Germany Emerges as Major Player in Pan-African Trade and Investment
“Investment and Trade for Africa’s Economic Development” – a public webinar held on Wednesday – targeted opportunities for cross-border collaboration between Africa and Germany; the African Export-Import Bank announced its plans to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with German car manufacturers to establish an automotive industry in Africa; the Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF), Africa Oil & Power and the African Energy Chamber co-hosted the webinar, as part of a GABF cooperation-focused series.
The Germany-Africa Business Forum (GABF) hosted its second installment of its German-African cooperation-focused webinar series on Wednesday, aimed at outlining the opportunities for sustainable FDI between Germany and the African continent.
The panel comprised H.E. Günter Nooke, Africa Envoy to German Chancellor Angela Merkel; NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber; and Rene Awambeng, Global Head Client Relationship at the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
Anchored by the theme of investment and trade for African economic development, the opening keynote was delivered by H.E. Nooke, and outlined four key success factors in driving Africa’s economic development: investment and business climate, transport, energy and technological infrastructure, available workforce, and access to markets.
Digitalization and green energy were advanced as two of the critical sectors for facilitating Africa’s economic and social development. Africa contains a young, tech-savvy population, noted H.E. Nooke, translating to smooth technological adoption and enhanced opportunities for both consumers and businesses.
Highlighting efforts to expand global market reach, H.E. Nooke noted the anticipated benefits of the recently adopted African Continental Free Trade Agreement, signed by 53 African countries and already implemented by 30. The agreement is set to boost intra-African trade, with the ultimate objective of creating a common market that empowers African nations.
Meanwhile, cross-border developments in clean energy have already been progressing. This month, a German delegation visited the Democratic Republic of Congo to study opportunities related to the Inga III hydroelectric dam project. Germany is eyeing major opportunities for hydrogen production, a clean fuel alternative, as well as wind, solar and hydropower resources scattered across the continent.
Germany is currently active in a range of investments across the continent. The European leader played a major role in securing a $300 million facility from the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The funds are aimed at creating jobs, reviving economies in a post-COVID-19 environment, and encouraging investment reforms to boost FDI.
Furthermore, Afreximbank will imminently announce the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding with German automotive manufacturers, such as Volkswagen, intended to create an African-driven automobile manufacturing strategy.
“We are looking to create a holistic approach to automotive manufacturing,” said Rene Awambeng. “Our goal is to build an entire value chain, with the support of Germany and Europe, in order to be able to design, build and market cars across Africa.”
In a bid to drive investor engagement in a variety of sectors, NJ Ayuk called for a change in the perception of risk associated with investing in Africa.
“We need to create an enabling environment for banks, financial institutions and investors to perceive Africa as a safe and profitable destination,” said Ayuk. “Rwanda paved the way and we have seen outstanding results. We have an obligation to make the change.”
Ayuk also appealed to Europeans nations, such as Germany, to focus on investment rather than aid. Investment enables the creation of synergies and partnerships and places project leaders in a position of accountability. While aid is welcome in periods of crisis, noted Ayuk, it must not be the standard for sustainable, long-term business.
Awambeng underscored that long-term, affordable financing is available for Africa’s investment opportunities, combined with technical capacities and business support.
“Huge amounts of capital are available across the continent in all forms: equity, bank debt, development financial institutions, sovereign funds, among others. All we are missing are the people to make the transition happen.”
Global Deal Activity Down by 4.5% in October 2020
A total of 6,304 deals were announced globally during October 2020, which is a decrease of 4.5% over the 6,598 deals announced during September, according to GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company. An analysis of GlobalData’s Financial Deals Database revealed that the deal volume during October remained below the monthly average of Q3 2020.
Aurojyoti Bose, the Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “After demonstrating growth for four consecutive months, the deal volume shrank in October. The decline in deal activity could be attributed to inconsistencies across different regions. The APAC region remained a weak spot, while deal activity remained mostly flat in North America, and the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region witnessed growth in deal activity.”
North America attracted the highest number of investments, followed by APAC, Europe, the MEA, and South, and Central America.
The uncertain global economic landscape lowered the deal volume in October for major markets such as the US, Germany, Australia, France, India, and China compared to the previous month. On the contrary, the UK, Japan, South Korea, and Canada saw growth of 15.6%,14.9%, 3.8%, and 2.2%, respectively, in October as compared to September’s deal volume.
Bose continued: “Most of the deal types witnessed a decline in volume during October compared to the previous month. Private equity, equity offerings, venture financing, debt offerings, and partnership deals volume decreased by a respective 2.4%, 9.1%, 9.8%, 14.6%, and 24.6% – while the deal volume for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) increased by 7.2%.”
Japaul to Invest in Chinese Firm H&H to Deepen Mining and Exploration Business
Japaul Gold & Ventures Plc (Japaul), formerly known as Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc, announced it has gotten approval in principle from H&H Mines Limited to invest in or acquire shares in the company once it concluded its fundraising exercise.
According to a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), H&H Mines Limited has several licenses, which include two major Mining Leases for 25 years renewable.
The statement noted that extensive exploration has been done on the Mining properties and the last lap of the exploration works is core drilling. This, it said will allow Japaul knows the measured Minerals Reserve contained in the Mine, which it claimed contain Gold, Silver, Lead, Zinc, etc.
Japaul further explained that the need to get the drilling done was what led H&H Mining to engage the services of Xiang Hui International Mining Company Nigeria.
“Since Japaul will eventually be part of H&H Mines Limited, it was necessary that Japaul is carried along on the kind of Contract of Drilling to be entered into, and that was why the signing of the Drilling Contract between the Chinese Company and H&H Mines Limited was concluded at Japaul’s Head Office,” the company stated.
The drilling is expected to be concluded in the next 12 months and within this time, Japaul is expected to have concluded the Fund Raising and formalise her involvement in the Mining.
The company added that Canadian reports revealed that there are huge gold, silver, lead, etc deposits, but it is drilling that will show the actual reserve.
Africa Investment Forum (AIF) Rescheduled to Hold in 2021 – AfDB
Investment Forum to Now Hold in 2021 in a Bid to Curb Possible Second Wave of COVID-19
The Africa Investment Forum scheduled to hold in November 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa has been rescheduled to hold in2021 as a result of the ongoing global health pandemic.
This announcement was made in a statement by AfDB on Wednesday. The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Investment Forum founding partners agreed to the postponement of the annual three-day investment market place.
Considering the negative effect of Covid-19 on the global economy, agreement by the two bodies was made after a careful assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on global travels, investments, observing the social distancing rules and curbing the likely possible risk of a second wave.
In the statement, the bank stated that through the forum innovative digital platforms, it would track investments, source for new deals, progress on financial closure of transactions and other existing deals.
“At the 2019 Africa Investment Forum, 57 deals valued at $67.7bn were tabled for discussions. Fifty-two deals worth $40.1bn secured investment interest.
“In July this year, the AIF Founding partners pledged to strengthen strategic partnership engagement and commitments for Africa Investment Forum Market Days 2021, to help ‘reboot investments in Africa.’ They underscored the need to boost local manufacturing while leveraging the continent’s vast resources to unlock investment.”
In the statement, Africa Investment Forum objectives are achieved through the forum’s four pillars; Closing, Connecting, Engaging and Investment Tracking.
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