7th Anniversary of THE TIMES OF AFRICA

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The Building Boom

Infrastructure is more vital and potentially transformational in sub-Saharan Africa.

Nature at its Best

Welcome to South Africa, a country so rich in beauty that we want to share them all with you.

Face of African Fashion

It's an exhilarating time for investors to invest in the African fashion Industry.

Unearthing Opportunities

Digging deep the mines for favourable results.

Cultivating Future

The road to diminish poverty and undernourishment in Africa.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Unlocking African markets for South African stakeholders

Despite Africa’s market and political challenges, local property developers, contractors and investors are still delivering projects successfully throughout the continent.
How South African companies manage to do that was one of the topics in the spotlight at the 8th annual Africa Property Investment (API) Summit & Expo that took place at the Sandton Convention Centre from Thursday 24th and Friday 25th August 2017.
One of the core focus discussions was on managing project delivery risk in Africa. While emerging African markets are filled with long-term growth and investment opportunities, conventional insurers and financiers remain hesitant about covering local property stakeholders wanting to do business in African markets.
Mandisi Nkuhlu, COO of the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC), believes the reliability of the income stream, on a project, is one of the most notable challenges property financiers and investors must deal with.
Nkuhlu says: “In financing a property transaction, for instance a mall or office space, it is important to get a reliable anchor tenant who is willing and able to commit to a long-term lease. Whilst there is a strong market practice on the continent of paying large up-front lease payments, the reliability of the income stream over the debt repayment period and contractual lock-in arrangements remain crucial. The financing tends to be provided in hard currency, whereas the tenants may be generating local revenue streams, so the currency mismatch is one of the risks that have to be mitigated.”
As the African property landscape shifts and investors and developers increase their focus on delivering projects on time and within budget, Nkuhlu believes there is a growing need for proper planning around managing in-country and Africa specific risk.
He adds: “There are quite a few projects that struggle to reach construction completion on time and on schedule. Sorting out the construction risk is quite important. In this regard, choosing the right contractor with the relevant experience for the size and complexity of the project is critical. The contractual arrangements and risk allocation, such as penalties for delays or poor workmanship, needs to ensure that the construction company has sufficient incentives to perform and avoid the contractual breaches. Locking in key and sufficient tenants before financial close is another useful risk mitigation of the commercial risk.”
Nkuhlu, Greg Pearson, Director of GRIT Mauritius, Zo Hlongwane, COO of G5 Properties and Nick Allan, Group Chief Executive Officer of Control Risks, South Africa will go deeper into this topic at the summit sharing an experts’ guide to successful development and risk mitigation in Africa.
This discussion is just one of many for this year’s API Summit & Expo, which will see participation from over 35 countries, with 600 delegates and 250 companies attending, offering a programme aimed at providing a wide range of key insights and infinite networking opportunities.
Commenting on the importance of this discussion Kfir Rusin, Managing Director for API Events says: “Hosting a discussion around managing project delivery risk in Africa and sharing on the ground experiences, knowledge and risk mitigating tactics from companies like ECIC is of utmost importance and will help in ensuring better project delivery for all African property stakeholders going forward.”
Source APO

Int’l community must unify efforts to assist Libya in overcoming ‘serious’ governance challenges

Libya’s future prosperity and stability depends on the international community further strengthening and unifying its efforts on behalf of the whole country, as well as Libyans themselves “seizing the window of opportunity” that is before them to ensure peace, the head of the United Nations mission there said today.
“We need to act; we need to act together and we need to act now,” said Ghassan Salamé, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), addressing the Security Council for the first time since he took up the post last month.
Reporting on a wide-ranging series of meetings – throughout Libya and to Egypt, Algeria and Italy – Mr. Salamé that all would benefit from a stable, peaceful and reconciled Libya.
And yet, despite a nearly two-year-old Political Agreement, Libya itself remains fraught with political divisions, mired in conflict and a stumbling economy. Saying that in his talks with the Libyan people “a clear picture is emerging,” Mr. Salamé noted that insecurity, frustration, political dysfunction and economic despair are among the raft of challenges the country faces.
Despite its relative oil wealth, he said, endless cuts in utilities; sporadic violence across the country and political stalemate; were preventing the country from fulfilling it’s potential.
“There is obviously a serious problem of governance that can hardly wait to be addressed,” Mr. Salamé stressed, warning that people’s welfare is a fundamental element to in Libya’s future stability and in that regard, unless the economic challenges are addressed – “and soon” – the country’s humanitarian crisis would deepen.
In additihe said that irregular migration and the revenue it generates for smuggler networks had proven to be a “direct threat” to stability in parts of Libya, even as hundreds of thousands of migrants who are stuck in the country often “suffer abuses and detention in inhuman conditions.”
While he noted some positive steps, including improvements in the security situation in Tripoli and elsewhere, and a marked increase in oil production which allowed the Presidency Council and the Central Bank to work together to deliver a budget, “the key to lasting stability requires addressing the overarching political situation,” namely the status of the two-year-old Libyan political Agreement; the prospect of adopting a new constitution; and the possibility for fresh elections.
“The UN stands willing and able to act in the best interests of all Libyans at equal distance from all parties,” Mr. Salamé told the Council, explaining that he very much hoped that with the trust of Libyan partners and the confidence of the regional organizations and concerned Member States, “we are able to strengthen and unify our collective efforts and together restore Libya to its rightful place in the family of nations, one united stable, and prosperous country.”
Source UN News Centre

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Brutal killing in the Hillbrow theatre South Africa

The Hillbrow Theatre in Johannesburg witnessed one of the greatest horrors of the time on Sunday, when a man opened the gunfire on the crowd. Sources say that the man got furious after his phone went missing in the audience.
The caretaker of the theatre told that he heard the gunshot inside the theatre and rushed inside to look into the matter. He was surprised to find the patrons running to escape the site. It seemed like he had lost his stuff in the crowd and was complaining about his phone.
One of the eyewitnesses told that the theatre was packed and after asking for his phone he opened the fire on the crowd, killing indiscriminately. One died and eight were injured in the incident. Sources say that he fled from the site, soon after the incident. The police is still searching for the

The International Islamic Banking Summit Africa: Djibouti 8th & 9th November 2017

Building on the success of our previous summits where more than 250 Islamic banking leaders from across Africa and internationally gather each year to discuss new strategies to boost trade & investment between Africa, OIC countries and the broader international markets through Islamic finance, Ethico Live in collaboration with the Central Bank of Djibouti are delighted to announce that the International Islamic Banking Summit Africa: Djibouti 2017 will again take place on the 8th & 9th of November 2017 at the Kempinski Palace Djibouti.

Held under the patronage of, and featuring a Special Presidential Address from, H.E. Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti and Head of Government, this year’s Summit will be held under the theme “Unlocking the Economic & Strategic Potential of Islamic Finance in Africa” and will tackle how to boost the potential of Islamic finance to deliver several key value propositions to Africa, particularly in the high-impact areas of Sukuk & Infrastructure Finance; Trade & Investment; and Financial Inclusion & Innovation. The Summit also features a Keynote Speech from H.E. Ahmed Osman, the Governor of the Central Bank of Djibouti.

The high-profile audience who regularly attend IIBSA includes the leading Islamic bankers from across Africa, the Middle East and beyond; government regulators and policymakers; and the CEOs and decision-makers representing the leading organizations who are driving Islamic finance forward on the continent.
Tap into the high‐growth Africa opportunity for Islamic finance by becoming media partner at IIBSA 2017
Let’s Talk Now!
Sophie Mclean
Senior Vice President
T: +91 124 418 2794/95
M: +91 9971341836
Website: http://www.ethicolive.com/events/islamicbankingdjibouti/

Off-grid solar will transform business in Nigeria

Access to power is a major constraint for Nigeria’s SMEs, and thousands are now using the Lumos Mobile Electricity service, which provides customers with reliable, clean, affordable solar electricity
The people behind one of the fastest growing off-grid solar companies in Africa have said that the mobile solar revolution will transform Nigeria’s small-business economy.
Access to power is a major constraint for Nigeria’s SMEs, and thousands are now using the Lumos Mobile Electricity service, which provides customers with reliable, clean, affordable solar electricity.
Lumos Nigeria Chief Executive Officer Yuri Tsitrinbaum believes the availability of solar solutions will play an essential role in efforts to bridge the nation’s electricity supply gap. He says that businesses without access to the grid find alternative electricity sources expensive, unreliable and dirty – many are now discovering that the clean energy wave sweeping across Africa can transform their fortunes.
A recent survey conducted by NOIPolls revealed that 61% of SMEs in Nigeria spend between ₦500 – ₦1000 per day on fuel, and an ODI survey has indicated that as many as 85% of micro and small businesses rely on generators for supply of electricity. With the Mobile Electricity service, costs are as low as ₦150 per day, or just ₦4,500 per month.
Lumos’ Mobile Electricity service, in partnership with MTN, is an alternative to noisy, polluting generators. Available at MTN stores nationwide, the Y’ello Box is providing a solution to millions of Nigerians who don’t have access to reliable electricity.
Lumos, which has attracted major investors into the Nigerian economy, has witnessed a rapid rise in the number of SMEs thriving thanks to safe, reliable and affordable power from the Y’ello Box.
SMEs have found the Mobile Electricity service attractive as they can benefit both from its affordability and reliability, doing away with fuel and maintenance costs. With the Y’ello box, SMEs can increase their trading hours, and their profits.
On a visit to SMEs and health clinics using the Y’ello Box earlier this year, US Ambassador to Nigeria Stuart Symington praised the service for helping people keep their premises open later, adding that the service would help Nigeria “fulfill its full economic potential”.
Yuri Tsitrinbaum said: “We are witnessing a power revolution in Nigeria. Our everyday lives demand more access to electricity, and we need to meet that demand in order for businesses to grow. If we are to meet the true potential of the thriving business community here, access to power must follow the path of the mobile revolution.
Today, Lumos is already providing clean and affordable solar power to more than 200,000 people, many of whom are business owners and households. By the end of the year, Lumos aims to provide 1 million Nigerians with access to reliable, clean and affordable electricity”.
Source APO