Why global and pan African investors need to set their sights on the 2019 Africa Investment Forum
November 6, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala*
The year 2019 will be one of the defining moments in Africa’s investment landscape. Bigger, bolder and more ambitious projects await delegates and investors as we prepare to kick off the second edition of the Africa Investment Forum.
A multi-billion-dollar petrochemical project in Egypt and the Kigali Innovation City Project in Rwanda, are only two of the projects which featured during the maiden edition of the Forum held in November last year.
Alongside a greater emphasis on helping transactions reach bankability and in pushing ahead the regional integration agenda, project sponsors and investors continue to flock to our digital Platform, with interest already shown in 151 projects from 34 African countries worth $112.4 billion.
Following the immense success in November 2018, the Africa Investment Forum, a brainchild of the African Development Bank, is becoming a firm fixture in the calendars of the global investment community. The 2018 event saw nearly 2,000 participants, representing 83 countries, out of which some 277 were delegates from development finance institutions that are active in Africa.
The 2018 Forum was instrumental in showcasing up to 49 different transactions at different stages of development and with a total value of close to $40 billion. These projects were presented to a large audience of investors and financiers. Judging from the interest generated, the Forum promises to play a major role in catalyzing investment flows into Africa, so instrumental in moving the continent forward into the future.
Some of the key projects for which the Forum is expected to play an invaluable role, include the Desert to Power initiative – which aims to provide 10,000 MW of solar-generated electricity to 250 million people across the Sahel. Projects like the Inga Hydro-electric scheme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other major cross-border infrastructure projects in road and rail, are all highly transformative projects with important social and economic impacts.
The timing of the coming into being of the Forum is fortuitous, coming on the heels of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area and the Single African Air Transport Market, ratified by the majority of African Union members.
New investments made possible through the Africa Investment Forum have the potential to spur an explosion in trade, contribute to Africa’s re-industrialization and promote cross-border regional economic integration.
Indeed, while the platform continues to ramp up and grow, the Forum offered some very important lessons. In particular, additional resources are required to adequately prepare projects which are crucial for Africa’s development. Well-prepared projects minimize negative environmental and social issues, while maximizing development and economic outcomes, thus contributing to enhanced bankability. This notwithstanding, projects originated through the Forum will benefit from the Bank’s wider ecosystem and the numerous instruments and partnerships with other development finance institutions which will help transform project ideas into actual investments that create jobs and economic opportunities on the ground.
While the Forum is a practical and transactional platform for project deals and potential financers to interact, it has also become a staging post for new financing product innovations that compliment and contribute to de-risking and making investment opportunities more attractive for investors. Examples of recent innovations in this regard include the co-guarantee platform that was established in 2018 by the African Development Bank alongside its partners the Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC), African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) and GuarantCo.
As we prepare again to put Africa on global investors’ radars, I would like to see tied to the Forum more activities with the potential of bringing increased dynamism and depth to African domestic capital markets; initiatives that help mobilize African domestic resources into projects coming to this platform for funding.
Beyond this, there are opportunities for the African diaspora whose annual remittances to the continent now top $60 billion a year, making it an immense pool of money that can actively participate in Africa’s development story and benefit from the myriad investment opportunities.
I would like to see diaspora bond issuances and/or collective investment vehicles discussed and presented at the Forum, as they can represent significant financing that can be put to work for the benefit of Africa’s development.
I also strongly encourage and welcome greater participation of the South African institutional investment management industry.
We look forward to a successful Forum and to greater acceleration of the development of the continent.
*AFDB. Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala is Vice President for Finance and Chief Finance Officer, African Development Bank
Uganda and Equatorial Guinea pave the way for Africa’s oil future
November 6, 2019 | 0 Comments
|With the Lake Albert oil beginning to flow, Uganda has set its sights on further resources|
|CAPE TOWN, South Africa, November 6, 2019/ — Africa Oil Week (www.Africa-OilWeek.com) got off to a high profile start with a prestigious Ministerial and VIP Symposium on the 28th floor of First National Bank’s corporate headquarters in Cape Town’s Waterfront district. Over 200 senior executives from IOC and NOCs along with ministerial delegations from leading African nations joined to look for solutions to Africa’s energy challenges.|
Amongst the traditional African oil giants were several countries that have been rapidly growing their oil and gas credentials in the form of Uganda and Equatorial Guinea.
Uganda joins the exporters club
The prospects for the hydrocarbon sector in Uganda are looking bright – Uganda will soon export its first crude oil from its Lake Albert oil discovery to the international market, making it one of the countries to have joined the oil exporting countries after the government came to an agreement with Tanzania that enables it to transport its crude oil through the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), a 1,445-kilometre pipeline from Hoima, Uganda, to the port of Tanga in Tanzania is the proposed route.
“It is exciting times for Uganda, we are now preparing for production,” Hon Irene-Margaret Muloni, minister of energy and mineral development, Uganda, says. “It has taken us some time, but we are there. The exploration discovered six billion barrels and we have plans to recover about 1.4 billion of these. And now the issue is to get that out of the ground. We’ve already agreed with Tullow, Total and CNOOC the way forward to commercialise that oil.
“We need two big destinations. One is access to the international markets through the pipeline to add value and ensure security of supply within the East Africa region. Also, we are importers of petroleum products now, so we have a refinery under development.” That refinery is planned for Kabaale in Western Uganda’s Hoima district, along the eastern shore of Lake Albert, close to the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Once the refinery is completed, expected to be in 2022, it will produce kerosene, gasoline, diesel, heavy fuel oils for Uganda and other local markets. In addition to the refinery an airport, hospital and a 100-megawatt thermal power plant are being constructed.
“For these two big projects the pipeline is more advanced with the FEED signed and an intergovernmental agreement with Tanzania. We are now negotiating the host government agreements between us and setting up the private companies that are going to own and operate the pipeline. For the refinery we’ve already approved the configuration of the refinery that will handle 60,000 barrels per day. Those two projects are ongoing and as a country we are preparing the infrastructure.”
With the Lake Albert oil beginning to flow, Uganda has set its sights on further resources and in May announced a second licensing round for additional oil exploration in five blocks in western Uganda that will be announced before the end of 2019. “It is all about attracting companies to come and join us in the exploration. We have only licenced about 15% of the resources but the appetite is there because the parameters are world class. The success rate when you drill is hovering around 85%, meaning every time you drill a hole there is a good chance of success.”
More from Equatorial Guinea
Later this month Equatorial Guinea will announce the winning bids for its 27 oil and gas licences. The bidding round is reported to have attracted a high level of interest, especially among Chinese oil and gas companies following a roadshow in Beijing.
“We have many companies who have expressed an interest,” Hon Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of mines, industry & energy, Equatorial Guinea says. We have pre-selected some of these because we see the most serious companies, but the important thing is that the key blocks have already attracted interest.”
Equatorial Guinea is already home to several majors including ExxonMobil. Kosmos, Marathon and Noble and hopes to attract several more in this latest round. “We are doing well, and we are delivering great revenue,” Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima adds. “But the issue here is what we are going to do in the future. Two of the fields are mature fields and we need to decide about them going forward. That revenue has allowed us to carry out investment in our infrastructure, but we are still keen on bringing in more companies.”
This year has been the Year of Energy 2019 in Equatorial Guinea, that saw several high-level investment conferences and roadshows in Malabo and internationally, and they are following that up next year with the Year of Investment 2020. “It has been very successful,” the minister explains. “A lot of people have heard more about what to do and we have been able to promote more content. We have also been able to prepare ourselves for the next year, 2020, which is going to be the investment year. We are looking to build refineries which will be the next stage of our development.”
Two of the challenges that often curtail investment in Africa are stringent local content rules and a regulatory framework that can be fluid. For Equatorial Guinea the subject of local content is not an issue according to Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima. “We have a limited population so local content have been mainly focused on a specialised sector such as the service industry,” he explains. “In general, I can say that more than 90% of the companies have done a very good job regarding local content that we’re happy with.”
As for the regulatory regime, Equatorial Guinea are going to be working next year on the new law. “We believe that our national companies will work more efficiently if, rather than having regular responsibility from a minister, it will be controlled by a law.”
Equatorial Guinea and Uganda were amongst almost forty ministerial delegations in attendance at the symposium. It was a fertile breeding ground for the movers and shakers of the industry and amidst the presentations, cocktails and networking, new deals and partnerships were being forged that could bear fruition over the coming months.
*Source Africa Oil Week
Zimbabwean Women Gear Up For Dubai 2020
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Zimbabwean Women are action packed to take to Dubai next year in March 2020. The unique, great and well-orchestrated summit on women leaders theme will attract thousands of women from around the Globe .They will discuss areas of entrepreneurship skills development.
In an interview earlier on this week in Harare, Reverend Dr Abigail Magwenzi Founder and Director of Red Lipstick Revolution expounded on the need for women to make it happen come 2020 in Dubai. She notes that key issues of discussions they are currently working on centre on imparting more cohesive skills in Business skills training, technical and operational skills, social and life skills training.
‘’As women our goal is to train women so that they become leaders in Business. We want to see a number of women in equality, empowerment, and collective action for development. This sustains livelihoods in all communities where women must be leaders in the Business Sector ranging from Small to Medium Enterprises, home manufacturers of quality food stuffs and also as decision markers.
‘’Women have reached levels of equality but more needs to be done in all sectors of the economy. There is need to get into extreme marginalised women areas. There is need to empower them with all the skills they need. Satisfying women needs and wants starts with us here.
‘’Dubai is close by 2020 to cherish the need to nurture, impart and indoctrinate unique quality skills in women who must lead by example in communities. We are a step ahead for Dubai come 2020. There are mainly those values we want to carry like a flag. These are equality, empowerment, collective action, working together and sustainability.
Contacted for brief comment to buttress Abigail Magwenzi ‘s points Ambassador Mary Mubi Zimbabwe Commissioner General to Expo 2020 in Dubai said the time for women has come again to make them rise high , climb the ladder and be in the skies .
She likens the Dubai up-coming conference to Beijing Platform for Action of 1995. After that big symposium women climbed higher than ever before guided by International instruments like the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women [CEDAW] of 1979.
‘’It is big time event for women to rise and shine. Zimbabwe is already geared to show-case its entrepreneurial talents in all areas of development. We are there-fore to lead by example, teach, train n impart skills in others. We are already far in terms of equality and empowerment. What is left is to reach our goals, vision and mission just close to us’’, says Mary Mubi .
The Global Women Leadership Summit will bring together Global Leaders, professionals, entrepreneurs, business women and women leaders. They will share and explore new areas of research and development and some emerging issues of impact to women. The main aim will be networking and devising innovative strategies that will make a huge difference to women involved in today’s competitive Global business.
2020 U.S.-Africa Business Summit to be hosted in Morocco
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
|Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) will host the next edition of the U.S -Africa Business Summit in June 2020 in Marrakech, Morocco. Building on the momentum of this year’s Summit in Maputo, Mozambique, which focused on advancing a resilient and sustainable U.S.-Africa partnership, CCA will return to the continent next June for the 13th iteration of its flagship conference.|
“We are delighted to return to the continent for the 2020 Summit and look forward to partnering with the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco. The 2019 Summit in Maputo, Mozambique was a tremendous success and the caliber of engagement by U.S. and African business and government leaders was outstanding. The partnerships forged, investment opportunities identified, and deals closed are still being cited by attendees, and we intend to expand on these outcomes at the 2020 Summit in Morocco.” said Florizelle Liser, President and CEO, Corporate Council on Africa.
Following a strategic selection process, CCA’s Board of Directors selected the Kingdom of Morocco as the host for the 2020 Summit. Having rejoined the African Union and signed the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, Morocco has demonstrated its commitment to promoting economic development in Africa, making it an ideal destination for the 2020 Summit and the first time CCA will organize the Summit in North Africa.
Her Highness Princess Lalla Joumala, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United States, urged businesses to take advantage of the unique opportunities that will be presented at the Summit in 2020. “As the gateway to Africa, Morocco is committed to increasing business and investment on the continent and is pleased to partner with the Corporate Council on Africa to host the 2020 U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Marrakech.”
Starting this year, CCA will hold the U.S.-Africa Business Summit annually, with the aim of providing CCA members, investors, and key U.S.-Africa business stakeholders with the opportunity to stay abreast on the latest developments in business and investment across Africa.
Since its inception in 1997, CCA’s Summit has been considered as the essential conference on U.S.-Africa business and investment. With over 1300 attendees, the 2019 Summit witnessed a remarkable level of engagement, including participation by heads of state, vice presidents, and prime ministers from 9 African countries, ministers from more than 25 countries, more than 100 senior U.S. government officials and an exceptional line-up of global business leaders from a variety of sectors.
ABOUT THE U.S.-AFRICA BUSINESS SUMMIT
The U.S.-Africa Business Summit serves as a platform for African and U.S. private sector and government representatives to engage on key sectors including agribusiness, energy, health, infrastructure, trade facilitation, ICT and finance. Summit participants can network with key private sector and government officials, explore new business opportunities, meet potential business partners, and forge new business deals. The Summit also serves as an opportunity to shape and advocate for effective U.S.-Africa trade and investment policies.
Over the last 22 years, CCA has hosted more than 50 U.S. and African Heads of State and over 15,000 participants at its Summits. Visit the U.S.-Africa Business Summit Website Here
ABOUT CORPORATE COUNCIL ON AFRICA (CCA)
Corporate Council on Africa is the leading U.S. business association focused solely on connecting business interests between the United States and Africa. CCA uniquely represents a broad cross section of member companies from small and medium size businesses to multinationals as well as U.S. and African firms. Learn more at www.corporatecouncilonafrica.com
Interswitch Expands Presence in Health-Tech Space Through Acquisition Of e-Clat
November 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
Lagos, Nigeria: October 30 2019:
Interswitch Limited, a leading technology-driven company focused on the digitization of payments in Nigeria and other African countries is pleased to announce the acquisition of e-Clat Healthcare Limited, a Nigeria-based health technology company that aims to improve healthcare delivery in Africa. The deal was completed on September 30, 2019, and it involves Interswitch acquiring a 60% stake in e-Clat through the purchase of shares from current shareholders and subscription to new shares issued by the company.
Founded in 2012, e-Clat Healthcare Limited specializes in assisting healthcare service providers in planning, designing and operating their unique practices through the deployment of its bespoke healthcare technology platform, designed specifically for the healthcare environment in Africa. e-Clat’s healthcare technology platform, consists of a core e-Clinic software (including electronic billing, immunization, ante-natal and care pathway functions), as well as a variety of additional specialist modules. Prior to the acquisition, e-Clat’s platform had become a leading Electronic Health Record (EHR) platform used in over 250 public and private healthcare facilities in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s healthcare system currently lacks adequate funding and a national framework, leading to operational inefficiencies. Interswitch’s strategic investment in healthcare technology aims to address these challenges by modernising the healthcare sector in Nigeria and eventually in Africa through its innovative products and services. The combined product offerings of Interswitch and e-Clat are expected to, amongst other things, enable operators in the healthcare sector develop new capabilities, improve the efficiency of their core operations and facilitate seamless payments.
Due to the growing adoption of Interswitch’s healthcare product offerings by the operators, Interswitch’s healthcare technology platform aims to be one of the top industry platforms in Nigeria, which can be utilised as a major data source by healthcare policy makers for planning and efficiency improvements in the sector. As a result of this acquisition, the combined healthcare technology solutions are expected to position the Interswitch group as a health-tech solution and payments provider of choice to the healthcare industry going forward.
Commenting on the transaction, Mitchell Elegbe, Founder and Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Interswitch, said:
“We are a technology company that is innovating to deliver value across sectors that are critical to Africa’s social and economic development, our acquisition of e-Clat demonstrates strong progress along this strategy and alignment with our corporate vision.
Healthcare is rapidly evolving towards new, integrated and scalable models of care delivery that put the consumer at the centre. At the core of Interswitch’s expansion into healthcare is our ambition to provide customers with greater access to healthcare across different interaction points beyond hospitals, such as at pharmacies and primary health care facilities, providing much needed services to patients across Nigeria and, in the future, in Africa. It also represents an opportunity to introduce a number of Interswitch’s products, such as our Verve Health cards, as well as our payment collection & disbursement solutions (Quickteller for business), that will drive much needed efficiency in payments for health services across the value chain”.
Also remarking on the acquisition, Dr. Wallace Ogufere co-founder/CEO of e-Clat Healthcare Limited stated “The growing adoption of value-based care, combined with the increasing level of usage of patient portals across the industry, has made it critical to take a new approach to patient engagement solution design in Nigeria. We expect to tightly integrate the e-Clat capabilities into the Interswitch platform, adding functionality that would enable providers to reach their entire patient populations by leveraging existing patient contact information”.
This new acquisition by Interswitch represents the latest of several strategic investments executed by the company to enhance Interswitch’s product and service offering and expand its reach into new markets as the payments technology sector in Africa expands rapidly. In 2016, Interswitch acquired the mobile financial services player, VANSO. Interswitch had earlier closed the acquisition of Paynet Group in February 2015 in a deal that resulted in the creation of a combined network of over 100 financial institutions, deepening Interswitch’s footprint in East Africa. Interswitch intends to continue with its expansion strategy whilst refining its offering, creating innovative payments solutions that are tailored to the demands of the African market. The acquisition of e-Clat Healthcare Limited is expected to further enhance Interswitch’s capability to provide comprehensive solutions that involve making payments a seamless part of everyday life across critical social sectors in Africa.
Edelman Public Relations
Charles Harrison / Olivia Adebo +44 (0)203 047 2568 Interswitch@edelman.com
+234 (0) 803 356 3795 firstname.lastname@example.org
Vaerdi Investor Relations
+234 909 888 2196
Group Marketing & Corporate Communications email@example.com
+234 1 6283888 Ext 1253
Interswitch is a leading technology-driven company focused on the digitisation of payments in Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Interswitch also provides technology integration, advisory services, payment infrastructure and transaction processing across multiple channels to organisations across various sectors, including but not limited to: aviation, government, health, education, banking, retail, telecommunications, fast moving consumer goods (FMCGs) and small medium enterprises (SMEs).
Interswitch has demonstrated consistent, strong and profitable growth since the business was founded in 2001 and is currently present in 4 countries across the continent. Since its inception, Interswitch has grown to be a leading player with critical mass in Nigeria and connects all commercial banks in Nigeria, over 100 financial institutions, 180,000 active merchants, six international payment schemes and its domestic payment scheme, Verve, to its payments network (as at March 2019). This strong growth has further accelerated Interswitch’s expansion strategies in Africa. Please visit www.interswitchgroup.com for more information.
eClat healthcare provides a turn-key solution for healthcare delivery. It’s helping to
transform the quality of healthcare by providing modern, essential resource tools to care providers, increasing their efficiency, saving costs, empowering stakeholders and leading to improved patient outcome.
Its flagship product eClinic is used in more than 250 primary
care centres in Oyo, Delta and Edo states and general hospitals in Ondo,
Kaduna, Kano and Yobe states. It is also used in several private hospitals in
Nigeria including Eko Hospital, First Cardiology Consultants and Solid Rock Hospital.
Further information about eClat healthcare including a full client list can be
found at http://eclathealthcare.com/.
Kosmos Strikes Oil in Offshore Rio Muni, Equatorial Guinea
November 4, 2019 | 0 Comments
|The discovery was the first well drilled in Kosmos’ infrastructure-led exploration (ILX) in offshore Equatorial Guinea|
|MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, November 4, 2019/ — The Government of Equatorial Guinea, represented by the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons, has announced that Kosmos Energy has made an oil discovery in offshore Equatorial Guinea. The S-5 well was drilled at a total depth of 4,400 meters and encountered 39 meters of net oil play in the Santonian reservoir, in the offshore Rio Muni Basin.|
The discovery was the first well drilled in Kosmos’ infrastructure-led exploration (ILX) in offshore Equatorial Guinea. The drilling of the S-5 well was accelerated following exciting 3D seismic acquired in 2018. Partners in the S-5 well include GEPetrol (20%), Trident Energy (40%) and Kosmos (40%).
Kosmos Energy has operated in Equatorial Guinea since 2018. Further evaluation work is ongoing to establish the full extent of the discovered resource and determine a schedule of the development phase.
“We are very excited about the results of the S-5 well, the first well drilled in this ongoing exploration campaign. The discovery is a strong validation of our strategy to replace oil reserves by exploring the highly prospective oil basins like Rio Muni. We are eager to establish more oil prospects in offshore Equatorial Guinea,” said H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. “This is good for more jobs and opportunities for our citizens and investors,” he added.
*African Energy Chamber
Ethiopia wants to import crude products from South Sudan to reduce importing costs
November 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – Ethiopia is looking to buy oil and gas products from South Sudan to mitigate the higher cost of importing from the Middle East as demand continues to grow.
Ethiopia and South Sudan share a border point which is near a few kilometres from the oil fields and Ethiopia is also one of the countries that took part in the 3rd edition of South Sudan’s oil and power conference.
The oil and power conference is an annual event organized by Africa Oil and power and sponsored by oil and energy companies.
The move, will see Addis Ababa soon importing refined oil and gas from South Sudan as soon as the negotiation is completed in abide to reduce importing’s bill or save 15 to 20 per cent on the 3.4 billion U. S dollar, uses to import refined crude products from the Asia continent.
Dr. Koang Tutlam, Ethiopia’s State Minister for Mines and Petroleum revealed that his country planned to establish oil refinery in the country after negotiation with the Juba government.
He disclosed that they hope to tap into South Sudan market to supply them with crude products, hence reducing on the spiraling import costs incurred when buying crude products from the Middle East.
“It would be very cheaper for us when we start buying the products from South Sudan,’ Dr. Tutlam told journalists on sidelines of the oil and power conference in Juba, if brought from its western neighbor.
Tutlam said they are working with Juba to reach an agreement when all necessary oil infrastructure is put in place like completion of the oil refinery and pipeline connecting the two countries through the border of Pagak.
“We import almost all of our oil and other refined products from the Abroad, especially the Middle East, but owning to the close proximity of about 200 km between the oil fields of Pagak and further from Adar, and the Ethiopia border, we stand to save so much in expenditure,” said Dr. Tutlam.
Minister Tutlam said Ethiopia spends or incurs 3.4 million US dollar annually on imported crude and gas products from abroad.
The horn of Africa nation of 108 million population, creating huge market amid demand for refined crude products from Juba.
“We are demanding 4 million tons of refined oil products yearly and that demand is increasing by 10 to 15 per cent every year,” said Dr. Tutlam. “At the moment, we have an idea of constructing a refinery near the border with South Sudan and we are now exploring how to go forward with it.”
With the revitalized peace deal that is fixed on backing stability and economic recovery comes to realization, Tutlam said Ethiopia will become a big market for South Sudan’s oil and gas.
Tutlam further said that construction of the proposed refineries, including roads may take two to three years period to be completed.
“I think all will be well after two to three years after which the two countries can put up the infrastructure which will benefit both nations,” he said.
South Sudan has the third-largest oil reserves in sub – Saharan Africa, estimated at 3.5 billion barrels and much more still remains unexplored.
In regards to the oil and power conference, Tutlam registered that Ethiopian government has shown the impression on the conference and that would open a door for business between the countries, adding that this would attract many investors to invest in the oil and gas sectors in South Sudan.
“South Sudan oil and power conference is very impressive. It is a conference that can be developed to bring the entire region to attend. I am so impressed and very sure that in the future so many countries across the world will attend,” said Dr. Tutlam.
However, Ethiopia is already supplying electricity to Tanzania and Djibouti, and has also agreed to extend electricity to Kenya and South Sudan respectively.
“We have the Grand Renaissance Dam under construction and if completed, will product 6,000 megawatts of electricity and that mean Ethiopia will have electricity surplus which the region can benefit from,” said Tutlam.
Petroleum Minister further underscored that they don’t have any bad intention toward Egypt over the Nile water as the Cairo has protested the construction of the mega renaissance dam due to fears that it will reduce Egypt share of water.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy and Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al – Sisi, recently met and discussed the diplomatic rift between the two countries over the Nile River during the just concluded Russia – Africa summit in Sochi.
“What Ethiopia is doing is just to benefit from the Nile. We have no intention of harming anyone – we have no intention of harming Egypt. This is just to satisfy the electricity needs of our people. We want to assure Egypt that no one is meaning any harm,” said Dr. Tutlam.
S. Sudan pitches its 14 oil blocks to investors as a unity gov’t due next month
November 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan, world youngest country is pitching its oil and gas to the international and region investors in a bid to jump-start economic recovery as the country is hoping to put years of war behind it with the formation of a new unity government on November 12.
The oil-rich country was made another its second foreign investment pitch since declaring an end to civil war in 2018. The country is eager to make up for $4 billion in lost revenue caused by the country’s five – year conflict after president Salva Kiir’s groups and key armed opposition groups, including ex-rebel Riek Machar signed a power-sharing agreement last year, September 20.
The finale, 3rd Oil & Power conference in Juba has become a focal selling point for opportunities in South Sudan. It was attended by six – hundreds of industry executives and dignitaries from South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Somalia, Norway, the United States and South Africa, the conference was opened by First Vice President H.E. Taban Deng Gai and Minister of Petroleum Awow Daniel Chuang, among others.
Awow Daniel Chuang, South Sudan’s oil minister, said the government is planning to launch the country’s first oil and gas bidding round within the first quarter of 2020, they are inviting all investors to have a look at these blocks.
“This year we have a lot of plans for us to launch the licensing round by the first quarter of 2020, and for us to invest in those areas as the government is key for us to get the information,” said Awow during third oil and power conference in Juba.
Minister Awow said Juba hopes to establish a data room for the blocks in two months, before licensing them on a competitive basis from early 2020, that will add more value to the country’s national resources.
However, the current data collection which is done by the ministry of petroleum provides a platform for investors to invest in the oil sector.
“In November, we are going to launch an environmental audit and there are a lot of companies that are interested to invest in this area, this will be an opened tender,” Awow said.
Guillaume Doane, Chief Executive of Africa’s Oil and Power, says Africa’s oil reinstates its commitment to supporting the country and its people.
“We believe that investment is the pillar to peace and here the country has demonstrated that stability goes together with economic prosperity,” said Doane.
Meanwhile, Doane said everyday there is a new change, new development and new investment in South Sudan, as a clear indication for investors to invest in, further urges investors to invest in education, health, roads and oil industry, among other sectors.
“Vote with your wallets and invest in the exploration of oil in bridges, invest in the people because South Sudan has talented persons in the oil and gas sector,” Doane added.
Also, African Energy Chamber Chairman, CEO of the Centurion Law Group Nj Ayuk, urged the oil industry to support South Sudan’s recovery with investment, calling for greater inflow of capital and technology into the country to boost recovery and stability
In line with the event’s focus on finance, Ayuk called on the government to continue working towards creating an enabling environment for businesses in order to attract more investments into the country.
“South Sudan’s oil industry will do even better when there is a good governance, free-market capitalism, limited-government and individual freedoms because it helps the people at every level of society to prosper. The government and the oil industry must embrace it and respect the sanctity of contracts,” said Ayuk, during his keynote speech at the opening of the oil and power conference.
As South Sudan launched a new licensing round, Ayuk reminded the country’s authorities of the challenge of having a transparent bidding round and of attracting highly capable companies to explore oil and gas.
“The chamber will support South Sudan without reservation in this effort, because oil and gas is the backbone of the economy,” Ayuk avowed.
Focus on region
South Sudan First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai said having petroleum infrastructure such as oil refineries in the region would help alleviate the fuel crises in many countries.
To reduce imported costs from abroad, Taban explained that building of refineries would help the region save billions of dollars that countries spend on importing refined petroleum products annually.
“I am aware the volume of Ethiopian imports of refine products is from $5 to $7 billion annually. South Sudan can take part in this by building an oil refinery in Poloch,” said Taban. I believe also in DRC, CAR, part of Kenya and Uganda. Let’s think critically about this.”
However, some of South Sudan’s oil wells are located close to Ethiopia’s South Western border.
On the other hand, Ethiopian State minister of Mines and Petroleum, Dr. Koang Tutlan further asked governments to address insecurity, something he says it is affecting stability and growth in the entire region.
“With Ethiopia’s population of 100 million and huge demand of hydro-carbon, we can provide one of the best markets for South Sudan oil because of proximity,” said Koang.
In the same event, Kenya’s Special Envoy to South Sudan, Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, said progress in intra- African trade through the African Continental Free Trade Area (|AfCFTA) would spread the benefits of natural resources to the most deserving areas.
“We must invest in regional institutions that support mutual political and economic objectives and hasten regional integration,” said Musyoka.
New oil discovery
In August, South Sudan made a new oil discovery in the Adar oil field in Block 3, containing more than 37 million barrels of recoverable oil. The discovery was announced by the Dar Petroleum Operating Company, a consortium led by China National Petroleum Cooperation.
Awow revealed that the new discovery in Block 5A and in the Adar oil field will become a game changer as it is the first discovery made since independence, giving hope to investors interested in South Sudan’s energy sector.
Minister Awow stressed that the new discovery will increase the desire of regional and international oil investors to enter the country’s oil and gas sector.
“The number of blocks that we used to say was eight, but we have added more due to more discoveries in the areas we have never demarcated before. All those blocks will be opened for tending, and that is why we are planning to launch the licensing round in a bid by next year,” he said. “As of now we have a lot of investors that are ready to apply, including the companies from the West, America, Russia, India, and China that have shown interest, but of course we can’t negotiate with them until the right time come,” said Awow.
Now, the Block 5A, which is located in the Muglad-Sudd Rift Basin on the same geological trend as the Greater Nile Oil Project in Sudan will resumption early November.
According to Minister Awow, the Block 5A has a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day (bpd) of the higher quality Nile blend, the potential resumption of Block 5A comes at a time when the country is about to achieve a durable peace as parties are expected to form a new unity government on Nov. 12.
In order to increase production, Ayuk also urged the oil industry to speed up exploration programs and keep working on putting back damaged oil fields into production.
“We applaud CNPC for its recent 300-million-barrel discovery in South Sudan and hope to see the government speeding up approvals for field development plans,” said Ayuk.
Awow said the issue of finance still remains the biggest challenge in developing the rich resources, include oil in the country.
“Finance is the only thing lacking to develop those resources available in the country so that we can have economy that is viable,” said Awow.
Youth, gender empower
The platform has also shown calls for youth and women to be empowered through training to take part in the oil and gas industry.
The Africa Energy Chamber is supporting several domestic capacity building initiatives in South Sudan.
“it is important to encourage young men and women who find opportunities, have ideas for innovative services in oil and gas, those who have the courage to deploy capital, accept risk, and make it happen. They deserve to be supported,” said Ayuk, while reminding the audience.
Ayuk is strongly believes that local content and women empowerment is key today more than ever, urged the government and the oil industry to enact special programs to promote women.
“You can’t be a true oil man if you don’t support women to grow in the industry. When we support women in oil and gas, we support the African family because women invest more in the family unit today in Africa,” Ayuk explained.
Mr. Ayuk also used this platform to advocate for better stakeholder cooperation, and urged all political factions to make concessions and respect the peace agreement. “The presence of oil should incentivize dialogue between all parties to the current conflict and push for resolution of minor differences to be resolved,” he declared.
Both investors have shown an interest in 14 blocks newly discovered blocks, the blocks would be licensed competitively from next year.
South Sudan gets almost all its revenue from oil and has boosted output, as it struggles to rebuild its devastated economy after a five-year civil war.
South Sudan have recently resumed production at key oilfields following a permanent ceasefire and improving business conditions as attractions to investors.
South Sudan currently produces 175,000 barrels per day, about a third of the potential 500, 000 bpd, despite the sector being largely unexplored.
Last year oil and power conference enabled South Sudan and South Africa to sign three projects deal that would see the former’s Strategic Fuel Fund invest in the latter through the Nile Petroleum company.
South Africa invested $1 billion U to cover oil exploration and production, building of an oil refinery and the construction of a pipeline.
This third oil conference focuses on finance and new investment, and cross-sector involvement from government and private enterprises, also an avenue for the government to have a direct dialogue, negotiations and to make deals with investors interested in oil and gas acreages and future investments in South Sudan.
With, a holding ceasefire, there is improving investment conditions for the oil and gas sector in South Sudan.
South Sudan has the third-largest oil reserves in sub – Saharan Africa, estimated at 3.5 billion barrels and much more still remains unexplored.
TAP Air Portugal Starts Operations in Gambia
October 31, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
The Gambia became a new destination of the Portuguese Airline in Africa as TAP Air Portugal inaugural flight was launched in The Gambia recently.
The inaugural flights of the TAP Air Portugal who newly joined the destination’s route landed in Banjul International Airport at exactly12:45am local time on Sunday with 141 tourists onboard the Airbus A320 and this starting begin of TAP Air Portugal regular operation to the destination with three flights a week departing from Lisbon to Banjul.
The maiden TAP flight was received at the foot of the airbus in Banjul International Airport by Adama Njie, Director of Marketing accompanied by officials of the Gambia Tourism Board, Gambia Tours, airport service personnel, Travel and Tourism Writers to welcome the new airline and its official.
Shortly after the landing of the airline inaugural ceremony was held at the Banjul International Airport VIP lounge to welcome the new airline to the destination.
TAP Airline Portugal flights between Lisbon and Banjul are operated by Airbus A320 and depart from Lisbon on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 20:55 and arrive in Banjul at 00:10 the next day, from where they depart at 1:05 – Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays to land at Humberto Delgado Airport at 6:05 (local time).
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the airline, Dionisio Barum, Director Sales Portugal and Africa disclosed that the beach, nature and adventure are Banjul’s hallmarks “that give this African city a true color panel.”
He disclosed further that “the colorful and lively markets contrast with the white sand of the beaches and the lush green nature that characterizes Banjul on a cruise across the Gambia River,” where you can see hippos, monkeys and more than 500 bird species.
With this new route, he said “TAP will once again expand its operation to Africa, adding one more country and one capital to its network of destinations on the African continent.”
Adama Njie, Director of Marketing- Gambia Tourism Board expressed delight on the arrival of the TAP Air. He described the inaugural flight as historic “and it means a lot to not just only the stakeholders but the country as a whole.”
According to him, Air Portugal is among the big airlines in the world and TAP air is flying from Lisbon to many African countries “they will be doing three times a week to the Smiling Coast and that will add to the frequency that we already established last year,” he said.
The Director of Marketing assured TAP Air of government’s support saying there is a strong relationship with the GTBoard and TAP Air Portuguese.
About TAP Air Portugal
TAP flies in Africa to Morocco – Marrakech, Casablanca, Tangier and Fez; Cape Verde – Sal, Praia, S. Vincente and Boavista; Senegal – Dakar; Guinea Bissau – Bissau; Ivory Coast – Abidjan; Togo – Lome; Ghana – Accra; Sao Tome and Principe – Sao Tome; Angola – Luanda; Mozambique – Maputo; Conakri – Guinea Conakry and now Gambia – Banjul in a total of 12 countries and 18 cities.
In Juba, African Energy Chamber Chairman Urges Oil Industry to Support South Sudan’s Recovery with Investment
October 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
|The Chamber called on the government to continue working towards creating an enabling environment for businesses in order to attract more investments into the country|
|JUBA, South Sudan, October 30, 2019/ — During his keynote speech at the opening of the South Sudan Oil & Power Conference & Exhibition in Juba this week, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/) and CEO of the Centurion Law Group Nj Ayuk called for greater inflow of capital and technology into the country to boost recovery and stability.|
Attended by hundreds of industry executives and dignitaries from South Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, Egypt, Somalia, Norway, the United States and South Africa, the conference was opened by First Vice President H.E. Taban Deng Gai and Minister of Petroleum Awow Daniel Chuang, along with several cabinet ministers.
AEC Chairman used this platform to advocate for better stakeholder cooperation, and urged all political factions to make concessions and respect the peace agreement. “The presence of oil should incentivize dialogue between all parties to the current conflict and push for resolution of minor differences to be resolved,” he declared.
In line with the conference’s focus on finance, the Chamber called on the government to continue working towards creating an enabling environment for businesses in order to attract more investments into the country. “South Sudan’s oil industry will do even better when there is a good governance, free-market capitalism, limited-government and individual freedoms because it helps the people at every level of society to prosper. The government and the oil industry must embrace it and respect the sanctity of contracts,” said Nj Ayuk.
In order to increase production, he also urged the oil industry to speed up exploration programs and keep working on putting back damaged oil fields into production. “We applaud CNPC for its recent 300 millions barrel discovery in South Sudan and hope to see the government speeding up approvals for field development plans,” he added.
As South Sudan launched a new licensing round, Nj Ayuk reminded the country’s authorities of the challenge of having a transparent bidding round and of attracting highly capable companies to explore oil and gas. “The chamber will support South Sudan without reservation in this effort, because oil and gas is the backbone of the economy,” he declared.
The Chamber is supporting several domestic capacity building initiatives in South Sudan, and Nj Ayuk reminded the audience that “it is important to encourage young men and women who find opportunities, have ideas for innovative services in oil and gas, those who have the courage to deploy capital, accept risk, and make it happen. They deserve to be supported.”
The Chamber strongly believes that local content and women empowerment is key today more than ever, and its Executive Chairman urged the government and the oil industry to enact special programs to promote women. “You can’t be a true oil man if you don’t support women to grow in the industry. When we support women in oil and gas we support the African family because women invest more in the family unit today in Africa,” Nj Ayuk concluded.
*Source Africa Energy Chamber
South Sudan to offer oil blocks for licensing by 2020
October 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Deng Machol
Juba – South Sudan oil ministry plans to offer 14 oil blocks to exploration companies in a licensing round by the first quarter 2020, in a move to revitalize the country’s economy.
In 2017, the Ministry of Petroleum said more than 70 per cent of South Sudan oil sectors remains unexplored.
Meanwhile, the country has made a new oil discovery at the Adar oilfield in Block three in August this year, containing more than 37 million barrels of recoverable oil according to the press release.
The discovery was made by the Dar Petroleum Operating Company, which is led by China National Petroleum Corporation, a major investor in South Sudan’s oil sector.
South Sudan currently produces 180,000 barrels per day but can reportedly produce as much as 500,000 barrels per day.
South Sudan gets almost all its revenue from oil and has boosted output, as it struggles to rebuild its devastated economy after a five-year civil war.
The east Africa’s country is trying to switch from its previous method of direct negotiations with explorers.
South Sudan’s Oil Minister Awow Daniel Chuang, speaking at the South Sudan Oil and Power conference in Juba, in which the About 600 potential oil sector investors gathered, says they want investors in invest in oil industry in the country.
“We are inviting all our investors that wanted to invest in South Sudan to come and move onto those blocks,” Awow told an Africa Oil and Power conference. “We are opening up the licensing rounds for everyone on a competitive basis and this is will help us to get the right partners, investors that can be easily verified because we don’t want to continue to have direct negotiations,” he added.
The conference is an avenue for the government to dialogue and to make deals with companies interested in energy and future investments in South Sudan.
This third oil conference focuses on finance and new investment, and cross-sector involvement from government and private enterprises. It also called on investors to participate in direct negotiations with the government for available oil and gas acreages.
A fee of $500 each for companies headquartered in South Sudan, while companies based outside the country pay $1,000 U to get a pass.
The government says South Sudan’s oil at present comes from blocks 3,7 and blocks 1, 2 and 4.
Chuang said the blocks to be offered for licensing will be blocks A1 to A6 and at present data was being collected on them.
“Within the next two months, we should be able to complete the work … By the first quarter of 2020, we will be having our first licensing round,” said Awow.
Last year’s Oil & Power conference enabled South Sudan and South Africa to sign three projects through their state corporation, the Nile Petroleum Company and the Strategic Fuel Fund.
South Africa invested $1 billion U to cover oil exploration and production, building of an oil refinery and the construction of a pipeline.
However, there has been a pickup in foreign investors though oil companies, including the Oranto Petroleum, which signed a six-year exploration and production sharing agreement for block B3 in 2017.
In May, South Sudan and South Africa also signed three projects through an exploration and production sharing agreement for Block B2.
Those already licensed to operate in the country’s oil fields are China National Petroleum Corporation, India-based oil and Natural Gas Corporation and Malaysia-based Petronas.
Juba is keen to reach pre-war oil production levels of 350,000 to 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) by mid-2020.
Much of the landlocked East African nation’s oil infrastructure was damaged in the conflict, during which about 400,000 people were killed and uprooted four million people both internally and externally from their homes.
At the ongoing oil and power conference, the government is expected to showcase the resumption of production at several key oilfields, a holding ceasefire, and the improving investment conditions for the energy sector in South Sudan.
International investors are also expected to make presentations and exhibition of their investments.
South Sudan is making another its second foreign investment pitch since declaring an end to civil war in 2018. The country is eager to make up for $4 billion in lost revenue caused by the country’s five – year conflict after president Salva Kiir’s groups and key armed opposition groups, including ex-rebel Riek Machar signed a power-sharing agreement last year, September 20.
A new unity government is expected to formed on November 12, in an attempt to return the country to stability.
First for Africa: Volkswagen and Siemens launch joint electric mobility pilot project in Rwanda
October 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
Pilot Project part of Moving Rwanda Initiative
KIGALI, Rwanda, October 29, 2019/ — Rwanda becomes the first African country to introduce Volkswagen electric car; Volkswagen (http://Volkswagen.com/) and Siemens (www.Siemens.com) sign joint development agreement to conduct electric mobility feasibility project; Pilot Project part of Moving Rwanda Initiative; Four e-Golfs and one charging station for the initial phase of the pilot project; e-Golfs added into the Volkswagen Mobility Solutions fleet
In a first for the African continent, the Volkswagen Brand has launched a pilot project in partnership with Siemens to test the feasibility of electric mobility in an African country.
The pilot project, which will form part of Volkswagen’s operations in Rwanda, was officially announced today by Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen Group South Africa and responsible for the Sub-Sahara Africa Region, in the presence of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Rwanda, Right Honourable Dr. Edouard Ngirente.
During the pilot phase, four e-Golfs and one charging station will be introduced in the capital of Rwanda, Kigali. Volkswagen has signed a joint development agreement with Siemens to provide the charging infrastructure for the electric cars.
With the launch of the pilot project, Rwanda becomes the first African country to introduce a Volkswagen electric car.
Thomas Schäfer said: “The success of our innovative and pioneering mobility solutions business has shown us that Rwanda has the potential to leapfrog the internal combustion engines into electric cars. Rwanda has a young and progressive population that appreciates individual and modern mobility. Together with our development partner Siemens and with the support from the Government of Rwanda, Volkswagen wants to make the e-Golf pilot project in Rwanda a blueprint for electric mobility in Africa.”
Sabine Dall’Omo, CEO for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa said: “Our partnership with Volkswagen on this project solidifies our commitment not only to Rwanda but to the East Africa region. By contributing towards shaping the African market for intelligent, adaptive infrastructure, while addressing skills challenges in this sector, Siemens is helping to build a more sustainable future for the people of Rwanda.”
The pilot e-Golfs will be added into the Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda fleet to provide customized mobility service.
The plan is to increase the number of the electric cars to 50 units and 15 charging stations, depending on the outcomes of the pilot project.
The drivers and technicians who will be working with the electric cars have received specialized training in preparation for launch of the pilot project.
“Africa’s youth need sustainable jobs and better prospects for a future in their home countries. Therefore, German development cooperation supports innovative ideas for vocational education and environmentally friendly mobility concepts for African cities. In this respect, initiatives such as Moving Rwanda are yet another step towards implementing the Marshall Plan with Africa,” said Dr. Gerd Müller, German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The electric mobility project was developed within the Moving Rwanda initiative, a cooperation between Volkswagen, Siemens, SAP and Inros Lackner and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. GIZ supported the e-mobility project by bringing together relevant partners from the private and public sector and by advising on the development benefits of the project.
The Moving Rwanda Initiative was established as the result of Volkswagen’s initial investment in Rwanda, which saw the launch of Africa’s first Integrated Mobility Solutions business in June 2018.
Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda offers mobility solutions services such as ride-hailing and corporate car sharing. The services are offered on the Move App, an innovative IT mobility solution which was developed by a local IT start-up company, Awesomity Lab.
The services are offered using a fleet of vehicles assembled at Volkswagen Rwanda’s assembly facility in Kigali. By the end of 2019, Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda will have a fleet of more than 200 vehicles consisting of Polo, Amarok, Teramont and Passat.
Move App has about 27 000 registered users. Over 59 500 rides have been completed in the ride-hailing service since the beginning of 2019.
Thomas Schäfer commented: “The integrated mobility solutions business in Rwanda is our lighthouse project. In the past year, our operations in Kigali have provided us with valuable lessons and business intelligence which we plan to utilise in our growth strategy into other African markets like Ghana and Ethiopia.”
Sub-Sahara Africa expansion strategy gaining momentum
Africa is the last frontier for the automotive industry. Volkswagen’s long term goal is to play a leading and pioneering role in the development of the automotive industry in the continent. As such, Volkswagen has significantly expanded its engagement in Africa with the establishment of assembly facilities and marketing activities in Kenya, Rwanda and Nigeria. Ghana and Ethiopia are planned as the next locations.
About the Volkswagen brand:
Volkswagen (http://Volkswagen.com/) Passenger Cars operates in more than 150 markets worldwide and produces vehicles at more than 50 sites in 14 countries. In 2018, Volkswagen delivered close to 6.2 million vehicles. Among those were the best-selling Golf, Tiguan, Jetta and Passat. Volkswagen has a current workforce of 195,878 employees around the globe. Added to this are more than 10,000 dealerships with 86,000 employees. Volkswagen is consistently driving forward the development of automotive engineering. Electric mobility, smart mobility and the digital transformation of the brand are the key strategic topics for the future.
Siemens (www.siemens.com) Smart Infrastructure (SI) is shaping the market for intelligent, adaptive infrastructure for today and the future. It addresses the pressing challenges of urbanization and climate change by connecting energy systems, buildings and industries. SI provides customers with a comprehensive end-to-end portfolio from a single source – with products, systems, solutions and services from the point of power generation all the way to consumption. With an increasingly digitalized ecosystem, it helps customers thrive and communities progress while contributing toward protecting the planet. SI creates environments that care. Siemens Smart Infrastructure has its global headquarters in Zug, Switzerland, and has around 71,000 employees worldwide.
Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 170 years. The company is active around the globe, focusing on the areas of power generation and distribution, intelligent infrastructure for buildings and distributed energy systems, and automation and digitalization in the process and manufacturing industries. Through the separately managed company Siemens Mobility, a leading supplier of smart mobility solutions for rail and road transport, Siemens is shaping the world market for passenger and freight services. Due to its majority stakes in the publicly listed companies Siemens Healthineers AG and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Siemens is also a world-leading supplier of medical technology and digital healthcare services as well as environmentally friendly solutions for onshore and offshore wind power generation. In fiscal 2018, which ended on September 30, 2018, Siemens generated revenue of €83.0 billion and net income of €6.1 billion. At the end of September 2018, the company had around 379,000 employees worldwide.