Zimbabwe Secures $478 Million Funding for Agriculture: State Newspaper

A Zimbabwe farm worker harvests tobacco at a farm ahead of the tobacco selling season starting on Wednesday in Harare

A farm worker harvests tobacco leaves at a farm ahead of the tobacco selling season in Harare March 3, 2015.
REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

Zimbabwe’s government has signed a $478 million agreement with an energy company and three banks to finance the 2017/18 summer farming season in a push to improve food security, a state-owned newspaper said on Monday.

The southern African nation has since 2001 relied on imports and foreign donors to meet demand for the staple maize. Drought, lack of financing and President Robert Mugabe’s seizures of land from white farmers that hit commercial agriculture have been blamed for low grain production over the years.

The Herald newspaper reported that the government and local energy company Sakunda Holdings had signed an agreement that would see three banks provide the capital to mainly fund production of maize and soya.

Sakunda, which imports and distributes fuel, runs a logistics business and operates a 200 megawatt diesel power plant, will work with CBZ bank, Barclays and the local unit of Ecobank to provide the money.

The newspaper did not give details on the funding.

CBZ Chief Executive Never Nyemudzo and Sakunda boss Kudakwashe Tagwirei did not answer their mobile phones when contacted. Officials from Barclays and Ecobank could not be reached for comment.

After a devastating drought last year, Zimbabwe received above normal rains during the 2016/17 farming season and expects to produce 2.1 million tonnes of maize, its highest since 1996, according to official figures.

The Herald said the government would start delivering seed, fertiliser and crop chemicals to farmers around the country between July and September, ahead of the planting season that begins in November.

Farmers would be required to sell their crop to the state grain agency as repayment. Nearly 70 percent of Zimbabwe’s population is rural and survives on agriculture.

Originally reported by Reuters.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Queries Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Mohammad Mukhtar Mustafa,
Deputy Global Director, No. 4,
Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
Email : deputy.gd.4@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1923
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Africa :
Email : africa@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

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Botswana’s Wilderness Safaris to bid for Air Botswana

Botswana’s largest tourism company, Wilderness Safaris, plans to make a bid for Air Botswana, the country’s loss-making national airline which the government wants to privatise.

Botswana put the airline up for sale in February, part of plans to privatise loss-making state-owned companies. The transport department said at the time it would consider full bids for Air Botswana, as well as joint ventures, ownership, franchising and concessions.

In March, Transport Minister Kitso Mokaila said at least 17 companies had expressed interest in Air Botswana, but he did not name them.

Wilderness Safaris said it planned to make a bid when it published its full-year results last week.

The company, which is also listed in Johannesburg, operates 50 luxury resorts across eight African countries and Wilderness Air operates 35 small aircrafts in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia mainly catering to tourists.

Botswana, whose main source of wealth is diamonds, has more than 30 state-owned enterprises, most of them loss making, in industries ranging from tourism and power to housing and finance.

Air Botswana operates four domestic routes and also provides cargo and air passenger services to Cape Town and Johannesburg from Gaborone, Francistown and the tourism hubs of Maun and Kasane.

The airline’s losses, blamed on a large workforce and an aging fleet, prompted a turnaround plan that includes cutting costs and cancelling unprofitable routes.

Originally reported by Reuters.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Queries Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Mohammad Mukhtar Mustafa,
Deputy Global Director, No. 4,
Strategic Business & Intelligence Division,
Email : deputy.gd.4@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1923
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

For Queries Specific to Africa :
Email : africa@cwiilgroup.com , hq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.com , www.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Somali Skies Welcome Airlines – Professional Business Consultancy by CWIIL Group of Companies

Airspace over Somalia has been considered a no-go area by most foreign airlines for two decades, but progress on the security and political fronts is now prompting a surge in commercial flights.

Flydubai, the short-haul affiliate of Emirates Airline, became the latest international carrier to add Somalia to its network in March, when it launched a four-times weekly service to Hargeisa, the capital of the semi-autonomous republic of Somaliland.

Ethiopian Airlines and Turkish Airlines launched services to Somaliland and Mogadishu respectively in 2012, gradually upping capacity with higher frequencies and larger planes as demand snowballed. Meanwhile, Qatar Airways is among the major carriers now evaluating a route launch.

As a litmus test for Somalia’s economic prospects, improved connectivity can only be good news for the country and its citizens. Yet it could be a double-edged sword for local airlines that flourished by braving the skies when foreign operators were nowhere to be seen.

“We were the lifeline of the people,” says Mohammed Ibrahim Yassin, the chief executive of Daallo Airlines, founded in Djibouti in 1991, the same year Somalia slipped into civil war. “There was a time when there were no money transfers, no telephones, no postal system – we were everything for the country. We were the link to the outside world. We transported not only people, but goods, money, medicine.”

Together with Jubba Airways and African Express Airways, Daallo has provided war-weary Somalis an alternative to risky ground transportation through years of clan warfare, al-Shabaab threat and foreign military interventions. Though these airlines’ fleets and route networks are modest by global standards, they are big enough to offer connectivity with regional hubs such as Nairobi and Dubai – facilitating onward travel for Somali businesspeople, and opening a sky corridor for the country’s widely spread diaspora.

Yassin describes Daallo’s financial performance as “quite healthy”, noting that the airline could not have survived without a commercially viable business model. “The government doesn’t have the money,” he stresses, when asked if the company has ever received subsidies. “In Somalia and Somaliland, it’s the private sector that is the major vehicle of the economy.”

Safety in Numbers

However, as more foreign operators enter Somali skies, the nature of the competitive threat that Daallo faces is changing. All three major international carriers now flying to Somalia are partly or fully government-owned. Flydubai’s big brother, Emirates, is one of three Gulf carriers accused by US airlines of receiving $42bn in anti-competitive state support. Though popular with the travelling public, excessively cheap tickets could spell the death knell for airlines such as Daallo that must stand on their own two feet without government aid.

Pre-empting this threat, Yassin has teamed up with his one-time rival, Abdullahi Warsame, the managing director of Jubba, to merge operations under the umbrella of a new holding company, Africa Aero Alliance.

This would have been unthinkable 10 years ago when the two carriers fought fiercely for domestic market share. But today, consolidation now seems a logical response to an onslaught by deep-pocketed, well-organised foreign rivals.

“Competitive pressure is there, but also more than that it’s a matter of maturity,” Yassin explains. “We have been operating for the last 24 years. We have realised that Africa really needs a different way of playing the game of competition…It’s not that easy to finance aircraft in Africa, but by mobilising resources locally among the people, by putting our forces together, we have an alternative way. This is what we have realised after so long, and that’s the reason we are taking this step.”

From a passenger’s perspective, there will be few obvious changes at first. The combined fleet of two Airbus A321s, two Boeing 737s and one BAe 146 will be repainted with the logo of Africa Aero Alliance, albeit while retaining the Jubba and Daallo brands in smaller writing. Both carriers will continue to market their own distinct travel services.

But, behind the scenes, synergies have been accruing since 1st of March, when the integration formally began and a share swap brought the owners together. Codeshare agreements now allow both airlines to sell tickets on each other’s flights, thereby optimising capacity management and keeping the planes as full as possible. Flight schedules are being timed to offer complementary, rather than cannibalistic, services. And negotiations over the procurement of two ATR 72s will be strengthened by the greater purchasing power that a larger company commands.

The hunt for economies of scale has even motivated Yassin to look beyond Daallo’s home markets of Somalia and Djibouti. These two countries, he notes, are not alone in their aviation handicap. Several other Central and East African nations also suffer from under-developed air transport sectors.

“The objective of this merger is to create a bigger alliance for African carriers. Daallo and Jubba are the first airline members, but we are looking to expand the alliance across Africa,” says Yassin, identifying Chad and Uganda as two countries being evaluated. “The company will expand to some countries which don’t have national carriers, or are under-served…There is already interest coming from small carriers from different places.”

Despite talking up his long-term ambitions, Yassin is keeping his feet on the ground in the early stages of the partnership. Expansion by the Somali units will initially be cautious, focussing on Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Entebbe in Uganda and perhaps some points in Yemen once that country stabilises. Optimisation of the regional network will then give way to gradual fleet modernisation, followed eventually by the resumption of Daallo’s European flights to London and Paris.

The airline boss has no interest in hyping up Somalia’s recovery from two decades of debilitating civil war. To the contrary, he cautions that there is “a very, very long way to go” before Somalia can function as a normal member of the global community of nations.

But with foreign airlines sniffing around emerging markets in Africa – and not always competing fairly when they find them – Daallo and Jubba have acted decisively to protect their slice of the pie. ‘Safety in numbers’ is the maxim. And in civil aviation history, it has typically been a wise one.

These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal / investment advice or other recommendation. If you need a legal / investment opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please contact a lawyer / investment advisor. Anyone using these materials should not rely on them as a substitute for legal / investment advice.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries or to Request a Personal Quote Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Francis Thomas Matthews,
Deputy Global Director, No. 8
Marketing Research & Development Division,
Email : deputy.gd.8@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1924
Connect : LinkedIn I Twitter I Facebook I Tumblr

For Queries Specific to Africa :
Email: africa@cwiilgroup.comhq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web: www.cwiilgroup.comwww.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Africa’s Debt Challenge – Specialized Advice From CWIIL Group of Companies

It’s been a rough year for the West African countries most affected by the Ebola virus that has ravaged their communities and crippled their economies, disrupting agriculture and trade.

Forecast to lose a combined $1.6 billion in predicted economic growth in 2015, the people of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone breathed a collective sigh of relief when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forgave a combined $100 million in loans, shortly after disbursing $130 million in aid last September. The intention was to free up funds for relief and recovery efforts.

But with the need to overhaul their health systems, these countries are once again accumulating debt—like the $160 million interest-free loan awaiting approval by the IMF executive board.

The acquisition of new debt is an emerging pattern among beneficiaries of the world’s most comprehensive debt reduction programme to date. The 1996 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, supplemented by the 2005 Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, has helped 35 sub-Saharan African countries cancel $100 billion in external debt. These internationally coordinated relief programmes, managed by the World Bank, IMF and the African Development Bank, were designed to find a sustainable solution to Africa’s debt burden.

No longer forced to divert scarce resources to repay costly loans amassed during the Cold War period by corrupt and repressive regimes, the poorest and most indebted countries on the continent were able to lower their public debt and increase social spending by almost 3.5% of their gross domestic product between 2001 and 2012, the World Bank and IMF claim. For example, Benin used its savings from debt to invest in rural primary health care and HIV programmes. Tanzania abolished primary school fees and Mozambique began offering free immunization to children.

Freeing up additional resources for development was another aim of the HIPC Initiative. However, a lot of the money forgiven was already tied up in arrears, meaning it was owed but had not yet been reimbursed, so there was no new cash flow and no real savings in terms of resources.

In some countries the write-off just helped mop up overdue debt. And while the initiative did erase most of the foreign debt of these countries, it did not clear all of it. What the whole process did achieve, according to a Huffington Post article by Marcelo Giugale, a World Bank director, was instilling “discipline” that came in handy when the price of oil, gas and minerals climbed in the mid-2000s and the technologies to look for these natural resources got better. To qualify for a debt cancellation, countries had to be transparent in their operations and open to scrutiny, and they had to monitor and report their poverty reduction strategies, invest savings into social programmes and refrain from accumulating expensive debt. Which is why, according to Mr. Giugale,  African governments had “more money to spend and new offers to borrow – this time from private bankers.”

Faced with the phasing out of the HIPC Initiative and a decline in official development assistance, some countries seized the opportunity provided by their healthier balance sheets and continued economic growth to explore new sources of funding. China, leading the group of emerging economies called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), has been investing heavily in infrastructure.

International bond markets provide another avenue. According to Amadou Sy, the director of the Africa Growth Initiative at the Brookings Institution, a US think tank, 12 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have issued a total of $15 billion in international sovereign bonds. Investors are also keen to snatch up these bonds, seduced by the continent’s favourable growth outlook and promise of high returns. The World Bank reports average GDP in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to remain broadly unchanged at 4.6% in 2015, rising gradually to 5.1% in 2017.

Some observers worry that countries are borrowing too much and too fast. “Africa may have the fastest-growing continental economy on the planet,” freelance journalist Richard Walker writes in the Economist, “but growing fastest of all is debt – personal, corporate and government.”

Mr. Walker points to Ghana’s issuance in late 2014 of $1 billion in euro-denominated bonds, although the country is deep in debt and has what he calls Africa’s “worst-performing currency.”  The West African nation was one of the first beneficiaries of the HIPC initiative.

Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal and Zambia also beneficiaries of the debt cancellation programme, have also issued similar bonds.

Even with the recent surge in borrowing, most of the post-HIPC countries are not at risk of “debt distress,” a group of economists with the World Bank insists. Dino Moretto, Tihomir Stucka and Tau Huang concede that “some countries may be borrowing too quickly,” but they also specify that “overall, governments have been borrowing responsibly since receiving debt relief.”

The trio explain that one of the objectives of the debt relief programme was to clear debt overhang and allow countries to borrow again, responsibly. Many countries have been careful in taking on loans at commercial terms, and the World Bank and other development banks have been giving grants in lieu of loans to riskier, poorer countries.

Africa’s Current Debt

Africa’s current debt is the lowest it has been in decades, Oxford University professor Mthuli Ncube and Economic Advisor at the African Development Bank Zuzana Brixiova concur in their review for the European Centre for Development Policy Management. The fastest decline, they stress, is posted by the most indebted countries, because of debt relief and accompanying prudent policies.

Aid has been critical in helping low-income countries lift people out of poverty, but financing to the region has also increased in quality and quantity, spurred by the 2002 Monterrey Consensus and subsequent 2008 Doha Conference. These UN-backed global conferences brought together heads of state and top leaders in finance, business and humanitarian groups to realize a vision called Financing for Development (FfD). The Monterrey Consensus was also the impetus behind the HIPC Initiative, since it called for innovative mechanisms to address the debt owed by poor nations.

Meanwhile, the FfD July 2015 conference in Addis Ababa is intended to advance the debate on “responsible lending and borrowing” by tabling issues on improving domestic resource mobilization, including strengthening tax administration, curbing illicit financial flows, scaling up infrastructure investment and attracting private sector financing.

“Despite misgivings about certain countries, Africa is still in a fundamentally different place than it was 20 or 30 years ago when old debts were taken on,” Todd Moss, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Centre for Global Development, told Reuters, adding that taking out loans from private creditors puts a “higher burden” on leaders to be responsible.

To keep from reverting to old ways, analysts say, post-HIPC African countries will have to be smart with their handling of new loans. Borrowing strategies need to be put in place so governments can get a return on their investments in order to service their debts. Governments also need to be prepared to withstand shocks from price fluctuations on the natural resource markets and must reduce their dependency on commodity exports. Diversifying borrowing sources is another way to sensibly manage public debt, says Citigroup economist David Cowan in the Africa Research Institute publication, Counterpoints, referring to sovereign bonds as an alternative to concessional loans.

While concessional loans come with no strings attached, help raise a country’s debt profile and put it on the radar of international debt markets, Mr. Cowan cautions that they do present currency risks and can expose a defaulting borrower to specific legal risks, notably from hedge funds or private equity funds, also known as “vulture funds.”

Good old-fashioned tax collection, transparency and tapping into local currency debt markets are avenues that should not be ignored. In the end, sound fiscal and complementary monetary policies will prevail. It’s too soon to predict whether the post-HIPC African countries will maintain sustainable levels of public debt while wrangling with bottlenecks such as weak institutions, infrastructure investment gaps, poverty and (in some places) instability. Only time will tell.

These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal / investment advice or other recommendation. If you need a legal / investment opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please contact a lawyer / investment advisor. Anyone using these materials should not rely on them as a substitute for legal / investment advice.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries or to Request a Personal Quote Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Francis Thomas Matthews,
Deputy Global Director, No. 8
Marketing Research & Development Division,
Email : deputy.gd.8@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1924
Connect : LinkedIn I Twitter I Facebook I Tumblr

For Queries Specific to Africa :
Email: africa@cwiilgroup.comhq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web: www.cwiilgroup.comwww.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

New Bond Issue Set To Help Africa Go Green – Investment Consultancy From CWIIL Group of Companies

Johannesburg, or Jozi, as it is affectionately known, is the largest commercial hub on the continent, attracting millions of visitors each year, including students, artists and business leaders. Its population of about 4.8 million people is projected to grow to 6.5 million by 2040, according to the World Population Review.

Faced with this record growth and its foreseeable impact on the city’s aging infrastructure and social services, Johannesburg’s Executive Mayor Parks Tau gave a nod to a greener path for development in his 6 May 2015 State of the City address. Among the promised innovations he listed were low-flush toilets and water-saving urinals to become a standard feature in Johannesburg homes, offices and commercial sites, alleviating the pressure on the city’s scarce water reserves.

Organic waste is to be harvested for fuel and energy, and solar heaters and smart metres installed to reduce the consumption of electricity. Furthermore, to lower pollution, he hopes to reduce the commuters’ reliance on private vehicles in favour of walking and biking. The mayor also promised to improve the public transport system and switch to diesel fuel to lower the city’s carbon footprint.

To finance these initiatives, the city auctioned its first ever “green bond” on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) last June. The bond, which is worth $143 million and is expected to mature in 2024, was 150% oversubscribed – a success! In a speech delivered shortly after the listing of the bond, Mayor Tau said it was a clear demonstration of “investor confidence in the City of Johannesburg and commitment to environmental stewardship and climate change.”

A bond is a type of loan or an IOU which companies, governments or banks use to finance projects. The issuer is obliged to pay back the debt within a time agreed and with a certain interest. What warrants the “green” label is that the proceeds are allocated to climate and environment-friendly projects. By issuing this type of bond, Johannesburg became not only a pioneer in Africa, but also within the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of megacities sharing best practices and feasible solutions to changing weather patterns.

Green Bond Allure

Green bonds are not different from conventional bonds in their pricing. Much of their allure lies in the fact that investors feel they are being “socially responsible” and that they are having a positive impact on the environment. According to the World Bank’s senior sustainability advisor, Laura Tlaiye, investors are increasingly recognizing the threats environmental degradation and climate change can create for long-term financial value, and are considering it when they choose their investments.

At the same time, investors are also drawn to these fixed-income green loans that promise regular returns and a full refund of the principal amount once the bond has matured. And in the case of the World Bank, one of the largest financiers for climate-smart projects in developing countries, their bonds bring triple “A” ratings, indicating they are extremely safe and low-risk. But as the market expands, so does the need for more clarity on how the capital raised is used. International institutions providing development financing, like the European Investment Bank (EIB), were the first to enter the green bond market in 2007. A year later, the World Bank joined forces with the Swedish financial group, Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (SEB), to respond to a demand by Scandinavian pension funds looking to invest in environmentally friendly fixed-income products. Since then, the World Bank has continued to raise a lot of capital for projects that seek to mitigate climate change in developing countries or seek to help affected people adapt to it.

So far, Tunisia has received a loan of over $30 million to promote better water management by using the country’s irrigation and drinking water more efficiently, while Morocco has successfully applied for funds to build North Africa’s biggest solar power plant in an effort to curb its reliance on coal and other fossil fuels. To date, the bank has issued the equivalent of $8 billion in green bonds through more than 90 transactions in 18 currencies.

Socially Responsible Investors

Climate change is presently one of the greatest challenges confronting the developed and the developing world, warns the African Development Bank (AfDB), which set up a green bond programme in 2013. Without a concerted effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, echoes the International Finance Corporation, an affiliate of the World Bank, the earth’s temperatures could rise considerably within this century. In order to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius as agreed by negotiators during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) negotiations.

Business editor and author Mark Gunther, in the Yale Environment 360 online magazine, questions whether green bonds could “bankroll a clean energy revolution” and is uncertain where the money would come from. In a sense, he argues, green bonds are the latest example of “themed bonds for a specific purpose ” pointing to the 1862 civil war bonds that helped finance the US army and World War II bonds sold by celebrities at the time.

With the market raking in billions of dollars a year, it seems the appetite for these new debts is growing as well as the emergence of new types of issuers as evidenced by the case of Johannesburg. In March 2014, corporations like Toyota joined the fray to fund consumer loans for electric and hybrid cars. During the same period, the global consumer goods company Unilever and the French utility company GDF Suez of France issued green bonds to finance their renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.

Although there is no market standard for the definition of green, Marilyn Ceci, managing director and head of Green Bonds at JP Morgan wrote in the global knowledge sharing platform called Meeting of the Minds, in February 2015, that there are the Green Bonds Principles (GBP), which serve as voluntary guidelines on transparency and disclosure and are endorsed by environmental groups, investors and other issuers.

Transparency

The four components of the GBP include a description of how the proceeds of the bonds are to be used, an outline of the decision-making process disclosing the criteria used to review and determine the eligibility of the project, as well as tracking the proceeds and reporting on how they are being used at least once a month.

The World Bank initially set the bar high with its rigorous six-stage selection, approval, review and reporting process. The eligibility criteria are verified by experts from the Norway-based Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO). Interested investors can check the institution’s website to get detailed updates on the projects, complete with pictures, graphics and summaries.

The World Bank applies a “gold standard” in the selection of its eligible projects. For example, the bank’s green bond portfolio will not include nuclear projects or those that deal with natural gas extraction by fracking. The bulk of the bank’s green bond projects are in middle-income countries like Mexico, China and Africa’s Maghreb region like Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco whose low-carbon projects funded by the World Bank are in full swing.

Projects in sub-Saharan Africa receive support through the International Development Association (IDA), the bank’s fund for the poorest, which doles out “low-interest loans, credits or grants from donors rather than from capital markets”.

However, while African countries south of the Sahara have made a grand debut into the international debt market scene, their presence in the green bond market is nascent. For now it seems, Johannesburg is leading having listed the first “African green city bond” in the region.

These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal / investment advice or other recommendation. If you need a legal / investment opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please contact a lawyer / investment advisor. Anyone using these materials should not rely on them as a substitute for legal / investment advice.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries or to Request a Personal Quote Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Francis Thomas Matthews,
Deputy Global Director, No. 8
Marketing Research & Development Division,
Email : deputy.gd.8@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1924
Connect : LinkedIn I Twitter I Facebook I Tumblr

For Queries Specific to Africa :
Email: africa@cwiilgroup.comhq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web: www.cwiilgroup.comwww.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.

Think Beyond Microfinance When Talking About Businesswomen – Specialized Advice From CWIIL Group

As the Third International Financing for Development conference kicks off in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Africa is set to begin implementing its ambitious 50-year development blueprint, Agenda 2063, bringing into focus the issue of how to finance development plans.

Agenda 2063 will require significant financing from a wide range of sources to fund infrastructure development, industrialization, private sector growth, technology and human capital development if the continent is to achieve the socioeconomic transformation that it is envisioning. True, financing in general, is a challenge for Africa, but no group faces more barriers to accessing finance than the women of Africa.

Africa’s economic growth over the past decade has been positive, but the impressive numbers do not tell the whole story. While women own about 48% of all enterprises in Africa, the African Development Bank estimates that they account for only 20% of the continent’s banked population. Roughly four in every five women on the continent lack access to a bank account at a formal financial institution, compared to about one in every four men. The disparity is particularly glaring in agriculture. Although more than 70% of farmers in Africa are women, they benefit from only one-tenth of the credit given to small-scale farmers and less than 1% of total credit to agriculture.

The challenges African women face in accessing finance include women’s lack of collateral, legal and cultural barriers to land and property ownership, discriminatory regulations, limited employment in the formal sector, lack of availability of financial products targeted to their needs and the fact that banks do not fully understand female-run businesses or the market niches they occupy. These barriers have hindered the capacity of women to grow and develop businesses, which, as a result, has held back economic growth on the continent.

The widening disparity in access to finance has led to the rising popularity of microfinance for women. In the past decade, microfinance institutions, which include non-profit groups, savings and credit cooperatives, regulated specialized providers and others, have reached many women who were previously excluded from formal financing, through small-scale loans and credit to small enterprises and poor households.

Yet while the discussion about financing for development has widened in scope, the discussion about financing for women has remained stubbornly locked on one scale – micro. Speaking early this year in Addis Ababa at a conference of African finance ministers, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the chairperson of the African Union Commission, implored participants to think beyond “micro” when discussing finance for projects run by women in Africa.

“We hear micro this, micro that…there is nothing micro about women!” Ms. Dlamini-Zuma told participants.

Similarly, Elizabeth Rasekoala, the co-founder of SET4Women, the Southern African Reference Group on Gender, Science and Technology, urged participants at a conference on the role of women in implementing Agenda 2063 to “start thinking big and stop prefacing everything to do with women with ‘small’ or ‘micro’ but to engage them as entrepreneurs.”

Gender advocates say that as key drivers in implementing Africa’s post-2015 development agenda and Agenda 2063, female business owners must be empowered to go beyond small- and micro-enterprises and get access to the finance needed to create medium- and large-scale businesses. Access to finance on such a scale would be transformative, and empower women to enter productive value chains, expand hiring and employment opportunities, utilize efficient technologies and expand the reach of their businesses beyond their borders.

Analysts agree that for this goal to be reached, banks have to open their doors and ensure financial inclusion and increased access for women. This would require formal financial institutions to consider new and innovative approaches to conducting business in order to meet women’s needs. A small but growing number of African banks have developed products that target women, and others have adopted women-friendly banking procedures, including eliminating minimum balances, widening the scope of elements considered in credit evaluations, reducing collateral requirements and allowing alternate forms of collateral. Such practices, which have shown positive results and contributed towards reducing gender-based barriers, should be implemented and expanded by more banks on the continent.

According to gender advocates, empowering African businesswomen is critical; it demystifies credit application processes, addresses risk aversion and ultimately strengthens women’s access to financing. Other areas that might need to be strengthened include education and capacity building in financial literacy and business skills.

What Can Be Done

In order to create an enabling environment, governments will need to modify and adjust their legal, regulatory and supervisory frameworks to remove barriers to finance for women, such as discriminatory legal provisions that confine women to the legal status of minors and laws that prohibit women from owning property. After such laws and policies are changed, women and decision-makers should be informed of these changes.

Governments and development organizations, especially international financial institutions, also have important roles to play in promoting equal opportunities for women and men. They should encourage banks and other formal institutions to increase credit access for African women, and provide technical assistance and training to institutions that are unfamiliar with lending to women. They should also provide guarantees to raise the confidence of lending institutions so that they invest greater capital in women-owned businesses.

Finally, governments will need to bridge the gap between the formal and informal sectors by simplifying business registration procedures and encouraging women-owned businesses in the informal sector to register with governments and tax authorities, as this will also facilitate their access to financial markets.

These materials are not intended and should not be used as legal / investment advice or other recommendation. If you need a legal / investment opinion on a specific issue or factual situation, please contact a lawyer / investment advisor. Anyone using these materials should not rely on them as a substitute for legal / investment advice.

Remember, no problem has a quick fix solution. Thus, always ensure to consult highly knowledgeable group of professionals whom would provide you with a collective advice, never individual advice. This group advice and approach is unique with CWIIL Group and is based on the overall Management Philosophy of all CWIIL Group Companies.

Consulting CWIIL Group of Companies, for any / all investment matters ensures advice based on highest level of knowledge which are given to you by a team of select research-oriented experts whom each will do their own assessment of your matter, and also assess it together, thus ensuring that in case a mistake has been made by one, it will be noticed and corrected even before it is being passed on to you. Receiving incorrect and un-knowledgeable investment advice can be disastrous and thus should be avoided.

CWIIL Group of Companies is a global group of multi-specialized units with diversified interests and activities, wherein each company is a separate legal entity registered under prevailing laws in different parts of the world. CWIIL Group of Companies Products, Services, Project and Solutions are in a multitude of Verticals including, but not limited to, Infrastructure, Power, Oil & Gas, Legal, Media, Technology, ITES, HR, Shipping, Aviation, Real Estate, Hospitals, Health and Medicine, Education, Funding & Investment, Business and Legal Consultancy, and Public Private Partnerships, and other CWIIL Group Units, worldwide, to name a few.

For Further Queries or to Request a Personal Quote Feel Free to Contact :

Mr. Francis Thomas Matthews,
Deputy Global Director, No. 8
Marketing Research & Development Division,
Email : deputy.gd.8@cwiilgroup.eu
Voice : +45.8176.1924
Connect : LinkedIn I Twitter I Facebook I Tumblr

For Queries Specific to Africa :
Email: africa@cwiilgroup.comhq@cwiilgroup.eu
Web: www.cwiilgroup.comwww.cwiilgroup.eu

For Any / All Other Queries :
CWIIL Group Global Regional Headquarters Denmark,
Address : No. 1, Klokkebjergevej, DK6900 Skjern, Denmark
Voice : +45.5148.3608
Fax : +45.7014.1498
Email : corpcomm@cwiilgroup.eu
Web : www.cwiilgroup.eu
Connect : LinkedIn – Twitter – Facebook – Quora

Office Hours :
Monday to Friday : 10.00 – 17.00 CET.
Saturday : 10.00 – 14.00 CET.
Sunday : Closed.

The Corporate Communications Team would require minimum a fortnight for Reviewing & Responding to Queries, which please note.