Investing to change lives: IFC and AfDB seek to boost private sector in Africa

IFC-LogoEnhancing partnerships with a view to boosting private sector as the driving force for sustainable and inclusive growth in Africa is one of the main priorities for the African Development Bank’s Private Sector Department (OPSD) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

For this reason, the African Development Bank hosted a high-level delegation from the IFC for two days of meetings on May 6 and 7, 2015 in Abidjan, to deepen relationships between the two institutions, and to develop initiatives to increase private sector investments in the region. The ultimate goal: to use investment to change lives in Africa.

Opened by AfDB Vice-President Solomon Asamoah, the meeting offered the opportunity to assess the experiences and lessons learned over the past few years of private sector financing to drive better results on the ground. The meeting also examined how the two institutions can better collaborate to bolster Africa’s development by enabling sustainable private investment in a continent, which according to AfDB Private Sector Director Kodeidja Diallo, “is characterized by large and small projects funding gaps and challenges.

“Africa is a huge market and we need to invest to change lives,” she said, echoing Vice-President Asamoah, Vice-President, Operations, in charge of Infrastructure, Private Sector and Regional Integration.

The meeting particularly seeks how to increase the success factors for operations in fragile states, adequacy of business model for SME financing and advisory services. IFC Directors for Western and Central Africa, Saran Kebet-Koulibaly, and for East and Southern Africa, Cheikh O. Seydi, both of whom headed the delegation, expressed gratitude to the Bank for hosting the meeting, saying that it provided a golden opportunity to revamp the cooperation.

“We believe in our partnership with the AfDB and the benefit of it is to sit down and take the partnership to the next level,” Seydi underscored.

For his part, Asamoah emphasized the benefits of better leveraging of the resources and expertise of each institution for the benefit of Africa. “It is definitely a case of 1+1 potentially equalling 3,” he said.

Source: Afdb

AfDB showcases initiatives for addressing climate change at Africa Climate Resilient Infrastructure Summit

afdbThe first Africa Climate Resilient Infrastructure Summit (ACRIS I), which concluded on April 29, 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, offered an opportunity for the African Development Bank to showcase its Climate Safeguard System (CSS). It aligns with the Bank’s Ten-Year Strategy 2013-2022, whose core objective is to promote green growth through sustainable and climate-resilient infrastructure in the region.

The CSS was developed to help reduce vulnerability of infrastructure projects to climate risks by carrying out upstream risk assessments in project designs. The CSS also facilitates the identification of appropriate adaptation components and measures that may be eligible for financial resources from climate funds.

The AfDB was represented by Osward Chanda, Division Manager for Water and Sanitation, East and Southern Africa; Jacques Moulot, Chief Power Engineer for the NEPAD Division, and Timothy Afful-Koomson, Principal Green Growth Officer in the Compliance and Safeguards Division within the Results and Quality Department.

The delegation also shared on the central role played by the Bank in providing technical and advisory services to address climate change impacts and risks, particularly on energy projects under the Programme for Infrastructure Development for Africa (PIDA). Also highlighted was the transformative ability of the Priority Action Plan (PAP-2020) on industrial development, regional trade, employment and job creation.

Some examples of Bank’s projects especially in the water and sanitation sector were showcased, to demonstrate how the Bank is helping Regional Member Countries to enhance water storage capacity. These included the Thwake multi-purpose water resources development in Kenya, and the Mahe water augmentation in Seychelles. In addition, participants of the summit heard how the AfDB is promoting urban water management by upgrading urban drainage to cope with severe and frequent floods in Yaounde in Cameroon, Nakuru in Kenya, and Harar in Ethiopia.

In addition, the Bank’s efforts in improving access to climate funds was also mentioned, with an example of the US $7.14 million approved by the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) for Central Africa Sub-Program for Water and Sanitation Sector in Bangui and Four Prefectures.

The summit was hosted by the African Union Commission (AUC) in cooperation with Entico Corporation Limited from April 27-29, 2015, under the theme: Africa towards resilient infrastructure development. Its objective is to introduce AU member states to practical solutions that can address the effects of climate change on infrastructure, agriculture, food security and other key sectors in Africa.

The meeting brought together African ministers for energy, agriculture, transport and infrastructure; financial institutions, development partners, and the private sector, among others.

Source: Afdb

South Africa tops Sub-Saharan Africa tourism ranking

south-africa-133248South Africa has been ranked first in Sub-Saharan Africa on the biennial World Economic Forum Travel’s global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index (TTCI) 2015 released in Geneva, Switzerland on Wednesday.

Snatching the zenith from Seychelles in the Sub-Saharan Africa category, South Africa was ranked at number 48 globally, while the archipelago of islands was second in the region and followed at a somewhat distant 54 on the world stage.

Seychelles topped the regional rankings in the 2013 report and was at 38 globally, when South Africa held positions 3 and 64.

Mauritius was placed third in the region this year, followed by Namibia, Kenya, Cape Verde, Botswana, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia respectively as the Sub-Saharan top ten of 2015.

On the global front, Spain was ranked at the apex, followed by France and then Germany.

Other traditional travel and tourism destinations – the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Japan and Canada – made up the rest of the global top ten.

Compared with other Brics countries, South Africa (at 48 globally) was rated better only than New Delhi. Brazil was ranked 28, Russia 45, India 52 and China was at an enviable 17 on the global front.

“The diversity in the top 30 shows that a country does not have to be wealthy to have a flourishing tourism sector,” said Roberto Crotti, an Economist at the World Economic Forum. “But many countries should still do more to tackle travel and tourism challenges, including visa policies, better promotion of cultural heritage, environmental protection and ICT readiness. This, in turn, would drive economic growth and the creation of jobs.”

The report contains detailed country profiles, benchmarking for the 141 economies featured in the study. It includes a comprehensive summary of their overall positions in the index and a guide to the most prominent travel and tourism advantages and disadvantages of each. Also included is an extensive selection of tables that cover each indicator used in the index’s computation.

The report’s executive summary states that many countries in the Sub-Saharan region “are working on their openness and visa policies, though the longstanding challenges of infrastructure and health and hygiene standards need to be tackled to unleash the potential of the T&T (travel and tourism) sector as a catalyst for development”.

Published under the theme “Growing through Shocks”, the full edition of the 2015 report features three additional chapters authored by leading experts and practitioners in the hospitality and tourism sector.

Among other key findings, the 2015 edition shows that the tourism and travel industry continues to grow more quickly than the global economy as a whole. As proof of its resilience, the analysis shows that the sector’s growth – whether in terms of global air passenger traffic, occupancy rates or international arrivals – tends to return to trend quickly after a shock.

The report ranks the 141 countries across 14 separate dimensions, revealing how well countries could deliver sustainable economic and societal benefits through their travel and tourism sector. Spain’s leadership position is attributed to a world class ranking in cultural resources (number 1 globally); its ability to support online searches for entertainment (4th), a measure of how well the country has adapted to consumption habits brought on by the digital revolution; as well as excellent infrastructure (4th).

The World Economic Forum produced the report in collaboration with Strategy & Bloom consulting, Deloitte, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Source: Eturbo News

Safarilink: Nairobi Wilson Airport to Vipingo Ridge

Duncan Willetts

Duncan Willetts

Safarilink will later today officially announce the launch of daily services from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to Vipingo Ridge. Kenya’s premier safari and business airline is breaking new ground when they will reliably link Kenya’s premier coastal golf resort from the 01st of July onwards with the capital without the need to fly via either Mombasa or Malindi. The 1.5 km long hard surface strip near the entrance of the Vipingo Ridge Resort will be able to accommodate single and twin engine light aircraft but also larger turboprops like the Dash 8 which Safarilink operates. Being at near sea level can this type of aircraft take off safely when fully loaded, allowing for golf bags and luggage to be taken along subject to prior arrangements with the airline which normally allows only a 15 KG allowance.

This is good news not just for golf aficionados from Nairobi or further upcountry who would like the play the 18 hole championship course, rated by Jim McCann of ‘Top 100 Golf Courses’ as Kenya’s undisputed best, ahead of Sigona as runner up and followed by longtime leader Muthaiga in third position. It is good news for coast residents from this part of the North Coast too. It is those residents Safarilink no doubt intends to target, as they did when they launched their daily flights to Ukunda many years ago. From there many Diani residents now fly with Safarilink from Ukunda and spare themselves the tiring and time-consuming trip to Moi International Airport, compensating for the slightly higher fares by saving plenty of time and getting into Wilson Airport rather than JKIA which when getting into Nairobi cuts down on time to spend sitting in traffic.

Coast residents from Mtwapa all the way to Kilifi will find it easier and much shorter to drive to Vipingo when a trip to Nairobi is on the cards, and Mike Round Turner, General Manager of Vipingo, during a more recent visit to the resort, made it clear that Vipingo would provide a level of services which could attract such passengers. He spoke of building a passenger shelter, rest rooms and no doubt secure parking will be provided, giving the right incentives to embrace the Vipingo airstrip just as the South Coast community embraced Ukunda years ago. Once getting used to the new daily service Safarilink will have created a new mini hub for local residents who, according to many chats this correspondent had with acquaintances and chance encounters, frankly abhor the thought of flying out of Mombasa considering the long road journey and the often congested roads getting through Mombasa to the airport.

Flying time, depending on the routing, will take between 1.15 hrs to 1.30 hrs but should the aircraft call on other fields enroute would the flying time correspondingly increase.

Watch this space for breaking news of this kind, giving the latest updates from the Eastern African region.

Source: Eturbo News

She Leads Africa Launches 2015 Entrepreneur Showcase With $15,000 Cash Prize For Winners

She-Leads-AfricaThe Entrepreneur Showcase is the flagship program of She Leads Africa and shines a spotlight on women who are driving Africa’s growth through leadership, commerce and innovation.

This event is the premier platform for young female entrepreneurs looking to grow and scale their businesses across Africa. Participants in the competition will compete for $15,000 in cash prizes, media features in international news outlets, and exclusive meetings with top investors.

“We decided to launch She Leads Africa because we saw a critical gap in the market – no one was investing in high growth female entrepreneurs,” says SLA co-founder Yasmin Belo-Osagie. “Through our Entrepreneur Showcase we not only give exceptional entrepreneurs a space to connect with investors and the media but we also provide them with training and mentoring to ensure that they are able to take advantage of the experience.”

In 2014, the inaugural event received nearly 400 applications from 27 countries for just 10 finalist positions. The top finalists were featured in Forbes, Ventures Africa, Venture Burn and several other international news outlets.

2014 winner Cherae Robinson founder of travel startup Tastemakers Africa stated that“participating in the She Leads Africa pitch competition literally changed my life and my business, by putting me on a rocket ship towards success.” “I was able to hire my first employee with my winnings and I continue to receive support from the team nearly one year later,” she concluded.

Applications for the 2015 competition open on May 1 and close on June 30. Businesses from any industry are eligible to apply as long as there is one woman on the founding team between 18-35 years old. Companies must have launched their product or service, been in operation for less than 3 years and received less than $50,000 USD in funding.

Source: Modern Ghana

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