Kenya:Huawei’s new approach in involving more women in Technology
September 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27
Huawei Kenya has committed to support women in the IT via charitable aid through an initiative called Women In Technology Huawei (WITH) aimed at doing away with a notion hold by majority that only men can do well in technology sector. The program targets 4,000 girls and women within one year.
Through WITH women in technical careers will be empowered, connected and supported to develop their careers, interest and leadership skills especially in Science, Technology and Mathematics. They will also be provided with role models and opportunities.
The initiative will see doubling of the number of young girls mentored and trained through Cooperative Research Centres (CRC)program, promotion of one third of Huawei employees and training of one half of employees in 2019, increasing trained females students by 10 per cent and female lecturers by 5 per cent from 10 per cent. Other targets are partners with their women, at least 7 customers and women-owned suppliers.
“I am personally driving this Women In Technology Huawei initiative as a boost for the women in Technology. The data for Huawei is about average for the ICT industry in Kenya which is too low, thus the need to improve into a more strategic and ambitious strategy. Huawei has in the best done quite a lot to its staff and interns as well as to its charity and University partner, but still finds more things. We have set some plans and targets and we will do our best and try to improve,” said CEO of Huwai Kenya Stone He.
Council for Renewable Energy Nigeria offers South Africa xenophobia returnees glimmer of hope
September 11, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
Anticipating the need to quickly integrate the disenchanted Nigerian victims of xenophobic attacks from South Africa into the fabric of society and give them hope for a better future; the Council for Renewable Energy Nigeria [CREN] offers free training to returnee Nigerians to learn all about renewable energy technologies and begin entry-level careers in the solar PV industry at the Asteven Renewable Energy Academy, a subsidiary of Asteven Energy Group..
Dr Sunny Akpoyibo, President of CREN, revealing this, said “Nigeria is richly endowed and we shall not allow our people to be cast adrift after losing all they have worked hard for over the years. In support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s next level vision to change the Nigerian story, a part of which is ensuring that all Nigerians have marketable skills, we are offering this opportunity to all interested returnees to come learn technical skills and participate in a business that is commercially viable, environmentally sound and has social importance. We at CREN guarantee that they shall be trained totally free of charge and also fully equipped to be active participants in this sector”.
Speaking further, Dr Akpoyibo has made a call for all likeminded advocates to support this programme; to ensure that the providing returnees are given the opportunity to immediately get back on their feet as fully trained technicians in the fast growing global renewable energy industry. Their training will be contributory to Nigeria’s green growth agenda and the country’s climate mitigation efforts.
The Council shall liaise with the House Committee on Diaspora and the Nigerian Diaspora Commission to ensure that the returnee Nigerians are contacted and provided this opportunity. It doesn’t just stop there. They will also be trained on setting up renewable energy businesses, provided with product loans, mentorship and partner support to enable them become fully proficient in the industry; expand their skills sets and business portfolios. This will enable them contribute to Nigeria’s Green Growth Agenda,
The Nigerian Government has stated that from Wednesday, September 11, 2019, the first batch of 600 returnees will be airlifted back to Nigeria. This is an opportunity for those returnees to quickly get back on their feet.
The CREN/ASTEVEN Group Photovoltaic Installer Level 1 (PVI1) certification course from Asteven Renewable Energy Academy is designed for beginners, so previous experience with electronics/electricity is not necessary but is helpful. The trainees will benefit from real world, hands-on experience.
Since 2007, CREN established under the purview of state and civil society institutions, is a private member based association that consistently and actively advocates for the promotion and deployment of renewable energy technologies in Nigeria; not just as a vehicle for power and energy security but a vehicle for social entrepreneurship and empowerment of the Nigerian people.
Former CEO of Efora Energy Limited (formerly SacOil), Dr Thabo Kgogo Agrees with Author: Africa Must Unbundle its Utilities
September 2, 2019 | 0 Comments
According to Kgogo, the answer to Africa’s utility woes can be found in Ayuk’s book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 2, 2019/ — Across Africa, state-run utility companies don’t just fail to provide reliable power to their customers—most of them snatch economic power from the people, with inadequate electricity supply costing GDP growth.
But energy attorney NJ Ayuk has a solution. And his solution has been endorsed by Dr. Thabo Kgogo who has served as interim CEO of a large construction and infrastructure company, Group Five Limited, an independent oil and gas company in South Africa, Efora Energy Limited (formerly SacOil), and Vice President of Operations for PetroSA, South Africa’s national oil company.
According to Kgogo, the answer to Africa’s utility woes can be found in Ayuk’s book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy.
“In Chapter 18, Lights Out: Reforming African Power Generation Monopolies and Transitioning to the Future, Ayuk advocates for unbundling the vertically integrated utility monoliths, which is not only the logical solution, it has been proven in countries all over the world,” Kgogo said.
That’s not to suggest it is a simple fix. Ayuk knows it will take time and considerable effort and he doesn’t mince his words when it comes to how long the journey may be. Being forthright is one of Ayuk’s key attributes—and it is something Kgogo admires most about him.
“Ayuk calls it like it is,” Kgogo said. “For example, not everyone is willing to assert that Africa will never achieve its full potential if it cannot power its industries, services, or households. He also makes it clear that the state-run utilities are so saddled by debt they can barely recover their operating and capital costs, much less make the kinds of infrastructure investments needed to bring electricity to the continent.
Kgogo is quick to point out though that Ayuk’s chapter isn’t all doom and gloom: “In example after example, he shows how utilities across Africa have successfully unbundled and privatized,” Kgogo said. “The result has been increased generation capacity and given more people access to electricity.”
In Chapter 18, Ayuk returns to one of the book’s continuing themes: how major oil and gas companies can ensure that Africans benefit from their continent’s resource wealth. But here, Kgogo said, he takes the point a step further, suggesting that it is no longer sufficient for E&P companies to limit themselves to fossil fuels.
“Ayuk believes that the majors need to begin thinking of themselves as energy companies, and acting accordingly,” Kgogo said. “That means no longer simply extracting oil and natural gas, but harnessing Africa’s ample wind and solar resources then turning it into energy for the Africans. I couldn’t agree more with his position.”
During his tenure with SacOil, Kgogo called for government policies that would help support a thriving natural gas industry in South Africa as well as a departure from the centralized model of power generation.
NJ Ayuk is founder and CEO of Pan-African corporate law conglomerate, Centurion Law Group; Founder and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber; and co-author of Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (2017). He is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today.
Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy will be published on October 2019.
African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI), Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) & Japanese banks pave the way for more Japanese investments into Africa
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
|ATI has a current pipeline of over US$1 Bn worth of transactions from Japanese banks|
YOKOHAMA, Japan, August 30, 2019/ — On the side lines of the Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD7), ATI (http://www.ATI-ACA.org/) signed MoUs with Japan’s three largest banks and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), Japan’s export credit agency; ATI and NEXI announced at TICAD7 the launch of a Japan Desk to be based in ATI’s Nairobi headquarters in order to provide tailored risk-mitigation support to Japanese companies and investors; ATI has a current pipeline of over US$1 Bn worth of transactions from Japanese banks.
The Tokyo International Conference of Africa’s Development (TICAD7) concludes today. The event, which has grown into one of the largest Africa-focused international events, provided a platform for billions worth partnerships and transactions to be sealed. Among these newly formed agreements, the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), Japan’s export credit agency, also announced the launch of a Japan Desk, which will be housed by ATI in Nairobi. The two institutions committed to strengthening risk mitigation cover to entice more Japanese companies and investors to enter the African market. The Japan Desk will facilitate this process.
ATI also penned agreements in the form of MoUs with three of Japan’s leading banks –
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and Mizuho Bank. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) signed an earlier MoU with ATI. The agreements signal to the world that Japan views Africa as a strategic investment destination, which will also provide an opportunity for Japanese companies and investors to more effectively capitalize on the current opportunities in the fastest growing continent in the world.
In the last three years, ATI has provided insurance to protect some of Japan’s largest lenders against the risk of sovereign default on transactions that have collectively brought close to US$1Bn to the continent. Some of this financing has helped countries to reprofile short-term, and often pricey local currency debt, into longer-term and more affordable structures. The financing has also supported a wide range of priority sectors and, in the case of two ground-breaking capital markets transactions arranged by Japan’s largest bank, ATI-backed financing has facilitated the crowding-in of a new class of institutional investors to the continent.
With a strong pipeline of transactions valued at over US$1 Bn along with these strengthened partnerships, ATI expects to support many more Japanese exporters and banks in deals across Africa in the coming years.
Mr. John Lentaigne, Acting CEO, African Trade Insurance Agency:
Our participation at TICAD7 has yielded great results. We’re excited about the prospect of providing greater levels of risk mitigation to Japanese companies and financiers, which we see as key to unlocking even more Japanese investments into Africa.
Mr. Atsuo Kuroda, Chairman and CEO, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI):
“Establishing the cooperation framework between NEXI and ATI is one of the most fruitful outcome which we have achieved during TICAD7. We are very pleased to announce that “Japan Desk” will be set up in ATI, a reputable multilateral financial institution which has a great track record to support African projects so that Japanese companies can obtain easy access to the reliable risk mitigation solution provided by ATI. As I promised in the TICAD7 official side-event, NEXI will closely work with ATI to facilitate Japanese businesses in Africa.”
Mr. Christopher Marks, Managing Director, MUFG:
ATI has established itself as a singular force for risk mitigation in Africa, leveraging the authority of its supranational status to make possible highly efficient private-sector financing for strategic development projects across the continent. ATI is an unequalled partner for high order innovation in this space.
Mr. Hiroshi Nagamine, Managing Executive Officer, Head of EMEA, Mizuho Bank, Ltd:
The signing of this MOU is an expression of Mizuho’s strong will and desire to develop further our African business. Our strategy in building our regional footprint is to work closely with undoubted local parties. Counterparties that have excellent reputation, specialist expertise, deep regional know how and experience.
ATI is an absolutely ideal partner given its reputation both as a regional champion and also as an institution at the very forefront of creating sophisticated funding solutions to meet the ever more complex needs of entities doing business in Africa.
Signing this MOU will provide Mizuho better flexibility; by availing ourselves to ATI’s sophisticated funding solutions, we will be better able to support our clients in Africa.
Tetsuro Imaeda, Managing Executive Officer & Head of EMEA Division, SMBC:
Cooperating with local financial institutions in Africa is indispensable for us to expand our Africa business and respond to customer needs.
By signing this MoU between one of our most important partners in Africa, ATI, SMBC will be able to support our client’s business to Africa through a wide range of coverage of ATI in the continent and expects to further strengthen the existing strong relationship.
About The African Trade Insurance Agency:
Clarion confirm creation of ICE Africa Champions
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
Ahead of the second edition of ICE Africa (2-3 October, Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg) event organisers Clarion Gaming has launched a new initiative designed to champion key gaming jurisdictions on the continent.
The ICE Africa Champions who will endorse their respective territories and drive co-operation across all of the continent’s regulated gaming economies comprise: Colin Udoh, Nigerian journalist and sports television presenter; Dolan Beuthin, CEO, BestBet; John Kamara, co-founder of the Global Gaming Africa consultancy; Judy Kiragu, Director, GoldenKey Casino; Olafadeke Akeju, Senior Partner, WYS Solicitors; Nassim Randeree; Philippe Vlaemminck, Partner, Pharumlega; and, Yahaya Maikori Partner, Law Allianz.
ICE Africa Brand Ambassador John Kamara, one of the most respected thought leaders across the pan-African industry, has praised the initiative as ‘an important step towards securing gaming’s future throughout the continent’. “As an ICE Africa Champion myself I am already excited at the opportunities that this important and ground breaking initiative will deliver” he explained. “It is humbling to see such high profile pioneers from across the industry who, like myself, will showcase what each region has to offer and provide informed insights on the market.”
He continued: “Gaming is an extremely dynamic sector which is shaped by a combination of advances in technology, changing demographics and, of course, regulation. ICE Africa represents an invaluable opportunity to cooperate and share knowledge and experience to better answer the question of how the various markets will develop and their likely direction of travel in the coming years. The ICE Africa Champions will work alongside the team at Clarion to identify, research and advise on industry topics and data to ensure the most up-to-date information is available to all ICE Africa visitors when the industry convenes in October.”
ICE Africa will feature a two stream conference comprising 60+ expert thought-leaders, regulators, investors and operators from both the pan-African and international gaming industry. The content-rich learning programme has been curated with the objective of driving the socially responsible advancement of gaming across the continent.
For more information on all of the opportunities available at gaming’s only B2B pan-African event and to register, visit: www.iceafrica.za.com
British Ambassador commends Azuri’s next-generation energy in Africa
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
Yokohama, Japan, 30 August 2019: The British Ambassador to Japan today threw the spotlight on Azuri Technologies and on next-generation off-grid energy being key to economic development in Africa, during his visit to TICAD7, the long-standing Japanese summit aimed at driving trade and investment to African economies.
Azuri, the pay-as-you-go solar pioneer, last month announced a $26 million capital equity investment led by Marubeni which are among the prominent Japanese corporations at TICAD this year showcasing the latest technology and services supporting one of the fastest-growing populations and economies in the world.
Since launching in 2012, Azuri is one of the leading providers of pay-as-you-go solar power lighting and TV systems, operating in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Nigeria.
Attending the conference, Paul Madden the UK’s Ambassador to Japan commented: “Pioneering collaborations between Japanese and British companies, such as the one between Azuri and Marubeni will further accelerate the availability of digital technology across the whole of Africa and increase the speed of progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goal of universal access to energy.”
The British Embassy recently commissioned research, “Off-grid electricity in Africa”, demonstrating the need for more action and investment in this sector and highlighted the positive work of UK companies such as Azuri.
“Azuri is delighted to represent on the global stage the depth of Britain’s talent and innovation and demonstrate how renewable energy solutions developed by the UK is helping to change the lives and livelihoods of millions currently without access to energy across Africa,” commented Simon Bransfield-Garth, CEO of Azuri Technologies.
From home lighting to satellite TV, Azuri-designed solutions deliver world-class performance and life-changing technology at an affordable price for off-grid customers who live away from mains power.
Azuri’s vision is to create a level playing field where all African consumers can access and benefit from the digital economy, wherever they live.
- A recent survey from the global off-grid solar industry association GOGLA shows 58% of East African households with off-grid solar systems undertake more work and enterprise thanks to clean, affordable, electricity. The study also shows households with solar make an average additional $35 per month, more than 50% of monthly GDP per capita.
- Azuri has uniquely combined cutting-edge solar innovation, mobile payment technology and machine-learning technology into a small, affordable systems that enable off-grid families, without access to mains electricity, to generate clean and reliable power for their home.
- Customers have a stand-alone solar system in their house, with a panel, control unit including batteries and consumer devices such as LED lights, rechargeable radio and television. The system is paid for in small increments and once fully paid, the system is owned by the household and all power generated is free of charge to them.
- The Marubeni capital injection in Azuri will help millions across Africa access clean, affordable and reliable energy.
About Azuri Technologies Ltd.
Azuri Technologies is a leading provider of affordable pay-as-you-go solar home systems to off-grid consumers across Africa. Combining the latest solar innovation and mobile payment technology, Azuri delivers reliable, renewable and distributed power to the millions who have no access to modern powered services. Azuri operates in five key territories; Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda with East Africa Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and West Africa Headquarters in Lagos, Nigeria.
For more information, please visit: www.azuri-technologies.com
Elumelu Challenges Japan – “Partner with us in Empowering African Entrepreneurs”
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
Mr. Elumelu’s statement captured his vision of a relationship between Japan and Africa, which prioritises economic and shared prosperity
TOKYO, Japan, August 30, 2019/ — Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator Praises Tony Elumelu’s Private-Sector Led Approach to African Development; President of South Africa, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa: “If you want really good returns, as Tony Elumelu said, come to Africa”; Elumelu Champions Job Creation in Africa at Breakfast Meeting with President of Rwanda and UNICEF Executive Director.
In an impassioned keynote speech, delivered before global leaders, at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama, Japan, African investor and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu CON, challenged the Government of Japan to invest 5% of its $50billion commitment to Africa, in empowering African entrepreneurs.
“At TICAD 2016 in Kenya, Japan pledged $30billion for Africa. This year you have generously increased this to $50 billion. If we invested just 5% in Africa’s new generation of entrepreneurs, following my Foundation’s robust, proven model of getting capital directly to those best placed to catalyse growth and create real impact, we could touch 500,000 lives, across the 54 African countries, broadening markets, facilitating job creation, improving income per capita, and laying the key foundation for political and economic stability”, said Mr. Elumelu.
Mr. Elumelu’s statement captured his vision of a relationship between Japan and Africa, which prioritises economic and shared prosperity. He outlined the three key pillars of a bold and transformative structure: investment in infrastructure, partnership with the African private sector, and investment in Africa’s youth.
He urged Japan to learn from the example of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (https://www.TonyElumeluFoundation.org/), which champions empowering African entrepreneurs, as the most sustainable means of accelerating the development of Africa. The Tony Elumelu Foundation, in just five years has assisted over 7,500 African entrepreneurs across every African country, with seed capital, capacity building, mentorship and networking opportunities through its $100 million Entrepreneurship Programme.
Elumelu’s advice carried the weight of his track record of business success, founding Africa’s global bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), which has grown its presence to 20 African countries, as well as in the United Kingdom, France, and the USA; and Heirs Holdings, Africa’s private investment company which actively invests in key sectors of Africa’s economy and controls millions of dollars in its investment portfolio. Together, they employ over 30,000 people and transform the communities they operate in.
“Africa is one of the world’s viable destinations for investment. Our huge population, of nearly 1.3 billion people, creates one of the most attractive markets anywhere in the world. The world is paying close attention to Africa, but is Japan at the centre of this conversation or is it on the sidelines?” he queried.
Mr. Elumelu’s philosophy has become increasingly popular on the African continent, where he is acknowledged as the pioneer of a private-sector-led approach to accelerating development. He repeated the message at the Generation Unlimited breakfast meeting with H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and UNICEF Executive Director, Henrietta Fore, with its focus on job creation in Africa, where he emphasised the role the African youth plays in this narrative.
President of South Africa and Co-Chair, TICAD, H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa corroborated Mr. Elumelu’s stance. He said: “If you want really good returns, as Mr. Tony Elumelu said, come to Africa. Africa presents risk-adjusted returns and is a market in which investments are flowing at a hundred billion dollars – that is the new profile of Africa that is being presented to the world.”
Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator praised Tony Elumelu’s Private-Sector led approach to development in Africa. He said: “I want to refer to my dear friend and colleague Tony Elumelu because he alluded to the vital role that business can also play in investing in the future of the youth. These are the kinds of partnerships that will drive business and development agenda to very different heights in the future”.
Speaking on the potential of the African continent, Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan said: “In Africa, some countries have joined top nations in the ranking on the ease of doing business. The scale of the market continues to expand. We can envision a day when the entire continent of Africa becomes an enormous economic zone.”
Organised by the Japanese Government, TICAD is a three-yearly forum for advancing Africa’s development through people, technology, and innovation, bringing together government, business leaders, companies and other stakeholders. The event hosted Presidents and private sector leaders including Prime Minister Shinzō Abe of Japan; H.E. Mr. Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria; H.E. Mr. Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, President of Egypt and Chair of the African Union (AU); H.E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa; and H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda and a host of other African Presidents.
Africa’s investment potential
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
With a population of over a billion people, rapid urbanisation and accelerating economic growth, the African market presents a valuable proposition for Japanese investors. Key to maximising the benefits of this investment, is being able to identify the correct opportunities. Standard Bank has been at the forefront of major developments across Africa. Among the key growth sectors that have been identified is oil and gas.
A string of successful exploration projects over the last decade has seen the number of African countries with proven oil and gas reserves rise to 28, thanks to new discoveries in Ghana, Niger, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Mauritania and South Africa. The investment required to bring these countries onstream will add further impetus to Africa’s oil consumption, which at 4 million barrels a day already significantly exceeds the continent’s 2.1 million barrels of daily refinery output. Africa’s oil and gas sector is once again attracting investment from exploration companies and refiners following a prolonged break sparked by a slump in oil prices.
Standard Bank is one of the largest oil and gas lenders in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the last three years we have been engaged in several million-dollar deals in Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique. We have acted as mandated lead arranger, bookrunner, facility and security agent, and onshore bank for several international players in the industry.
We been involved in Mozambique’s gas sector since the early 2000s. The game-changing nature of Mozambique’s offshore gas opportunities offers major opportunities for investors. Mozambique’s resources are huge, with a 150 Trillion Cubic Feet of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) reserves, equivalent to 24 billion barrels of oil. The process of transforming those resources into individual LNG and Domgas requires an immense amount of investment. Our general assumption is that around USD128 billion needs to be spent between 2017-2025.
The Coral Floating LNG project is currently under construction and is envisaged to produce its first gas in July 2022. Standard Bank was the only African bank at Financial Close. The FID for Area 1 was approved on 18 June and has kickstarted development in Mozambique. With over 5 000 workers on site, Area 1 is responsible for constructing support facilities to be shared with Area 4, such as the Materials Offloading Facility and LNG Marine Terminal, as well a resettlement camp, airstrip and highway amongst other developments.
An independent macroeconomic study of Area 4’s Rovuma liquified natural gas project indicated that it is expected to attract between USD 27 and 32 billion in investment. This will drive Mozambique to become the world’s fourth largest producer of LNG, and add between USD 15 to 18 billion to the country’s GDP. The Final Investment Decision for Area 4 is expected in October this year. Expressed another way, once this is approved, the Afungi Site in Northern Mozambique will become the world’s most expensive piece of real estate, attracting USD 55 billion in investment.
The process of developing LNG plants will automatically provide opportunities for multiple industrial, tertiary as well as service-based companies, some of which may need to establish a local presence to serve these plants.
“Beyond the hard infrastructure, entire new urban centres and the populations that they will house, feed, clothe, educate, entertain and provide with services represent a huge opportunity for a highly diversified industrial and services sector,” says Rob Cleasby, Global Head, Financial Institutions Group, Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking.
Another opportunity is developing in East Africa, whose highly diversified economies are growing northwards of 6% in a highly integrated regional market, that is attracting significant levels of Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”). The development of the Uganda-Tanzania pipeline has further spurred FDI, with an expected capex spend of US$25 billion over the next 5-7 years. Upstream, midstream and downstream projects are expected to propel the region’s economy from its current US$175 billion to US$400 billion by 2028.
Opportunities are also opening up for private infrastructure investors in public-private partnerships (PPPs). Unlike government-to-government projects which often exclude smaller and local players, PPPs generally focus on commercially viable projects with strong, cash-generative, business cases. These projects are also highly reliant on domestic and other foreign business involvement, support, supply, operation and outsourcing.
“Businesses across nearly all sectors have the opportunity to partner with well-capitalised East African firms needing increasingly advanced technical skills and knowledge to grow,” says Carl Henriksen, Head: Japanese Corporates, Client Coverage at Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking.
As Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank, is ideally placed to deliver on its purpose of “Africa is our home. We drive her growth.” With a local presence in 20 markets across the continent, and a history spanning over 156 years, we are the ideal partner to assist Japanese clients negotiate the intricacies of doing business in Africa.
About Standard Bank Group
Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets with a unique footprint across 20 African countries. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, we are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with share code SBK, and the Namibian Stock Exchange, share code SNB.
Standard Bank has a 156-year history in South Africa and started building a franchise outside southern Africa in the early 1990s.
Our strategic position, which enables us to connect Africa to other select emerging markets as well as pools of capital in developed markets, and our balanced portfolio of businesses, provide significant opportunities for growth.
The group has over 53 000 employees, approximately 1 200 branches and over 9 000 ATMs on the African continent, which enable it to deliver a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management.
Headline earnings for 2018 were R27.9 billion (about USD2.1 billion) and total assets were R2.1 trillion (about USD148 billion). Standard Bank’s market capitalisation at 31 December 2018 was R289 billion (USD20 billion).
The group’s largest shareholder is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20,1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade and deal flow between Africa, China and select emerging markets.
For further information, go to http://www.standardbank.com
Nigeria: NNPC, Total to Grow Nigeria’s Oil Production through partnership
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Teslim Olawore
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Total Nigeria have expressed their readiness to work together to grow daily crude oil and gas production and reserves to meet the national target of 40 billion barrels.
Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, and Mike Sangster, the Managing Director of Total Nigeria, made the commitment during a visit by Total top management to the NNPC Towers in Abuja.
According to a statement by Ndu Ughamadu, the spokesperson for the corporation, Mr Kyari, said that Total Nigeria was one of NNPC’s most important partners with visible outcomes.
“Total Nigeria in the last five years has very visible outcomes that we have seen and I assure you that we will work together to progress all efforts to grow production and national reserves.
“Also, I want to put on record that your downstream company has been very supportive in the supply of gasoline into our country,” he said.
He assured Total Nigeria of very transparent and accountable relationship with acceptable frameworks.
Earlier, Mr Sangster expressed Total’s firm belief in the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its readiness to deploy solutions to the challenges facing the industry.
“Total Nigeria will build on recent progress in many areas such as cash-call arrears and our long-standing partnership.
“In partnership with NNPC, the company has developed the last three Floating Production Storage Offloading’s (FPSOs) in Nigeria and wants to build on this,” he said.
Ayuk Receives Praise for His Chapter on the U.S. and Africa in ‘Billions at Play’
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
|Ayuk has devoted Chapter 17 of Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy to the U.S. and Africa, along with America’s potential to bolster Africa’s journey to a brighter future|
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 28, 2019/ — The latest book by leading African energy attorney NJ Ayuk describes the steps he’d like Africans to take to realize the full potential of the continent’s vast petroleum resources. Part of that process, Ayuk writes, should be continued efforts to keep American oil and gas companies in Africa.
Ayuk has devoted Chapter 17 of Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy to the U.S. and Africa, along with America’s potential to bolster Africa’s journey to a brighter future.
“International oil and gas companies are sometimes associated with Africa’s so-called ‘resource curse,’ but in reality, they have a key part to play in helping Africa turn things around,” said H. Daniel Hogan, an industry executive with over 38 years of experience much of it in Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Namibia, Egypt and Ghana.
“They can do that by hiring from the extremely talented African labor market and procuring services from the local sectors and, even more so, by sharing information and technology,” added Hogan, who currently serves as CEO and General Manager of Lukoil International Upstream West, the Russian multinational energy corporation.
“NJ Ayuk is right to call upon African governments to do their share in making Africa appealing to American exploration and production companies.”
Hogan noted that he also appreciates the book’s detailed analysis of the risks and rewards associated with exploration activities in Africa. “I hope American companies will see that Africa still has a lot to offer in terms of economic returns” he said.
NJ Ayuk is founder and CEO of Pan-African corporate law conglomerate, Centurion Law Group (https://CenturionLG.com/); Founder and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/); and co-author of Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (2017).
He is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today.
Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy will be published by October 2019.
For more information about the book, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @BilliondAtPlay.
Noble Energy Makes New Equatorial Guinea Petroleum Discovery
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
|Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) is pleased to announce that U.S. oil and gas company Noble Energy has made a discovery in offshore Block I|
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, August 27, 2019/ — Noble Energy makes oil discovery in Block I, located in Equatorial Guinea’s offshore sector; The well was drilled to a total depth of 4,417 meters and is expected to produce first oil in October 2019; As a champion of oil and gas development in Africa, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima will lead the conversation on the future of natural gas on the continent at the Africa Oil & Power event in Cape Town on October 9-11 2019.
Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) is pleased to announce that U.S. oil and gas company Noble Energy has made a discovery in offshore Block I.
The Aseng 6P well was drilled to a total depth of 4,417 meters. Noble is currently in the process of completing the 400-meter horizontal section of the well and, using existing Aseng field infrastructure, is expected to produce oil from October 2019.
“We are excited to announce this discovery which could not have come at a more opportune time. We have been dedicated to developing our resources to build a better economy and create opportunities for our people and, it seems we are gaining momentum,” said Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima.
He added that: “It’s always been our firm belief that our country is relatively underexplored. When companies drill offshore Equatorial Guinea, their likelihood for a discovery is real. Noble Energy and partners are longtime friends of Equatorial Guinea and it is only fitting that we should build on our oil and gas development efforts with them right by our side. This is great news for our economy, jobs creation and local content development.”
The Aseng field consists of five subsea wells connected to a FPSO vessel. With a 40 percent interest, Noble Energy is operator. Other partners include Atlas Petroleum (29 percent), Glencore Exploration (25 percent) and Gunvor (6 percent).
This year, Equatorial Guinea kicked off its endeavor to become Africa’s premier gas hub with the signing of definitive agreements with the Alen field partners and Punta Europa Plant owners to monetize gas from the Noble Energy-operated Alen field – a project known as the Gas Megahub.
As the country develops its gas resources, Minister Obiang Lima said earlier this year that it was also targeting a final agreement on its 2007 joint deal with Cameroon to develop gas condensate discoveries Yoyo and Yolanda on their maritime border.
Minister Obiang Lima alongside Antonio Oburu, General Director of Equatorial Guinea’s national oil company GEPetrol, will lead a delegation of companies active in Equatorial Guinea to the Africa Oil & Power Conference and Exhibition in Cape Town, South Africa on October 9-11 2019. Joining the minister will be BANGE, Centurion Law Group, Noble Energy, Marathon Oil, Golden Swan, Baker Hughes, Kosmos Energy, Trident Energy, Tullow Oil, Elite Construcciones, Schlumberger, NAHSCO, Hexagon and NALCO Champion.
Mobile Casinos As Potential Business Opportunities In Africa
August 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
Over the years there have been a lot of stories written about the potential for different mobile industries’ growth in Africa. At one point it was merely the idea that mobile tech in general might take off around the continent; at another, we heard a great deal about the idea of wearables having similar potential. In more recent years, more specific mobile technologies and applications, such as the use of cryptocurrency and banking services, have garnered attention.
The reason that these type of rumors and stories are so persistent is because of the underlying, pure potential for vast numbers of people to join the mobile market with each passing year. Back in 2017, analyses forecasted half a billion mobile users by 2020 across the continent, and while that number will still go up from there in the future, it’s already enough to make the African mobile market an extremely significant one. That means that, certainly, a mobile trend such as cryptocurrency always has the potential to take off among African users. Here, though, we’re looking to something more established and less trendy, in the traditional sense, with the suggestion that mobile casinos could be among the next major mobile business opportunities in Africa.
One reason that this is the case is the combination of that forecasted growth in the mobile market with the fact that some of the densest population centers on the continent have fairly open gambling laws. Countries like Kenya and Nigeria are leaders on this front, allowing licensed online gambling platforms to operate, and collecting tax benefits as a result. Though there are also some countries lagging behind in this regard (South Africa most notably, despite the legality of its land-based casinos), it’s clear that a significant portion of those half-billion-and-counting mobile users will have the ability to participate in casino businesses.
One potential hitch is that most of those businesses right now are going to be operated by providers beyond African borders. That’s not to say there aren’t some Africa-based mobile casino and gambling platforms, but far and away the most visible and appealing sites and apps in this category hail from just a few major development and hosting hubs elsewhere in the world. Whether someone is playing in the UK or browsing the best reviewed sites in New Zealand, or anywhere in between, it’s the same platforms that tend to show up. And most of them are operated in Europe.
This doesn’t mean national governments can’t tax online gambling activity, but it does mean that even if casino gaming takes off in Africa, it will do so largely through foreign businesses. At the same time however, this introduces some opportunity for tech innovators around the continent. While there are thoroughly established providers dominating this space, there’s also nothing stopping an African developer from getting in on the action with a new site or app – provided the proper licensing and security measures are in place.
We might consider also that much of Africa has also shown potential in what could be one of the next driving forces in the digital casino space: virtual reality. VR has made significant gains across the continent, and though this is mostly thanks to tourism and advertising, it also positions African tech markets well to adapt to what may soon be cutting-edge changes in online gambling. That is to say, if VR casinos are the next big iteration of this whole business, an African tech industry and consumer market familiar with virtual reality in general will be positioned to pounce on the related opportunities.
Consider all of the above and it’s clear that casino gaming should be considered yet another area of interest within mobile tech with significant potential in African markets. If even some of this comes to pass, there will be a great deal of revenue and activity to show for it.