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
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|
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.
Nigeria: NNPC, Total to Grow Nigeria’s Oil Production through partnership
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Teslim Olawore
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Total Nigeria have expressed their readiness to work together to grow daily crude oil and gas production and reserves to meet the national target of 40 billion barrels.
Mele Kyari, the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, and Mike Sangster, the Managing Director of Total Nigeria, made the commitment during a visit by Total top management to the NNPC Towers in Abuja.
According to a statement by Ndu Ughamadu, the spokesperson for the corporation, Mr Kyari, said that Total Nigeria was one of NNPC’s most important partners with visible outcomes.
“Total Nigeria in the last five years has very visible outcomes that we have seen and I assure you that we will work together to progress all efforts to grow production and national reserves.
“Also, I want to put on record that your downstream company has been very supportive in the supply of gasoline into our country,” he said.
He assured Total Nigeria of very transparent and accountable relationship with acceptable frameworks.
Earlier, Mr Sangster expressed Total’s firm belief in the Nigerian oil and gas industry and its readiness to deploy solutions to the challenges facing the industry.
“Total Nigeria will build on recent progress in many areas such as cash-call arrears and our long-standing partnership.
“In partnership with NNPC, the company has developed the last three Floating Production Storage Offloading’s (FPSOs) in Nigeria and wants to build on this,” he said.
Five African countries bid to host 2021 ICASA conference
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Wallace Mawire
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.
Scores of people drowned off coast of Libya in latest Mediterranean shipwreck
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
A rescue operation, carried by the Libyan Coast Guard and local fisherman, has been underway since this morning and is ongoing
GENEVA, Switzerland, August 28, 2019/ — At least 40 people are estimated to have drowned off the coast of Libya in the latest boat disaster on the Mediterranean. This shocking incident has prompted UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency to renew its urgent call for action to save lives.
Some 60 survivors have been rescued and brought to shore in the coastal town of Al-Khoms, around 100 kilometres east of Tripoli. A rescue operation, carried by the Libyan Coast Guard and local fisherman, has been underway since this morning and is ongoing.
“We must not simply accept these tragedies as inevitable,” said Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean. “Sympathies must now become actions that prevent loss of life at sea, and prevent the loss of hope that motivates people to risk their lives in the first place.”
UNHCR teams are providing the survivors with medical and humanitarian assistance. This latest incident follows just weeks after a shipwreck where some 150 lives are estimated to have been lost in the worst single incident on the Mediterranean this year.
Following today’s tragedy, it is estimated that some 900 people have lost their lives attempting to cross the Mediterranean in 2019.
UNHCR is calling for renewed efforts to reduce the loss of life at sea, including a return of EU State search and rescue vessels. Legal and logistical restrictions on NGO search and rescue operations, both at sea and in the air, should be lifted. Coastal states should facilitate, not impede, efforts by volunteers to reduce deaths at sea.
These measures should go hand in hand with increased evacuation and resettlement places from States to move refugees in Libya out of harm’s way.
This incident comes on the same day UNHCR’s Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, Kelly Clements, visited Libya to assess the country’s rising humanitarian needs. Clements called for increased support to people affected by the ongoing violence, including refugees and migrants, and reiterated UNHCR’s call for an end to the arbitrary detention of people rescued at sea and returned to Libya. Clements pledged UNHCR’s commitment to work with Libyan authorities in setting up alternatives to detention for more than 4,800 refugees and migrants currently being held inside detention centres.
Ayuk Receives Praise for His Chapter on the U.S. and Africa in ‘Billions at Play’
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
|Ayuk has devoted Chapter 17 of Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy to the U.S. and Africa, along with America’s potential to bolster Africa’s journey to a brighter future|
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 28, 2019/ — The latest book by leading African energy attorney NJ Ayuk describes the steps he’d like Africans to take to realize the full potential of the continent’s vast petroleum resources. Part of that process, Ayuk writes, should be continued efforts to keep American oil and gas companies in Africa.
Ayuk has devoted Chapter 17 of Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy to the U.S. and Africa, along with America’s potential to bolster Africa’s journey to a brighter future.
“International oil and gas companies are sometimes associated with Africa’s so-called ‘resource curse,’ but in reality, they have a key part to play in helping Africa turn things around,” said H. Daniel Hogan, an industry executive with over 38 years of experience much of it in Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Namibia, Egypt and Ghana.
“They can do that by hiring from the extremely talented African labor market and procuring services from the local sectors and, even more so, by sharing information and technology,” added Hogan, who currently serves as CEO and General Manager of Lukoil International Upstream West, the Russian multinational energy corporation.
“NJ Ayuk is right to call upon African governments to do their share in making Africa appealing to American exploration and production companies.”
Hogan noted that he also appreciates the book’s detailed analysis of the risks and rewards associated with exploration activities in Africa. “I hope American companies will see that Africa still has a lot to offer in terms of economic returns” he said.
NJ Ayuk is founder and CEO of Pan-African corporate law conglomerate, Centurion Law Group (https://CenturionLG.com/); Founder and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/); and co-author of Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (2017).
He is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today.
Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy will be published by October 2019.
For more information about the book, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @BilliondAtPlay.
“The Kaizen approach is more than a technique…it is an approach to economic development, and it’s been yielding tremendous results” – African Development Bank Vice-president Celestin Monga
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
Yokohama, Japan, 27 August 2019 – Kaizen, the business philosophy which means continuous improvement in Japanese, was at the heart of discussions at a seminar held on Tuesday, and co-organised by JICA and NEPAD on the sidelines of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD7.
The seminar, under the theme: “Africa’s Socio-economic Transformation through innovation,” discussed the role of Kaizen, in improving quality and productivity as well as human resource development on the continent.
Panelists included Assane Mayaki, CEO of AUDA-NEPAD; Bezabih Gebereyes, Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and JICA Research Institute Director General Toshiyuki Nakamura, of the Industrial Policy and Public Policy Department.
“The Kaizen approach is more than a technique…it is an approach to economic development, and it’s been yielding tremendous results,” African Development Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, Dr. Celestin Monga, said.
Monga underlined the need for incremental innovation in each African country, but also called for increased support to small and medium sized enterprises as a starting point to scaled up industrialization.
Africa needs to create production lines because “ even with low-skilled labour we can do tremendous things,” he said.
JICA and NEPAD have been promoting incremental innovation through the Africa Kaizen Initiative, launched in 2017.
“Kaizen is about mindset changes. It will be a formidable tool to enhance productivity of SMES…We have rolled out projects and training programs in 10 countries,” Mayaki said in his welcome remarks.
Acknowledging two Africa Kaizen awardees, also in attendance, Makayi told the packed room “They are the exact product of how Kaizen should be implemented.”
Fikreselassie Ambaw, General Manager of MAA Garment Factory in Ethiopia and Ruben Zebedayo Lyanga, head of Atoz Textile Mills (Tanzania), who won the Africa Kaizen Award in 2019, made presentations on how the business approach radically transformed their enterprises and boosted productivity, employee commitment and creativity.
Sharing Kaizen’s contribution and achievements in Ethiopia, Gebreyes explained how Kaizen and the subsequently transformed mindset have led to increased efficiency in spare parts production lines. “In the sugar cane sector, the Kaizen model has led to a 43% hike in productivity,” he noted.
Answering questions on the capabilities needed for entrepreneurs and firms to promote radical, disruptive innovation in Africa, Toshiyuki Nakamura, Director General of Industrial Development and Public Policy Department said: “the common thread between GAFA, (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), is the implementation of Kaizen. Incremental and radical innovation, are one of the most important messages for the continent.”
Through JICA, the Kaizen approach has expanded its outreach to 25 countries on the continent; touched 18,096 enterprises and 301 public institutions.
The African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina is leading a high-level delegation to TICAD7 which is being held in Yokohama city from 28-30 August.
The Tokyo International Conference on African Development, led by Japan, started in 1993. African heads of states and key business leaders are scheduled to attend from around the world, providing an opportunity to explore investment opportunities. The event, held every 3 years, has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since 2016. The last TICAD was held in Nairobi, Kenya.
#VisaFreeAfrica Initiative Announces Winners of 55 Voices for Africa Competition
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
All winners will receive cash prizes, a winning certificate and have the opportunity to have their work published on the #VisaFreeAfrica (VFA) website
KIGALI, Rwanda, August 27, 2019/ — With over 185 entries from over 33 countries, Shareefa Youshna Jewan from Mauritius emerged as the winner of the 55 Voices for Africa (55Voices4Africa) writing competition conducted under the #VisaFreeAfrica (VFA) initiative. She is closely followed by Priscilla Takondwa Semphere and Olewuenyi Chioma Catherine as the first and second runners up.
The 55Voices4Africa competition invited youth from across Africa to share their experiences about challenges faced with intra-continent travel. Entries were welcomed in English, French, Portuguese and Arabic.
Out of the 55 countries in Africa, only 11 currently allow all African nationals to travel freely without the need for a visa. Mobility is a big issue in Africa where there are thousands of untold stories of opportunities lost due to visa regulations. This writing competition aimed to put a face to many young Africans who have experienced this with reference to education, tourism, health and work among many sectors they would thrive in.
In her article Shareefa said “In my opinion, all African countries should mimic Seychelles’ visa liberalization policy and provide free access to all other African nations. Increased mobility will follow. Africa’s population is the youngest amongst all the continents and it is of utmost importance that all Africans enjoy access to better educational opportunities and more competitive labor markets. From a realistic perspective, Africa will not transform into a visa free continent for its citizens overnight. As goes the dictum “old habits die hard”. It may take a while for the ugly bureaucratic norms to fade away. Nevertheless, more than ever, the transformation into a visa free Africa demands to be initiated today.”
All winners will receive cash prizes, a winning certificate and have the opportunity to have their work published on the VFA website as well as other prestigious media.
VFA is a global campaign to facilitate mobility in Africa driven by the Kigali Global Shapers in partnership with National Aviation Services (NAS), the fastest growing aviation services provider in the emerging markets. Kigali Global Shapers, a community whose vision is to create a platform that engages with the youth to inspire innovation and change launched the writing competition to build further awareness on the important of achieving a visa free Africa.
To support our petition visit: www.VisaFreeAfrica.com
To read the winning stories visit: http://www.visafreeafrica.com/Home/WritingCompetition
Noble Energy Makes New Equatorial Guinea Petroleum Discovery
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
|Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) is pleased to announce that U.S. oil and gas company Noble Energy has made a discovery in offshore Block I|
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, August 27, 2019/ — Noble Energy makes oil discovery in Block I, located in Equatorial Guinea’s offshore sector; The well was drilled to a total depth of 4,417 meters and is expected to produce first oil in October 2019; As a champion of oil and gas development in Africa, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima will lead the conversation on the future of natural gas on the continent at the Africa Oil & Power event in Cape Town on October 9-11 2019.
Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) is pleased to announce that U.S. oil and gas company Noble Energy has made a discovery in offshore Block I.
The Aseng 6P well was drilled to a total depth of 4,417 meters. Noble is currently in the process of completing the 400-meter horizontal section of the well and, using existing Aseng field infrastructure, is expected to produce oil from October 2019.
“We are excited to announce this discovery which could not have come at a more opportune time. We have been dedicated to developing our resources to build a better economy and create opportunities for our people and, it seems we are gaining momentum,” said Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima.
He added that: “It’s always been our firm belief that our country is relatively underexplored. When companies drill offshore Equatorial Guinea, their likelihood for a discovery is real. Noble Energy and partners are longtime friends of Equatorial Guinea and it is only fitting that we should build on our oil and gas development efforts with them right by our side. This is great news for our economy, jobs creation and local content development.”
The Aseng field consists of five subsea wells connected to a FPSO vessel. With a 40 percent interest, Noble Energy is operator. Other partners include Atlas Petroleum (29 percent), Glencore Exploration (25 percent) and Gunvor (6 percent).
This year, Equatorial Guinea kicked off its endeavor to become Africa’s premier gas hub with the signing of definitive agreements with the Alen field partners and Punta Europa Plant owners to monetize gas from the Noble Energy-operated Alen field – a project known as the Gas Megahub.
As the country develops its gas resources, Minister Obiang Lima said earlier this year that it was also targeting a final agreement on its 2007 joint deal with Cameroon to develop gas condensate discoveries Yoyo and Yolanda on their maritime border.
Minister Obiang Lima alongside Antonio Oburu, General Director of Equatorial Guinea’s national oil company GEPetrol, will lead a delegation of companies active in Equatorial Guinea to the Africa Oil & Power Conference and Exhibition in Cape Town, South Africa on October 9-11 2019. Joining the minister will be BANGE, Centurion Law Group, Noble Energy, Marathon Oil, Golden Swan, Baker Hughes, Kosmos Energy, Trident Energy, Tullow Oil, Elite Construcciones, Schlumberger, NAHSCO, Hexagon and NALCO Champion.
Sierra Leone: Over Cancellation of election , Rights group questions legality of NEC’s decision
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Ishmael Sallieu Koroma
Christian Lawyers Centre (LEGAL LINK) a human rights organisation operating in Sierra Leone has in an open letter dated 26th August and addressed to the Chief Electoral Commissioner, Mohamed Nfa Alie Conteh, urged the National Electoral Commission (NEC) to show the extant law that supports their cancellation of the entire parliamentary re-run elections held on 24th August in Constituency 110.
In the strongly worded letter, the organisation noted that they wrote to NEC out of a deep sense of cosmic responsibility and moral rectitude at a time when majority of the country’s pressure groups and civil society organizations have gone reticent over such travesty of justice.
According to the letter, LEGAL LINK felt obligated to stand tall and be the voice of conscience and mouthpiece of the nation over what he referred to as all-important subject.
“We are in receipt of your Press statement dated 25th August 2019 in which you cancelled the entire re-run Parliamentary election in Constituency 110 held on the 24th of August 2019.According to your Press Statement, this action was taken by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) because violence erupted during the course of the polls at the Sarah Modern Preparatory School polling centre which led to the destruction of ten ballot boxes and other electoral materials,’’ the letter recalls.
It continued that based on the reasons provided by NEC, they at LEGAL LINK have taken the pains to search out all the legal references cited by the commission in their Press Statement of 25th August 2019 and also other governing laws on elections at the international, regional and domestic levels.
“We make bold to say that there is no clear or expressed provision in any legal framework be it at the international, regional or domestic level that supports your action to cancel an entire Parliamentary election.Against this backdrop, LEGAL LINK feels compelled to reach out to you and afford you a second chance to make clear to the nation which legal framework or section thereof that was invoked by you in arriving at your cancellation decision. As we await your reply and clarification, let us seize this opportunity to bring to your kind attention and by extension the public some basic awareness on the electoral laws governing the conduct of elections in Sierra Leone since education seems to be vital in all of what has happened,’’ the letter reads.
Lawyer Rashid cited laws bearing and touching on elections at the international, local and regional level and therefore concluded with the ones at the National level, to showcase to the NEC boss that he acted ultra vires (beyond the powers conferred on him by law).
“At the domestic level, there are a plethora of legal, institutional and policy frameworks that have been established for the smooth and efficient conduct of public elections in Sierra Leone. These frameworks include, the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone,the Constitution of Sierra Leone Amendment Act of 2001,the Electoral Laws Act of 2002,the National Electoral Commission Act of 2002,the Public Elections Act of 2012,the Political Parties Act of 2002,the Local Government Act of 2004,the Election Petition Rules of 2007,the National Civil Registration Act of 2016,the Chieftaincy Act of 2007,Wards (Boundary Delimitation) Regulations, 2008.’’
The letter argued that there was no express provision stated in all the above legal and policy frameworks that gives NEC the authority, right or power to cancel an entire election.
They letter reiterated that LEGAL LINK strongly avers that such decision falls exclusively within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Sierra Leone as provided for under Ssections 146 and 147 of the Public Elections Act of 2012 respectively.
“At the very least, the farthest NEC can go in terms of cancellation of an election is limited only to a polling station where over voting has occurred. This is so stated in section 87 of the Public Elections Act 2012.”
The Human Rights group stated that it will amount to a complete waste of tax payers money if the decision of NEC is not reversed within the shortest possible time, adding that the conduct of elections, no doubt, requires not only huge amounts of money, time and energy but much more a higher degree of fairness, impartiality and integrity by the referee conducting the elections.
They urged the NEC boss to think about all of what they have stated in the open letter and do the right thing for the sake of transparency, justice, fairness and the peace of the country.
‘’Finally, and in the interest of transparency and accountability, please do not also forget to mention in your reply the actual winner of the Parliamentary re-run elections of 24th August 2019 since you already know the difference in result between the first and second contestants,” the open letter ended.
NJ Ayuk in Billions at Play Explains How Energy Underpins the African Dream
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
The energy sector, in particular, holds great potential to revitalize African economies and empower the growth and development
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 27, 2019/ — African economies are undergoing a transformative period. The energy sector, in particular, holds great potential to revitalize African economies and empower the growth and development. This, is a subject NJ Ayuk dives into in great detail in his sophomore book, Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals.
Now available for pre-order on Amazon, Billions at Play tells us how energy can work better for Africans.
With a foreword by OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, Billions at Play sets out to answer the questions: How did Africa get here and what comes next? How do African countries and societies get the most value from their resources? What exactly can African leaders do to put their countries on a sustainable, profitable path? And how can all parties win in Africa’s energy deals of the coming decades?
In a straightforward approach, the Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber outlines the fortunes and misfortunes in Africa’s petroleum industry and presents to us that Africa can learn from itself to build competitive economies. In particular, he proposes that:
“If African governments, businesses, and organizations manage Africa’s oil and gas revenues wisely, we can make meaningful changes across the continent.”
Using his experience and knowledge of the global energy sector, Ayuk challenges key players to be more active in developing their resources and local content skills, and encourages decision-makers to put Africa’s people at the center of economic growth plans.
Making the case for the petroleum industry having the power to support and transform emerging economies, he unpacks key issues including what and how Africa can learn from itself, the role of natural gas in Africa’s energy future, effective and sustainable investment strategies, strategic oil and gas revenue management and, the role of women in the African petroleum sector.
The latter he insists is vital in the success of Africa’s oil and gas sector.
He asserts that the low number of women represented in the global energy sector is an opportunity missed. “I believe this is unacceptable, short-sighted, and, frankly a real stumbling block to African countries that want to realize the full socio-economic benefits that a thriving oil and gas industry can provide.”
Ayuk says that, “Africans are more than capable of making our continent successful.” However, global participation in the African energy landscape can produce greater benefits. Speaking on U.S.-Africa relations specifically, he stresses that Africa needs companies that are willing to share knowledge, technology and best practices, and businesses that are willing to form positive relationships in areas where they work.
In his foreword, H.E. Barkindo describes Ayuk as a dreamer who has “taken the time to develop a detailed roadmap for realizing that dream” and prompts people all over the world to take the time to read Billions at Play in order to “play a part in making his dream of petroleum-fueled economic growth, stability and improved quality of life happen for Africa.”
Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy and Doing Deals is now available for pre-order on Amazon. Order your copy today.https://amzn.to/2NxkNLP
Watch out for upcoming interview with NJ Ayuk at www.panafricanvisions.com
Merck Foundation to conduct 6th Edition of “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” October 2019 in Ghana
August 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
African First Ladies and Ministers of Health, Gender, Information and Education from 20 African countries will attend the conference
ACCRA, Ghana, August 26, 2019/ — The 6th edition of Merck Africa Asia Luminary will be co-chaired by H.E. MADAM REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation (Merck-Foundation.com); The President of Ghana, H.E. MR. NANA ADDO DANKWA AKUFO-ADDO will officially inaugurate the “Merck Africa Asia Luminary”; 2nd Anniversary of Merck Foundation will be marked during the Luminary; African First Ladies and Ministers of Health, Gender, Information and Education from 20 African countries will attend the conference; More than 1000 healthcare providers and policy makers from 60 countries will benefit from the Luminary.
Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck Germany plans to conduct the 6th Edition of “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” in ACCRA, GHANA on 29th & 30th of October 2019. It will be co-chaired by H.E. MADAM REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation.
“Together with First Ladies Of Africa and Ministers of different sectors, we will work on strong strategy to build healthcare capacity and provide the necessary training to establish a strong platform of experts in Diabetes, Hypertension, Cancer and Fertility care in their countries and define interventions to break infertility stigma. During the two days Luminary, the Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative Committee will be conducted to discuss different topics of discussion, follow up, monitoring and decisions.” Dr. Rasha Kelej emphasized.
Prof. Frank Stangenberg-Haverkamp, Chairman of the Executive Board of E. Merck KG will inaugurate the luminary and will participate in the Merck Foundation First Ladies Initiative Committee which will conducted during the two days Luminary.
During Merck Africa Asia Luminary, in order to contribute to the social and economic development of Africa and Asia, more than 1000 Healthcare providers, policy makers, academia, researchers and health media from Sub- Saharan Africa, more than 60 English, French and Portuguese speaking countries will benefit from the two days conference to benefit from valuable educational and social development sessions by top International experts in Diabetes, Fertility, Oncology and women health, Cardiology with the aim to raise health awareness and improve disease management, early detection and prevention, build healthcare capacity and improve access to quality and equitable healthcare solutions across the continent .
During the Inauguration Session on the 29th of October, a High–Level Ministerial Panel will be conducted where the Ministers of Health, Information, Gender, Education & Science will share solutions and activities to help in Building Healthcare Capacity. Also, there will be a discussion about the challenges & solutions of Infertility, Oncology, Diabetes and Hypertension care in Africa and Asia.
During the conference, Merck Foundation will also mark an important occasion; the 2nd Anniversary of Merck Foundation.
Moreover, winners of ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ Media Recognition, Fashion and Film Awards of Ghana will be announced during the Award ceremony on 29th of October.
African and Asian Countries participating include: Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central Africa Republic, Cambodia, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guinea – Bissau, Guinea – Conakry, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, The Gambia, Togo, Tunisia, U.A.E, UK, Uganda, US, Zambia, Zimbabwe and more.
About ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ campaign;
Merck More Than a Mother” initiative aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and health and by changing mind-sets. This powerful initiative supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe and effective fertility care. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention and management. In partnership with academia, ministries of health and international fertility societies, the initiative also provides medical education and training for healthcare providers and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.
With “Merck More than a mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility on all levels: By improving awareness, training the skills of local experts, building advocacy in cooperation with decision makers and by supporting childless women in starting their own small business. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.
The Ambassadors of “Merck More Than a Mother” are: H.E. NEO JANE MASISI, The First Lady of Botswana; H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The First Lady of Burundi; H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic; H.E. HINDA DEBY ITNO, The First Lady of Chad; H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo; H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana; H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia; H.E. CONDÉ DJENE, The First Lady of Guinea Conakry; H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Republic of Liberia; H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The First Lady of Malawi; The First lady of the Mauritania; H.E. DR. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique; H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADO, The First Lady of Niger; H.E FATIMA MAADA, The First Lady of Sierra Leone; H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGW, The First Lady of Zimbabwe; H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Lady of Zambia.
Also, part of the campaign is our Merck Embryology & Fertility Training Program, a three-month hands-on practical course in partnership with IRSI, Indonesia, IIRRH, India and Manipal Academy of Higher Education (Manipal University), India to establish the platform of fertility specialists across Africa and developing countries. Merck Foundation provided for more than 135 candidates, in clinical and practical training for fertility specialists and embryologists in more than 35 countries across Africa and Asia such as: Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, CAR, Cote D’IVOIRE, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Malaysia, Liberia, Mali, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Niger, Philippines, Russia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, The Gambia, Togo, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia & Zimbabwe.
Merck Foundation is making history in many African countries where they never had fertility specialists or specialized fertility clinics before ‘Merck More Than a Mother’ intervention, to train the first fertility specialists such as; in Sierra Leone, Liberia, The Gambia, Niger, Chad, Guinea, Ethiopia and Uganda.
Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck more than a Mother such as;
• Merck More than a Mother media recognition award and health media training
• Merck More than a Mother fashion award
• Merck More than a Mother film award
• Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
About Merck Oncology Fellowship Program:
The Merck Oncology Fellowship Program, a key initiative of Merck Cancer Access Program, focuses on building additional capacity through medical education and training. The lack of financial means is not the only challenge in Africa and developing countries, but a scarcity of trained health care personnel capable to tackle the prevention, early diagnosis and management of cancer at all levels of the health care systems is even a bigger challenge.
Merck Oncology Fellowship Program focuses on building professional cancer care capacity with the aim to increase the limited number of oncologists in Africa and Developing countries. The program provides One-year fellowship program at Tata Memorial Centre – India, One and half-years Oncology Fellowship programs at University of Malaya – Malaysia, Two years Oncology Fellowship Program at University of Nairobi – Kenya and Two years Master degree in Medical, Surgical, Pediatric and Radiation Oncology at Cairo University – Egypt, in partnership with African Ministries of Health, Local Governments and Academia. Launched in 2016, over 70 candidates from more than 25 African countries have rolled in the Merck Oncology Fellowship Program. The program will continue to build cancer care capability in African countries such as Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, CAR, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Gabon, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, The Gambia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
About Merck Foundation: