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Afrieximbank Pushes for Intra-African Trade



  • Afrieximbank Pushes for Intra-African Trade

More calls are coming in support of the African Continental free Trade Area agreement, with one of the most recent calls emanating from the African Export and Import Bank.

The Chairman and President, Afrieximbank, Benedict Oramah, made the call recently while addressing stakeholders in Kigali, Rwanda.

He noted that although the major complaint about trading within Africa was infrastructure, the continent, however, had enough infrastructure to support $1tn trade.

He said, “First of all, Africa has infrastructure problem. That is very correct. But Africa’s tripartite trade is $1tn.

“It means the infrastructure in Africa can carry $1tn of trade. $1tn of trade in Africa is supported by the ports, roads and the rails we have.

“ Intra-African trade is $150bn or $170bn. Why is intra-African trade not $400bn? If I ask you to tell me what a particular country in Africa exports, you will not but you will tell me immediately what is exported or banned in the United Kingdom. We don’t know what is happening across Africa.”

Oramah reasoned that if it costs $100bn a year to put African infrastructure together, the amount would be too huge for respective governments and public institutions to afford, adding that the private sector would be best suited for the job.

He said, “So the private sector and the people that will come and complement the government can come. But private sector cannot come if they do not see the market and the only way they can come in and see the market is if there is no restriction.

“Somebody will do a road from Cote d’ivoire to Nigeria, when the person sees that actually, the volume of trade going on there is high, it will encourage the person to continue, but if nothing goes on at all, you will not see that private investor.”

He said while focusing on the problem of infrastructure, it should be noted that there was none that was conceived as infrastructural problem associated with intra-African trade, maintaining that infrastructure problem was the problem of Africa as a whole.

“Infrastructure is a problem for Africa as a whole and if intra-African trade grows, the investors will come and build the infrastructure,” he said.

In the same vein, the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, called on African nations to ignore warnings from the International Monetary Fund that African countries could face revenue shortfalls “if the continent starts the implementation of the AfCFTA as planned.”

The IMF had maintained that, although the agreement would boost trade on the continent, it would negatively affect earnings and employment opportunities in some sectors of the member countries’ economies.

But speaking during a tri-partite meeting in DR Congo capital, Kinshasa, Kagame reportedly urged African leaders to stay focused on the implementation of the policy since that would be in the positive interest of the African continent and the African people.

“It is important that Africa gives the necessary considerations to the views and opinions by external entities and development partners. It is also more important at the same time that Africa becomes aware of what we want for ourselves, pursue what is good for the continent and defend what is necessary for our collective development,” he stated.

He further noted that a lot of consideration went into the AfCFTA before it was agreed upon by member-states.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has yet to sign the AfCFTA pact, citing the need to consult widely and decide what the country stands to gain and in what area it will impact the local industry.

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

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Eat’N’Go Expands To East Africa, Projects 180 Stores By Year End



In a bid to further extend its tentacles beyond the West African market, Eat’N’Go limited, one of the leading Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) operators in Nigeria and master franchisee for world-class food brands – Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, and Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt, announced its expansion into the East African market.

This development comes after the successful acquisition of the franchisee which operated Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza in Kenya. This acquisition will see Eat’N’Go limited become the largest Domino’s pizza and Cold Stone Creamery Master Franchisee in Africa with operations in Nigeria and Kenya.

Since its entrance to Nigeria in 2012, the QSR company has grown exponentially and has continuously nurtured the drive to extend its footprint across the African market. This acquisition provides them their first foreign market expansion, making them a Pan African company with a total number of 147 outlets across Africa and a projection to reach 180 stores by end of 2021.

Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Eat’N’Go Limited, Patrick McMichael said that expanding into East Africa represents a very exciting time in the growth of the organization and also a strategic investment for the firm and its stakeholders. “Over the years, we have fostered the mission to not just bring the best QSR brands to Africa, but to directly impact on Africa’s economy and we are glad we are finally on the way to making this happen. Studying the growth of the Kenyan market in the last couple of years, we are convinced that now is the time to extend our footprint into the country.”

“We are very thrilled about this expansion as this move avails us more opportunity to provide Jobs to more Africans, especially in times like this. We remain thankful to all our customers, partners, and stakeholders who have supported us this far and we are more than ready to strengthen our dedication in satisfying the needs of our customers” Patrick added.

Eat’N’Go has over the years maintained its position as the leading food franchisee in Nigeria. As it expands its presence to other parts of Africa, the organization also places a strong focus on the quality of its products and services of all its three brands. The expansion to this new region is in line with the company’s plan to reach 180 stores across Africa by the end of 2021.

The milestone achievement and development will better position the company in its contribution to Nigeria and Africa’s economy. Currently home to over 3000 staff members across Africa, the company is committed to continuously provide job and business opportunities across the continent.

Eat’N’Go launched in 2012 in Nigeria with the vision to become the premier food operator in Africa. Today, the company has over 147 stores in Nigeria and Kenya and it continues to deliver on this promise by successfully rolling out the globally recognised brands Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza across Africa. The company continues to expand its presence in key markets by fusing company goals with new strategic development goals and is projected to reach 180 stores across Africa by end of 2021.

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Shoprite Exit: LCCI Explains Challenges Hurting Business Operations in Nigeria




Following the recent announcement of Shoprite, a leading South Africa retail giant, that it is leaving the Nigerian market due to harsh business environment and tough business policies, Dr Muda Yusuf, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has explained some of the challenges responsible for such decision despite Nigeria’s huge population size.

Yusuf said while such decision is negative for the Nigerian economy, several factors like harsh business environment could have forced the company to make such decision. He said it also could be due to intense competitive pressure.

He said, “Shoprite is an international brand with presence in 14 African countries and about 3,000 stores. The comparative analysis of returns on investment in these countries may have informed the decision to exit the Nigeria market.

“The opportunities for retail business in Nigeria is immense. But the competition in the sector is also very intense.

“There are departmental stores in practically every neighbourhood in our urban centres around the country. There is also a strong informal sector presence in the retail sector. It is a very competitive space.”

According to the Director-General, there are also important investment climate issues that constitute downside risks to big stores like Shoprite.

He said, “These include the trade policy environment, which imposes strict restrictions on imports; the regulatory environment, which is characterised by a multitude of regulators making endless demands.

“There is also the foreign exchange policy, which has made imports and remittances difficult for foreign investors. There are challenges of infrastructure which put pressures on costs and erodes profit margins.”

The LCCI boss added, “But we need to stress that Shoprite is only divesting and selling its shares; Shoprite as a brand will remain. I am sure there are many investors who will be quite delighted to take over the shares.

“It should be noted that there are other South African firms in Nigeria doing good business. We have MTN, Multichoice, Stanbic IBTC, and Standard Chartered Bank, among others. Some of them are making more money in Nigeria than in South Africa.”

He added that some sectors are more vulnerable to the challenges of the business environment than others.

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Afrinvest Appoints Mrs. Onaghinon As COO



Afrinvest West Africa Limited, has appointed the former head of public private partnership agency of the Edo State, Mrs Onoise Onaghinon as its chief operating officer.

Onaghinon joined Afrinvest in 2003 as an analyst in the firm’s investment banking division, rising through the ranks to become an associate, then vice president and eventually executive director & head of investment banking.

She is a seasoned veteran in the Nigerian capital markets and investment landscape with over 18 years of experience in capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, and restructurings across many industries.

In 2017, Onaghinon took a sabbatical from the Firm to head the Public Private Partnership Agency of the Edo State Government. Having acquitted herself creditably in the public sector, she has rejoined the Firm to resume as the new COO.

Speaking on the appointment, group managing director of Afrinvest, Ike Chioke, said: “over the years, Onaghinon has demonstrated great leadership, professional excellence and outstanding client commitment in driving the firm’s business units, particularly our investment banking division. We are delighted to have her back and we look forward to leveraging her cross-disciplinary experience across the Afrinvest group”.

In her new role, Onaghinon will oversee human resources, legal & compliance, internal control and general services while leading the firm’s initiatives to improve efficiency across its subsidiaries.

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