• 2021 End of Year Newsletter
  • INVEST IN AFRICA AND TULLOW GHANA COLLABORATE TO DELIVER FINANCIAL READINESS PROGRAMME FOR SUPPLIERS
  • SME Spotlight: IIA SME Recovery and Resilience Program Drives Business Recovery for Agro & Real Ltd

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“Coaching is essential for any business at any stage whether you are struggling, growing, or plateaued; it is something I would recommend to all entrepreneurs,” Kefa Nyakundi gladly reiterates.

In 2017 Kefa’s brainchild, Centerprise Holdings Ltd (CHL), which consisted of 3 companies, Centerprise Africa Limited (CAL), Africa Risk Institute (ARI), and Mtaji Technologies, suffered a market downturn because of the prolonged general elections. This led to most of the company's shareholders jumping ship as the business was almost going under. Consequently, as the managing director and vision carrier, this was a call to restructure the company to adjust to the changing business terrain.

Hardly had the business picked up when Covid-19 hit in 2020. This blow came on the back of an already depressed business, which led to a difficult decision to close their office and operate virtually, lay off the staff, and convert them to contractors to ensure business survival. 

These systemic disruptions caused ripples at Centerprise Holdings, creating the need to find new ways to adapt to the constantly changing market conditions to stay afloat.

While Kefa was struggling to spruce up his business and implement a merger strategy, Invest in Africa (IIA) launched a Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Recovery and Resilience program that he quickly signed up for, hoping to improve his business operations.

At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Invest in Africa partnered with Mastercard Foundation to champion the survival and resilience of SMEs. This is under an initiative dubbed SMEs Recovery and Resilience. In collaboration with industry experts, IIA delivers bespoke enterprise development programs to SMEs through; Business Coaching, Virtual Masterclasses, peer-to-peer mentorship, and an investor readiness program.

Working with a certified business coach assigned to him was an enlightening experience as the coach doubled up as an accountability partner in presenting his deliverables.

“The coaching gave me so much clarity. It gave me focus, and I got the confidence to progress with the initiatives I was doing,” Kefa said in an interview.

Consequently, the coaching helped redesign and reorganize the business operations, reducing cost and creating a nimble business that could operate under the new normal. 

Adopting the lean operating module developed through coaching and delivering their services using online tools scaled up their business, building it back better. Centerprise Holdings restarted the Mtaji project, an access to capital tech platform for SMEs, using the savings made and hope to launch the platform this quarter.

According to Kefa, the coaching worked as an impetus to growth and positioned the business in a sustainability trajectory. The two companies, Mtaji Technologies and Africa Risk Management Advisors (ARMA), now smarten up, offering one seamless bouquet product consisting of a digital financial marketplace and professional services firm.

In the next three years, he sees his business being at the heart of facilitating Intra- Africa Trade and taking advantage of the African Free Continental Trade Area opportunities to facilitate trade between and among African states.

With the digitization of their services, they will be able to operate across the continent with representative offices across Africa, with Nairobi being their headquarters. 

The SME recovery and resilience program by IIA is still ongoing with diversification to incorporate additional partners and collaborators. This is geared towards delivering more impact to SMEs by enhancing their access to skills development opportunities, finance linkages, and new market streams.

Under this drive, IIA partnered with Unilever to champion inclusive sourcing by incorporating women, youth, persons with disabilities, and marginalized groups SMEs via Biashara.Now platform.

IIA also recently partnered with GIZ Business Scouts for Development Program to enhance the capacity of manufacturing SMEs in natural food clusters to drive sustainable supply chains, quality production, and food safety.

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The Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei Mensah has commissioned the Obuasi Enterprise and Skills Development Centre.

The Center, which was jointly established by Anglogold Ashanti Ghana, and the AGA Community Trust Fund, is expected to be a one-stop hub to provide solutions to local businesses and to support skills development and capacity building.

Speaking at a ceremony to commission the centre, Mr. Simon Osei Mensah commended Anglogold Ashanti for investing in skill development in Obuasi. He said Anglogold Ashanti has demonstrated enough commitment to provide alternatives to diversify the economy of Obuasi and provide alternatives to the Mine.

He said, “not long ago, I was here to commission the Training and Rehabilitation Centre for Persons with Disability constructed by Anglogold Ashanti. These and many other interventions by Anglogold Ashanti which are contained in their Social Management Plan need to be applauded”. He talked about the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

He emphasized that in order to reduce unemployment and improve the standards of education in the country, it was imperative to incorporate the needs of private sector players in the decision-making processes. He called for the support of all stakeholders to make TVET attractive to the youth.

The Managing Director of Anglogold Ashanti, Eric Asubonteng in his speech said the Obuasi Enterprise and Skills Development Centre has the potential to boost the local Obuasi economy by developing market-ready programmes that will improve the livelihoods of the youth and make them self-reliant.

“We are convinced that this centre will, to a large extent, improve both human and economic capital, and assist in the development and fast flow of business activities in Obuasi and our other host communities”.

Collaboration with invest Africa

Eric Asubonteng mentioned that through AGA’s collaboration with Invest in Africa (IIA); a not-for-profit organisation with the vision to create thriving African economies, 100 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Obuasi have been placed on the African Partner Pool platform.

This he said, is intended to promote their products and services and the standards they can deliver to make it easier for big companies to find them. He again revealed that through this collaboration, about 102 jobs have been created.

Obuasi Enterprise and Skills Development Centre

The centre forms part of the Enterprise Development Programme under the 3-year Social Management Plan of Anglogold Ashanti Ghana.

It is disability friendly and made up of a multi-purpose conference/ training centre, a business centre, 8 mini- meeting areas, a fully-equipped leather workshop, a fully-equipped industrial centre, a bead-making centre, and a hand sanitiser production centre.

The refurbished facility, which hitherto, served as a recreational centre, has so far supported over 600 businesses in Obuasi. Awards were presented to persons who have gone through training at the centre.

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The Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Cos-Petrogaz and the Business Council of Renewable Energy of Senegal (Coperes) are organizing, in partnership with Energy, Capital and Power (EPC), MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2021, taking place on December 13 to 14, 2021 at the Centre International de Conference Abdou DIOUF (CICAD) in Diamniadio.

Under the theme #ANewWaveOfInvestment, MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2021 will showcase some of the major projects coming onstream over the course of 2023-2024 including SNE, Sangomar, GTA, and flagship projects in the renewable energy industry like the Taiba N´Diaye wind farm.

“This landmark conference will help stimulate investment in our country in this sector, with the forthcoming prospects for oil and gas exploitation, and also in the renewable energy sector in which our country has made significant progress with nearly 30% clean energy in the electricity grid. The imminent arrival of local gas will make Senegal energy independent and constitute a significant element of our energy transition, considering climate change, to produce clean and accessible energy at a lower cost, thanks to innovative programs in this area,” H.E. Aissatou Sophie Gladima, Minister of Petroleum and Energy states.

MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power International Conference Director, Sandra Jeque notes that: “ECP is excited and grateful to have the strong support from our local partners in Senegal and throughout the MSBC region. It is one of the most promising regions for oil exploration and production in West Africa. The conference will feature a number of crucial themes such as the role of natural gas in Senegal, gas-to-power projects, energy transition, local content development and capacity building, and creating new career opportunities for women in energy.”

Emphasizing the international dimension of the MSGBC 2021 conference, she added that “we look forward to welcoming a large number of IOC’s, regional NOC’s and the Ministries of Petroleum and Energy from throughout the sub-region, as well as world-class speakers, both local and international. ECP sees the MSGBC Basin as strategic region that will shape sub-Saharan Africa’s oil and gas sector for years to come, and as such, ECP is strongly committed to the MSGBC region, not just for this high-level event in 2021, but for the long term as a strategic partner for all of the key stakeholders in the region.”

MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2021 will see the strong participation of official delegations from many sub-Saharan African countries, in particular those from the MSGBC sedimentary basin (Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry), as well as other oil- producing countries from West Africa and North Africa, alongside investment partners from Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia.

To find out more information regarding speaker or sponsorship opportunities at the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2021, please visit www.msgbc2021.com or contact sales@energycapitalpower.com, manuelle@energycapitalpower.com serigne@energycapitalpower.com

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