*Announces an inspirational new speaker series for entrepreneurs Technology giant, Google today held graduation events in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa to celebrate 5000 business owners who have completed its Hustle Academy training programme.
At the events, Google also announced a new speaker series in which successful African entrepreneurs share lessons and advice, furthering its commitment to helping entrepreneurs and small businesses thrive.
Launched in February 2022, the academy provides practical business training which helps business owners learn the soft skills that complement their hard talents, through peer-to-peer and mentor-driven learning.
This year’s graduates were chosen from nearly 10 000 applications.
The 5000 graduates come from 23 cohorts who attended five-day virtual boot camps where they learned how to define their business strategy, increase sales, and how pitch for investor funding.
The curriculum also included lessons on digital marketing and effective financial planning.
Each business also received one on one mentoring sessions, to address specific pain points in their businesses, and to get advice from a network of trained mentors and coaches.
Head of Brand and Reputation, SSA, Mojolaoluwa Aderemi-Makinde, said: “Our graduates are working hard to grow their businesses, and in addition to having an impact in these 5000 SMBs, this kind of practical training also has a ripple effect, helping many more people succeed.
” The “Hustle Academy Brings You…” the new talk-show style video series featuring renowned and respected entrepreneurs from across Africa, sharing practical advice and growth tips to inspire emerging entrepreneurs is meant to complement and expand the Hustle Academy training.
This speaker series will allow SMBs to get insight from business owners from an array of sectors, focusing on the issues, themes and subjects they face on a regular basis.
Aderemi-Makinde, added: “Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are the backbone of the global economy, and in Africa, they account for an estimated 80% of jobs.
In Sub-Saharan Africa alone, there are an estimated 44 million micro, small and medium enterprises, which function as important drivers of economic growth.
Google is committed to supporting businesses in Africa and initiatives like the Hustle Academy and the new speaker series help businesses take advantage of all the opportunities that the web offers and equip them with the tools to develop and grow.
A Portfolio Committee on Communications and Digital Technologies subcommittee has been granted permission by the National Assembly’s Chair of Chairpersons for Committees and Oversight to meet on Thursday, 24 November 2022, to deliberate and recommend to the full committee the names of candidates to be considered for non-executive Board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
The subcommittee’s meeting will be followed by a meeting of the full committee after the National Assembly’s sitting.
A request for these meetings was made subsequent to the receipt of a final list of candidates vetted by the State Security Agency (SSA).
On 9 September 2022, the subcommittee shortlisted 37 candidates to fill 12 vacancies on the SABC Board.
Names of the candidates were then forwarded to the SSA for vetting.
Thirty-four candidates were interviewed from 13 to 16 September after three withdrew from the process.
The subcommittee had to pause its recruitment process while waiting for all candidates to be vetted by the SSA.
The process was paused at the time when the subcommittee was scheduled to deliberate and recommend a final list of candidates for consideration by a full committee and subsequently by the National Assembly.
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) approved an equity investment of $20 million in Evolution Fund III, a pan-African clean and sustainable energy private equity fund that is mobilising about $400 million into renewable energy and resource-efficiency assets across sub-Saharan Africa over a 10-year period.
Inspired Evolution Investment Management is a well-established fund manager with more than 15 years of experience and a track record of deploying more than $310 million in renewable energy projects in African counties.
The fund manager, through its predecessor funds, has delivered 21 renewable energy projects with a total generation capacity of 2 GW.
EVIII aims to broaden geographic and technology scope to incorporate North Africa as well as several SSA countries and decentralized energy business models as the key climate mitigation and energy transition.
The Bank’s support will contribute to an additional 2,162MW of installed renewable power generation capacity, 1.8 million tons of CO2 emission savings, and a green and sustainable growth across Africa by creating 2,480 full-time jobs, building on the track record of Evolution Funds I and II which generated about 1,309 jobs out of which 22% were women.
Vice President Kevin Kariuki of the African Development Bank’s Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Complex, said the Bank is committed to boosting its portfolio of renewable energy projects and encouraging private investment in renewable and efficient energy solutions.
“The Evolution Fund III is well placed to invest much-needed capital in long-term, low-carbon and climate-resilient development pathways towards achieving a just, net-zero future for African countries,” Kariuki said.
The Bank’s investment in Evolution Fund III aligns with its High Five objectives, particularly, “Light Up and Power Africa” under its New Deal on Energy for Africa.
According to Wale Shonibare, Director Energy Financial Solutions, Policy & Regulations, the Bank’s support for a private equity fund focused on promoting renewable energy in Africa, will assist regional member countries to achieve their Nationally Determined Contributions and Paris Agreement obligations.
Christopher Clarke, Co-Managing Partner at Inspired Evolution, said “AfDB has been a consistent supporter of Inspired Evolution since 2010 and this third capital commitment evidences our trusted partnership that has been established in the delivery of the AfDB climate goals for Africa.”Wayne Keast, Co-Managing Partner at Inspired Evolution, added “AfDB’s investment validates our track record and sophisticated investment management approach to accelerating Africa’s clean energy transition.”The African Development Bank and partners in the new fund will continue to provide growth capital and infrastructure equity to support renewable and sustainable energy, and focus on decarbonization, decentralization and digitalization as the key climate mitigation and energy transition strategies.
Nasarawa State Government has trained 95 graduates on entrepreneurship skills in order to make them self reliant and employers of labour.
The three-week Employability and Entrepreneurship Training Job Fair and Employment Summit was organised in collaboration with Oxfarm Nigeria and Poise Graduate Finishing Academic.
Gov Abdullahi Sule, while speaking at the end of the exercise on Friday in Lafia, noted that the entrepreneurship training became imperative in line with his administration’s quest to engage the youths positively.
He said that the administration since inception in 2019 had employed no fewer than 3, 000 teachers, severe doctors and other healthcare workers into the state work force.
“We have also rolled out a lot of training programme such as this one for the youths and women where they were equipped with the 21st century skills.
“We will continue to train and empower our youths and women so as to turn the large population to assets.
“Population has never been a problem anywhere, the case studies of India and China are relevant examples.
“The major problem is lack of ideas, initiative and entrepreneurship skills.
“Entrepreneurs are the employers of majority of the people in all developed economy once there is enabling environments.
“No government anywhere can provide employment for all its citizens, hence the policy of our government to empower our youths with skills in addition to those we can employ,” Sule added.
The governor, therefore, congratulated the beneficiaries and promised that the government would help them to secure soft loans to set up their business.
Also speaking, Habiba Suleiman, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the governor on Human Capital Development, said the training was the third edition organised in the state.
Suleiman listed some of the course content of the training to include business plan writing, CV written, customer service excellence, marketing strategy, business and personal finance management among others.
She explained that 994 graduates from the state applied for the training out of which 95 were selected.
The SSA, however, promised that more people would be subsequently accommodated for the training.
Bank One (www.BankOne.mu) is pleased to announce that its International Banking segment has been named "Best International Banking Services in the Indian Ocean" for the year 2022 by CFI.co.
The title, which is CFI.co's third consecutive award, demonstrates Bank One's strong commitment to supporting people and institutions in sub-Saharan Africa while positioning itself as a thought leader in mainland Africa.
Every year, CFI.co looks for industry leaders who make significant contributions to the convergence of economies and truly add value for all stakeholders.
As a repeat winner, accepting the award for the third consecutive year, the judges praised Bank One for "increasing its coverage and credit appetite in key African markets over the last two years" and for its efforts to deepen its relationships with central banks and sovereigns “The African continent is particularly important to us.
We are truly “from Africa, for Africa” through our shareholders I&M Group PLC and CIEL Group, but also through our teams of experienced pan-African professionals.
Our team members are from Malawi, Congo, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya and Mauritius.
With our combined experience, we are uniquely positioned to deliver "African solutions to African challenges."
Our journey is one of progress and achievement, not just results.
I am looking forward to expanding our footprint at SSA and contributing to the continent's success story,” says Carl Chirwa, Bank One's Director of International Banking.
Last month, the bank opened its new corporate office, Bank One Waterfront, in Port Louis Waterfront.
The opening of the new Corporate Office is in line with its vision of becoming “Africa's preferred gateway”.
More information here: (https://bit.ly/3UfWfWE)
A Nigerian banker and the Chairman, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Mrs Sola David-Borha says Sub Sahara Africa (SSA) requires competent leadership in critical decision-making to achieve growth and sustainable development.
David-Borha said this while delivering a paper on “Africa’s Economy: The Way Forward’’ at a Global Patriot Newspapers International Conference at Newark, New Jersey.
According to her, SSA requires compete leadership to translate industrial policies and regional agreements, among others, to desired growth and sustainable development.
David-Borha who spoke virtually at the conference said SSA required competent leadership in critical decision-making positions as the quality of decision-making is a major determinant of policy design and economic outcomes.
“In addition, leaders in all spheres of influence – politics, business, civil society, education, the arts, music and religion also have a part to play in embracing the Rule of Law and supporting effective policies,’’ she said.
David-Borha, is also a Non-Executive Director of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC, Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited said that there was so one size fits all solution to increase productive organisational capacities as each country is different.
“The challenge is designing the appropriate mix of policies, that fit the local environment, and implementing it in the right sequence, that will lead to the development of productive organisational capabilities.
“Rather than a ‘Big Bang’ strategy that tries to ‘boil the ocean’ it is more practical and effective for SSA to pursue a sector-by-sector approach as this reduces the risk of failure,’’ she said.
David-Borha said in a departure from earlier failed industrial policy attempts, the focus must be on ensuring that policies were designed with an attractive enough prize (or return).
“They must be adequately monitored for performance with sanctions for non-performance.
“This will ensure that African businesses and the companies providing the technology transfer and building the organisational capabilities both have a vested interest in achieving the desired outcome within a defined period,’’ she said.
Citing the example of the success of the mobile telecommunications (telecoms) sector in SSA with its multiplier effect on financial services, she said fintech’s, internet access and subscription levels increased from 83 per 100 in 2020, according to World Bank data.
The banker, however, said that it could be argued that telecoms was a relatively simple technology, and that the growth achieved was by ‘learning by doing’ over two decades.
“This success must be replicated in other priority sectors such as electricity and the agricultural value chain with a greater emphasis on technology transfer.
“For SSA to fully benefit from the opportunities created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA) we need to increase the number of productive organisations across the continent that can trade with each other,’’ she said.
David-Borha, concluded by describing development as a marathon and not a sprint.
“It is a commitment by policy makers and key stakeholders to build productive organisational capabilities that can be replicated and improve the regions competitiveness.
“Ultimately the discourse is about inclusive development.
“Policies must be designed to ensure that SSA progresses further towards formalising large proportions of its economy so that the benefits of growth can be distributed in a transparent, effective, and sustainable manner,’’ she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports -in-Chief of GPNews, Mr Simon Ibe has been in in active journalism for over 38 years.
He left Print Journalism as Chairman Editorial Board and General Manager Publications of Champion Newspapers Ltd, Lagos.
He was also, at different times, Group Political Editor, Opinion and Editorial Page Editor and Features Editor of Champion Newspapers.
Mr Abebe Selassie, the Director, International Monetary Fund (IMF), African Department, says tackling food insecurity should be the first policy priority for governments in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).
Selassie said this in his opening remarks at the News Conference on the October Regional Economic Outlook for SSA at the Bank Annual Meetings held in Washington DC on Friday.
According to him, the region’s economic outlook showed that growth is expected to slow down sharply from 4.7 per cent in 2021 to 3.6 per cent in 2022. He said that growth is expected to remain subdued in 2023, averaging only 3.7 per cent.
“The most recent turmoil is just the latest in a series of shocks over the past few years, all of which have taken a toll on the region’s policy space.
Rising food and energy prices are striking the region’s most vulnerable.
” Selassie said public debt had reached almost 60 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), leaving the region with debt levels last seen in the early 2000s.
“In fact, 19 of the region’s 35 low-income countries are now in debt distress or at high risk of distress, and inflation rates are in double digits for 40 per cent of the region’s economies.
” “Against this backdrop, and with limited options, many countries find themselves pushed closer to the edge.
” He said for authorities, this was the most challenging policy environment in years, adding that policymakers in SSA need to deal immediately with economic and humanitarian crises as they emerge.
Selassie said policymakers should do this while also building buffers and reducing vulnerability to future shocks as best they could.
In addition, he said the region’s prosperity would require high-quality growth, so policies must also set the stage for a sustainable recovery.
“With these goals in mind, the October Regional Outlook emphasises four policy priorities.
“The first priority is to tackle food insecurity, protecting the most vulnerable with a focus on channelling scarce resources to those who need them the most.
“Next, authorities will need to continue consolidating public finances amid more difficult funding conditions.
” Selassie said this would require continued revenue mobilisation; a tighter focus on critical spending priorities, increased efficiency, and prudent debt management within credible medium-term fiscal frameworks.
He said the next priority was for authorities to take steps to contain inflation, by cautiously and gradually increasing interest rates, without jeopardising the economic recovery or undermining longer-term credibility.
Selassie said lastly, policymakers should continue setting the stage for high-quality growth, in the context of accelerating climate change.
“Investment in resilient and green infrastructure is critical, not least to take advantage of the region’s formidable endowment of renewable energy resources.
He stressed the critical importance of international assistance, saying budget support including official development financing and humanitarian assistance had been declining over the past two decades.
Selassie said this had been going on while the region’s immediate and longer-term development needs had been rising, particularly in areas such as food security and climate change.
“More is needed, and as we look forward to the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt (COP-27), it should be noted that increased support including more concessional finance is necessary.
“This is for SSA to pursue a low-carbon and climate-resilient growth path.
” He said the IMF was helping to catalyse new capital inflows by boosting local capacity on climate strategy issues while flexibly expanding its lending facilities.
Selassie said the IMF was expanding its lending facilities with its Resilience and Sustainability Trust to provide affordable financing to address longer-term structural challenges, including climate change.
“I will note in this regard that we have recently come to a Staff Level Agreement with Rwanda on a potential arrangement under this facility.
” Most recently, we have inaugurated a new food shock window under our emergency lending facilities, which will help qualifying members mitigate the impact of the current emergency.
He said the IMF had also provided close to 50 billion dollars in financial support to SSA since the beginning of the pandemic.
“With help, SSA will be poised to fulfil the promise of the African century, contributing to a more prosperous, greener future for the region and the world.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF), says economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is expected to decline to 3.6 per cent in 2022 as against 4.7 per cent recorded in 2021. This is according to the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook Growth Projections Report October 2022 titled: “Countering the Cost-of-Living Crisis’’, released on Wednesday.
According to the report in Sub-Saharan Africa, the growth outlook is slightly weaker than predicted in July, with a decline from 4.7 per cent in 2021 to 3.6 per cent and 3.7 per cent in 2022 and 2023, respectively.
“A downward revision of 0.2 percentage point and 0.3 percentage point respectively.
“This weaker outlook reflects lower trading partner growth, tighter financial and monetary conditions, and a negative shift in the commodity terms of trade.
’’ The report showed that growth in Nigeria is expected to decline to 3.2 per cent and 3.0 per cent in 2022 and 2023 respectively, as against 3.6 in 2021. The report said Global growth is forecasted to slow from 6.0 per cent in 2021 to 3.2 per cent in 2022 and 2.7 per cent in 2023. “This is the weakest growth profile since 2001 except for the global financial crisis and the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Global economic activity is experiencing a broad-based and sharper-than-expected slowdown, with inflation higher than seen in several decades.
The cost-of-living crisis, tightening financial conditions in most regions, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the lingering COVID-19 pandemic all weigh heavily on the outlook.
’’ The report said global inflation is forecasted to rise from 4.7 per cent in 2021, to 8.8 per cent in 2022 but to decline to 6.5 per cent in 2023 and to 4.1 per cent by 2024. “Upside inflation surprises have been most widespread among advanced economies,with greater variability in emerging market and developing economies.
’’ The report said monetary policy should stay the course to restore price stability, and fiscal policy should aim to alleviate the cost-of-living pressures while maintaining a sufficiently tight stance aligned with monetary policy.
“Structural reforms can further support the fight against inflation by improving productivity and easing supply constraints, while multilateral cooperation is necessary for fast-tracking the green energy transition and preventing fragmentation.
Buildman Leadership Foundation, the development arm of The Summit Bible Church, has commenced a six-month civic fellowship programme for 30 young people selected from across the country.
This is contained in a statement by Dr Andrew Osakwe, Snr Pastor Summit Bible Church and Convener, This Generation Conference of the foundation, on Wednesday in Abuja The programme is designed to provide technical capacity and mentorship to the youth, to implement non-partisan civic projects that will contribute positively to the 2023 general elections.
The statement indicated that the 30 fellows emerged out of the hundreds that had undergone training on how to effectively engage, initiate, and execute community projects.
“All the projects by the fellows are expected to be implemented between 1st October 2022 and 31st March 2023. “At the end of the Fellowship, four participants with the overall outstanding projects will be sponsored for a one-week learning visit to an African country,” it added.
The foundation emphasised that the initiative was to empower young people to contribute to national growth and development.
“The project envisions a highly developed and prosperous Nigeria founded on a righteous, visionary and creative generation,” it added The foundation said that the youths were eearlier mentored by various leaders such as Dr Sam Amadi, former Chairman, Nigeria Electricity Regulation Commission, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, SSA to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Sheyi Adisa, Member, Oyo State House of Assembly, Simon Karu, Member, National Assembly, and Sen Binta Masi. The foundation was set up in 2017 and had each year mentored not less than 1,500 youths on leadership skills and community development initiatives.
The World Bank says African Governments urgently need to restore Macroeconomic stability and protect the poor in a context of slow growth and high inflation.
This is contained in a statement obtained from the World Bank website on Tuesday in Abuja by the News Agency of Nigeria .
The statement said global headwinds were slowing Africa’s economic growth as countries continued to contend with rising inflation, hindering progress on poverty reduction.
It said the risk of stagflation was coming at a time when high interest rates and debt were forcing African governments to make difficult choices as they tried to protect people’s jobs, purchasing power and development gains.
According to the World Bank’s latest Africa’s Pulse, a biannual analysis of the near-term regional macroeconomic outlook, economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is set to decelerate from 4.1 per cent in 2021 to 3.3 per cent in 2022. “This is a downward revision of 0.3 percentage points since April’s Pulse forecast, mainly as a result of a slowdown in global growth, including flagging demand from China for commodities produced in Africa.
” It said the war in Ukraine was exacerbating already high inflation and weighing on economic activity by depressing both business investments and household consumption.
“As of July 2022, 29 out of 33 countries in SSA with available information had inflation rates over five per cent, while 17 countries had double-digit inflation.
” The statement quoted Andrew Dabalen, World Bank Chief Economist for Africa as saying, “these trends compromise poverty reduction efforts that were already set back by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
” ” What is most worrisome is the impact of high food prices on people struggling to feed their families, threatening long-term human development.
“This calls for urgent action from policymakers to restore macro-economic stability and support the poorest households while reorienting their food and agriculture spending to achieve future resilience.
” The statement said elevated food prices were causing hardship with severe consequences in one of the world’s most food-insecure regions.
It said hunger had sharply increased in SSA in recent years driven by economic shocks, violence and conflicts, and extreme weather.
“More than one in five people in Africa suffer from hunger and an estimated 140 million people faced acute food insecurity in 2022, up from 120 million people in 2021, according to the Global Report on Food Crises 2022 Mid-Year Update.
“The interconnected crises come at a time when the fiscal space required to mount effective government responses is all but gone.
” The statement said in many countries, public savings have be,en depleted by earlier programmes to counter the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It said, however, resource-rich countries in some cases had benefited from high commodity prices and managed to improve their balance sheet.
According to the statement, debt is projected to stay elevated at 58.6 per cent of GDP in 2022 in SSA.
It said African governments spent 16.5 per cent of their revenues servicing external debt in 2021, up from less than five per cent in 2010. “Eight out of 38 IDA-eligible countries in the region are in debt distress, and 14 are at high risk of joining them.
“At the same time, high commercial borrowing costs make it difficult for countries to borrow on national and international markets, while tightening global financial conditions are weakening currencies and increasing African countries’ external borrowing costs.
“This challenging environment makes it essential to improve the efficiency of existing resources and to optimise taxes.
” The statement said in the agriculture and food sector for example, governments had the opportunity to protect human capital and climate-proof food production.
” This will be done by re-orienting their public spending away from poorly targeted subsidies toward nutrition-sensitive social protection programmes, irrigation works, and research and development known to have high returns.
“For example, one dollar invested in agricultural research yields, on average, benefits equivalent to 10 dollars , while gains from investments in irrigation are also potentially high in SSA.
“Such reprioritisation maintains the level of spending in a critical sector, while raising productivity, building resilience to climate change, and achieving food security for all.
” It said creating a better environment for agribusiness and facilitating intra-regional food trade could also increase long-term food security in a region that was highly dependent on food imports.