IIA NEWS IN Senegal

Picking apart Africa’s energy transition, the progress needed to be made, numerous decisions to consider and the need for supportive policy to accelerate efforts – here is Episode 3 of Gaia Says No – Africa, hosted by future Net Zero.

Joining IIA's Director, William Pollen are Dr Amy Jadesimi, Managing Director of LADOL Free Zone in Lagos, Stanley Nyoni, Sustainability and Leadership Advisor, with future Net Zero’s founder, Sumit Bose directing the conversation.

Listen here and please feel free to share among your networks to keep the conversation going!

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AfCFTA gives glimpse of new African destiny

An increasingly insular post-Covid world economy has created the opportunity for Africa to lead the global trade agenda. Economies on the continent must seize it with both hands, writes director of Invest In Africa, William Pollen.

Africa’s debt-laden economies bore the brunt of the global economic fallout from the pandemic, while the continent grappled with its first recession in twenty-five years. Sub-Saharan Africa’s pleas for debt relief were met with scepticism by richer nations, as 30m people on the continent slid into extreme poverty last year.

Yet as richer economies retreat into isolationism, they have failed to coordinate a collective response to the pandemic that considers the needs of poorer nations with less advanced healthcare systems.

Public debt in sub-Saharan Africa has ballooned to 66% of gross domestic product, while debt service payments average 32% of annual revenue, IMF data from 2020 indicates.

But there are reasons to be more optimistic in 2021 and beyond.

Firstly, the birth of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was a timely reminder of where the continent’s priorities lie. Secondly, the drive for greater sustainability – turbocharged by the pandemic – gives Africa a chance to redefine sustainability in an African context and turn it into a competitive advantage.

The AfCFTA- A New Dawn?

Against a backdrop of a record GDP per capita contraction, the continent is feeling the pinch of dwindling export revenues and declining foreign direct investment (FDI). Uncertainty and economic tremors are heightening investor anxiety, who faced with the fight or flight option, have fled with $700bn from developing countries.

Multinationals have reduced, delayed or in some cases cancelled investment into Africa altogether, instead preferring to invest into safer ‘home’ markets.

Africa’s risk profile is in part shaped by the terms dictated by the global north. Though the AfCFTA may not achieve complete emancipation, it gives Africa more influence over its economic ambitions.

Only Africa can realise the substantial opportunities the AfCFTA offers, such as creating homegrown investment, domestic economic expansion, and jobs for its young, ambitious and entrepreneurial populations.

As other countries turn inward, trade over the next decade and a half will boost Africa’s income by $450bn and contribute $76bn to the world economy, underlining its importance to the global trade agenda.

At a bare minimum, better cohesion among Africa’s 55 countries is imperative to driving sustained growth, while leveraging the full potential of a region with a combined GDP of $3.4trn can be a powerful accelerator.

At present, only around 16.6% of goods traded by African countries remain on the continent’s shores.

The AfCFTA will stimulate progress towards a continental customs union, eliminating 90% of trade barriers, facilitating free movement, easing access to markets and trimming red tape, to boost intra-African trade by 50%.  

Effective execution of the agreement will lift an estimated 30 million on the continent out of extreme poverty, as well as develop more supportive, sustainable social systems.

As Covid-19 exposes the fragilities of women’s economic positions across the continent, the AfCFTA will bolster their financial independence. Beyond that, the continent’s burgeoning aspirational youth, increasingly disenfranchised by earning a livelihood in the rural, primary sector will be afforded more opportunities as production and trade benefit from a more efficient value chain.

One of the largest impacts the AfCFTA can imprint on the continent is realising greater value from its wealth of natural resources. Despite having 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land, Africa is a net food importer, just as the world’s tenth largest oil producer, Nigeria, relies on other countries for its fuel.

Raw materials account for the majority of exports with around 70% of value addition happening off African shores. Technological development, demographic shifts and changing lifestyle trends all support this movement.

As the continent works towards successful implementation of the AfCFTA, it should build an inclusive continental economy on existing foundations, that lifts up small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

SMEs account for an estimated 80% of all businesses and even more job opportunities across the continent, making them vital to empowering marginalised members of the community.

The importance of SME success has been highlighted by initiatives led by the likes of the AfDB and Afrexim Bank, to strengthen the implementation framework in their favour. Their efforts will be supported by the first woman and African at the helm of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Sustainability – an opportunity within AfCFTA?

Sustainability brings with it commercial advantage, allowing SMEs to be more competitive at home and abroad. However, sustainability in the African business context is largely misunderstood, both domestically and overseas, and often imposed ‘top down‘ as a cost of doing business with big corporates or multinationals.

However, Covid has accelerated the relevance of sustainability to all businesses, big and small, foreign, and domestic.

The importance of governance, environmental impact and relationships with consumers, staff and local communities have all been highlighted by the pandemic.

Paralysed global supply chains further highlighted the value of onshoring, or having local suppliers. When combined with the opportunities the AfCFTA brings, now is a unique moment for African SMEs to redefine what sustainability means to them and then go after it, increasing their competitiveness and market share.

This is not about protectionism or barriers, but the opposite. At a time when global institutions are looking increasingly insular and regional trading blocs are failing to function, the AfCFTA is an opportunity for Africa to lead the global trade agenda.

African countries must not allow it to be dictated by multinationals whose shareholders usually reside outside the continent. It must be their own success story: an African solution to the global challenge of sustainability.

William Pollen is the director of Invest in Africa, a non-profit with the vision to create prospering African economies.

Originally published on African Business, 12 March 2021

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Project Development of Sangomar Field workshop was co-organised with Woodside and SIA on march, 5, 2020 at Onomo Hotel with 170 local SMEs in attendance.

 

The objective of the workshop was to share with the participants the followings:

  • The project development of Sangomar field with its different phases
  • Woodside’s upcoming tenders
  • SIA Timeline of local content opportunities they seek to source locally depending on existing capabilities.
  • SIA tendering process requirements and supplier qualification
  • SIA Legal and compliance aspect of the scope of their work
  • IIA’s three flagship programmes ( Access to Market, training & Finance)

 

The workshop shed the light on the values that IIA can bring to the IOC’s and its tier1s and local companies from Senemeca’s testimonial which illustrated the work behind the scene IIA is currently doing to support local SMEs and the importance our supplier development programmes to reinforce local capabilities to meet the international standards through our training & certification partners whom we have signed up with and have agreed to apply a discounted rate for all our SMEs registered onto the platform and to prepare local companies to be competitive.

 

That being said, Woodside mentioned that a series of similar project briefing with its tier1s will take place and to expect another one in April with Halliburton and Baker Hughes ( dates TBC).

Pierre Emmanuel Boulanger from SIA urged the local companies (attendees) to have a chat with its Procurement Manager, Fabrication Manager and Engineering Manager to have a better grasp of their requirements and needs for their upcoming opportunities.

 

By and large, the event was a true success with a great number of attendance, precisely 170 companies attended and have left the conference with valuable information and have congratulated IIA for pulling this together and as a result of that my phone is ringing off the hook for meeting requests next week.

 

To conclude, we would like to thank our dear Founding Members for such visibility they are giving to IIA, the trust and seamless support bestowed on us and relentless commitment to making IIA a one stop shop for the Oil and Gas industry.

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Job title: Invest in Africa -IIA- (UK)- Account Executive  
 
The ideal candidate will be passionate about breaking into the African business and / or international
development space.

This entry level role is for someone who is looking to build their knowledge and understanding of
working in African investment and /or development sector. Although defined by primarily important but
routine, supporting tasks the role also has great scope for someone with initiative, proactivity and a
desire to over deliver to develop it into a larger role. For example, with direct project accountability and
oversight of the marketing function.

Job purpose  
To provide important operational support to the team of project managers and senior management in
the London office of Invest in Africa. This includes being on top of all the detail of day to day reporting
and back office functions as well as coordinating with colleagues in regional (Africa) offices to ensure
efficient ways of working across all programmes and systems. The role will also require oversight for the
day to day relationship with IIAs marketing agency, including the production of presentations, case
studies and some social media / website activity.
 
 
 Duties and responsibilities  
  

1. Liaise with IIAs African offices/colleagues to ensure coordinated approach across IIAs key programmes
2. Produce regular reports, case studies, impact summaries for use in IIAs presentations and marketing
3. Liaise with all IIAs third party providers and suppliers to ensure all contracts competitive and up to date
4. Manage all ‘back office’ functions (Salesforce, Project Place, travel, insurance, some aspects of finance)
5. Manage relationships with marketing agency to see work is produced on brief, on time and on budget
6. Support the UK team with materials and research
7. Run and manage all IIA UK related events (approx. 3 p.a) 
8. Including the planning yearly calendar of events, guest lists, venue, media etc. 
9. Oversee content management, master contacts database and in time upkeep of the official IIA website 
10. Create and edit some marketing materials including brochures and videos
11. Create and send out the company's quarterly newsletter 
12. Manage IIA’s social media accounts through frequent posts, online promotion  

Qualifications / Experience
•    Degree level graduate, or equivalent 
•    3+ years of business experience preferable 
•    Strong written and verbal communication skills 
•    Strong organisational skills 
•    Able to work to tight deadlines on more than one task at a time (ie multitask under pressure) 
• Must have a natural tendency to take the initiative on work with a proactive mindset 

All applicants must have eligibility to work in the UK and be available to work in London as of April / May
2020.

Please send CV and short covering letter to michael.amaning@investinafrica.com 

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