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African Energy Chamber | African Energy Outlook 2020
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

The African Energy Chamber is set to release its African Energy Outlook for 2020

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 25, 2019/ — What is the African Energy Outlook 2020?

  • A comprehensive overview of the oil and gas sector across sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on the strategic, operational and investment trends in the industry.


Key insights

  • Strategic: The low oil price environment is forcing African producers to sharpen their competitive edge. Several governments, including Angola, Gabon, and Cameroon, have implemented reforms. Nigeria could be next. There are at least six announced oil projects in that west African country with a combined output potential of 837,000 bpd and CAPEX of $54 billion which could be brought on-stream over the next decade. A favourable regulatory and fiscal environment are essential to delivering that investment. IMO 2020 regulations will yield increased Asian demand for west African crude. Nearly 75 percent of the 461,000 bpd of heavy sweet crude ideal for producing low-sulphur bunker fuels is made in west Africa, according to ClipperData.
  • Production: The Outlook includes production forecasts for 21 Sub-Saharan African countries from 2019 to 2025, produced by Global Data. Total oil and gas production is expected to increase by nearly 28 percent to 8.1 mmboe/d, by 2025. Nigeria and Angola will continue to dominate but their share of regional production will fall by more than one fifth (to 58 percent) during this period, a shift driven in part by significantly increased output from Mozambique, Senegal/Mauritania and Tanzania.
  • Investment: The Outlook profiles over 40 post- and pre-FID oil and gas projects across sub-Saharan Africa. There are currently nine oil projects under construction across the region with a combined peak production total of 256,000 bpd and investment of $16.2 billion. A further eight gas projects are also under construction, with combined CAPEX of $44 billion and peak production capacity of 3,650 mmcf/d.
  • Rise of African Gas: African producers are positioning themselves to maximise from a gas boom expected for the next decade. East Africa could see $60 billion worth of investment and 25.2 mtpa of LNG production capacity sanctioned by IOCs in 2020. Chinese investment in Ethiopia and Djibouti is also opening a new frontier for gas production.
  • Twenty Five Leaders to Watch in African Energy: As part of the AEC’s mission to build bridges between key industry stakeholders, the Outlook includes an insider’s list of the top 25 leaders to watch. The list includes industry executives, ministers and financiers who will shape African oil and gas in the coming years.
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Getting women in the driver’s seat of Africa’s agribusiness revolution
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

More African female agripreneurs must be supported to grow and progressively transition into the business segments of agricultural value chains which are most profitable

By Mariam Yinusa and Edward Mabaya*

Monica Musonda, CEO of Zambian food processing company Java Foods ,  certainly faced hurdles in her rise to the top, but she overcame them.

“Although the barriers to entry for women can be frustrating, they are often basic and relatively easy to resolve,” she said, playing down her struggles. “My climb up the agribusiness ladder has been challenging but definitely worthwhile.”

Musonda, whose company produces affordable and nutritious food snacks made from local ingredients, is one of just a handful of female agripreneurs who have successfully broken through the proverbial glass ceiling in Africa’s agribusiness  industry.

Women are the backbone of Africa’s agricultural sector. From farm to fork, African women are players along the entire agricultural value chain, be it as farmers, livestock breeders, processors, traders, workers, entrepreneurs or consumers. While their influence on the continent’s growing agribusiness industry is undeniable, more solutions are needed to address the gender-specific challenges they face to boost their participation.

The average African woman is a budding entrepreneur either by choice or by circumstance. According to the  Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Women’s Report 2016/17 , the continent has the highest percentage of female entrepreneurs in the world, with one in four women starting or managing a business. The agribusiness industry is often the natural focus of this entrepreneurial drive.

Across the continent, women dominate as primary processors post-harvest, as traders with bustling market stalls, as owners of fast food restaurants and with increasingly frequency as manufacturers of packaged ready-to-eat food products. Yet despite this dynamism, female-led agribusinesses tend to remain small, fragmented and informal in nature. They struggle to sustain and scale-up their agribusinesses into well-organized profitable enterprises.

Admittedly, the challenging business environment in many African countries including poor infrastructure and unreliable legal and regulatory systems affects all business activities of both men and women. However, in addition women-led businesses must also grapple with a number of gender-specific constraints, inhibiting their expansion into more lucrative market segments.

Firstly, African women often lack the technical know-how.  Despite the gains in female education on the continent, highly productive agribusinesses require specialized vocational and technical skills in fields such as food safety, food conservation, packaging and product certification which many African women do not readily possess.

Access to finance is the most frequently cited obstacle by African SMEs. Women entrepreneurs face multiple difficulties in securing funding mainly due to lack of collateral in the form of land and other tangible assets and a high-risk perception. According to the African Development Bank, an estimated $42 billion financing gap exists for African women across business value chains, including $15.6 billion in agriculture alone. Women are forced to rely on personal savings and family loans which are rarely enough to fund their businesses to scale.

Thirdly, socio-cultural barriers and stereotypes persist. African women remain the primary caregivers in families meaning that managing those responsibilities while growing a thriving business can become a difficult balancing act.

Over the last two decades, many governments and development institutions have rolled out programs to promote access to finance, agricultural inputs and provide technical support and business training to female agripreneurs. The African Development Bank recently set up the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) , a bold pan-African initiative to bridge the financing gap facing women. It adopts a three-pronged approach centered on improving access to finance, providing technical assistance and strengthening the enabling environment.

It often takes very little to make a difference. The capital injection required by the majority of female led SME agribusinesses on the continent is typically less than $50,000. And women have consistently proven to be more credit-worthy than men, usually paying back loans within agreed timeframes. Successful solutions by women for women such as microfinance and saving groups, peer-to-peer training and information sharing should also be reinforced and taken to scale.

More of such initiatives are urgently needed across the continent. Solutions must be based on in-depth engagement with the women business owners themselves to properly understand their frustrations and needs. Tailored programs designed to specifically address these pain points are critical. The Global Gender Summit  is a timely opportunity to drive this forward.

Women are central for Africa’s agricultural transformation to be successful, sustainable and inclusive. More African female agripreneurs must be supported to grow and progressively transition into the business segments of agricultural value chains which are most profitable. It has been proven time and time again that when African women thrive the entire society shares in those dividends.

*Mariam Yinusa and Edward Mabaya are Principal Economist and Manager, respectively, in the Agribusiness Development Division of the African Development Bank.


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Gender equality: It’s time for disruption, time to shatter the status quo, we can’t afford to wait!
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments
Vanessa Moungar, Director of Gender, Women and Civil Society
Vanessa Moungar, Director of Gender, Women and Civil Society

Women make up over 40% of African business owners yet only 2% are able to access finance according to a Mckinsey report
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, November 22, 2019/ — By Vanessa Moungar, Director of Gender, Women and Civil Society

If you are a gender champion, then you are familiar with the discussions around the glass cliff.  The story of women eager to defy the odds, accepting leadership roles at times of crisis, when the chance of failure is the highest. The truth is that many bold glass cliff climbers have succeeded without falling off.

Two of such champions come to my mind: the former Xerox CEO Anne Mulcah and Tokunboh Ishmael, co-founder of Aliethiea IDF.

Mulcah, Ishmael and likeminded agents of change have already shattered the status quo. So, when the first Global Gender Summit held in Africa kicks off on November 25th in Kigali, Rwanda, the international community will hurtle towards heeding the calls to dismantle barriers to women’s full participation and advancement economic development on the continent.

Women make up over 40% of African business owners yet only 2% are able to access finance according to a Mckinsey report. One in four women globally who start in a business come from Africa (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor).

The Summit, organised by the Multilateral Development Banks’ (MDBs) Working Group on gender, will be held in Africa for the first time ever, from the 25th to 27th November 2019 in Kigali, Rwanda. This year’s summit is hosted by the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) in partnership with the Government of Rwanda and supported by other multilateral development banks as key partners.

Under the theme “Unpacking constraints to gender equality,” the Global Gender Summit will share best practices and seek innovative solutions that can be harnessed to empower women and girls in Africa and around the world.

We are excited to be bringing the world to Rwanda, a country that has set a strong example when it comes to promoting women’s rights and representation.

Rwanda was the first country in the world with a female majority in parliament, currently at 67.5 %, following October parliamentary polls. Out of a total parliamentary membership of 80, women occupy 54 seats. This feat puts the nation ahead of even the most developed nations.

From the massive financing gap for women-led enterprises, inadequate data, laws and cultural norms that negatively affect women, to a lack of representation in business and politics, the challenges are great.

But the opportunities are there too.

Discussions will focus on the main barriers to achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment, namely: scaling up innovative financing, fostering an enabling environment and ensuring women’s participation and voices. Sectors to be addressed will include climate change, the digital revolution, private sector and human capital and productive employment.

In Africa, women-led enterprises face a whopping $42 billion financing gap. One of the Bank’s flagship gender-focused projects is its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA), which seeks to accelerate growth and employment creation across African economies, by closing the financing gap for women.

Over the next 5 years, AFAWA is expected to unlock $3 billion in private sector financing to empower female entrepreneurs through capacity-building development, access to finance as well as policy, legal and regulatory reforms to support enterprises led by women.

Our Fashionomics Africa initiative supports the African textiles and fashion industries by building the capacities of small and medium-sized enterprises in the textile and clothing sector, especially those run by women and youth. By using technology as a driver for the development of skills and capacity in Africa’s creative industries, the African Development Bank aims to stimulate job creation on the continent. At the summit, we will unveil an innovative online marketplace for designers across the continent.

That’s just some of the exciting news. We will use the opportunity of the Global Gender Summit to launch a number of initiatives to dramatically transform the landscape of access to finance for women across the continent.

These include the Africa Gender Index- a joint African Development Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) report that assesses African countries on gender equality.


The launch of the AFAWA/AGF Risk Sharing Facility, which will de-risk lending to women through AGF’s partial, guarantees to financial institutions and its capacity development to women entrepreneurs.

As well as these continent-wide initiatives, we at the African Development Bank understand that change begins at home. That is why in 2018, the Bank rolled out its gender marker system to process, monitor, and promote gender mainstreaming in all its operations, with gender specialists as part of project teams and Bank operations.

By the end of last year, 40% of public sector Bank operations had been organised under the gender marker system, a major shift in the Bank’s way of doing business and commitment to gender mainstreaming.

We continue to support and build the individual power of girls and women across the countries we work in and never has the time been more urgent.

We expect the Global Gender Summit, to be a milestone event in the empowerment of women in Africa and beyond.  See you there.
* This year’s Global Gender Summit, is hosted by the African Development Bank in partnership with the Government of Rwanda and supported by other multilateral development banks as key partners.

*AFDB
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2019 conference on land policy in Africa: why it matters for the continent
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Cosmas Milton Ochieng *

Ochieng
Ochieng
The theme of this year’s Conference on Land Policy in Africa is “Winning the fight against corruption in the land sector in Africa
ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, November 22, 2019/ — Cosmas Milton Ochieng, an expert in natural resource governance and economic development in Africa, is the Director of the African Natural Resource Centre at the African Development Bank (https://www.AfDB.org).

In collaboration with the African Union Commission and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank will host the 3rd Edition of the Conference on Land Policy in Africa in Abidjan from 25 to 29 November 2019.

In this interview, Ochieng shares key insights into why the conference matters for Africa.

Why does the 2019 Conference on Land Policy in Africa matter?

This conference matters for Africa because land is central to social, economic and political development in Africa. Land in Africa is not simply an economic or an environmental asset. It is also a social and cultural resource. It was at the heart of many anti-colonial movements on the continent. It remains an important factor in the construction of social identity and the organization of the religious, cultural and economic lives of many African communities.

Africa is home to 60 percent of the world’s unutilized but potentially available cropland. In 30 years, about half the world’s agricultural land will come from Africa. How Africa manages its land is therefore critical to its future social, economic and environmental well-being.

This conference explores the ways in which Africa can harness its land resources for its accelerated sustainable development.

What is the role of the African Development Bank and how can it help enhance transparency and accountability in land governance?

The African Development Bank is a co-founding anchor of the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC). The ALPC is a joint initiative of the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission (AUC) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).  The ALPC facilitates and coordinates the implementation of policy goals outlined in the AU Agenda on Land. The biennial land conference is one of the flagship activities of the ALPC.

In addition to its technical support to the ALPC, the African Development Bank supports the implementation of the African Union Agenda on sound land administration, management and governance, including transparency and accountability through the work of its various departments.

The African Development Bank, through its Ten-year Strategy (2013-2022) and its High 5 priorities, invests in its regional member countries to help maximize development outcomes derived from land.

The Bank also provides independent advice and technical assistance to countries to ensure sustainable development and management of land.

For instance, the African Natural Resources Centre at the Bank generates knowledge and provides institutional capacity building and strategic guidance on land administration and governance, investment and planning.  Over the last five years, the African Natural Resources Centre has worked very closely with the government of Liberia to help the build capacity of the Liberia Land Commission, and to help review the National Land Rights Policy and the  Alternate Dispute Resolution Mechanism. In Togo, the African Natural Resources Centre worked with the government to help facilitate a national dialogue on the country’s draft land policy and codes.

In Botswana, Rwanda, Malawi, Burundi, Tanzania, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria,  Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal, the African Natural Resources Centre has conducted studies aimed at informing the review of land tenure systems.  In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the African Natural Resources Centre has just initiated a pilot project on Farmer Registration and Land Digitalization (FRLD). The Farmer Registration and Land Digitalization Model was developed by the Bank’s own Statistics Department and seeks to enhance land registration, transparency and accountability.


How does the theme of the conference align with the African Union Declaration of 2018 as Africa’s Anti-Corruption Year?

The theme of this year’s Conference on Land Policy in Africa is “Winning the fight against corruption in the land sector in Africa”. This theme supports the AU designation of 2018 as the year of anti-corruption.

This theme also highlights the Bank’s commitment to sound governance, transparency and accountability in African natural resource governance and is consistent with the Bank’s governance policy and work on combating corruption and illicit trade in the African natural resource sector.

What are the expectations for this year’s conference?

This year’s conference seeks to enhance commitment to capacity strengthening for land policy development and administration in Africa through improved access to knowledge on combatting corruption in the land sector. The conference also seeks to enhance partnerships and networks and to mobilize resources for promoting good governance in the African land sector.
*AFDB
 

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Al-Sumait Prize Board of Trustees announced joint winners for the US$1million prestigious award in the 2019 cycle in the field of food security in recognition of their exemplary work in agriculture development in the African continent
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments
Al Sumait Board of Trustees & Staff Nov Meeting

KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait, November 25, 2019/ — Following consideration of the jury and selection committees’ reports, the Board of Trustees of the Al Sumait Prize for African Development has decided to jointly award the Million Dollar 2019 Prize in the field of food security to:

Professor Daniel Gustafson (FAO)
Professor Daniel Gustafson (FAO)

The Africa Rice Center (Based in Cote d’ivoire)

for its important role in enhancing food security in Africa, including the production of new rice varieties vitamin A enriched-rice with high yielding and climate-resilient and leading of pan-African rice research organization committed to improving livelihoods in Africa through strong science and effective partnerships devoted to improving the rice economy in Africa and is part of a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Through their applied research and education programs, the Center is building the next generation of professionals in rice and food research in Africa.

Pan Africa Bean Research Alliance (PABRA) (Nairobi)

for serving a dynamic network of scientists and practitioners specializing in improving the productivity, processing, and the value chain of beans throughout AfricaThe Alliance works along the continuum of innovative research to effective adoption and sustainable management of small farmers enterprises. PABRA has increased the integration of the important legume component in farming systems, which is important to improve soil fertility, enhance nutritional quality, and serve as a resilient driver in dryland and drought prone environments.

Professor Stefania Giannini (UNESCO)
Professor Stefania Giannini (UNESCO)

An initiative of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al- Sabah, the Amir of the State of Kuwait, which provides the annual million dollar, the Prize honors the late Dr Abdulrahman Al Sumait, a Kuwaiti doctor who dedicated his life to addressing the health challenges confronting Africa.

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Global Gender Summit 2019: African leaders take on the responsibility to urgently close the gender gap
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

‘There is no template to follow…we (women) can deliver but we can deliver differently” – President Sahle-Work Zewde, President of Ethiopia

‘We are making sure that narrowing this gender gap is everyone’s responsibility,’ President Paul Kagame of Rwanda

“This discrimination is political, economic and social; it is politically incorrect, unjustifiable socially.’ – Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat

‘ A smarter world must invest in women and girls. Let’s be smart and let’s be wise. Women are the best investment any society can make,’ Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank Group

The 2019 Global Gender Summit, the first to be held on the continent, kicked off on Monday with a strong call to surge ahead on gender issues and move from commitment to action.

Africa’s only female President, Sahle-Work Zewde  of Ethiopia, said Ethiopia’s parliament is one of the only two on the continent with over 50% gender parity in seats, and women currently hold key ministerial roles in defense and national security for the first time. Despite her own country’s huge advances, however, the work has just started, she said.

Zewde was speaking during the opening plenary of the Global Gender Summit, a biennial event organized by the multilateral development banks (MDBs), bringing together leaders from government, development institutions, private sector, civil society, and academia.

The Summit is taking place in Kigali Rwanda from 25th to November 27th.

“There is good momentum for women and African women, but the work has just started…‘There is no template to follow…we (women) can deliver, but we can deliver differently,” President Zewde said.

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, who officially opened the Summit, described gender equality as “real commonsense.”  Rwanda leads the word in gender representation in parliament with 61% of its parliamentarians being women — the highest in the world. In addition, half of all ministerial positions are held by women, just like in Ethiopia.

“We got it from the beginning that there is a lot of work to do…made investments to ensure that women are at the center of development. We are making sure that narrowing this gender gap is everyone’s responsibility,’ President Kagame said.

Echoing their sentiments, Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat said the African Union’s Agenda 2063 was deliberate about gender parity.

“What we are telling our heads of states is to take the bull by the horns…This discrimination is political, economic, and social; it is politically incorrect, unjustifiable socially…not to take (gender) into account is a real waste.”

In Africa, 70% of women are excluded financially. The continent has a $42 billion financing gap between men and women. And women, who are the majority of farmers, face a financing gap of close to $16 billion.

“The challenges are not just about gender. They are about under-representation and lack of empowerment of women,” African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said.

“A smarter world must invest in women and girls. Let’s be smart, and let’s be wise. Women are the best investment any society can make,’ he added.

The African Development Bank is doing its part to transform the financing landscape for women with the launch of the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA). AFAWA aims to mobilize $3 billion of new lending by banks and financial institutions for women in Africa. G7 leaders approved a package totaling $251 million in support of AFAWA during the summit in August.

Welcoming the conference participants, Rwanda’s Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Soline Nyirahabimana, said the Kigali Conference center was set to glow orange in honor of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. The 16 days kick off on November 25th, each year, which marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs until December 10th.

The 2019 Global Gender Summit is attended by the first ladies of Rwanda and Kenya as well as representatives of the heads of state of Gabon, Mali, Senegal, Chad and the King of Morocco. Also in attendance are ministers of genders from Niger, Somalia, Senegal, South Sudan, Tunisia, and Libya.

The Summit runs from 25th to 27th of November under the theme: ‘Unpacking constraints to gender equality.’

‘The African Development Bank believes in women. Women are bankable,” Adesina said.

*AFDB

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Zeinab Badawi uncovers stories from across the continent in new series of History of Africa.
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

History of Africa returns for a highly anticipated second series, taking BBC World News presenter Zeinab Badawi on a prolific journey across the continent to uncover its rich and complex past.

Elucidating key moments of African history, the series takes its cue from the pioneering General History of Africa, an ambitious UNESCO-endorsed project to deliver a history of the continent as told by African experts themselves.

On her journey across Africa, Sudan-born Zeinab will bring BBC World News viewers unparalleled insights into the colourful history of the places and peoples she visits. From the staggering wealth and grandeur of 7th century West African kingdoms, to the struggles for independence experienced by many African nations in the twentieth century, the new series strips away outmoded stereotypes and tells the continent’s history with the African perspective at its core.

Zeinab Badawi said: “For too long Africa’s history has been maligned, misrepresented and misunderstood, but with these eleven new episodes we hope audiences across the world can enjoy an in-depth exploration of African history, as told by Africans. In the first series of History of Africa, we went all the way back to the origins of human kind and concluded with the early spread of Islam throughout Africa. The second series will continue the journey, right up to the modern day.”

In the first episode of the new series, Zeinab visits rarely-seen historic sites in Mali and Mauritania where she hears from Africans about how trans-Saharan trade led to the rich kingdoms of West Africa. She then visits the fabled city of Timbuktu under armed guard, before heading to Nigeria for episode two, with rare access to the King of the Benin Kingdom.

Mary Wilkinson, Head of Content at BBC World News, said: “The first series of History of Africa proved compelling viewing for audiences in both Africa and across the globe. We’ve seen a growth in appetite for this kind of content – informative, educational and entertaining storytelling, told by authentic voices. This is something the BBC is world-renowned for, and we’re excited our audiences can continue the journey of the continent’s past with a second series of History of Africa.”

History of Africa will air at 01.10 and 15.10 GMT on Saturdays and 09.10 and 20.10 GMT on Sundays on BBC World News for eight weeks from 28th September 2019, and then four weeks from 29th February.

*BBC

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Sierra Leone: former President Bai Koroma to lead AU elections Observation Mission to Namibia
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma

File Picture:Former President Ernest Bai KoromaErnest Bai Koroma
File Picture:Former President Ernest Bai KoromaErnest Bai Koroma

Sierra Leone’s former President Ernest Bai Koroma has been requested by the African Union Commission, His Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat  to lead the African Union Elections Observation Mission (AUEOM) for the Republic of Namibia’s 27th November 2019 General Elections, a press statement from the Office of the former President  on Saturday has said.

According to the press statement, extending of the invitation to former President Koroma , Mr. Mahamat said the decision for President Koroma to lead the Mission was based on his “vast experience and commitment to promoting democracy and peace in the continent.’’

“This AUEOM comprises 40 observers whose objective are to (a)provide an accurate and impartial reporting or assessment of the quality of 2019 General Elections in the Republic of Namibia, including the degree to which the conduct of the elections meets regional, continental and international standards for democratic elections; (b) offer recommendations for improvement of future elections based on the findings; and (c) demonstrate AU’s solidarity and support Namibia’s election and democratization process to ensure that the conduct of democratic, credible and peaceful elections contributes to the consolidation of democratic governance, peace and stability in the country,’’ the release said.

According to the release , during this Mission, President Koroma will therefore hold consultations with the various stakeholders including government officials, members of the electoral commission, political parties, civil societies, media, members of the diplomatic corps and other international observer groups.

Ernest Bai Koroma is the immediate past President of Sierra Leone who ruled the small West African nation from 2007- 2018 after finishing his second term in office.

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Cameroon:Entrepreneurs urged to be innovative in their Businesses At SBEC Training
November 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

participants, trainers and Foretia team at the end of the small business and entrepreneurship training in Douala
participants, trainers and Foretia team at the end of the small business and entrepreneurship training in Douala

Douala, Cameroon. Small and Medium Size Enterprises, SMEs have been encouraged to carryout innovation, and do business in a hasty manner instead of practicing businesses follow the old model which was practiced decades ago. To one of the speakers, financial institutions want entrepreneurs who innovate and work in the present, and not past.

The call was during the last edition of a series of six training organized by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Center (SBEC) of the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation in Douala, November 23, 2019. SBEC has been able to train some six hundred entrepreneurs in Douala and Yaounde, with three of the training organized in Douala, and the other three in Yaounde.

Speaking on the Business Management Ekuh Edmond, CEO The Gate Way, a Certified Entrepreneur and Small Business Management Trainer said entrepreneurs need to create value in their business as it is only a business when a value is being created which can be solving a problem, or making life easy or better for individuals. “Entrepreneurs should look long-term perspective. Are you in a business for one day or a year? Create value that has long-term perspective,” He said

Ekuh Edmond further called on the entrepreneurs to create a business canvas as opposed to a business model for their business. The reason according to him, is that business plan is time-consuming as not all of them have the money to do it or have the right time to do it. “Once your test is and have feedback from the population, you can then proceed to do a business model.”

Ndikombui Nigel Mingoh, Founder/CEO of Goodwill Consulting LTD, a consultant of taxes advisory services edified participants on tax requirements, registration, and declaration procedures, which is one of the daunting tasks faced by entrepreneurs. “Entrepreneurs do not even know the process of creating their business, declare, or even know that they can be exonerating from paying taxes. They just have that idea that tax declaration is a very thing. Most do not know the documents that are required to even start the business,” Ndikombui Nigel said.

Access to finance is a key factor to the growth of SMEs but notwithstanding, because of the difficulties faced by financial institutions in obtaining information on the borrowers-solvency, lack of reliable financial statement of SMEs, absence of guarantee or inadequate collateral and lack of detailed business plan, they (financial institutions) become reluctant to award loans to these SMEs.

Tatoh Kenneth Ndi, a seasoned Finance Manager, however says the challenge is not so much at the level of financial institution. To him, there is a missing link between financial institutions in relation to the performances of SMEs. “I think with the enlightenment of what the financial institutions want from SMEs, the improvement of the collaboration between the financial institution and the SMEs will be evident. Being formal structures, financial institutions expect SMEs to be more formal than the informal model they are applying now.”

He added that they should learn to acquire information like what they just did during this training, so, they should learn to acquire information to acquaint themselves to be able to meet the expectation of financial institutions. “One of the things that SMEs should do is for them to learn to be sincere towards their financial partners because this sincerity will be the bedrock for them to collaborate better and for trust to have been build which is a very important tool when it comes to business,” He said.

Tatoh Kenneth Ndi, a seasoned Finance Manager speaking to entrepreneurs at the SBEC training in Douala
Tatoh Kenneth Ndi, a seasoned Finance Manager speaking to entrepreneurs at the SBEC training in Douala

To the Manager of SBEC, “The objectives of the training were to train about six hundred entrepreneurs in Small business management and entrepreneurship skills with more emphasis on female entrepreneurs and I can assure you that these objectives have been met. We are very happy that women have been participating in the training because we want to build the capacity of the female entrepreneurs as they have been lacking behind, especially in Cameroon.”

“After this training we are going to organize a forum on December 12, 2019 in Yaounde where stakeholders will discuss how to incubate and build the entrepreneurs in Cameroon for a sustainable growth,” He added

The Small Business Training under the theme, “Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Skills” falls within the framework of the prime purpose of the Small Business and Entrepreneur Centre (SBEC) — to spur economic growth in Cameroon through the provision of tools to establish, expand and sustain private sector business in partnership with the Canadian Fund for Local Initiative project in Cameroon. 

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Legislative/Municipal Elections in Cameroon: Women Target 30% Representation in Parliament & Councils
November 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

-Female candidates for the 2020 Legislative and Municipal Elections have said they want a 30% representation at the helm of city councils

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

As the elections slated for 9 February 2020 draw closer, the Non-governmental organization “More Women in Politics” is showing these female candidates how to achieve this goal. During the workshop that’s aimed at equipping women to present competitive candidacies, Dr. Justine Diffo Tchunkam, National Coordinator of More Women in politics says women’s political ambitions must be driven by the 50-50 parity in gender equality in Cameroon by 2030. According to statistics from the NGO, only 27 women are represented at the helm of the county’s 360 councils. To reduce this margin, women say they want more lead roles.

2020 Legislative and Municipal Elections: What women want

Female involvement in the socioeconomic development of a country is increasingly becoming a crucial demand. Women want to be involved in decision-making, management, and governance of the country. Most of them think they can do so by bringing a feminine touch to governance.

One of these women are Manga Salome, a CPDM party candidate from the Nyong and Mfoumou Division. “The woman is the mother of humanity. She is more sensitive to Sociocultural problems than men. Councils need to guarantee the wellbeing of the population, but we have noticed some lapses. That is why, I want to add a maternal touch to the Sociocultural development of our country.”

Etoa Martine, a CPDM candidate and Sub Section President of the Ekie constituency is among the women who want to speed up development. “We want more development. If more women are mayors, MPs and Municipal counselors, life will be better. Women are naturally endowed by God to be better leaders, and we can make the difference.”

But the National Coordinator of More Women in Politics, Dr. Justine Diffo, Tchunkam says the 30% target for female Municipal Counselors in 2020, is only a first step to attain the 50-50 parity in gender equality in Cameroon by 2030.

,The women also say they expect that the national action plan which provides between 25-30% representations of female Candidates on electoral lists will be respected.

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U.S. Commits $430 Million in Insurance to Natural Gas Project in Egypt
November 23, 2019 | 0 Comments

International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO Adam Boehler.Photo credit :OPIC
International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO Adam Boehler.Photo credit :OPIC

CAIRO – Adam Boehler, Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), today announced a commitment to provide $430 million in insurance to advance energy security in Egypt by rehabilitating a natural gas pipeline and transporting natural gas from fields offshore in Israel. The announcement was made at the Investment for Africa Forum during a signing ceremony that included Boehler and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan Cohen as well as Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly and Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr.

The insurance will enable Noble Energy Inc. of Houston, Texas to restore the 90-kilometer EMG Pipeline running from the coastal city of Ashkelon, Israel and under the Mediterranean Sea to its destination in Al-Arish, Egypt. It will also support the transport of 3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas over 15 years. The insurance contracts were signed this week after Noble Energy and its partners achieved financial close for the project.

“Strengthening energy security—which bolsters trade, supports investment, and improves quality of life—is critical to ensuring lasting prosperity and stability in Egypt,” said Boehler. “This project will help the country meet growing demand for reliable, low-cost energy in order to fuel sustained economic growth and create opportunities that have a stabilizing impact in Egypt and across the region.”

“Egypt is a strategic partner to the United States. We are excited to support this critical investment in the country by an American company which will not only spur job creation and economic growth but also help provide reliable and affordable energy for the people of Egypt and others throughout the region,” said Cohen.

“Egypt welcomes this massive private sector investment and looks forward to the economic impact it will have for the Egyptian people,” said Nasr.

“The Dolphinus gas sales contracts and the EMG acquisition underpin delivery of natural gas from the Tamar and Leviathan fields in Israel into Egypt and represent a major milestone toward Egypt’s goal of becoming a regional energy hub. Both these transactions and the support from the U.S. Government provide further confidence in the long-term export market and growing cash flow from these premier assets,” said J. Keith Elliott, Noble Energy’s Senior Vice President, Offshore.

Under the terms of the project, the gas will be purchased by Dolphinus Holdings, a gas trading company.

The project will advance energy security in Egypt and support the country’s efforts to grow its economy by exporting gas to parts of Europe and other global markets. The pipeline being restored had initially been used to transport natural gas from Egypt to Israel but ceased operations in 2012.

Boehler is attending the Investment for Africa Forum during a trip to Egypt to highlight U.S. commitment to the region, explore private sector investment opportunities, and strengthen relationships with key regional partners in support of mutual development goals.

The U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank. DFC partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. Working together with businesses, we invest in projects that create jobs and opportunity in emerging markets, including building critical infrastructure, expanding access to telecommunications, and providing small business financing, notably for women entrepreneurs. DFC helps to advance America’s foreign policy by partnering on projects that create economic stability, protect sovereignty, and ensure transparency. DFC investments adhere to high principles and respect the environment, human rights, and worker rights.

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NJ Ayuk: Stop giving us aid, it’s killing us!
November 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

Africa needs long-established support

NJ Ayuk
NJ Ayuk

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 21, 2019/ — Looking at Africa and only pushing for aid is not in the interest of the everyday Africans. It is about the egos of the elites and latte intellectuals who believe they have the solutions to why the continent is still poor.

As Africa’s population and economies surge, greater opportunities for development are presented, societies change, and the aspirations of everyday Africans are increasingly requiring urgent attention.

On the other hand, Germany’s energy transition anticipates a vastly more efficient and interconnected energy system in the future, one that I believe, young African technology entrepreneurs can certainly learn from and accelerate the growth of the energy sector.

With technology start-ups with the intention to build sustainable power solutions emerging across the continent particularly in the power sector, Germany can look to this market on how it can invest in Africa while providing energy and  technology solutions and African entrepreneurs can embrace German products in reshaping and restructuring African energy economies.

While the economies of some countries on our continent have grown considerably in recent years, particularly as a result of energy sector developments, economic diversification and sustained foreign investments, there is still no denying that Africa still has a long way to go.

With this comes the question of how will Africa achieve prosperity? The answer – not with monetary aid.

In my book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals, I examine the topic of foreign aid as a solution to Africa’s problems in great detail because for too long, well-meaning foreign entities have stepped in to provide us aid, and in doing so have inadvertently stepped on our toes. This, considering that donor nations and foreign institutions do not sufficiently understand what we need and how we operate.

Aid is not a solution for Africa.

Africa needs long-established support. We need skills development, key infrastructure, sustainable and enabling environments that drive results and, we need to build vibrant energy economies that will bring long-lasting change that is beneficial to the everyday African woman and man.

Determined to promote cooperation with Africa, increase investment on the continent and help improve standards of living, the 2019 G20 Compact with Africa Summit kicked off in Berlin this week. I believe this initiative led by Chancellor Angela Merkel can work and can be beneficial to both Africa and Germany. However, Germany (and other foreign countries looking at the continent) need to understand that Africa is a true partner for development and in addition to relationship-building with governments, African businesses also need to be engaged. They are also key in driving development.

We have to move beyond aid.

As Africa emerges and takes its place on the global stage, it not only stands to benefit from its relationship with Germany but can contribute to Western Europe’s objectives, as presented by the Compact with Africa Summit.

With the continent having nearly 600 million people without access to electricity, Africa’s challenges seem insurmountable – especially given the amount of opportunities and fast-tracked development access to electricity can unlock. But there is hope. With a number of African nations developing and launching large scale renewable energy projects, countries such as Equatorial Guinea, Senegal and Mozambique championing gas developments and launching world-class projects, the continent is resolute on transforming and diversifying its energy mix, proving that it is a worthy partner, particularly for Germany.

Earlier this year, the Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF) announced its multi-million Euro funding commitment to invest in Germany energy start-ups that focus on Africa. This commitment pledged funds to German start-ups with exposure to African energy projects. The role that such German companies from the private sector can play for Africa is increasingly coming to light. German companies ESC Engineers and Noordtec for instance collaborated with Equatorial Guinea’s Elite Construcciones on the Akonikien project – the region’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage and regasification plant.

Forming part of the government-led LNG2Africa initiative, the project advanced the nation’s efforts to monetize gas resources through the creation of domestic gas-to-power infrastructure, a sector which presents major opportunities for the private sector all across Africa. This is a true example of German’s expertise serving Africa’s best interests.

On Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she saw the investment in Africa’s growth and development as a “win-win” and encouraged that instead of talking about Africa, “we should do everything we can to cooperate with Africa.”

I agree with this view, the continent has a lot to offer and collaboration is critical for Africa’s future.  We do not need quick fixes, we need capital and technology that are supported by hard work, due diligence and solid execution in order to have an impact. We can only achieve this through recognition and collaboration, not with the same old strategies of proving aid that has not been very useful.

*NJ Ayuk is the CEO of Centurion Law Group and the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber. His experience negotiating oil and gas deals has given him an expert’s grasp of Africa’s energy landscape. He is the author of “Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and doing deals.”

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