Posts tagged as: africa

Gambia: Standard Chartered CEO Adenowo Meets President Barrow

The President of the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency Adama Barrow on Monday 24th April 2017 received Mr. Olukorede Adenowo, the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Standard Chartered Bank, The Gambia.

His Excellency President Barrow welcomed Mr. Adenowo to The Gambia and thanked him for paying a courtesy call to the Office of The President within the first week of taking office. “Standard Chartered is a household name in The Gambia and has been around for over a century. The Bank should continue playing the important role of encouraging good banking practices in order to rebuild the new Gambia”, President Barrow said. He assured the Bank to prioritise the security of The Gambia to foster investment.

The incoming CEO, Mr. Adenowo congratulated the President on his recent elections and pledged the bank’s support in complementing the Government’s efforts in the development of the country. He thanked the President for creating a conducive environment for investment in The Gambia and thanked him for granting him an audience for the courtesy call. Mr. Adenowo said that “Standard Chartered’s is here for good and will continue being a responsible investor in the country assisting in advisory, access to capital and support in the infrastructure investment plan. Standard Chartered Bank has more than 123 years experience in The Gambia and will help facilitate trade opportunities between Gambia and its trade partners because of its unshakeable belief in The Gambia’s future”.

He reaffirmed Standard Chartered’s support to ensure that the bank’s core business of banking supports sustainable growth. He committed to ensuring fair outcomes for our stakeholders and the bank’s unwavering support to the Government of The Gambia. The bank enables individuals to grow and protect their wealth. Help businesses to trade, transact, invest, and expand in addition to helping a variety of financial institutions with their banking needs.

About Olukorede Adenowo

Mr. K.O. Adenowo with 30 years post university experience joined Standard Chartered Bank in 1999, and was part of the founding team that helped start the Nigerian business. He has worked in various roles including Regional Head of Global Corporate Africa, Deputy Head of Origination and Client Coverage Nigeria, Head of Origination and Client Coverage, West Africa 4 and more lately Regional Head of Financial Institutions and Public Sector for West Africa.

In his most recent role as Regional Head of Financial Institutions and Public Sector for West and Central Africa, he provided strong leadership in building and managing key strategic FI relationships across West Africa for business success and growth in an increasingly stringent regulatory environment.

K.O. Adenowo is a Non-Executive Director of the Board of Standard Chartered Bank Sierra Leone and serves on the Board of a number of charities. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, has an MBA from the Lagos Business School (IESE) and graduated from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife Nigeria.

Gambia

Gambia’s Barrow Meets Sirleaf

Liberia’s President and Chair of regional bloc ECOWAS Mrs. Ellen Johnson – Sirleaf has received the Gambia’s President… Read more »

Gambia: NMCP Commemorates World Malaria Day in Nbr

By Abdoullie Nyockeh

The National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, in partnership with other agencies such as NAS, Global Fund, WHO and Ecobank, celebrated World Malaria Day (WMD) at Essau in the North Bank Region on Tuesday. The theme was End malaria for good.

In remarks, NMCP manager, Balla Kandeh, said WMD sets a platform for intensive debate so that education on, and awareness of, malaria are substantially and widely disseminated.

In this process, the media and all other stakeholders including religious leaders and community-based organizations, must uphold their respective stakes, he said.

The day came as result of the historic Abuja Summit where 44 African Heads of States and Government Representatives met in 2000 and made declaration to halve the burden of malaria by 2015.

During that summit, 25th April was set aside and declared as Africa Malaria Day to be commemorated each year.

During the 60th session of the World Health Assembly in 2007, Africa Malaria Day was changed to World Malaria Day, giving it a global dimension on the magnitude of the malaria disease burden.

The day provides countries with the opportunity to soberly reflect on the efforts being made to tackle the scourge of malaria.

It also provides an opportunity to renew partnerships at the national and international level for malaria control.

It is an opportunity for countries to learn from each other’s experience and support each other’s efforts.

It’s a moment for Research and Academic institutions to flag their scientific advances on malaria to both experts and the general public.

It’s an opportunity for international partners, companies, and foundations to showcase their efforts and reflect on how to scale up what has being worked.

He said, “We cannot contain malaria by working in isolation as members of a specific sector, or in collaboration as members of a loose amalgamation. By working together, as members of a concerted and cohesive force, we can put a stop to the formidable challenge the disease poses and, “End malaria for good.”

For his part, Governor of the North Bank Region, Ebrima Dampha, said the theme was very fitting as Africa bears 90% of the malaria burden.

“The vast majority of malaria deaths occur in Africa, South of the Sahara where malaria presents major obstacles to social and economic development,” he added.

He continued that, “Although malaria is curable and preventable, the disease kills more than a million people each year, mainly young children. In Africa alone, where 90% of malaria deaths occur, malaria is the leading cause of death in children under five-years of age.”

The World Health Organization estimates that 3,000 people die of malaria every day.

Pregnant women and their unborn babies are particularly vulnerable to malaria.

When a woman is pregnant, her immunity is reduced, making her more vulnerable to the infection, which carries dangerous consequences such as stillbirth, premature delivery and low birth weight.

In The Gambia, malaria is the probable cause of 4% of infant deaths and 25% of deaths in children 1 to 4 years.

Although, the economic burden of malaria has not been fully determined, there is no doubt that the disease accounts for considerable loss days of productivity among the adult population, absenteeism from schools and workplaces and increased household expenditure on health.

In The Gambia, a robust partnership is in place, uniting all key actors and stakeholders in malaria control to respond to challenges that no organization or government can face alone.

Zimbabwe: Setback for Beitbridge-Chirundu Dualisation

By Tendai Makaripe

GOVERNMENT has put brakes on the US$3 billion Beitbridge-Harare-Chirundu dualisation project, despite the recent hype around what could be Zimbabwe’s biggest infrastructure project since independence in 1980.

The dualisation project was supposed to be launched by President Robert Mugabe last month, with construction work starting this month.

But Transport and Infrastructure Development Minister, Joram Gumbo, said this week that government was no longer in a hurry to start the project.

“The project cannot be rushed,” Gumbo told the Financial Gazette. “A project of this magnitude involves a lot of complex processes that cannot be completed overnight.”

Asked why he was backtracking from government’s earlier commitment, Gumbo said there were many bureaucratic processes involving different arms of government which were stalling the project.

“For example, some of the processes involve the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, an institution with its own way of doing things. We also need to open bank accounts at the same time giving ear to our financial advisors on the proper route to take,” he said.

Asked to explain why the project was not commissioned by President Mugabe last month as he had indicated in February, Gumbo said: “I will have to wait and hear from my boss on when he will commission the project. What I can tell you is that it will take place near Mvuma.”

Apparently, it is now nearly 10 months since government announced that it had found an investor, who would pour at least US$2,7 billion into the project.

Last year, government entered into an agreement with a Chinese contractor, China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC), to do the work, which would be financed by Austrian firm, Geiger International (Geiger) on a 25-year Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) model. The road continues to wear at a rapid pace, battered by elements. The heavy rains which poured on the country this year left most road infrastructure heavily damaged. The treacherous highway, whose poor state has been blamed for fatal road traffic accidents, is a critical artery in the southern African region.

The latest development is a strange turn of events, considering that the ruling ZANU-PF party is banking on the project to show its commitment to turn around the economy and create jobs promised during the 2013 elections, in which it won a landslide victory against the opposition parties.

There is speculation the ZANU-PF administration could be deliberately delaying the project in order to launch it close to elections, which are slated for next year. The ruling party is already gearing for what promises to be a crunch general election.

ZANU-PF is known for turning national projects into campaign platforms. Already, reports elsewhere in this newspaper suggest that over 700 people in Karoi, Mashonaland West, have registered for jobs on the stretch of the highway project that pass through the district.

With the dualisation of the highway expected to create thousands of jobs, it comes in handy for the party which has received brickbats for failing to deliver the 2,2 million jobs it promised ahead of the 2013 general elections.

Watchers have said the project could be ZANU-PF’s perfect opportunity to appease the agitated populace as the plebiscite draws closer.

But Gumbo denied this was the case.

“That is mere speculation; there is no political involvement whatsoever. This is purely a technical matter,” he said, explaining the current development.

The highway has been delayed for years owing to many factors, among them a nasty legal wrangle involving government and ZimHighways — a consortium of 14 construction firms that included Murray & Roberts Zimbabwe (now Masimba Holdings), Costain Africa (now ZCL Holdings, which is under judicial management), Kuchi Building Construction, Tarcon, Bitumen Construction Services (Bitcon), Joina Development Company and Southland Engineers — which had won the tender for the 900km highway at a cost of US$883 million.

Fed up by the delays, government sought to terminate the contract, arguing that the consortium lacked the financial wherewithal to do the work. ZimHighways claimed that the delays were caused by senior government officials who demanded bribes to facilitate the project.

The battle ended two years ago when government sweet-talked the consortium into withdrawing the case and opt for an out of court settlement under which it would be granted 40 percent of a stake on the road project.

CHEC has also had its own fair share of controversy.

It is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), which in 2011 courted controversy in Uganda and several other countries for alleged shoddy deals.

CCCC was blacklisted by the World Bank over fraudulent practices by its predecessor, China Road and Bridge Corporation, in 2009.

But government defended its decision to award it the tender, arguing that that it was CCCC, and not CHEC, that was blacklisted.

The highway is Zimbabwe’s busiest road, carrying nearly 5 000 vehicles per day.

It is not only part of the trunk network in Zimbabwe, but also a major component of the north-south traffic corridor directly linking Harare and Pretoria, and providing landlocked Zambia with access to the Indian Ocean ports of Durban and Richards Bay in South Africa.

South Africa: No New Renovations At Nkandla – Dlodlo

No new renovation work is being carried out at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead, Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said on Friday.

“What might be happening is maintenance work, but no renovations,” she said at a post-Cabinet briefing.

“We did not discuss it in Cabinet. There are no renovations at Nkandla,” she said in answer to a question from News24.

She referred journalists to new Public Works Minister Nathi Nhleko’s statement earlier this week about reports that more renovations were being done.

Nhleko on Tuesday said none of the companies involved in the upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead had been blacklisted.

The department had continued working with eight out of the 14 companies. They had been contracted between August 2014 to date, he said.

Nhleko was police minister when he compiled a report into the Nkandla saga that contradicted former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings that Zuma unduly benefitted from the upgrades costing R246m.

He said the department would place on the database those suppliers guilty of breaching supply chain management policies and/or Treasury regulations.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said the revelations were shocking, considering the Constitutional Court had found the upgrades were “fraught with corruption and unlawful enrichment”.

Meanwhile, the disciplinary hearing of one of the 12 public works employees accused of wrongdoing in the Nkandla saga was postponed in Durban on Tuesday. Sibusiso Chonco and 11 other officials are accused of acting unlawfully during the upgrades.

Chonco’s hearing was postponed to July 4 to 6. His lawyer Adrian Moodley said Chonco was not unwilling, but unable to participate in proceedings due to poor health.

Source: News24

South Africa

Dam Levels Decline in Most Provinces

The national storage of 211 dams has decreased slightly by 0.3% to 72.9% compared to 73.2 last week, according to the… Read more »

Kenya: Dubai Islamic Bank Gets Nod to Operate in Kenya

By Brian Ngugi, Business Daily

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has licensed the Dubai Islamic Bank – owned by the United Arab Emirates’ largest Shariah lender Dubai Islamic Bank – to carry out operations in the country.

CBK said in a statement that DIB intends to exclusively offer Shariah compliant banking services in Kenya.

“It becomes the third fully Shariah compliant bank to be licensed in Kenya, after Gulf African Bank Limited in 2007 and First Community Bank Limited in 2008,” said CBK Friday.

The lender has a presence in Bosnia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sudan, Turkey and the UAE.

End of licensing freeze

DIB’s entry into the market marks the end of a moratorium imposed by the CBK on licensing of new banks.

“CBK welcomes the entry of international brands such as DIB into the Kenyan banking sector. DIBs entry will expand the offerings in the market, particularly in the nascent Shariah-compliant banking niche,” said the regulator.

Central bank said its entry signifies long-standing economic ties between Kenya and the UAE.

As at September last year, the Emirati bank had an asset base of $47.6 billion and capital of $7.4 billion.

Kenya

Media Freedom in Africa ‘Not Great’

Media watchdogs are voicing concern about curbs on press freedom. DW looks at the media in Africa where restrictions… Read more »

South Africa: Energy Notes Judgement By Cape Town High Court in the Earthlife and Safcei Litigation

press release

The Minister of Energy, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi, notes the judgement by the Cape Town High court in the Earthlife and South African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI) case against the Minister of Energy and other respondents. The Minister has now directed the Department to study the judgment, and will pronounce on the matter in due course.

The Minister will also engage all other relevant parties on the outcome of the matter.

The Department reiterates that the South African Government has not entered into any deal or signed any contract for the procurement of nuclear power. However, there are Inter-governmental Agreements (IGA’s) signed between South Africa and the following countries: United States of America, South Korea, China, Russia, and France.

The Minister will engage Parliament on this matter going forward.

Issued by: Department of Energy

South Africa

Dam Levels Decline in Most Provinces

The national storage of 211 dams has decreased slightly by 0.3% to 72.9% compared to 73.2 last week, according to the… Read more »

Equatorial Guinea’s Obiang Tells Museveni to be Careful With Oil

Photo: Stephen Wandera/Daily Monitor

Uganda President Yoweri Museveni (R) welcomes President of Equatorial Guinea Mr Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo at State House to inspect a parade Wednesday April 26, 2017.

By Mark Keith Muhumuza & Frederic Musisi

Kampala — Uganda is looking to tap into Equatorial Guinea’s experience of oil production, in order to build its own capacity before oil production starts.

Speaking at the Joint Oil and Gas Convention and Regional Logistics Expo at the Kampala Serena Hotel, on Thursday, country’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who wrapped up his visit to Uganda shorty after speaking at the conference, said they had agreed with President Museveni of Uganda on areas of corporations especially in the petroleum sector.

Equatorial Guinea which produces 300,000 barrels per day has been an oil producing country for the last 20 years.

“This visit has actually enabled us to identify a number of important areas for economic cooperation for the two countries, such as those areas where we have been able to sign accords like the petroleum and gas sectors,” President Obiang said.

The details of this partnership are still not yet known but the Uganda government is keen on picking lessons from countries that are involved in oil production.

During bilateral talks between heads of state of the two countries on Wednesday night, Uganda’s Energy Minister, Ms Irene Muloni signed an MoU for cooperation in oil and gas with Equatorial Guinea’s minister Obiang Lima.

Mr Nguema said as Uganda proceeded with production cycle, there were important issues the country needed to address in order to maximise benefits.

He said the country needed to participate in the production process, deliver local content laws that protect nationals and also support refining of oil products.

“The issue of catering for example, like the supply of food and feeding the oil operators, this is something that local companies can carry out very well. It is not expected that foreign companies will be the ones carrying out this kind of business in your country,” he added.

Equatorial Guinea has not in the last 20 years built an oil refinery. Since 2010, the country has been planning for an oil refinery but the economics involved are still considered risky.

Uganda is planning to build a 60,000 barrels per day oil refinery in Kabaale, Hoima District. Sourcing for the investor has proved futile as the viability of the project continues to be questioned.

President Obiang also warned that Uganda needs to be on the lookout for those looking to derail on the dreams of oil production.

President Museveni, on the other hand, emphasised that Uganda was in “fast-track mode” to have oil production start by 2020.

He also praised President Obiang for the resource management in the Equatorial Guinea which he says has transformed the country into a model economy after taking over an economy in disarray in 1979.

“H.E Obiang is a great pan-Africanist and has led his country from a state of devastation to one of the Worlds’ fastest growing economies… Under his able leadership, Equatorial Guinea has transformed into a model economy with modern infrastructure. 90 percent of the country has now been electrified and significant investments have been made into basic services and education. Most of this tremendous transformation in EG has been made possible from the utilization of the oil and gas resources properly,” President Museveni said.

Uganda is expected to start oil production that will peak at about 80,000 barrels per day. Equatorial Guinea’s production is estimated at 300,000 barrels per day, with 90 percent of that exported. It has a population of about 1.2m people compared to Uganda’s 35 million people.

President’s Nguema’s advice to Uganda, however attracted scorn, especially on social media platforms, with several commentators saying given Equatorial Guinea’s experience in managing its natural resources, he should be the last person to offer advice to Uganda.

According to the New York-based Natural Resources Governance Institute, that monitors transparency in extractives, the country is the third-largest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa, supplying 304,000 barrels a day but its oil revenues are mostly misused.

According to the IMF, Equatorial Guinea boasts the highest level of per capita income in all sub-Saharan Africa, at $22,300 per year about the same as Portugal but more three-quarters of the population live below the poverty line.

President Nguema, is ranked currently as the longest serving non-traditional leader in the world with 37 years under his belt. He is followed by Angola’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos with 36 years but announced plans to step down this October, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe (36 years), Cameroon’s Paul Biya (33 years), Uganda’s President Museveni (31 years), and Sudan’s Omar Bashir (27 years).

Africa: Low-cost Drug Could Save Thousands of Mothers’ Lives Across Developing World

By Henry Ridgwell

A low-cost and widely available drug could save the lives of 1 in 3 mothers who would otherwise bleed to death after childbirth, according to a new study.

Severe bleeding, known as postpartum hemorrhage, or PPH, is the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, killing more than 100,000 women every year. Even for mothers who survive, it is a painful and traumatic experience. The world’s poorest countries, especially in Africa and India, are the worst hit.

Drug from 1960s

But there is new hope. In the 1960s, Japanese researchers developed a drug called tranexamic acid, which works by stopping blood clots from breaking down. But they could not persuade doctors to try the drug for treating PPH.

The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has done just that, in a trial involving 20,000 women in 21 countries, mainly in Africa and Asia. The results show tranexamic acid reduces the risk of bleeding to death by almost a third, with no side effects for either mothers or babies.

Dr. Nike Bello, a consultant obstetrician and gynecologist in Nigeria, said that “if a drug can prevent hysterectomies, a drug can prevent death, a drug can minimize the amount of blood we need, then that is a good thing, all over the world.”

Refinements needed

But there are challenges to getting the drug where it is needed. First, the doctors must know about its effectiveness, said professor Ian Roberts of the London tropical medicine school, who led the latest research.

“We want everyone to hear about the results,” he said. “But then there are the nitty-gritty issues. Is the treatment available in the hospital? Do doctors and midwives know how to use it? It is heat stable, so it does not have to be kept in the fridge. It is relatively inexpensive — it is about a dollar. And no child should grow up without a mother for lack of a treatment that costs a dollar.”

In the trial, tranexamic acid was given via a drip. Researchers say the next step is to find an easier way to administer the drug so it can be used in clinics and rural settings across the world.

Africa

Ghana Drops VAT On Domestic Flights As 10 Investors Seek License

The Ghana Ministry of Aviation has received proposals from 10 foreign and local investors to operate in the country’s… Read more »

Zimbabwe: Timber Processing Giant Courts Suitors

THE country’s largest timber processing firm, Allied Timbers Zimbabwe (ATZ), a strategic parastatal sitting on 130 000 hectares of land, is courting suitors to help it construct electricity generation plants at its saw mills across the country using bio waste.

The Financial Gazette’s Companies & Markets (C&M) can report that the State-owned company, which has more than 10 estates in Manicaland, Midlands and Matabeleland provinces, made moves last week inviting potential suitors to partner it in the proposed power projects.

Investors into these projects are expected to design, build, finance, operate and transfer the facilities under Public Private Partnerships.

Allied Timbers, which falls under the purview of the Ministry of Environment, Water Resources and Climate, which is headed by Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, however, could not say how much was required to generate renewable energy using bio waste.

“ATZ aims to establish fuel briquette processing plants and electricity generating facilities at its sawmills and processing sites across Zimbabwe that are mainly in the Eastern Highlands to optimise and fully convert these huge quantities of post harvest and post processing waste that include saw dust, off cuts, lops and tops,” the company said in a statement.

It is unlikely that ATZ would find a domestic investor for its proposed projects due to the liquidity crunch in the country, meaning that the company would therefore be forced to court offshore investors for the power projects.

If this happens, the company would have to deal with the contentious indigenisation law, a situation which might make the deal unattractive.

In fact, ATZ has been in the market for more than two years now, seeking about US$5 million for retooling and recapitalisation.

The company only secured a US$2 million line of credit from Agribank last year.

ATZ early last year was forced to abandon contract milling.

The company had about 50 contracted saw mill operators in an arrangement where the harvested timber was equally shared between the company and the contractors.

This arrangement was to cover ATZ’s production shortfalls since it did not have adequate capacity and was also used as a black empowerment tool.

The contractors were significant contributors towards ATZ’s overall production until it decided not to renew the contracts last year, citing massive timber leakages and to instil a sense of order in the manner the company managed its estates.

It also said the rate at which the forests were being extracted was unsustainable.

Further, the company claimed that prices for its products were much higher than prices charged by contractors for similar products.

The fact that ATZ is a huge company, its overheads are huge and its break-even price is also high when compared to prices charged by contractors.

ATZ, however, lifted the suspension of contractors in June last year, re-hiring them to augment production.

The company said it had instilled order and had re-hired them in a manner that helps it to manage harvesting of trees on a sustainable basis while at the same time empowering locals.

Government in 1988 separated assets and liabilities of the Forest Commission into State Forestry and Commercial Forestry leading to the birth of Forestry Company of Zimbabwe in 2001, which took over commercial operations then housed under Forestry Commission.

The idea of unbundling the commission was to separate regulatory activities from commercial activities.

The intension was to enable both institutions to effectively pursue their mandates, with funds from the commercial wing supposed to assist in funding regulatory functions.

So the commercial wing gave rise to Forestry Company of Zimbabwe, later rebranded to ATZ while regulatory activities were reconstituted into Forestry Commission.

Its operations involve plantations, harvesting, and processing, marketing and selling of both pine and gum. It has been exporting its products to Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa and has plans to expand its export market.

Report Lists Kenya Among Top in Wind Energy Investment

By Brian Ngugi

Kenya is among the countries poised to lead in wind energy investment in Africa this year according to a new report.

Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), the international trade association for the wind power industry, says Kenya is setting the pace in the region in the use of wind as a renewable source of energy by initiating the generation of 700 megawatts for the national grid.

“For the Middle East and Africa, the main drivers will continue to be South Africa, Morocco (and we hope) Egypt, with strong contributions from Kenya and Ethiopia as some of the smaller markets are just getting off the ground,” says GWEC in its latest annual Global Wind Report market update.

It notes that at the end of 2016, over 99 per cent of Middle East and Africa region’s total wind energy installations were spread across 10 countries – South Africa, Morocco (787 megawatts), Egypt (810 megawatts), Tunisia (245 megawatts), Ethiopia (171 megawatts), Jordan (119 megawatts), Iran (91 megawatts), Cape Verde (24 megawatts), Kenya (19 megawatts), Israel (6.25 megawatts) and Algeria (10 megawatts).

The report cites Kenya’s Lake Turkana wind project, now completed and set to be commissioning in the coming months, as an example.

The 310-megawatt project will account for almost 18 per cent of Kenya’s total installed power generation capacity.

The German Development Bank and Agence Française de Développement of France are also doing due diligence of a wind farm of the KenGen in Meru with plan to construct a 400-megawatt plant.

Kenya

Millions Needed to Battle Armyworms

The Agriculture ministry requires an additional Sh320 million emergency funding to combat crop-eating caterpillars known… Read more »

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