Local content and market-driven policies set to shape energy investments in Senegal as African Energy Chamber concludes working visit in Dakar
February 18, 2020 | 0 Comments
The African Energy Chamber’s delegation advocated for local content as a pillar of the industry’s sustainability efforts
DAKAR, Senegal, February 18, 2020/ — As Senegal’s first oil and gas projects are under-development and first production is expected within two years, the African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) conducted this week a working visit in Dakar to promote investment into the country and support local content development and capacity building.
Led by Executive Chairman NJ Ayuk, the African Energy Chamber’s delegation advocated for local content as a pillar of the industry’s sustainability efforts and offered all its support to continue pushing and financing Senegal’s initiatives to build capacity and build a new generation of Senegalese oil & gas workers and managers. “Oil companies have an unmatched ability, and a profound responsibility, to support H.E. Macky Sall’s bold vision in shaping an economy that works for all Senegalese and preserves their freedoms,” said NJ Ayuk.
The team met with H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal; H.E. Mouhamadou Makhtar Cissé, Minister of Petroleum and Energies, Ousmane Ndiaye, Permanent Secretary of COS-Petrogaz; Aguibou Ba, Director General of the National Institute for Petroleum and Gaz (INPG) and the majority of the oil and gas operators and service companies.
“Moving closer and closer to becoming a large-scale producer of oil and gas, Senegal’s story is an inspiring one. And, as a hotspot for oil and gas development, it is only fitting that the nation cements market-driven local content frameworks that are rooted in capacity building and are driven by the determination to transform practices in its energy sector,” declaired Nj Ayuk. “That is why initiatives such as the INPG are important in ensuring that industry revenue benefits the state while also guaranteeing employment for citizens. The INPG is a true social contract bringing the private and public sector together to plan for a prosperous future for Senegal,” he added.
The Chamber’s working visit coincided with that of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, during which state-owned SENELEC and GE signed an agreement for the development of 300MW of gas-to-power capacity, the modernization of Senegal’s power plants and the creation of a maintenance centre in Senegal. In line with the US’ interests to increase cooperation with Africa, the Chamber reiterated the industry’s call for continued improvements in the ease of doing business and better operating environments for foreign investors.
“President Trump dispatching Secretary of State Pompeo and US companies to Senegal is a brilliant move. US companies understand that investing in Senegal is good business and a sustainable corporate strategy. President Macky Sall’s government has built on positive trends to maximize foreign investments. This includes a commitment to transparency, improving safety and security, strengthening the macroeconomic environment, investing in quality education and skill development in science, technology and innovation, and avoiding the Dutch disease,” added Ayuk.
Last year, the African Energy Chamber and Centurion Law Group hosted a local content forum in Senegal, calling attention to local content development in the country. The ongoing visit serves as a follow up and a showcase of the Chamber’s continued commitment to the growth and development of African economies through ensuring that Africa’s natural resources benefit Africa’s people first.
“Senegal’s emergence as a key player in the oil and gas industry has been remarkable and, as this growth continues to surge, it is important that local communities have a seat at the table, It is also important that we continue to create an enabling environment investors and the oil sector. Cutting unnecessary red tape and fast-tracking project approvals will give the energy operators a boost,” said NJ Ayuk. “This, however, is a goal that is achievable only through the collaboration of the private and public sector. Local content is value creation and it is pertinent that Senegal put in place policies and frameworks that will see the its people benefit from its hydrocarbon industry,” he added.
Last month, Woodside Energy got the green light for its $4.2bn Sangomar oil project, Senegal’s first offshore oil venture where first production is expected in 2023, with a capacity to reach 100,000 bopd. The Phase 1 development concept for the Sangomar field is a stand-alone FPSO facility with subsea infrastructure. Meanwhile, works are ongoing at the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim FLNG project, whose phase 1 will see the commissioning of a 2.5 mtpa facility by 2022. This month, Kosmos Energy, BP, Petrosen and SMHPM signed an agreement with BP Gas Marketing for the supply of 2.45 mtpa of LNG over 20 years.
The MSGBC Basin has become sub-Saharan Africa’s hottest exploration frontier. Senegal is currently holding a licensing round to further attract investment into its acreages and boost existing reserves. The round is expected to generate tremendous interest from foreign investors and further confirm Senegal as a new African energy leader.
The African Energy Chamber (www.EnergyChamber.org) works with indigenous companies throughout the continent in optimizing their reach and networks. Our partnerships with international dignitaries, executives, and companies allow for relevant servicing to other international entities looking to operate within the continent.
The African Energy Chamber brings willing governments and credible businesses together to continuing growth of the African energy sector under international standard business practices.
*Source African Energy Chamber
Government of Democratic Republic of the Congo and General Electric Sign Infrastructure Agreement
February 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
|The 3-year MoU seeks to accelerate the economic and social development of the country|
KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, February 13, 2020/ — The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and General Electric (NYSE: GE) (www.GE.com) have announced signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in infrastructure projects enabling the increase in the supply of electric energy and health modernization programs. The 3-year MoU seeks to accelerate the economic and social development of the country.
Under the MoU, GE will work with the government to explore power solutions that will increase electricity to the country’s grid to benefit thousands of households. GE will also work with the ministry of health for the modernization of the country’s health system at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels as well as the infrastructures and equipment for maternal and child health, cardiology, and oncology. The partnership will also focus on training and capacity building of local talent for the sustainability of the initiatives.
Speaking about the signing, GE Africa President and CEO Mr. Farid Fezoua said, “Partnership with governments and local companies form a very important part of GE’s growth in Africa, and we are honoured today to collaborate with the government of the DRC as a key strategic partner for the country’s long-term development agenda. This gives us the opportunity to deliver innovative solutions to meet the unmet demand for the millions of citizens without electricity and those without access to quality healthcare.”
GE is currently involved in the rehabilitation of Inga IIB power plant and of Nseke Power Plant in the DRC and has successfully implemented renovation projects with the 1st interventional Cardiology and CT Scanner with 128 systems installed at the HJ Hospital and new imaging center of Camp Kokolo. In the past, GE Healthcare also led the installation of the Scanner 16 slices at Panzi Hospital, giving thousands of citizens access to the latest diagnostic solutions.
GE first started operating in Sub-Saharan Africa over 120 years ago and in 2011 renewed its focus to meet Africa’s current and future needs. The company has signed MOUs with the Governments of several countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Angola, Ghana and now the DRC to develop infrastructure projects, including sustainable energy solutions as well as improving access to quality healthcare. These MOUs involve significant investments in creating jobs and human capital development.
GE (www.GE.com) drives the world forward by tackling its biggest challenges: Energy, health, transportation—the essentials of modern life. By combining world class engineering with software and analytics, GE helps the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry, and today it leads new paradigms in additive manufacturing, materials science, and data analytics. GE people are global, diverse and dedicated, operating with the highest integrity and passion to fulfill GE’s mission and deliver for our customers.
Young Africans benefit from $500,000 Scholarship funding under the Africa Industrial Internet Programme
February 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
Port Louis, Mauritius– 31 January 2020- General Electric (NYSE: GE) and the Africa Leadership University (ALU) have announced the kick-off of the 3rd cohort of the Africa Industrial Internet Programme (AIIP) which is aimed at equipping young Africans with skills that will enable them to take part in the fourth industrial revolution.
The 2020 cohort has enrolled 35 students from 8 countries across Africa, drawn from Oil & gas, transportation, power, energy, manufacturing, healthcare, telecoms and aviation industries. Over the last two years, the rigorous training programme has graduated 64 students, of which 50 were fully sponsored by GE from a scholarship fund totalling US Dollars 500,000.
GE will give 10 full scholarships for the current cohort.
Launched in 2018, the programme has empowered participants with essential skills for building applications for the Industrial Internet, which enables machine-to-machine communication that results in systems that can collect, analyze, and deliver data in real-time. These features provide significant benefits such as predicting when a device will require maintenance, enhancing logistics management, enhancing quality and optimizing safety.
The training takes place at a time when spending on the Internet of Things is predicted to reach a trillion US dollars by 202, with the total number of connected devices being projected to rise to 75.44 billion worldwide by 2025, a fivefold increase in ten years.
Commenting on the Programme, Farid Fezoua, President & CEO for GE Africa said, “As a digital industrial company, it’s exciting to see how over the last two years the AIIP has developed an ecosystem of digital engineers that utilise data science as an enabler for their work across industries, developing solutions for the most pressing challenges. Our partnership with ALU for the AIIP is a testament of our commitment to develop the next generation of leaders that will drive solutions made in Africa for Africa in this transformative digital age.”
The AIIP is designed using a project-based approach where participants get to apply their learning in real world contexts. The Programme includes regular assessments in each module culminating with a final project where participants are tasked with applying their learning to solve an existing problem either in their business or in a partner organization’s business operations. This is achieved through modules in machine learning and big data analytics, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Cloud-based Application Development. A unique aspect of the Programme is a deliberate focus on creating links to industry for participants by inviting industry experts to intensives to share case studies, projects of interest, trends and opportunities, through industry field visits and mentorship opportunities with data science professionals. “African Leadership Group is thrilled to be partnering with GE to build a new generation of digital leaders for Africa” said Fred Swaniker, Founder of African Leadership Group, which includes African Leadership Academy, African Leadership University, and ALX. “We share GE’s passion for data, and what it can bring to the African continent and the world. The Programme enables mid-career engineers to build new skills in data analytics, data science, data engineering and data visualization. By leveraging the power of data,
today’s engineers can significantly improve the performance of high-tech industrial machinery and processes, thereby increasing the bottom line for companies. The Africa Industrial Internet Programme is creating globally competitive, digital engineers right here in Africa, and we can’t wait to see their full impact on the continent”.
In 2019 five female candidates from Kenya, South Africa and Nigeria received the Jay Ireland Africa Rising Scholarship for women in tech in honor of GE Africa’s former CEO, Jay Ireland.
Speaking about her experience with the programme, Funmi Somoye a 2019 cohort graduate from Nigeria said, “More than Machine Learning and Data Science, I have learned more about myself, and what I am capable of doing. I can’t wait to change the world!
ALU is pioneering a fresh approach to higher education in the 21st century; offering accredited undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education Programme in a unique and imaginative way. By integrating students’ learning with the real world, empowering students to take ownership of their own learning, equipping each student to think entrepreneurially, and employing the most engaging and inspiring teaching methods, ALU is pioneering a new take on higher education and leadership development. www.alueducation.com
About GE GE drives the world forward by tackling its biggest challenges: Energy, health, transportation—the essentials of modern life. By combining world class engineering with software and analytics, GE helps the world work more efficiently, reliably, and safely. For more than 125 years, GE has invented the future of industry, and today it leads new paradigms in additive manufacturing, materials science, and data analytics. GE people are global, diverse and dedicated, operating with the highest integrity and passion to fulfill GE’s mission and deliver for our customers.
From the students
Maureen Kibetu, 2019, Kenya (GE)
It is more than just coding and data science. It is practical in that we practice the skills we learnt by using real company data to draw insights. I learnt to see data as a story telling tool. I liked that the program also focused on professional development and I particularly enjoyed the conversations on leadership for the continent and ethics in the field of data science.
Gachanja Muigai 2019, Kenya (GE)
AIIP was a unique eye opener and highly beneficial program to me considering my Engineering Background. Through it I acquired formidable & versatile skills in the areas of Data Analytics, Machine Learning, Application Development and Artificial Intelligence. It is indeed rare to find a program that encompasses so many practical & digital skills & even harder when you add a dedicated, passionate Faculty. Finally my fellow students were a great addition to the program giving it a truly Pan African & Global outlook
Edward Opoku, 2018, Ghana
The AIIP is a unique, experience and dive into the world of data and analytics. It gives you an entire spectrum of what it takes to survive in the world of data science. through AIIP, I was able to meet passionate professionals and challenge our assumptions on the impact of data, and what it can bring to the continent and ultimately to the world.
Funmi Somoye, 2019, Nigeria
More than Machine Learning and Data Science, I have learned more about myself, and what I am capable of doing. I can’t wait to change the world!
Adeyinka Adeyemo, 2019, Nigeria
The AIIP is surely a programme of choice for aspiring data scientists or engineers. The modules are in-depth and well thought out and the focus on other professional development skills is also a plus for me.
Rose Funja, 2019, Tanzania
I like the linking of the theory to practice, every intensive meetup had professionals who advised us and shared interesting use cases.
Matlotlo Magasa, 2019, South Africa (GE)
Came in to the programme feeling like I was just a chemical engineer, worried about python programming and if I would be able to learn it. Now Python is not only a friendly coding language but I have the ability to get data from the plant and analyze this easily using data analytics and visualization, to use design thinking in approaching problems.
Chukwudum Chukwuedo, 2019,Nigeria
I just completed my business trip (enterprise digital competition) here in Houston, Texas and I am privileged that my software minimum viable product demonstration received full funding from the enterprise sponsors. The confidence gained from tackling ALU AIIP’s formative and summative assessments (to do hard things confidently) really came in handy and also key lessons from the leadership series especially working within teams and managing conflicts helped the team quickly go through the storming portions of team dynamics to the performing stage.
Sizwe Ncube, 2019, South Africa
I love the way the programme is structured; it encourages peer-to-peer learning and one gets equipped with new tech skills every day. The practicality of the course means you learn by doing. My biggest lesson from the program was to keep abreast of the constant changes in data science technology. All the techniques and skills we learned may become outdated in the near future, so we need to keep updated on new digital techniques. – Tobe Asem, Nigeria
- My biggest takeaway was the focus on ethics in the field of data science. That with all the power that comes with data, those planning to use it ought to consider ethical implications and biases in any application. – Maureen Kibetu, Kenya
- I learned that the world is changing daily at a high speed, so one needs to equip him/herself with the essential data to change Africa for the better and the use of data to solve real human problems is amazing. – Thula Vilakazi, South Africa
- What I loved most about the program was that it laid way for the interaction with a lot of tech-savvy and entrepreneurial minds from the industrial and telecoms space in Africa. Learning from their individual experiences and connecting with them on Africa industrial digital solutions standpoint was a high point for me. It was eye-opening to see that a lot of work is being done in Africa in the AI and ML space by both students on the program and the external facilitators of the program. What’s left now is to apply the skills I have learned now to the industry I work in to benefit Africa at large – Tobe Asem
Voith signs memorandum of understanding to build training center in Angola
February 11, 2020 | 0 Comments
- Agreement signed in the presence of Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, the Angolan President João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço and the Angolan Minister for Energy and Water João Baptista Borges
- Significant contribution to the training of skilled personnel for technical and commercial occupations in Angola
- Substantial hydropower potential in Angola still untapped
HEIDENHEIM, Germany. Within the framework of a delegation led by the German Chancellor, technology group Voith signed a memorandum of understanding in the Angolan capital Luanda on 7 February 2020 to build a training center in Angola. The memorandum of understanding was signed by João Baptista Borges, Angolan Minister for Energy and Water, and Dr. Toralf Haag, President and CEO of Voith, in the presence of Dr. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. A business delegation accompanied the German Chancellor on her visit to South Africa and Angola for political discussions.
Ground-breaking collaboration to build up local expertise
Voith Hydro has had a presence in Africa since the 1930s. Since then, Voith Hydro has been a regular supplier of equipment to the hydropower industry on the African continent, not least through its successful realization of the two hydropower projects Cambambe I in 2012 and Cambambe II in 2017. With a view to stepping up its local commitment, the company intends to build a training center to provide training and professional development in the renewable energy sector of hydropower. The company will receive support in this venture from the Ministry for Energy and Water of the Republic of Angola (MINEA). The establishment of the Voith Academy and associated development of a training center are designed to provide basic and advanced training for skilled workers in Angola in technical and commercial occupations relevant to the hydropower industry.
In accordance with Voith’s long-established dual training approach, it intends to build a training center for the theoretical part of the training. For the practical training component Voith plans to work with the trainees to build a small hydropower plant in the Cuemba region. Voith will consult with MINEA in 2020 to determine a suitable location for the training center. The envisaged total investment will be in the region of several million euros.
Substantial hydropower potential in Africa
Africa has a huge technically feasible hydropower potential, estimated to be more than 470 gigawatts (GW) for the entire continent. However, the current installed capacity in Africa is only around 36 GW, meaning that the continent has the world’s highest percentage of as yet untapped hydropower potential. This is why many countries are accelerating the construction of new plants to produce regenerative energy from water. In remote regions the focus is on small hydropower stations that help facilitate the rapid development of reliable decentralized power grids.
The declared objective of the Angolan government is an increase in electricity generation capacity from the current 5,700 MW to around 9,000 MW for years to come. In addition, the surplus energy expected to be produced is set to be offered to neighboring countries, which will boost Angola’s economic development. Projects like Cambambe II are milestones for the African country on the west coast of the continent as it moves towards a more diversified and stable energy supply for households and industry. Because until now, the existing electricity supply has only covered about 40 percent of the population. This means that more than 15 million people are having to live without electricity, despite the fact that Africa has a huge hydropower potential that has so far not been exhausted. This potential will now be used to expand the regional electricity supply in a sustainable, efficient and low-emission way.
About the Voith Group
The Voith Group is a global technology company. With its broad portfolio of systems, products, services and digital applications, Voith sets standards in the markets of energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transport & automotive. Founded in 1867, the company today has more than 19,000 employees, sales of € 4.3 billion and locations in over 60 countries worldwide and is thus one of the larger family-owned companies in Europe.
The Group Division Voith Hydro is part of the Voith Group and a leading full-line supplier as well as trusted partner for equipping hydropower plants. Voith develops customized, long-term solutions and services for large and small hydro plants all over the world. Its portfolio of products and services covers the entire life cycle and all major components for large and small hydro plants, from generators, turbines, pumps and automation systems, right through to spare parts, maintenance and training services, and digital solutions for intelligent hydropower.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets African leaders to advance conflict resolution and economic security
February 11, 2020 | 0 Comments
Trudeau called for cooperation among international partners and governments to create economic opportunity and prosperity that is broadly shared
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 10, 2020/ — Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau convened a meeting for African heads of state, foreign ministers and representatives of the United Nations and other multilateral bodies on Monday to discuss ways to secure peace across the continent as a necessary condition for prosperity.
Trudeau, the 2020 chair of the United Nations Peacebuilding Commission, called for cooperation among international partners and governments to create economic opportunity and prosperity that is broadly shared, “…as a way not just of countering the pull of extremism in some places or the cynicism of populism, but as a way of building a real and tangible future for countries around the world.”
The breakfast meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the 33rd African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, was intended to strengthen the Commission’s partnership with the African Union (AU) and to better integrate African priorities in conflict prevention and bolstering economic security. Among issues discussed were the role that international financial institutions and youth job creation can play in Africa in averting extremism and conflict; and the AU leadership in peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts.
The talks, titled Sustaining Peace and Economic Security, aligned with the Summit’s theme: Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development.
Trudeau acknowledged that one of the biggest challenges both developed and developing countries face is the perception that governments are indifferent.
“In this time of change, in this time of transformation of the global economy, time of conflict, time of climate conflict, people worry that the system has no place for them and isn’t providing them with what they need,” the Canadian Prime Minister said.
Among participants were President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso; the Vice President of Gambia, Isatou Touray; President of the United Nations General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, and the foreign ministers of Sierra Leone and Rwanda.
President Kabore offered his reflections on the issues. Burkina Faso is one of several nations in the Sahel region that have seen economic growth adversely affected by conflict and instability.
In opening remarks, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina noted the shifting nature of conflicts across Africa. While the number of outright wars in Africa has declined substantially, they have been replaced with greater fluidity with rising cases of terrorism, extremism, conflicts from non-state actors.
The root causes of conflict, according to Adesina, include “rising inequalities, lack of political inclusiveness, extreme poverty, management and control over natural resources, youth unemployment that causes social unrest, climate change, to name a few.”
The Bank is at the forefront of helping to address fragility in Africa with several initiatives currently under way. So far, $3.8 billion has been allocated to address issues of fragility through the Transition State Support Facility.
Adesina recognized the role Canada plays in enabling the Bank’s work.
“The successful replenishment of the Bank’s African Development Fund 15 – to which Canada contributed substantially with $355 million – will allow the Bank to deploy an additional $1.2 billion to address fragility, strengthen resilience and sustain peace and economic security,” he said.
New US-Kenya trade agreement won’t undermine AfCTA, President Kenyatta assures
February 9, 2020 | 0 Comments
WASHINGTON DC, 6th February 2020, (PSCU)— President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured that a new bilateral trade deal between Kenya and the US won’t undermine the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
The Kenyan leader spoke shortly after a meeting with the United States President Donald Trump at the White House during which the two leaders agreed to commence talks leading to a trade pact between Kenya and the US.
President Kenyatta made the assurance when he addressed over 350 business leaders attending a US-Kenya Trade Forum in the US capital.
He said the proposed new trade arrangement with the United States of America would in no way undermine Kenya’s commitment to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
At the White House meeting, Presidents Kenyatta and Trump said a new trade agreement would help increase volumes of trade and investment between Kenya and the US.
US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer who spoke shortly after the meeting between Presidents Kenyatta and Trump said, America recognizes Kenya as a leader in Africa and an important strategic partner of the US.
He said a new trade agreement presents the two countries a rare opportunity to explore ways of deepening Kenya-US economic and commercial ties.
“Under President Trump’s leadership, we look forward to negotiating and concluding a comprehensive, high-standard agreement with Kenya that can serve as a model for additional agreements across Africa,” Amb Lighthizer said.
In line with the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities and Accountability law of 2015, the Trade Representative will now officially notify Congress of the US government’s intention to start trade negotiations with Kenya.
Currently, trade between Kenya and the US stands at about USD 1billion a year with over 70 percent of Kenya’s export into the expansive American market in 2018, worth USD 466 million, entering under AGOA.
President Kenyatta told the Kenya-US forum that his administration is committed to developing and concluding the strongest ever trade and investment framework that would deliver increased trade between the two nations.
“Today I want to assure all of you of Kenya’s unwavering commitment in developing the strongest ever trade investment framework with the United States of America.
“We are very keenly looking forward to concluding the trade arrangement between our two countries and I believe that these trade agreements would not only serve Kenya and United States but would probably set the base for a new engagement between the United States and other African countries,”President Kenyatta said.
He dismissed speculation that Kenya is breaking away from its commitment to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) saying the new arrangement with the US is only aimed at bolstering and deepening trade not only with Kenya but also with other African countries.
“At this juncture I just want to put away a few doubts because there has been a feeling that by Kenya engaging with the US to have a trade arrangement, we are running away from our commitment to the African Continental Free Trade arrangement. And I want to assure you that there can be nothing further from the truth as that is definitely not the case,” President Kenyatta said.
The Kenyan Head of State pointed out that Kenya was among the first countries to sign and ratify the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and that its commitment to the agreement is steadfast.
He said Kenya needs to move faster and set the pace for other African countries in formulating new trade and investment arrangements with the US as the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) comes to an end in 2025.
“All we are saying is that there are some of us like Kenya who feels that we are ready. We are ready to move forward and what we are saying is, let the rest of the continent see us as pacesetters.
“Let them see us as the people who are clearing the field for future negotiations with the rest of the African continent because Kenya feels ready for this arrangement,” the President said.
He noted that even as Kenya and the US work to strengthen their trade and investment ties, there is need to preserve and build on mechanisms and regulatory frameworks that already exist.
“As you may be well aware, the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) has been a key mover for trade between Kenya and the USA. Through AGOA, the US is the third export destination for Kenyan products, with a share of about 8 percent of total Kenya’s export globally.
“Moving forward, we need to maximize the remaining years of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) that ends in 2025,” President Kenyatta said noting that the US is an important source of Kenya’s foreign direct investments (FDI), with the country holding an FDI stock of over USD 405 million in 2018.
President Kenyatta challenged American businessmen to explore new investment opportunities in Kenya and assured them of an enabling business environment.
“We have a wide range of potential areas for investment and I urge US companies to consider investing in key sectors of the economy such as; Agriculture & Agro-processing, Manufacturing, Construction & Real Estate development, infrastructure development, ICT, Blue Economy, Energy, Hospitality & Tourism, Health, FinTech & Financial Services, Petroleum, Mining, among others,” the President outlined.
Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs of the US Chamber of Commerce Myron Brilliant said the American business community is keenly following what President Kenyatta is doing in terms of improving trade between Kenya and the US and assured that the chamber will continue to support him by wooing more American investors to the country.
“We see your vision, we see your ambition, we understand what is happening in Kenya and we want to embrace it and support you,” Mr Brilliant assured the President.
President Kenyatta is accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries James Macharia (Transport), Adan Mohammed (East African Affairs) and CS designate for Trade Betty Maina among other senior government officials.
Credit: State House Kenya
Charting a course for sustainable hydropower development in Africa
February 6, 2020 | 0 Comments
6 February 2020, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – Senior African government representatives and leaders from the energy sector, financial institutions and civil society gathered in Abidjan today to chart a course for the sustainable development of the continent’s hydropower resources.
Organised by the International Hydropower Association (IHA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Africa High-level Sustainable Hydropower Roundtable looked at strategies for ensuring projects are developed in accordance with international good practice, while overcoming challenges to development and access to finance.
With close to 600 million Africans lacking access to electricity, speakers including Hon Fortune Chasi, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Energy, and Sabati Cissé, Côte d’Ivoire’s Director-General for Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energies, emphasised the social-economic and power system benefits of investing in hydroelectricity.
Africa’s existing hydropower plants deliver 36 gigawatts (GW) of installed generation capacity, but this represents only about 11 per cent of the region’s technical potential, according to IHA (Hydropower Status Report 2019).
“As a renewable energy source offering design options from run-of-river plants to pumped storage plants, hydropower in its different forms adds significant value to power systems and the reliability of energy supply,” said Wale Shonibare, the African Development Bank’s Acting Vice President for Power Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth.
Mr Shonibare said the AfDB is committed to supporting new hydropower projects through its New Deal on Energy for Africa and has already invested close to USD 1 billion for 1.4 GW of expected installed capacity over the past ten years.
“As the Bank’s emphasis on renewable energy sources is growing, so does its interest in hydropower. In order to achieve universal access to energy, it is not enough to bring online the amount of generation capacity required to cover energy demand, it is also essential to do this in a sustainable way that assures power system reliability,” he said.
In his intervention, Minister Chasi noted that Zimbabwe, where more than half the population does not have electricity access, needs international investment and technical assistance to develop renewable energy sources including hydropower. “We consider hydropower to be essential and critical for our generation of power,” he said.
Mr Cissé noted that Africa’s hydropower plants, through increasing electricity access, contribute significantly to poverty reduction and economic growth. “Africa has enormous hydropower potential, which we will need if we want to achieve national policy priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Eddie Rich, Chief Executive of IHA, said it was important to create an enabling policy and regulatory environment to incentivise new projects, while ensuring that both greenfield and rehabilitation projects are built and operated in accordance with internationally recognised guidelines and assessment tools.
“The Hydropower Sustainability Tools, governed by a multi-stakeholder coalition of social and environmental NGOs, governments, banks and industry, must be embedded in decision-making on project selection, planning, financing, development and operation. These tools define good and best practice and help to assess whether a hydropower project is truly sustainable across objective social, environmental and governance performance measures,” he said.
The Africa High-level Roundtable on Sustainable Hydropower Development was organised with support from AFD, the French development agency.
View the list of speakers: https://www.hydropower.org/events/africa-high-level-sustainable-hydropower-roundtable.
The International Hydropower Association (IHA) is a non-profit organisation working with a network of members and partners to advance sustainable hydropower. Its mission is to build and share knowledge on hydropower’s role in renewable energy systems, responsible freshwater management and climate change solutions. IHA is also the management body for the Hydropower Sustainability Tools and provides training and accreditation for independent project assessors.
Roadshow to Help Rwandan Businesses Tap Into AfCFTA
February 6, 2020 | 0 Comments
Afreximbank, PSF Will Showcase Opportunities from IATF2020 Participation
Kigali, 06 Feb. 2020 – The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has announced a roadshow in Kigali to show the Rwandan private sector how it can become a primary beneficiary of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) which will provide significant opportunities to access the largely untapped markets and sectors in an integrated African market of over 1.3 billion people.
Organised in collaboration with Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation (PSF) on 11 February 2020, the roadshow will seek to raise the awareness of the Rwandan private sector about the substantial benefits of attending the second Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF2020) which will take place in Kigali from 1 to 7 September 2020.
According to Afreximbank, Rwandan businesses can take advantage of the AfCFTA by establishing new networks of business buyers and sellers from across the African continent, enabling the country to significantly expand its intra-African trade.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank, said: “Rwanda’s economic transformation is undoubtedly one of Africa’s success stories. Rwandan businesses can further capitalise on this achievement by positioning themselves to take full advantage of the AfCFTA. Its removal of intra-African trade tariffs, progressive dismantling of non-tariff barriers and protectionism, will create a genuine single continental market. By attending IATF2020, they will gain an unrivalled opportunity to showcase their goods and services to buyers from across the African continent, whilst establishing new trade and investment links with a wide network of private and public sector players from more than 55 different countries.”
IATF2020 is expected to be Africa’s main trade event of 2020 and is aimed at providing a marketplace for buyers and sellers of products and services from Africa and beyond to meet and explore business opportunities. It will offer a platform for Business-to-Business and Business-to-Government exchanges, as well as business networking and development opportunities leading to the expected conclusion of trade and investment deals worth $40 billion.
The operational phase of the AfCFTA will commence on 1 July 2020.
Equatorial Guinea agrees on $2M Solidarity Contribution to support China’s Fight Against Coronavirus
February 5, 2020 | 0 Comments
|According to the latest updates, the coronavirus has killed almost 500 people worldwide, mostly Chinese citizens and infected over 24,000 people|
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, February 5, 2020/ — Equatorial Guinea’s Council of Ministers has agreed to support China’s fight against the coronavirus with a $2 million solidarity contribution this week. Chaired by H.E. President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, the Council of Ministers expressed its deepest support and solidarity to the Chinese Government in their fight against the global outbreak.
According to the latest updates, the coronavirus has killed almost 500 people worldwide, mostly Chinese citizens and infected over 24,000 people. The decision of Equatorial Guinea’s Council of Minister to financially support China’s fight against the virus reflects the deep and long-standing relationship between both countries, whose cooperation has only grown stronger in recent years.
“China has always been a very strong and loyal supporter of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and this contribution is a demonstration that Equatorial Guinea stands in solidarity with China and its people as it fights a global outbreak that has already cost too many lives,” declared H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. “Our ongoing Year of Investment Initiative will be a testimony to the depth of our cooperation and relationship with China. It is a pleasure for Equatorial Guinea to support its partner in times of need.”
China and Equatorial Guinea have been enjoying successful economic and technical cooperation for decades. China has supported the development of Equatorial Guinea through the construction of critical telecommunications and road infrastructure, along with supporting social infrastructure in the country. Equatorial Guinea has been a long-standing supporter of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Last year, both countries agreed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation during a meeting between President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special representative Yang Jiechi.
*Africa Energy Chamber
Gambia China exchange ideas in Combating Coronavirus
February 4, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
Ambassador Ma Jianchun exchanged views on jointly containing the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) with Hon. Mamadou Tangara
On 3 February 2020, Ambassador Ma Jianchun met with Hon. Mamadou Tangara, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, and exchanged views on further strengthening bilateral cooperation in preventing and controlling the outbreak of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus, also known as the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
Ambassador Ma briefed Hon. Tangara on the latest development of the epidemic and the measures taken by the Chinese side. He said that since the pneumonia outbreak, the Chinese government had taken the most comprehensive and rigorous prevention and control measures with a strong sense of responsibility for people’s health.
The safety and health of the Gambian nationals in China are of equal importance as the Chinese people, which has been well taken care of. As a responsible country for the international society, China has also taken many measures to prevent the outbreak from spreading abroad, many of which go way beyond the requirements of the WHO.
The declaration of the epidemic as a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) by WHO was a technical decision in accordance with the International Health Regulations and made within its responsibilities.
Ambassador Ma emphasized that as more medical resources being mobilized and transported to the epicenter of the outbreak, we are not far from winning the battle against the outbreak.
Hon. Tangara appreciated China for taking decisive and scientific measures in containing the pneumonia outbreak and ensuring safety of Gambian nationals in China especially those in the epicenter of the outbreak.
He said that the Gambian side has full confidence in China’s ability in winning the battle against the outbreak, and the Gambian people are always in solidarity with the friendly Chinese people.
He further pointed out that the Gambian side will continue to refrain from imposing unnecessary travel or trade restriction on the Chinese people.
Yale Leadership Forum Amplifies Influence of Next Generation of African Women Leaders
January 31, 2020 | 0 Comments
NEW HAVEN, USA, January 31, 2020,-/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Yale University, in partnership with Fundación Mujeres por África and Banco Santander, convened the Women’s Leadership Forum in Lagos, Nigeria, on January 17. The Lagos forum was the third of the partnership’s events held in Africa since the program began in 2015. It brought together women leaders from across the continent to foster relationships between one generation of African women and the next, and to serve as a catalyst for open dialogue. It was the culminating event of a three-day visit to Lagos by Yale President Peter Salovey.
As a flagship program of the Yale Africa Initiative, the forum is part of a broader leadership development program for senior African women government officials. Additional components of the leadership program have included participation by women from African countries in events hosted on Yale’s campus. Previous forums held in Africa were convened in Accra in 2018, and Addis Ababa in 2019.
In Lagos, opening addresses were delivered by Peter Salovey, the 23rd President of Yale University, and Maria Teresa Fernandez De La Vega, president of the Spanish Council of State and president of Fundación Mujeres por África (Women for Africa Foundation).
In his remarks, President Salovey said, “Building a network of senior African women leaders is essential to promoting sound governance and economic opportunity across the continent and around the globe for generations to come. This program has not only enhanced the knowledge and skills of current women trailblazers but has also bolstered the pipeline for emerging leaders. They are advancing the prospects of their nations, their continent, and our world.”
During the forum, two panel discussions took place, one exploring personal journeys to leadership roles, and the other focused on women defining and creating the leadership they need to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Advocating for gender equality, during her opening address, Ms. Fernandez De La Vega said, “The road to equality is the road to the Sustainable Development Goals.”
The session on the “Role of Women in Achieving SDGs” was moderated by Emma Sky, director of Yale’s Maurice R. Greenberg World Fellows Program and a senior fellow of the Yale Jackson Institute. In her remarks introducing the panel discussion, Ms. Sky emphasized the need to create spaces for women in leadership.
“Women are the hope of Africa. And it is women who are key to ensuring that Africa develops to its potential and to enabling human flourishing. This leadership forum convenes a group of highly accomplished women leaders from across Africa, who are making a difference, who serve as role models for other women, and who are committed to mentoring a new generation of women leaders to participate in addressing the challenges facing the continent,” she said.
During the discussion, which included the voices of strong African women leaders with a track record of significant contribution towards achievement of the SDGs, panelists and participants focused on the importance of empowering women in rural and capital areas, and the need to ensure that no woman is left behind.
Both panels featured program alumni: Obiageli Ezekwesili, former Minister of Solid Minerals and Education (Nigeria); Ramatoulaye Diallo, Minister of Culture (Mali); Adejoke O-Adefulire; Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs (Nigeria); Remi Sonaiya, independent researcher and consultant and professor at Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria); and Nana Oye Lithur, human rights lawyer and former Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection (Ghana).
The “Journey to Leadership” discussion, which featured personal testimonials from the panelists, was moderated by Olabosipo Sawyerr-Bassey, a graduate of the Yale School of Management (Class of 2007) from Nigeria, and Stephanie Busari, the bureau head of CNN Nigeria. A common thread from the stories shared pointed to the importance of African women in shaping the destinies of their countries.
The forum concluded with remarks from Ms. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow, presidential candidate of Nigeria’s 2019 election, and former vice president for the World Bank’s Africa Region. She urged participants to make conscious efforts towards connecting SDGs to everyday life so that people in communities can take ownership and demand accountability from the government on their efforts towards achieving these goals and improving their futures.
ABOUT YALE UNIVERSITY
Since its founding in 1701, Yale has been dedicated to expanding and sharing knowledge, inspiring innovation, and preserving cultural and scientific information for future generations.
Yale’s reach is both local and international. From its New Haven, Connecticut campus the University engages with people and institutions across the globe to deliver on its commitment to provide transformative educational opportunities for students and foster innovative discoveries that improve the world today and for future generations.
You can find Yale on social media via: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
*Source African Media Agency
Gambia: Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Tangara Meets new French Ambassador
January 29, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, Dr. Mamadou Tangara, on Monday 27th January 2020 received in his office the new Ambassador of France to The Gambia, Philippe Lalliot,
He presented copies of his Letters of Credence to the Honourable Minister before proceeding to the Presidency for the actual presentation of his Letters of Credence to the President Adama Barrow.
Ambassador Lalliot is accredited to The Gambia and resident in Dakar, Senegal.
In welcoming the new French Ambassador, the Honourable Minister assured him of the continuous support and collaboration of the Government of The Gambia at all times especially at bilateral and multilateral level.
The French Ambassador in turn assured the Honourable Minister that he will work diligently to promote and facilitate investment in The Gambia from French companies.
After his engagement with the Honourable Minister, Ambassador Lalliot was accompanied to State House by the Honourable Minister of Foreign, Permanent Secretary Mr. Sulayman Omar Njie and Director of the European Affairs Division Mr. Ebrima Mboob.
Erdogan: Turkey-Gambia trade Cooperation is Gaining Momentum
January 28, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
The visiting Turkish President to The Gambia, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told journalists on Monday at State House that the trade relationship with Banjul is at the desired level of cooperation.
Erdoğan and his host President, Adama Barrow were engaged in a joint press conference shortly after his arrival to the West African state.
“Your government has demonstrated strong support to our transitional programmes with military support to the sum of 17 million US dollars for a period of five years which is ongoing,” Barrow who first spoke said.
He said his government has also gained the support from Turkey to build the capacity of the security forces by training 500 officers on peacekeeping.
“Your excellency, we continue to appreciate the pledges you made during my visit to build a children’s hospital and offices for the parliamentarians.
“Turkish instrumental role in supporting the Gambia to host the OIC Summit and sharing the Turkish experience in hosting such a would event is highly appreciated,” Barrow stated.
Barrow said the formation of the joint economic commission between the two countries has created an investment opportunity which holds a flagship position within their cooperation. According to him, this is vital for the private sectors of both countries.
He believes that the coming of the Turkish president’s visit will strengthen their bilateral ties and it will boost the socio-economic growth for both states.
Meanwhile, President Erdoğan said Gambia’s decisive start had made it an example for other African countries.
“The economic and trade relationship we have with the Gambia is now at the desired level. Between Turkey and Gambia in 2019, the trade value reached 55 million dollars,” he disclosed.
He stated that his wish is to carry on with bilateral trade towards a more balanced structure.
“In 2013, between our countries we signed up on the promotion and reciprocal protection of the investment agreement. We completed the internal ratification of the agreement in our country and we hope that the process will also be completed in the Gambia.
He said the avoidance of double taxation agreement the two states signed in 2014 has been put into force on February 26th, 2018.
He stressed that Turkey would always base their relationship with Africa on just and balanced benefit of both sides.
According to him, aside from selling products, Turkish investors are also creating jobs and are focusing on developing and strengthening the continent of Africa through their projects – ensuring that their firms will be creating more investments in the Gambia.
“In the new Gambia, I believe the Gambia government will give more responsibility to our contractors,” he added.
Rwanda and Zimbabwe in Partnership For Forum To Boost Regional Integration in Africa
January 24, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Nevson Mpofu
Harare—–Rwanda and Zimbabwe which are COMESA Member States have joined hands of Commercial and Economic solidarity in the spirit of bilateral relations through an Investment and Trade Conference to be held from 4 to 6 March this year in Rwanda Kigali . In the aura of Economic Integration and open for Business partnership, Rwanda President Paul Kagame and Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa will officially open the conference.
This come to note through an invitation advanced to press, Business Executives, Economists, captains of Industry and Government officials who attended a conference hosting ceremony launch in Harare. Speaking to delegates at a hotel in the city, James Musoni His Excellency Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda promised to kick the ground in a bang. He said the conference is historic and of great opportunity un-ever met.
‘’ This is a History making process headed by heads of State of the two countries. The two countries have made bilateral relations which will be tabled in dialogue at the 24 to 26 March conference this year. The objective is to foster Trade and Investment relations among our people. We have to strengthen these relations and partnerships meant to up-lift people out of poverty through Regional Integration.
‘’The conference will un-pack available opportunities in Rwanda so that Zimbabwe Business people can penetrate Rwanda. They will explore and identify opportunities in the country.
Rwanda has over the past decade experienced 8% sustained economic growth Annual Gross Domestic Product since 2007. This explains clearly that Rwanda is one of the fastest growing economy. The Ambassador further digs down that vast opportunities are in sectors such as Agriculture, Energy, Tourism, ICT, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Construction.
‘’This is given evidence by recent launch of the first ever made smart phone in Africa. It is called Mara Smart-Phone . Zimbabwe can import these smart-phones. Business is always easy if done and well managed. We have Rwanda Air which plies the Harare –Rwanda route on a daily basis.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Zimbabwe David Musabayana said Rwanda has vast investment incentives Zimbabwe can take advantage of. He further cited that registration is easy and accessible than in some other countries.
‘’Zimbabwe will obviously boost its economic growth because of the fast on-line business and registration that only takes a day to facilitate. Access to services like electricity utility is easy. Investors are assured of a country without corruption, investment impediments and inconveniences related to business operations.
‘’A business can be registered in 6 hours while a Bank account can be opened in less than an hour’’,
Rwanda and Zimbabwe are both countries in COMESA, a free trade bloc with 19 countries. It means free movement of people and goods between the two countries. Rwanda is signatory to the 2018 Kigali African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement currently being implemented under the African Union. Rwanda is as well a member of the East African Community like Zimbabwe which is a member of the SADC family consisting of 17 countries.
On the International scene Rwanda is the 7th most efficient Government. It is now a safe destination in Africa. It is now competitive in economic activities. This makes it easy to do business in the Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ride the wave of the African Continental Free Trade Area, African Development Bank president Adesina Urges UK investors
January 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
Africa is on the cusp of unmatched economic transformation, and the UK must engage in a “partnership of change,” African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina said Tuesday in a keynote address at a UK Parliamentary Symposium. “The Africa of the 21st century is very different. The Africa of the 21st century is new and more confident,” he said.
The Symposium was co-organized by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Africa with the Royal African Society, Oxford Brookes University, and the Trade Justice Network under the theme UK-Africa Trade and Brexit.
The Bank’s chief argued that Africa and the UK should be significant trading partners. “The reality, however, is that UK’s trade with Africa is trending downwards. From a $49 billion peak in 2012, trade decreased to $30.6 billion in 2018,” he noted.
The decline in UK trade and investment in Africa is against a backdrop of projected business-to-business and consumer-to-consumer expenditures of $5.6 trillion by 2020, and a food and agriculture market worth $1 trillion by 2030.
“The fact that we are having this conversation in the UK Parliament is a great start. The convening of this Summit by Prime Minister Boris Johnson is an even greater start,” he acknowledged.
President Adesina used his engagement at the House of Commons to share Africa’s investment opportunities, “which speak for themselves.” Trading under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which represents a market of more than 1.3 billion people and a gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion, and is the world’s largest free trade area since establishment of the World Trade Organization, starts in July.
Speaking earlier in the morning at the UK-Africa Investment Summit Sustainable Infrastructure Forum, the Bank’s chief said: “Investing in quality and sustainable infrastructure can spur Africa’s economic transformation.”
The Forum, organized by the Department of International Development (DFID) and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, seeks to facilitate new investment and commercial opportunities for the UK and promote quality infrastructure to deliver better services to African citizens.
The Bank has been a forerunner in the race to rapidly close the continent’s infrastructure gap, which Adesina suggested be renamed “Africa’s infrastructure demand opportunity.” Investors who tapped early into information and communications technology infrastructure in Africa have seen those investments become game changers for Africa, he noted.
“Just under two decades ago, Africa had fewer telephones than Manhattan in New York. Today, Africa has over 440 million cell phone subscribers. Returns on digital infrastructure are very high as the continent expands broadband infrastructure to boost connectivity and improve services,” Adesina said.
The African Development Bank has been a major investor in infrastructure development in the electricity, transport, and water sectors across Africa. Cumulative Bank funding for infrastructure on the continent rose by 22% from $66.9 billion in 2016 to $81.6 billion in 2017. During the same period, the value of infrastructure projects with private sector participation has increased from $3.6 billion to $5.2 billion.
To meet Africa’s unmet infrastructure needs, project preparation is critical, the Forum heard.
The Bank has established several project preparation facilities to address the lack of bankable projects and ensure a robust pipeline of projects. These facilities collectively provide $30-50 million annually in support for project preparation.
The African Development Bank and DFID are collaborating to explore how to better support fragile states, which are facing huge financing needs. DFID has been the Bank’s key strategic partner since it joined the Bank group in 1983. And its “strong and consistent” support for the African Development Fund has helped the development of low-income states, especially the fragile states.
Instruments, such as the Private Sector Credit Enhancement Facility, a credit-risk participation vehicle from the African Development Fund, (ADF)’s concessional window to support Non-Sovereign Operations in low-income countries, are showing tremendous results.
With $500 million in credit guarantees, provided through ADF, the Bank has leveraged $2.5 billion of financing into fragile states, with a zero default rate.
“We are committed to quality infrastructure and ensuring that no one is left behind!” Adesina concluded.
The Bank’s chief is on a three-day visit to the UK. On Monday, he joined African Heads of States at a reception at Buckingham Palace after taking part in a presidential panel at the UK-Africa Investment Summit convened by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Turkey-Gambia Relations ‘Excellent’ as President Erdogan Visits Banjul Next Week
January 22, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
The Turkish Ambassador to The Gambia, Mr. Tolga Bermek has described as “excellent” the relations between Ankara and Banjul, which makes it possible for the Turkish President to select The Gambia among countries to visit next week.
The President will be accompanied by a big business delegation to The Gambia, which the envoy said, will be “short but efficient”.
After inspecting the quarter guard mounted by the State Gurads Battalion at the State House, he was led to the offices of His Excellency, President Adama Barrow who accepted his credentials.
President Barrow formally welcomed him to The Gambia and described Turkey as a great partner and friend of the Gambia since he assumed office three years ago. The expected visit will help facilitate greater exchanges at the highest level and will result in other high level Turkish visits to Banjul in the future.
However, President Barrow calls for more Turkish investment in The Gambia as many existing opportunities are yet unexploited.
Ambassador Bermek agreed to this and added that the trade volume between the two countries are not at desired levels.
He described President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit as “a good start” for him as Ambassador, pledging that he will do his best to develop the relations in the future.
For trade, he said both countries should do their best to increase its volume, while he will work to bring more Turkish investors to The Gambia.
“We have a good opportunity on the occasion of the visit of our President. It will be the first time of such a visit to The Gambia at presidential level. I think it will open up new horizons to the relations of both countries,” he said.
Turkish Airlines launched direct flights from Istanbul to Banjul in 2019 and the Turkish Ambassador said they will like to increase that flight frequency in the future if business relations develop.
Gambia:First Lady, Partners Sign Memorandum on Medical Support
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
First Lady, Her Excellency, Madam Fatou Bah-Barrow on Monday presided over the signing ceremony between her Foundation, FABB, and a Switzerland registered, Saudi Arabian medical NGO (Albalsam Cure and Care).
The ceremony followed an audience with the visiting delegation of the NGO at the State House, and a conducted tour of the facilities at selected hospitals in Banjul,Kanifing Municipality and West Coast Region.
The group’s delegation is currently in the country on the invitation of the First Lady, who held talks with them during her visit to Saudi Arabia in November 2019.
“We are here to discuss ways to cooperate with the First Lady’s foundation for better improvement, support and care of babies and mothers,” Dr. Emad A. Bukhari, the CEO of the NGO, said.
Due to the First Lady’s special interest in the health of these category of the population, especially pregnant mothers, FABB is proposing special health caravans to deliver voluntary services to remotest parts of the country.
“For now, special attention is given to deworming in new born babies and pregnant mothers. That is one area where the partners have good experience in,” he added.
At the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, the group handed over five boxes of highly specialised surgeon equipment to the hospital through the First Lady. These are used in operating on pregnant mothers, young babies and children.
In receiving the donated materials, Dr. Kebba Marenah, Orthopaedic Surgeon and Head of Surgery at the Hospital described the equipment as “very high quality, well-known brand surgical instruments” which will be a good addition to the department.
“Whenever we see the First Lady around, we know there is something good is store for us. These materials will be put into good use and we thank her for the endless support,” Dr Manneh said.
Centurion Law Group leads market entry of Turkish Airlines in Equatorial Guinea
January 20, 2020 | 0 Comments
|As part of its mission to open new routes and expand its fleet in 2020, Turkish Airlines has added Malabo, Equatorial Guinea to its route network|
MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, January 20, 2020/ — Pan-African law firm Centurion Law Group (www.CenturionLG.com), leads the entry of Turkish Airlines into Malabo, Equatorial Guinea; Operations on the new route will commence 7 February 2020; The entry of Turkish Airlines into Equatorial Guinea supports the objectives of the Year of Investment Initiative led by the Ministry of Mines and Hyrocarbons.
As part of its mission to open new routes and expand its fleet in 2020, Turkish Airlines has added Malabo, Equatorial Guinea to its route network.
Represented by pan-African law firm Centurion Law Group in its entry into Central Africa, the airline continues to offer more destinations than any other in the world. Operations are set to commence on 7 February 2020, offering the Malabo route three times a week.
“Centurion Law Group is proud to have lead the market entry of Turkish Airlines in Equatorial Guinea. It is yet another show of our commitment to the development of Africa through facilitating strategic deals with positive externalities both in-country and on a regional scale,” said Zion Adeoye, Managing Director at Centurion Law Group. “This particular deal is also of great significance to us as it supports the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons’ objectives as represented in the Year of Investment initiative, which is aimed at directing foreign investment into key industries in Equatorial Guinea,” he added.
“This partnership withTurkish Airlines will open the country up to new opportunities not only in the aviation sector but to other industries as well. It is also another way for Equatorial Guinea to attract new business and investment while offering the people of Equatorial Guinea a direct route to the beautiful country of Turkey,” Santiago Olo Lima, Director at Centurion Law Group, Equatorial Guinea. “Our partnership truly speaks to the direction Africa is headed.”
The new service will link to the existing Nigeria, Port Harcourt route and will operate in the rotation: Istanbul – Port Harcourt – Malabo – Istanbul, building on the airlines’ already attractive logistical positioning.
“We are thrilled to have been part of this, it is a noteworthy achievement for Equatorial Guinea and us at Centurion as it allows us to once again utilize our expertise in the aviation industry,” said Manuel Oliveira, Senior Associate Attorney at Centurion Law Group.
Beyond its oil and gas offerings, Centurion Law Group has been active in Equatorial Guinea’s aviation industry, having previously represented Lufthansa Airlines.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Centurion Law Group.
About Centurion Law Group:
Centurion (www.CenturionLG.com) is a pan-African corporate law conglomerate. Operating at the cutting edge of business practices today, Centurion stands ready to provide outsourced legal representation and a full suite of legal services to new, expanding and established corporations.
Across Africa, Centurion provides a service tailored to your operating environment, the nature and structure of your business, your level of risk tolerance, and your overall objectives. Our alternative billing arrangements provide our clients with a greater degree of certainty about their legal costs.
Centurion is committed to the highest ethical standards and we recognize that our firm must take a leadership role in the legal profession in Africa.
France commits to work with Samuel Eto’o Foundation to promote Sports, culture and Education in Cameroon
January 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Amos Fofung
French ambassador to Cameroon, Christophe Guihou has reaffirmed the commitment of his country France to work with humanitarian organization of Africa’s football legend, Samuel Eto’o Fils, to promote disciplines such as sports culture and education in Cameroon.
The top diplomat took to twitter Monday to make the announcement after holding a meeting his Samuel Eto’o at the Yaounde-based foreign mission.
Though he was very brief in his tweet and failed to elaborate on how much support the French government will be handing the foundation to promote the above listed projects, the news of their collaboration has been received with excitement in Cameroon.
With goal to ensure the protection of children and young people, providing emergency aid and encouraging education, basic health and social inclusion for the disadvantaged, the Samuel Eto’o Foundation is involved in a number of projects in Cameroon including community development, sports, health, education, cultural activities, and child survival and development.
Cameroon University Campaign: Leadership is not determined by Money – Angelle Kwemo tells TEF Prospective Applicants
January 13, 2020 | 0 Comments
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
Students of some higher institutions in Buea, South West Region of Cameroon have been schooled on how to apply for the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) Entrepreneurship Program with the students urged not to focus on the seed capital but the training they will derive from it.
The TEF 2020 Application Workshops dubbed Cameroon University Campaigns, at HIBMAT (Higher Institute of Business Management and Technology), and HIMS (Higher Institute of Management Studies), was moderated by TEF Alumni Mentor, and special guest Ms. Angelle Kwemo as the students were educated on the opportunities that are involved in applying for the TEF Programme.
“What makes business people or entrepreneurs is not necessarily the money but the leadership, vision, resilience and so on. The biggest asset of the TEF programme is the knowledge, the library, expertise, training, and it is more important than the seed capital that will be given,” Ms. Angelle Kwemo, President of Believe in Africa said.
This was the same worry re-echoed by the President of HIBMAT Jude Chilaka who said, “…the very first motivating factor should not be the money, but the passion, the drive to do what you are truly called to do — the willingness to serve mankind. Should any of them benefit the seed capital, and squander it, it will not help them or their community in any way”
“They (students) should rather focus on the training because money or no money, they should be able to learn, and be able to take care of their family. As an entrepreneur the money will eventually come and it doesn’t come at the very beginning of a business venture. So this training will give them the idea of how to manage their capital, and finance and if they are not knowledgeable in this aspect, there is practically no way they can succeed in their business activity.”
But for the present crisis in the Anglophone regions, such opportunities will have been made available to the students, according to the President of the Institution. “In 2016, the institution tried to independently implement what is being done and with the coming of TEF, it is going to create an impact on the students, and the community,” Jude Chilaka added.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation’s $100 million entrepreneurship program is the Foundation’s flagship entrepreneurship initiative and will support 10,000 African entrepreneurs over the next decade, leading to the creation of a million new jobs and adding 10 billion dollars in annual turnover to the African economy.
Successful entrepreneurs participate in intensive online training during which they are mentored and obtain, after validation of their Business Plan, launch funding of $5,000. With the support of several partners, the TEF has for the year 2019 trained almost 8,289 entrepreneurs and funded 5,149 Africans.
For Ms. Angelle Kwemo, “it’s a great honor to support this initiative. Our organization (Believe in Africa) is committed to supporting young people and women in their ambition to reach financial autonomy. Since its launch in 2015, 460 Cameroonian entrepreneurs have been funded by the Tony Elumelu Foundation, including very few students. This awareness campaign among campuses therefore aims to help students see entrepreneurship as a possible career option, and to expose them to business opportunities.”
“Students are a great asset for the development of our economy. This awareness campaign offers us the opportunity to expose students to the entrepreneurial world, thereby enabling them to avoid the pitfalls of unemployment,” She added.
It has been noticed the students especially females do not apply for such initiative as Ms. Kwemo notes, they have issues that are preoccupying their mind in their personal life, job life or emotional life it is difficult for them to apply. “But it is growing, and very year we have more and more women. 75 per cent of those who attended are females and definitely we will have more applying,” She said.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation is a philanthropic organization based and funded in Africa, founded in 2010, by philanthropist and business leader Tony O. Elumelu, CON, which is committed to promoting African economic growth by empowering African entrepreneurship.
Believe in Africa is a non-profit organization launched in Washington DC in 2014. Its mission is to promote African solution to Africa problems, and to promote the role of the African private sector.
Commonwealth Secretary-General will visit India next week to address Raisina Dialogue
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland will address the 2020 Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, India next week.
The Dialogue is India’s flagship conference on geopolitics and geo-economics. In her speech, the Secretary-General will highlight the need for multilateral responses to navigate the most pressing issues facing the global community. She will focus on how women can lead the way in tackling the complex and interconnected challenges of the 21st century.
Secretary-General Scotland said: “India holds a valued place in the modern Commonwealth, with her government, people and institutions contributing in practical and imaginative ways to collaboration among our 53 member countries.
Secretary-General Scotland said: “India holds a valued place in the modern Commonwealth, with her government, people and institutions contributing in practical and imaginative ways to collaboration among our 53 member countries.
“This includes generous financial support and strong commitment to the promotion of the rule of law, development and democracy in our member countries, in accordance with the values and principles of our Commonwealth Charter.
“During my time in India, I shall be working with representatives of government and other agencies to build closer strategic partnership and to discuss how we can support our membership more closely on areas such as gender equality, climate change, trade and ocean governance.
“This visit will reaffirm the continuing vibrancy and immense potential offered through India’s networks of connection with the wider Commonwealth, and also capitalise on the dynamic platform of the Raisina Dialogue to discuss issues of strategic importance and interest to the Commonwealth family as a whole.”
During the visit, the Secretary-General will meet with government officials, high commissioners and representatives of the international community in New Delhi.
The fifth Raisina Dialogue, taking place 14-16 January 2020, is hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs of India.
RENEWABLE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION ANNOUNCES MAJOR INVESTMENT PLANS IN ASIA
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
– US firms form consortium to develop renewable energy & smart city in Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung, Taiwan (January 9, 2020) – Renewable Development Corporation (RDC) announces today in Kaohsiung, Taiwan that it has completed preliminary feasibility study and has tentatively agreed with allies and partners to conduct a series of investments in renewable energy and smart city redevelopment in the Kaohsiung area. RDC is a US company specializing in renewable energy and smart grid development worldwide. The company focuses on resilient and smart city design, implementation and development by working with its partners such as EYP Mission Critical and JLL, to develop and implement these projects in Europe, North America and Asia.
“Our communities, urban or rural, have become more and more complex and dependent upon mission critically reliable, intelligently dynamic and sustainably renewable sources of power supply. The combination of renewable and eco-friendly energy controlled by decentralized smart grid systems and the power hungry data centers that run big data cloud computing to support modern day smart city applications will continue to be the direction of our future,” said William Yuan, Chairman of RDC. “We are pleased to announce that we have entered into an agreement with our partners to develop and invest in these projects to make the world we’re living in a better one.” Yuan wrote in a letter of intent (LOI) that was submitted by Leo Chan, President of RDC Asia-Pacific to the Kaohsiung city government on January 9th, 2020.
A study by BP indicates that Asia, including China and India, will represent 43% of global energy demand by 2040, and through that year, the region will account for more than 50% of the growth in demand. In contrast, energy demand among the 36 nations in the OECD, which includes most big economies in the Americas and Europe, will be flat. Worldwide, demand for oil will peak in around 2034, according to Vitol, a Switzerland-based energy and commodity trading company. Wood Mackenzie, a commercial intelligence consultancy, reckons demand in the developed world has probably already topped out, with the OECD expected to move into structural decline by next year. The global demand for liquid fuel is about to see its growth rate take a dramatic dip over the next five years.
“We are excited to be part of the RDC team to deliver data centers that run solely on clean and renewable energy.” said Hans Chia, President of General Eco Energy Co., Limited (GEE). The demand for electricity seems insatiable, especially in Asia. Electrification rates continue to rise across the globe, with Asia expected to be close to 100% coverage by 2030. Much of that growth in demand may be supplied by renewables and nuclear power rather than fossil fuel-generated power, although natural gas is expected to play a role for years to come. It also may be accomplished through a decentralization of generating capacity, such as recent rural electrification projects in places like Malawi and Bangladesh where farmers and villages use solar panels and small generators to provide their own electricity.
“EYP Mission Critical Facilities is very excited to be a part of the RDC team and their global program for smart cities, highly energy efficient buildings and data centers. We look forward to playing an important role helping the group achieve its vision in the US, Europe and Asia in this growing segment. We will be working closely with RDC and collocating their team members as needed in various offices in the US, Europe and Asia.” says EYP MCF Managing Partner Rick Einhorn.
In an effort to redevelop the city, Kaohsiung government has called for international companies to invest in the region. RDC and partners formed a consortium to study the feasibility of putting a double rings over the Love River of Kaohsiung near the Piers area.
A world famous attraction design firm Jack Rouse Associates (JRA) joined the consortium after RDC and Cupkovic Architecture LLC who provided the conceptual design of the double rings project entered into an agreement with a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). “This is definitely a unique and bold design, and very doable too. We are thrilled to be involved in this project.” Keith James, CEO of JRA said in the meeting with the Kaohsiung city government, as he was touring the sites potentially slated for the project development on Thursday, Jan 9, 2020.
About RDC RDC is a renewables and digital infrastructure development company committed to tackling the world’s global climate crisis through innovations in technology and finance. RDC is focused on the transformation of energy, data, wind and solar to transition the world to a Net Zero environment.
About EYP MCF
EYPMCF is a pioneering consultancy in the data center and critical facilities industry with over two decades of experience assisting its clients plan, design, test and efficiently operate their facilities. With client across many verticals, from enterprise to institutional, colocation and hyperscale EYPMCF has unmatched experience and the capabilities to deliver projects of any size. With a global presence and projects in over 40 countries, it continues to drive new solutions and thought leading concepts to market that benefit its customer base.
About JLL JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 93,000 as of September 30, 2019. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit jll.com.
About JRA As a team of practical dreamers, JRA plans, designs, and realizes immersive experiences that create memories and excite audiences around the world. JRA understands what it takes to bring ideas to life so that your visitors connect with your story, eager to return. Turning ideas into a successful theme park, attraction, museum, or branded experience is JRA’s specialty.
About GEE General Eco Energy Co., Limited is established in 2014 by former leader of distributed energy business of a large US multinational energy group and industry professional team in Hong Kong. Partnering with one of the leading global infrastructure investment funds in the US, General Eco mainly engaged in development, design research, investment, construction, operation, services of industrial and commercial energy off takers by natural gas and renewable energy combined heat and power projects in Asia. General Eco is an important distributed energy field and development platform.
*For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Boon for African Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SME) as African Guarantee Fund receives USD 33 Million Capital Increase
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
The African Guarantee Fund is focused on its goal to provide financial guarantees for over 10,000 SMEs annually through partner financial institutions
NAIROBI, Kenya, January 9, 2020/ — Africa’s leading Guarantee Institution, African Guarantee Fund (AGF) (http://www.AfricanGuaranteeFund.com/) has received an additional USD 33M financing from German lender KfW Development Bank , in a move that will catapult AGF’s efforts to enable African SMEs continue to play their critical role in driving Africa’s economy.
This new financing comes at a time when the continent’s SME sector has been singled out as a key driver of growth. This now places AGF firmly on the driver’s seat as the champion that eases access to financing for SMEs across the continent.
The African Guarantee Fund is focused on its goal to provide financial guarantees for over 10,000 SMEs annually through partner financial institutions and as a trickledown effect, create 30,000 jobs per year.
“We are excited about the confidence our shareholders and partners have in what we are doing in Africa. This capital injection will go a long way in ensuring that we continue to make a positive impact in the continent. So far, we have cumulatively issued more than USD 1 B worth of guarantees making available about USD 1.7 billion for SME financing through our Partner Financial Institutions. This has led to the creation of more than 100,000 additional jobs,” says Felix Bikpo, Group CEO of African Guarantee Fund.
Out of the 20,000 African SMEs from various economic sectors that have so far benefited from AGF guarantees, the institution is very proud that 60% of these SMEs are owned by youth who are the majority in Africa today, and 30% owned by women, both being demographics that heavily impact Africa’s economy.
“Our experience traversing Africa has shown us that Women in Africa are tenacious entrepreneurs, even though they face a gender financing gap of USD 42 billion. The capital increase from KfW will largely be used to increase financing of women owned or led businesses. This is in addition to our partnership with the African Development Bank through the recently launched Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) which currently has a USD 251 million commitment from G7 countries.” added Mr. Bikpo.
About African Guarantee Fund:
African Guarantee Fund (http://www.AfricanGuaranteeFund.com/) is a non-bank financial institution whose objective is to promote economic development, increase employment and reduce poverty in Africa by providing financial institutions with guarantee products and capacity development assistance specifically intended to support SMEs in Africa.
African Guarantee Fund was founded by the government of Denmark through the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the government of Spain through the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development (AECID) and the African Development Bank (AfDB). Other shareholders include: French Development Agency (AFD), Nordic Development Fund (NDF), Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and KfW Development Bank (KfW).
AGF has a rating of AA- by Fitch Ratings Agency.
Rotary establishes peace center at Makerere University
January 10, 2020 | 0 Comments
Inaugural 2021 class will focus on shaping peace and development in Africa
KAMPALA, Uganda, January 9, 2020/ — From human rights violations to the impacts of climate change, Rotary (https://www.Rotary.org) and Makerere University are offering a postgraduate certificate program to peace and development leaders who are from or who have worked in Africa to address the underlying challenges to peace in the region.
The year-long program in Peacebuilding, Conflict Transformation and Development will emphasize issues and solutions that are of particular relevance throughout the African continent and beyond. Hands-on experience will complement coursework that addresses topics including human rights, governance, and the role of the media in conflict. Other studies will focus on refugees and migration, as well as resource and identity-based conflicts.
The program will incorporate the Positive Peace framework pioneered by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) (http://bit.ly/39TRc7W) as well as apply concepts grounded in mediation and negotiation, African philosophy, and indigenous mechanisms for conflict resolution.
“For centuries, we have looked at peace as the absence of violence, without fully considering the other drivers in play,” said Olayinka Babalola, vice president, Rotary International Board of Directors. “Instead of merely examining the causes of war, Rotary Peace Fellows at Makerere University will explore the underpinnings of peace to achieve tangible measures of human wellbeing and progress.”
The program is designed to accommodate working professionals with at least five years of proven experience in the areas of peace and development. There will be two cohorts a year each with 20 fellows, and the first class will begin in February 2021. The online application will be available in February 2020.
“Makerere University is situated at the heart of the Great Lakes region, which has experienced the most strife and the most conflicts in Africa,” said Barnabas Nawangwe, University vice chancellor. “We’ve had frequent experience with conflict, so we established our peace program more than 15 years ago to expand our expertise and augment our engagement in the area of conflict and peace. Partnering with an international organization like Rotary allows us to demonstrate on a global scale what we’ve been doing in our local environment. Based on our past rich experience, we can confront strife in populations all over the world.”
Every year, Rotary awards up to 130 fully funded scholarships for dedicated peace and development leaders from around the world to study at any of its seven peace centers programs. In just over 15 years, Rotary Peace Centers have trained over 1,300 individuals for careers in peacebuilding in more than 115 countries, and program alumni serve as leaders in both governmental and nongovernmental agencies, international organizations, and more.
Rotary (https://www.Rotary.org) brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. Rotary connects 1.2 million members of more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas. Their work improves lives at both the local and international levels, from those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. To learn more about Rotary Peace Centers programs and fellowships and to start an application, visit http://bit.ly/36CMZne.
About Makerere University:
Established in 1922 as a technical school, Makerere University (http://bit.ly/2scr1Zm) is one of the oldest and most prestigious universities in Africa. It is composed of nine colleges offering programs for 35,000 undergraduates and 3,000 postgraduates. Its Department of Religion and Peace Studies, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, will host the Rotary Peace Centers program
Vice Prime Minister Melida Harris Barrow Of The State Of The African Diaspora Harps On Unity, Trade, And Collaboration In Ghana
January 3, 2020 | 1 Comments
Kumasi Ghana December 29, 2019— At the invitation of Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Dr. Barrow gave an iconic keynote speech address at the African Prime Leadership Awards ceremony held at Manhyla Palace. Dr. Barrow has been touring the world on a mission to link Africa with the Diaspora and the Diaspora with Africa.
Along with Dr. Barrow, several Heads of State, local Chief’s, community leaders, and thousands of community members came out to support The Asantehene at the community Dubar Festival where the Ashanti Culture was on full display. The following evening December 29, 2019, a State Dinner was held to honor The Asantehene as he received The Pillar of Peace Award.
During her keynote address Dr. Barrow spoke on the need for unity, collaboration and trade between the Continent of Africa and those living in the Diaspora. She spoke on business opportunities and the need to support each other economically so we can progress into the future. She stated “if we don’t do it, we are going to go another 400 years.”
She issued a call to action to “be strong, know that you have your brothers and sisters…we are waiting for you, don’t have us waiting to long.”
The State of the African diaspora has been formally established. On October 24, 2019. The government will present its first actions and ongoing projects and launching of Global Parliaments having summits around the world. Summits will be in North America, Europe, South America, The Caribbean, Asia/Oceania and Africa.
The mission of the State of the African Diaspora and the 6th Region Economic Community is to connect Africa with its Diaspora and the Diaspora to Africa, as well as connecting the Diaspora to the Diaspora internationally. Its mission further extends to being a key participant in the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Ghana GOV’T to adopt ECOWAS single currency ECO in 2020
December 31, 2019 | 0 Comments
By Bakary Ceesay
Ghana’s government has revealed that it would adopt the new single currency ECO in 2020 to be used by ECOWAS member states.
The currency was adopted by the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government in Nigeria’s capital Abuja in June 2019.
The West African leaders endorsed the currency at their 55th Ordinary Session and approved a road map towards the currency’s issuance in January 2020.
There was a roadmap to ensure that all member countries meet three primary criteria for the adoption of the currency.
Many have doubted if the ECO will really be adopted by member countries, but there seems to be willingness of many countries in West Africa to adopt the currency.
In December 2019 Ecowas said it was renaming the CFA franc into Eco.
Under the new deal struck between ECOWAS and France, this will also involve cutting off some of the financial links between Francophone West African countries and France.
“This is a historic day for West Africa,” Ivory Coast’s President Alassane Ouattara said during a news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in the country’s main city Abidjan.
Ghana’s government in a statement said it was “determined to do whatsoever we can to enable us join member states of UEMOA, soon, in the use of ECO.”
“Ghana urges the other Member States of ECOWAS to work rapidly towards implementing the decisions of the Authorities of ECOWAS, including adopting a flexible exchange rate regime, instituting a federal system for the ECOWAS Central Bank, and other related agreed convergence criteria, to ensure that we achieve the single currency objectives of ECOWAS, as soon as possible, for all Member States,” the statement added.
Criteria for Eco adoption
That includes member countries having a budget deficit of not more than 3 percent; average annual inflation of less than 10 percent with a long-term goal of not more than 5 percent by 2019.
Countries were expected to also have gross reserves that can finance at least three months of imports.
The other convergence criteria that has been adopted by ECOWAS are public debt or Gross Domestic Product of not more than 70 percent.
There is also the issue of central banks financing budget deficit not more than 10 percent of previous year’s tax revenue, and nominal exchange rate variation of plus or minus 10 percent.
ECOWAS has a combined population of 385 million and was set up in 1975.
It comprises Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
Eight of these countries use one currency called the CFA franc. Those are Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo.
The current decision to adopt one currency is similar to the move made by the European Union to adopt the single currency called Euro.
Vice Prime Minister of the State of the African Diaspora, Dr. Melida Harris Barrow in Ghana
December 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
The Vice Prime Minister of the State of the African Diaspora, Dr. Melida Harris Barrow just arrived in Ghana.
Dr. Harris Barrow was chosen to be the Keynote Speaker to celebrate with his Majesty Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene, as he receives the “Pillar of Peace” Award on the last Akwasidae Festival of the year, which also closes the chapter on the 20th Anniversary Celebrations of the enstoolment of His Majesty on the Golden Stool, to be held on December 29, 2019, at the Manhyia Palace.
The event will be under the Theme “Acknowledging and Celebrating Legendary and Transformational Leadership On The African Continent and Beyond.”
Osei Tutu II is the 16th Asantehene and has been in power since 26 April 1999. By name, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is in direct succession to the 17th-century co-founder of the Ashanti Empire, Otumfuo Osei Tutu I. He is also the Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology.
Information from the State of Africa indicates that with almost 350 million people, the African Diaspora is the THIRD COUNTRY in the world after China and India, but greater than The United States of America (323 million), Indonesia (258 million) and Brazil (205 million). Previously, it was unstructured, and only had potential as an entity.
“This is why the decision has been made to mobilize the energies of the Diaspora to officially launch the State of the African Diaspora: our Goal is to strengthen Africa through the Diaspora, and the Diaspora through Africa,” says the State of Africa in information shared with PAV.
*PAV will be coming up soon with more reporting and interviews on the activities of the State of the African Diaspora
‘Let West Africa’s success echo throughout the world.’ ECOWAS hails the success of African Development Bank investments in the region
December 24, 2019 | 0 Comments
The African Development Bank’s investments in West Africa are yielding remarkable results, the President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, said in Abuja on Saturday.
He was speaking at the bloc’s fifty-sixth ordinary session, attended by regional heads of state and government.
Brou said the Bank had provided “invaluable technical and financial interventions…in the implementation of numerous projects and programmes”.
The region’s economy is showing positive achievements, reaching 3.3 percent growth in 2019, he said, “despite facing significant challenges, particularly with regards to security. ECOWAS member states have demonstrated remarkable resilience.”
In a speech, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari assured ECOWAS that his country was committed to regional integration, requesting members to channel collective energies towards accelerating sustainable peace, security, stability and inclusive economic growth.
“It is always gratifying when our regional bloc comes together to advance our agenda for regional integration and promote the socioeconomic development of our subregion,” he told the high-level meeting.
For his part, the President of the African Development Bank Akinwunmi Adesina put the Bank’s current portfolio of investments in West Africa at $20 billion, with a strong focus on critical sectors.
“The African Development Bank has always been there at the right time, with the right product, for the right needs of countries,” Adesina told delegates.
“Such was the case in Nigeria, where the Bank helped to provide $600 million of budget support that helped it get out of recession, a tough time for Nigeria. The Bank also provided $500 million to establish the Development Bank of Nigeria. Last week, we provided $280 million to support social investments in Côte d’Ivoire,” he added.
“You can always count on the African Development Bank – your Bank,” Adesina assured delegates.
The Bank’s support in the region includes € 525 million for the construction of the Blaise Diagne international airport in Senegal and $120 million for the new Terminal 3 for Kotoka international airport in Ghana
The African Development Bank also provided $30 million for the construction of the Mandela Praia airport in Cabo Verde, and $130 million for Air Côte d’Ivoire to acquire a new aircraft fleet.
Other investments include € 60 million for the Lomé Container Terminal port and another $96 million for the new landmark Senegambia Bridge that now links the Gambia and Senegal. A € 183 million facility was critical for Senegal’s Regional Express Train.
During the Bank’s second Africa Investment Forum held in November 2019, the institution and its partners mobilized investments of $2.6 billion for the development of the Accra Sky Train and $251 million towards the Lagos Cable Car Transit System projects.
Adesina also highlighted the Bank’s $1.5 billion financing for the development of major transport corridors to improve connectivity in the ECOWAS region. This includes the construction and rehabilitation of 4,000 kilometers of main corridor roads.
The Lagos-Abidjan Highway will become a reality., the Bank’s President told the regional leaders.
The African Development Bank is providing $11.1 million to the ECOWAS Commission to develop the Master Plan for the Lagos-Abidjan highway corridor and will be providing an additional $13.5 million for feasibility studies to be completed next year. It expects construction to start in 2022.
Current initiatives include a $25 billion investment to turn Africa into a global powerhouse in food and agriculture. This includes financing special agro-industrial processing zones in northern Togo, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.
During the one-day meeting, ECOWAS leaders deliberated on critical issues affecting the region, including the proposed ECO single currency regime for the sub-region and the Action Plan for Regional Security.
Adesina summed up the Bank’s vision for ECOWAS: “An integrated monetary zone and financial markets; a free zone for trade, with free movement of people, capital, goods and services; an ECOWAS region whose new currency would be ECO; and the echoes of that will reverberate across the world.”
Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) supports development of Algeria’s energy sector through two loan facilities to Sonatrach Petroleum Investment Corporation worth USD 250 million
December 23, 2019 | 0 Comments
Loans to support Sonatrach’s efforts to diversify energy assets, ensure steady crude oil supplies and increase geographic footprint
DAMMAM, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, December 23, 2019/ — Loans to be used to carry out maintenance works on Sonatrach’s refinery in Italy, its first overseas investment in Europe, and purchase of Aramco crude; Loans to support Sonatrach’s efforts to diversify energy assets, ensure steady crude oil supplies and increase geographic footprint.
The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) (http://www.APICORP.org/), a multilateral development financial institution, agreed to two loan facilities worth a combined USD 250 million with Sonatrach Petroleum Investment Corporation (SPIC), a subsidiary of Sonatrach International Holding Corporation owned by Sonatrach, the Algerian state-owned national oil company.
The first loan, a USD 100 million bilateral pre-financing facility, will be used to fund the maintenance of the Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana complex in Sicily, Italy, which Sonatrach acquired from ExxonMobil in December 2018. The second loan, a USD 150 million unfunded and syndicated letter of credit, is for the purchase Saudi Aramco crude oil by Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana.
Dr. Ahmed Ali Attiga, CEO of APICORP, said: “APICORP is committed to supporting and financing Sonatrach in its first overseas acquisition. This is part of our mission to continue playing an active role in the development of our member countries’ broader energy sector and contribute to diversification and geographic expansion. As a trusted financial partner to the region’s energy sector, we remain steadfast in our mission to continue exploring opportunities in Algeria and other member states and provide solutions that drive innovation and bolster the sustainability of this vital industry.”
Nordine Bouteldja, Managing Director of SPIC commented, “Our strategic investment in international refining through Sonatrach Raffinera Italiana will contribute to meeting local energy demand and address imbalances in petroleum supplies. This is of key importance to our efforts to diversify our energy assets and secure reliable supplies of crude oil, as part of our drive to meet local energy demand and address imbalances in petroleum supplies to the domestic market.”
Located in Augusta, Sicily, Sonatrach Raffineria Italiana is Sonatrach’s first overseas acquisition. The integrated refinery complex, which has access to the major global shipping routes through the Mediterranean Sea, boasts a conversion rate of 200,000 bpd and can produce a wide range of downstream products, including gasoline, distillates, fuel oils, lubricants, asphalts and chemicals.
Earlier this year, Sonatrach designated APICORP as one of a select group of financial institutions to provide advisory on project management and financing-related matters.
International legal firm Allen & Ovary’s Paris office was the legal advisor to APICORP on the transactions.
The Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation (APICORP) (http://www.APICORP.org/) is a multilateral development financial institution established in 1974 by an international treaty between the ten Arab oil exporting countries. It aims to support and foster the development of the Arab world’s energy sector and petroleum industries. APICORP makes equity investments and provides project finance, trade finance, advisory and research. APICORP is rated ‘Aa2 with a stable outlook’ by Moody’s, and is headquartered in Dammam, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
African Development Bank commits €20 million to boost private sector competitiveness in Cabo Verde
December 17, 2019 | 0 Comments
The African Development Bank’s Board of Directors today approved a €20 million loan to strengthen the private sector’s role in Cabo Verde’s economic growth.
Bank funding will support the second phase of the Private Sector Competitiveness and Local Economic Development Programme (PSC-LED-II). The programme will extend fiscal 2019 budget support to the government of Cabo Verde as it undertakes reforms to boost domestic productivity and the country’s overall economy.
Specific initiatives of PSC-LED-II include promoting the competitiveness environment through the adoption of a revised commercial companies code, key legislation for judicial insolvency as well as a strategy of transition from the informal to the formal sector. The African Development Bank project partners include the World Bank and the European Union, as well as the governments of Luxembourg and Portugal.
The project advances the Bank’s aim to industrialize Africa and to improve the lives of its people, two of its High 5 development priorities.
Approval of the loan by the Bank’s Board of Directors signaled the successful completion of the first phase of the project, which set out a project framework and proposed reform measures.
“The overall performance of the programme is good and we continue to work closely with authorities and with development partners,” said Abdoulaye Coulibaly, Director of the Bank’s Governance and Public Financial Management Coordination Office.
The planned reforms aim to strengthen Cabo Verde’s private sector by tackling the Atlantic island nation’s score on a number of competitiveness and economic development indicators. These include increasing credit to the private sector from 63% in 2016 to 70% of GDP in 2020; improving Cabo Verde’s score on the World Bank’s 2020 Doing Business index; and boosting labor contribution to value added growth from 1.1% in 2014-2017 to 2% in 2017-2020.
A few hours after the approval of the project by the Board of Directors, an agreement was signed at the Bank’s headquarters between Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, the Bank’s Director General for West Africa and the Ambassador of Cabo Verde in Senegal, Felino de Carvalho.
“The signing of this loan agreement affirms the Bank’s commitment to supporting Cabo Verde’s economic advancement. We have every confidence the government will continue the vital reforms needed to strengthen the private sector and decentralization.” Akin-Olugbade noted.