The International Energy Agency (IEA) appoints first Africa Programme Manager to expand engagement on energy issues across the continent
IEA seeks to expand its analysis and partnerships with African countries, as the continent’s role in global energy affairs expands
PARIS, France, February 24, 2020/ — The International Energy Agency (IEA) (https://www.IEA.org/) hired Maximilian Jarrett as its first Africa Programme Manager to help expand the Agency’s reach and coordinate its work as it deepens its engagement across the continent.
Mr Jarrett brings 30 years of experience in the fields of international economic affairs, media production and strategic communications. He most recently served as the Director-in-Charge of the Geneva-based Africa Progress Panel, which was chaired by the late Kofi Annan, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former UN Secretary General.
The IEA has long focused on Africa’s energy sector, including work on the continent’s energy access issues since 2002. This work has since expanded significantly and will continue to do so in the coming years. Last year, Dr Kandeh Yumkella, a former United Nations Under-Secretary-General, became (http://bit.ly/37SViLt) an advisor to the IEA on Africa and energy access issues.
In October, the IEA published Africa Energy Outlook 2019 (http://bit.ly/37TlIfS) its most comprehensive and in-depth work to date about the continent, with a particular emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa. The special report, part of the IEA’s flagship World Energy Outlook, highlighted Africa’s increasing role in global energy affairs and included detailed energy profiles of 11 countries that represent three-quarters of the region’s gross domestic product and energy demand, including Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya and Ghana.
The IEA is also strengthening its relationships with African energy decision-makers(http://bit.ly/37UPXDe). South Africa and Morocco are part of the IEA family as Association countries. In May 2019, the IEA and the African Union Commission co-hosted their first joint ministerial summit at which the two organisations signed a Memorandum of Understanding to guide future collaboration. A second ministerial forum will be held in 2020, with South Africa offering to host the event in line with its 2020 presidency of the African Union.
Prior to his role with the Africa Progress Panel, Mr Jarrett spent over a decade working with the United Nations in Africa. He had started his career in 1990 as a programme presenter and senior producer with the BBC World Service. He worked on Focus on Africa and Network Africa, the BBC’s daily current affairs programmes for its audience in Africa.
ITFC SIGNS A MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING WITH THE AFRICAN UNION TO SUPPORT AFRICAN OIC COUNTRIES TO FAST-TRACK THE BENEFITS OF THE AfCFTA AND INCREASE THEIR SHARE OF INTRA-AFRICAN TRADE
(Jeddah, KSA, February 24th 2020) – The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC), a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the African Union to partner on joint activities to boost inter-regional trade bet
The MoU was signed by the African Union’s Commissioner of Trade and Industry, H.E Albert Muchanga, representing the Chairperson of the AU Commission, and ITFC CEO, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol. “The signing of the MOU formalises the partnership between AU and ITFC and opens new avenues and opportunities for collaboration to increase intra-Africa trade, in particular in the context of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), under which trading will start on 1st July 2020” indicated Commissioner Muchanga.
The benefits of the MoU were outlined by the CEO of the ITFC, Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol: “This MoU comes at a time of great progress for African cooperation, serving to align common socio-economic goals with sustainable trade development and a shared desire to serve the continent’s 1.3 billion citizens with quality African goods and services. Collaborating on the Intra African Trade Fair and the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges Program makes very good sense and this MoU allows us to work comprehensively to further our mutual goal of improving lives
One of the key initiatives that would be at the centre of the collaboration between the two organizations is the Arab-Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program, launched by ITFC in 2017 to unlock regional trade and investment opportunities between the Arab and African regions. With 27 OIC member countries in Africa, the MOU provides a framework for accelerating the social andeconomic integration of the continent; and to promote sustainable development.
Areas of collaboration will include trade promotion between African OIC member countries through the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), which will hold its second edition on 1-7 September 2020 in Kigali, Rwanda, where ITFC is a key partner through the Arab Africa Trade Bridges (AATB) Program –ITFC’s flagship program.
The MoU comes at a critical moment in the region’s history, only months after the ratification of the AfCFTA by 28 African countries, which represents a major alignment of strategies that will serve to further develop regional and global value chains. AU Commissioner for Trade and Industry, commenting on the objectives of the MoU, indicated that, “By collaborating with the ITFC we are able to fast-track many of the benefits of the new Continental Free Trade Area including through support to African SMEs, support to State Parties to implement complementary measures for the productive sector and facilitation of the emergence of “big and innovative companies” on the continent. With these interventions, AU-ITFC’s partnership will undoubtedly contribute to boosting trade not only between the 27 African OIC countries but also between them and the other African countries and beyond.
Sanlam Financial Journalism Awards entries close on 28 FebruaryThe Awards, running for the 45th consecutive year, recognise the best financial reporting by reporters based in Africa
CAPE TOWN, South Africa, February 24, 2020/ — With 5 days before entries close for the 2019 Sanlam (https://www.Sanlam.com/) Financial Journalist of the Year Awards at midnight on 28 February, reporters practising financial journalism in Africa are encouraged to submit their best work for the competition.
The Awards, running for the 45th consecutive year, recognise the best financial reporting by reporters based in Africa, publishing or broadcasting commendable journalism about the continent. Representing the longest running awards dedicated to financial journalism in Africa, their objective is to support the development of journalism.
The Awards attract keen interest from journalists across the continent. In 2018, 78 journalists representing 58 media organisations submitted 97 entries.
Entrants must submit their submissions through Sanlam’s website: http://bit.ly/2VfcTdI
The African Growth Story category, which recognises the best journalism covering the significance of business and investment on the continent, is open to financial journalists based in Africa who publish and/or broadcast their work on the region. Entries for this category must focus on the growth of the continent in terms of investment, infrastructure development, economic progress and related topics. Stories also should incorporate a continental outlook.
Previous winners of the African Growth Story category include Isaac Anyaogu of Business Dayin Nigeria (2018), Dominic Omondi of The Standard newspaper in Kenya (2017), and Ancillar Mangena of Forbes Africa in South Africa (2016).
The other categories are open to journalists working in print, radio, TV and online media in South Africa. They are:
All five categories recognise financial journalists who produced compelling business stories between 1 January and 30 December 2019.
Additionally, the judging panel bestows special awards, which are:
The Special Awards recognise journalists based on the discretion of the judging panel, which exercises a nomination and rigorous evaluation process.
Isaac Anyaogu from the Business Day newspaper in Nigeria, and former Forbes Africa writers, Melitta Ngalonkulu (now with Moneyweb) and Aviwe Mtila (now with eNCA TV) are some of the recent Best Newcomer category winners for 2018, 2017, 2016 respectively.
Neville Otuki, former business reporter at Energy Siren News in Kenya and a runner up in the best newcomer category in 2018, says, “Society has critical business stories the public needs to know. It is important we amplify these stories. Being acknowledged by the awards for doing so is humbling and equally rewarding, not only for journalists but for our profession as well.”
Previous winners of the journalist of the year award include Rob Rose editor of Financial Mail (2018), Sikonathi Mantshantsha, former editor at Scorpio, the Investigative Unit of Daily Maverick (2017), and Susan Comrie of AmaBhungane (2016).
Information about the eligibility, criteria, and entry submission process for the awards are available at http://bit.ly/32kKCnL.
The Creative industry group LAGOS GIVEAWAY TRAINING. SEMINAR & WORKSHOP which took place repectively on the 17th & 18th February 2020 at The Ambiance and White House Hotels both in Ikeja Lagos was big success.
It was a season of showing profitable love by giving back to the budding Youths and the Society at large.
It was not only interesting but unifying as Legendary Paul Obazele motivated and tutored the Participants on marketing & managerial Entrepreneurial skills for the first day whilst the all-time award Winner extraordinary & visionary Zeb Ejiro capped the last day with his impeccable but practicable words of wisdom on the place of dedication in the success journey.
We also had other professionals who gave their time and skilled knowledge to the participants in persons of Matthew Simpa who tutored on Video Production & Editing, Mimi of Naekora cakes who tutored on the basics of Cake Making, Abdullahi Umar on Brand Marketing, Capriz Osagie on Beauty and Hair Retouch Techniques, Teddy Momoh on Broadcasting and Ayeesha Elan on Copywriting.
All Participants were certified and full of satisfaction to the admiration of all and sundry.
The European Union is planning to soon tighten the procedures for getting a Schengen Visa for the nationals of Nigeria, as the latter is failing to play its part in the return and readmission of its nationals staying illegally in Europe.
According to the EU Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Virginie Battu-Henriksson, the EU may introduce several measures what will make it more difficult for Nigerians to get a Schengen Visa, as a result of the country’s noncooperating government.
“What the EU can do since new rules on short-stay visas to the EU became applicable on 2 February 2020, is to adapt the rules on processing short-stay visa applications, depending on whether a non-EU country cooperates satisfactorily on the return and readmission of their nationals staying irregularly in the EU,” Battu-Henriksson explains while adding that this is by no way a ban on Nigerian nationals, like the one the US President Donald Trump introduced lately on Nigeria.
The new rules on Schengen visas that Battu-Henriksson mentions derive from the recently updated Schengen Visa code, which the EU Commission to regularly assess the level of cooperation of non-EU countries on the readmission of irregular migrants.
If the level of cooperation is insufficient, the commission, together with member states, can decide on a temporary more restrictive implementation of certain provisions of the visa code.
This could have an impact on the processing time, the length of validity of the visa to be issued, the level of the visa fee to be charged and the fee waivers.
Spokesperson Battu-Henriksson also claims that Nigerians are still among the top 10 nationalities detected as staying irregularly in the EU although the number of Nigerians travelling irregularly to the EU had dropped.
“Nigerians still place among the top 10 nationalities detected as staying irregularly on the EU territory, although the number of Nigerians entering the EU irregularly declined drastically last year,” she said.
Statistics by SchengenVisaInfo.com show that in 2018, Schengen embassies and consulates in Nigeria processed 88,587 visa applications, 44,076 of which were rejected thus marking the highest rejection rate of 49.8% among all third-countries in need of visas.
France was the top favourite country for visa submission, as 33,308 of the applications submitted in Nigeria were for Schengen visas to France, followed by Italy with 13,295 and Germany with 10,847 applications.
In terms of expenditures, in 2018, Nigerians spent €5,315,220 (N2. 2 billion) in visa applications to Europe, €2,644,560 (N1. 2 billion) of which money was spent by applicants who had their visas rejected
Ministry of Petroleum Releases Annual Report
Petroleum Report Provides Detailed Financial Information and Statistics from the South Sudan Oil Sector
JUBA, South Sudan, February 20, 2020/ — The seventh Petroleum Report issued by the Ministry of Petroleum, Republic of South Sudan (http://www.MOP-RSS.org/), provides an overview of world oil markets and fundamentals, price forecasts, oilfield reserves, and the ministry’s marketing performance. It forms part of continued efforts by Hon. Eng. Awow Daniel Chuang, the Minister of Petroleum, to promote openness and accountability in this crucial sector, “We are trying to increase transparency in the country’s oil and gas sector, specifically concerning the financial aspects. The Ministry of Petroleum has produced this journal which will provide all the information about our production, sales, and even the environment. We include all the opportunities in South Sudan regarding refineries, pipelines and other facilities. All this information is now available, and everyone will have access to it.”
The report outlines the ministry’s infrastructure plans, including refineries and storage depots and provides insight into how the country has advanced its sales of crude oil on the open market. South Sudan recognizes that the sector needs to continue to develop with buyer and market diversification, and a better understanding of global economics and pricing analysis. The ministry is aiming to establish on-line communications with global oil markets and the main world crude oil pricing center, Platts in London.
The release of the report follows closely the announcement of the country’s first environmental audit of all operating oilfields. This will assist in rehabilitation efforts and prevent future problems. The ministry’s exploration and production department is at the same time engaged in promoting new blocks ready for international investors looking for lucrative opportunities.
The aim of this one, and future Marketing Reports is to provide comprehensive information which clearly explains the monetization of South Sudan’ crude oil. The emphasis is on transparency and full compliance with the country’s legislative requirements for information disclosure.
The Petroleum Ministry has also improved its website, http://www.MOP-RSS.org/ which contains detailed information about the current oil-producing blocks, as well as the day to day operation of the department. All the information that investors may need is now available, including all the financial information dating from 2011, the country’s independence.
Next Steps to U.S.-Kenya Free Trade Agreement
A Kenya-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) would build on the success Kenya has experienced in producing and exporting a range of value-added products to the U.S. market
NAIROBI, Kenya, February 20, 2020/ — Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) (https://www.CorporateCouncilonAfrica.com/) in partnership with Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) hosted a roundtable discussion with Kenyan and U.S. business leaders and government officials to explore how the private sector can support this bilateral effort and take full advantage of investment and trade opportunities that will arise from a Kenya-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
This comes as a follow up to the recent visit of H.E. President Kenyatta to the United States, where the U.S. and Kenyan Government announced the launch of talks aimed at establishing a free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries. If successful, it would be the first U.S. FTA with a sub-Saharan African nation and potentially a model the United States will use to enhance its trade and investment relationship with other African countries.
Ms. Florizelle Liser, President and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA), noted that a Kenya-U.S. FTA could build on Kenya’s success in trading value-added products under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). “It is also an opportunity” she said, “for the private sectors of both the U.S. and Kenya to deepen trade and investment ties in key sectors from energy to banking, construction, ICT/digital trade, health, manufacturing and services trade.”
Ms. Liser mentioned that the roundtable today was the first of many that CCA plans on hosting with KEPSA as a long-time partner. “We would like to use this platform to provide regular updates on ongoing negotiations, ensure private sector participation and support, and extract real time opportunities for businesses.”
KEPSA CEO, Ms. Carole Karuga, in her opening remarks emphasized the importance of growth of the FTA between Kenya and the USA stating that the increased trade opportunity for export and import would lead to growth of business.
Ms. Karuga pointed out that Kenya is the leader of the East African Community and went further to underscore that Kenya, among the businesses in Africa participating in global trade, is leading the pact.
“Kenya should draw lessons from Morocco on the challenges and opportunities that are emerging with the free trade agreement between them and the US in order to learn and eventually do better,” she urged.
U.S. Ambassador to Kenya, Kyle McCarter who spoke at the event said: “We look forward to working together to create a free-trade agreement that allows Kenyan and American businesses to benefit from increased access to each other’s markets and one where both our consumers will enjoy greater prosperity though expanded choice and competition within the marketplace. A successful U.S.-Kenya FTA will stand as a landmark for East Africa and for all of Africa.”
PS, State Department of Trade, Amb. Johnson Weru appreciated the synergy between Government and private sector, adding that the government is willing to walk this journey together with the private sector. “As we speak there is a government team that is also dissecting the deliberations that took place in Washington last week. Kenya has a great appetite for this opportunity.”
Dr. Ruth Kagia, Senior Advisor, in the Office of the President, appreciated the discussion that took place in Washington pointing out that this has the highest political support.
A Kenya-U.S. FTA would build on the success Kenya has experienced in producing and exporting a range of value-added products to the U.S. market under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), while enhancing two-way trade, strengthening commercial cooperation, and spurring investment into key sectors.
KEPSA and CCA signed an MoU to promote mutual interests through cooperation in the promotion of trade and investment opportunities in Kenya. This emphasizes on the need to explore opportunities between Kenya and the USA on the backdrop of the commencement of the negotiations on the free trade agreement between Kenya and USA.
Free trade increases prosperity for the citizens of all participating nations by allowing consumers to buy more, better-quality products at lower costs. It drives economic growth, enhanced efficiency, increased innovation, and the greater fairness that accompanies a rules-based system. These benefits increase as overall trade exports and imports increases.
The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) Continues its Role in Strengthening Islamic Trade Finance in the Kyrgyz Republic and Support Leading Financial Institutions
(Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 20 February 2020) – The International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) organized its second three-day workshop on Advanced Islamic Trade Finance for Leading Financial Institutions (FIs) operating in the Kyrgyz Republic. This workshop falls under the Framework Agreement signed in 2019 between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and ITFC.
The workshop witnessed the participation of 27 bankers from ten leading financial institutions (FIs) in the Republic, for the purpose of enhancing their knowledge and understanding on Islamic Finance products and services and addressing capacity related obstacles faced by the FIs in this area. The workshop also serves as a platform to contribute to the advancement and promotion of Islamic finance products and services in the Kyrgyz Republic.
The Kyrgyz Republic is amongst the few countries that are viable for the expansion of Islamic trade finance solutions. Offering new trade solutions and working closer to the private sector are the key triggers to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and developmental aspirations of the Government of Kyrgyz Republic.
It is worth noting that ITFC organized the first workshop in 2019 in partnership with the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic, where 45 participants representing FIs and trade development institutions benefited from the workshop. In addition, ITFC has provided a training to the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic, during the training provided to CIS central banks + Afghanistan in Istanbul. Also in 2019 ITFC extended financing to two FIs operating in the Kyrgyz Republic for the onward support of SMEs and the private sector.
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