Afreximbank pushes African energy investment in London during International Energy week

During a networking event in London on Thursday, 2 March, African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) unpacked investment opportunities across Africa’s oil and gas landscape, with a focus on leveraging key drivers of African and global gas demand. With Africa being home to some of the world’s largest oil and gas reserves – boasting over 125 billion barrels of proven crude oil reserves and 220 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves – major investment opportunities have arisen across gas exploration and monetisation, gas-to-power, energy storage, and infrastructure development. “Energy demand in Africa is expected to grow by 50% over the next two decades. This growing demand will create opportunities for decarbonised energy infrastructure projects, logistics, storage notably natural gas and liquified petroleum gas (LPG), that enable regional trade, and will create opportunities for renewable energy projects which will, in turn, increase energy security for Afreximbank member states,” noted Mr Rene Awambeng, global head and director of Client Relations, Afreximbank, adding that, in order to ensure bankability, energy infrastructure projects will need to account for the energy transition.

Source: African Energy Chamber


GSMA signs agreement with Africa CDC to harness the power of mobile technologies to combat disease in Africa

A memorandum of understanding (MoU), intended to bring the transformational power of mobile connectivity to support Africa’s most significant healthcare challenges, was signed between the GSMA and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). The MoU is intended to provide a framework for partnership between the two organisations on a range of priorities spanning from digital strategy, policy, and governance frameworks across the continent to drive adoption of mobile technologies with potential to strengthen Africa’s health security and outcomes for millions. The GSMA will work closely with Africa CDC on HealthConnekt Africa, a bold new initiative to connect all health facilities and workforce in Africa to the internet by 2030. The initiative will start with a small group of pioneer African Union (AU) member states and communities, which will see their health facilities connected to the internet and health workers equipped with smart devices, allowing them to improve the quality of care provided to their clients through access to vital online resources.

Source: Africa CDC

East Africa

EAC and ESAMI to partner on capacity building on regional trade issues

The East African Community (EAC) Secretary General Dr Peter Mathuki and the managing director of the Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI), Dr Martin Lwanga, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) establishing a framework of collaboration in jointly developing training and capacity-building activities in trade-related areas, in a bid to foster greater business development and enhance the region’s competitiveness. The partnership between ESAMI and EAC will further undertake to provide training programmes in all trade and trade-related areas of interest to the EAC and within the capacity of the Trade Policy Training Centre in Africa (TRAPCA). TRAPCA is one of the centres of ESAMI, which was established in 2006 as a result of collaboration between ESAMI, the Lund University of Sweden, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). It has a mandate of building and enhancing capacity in trade policy matters in the developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa among others, covering areas such as trade in goods, trade in services, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), e-commerce, trade and environment, trade and gender and trade facilitation with a view to building a pool of East African experts within the secretariat and officials from the partner states.

Source: EAC

East / Southern Africa

Implementation of the EUR8-million regional ICT programme reviewed

The Steering Committee of the programme on Enhancement of Governance and Enabling Environment in the Information and Communications Technology sector (EGEE-ICT) in the Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and the Indian Ocean region (EA-SA-IO) meeting began in Nairobi, Kenya to review the programmes performance, since it was launched two years ago. The EUR8-million programme aims at enhancing the governance and enabling environment in the ICT sector in the EA-SA-IO region. It supports the review and development of regional policy and regulatory frameworks in a harmonised manner, thus contributing to enhanced competition and improved access to cost effective and secure ICT services. The four-year programme is funded by the European Union (EU). Beneficiaries of the programme are countries in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). COMESA is the programme implementation lead.

Source: COMESA

West Africa

ECOWAS: EBID to finance green projects to support sustainable growth

The promotion of inclusive and sustainable growth in the West African economy. This is the purpose of the new green finance mechanism set up by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Bank for Investment and Development (EBID). The ecological transition should accelerate very soon in West Africa. EBID will finance green projects through its recently published inaugural Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Finance Framework. The funds it will release over the next three years will be used to implement the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiatives in its member states. These projects presented by the governments of the targeted countries via local companies will contribute to the promotion of economic integration, social protection (health, education, housing) and especially climate resilience in the region. “We will promote the emergence of an economically strong, industrialised and prosperous West Africa. This framework will therefore enable us to structure and execute environmentally responsible financing transactions as outlined in our Strategic Plan 2021-2025,” explains George Agyekum Donkor, EBID’s chairman of the board of directors.

Source: AFRIK 21

Côte d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire validates its diagnostic study and action plan on PPP for infrastructure financing

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), in partnership with the Office of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Côte d'Ivoire and the National Steering Committee for public-private partnerships (PPP) of Côte d'Ivoire, organised a validation workshop of the diagnostic study of Côte d'Ivoire on PPPs in infrastructure. Scheduled for 6-7 March 2023, the aim of this workshop was to examine the findings of the scoping study on PPPs in infrastructure in Côte d'Ivoire, raise awareness and guide the debate on PPPs in infrastructure and their financing modalities in Côte d'Ivoire, and then develop an action plan for a short and medium term intervention. Côte d'Ivoire’s diagnostic study and related action plan are part of UNECA's "PPP for Infrastructure Financing" project, an initiative aiming, among other things, at increasing the number of infrastructure projects financed by PPPs and accelerating infrastructure development in Africa. Six African countries are involved in this process, namely Kenya, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, Cameroon and Côte d'Ivoire.

Source: UNECA

Equatorial Guinea

AEC, Equatorial Guinea discuss hydrocarbon regulation, enabling environments during dedicated CEMAC meeting

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) recently met with Equatorial Guinea’s Vice Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons, Domingo Mba Esono, to discuss how the country can strengthen its investment environment and the role African Energy Week will play in securing new capital for Equatorial Guinean energy projects. Discussions also centred on strengthening both the country’s and the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) region’s attractiveness as an investment destination. After congratulating Minister Esono’s appointment as Vice Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons in February 2023, the AEC went on to discuss the organisation’s openness and willingness to support the ministry as it moves to unlock sizable and long-term growth across the natural resource sector. As a country rich with oil (1.1 billion barrels) and natural gas (1.5 trillion cubic feet), Equatorial Guinea is committed to positioning itself as a regional hub, with initiatives such as the Gas Mega Hub – a comprehensive framework that aims to monetise offshore regional gas reserves while consolidating the country’s position as Africa’s top processing hub – representing key drivers of investment and global player participation.

Source: AEC


Fintechs tipped to drive next phase of digital banking shift

Banks and financial technology firms (Fintechs) have been tipped to deepen collaborations as customers continue to disrupt traditional models of banking. Speakers at the seventh edition of Connected Banking Summit themed Accelerating Digital Inclusion and Sustainable Transformation said banks and Fintechs will increasingly become collaborators as opposed to competitors to build digital banks. The summit’s series offers a platform for financial sector players to discuss ways of building future-oriented banking models that fit changing needs of customers without compromising on security and privacy. “Banks are partnering with Fintechs to meet speed and agility and this collaboration has to continue into the future. Fintechs cannot be seen as competitors who are eating into the income of banks,” said Winnie Syowai Onyancha, senior transaction banking manager at KCB Group. Customers are increasingly turning to digital channels such as mobile and internet banking in search of speed and convenience as opposed to visiting physical branches. Banks have been asked to collaborate with Fintechs to develop local solutions that can strike a balance between convenience, security and privacy.

Source: Business Daily Africa


KRA enlists big companies to arrest wealthy tax cheats

Bigger companies will be penalised for doing business with suppliers not listed on the electronic tax invoice registry in fresh efforts to weed out tax cheats and boost revenue. The Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) says it will not accept invoices from suppliers not captured in the electronic Tax Invoice Management System (e-TIMS), an internet-enabled tax register that relays real-time sales data to the taxman for firms registered to collect value-added tax (VAT). Now, the authority is seeking all suppliers to be listed in e-TIMs, expanding the registry’s mandate beyond VAT. With this new system, the KRA will not recognise expenses paid to suppliers not captured in e-registry, reducing a firm’s costs and inflating profits that ultimately increase their tax obligations. It is aimed at bringing on board small and medium businesses that are sometimes outside the tax net. The proposed regime will also help the KRA push traders to pay their fair share of taxes, part of a raft of measures to repair the Treasury’s coffers. The government plans to increase tax collection by 17% to KES2.57-trillion in its fiscal year starting in July.

Source: Business Daily Africa

Kenya / Tanzania

USD130.5-million LPG facility starts construction in Mombasa, Kenya

Construction has begun on a USD130.5-million re-filling plant for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and 30 000 tonnes storage facility at the Dongo Kundu Special Economic Zone in Kenya. Construction started on 24 February by Tanzania-based LPG distributor, Taifa Gas, and will service both Tanzania and Kenya in a bid to make clean cooking gas more affordable and accessible for both East African countries. “We are investing in infrastructure as an incentive to promote the use of cooking gas,” stated Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Energy and Petroleum, Davis Chirchir, adding that the East African country’s commission responsible for technical and economic regulation of electricity, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority, has issued several licences to private investors to construct bulk LPG facilities. The entry of Taifa Gas into Kenya’s gas market is a result of the East African country’s bid to form bilateral trade agreements with Tanzania. Construction of the LPG plant comes amid Kenya’s bid to achieve universal access to clean cooking energy by 2030, with the government having implemented plans to invest more than USD200-million – in addition to USD400-million in investments and tax relief – into the development of facilities designed to store and manage LPG.

Source: Energy Capital & Power


New AfDB study outlines steps to draw artisanal and small-scale miners into formal sector, boosting economy

Expanding financial access for Liberia’s artisanal and small-scale mining sub-sector is feasible through formalisation and de-risking measures, according to a recent study published by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Liberian government. According to the report, potential solutions to support the livelihoods of small-scale miners include setting up enabling regulatory and institutional frameworks and providing efficient extension services. The study draws on broad-based stakeholder consultations and a robust review and analysis of Liberia’s financial ecosystems and the artisanal and small-scale mining value chain. It offers a compelling case for greater financial inclusivity as a key enabler for small-scale miners in Liberia and includes a roadmap to formalise the sub-sector. The report posits ample opportunities for financial institutions to engage with the artisanal mining sub-sector, including offering tailored solutions. The report includes supply-side and demand-side interventions to drive financial inclusion. These interventions align with three pillars: access to financial services, promoting digital financial services and improving consumer protection and financial capabilities.

Source: AfDB


New solar plant in Malawi connected to grid

Serengeti Energy (previously rAREH) has announced the energisation of Nkhotakota 1, a 21 megawatt (MW), alternating current (MWac) solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant in the central region of Malawi. The solar PV plant was energised on 19 February. It is the first phase of two power projects which will eventually total approximately 38 MWac when completed. Nkhotakota 1 achieved mechanical completion while testing and commissioning is ongoing. Plans are underway to reach commercial operation date (COD) in the coming weeks. The power plant is owned by independent power producer (IPP) Serengeti Energy Limited. As part of the efforts of the Malawian government to meet the country’s shortfall in generation capacity against the existing demand, the 21 MW solar PV power plant will contribute to strengthening and diversifying the country’s energy mix. Most of Malawi’s existing installed generation capacity utilises hydro sources, with power plants cascaded along the Shire River in the southern part of the country.

Source: ESI Africa


Namibia's petroleum industry heats up with new oil discovery and investment opportunities

A recent announcement of the third oil discovery made in the offshore Orange Basin by Shell Namibia, Qatar Energy, and Total Energies brought Namibia's petroleum industry back into the limelight. As a result of the recent successful oil discoveries made, we picked up on an influx of international upstream and midstream service providers spurting to Namibia seeking their corporate residence in Namibia’s petroleum sector. We continue to watch as potential investors are continuously induced to invest in the exploration or production of petroleum or the provision of auxiliary upstream and midstream services in the country. Investors looking to explore and develop petroleum in Namibia will find the licensing regime for the petroleum sector to be straightforward. Additionally, those who wish to provide auxiliary upstream or midstream services to licensed companies can register their businesses in Namibia by complying with standard business registration and tax requirements. In as far as local content requirements are concerned, the conditions imposed on petroleum licences of exploration or production companies will best guide investors in regard to what local content requirements must be considered to provide auxiliary upstream or midstream services to licenced companies.

Source: ENSafrica

Namibia / Botswana

Namibia, Botswana sign historic border crossing deal

Namibia and Botswana have signed a historic agreement that will see the citizens of both countries using only their national identity documents to cross their borders. Namibian President Hage Geingob and his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi signed the memorandum of agreement (MoA) at the Trans-Kalahari/Mamuno common border in the east of Namibia. The launch is the first of its kind in Southern Africa. In signing this agreement, the two countries are following the objectives of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on the Facilitation of the Movement of Persons Treaty, which encourages the free movement of people within the region. The treaty is yet to be fully implemented across the region. Speaking at the event, Geingob said the agreement would ease the movement of people and goods between Botswana and Namibia, which he said was great for the two countries’ bilateral relations.

Source: New Era Live

Nigeria / The Gambia

Market report: Nigeria’s NNPC signs MoU to develop crude oil in The Gambia

The group managing director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPC), Mele Kyari, announced that NNPC has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with The Gambia to explore and develop crude oil. The NNPC will work with the Gambia National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to explore and evaluate potential oil resources in The Gambia. Kyari also stated that the MoU was a significant step towards further strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries. The GMD added that the exploration activities will include geological and geophysical studies, as well as seismic data acquisition and analysis, further adding that the NNPC will also work with the GNPC to identify potential exploration blocks and carry out drilling activities in the country. According to Kyari, the MoU will provide unique opportunities for the two countries to collaborate in the oil and gas sector. The signing of the MoU falls under efforts by Nigeria and the NNPC to maximise oil production locally and across the region.

Source: Energy Capital & Power

Tanzania / East Africa

Tanzania's president hands over a title deed on 125 acres of land in Arusha to the EAC

The President of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan officially handed over the title deed of 125 acres of land, to the East African Community (EAC) Secretary General, Dr Peter Mathuki. The land donated is located in Kisongo, Arusha and will be utilised in the community’s development and expansion drive. Dr Mathuki, who held talks with the president in the State House, in Arusha, appreciated the president for her continued commitment to supporting the EAC. “As intra-EAC trade grew to hit the USD10-billion mark, Tanzania’s trade with the region remained resilient during the COVID-19 pandemic (2019 – 2020) almost doubling in value (181%) from 2019 to 2022 and that’s thanks to your leadership,” he said. Tanzania’s key exports to the region include gas, cosmetics, cement, bricks, tiles, juices, cooking oil, and rice. The nation’s key imports from the EAC partners included pharmaceuticals products, soaps, plastic items and other consumer goods.

Source: EAC

Uganda / South Africa

Tax bodies agree on measures to boost Uganda-South Africa trade links

Uganda and South Africa have eased tax procedures for exporters on both sides, aimed at enhancing the movement of goods between the two countries. During the South Africa Uganda Business Forum in Pretoria, the two countries’ revenue bodies signed a Mutual Recognition Agreement on Authorities Economic Operators (AEOs). The deal between Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) and the South Africa Revenue Services (SARS) was described as vital for trade facilitation among the two African countries as AEOs from either country will access faster controls and reduced supervision for customs clearance. According to the World Customs Organization (WCO), an AEO is “a party involved in the international movement of goods that has been approved by, or on behalf of a national customs administration as complying with WCO or equivalent supply chain security standards.” “The importance of coordinated similar programmes lies in the ultimate goal of getting all national programmes cooperatively recognised, meaning that AEO accreditations have the same value everywhere,” says URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi Rujoki. This leads to secure supply chains being established.

Source: The Independent


Zimbabwe accedes to Afreximbank’s FEDA Establishment Agreement

Zimbabwe became the sixth signatory to the Establishment Agreement of the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA), the development impact-oriented subsidiary of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank). The agreement was recently signed by Dr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe. This accession marks another significant step forward in Afreximbank’s efforts to mobilise its member states to sign and ratify the Establishment Agreement of FEDA. It also demonstrates the growing support for FEDA as a new multilateral development platform. Following the announcement of its first close of USD670-million in September 2022, FEDA continues to build momentum for strategic interventions on the continent. Professor Benedict Oramah, president and board chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank and FEDA, said in part: “The accession to the FEDA Establishment Agreement by Zimbabwe is an important step that will pave the way for the ratification of the agreement in the coming months, thereby facilitating increased investment by FEDA in Zimbabwe. FEDA’s mandate is critical to African economies as it provides long-term capital with a focus on industrialisation, intra-African trade and value-added exports.”

Source: Afreximbank