Aid & Development

Saudi public investment fund poised to invest in Egypt’s sovereign wealth fund

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is keen to inject investment into Egypt’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (TSFE) as well as into other projects, reports say citing a statement from the Egyptian government.

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is keen to inject investment into Egypt’s Sovereign Wealth Fund (TSFE) as well as into other projects, reports say citing a statement from the Egyptian government. TSFE has according to the statement submitted investment proposals to the Saudi fund. The announcement came during Wednesday’s meeting between Egypt’s Moustafa Madbouly, Ayman Soliman, the TSFE CEO and Saudi State Minister Issam bin Saad. Saad made the trip to Egypt to review previous works, investment agreements previously signed, and to review the investments that TSFE proposes for the PIF to study. Saudi Arabia is the regional leading backer of the regime of President Al Sisi who came to power in 2013 following a coup d’état against first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi. The Gulf country has pumped billions of dollars as well as grants into Egypt’s economy. During his last official visit to Egypt in 2016, King Salam oversaw the signing of several investment agreements worth 60 billion riyals between PIF and the Egyptian government. The investments covered several areas including energy, agriculture and maritime transport.
Read more...

African Union Commission inaugurates African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) permanent secretariat as launchpad for Africa’s economic transformation

The African Development Bank Group provided a $5 million institutional support grant to the AU towards the establishment of the AfCFTA secretariat

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, August 18, 2020/APO Group/ --  At a ceremony on Monday to commission the permanent secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo and Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the AU Commission, reiterated the importance of the body to the continent’s economic transformation agenda.

“The economic integration of Africa will lay strong foundations for an Africa beyond aid. Africa’s new sense of urgency and aspiration of true self-reliance will be amply demonstrated by today’s ceremony,” Akufo-Addo said.

Ghana was selected as the venue for the headquarters by African leaders during a Summit of AU Heads of states in Niamey in July last year, to launch the implementation phase of the agreement, which is expected to spur regional trade among member countries. Currently, 54 states have signed on to AfCFTA, out of which 28 have ratified.

President Akufo-Addo appealed to member states that have not ratified to do so before the next AU summit in December, “to pave the way for the smooth commencement of trading from 1 January 2021.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the importance of the success of the AfCFTA, the Ghanaian president said. “The destruction of global supply chains has reinforced the necessity for closer integration amongst us so that we can boost our mutual self-sufficiency, strengthen our economies and reduce our dependence on external sources,” he said.

AfCFTA, the world’s largest free trade area, has the potential to transform the continent with its potential market of 1.2 billion people and combined GDP of around $3 trillion across the 54-member states of the AU. Mahamat said the opening of the secretariat marked a milestone in the vision of Africa’s founding founders for continental integration. Wamkele Mene, the first Secretary-General of the AfCFTA, said the agreement offered an opportunity for Africa to confront the significant trade and economic development challenges: market fragmentation, small national economies, over-reliance on primary commodity exports, narrow export base, lack of export specialization, under-developed regional value chains and high regulatory and tariff barriers to trade. “We have to take action now. We have to take action to dismantle the colonial economic model that we inherited,” Mene reiterated. The African Development Bank Group provided a $5 million institutional support grant to the AU towards the establishment of the AfCFTA secretariat which is located in an ultra-modern office complex in the central business district of the Ghanaian capital. “The African Development Bank congratulates the AU/AfCFTA on the investiture of the Secretariat hosted by Ghana on 17 August 2020.The Bank is delighted to be associated with this groundbreaking, game-changing, transformational continental initiative in furtherance of the objective to create the Africa we want,” said Solomon Quaynor, the Bank’s Vice-President for the Private Sector, Infrastructure and Industrialization. “Our support to the AfCFTA is in keeping with the Bank’s role of continental leadership in helping to build special-purpose vehicles that are critical to the successful implementation of crucial institutions to accelerate Africa’s economic development objectives,” Quaynor added. The event also featured virtual goodwill remarks from AU Chairman, President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, and Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB).

Media Contact: Kwasi Kpodo Communication and External Relations Department African Development Bank Email: w.kpodo@afdb.org

Read more...

Africa Energy Forum 2020 joins forces with the African Utility Week & POWERGEN Africa and Oil & Gas Council’s Africa Assembly to host Digital Energy Festival for Africa

The event will take place online from 20 th October – 26 th November 2020.

The digital platform will allow attendees to access content and networking offerings across all three market leading events with one point of entry, making it the largest ever energy event for the African continent marketed to a combined energy database of over 200,000.

Following the impact of the pandemic on the energy sector in Africa, the event will seek to address critical issues such as pivoting to digital, new financial models and innovative power generation sources to allow attendees to make decisions and formulate recovery plans.

Under the theme ‘The 5th Industrial Revolution,’ the Africa Energy Forum agenda will look ahead to the digitalisation of the energy sector.

Managing Director of EnergyNet Simon Gosling commented; “The impact of Covid-19 has clearly magnified the need to be able to deliver energy in times of crises. The 5 th Industrial Revolution theme will explore the relationship between energy and technology with purpose and inclusivity, seeking to understand how technological innovation can work hand in hand with humans to enhance energy security, sustainability and energy access in a post-covid future.

''We want to help our community harness this potential so the continent doesn’t just recover, it recovers better.”

Over 10,000 attendees are expected to register for the Africa Digital Energy Festival, which will employ AI technology to match attendees with relevant content and networking opportunities allowing for a personalised event experience over the four-week period.

As well as over 120 programme experiences the event will also feature an online marketplace of products hosted by sponsors and exhibitors.

Africa Energy Forum 2020 For more information about the Digital Energy Festival: Head of Marketing: Amy Offord Event dates: 20 October – 26 November 2020 Event location: Online Organisers: EnergyNet Email: events@energynet.co.uk | Tel: +44 (0)20 7384 8068 Visit: www.africa-energy-forum.com

Read more...

African institutional investors call for partnerships to build resilient economies

The African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Fund Leaders Forum has today issued a Call to Action to build resilient African economies. Noting the potential for devastating economic impacts on the African continent by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

The Forum, comprised of leaders of Africa’s pre-eminent sovereign wealth and pension funds, are determined to form new and innovative multi-stakeholder partnerships to address the economic fallout of COVID-19, increase investment in African infrastructure, and realise the aspirations of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

The Call to Action, supported by an array of organisations including the International Chamber of Commerce and the African Union’s Continental Business Network, recognises that efforts must be informed by two urgent and mutually reinforcing components: *immediate priority responses to protect African capital markets, micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), regional supply chains and the AfCFTA from the economic fallout of COVID-19; and *multi-stakeholder partnerships across government and industry to foster industry shifts and a regulatory requirement fit for African economies and industries to stabilise, grow and thrive.

Commenting on the Call to Action, Hubert Danso, the Chairman of the African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Fund Leaders Forum said:

“COVID-19 is both a health and an economic crisis. As custodians of the livelihoods of millions of Africans, we are acutely aware of the economic difficulties to come. That is why we’re issuing this call – to work with policymakers and development financial institutions to co-create the conditions necessary for post-pandemic economic recovery.”

Read the full Call to Action here.

For more information contact: Hubert Danso, CEO and Chairman, Africa investor, Chairman, African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Fund Leaders Forum Email: amofokeng@africainvestor.com www.aiswpff.com
Read more...

ICC joins global trade organisation heads for summit on impact of COVID-19 on Africa

ICC Secretary General John W.H. Denton AO, participated in a historic summit this week to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Convened by Africa investor (Ai), the Summit brought together the heads of global trade organisations and recognised the importance of pioneering partnerships and collaboration with the private sector and international organisations in restoring trade confidence and flows in the fight against COVID-19, and in building trade resilience in anticipation of future pandemics.

The importance of accelerating the adoption of African eTrade, Paperless Customs and RegTech innovation also featured highly on the agenda.

“We are delighted to partner with Africa investor,” Mr Denton said. “ICC remains committed to addressing issues impacting the private sector in Africa through pioneering collaboration and our growing presence and outreach on the continent.”

The Summit was Chaired by Chaired by Hubert Danso, CEO and Chairman, Africa investor (Ai), Chairman, African Union Continental Business Network (CBN). Participants included Wamkele Mene, Secretary General, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General, World Customs Organization (WCO), Yonov Frederick Agah, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), Vinco David, Secretary General, Berne Union and Hennie Heymans, CEO, DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa.

The Summit, which took place on 30 April, highlighted the urgent need for harmonised regulation to help the African private sector – in particular SME’s – to digitise their businesses, to be able to trade and compete in the ‘Post COVID-19 Contactless Economy’, where ‘Trade and Customs Distancing’ will be the new normal.

The African private sectors’ AfricaPLC Industrial eTrade Platform initiative was welcomed as a critical African eTrade and Finance enabler. The initiative is supported by ICC, Ai, DHL, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), Standard Bank, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA) Continental Business Network (CBN), ABSA and Trade Development Bank.

The virtual summit saw commitment from leaders to collaborate on a range of trade initiatives to combat COVID-19 and build trade resilience in Africa, in support of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

Read more...

Africa investor (Ai) Convenes Heads of Global Trade Organisations Summit on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)

Africa investor (Ai) confirmed today it convened an historic Summit with the heads of global trade organizations, to discuss partnerships and the impact of COVID-19 on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The Summit was Chaired by Hubert Danso, CEO & Chairman, Africa investor (Ai), Chairman, African Union Continental Business Network (CBN) and included Wamkele Mene, Secretary General, African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat, John Denton, Secretary General, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General, World Customs Organization (WCO), Yonov Frederick Agah, Deputy Director-General, World Trade Organization (WTO), Vinco David, Secretary General, Berne Union and Hennie Heymans, CEO, DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa.

The Summit was convened as leaders’ recognized innovative partnerships and collaboration with the private sector and international organizations, will be critical to restoring trade confidence and flows in the fight against COVID-19 and in building trade resilience in anticipation of future pandemics.

The importance of accelerating the adoption of African eTrade, Paperless Customs and RegTech innovation featured high on the leaders’ agenda.

Leaders highlighted the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has created an urgent need for harmonized regulation to support the African private sector, especially SME’s, digitize their businesses, to be able to trade and compete in the ‘Post COVID-19 Contactless Economy’, where ‘Trade and Customs Distancing’ will be the new normal. The African private sectors’ AfricaPLC Industrial eTrade Platform initiative, supported by: Ai, DHL, ICC, Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS), Standard Bank, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA) Continental Business Network (CBN), ABSA and Trade Development Bank, was welcomed as a critical African eTrade and Finance enabler.

The leaders renewed their commitment to collaborate on an array of strategic trade initiatives to combat COVID-19 and build trade resilience in Africa, in support of the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA).

Read more...

Africa.com – President of Ghana to Speak at Africa.com Webinar on Crisis Management for African Business Leaders

Johannesburg, South Africa, April 25, 2020 - / The President of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, will address what is possibly the largest ever gathering of senior African business leaders.  The media holding company, Africa.com, has produced a webinar series, Crisis Management for African Business Leaders, to address the unprecedented challenges African executives are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 3,000 participants are expected from 81 countries - 41 countries on the African continent + 40 countries throughout the world.

President Akufo-Addo will be the lead speaker on a panel moderated by Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Chairman of FSDH Holding Company and Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer of Business Administration.  The panel, “This Isn’t the West - How Africa’s Informal Sector Responds to COVID-19” will also feature The Honorable Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, Nigeria; Ahmed Mushfiq Mobrarak, Professor of Economics, Yale University; and Amandla Ooko-Ombaka, Senior Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Co.

The participants in the webinar are comprised of many of the most senior private sector players on the continent, most of whom carry one of the following titles: CEO, chair, managing director, president, principal, partner, CFO, chair, finance director, chief, director, executive director, group head, general manager or manager.   In addition, participants include senior government officials, leading academics, and heads of non-profit organizations.

Africa.com Chair and CEO Teresa Clarke commented: “President Akufo-Addo’s leadership of the pandemic has been tailored to the unique social, economic and cultural conditions of his country.  We are very pleased that President Akufo-Addo has accepted our invitation to address the pan-African business community about this critical issue, and provide his perspective on how African leaders in both the public and private sectors may navigate these complex choices.”

“This isn’t the West - How Africa’s Informal Sector Reacts to COVID-19” will take place on Wednesday, April 29 at 9:00 EDT (New York |14:00 WAT (Nigeria/UK)  15:00 CAT (South Africa) |16:00 EAT (Kenya).

The panel discussion is part of a four part series on crisis management developed by Africa.com and faculty members from Harvard Business School. For more information and free registration, please visit virtualconferenceafrica.com.

About Africa.com Africa.com is a media holding company with an array of platforms that reach a global audience interested in African business and lifestyle. Interests include Africa.com Business Publishers’ Network, the website at www.africa.com, the website at www.iafrica.com, email newsletters, various social media platforms, and internet domain names ending with the “.africa.com” extension. Africa.com operates from Johannesburg, Lagos, and New York, and has a presence in Cape Town and Nairobi.

Media Inquiries Laura Joseph Phone: +27 82 332 0473 Email: laura.joseph@africa.com

Read more...

African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Fund Leaders Refine COVID-19 Response Recommendations

African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Fund Leaders Refine COVID-19 Response Recommendations

Africa investor (Ai) today convened the 2nd African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Fund Leaders Forum COVID-19 Virtual Round-table, an exclusive Forum of the continent’s most influential Chairmen, CEO’s and CIO’s of African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Funds, to discuss the role and response of African institutional

investors in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic across Africa.

The Forum was Co-Chaired by Hubert Danso, CEO and Chairman Africa investor Group (Ai), Chairman, African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Fund Leaders Forum and Uche Orji, CEO of the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority.

Roundtable participants discussed refining and giving structure to the areas of focus raised in the inaugural roundtable, which were based on the following 2 thematic areas of focus:

  1. Immediate Priority Responses, to protect African capital markets, SME’s, Supply Chains and the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) from the economic fallout of Covid-19
  2. Partnerships with Regulators, to foster industry shifts and the next normal regulatory environment required for African economies and industry to thrive and grow.

The following 7 Recommendations were generated as result of the discussion:

  • Recommendation 1: Collaborate on assisting SME supply chain and trade support through digitization (trade and fintech - esp healthcare and agriculture related),
  • Recommendation 2: Pursue ESG compliant infrastructure co-investment partnerships, (energy/healthcare/agri)
  • Recommendation 3: Develop and communicate seminal pandemic combative institutional investment models
  • Recommendation 4: Champion Institutional Investor research insights,
  • Recommendation 5: Motivate governments to consider directing some of their Quantitative Easing/Emergency funding towards SWF’s to allocate and invest into their local and regional economies
  • Recommendation 6: Engage in policy partnerships with Central Bank Governors on framing the new regulatory environment and investment needs of the post COVID-19 economy
  • Recommendation 7: Coordinate and correlate responses with global peer institutional investor and private sector industry bodies.

Africa’s institutional investment community, which are responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars of assets, which they manage and invest on behalf of their members and future generations, reaffirmed their commitment to support African governments and policy makers with planning and executing economic recovery programmes, so African economies can stabilize, grow and thrive in the new post COVID-19 economy.

The Round-tables Recommendations will form the basis an industry  Statement, that will be shared with African Heads of State, Central Bank Governors, Development Partners and Industry Peers.

For more information contact: Hubert Danso, CEO and Chairman, Africa investor, Chairman, African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Fund Leaders Forum Email: amofokeng@africainvestor.com

Read more...

Africa.com – Poll Reveals 70% of African Businesses Expect their Revenues to Decrease by More Than 10% Next Month

Johannesburg, South Africa, April 23, 2020 - / In a live poll conducted by Africa.com on April 22 as part of its webinar series, Crisis Management for African Business Leaders, nearly 70% of webinar participants predicted that their business revenue will decrease by more than 10% next month.  47% indicated that they expect their revenue to decrease by more than 25% next month, and 24% indicated that they expect revenues to decrease by more than 50% next month. Only 20% indicated that they expect revenue to remain the same or increase.

Approximately 1,500 business leaders participated in the poll.  Participants came from 41 countries across the African continent, with the largest representation coming from Nigeria, followed by South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Ethiopia.  60% of the participants have one of the following titles: CEO, managing director, president, principal, partner, CFO, chair, chief, director, executive director, group head, general manager, or manager.  Of the remaining 40%, the leading titles are analyst and consultant.

The largest sectors represented are financial services and professional services, followed by energy and manufacturing.  A smaller tier consisted of real estate, health care, agriculture, health care, and media, arts & entertainment.

The live poll preceded a panel discussion on Liquidity - Managing Cash Flow When Sources of Revenue and Funding Dry Up moderated by Kunle Elebute, Chair, KPMG, with the following panelists:  Welela Dawit, CFO, GE; Admassu Tadesse, President and Chief Executive of the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB); and Sim Tshabalala, Chief Executive, Standard Bank Group.

Africa.com Chair and CEO Teresa Clarke commented:

 “The poll results are supported by the qualitative data we collected from the 10,000 registrants for the webinar series.  We asked registrants what their greatest concern is with respect to COVID-19.  Responses were open ended, and we received 10,000 responses ranging from 10-100 words.  By far, the greatest concern expressed was reduction in revenue.  But interestingly, many commented that while they were concerned about revenues, it was because they were concerned about being able to pay their employees.  One respondent commented, ‘In Africa, we care more about people than profits.’”

The panel discussion is part of a four part series on crisis management developed by Africa.com and three faculty members from Harvard Business School.  The next webinar discussion will take place on Wednesday, April 29, and is moderated by Hakeem Belo-Osagie, Chair of FSDH Merchant Bank and Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer of Business Administration.  That webinar is entitled “This isn’t the West - How Africa’s Informal Sector Reacts to COVID-19.”

For more information and free registration, please visit virtualconferenceafrica.com.

About Africa.com Africa.com is a media holding company with an extensive array of platforms that reach a global audience interested in African content and community. Africa.com’s interests include a business publisher’s ad network, content syndication, the website at www.iafrica.com,  email newsletters, various social media platforms, and internet domain names ending with the “.africa.com” extension. Africa.com operates from Johannesburg, Lagos, and New York, and has a presence in Cape Town and Nairobi.

Media Inquiries Laura Joseph Phone: +27 82 332 0473 Email: laura.joseph@africa.com

  Poll Report Pie Chart - Revenue - CLICK HERE
Read more...