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Africa’s investment potential
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments

With a population of over a billion people, rapid urbanisation and accelerating economic growth, the African market presents a valuable proposition for Japanese investors. Key to maximising the benefits of this investment, is being able to identify the correct opportunities. Standard Bank has been at the forefront of major developments across Africa. Among the key growth sectors that have been identified is oil and gas.

A string of successful exploration projects over the last decade has seen the number of African countries with proven oil and gas reserves rise to 28, thanks to new discoveries in Ghana, Niger, Mozambique, Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Mauritania and South Africa. The investment required to bring these countries onstream will add further impetus to Africa’s oil consumption, which at 4 million barrels a day already significantly exceeds the continent’s 2.1 million barrels of daily refinery output. Africa’s oil and gas sector is once again attracting investment from exploration companies and refiners following a prolonged break sparked by a slump in oil prices.

Standard Bank is one of the largest oil and gas lenders in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the last three years we have been engaged in several million-dollar deals in Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique. We have acted as mandated lead arranger, bookrunner, facility and security agent, and onshore bank for several international players in the industry.

We been involved in Mozambique’s gas sector since the early 2000s. The game-changing nature of Mozambique’s offshore gas opportunities offers major opportunities for investors. Mozambique’s resources are huge, with a 150 Trillion Cubic Feet of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) reserves, equivalent to 24 billion barrels of oil. The process of transforming those resources into individual LNG and Domgas requires an immense amount of investment. Our general assumption is that around USD128 billion needs to be spent between 2017-2025.

The Coral Floating LNG project is currently under construction and is envisaged to produce its first gas in July 2022. Standard Bank was the only African bank at Financial Close. The FID for Area 1 was approved on 18 June and has kickstarted development in Mozambique. With over 5 000 workers on site, Area 1 is responsible for constructing support facilities to be shared with Area 4, such as the Materials Offloading Facility and LNG Marine Terminal, as well a resettlement camp, airstrip and highway amongst other developments.

An independent macroeconomic study of Area 4’s Rovuma liquified natural gas project indicated that it is expected to attract between USD 27 and 32 billion in investment. This will drive Mozambique to become the world’s fourth largest producer of LNG, and add between USD 15 to 18 billion to the country’s GDP. The Final Investment Decision for Area 4 is expected in October this year. Expressed another way, once this is approved, the Afungi Site in Northern Mozambique will become the world’s most expensive piece of real estate, attracting USD 55 billion in investment.

The process of developing LNG plants will automatically provide opportunities for multiple industrial, tertiary as well as service-based companies, some of which may need to establish a local presence to serve these plants.

“Beyond the hard infrastructure, entire new urban centres and the populations that they will house, feed, clothe, educate, entertain and provide with services represent a huge opportunity for a highly diversified industrial and services sector,” says Rob Cleasby, Global Head, Financial Institutions Group, Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking.

Another opportunity is developing in East Africa, whose highly diversified economies are growing northwards of 6% in a highly integrated regional market, that is attracting significant levels of Foreign Direct Investment (“FDI”). The development of the Uganda-Tanzania pipeline has further spurred FDI, with an expected capex spend of US$25 billion over the next 5-7 years. Upstream, midstream and downstream projects are expected to propel the region’s economy from its current US$175 billion to US$400 billion by 2028.

Opportunities are also opening up for private infrastructure investors in public-private partnerships (PPPs). Unlike government-to-government projects which often exclude smaller and local players, PPPs generally focus on commercially viable projects with strong, cash-generative, business cases. These projects are also highly reliant on domestic and other foreign business involvement, support, supply, operation and outsourcing.

“Businesses across nearly all sectors have the opportunity to partner with well-capitalised East African firms needing increasingly advanced technical skills and knowledge to grow,” says Carl Henriksen, Head: Japanese Corporates, Client Coverage at Standard Bank Corporate and Investment Banking.

As Africa’s largest bank, Standard Bank, is ideally placed to deliver on its purpose of “Africa is our home. We drive her growth.” With a local presence in 20 markets across the continent, and a history spanning over 156 years, we are the ideal partner to assist Japanese clients negotiate the intricacies of doing business in Africa.

 About Standard Bank Group

Standard Bank Group is the largest African bank by assets with a unique footprint across 20 African countries. Headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, we are listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, with share code SBK, and the Namibian Stock Exchange, share code SNB.

Standard Bank has a 156-year history in South Africa and started building a franchise outside southern Africa in the early 1990s.

Our strategic position, which enables us to connect Africa to other select emerging markets as well as pools of capital in developed markets, and our balanced portfolio of businesses, provide significant opportunities for growth.

The group has over 53 000 employees, approximately 1 200 branches and over 9 000 ATMs on the African continent, which enable it to deliver a complete range of services across personal and business banking, corporate and investment banking and wealth management.

Headline earnings for 2018 were R27.9 billion (about USD2.1 billion) and total assets were R2.1 trillion (about USD148 billion). Standard Bank’s market capitalisation at 31 December 2018 was R289 billion (USD20 billion).

The group’s largest shareholder is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest bank, with a 20,1% shareholding. In addition, Standard Bank Group and ICBC share a strategic partnership that facilitates trade and deal flow between Africa, China and select emerging markets.

For further information, go to http://www.standardbank.com

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

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe African leaders at opening of TICAD7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harnessing the potential of new technologies

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

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

Tackling climate change: a top priority

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

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

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

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

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

*AFDB

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

By Wallace Mawire

Dr. Ihab Ahmed, SAA President

Dr. Ihab Ahmed, SAA President

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Scores of people drowned off coast of Libya in latest Mediterranean shipwreck
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Ayuk Receives Praise for His Chapter on the U.S. and Africa in ‘Billions at Play’
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
Ayuk has devoted Chapter 17 of Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy to the U.S. and Africa, along with America’s potential to bolster Africa’s journey to a brighter future
Daniel Hogan

Daniel Hogan

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, August 28, 2019/ — The latest book by leading African energy attorney NJ Ayuk describes the steps he’d like Africans to take to realize the full potential of the continent’s vast petroleum resources. Part of that process, Ayuk writes, should be continued efforts to keep American oil and gas companies in Africa.

Ayuk has devoted Chapter 17 of Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy to the U.S. and Africa, along with America’s potential to bolster Africa’s journey to a brighter future.

“International oil and gas companies are sometimes associated with Africa’s so-called ‘resource curse,’ but in reality, they have a key part to play in helping Africa turn things around,” said H. Daniel Hogan, an industry executive with over 38 years of experience much of it in Cote d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Nigeria, Namibia, Egypt and Ghana.

“They can do that by hiring from the extremely talented African labor market and procuring services from the local sectors and, even more so, by sharing information and technology,” added Hogan, who currently serves as CEO and General Manager of Lukoil International Upstream West, the Russian multinational energy corporation.

“NJ Ayuk is right to call upon African governments to do their share in making Africa appealing to American exploration and production companies.”

Hogan noted that he also appreciates the book’s detailed analysis of the risks and rewards associated with exploration activities in Africa. “I hope American companies will see that Africa still has a lot to offer in terms of economic returns” he said.

NJ Ayuk is founder and CEO of Pan-African corporate law conglomerate, Centurion Law Group (https://CenturionLG.com/); Founder and Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber (https://EnergyChamber.org/); and co-author of Big Barrels: African Oil and Gas and the Quest for Prosperity (2017).

He is recognized as one of the foremost figures in African business today.

Billions at Play: The Future of African Energy will be published by October 2019.

For more information about the book, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @BilliondAtPlay.

*Centurion

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“The Kaizen approach is more than a technique…it is an approach to economic development, and it’s been yielding tremendous results” – African Development Bank Vice-president Celestin Monga
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
African Development Bank Vice-president Celestin Monga

African Development Bank Vice-president Celestin Monga

Yokohama, Japan, 27 August 2019 – Kaizen, the business philosophy which means continuous improvement in Japanese, was at the heart of discussions at a seminar held on Tuesday, and co-organised by JICA and NEPAD on the sidelines of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD7.

The seminar, under the theme: “Africa’s Socio-economic Transformation through innovation,” discussed the role of Kaizen, in improving quality and productivity as well as human resource development on the continent.

Panelists included Assane Mayaki, CEO of AUDA-NEPAD; Bezabih Gebereyes, Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and JICA Research Institute Director General Toshiyuki Nakamura, of the Industrial Policy and Public Policy Department.

“The Kaizen approach is more than a technique…it is an approach to economic development, and it’s been yielding tremendous results,” African Development Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, Dr. Celestin Monga, said.

Monga underlined the need for incremental innovation in each African country, but also called for increased support to small and medium sized enterprises as a starting point to scaled up industrialization.

Africa needs to create production lines because “ even with low-skilled labour we can do tremendous things,” he said.

JICA and NEPAD have been promoting incremental innovation through the Africa Kaizen Initiative, launched in 2017.

“Kaizen is about mindset changes. It will be a formidable tool to enhance productivity of SMES…We have rolled out projects and training programs in 10 countries,” Mayaki said in his welcome remarks.

Acknowledging two Africa Kaizen awardees, also in attendance, Makayi told the packed room “They are the exact product of how Kaizen should be implemented.”

Fikreselassie Ambaw, General Manager of MAA Garment Factory in Ethiopia and Ruben Zebedayo Lyanga, head of Atoz Textile Mills (Tanzania), who won the Africa Kaizen Award in 2019, made presentations on how the business approach radically transformed their enterprises and boosted productivity, employee commitment and creativity.

Sharing Kaizen’s contribution and achievements in Ethiopia, Gebreyes explained how Kaizen and the subsequently transformed mindset have led to increased efficiency in spare parts production lines. “In the sugar cane sector, the Kaizen model has led to a 43% hike in productivity,” he noted.

Answering questions on the capabilities needed for entrepreneurs and firms to promote radical, disruptive innovation in Africa, Toshiyuki Nakamura, Director General of Industrial Development and Public Policy Department said: “the common thread between GAFA, (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), is the implementation of Kaizen. Incremental and radical innovation, are one of the most important messages for the continent.”

Through JICA, the Kaizen approach has expanded its outreach to 25 countries on the continent; touched 18,096 enterprises and 301 public institutions.

The African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina is leading a high-level delegation to TICAD7 which is being held in Yokohama city from 28-30 August.

The Tokyo International Conference on African Development, led by Japan, started in 1993. African heads of states and key business leaders are scheduled to attend from around the world, providing an opportunity to explore investment opportunities. The event, held every 3 years, has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since 2016.  The last TICAD was held in Nairobi, Kenya.

*AFDB

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#VisaFreeAfrica Initiative Announces Winners of 55 Voices for Africa Competition
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Noble Energy Makes New Equatorial Guinea Petroleum Discovery
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) is pleased to announce that U.S. oil and gas company Noble Energy has made a discovery in offshore Block I
Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima

Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima

MALABO, Equatorial Guinea, August 27, 2019/ — Noble Energy makes oil discovery in Block I, located in Equatorial Guinea’s offshore sector; The well was drilled to a total depth of 4,417 meters and is expected to produce first oil in October 2019; As a champion of oil and gas development in Africa, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima will lead the conversation on the future of natural gas on the continent at the Africa Oil & Power event in Cape Town on October 9-11 2019.

Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) is pleased to announce that U.S. oil and gas company Noble Energy has made a discovery in offshore Block I.

The Aseng 6P well was drilled to a total depth of 4,417 meters. Noble is currently in the process of completing the 400-meter horizontal section of the well and, using existing Aseng field infrastructure, is expected to produce oil from October 2019.

“We are excited to announce this discovery which could not have come at a more opportune time. We have been dedicated to developing our resources to build a better economy and create opportunities for our people and, it seems we are gaining momentum,” said Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima.

He added that: “It’s always been our firm belief that our country is relatively underexplored. When companies drill offshore Equatorial Guinea, their likelihood for a discovery is real. Noble Energy and partners are longtime friends of Equatorial Guinea and it is only fitting that we should build on our oil and gas development efforts with them right by our side. This is great news for our economy, jobs creation and local content development.”

The Aseng field consists of five subsea wells connected to a FPSO vessel. With a 40 percent interest, Noble Energy is operator. Other partners include Atlas Petroleum (29 percent), Glencore Exploration (25 percent) and Gunvor (6 percent).

This year, Equatorial Guinea kicked off its endeavor to become Africa’s premier gas hub with the signing of definitive agreements with the Alen field partners and Punta Europa Plant owners to monetize gas from the Noble Energy-operated Alen field – a project known as the Gas Megahub.

As the country develops its gas resources, Minister Obiang Lima said earlier this year that it was also targeting a final agreement on its 2007 joint deal with Cameroon to develop gas condensate discoveries Yoyo and Yolanda on their maritime border.

Minister Obiang Lima alongside Antonio Oburu, General Director of Equatorial Guinea’s national oil company GEPetrol, will lead a delegation of companies active in Equatorial Guinea to the Africa Oil & Power Conference and Exhibition in Cape Town, South Africa on October 9-11 2019. Joining the minister will be BANGE, Centurion Law Group, Noble Energy, Marathon Oil, Golden Swan, Baker Hughes, Kosmos Energy, Trident Energy, Tullow Oil, Elite Construcciones, Schlumberger, NAHSCO, Hexagon and NALCO Champion.

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NJ Ayuk in Billions at Play Explains How Energy Underpins the African Dream
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
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Merck Foundation to conduct 6th Edition of “Merck Africa Asia Luminary” October 2019 in Ghana
August 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
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African Development Bank President Adesina leads delegation to 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD
August 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
President Akinwumi Adesina

President Akinwumi Adesina

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 26 August 2019 – A high-level African Development Bank delegation, led by President Akinwumi Adesina, is set to join global leaders at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD7 from August 28-30.

TICAD7, hosted by Japan and co-organised by the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UN-OSSA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), aims at “promoting high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners.”

President Adesina, is expected in Tokyo on Tuesday. Whilst in Japan, he will address the second plenary session of TICAD on the theme: “Accelerating Economic Transformation and Improving Business Environment Through Innovation and Private Sector Engagement”.

Several other engagements are also scheduled for Adesina and senior Bank management, including an International Finance Corporation/African Development Bank side event: “The Digital Africa 2020 and Japanese investment Panel: Creating markets to digitize Africa, and a side event co-hosted by the World Food Programme and the African Union Commission on “Strategic investments in Africa: Food security, human capital, sustainable agriculture, innovation and private sector partnership.”

The Bank’s senior management attending TICAD7 include, Dr. Celestin Monga, Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management; Dr. Jennifer Blanke, Vice-President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development;  Ms. Bajabulile “Swazi” Tshabalala, Vice President for Finance and Chief Finance Officer; and Khaled Sherif, Vice-President, Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery.

VP Monga will address a panel on “Africa’s Socio-economic Transformation through Innovation” while VP Sherif will be a speaker on another panel:“Building a Better World through Business – Challenges in Humanitarian Assistance in Africa and the Role of Private Sector,” held at Waseda University.

VP Blanke will take part in sessions on “Investing in Human Capital Development in Africa- A case for Education & Skills, Nutrition, Health and Jobs for Youth”, and an African Leaders for Nutrition event: Designing sustainable and resilient societies.

A major announcement is expected in support of the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) Initiative, an innovative, multi-component, multi-donor framework.

The initiative seeks to support development to meet the infrastructure needs of Africa, with a special focus on the private sector.

The 7thTokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), led by Japan, started in 1993. African heads of states and key business leaders from around the world are scheduled to attend, providing an opportunity to explore investment opportunities. The event, held every 3 years, has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since 2016.  The last TICAD was held in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

 

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Mobile Casinos As Potential Business Opportunities In Africa
August 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

Over the years there have been a lot of stories written about the potential for different mobile industries’ growth in Africa. At one point it was merely the idea that mobile tech in general might take off around the continent; at another, we heard a great deal about the idea of wearables having similar potential. In more recent years, more specific mobile technologies and applications, such as the use of cryptocurrency and banking services, have garnered attention.

The reason that these type of rumors and stories are so persistent is because of the underlying, pure potential for vast numbers of people to join the mobile market with each passing year. Back in 2017, analyses forecasted half a billion mobile users by 2020 across the continent, and while that number will still go up from there in the future, it’s already enough to make the African mobile market an extremely significant one. That means that, certainly, a mobile trend such as cryptocurrency always has the potential to take off among African users. Here, though, we’re looking to something more established and less trendy, in the traditional sense, with the suggestion that mobile casinos could be among the next major mobile business opportunities in Africa.

One reason that this is the case is the combination of that forecasted growth in the mobile market with the fact that some of the densest population centers on the continent have fairly open gambling laws. Countries like Kenya and Nigeria are leaders on this front, allowing licensed online gambling platforms to operate, and collecting tax benefits as a result. Though there are also some countries lagging behind in this regard (South Africa most notably, despite the legality of its land-based casinos), it’s clear that a significant portion of those half-billion-and-counting mobile users will have the ability to participate in casino businesses.

One potential hitch is that most of those businesses right now are going to be operated by providers beyond African borders. That’s not to say there aren’t some Africa-based mobile casino and gambling platforms, but far and away the most visible and appealing sites and apps in this category hail from just a few major development and hosting hubs elsewhere in the world. Whether someone is playing in the UK or browsing the best reviewed sites in New Zealand, or anywhere in between, it’s the same platforms that tend to show up. And most of them are operated in Europe.

This doesn’t mean national governments can’t tax online gambling activity, but it does mean that even if casino gaming takes off in Africa, it will do so largely through foreign businesses. At the same time however, this introduces some opportunity for tech innovators around the continent. While there are thoroughly established providers dominating this space, there’s also nothing stopping an African developer from getting in on the action with a new site or app – provided the proper licensing and security measures are in place.

We might consider also that much of Africa has also shown potential in what could be one of the next driving forces in the digital casino space: virtual reality. VR has made significant gains across the continent, and though this is mostly thanks to tourism and advertising, it also positions African tech markets well to adapt to what may soon be cutting-edge changes in online gambling. That is to say, if VR casinos are the next big iteration of this whole business, an African tech industry and consumer market familiar with virtual reality in general will be positioned to pounce on the related opportunities.

Consider all of the above and it’s clear that casino gaming should be considered yet another area of interest within mobile tech with significant potential in African markets. If even some of this comes to pass, there will be a great deal of revenue and activity to show for it.

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