BP’s west Africa partner Kosmos to list in London by end-September

The London Stock Exchange is seen during the morning rush hour in the City of London

Kosmos Energy, which is exploring for gas offshore Senegal and Mauritania with oil major BP, will list on the London Stock Exchange by the end of September in a bid to attract more European investors, it said on Wednesday.

Kosmos, which has been listed in New York since 2011, announced a major gas find in partnership with BP off the coast of Senegal in May, boosting the area’s reputation as one of the world’s hotbeds for gas exploration.

The company also owns parts of licences to drill for oil offshore Suriname in South America close to where U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil and its partners recently decided to go ahead with a $4.4 billion oilfield megaproject.

Kosmos expects its London listing to attract more European investors seeking exposure to promising oil and gas exploration.

“There are a number of European investment funds and specialist international oil and gas investors that are currently unable to hold Kosmos’ shares due to their listing outside of a European regulated market,” the company said, explaining the rationale for its London secondary listing.

The process is expected to complete later in the third quarter, it said.

Kosmos estimates its licences offshore Senegal and Mauritania could hold more than 50 trillion cubic feet of gas resources and it continues to drill further.

“Kosmos offers exposure to an ongoing high-impact, three-well exploration campaign that could more than double its valuation – it is our favourite high-impact explorer,” said analysts at RBC Capital Markets who rate the stock as ‘outperform’.

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.

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How Haidar el Ali Became one of Africa’s Best-Known Environmentalists

Haidar el Ali started out in his family’s furniture business but then dedicated his life to protecting the oceans and other habitats.

At 25 years old, Haidar el Ali had a vision that changed his life.

Like most Lebanese in Senegal, Mr. Ali came from an entrepreneurial family. It had several furniture stores and workshops spread across Dakar’s densely packed Médina neighborhood. Every morning at 7 o’clock, Ali would join his father for a quick cup of coffee and chat before they started work. But one morning, while crossing the street, Ali had a moment he can only describe as “mystical.”

“Suddenly I saw myself sitting in my dad’s place waiting for my own son. My entire life as a businessman flashed before my eyes,” he explains. “By the time I reached my dad, I told him I needed to change my life. The next day I quit. Everyone was asking what happened to me, but honestly, I didn’t know.”

It wasn’t until a couple of years later that Ali understood. He had always been drawn to nature. It wasn’t unheard-of for him to spend weeks on end in the forest, away from the consumerism attending urban life back in Dakar. So Ali made a decision. He turned his passion for the environment into a vocation for life.

To some, his next steps might not seem to make sense: He got trained as a professional scuba diving instructor in France, and shortly thereafter he opened a diving company in Dakar. But as Ali describes it, the move makes perfect sense.

“What I really wanted to do was speak out against how we were destroying our ocean,” he says. “Fishermen were, at this time, still using explosives to catch their food, and I started to film what I was seeing underwater – how the natural ecosystems were being destroyed and degraded by human activity. I took these images to villages and then to the media, which ended up getting a lot of attention. This ultimately gave me the courage to follow my dreams.”

Ali’s parents were immigrants from Lebanon who “got stuck” in this small West African country en route to the United States in the 1930s, and it took them some time to understand why their son would abandon a life of security and comfort. But Ali says he was simply being true to himself.

And he has become one of Africa’s best-known environmentalists, holding several notable positions. He has been indispensable to the work of Oceanium, an environmental nongovernmental organization based in Dakar that he joined in 1985. Almost three decades later, from 2012 to 2014, Ali served in Senegal’s government, as minister of environment and then as minister of fisheries. He also heads the country’s Green Party (FEDES).

Ali is passionate when talking about the planet, raising the alarm about its future.

“Our environment is being attacked. And it’s so easy to kill, because trees don’t cry and branches don’t fall on traffickers,” says Ali, who is now in his 60s. “Unfortunately for us, we are headed towards a place of no return. Time is not on our side.”

Of course, he has not sat idly by. In addition to trying to protect the underwater world, he has also taken up land management and reforestation projects, which he has done with Oceanium. Ali served as the organization’s president for several years, and he is now an honorary member.

The Challenges For Forests

Senegal’s forests have faced multiple challenges. Severe droughts hit the country in the 1970s and ’80s, and the rise in urbanization cleared thousands of acres of trees. Mangroves – one of the richest ecosystems in the world – have been especially affected.

Approximately 133,000 acres of mangroves disappeared in Senegal between 1980 and 2005, according to a study by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. The study estimates that as of 2005, about 284,000 acres were left, mostly in the country’s lush and tropical southern Casamance region. These tidal shrublike trees help deter land erosion; provide homes to numerous fish, mollusks, and crabs; and have carbon-sequestering capabilities greater than those of rainforests.

To help fight against mangrove degradation, Ali, through Oceanium, organized massive replanting efforts with hundreds of villages in Casamance, where he is now based. This region is the greenest part of Senegal and was once referred to as the country’s breadbasket, but it’s been far from immune from environmental problems.

Between 2006 and 2012, countless villagers helped replant about 35,000 acres in Casamance, and another 2,500 or so acres were replanted elsewhere in Senegal. It’s one of the largest mangrove replanting efforts in the world.

Ali has worked with coordinators spread across the country who help organize seed distribution among residents.

“Before Haidar came, we didn’t have nearly the number of fish or birds that we do now,” says Aliou Badiane, a planting coordinator with Ali since 2008 who’s based in a Casamance village with no running water or electricity. “The hardest part [for us] is collecting seeds, but now we have a planting system in place that’s saving us.”

Denouncing Loggers

Ali and his network have also devoted attention to a forest restoration project to protect rosewood trees. They’re denouncing the loggers who are illegally transporting these trunks into neighboring Gambia, where they’re shipped to China. As a result of the scrutiny, tree-cutters are not able to cut as much wood, which has driven up the cost of it. A year ago, a 6-1/2-foot trunk sold for 10,000 CFA francs ($17). Today, the same size runs 10 times that price.

“The increase in the selling price proves we are making their work harder,” says Ali, who says forest rangers alert the network two or three times a day about any environmental threats they witness. “Just today, for example, I got an alert of some 5,000 tree trunks found. I’ll first send some other people over to look; then I will go back myself. If this is verified, I’ll call the press to denounce it.”

According to Ali, politicians might say they’re against illegal logging, but on the ground nothing ever changes. “The government is quick to say they encourage me [in my work], but it ends there,” he says. “In my mind it’s never a question of means. It’s one of human determination and will.”

“Haidar is a man of his word,” attests Jean-Michel Kornprobst, professor emeritus of science at the University of Nantes in France, who established Oceanium in 1984, a year before Ali joined. “He has never used his environmental efforts – for which he is so strongly physically and intellectually-linked – for his own personal gain…. [He] is fundamentally honest and is genuinely fighting for future generations…,” says Professor Kornprobst, who commented via email.

Going the Extra Mile

Ali’s tree planting is fueled today as much by personal conviction as by the desire to ensure that the trees, butterflies, and fish are around for “his greatest successes” – his two youngest children, ages 1 and 3. And not only does Ali practice what he preaches, but he also goes the extra mile to compel others to follow suit.

“I’m someone who can’t tell people to plant trees if I’m not doing it myself,” he says. “In my tree nursery [just outside Casamance’s capital city, Ziguinchor], I planted some 20,000 trees of all different types – from mahogany and rosewood to orange, grapefruit, avocado, and palmyra palms. And when I travel from Dakar to Ziguinchor [about 280 miles], I take the car just so that I can personally give out seeds in every village I go through. It’s a fastidious job, but it works.”

According to Ali, Senegal can be a role model for the rest of the region, and even the world, on how people can fight to preserve a natural way of life.

“I’m an optimist because I believe in humanity and the force of humans to react,” he says. “I believe in a nonviolent citizen revolution that is aware of our power to change things and is aware of our potential as the solution. And I see this movement taking hold a bit all over the world. People are starting to become more aware that having a love for all that is living is primordial for the survival of humanity.”

Originally reported by the Christian Science Monitor.

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.

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Solar Power Brings Northern Mali Much Needed Light

Residents in Kidal in northern Mali are finding it easier to work and study into the night thanks to a solar lighting project recently introduced to the area.

About 1,500 households are now able to switch on their lights thanks to a 50,000 US dollar project funded by the U.N. Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA).

The government has been trying to promote renewable energy technologies since 2007, hoping they will reach 15 percent of the total national energy supply by 2020.

“The families that have benefited from these kits are very happy, not only because they have left the darkness behind, but it has also helped people in many ways, especially in families where there are children, the kits have allowed children to study in the evenings and women to continue their activities at night,” said Assikaday Ag Wayerzagane, a chief in Kidal.

Mali’s government has not had a military presence in Kidal since clashes between the army and Tuareg rebels killed 50 soldiers there in 2014, making access to services like electricity difficult.

Mali, a landlocked desert nation and an important gold exporter, has suffered from endemic corruption and instability over the years, and more lately from multiple insurrections by Islamist groups in the north, as well as infighting between armed factions.

Most of the country’s electricity supply is produced by a shared dam on the River Senegal in Mali, which also provides power to three neighbouring countries, including Mauritania and Senegal.

The country remains one of the world’s poorest nations, with around half its population living on less than $1.25 a day, according to U.N. data.

That means most families cannot afford a solar energy kit – including solar panels, batteries and lights – which can cost as much as $1,000 upfront.

Local NGO AFORD or Association for Training, Research and Development, was selected to implement the 6-month long lighting project. Mohamed Aly Ag Albessaty, is the organization’s president.

“This project has distributed solar kits to populations in need to allow people to light their homes and it allows children to study at home now that they get electricity service in Kidal,” he said.

Many Malians complain about regular power cuts or live in remote parts that are not on the national grid.

National energy company, Energie du Mali (EDM) has begun to add solar power capacity to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, which provide around half the West African nation’s power.

Aicha Abdoulaye a Kidal resident says solar lighting has also helped improve security in the area and improved their lives.

“We use it to charge our mobile telephones, before it was so difficult to charge our telephones. At night, we can also light up to see what we are doing until we go to sleep,” she said.

The government says the country is building two large-scale solar power plants to feed into the national grid, including one in the central region of Ségou which is slated to be West Africa’s first utility-scale solar plant, with a planned capacity of 33 megawatts able to cover 5 percent of Mali’s electricity needs.

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.

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With the Creation of an All-Africa Passport, a Push Toward African Unity?

 

The African Union is set to launch a common electronic passport that would grant visa-free travel to all of its 54 member-states, a move that hits at the organization’s long-running goal of more closely linking nations from across the continent.

The passport will first be issued to heads of state and senior officials at the AU’s summit in Kigali, Rwanda, later this month, with the Union saying it aims to provide passports to all African citizens by 2020.

But the AU’s efforts to create a common passport, which observers say is in line with the organization’s mission dating back to its earlier iteration as the Organization of African Unity, comes as the European Union faces growing fissures in the wake of Britain’s landmark vote to leave.

While Britain’s vote came amid campaigns that appealed to economic concerns, a sense of national sovereignty and what some say were racially-tinged anti-immigrant sentiments, for the AU nations, many of them with a relatively recent colonial past, a common passport appeals to an shared ideal of Pan-Africanism.

“The passport is a way to deepen the integration of Africa as one continent,” says Rita Kiki Edozie, who co-authored a book about the AU, which replaced the earlier OAU in 2002.

“I see it as an African Union at least attempting to address the concerns of African people,” Dr. Edozie, a professor of international relations and African affairs at Michigan State University, tells The Christian Science Monitor.

But the AU has also faced concerns about whether its leadership is truly concerned about the citizens of its member states, much like the EU, she says.

In that sense, the passports may represent an offering to a growing cosmopolitan middle class that hopes to take advantage of the mobility and economic benefits offered by visa-free travel.

This flagship project has the specific aim of facilitating free movement of persons, goods and services around the continent in order to foster intra-Africa trade, integration and socio-economic development,” the Union said in a statement on June 13, only weeks before Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

Such smaller-scale efforts are on the rise across the continent, with the AU noting visa-free plans underway in Ghana and Mauritius.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has long offered visa-free travel to citizens of its member states, including Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, and Senegal. The AU has also made passports a key part of its Agenda 2063 plan, which aims to create a common trading market for its member-states by 2063.

But implementing the common passports for all African citizens could be a complex task.

The AU’s proposal is intended to be a common a standard for electronic passports, while individual member states will still have to work out how individual citizens will actually receive the visa-free travel benefits, notes Bronwen Manby, a visiting senior fellow at the London School of Economics who has studied citizenship issues in Africa.

“I think a disproportionate amount of emphasis has been placed on what’s the document, how its going to look, rather than who is West African for example,” she tells the Monitor. “An ECOWAS biometric identity document is not going to solve the issue of who’s Ivorian and who isn’t and that question of statelessness.”

Stateleness is a particular concern. Many millions of Africans currently lack official documentation of nationality, though its hard to estimate how many are stateless. In some countries, Dr. Manby finds, access to citizenship is made difficult by factors such as rules limiting rights to citizenship for the children of foreigners, racial, ethnic and gender discrimination and lack of accommodation for a nomadic lifestyle.

“I think a lot of this focus has been around technical issues and not enough emphasis on migration, on how do your procedures work and how to incorporate people [into a particular country],” she adds.

The African Union and the European Union also face somewhat different issues, though some concerns are linked. One is the possibility of racially-tinged backlash that could result from any plan to roll out passports to citizens of all the AU’s member states, particularly in South Africa, notes Professor Edozie, of Michigan State.

A diplomatic move might also counterbalance that potential opposition. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the current head of the African Union Commission, is stepping down as she is rumored to be discussing a run for president of South Africa as part of the ruling African National Congress party.

The AU’s own position means it’s less likely to spark the kind of populist backlash that fueled the “Leave” campaign in Britain, says Manby of the London School of Economics.

“The people who interact with the AU are those that are going to be aware of it and thinking about it,” she says. “The proverbial taxi driver doesn’t express frustration with the AU in the way that the proverbial taxi driver would in Britain about the EU.”

The AU’s timeline, however, is still ambitious.

“It’s a little bit of an ideal to achieve, all [the AU is] saying is that they’re providing visas, they’re not saying they’re providing citizenship, to provide visas might be realistic, but citizenship is a different question,” says Edozie.

But Khabele Matlosa, the AU’s director of political affairs, says the move to open borders between member states could have a large-scale impact on young people traveling large distances in search of work.

Africa’s history also means that a move toward a common passport has drawn a different reaction than the debates that have roiled Europe, he told CNN.

Africa is a continent of migrants so we are not as suspicious of refugees,” Mr. Matlosa said. “This is a test of our Pan-Africanism, the doctrine which underpins the African Union’s existence. We are committed to this philosophy.”

Originally published by The Christian Science Monitor.

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 :

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Marketing Research & Development Division,
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Can Africa Fund Its Own Growth? – Investment Advice From CWIIL Group

Despite witnessing exceptional growth in development finance in recent years, Africa is still faced with the arduous task of mobilizing adequate resources to fund its growth and future transformation agenda. Given the paucity of external development assistance, and low commodity prices for its goods and services, Africa has awakened to the fact that it must rely on its own financial resources for sustainable development.

One of the leading pan-African bodies, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), says infrastructure development in Africa has the potential to raise gross domestic product (GDP) by 2% and develop the backbone for rapid industrialization, which in turn could boost the capacity of the continent to generate more domestic resources.

In its Innovative Financing for the Economic Transformation of Africa report, published in March 2015, ECA reckons that Africa’s current infrastructure needs stand at a whopping $93 billion annually, out of which $45 billion is mobilised, leaving an annual deficit of almost $50 billion.

Thus, as Côte d’Ivoire’s President Alassane Ouattara aptly put it, Africa’s greatest challenge is ensuring that its transformation is bolstered by sufficient and innovative sources of funding.

“One solution would be to speed up the development of our financial markets with a view to sparking the transformation of African economies,” President Ouattara told the Ninth African Development Forum in Morocco last year. “To do so, we must come up with innovative financial products and set up effective national and regional financial institutions and services.”

While Africa is fully cognizant of the significant strides it has made since the Monterrey Consensus in March 2002 in mobilizing financial and technical resources for development, it contends that there is a huge gap.

“Current policy, financing and investment patterns are not delivering the future we want. There are enormous unmet financing needs for sustainable development. Estimates vary due to the complexities of quantifying needs, but consistently point to a significant financing shortfall,” African heads of state and governments affirmed in a zero draft of the outcome document of the Third Financing for Development (FfD) Conference, held  in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July.

What Are The Options?

Development analysts say Africa has realized that traditional sources of development finance, such as official development assistance and foreign direct investment, which have buoyed the continent’s development efforts over the years, are not sustainable and cannot be relied upon as its main sources of funding, as was shown during the 2007–2008 global financial crisis.

Oswell Binha, president of the Association of SADC (Southern African Development Community) Chambers of Commerce and Industry, says Africa can create a $2 trillion dollar economy if it can simplify rules that govern trade and domestic investment. “When you look at the thread of World Trade Organisation and economic partnership discussions around the continent, Africa has realised that intra-Africa trade is a serious opportunity from which to raise internal resources,” Binha told Africa Renewal.

Mateus Magala, African Development Bank (AfDB) resident representative in Zimbabwe, says Africa has the greatest investment potential of all frontier markets globally.

“These include sovereign wealth funds, pension funds, foreign reserves and remittances, among others. In addition, the continent has substantial natural resources and countries with extractive industries can tap into this important source of revenue,” Magala said in an interview with Africa Renewal.

He noted that with political determination and leadership to create appropriate governance mechanisms, Africa’s extractive revenues could drive the continent’s transformation by enabling it to invest in competitiveness, diversification and efficient and sustainable use of resources.

At an African Group Perspective Conference on FfD in March, stakeholders said they were committed to funding sustainable development by mobilizing domestic resources, clamping down on corruption and illicit financial flows (IFFs) and addressing issues surrounding good governance.

“To finance its development priorities, Africa has developed a financing framework that prioritises domestic resource mobilization and trade as main sources of financing structural transformation and sustainable development, with a focus on infrastructure, human capital and sustainable agriculture, which is essential for achieving African Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs],” Adam Elhiraika, the director of macroeconomic policy at the ECA, said at a recent regional meeting in Addis Ababa.

ECA says Africa’s resource potential is enormous. The continent can support, develop and implement viable domestic finance instruments such as financial flows from securitizing remittances, earnings from minerals and mineral fuels, international reserves held by central banks and the growing marketplace for private equity funds.

This is bolstered by evidence from the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and other sources, which show that African countries raise more than $527.3 billion annually from domestic taxes, compared to $73.7 billion received in private flows and $51.4 billion in official development assistance.

Mr. Magala says $550 billion can be raised from official foreign reserves, $200 billion from pension funds, $150 billion from sovereign wealth funds, $50 billion from foreign direct investments, $60 billion from remittances and $20 trillion from monetizing natural resources.

Domestic Savings

Carbon-finance mechanisms can also be explored in greater depth for the implementation of some of the continent’s projects. A number of African countries are considering carbon taxation as a form of mobilizing additional financial resources and tackling the challenges posed by climate change.

However, the ECA says that compared to domestic savings in other developing regions, those in Africa remain low largely due to an unbanked population, though the potential exists if the informal sector’s resources are tapped and the sector is given incentives to use formal banking services. Africa’s savings-to-GDP was about 22% between 2005 and 2010, compared to 46% in East Asia and the Pacific and 30% for middle-income countries.

Mr. Binha says African governments should also foster an environment for high-level public-private sector consultations, considering that the private sector has so far played a limited role in implementing Africa’s development. “Engaging with the private sector genuinely increases investments internally and also becomes an effective means of attracting external investment. There is no rapport between governments and the private sector. There is a them-and-us syndrome,” notes Mr. Binha.

The ECA estimates the private equity market in Africa to be worth about $30 billion. In 2011 alone, private equity firms raised $1.5 billion for business in Africa.

Reducing The Cost Of Remittances

While remittances have increased, averaging $21.8 billion over the past decade, with countries such as Nigeria and Senegal receiving about 10% of their GDP in remittances, experts say the cost of sending remittances to Africa has remained the highest in the world, with the cost of transfers within Africa even higher. For remittances to have an impact, they must be made cheaper and used effectively to spur development.

Sometimes tough anti–money laundering laws and counter-surveillance regulations meant to combat financial terrorism can stifle remittances, thereby negating the continent’s progress. This recently happened when US banks plugged remittance services to Somalia.

Curtailing IFFs remains a major challenge that Africa must vigorously undertake. Such outflows from Africa may have been as high as $854 billion between 1970 and 2008, which amounts to an annual average of close to $22 billion in lost finances – more than half of it coming from the extractive industries sector. The domestic resource mobilization effort will receive a significant boost if IFFs from the continent are curtailed.

Several policy options have been suggested to stem the flows, such as raising awareness and sharing best practices among African policymakers and other stakeholders on the magnitude and development impact of the IFFs.

Some of the key initiatives taken so far include African Union finance ministers’ setting up the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa, and the establishment of regional initiatives such as the African Regional Anti-Corruption Programme (2011–2016) and the African Tax Administrative Forum (ATAF).

Mr. Binha says Africa’s biggest challenges are confidence, the unfavourable policy matrix, the rigidities of domestic trade and intra-trade and differences across nations. “Confidence is a huge deterrent to attracting sustainable, dependable and credible internal investment. African states have to create a dashboard around which there is proper governance, accountability and dependability with investors. The potential is there, but Africa has to first clearly define its priorities in Agenda 2063, their cost and the mechanisms to meet them,” added Mr. Binha. Agenda 2063 is the African Union’s economic development blueprint for the 50 years following 2013, when it was adopted.

Maintaining Growth

According to the World Bank, to raise enough funds from domestic sources, Africa will need to grow at a rate of 5% of GDP for the next two decades. The bank forecasts that economic growth for African countries will slow to 4.0% in 2015 from 4.5% in 2014, a downturn that largely reflects the sharp fall in global prices for oil and other key commodities.

The World Bank’s chief economist, Francisco Ferreira, told African finance ministers and central banks chiefs during a recent spring (April) meeting in Washington, DC, that the forecast was below the 4.4% average annual growth rate of the past two decades and well short of Africa’s peak growth rates of 6.4% in 2002–2008. Although the boom is over, Ferreira noted, the “Africa Rising” phenomenon predated the boom and should be able to outlive it.

Innovative domestic financing mechanisms such as Africa50, launched by the AfDB last year, are therefore expected to lead or complement other external resources and new financing forces like the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to achieve Africa’s ambitious development needs.

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.