with the Swiss company PCS Holding. A contract for the joint acquisition of a 59 percent shareholding was signed in April. TSA is the world’s leading manufacturer of electric motors, generators and transmissions for rail and commercial vehicles.

Voith had already achieved important milestones in its M&A strategy in the
previous months. After completing the integration of BTG, two other important acquisitions were agreed upon in December 2019, and have now
closed. The acquisition of a 90 percent holding in the Italian company
Toscotec has further strengthened Voith’s position in the paper industry.
Toscotec’s product and service portfolio will extend Voith Paper’s offering
and further strengthens the position of the company as a full-line supplier
in key sectors of the paper industry. The Turbo Division has also made a
strategic addition to its portfolio by acquiring a majority shareholding in
ELIN Motoren GmbH, a high-tech Austrian company with a global business in electric motors and generators for industrial applications. This acquisition will strengthen Voith Turbo’s position as a technology-independent supplier of drive systems even further.

Dr. Toralf Haag: “As we explained at our annual press conference in December, we are consistently building our core business in the fields of sustainability, decarbonization and digitalization. The electrification of
drivetrains and paper as a sustainable raw material play key roles in this
respect. We have the financial flexibility to weather the challenges of the
pandemic and to move forward with determination.”

Sound development in the Group Divisions

The Group Division Voith Hydro reported sales of EUR 504 million, which
was substantially lower than in the previous year (EUR 553 million). Orders
worth EUR 521 million were received which was, as anticipated, significantly lower than in the very good previous year (EUR 762 million). The Service business continues to develop encouragingly. Operating results of EUR 17 million were lower than in the previous year (EUR 27 million) as a result of sales.

In the first half of the 2019/20 fiscal year, the Group’s growth was again primarily driven by the Group Division Voith Paper. Despite the normalization of investments in the paper industry, Voith Paper was able to boost the value of orders received significantly up to EUR 901 million (previous year: EUR 747 million). Sales increased to EUR 895 million (previous year: EUR 821 million) thanks to excellent capacity utilization and the acquisition of BTG. Operating results of EUR 46 million were again higher than the previous year (EUR 42 million).

The persistently difficult market environment (e.g. in the oil sector) and the
immediately noticeable impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on important
customer industries led to the Group Division Voith Turbo receiving 7 percent fewer orders (EUR 697 million) and generating 3.3 percent less in
sales (EUR 641 million) than in the same period of the previous year. Accordingly, EBIT fell to EUR 20 million (previous year: EUR 26 million).

The Group Division Voith Digital Ventures reported encouraging successes in the market and was able to increase the number of orders received by 57 percent to a value of EUR 47 million and also boosted sales
by 26 percent to EUR 36 million. Due to important investments in future digitalization and start-up activities, the operating results remained negative at EUR -6 million, which was nonetheless an improvement from the first half of the previous year (EUR -18 million).

Outlook: Negative influence of the COVID-19 pandemic anticipated
There has been no fundamental change in the Voith Group’s strategic objective of achieving sustainable and profitable growth in the years ahead.
In the present circumstances, in which there remains significant uncertainties concerning the full scale of the impact of the pandemic and the timing and speed of economic recovery, it is impossible to provide a reliable short-term forecast. Nonetheless, Voith does expect that the most important key figures will be negatively affected by a substantial degree due to the impact of COVID-19 throughout the rest of the fiscal year 2019/20.

About the Voith Group

The Voith Group is a global technology company. With its broad portfolio of
systems, products, services and digital applications, Voith sets standards
in the markets of energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport &
automotive. Founded in 1867, the company today has more than 19,000
employees, sales of € 4.3 billion and locations in over 60 countries worldwide and is thus one of the larger family-owned companies in Europe.

*Source VOITH

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African Energy Chamber Launches Membership Offering
June 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

The launch of the Chamber Memberships is encouraged by its position in all facets of the energy industry and its determination to unlock new opportunities

The launch of the African Energy Chamber membership seeks to provide access to opportunities for the advancement of Africa’s energy industry; This offering come at a time of transition in the energy sector and, as a means for the Chamber to continue its commitment to uplift, represent and advocate for the creation of opportunities for local and international businesses and communities; To become a member of the African Energy Chamber visit EnergyChamber.org/members or email members@energychamber.org.

Over the past few years, the African Energy Chamber has been instrumental in promoting collaboration within the African energy industry. In doing so, it has played a key role in representing, advocating and supporting the growth of the continent’s energy sector through facilitating networking opportunities, transactions and partnerships, as well as leading countless policy-making efforts.

Due to its prominent role across the energy value chain, the Chamber is launching its membership offering and is enthusiastic to be offering it to the African and global market. “The Chamber’s network in CEMAC will gain even more traction with this next phase of our growth. Economic integration and diversification, as well as jobs mobility are some aspects where CEMAC region falls behind compared to other African regions.’’ stated Leoncio Amada Nze, President for CEMAC at the African Energy Chamber. 

The launch of the Chamber Memberships is encouraged by its position in all facets of the energy industry and its determination to unlock new opportunities that will contribute to greater economic growth and development.

“We have created an environment that allows the energy sector to speak with a single, united and powerful voice when it comes to advocating on behalf of our members, employees, host communities, investors, local companies and international companies,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. ‘’That in coming together and working together, we will continue to foster an environment ripe with opportunities and job growth around Africa. Membership is a key step when it comes to forging that path to build a better energy sector.” added Ayuk

The Chamber has enjoyed great success in bringing together businesses, industry leaders and decision makers in addressing Africa’s energy challenges and is therefore well-positioned to provide access to opportunities and support a thriving community of energy sector leaders.  We welcome individuals, entrepreneurs and start-ups, local companies, international companies, governments and think-tanks across Africa and beyond, to join us on the journey to building Africa’s sustainable energy future.

‘’The mandate of the newly established African Energy Chamber in East Africa is to provide access to solid and current information and opinions as well as high level webinar sessions that not only feature a strong platform of local and regional energy experts to the world but also discusses what is relevant to practitioners on the ground,’’ said Elizabeth Rogo, President for East  Africa at the African Energy Chamber. “It is also an avenue for those in East Africa to  strengthen their own businesses through the different financial, legal and other specialized programs on offer. Equally important is our strong desire to work very closely with women entrepreneurs and experts to ensure they have equal access and help them succeed,” she stated.

“Angola remains a very dynamic oil and gas industry and we will greatly benefit from uniting together under the umbrella of the Chamber. I am grateful for the support from our existing partners on the ground and looking forward to developing and strengthening the network,” declared Sergio Pugliese, President of the African Energy Chamber, Angola. “We have a lot of work ahead of us to come back stronger than ever. Above all, my priority is to continue promoting jobs, local content and attracting investors. I encourage every company, individual or think tank to join the Chamber at this critical junction to be a part of the journey.”

Beyond these unprecedent times, battling uncertainty on multiple fronts, the Chamber is determined to improve the current climates and shape Africa’s energy future while preparing its members for market rebound.

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is a leading chamber of successful networks, transactions and partnerships at the helm of Africa’s growing energy industries. The AEC actively promotes the interests of the African continent, its companies and its people.

Partners and members of the African Energy Chamber have the power to shape Africa’s energy future by promoting growth, fostering collaboration, shaping policy, and providing leadership and guidance in the fast-growing energy sector.

*African Energy Chamber
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OPEC’s decision to extend Production Cuts is a Positive Step for African Energy Players
June 9, 2020 | 0 Comments

Gradual reopening of world economies along with increased conformity to the production cuts have allowed oil prices to bounce back and reach the $40/bbl threshold

Over the weekend, the 11th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting concluded on a series of decisions which will help maintain a still fragile market stability, and which should be supported.

Held via videoconference on Saturday, June 6th, the Ministerial Meeting reconfirmed the existing arrangements under the April agreement and extended the production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day by another month, until July 30th 2020. The deal was initially due to expire on June 30th.

In addition, all participating countries subscribed to the concept of compensation by those countries who were unable to reach full conformity to the agreement in May and June. As a result, and in addition to their already agreed production adjustment for May and June, countries who were not able to comply for these two months expressed their willingness to compensate for it in July, August and September.

The reaffirmation of the OPEC+ commitment to the historic deal made last April comes on the back of a steady rise in oil prices. Gradual reopening of world economies along with increased conformity to the production cuts have allowed oil prices to bounce back and reach the $40/bbl threshold. The rise has been especially beneficial for Nigerian and Angolan blends.

“OPEC is taking the right steps to respond to the market and should be commended. Uncertainty is bad for the oil industry and the extension of OPEC’s cuts ensures market stability,” declared NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “African energy companies and even state companies are facing a battle with liquidity because of the price war and the coronavirus. They do not have state bailouts as their Western counterparts. We hope the production cuts will give the market a boost, however compliance and collaboration from the G20 is key.  OPEC has proven its ability to show leadership in times of crisis. We are all in this together,” added Ayuk.

Earlier this month, the African Energy Chamber had called for an extension of the 9.7 million b/d production adjustment and urged all producing countries to ensure their conformity to the agreement. The rebalancing of the market is key for African oil producing nations to preserve jobs in the sector and give the continent an opportunity to stabilize and recover.

The chamber acknowledges the role of African OPEC players like Nigeria, Algeria, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo, Angola, and Libya in making this work.

*Africa Energy Chamber

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African Energy Chamber Calls for Extension and Compliance with Production Cuts Ahead of Next OPEC Meetings
June 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo with NJ Ayuk of the African Energy Chamber
Along with gradual reopening of global economies, production cuts are pushing prices back to $40/barrel much quicker than initially thought

As OPEC prepares to host the 179th Meeting of the OPEC Conference and 11th OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial Meeting via video conference next week, the African Energy Chamber is calling on African producers to extend production cuts and remain compliant with their obligations.

The historic deal reached by OPEC and OPEC+ last April, which took effect a month ago, is slowly starting to take effect. Along with gradual reopening of global economies, production cuts are pushing prices back to $40/barrel much quicker than initially thought. This is a clear indication that the OPEC strategy and its global deal are working, and the same kind of industry cooperation spirit that supported the April 2019 deal needs to remain in place.

“Now is not the time to relax or rejoice too soon, and we need to maintain a strong compliance with the previously agreed deal of April 2019 and extend production cuts,” declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber. “African producing nations have always played a key role in ensuring that the OPEC coalition reaches beneficial agreements for producers and consumers and we call on all stakeholders to stay united around the short and long-term interests of the market.”

More importantly, extending production cuts and ensuring strict compliance will provide an opportunity for African economies to stabilize. The crisis has brought landmark oil & gas projects to a halt across the continent and jeopardized thousands of African jobs. Between January and May 2020, the rig count in Africa which had steadily been rising over the past three years suddenly dropped by 46% as exploratory and development drilling activity was suspended or cancelled. An extension of production cuts will provide the kind of economic opportunities that African oil producers need to recover.

With a more stable prices environment, Nigeria can hope for a successful Marginal Fields Bidding Round, Angola can resume the drilling of key exploratory wells and realize its exploration push which has been in the works for two years, and South Sudan can continue its steady march towards peace and security. Meanwhile, smaller producers like Congo, Gabon or Equatorial Guinea can have a chance at regaining the ground they lost.

“Extending production cuts and ensuring compliance is in line with the African Energy Chamber’s Common-sense Energy Agenda and will minimize the impact of the ongoing economic crisis. More importantly, this is about ensuring that we preserve jobs for Africans and give our industry a chance to recover,” Nj Ayuk concluded.

*African Energy Chamber
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MAGGI brings a fresh twist to popular African meals with a new website and dishes up more Yelo Pèppè drama
June 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
The brand’s latest launches are just a few of the innovative ways MAGGI is meeting its consumers’ digital and nutritional appetites

Nestlé brand MAGGI has launched a first-of-its-kind website in Central and West Africa, offering fresh new twists to well-known African dishes.

It is also serving up a second season of Yelo Pèppè – its popular online nutrition education drama series –  on YouTube  from June 8, 2020.

The brand’s latest launches are just a few of the innovative ways MAGGI is meeting its consumers’ digital and nutritional appetites, while also contributing to Nestlé’s purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future .

Get inspired by the new MAGGI website

The MAGGI website, which provides over 40 African recipes on an easy-to-use platform, can help families cook balanced and nutritious meals.

Now that many of us are spending more time cooking at home, who isn’t stuck for new food ideas? Get some inspiration from the Recipe of The Day or the With A Twist section! There are recipes for kids, adventurous cooks, those who love a classic dish and time-saving one pot meals, all available in English and French.

MAGGI innovates once more by providing different variations of beloved African dishes that offer something for every food lover,” said Dominique Allier, Business Executive Officer for Culinary at Nestlé Central and West Africa. “We are proud to be the first region worldwide chosen by MAGGI to launch this unique website”, he added.

The new website, which was built in collaboration with top African chefs, expert nutritionists and local food influencers, provides helpful tips in some recipes on how to boost your iron intake  and balance dishes.

“As well as highlighting the importance of including nutritious diets in our daily lives with well-known family favourites; people across the globe now have easy access to traditional African recipes we know and love”, said Akua Kwakwa, Nutrition, Health and Wellness Manager for Nestlé Central and West Africa.

“For people who are more concerned about sodium, saturated fat and added sugars, the website features the unique ‘MyMenuIQ™’ guide that illustrates how nutritionally-balanced each recipe is. The higher the score, the more balanced the meal is,” she added.

Second helping of Yelo Pèppè drama is served!

Following the success of Yelo Pèppè season one
 , which recorded over 20.3 million online views, MAGGI is excited to present the new second season of the popular show to its fans, bringing back its beloved characters from the first season.

Mina (Ade Laoye), who is now one of the best-known food bloggers in the region, signs up struggling business owner and cook, Anna (Anita Erskine) to the prestigious Cook the Difference Competition.

This turns into a spicy adventure when Moh, the husband of Anna’s business partner, Aida (Aurelie Eliam) enters the competition too.

Isabelle (Sophy Aiida), a new addition to the gang, slowly inches her way into the lives of the other women and we are not sure whether she is friend or foe. 

Things heat up when Nabou (Dieynaba Leurs), Aida’s young niece is used as unwitting tool in a plot against her aunt.

Drama truly is served!

Cook the difference with ‘Simply Good’ commitments

The new website and Yelo Pèppè series are recent examples of how MAGGI is fulfilling the ‘Simply Good
 (https://bit.ly/3gMiGjj) commitments it made to consumers in 2017.

To help people “cook the difference”, MAGGI has been organising local events to encourage healthy cooking, like pop-up kitchens, cooking caravans and online nutrition education programmes, which have reached over 10 million people across the region.

The brand also aims to boost the nutrition of families at an affordable price, by improving the nutritional profile of its bouillons and other products through reducing salt and increasing micronutrients such as iron, to help tackle iron deficiency.

In addition, MAGGI pledges to use more familiar ingredients that people know and can find in their kitchens. For example, Naija Pot , Signature (https://bit.ly/3gJadO1), D3d33d3  and MaMeun are some of the brand’s new products made with everyday ingredients like smoked fish, shrimp, onions, garlic, ginger and chilli pepper.

MAGGI also commits to increasing local sourcing and building to the local economy, creating more value for society. For example, 100% of MAGGI bouillons sold in Central and West Africa are manufactured by its 2,000+ local employees. Also, nearly three quarters of the raw materials used in these products are sourced locally from suppliers, providing income and creating job opportunities for thousands of Africans.


Go online

To add new balanced and tastier twists to your family meals at home, don’t forget to check out the new MAGGI website on maggi.com.ghmaggi.ng,  maggi.snmaggi.cm and maggi.ci.

You can also watch the new season of Yelo Pèppè on MAGGI’YouTube

*Nestle

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How fashion entrepreneurs can conquer COVID-19: Experts share tips at first Fashionomics Africa webinar
June 3, 2020 | 0 Comments
In total, 136 fashion entrepreneurs, digital innovators and creative minds joined the discussion

The African Development Bank’s Fashionomics Africa initiative on Tuesday launched its first webinar series to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry.

In total, 136 fashion entrepreneurs, digital innovators and creative minds joined the discussion.

The theme of the first episode of the series was: “What does the COVID-19 disruption mean for Africa’s Fashion Market? Opportunities and Threats for Fashionpreneurs and Investors.

“Supporting investment for the micro, small and medium enterprises in the creative and cultural industries, creating the right environment for the financial sector to play its full part in powering growth, lies at the heart of the African Development Bank’s agenda,” said Vanessa Moungar, Director of the Gender, Women and Civil Society Department at the African Development Bank.

The participants exchanged ideas and shared lessons learned on how to take advantage of online tools to strengthen businesses. Panelists included representatives from supply chain giant Maersk, the HEVA Fund for financing creative industries, the founder of made-in-Africa online brand Tongoro, and Afrikrea – an African e-commerce platform specializing in fashion and crafts.

“African fashion is rising right now. African designers need to develop their unique business model and have to be innovative. To do so, digital is key,” said Sarah Diouf, founder of Tongoro. “It’s a tool that we can truly leverage to our advantage. Africa has many stories to share and tell.”

Wakiuru Njuguna, Investment Manager and Partner at the HEVA Fund, said sustainability was going to be key to the future of fashion. “Going forward, sustainable fashion is going to be the way to go. The African fashion brands need to be ready to answer the questions they will be asked,” she said.

The Fashionomics Africa webinars will be available on the Fashionomics Africa Digital Marketplace and Mobile App (available both on IOS [https://apple.co/36WROsl] and Android [https://bit.ly/3eDKl4e]). The platform aims to help Africa’s fashion designers, textile and accessories professionals connect with regional and global markets. Sign up on Fashionomics Africa here . Registration is free.

Fashionomics Africa leverages data and communication technologies to help entrepreneurs access business skills, finance and other tools.

*AFDB
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