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Top 50 Women in Corporate Africa Revealed after Data-Driven Research

In a major virtual summit with over 1,000 high-level attendees, Africa.com revealed the names of the 50 most senior women in Corporate Africa. The Africa.com Definitive List of Women CEOs is distinguished in that it is data-driven. The researchers started by working with data provided by Bloomberg and evaluating the over 1,400 companies listed on the 24 African stock exchanges.

The list yielded many more women from South Africa than any other African country, followed by Nigeria and Kenya.  The finance sector had more women CEOs than any other sector, followed closely by technology.  Africa.com Managing Director Laura Joseph said, “FIve companies had more than one woman on the list: Bidvest, Microsoft, Old Mutual, Sonatel, and Sanlam.”

The methodology includes three sections: 1) CEOs of African exchange-listed companies with a market cap over $150 million USD; 2) division heads of African exchange-listed companies where the division itself would be valued at over $150 million were it standalone; and 3) Africa region heads, or country heads, of globally listed companies with a market cap of over $50 billion.

Africa.com Chair and Executive Editor Teresa Clarke said, “The list has started a movement to give African women something larger to aspire to run a large, complex business – not just SMEs as is often the focus of women in business.”

 

Click here (https://bit.ly/3FRe5Ji) to watch a dynamic short video that profiles the women CEOs.

 

The Africa.com 2021 Definitive List of Women CEOs

Rank

Name

Title

Company

Country

Stock Exchange

Market Cap

1

Natascha Viljoen CEO Anglo American Platinum South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$37.6 billion USD

2

Mpumi Madisa CEO / Executive Director Bidvest Group South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$3.6 billion USD

3

Lizé Lambrechts CEO / Executive Director Santam South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$1.9 billion USD

4

Miriam Olusanya Managing Director Guaranty Trust Bank Ltd Nigeria Nigeria Stock Exchange

$1.4 billion USD

5

Jane Karuku Group Managing Director and CEO East African Breweries Ltd Kenya Nairobi Stock Exchange

$1.2 billion USD

6

Helena Conradie CEO Satrix 40 South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$650 million USD

7

Leila Fourie CEO JSE South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$640 million USD

8

Ruth Zaipuna CEO NMB Bank Tanzania Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange

$505 million USD

9

Nathalie Alquier CEO Centrale Danone Morocco Casablanca Stock Exchange

$500 million USD

10

Catherine Lesetedi Group Chief Executive Officer Botswana Insurance Holdings Botswana Botswana Stock Exchange

$445 million USD

11

Mansa Nettey Chief Executive Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Ghana Stock Exchange

$425 million USD

12

Anne Juuko CEO Stanbic Bank Holdings Uganda Uganda Securities Exchange

$370 million USD

13

Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane Managing Director Absa Bank Botswana Ltd Botswana Botswana Stock Exchange

$346 million USD

14

Jackie van Niekerk CEO Attacq Ltd South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$323 million USD

15

Jalila Mezni CEO Société d’Articles Hygiéniques LILAS Tunisia Bourse de Tunis Stock Exchange

$304 million USD

16

Amelia Beattie CEO Liberty Two Degrees South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$281 million USD

17

Mercia Geises CEO SBN Holdings Ltd (Standard Bank) Namibia Namibian Stock Exchange

$277 million USD

18

Rebecca Miano Managing Director and CEO Kenya Electricity Generating Kenya Nairobi Stock Exchange

$275 million USD

19

Miriem Bensalah-Chaqroun VP, Managing Director Oulmes Morocco MC/Casablanca Stock Exchange

$230 million USD

20

Diane Karusisi CEO BK Group PLC Rwanda Rwanda Stock Exchange

$205 million USD

21

Nasim Devji Group CEO and Managing Director Diamond Trust Bank Kenya Nairobi Stock Exchange

$178 million USD

22

Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe Managing Director and CEO Fidelity Bank Nigeria Nigerian Stock Exchange

$165 million USD

DIVISION HEADS

23

Kanyisa Mkhize CEO Sanlam Corporate Sanlam South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$8.6 billion USD

24

Vivien McMenamin CEO South Africa Mondi South Africa South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$7.7 billion USD

25

Nevine Wefky President of Corporate Credit and Investment Commercial International Bank Egypt Egyptian Exchange

$5.7 Billion USD

26

Yolisa Phahle CEO General Entertainment and Connected Video The MultiChoice Group South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$3.8 billion USD

27

Kerrin Land Managing Director, Personal Finance & Wealth Management Old Mutual South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$3.7 billion USD

28

Prabashini Moodley Managing Director Old Mutual Corporate South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$3.7 billion USD

29

Hannah Sadiki Bidvest Financial Services CEO Bidvest Financial Services South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$3.6 billion USD

30

Ramatoulaye Diallo Shagaya Managing Director Orange Finances Mobile Services Sonatel Senegal Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières

$2.2 billion USD

31

Aminata Kane Ndiaye CEO Orange Sierra Leone Sonatel Senegal Bourse Régionale des Valeurs Mobilières

$2.2 billion USD

32

Kerry Cassel CEO Financial Services Sector Motus Holdings South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$1.1 billion USD

33

Anet Ahern CEO PSG Asset Management PSG Konsult South Africa Johannesburg Stock Exchange

$819 million USD

34

Nanees Adel CSH Managing Director Cleopatra Hospital Egypt Egyptian Exchange

$468 million USD

35

Hélène Echevin CEO, CIEL Healthcare CIEL Mauritius Stock Exchange of Mauritius

$166 million USD

REGIONAL HEADS

36

Teju Ajani Managing Director Nigeria Apple Nigeria NASDAQ

$2.1 trillion USD

37

Juliet Ehimuan Director West Africa Google Nigeria NASDAQ

$2.1 trillion USD

38

Kendi Ntwiga-Nderitu Country Lead Kenya Microsoft Kenya NASDAQ

$1.9 trillion USD

39

Lillian Barnard CEO South Africa Microsoft South Africa NASDAQ

$1.9 trillion USD

40

Nunu Ntshingila Regional Director, Africa Facebook South Africa NASDAQ

$836 billion USD

41

Aida Diarra Senior Vice President and Head of Sub-Saharan Africa VISA Inc South Africa New York Stock Exchange

$466 billion USD

42

Chantal Umutoni Kagame CEO MTN Rwanda Rwanda Rwanda Stock Exchange

$361 billion USD

43

Yvonne Ike Managing Director, Sub-Saharan Africa Bank of America Nigeria New York Stock Exchange

$332 billion USD

44

Cathy Smith MD Sub-Saharan Africa SAP South Africa Frankfurt Stock Exchange

$171 billion USD

45

Ireti Samuel-Ogbu CEO Nigeria and Ghana Citibank Nigeria New York Stock Exchange

$151 billion USD

46

Mariam Kane-Garcia CEO South Africa & Executive VP Southern Africa TotalEnergies South Africa Euronext

$122 billion USD

47

Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh Regional Head North, East. and West Africa IBM Ghana NASDAQ

$119 billion USD

48

Brenda Mbathi President GE East Africa General Electra Kenya New York Stock Exchange

$111 billion USD

49

Mpumi Zikalala Managing Director, de Beers Group Managed Operations De Beers Group South Africa De Beers

$61 billion USD

50

Taelo Mojapelo CEO and Vice President British Petroleum Southern Africa South Africa LSE/London Stock Exchange

$59 billion USD

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AfricaAPO-GROUPAPO-OPAEconomyReport

Free Movement of People a Top Priority, Say West African Nations

Free movement of people and goods, and fighting human trafficking should be top policy priorities, members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) agreed at talks convened with the support of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Network for Migration and the African Union.

Three days of consultations in Abuja this week offered the first chance for ECOWAS members to collectively assess progress in implementing the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) objectives and to decide key recommendations to be put to next year’s International Migration Review Forum.

Integrated migration governance should be a key goal and Ambrose Dery, Minister of Interior for Ghana, the Chair of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of States and Governments, said it was essential African nations addressed trafficking in persons and its devastating consequences on migrants.

Governments must address the root causes of trafficking and ensure the free movement of people in a safe, orderly and dignified manner

“Vile stories on international media concerning migrant slavery, as well as the mistreatment of young African domestic help in some Gulf States, call for a reflection on appropriate actions to be taken with a view to finding a lasting solution to this persistent problem that leads to the loss of young Africans, without whom the continent cannot build a prosperous and peaceful future,” Dery said. “In Ghana, the contribution of migrants has played a great role in shaping our national development.”

Governments must address the root causes of trafficking and ensure the free movement of people in a safe, orderly, and dignified manner. ECOWAS representatives emphasized the need to join forces and align approaches to prevent and counter-smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons to promote rights-based management of migration.

The meeting, which ended Thursday, also heard that policies must be effectively applied by border officials to ease free movement while combatting trafficking in persons.

Aissata Kane, IOM’s Senior Regional Adviser for Sub Saharan Africa, said the Global Compact for Migration was a landmark, multilateral document. “It aims to catalyze and boost combined support and assistance for addressing legal and humanitarian challenges of migration and foster its positive social, cultural and economic dividends within and outside the ECOWAS region.”

IOM has been working with all stakeholders at intergovernmental and national levels, as well as within the UN Network for Migration, to promote safe, orderly, and dignified free movement of people and economic exchange among the ECOWAS Member States.

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AfricaAPO-GROUPAPO-OPAEconomy

Morocco Becomes Africa’s new Automotive Manufacturing Hub

Morocco is currently Africa’s first passenger car manufacturer. Morocco has surpassed South Africa as the biggest exporter of passenger cars on the continent with $7 billion (MAD 65.1 billion) exports made in the car industry at the end of 2018.

Morocco’s Automotive industry is growing exponentially each year with car sales exceeding 160,000 units in 2021, and creating over 220,000 direct jobs.

According to several international experts, Morocco’s auto industry is set to contribute as much as 24% to the Moroccan GDP by 2022.

As of 2021, new passenger vehicles (PCs) recorded an increase of +10.77% with 115,611 units sold, transforming Morocco into a leading automotive manufacturing hub in Africa.

Despite the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis, the industry has gradually recovered this year, selling around 400,000 cars to Europe, with France, Spain, Germany, and Italy among its top exporters.

The Financial Times reported that Marc Nassif, managing director of Renault in Morocco, the biggest manufacturer in the country, stated that local suppliers provide the French auto company with automotive components for its vehicles, such as seats and axles and other essential parts. He estimated that local components constitute 60% of the final product and predicts the number to rise to 65% in the near future.

As for the country’s infrastructure, the Moroccan government allocated $7.76 billion (MAD 69 billion) in 2015 towards developing infrastructure in Morocco’s southern landscape, including roads, universities, airports, hospitals, and more.

The recent Tangier-Casablanca high-speed rail project, a $4 billion (MAD 36 billion) investment that has rendered Morocco’s infrastructure more modern and efficient in recent years, is also a major development for the country’s infrastructure industry.

All these achievements have made Morocco a prosperous and safe environment for business

With the government incentives and foreign investments’ rapid implementation in Morocco, financial experts anticipate the automotive sector to grow by $14 billion (MAD 126 billion) within the next five years.

Morocco’s automotive sector in Expo 2020 Dubai

The General Confederation of Moroccan Entreprises (CGEM) and the Moroccan Agency for the Development of Investments and Exports (AMDIE) organized “Morocco Week” in Dubai as part of the Expo 2020 Dubai, spanning from October 10 to 16.

Moroccan public and private operators attended with the main aim to promote Morocco for foreign investors by highlighting the Kingdom’s potential as a global investment hub.

CGEM’s President, Mr Chakib Alj, indicated that Morocco’s political stability and geographical location played a key role in attracting foreign investment, making the North African country the second most attractive investment destination, behind Egypt and ahead of South Africa, Kenya, and Rwanda.

With more than 60 free trade agreements signed with Europe, the US, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere, Mr Alj highlighted Morocco’s competitiveness and massive efforts in infrastructure and automotive to become an essential gateway to Africa. He underlined that “All these achievements have made Morocco a prosperous and safe environment for business”.

During the event in Dubai this week, Morocco introduced foreign investors to the main features of the New Development Model (NDM). With the goal to shine a light on the greater perspective of the future, the Kingdom will soon implement the framework of the NDM to expand its economic growth and investment opportunities in various sectors, especially in renewable energies.

Mr Alj  insists that “By choosing Morocco, an investor chooses growth, innovation, visibility, stability”, adding that “[The investor] also chooses to access a growing continent with a promising future” .

During “Morocco Week,” organizers held a seminar to highlight Morocco’s industrial sector.

Both Moroccan and foreign participants stated that Morocco’ industrial sector “has achieved a remarkable success that exceeded all expectations,” making Morocco a prominent destination for its national industrial fabric.

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AfricaAfrica AsiaAPO-GROUPAPO-OPAEconomyHealth

ARC Statement on International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction

With COP26 around the corner, our focus should be on the devastating impact of climate change as we mark International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction today, observed annually to raise awareness about disaster reduction risk.

That’s the word from Lesley Ndlovu, CEO African Risk Capacity (ARC) Limited, a specialist insurance company that provides parametric coverage to African countries against extreme weather events and natural disasters.

Alarm bells for humanity have been sounded around issues of climate change, following the recent release of the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change and increased media interest around the UN’s climate talks in November.

In Africa, the UN’s GAR Special Report on Drought warned that drought may well be the next pandemic as Africa faces “exponential collateral damage” posing systemic risks to its economies, infrastructure investments, water and food systems, public health, agriculture, and livelihoods, and threatening to undo its modest development gains and slip into higher levels of extreme poverty.

There simply is no time to lose in “acting decisively”.

Shifting the disaster risk architecture

Advocating for a shift in the current disaster risk architecture, Ndlovu believes the response is unacceptably slow, inefficient, and reactive, as climate disasters increasingly threaten Africa, a continent that bears the brunt of climate change, but has contributed the least to climate emissions.

“It takes far too long for African countries to mobilise the immediate resources they need for relief efforts, to save lives and livelihoods. The traditional disaster response is extremely slow and inefficient and, by the time governments and NGOs have raised enough money to respond meaningfully, the problem has become much worse, and more funding is needed,” says Ndlovu.

One of the issues to address is around premium affordability because it’s quite expensive to insure against natural disasters

ARC Group’s role as a parametric insurer is critically important in building resilience and ensuring a country is able to bounce back swiftly after a natural disaster.  “We monitor the rainfall of countries in the risk pool and sovereign insurance pay outs from ARC Limited are triggered when the system reveals that there hasn’t been enough rain, before droughts get to a crisis stage, farmers are left with nothing and people are starving,” explains Ndlovu.

The programme further helps countries build capacity to manage climate-related risks. In this way it attempts to shift the disaster risk management architecture to be proactive, not reactive, says Ndlovu.

“When dealing with risk mitigation and management, one needs to examine the reason why governments don’t act. On the insurance side, one of the issues to address is around premium affordability because it’s quite expensive to insure against natural disasters and payment of premium competes against other national priorities,” explains Ndlovu.

Sovereigns which participate in the ARC programme must also develop a contingency plan which sets out at a very high level how the government would spend any insurance pay out they receive from ARC Limited.

“Through this plan, we ensure the funds get to the intended beneficiaries. Having a plan increases dramatically the speed of execution because at a point the government received the funding, it already has a plan on how to disburse this,” he says.

Insurance builds resilience

Emily Jones, Climate and Disaster Risk Financing Advisor for WFP, highlights the challenges of convincing authorities to be more proactive than reactive when preventing human suffering and hardship when events like drought occur.

“Unfortunately, no one person or organisation can make the necessary shift alone. Change starts with building resilience and insurance plays a significant role in that, particularly in climate change,” says Jones.

Governments pay a premium every year and receive their agreed-upon pay-out if and when a predicted disaster occurs. “This money can then be used to help those people affected, with the remainder of the pay-out going towards covering other consequences that might not have been expected, such as conflict or a loss of progress in terms of important local development projects,” she says.

“Humanitarians are working on highlighting the need to predict crises and act before they manifest to avoid human suffering. After all, why wait if you don’t have to?”

ARC Limited is the first African company to join the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance. With US$100 million in its kitty, the organisation has the largest balance sheet dedicated to climate risks in Africa.

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Africa

AFRICA: Rwanda to host the 2021 Conference on Land Policy

The fourth edition of the Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA) will be held in a hybrid format on November 2- 4 2021, under the theme: “Land governance for safeguarding art, culture, and heritage towards Africa We Want”.

The Conference’s theme aligns to the African Union Declaration of 2021 as African’s Year of Art, Culture, and Heritage through the theme, “Arts, Culture and Heritage: Levers for Building Africa We Want”.

CLPA is organized by the African Land Policy Centre (ALPC), a joint initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC), and the African Development Bank (AfDB). It will be co-hosted by the Government of Rwanda

The CLPA conference is expected to improve knowledge in support of evidence-based land policy development, implementation and monitoring in Africa

Joan  Kagwanja, Chief of ALPC notes that land in Africa is at the centre of culture and heritage, which provides a framework for a continental discourse towards improving the land governance space and attaining “Africa We Want” as envisioned in the AU Agenda 2063.

She further observed that the ALPC recognizes the potential role of arts, culture, and heritage in catalysing the socio-economic development and integration of the African continent. Hence, the proposed theme draws inspiration from the AU Agenda 2063 as a shared strategic framework and blueprint for inclusive growth and sustainable development.

“The year of arts, culture, and heritage happens at a time when AU Member States are grappling with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which imposes heavy human, financial and economic costs to the land governance space in Africa,” said Ms Kagwanja.

The overall objective of the Conference is to deepen commitment and strengthen capacity for land policy development, implementation and monitoring in Africa through improved access to knowledge and information in support of evidence-based land policymaking.

The CLPA conference is expected to improve knowledge in support of evidence-based land policy development, implementation and monitoring in Africa; enhanced and deepened consensus amongst African policymakers and stakeholders on promising avenues for addressing land governance challenges; improved networking, partnerships and resources for land governance and land policy in Africa; better appreciation of the role of land for safeguarding Africa’s art, culture, and heritage on livelihood, particularly for marginalised groups.

Held every two years, the conference draws participants from government, academia, research, traditional authorities and other non-state actors, private sector and development partners to disseminate and exchange knowledge to promoting dialogue, networking, advocacy, and partnerships in support of the implementation of the AU agenda on land. Central to this agenda is evidence-based land policy development, review, implementation, and monitoring.

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EconomyNews

Things to know as CBN launches E-Naira digital currency

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will launch a digital currency, e-Naira in October to coincide with the nation’s independence anniversary according to barristerng, an online newspaper.

Governor Godwin Emefiele has assured that the advantages of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) are enormous.

The apex bank chief urged Nigerians to embrace the e-Naira and explained it is safer than cryptocurrencies.

Things to know and the benefits:

Digital currency is the electronic form of fiat money issued by governments. However, many confuse it with cryptocurrency which is a store of value secured by encryption.

The central bank of a country supervises digital currency. Cryptocurrencies are not regulated by any government, reason why authorities warn against bitcoin, ethereum, and the likes.

According to The Atlantic Council, more than 80 countries are now exploring a CBDC against 35 countries in May 2020.

The American think tank says China – which banned crypto dealings – is ahead, allowing foreign visitors to use digital yuan if they provide passport information to the People’s Bank of China,

The Bahamian Sand Dollar was the first CBDC to become widely available; over 14 countries are in the pilot stage while 5 have fully launched.

They are the Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, and Grenada.

In 2017, the CBN took the decision to digitize the Naira, following the rise in the use of digital payments and acceptance of the digital economy.

In late August 2021, the regulator announced the selection of Fintech company, Bitt Inc., as the Technical Partner.

The firm was key to the development and launch of the CBDC pilot of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) in April 2021.

The e-Naira would only exist in digital and electronic form. Individuals and financial institutions can track transactions easier.

e-Naira local and international transfers can be made within a little time and at cheaper rates. It simplifies cross-border trade and guarantees a faster inflow of remittances.

Users would be able to transfer existing funds in bank accounts to their digital currency account.

e-Naira is expected to help Nigerians create new business opportunities, financial products and services, reduce the cost of operations and cash management.

The digital currency would be implemented through a two-tiered model to enable a structure that allows public-private partnerships.

The CBN will design the e-Naira but disseminate it through regulated financial institutions. They would provide digital cash to persons and businesses.

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AfricaAfrica AsiaEconomy

ECA, ICC to launch centre of entrepreneurship in Africa

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the International Chamber of Commerce have jointly launched Centres of Entrepreneurship in Africa, under the theme, ‘Creating Livelihoods for Inclusion’.

With strategic locations across Africa, the ECA – ICC Centres of Entrepreneurship will work with various stakeholders, including businesses, chambers of commerce, academic institutions, intergovernmental and governmental agencies, to connect local entrepreneurs to global markets and enhance regulatory conditions for SMEs to thrive.

The entrepreneurship centres will develop the skills of young people who face uncertain employment prospects to mentoring local start-ups and entrepreneurs. The centres are expected to develop the next generation of African business leaders.

Speaking during the virtual launch on 16 September 2021, Oliver Chinganya, Director of the Africa Centre for Statistics at the ECA, said “the launch of the Centres of Entrepreneurship comes at the right time when Africa is trying to build back better from the effects of Covid-19. We believe that these Centres, based in different regions of the continent, and with tailored-made solutions, can mobilize the next generation of entrepreneurship in Africa.”

Mr Chinganya said the Centres will provide Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with the tools and pathways to expand their business and play an effective role in the goods and services supply chain. They will also provide pathways to accelerate women and youth empowerment a necessary action to accelerate Africa’s growth and recovery from the pandemic.

ECA data shows that MSMEs, often women and youth-owned, account for approximately 98 per cent of all firms and 60 per cent of private-sector employment in African countries. They are a fundamental part of the economic fabric of African economies. The youngest and smallest SMEs contribute to 22 per cent of net job creation on the continent.

According to Mr Chinganya, Africa has the highest rate of new business creation, and that youth on the continent are 1.6 times more likely to be entrepreneurs, addressing challenges of high youth under- and unemployment. “They play a critical role in supply chains, cross-border trade, and therefore food security on the continent.”

The launch of the Centres of Entrepreneurship comes at the right time when Africa is trying to build back better from the effects of Covid-19

He noted that the entrepreneurship centres will inspire future entrepreneurs through skills development, digitalization, and mentorship critical for women and youth to overcome traditional barriers to accessing networks

John Denton AO, ICC Secretary-General, said the entrepreneurship Centres are an important platform to scale globally the most successful local and regional entrepreneurial initiatives driven by chambers of commerce and innovative partners.

“SME plays a major role in the economy and are contributors of employment and 40% of national income. But they are the most challenged on the continent. Their contribution could be higher if informal SME are included and are supported to thrive in the market,” said Mr Denton.

He cited the lack of proper training on digitalization, excessive business regulations in most countries, and poor infrastructure as some of the challenges faced by MSMEs and entrepreneurs in Africa.

“These are issues that need to be resolved in order for the entrepreneurs in Africa to compete with the others at the global market,” he said, adding that “ICC is committed to take a leadership role through these centres of Entrepreneurship to help SME and entrepreneurs in the region by raising awareness for potential opportunities.”

Mr Denton said that ICC is expanding its presence in African to prepare and mobilize the next generation of entrepreneurs, from developing skills of young people who face uncertain employment prospects, to helping catalyse local entrepreneurship and the jobs of the future. The main goal is to enable individual citizens to build meaningful livelihoods and to ensure they do this in a functioning market economy.

At a roundtable with African Business leaders and SMEs, Chepkemoi Magdaline, Founder and Executive Director of EldoHub said the majority of young entrepreneurs require soft skills, which can be acquired through proper training and mentorship programmes.

Ms. Magdaline said the majority of the young people face the challenges of low access to financing, poor financial literacy, poor market. “Digitalization of MSMEs is key and can only be attained through capacity building, mentorship, enabling young people to have access to affordable financing, she noted.

Kojo Sam-Woode, CEO, Adroit Bureau, Ghana Ltd, said digital skills should be taught at an early age so that young Africans can start identifying opportunities in the ICT sector very early.

ECA estimates show that the potential of the digital economy in the next 20-30 years could be $47trillion, 20 times the GDP of all of Africa today. With a population of 1.3 billion, Africa has the world’s youngest population, with 70% under the age of 24 and more than 750 million under the age of 35. Given the right opportunities, we know that youth could drive inclusive economic growth across the continent.

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AfricaAPO-OPAEconomyInvestment

UN launches First Regional Online Portal to bring together African countries with Data and Evidence on Sustainable Development

Measuring and evaluating progress on the Sustainable Development Goals in Africa became much easier as a group of regional UN entities launched the first online data portal that brings together statistical data harvested across all countries on the continent.

Today, 17 regional UN entities, under the Africa Regional Collaborative Platform (RCP), unveiled the Africa UN Data for Development Platform. This is the first platform to serve as a one-stop-shop repository that captures high-quality data and evidence on the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs from all the African countries. It is also the first of its kind to raise the profile of statistical progress toward the African Union vision – Agenda 2063.

“With barely nine years left to achieve the SDGs, making use of common and harmonized data is essential to accelerate progress. The launch of this new platform marks a milestone in actions towards the Agenda 2030 and the African Union 2063 Agenda. Reliable and collective data will allow all actors to make the best possible evidence-based policy action to accelerate the SDGs, strengthen collaboration, avoid unnecessary duplication and make sure that we can address gaps, really leaving no one behind,” said Assistant Secretary-General Ahunna Eziakonwa, Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa at the UN Development Programme, who also serves as Vice-Chair of the Africa RCP, at the virtual launch event.

The new data portal looks into the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and breaks them down into their 169 targets and 231 indicators, allowing everyone to track progress at the granular level. It is open to all users, including policymakers, planners, programme managers, development partners, private sector organizations, civil society groups, academic institutions, researchers, students, media outlets and many others.

The launch of this new platform marks a milestone in actions towards the Agenda 2030 and the African Union 2063 Agenda

According to the statisticians at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), among the 169 targets set out in the SDGs, only 30 percent of them are quantifiable. For the rest of the unquantifiable targets, the online platform goes ahead to propose target values by using a pragmatic and ambitious approach. It identifies the region’s outstanding countries and sets their average rate of change as the region’s target rate.

“Presenting comprehensive, practical data sets will especially help us, government civil servants, to monitor progress, make sound decisions, and evaluate outcomes and impacts. This data platform is a long-awaited online tool for us to carry out in-depth analyses and progress assessments at the target and indicator levels, and link them with our national development plans,” said Dr. Saulos Chilima, Vice President of Malawi.

The new data engine also gives users the ability to classify the statistics by various dimensions, such as the eight regional economic communities recognized by the African Union, least developed countries, landlocked developing nations, and oil-producing, mineral-rich states. Additionally, it repackages the data by key thematic issues. For example, users can categorize SDG indicators by agriculture, energy and health, allowing them to not only analyze the specific progress at the country level but also examine the convergence, similarities and differences among a variety of subregional blocs and topics.

“Africa is a continent with great potential and clear aspirations as articulated in the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063. The transformation requires quality, timely and disaggregated data to guide targeted investments and ensure that the desired returns in its human capital development, environmental sustainability, economic transformation and prosperity for all,” stated Oliver Chinganya, Director of the ECA Africa Centre for Statistics.

Building on the existing infrastructure developed by ECA, the Africa UN data portal consolidates statistics from platforms and technological tools available at UN entities. Without reinventing the wheel, the UN regional group, also known as Opportunity/Issue-based Coalition (OIBC) 1, came up with a new way of bringing data to users, strengthening the “whole-of-UN” approach to provide one common space where everyone can easily find critical evidence.

“The aim is to reduce the burden on countries in terms of responding to data needs and avoid repeated data requests from various organizations. This portal brings fragmented data from member states into one place, and this information can also be used by UN agencies and other partners,” said Dr. Bannet Ndyanabangi, Regional Director ad interim of UNFPA East and Southern Africa, and OIBC 1 co-convener.

The data portal is expected to be used in progress reports on the SDGs and other sustainable development documents. It can also be used to prepare speeches and presentations for senior leadership of governments and institutions as well as to stimulate policy conversations, for instance, for voluntary national reviews and other policy discussions around sustainable development agendas, particularly to facilitate deep analyses. The portal can also be cited by media outlets, research institutions, and other organizations to conduct further studies.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)

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AfricaAPO-GROUPAPO-OPAEconomy

Zambia’s new president, Hakainde Hichilema, to join the IMF, WHO and IFC at The Africa Debate next week

The newly elected President of Zambia, H.E. Hakainde Hichilema, will address over 1000 global businesses and investors at Invest Africa (InvestAfrica.com)’s flagship event, The Africa Debate (TheAfricaDebate.com), on 15th September. The virtual broadcast will see President Hichilema outline his plans to restore macro-economic stability to Zambia in conversation with the Chairman of Invest Africa, Rob Hersov.

Hichilema was elected to the Zambian presidency last month on the promise to tackle the county’s debt problem and usher in a return to growth. Zambia has been hit hard by the pandemic, falling into its first recession since 1998 last year. In November 2020, the country became the first African nation to default on its sovereign debt since the start of the pandemic. The global shutdown came on the tails of a challenging few years which had seen growth slow to around 3% since 2015.

We look forward to receiving an update from President Hichilema on his government’s priorities for the Zambian economy going forward

In his inaugural address, Hichilema stated that his government’s “focus over the next five years will be on restoring macroeconomic stability”. He promised to “grow [the Zambian] economy so that we can list more people out of poverty than ever before.” Securing an IMF deal is high on the new President’s list of priorities as he seeks to rebuild his nation’s financial credibility globally. He has appointed former IMF advisor, Situmbeko Musokotwane, as his finance minister, promising to balance the budget and tackle corruption.

At The Africa Debate, President Hichilema will join a line up that includes senior representatives from the IMF, the African Development Bank, the International Finance Corporation, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and Afreximbank as well as private investors Ninety One, Alterra Capital, Leapfrog Investments and Renaissance Capital (bit.ly/3yJnbTL).

The online forum will provide the opportunity for Africa’s newest leader to introduce his policy platform to global investors and businesses. Securing private sector buy-in will be essential to the incoming government’s promise to stimulate growth and create jobs for Zambia’s young population.

Karen Taylor, CEO of Invest Africa said, “We are delighted to welcome H.E. Hakainde Hichilema to The Africa Debate following his election to the Zambian presidency last month. The Africa Debate has a long history of hosting Heads of State from across the Continent and providing a platform for direct dialogue with international investors and multinational businesses. We look forward to receiving an update from President Hichilema on his government’s priorities for the Zambian economy going forward.”

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AfricaEconomy

UK’s Minister for Africa announces £250,000 to support Ghana

Ghana’s long-term prosperity is central to the UK-Ghana partnership and security and stability is essential to the country’s growth. Together, the UK and Ghana are partnering to tackle shared threats through a new Ministerial security dialogue, law enforcement partnerships, and peer-to-peer training.

To strengthen the UK-Ghana security partnership, Minister Duddridge will use his visit to announce a further £250,000 to fund 4 vital security and stability projects that will bolster Ghana’s capability to combat threats. This funding is in addition to the existing £1 million of UK funding to support the country’s counter-terrorism capability.

Arriving in Ghana, UK Minister for Africa James Duddridge MP, said:

This funding is in addition to the existing £1 million of UK funding to support the country’s counter-terrorism capability

Ghana’s stability is essential for growth and prosperity in both Ghana and across West Africa. Through our flagship Conflict, Stability, and Security Fund we are launching 4 new projects in Ghana worth £250,000, to support the ongoing safety and stability on the northern border.

The UK is clear that it is in our shared interest to support a strong, and peaceful Ghana, both now and in the years ahead, and our new package of support will empower communities, the country’s security agencies, and civil society organizations to continue to uphold stability along the border, across the country and within the region.

These new 4 security and stability projects will:

  • grow the capacity of Ghana’s national crisis response model
  • provide specialists to help deliver Ghana’s nationwide security exercise
  • fund the important work of on-the-ground civil society organizations through STAR Ghana Foundation, working directly with communities across the country that are most vulnerable to insecurity

During his visit, Minister Duddridge will meet with key partners and stakeholders including honourable Ministers, leaders in Ghana’s art and tourism sectors, as well as representatives from business and industry. The Minister will also visit Accra’s iconic Christiansburg castle, tour Gallery 1957 and meet British-Ghanaian diaspora driving business and innovation in Ghana.

Minister Duddridge last visited Ghana in January 2021, where he attended His Excellency President Nana Akufo-Addo’s Presidential Inauguration, met virtually with His Excellency Vice-President Mahamudu Bawumia during the recent UK-Ghana Business Council held in June this year and finally met His Excellency President Akufo-Addo with other senior officials and honourable Ministers during the recent Global Education Summit held in London in July.

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