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U.S. Export-Import Bank’s Sub-Saharan Africa Advisory Committee Shows Strong US Commitment to Africa

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The latest appointment by the U.S. Export-Import Bank of its Sub-Saharan Advisory Committee for 2020 and 2021 confirms the renewed and increased appetite of US financial institutions for the continent.

The Committee is composed of pro-investment and pro-business advisors who understand Africa and will be instrumental in growing the US-African cooperation and flows of goods, services and technology.

The Sub-Saharan Advisory Committee is chaired by Daniel Runde, Senior Vice President and Director of the Program on Prosperity and Development at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). It is composed of:

C. Derek Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, Energy and Natural Resource Security, Inc.
Scott Eisner, Senior Vice President, African Affairs; President, U.S.-Africa Business Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Rebecca Enonchong, Founder and Chief Executive Officer. AppsTech
Lori Helmers, Executive Director / Americas Export Finance Head, JPMorgan Chase Bank
Florizelle Liser, President and Chief Executive Officer, Corporate Council on Africa
Mima Nedelcovych, Chairman, AfricaGlobal Schaffer
EE Okpa, Principal, The OKPA Co.
Marise Duff Stewart, Director Customer and Industry Relations, Progress Rail, a Caterpillar Company
Paul Sullivan, President – International Business, Acrow Bridge
Sola Yomi-Ajayi, Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa (UBA), America

By working to provide funding for trade and development deals in Africa for American companies, the US EXIM Bank can become an increasingly important source of financing for Africa’s critical energy infrastructure. US companies have important products, experience and expertise in several key segments of the energy value chain that would be extremely beneficial if properly matched with opportunities on the continent. This is especially relevant to the natural gas value-chain which has become a key priority for most African governments, and for which American technology and services can help transform the continent’s energy industry.

Equally important is the focus given to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the Committee. The African Energy Chamber’s own US-Africa Committee has identified the collaboration between US and African SMEs as a major requirement to grow investment and technology transfers between the US and Africa. The increased attention given to SMEs on both sides of the Atlantic is extremely encouraging for the future of US-African cooperation and its ability to create jobs and value for both regions.

“The African Energy Chamber notes and welcomes the recent appointment of the US Exim Bank’s Sub-Saharan Advisory Committee. The renewed interest and appetite for investing in Africa shown by Exim Bank and other US trade agencies is welcome in Africa, and the continent’s energy sector is listening and open to doing business and making the kind of deals that will propel the continent towards a prosperous future. The African Energy Chamber looks forward to supporting further US involvement in Africa and to developing new ways of working together and pushing for a pro-African investment agenda in the US public and private sectors,” said Jude Kearney, a prominent member of the Africa Energy Chamber’s US-Africa Committee. Kearney is the former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Service Industries and Finance at the U.S. Department of Commerce during the Clinton Administration and currently President of Kearney Africa Advisors.

“We are very proud to see Rebecca Enonchong on this board. She more than anyone understands the challenges of small businesses and has personally built and mentored many such businesses. With her you know you have someone who will work towards making America a good partner of the African business community and ensuring that civil society is not left behind. She is an inspiration for so many women in business” Said Mickael Vogel, Director of Strategy at the Africa Energy Chamber.

“We are grateful that our own C. Derek Campbell will add value to this work. Derek has a proven track-record on issues that concern trade with Africa and also on Energy Security. Advancing and protecting Africa’s energy sector, empowering Africans and openings doors for so many that he has never met has been the work of his life”, concluded NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber.

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.

Finance

FBN Holdings Suffers 39 Percent Drop in Profit to N15.6 Billion in Q1 2021

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FBN Holdings - Investors King

FBN Holdings Plc profit after tax declined by 39 percent from N23.140 billion recorded in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 to N15.6 billion in the first quarter of 2021.

In the leading financial institution’s unaudited financial statements released through the Nigerian Exchange Limited, gross earnings declined by 14.5 percent to N137 billion in the period under review, down from N160 billion filed in the previous quarter.

Similarly, net interest income declined from N60.253 billion achieved in Q1 2020 to N52.793 billion.

Net interest income after impairment charge for losses also dipped from N50.547 billion in Q1 2020 to N39.619 billion in Q1 20201. While net fee and commission income rose from N20.773 billion in Q1 2020 to N28.427 billion in Q1 2021.

Profit before tax declined by 34 percent to N18.906 billion in the quarter under review, down from N28.680 billion posted in the corresponding quarter of 2020.

FBN Holdings paid N3.285 billion in income tax in the first quarter of 2020.

Therefore, profit for the period stood at N15.621 billion. While Net Assets contracted from N765.2 billion to N764.8 billion.

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Finance

Japaul Gold and Ventures Plc Fails to File Q1 2021 Financial Statements

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Japaul Gold & Ventures - Investors King Ltd

Following the failure to file the 2020 Audited Financial Statements, Japaul Gold & Ventures Plc once again failed to file the unaudited financial statements for the first quarter of 2021.

According to the company formerly known as Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc, the first quarter delay was as a result of the pending 2020 audited financial statements which has not been finalised.

Therefore, the company could not file the 2021 first-quarter results due to the inconclusiveness of 2020 Audited Financial Statements.

Japaul Gold & Ventures apologises for the delay and requests the public/stakeholders/prospective investors to bear with the company.

The company, however, promised it is working hard to ensure that both 2020 Audited and 2021 Q1 Unaudited Financial Statements are filed as soon as possible.

Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc changed its name to Japaul Gold & Ventures Plc after years of struggle in the oil and maritime sector and immediately announced it was investing in a Chinese-owned H&H Mines Limited and shift its attention to mining.

The announcement bolstered the company’s shares by over 100 percent before a series of reports analysing the likely challenges the company will face in closing the deal given the pandemic and the fact that it needs to raise the necessary funds for the deal from the debt market.

Japaul’s share plunged shortly after. Up until now, nothing has been heard of the said deal rather the company continues to struggle with audited financial statements of 2020 and even the first quarter of 2021.

 

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Banking Sector

Wema Bank Unveils Hackaholics 2.0 Bootcamp Winners, Gives Out Over N8M Seed Fund

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Wema Bank’s Hackaholics 2.0, an acceleration aimed at helping startups scale and gain entrance into the market, came to an exciting end as the finalists were unveiled on Wednesday, May 5, 2021, at the Bank’s corporate head office in Marina, Lagos.

Themed, “Connecting Worlds” the Acceleration Program was a two-day virtual pitch which ran from October 30 – 31, 2020, for 20 participants across five industry pillars – Fintech, Agritech, Edutech, Gaming, and Healthtech, who qualified from a pool of over 100 entries received.

The Bank presented four startups comprising two people each with N2,187,500.00 startup fund. The winners emerged across each industry after a four-week Bootcamp under the supervision of a best-in-class acceleration curriculum delivered by seasoned faculty and tech specialists from GreenHouse Capital, official partners of the event.

The Managing Director/CEO, Wema Bank, Ademola Adebise congratulated the winners and expressed satisfaction with the quality of competition and the entire process.

“We are happy to see the winners emerge and are positive that you guys will be the unicorns of tech solutions in the next couple of years,” he said.

“For us at Wema Bank, we will continue to support innovations and innovative ideas, support our youths, and support our women to thrive. We believe that is the way to go and significantly grow and support the economy,” Adebise said.

The winning start-ups are:

Fintech Category: Oladayo Awotukunbo of Plumpter, a Fintech brand that created a marketplace for secure payments to foreign parties and quick banking.

Gaming/Betting Category: Ernest Akinlola and Obayemi Okubajo of My Lotto Hub, a digital startup pioneering the aggregation of lottery operators and enabling lottery punters to manage all their operations in a single platform

Agritech Category: Aderinola Amole and Olamide Oyinlola of FarmSquare, a brand that focuses on using the e-commerce model to simplify the demand and supply of Agricultural inputs in Nigeria.

Healthtech Category: Uche Udekwe and Joy Chioma of Natal Cares, a startup with a product that optimizes the healthcare value chain to reduce the high mortality rate for pregnant women and children.

Speaking at the event, Chief Financial Officer, Wema Bank, Tunde Mabawonku, reinforced the internal and external growth integration stance of the bank saying: “We realized very early that financial service delivery has moved beyond bricks and mortar physical interactions, hence, at Wema Bank we repositioned internally, invested strategically and heavily in technology to drive Digital Optimization of our services”.

“Second, we realized we can’t innovate all from within, we need to drive innovation from outside. We then created “Hackaholics” the Wema Bank Hackathon. The idea is to bring fresh minds, fresh ideas, fresh insights, into solving day-to-day societal problems leveraging technology. We are also working with third-party resource providers we can invest in to grow the solutions for societal impact”. Mabawonku added.

Chief Digital Officer, Wema Bank, Segun Adeniyi emphasized the importance of the Bank’s sustainability footprints. “We aim this initiative at deepening the impact of innovation in the ecosystem and create an opportunity to drive that ecosystem. There is a plethora of start-ups and innovators out there who don’t have the right environment to upscale those ideas into commercial value”.

“What we have done is giving some seed to them in funding, and more importantly, we have given them advisory. We have helped them to look at the ideas they have, flesh them into commercial value, help them articulate the problem, identify unique areas where and how they can solve those problems, and identify their target market.”

The winning startups all expressed gratitude to Wema Bank for the seed fund and commended the bank for the initiative. They said the Hackathon Bootcamp has broadened their horizon. They expressed that the seed funding from Wema Bank will help to upscale their businesses to the desired place.

“For us at Wema Bank, this is not just CSR. It is creative self-disruption. We are attuned to what is going on in the ecosystem, we are keen to be part of it, we are enthusiastic about sharing our own experiences with the start-ups. It is part of why we stay vibrant and relevant as an organization,” Adeniyi concludes.

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