- AfDB Approves 570m Rand Loan to Finance Affordable Housing in South Africa
The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has approved a Senior Loan of ZAR 570 million to South Africa’s Housing Investment Partners Trust 2 -HIP2), also known as Vulumnyango Trust, to help finance affordable housing programmes in the country. The loan will help improve access to long-term affordable housing finance to South Africa’s lower-middle income earners currently with limited opportunities to access affordable mortgages.
It will also consolidate the growth of a strong affordable housing sector within South Africa. The project provides a demonstration effect of tapping local currency capital from Africa’s premier development bank, local asset managers and a State Owned Enterprise to foster South Africa’s economic growth through affordable housing. The project also reduces fiscal pressures on the South African government in respect of housing for a specific market segment and enables HIP2 to mobilize funding from other sources, including eventual access to South Africa’s capital markets.
Although South Africa is one of the more developed economies in Africa, the country still faces acute shortage of affordable housing in its main urban areas, estimated at 3 million units in 2014. This has resulted in more than 2,600 informal settlements springing up around 70 of South Africa’s major urban areas, making it very difficult for the government to reduce inequality and achieve inclusive growth targets.
Despite several government direct interventions in the sector, especially through the Reconstruction and Development (RDP) program which between 1994 and 2015 delivered over 2.9 million low cost houses for vulnerable and low income households, the housing needs of the lower-middle income earning households (otherwise referred to as the Gap Market) remain huge and unaddressed. HIP 2, which has now raised ZAR1.82 billion from National Housing Finance Company, Old Mutual Group, Futuregrowth and AfDB is targeting at offering more than 4,000 affordable mortgages to South Africa’s lower-middle income earners.
The intervention will generate other significant benefits including moving 2,500 – 6,500 out of informal settlements and create about 3,250 permanent jobs mainly for the youth. Overall, financing 4,386 affordable housing units is expected to generate over 10,000 jobs, including 950 – 1,296 direct jobs for women.
Stefan Nalletamby, Acting Vice President for Infrastructure Private Sector and Director, Financial Sector Development Department said: “The approved intervention will assist HIP2 in expanding and deepening South Africa’s housing finance sector and encourage orderly urban development for the provision of basic utilities such as water, sanitation, roads and electricity. In this respect, it will improve the lives of South Africans whilst also assisting in creating new employment opportunities.”
Presenting the project to the Board, Stella Kilonzo, Head of Financial Markets Division noted that “by extending this Senior Loan, the AfDB adds onto its existing initiatives to support affordable housing, development of mortgage finance institutions and deepening of local currency capital markets on the continent.”
“This is an excellent example of how we can intervene in middle income countries, such as South Africa, with developed financial systems where we generate impact through private sector on the quality of life of lower middle income earners in a sustainable manner. It opens up opportunities for the Bank to intervene in the sub sovereign debt markets and offer policy solutions on urbanization. This is hugely important given the fact that, at 3.4%, Africa’s urbanization rate is the fastest globally,” added Senior Vice President Frannie Leautier who chaired the Board meeting.
The Bank’s intervention is in line with its High 5 priorities which build on the Ten Year Strategy for 2013-2022, and specifically the 5th priority of Improving the Quality of Life for the People of Africa. The five focus areas are key to transforming the lives of the African people and therefore consistent with the United Nations agenda on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It will also have multiplier effects on industries related to the real estate sector and the creation of jobs in the construction industry. The loan will complement South African government’s efforts to develop a self-sustaining long-term affordable mortgage market in the country.
Furthermore, the project fulfils one of the Bank’s priority objectives to support investments that contribute to the widening and deepening of financial markets in Africa, and enabling the private sector to mobilize and access long term-local currency funding from local financial markets. The project will contribute to the growth of bonds backed by affordable housing mortgages as an investible asset class on South Africa’s bond markets.
Afreximbank, AAAM to Drive Automotive Investment
Afreximbank, AAAM to Drive Automotive Investment
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the financing and promotion of the automotive industry in Africa.
President of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah and President of AAAM/Managing Director of Nissan Africa, Mike Whitfield, signed the MoU in early February, according to a statement yesterday.
The deal formalised the basis for a partnership aimed at boosting regional automotive value chains and financing for the automotive industry while supporting the development of enabling policies, technical assistance, and capacity building initiatives.
Oramah, said, “the strategic partnership with AAAM will facilitate the implementation of the Bank’s Automotive programme which aims to catalyze the development of the automotive industry in Africa as the continent commences trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”
Under the terms of the MoU, Afreximbank and AAAM will work together to foster the emergence of regional value chains with a focus on value-added manufacturing created through partnerships between global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), suppliers, and local partners.
The two organisations plan to undertake comprehensive studies to map potential regional automotive value chains on the continent in regional economic clusters, in order to enable the manufacture of automotive components for supply to hub assemblers.
“To support the emergence of the African automotive industry, they will collaborate to provide financing to industry players along the whole automotive value chain. The potential interventions include lines of credit, direct financing, project financing, supply chain financing, guarantees, and equity financing, amongst others.
“The MoU also provides for them to support, in conjunction with the African Union Commission and the AfCFTA Secretariat, the development of coherent national, regional and continental automotive policies, and strategies.
“With an integrated market under the AfCFTA, abundant and cheap labour, natural resource wealth, and a growing middle class, African countries are increasingly turning their attention to support the emergence of their automotive industries.
“Therefore, the collaboration between Afreximbank and AAAM will be an opportunity to empower the aspirations of African countries towards re-focusing their economies on industrialisation and export manufacturing and fostering the emergence of regional value chains,” the statement added.
“The signing of the MoU with Afreximbank is an exciting milestone for the development of the automotive industry in Africa. At the 2020 digital Africa Auto Forum, the lack of affordable financing available for the automotive sector was identified as one of the key inhibiters for the growth and development of the automotive industry in Africa and having Afreximbank on board is a game changer and a hugely positive development,” CEO of AAAM, David Coffey said.
“It is wonderful to have a partner that is as committed as the AAAM to driving the development and growth of our sector on the continent; this collaboration will ensure genuine progress for our industry in Africa,” Coffey added.
Other areas covered by the MoU include working with the African Union and the African Organisation for Standardisation to harmonise automotive standards across the continent and developing an automotive focused training program for both the public and private sector.
FG Warns Foreign Investors Against Enslaving Nigerians
The Federal Government on Monday warned foreign investors against subjecting Nigerians working in their companies to industrial slavery.
The government said the warning became necessary following several complaints against foreign companies maltreating some of their staff.
The Chief Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission, Chile Igbawua, issued the warning during a courtesy call on him by a delegation of Pan Africa United Youth Developments Network who came to lay complaint against some foreign companies allegedly maltreating Nigerians working under them.
The PCC said that it would not allow only its state commissioners to handle the issues due to their magnitude as there had been so many complaints about the ways some of the foreign companies were treating their staff.
At the event, the leader of the delegation, Habib Muhammed, expressed concern over alleged injustice and irregularities perpetrated by some company on Nigeria youths whom they engaged as factory workers.
He called on the Federal Government to look into the alleged slavery and injustice meted on Nigerian youths.
While calling on the foreigners to obey the labour laws of Nigeria, Igbawua said, “Our resources cannot be used to enslave us again.”
He said, “We have labour laws in Nigeria for goodness sake and we also have industrial standards; people working in various industries are entitled to good working conditions and minimum conditions of service.”
He added that the law was clear on the issue of casualisation and should be implemented.
Foreign Direct Investments into China Shot Up by 9% in 2020 to $163 Billion Against 49% US Decline
China had the highest inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) globally in 2020, surpassing the US which took the lead in 2019.
According to the research data analyzed and published by Comprar Acciones, China’s inflow shot up by 9% to $163 billion up from $140 billion the previous year. Meanwhile, the US had a 49% drop from $251 billion in 2019 to $134 billion.
Based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics, China reported a 2.3% growth in GDP in 2020. It was the only major economy to record a positive growth rate during the year.
Chinese Stock Market Saw 18 Million New Investors in 2020
Global FDI took a hit in 2020, falling by 42% year-over-year (YoY) from $1.49 trillion in 2019 to $859 billion. The figure was 30% lower than the one reported during the 2009 financial crisis.
Developed countries saw the worst performance, sinking by a cumulative 69% YoY to $229 billion. For developing economies, there was a 12% decline of $616 billion. By the end of 2020, developing countries accounted for a 72% share of global FDI, the highest on record. India had the highest growth among top-rated economies, shooting up by 13%.
China bore the brunt of the pandemic much better than its peers, posting a 6.5% GDP growth in Q4 2020. During the year, there were 18.02 million new investors in its mainland stock market, raising the total to 177.77 million. Driving the surge in interest was the stellar performance of Chinese stocks in 2020.
The Shenzen Component grew by 38.7% in 2020, and the CSI 300 increased by 27.2%, compared to the S&P 500’s 16.26% growth. IPO activity also soared, with China and Hong Kong accounting for 40% of global IPO volume in 2020 according to Ernst & Young.
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