The Africa Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
.. - provided by Kalilou DAMA, Consultant (Lawyer & Business Advisor) -
JULY- AUGUST 2017
UN: On 10 July, Benin signed the United Nations Convention in Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration ("The Mauritius Convention on Transparency"). The Convention has been ratified by Canada, Mauritius and Switzerland. It will enter into force on 18 October 2017. The Convention has further been signed by Belgium, Cameroon, Congo, Finland, France, Gabon, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Netherlands, Sweden, Syria, United Kingdom and the United States. The Convention is open for signature, ratification, and accession by States and regional economic integration organizations.
UNECA: Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) negotiations are moving in the right direction and at the desired pace, with the first phase of the negotiations expected to be concluded by the end of 2017, Coordinator of the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), David Luke, said on July 14. Speaking at the just-ended Aid for Trade Global Review 2017
WTO:WTO members on Friday (21 July) took up a proposal which proponents said would facilitate the participation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in global trade by establishing rules to bring about greater transparency and access to information pertaining to government regulations on food and product safety
ICC - WTO:A joint effort to facilitate participation by smaller companies in international trade was launched on August 16 by the Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO), Roberto Azevêdo, and the Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), John Danilovich. The initiative, entitled ‘ICC-WTO Small Business Champions’, will provide a platform for companies and private sector organizations around the world to propose innovative, practical ideas designed to encourage micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to do business across borders. https://www.wto.org/english/news_e/news17_e/bus_16aug17_e.htm.
BRICS:the 7th meeting of the BRICS Ministers of Trade in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, from 1 to 2 August 2017. South Africa has strong and growing trade and investment ties with the other BRICS members, particularly China and India. As a single country, China has been South Africa’s top ranking export destination as well as import supplier since 2009. In 2016, intra-BRICS exports amounted to the equivalent of R4 trillion. China accounted for 40%, India for 27%, Russia for 16%, Brazil for 10%, and South Africa for 7%
NEPAD:The free trade agreements in Africa, particularly the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement and the envisaged Continental Free Trade Area present an opportunity for African countries to improve intra-regional trade and diversify Africa’s current trade model of exporting raw materials and importing of finished products. This was said by the Director of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) at the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti), Ms Claudia Furriel. Furriel was speaking on August 4th during the session on trade agreements at the SADC Industrialisation Week taking place Johannesburg
NEPAD:the 6th annual Infrastructure Africa Business Forum took place at the Sandton Convention Centre from 21-22 August 2017. The Forum is hosted jointly by the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD)
EGYYPT:The Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation of Egypt and COMESA Regional Investment Agency announced on August 2ndthe holding of Africa 2017, a high-level forum offering participants an unparalleled platform for promoting trade and investment within Africa. The Forum will be held under the High Patronage of H.E. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt on 7-9 December 2017, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The three-day conference will convene high-level delegations of leaders in business and policy from across Africa and worldwide, including heads of state and some of the most important CEOs
GHANA:Technical workshop on Corporate Governance for State-Owned Enterprises jointly organized by AFD (Agence Française de Développement) and the Ministry of Finance, at the Labadi Beach Hotel on Thursday, 13th July 2017. The objective of this workshop was to strengthen the financial and management capacity of the SOEs in order to increase their capacity to finance their capital expenditure on their own balance sheet without state guarantee.
GHANA: U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Robert P. Jackson joined officials from the Ministry of Trade and Industry at a validation workshop on Ghana’s African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Strategy. The meeting brought producers, processors and exporters together with customs and government officials to discuss the implementation of Ghana’s AGOA Strategy, which aims to helps Ghanaian companies take advantage of AGOA
KENYA:Kenya is poised to join a United Nations-led programme that helps promote entrepreneurship by building capacity for small businesses around the globe. The official launch of the Empretec programme in Kenya takes place on July 20 in Nairobi, in the presence of UNCTAD’s Secretary-General, Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, H.E. Adan Mohamed, and Mr. Jack Ma, UNCTAD Special Advisor for Youth Entrepreneurship and Small Business, the founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group.
- Western Africa related
GLOBAL:the 41st Annual World Tourism Conference is scheduled to be held in Kigali, Rwanda on August 28- 31
GLOBAL: the World Bank, the US and Germany are being launching a 1 billion dollars Funds for boosting women Entrepreneurship in developing countries. This « Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi) ». has been announced on early July at the sideline of the G20 Summit held on Hamburg.
AFRICA: Kigali, 23 July 2017 - Alibaba founder and executive chairman Jack Ma announced the creation of a US$10 million African Young Entrepreneurs Fund, during the Youth Connekt Africa Summit co-hosted by UNCTAD and the Government of Rwanda
AFRICA: Absa Bank Limited, a subsidiary of the Barclays Africa Group (BAGL), has concluded a five year $100 million Special Facility Agreement with the China Development Bank (CDB). This is the first major transaction between the two lenders and is geared towards providing funding to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). This will also benefit BAGL’s existing and prospective SME clients across the continent, which will be reached through its 12-country presence. The initial drawdown is based on Absa’s current funding needs, and may be increased in the future to assist with new funding opportunities within BAGL’s operations
COTE DIVOIRE: MTN Foundation has funded trainings for 89 women Entrepreneurs implemented by EmpowerHer
NIGERIA: on July 5, Graduation of the third batch of 28 young Nigerian entrepreneurs from GE Lagos Garage - a hub for advanced manufacturing-based innovation, strategy development, idea generation and collaboration.
NIGERIA: On July 10 the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed at the Creative Industry Roundtable heldin Lagos that The Federal Government has reached a tripartite partnership with UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) and American news network, CNN, to boost the nation’s creative industry.
.SENEGAL: Digital solutions group Wari has joined the US‑Africa Business Center (USABC) initiated by the US Chamber Of Commerce. Wari's CEO and founder, Kabirou Mbodje, will also sit on the Center's Board of Directors..
- Elsewhere across Africa
CENTRAL AFRICA – UK:The British High Commission in Yaounde is inviting applications from outstanding professionals in Cameroon, Chad, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea for their prestigious Chevening scholarships. The applications are welcome from the following priority areas for a one year masters course in the UK: Security and Peace (International Security/ Risk Management/ Terrorism/ Regional Development/ Conflict Resolution/ Peace Studies/Public Health/ Wildlife protection) Prosperity (Engineering/Economics/ Trade/Green Economy/ E-Commerce Development/ Creativity & Innovation/ Entrepreneurship) Human Rights/ Humanitarian Law/ Governance (Media Law/ Gender/ Refugee Protection/ Rule of Law) About Chevening Chevening Scholarships are the UK government’s global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and partner organisations.
GABON:The government convened with the Beninese NGO SONGHAI a deal for providing rural Entrepreneurship skills to Gabonese
MOZAMBIQUE:the 53rd edition of the Maputo International Trade Fair, commonly known as FACIM took place from Monday 28 August to 3 September 2017. FACIM is an international multi-sectoral trade fair held annually to showcase Mozambique as an attractive destination for trade and investment.
RWANDA:Three technology entrepreneurs, Ildephonse Mungwarakarama, Theogene Niyonsenga and Jerome Habimana, have launched a programme to teach app development skills
SOUTH SUDAN:The third cycle of the UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme: Entrepreneurship and Leadership Youth Training began as 25 young South Sudanese professionals took part in the programme’s Orientation Workshop in Juba, South Sudan. The programme is a sixmonth capacity-building training for junior- to mid-career-level professionals that focuses on project management, leadership, and social entrepreneurship skills. This year, 25 Fellows and Coaches, including 11 women, from the public sector, private sector, academic institutions, media, and civil society organisations of South Sudan will take part in the programme
TANZANIA:Tanzania Women of Achievement (TWA) , on August 10, launched Twaa Mentorship, an online portal and mobile app designed to provide mentorship and learning on the go for girls and women in Africa. Twaa Mentorship is the result of TWA’s continued work in transformation programs for women and girls that started in 2009 with the mission to improve lives, expand opportunities and help women across Tanzania flourish and in turn help societies, the country and the continent prosper.
ZAMBIA:on mid July, delegates from 11 countries attended the Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions’ (SACAU) Young Agripreneurs Forum at the AGCO Future Farm in Zambia for an in-depth three-day programme covering farm mechanization and the business of agriculture. SACAU is committed to a transformative agenda for agricultural development
This year’s Microsoft grants African recipients are Kukua Weather Services (Uganda), Solaris Offgrid (Tanzania), Standard Microgrid (Zambia), SunCulture (Kenya), VisionNet (Democratic Republic of Congo) and WrightGrid (Democratic Republic of Congo).
Trade facilitation can be a key contributor to sustainable development as speedier border crossings for goods and services help address poverty alleviation and even humanitarian crises, speakers at various sessions said at the Aid for Trade Global Review on 11-13 July. A case study competition underlined the importance of the issue, with joint prize winners announced from Zambia and Jamaica.
Mobile insurance company Nefrids Africa has been crowned winner of the Tanzanian leg of the Seedstars World startups pitching competition, and will represent the country at the global finals in Switzerland next year.
Fourteen social entrepreneurs addressing maternal and child health in Sub-Saharan Africa will get funding from potential investors. The 14 organizations were selected from Benin, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe
The inaugural Africa Architecture Awards, founded by Saint-Gobain, attracted an unprecedented number of entries for an architecture awards program in its first edition. More than 500 projects registered to enter the awards before the closing date of 14 July 2017, and a total of 307 projects from across the continent, situated in 32 African countries, completed the registration process and qualified to enter.
Property developers, suppliers and owners recently got the opportunity to showcase their best projects and services from across sub-Saharan Africa at the Africa Property Investment (API) Awards held on 24 August this year. The awards, which were held at the API Summit and Expo 2017, recognised innovation and outstanding achievement across the entire property industry in seven categories. The categories include Best Retail Development, Best Mixed-Use Development, Best Commercial High-rise Development, Best Architectural Design, Best Green Building in Sub Saharan Africa, Best Hotel Development and Best Housing Development. The winning developments came from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique, Namibia and Rwanda.
Malian e-commerce platform bitikini has just launched it new Sponsors Space
Egyptian e-commerce startup Yaoota, launched in 2014, has acquired Middle East phone comparison portals Mobihall and Mobilesgate for undisclosed amounts as it looks to continue on its growth trajectory.
5-REPORTS & STUDY
Africa Tourism: This year, UNCTAD’s ‘Economic Development in Africa Report 2017’ focuses on ‘Tourism for transformative and inclusive growth’ and encourages African countries to harness the dynamism of the tourism sector.
The report highlights the relevance of the sector to Africa's economy, identifies the main barriers to unlocking the potential of tourism within the continent, and provides policy recommendations on how to overcome them. As tourism is cross-cutting and has the potential to foster inclusiveness, the report also addresses particular issues of interest to civil society organizations.
UNDP: The South African Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed on June 12 a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at establishing a strategic collaboration in the implementation of programmes of the Centre for Trade and Regional Industrialisation. The Centre, which was launched by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies in Pretoria in March this year, is intended to strengthen regional integration through dedicated research to support the Continental integration processes. As well as, build the capacity of Africa’s trade negotiators in the ongoing Tripartite Free Trade Area and Continental Free Trade Area negotiations
WTO:The fifth review of the trade policies and practices of Nigeria took place on 13 and 15 June 2017. The basis for the review is a report by the WTO Secretariat and a report by the Government of Nigeria.
WTO: Speaking at the International Forum on Women and Trade in Brussels on 20 June, Director-General Roberto Azevêdo said that the playing field needed to be levelled for women around the world so that they can fully seize the benefits of trade.
WTO - CANADA:Canada is contributing CAD 200,000 (approximately CHF 150,000) to the Standards and Trade Development Facility (STDF) in 2017
AFRICA UNION: 3rd African Union (AU) Ministers of Trade Meeting from 15-16 June 2017. The AU Ministers of Trade was officially opened by H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou, President of the Republic of Niger and Champion of the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA). The Ministerial meeting, which was preceded by the 6th CFTA Negotiating Forum and the 3rd meeting of Senior Trade Officials, adopted the Modalities for Tariff Negotiations and Trade in Services
AFRICA:The 19th Annual Africa Energy Forum (AEF)took place from June 7-9, 2017 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Nineteen years in the running, AEF brings together senior-level representatives from all corners of the energy value chain to form partnerships, identify opportunities and collectively move the industry forward.
AGOA:1,000 delegates from 38 African countries are expected to attend the annual AGOA Forum in Lomé from 8 to 10 August
EAST AFRICA: To support stakeholders across East Africa in their efforts towards the development of East Africa’s arbitration practice, position East Africa’s investment competitiveness, Rwanda will host the 5th edition of the East Africa International Arbitration Conference (EAIAC2017) on the 28th & 29th September 2017 at Serena Hotel, Kigali
SOUTHERN AFRICA:the 5th Southern African Customs Union (SACU) Summit held on 23 June 2017
GREAT LAKES REGION: Ministers in charge of Youth Affairs of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) met in Livingstone, Zambia on 9 June 2017 to discuss ways to advance youth employment in the region. The meeting was jointly promoted by the ICGLR and the Office of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region (OSESG). The meeting was held under the theme « Accelerating the implementation of the 2014 Declaration of the ICGLR Special Summit of Heads of State on the fight against youth unemployment through infrastructure development and investment promotion ».
KENYA:Christopher Painter, the Secretary’s Coordinator for Cyber Issues, and Julie Zoller, Acting U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, travelled to Nairobi, Kenya from June 22-23 to discuss cyber and digital economy policy issues with government officials, the private sector, and civil society as part of the U.S.-Kenya Cyber and Digital Economy Dialogue. During their visit to Nairobi, Coordinators Painter and Zollerengaged with senior Kenyan leaders to discuss policies related to cybersecurity, cybercrime, and legal cooperation as well as digital economy regulatory and commercial policies, cooperation at the International Telecommunication Union.
- Western Africa related
GLOBAL: 12th annual Global Business School Network Conference, this November in Washington. This year’s conference will focus on “Intersections of Business Education and Economic Development.” Research presentations, networking opportunities and speakers from various sectors including industry and business education will help enlighten those in attendance on ways business schools can interact with business, academic government, and nonprofit organizations to improve economic development and increase opportunities.
AFRICA:Victus Global Capital and Altree Capital have partnered to launch a US$50mn fund focusing on investment into women-led agribusinesses in Africa. The fund aims to boost African agriculture
AFRICA: On June 11, YES Inc MALI has launched an African Entrepreneurship milestone Program which aims to generate 1000 000 Startups using a strong Incubators- Accelerators network. Bitikini Scholarship Program, in its first phase, opened granting 5000 women and Young people across Africa and the Diaspora.
AFRICA: on June 18,YES Mentorship Programhas been launchedfor enrolling high experienced Business professionals who will be allowed to help fostering women and young startups across Africa
US- AFRICA: Power Africa attended the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) to further advance its goal to increase energy access and power generation in sub-Saharan Africa. Through grant signings, facilitated events, and targeted meetings with government and private sector partners, Power Africa plans to further increase the number of transactions that have reached financial close. Currently, the 76 projects that have reached this status are expected to generate over 7,107 megawatts (MW) since the initiative’s 2013 launch.
WEST AFRICA: The West Africa Fertilizer Agribusiness conference is being organised by CRU Eventsand the African Fertilizer and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) on 10-12 July at the Movenpick Hotel Accra
GAMBIA: The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private and Agib Bank Ltd have entered into a Joint Strategic Collaboration to finance private sector entities in The Gambia
GHANA: The Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) in collaboration with the American Chamber of Commerce-Ghana (AmCham Ghana) and the Ghana Embassy in Washington DC, has ended a 10-day Investment Promotion Mission to the US
MALI: Entrepreneurs Networking Day, an innovative event that gathered for the second time in Bamako high impact innovators and investors from across western Africa, held on June 3
NIGERIA: the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on June 12 inaugurated a new research station in Ago-Owu in Osun state, Nigeria, as part of efforts to expand its research agenda and create impact at farm level.
- Elsewhere across Africa
EAST AFRICA:Over 290 travel exhibitors from the East African region and beyond participated in the Karibu Travel & Tourism Fair which held on early June in Arusha
NORTH AFRICA: the construction market in North Africa is booming due to several active high- value projects with approximately US$473bn investment; this is according to a recent market report by BNC Project Intelligence. The report states that Egypt constitutes a majority of 71 per cent of the total project investments in North Africa this is after the announcement of some major projects on urban construction and utilities sectors, which have a combined value of nearly US$300bn of all project investments in North Africa.
CAMEROON: the cameroonese Zenithe Insurance became the first digital company in CIMA zone
DRC: Partnership Africa Canada and Fair Trade Jewellery Co. , on June 26, announce the first export of conflict-free and traceable artisanal gold from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Canada.
MADAGASCAR: the Madagascar Investors Conference has been hosted on June 14-15 by the South African Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) in partnership with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa
NAMIBIA: The Financial Literacy Initiative, FabLab, Team Namibia and the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII) hosted the first Namibia Start-up Festival from 9-10 June 2017 at the Warehouse Theatre. The event is co-sponsored by the German Federal Government.
RWANDA: Kigali, Rwanda, to host the Africa hotel investment conference, on October 10-12, 2017
SOUTH SUDAN: The Ministry of Trade and Industry in partnership with the Private Sector and UNDP organized “Made in South Sudan Exhibition” on 6th through 10th June 2017 at Freedom Hall in Juba under the theme: “Together Promoting South Sudan Business and Industrial Development”.
TANZANIA: the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair from 1st July to 7th July
- The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) on june 15 announced the top 10 nominees who will be contending for the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), to be awarded in Accra, Ghana on 18th July 2017. Innovators from nine African countries including Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Kenya, Liberia, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe have been shortlisted for the prestigious Prize.
- Facebookselected 3 winners from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) from 60 finalists as part of the first-ever Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge . The Bots for Messenger Challenge was launched on February 15th this year, in 64 countries across the wider Middle East and Africa to recognize and reward developers who were able to create the most innovative new bots on Messenger. The 3 winners won a prize of $20,000 USD and three months of Facebook mentorship. In addition from the Middle East and North Africa, three runner-up teams won $10,000
Three start-ups received on June 20 the King Baudouin African Development Prize. Start-ups use simple technologies to connect people with essential information. Their platforms enable communities to access and share information about education (Kytabu - Kenya), legal rights (BarefootLaw - Uganda) and agriculture (Farmerline - Ghana). Digital and mobile technologies are radically changing entrepreneurship in Africa.
- South African Airways (SAA) has been crowned as one of the winners at the World Airline Awards for 15 consecutive years
- UNCTAD has released a Special Issue of its Investment Trends Monitor, a research note on Investment and Trade in Services. The findings of this Special Issue of the Trends Monitor show how statistics for mode 3 services trade and services FDI that are commonly used in policy discussions tend to provide an inflated impression of the real importance of the tertiary sector in cross-border trade and investment.
- Key stakeholders from the public sector, private sector and civil society from Africa and beyond met on June 28-30 in Cotonou, Benin, to take forward collaborative climate action for sustainable development in the region. At the 9th Africa Carbon Forum participantsfocused on how to strengthen cooperation between government and other stakeholders in key sectors for Africa – notably energy, agriculture and human settlements. This includes the role of future carbon markets in boosting climate action and sustainable development. The meeting included a high-level ministerial segment.
- Business Climate Trainings, 1st serie closed in Bamako on June 18 in the Business Incubation Space. Courses began on December and involved Entrepreneurs in Green and Clean Business. Over 200 Entrepreneurs attended the courses and Businesses have been generated as well as the creation of Mali Climate Citizens Group (CCL- MALI). This Climate trainings serie was sponsored by BITIKINI E- commerce platform and YES Inc MALI
- BITIKINI E Commerce platform is being granted a first batch of 5000 Africa Women and Young people for gain Entrepreneurship skills as well as start their Businesses and get monitored by various technical supports
- Mastercard has partnered with Nigerian tech start-up, NetPlus to develop an e-commerce solution that will help make cash a thing of the past, for e-retailers and consumers alike.
FAO: During a landmark two-day workshop in Ghana, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) launched a Special Youth Employment Programme to step up job creation for the youth in Africa. The workshop which ran from the 10th to the 11th of May, 2017 in Accra attracted a host of partners including the African Union, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the Food and Agriculture Ministry of Ghana, the African Development Bank, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa among other strong partners.
UNECA: The 6th World Hydropower Congress (WHC), a multi-stakeholder forum bringing together leaders and specialists with hydropower-related responsibilities from government, industry, finance, United Nations agencies, academia and civil society, takes place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 9-11 May.
UNECA: The African Climate Policy Centre (ACPC) and the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC) are jointly organizing a session on “How taking into account climate change can help Africa to pursue better trade policies, with a focus on food security” on the margins of the 20th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis, which will take place at Purdue University, Indiana, USA, from 7-9 June under the theme, “Global Economic Analysis in the 21st Century: Challenges and Opportunities”.
WTO: WTO members gathered on 16 May for the inaugural meeting of the Committee on Trade Facilitation, the body responsible for overseeing implementation of the WTO’s historic Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).
ACP: An innovative trade initiative which is expanding opportunities for business, employment and prosperity in African, Caribbean and Pacific countries will be extended to February 2019.
The Hub and Spokes program is a joint initiative of the European Union, ACP Group Secretariat, Commonwealth Secretariat and Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Through the program, trade advisers are placed in government ministries and regional organizations to provide support and build local capacity to develop trade policies.
To kick-start the ambitious next phase of the aid for trade program, 40 of the program’s main stakeholders including 16 trade advisers gathered for a workshop in Bridgetown, Barbados, between 22 and 23 May.
COMMONWEALTH: Amid an unprecedented global trade slowdown, African policy-makers, negotiators and trade analysts met on 25-26 May 2017 in Mauritius to discuss priorities for reviving world trade and strengthening their trading capacity. Since 2014, world trade has declined by more than US$3 trillion with Sub-Saharan Africa’s combined exports falling by about 40 per cent - from US$403 billion to less than US$250 billion. Participants discussed the most pressing trade and development challenges for Commonwealth African member states, in the light of unfavourable global economic and trade patterns, rising protectionism and growing discontent about globalisation
AFRICA: At a Roundtable event held on May 10 in Nairobi, Ministers from across Africa sat together with investors and the private sector to determine how best to tackle the investment and credit risk hurdles in order to make African risks bankable. Participants to the Roundtable see the event as timely because it comes at time of geopolitical uncertainties which, according to The World Bank, could lead to “higher borrowing costs or cut off capital flows to emerging and frontier markets”. The half day forum, the 4th Roundtable to focus on Political and Credit Risks in Africa, took place on the side lines of the African Trade Insurance Agency’s (ATI).
AFRICA: The Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI), in collaboration with the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC), concluded on May 25 a two-day consultative meeting that discussed ways for African chambers of commerce to utilize single windows in enabling cross border trade.
The meeting brought together representative s from the African Chambers of Commerce, EcoBank, African Alliance for E-Commerce, revenue and customs officials, private sector and academia, to share experiences and best practices in trade. They came out with key trade policy recommendations towards the implementation of the single windows.
BENIN: Following a training occurred on late April with the support of UNCTAD and the Dutch Embassy, Benin APIEX is expecting to introduce Enterprises online registration
EQUATORIAL GUINEA: Two global energy powers met on May 11, 2017 for the first Equatorial Guinea-Saudi Arabia Economic Forum, organized by the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea. The historic event was hosted by the Jeddah Chamber and brought together senior government officials from both countries to discuss investment in crucial economic sectors of energy, agriculture, fisheries and mining. H.E. President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo brought a delegation of cabinet members to present investment opportunities to Saudi officials and investors
GHANA: On May 4, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the U.S. government’s Feed the Future Initiative, hosted the 4th Annual Ghana Agribusiness Investment Summit to showcase investment opportunities in Ghana’s agribusinesses. The event brought together business service providers, financial institutions, agribusinesses, farmers, development partners and the Ghanaian government under the theme “Mobilizing strategic investment for agriculture.
MOZAMBIQUE: The third review of the trade policies and practices of Mozambique takes place on 3 and 5 May 2017. The basis for the review is a report by the WTO Secretariat and a report by the Government of Mozambique.
- Western Africa related
AFRICA: The African real estate narrative has shifted and evolved over the last 2 years with the impact of geo-political and economic challenges changing the property landscape. Moving forward, investors have come to realise that a more measured approach may hold the key to reaping long term rewards in Africa. In order to address this new reality, API Events (www.APIevents.com) is hosting the 8th annual API Summit & Expo in Johannesburg on August 24th and 25th, 2017.
AFRICA: President Jacob Zuma on Tuesday, 16 May 2017, officially opened the Tourism INDABA 2017 at the Chief Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban. The INDABA is Africa’s top tourism trade show that brings together more than 7 000 delegates that represent the top tourism products in Africa, as well as the world’s leading travel buyers and travel and tourism media.
AFRICA: After the launch of BITIKINI E Commerce Platform, YES Inc MALI announced on May 14 the next starting of 8 new incubators – Universalis, - TECH – IN, - Green & Clean – B, - Fashion- B, - Sports- B, - Halal – B, - Maya and - Incub-LAB – U. These incubators are adapted to the realities of the ecosystem and are in line with the ambitions of women and young beneficiaries. Their implementation is more conducive to preparing the ground for the emergence of an entrepreneurial culture in order to minimize the factors of poverty linked to unemployment These new incubators now carry YES Inc intervention capacities, beyond Mali, to the continental dimension (Read more at http://yescommunity.e-monsite.com/blog/business-incubation-space/new-incubators-for-africa.html#6ixLyvmZ5SwQ6OmJ.99 )
AFRICA: At the side lines of the landmark IsDB 42nd Annual Meeting in Jeddah, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) and China-Africa Development Fund (CADFund) a Beijing-based private equity firm and subsidiary of the China Development Bank which focuses on Africa.
WEST AFRICA: Over 80 West Africans who have previously attended Australian-funded mining courses met on 27 April in Accra to share knowledge and understanding of current challenges and opportunities in the region on attracting responsible mining investment and sustainable development
NIGERIA: Nigerian singer/songwriter Tiwa Savage is the newest face to join Rotary’s ‘This Close’ public awareness campaign for polio eradication.
NIGERIA: The Nollywood Week Festival returns to the cinema L'Arlequin in Paris for its 5th edition from Thursday May 11 to Sunday May 14, 2017.
The NollywoodWeek Film Festival has on May 9 announced a strategic partnership with UBA’s REDTV ahead of the 5th edition of the festival
NIGERIA: She Leads Africa has opened applications for the 2017 She Leads Africa Accelerator, a 3-month program designed to identify, support and fund the next generation of Nigeria’s brightest entrepreneurs. SLA’s 2017 Accelerator will take place in 4 locations across Nigeria - Abuja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Kaduna.
NIGER: Dangote Group expect to open a Sugar refinery shortly in Niger
- Elsewhere across Africa
DJIBOUTI: The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and the International Trade Center (ITC) signed the Amendment of their Partnership Agreement for the implementation of two new development projects in Djibouti and Algeria under AfTIAS Program umbrella
ETHIOPIA: The Ethiopian government has pursued extensive development of industrial parks that can serve for specific sectors such as textile & apparel, leather & leather products, pharmaceuticals, agro-processing
ETHIOPIA: The U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa and The Entrepreneurship Development Center (EDC) are pleased to announce the launch earlier this month of a Mentorship Program to help further foster entrepreneurship development in Ethiopia. The program connects successful Ethiopian aspiring entrepreneurs with experienced mentors. These mentors, entrepreneurs themselves, provide coaching and technical assistance on specific problems identified by their mentees, in order to help them grow their business and become competitive in the marketplace. A total of fourteen companies seeking technical assistance were selected for the program on a competitive basis.
EQUATORIAL GUINEA: The governments of Equatorial Guinea and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabiagathered in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on May 10, 2017 for the first ever Equatorial Guinea-Saudi Arabia Economic Forum. The economic forum seeks to identify investment opportunities and bolster trade ties between the two nations in core economic sectors such as mining, hydrocarbons, agriculture and fisheries.
EQUATORIAL GUINEA: The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (“ICD”) and Afriland First Bank Guinea have entered into a Joint Strategic Collaboration to establish an Islamic window in Guinea.
NAMIBIA: The Acting Executive Director of the Fashion Council of Namibia, Mr. Kalistu Mukoroli has been invited to participate in a visit to Germany, themed “Berlin Fashion Week – The Creative Industries and Sustainability”. The visit takes place from 2 until 8 July 2017 and is part of the Visitors Programme of the German Federal Government. Together with specialist journalists, young designers and other representatives of the creative industries from around the world, Mr Mukoroli will be presented an introduction to how the creative industries are promoted in Germany, as well as insights into Berlin’s fashion scene
SOUTH AFRICA: The Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enhance liaison and cooperation in the fields of export, import, investment, business information and other commerce-orientated activities for the benefit of members of both organisations. The MoU was signed at the SA-China Zhejiang Trade and Investment Symposium that took place in Sandton, on May 8
SOUTH AFRICA:South African Airways and Hawaiian Airlines established a new interline agreement providing new and convenient flight options for both SAA and Hawaiian customers
SOUTH AFRICA: South African companies in the agro-processing sector are showcasing their products at the 24th annual International Agricultural Trade Fair taking place in Tehran, Iran. All participating companies received financial support from the Department of Trade and Industry's (the dti) Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA). The exhibition is organised collaboratively by the Trade Promotion Organisation of Iran and the Iran International Exhibitions Company.
SOUTH AFRICA: Small and medium enterprises in the tourism sector are set to benefit from a R120 million fund, which has been allocated for these businesses. Addressing a pre-budget vote media briefing in Cape Town on May 23, Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa said her department has entered into a partnership with the National Empowerment Fund (NEF) to establish a Transformation Fund.
SUDAN – UGANDA: on early May a MoU has been signed between those two countries and Siemens. Memoranda of Understanding to cooperate in the areas of power supply, industry, transportation and healthcare Focus on infrastructure investments and partnerships between public and private sectors Participation in “Make IT Alliance” to promote start-ups and technology companies in Africa Siemens will work more closely with the African countries Uganda and Sudan in the areas of power supply, industry, transportation and healthcare.
UGANDA:Three years after opening up shop in Lagos, Andela, a startup that trains and pairs software developers with global tech firms, will be launching in Uganda
- 3-REPORTS - RESEARCHS
- -South Africa remains the largest FDI hub in Africa Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa (the key hub economies) collectively attracted 58% of the continent’s total FDI projects in 2016 Investment from the Asia-Pacific region into Africa hit an all-time high in 2016 According to EY’s latest Africa Attractiveness report, heightened geopolitical uncertainty and “multispeed” growth across Africa present a mixed FDI picture for the continent. The report provides an analysis of FDI investment into Africa over the past ten years.
- -PwC research across the continent shows that 91% of CEOs are confident about their own companies’ growth prospects in the medium term. “This is the highest level of confidence since we started our research on CEOs in Africa in 2012,” Hein Boegman CEO for PwC Africa says. Boegman was speaking on the challenges and opportunities facing Africa’s CEOs at a press briefing held by PwC at the World Economic Forum on Africa 2017 in Durban on May 3.
- -FAO – May 25 2017 - Africa's vast but informal cross-border trade can contribute to improving livelihoods and increasing regional integration across the continent, according to a new report presented at a conference here.
- Informal cross-border trading, in which transactions are not compliant with local tax and other rules, accounts for a large share - between 20 and a hefty 70 percent - of employment in sub-Saharan Africa, and putting it on a regular footing can lift sustainable prosperity and markedly improve prospects for women, says FAO's new publication, "Formalization of informal trade in Africa".
- Around half of all intra-African cross-border trade is classified as informal, indicating its large if officially invisible role. Proactive policies that recognize such activity, tapping its potential with the aim of steering it towards proper regulatory status, are to be preferred over heavy-handed approaches to eradicate or seek rents from entrepreneurs, according to FAO.
- "Facilitating formalization is the only viable policy option for Africa's transformation agenda to realize its objectives," says Suffyan Koroma, FAO senior economist and lead author of the report
UNCTAD: UNCTAD opened in Beirut on 5 April its first consumer protection training centre for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, in cooperation with the Lebanese Ministry of Economy and Trade. The UNCTAD MENA Program, supported by the Swedish government, aims to promote economic integration in the region through the adoption of legislation and policies for competition and consumer protection, and through the promotion of gender equality, anti-corruption and good governance, for the period 2015-2020
UNECA: The Economic Commission for Africa proceeded with the launching of the second generation of ECA Country Profiles on March 25 in Dakar. Among the 21 reports presented, four are from West Africa: Cabo Verde, the Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria. The objective of this initiative is to provide analyses and specific recommendations for Member States in order to support structural transformation which in turn promotes sustained growth and sustainable social development, as well as regional integration or combating exclusion.
UNECA: Seventeen African law students, including 9 women and 8 men, have qualified for the final oral round of the 15th European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) Moot Court Competition on World Trade Organization (WTO) law, which will be held at the WTO headquarters in Geneva from 6 to 11 June 2016. The ELSA Moot Court Competition is an academic simulation of judicial procedures by law students, helping to foster their awareness and experience in international trade negotiations.
WTO: on early April, after several months of intense discussion, a group of business representatives from around the world issued two sets of recommendations on business priorities for the WTO. Their recommendations cover areas such as services, investment, market access, e-commerce and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
WAEMU: Abdallah Boureima from Niger has been apointed as the new WAEMU Commission President on April 10 in Abidjan by WAEMU zone Head of States
AGOA:The 3rd Annual AGOA CSO Network Spring Conference took place April 20-21, 2017 in Washington, DC, USA. The theme of the event was The Future of AGOA under the 115th Congress of the United States. The AGOA CSO Spring Conference brought civil society, government, and private sector leaders together for high level discussions on AGOA, and kicked off the planning for the annual CSO Session of the U.S. -Sub-Saharan Africa Trade and Economic Cooperation Forum (also known as the AGOA Forum).
GAMBIA: High-level government officials, private sector representatives and development partners participated in the presentation of UNCTAD's Investment Policy Review (IPR) of the Gambia in Banjul on 11 April 2017
GHANA: official visit of a 14-Member delegation from the European Parliament including 6 members of the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade (INTA) to Ghana on 20 April, 2017. The purpose of the one-day visit was to afford the European Parliamentarians the opportunity to meet with Ghanaian authorities and Members of Parliament as well as relevant stakeholders regarding topics of interests for the INTA Committee. Topics of interest discussed include the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Forest Law Enforcement for Governance and Trade (FLEGT)
LIBERIA: The Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between the Government of Liberia (GoL) and the European Union (EU) held its 5th Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) meeting in Monrovia from Wednesday 5 to Friday 7 April 2017 at the Monrovia City Hall. The VPA, a bi-lateral Agreement between the GoL and the EU was negotiated from 2009 -2011 and rectify by Liberia in 2013. This Agreement on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) aims to promote sustainable forest management by putting in place systems to verify the legality of timber and also strengthening forest governance
MALI; on April 5-6, Mali- Tunisie Economic Forum held in Bamako
MALI: From April 24-28 the E commerce Week has been celebrated by YES Inc MALI highlighting Women and Young Entrepreneurs throughout the domestic E Commerce Platform BITIKINI
SENEGAL: on April 21 the OECD organized in Dakar a discussion to explore the results of analytic tools that inform investment decisions for economic growth and poverty reduction.
- Western Africa related
AFRICA: Leaders from Africa's biggest telecom investment companies including MTN, Orange, Helios Towers, American Tower, Eaton Towers, Google, Microsoft, Liquid Telecom and SEACOM are meeting with investment bankers, investors and advisers in London on May 24 to discuss accelerating new investment opportunities in digital communications and infrastructure. Telecom and tech companies are increasing investment across Africa as the rapidly improving digital infrastructure and services, and the take up of smartphones, provide huge opportunities for business and revenue growth.
AFRICA: on April 10 in DHAKA, the International Islamic Trade Financing Corporation (ITFC) member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group, organized its first African-Asian Cotton B2B Meeting event as part of its Cotton Development and Partnership Program.
AFRICA: The World Bank Group launched XL Africa , a five-month business acceleration program designed to support the 20 most promising digital start-ups from Sub-Saharan Africa. Start-ups will receive mentoring from global and local experts, learn through a tailor-made curriculum, increase their regional visibility, and get access to potential corporate partners and investors. With support from prominent African investment groups, XL Africa will help the 20 selected start-ups attract early stage capital between $250,000 and $1.5 million. “Digital start-ups are important drivers of innovation in Africa,” says Makhtar Diop, Vice President for the Africa Region at the World Bank.
AFRICA: African Ministries from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gabon, Madagascar, Morocco, Rwanda and Zimbabwe have confirmed to attend the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) to date, which is set to welcome 2,000 decision-makers in Africa’s energy sector to Copenhagen this June. AEF is the annual meeting point for Africa’s energy sector for decision-makers to explore investment opportunities, form partnerships and sign deals
AFRICA: Facebook celebrated the achievements and products of its growing African developer and partner ecosystem at its annual F8 developer conference held in San Jose, California, on 18 and 19 April. African developers shared the stage with Facebook and developers from around the world, showcasing innovative products and services they have created for their local communities and the global market. F8 hosts more than 4000 people in person and hundreds of thousands of people watching via Facebook Live for two days of new products, tools, interactive demos and speakers to help developers build, grow and monetise their apps.
COTE D IVOIRE: The African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI)announced on April 25 that Côte d’Ivoire has joined a growing list of African countries who are members of the institution. ATI is a multilateral investment insurer whose specialised investment and commercial risk insurance products are expected to help attract up to USD2 billion worth of inward investments and trade into the country, and to potentially help lower its sovereign borrowing costs by up to 1% annually.
GHANA: Decathlon, a world giant in sports goods and equipments retail and manufacture, is coming to Ghana. Decathlon is a helping to develop sport and industry globally. Decathlon operates in over 50 countries worldwide with over 1200 stores providing sport goods and equipment in 70+ sports disciplines and is among the few world class eco – friendly organizations. Their choice to set-up West Africa’s biggest sports store in Ghana is in appreciation of the many strides Ghana has chalked over the past 60 years.
GHANA: On April 21, PARIS&Co and Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), signed a Memorandum of Understandingas France recognition of Ghana's potential in new technologies and supports its ecosystem for start-ups.
NIGERIA: national stakeholder conference on cassava seed system organized by the project, “Building an Economically Sustainable Integrated Cassava Seed System” (BASICS) was held at the Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)Ibadan on early April
- Elsewhere across Africa
BOTSWANA: Botswana is the most attractive economy for investments flowing into the African continent, according to the latest Africa Investment Index 2016 by Quantum Global’s independent research arm, Quantum Global Research Lab.
CHAD: a Housing Bank will be opened on June
EGYPT: A trade mission led by the Foreign Agricultural Service Deputy Administrator Mark Slupek arrived in Cairo on April 2. Over 40 U.S. business representatives met with senior Egyptian government and private sector officials to discuss ways to expand agricultural trade between the United States and Egypt.
MAURITUS: Marriott International plans to launch its Aloft brand in the capital city of Mauritius with the signing of Aloft Mauritius Port Louis. Slated to open in early 2019, the hotel will be the brand’s first adaptive reuse project in Africa.
MOROCCO: The Mexican baker Bimbo is being established in Morocco as first step for reching African market
SOMALI: Innovate Ventures is running for a second year their highly successful tech start-up accelerator – The Innovate Accelerator. Launched in partnership with VC4A, Telesom and Oxfam as part of Work in Progress! project, Innovate Accelerator saw over 180 applications submitted for last year’s inaugural cohort. This year the accelerator has promised to be bigger and better with the programme extended to 12 weeks and the top 3 start-ups from the 2017 cohort receiving up to $15,000 in investment from Innovate Ventures Fund. The programme aims to support and invest in the next wave of tech start-ups in Somaliland
SOUTH AFRICA: For the third time running, Freedom Park has participated in the World Trade Market Africa (WTM) exhibition 2017. The event took place in Cape Town International Convention Centre from 19-21 April 2017. A team comprising of Outreach officials from Freedom Park unpacked elements of this historic National Heritage Destination at WTM Africa. WTM Africa is a vibrant, culturally diverse, business-to-business travel and tourism event, presenting a diverse range of destinations and industry sectors to South African, African and International travel professionals
SOUTH AFRICA:South African transport utility Transnet has called on the private sector to provide at least a quarter of all the investment required in the country’s transport sector.
SUDAN: The Sudanese Agricultural Bank has signed four agreements with major American companies in the fields of axial irrigation, irrigation pumps, silos, solar energy, and water technology
TANZANIA: gas-to-power projects present power distribution opportunities for both local and foreign investors.
UGANDA: There is a new addition to the tech startup ecosystem in Uganda, with TechBuzz Hub launched in Kampala to provide assistance to local companies. It is a collaborative working space focused on youth capacity building and startup development. It offers co-working space and access to business development services such as mentorship, consultancy, incubation, associate networking services, training and seminars.
ZAMBIA: talian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Mr, Mario Giro with a team of NGOs and Investors are expected in Zambia in September, 2017 to come and explore investment opportunities in the country. During a meeting between Community Development and Social Services Minister Hon. Emerine Kabanshi,and Hon. Giro at the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry on Thursday, 7th April, the Minister said Zambia was a peaceful nation with great potential for investment and that Italy wanted to strengthen and consolidate co-operation with the country by setting up various investments
ZIMBABWE: Zimbabwean entrepreneurs could soon use movable assets — including livestock and vehicles — to secure loans from banks, according to a bill brought before the country’s Parliament on mid April
ZIMBABWE: Trade and Investment Seminar was held between South Africa and Zimbabwe on the margins of the 58th Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF)
- -On April 11 the <Made in Senegal> E-Commerce platform has been launched
- -Naspers, Africa's biggest ecommerce and digital company, has j invested R960-million (about $69.4-million) into Takealot Online, South Africa's largest ecommerce company
- -Afri-Fi: Free Public WiFi has been announced as the “Runner-Up” in Mozilla’s Equal Rating Innovation Challenge with a funding award of US$75,000. With this global competition, Mozilla (www.Mozilla.org) called for creative and scalable ideas to provide affordable access to the full diversity of the open internet. Mozilla offered awards, totaling USD 250,000 in funding and expert mentorship to bring these solutions to the market. It received 100 submissions from 27 countries.
FEBRUARY - MARCH 2017
UNECA: The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) launched on March 27 in Dakar the second generation of its Country profiles, on the margins of the African Development Week (Dakar, 23 - 28 March 2017). These reports, which offer a snapshot of economic and social development in African countries, identify policy challenges and provide recommendations to decision-makers, national and regional institutions to address those challenges, this year cover 21 countries
WTO: Trade Policy review in Sierra Leone on February 14
WTO:on Thursday 16 February 2017 Director-General Roberto Azevêdo visits Dakar, Senegal, to address the Forum on African Ports. During his visit the Director-General held meetings with high level governm