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African Smallholders in $1t Deal to Push Economic Growth

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  • African Smallholders in $1t Deal to Push Economic Growth

African agricultural entrepreneurs are set to take advantage of the free market to encourage the continent economic growth from food production and agribusinesses. A Africa Agriculture Status Report (AASR), said there were opportunities of a rapidly growing food market in Africa that may be worth more than $1 trillion each year by 2030 to substitute imports with high value food made on the continent.

According to the report, agriculture will be Africa’s quiet revolution, with a focus on Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and smallholder farmers creating the high productivity jobs and sustainable economic growth that failed to materialise from mineral deposits and increased urbanisation.

It stated that despite 37 percent of the population now living in urban centres, most jobs have been created in lower paying and less productive sectors even when the agriculture sector accounted for more than half of the continent’s GDP. It added that smart investments in the food system can change this picture dramatically if planned correctly.

Commenting on this year’s report findings, president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa which commissioned the study, Dr. Agnes Kalibata, said: “Africa has the latent natural resources, skills, human and land capacity to tip the balance of payments and move from importer to exporter by eating food made in Africa. This report shows us that agriculture involving an inclusive transformation that goes beyond the farm to agri-businesses will be Africa’s surest and fastest path to that new level of prosperity.”

According to her, Africa can only succeed if her agricultural revolution is made to be different from those seen in the rest of world. This is besides requiring an inclusive approach that links millions of small farms to agribusinesses, creating extended food supply chains and employment opportunities for millions including those that will transit from farming. The report stated that this is in contrast to the model often seen elsewhere in the world of moving to large scale commercial farming and food processing, which employs relatively few people and requires high levels of capital.

The report highlights the opportunity for Africa to feed the continent with food made in Africa that meets the growing demand of affluent, fast growing urban populations on the continent looking for high value processed and pre-cooked foods.

Furthermore, it advocates that this opportunity should be met by many of the continent’s existing smallholder farmers. The report lamented that currently part of this growing demand for Africa’s food is met by imports which amount to $35billion per annum and are expected to cost $110billion by 2025 unless Africa improves the productivity and global competiveness of its agribusiness and agriculture sectors.

The report acknowledges that the private sector holds the key to the transformation of the food system so far. “Impressive value addition and employment is being created by SMEs along value chains in the form of increased agricultural trade, farm servicing, agro processing, urban retailing and food services. Large agribusinesses like seed companies, agro processors and supermarkets are also playing an increasing role in the food value chain in many regions,” said the technical director of the report, Peter Hazell.

The report also stated that left to the private sector alone, growth in the agrifood system will not be as fast as it could, nor will it benefit as many smallholder farmers and SMEs as it could. It asked for government support to stimulate and guide the transition. It added that as a matter of priority government need to create an enabling business environment and in particular, meet targets to invest ten percent of GDP in agriculture, agreed at the 2003 African Union (AU) Summit as part of The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

The report also urged government to nurture a globally competitive food production sector through measures such as increasing infrastructure investment in secondary cities and towns, improving the reliability of energy and water supplies and building more wholesale market spaces. Others are the promotion of promoting open regional trade, identifying and investing in first mover crops and introducing stricter standards for food safety and quality.

The authors also called on governments to stimulate new private public partnerships for more innovative financing and insurance provision which can lead to increased resilience for farmers and their households. It lamented that while global agricultural insurance is a $2 billion business, Africa accounts for less than two percent of the market.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Transcorp Hotels Expand into Marketplace, Launches Aura to Connect People, Hoteliers, Others

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Transcorp Hotels Plc, on Thursday, announced it has launched a new digital platform, Aura, through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences.

Aura, Transcorp’s first in the alternative accommodation segment, is part of the company’s asset-light model, leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences, and drive shareholder value.

It’s a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I am thrilled to introduce you to Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we are using to connect people to quality accommodation, great food, and awesome experiences,” Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Hotels Plc. Dupe Olusola said.

For more than 30 years, Transcorp Hotels Plc has been at the forefront of creating a superior guest experience at our locations. Today, our commitment to innovation has offered us an opportunity to extend this beyond the hotel premises,” Olusola added.

The launch of Aura by Transcorp is one of the most significant developments in the company’s history as it seeks to transform the travel and tourism industry in Africa by focusing on three important components of travel, whether for leisure or business — where you stay, what you eat and how you spend your time. With its people-driven hospitality model, Aura is set to revolutionise travel and help remind Africans of our deep history of hospitality.

Speaking on the launch of Aura, Obong Idiong, Chief Executive Officer at Africa Prudential Plc, Aura’s technology partners, expressed his excitement. “Finding the right accommodation when you travel can be incredibly complex. Options available for the right prices are often limited, and travellers sometimes end up with accommodation that taints the travel experience. Transcorp Hotels Plc has been able to fix that with Aura and we are proud to be associated with them.”

To ensure topnotch user experience, we built a solution to drive digital transformation through the adoption of shared living spaces for the Aura business. With an advanced search algorithm powered by artificial intelligence, Aura determines the relevance of locations taking into consideration, the customers’ preferences and requirements to meet them at the point of their needs,” Idiong added.

Priscilla Adeboye, a travel enthusiast and early adopter of Aura, said the global pandemic has pushed international travel down her list. “But I still want to be able to take some time off work or spend a weekend away from home with the family. I have found incredible homes on Aura that meet my need for space and privacy.

 

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Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director

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Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria

Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.

Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.

Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.

The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.

“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.

It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.

The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.

However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.

On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.

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