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COVID-19: Two Dies, Over 1,000 Infected in South Africa

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South Africa lockdown
  • COVID-19: Two Dies, Over 1,000 Infected in South Africa

South Africa on Friday recorded the first two deaths from the coronavirus pandemic as the deadly virus ravages Africa’s second-largest economy.

According to Alan Winde, Provincial Premier, the two women, aged 28 and 48, died in the earlier hours of Friday in hospitals in the Western Cape Province.

President Cyril Ramaphosa had ordered a 21-day lockdown of the entire nation starting from Thursday mid-night in a move to curtail the spread of the deadly virus and prevent escalation of the situation in an economy already struggling with recession.

On Thursday, the country’s health minister, Zweli Mkhize, warned that the pandemic is still at its early stage and could spiral out of control as already overburdened health system struggles with limited capacity. He warned that unless the spread of the virus is contained or slowed the situation could get much worse.

The health minister added that the total number of infected persons rose more than 1,000 on Friday but will only give a precise number later in the day.

In the US, the number of confirmed cases jumped to 85,500 on Thursday, the largest ever recorded globally, and further heighten global tension as financial markets doubt current stimulus would be enough to rescue the global economy against COVID-19.

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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Company News

Total Nigeria Rebounds from 2020 COVID-19 Damages, Grows Profit by 1,601 Percent to N8.1 Billion in H1 2021

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Total Exploration - Investors King

Total Nigeria Plc, a subsidiary of Total, grew revenue by 42 percent from N106.705 billion recorded in the first half (H1) of 2020 to N151.333 billion in the first half of 2021.

In the company’s unaudited financial statements for the period, the cost of sales inched higher by 33.4 percent from N94.305 billion filed in the first half of 2020 to N124.83 billion in the period under review.

Total Nigeria’s gross profit appreciated by 105.7 percent to N25.504 billion in the first half of 2021, up from N12.400 billion in the corresponding period of 2020.

The company grew operating profit to N12.526 billion in the first half from -N716.812 million achieved in the first half of 2020 during the peak of COVID-19.

Profit before minimum tax jumped by 2,358 percent from -N523.898 million in H1 2020 to N11.779 billion in the period under review.

Total Nigeria paid N3.713 billion as income tax in the first half of 2021 to take the total profit after tax to N8.1 billion, a 1,601 percent increase from -N537.188 million posted in the corresponding period.

Shareholders’ funds expanded by 17 percent to N32.821 billion from N28.151 billion in H1 2020.

Total Nigeria’s share price grew by 49 percent during the period under review to N145.00 a share, up from N97.50 a unit in the first half of 2020.

Earnings per share jumped from -N1.58 in H1 2020 to N23 in H1 2021.

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Appointments

Wema Bank Announces Prince Olusegun Adesegun and Mr. Adeyemi Adefarakan as Non-Executive Directors

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Wema Bank- Investorsking

Wema Bank Plc has announced the appointments of Prince Olusegun Adesegun and Mr. Adeyemi Adefarakan as Non-Executive Directors of the Bank, effective July 19, 2021.

The announcement was after the Central Bank of Nigeria had approved both appointments, the lender disclosed in a statement signed by Johnson lebile, Company Secretary and Legal Adviser, Wema Bank Plc.

Prince Olusegun Adesegun Background

Prince Olusegun Adesegun is a Psychologist with a Masters’ Degree in Industrial Psychology from the University of Ibadan. He served and worked in Pyramid Products Limited as Manager in Training and rose to become the General Manager of the then Eastern Zone in 1988.

He retired and engaged in private business and has overtime garnered experience in marketing administration, management, and supply chain logistics solutions. He eventually became the CEO of Pecol Ventures Limited – a cash crop export and paper products company where he transformed the company from a small producer to a large, world-class Agric-Export firm.

He combined his private business with public service to become Commissioner for Works and Housing in Ogun State twice, and later served as the Deputy Governor of Ogun State between 2011-2015.

He currently serves as a Career Counsellor and Consultant for high quality investment decisions.

Adeyemi Adefarakan Profile

Adeyemi Adefarakan is a seasoned executive with strong global investment banking, portfolio risk, asset and financial management exposure.

He graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Economics & Accountancy from the prestigious City University, London, and holds a Masters degree in International Securities, Investment & Banking from the acclaimed ICMA Centre at the University of Reading, U.K. He is also an alumnus of the Emerging CFO: Strategic Financial Leadership Programme at Stanford Graduate School of Business, USA, and currently pursuing a Global CEO Africa Programme in the triumvirate of business schools comprising of Lagos Business School, Strathmore Business School (Nairobi, Kenya) and Yale School of Management (Connecticut, USA).

Yemi currently serves as the Group Chief Financial Officer and an Executive Director on the board of CBSL (Continental Broadcasting Service Limited). He holds other boards positions where he continues to create and extract shareholder value through active board engagement.

Prior to joining CBSL, Yemi forged his career on the trading floors of some of London’s financial powerhouses, to wit; State Street Global Markets, DRW Investments, JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and HSBC Global Asset Management, where he traded both vanilla and complex instruments and riskmanaged multi-billion-dollar multiasset portfolios.

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SMEs

Ecobank Group and Microsoft Upskill Africa’s Small and Medium Enterprises to Succeed in a Digital Economy

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The leading pan-African banking group, Ecobank Group, in partnership with Microsoft, LinkedIn, GitHub and Ecobank Academy is set to provide training to equip Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) across sub-Saharan Africa. This training will provide SMEs digital skills and knowledge to succeed in today’s digital world.

SMEs have been significantly impacted by the COVID19 pandemic with its attendant lockdowns and disruptions to supply chains, plummeting sales, lost revenue and operational challenges. In response to feedback from our customers, Ecobank through its Commercial Banking Segment is helping business owners close the digital skills gap within their chosen fields and improve the digital capabilities of their employees.

Josephine Anan-Ankomah, Group Executive, Commercial Banking for the Ecobank Group said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has turbocharged the shift towards digital. It is essential that businesses adapt so that they are able to compete effectively in today’s rapidly changing landscape. Ecobank’s Commercial Banking is committed to supporting SMEs across our pan-African footprint. Through this partnership with Microsoft, LinkedIn, GitHub and Ecobank Academy we are offering training to equip business owners and their employees with the digital skills that they need to stay connected to their customers. We are intent on ensuring that our SME customers remain relevant, grow and succeed in the post COVID-19 era.”

SMEs have been invited to register here (https://bit.ly/3iEspdc)for the upcoming webinar taking place on July 26. The Global Skilling initiative program is available on an online portal where SMEs can register, and start their learning journey for any of the 10 in-demand skill sets (Customer Services; Digital Marketing; Financial Analysis; Graphic Design; IT Support/Help Desk; Project Management; Sales; Data Analysis; IT Administration; And Software Development). They can complete the virtual programme at their own pace and at times that work best for them. The programme runs until 31st of December 2021.

Ibrahim Youssry, Regional General Manager, Middle East and Africa – Multi market region at Microsoft said, “we are committed to building digital talent pipelines to support the workforce of the future, and our Global Skilling Initiative is an important part of this process. But beyond the future workforce, digital talent will also support more local innovation, as developers and entrepreneurs are empowered to create locally relevant solutions that best address the challenges and needs of African countries. Startups and SMEs play a critical role in innovation, economic growth and job creation, and expanded access to digital skills is one of the key steps needed to foster a successful economic recovery.

The Global Skilling Initiative is just another example of how Ecobank wants to help SMEs reach their full potential and play a vital role in driving Africa’s economic resurgence. Other support initiatives for SMEs include:

  • The Ecobank Marketplace eCommerce solution for businesses to grow their sales on digital marketplaces
  • And the Ellevate programme to provide women-led/owned/focused businesses with loans, cash management solutions, training and mentoring opportunities.

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