President Macron and G7 leaders provide AfDB’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative with $251 million

President Macron and G7 leaders provide AfDB’s Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative with $251 million

French President Emmanuel Macron and G7 leaders on Sunday approved a package totalling $251 million in support of the African Development Bank’s ( AFAWA initiative to support women entrepreneurs in Africa.

“I am particularly proud, as the current G7 president, that the programme we are supporting today, the AFAWA initiative, comes from an African organisation, the African Development Bank, which works with African guarantee funds and a network of African banks,” Macron stated at a press conference at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France.

The risk-sharing mechanism used by AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) is a practical approach to international commitments. It is a direct response to the demand by women to ease access to financing, specifically on the need to establish a financing mechanism for women’s economic empowerment, adopted during a summit of African heads of state in 2015 and assigned to the African Development Bank for implementation.

“African women are the backbone of the continent. I’m thrilled to bring their voice to the G7. AFAWA is essential for our continent,” said Beninese artist Angelique Kidjo, a guest at the press conference in her role as programme ambassador.

The Bank’s president Akinwumi Adesina applauded the “extraordinary support of all the G7 heads of state and government, which will provide incredible momentum” to the AFAWA programme.

“This is a great day for African women,” Adesina said. “Investing in women entrepreneurs in Africa is important, because women are not only Africa’s future, they are Africa’s present”.

“Currently, women operate over 40% of SMEs in Africa, but there is a financing gap of $42 billion between male and female entrepreneurs. This gap must be closed, and quickly,” he added.

AFAWA aims to raise up to $5 billion for African women entrepreneurs and the African Development Bank will provide $1 billion financing. “This financing effort for women is the most significant in the continent’s history,” Adesina noted.

The AFAWA initiative, backed by the G7 nations, is based on three fundamental principles. The first is to improve women’s access to financing through innovative and adapted financial instruments, including guarantee mechanisms to support women entrepreneurs.

In cooperation with strategic partners, the second principle is to provide capacity-building services to women entrepreneurs, including access to mentoring and training courses in entrepreneurship. AFAWA also assists financial institutions in responding to specific needs of women-led businesses through specially adapted financial and non-financial products.

The third principle is improving the legal and regulatory environment, eliminating obstacles that specifically affect women by engaging in policy dialogue with governments, central banks, and other institutions.

This press conference on AFAWA is part of the G7 Summit’s emphasis on reducing inequality, specifically including a renewed partnership with Africa. This partnership will be highlighted by creating sustainable employment and supporting entrepreneurship, particularly women entrepreneurs.

France holds the presidency of the G7 in 2019, and President Emmanuel Macron is championing gender equality as a major theme of his five-year term.

Chinese firms handling $47bn key FG’s projects

Chinese firms handling $47bn key FG’s projects

At least 22 major infrastructural projects worth over $47bn have been linked to Chinese firms as China continues to support its companies to win prime contracts in Nigeria to maintain a foothold on the nation’s economy.

The projects cut across vital sectors of the nation’s economy such as power, rail, road, aviation and communications.

The CCECC is involved in multiple projects across the country, comprising the construction of airport terminals, roads and rails including inner-city light rails in Abuja and Lagos, all financed with concessional loans from the Exim Bank of China.

$600m for four international airport terminals

In aviation, the Federal Government entered into a partnership with the Chinese government through the CCECC in 2013 to execute four international airport terminal projects.

The projects are the rehabilitation and construction of airport terminals in Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Port Harcourt International Airport, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano and the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

The four projects are being funded with a $500m loan from the Export-Import Bank of China and $100m counterpart funding from the Federal Government, obtained as a loan from the Debt Management Office at an interest rate of 5.37 per cent.

Railways to gulp $35bn

In the railway sub-sector, the CCECC was handed a $528m contract in 1995 to rejuvenate the nation’s stretch of old rail track, supply 50 locomotives, wagons and coaches, install signal system and train Nigerian workers.

The contract, which had four-year delivery period, was executed partially and later abandoned after fund commitment and was never revisited.

Despite abandoning the $528m project, the CCECC has continued to win railway contracts from both the federal and state governments.

For instance, it has its hands in all the three major rail lines being built across the country. They are Lagos-Kano (with another line from Kaduna to Abuja), Lagos-Calabar rail and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail, whose costs are put at $9bn, $11bn and $15bn, respectively.

When the idea of a 25-year railway development plan was mooted in 2006, the Chinese firm got the first contract to build a new line between Lagos and Kano at a cost of $8.3bn.

After the foundations laying ceremony at Kajola, Ogun State, performed by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, nothing was heard about the project again.

About 10 years later (2016), the same firm was beckoned to handle the project after its review by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

It started with the phase one of 156km Lagos-Ibadan stretch awarded at $1.5bn. Additional $500m was approved by the FG, according to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for the procurement of locomotives and other rolling stocks for the new line.

The company later won the $6.68bn contract for the Ibadan-Kaduna stretch, which consists of four segments and the project could take two to three years to complete, depending on budget, according to the minister.

The CCECC also handled the construction of the Abuja–Kaduna segment costing $876m, consisting of $500m in loans from the Exim Bank of China and the balance coming from the Nigerian government.

The 187km rail contract was awarded in 2009. The new line, Nigeria’s first high speed rail, was inaugurated in July 2016 by President Buhari.

The FG has also signed two contracts valued at $5.1bn with the Chinese firm for the construction of the new rail lines.

They are the Kano-Kaduna rail, which is the Segment 3 of the Lagos-Kano rail modernisation project with a contract sum of $1.68bn; and the Calabar-Port Harcourt Segment 1, which extends to Onne Deep Seaport of the coastal rail project at a cost of $3.4bn.

The coastal rail is part of the Lagos-Calabar line signed with the CCECC in 2016 worth $11bn.

In September 2016, the China Railway Construction Corporation announced that it had won a $1.8bn contract to construct the Kano city light rail with a total length of 74.3km.

The Chinese firm handled the rehabilitation and asphalt overlay of the Papalanto-Lagos/Ibadan Expressway valued at $4,780,000m, which was completed in May 2001.

Dr Adaora Osondu-Oti of the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, in his survey of Chinese projects in Nigeria listed the construction of houses in the Games Village of the National Stadium Complex, Abuja valued at $50.5m and commission building in Abuja valued at $16.56m.

She also listed the rehabilitation of Ikot Akpaden-Okoroette road awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission and valued at $5.63m and the construction/rehabilitation of Ugep, Ikom, Ogoja and Obudu Urban road valued at $14.6m.

In the communications industry, there are two major projects linked with the Chinese firms worth $670m.

One of them is the National Rural Telephony Programme, designed by the Federal Government to extend telecommunication services to rural communities.

The project was financed through a $200m concessionary loan from China and awarded to Chinese companies – Alcatel and ZTE Nigeria Limited – in the first phase.

Another project, the $470m Close Circuit Television contract was awarded to the ZTE during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s tenure. The contractor was said to have stopped work after collecting the sum of $100m.

The communications system awarded to ZTE Nigeria Limited is meant to provide audio, video and data information for use by the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies.

The contract for the installation of the CCTV cameras in Abuja and Lagos by the Ministry of Police Affairs was part of a larger project titled, ‘Nigerian National Public Security Communications System,’ facilitated by an EXIM Bank of China loan.

Another project in the communications sector was Nigeria’s first communications satellite, NigComSat-1, which was designed and built by the China Great Wall Industry Corporation at a cost of $400m.

The satellite which was put in the orbit in May 2007 was deorbited in November 2008 following the development of power fault. It was replaced in December 2011 with NigComSat-1R by the same company.

Three power projects worth $10bn underway

Chinese firms are involved in three key projects in Nigeria’s power sector estimated at $10bn. One of the projects, the Mambilla hydroelectric power plant, is for the delivery of a 3,050Megawatt power plant in Taraba State.

The $5.8bn contract was signed by the FG and the China Gezhouba Group Corporation, Sinohydro Corporation Limited and the CGCOC Group Company Limited in November 2017, about 40 years after the idea was conceived.

The China Exim Bank and other Chinese lenders will provide 85 per cent of the contract sum, while Nigeria pay the 15 per cent balance.

Zungeru hydropower project is a 700MW hydroelectric facility also being developed with the Chinese assistance on the upper and middle reaches of Kaduna River in Niger State.

A consortium of China National Electric Engineering Company and Sinohydro was awarded the $1.3bn contract in October 2012. It is expected to take 60 months for completion. The company’s Deputy Project Manager, Mr Xiao Nie, said the project would be completed in 2020.

Another power project with funding support from China is the $1bn Gurara hydropower plant located in Kaduna. It has the capacity to generate 360MW electricity.

Attraction of China: Low price, low-interest loans

Data from the Debt Management Office show that Chinese credit accounts for 80 per cent of all bilateral loans to Nigeria.

Many analysts attributed the seeming attachment of Nigeria and other African countries to China and its corporations in key project developments to China’s cheap labour, low price and favourable funding arrangement.

For instance, apart from the Exim Bank of China bearing the huge chunk of the cost through concessionary loans, they point to the low-interest rate on loans from China’s Exim Bank, usually not above three per cent, as enticing.

A recent loan promise of $328m from China’s Exim Bank led to Nigeria’s Galaxy Backbone and China’s Huawei Technologies signing a deal for the country’s telecoms infrastructure development.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the justifying Nigeria’s preference for China’s concessional loans, said they only attracted between 1.5 per cent and two per cent interest.

He spoke at a recent meeting with strategic investors at the Council for Foreign Relations, New York.

Many analysts noted that relevant indigenous firms and people were hardly employed by these Chinese contractors during the projects’ execution or merely hired casual workers.

The Director General of NECA, Timothy Olawale, said some of the agreements between the Federal Government and the Chinese government were not properly thought out in terms of technology transfer.

“The agreement is not favourable to the skill set of our people. We have engineers who are well qualified, better than those they are bringing in from China but they are out there roaming the streets.

“Granted that it is the Chinese government loan and they have the right to bring in their expertise too but the agreement should have taken into cognizance the development of our youths,” he said.

A former Secretary General, Nigeria Labour Congress, Peter Ozo-Eson, told The PUNCH that in signing the agreements, the Federal Government did not pay attention to requirements for local content.

Country Open for Investment – President

Country Open for Investment – President

President Mnangagwa yesterday told the high-level Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) that his administration is committed to comprehensive economic reforms and making the country a safe destination for investment.

He lauded Japan, saying the world’s third largest economy had a “critical role to play for Africa’s economic transformation, diversification and industrialisation”.The President made the remarks while addressing a plenary session at the three-day TICAD 7 Summit, which was officially opened yesterday by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

A number of African Heads of State are attending or are highly represented at the summit which seeks to stimulate trade and investment between the continent and Japan.

President Mnangagwa said under his new administration, Zimbabwe is ripe for investment and is pulling all the stops to attract global capital.

“Guided by our Zimbabwe is Open for Business mantra, my administration is determined to continue implementing reforms, aimed at making Zimbabwe a safe, favourable and competitive destination for investment.

“My Government has put in place comprehensive reforms to accelerate the economic development agenda.

“We are promoting private sector-led investment, particularly in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, energy, infrastructure, ICTs and service sectors,” he said.

The President lauded Japan for its inspiring development model characterised by advanced technology, saying Zimbabwe is ready to walk hand-in-glove with Tokyo to take lessons from Japan’s advancement.

“Zimbabwe recognises and applauds the immense strength that Japan continues to have in science, technology innovation and stands ready to enhance cooperation with Japan in these and other spheres.

“Zimbabwe and others within our African continent has vast resources across all sectors and remains ready to increase trade and investment with Japan on mutually beneficial basis,” he said.

The President underscored the significance of TICAD, saying partaking at the high-level meeting primes Zimbabwe to achieve its goals of modernisation and industrialisation to become a middle income economy by 2030.

“Our participation at this important conference reaffirms my Government’s continued commitment to the TICAD process. The private sector is a valued partner in sustainable economic development in our quest to transform, modernise and industrialise our economies,” the President said.

President Mnangagwa informed TICAD delegates of the tangible progress made under the ease of business programme, including remodelling of the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) for a One-Stop-Shop that will enhance convenience for potential investors.

“We have embarked on the ease of doing business reforms, which seek to enhance the country’s investment environment.

“The Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) will ensure that all Zimbabwe’s investment information is available and processed under one roof,” President Mnangagwa said.

He also said the jettisoning of the indigenisation and economic empowerment act was a game-changing move by the Government to lure investors.

“Under my administration, Zimbabwe has liberalised our investment conditions, by repealing the indigenisation and economic empowerment act,” he said.

“This now allows for greater adjustment in the private sector participation across all sectors, which should in turn, further accelerate our economic transformation and industrialisation.”

In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Abe, who is co-chair of the summit, pledged to aggressively promote private-sector investment from Japan to Africa.

He said Japan’s private sector invested US$20 billion in Africa over the past three years.

“The Japanese Government will do its best to encourage the private sector so that it will surpass the $20 billion in investment over the past three years.

“I make this pledge to you that Japan’s investment will be surpassed under the New TICAD that we agreed to come up with at the last summit in Nairobi Kenya,” said Prime Minister Abe.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as well as African Heads of States also addressed the high level summit that was co-chaired by African Union chairperson and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The TICAD summit is co-organised by the AU, the UN, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme.

2X Challenge Members Launch Business Competition in Africa

2X Challenge Members Launch Business Competition in Africa

Leading development finance institutions (DFIs) including FinDev Canada, CDC Group (CDC) of the United Kingdom, Proparco of France, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) of the United States along with the Mastercard Foundation announced today at the Women Deliver 2019 Conference that they are joining forces to sponsor the 2X Invest2Impact – Business Competition. The purpose of the competition is to support the growth of high-potential, women-owned businesses to increase their commerciality and impact. This major new initiative will support women entrepreneurs who have the potential to make a positive impact on their local economies and are strong candidates for investments from development financiers.

While there is no shortage of business competitions on the African continent, and many women-focused entrepreneurial forums, programs, and initiatives, 2X Invest2Impact will stand out by focusing on growth stage women-owned businesses, poised for investment capital. 2X Invest2Impact will provide them with mentorships, business development services, visibility, and the opportunity for funding.

“The credit gap for women-owned SMEs globally is estimated at $287 billion. This means that 70 percent of women owned SMEs cannot access the financing they need to grow a business. This competition aims to directly address this,” said Paul Lamontagne, Managing Director of FinDev Canada.

“We also know that there is a persistent disconnect between investors and development financiers who are seeking to invest in women-owned businesses and those women owners who are looking to grow their companies. Our 2X Invest2Impactinitiative will help bridge that gap by bringing high-quality women-owned businesses together with interested investors,” noted Jen Braswell, Director, Value Creation Strategies, CDC.

The goals of 2X Invest2Impact are to:

  • Directly reach women-owned businesses that may otherwise face barriers in accessing investment capital;
  • Contribute to the community of women business owners and leaders in the region;
  • Gather and share learnings on women in business and gender-lens investing;
  • Increase visibility and momentum for gender-lens investing; and
  • Pilot an investment prospecting model that could be replicated in other regions.

“Africa is home to more female entrepreneurs than any region in the world. Through 2X Invest2Impact, OPIC is proud to join its 2X Challenge partners and MasterCard Foundation in providing a platform for female entrepreneurs to showcase their successful enterprises and to access critical expansion capital. We are not only reaching these female entrepreneurs but also showing the world what African women can do when they are empowered,” said Kathryn Kaufman, OPIC Managing Director for Global Women’s Issues.

“The Mastercard Foundation is pleased to support this exciting business competition. We know that when we support women entrepreneurs, there is a positive impact in the community. This competition will drive employment and growth,” added Lindsay Wallace, Director of Strategy and Learning, Mastercard Foundation.

The competition will provide value to all entrants, including networking and feedback through insights and benchmarking reports. After an initial application process, twenty-five small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will be selected for participation. These contestants will benefit from pitch training, access to webinars, podcasts and other learning tools as well as networking opportunities. Each SME will be assigned a mentor and be promoted during a high-profile and well-publicized closing event.

“We are confident that this will be a turning point for the winners of the competition,” noted Gregory Clemente, CEO, Proparco. “They will benefit from improved access to funding, increased visibility stemming from the media coverage and word of mouth and the hands-on mentorship of a leading entrepreneur in their region. We are also very happy to see them entering into an investment readiness support program, which will help these brilliant women entrepreneurs bring their businesses to new highs.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Africa Regional Media Hub.

Africa rising as Bizcommunity launches .Africa domain

Africa rising as Bizcommunity launches .Africa domain

Africa rising, pan-Africanism and African renewal are just some of the terms seen regularly on the radars of global business scenario forecasters.

52.3% increase in intra-African trade

According to The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), intra-African trade is expected to increase by 52.3% from 2020. With the African Continental Free Trade Agreement signing in Rwanda, March 2018, and other factors, Africa has proclaimed itself open for business – with 55 countries merging into a single market of 1.2 billion people and a combined GDP of $2.5tn, which will see Africa become the largest free trade area in the world.

With the above factors providing every reason why African business stakeholders should be talking to each other more than ever, Bizcommunity’s dedicated B2B platforms are ideal to enable exactly the knowledge and resource sharing and intra-African networking required right now.

Celebrating Africa Month_ May 2019

In May, the daily go-to media for the curation and distribution of African company news, jobs and events across 18 industries will further spotlight the factors and stakeholders spearheading these moves.

Join us in our vision to enable a connected business-ready Africa

Send a clear message to the world that your company is open for African business opportunities on daily news platforms.

Join us in our vision to enable a connected business-ready Africa. Publish company news, opinion, activations, events and jobs on the biggest multi-industry website, that’s made in Africa, to put African business news on the front pages and in the hands of our 464,000 readers.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Bizcommunity.

Global Cyber Security Market

Global Cyber Security Market

Author: Hirem Sam (Source: Global News Journal)

Zion Market Research has announced the addition of a new market intelligence report. The report is titledCyber Security (Network Security, Cloud Security, Wireless Security and Others) Market, By Solution (Identity and Access Management (IAM), Encryption, Risk and Compliance Management, Data Loss Prevention, Antivirus And Antimalware, Firewall And Others), By Vertical (Aerospace, Government, Financial Services, Telecommunication, Healthcare And Others): Global Industry Perspective, Comprehensive Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Segment, Trends and Forecast, 2015 – 2021”. The global Cyber Security Market report serves with all-inclusive, highly-effective, and thoroughly analyzed information in a well-organized manner, based on actual facts, about the Cyber Security Market. The whole information from the scratch to the financial and management level of the established industries associated with the Cyber Security Market at the global level is initially acquired by the dedicated team. The gathered data involves the information about the industry’s establishment, type and the form of products it manufactures, annual sales and revenue generation, the demand of the manufactured product in the market, marketing trends followed by the industry, and a lot more important information. The industries majorly comprise the global leading industries that are putting their extreme efforts to maintain the hold over the highly-competitive Cyber Security Market, about which the thorough information is provided in the report.

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Cyber security

Some of the Major Cyber Security Market Players Are:

  • Symantec
  • IBM
  • McAfee
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Booz Allen Hamilton
  • CSC

The industry analysts begin their task by compiling this huge pile of information, graphically expressing, anticipating the future market growth, offering the ways to improve the business, and many other important viewpoints explained by them in the global Cyber Security Market report. The report delivers the analytical data in several parts based on the fragments of the global Cyber Security Market product, its end-users, applications, and others of the market; additionally,

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Cyber Security

The global Cyber Security Market report elucidates the comprehensive analysis of the market-derived on the basis of regional division [Latin America, North America, Asia Pacific, Middle & East Africa, and Europe]. The report comprises precise analytical information related to market forecast for several upcoming years. The report also includes the particulars about the valuation of macro and micro elements significant for the growth of already established Cyber Security Market contenders and emerging new companies.