Key Devel­op­ment and Fi­nance Up­dates

Financial Nigeria Magazine - - Contents -

China Grants $32 mil­lion For ECOWAS's new HQ in Abuja

China an­nounced late in March that it will pro­vide the Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity of West African States (ECOWAS) $31.6 mil­lion grant to con­struct a new head­quar­ters in Abuja, Nige­ria's fed­eral cap­i­tal city.

The pres­i­dent of ECOWAS, Jean-Claude Brou, said the grant was a mark of good­will from China and re­it­er­ated the subre­gional or­ga­ni­za­tion's com­mit­ment to pro­mot­ing fu­ture West Africa-China co­op­er­a­tion.

At least 70 per­cent of China's over­seas aid went to Africa from 2000 to 2014, ac­cord­ing to AidData. China con­structed the $200 mil­lion African Union's head­quar­ters in Ad­dis Ababa in 2012. In 2017, the world's sec­ond-largest econ­omy also broke ground on the fully-funded $58 mil­lion par­lia­ment build­ing in Braz­zav­ille, cap­i­tal of Repub­lic of Congo.

Siemens cre­ates op­por­tu­ni­ties for dig­i­tal­iza­tion skills devel­op­ment across Africa

Siemens, the Ger­man in­dus­trial con­glom­er­ate, is hand­ing over equip­ment specif­i­cally re­lated to in­dus­trial au­to­ma­tion that en­ables in­te­grated en­gi­neer­ing to 13 en­gi­neer­ing fac­ul­ties at uni­ver­si­ties in Ghana, Tan­za­nia, Kenya and South Africa. This is part of the com­pany's com­mit­ment to sus­tain­able skills devel­op­ment across the con­ti­nent. The value of the equip­ment is about $400,000.00.

Ac­cord­ing to The Fu­ture of Jobs and Skills in Africa Re­port, by the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum (WEF), it is pre­dicted that 44 per­cent of all work ac­tiv­i­ties in Ethiopia are sus­cep­ti­ble to au­to­ma­tion, as are 46 per­cent in Nige­ria, 52 per­cent in Kenya and 41 per­cent in South Africa.

How­ever, data col­lected by WEF in key African mar­kets shows em­ploy­ers across the re­gion iden­tify in­ad­e­quately skilled work­forces as a ma­jor con­straint to their busi­nesses. In South Africa alone, 39 per­cent of core skills re­quired across oc­cu­pa­tions will be wholly dif­fer­ent by 2020.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment by Siemen, “the best way for African mar­kets to ben­e­fit from the dig­i­tal revo­lu­tion is to com­bine skills train­ing and im­proved or new in­fra­struc­ture.”

The fac­tory au­to­ma­tion and elec­tri­cal en­gi­neer­ing equip­ment do­na­tions were made to Kwame Nkrumah Uni­ver­sity of Science and Tech­nol­ogy, Ghana; Dar-EsSalaam In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, Tan­za­nia; Dedan Ki­mathi Uni­ver­sity of Tech­nol­ogy (DeKUT), Kenya; and nine Uni­ver­si­ties and Col­leges across South Africa.

Di­dier Drogba launches StanChart's dig­i­tal bank in Cote d'Ivoire

Stan­dard Char­tered Bank (StanChart) on March 16th an­nounced the of­fi­cial launch of its dig­i­tal bank in Côte d’Ivoire. This marked the Bank’s first dig­i­tal bank in Africa and the first-of-its-kind to open in Côte d’Ivoire.

Mr. Bruno Nabagné Kone, Min­is­ter of In­for­ma­tion Tech­nolo­gies and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion of the Repub­lic of Côte d'Ivoire, was the guest of hon­our at the of­fi­cial launch event. The event was at­tended by dig­ni­taries, busi­ness lead­ers, clients and se­nior man­age­ment, as well as sport­ing leg­end and Ivo­rian icon, Di­dier Drogba.

As the Bank’s Dig­i­tal Am­bas­sador, Drogba shared his ex­pe­ri­ence on the ease of open­ing an ac­count us­ing his mo­bile phone. He was the first per­son in Côte d’Ivoire to open a dig­i­tal ac­count at the Bank.

Com­ment­ing on the launch, Su­nil Kaushal, Re­gional CEO, Africa and Mid­dle East at StanChart said: “This is a key mile­stone on our dig­i­tal jour­ney as a Bank and un­der­lines our com­mit­ment to in­vest­ing and grow­ing in the mar­ket. We have been steadily in­vest­ing in ex­pand­ing our foot­print in Africa over the years, and this will con­tinue to be a pri­or­ity mov­ing for­ward.”

The bank’s dig­i­tal ser­vices are avail­able by down­load­ing the Stan­dard Char­tered mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion. New clients can ex­e­cute all of their bank­ing ac­tiv­i­ties right from their mo­bile de­vices, start­ing by open­ing their bank ac­count in less than 15 min­utes. They can also pro­vide all ver­i­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments by up­load­ing to the ap­pli­ca­tion and fully com­plete their on­board­ing process within min­utes.

Coca-Cola part­ners In­tel­sat to stim­u­late ru­ral growth

Coca-Cola and In­tel­sat have joined forces to help stim­u­late eco­nomic and so­cial growth in the world's ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties by lever­ag­ing VSAT in­ter­net con­nec­tion. This en­tails of­fer­ing Wi-Fi hotspots in Co­caCola's small re­tail kiosks in de­vel­op­ing re­gions, in­clud­ing Sub Sa­ha­ran Africa.

Tagged the Eko­cen­tre project, the goal is to en­able long-term sus­tain­able so­lu­tions that ben­e­fit both the lo­cal com­mu­nity and Coca-Cola's busi­ness.

The Eko­cen­tres aim to de­liver sim­ple ben­e­fits like en­ter­tain­ment, such as gath­er­ing the com­mu­nity to­gether to watch a movie or a soc­cer game. Coca-Cola is also look­ing for ways to ex­pand the con­nec­tiv­ity to the broader ecosys­tem around the kiosks, such as bring­ing nearby schools, health­care cen­tres, and com­mu­nity cen­tres on­line.

From a busi­ness per­spec­tive, the Eko­cen­tres' so­lar power com­bined with WiFi opens up op­por­tu­ni­ties such as ecom­merce, bank­ing, ad­ver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing, or pass­ing along rel­e­vant mar­ket prices to lo­cal farm­ers. Ac­cord­ing to a study by the World Bank, a 10 per­cent in­crease in broad­band pen­e­tra­tion also cor­re­lates di­rectly to a 1.38 per­cent in­crease in GDP growth.

Where it is cul­tur­ally ten­able, Coca-Cola is run­ning the cen­tre with women, in line with its 5by20 pro­gramme, which aims to eco­nom­i­cally em­power five mil­lion women by 2020.

Chelsea FC leg­end and Ivo­rian foot­baller Di­dier Drogba

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