Djibouti sets up sovereign wealth fund, targets $1.5 bln in 10 years

NAIROBI, June 25 (Reuters) – Djibouti is setting up a sovereign wealth fund for domestic and regional investment, aiming to fund it to the tune of $1.5 billion over the next decade, the government said on Thursday.

Wealthy nations traditionally use sovereign wealth funds to invest surplus billions overseas to prevent inflation at home, diversify income streams and accumulate savings.

Djibouti will however use its fund to finance domestic investment including in the telecoms, logistics and infrastructure sectors. It will also prioritize investments in the Horn of Africa region, the government said.

The tiny nation is home to both Chinese and U.S. naval bases. Its strategic position on the Gulf of Aden means it overlooks the world’s busiest shipping lanes for oil cargos.

The fund, whose sole shareholder is the government, will be required to reinvest all its net profits.

The government did not say how it will raise the cash for the fund, only stating that there will be “significant initial investment with recurring resources”.

“Despite the global health crisis related to the coronavirus pandemic, the country is determined, more than ever, to invest in the future and tomorrow’s economy,” the government said.

Reporting by Giulia Paravicini Editing by Duncan Miriri and Nick Macfie


Source: Infrastructure

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AUDA-NEPAD confirms Hubert Danso as Chairperson of the Continental Business Network Council

Institutional Investment Leader, Hubert Danso, internationally-renowned infrastructure Investment Advocate, was today formally appointed as the Chairperson of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) Continental Business Network Council (CBN). Mr Danso who held the position as CBN interim Chairperson since September 2019, is also the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Africa investor (Ai) Group and serves as the Chairman of the African Sovereign Wealth & Pension Fund Leaders Forum and Chairs the CFA New York Society, Global Asset Owners Advisory Council, comprising the largest institutional investor communities, with over $20trillion dollars of assets under management (AUM) and advisement. Mr Danso is also a Commissioner of the Blockchain Commission for Sustainable Development.

Speaking on Mr Danso’s appointment, as Chairperson of the CBN Council Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer, African Union Development Agency-NEPAD said:

“As CBN Interim Chairperson, you have played a critical role in advancing the work of the CBN. I commend you for your leadership and your dedication to the vision of the CBN. I look forward to working with you closely as Chairperson to advance the impact of the CBN and and I count on you to lead a dynamic African investment community response to the COVID-19 pandemic”.

As the CBN Chairman, Mr Danso will support the AUDA in its work with African Union Heads of State, infrastructure investment leaders and policy makers, to deepen the African investment community’s participation in the COVID-19 response, PIDA and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) projects, and support the implementation of the African Unions’ 5% Agenda Initiative, which is an African institutional investor compact with African Heads of State, to increase African institutional asset allocation to infrastructure, from approximately 1.5% of assets under management today, to 5% over the next 5 years.


Source: Infrastructure

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africa.com Webinar Session 10: Safeguarding Africa’s Food Systems Through And Beyond COVID-19

Safeguarding Africa’s Food Systems Through And Beyond COVID-19

Wednesday Webinar Series
Working with Harvard Business School faculty and our partners across Africa, Africa.com is pleased to offer this timely and valuable virtual conference series.

Session 10: June 13, 2020
Back by popular demand…

Led by Teresa Clarke, Chair and CEO of Africa.com:

 

About Africa.com
Africa.com is a media holding company with an extensive array of platforms that reach a
global audience interested in African content and community. Africa.com’s interests include
a business publisher’s ad network, content syndication, the website at www.iafrica.com,
email newsletters, various social media platforms, and internet domain names ending with
the “.africa.com” extension. Africa.com operates from Johannesburg, Lagos, and New York,
and has a presence in Cape Town and Nairobi.

Media Inquiries
Laura Joseph
Phone: +27 82 332 0473
Email: laura.joseph@africa.com


Source: Infrastructure

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africa.com Webinar Session10: New analyses and insights on the impact of COVID-19 on Africa’s agricultural and food systems

New analyses and insights on the impact of COVID-19 on Africa’s agricultural and food systems

Johannesburg, South Africa, June 13, 2020 – /  Africa.com, in collaboration with McKinsey & Co., will host the next session of Crisis Management for African Business Leaders on June 17. Safeguarding Africa’s Food Systems Through and Beyond the Crisis, features experts working with agricultural companies on development strategies, introduction of technology and creating sustainable employment opportunities for the continent’s burgeoning youth population.

The panel includes:

  • Linda Manda, Executive, Agribusiness, Corporate and Investment Banking, Standard Bank Group
  • Kola Masha, Managing Director, Babban Gona
  • Mezuo Nwuneli, Managing Partner, Sahel Capital Agribusiness Managers Ltd.
  • Gillian Pais, Partner and Leader, Africa Agriculture Group, McKinsey & Co
  • Atsuko Toda, Director, Agricultural Finance and Rural Infrastructure Development Department, African Development Bank

The webinar series draws the largest-ever gathering of African business leaders each week, with thousands of c-suite participants from 123 countries around the world – 46 countries on the African continent, and 77 countries in the rest of the world.

If you have not yet registered to attend the webinar, or for more information, visit VirtualConferenceAfrica.com.

New analyses and insights on the impact of COVID-19 on Africa’s agricultural and food systems

About Africa.com
Africa.com is a media holding company with an extensive array of platforms that reach a
global audience interested in African content and community. Africa.com’s interests include
a business publisher’s ad network, content syndication, the website at www.iafrica.com,
email newsletters, various social media platforms, and internet domain names ending with
the “.africa.com” extension. Africa.com operates from Johannesburg, Lagos, and New York,
and has a presence in Cape Town and Nairobi.

Media Inquiries
Laura Joseph
Phone: +27 82 332 0473
Email: laura.joseph@africa.com


Source: Infrastructure

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africa.com Webinar Session 9: What African Business Leaders Need To Know About Social Movements Gaining Momentum In 2020

What African Business Leaders Need To Know About Social Movements Gaining Momentum In 2020

Special Guest:  Jide Zeitlin

Wednesday Webinar Series
Working with Harvard Business School faculty and our partners across Africa, Africa.com is pleased to offer this timely and valuable virtual conference series.

Session 9: June 10, 2020
Back by popular demand…

Led by Teresa Clarke, Chair and CEO of Africa.com:

 

About Africa.com
Africa.com is a media holding company with an extensive array of platforms that reach a
global audience interested in African content and community. Africa.com’s interests include
a business publisher’s ad network, content syndication, the website at www.iafrica.com,
email newsletters, various social media platforms, and internet domain names ending with
the “.africa.com” extension. Africa.com operates from Johannesburg, Lagos, and New York,
and has a presence in Cape Town and Nairobi.

Media Inquiries
Laura Joseph
Phone: +27 82 332 0473
Email: laura.joseph@africa.com


Source: Infrastructure

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An African Model for This Moment: Local Institutional Funding of Infrastructure

  • Governments in the region are pushing for more high impact infrastructure investments, but public resources are increasingly under pressure.
  • Kenyan Pension Funds Investment Consortium (KEPFIC) is a leading initiative in Africa investing in infrastructure and private equity with potential for replication.
  • Building on an initial African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Fund Leaders Forum meeting hosted at the 2017 Africa investor (Ai) Infrastrurcture Investment Summit in Durban, MiDA Advisors, an investment advisory firm that assisted in the formation of KEPFIC, is working with Batseta, South Africa’s largest trade organization of pension funds, to replicate some of the achievements learned from the KEPFIC model.

As African debt levels shake regional economies and strain government coffers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the urgency of marshalling local savings for vital infrastructure is clear. Dwarfed in size by global institutions and commercial lending, however, African institutional investors have been slow to fully harness their market potential to fund infrastructure and other high impact equity investments.

What would happen if international development agencies used foreign assistance funding to help local investors access the markets and co-investment opportunities they need to propel their communities to prosperous, self-reliant futures?

Buey Ray Tut, a South Sudanese refugee and founder of Aqua Africa, has argued for years that foreign assistance funding models have merely progressed from “give a man a fish” to “teach a man to fish” approaches. “Why don’t we take that one step further?” he asked. “Why don’t we help the person create a market…so he could sell the fish [and be] aid independent?”

The international development community has increasingly responded, creating durable models with potential for replication. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), for example, has helped Kenyan institutional investors play a bigger role in financing the country’s infrastructure—the transportation, water, sanitation, energy, and housing projects integral for growing thriving and inclusive societies. Kenya currently faces an infrastructure investment gap of approximately $2.1 billion annually. Historically, the nation’s infrastructure has been funded by the public sector, increasingly under pressure to channel scarce resources toward blunting the impact of the pandemic on livelihoods and jobs.

In 2017, USAID’s Mobilizing Institutional Investors to Develop Africa’s Infrastructure (MiDA) Initiative and the World Bank began a partnership to lay the groundwork for enabling local pension funds to invest in alternative asset classes, such as infrastructure and private equity.

“The World Bank had been working in Kenya to reform the regulations around infrastructure investing,” says Aymeric Saha, who served as the managing director of the MiDA Initiative until its conclusion last year. “It was the right enabling environment for MiDA to engage with institutional investors. Kenya’s pension funds had been growing quickly, and their portfolios were highly concentrated in government securities and a few locally traded equities. They needed to diversify.”

Investing in infrastructure has generally yielded attractive returns for investors. However, these projects require expensive structuring and due diligence fees, causing most asset owners worldwide to stay away from the asset class.

“We decided that the best way to move forward was to support the creation of a consortium of local institutional investors that would enable them to jointly explore investment opportunities in alternative assets,” says Saha.

In 2018, six local funds formed the Kenyan Pension Funds Investment Consortium (KEPFIC), which allows the funds to share the costs, knowledge, and due diligence teams necessary for exploring these opportunities. It also enables greater mobilization of capital and increased bargaining power. As of 2020, 12 local funds have joined KEPFIC, and another eight are in the process of joining.

USAID, through the Kenya Investment Mechanism, is assisting KEPFIC with the establishment of a secretariat and a legal structure, and MiDA Advisors, an advisory firm established by Saha and others to continue the MiDA Initiative’s mission, is helping to ensure that KEPFIC has the highest standards of governance and a strong investment strategy.

KEPFIC will begin the raise for its first shared fund this year, starting with $2 million commitments from its founding members. In partnership with USAID INVEST,  MiDA Advisors is assisting KEPFIC with the selection of its asset manager.

“Facilitating co-investment with U.S. pension funds is one of KEPFIC’s long-term goals, and that requires having an asset manager who can address the concerns of both local and U.S. funds,” says Saha.

Some KEPFIC members have already begun investing in alternative assets. Kenyan Power Pension Fund and Britam Insurance recently made commitments to Everstrong Capital, a U.S.-based asset management firm focused on investing in African infrastructure. Such investments have a significant impact on the local communities.

“The Everstrong Kenya Infrastructure Fund is designed to mobilize capital which is critical in meeting the funding gap for infrastructure in Kenya and selected other regions of East Africa,” explains Philip Dyk, managing partner at Everstrong Capital. “Investments in infrastructure provide diversification to fund investors because of the predictable, long-term revenue and low correlation to economic cycles. Energy, transport, communications, and water utility assets provide essential services that are used even during times of uncertainty, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Other KEPFIC members— KenGen Defined Contribution Scheme and other pension funds—have approved commitments to a private equity fund managed by Development Partners International (DPI), a London-based pan-African private equity firm. DPI invests in companies that benefit from the growth of Africa’s emerging middle class and provides the technical assistance needed to ensure that each portfolio company and its employees thrive.

A meeting between MiDA and Batesta, South Africa’s largest trade organization of pension funds, hosted at the 2017 Africa investor (Ai) Infrastructure Investment Summit in Durban, throught a partnership with the African Sovereign Wealth and Pension Fund Leaders Forum, is now bearing fruit for expanded opportunities. MiDA Advisors is working with Batseta to help kickstart the formation of a South African consortium initiative, replicating aspects of the KEPFIC model. South Africa’s funds will seek solutions tailored to the country’s larger and more advanced capital markets, financial institutions, and infrastructure developers.

The appeal and adaptability of consortium models makes them a viable option for other African nations seeking to mobilize local resources for financing their infrastructure needs.  “Establishing these consortiums definitely speaks to using development assistance as a means for creating self-reliance,” says Saha. “Local pension funds will now be effectively investing local savings in sectors that are creating jobs for people, having significant impact on the economic development of Africa, and producing humanitarian outcomes for local communities.”

By Vanessa Holcomb Mann, Senior Investment Advisor, and Emily Langhorne, Specialist, USAID INVEST


Source: Infrastructure

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Africa investor RegTech Investors Summit Calls for Acceleration of eTrade Negotiations on the African Continental Free Trade Area due to COVID-19

Africa investor (Ai) today confirmed it successfully hosted the Africa investor RegTech Investors Consultative Summit, which convened leading RegTech investors from across the continent and globe. The Summit overwhelmingly call called on African Union Heads of State as a consequence of COVID-19 and to protect African economic growth and the digitzation of SME’s, to accelerate the eTrade Negotiations on the African Continental Free Trade Area from 2022 to 2021.

The Africa investor (Ai) RegTech Investors Consultative Summit was held in partnership with AfricaPLC (Ai’s eTrade and eTrade Finance and Logistics Marketplace Platform), and the Africa Fintech Summit.

The Summit which was Chaired by Hubert Danso, CEO and Chairman Africa investor Group and Chairman, African Union Development Agency (AUDA) Continental Business Network (CBN), builds on the recent Africa investor (Ai) African eTrade Leaders Consultative Summit, held with the Secretary Generals of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Berne Union International Union of Credit & Investment Insurers, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the World Trade Organization (WTO), following which, the CBN requested a follow up RegTech Investors Consultative Summit, to generate concrete recommendations from leading global RegTech stakeholders as part of its Policy Recommendations Statement (PRS), to be submitted by the CBN on eTrade and the AfCFTA to African Union Heads of State in light of COVD-19. 

With a 103% increase in year on year (YoY) investment during the first 3 quarters of 2019, RegTech is one of the fastest growing tech categories for global investors. As African governments accelerate the adoption of technology and pursue an ambitious regional eTrade and eCommerce agenda through the USD $3.2 trillion African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), a unique opportunity exists for African governments to employ RegTech solutions to greatly reduce the administrative burden and costs of ensuring firms and individuals are compliant when doing business both within and between African borders. The RegTech investment community has been tasked to table solutions and proposals that allow African governments, regulators and companies, to take a more proactive tech driven approach to tackling regulatory challenges before they occur. 

The Summit comprised two roundtables, Panel 1 focused on Setting the Stage for RegTech Development in Africa: identifying key trends, problems, and opportunities driving the need for RegTech solutions and the second Panel 2, addressed Bringing RegTech Investment Models to Market: building for adoption, investability and the unique considerations in RegTech.

Summit discussion leaders included Hubert Danso, CEO and Chairman, Africa investor Group, Chairman, African Union Development Agency-Continental Business Network, Ashley Smith, Head of Partnerships, Africa Fintech Summit , CBO, Dedalus Global, Alastair Tempest, CEO, ECommerce Forum of Africa , Devraj Basu, Senior Lecturer in Finance, Strathclyde Business School, Mark Henderson, Founding Partner, Agile Process Innovation , Michelle Chivunga N, Founder, CEO, and Investor, Global Policy House UK , Paul Smith, Former President and CEO, CFA Institute, Alan Jeftha, Partner, Dentons , Jason Blackman, Senior Director, Customs, Trade Compliance and Regulatory Affairs, DHL Express,  Kenneth A. Goodwin, Senior Managing Principal and Founder, Remonda Kirketerp-Møller, CEO and Founder, muinmos, Chris Southworth, Secretary General, ICC United Kingdom.

3 global polls were conducted during Summit that were participated in by stakeholders from across the continent and globally through Facebook, where the Summit was being live streamed to the international investment community and Africans in the Diaspora, which produced the following results:

  1. GLOBAL POLL 1: Should the African Continental Free Trade Area Heads of State accelerate the negotiations on E-Commerce and E-Trade from 2022 to 2021, because of the urgent needs to digitize driven by Trade Distancing’ and COVID-19?
    ü Yes – 98%
    ü No – 2%
  2. GLOBAL POLL 2: What are your top 5 Trade Regulatory Ecosystem problems you feel RegTech could solve (list in order of priority)?:
    * Access to Trade Finance  – 64%
    * Buyer and seller vetting data – 61%
    * Logistics – 57%
    * Customs – 48%
    * Import-Export Licensing – 30%
  3. GLOBAL POLL 3: Should there be closer partnerships between Market Participants, RegTech Investors, Developers, Regulators and African Policy Makers?
    * ü Yes – 96%
    * ü No  –  4%

The Summit concluded with the African Union’s Continental Business Network (CBN) and AfricaPLC as the principal eTrade platform, to advance the policy recommendations resulting from the Consultative process and to present the Recommendations to the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat and  the AfricaPLC eTrade platform undertaking to run RegTech pilot projects with technology partners on the 5 priority areas resulting from the poll (Trade Finance, Buyer and Seller Vetting Data, Logistics, Customs and Import-Export Licensing RegTech solutions.

View the Discussion: Africa investor RegTech Investors Consultative Summit

For more information contact:
Hubert Danso,
CEO and Chairman, Africa investor Group, Chairman, African Continental Business Network (CBN)
Email: wedwards@africainvestor.com


Source: Infrastructure

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africa.com Webinar Session 8: LAW AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT

LAW AND CRISIS MANAGEMENT

Working with Lawyers in Business, Government, and Society to Manage the Challenges of COVID-19

 


Wednesday Webinar Series
Working with Harvard Business School faculty and our partners across Africa, Africa.com is pleased to offer this timely and valuable virtual conference series.

Session 8: June 03, 2020
Back by popular demand…

Led by Teresa Clarke, Chair and CEO of Africa.com:

Law & Crisis Management Flyer

About Africa.com
Africa.com is a media holding company with an extensive array of platforms that reach a
global audience interested in African content and community. Africa.com’s interests include
a business publisher’s ad network, content syndication, the website at www.iafrica.com,
email newsletters, various social media platforms, and internet domain names ending with
the “.africa.com” extension. Africa.com operates from Johannesburg, Lagos, and New York,
and has a presence in Cape Town and Nairobi.

Media Inquiries
Laura Joseph
Phone: +27 82 332 0473
Email: laura.joseph@africa.com


Source: Infrastructure

Read more...

africa.com Webinar Session 7: Brilliant African Innovations Against COVID-19

Brilliant African Innovations Against COVID-19

Including the winners…

 


Wednesday Webinar Series
Working with Harvard Business School faculty and our partners across Africa, Africa.com is pleased to offer this timely and valuable virtual conference series.

Session 7: May 29, 2020
Back by popular demand…

Led by Teresa Clarke, Chair and CEO of Africa.com:

https://virtualconferenceafrica.com/brilliant-african-innovations/

About Africa.com
Africa.com is a media holding company with an extensive array of platforms that reach a
global audience interested in African content and community. Africa.com’s interests include
a business publisher’s ad network, content syndication, the website at www.iafrica.com,
email newsletters, various social media platforms, and internet domain names ending with
the “.africa.com” extension. Africa.com operates from Johannesburg, Lagos, and New York,
and has a presence in Cape Town and Nairobi.

Media Inquiries
Laura Joseph
Phone: +27 82 332 0473
Email: laura.joseph@africa.com


Source: Infrastructure

Read more...

Africa investor (Ai) Chief speaks to FinTechTV about COVID-19, investments and digitization in Africa

Hubert Danso Ai CEO and Chairman spoke with Vincent Molinari, Host, Fintech.TV & TheIMPACT, about Ai’s upcoming RegTech Investors Consultative Summit, the African Continental Free Trade Area, the AfricaPLC eTrade Platform initiative and institutional infrastructure investments – watch:

Developing REGTECH in Africa and COVID-19 Impact


Source: Infrastructure

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