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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.

Quotes:

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:
ATI (http://www.ATI-ACA.org/) was founded in 2001 by African States to cover the trade and investment risks of companies doing business in Africa. ATI provides Political Risk, Surety Bonds, Credit Insurance and Political Violence and Terrorism & Sabotage cover. As of YE 2018, ATI has supported USD46 billion in trade and investments across Africa in sectors such as agribusiness, energy, exports, housing, infrastructure manufacturing, mining and telecommunications. For over a decade, ATI has maintained an ‘A/Stable’ rating for Financial Strength and Counterparty Credit by Standard & Poor’s, and a recently obtained A3/Stable rating from Moody’s

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Nkafu Debates: Experts agree to disagree on whether Cameroon benefits from ACFTA
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Experts discussing if Cameroon benefits from ACFTA. Photo Boris Esono Nwenfor, PAV

Experts discussing if Cameroon benefits from ACFTA. Photo Boris Esono Nwenfor, PAV

The second edition of the Nkafu debate has been held with experts disagreeing to agree on whether Cameroon will benefit from the recently ratified African Continental Free Trade Area, ACFTA. The Nkafu Debates which took place August 29, 2019, at Mansel Hotel in Yaounde was on the theme, Will Cameroon benefit from the Africa Continental Free Trade Area?

The event was in line with the vision and mission of the Nkafu Policy Institute-a think tank at the Denis and Lenora Foretia Foundation, which works to catalyze the economic transformation of African countries by focusing on social entrepreneurship, science and technology, health, and the implementation of development policies that will create economic opportunities for all.

To Dr. Fabian Sundjo, the ACFTA is very good and Cameroon will indeed benefit in the long run. He said, “Trade is the best concerning increasing growth which will in turn increase the growth of the country” while adding that the “ACFTA will increase competitiveness. It makes the country to be competitive which brings benefit to the country.”

He added that, “The free trade was important but there are some issues that had as handled, some structures are put in place before going forth to sign the treaty. The issue that was highlighted could be based on the competitiveness of the economy, and the necessity to increase productivity.” “Once you increase productivity with good institutions, and a good structure that will permit the transfer of goods. If some countries are not ready and their productivity is low, it becomes difficult to move forward, and sign the ACFTA.”

Dr. Louis Marie Kakdeu, Economist, Policy Fellow in Economic Affairs, Nkafu Policy Institute said there are two reasons why to him Cameroon will not benefit from the agreement. He stated “the necessity to respect the rules, and principles of free trade. The African zone should respect i9t, if not it is no longer the free trade but something like mercantilism. The second is the necessity to put in place in Cameroon economic reforms before engaging a country into competition. One cannot go to fight when one is not powerful or competitive.”

“We are afraid that in the next two years or so, we will have companies created in Cameroon dying as a result of the agreement. Now it is 80 per cent which is very dangerous. We have to stop it, and we cannot be having problems, and we still go and add other problems every day. Today, we have to open where we are competitive and if we are not competitive we do not open up”, He added.

The over 90 minutes exchange brought together over 80 participants comprising academia, researchers, students, NGOs, CSOs and others.

The African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) was officially launched on July 7, 2019 during the 12th extraordinary summit of the African Union held from July 4 to 8, 2019 in Niamey, Niger. Cameroon ratified ACFTA on July 19, 2019, after it was signed on March 21, 2018, in Kigali, Rwanda, together with other 43 countries.

Observers believe Cameroon ratifying this agreement will strengthen economic growth in the country while others say Cameroon should not open up, but should instead protect its economy.

Experts, participants at 2nd Nkafu debate .Photo Boris Esono Nwenfor,PAV

Experts, participants at 2nd Nkafu debate .Photo Boris Esono Nwenfor,PAV

According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNECA, intra-African trade could increase by more than 50 per cent and even double within 10 years after the entry into force of the ACFTA compared to approximately 15 per cent currently. Others say the ACFTA will create a 3.4 trillion dollar economic block and usher in a new development of the continent.

In an increasingly globalized world, only the most competitive countries are likely to gain the largest shares in trade. Cameroon’s economy is presently facing major structural change. In a 2018 reports by the Nkafu Policy Institute, the poverty level is alarming as less than 17.65 per cent of Cameroonian adults earn more than 200,000 FCFA. Some major challenges facing entrepreneurs in Cameroon as outlined by the Nkafu Policy Institute comprise taxation, the cost and access to credit, and the formalities.

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Clarion confirm creation of ICE Africa Champions
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
John Kamara, ICE Africa Brand Ambassador

John Kamara, ICE Africa Brand Ambassador

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

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British Ambassador commends Azuri’s next-generation energy in Africa
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
At the British Embassy following the last day of TICAD7, the UK’s Ambassador Paul Madden, is joined by Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth, and Yoshiaki Yokota, Chief Operating Officer, Power Business Division at Marubeni Corporation to discuss next-generation energy in Africa.

At the British Embassy following the last day of TICAD7, the UK’s Ambassador Paul Madden, is joined by Azuri CEO Simon Bransfield-Garth, and Yoshiaki Yokota, Chief Operating Officer, Power Business Division at Marubeni Corporation to discuss next-generation energy in Africa.

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

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Japan and African Development Bank announce $3.5 billion in support of Africa’s private sector development
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

Electricity, transport, and health identified as key priorities

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group

Yokohama, Japan, 30 August 2019 – Japan and the African Development Bank on Friday announced a joint target of $3.5 billion under the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa initiative (EPSA4), during the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7).

Both Japan and the Bank have set a target of $1.75 billion each, from 2020-2022, to enhance the fourth phase of EPSA to spur private-sector-led sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa.

“Building on the successful achievements so far, Japan and the Bank have decided to upgrade EPSA in both quality and quantity to meet financial needs for infrastructure development as well as for the private sector development in Africa,” Japan’s State Minister of Finance,” Mr. Keisuke Suzuki said at the EPSA4 launch ceremony held in Yokohama and attended by government officials and a high-level delegation from the Bank as well as representations of the business community.

“We will cooperate by integrating our funds, expertise, and experiences, and I wish the win-win relationship between Japan and Africa will deepen further,” Mr. Suzuki noted.

Electricity, transportation, and health will be key priorities under EPSA4. Projects and programs for the 3 key priorities will be formulated and implemented in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment and G20 Shared Understanding on the Importance of UHC Financing in Developing Countries. African countries will also be provided with support to improve and create conducive business environments to attract private investments.

“Today marks another day to celebrate the strong and impactful partnership between Japan and the African Development Bank. The African Development Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are long-term partners for promoting the development of Africa. EPSA helps to deliver much needed support to the private sector,” Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development, said during his address.

During EPSA1 (2005-2011), Japan set the target of providing $ 1 billion in loans and $ 2 billion under the second phase (2012-2016). The ongoing EPSA3 (2017-2019), Japan and the African Development Bank are cooperating closely to provide the targeted joint amount of $ 3 billion.

As of today, the Bank and JICA under ACFA have co-financed 25 projects to improve key transportation and electricity transmission networks. These include the Construction of Three Intersections in Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire and Power Sector Reform Program in Angola.

Under EPSA 4, JICA and the African Development Bank will provide co-financing of $3.5 billion. This is a significant increase over EPSA-3, which was executed at $3 billion – a 17% increase.

“Increase is what we need to meet the needs of Africa. Increase is what we need to raise the level of our ambitions for Africa. Increase is what we need to build upon the solid foundations of co-financing over the last 13 years, and deliver even greater and more impactful development results in the years ahead.  Now, let us arise with renewed vigor. Let us deliver even greater impacts for African countries through EPSA 4,” Dr. Adesina concluded.

About EPSA

 EPSA has three components:

  • The Accelerated Co-Financing Facility for Africa (ACFA): a sovereign co-financing arrangement between the African Development Bank and JICA, under which JICA lends on concessional terms to borrowers under this scheme.
  • The Non-Sovereign Loan (NSL): a line of credit from JICA to the Bank on concessional terms to help fund private sector operations. Collaboration between JICA’s Private Sector Investment Finance (PSIF) scheme and AfDB’s Non-Sovereign Loan will be promoted.
  • The Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA): a Multi-Donor Trust Fund for technical assistance and capacity building for the Bank’s public and private sector clients. The Government of Japan is the major contributor to the Fund, managed by the Bank.

 

 

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TICAD7: Invest in Africa’s food markets to win the war on hunger and boost nutrition – African Development Bank
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

“There is a business case for governments to invest in grey matter – Jennifer Blanke

Jennifer Blanke, Vice-President for Agriculture, Human, and Social Development

Jennifer Blanke, Vice-President for Agriculture, Human, and Social Development

Yokohama, Japan 30 August 2019 – By investing in Africa’s food markets, governments can win the fight against stunting and improve nutrition across the continent. And with support from institutions like the African Development Bank, the results would be a win-win situation for all.

“What a huge potential the food markets represent. “Feed Africa,” which is one of the Bank’s High 5 priorities, has nutrition at its core,” Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human, and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke said Thursday at a panel discussion on day two of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

The session, organised by the Global Panel on Agriculture & Food Systems for Nutrition (GPAN) & the African Leaders for Nutrition (ALN), was titled Ending Malnutrition in Africa: Towards Nutrition for Growth 2020 & Beyond.

A senior management team from the Bank led by its President Akinwumi Adesina is attending this year’s TICAD in the Japanese city of Yokohama, under the theme: Advancing Africa’s development through technology, innovation and people. The conference is focused on Africa’s economic transformation and the business environment through partnerships and increased cooperation with Japan.

Despite holding 60 percent of the world’s arable land, African countries import nearly $50 billion net of food annually. Yet the population bulge and a rising middle class represent a massive opportunity in terms of agribusiness and the consumer market.

“There is a business case for governments to invest in grey matter, or brainpower, and this requires much more nutritious diets” Blanke said.

With most people in Africa getting their food from local markets, business opportunities for healthy foods abound everywhere in the food system and potential investors were urged to engage and explore.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in particular play a predominant role in the food supply chains in Africa, but their growth has been slow. “The biggest constraint to their scaling up is lack of access to finance,” Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) said.

Other side events such as a session on Investing in Human Capital Development and one on Rural Transformation and Sustainable Agriculture in the Digital Age, jointly organized by the Bank and the World Food Programme, spoke to policy makers about the importance of the private sector and an enabling environment in fighting malnutrition.

Women and Girls need to be at the table

On Wednesday, a discussion on empowering women and girls highlighted how that directly benefits Africa’s development agenda.

Technology, access to finance, education and digital technology can help women leapfrog over many hurdles.

“It is essential that women are empowered to become a vehicle for transforming society,”

Ms Toshiko Abe, of Japan’s ministry of finance said.

Blanke said women in agriculture were an overlooked stakeholder group. In many parts of Africa most farmers are women.

The Bank’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa initiative known as AFAWA, seeks to support women entrepreneurs in Africa. Through AFAWA the African Development Bank aims to raise at least $300 million for a guarantee facility that will spur lending of ten times at much (around $3 billion) to African women entrepreneurs.

“We can leverage more for women,” Blanke said

*AFDB

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Elumelu Challenges Japan – “Partner with us in Empowering African Entrepreneurs”
August 30, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Secretary General Barkindo Writes Inspiring Foreword On African Energy Book By Nj Ayuk
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

OPEC is the subject of Chapter 3 in Ayuk’s book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy, which will be published this October

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 29, 2019/ — As OPEC intensifies its engagement with Africa, Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo said there’s no better time for the analysis of OPEC membership benefits put forth in the newest book by leading African energy attorney, NJ Ayuk.

“It is most fitting at this time that Mr. Ayuk describes how important it is for Africa’s producing nations to be part of the discussion on global strategies that will affect their fortunes,” Barkindo, who wrote the book’s foreword, said. “In today’s oil and gas industry, coalitions are essential and Mr. Ayuk proves that point by discussing the advantages that our newest members from Africa have gained by joining OPEC.”

OPEC is the subject of Chapter 3 in Ayuk’s book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy, which will be published this October.

Half of OPEC’s 14 members are on the African continent. Libya joined in the 1962, followed by Algeria in 1969. Nigeria came on board in 1971; and Angola followed in 2007. More recently, the organization welcomed Gabon, which rejoined in 2016, and Equatorial Guinea and Republic of Congo, which became members in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

With 130 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves, Africa is a frontier filled with promise, Barkindo said—and Ayuk does a masterful job of showing how both OPEC and the continent benefit from increased African participation in the organization.

“Mr. Ayuk’s book shows how the oil and gas industry can unleash economic development and prosperity across the continent but cautions that producing nations will achieve more in collaboration than individually,” said Barkindo. Adding that, “In particular, he explains how the Declaration of Cooperation has helped stabilize the market, providing economic opportunities that were previously unavailable.”

Above all, in his chapter about OPEC, called A Place at the Table: Africa and OPEC, Ayuk presents a balanced investigation of how OPEC needs Africa, and vice versa. He doesn’t gloss over the fact that the Middle East’s once prolific energy basins are declining—making the prospect of big discoveries in Africa one way for OPEC to wrest control over more of the world’s oil supply. At the same time, he points out the benefits that African nations can accrue as OPEC members, including access to information, financial aid, and the chance to have a voice in setting global policy.

Further, the OPEC chapter discusses the possible impact of NOPEC –  the pending American legislation that seeks to protect domestic interests from what it perceives as price manipulation.

“There is no stone left unturned in Mr. Ayuk’s analysis of Africa and OPEC,” Barkindo said.

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 and Doing Deals is now available for pre-order on Amazon. CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY NOW! [https://amzn.to/2NxkNLP]

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Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7): Japan, South Africa and the African Development Bank unveil priorities to accelerate Africa’s technology transformation journey
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group

Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group

“Let’s be visionary. Let’s be bold. Let’s support concrete initiatives to boost science, technology, and innovation in Africa,”- Akinwumi Adesina

YOKOHAMA, Japan, August 29, 2019/ — Science, technology and innovation as well as human resource development are critical in Africa, a continent, which has the biggest potential on earth, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum held in Yokohama, on Wednesday, as part of TICAD 7.

The Science and Technology in Society forum (STS forum) is one of the largest and most influential nonprofit organizations established in 2004 by Mr. Koji Omi, a former Japanese Minister of Finance. The Forum aims at strengthening cooperation between Japan and Africa in science, technology, and innovation.

In his address, Prime Minister Abe also noted the important role that science and technology played in the history of Japan’s modernization.

In attendance were Mr. Yasutoshi Nishimura, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary, President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank Group (http://AfDB.org), Koji Omi, founder and chairman of the STS forum, and Asako Omi, member of Japan’s House of Representatives.

“South Africa endorses the focus on science, technology, and innovation as a priority theme for TICAD 7, given its great potential to accelerate African development through mutually beneficial partnerships with Japan, President Ramaphosa told participants.

“The STS forum has successfully changed global discourse on the role of science in development, we seek the forum’s support in changing the discourse on the role of Africa in science and innovation,” Ramaphosa concluded.

Adesina shared insights on the Bank’s work and support to train and develop the next generation of scientists. Since 2005 the Bank has provided financing of over $2 billion to support education, resulting in educational opportunities for 6 million students.

“We are proud of our investment in supporting the establishment of the Regional Center of Excellence in Kigali in conjunction with the Carnegie Mellon University, which is providing world-class Masters degree training in ICT. I am delighted that all the students that have graduated from the university have 100% employment, including setting up their businesses,” Adesina said in his keynote remarks.

The Bank has supported the establishment of ICT digital parks in Senegal and Cape Verde and is working with the Rockefeller Foundation, Microsoft, Facebook, LinkedIn and Safaricom to establish coding centers in several countries.

Adesina offered some key areas to prioritize in science and technology, including the establishment of regional centers of excellence; the urgent need to increase the share of GDP devoted to science and technology and close the gender gap in higher education.

“Let’s be visionary. Let’s be bold. Let’s support concrete initiatives to boost science, technology, and innovation in Africa,” he concluded.

Ministers for Science and Technology, Ambassadors, executives of international and national Agencies and business in Africa and Japan attended the Forum.

TICAD 7 runs from 28-30 August in Yokohama, Japan.

*AFDB

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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

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Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7): PM Shinzo Abe says Japan will help double Africa’s rice production by 2030
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
“We must end hunger in Africa. Yes, we must! Hunger diminishes our humanity” – Adesina urges
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe African leaders at opening of TICAD7

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe African leaders at opening of TICAD7

YOKOHAMA, Japan, August 28, 2019/ — The Sasakawa Association will work with the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), to help double rice production to 50 million tonnes by 2030.  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement at the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) symposium held on Wednesday during TICAD7.

“Japanese technology can play a key role in innovation which is key to agriculture,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told delegates.

Discussions at the Symposium focused on Africa’s youth bulge, unemployment rates, agricultural innovations and technologies, solutions and job creation opportunities in the agricultural sector.

“We’ve always believed in the agriculture potential of Africa,” said Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon foundation. “We are paying more attention to income-generating activities. We want to help shift the mindset of small-holder farmers from producing-to-eat to producing-to-sell. We are hopeful that Africa’s youth can take agriculture to a new era, and that they can see a career path in agriculture,” he added.

In a keynote address, African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi Adesina, called for urgent and concerted efforts to “end hunger”.

“In spite of all the gains made in agriculture. We are not winning the global war against hunger. We must all arise collectively and end global hunger. To do that, we must end hunger in Africa. Hunger diminishes our humanity,” Adesina urged.

According to the FAO’s 2019 State of Food and Security, the number of hungry people globally stands at a disconcerting 821 million. Africa alone accounts for 31% of the global number of hungry people – 251 million people.

Commending the Sasakawa Association’s late founder, Ryochi Sasakawa, for his tireless efforts in tackling hunger, Adesina said: “Passion, dedication and commitment to the development of agriculture and the pursuit of food security in our world has been the hallmark of your work.”

Between 1986 and 2003, Sasakawa Association in Africa, operated in a total of 15 countries including – Ghana, Sudan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Mali, Guinea, Zambia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Mozambique.

Harnessing the potential of new technologies

Adesina expressed confidence in the ability of technology to deliver substantial benefits in agriculture. To accelerate Africa’s agricultural growth, the African Development Bank has launched the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) to deliver new technologies to millions of farmers. ‘TAAT has become a game changer, and is already delivering impressive results, Adesina said.

Working with 30 private seed companies, the TAAT maize compact produced over 27,000 tons of seeds of water efficient maize that was planted by 1.6 million farmers.

Tackling climate change: a top priority

Hiroyuki Takahashi, founder of Pocket Marche, a platform that connects Japanese farmers and producers with consumers, shared insights and lessons learnt from Japan’s experiences, historic cycles of climate disasters and the country’s rebound.

“The power to choose what we eat is the power to stop the climate crisis and bring sustainable happiness to a world with limited resources,” Takahashi said.

It is estimated that Africa will heat up 1.5 times faster than the global average and require $7-15 billion a year for adaptation alone. Limiting the impacts of climate change is expected to become a top priority for Africa.

“Africa has been short changed by climate change. But, it should not be short changed by climate finance,” Adesina said in his concluding remarks.

“Let’s be better asset managers for nature. For while we must eat today, so must future generations coming after us. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we do not leave empty plates on the table for generations to come,” Adesina concluded.

*AFDB

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Five African countries bid to host 2021 ICASA conference
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Dr. Ihab Ahmed, SAA President

Dr. Ihab Ahmed, SAA President

Five African countries have submitted bids to the Society for AIDS in Africa (SAA) to host the  International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA) 2021 conference.

The society has revealed that the countries which have submitted their bid for pre-selection to be the host of ICASA 2021  are Kenya, Zambia, Nigeria, Uganda and Tunisia.

The pre-selection started from 14 August 2019 ending on 29 August 2019, according to the society.

ICASA is a major bilingual international AIDS conference which takes place in Africa.

This year the 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa will take place in Kigali, Rwanda.

It is reported that the conference represents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the African region’s HIV epidemic and the unique response to it.

It is also added that the conference theme this year  “AIDS Free Africa – Innovation, Community, and Political Leadership” engages the whole continent and all stakeholders in the Post-SDG Framework, where sustainability of the response in reaching 90, 90, 90 UNAIDS will not be possible if human rights are not a key priority for a new of leadership in the context of strengthening the application of science-based evidence.

ICASA is a major international AIDS conference which takes place in Africa. Its current biennial hosting alternates between Anglophone and Francophone African countries.

The society says that the convening of the International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa  represents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the African region’s HIV epidemic and the unique response to it.

The biennial International AIDS Conference is the premier gathering for professionals   working in the field of HIV, as well as leaders, people living with HIV and others committed to ending the epidemic. It is reported to   be a tremendous opportunity for researchers from around the world to share the latest scientific advances in the field, learn from one another’s expertise, and develop strategies for advancing all facets of  collective efforts to treat and prevent HIV.

The Society for AIDS in Africa was established in Kinshasa in October 1990 during the 5th International Conference on AIDS and Associated Cancers in Africa, a precursor to the International Conference on AIDS
and STIs in Africa (ICASA).

It is reported that the formation of the Society for AIDS in Africa, was facilitated by the (W.H.O) to encourage the African continent to host international conferences on HIV/AIDS, a disease whose scourge has hardest hit the continent.It is reported that the move encourages and empowers Africans to directly address and respond to the challenges posed by the HIV and AIDS pandemic on the continent.

The Society envisions an HIV free Africa with capacity to confront all related consequences and diseases. The Society enables a positive environment for research on HIV and related diseases. The Society for AIDS in AFRICA (SAA) is governed by an Executive Council drawn from South, North, East, West and Central Africa. SAA collaborates with
AFRICASO, SAFAIDS, SWAA, NAP+, and Network of Youth in Africa and enjoy the support of the UN- System, as well as various International organizations, including the International AIDS Society (IAS).

Since its inception, SAA has successfully organized 19 International Conferences on HIV /AIDS and STIs in 14 Africa countries. On 6th December, 2017, in Abidjan, during ICASA 2017 the Sofitel Hotel Ivoire, the Minister of Health of Rwanda in the presence of ICASA 2017 President and the ICASA Director and other Executive Board Members, won the bid to host the 20th International Conference on AIDS and STIs which was conferred to Rwanda. Rwanda’s selection was a result of a rigorous evaluation of 3 countries to host ICASA 2019.

With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Minister of Health and SAA with the strong support of the Rwandan Government, Dr. Ihab Ahmed, SAA President, officially declared Rwanda as the next host
country of the 20th edition of ICASA, ICASA 2019.

 

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