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ECOWAS Commission Organizes Technical Committee Meeting on Single Currency Programme

The ECOWAS Commission through the Directorate of Macroeconomic Stability and Multilateral Surveillance has organized a two-day technical committee meeting on the implementation of the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme. The meeting which is within the framework of the ECOWAS Monetary Cooperation Programmes and Multilateral Surveillance Mechanism will consider the macroeconomic performance and convergence report for the first half of 2021 and prospect for the rest of the year.

Prosperity of the region depends on building stronger networks and institutions to enable us emerge from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Research, Dr. Kofi Konadu Apraku, whose speech was delivered by the Director, Macroeconomic Stability and Multilateral Surveillance Essien Abel Essein thanked participants for prompt attendance at the meeting despite the postponement from the earlier scheduled date. He appreciated the committee on the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme for their hard work and diligence towards efforts for the achievement of a Single currency for the region. He stated that the decision to delay the launch of the currency in 2020 after careful analysis of the convergence profile of the member states was a wise one and a new roadmap that would culminate in a new launch date in 2027 had been agreed upon. He said that this meeting will focus on the Macroeconomic performance and convergence goals of the member states towards ensuring the feasibility of the 2027 launch date.

The Chair of the Technical Committee on the ECOWAS Single Currency Programme, Dr. Alhassan Iddirusu who was represented by the Deputy Head, International and Regional Economic Policy Unit, Ministry of Finance, Republic of Finance Raymond Kodjoe Nazar welcomed all to this important meeting to consider and discuss the draft ECOWAS Macroeconomic Performance and Convergence Report for the first half of the year 2021. He thanked the Joint team from ECOWAS Commission, West African Monetary Institute and West African Monetary Authority who put together the report. He said that despite the economic growth rates achieved in 2019 which was eroded by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in slow and negative growth, increased health spending and loss of tax revenues, there is a need for necessary and urgent steps to emerge stronger from the fallout of the pandemic. Speaking from the data extracted from the report, he said “GDP growth for the first half of the year 2021 is 3.76 per cent and is expected to end the year at 4.07 per cent on account of rising community prices and improved economic activity in the first 6 months of 2021”. He furthered stated that “prosperity of the region depends on building stronger networks and institutions to enable us to emerge from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic”.

Thereafter, the draft ECOWAS Macroeconomic Performance and Convergence Report of the first half of 2021 was presented and discussed. At the end of the meeting, a report of the meeting was prepared and adopted by the participants.

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Economy

Excitement grips as dozens of women participate in annual skills programme in DRC

In the Democratic Republic of Congo dozens of young women participated in an annual programme that since 2019 has been providing them with valuable skills.

The objective of the Musika na Kipaji programme is to help fight against gender-based violence.

After participating in the programme, 20-year old Jucie Kavulikirwa set up her own sewing workshop with two of her friends.

The third edition of this programme brought together a hundred or so girls from Goma and Masisi.

For a week they focused on the promotion of equality and the eradication of gender-based violence.

“If we had organised this activity, it was so that women could notice violence, discrimination and all these atrocious things they have undergone before and that they could express themselves through dance, slam, theatre, humour and other disciplines”, said another participant, Esther Ambumba.

The young participants of this programme consider it as an opportunity to see life differently from now on and promise to apply their knowledge and leadership skills in their respective communities.

“After this training, I intend to go and influence other girls and show them that no matter where they come from, they have something to offer” promised Adda Lulonga Elysée.

The third edition of the Musika na Kipaji programme is coming to an end in the province of North Kivu after 16 days of activism to say no to violence against women in all its forms

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Business

IGR: Advert Expert, Fashogbon Carpets Oyo Agency Over Approach  

The inventor of the Portrait Pole Post (P3), Fashogbon Abiodun David has faulted the hostile approach adopted by Oyo State Advertising Agency (OYSAA) and some of the consultants engaged, saying such will not complement the claim and drive of the governor in increasing the state’s Internally Generated Revenue.

The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has recently said that his government has, in its first two years, increasing the state’s Internally Generated Revenue by close to N15 Billion without increasing taxes, “but if this trend must be maintained, then all the agencies must work to complement this”, said Fashogbon while speaking with newsmen yesterday.

Fashogon who recently raised alarm over violent attacks on his business and threat to eliminate his life by those he claimed are out to suppress the legitimate Outdoor Out of Home (OOH) advertising practitioners in Oyo State said his firm has greatly contributed to the IGR of Oyo State Government in the last two years.

“Fizzie Republic, my firm has contributed to the IGR of Oyo State through advertising, the records and receipts are there to prove, OYSAA designed a two years contract tenure of which we paid from 2019 to 2021 July, and we have paid another five hundred thousand (N500,000) in the new tenure that supposed to run from August this year 2021 to 2023.

“I wonder why OYSAA is saying my firm owes and had to resort to a violent approach by going in the middle of the night with cutlasses and guns to remove our boards placed on the streetlights in Ibadan metropolis.

“OYSAA adopts defaming of my noble name and serial destruction of business, and no marketing training “As long as the agency uses this approach, the agency will not hit the required revenue generation set by the Governor” Fashogbon sternly stated.

The Initial contract was jacked up by 50% from the original deal with the ministry of energy involvement while the contract was still on, a very poor display of integrity! There is an old saying that says A deal is a deal. This caused the foreclosures of the business 6months ago! This makes the destruction serial and it is so tough to get back on track after each attack

“I do not owe the agency till I default at the end of the new tenure 2021- 2023. We have integrity, we don’t owe. But as we are still awaiting the governor’s intervention, we remain determined, focused and we will refuse to be distracted by elements of evil from the advancement and progress of our goals and core values”, he added.

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Economy

Kenya, South Africa Sign MOU on Bilateral Cooperation, Trade Relations

President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Cyril Ramaphosa witnessed the signing of the agreements shortly after they led their delegations in bilateral talks at Union Buildings in Pretoria, the official seat of the South African Government.

The eight agreements included MoU’s in transport, health, diplomatic consultations, and training as well as tourism and migration.

Others were a Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) as well as MoU’s on Government Printing Works and the return of nationals refused entry and illegal entrants.

Addressing the press after the signing ceremony, President Kenyatta said the Kenya-South Africa diplomatic relationship of close to 30 years had come of age.

“In addition to strong bilateral relations which span a wide range of areas, Kenya and South Africa are close partners at the regional and global stage,” said President Kenyatta, on the second day of his three-day State Visit to the Southern Africa country.

President Kenyatta, once again, reaffirmed Kenya’s commitment to work with South Africa in driving the aspirations of the people of the two countries through the promotion of the African agenda.

“…you will agree with me that it is only by working together that we can achieve the desired outcomes for closer bilateral cooperation and strategic partnerships. We have definitely made good strides. However, there is scope to even do better,” President Kenyatta said.

In addition to strong bilateral relations which span a wide range of areas, Kenya and South Africa are close partners at the regional and global stage

At the same time, President Kenyatta commended President Ramaphosa for his exemplary leadership during his tenure as chairman of the African Union last year.

“The Africa Bureau that you led, and which I was delighted to be a part of, established the Africa Joint Continental Strategy for COVID-19 which continues to guide our successful response to the pandemic to date,” President Kenyatta said.

The Kenyan leader further thanked his South African counterpart for the support that enabled Kenya to join the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member for the period 2021 to 2022.

On his part, President Ramaphosa said President Kenyatta’s State Visit has provided an opportunity to take stock of the current state of bilateral relations and explore new areas of mutual interest and benefit for the people of the two countries.

Saying South Africa owes a debt of gratitude to the people of Kenya for the unwavering support during the struggle for its freedom, President Ramaphosa emphasized the need to elevate the two countries’ ties to a strategic partnership.

“President Kenyatta and I have reaffirmed the strategic importance of bilateral relations between our two countries and reiterated our desire to elevate the nature of the relationship, which would include the conclusion of a Strategic Partnership Agreement,” the South African President said.

Earlier, President Kenyatta was formally received by his host President Ramaphosa in an elaborate state reception that included a 21-gun salute, a military ceremony reserved for Heads of State and Government.

Thereafter, President Kenyatta was invited to inspect a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the South African military before he proceeded for one-on-one talks with President Ramaphosa.

President Kenyatta was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Raychelle Omamo (Foreign Affairs), Betty Maina (Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development), Najib Balala (Tourism and Wildlife), Mutahi Kagwe (Health), and James Macharia (Transport, Infrastructure, and Housing) as well as Kenya’s High Commissioner to South Africa Catherine Muigai Mwangi.

Other senior Government officials in the President’s delegation included State House Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita, Housing, and Urban Development Principal Secretary Charles Hinga, and Deputy State House Comptroller George Kariuki.

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AfricaAwardsBusinessReviews

2021 Africa’s Business Heroes Winners Announced (See List)

Entrepreneurs from Egypt, Kenya, and Nigeria make the Top Three; top 10 Finalists pitched live in a virtual grand finale connecting 14 locations across the world.

The 2021 Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) (www.AfricaBusinessHeroes.org/en/) winners were announced last night during a virtual live Grand Finale, with US$1.5 million in grant funding awarded to the top 10 finalists. The Top 10 represent seven African countries, with 80% operating businesses in rural areas and half of the finalists are female.

Africa’s Business Heroes (ABH) is a flagship philanthropic programme established by the Jack Ma Foundation to help foster an inclusive and vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa. The annual competition, now in its third year, shines a spotlight on talented African entrepreneurs who are working to make a difference in their communities and helping to build a more sustainable, inclusive future. The ABH competition is grassroots-oriented as well as age, gender, language, and sector agnostic.

This year, over 12,000 applications were received from all 54 countries in Africa. The finalists were chosen after several rounds of rigorous evaluation conducted by over 230 judges. They were selected after demonstrating that they are visionary entrepreneurs who embodied innovation, resilience, growth potential, and impact on Africa.

Hundreds of viewers from 49 countries worldwide registered to watch the live online grand finale and visit the virtual exhibition, following the finalists as they pitched their businesses to a final panel of esteemed judges: Ibukun Awosika, Founder and CEO of The Chair Centre Group; Victor Williams, NBA Africa CEO; and Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group.

The top three Africa’s Business Heroes for 2021 are:

1st – winning $300,000 – Khadija Mohamed Elbedweihy – Founder, PraxiLabs (www.praxilabs.com) (Egypt)

2nd – winning $250,000 – Ikenna Nzewi – Co-founder and CEO, Releaf (www.releaf.africa) (Nigeria)

3rd – winning $150,000 – Navalayo Osembo-Ombati – Co-founder and CEO, Enda Athletic (www.EndaSportswear.com) (Kenya)

All of Africa’s Business Heroes are inspiring leaders who are actively pursuing their passions and helping Africa take its rightful place on the world stage

“I’m very humbled to be named Africa’s Business Hero. This competition has been an incredible journey. I have learned important lessons from each judge and from my fellow talented entrepreneurs. I hope that this win inspires many young Africans to believe, that we have what it takes to make an impact where we are. It has been a challenging year for many businesses, but challenges are key to building our resilience. PraxiLabs is solving pressing issues around education and training, and we will remain focused and determined to change how Africa learns and teaches science, one virtual lab at a time,” said the winner, Khadija Mohamed Elbedweihy, Founder at PraxiLabs.

The other finalists will each receive $100,000 in prize funding, and an additional $10,000 will be allocated to each finalist for a training program to be hosted in Alibaba Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.

The finale judges were impressed with the caliber of the finalists and their businesses, commenting:

“This is the third time I have been a Grand Finale judge for Africa’s Business Heroes competition, meeting many exceptional business women and men from across Africa. Each year, I’m struck by their sheer talent and the commitment to developing creative, innovative solutions to the challenges we face on the continent. It truly is “Africa’s time” and these outstanding entrepreneurs are the ones who embody its future of growth and relevant solution-based innovation,” said Ibukun Awosika, Founder and CEO of The Chair Centre Group.

“I want to congratulate the winners of this year’s Africa’s Business Heroes competition.  Entrepreneurship – like sport – is a transformative force for positive social change and economic growth.  All of Africa’s Business Heroes are inspiring leaders who are actively pursuing their passions and helping Africa take its rightful place on the world stage. I look forward to engaging with all of them as they continue their entrepreneurial journeys on the continent,” highlighted Victor Williams, NBA Africa CEO.

“This year’s Top 10 finalists came from inspiring personal stories that is invaluable not only to their teams and communities but to many would-be entrepreneurs across the continent who are thinking about pursuing this path. The kind of talent and passion I saw among this year’s Africa’s Business Heroes is unrivaled around the world. They are innovators and problem-solvers, but most importantly, they have a driving sense of mission and social impact. Congratulations to all of our winners and we look forward to seeing what you accomplish next,” said Joe Tsai, Executive Vice Chairman of Alibaba Group.

Africa’s Business Heroes TV show will air in 2022. The show will follow the finalists in their exciting journey to the grand finale and feature their on-stage pitches as well as behind-the-scenes moments from the competition. The award ceremony from the 2021 finale will soon be available to watch on ABH official YouTube (https://bit.ly/3oF8j5R).

Applications for the 2022 ABH prize will open in early 2022. For news and updates visit africabusinessheroes.org

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Business

Fashogbon, P3 Inventor Calls For Gov. Makinde’s Intervention Over Violent Attack On Business

The inventor of the Portrait Pole Post (P3), Fasogbon Abiodun David, has cried out over a violent attack on his trade and a threat to eliminate his life by a killer squad that is marauding the town to suppress the legitimate Outdoor Out of Home (OOH) advertising practitioners.

Fashogbon, the CEO of Fizzie Republic that owns the right of P3 after registration with the Nigeria Copyright Commission while addressing newsmen in Ibadan said some marauders, armed with dangerous weapons are going about the city of Ibadan in the middle of the night, removing his advert boards placed of electric poles.

He expressed surprise over such action because his firm is duly registered with the Oyo State Advertising Agency (OYSAA); the body instituted by the government to oversee and regulate the advertising business and had paid the mandatory annual fees to OYSAA.

His words: “We paid millions of naira in the last contract, and the new contract just started and we have also paid 500k on November 2nd, our contract is renewable and we have the first right of refusal, but going in the middle of the night to attack billboards is not professional.

“When we inquired, OYSAA said it was a consultant to the government that is behind this dastardly act. If they are not evil, why are they removing paid advert at night, while questioning OYSAA they said it is a directive from Gov Makinde, but I don’t think in my own estimation that Gov Makinde gave such an order. We will appreciate Gov Makinde to clear the air on this”, said the CEO of Fizzie Republic.

He added that his firm has greatly contributed to the internally generated revenue (IGR) of the state by making use of almost 48 percent of the total poles in Ibadan during the last administration and has done 15m million worth of advert-free since the inception of the Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration in-line with the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy of his firm.

“We are the one that sponsored signposts with inscriptions such as: ‘Security of the State is a collective responsibility, ‘Play your part’, ‘Invest in sold minerals to increase our internal revenue’, with some written in mother tongue placed on advertising boards attached to electric poles in Ibadan metropolis”.

“This gesture was in line with the Social Corporate Responsibility (CSR) policy of our firm, which is essentially most favorable towards correcting wrong notions about Gov Makinde’s administration and sensitizing the public.

“I believe the main plan of this people is for me to remove and discontinue Gov Makinde’s job that I did and go to the court with the state government, but their action will not force me to do that, and that is why am calling the Governor to safe my life from this desperate person who are out to ruin my business.

“Our firm has fully refunded the affected clients which include: Foodco, Nexgen, Chicken and Co, Rhetoric that are all happened to be indigenous brands and are voters but for them not to frown at the state government”, Fashogbon enthused

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Africa

Tanzania at 60: Trade, Industry Lifeline for Development

For the past six decades, Tanzania has recorded huge strides in the trade and manufacturing- industry, which will continue to be a lifeline for the development and co-development of all other sectors and services. Addressing journalists on the achievements that have so far been recorded by the Ministry of Trade and Industry during 60 years of the country’s independence, Minister of the docket, Professor Kitila Mkumbo said the government has made several interventions that helped the sector to grow significantly.

Tanzania’s industrial sector has evolved through various stages since independence in 1961, from nascent and undiversified to state-led import substitution industrialization. The industrialization has been characterized by shifts in roles of the state and private sector, Minister Mkumbo said the current development agenda, however, has brought industrial development back to being one of the policy priorities.

In fact, in the past six decades, the most dynamic subsectors in terms of output growth, export growth, production innovation, and product diversity are food products, plastic and rubber, chemicals, basic metalwork, and non-metallic mineral products. Prof. Mkumbo said industrialization has taken an upward trend in the areas of manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and other extractive industries and services.

He noted that the government has always insisted that the key underlying notion to industrialization is value-addition, occasioned by knowledge and skills accumulated through experience and training. The principle, he added, applies to all productive sectors and services, improving productivity and inventiveness to enhance competitiveness. At present, Minister Mkumbo said there are about 80,697 industries in the country that contribute to over 17 percent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), a sign that the country’s ambitious industrialization agenda by 2025 will be perfectly achieved.

On average mega industries have so far provided direct employment to about 400,000 Tanzanians

Prof. Mkumbo gave the statistics in the country’s capital, Dodoma yesterday, saying industries were contributing to about 8,4 percent, while trade was adding up over nine percent to the country’s GDP. The Minister was optimistic that come 2025, the target of his ministry was to see the Trade and Industries sector contributing up to 30 percent in the GDP. He said that an assessment that was conducted in July 2021 this year, found out that there were about 80,696 industries countrywide, adding that on Tuesday this week Prime Minister launched yet another factory-SIKA Tanzania located at Salasala in Dar es Salaam, putting the figure at 80,697.

With mushrooming of industries in the country, Prof. Mkumbo said employment opportunities had increased whereas 99 percent of direct employment was occupied by Tanzanians with the remaining percent going to foreigners. He said employment opportunities in the industrial sector continued to grow significantly with statistics indicating that by 1961 the sector contributed to nine percent of total direct employment in the country.

Minister Mkumbo further noted that by 2015, employment in the sector reached 254,786, adding further that following the government’s initiative to massively promote industrialization, the number of people employed in the sector has now reached 482,601. “On average mega industries have so far provided direct employment to about 400,000 Tanzanians. According to statistics available in the ministry and in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), 100 percent of the people within the sector are locals,” he added.

On the total number of industries in the country which stands at 80,697, Prof. Mkumbo said out of that figure, mega factories which need a minimum capital of over 800m/- as well as employing 100 people were 618 and those middle-sized industries which need a capital of between 200m/- and 800m/- as well as employing between 50 to 99 people were 684. According to him, the small-scale industries which require an initial capital of at least 5m/- and not more than 200m/- were 17,267.

On Special Economic Zones (EPZ) and Export Processing Zones (SEZ), the Minister said so far, a total of 174 companies have been registered, injecting a total capital of 2.23billion US Dollars (about 5,13tri/-). He said through EPZ and SEZ investments, some 57,563 direct jobs have been created. Prof. Mkumbo further took the time to explain how Tanzania was doing well on trade with the rest of the world. He said participation in global and regional trade, including importation, attracts domestic and foreign investments and access to new technology and managerial skills.

He explained that exports reduce foreign exchange constraints; create jobs and higher capacity utilization of domestic resources, in turn, contributing to overall growth. Tanzania’s exports are concentrated, dominated by primary exports, including minerals and semi-processed agricultural exports. They have a low technology-development impact on domestic producers as well as jobs in the domestic market.

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Culture & Tourism

Tourism: Digital revolution will innovate the entire hotel industry

Barrows, the provider of hotel investment and advisory services for hotels in the Middle East and Africa is preparing for a new digital revolution in making the hotel industry smarter.

Anyone who thinks we are already there with digitization in the hospitality industry could not be further wrong. Service and Hospitality will innovate enormously in the years to come through numerous sleek technological applications and making buildings intelligent.

By providing the hotel buildings with intelligent applications aimed at high-quality guest service during the construction phase, the use of smart technology in the workplace becomes a natural result.

This concerns, for example, digital check-in and check-out and accelerated streamlining of payment processes while the hotel guest is inconvenienced as little as possible or would have to wait a long time.

Service and Hospitality will innovate enormously in the years to come through numerous sleek technological applications and making buildings intelligent

Fully automating the daily room check can save a lot of time and money, while the hotel room is always fully equipped with a full minibar, clean linen and a fully disinfected bathroom and toilet. All of these things can be fully automated and reduce costs for management, says Chairman Erwin Jager of Barrows Hotel Enterprises.

Logically, where people work, mistakes are been made. With the use of automation and smart technology, this is prevented while customer satisfaction increases. It is true that human hands are needed to change the beds, but the supply and control can be fully automated in such a way that every hotel room receives the right attention day in, day out. Why still work with customer-unfriendly water boilers, while there are already wonderful solutions for this that benefit customer-friendliness. I never understand the way some hotel operators are running their hotels. Always look true the eyes of the guest and create the best possible experience while staying in your hotel, says Erwin Jager of Barrows.

With the use of new smart next-gen technology, hotel management is much better able to optimize the attention for the customer. Consider, for example, the integration of sustainable eco-green energy technology that always allows the building to be air-conditioned in the most sustainable way, doors that can be opened with a smartphone instead of the annoying cards that are very customer-unfriendly and unhygienic.

The coming decades will be very interesting for the hotel industry. High End next Gen applications will be developed in particular from the Tech industry to serve building and management in such a way that the hotel guest will automatically get all the attention and therefore get the ultimate experience when staying in a hotel.

Hotel guests should not experience any form of nuisance and that is exactly what we stand for at Barrows. We do not settle for less, but add value and optimize the daily business process in the hotel chain.

Hospitality means serving people. That is a conscious choice for people who work in the hospitality industry, every day again. We are serving and we are proud on and good at it.

Barrows Hotel Enterprises internationally manages over 10,000 hotel rooms in more than 10 countries. The company started in 2008 as a real estate investor in the residential market in Dubai. Since 2012, Barrows has changed its strategy and the company is fully focused on the fast-growing hotel industry in the Middle East. Since 2020 Barrows is active in the African Continent.

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Business

IFC Partners Liquid Intelligent Technologies to Boost Africa’s Digital Infrastructure

To support universal and affordable broadband access in Africa, IFC has partnered with Liquid Intelligent Technologies to expand data center capacity and the rollout of fiber-optic cable on the continent.

The partnership with Liquid Intelligent Technologies, Africa’s leading independent fiber and digital services provider, aims to increase digital connectivity and inclusion in Africa and to support the region’s growing digital ecosystem.

IFC’s equity and debt investments in Liquid Intelligent Technologies, which to date total approximately $250 million, will support the company to grow its hyper-scale data center capacity in Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa through its subsidiary, Africa Data Centres. As Africa’s population grows and is increasingly urbanized, data consumption is expected to grow strongly, and with this comes the need for secure local data hosting.

The investments will also support Liquid Intelligent Technologies in the continued rollout of its fiber broadband network, which today covers more than 100,000 kilometers of sub-Saharan Africa. The continued build-out of its network will help to connect businesses and individuals to the Internet across the continent and position Liquid intelligent Technologies to be at the forefront of Africa’s digital transformation with the provision of complementary digital services.

The investments in our data centers and fiber broadband network will directly support our growth plans over the coming years

“We are very pleased that IFC continues to support Liquid. The investments in our data centers and fiber broadband network will directly support our growth plans over the coming years by encouraging the adoption of new services such as Cloud and other digital services, services that are critical in driving sustainable development across Africa,” said Strive Masiyiwa, Liquid Intelligent Technologies Executive Chairman and Founder.

“Digital technologies are rapidly transforming how people, businesses, and governments communicate, transact, and access information and services. By working with Liquid Intelligent Technologies, we can help expand access to infrastructure and digital services that power Africa’s digital economy, creating new opportunities for growth and jobs. This is an essential element for Africa’s economic transformation and building back better,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director.

Digital infrastructure is the backbone of the digital economy, but sub-Saharan Africa needs around $100 billion in investment to achieve universal, affordable, and high-quality broadband access by 2030, according to the Broadband Commission on Sustainable Development (https://bit.ly/3H3XUJ5). To achieve universal broadband access, the continent needs at least 250,000 kilometers of new fiber (https://bit.ly/3H3Y2Iz).

IFC’s digital strategy in Africa is aimed at enabling ubiquitous, reliable, and affordable connectivity. This includes investing in the growth of independent tower operators, data centers, and broadband, as well as support to mobile operators primarily in fragile and conflict situations (FCS) and low-Income International Development Association countries (LIC-IDA).

IFC’s latest investment in Liquid follows its investment in the company in February 2021 through Liquid’s bond placement on Euronext Dublin, Ireland’s main stock exchange. The issuance raised $620 million.

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Awards

African Energy Awards 2021: Celebrating Industry Pioneers

African Energy Week (AEW) 2021 not only provides the platform for advanced conversations on Africa’s energy future but aims to celebrate the significant accomplishments made by African energy professionals and organizations as they lead the continent into a new era of energy and economic success. This year, AEW 2021 is proud to host the first annual African Energy Awards, aimed at promoting the achievements and pioneering work of Africa’s energy stakeholders. Covering a wide range of categories, the awards emphasize how the continent, and its people, have and continue to be key drivers of Africa’s energy future.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Awarded to the person who has taken courageous steps to promote the wellbeing of African citizens, the socioeconomic stability of their nation, and towards improving the functioning and profitability of the energy and hydrocarbons markets, the lifetime achievement award nominees include:

  • H.E. Minister Chief Timipre Sylva, Minister of State of Petroleum, Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • H.E. Minister Diamantino Azevedo, Minister of Mineral Resources, Petroleum and Gas, Republic of Angola.
  • H.E Yuri Sentyurin, Secretary-General, Gas Exporting Countries Forum.

Gamechanger Award

Awarded to the company or organization that has revolutionized the field, changed the rules, and is driving Africa’s energy progress. Nominees include:

  • Springfield Group – Kevin Okyere, CEO. For becoming the first African company to drill and discover oil in the deep offshore.
  • TotalEnergies – For the acquisition of Tullow Oil’s longstanding stake in the Uganda Lake Albert project for $575 million.

National Oil Company of the Year Award

National oil companies (NOC) have and continue to play a fundamental role in reducing energy poverty while ensuring pro-business investment environments, energy security, and leadership within the hydrocarbons sector. This award serves to honor the NOC that has undertaken enormous strides to electrify their region through innovative operational and revenue management strategies. Nominees include:

  • Angola’s national oil company, Sonangol
  • National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia – NAMCOR
  • The National Petroleum Company of Congo – SNPC
  • National Hydrocarbons Corporation of Cameroon – SNH
  • Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation – NNPC
  • Petrosen

The African Energy Awards will bring attention to the significant accomplishments made thus far in Africa’s energy industry

ESG Leader Award

As environmental, social and governance (ESG) becomes a central element in the development of Africa’s natural resources, the continent needs champions that will protect and promote local populations while ensuring fair and safe operations. Nominees for the ESG Leader Award include:

  • Chevron
  • Trident Energy
  • Assala Energy
  • ENI
  • BP
  • TotalEnergies
  • Sasol
  • ReconAfrica

Rising Star of the Year Award

A new breed of explorers is taking up the challenge of sustainably developing the continent’s hydrocarbons resources. This award goes to the independent who has succeeded in making a footprint on the continent, opening up the upstream game for a new age of explorers. Nominees include:

  • Afentra
  • ReconAfrica
  • Assala Energy
  • Seplat
  • BW Energy

Service Excellence Award

Awarded to the company that has excelled in operating on the continent in a novel, sustainable, and locally impactful way, nominees for the Service Excellence Award include:

  • Schlumberger
  • Halliburton
  • Baker Hughes
  • Technip
  • Siemens
  • GE

African Gas Monetization of the Year

This award recognizes companies and projects that are defying the odds of COVID-19 and industry restrictions, promoting gas monetization in Africa to close the energy poverty gap and drive the continent’s energy transition. Nominees include:

  • The Republic of Mozambique Pipeline Company
  • The Coral South LNG project
  • Nigeria LNG
  • The BP-operated Kosmos Tortue Ahmeyim gas project
  • The Alen Gas Monetization project

CEO of the Year Award

Recognizing the achievement of high-level executives who have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their organization, the CEO of the Year Award nominees include:

  • Mustafa Sanalla, Chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation, Libya
  • Mele Kyari, CEO of the NNPC, Nigeria
  • Fleetwood Grobler, CEO, Sasol, South Africa
  • Robert Mdeza, CEO, Trinity Energy Limited, South Sudan
  • Tony Attah, former Managing Director and CEO, Nigeria LNG Limited, Nigeria

With the award ceremony taking place on the 9th of November, AEW 2021 promotes and celebrates the outstanding work of Africa’s leading professionals and organizations. AEW 2021’s primary focus is to promote African voices within global energy dialogue, and by celebrating the abovementioned individuals and companies, the event places African stakeholders at the center of the continent’s energy sector transformation.

“African professionals and organizations are not passive in the continent’s energy sector expansion, but rather, they represent the leaders and key drivers of Africa’s energy sector success. Africa’s richest asset is its people, and at AEW 2021, we will not only celebrate what has been done by the continent’s leading individuals and organizations but will promote the benchmark that has already been set for future generations of energy companies and professionals. The African Energy Awards will bring attention to the significant accomplishments made thus far in Africa’s energy industry, awarding individuals and organizations who are leading the continent into a new era of energy security, energy poverty eradication, and accelerated socio-economic growth,” stated Tomás Gerbasio, Conference Director for AEW 2021.

AEW 2021, in partnership with South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy DMRE, is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition, and networking event. AEW 2021 unites African energy stakeholders with investors and international partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as the destination for energy investments.

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