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With another ebola containment effort underway, new report tracks progress made by the WHO in the African Region in its transformation agenda
May 24, 2018 | 0 Comments

By Wallace Mawire

Dr Matshidiso Moeti

Dr Matshidiso Moeti

Efforts to transform the WHO in the African Region to become the organization that staff and stakeholders want is making an impact to the health of people across the region, according to a WHO spokesperson.

  According to WHO, the strengthened realignment to health priorities and effective response to over 100 disease outbreaks and humanitarian disasters each year are some of the more important results of the ambitious reform program which begun in 2015.

The changes are highlighted in a report titled: “The Transformation Agenda of WHO in the African Region: Delivering Results and Making an Impact” launched on 23 May 2018 in Geneva on the side lines of the World Health Assembly. The report’s release comes as the organization is working around the clock to contain a new outbreak of Ebola virus disease in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Equateur Province.

The report offers specific insights into the progress made in the key focus areas of the reforms: fostering pro-results organizational values; providing enhanced technical and operational support with a closer alignment to health priorities; improving the enabling functions of the Organization to deliver programmes; and building a responsive and interactive organization.

“I reflect with pride on the progress and some remarkable successes we have had over the past three years.” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “I amhumbled to work with colleagues, Member States and partners who share the visionof an Organization that is proactive, results-driven,accountable and appropriately resourced to deliver onits mandate.”

In the wake of the Ebola crisis in West Africa, a new emergencies strategy and programme was launched leading to marked progress in preventing, detecting, and responding to crises. There have been innumerable successes at controlling outbreaks and responding to emergencies from the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to Lassa fever in Nigeria, plague in Madagascar, Marburg fever in Uganda, malaria outbreaks in Cabo Verde and Burundi, and meningitis in Niger and Nigeria. In 2017 alone, WHO in the African Region responded to 152 emergencies in 39 countries across the continent, including 134 outbreaks and 18 humanitarian crises.

The report shows how, in 2016, when four new cases of polio were reported in northern Nigeria, the Organization mounted the largest ever polio campaign in Africa.Over 190 000 polio vaccinators immunized more than 116 million under-five children in 13 countries in West and Central Africa. These efforts averted the spread of polio to other countries.

With a renewed momentum towards universal health coverage (UHC) and the sustainable development goals, the report highlights the development of a Framework of actions to guide the strengthening of health systems. The Framework was adopted by Ministers of Health in August 2017, who now use it as a tool to guide their actions towards achieving of UHC. Successes made in reducing HIV, TB, and Malaria have also been significant: for the first time, more than half of all people living with HIV in the Region have access to life saving HIV treatment (or 14 million people); new TB medicines and shorter treatments for multi-drug resistant TB are being rolled out in 21 countries; and between 2010 and 2016, estimated new cases of malaria dropped by 20 percent and deaths declines by 37 percent. At the same time, the Organization is tackling the growing burden of noncommunicable diseases (NCDS), including by ensuring that the African Region is leading worldwide in the adoption of the Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products.

The report also looks at how the Organization has become more efficient at supporting the delivery of programmes. The Accountability and Internal Control Strengthening Initiative was launched in 2015 resulting in overall effectiveness improving from 50 to 77 percent in 2017. Newly developed Key Performance Indicators are now in place and supporting the prioritization of health programmes. A massive human resources review was undertaken at the regional office and is now being conducted at country level to ensure the organization has the staff it needs to get the job done. The report also highlights how the drive to recruit more women is making progress with 4.5 percent more women now in the organization. WHO is very sensitive to ensure that it gets value for money and the reforms have supported this effort. In 2017,a sample of 19 transactions were assessed and it was found that cost savings of US$ 1.4 million had been made.

The reforms have also encouraged focused efforts to tackle priority issues in the Region. One of these is the health of the quarter of a billion adolescents on the continentbeing addressed by a new Flagship Programme that focuses on improving access to HIV testing and treatment, tackling substance abuse, treating mental health, providing quality reproductive and sexual health services including contraception, preventing accidents and injuries and promoting healthy behaviours to prevent noncommunicable diseases. Another focus area has been the five-year Expanded Special Project for Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN),which has already made considerable headway, including through the unprecedented mapping of targeted NTDs and the launch of an on-line open access data portal.

The progress made reflects that theWHO African Region is becoming more accountable, and results-driven and this is leading to results. The report celebrates these achievements in the African region, a timely exercise as WHO as a whole celebrates its 70th anniversary.

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Korea ready to share its technological and industrial revolution experience with Africa, says President Moon Jae-in
May 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
The Chairman of the African Union and Rwandan President, Paul Kagame noted that holding the Annual Meetings in Busan presents a unique opportunity to enforce the growth cooperation between Africa and the Republic of Korea
 BUSAN, Republic of Korea, May 24, 2018/ — Korean President Moon Jae-in has committed to sharing Korea’s technological and industrial experience with Africa and to help it compete in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

His message came at the opening ceremony of the 53rd Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (https://AM.AfDB.org/en). “Africa is no longer the sleeping lion. Korea is happy to share its industrial experience with the continent. The theme of the Annual Meetings is appropriate for the industrial transformation of the continent, and in facilitating the sharing of experiences with Korea and other partners.”

African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina thanked the Government of Korea for hosting the Bank’s Annual Meetings. He recalled Korea’s transformation from a poor nation 60 years ago to the 11th largest economy in the world, noting the contribution of industrialization to its transformation. “Today, Samsung and LG television and phones dominate globally, while Korean cars are everywhere. Korea was deliberate and consistent in its industrial drive like China and Japan. Africa must learn from Korea’s industrialization and the equally remarkable experiences of China, Japan, and other parts of the world.”

“Africa must fast-track industrialization. That is why the African Development Bank plans to invest US $35 billion over the next 10 years in its focus on industrialization. The Bank’s industrialization strategy hopes to help Africa raise its industrial GDP from a little over US $700 billion today to over US $1.72 trillion by 2030. This will allow Africa’s GDP to rise to over US $5.6 trillion, while moving GDP per capita to over US $3,350.

“The formula for the wealth of nations is clear: rich nations add value to all they produce; poor nations simply export raw materials. Africa needs to industrialize and add value to everything that it produces – from agriculture, to minerals, to oil, gas and metals. Africa needs to move from the bottom to the top of the global value chains.”

Young Africans can transform the continent given the chance. He described the experience of Clarisse Iribagiza, a young Rwandan woman who earned a master’s in Information and Communications Technology from the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, a program supported by the Bank. With a modest contribution from the Government of Rwanda, Clarisse launched an ICT business that she recently sold for US $10 million. She is now a member of the Bank’s Presidential Youth Advisory Council.

To unlock Africa’s potential through investment, the Bank has created the Africa Investment Forum (www.AfricaInvestmentForum.com), a transactional platform created by the African Development Bank with its partners to leverage global pension funds and sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors to significantly invest in Africa. This new investment marketplace will set sail from November 7-9, 2018 from Johannesburg, South Africa.

Dong Yeon Kim, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Strategy and Finance of the Republic of Korea, said a new approach was urgently needed. He referred to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a 19th-century American novel written by Harriet Beecher Stowe that envisioned a promising future for Africa.

“Harriet Stowe was right. Very surprisingly, we now witness strong evidence of Africa flourishing, just as she predicted. Growth in the region over the past 20 years was 3% higher than the previous period, and the absolute poverty ratio decreased to two thirds of what it was two decades ago.”

Kim stressed the need for innovative industrialization to translate Africa’s potential into economic prosperity.

“Industrialization policy should take into account the unique conditions of each country. New technologies can provide leapfrogging opportunities by speeding up the industrialization process and creating new value.” Smart infrastructure, he said, presents a promising area for Korea’s contribution.

“Smart infrastructure can provide a new solution to Africa’s shortage in roads, airports and harbours. It allows optimal use of resources and can even replace traditional infrastructure. Africa is already producing substantial outcomes in this area. Going forward, Korea is strongly committed to share its rich expertise and experience as Africa’s close partner.”

In his address, the Chairman of the African Union and Rwandan President, Paul Kagame noted that holding the Annual Meetings in Busan presents a unique opportunity to enforce the growth cooperation between Africa and the Republic of Korea.

“Korea has been a strong and reliable partner of Africa. Africa faces challenges that we can address together,” he said.

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 34 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.

*AFDB

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Arsenal signs shirt-sponsorship deal with Rwanda
May 24, 2018 | 0 Comments
The deal between Visit Rwanda and Arsenal is for three years.

The deal between Visit Rwanda and Arsenal is for three years.

Change is afoot at Arsenal Football Club. Arsene Wenger is gone. Long-term defender Per Mertesacker has hung up his boots. Unai Emery has been announced as the new manager and, to top it off, the club has signed a new shirt-sponsorship deal with the central-east African nation Rwanda.

The three-year deal with the English Premier League club will be its first ever sleeve sponsorship, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) said in a statement.
The “Visit Rwanda” logo will be emblazoned on the left sleeve on all first team, Under-23 and Arsenal Women’s shirts from the beginning of the new season this summer.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Arsenal and showcasing the vibrancy and beauty of our country,” said Clare Akamanzi, CEO of RDB.
The deal aims to highlight Rwanda’s tourist hotspots, like the national parks, rainforests and wildlife.
Last year 1.3 million people visited Rwanda, the RDB reports, and tourism is the country’s largest foreign exchange earner.
Rwanda will hope to attract visitors by being visible on one of world football’s most popular clubs.
“The Arsenal shirt is seen 35 million times a day around the world,” said Vinai Venkatesham, Arsenal’s Chief Commercial Officer, in a statement on the club’s website. They haven’t disclosed the financial details.
Arsenal is the sixth largest football club in the world, according to Deloitte. Manchester United have the top spot, followed by Real Madrid.
Earlier this year the IMF stated that Rwanda is the third fastest growing economy in Africa, although human rights groups report restricted freedom of speech.
 *CNN
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Korea announces $5-billion financial package for Africa at African Development Bank Annual Meetings
May 23, 2018 | 0 Comments
The Bank and the Republic of Korea also signed an agreement with the intent to provide up to $600 million towards the energy sector
 

Adesina

Adesina

BUSAN, Republic of Korea, May 23, 2018/ — The Government of Korea and the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) have issued a Joint Declaration following the conclusion of the Ministerial Roundtable of the Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation (KOAFEC) Conference taking place during the African Development Bank’s 53rd Annual Meetings in which Korea announced a $5-billion bilateral financial assistance package for Africa.

 

The Ministerial Roundtable is the signature event of the biennial KOAFEC Conference, gathering a peer group of African Ministers of Finance who also serve as the African Development Bank Board of Governors to discuss topical issues and a pan-African approach to engagement with Korea. Taking place under the theme “Africa and the 4th Industrial Revolution: Opportunities for leapfrogging?”, the Ministerial Conference highlighted the need for long-term planning for industrial development and execution of projects, as well as a focus on value addition in sectors where Africa has comparative advantage for example in agriculture and natural resources. There was also a need to further leverage technology such as the mobile phone for more inclusive growth, in favour of the youth.

The $5-billion financial assistance package will be delivered over two years through partnerships with various development agencies, including but not limited to the African Development Bank Group. The package leverages resources from various Korean bilateral agencies and platforms, including the Knowledge Sharing Program, the Economic Development Cooperation Fund, Korea Import-Export Bank, among others. Specifically, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina and the Deputy Prime Minister of Korea, Dong Yeon Kim, signed three cooperation agreements for the implementation of certain components of the $5-billion package by the Bank Group. The first was the extension of the General Cooperation Agreement which allowed for the replenishment of the KOAFEC Trust Fund housed at the African Development Bank with US $18 million. The Trust Fund, now totaling $93 million will continue to provide critical capacity building grants and resources for project feasibility studies. An Action Plan of 20 KOAFEC projects were endorsed during the Conference for 2019-2020 destined for a diverse group of countries and sectors.

 

The Bank and the Republic of Korea also signed an agreement with the intent to provide up to $600 million towards the energy sector. The Bank and the Government of Korea also signed an MOU for the Korea-AfDB Tech Corps Program which will allow for the exchange of technical expertise and human resources, to address ongoing challenges of youth unemployment in both regions. On the occasion, President Adesina noted that “Africa needs to build, and we will build, wider partnerships for development. We want to build strong investment partnerships with Asia going forward.”

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 34 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.

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Lidya Raises $6.9 Million in a Series A Round Led by Omidyar Network
May 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

One of the largest funding rounds in the tech sector in Nigeria will help bring innovation to financing for micro, small, and medium businesses

Lagos, Nigeria, May 23, 2018 — Lidya, the digital financial services platform focused on improving access to credit for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Africa, today announced that it has raised $6.9 million in a Series A investment round, one of the largest in Nigerian tech history. The funding was led by Omidyar Network, the Silicon Valley impact investment firm established by Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay. New investors, Alitheia Capital (via the Umunthu Fund), Bamboo Capital Partners, and Tekton Ventures, also joined the round, which included existing investors Accion Venture Lab and Newid Capital.

“Lidya was founded on a simple, yet fundamental idea: technology can unleash and empower a generation of business leaders and entrepreneurs throughout Africa by revolutionizing how risk is assessed, credit is underwritten, and customers are banked,” said Tunde Kehinde, cofounder of Lidya.

“We are excited by the overwhelming support from the investor community, which signals a great confidence in our business model and team,” added Ercin Eksin, cofounder of Lidya.

Globally, MSMEs are one of the strongest drivers of economic development, innovation, and employment, and yet access to finance is frequently identified as a critical barrier to growth for these businesses. 40 percent of MSMEs in emerging markets are underserved when it comes to access to credit—representing an estimated $5.2 trillion credit gap. In Nigeria, where Lidya is based, the IFC estimates that there is an MSME credit gap of at least $25 billion.

“Access to flexible, affordable credit is at the crux of unlocking growth in the MSME sector. Lidya is addressing that by using smart algorithms to analyze transaction data from small businesses to assess their creditworthiness,” said Ameya Upadhyay, investment principal at Omidyar Network and Lidya’s newest board member. “This data-driven approach allows the company to offer loans without the need of hard collateral—a requirement that has scuttled MSME financing in Africa. In the process, Lidya gathers insights that help expand its product portfolio to become a holistic partner to small businesses.”

How it works

In less than 15 minutes, an MSME can create a free account online or download the Lidya app on to their connected devices. The MSME can then share or load bank account or transaction information to the platform. Following this, the MSME can manage cash flows, customer data, and create and send invoices digitally.

Requesting a loan against a pending invoice is easy and decisions are made within 48 hours. Once approved, funds are disbursed on the same day. To assess credit risk, Lidya uses nearly 100 data points to evaluate each applicant and builds a unique credit score. Businesses can apply for loans ranging from $500 to $50,000, without the need to go to a physical location, present audited financials and projections, or provide collateral. Repayment schedules and fees are agreed upfront and with total transparency.

Since inception in 2016, Lidya has made over 1,500 business loans to help MSMEs in farming, hospitality, logistics, retail, real estate, technology, and health to get the capital they need to grow their operations.

The funds raised in the Series A round will allow Lidya to expand its loan book, scale in Nigeria, enter new markets in Africa, and bring in more skilled professionals, particularly data scientists and engineers.

Lidya has also been recently accepted into the MasterCard Start Path Program, a global effort to support innovative startups developing the next generation of commerce solutions.

About Lidya

Lidya is the future of finance for small businesses in frontier markets.  Our goal is to help great business owners access financing and build a credit score through an easy and inspiring lending process. Lidya is currently live in Nigeria and is using world-class technology to help small businesses invoice customers, access credit, and build credit scores to grow their businesses. Lidya was founded by Tunde Kehinde, the former Managing Director of Jumia Nigeria, the largest eCommerce platform in West Africa, and Ercin Eksin, the former Chief Operating Officer of Jumia Africa responsible for operations in six of the largest economies in Africa. Tunde and Ercin also cofounded Africa Courier Express, the largest direct-to-consumer delivery provider in Nigeria. Tunde and Ercin attended Harvard Business School and the University of Chicago-Booth, respectively, for their MBAs. You can learn more here: www.lidya.co.

About Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change.  Omidyar Network has committed more than $1 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Financial Inclusion, Digital Identity, Education, Emerging Tech, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights. You can learn more here: www.omidyar.com.

About Accion Venture Lab
Accion Venture Lab is the world’s leading seed-stage investor in FinTech for the underserved. Venture Lab invests capital in, and provides support to, innovative FinTech startups that increase access to, improve the quality of, or reduce the cost of financial services for the underserved at scale. Since launching in 2012, Venture Lab has deployed over US$10 million across more than 30 startups that work in over 20 countries worldwide. Venture Lab is a part of Accion, a global nonprofit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a pioneering legacy in microfinance and FinTech impact investing. Accion catalyzes financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of–or poorly served by–the financial sector. For more than 50 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through its work with more than 90 partners in 40 countries. For further information, visit https://www.accion.org/venturelab.

About Alitheia Capital (via the Umunthu Fund)

Goodwell’s uMunthu fund is a €100-million inclusive growth fund for Sub-Saharan Africa that invests in financial inclusion, agribusiness, and other inclusive growth sectors, with a heavy focus on the digital economy. The fund is part of the third generation of Goodwell funds, with dedicated and experienced local teams, building on the success of predecessor funds in India and West Africa. The investment in Lidya was executed by Alitheia Capital, co-manager of the uMunthu fund. uMunthu’s portfolio companies include Pagatech (Nigeria), Nomanini (South Africa), Musoni Systems (pan-African), WhereIsMyTransport (pan-African), and Oradian (pan-African).  For more information, please contact Nico Blaauw, Goodwell, at nico@goodwell.nl.

About Bamboo Capital Partners

Bamboo Capital Partners (“Bamboo”) is a pioneering private equity firm that delivers positive social and financial value. Bamboo invests in businesses primarily in financial services, energy and healthcare that leverage technology to have impact at scale in emerging markets. Founded in 2007, Bamboo is a longstanding sector leader and through continuous evolution has a honed strategy for growth. Bamboo has raised over $300m across four funds to date. Bamboo has positively impacted over 96 million lives and created over 30,000 jobs through its investments in over 30 countries. The firm has a team of 25 professionals active across Europe, South America, Africa and Asia. For more information, please visit http://www.bamboocp.com.

About Newid Capital

Newid Capital is a direct-investment fund focused on financial services and financial technology companies in developing markets. Through its investments, Newid Capital aims to expand financial services to currently underserved markets and individuals. Newid actively seeks early- and mid-stage startups that are looking for investment and operational assistance. Newid is able to leverage personal experience in building, and exiting, financial services companies from the viewpoint of both the entrepreneur and the investor.

 

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Joyce Banda’s return shakes up Malawi’s already shaky politics
May 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

The many contradictory rumours about the former president’s plans and potential alliances highlight the unstable nature of Malawi’s politics.

Former president Joyce Banda has come back to Malawi following four years away. Credit: Paul Morigi.

Former president Joyce Banda has come back to Malawi following four years away. Credit: Paul Morigi.

After almost four years away, former president Joyce Banda finally returned to Malawi on 28 April, stepping on home soil for the first time since she lost the 2014 elections. Since her homecoming, she has been quick to criticise the current government, but has remained vague on her next steps, simply emphasising that “this country needs salvation”.

Banda’s two years in power, from 2012-14, will always be synonymous with the cashgate scandal, which revealed the systematic looting of public money by civil servants, private contractors and politicians. The former president has always denied having a hand in the theft of around $31 million, which began before her presidency, but she has been implicated in the testimonies of several individuals who have been convicted. Many presume her reluctance to return to Malawi was due to her fear of arrest.

Now home, Banda insists she has been cleared of any involvement in cashgate, but the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has denied this is the case. Its investigators say they are still reviewing the evidence. It is possible they will end up summoning her regardless of what they find under political pressure from the government.

Banda for president?

Banda’s return comes almost exactly a year before Malawi’s elections scheduled for May 2019. She says she will be seeking the presidential nomination of her People’s Party (PP), which she founded in 2011. Given that she has no real competition within its ranks, her endorsement would be a formality. A bigger challenge for her will be rebuilding the party, which has suffered several significant defections in her long absence, mostly to the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

If she runs for president again, she will face an uphill battle. In the 2014 elections, Banda did not only fail to win, thus becoming Malawi’s first incumbent president to lose elections since the dawn of multi-party democracy in 1994, but came a distant third.

Her loss came as a surprise to many external observers at the time given her popularity outside Malawi. But, as argued previously, one of Banda’s biggest shortcomings was always her concern with her international reputation often at the expense of securing votes at home. Her long exile abroad will have done nothing to improve this.

Banding together?

Nonetheless, Banda arrives back in Malawi at a time of great political uncertainty. President Peter Mutharika, for example, is under growing pressure from within his own party to make way for a younger candidate. The 77-year-old incumbent has insisted that he will contest again in 2019, but others in the DPP would like to see the likes of 45-year-old vice-president Saulos Chilima throw their hats into the ring too. The choice of the party’s flag-bearer is made at the DPP convention, but it is currently unclear when and if this will take place.

Should Mutharika get the nomination, he would have the power to choose his own running mate. This fact may be the basis of rumours that Banda and Mutharika are considering joining forces. In Malawi’s fluid and often unstable political environment, anything is possible. It is notable, for instance, that Banda is one of a few politicians to have been a key member of every ruling party in the democratic era. Yet for now, the idea of her and Mutharika teaming up seems a stretch too far.

On her return, the former president said she has not spoken to Mutharika since 2012, a particular low point of their relationship. In 2011, Banda, who was then vice-president, defected from the DPP after refusing to endorse Peter Mutharika’s bid to be the next president. Then, in 2012, the two briefly tussled for power after President Bingu wa Mutharika died suddenly. Banda, who retained her vice-presidential role despite leaving the ruling party, became president in accordance with the constitution.

This bitter history makes a Mutharika-Banda ticket seem improbable. More likely is the possibility, also rumoured, that Banda could join forces with the main opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP). Several of its supporters, dressed in party colours, were on hand to welcome Banda at Chileka Airport on her arrival. Since then, however, the MCP has held a convention in which it endorsed Lazarus Chakwera to lead the party again in 2019, with Sidik Mia, a former minister under Banda, his likely running mate. This means any alliance would have to take on a different form to a joint presidential ticket.

A year ahead of elections, the way in which all manner of political alliances are being mooted speaks to the fact that Malawi’s politics is not ideologically driven but mostly based on personalities and regional calculations. This latter factor was particularly highlighted at the MCP convention when a special arrangement had to be made to ensure the party had representatives from across the country.

This is the complex and unpredictable political landscape that Joyce Banda navigated for almost 20 years as a politician and to which she now returns. How she chooses to proceed through it remains to be seen, but the mere homecoming of the former president has already shaken things up even more.

 *Source African Arguments.Jimmy Kainja is a Malawian academic and sociopolitical blogger.

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Ethiopian Airlines positions itself to take over Africa’s skies
May 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

(CNN)In Africa’s battle for the skies, an east African carrier is stepping up its game in an effort to dominate the market.

The state-owned Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s largest carrier by number of passengers, according toFlightGlobal, has taken stakes in a raft of carriers across Africa and opened routes to new destinations, like Manchester, UK.
The expansion is part of the airline’s 2025 Vision to become the leading aviation group in Africa, and increase the share of the market occupied by African airlines.
“Twenty percent of the market is carried by African airlines and 80% of the market is carried by non-African airlines,” said Tewolde Gebremariam, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. “The market share has been declining for the last 20 years.”
Ethiopian Airlines is looking to fend off competition from South African Airways, the largest carrier by number of flights, according to FlightGlobal, EgyptAir, Royal Air Maroc and Kenya Airways.
Tewolde told CNN that Ethiopian Airlines are expanding into West Africa with Togolese airline ASKY Airlines. They’re also doing business with Air Cote d’Ivoire, Congo Airways and have taken management of CEIBA International in Equatorial Guinea.
The airline has ambitious plans; Ethiopia is working with the Zambian government to relaunch their national carrier with a 45% stake, it also plans to establish a wholly-owned airline in Mozambique and has signed a contract to start an airline in Guinea. Ethiopian has also taken stakes in a Chadian airline.
“Typically, they’re taking a minority stake or around 50%. They tend to go into these joint ventures with local partners,” said Oliver Clark, senior reporter at FlightGlobal.

New routes

Ethiopian Airlines is launching new routes from Addis Ababa to JakartaChicago and Geneva in the coming months.
The airline is looking to make the Ethiopian capital a transport hub, connecting other African countries without long-haul capacity with continents around the world.
“It’s trying to feed traffic from other African countries through Addis to then give them the connectivity to travel on to other continents, US, Europe and Asia in particular,” Clark said.
In 2015, Africa accounted for only 3% of air passenger traffic, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization. The growth of African airlines worldwide will seek to expand the number of travelers.
 *Source CNN
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The Zayed Sustainability Prize Calls for Submissions from the African Continent
May 23, 2018 | 0 Comments
Application window open until 9th August 2018
 ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, May 21, 2018/ — The Zayed Sustainability Prize  is now open to applicants from across the African continent. Having evolved from the Zayed Future Energy Prize, this annual award recognises achievements that are driving impact, innovation, and inspiration in areas across health, food, energy and water sectors with expanding possibilities for a sustainable future.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their entry   for consideration with a submission deadline of 9th August 2018. With a total prize fund of US$3 million, the Prize awards winners across five distinct categories that include: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.

The interconnected pillars of health, food, energy and water represent the basic needs essential to human survival where innovations will yield progress in sustainable development. The evolution from the Zayed Future Energy Prize into the Zayed Sustainability Prize addresses the inter-related nature of the world’s global resource systems that determines progress of social, economic and environmental improvements.

The annual Prize provides a platform for recognising the next generation of sustainability innovators and leaders across the world. The Prize network and fund allow organisations and enterprises with existing innovations or high schools with project ideas in the defined sectors to amplify their work, expanding the reach and impact of the innovations.

The target for the Zayed Sustainability Prize is to attract applications from all countries across Africa opening up new opportunities for innovators in organisations, enterprises and high schools to amplify their impact and reach. The Prize awards unique, pioneering innovations that have the potential to affect a positive impact on humanity by helping entities scale up their efforts and yield greater success.

Dr. Lamya Fawwaz, Director of the Zayed Sustainability Prize, said: “The categories of the Zayed Sustainability Prize have been carefully selected to reflect the most pressing sustainability challenges and offer the greatest socio-economic impact on the lives of people around the world. The Prize will also look to inspire today’s youth to be forward-thinkers and cultivate within them a vested interest in becoming agents of change for sustainable development – after all, youth of today are leaders of tomorrow.”

“Africa represents the fastest growing region for entrepreneurship in the world.  With award-winning projects, our winners from the continent and globally have had positive and sustainable impact on its people. Over the last decade, we have witnessed a growing interest from participants across the African continent and we expect the momentum to continue growing this year. We hope to facilitate collaborations between our ever-growing network of innovators to build stronger, more sustainable innovations and projects that will propel the continent forward,” Dr. Lamya added.

The Zayed Sustainability Prize has a three-stage evaluation process, beginning with the due diligence that is conducted by a reputed international research and analysis consultancy. Following this, the shortlisted entries will undergo evaluations by a Selection Committee to determine the finalists. From these finalists, a Jury will select the winners in all five categories, including the winning schools from six world regions.

The deliberations on who wins the Zayed Sustainability Prize are set against three core criteria where entrants must demonstrate:

  • Impact: Significant and tangible outcomes on the quality of people’s lives
  • Innovation: Distinctive characteristics to change the “status quo” and potential to catalyse opportunities that will have a disruptive positive impact and transformative change
  • Inspiration: The potential to scale up project outcomes in the next decade and the ability to inspire others

In the past decade, the Prize focused on closing the energy gap and ensuring energy security. Africa is an important continent as it is where access to energy has significantly improved the quality of life of its people. The evolution to the Zayed Sustainability Prize and its alignment to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals allows the Prize and its winners to affect an even greater impact on humanity by increasing the influx of resources in Health, Food, Energy and Water into the region.

Winners of the Zayed Sustainability Prize will be announced at the awards ceremony during the opening of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week on 14th January 2019.

 

Established by the UAE leadership in 2008, as the Zayed Future Energy Prize, the Zayed Sustainability Prize (www.ZayedSustainabilityPrize.com) is a global initiative inspired by the environmental stewardship and global sustainability vision and legacy of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

Culminating in an annual awards ceremony, held each year during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, the Zayed Sustainability Prize invites pioneers and innovators from around the world to be part of a growing community, committed to developing impactful sustainability initiatives and accelerating the development of solutions that serve people across the world – for today and for the future generations to come.

The Zayed Sustainability Prize categories are: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.

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Tilting Trade Towards Africa: Becoming The World’s Food Basket
May 23, 2018 | 0 Comments
By Mimi Kalenda
Mimi Kalenda

Mimi Kalenda

As we celebrate Africa Day and all the continent’s historical accomplishments, let’s also look ahead and determine how best we can up the ante in terms of trade so that Africa does not lose out on the benefits of it. The scales of international trading need to be balanced with the world’s poorest nations, especially Africa, to achieve fairness.

Africa has lots to offer the world and it could easily become the world’s food basket and be a force to be reckoned with. But for this to happen trade needs to be favourable and not tilted towards more developed nations with huge export capacity and greater competitiveness. To ensure fairness of trade, Africa needs to be on the same level.

The debate on trade is a contentious one with many arguing that free trade will never exist, and that policies on trade should be in the public interest.

Let’s for a moment look at the signing of the recent African Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). On 21 March 2018, the CFTA was signed in Rwanda, which was advanced by the African Union in accordance with its 2063 Agenda. It details a long-term development plan to create the largest free trade area in the world. It aims to create a single African market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, by liberalising trade and making it easier for African businesses to trade within Africa. The AU predicted that this plan would increase the level of intra-African trade by 60% by 2022. It hopes to gradually eliminate tariff barriers between member States to ease doing cross-border business.

The agreement, with a predicted cumulative GDP of $2.5 trillion, may look really good on paper but will it in reality be conclusively implemented, completed and monitored? Surely our leaders need to be accountable to the people of Africa for what they sign. They need to explain what the strategy entails, provide an outline of the plan, detail how will it be implemented, clarify who will be monitoring deliverables, and illustrate how output will be measured. Africa has been scarred by politicians who love signing agreements and creating huge publicity for a moment, with Africa’s people not seeing the results in the long term.

Only 10 AU members chose not to sign the CFTA including Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari has been quoted as saying that his administration will not be in a hurry to enter into any agreement that would make the country a dumping ground and jeopardize the security of the nation. In my opinion, these are real considerations one should take into account to determine whether it has merit or not.

Last month, writer David Pilling in an opinion piece in the Financial Times said the CFTA could unlock Africa’s potential, even though the principles of free trade were under ideological attack in many parts of the world.

“Africa needs free trade for many reasons. The most important is to remake history,” he said in the article.

“Colonialism left Africa in bad shape to develop. It broke the continent into more than 50 pieces, few of which today have the scale to attract sufficient investment or ramp up manufacturing. The whole of Africa has a gross domestic product of about $2.5tn, roughly the same as the UK. Imagine if Britain were broken up into 54 units, each with its own politics, language, regulatory environment and hard border.”

He said that even if they tried, many post-colonial African governments were unable to break the basic pattern of trade: ship raw materials out and bring manufactured goods in. Most African economies were stuck as suppliers of basic commodities and missing out on the classic benefits of international trade.

Trading with each other was a way out of that bind, he said.

Meanwhile, Debate Wise argues that poorer countries will suffer due to the ‘unfairness’ and ‘expensive’ nature of free trade agreements. It believes poor countries will ultimately abandon free trade agreements, and it would cause more harm than benefits.

Africa can continue to rise if the scales of trade were tilted toward poorer nations that have a huge basket, filled with a variety of commodities and goods to offer. It has an abundance in natural resources and mineral reserves, and holds about 98% of the world’s chromium, 90% of the its cobalt and platinum, 70% of the world’s tantalite, 64% of its manganese, 50% of its gold and one-third of its uranium. Guinea is the world’s largest exporter of bauxite and the Democratic Republic of Congo has more than 30% of the world’s diamond reserves.

Africa remains the poorest and most underdeveloped continent in the world, despite technological advances and massive efforts over the past two decades to change the status quo. Surely, the time for written agreements that remain unimplemented are over. Now is the time for action.

*Mimi Kalinda is a respected Tutu Fellow and thought leader on the African narrative. This New York University graduate is also the Director of Communications for the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), a network of centres of excellence incubating STEM education for Africa’s brightest students while searching for the next Einstein in Africa. Originally published at Farmers Review Africa
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Janngo raises seed funding to shape digital ecosystems and create panafrican tech champions
May 23, 2018 | 0 Comments
Janngo, 1st Social Startup Studio in Africa, closes first funding round to launch new digital platforms offering solutions to African SMEs, with an inclusive approach
 

Fatoumata Bâ, Founder & CEO, Janngo

Fatoumata Bâ, Founder & CEO, Janngo

PARIS, France, May 22, 2018/ — Janngo (www.Janngo.com) successfully closes its first funding round, launches its Paris and Abidjan offices and unveils its strategy of building digital ecosystems in Africa during Paris Tech for Good Summit and Viva Technology. This €1 million seed funding will enable Janngo to launch and grow new digital platforms targeting African SMEs while creating tech-enabled jobs at scale for women and youth.

« With Janngo, we want to empower African SMEs, leveraging technology to improve access to market and business performance. We build turnkey solutions to support their growth, access new market opportunities, build capacity, improve their productivity and boost their competitiveness.» explains Fatoumata Bâ, Founder & CEO of Janngo.

Janngo closes a €1 million seed funding led by top-tier investors and opens offices in Paris and Abidjan

Janngo announces its first funding round to launch digital solutions tackling challenges faced by African SMEs. Janngo demonstrates its ability to attract both African and international capital with a pool of experimented investors including :

Mulliez Family, a family office with a long-term patrimonial vision ;

Clipperton, a leading independent Investment bank fully focused on high growth Technology companies and backed by Natixis ;

Soeximex, leader in international trading supporting access to consumer goods in West Africa for more than 5 decades and specialized in commodity and vehicles trading.

« We are excited to be leading Janngo’s first funding round as they embark on a journey of building world-class digital services for SMEs, at the backbone of african economies. With this investment, we demonstrate again our vision of enabling passionate entrepreneurs promoting innovation that make sense and creating a larger and long-term impact on the whole ecosystem. We have recently opened an office in Nairobi which illustrates our commitment and trust in Africa” comments Benoît Leclercq, President of Pole Innovation Metiers of Mulliez Family.

« Clipperton supports Janngo since inception. It’s unusual for investment bankers to join a seed round but Janngo has achieved unanimous backing, a great testimony of the quality of their vision combined with the team’s track record and execution capabilities. We see them as a potential tech champion in Africa, in line with our core focus and positioning as technology experts for high growth tech companies with global ambitions » explains Nicolas von Bulow, Managing Partner at Clipperton.

« Soeximex Group is very proud to be backing Janngo. We were not only convinced by the relevance of their vision but also by the strong social component of their approach. Our African roots motivate us to endeavour to give back to this amazing continent, while contributing to build robust business models, capable of delivering economical performance for the ecosystem.” highlights Christel Dagher Hayeck, Senegalese-born Director of Soeximex.

« We are extremely proud to have been able to bring together this quality of investors onboard, committed to delivering our vision of technology as a lever of betterment of our society. They come with a unique blend of expertise as leaders in their respective fields combined with a long term vision and commitment to Africa, a strong mission alignment and values fit, solid operational synergies and evergreen funding, particularly critical for Africa where patient capital is needed to deliver sustainable impact. The successful closing of our €1 million seed funding is only a first step towards delivering our long term vision.» adds Fatoumata Bâ, Founder & CEO of Janngo.

A unique positioning towards building digital ecosystems

The need to develop tech-enabled ecosystems to digitize entire value chains of key african sectors

Janngo focuses on building world-class digital solutions adapted to the african context and enabling SMEs targeting essential sectors such as :

(i) sectors providing African consumers for their fundamental needs; in particular agriculture, health and education ;(ii) sectors enabling African SMEs to gain competitiveness, reducing their operations costs, saving time or optimizing their efficiency such as affordable logistics or financial services ;

(iii) sectors with a potential to generate large pools of direct and indirect jobs; such as fashion and tourism industries both still underleveraged while offering huge growth prospects.

From its Abidjan office, Janngo builds, pilots and grows tech platforms serving the needs of African SMEs and their end-customers to improve access to fundamental services, products and information.

Combining the very best of marketplaces and SAAS business models to serve the real economy, with an inclusive approach has been an ongoing passion turned into reality by Fatoumata Bâ, Founder of Jumia in Côte d’Ivoire, previously Managing Director of Jumia in Nigeria and Member of Jumia Executive Committee at Africa level, having driven the performance of up to 130 websites and mobile apps across the continent in more than 30 countries, with an impact of more than 3000 direct jobs, 70 000 indirect jobs and opportunities created for hundreds of thousands of SMEs in Africa.

Accelerate the growth of African SMEs through faster, better and cheaper access to market

African SMEs represent up to 17% of the GDP but face fragmented markets, prohibitively expensive operational costs, under optimized and non integrated supply chains with limited access to international markets, insufficient capacity and limited access to capital to scale their business; yet, they generate more than 85% of jobs on the continent, with major untapped opportunities. With fast growing markets such as Côte d’Ivoire consistently delivering a record 8% growth, a booming middle class, a continent home to more 1 million inhabitant cities than Europe already and mobile leapfrog pioneers such as Nigeria, with the highest number of mobile internet users worldwide.

« We strongly believe that our central thesis of being a technology-driven backer of African SMEs is a powerful lever to accelerate growth, owing to their preponderant role in the larger economy. That’s why Janngo mobilizes both technology and capital, providing solutions to grow their business, win additional markets, further build their capacity, accelerate their growth and enable their market expansion to ultimately become national, regional or pan-African champions.» explains Fatoumata Bâ.

Invest in startups and SMEs growth with an inclusive approach to boost employment creation and capacity building for women and youth

In a context where African countries are getting ready to tackle an unprecedented demographic challenge with more than 900 millions of jobs needed to absorb the growing labor pool by 2030, Janngo develops a double bottom-line approach boosting value creation from African start-ups and SMEs while contributing to the economic empowerment of women and youth.

« This is most likely our bigger challenge and best answer to the sense of urgency : create, via our platforms and our ecosystem of SMEs, directly and indirectly, qualified jobs at scale enabling as many women and young individual to earn their living with stable and recurring income. Many African countries are recording record high GDP growth at a global level but these numbers need to be translated into concrete improvement of population living conditions, higher disposable income and more job opportunities. If we manage, through Janngo, to generate long-term job opportunities at scale, especially for women and youth, while creating more opportunities for thousands of African SMEs in the coming years, then only we would be able to say that our mission is accomplished. It’s our North and the ciment of our team.» concludes Fatoumata Bâ.

Janngo (www.Janngo.Africa) builds, grows and invests in pan-African digital champions with proven business models and inclusive social impact. We build digital ecosystems in high growth sectors by providing business support and digital platforms allowing Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to scale and contribute to the economic empowerment of youth and women through job creation and capacity building.

Pole Innovation Metiers consists of private equity investment vehicles controlled by the Mulliez family and focusing on evergreen funding to back innovative and passionate entrepreneurs who share common values of fostering an entrepreneurial spirit while empowering team members. They invest in companies providing access to essential goods and services at scale such as healthcare, education, employability and environment.

Clipperton (www.Clipperton.net) is a European independent corporate finance advisory firm exclusively dedicated to the Technology & Internet industries, advising innovative companies on M&A transactions, debt financings and equity offerings. With offices in London, Paris, and Berlin and an international reach, Clipperton is a European leader in Technology financial advisory. Over the past 15 years, the team has successfully completed more than 230 high profile transactions globally.

As a historic actor, SOEXIMEX (www.Soeximex.com) acquired an experience of markets in Africa and in the Middle East, but also in Far East, in South America or in the Eastern Europe.
With several boats chartered every month and hundreds of containers sent towards more than 50 countries, SOEXIMEX takes place among very first French exporters.

Solid capital bases, the best notation possible for the Bank of France (B3 ++) and partnership with international banks allow SOEXIMEX to maintain favored links with the major economic actors both in the international trade and in the automotive.

 

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African Development Bank Group Annual Meetings: Regional cooperation, structural reforms key to economic transformation
May 23, 2018 | 0 Comments
Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano and a former Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank is attending the 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group in Busan, Korea
 

Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano and a former Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank is attending the 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group in Busan, Korea

Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano and a former Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank is attending the 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group in Busan, Korea

BUSAN, Republic of Korea, May 22, 2018/ — Africa’s development agenda must focus on the socio-cultural and commercial interests of Africans and the upliftment of Africa’s trade and economic ecosystem, said Muhammadu Sanusi II, the Emir of Kano and a former Governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank, during his address at the 2018 Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank Group (https://am.AfDB.org/en) in Busan, Korea.

“Africa’s economic transformation will be best achieved through fast-tracking regional cooperation and the execution of hard-nosed structural reforms that focus on the development of the continent’s human capital and material resources,” said Emir Sanusi II.

The Emir shared insight about revamping African regional integration, trade and economic relations with Executive Directors and Governors of the Bank, comprising Finance, Budget and Economic Planning Ministers from member nations.

An economist and financial risk expert, the monarch traced Africa’s post-colonial economic woes to the continent’s fiscal indiscipline and endemic disregard for its competitive advantages. For these reasons, he asserted, Africa’s development was stunted and its global trade ties lopsided in favour of offshore trading partners.

“Nine out of every 10 countries in Africa have huge trade deficits with China, but Asia developed mostly on domestic investments and resources,” he noted, underscoring the need for African Governments to invest in and promote creativity and indigenous enterprise.

The Emir advocated a series of structural reforms, including strategic investments in key sectors including agriculture, infrastructure, education, and small and medium enterprises. He called for deliberate industrial diversification noting that China has begun to move its mega-sized manufacturing capabilities out of low-cost industries.

African Governments also need to eradicate constitutional provisions and structures that increase the cost of governance at national and sub-national levels, manage demographic growth, and revamp and harmonize moribund and ineffective customs and excise duties that promote cross-border smuggling and revenue losses to governments, he said.

Africa’s debt burden continues to inhibit capital investment in industrialization, he observed, lamenting the misallocation of resources: “We need to begin to ask ourselves, ‘what do we do with the available funds in our coffers?’”

“Perceptions matter. So there is an urgent need for improved transparency, as this is clearly linked to good governance,” he said. “We need to accept that we have a perception problem that we must address. We need to tackle corruption, block leakages and create opportunities for new jobs.”

“Private sector capital is crucial for sustained economic growth but so is government’s intervention in guaranteeing business externalities like power, water and waste management, roads, housing and the legal and regulatory environment for innovation, commerce and industry.”

On trade, the Emir called for a regional and pan-African approach to trade negotiations, a tactical model which should be led by the Bank.

“The African Development Bank has the intellectual resources and clearly is better positioned to negotiate with China on behalf of Africa as a bloc of nations,” he said. “Europe approached global trade as a bloc so why can’t African nations do the same? This is clearly another area in urgent need of the Bank’s intervention.”

President Adesina recalled the Emir’s progressive posture during his time in public service. “As Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was pro-development. He channeled significant investments into agriculture, infrastructure and SMEs.”

The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 37 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states.

*AFDB

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East African Banks dominate this year’s African Banker Awards
May 23, 2018 | 0 Comments
This is the first time the African Banker Awards take place in South Korea, more precisely in the port city of Busan
 BUSAN, Republic of Korea, May 22, 2018/ — Winners of the 2018 African Banker Awards (http://AfricanBankerAwards.com) have been announced at a prestigious Gala Dinner in Busan, South Korea. The Awards, held annually on the fringes of the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank, celebrate excellence in banking and finance on the African continent.

East Africa dominated the awards this year. The CEO of Equity Group Holdings Plc in Kenya, James Mwangi, won Banker of the Year. His bank has seen impressive growth through a series of innovations and diversified investment channels away from consumer loans. Kenya’s Equity Group also beat off strong competition from four other shortlisted nominees to win the coveted ‘African Bank of the Year Award’. Tanzania’s Dr Benno Ndulu, former central bank governor who finished his second term last year won Central Bank Governor of the year for his work in pushing for financial inclusion as well as for sound macroeconomic management. CRDB, also from Tanzania was named the ‘Best Regional Bank in East Africa’.

South African banks dominated the investment banking and deals of the year categories. Standard Bank Group swooped three awards, including the one for ‘Investment Bank of the Year’. Standard Bank and Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa took the ‘Infrastructure Deal of the Year’ for the $5bn Nacala corridor rail and port project in Mozambique and Malawi, one of Africa’s largest private sector funded infrastructure projects. The project covers 912km of railway running from the Tete province in western Mozambique to Nacala port on the east coast through a section of Malawi. A deep sea port at Nacala also features in the project. Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa was also recognized for the listing of Steinhoff Africa Retail that took place last year. Veteran South African banker, Stephen Koseff, won the Lifetime Achievement Award. As the co-founder of Investec he has built a global leader in banking and asset management.

The ‘Socially Responsible Bank of the Year’ title went to BMCE Bank of Africa Group in Morocco. The bank is widely regarded as a leader in sustainable finance and le Credit Agricole du Maroc won the award for financial inclusion. Ecobank won the award for innovation and also for Retail Bank of the year largely for the way it has integrated technology to considerably widen its products and reach.

Commenting on the ceremony, Omar Ben Yedder, Publisher of African Banker, commented on the impressive achievements of the banks shortlisted for the 2018 awards: “The winners of the African Banker Awards reflect the innovation and energy within Africa’s banking market. The categories that most catch my eye are the Deals of the year and the ones on innovation. They reflect the true energy and vigour of the banking sector. I cannot stress enough though the important role financial services have to play to drive the development of the continent.”

This is the first time the African Banker Awards take place in South Korea, more precisely in the port city of Busan. As a shareholder in the African Development Bank, the South Korean government offered to host this year’s Annual Meetings aiming to strengthen its long-standing relationship with Africa.

The 12th edition of the African Banker Awards, hosted by African Banker magazine and BusinessinAfricaEvents took place at the Paradise Hotel Busan. The awards which are held under the high patronage of the African Development Bank are sponsored by the African Guarantee Fund as Platinum Sponsor, the Bank of Industry as Gold Sponsor and Banco Nacional de Investimento, Mozambique as Silver Sponsor. Other sponsors include Afreximbank and Credit Agricole du Maroc.

THE 2018 AFRICAN BANKER AWARD WINNERS

African Banker of the Year

James Mwangi, Equity Group Holdings Plc, Kenya

Lifetime Achievement Award

Stephen Koseff, co-founder Investec

African Bank of the Year

Equity Group Holdings Plc, Kenya

Best Retail Bank in Africa

Ecobank

Investment Bank of the Year

Standard Bank

Award for Financial Inclusion

Groupe Crédit Agricole (Morocco)

Socially Responsible Bank of the Year 

BMCE Bank of Africa Group (Morocco)

Innovation in Banking

Ecobank

Deal of the Year – Equity

Steinhof Africa Retail Listing – Rand Merchant Bank (South Africa)

Deal of the Year – Debt

$300m Diaspora Bond, Nigeria

Standard Bank / FBNQuest Merchant Bank (Nigeria)

Infrastructure Deal of the Year 

Nacala Railway and Port Corridor

Standard Bank / Rand Merchant Bank (South Africa)

Best Regional Bank

East Africa – CRDB (Tanzania)

West Africa – BDM (Mali)

Southern Africa – State Bank Mauritius (SBM)

Central Africa – BGFI, Gabon

For more on the African Banker Awards, please visit: ICEvents.net

African Banker (http://AfricanBankerAwards.com) is a quarterly magazine dedicated to banking and finance in Africa. It taps into the growing demand for information about Africa’s banking and financial world, a sector that is consolidating rapidly and reshaping the economy of the continent.

IC Publications (www.ICPublications.com) has over 50 years’ experience in publishing magazines, newsletters, country supplements, industry reports and market intelligence on Africa. Our market-leading titles (African Business, African Banker, New African, and New African Woman) are published in both English and French, with a combined global readership of over 2 million.

IC Events (www.IC-Events.net) was established to complement IC Publication’s publishing arm. Together with its dedicated team of specialists and extensive network of contacts, IC Events tailors innovative forums, roundtables and workshops responding to the most pressing issues in Africa. IC Events’ activities are 100% results-driven, bringing together major stakeholders and partners involved in the topics tackled to achieve concrete action plans.

 

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