Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) (https://www.AfricaFC.org/), the leading provider of infrastructure solutions in Africa, has successfully closed a US$389 million dual currency samurai term loan facility, divided into US$382 million and JPY ¥1 billion.
The transaction marks AFC's second foray into the Japanese capital markets, following an inaugural Samurai loan facility in 2019, when the Corporation raised US$233 million and JPY 1 billion.
The 3-year term is an important step as AFC builds a coalition of investors to diversify its funding sources, including more institutional capital from Asia and existing partners in Europe and North America.
Japanese investors showed strong interest in the issue with Mizuho Bank Ltd, MUFG Bank Ltd. ("MUFG"), Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation ("SMBC") acting as mandatory lead arrangers and book brokers.
Other participating financial institutions include Bank of Yokohama, Norinchukin Bank, Shiga Bank, and Gunma Bank. Proceeds from this facility will be used for general corporate purposes.
AFC has a strong track record in Asian capital markets, issuing a US$300 million credit facility through the Export-Import Bank of China in 2018 and a US$140 million Kimchi term loan facility in 2019.
Asia is key for Africa's next phase of growth and Japan, in particular, is a major player as the country has shifted the focus of its engagement with Africa in recent years from providing aid to increasing investment.
The Japanese government, shifting its focus from aid to investment, recently pledged $30 billion over the next three years for the resilient and sustainable development of the African continent.
The announcement was made during the recently concluded eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), signaling a boom in economic relations between Africa and Asia. Banji Fehintola, Senior Director and Treasurer of AFC, said: “Asia is a very important region for us and the participation of Asian investors in our bond issues has grown significantly over time.
The success of this loan offering is testament to AFC's ability to diversify its funding sources in mobilizing global capital to build critical infrastructure in Africa and transform lives."
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) welcomes two contributions totaling around US$9 million, announced by the Government of Japan at a ceremony last week; a timely contribution as famine deepens in South Sudan with more than 7.74 million severely food insecure people, including around 1.3 million children and 683,000 pregnant and lactating women expected to be malnourished this year.
Contributions will help support up to 300,000 people through 2022.
The first grant of 400 million JPY (approximately US$3 million) will be used to purchase 1,500 metric tons of rice that will help 41,500 people facing severe food insecurity.
The second contribution of USD 6 million that was also approved will allow WFP to purchase cereals, oil and pulses to help some 234,000 people later in the year.
These two contributions from the Government of Japan come at a time when widespread loss of livelihoods due to conflict and climate shocks have put millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance across the country.
The funding will support WFP's emergency programs with a special focus on vulnerable individuals or groups (women, men, girls and boys) in crisis-affected areas, as well as refugees and internally displaced populations.
“I hope that this Japanese food assistance will alleviate the suffering of the people of South Sudan and help the country to seek development and prosperity.
I am also hopeful that South Sudan will unleash its enormous agricultural potential to increase the food security of all its citizens in the future.
Japan continues to support South Sudan's efforts to this end,” said TSUTSUMI Naohiro, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of South Sudan.
“These two generous grants come at a critical time when the unprecedented food insecurity situation in South Sudan is deteriorating further,” said Makena Walker, WFP Acting Country Director in South Sudan.
“While humanitarian needs are increasing sharply in the region and the world, we are grateful to see that Japan maintains its focus and commitment to support the people of South Sudan.
“The Government of Japan has been financing food assistance to developing countries since 1968 and has supported WFP's work in South Sudan since 2013, contributing more than US$44 million.
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) today received a contribution of JPY 250 million (approximately US$2 million) from the Government of Japan to strengthen food support for 60,000 preschool children through the national school feeding program of the Government of Lesotho.
A signing ceremony was held today to mark the contribution, which will be used to purchase canned fish and fortified cornmeal, further diversifying the nutritious meals offered at Early Childhood Care Development Centers across the country.
The ceremony was officiated by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Ms. Mats'epo Ramakoae and the Principal Secretary-Basic Education, Dr. Dira Khama.
While COVID-19 restrictions have been eased, Lesotho's economy has not fully recovered from the pandemic and is now suffering from the effects of the conflict in Ukraine, in particular further higher food and fertilizer prices.
More than 520,000 Basotho are food insecure (320,000 of them in rural areas), and that vulnerable population is likely to increase due to job loss, limited livelihood opportunities, lower remittances, reduced income from sales of livestock and livestock products and increased food and non-food incomes.
Households categorized as poor and very poor are expected to experience a more pronounced challenge in food consumption, especially during the upcoming lean season (October 2022-March 2023).
“This support from Japan comes at a critical time as more people are food insecure and need help,” said Ms. Aurore Rusiga, WFP Country Director and Representative in Lesotho.
“Assisting preschool students, most of whom are orphans or vulnerable, with high rates of malnutrition, will increase their food and nutrition security needs.” The Government of Japan's contribution will close the funding gap for the school feeding program and ensure the uninterrupted supply of meals, especially lunches.
These will complement a daily breakfast already provided thanks to the assistance of the Government of Japan.
"This aid is aimed at improving food security and supporting the economic and social development of the country."
HE Norio Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Lesotho, said.
"We would like to continue to contribute to improving the livelihoods of vulnerable people in Lesotho."
“Let me thank the Government of Japan for this timely and crucial investment in the future of our children and our country,” said Senior Secretary for Education Dr. Dira Khama.
The Government of Japan has been providing humanitarian food assistance to developing countries since 1968 and is a long-time partner of WFP in Lesotho.
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) acknowledges the Government of Japan's contribution of 200,000,000 JPY (equivalent to 25 million euros) in funds from the Government of Japan to ensure the supply of nutritious meals to more than 24,000 school-age children (11,571 girls and 12,659 boys).
A press conference and signing ceremony were held today to commemorate the contribution.
The ceremony was officiated by the Minister of Economic Planning and Development, the Honorable Dr. Tambo Gina, in the presence of the Ambassador of Japan, the Hon. Mr. Norio Maruyama and the Head of the WFP Office in Eswatini, Deepak Shah. In 2021, during school closures as a result of COVID-19 regulations, most children were deprived of their only meal for the day.
The scourge of COVID-19 has exacerbated food insecurity through limited economic opportunities and high commodity prices, exacerbating vulnerability, especially among women and children.
The amount of E 25,000,000 (equivalent to US$ 1,641,497) will go to the Homegrown School-Feeding (HGSF) program, which seeks to provide nutritious and varied meals to schoolchildren.
The food basket consists of porridge/rice, beans, spinach, cabbage, onion, lettuce, vegetable oil, and eggs, a recent addition.
In addition to rice and vegetable oil, the food comes from more than 600 small local farmers who belong to 17 registered cooperatives.
In addition to ensuring a healthy cooked lunch for school children (for many, their only meal of the day), the funding will ensure smallholder farmers' access to guaranteed markets for their produce, facilitating sustainable food production.
Participating farmers will also receive training in "conservation" farming techniques, helping them increase yields and reduce costs.
“We are grateful to Japan for this timely contribution, which will allow us to continue our work to save and improve lives here,” said Mr. Shah. “Covid-19 caused large-scale job losses, reduced income and opportunities for families, and severely aggravated already severe food insecurity, especially among the poorest and youngest.” According to the most recent assessments, sixteen percent of Eswatini's 1.2 million people are acutely food insecure, and a similar proportion of its children are stunted due to chronic malnutrition.
HE Norio Maruyama, Ambassador of Japan to the Kingdom of Eswatini, said: “During this unprecedented time, we would like to contribute again to improving the livelihoods of vulnerable people in Eswatini.
This assistance illustrates a longstanding friendship between our two peoples.” The Government of Japan has been financing food assistance for developing countries since 1968 and is a long-time partner of WFP in Eswatini.
Partnership is essential to meet food and nutritional needs and ultimately achieve Zero HungerACCRA, Ghana, October 21, 2021 / APO Group / -
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) welcomes a contribution of 499 million JPY (4.5 million USD) from the government of Japan, for a public-private partnership project that aims to bring quality nutrition and health services available to 250,000 people in Ghana.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service, WFP will partner with three Japanese private sector companies, The Ajinomoto Foundation (TAF) / KOKO Plus Foundation (KPF), NEC Corporation and Sysmex Corporation, to produce nutritious foods and micronutrient supplements. and provide nutrition education to the most vulnerable women, children and adolescent girls in rural areas of the country suffering from food insecurity.
“Partnership is essential to meet food and nutritional needs and ultimately achieve Zero Hunger,” said Anna Mukiibi-Bunnya, WFP Acting Representative in Ghana. “Thanks to the continued generosity of the Japanese people, we will collaborate more with public and private sector partners to generate innovative solutions to hunger in Ghana. "
In one district of the Northern Region, 7,500 vulnerable pregnant and lactating women, children and adolescents will receive nutrition education and counseling, as well as nutritious food. Women will also be enrolled in activities that will allow them to earn more money and maintain their ability to continue purchasing nutritious, locally produced food after the project ends. In addition, 250,000 people in 90 districts will be continuously educated and counseled on good nutritional practices as part of a widely deployed social and behavior change communication component.
"This project is fully aligned with the Government of Japan's priority for universal health care and the African Health and Well-Being Initiative (AfHWiN) as presented in TICAD VII," said said Tsutomu Himeno, Japanese Ambassador to Ghana at the project signing ceremony. “The Government of Japan will continue to support such collaborations to address the burden of malnutrition in Ghana as a whole. And it is the wish of the people and government of Japan that this project makes a valuable contribution in the areas of nutrition and health coverage in Ghana.
Overall, in Ghana, WFP is helping the government implement innovative solutions to hunger, including an e-commerce project for small farmers, social protection programs such as school feeding as well as programs livelihoods for people living with HIV and beneficiaries of nutrition interventions.
We are grateful for the generous contribution of Japan to our work in The Gambia.BANJUL, Gambia, October 21, 2021 / APO Group / -
The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) welcomes a contribution of $ 1.5 million (JPY 164 million) from the Government of Japan to provide a nutritional response to 40,000 vulnerable food insecure people in The Gambia.
With this contribution, WFP will provide fortified blended foods to malnourished children under 5, pregnant and lactating women, and mothers living with HIV to address moderate acute malnutrition. WFP will also support nutrition education and awareness raising to increase the knowledge and skills of caregivers, mothers, adolescent girls, household and community leaders on better feeding practices.
“We are grateful for Japan's generous contribution to our work in The Gambia,” said Yasuhiro Tsumura, WFP Representative in The Gambia. “This support has come at a critical time when the COVID-19 pandemic, seasonal climate shocks, including flash floods and windstorms, are dealing the hardest blow to families' food security situation.”
The latest food security analysis estimated that 600,000 people (30 percent of the population) are food insecure with 114,000 men, women and children severely affected during the lean season, June-August 2021.
Present at the handover ceremony today, Tatsuo Arai, Ambassador of Japan to The Gambia, praised the good collaboration between WFP and the Gambian government in the development and implementation of this important security project human in this critical period of the Covid-19 pandemic. “We look forward to the active participation of The Gambia in the upcoming Tokyo International Conference for African Development next year and the Nutrition-for-Growth Summit to be held in December 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. », He indicated.
WFP's comprehensive response in The Gambia includes emergency assistance to disaster-affected people and the provision of nutritional support to malnourished children and women, as well as life-changing support, including food. education, resilience building and community / national capacity building. WFP needs $ 3.4 million over the next 6 months for its operations in The Gambia.
This generous new donation from Takeda reflects the success and sustainability of our collaborationROME, Italy, September 22, 2021 / APO Group / -
New JPY 1.3 billion (approx. USD 10.8 million) contribution from Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) global CSR program to the World Food Program (WFP) builds on previous successes and highlights initiative 5 years to help build regional health supply chain capacity in West Africa.
The existing partnership between Takeda and WFP has focused on strengthening public health supply chains in countries and supporting long-term pandemic preparedness, combining Takeda's financial support with knowledge and WFP's supply chain experience, gained over nearly six decades of working in some of the most logistically challenging regions. environments around the world.
In West Africa, fragile supply chains can cause delays and damage in the transport and storage of medicines and other vital health items, leaving vulnerable communities without the help they need. This new initiative, which will run from 2022 to 2026, will build on existing activities under the current Takeda-PAM partnership, helping to address supply chain gaps and challenges at the regional level, ensuring better accessibility and availability of health products in fragile regions. through the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot managed by WFP in Accra, Ghana.
United Nations Humanitarian Response Depots (UNHRD) are a network of six strategically located centers around the world that provide supply chain services to the humanitarian community. UNHRD Ghana, in Accra, supports humanitarian organizations working in 17 West African countries. This initiative will strengthen the capacity of UNHRD Accra to store and deliver heat-sensitive health commodities on behalf of the humanitarian community, and will create a regional logistics knowledge center, where supply chain professionals and representatives of National governments in the region will be able to receive training on best supply chain practices, ensuring they are better equipped to deal with and manage health emergencies.
“WFP has been working with Takeda since 2020 and we greatly appreciate this partnership,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. "This generous new donation from Takeda reflects the success and sustainability of our collaboration and will help public and private actors in West Africa prepare for and respond to health emergencies - so that vital supplies can reach those in need. need it most. "
“Takeda is proud to continue to work with the World Food Program to transform supply chains and ensure access to essential health products in West Africa,” said Takako Ohyabu, director of international affairs at Takeda. “Our Global CSR Program partners are selected each year by our employees around the world. Through this program, we are focused on strengthening health systems and our work with WFP continues to benefit employees. As we continue this partnership, we hope to empower West African communities to be prepared for the health challenges of the future. "
The Government of Japan is extremely concerned about the humanitarian situation in Northern MozambiqueROME, Italy, August 30, 2021/APO Group/ --
The Government of Japan provided JPY 200 million (US$1.8 million) to the World Food Programme (WFP) in Mozambique to address food insecurity in communities affected by the ongoing violence and displacement of people in the Cabo Delgado province.
The US$ 1.8 million donated by Japan will support WFP to purchase emergency food and improve the nutrition of more than 25,000 people displaced by violence in Cabo Delgado.
Food security is an important component of the Japanese assistance in Mozambique, which includes support to the most recent humanitarian crises such as the conflict in the north, the emergency response to climate shocks and the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. It addresses the immediate needs of communities and supports resilience building to prepare communities for future emergencies.
“The Government of Japan is extremely concerned about the humanitarian situation in Northern Mozambique”, said the Ambassador of Japan to Maputo, Mr. KIMURA Hajime. “We all need to support to alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis. Japan has decided to cooperate with WFP to improve food security of displaced populations in Cabo Delgado. We stand side by side of the people of Mozambique and we will continue to support our Mozambican friends to face the challenges of the ongoing insecurity”, stressed the Ambassador of Japan.
With the support of donors like Japan, WFP is addressing the needs of 800,000 internally displaced people and the most vulnerable people within the host communities in Northern Mozambique.
“The needs are increasing with at least 800,000 people displaced and thousands affected in host communities in Northern Mozambique”, said the WFP Deputy Country Director, Pierre Lucas. ”Once again, the Government of Japan stood up to support the Mozambican people. WFP welcomes the Japanese donation and the continuous contributions of Japan to support WFP’s life-saving assistance for families affected by the conflict. We hope other partners to follow the Japanese example”.
The Government of Japan has been funding food assistance for developing countries since 1968 and is a long-standing partner of WFP in Mozambique. Japan’s latest contribution to WFP humanitarian assistance was in 2020 and the beginning of 2021 with a budget of US$ 5.29 million in total to provide food assistance and livelihoods support to refugees and asylum-seekers in Maratane Refugee Camp (Nampula Province) and to internally displaced people in Cabo Delgado province. In May 2019, Japan contributed with US$ 6.9 million for the provision of emergency food assistance to cyclone Idai affected people in Central Mozambique.
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United States stock futures dipped and the Japanese Yen ticked up on Friday after a final debate between United States President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden merely hardened investors’ caution heading into the election.
FILE PHOTO: Traders wearing masks work, on the first day of in-person trading since the closure during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, United States, May 26, 2020. rendan McDermidUnited States S&P 500 E-minis (EScv1) were down 0.1per cent at 3,445.75 points at 0230 GMT. The S&P 500 index (.SPX) closed down 0.5 per cent at 3,453.49 on Thursday.
“It was a slightly more civilised debate this time around, but Trump failed to make up for lost ground from the first debate,” said Vasu Menon, a senior strategist at OCBC Wealth Management in Singapore.
“Biden came through better than Trump in this debate and this should help to cement his lead over Trump and may just help him to cross the final line with a win.”
The final debate in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday follows over a week of choppy trade on Wall Street, with investors worried about whether Congress and Trump will approve another fiscal stimulus package before the election.
Gary Ng, Natixis economist for Asia in Hong Kong, pointed to the slight strengthening in the United States dollar index as a sign that sentiment has turned conservative because of the risk and uncertainty around the election outcome.
Following a recent decline, the S&P 500 remains up over 3 per cent since the two candidates’ first debate, on Sept. 29, with investors voicing growing comfort with a potential Biden victory as the Democratic candidate increased his lead in polls.
Many investors in recent months have held that a second term for Trump, who favours tax cuts and deregulation, would be good for the stock market.
The S&P 500 is up more than 60 per cent since Trump’s unexpected election victory on Nov. 8, 2016, beating the 42 per cent gain in the first four years after Democratic President Barack Obama won in 2008.
Investors view Biden as likely to raise taxes, especially if Democrats wrest control of the Senate from Republicans.
However, a Biden presidency, coupled with a Democratic Senate, would likely mean a larger fiscal stimulus plan than what a Republican Senate would agree to, many investors believe.
Goldman Sachs this month estimated that under a Biden presidency, corporate earnings would receive a boost from fiscal stimulus and lower tariffs, more than offsetting a drag caused by an expected tax hike.
However, it is unclear how Wall Street would react to the election outcome.
In the run-up to the 2016 election, investors widely predicted that a Trump victory would hurt stocks due to his unpredictability and trade-war threats against China and Mexico.
Following Trump’s victory, the S&P 500 surged 5 per cent in a month, in what was dubbed the “Trump trade”, as investors bet the president would cut taxes and regulations and boost infrastructure spending.
With expectations that the increased use of mail-in ballots by voters concerned about the coronavirus could mean no immediate winner is announced, S&P 500 options show investors are bracing for volatility in November and December.
With 12 days to go, some 47.5 million Americans have turned in ballots, roughly eight times the number of early votes cast at about same point before the 2016 presidential contest, according to data compiled by the United States Elections Project.
Trump has declined to say if he will accept the results of the election if he loses, repeating his unfounded complaint that mail-in ballots would lead to election fraud.
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara)