Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) will hold the 13th U.S.-Africa Business Summit virtually on July 27-29 to build sustainable partnerships and opportunities between key government and private sector decision-makers across America and the African continent.
With participation from over 2,000 U.S. and African business executives and government leaders, this year’s CCA Summit will give your organization a seat at the table in building new pathways to strengthen the economic partnership between the United States and Africa.
While much of the world’s attention has been focused on responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the outlines of the post-COVID future are emerging. African countries have largely weathered the economic and health challenges better than expected, and have implemented a number of innovative solutions to replace disrupted global supply chains, rapidly expand access to digital platforms and e-commerce, enhance the role women play in their economies, and reshape their financial sectors to deal with debt issues.
African countries have continued to reshape their trade and investment environment with the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement – the largest free trade area ever created under the World Trade Organization. African countries have also continued to negotiate economic partnerships with foreign partners, including from Europe and China. This, and the business opportunities across key sectors in Africa, mean that it is time to explore new pathways to a stronger U.S.-African economic partnership.
This year’s U.S.-Africa Business Summit will feature senior U.S. Government officials as they explain the Biden Administration’s priorities for Africa, including details of new programs to support development in the Information Communications Technology sector, environmentally smart infrastructure and sustainable energy, and what to expect on trade and investment, including prospects for the U.S.-Kenya Free Trade Agreement, updates on Prosper Africa and the future of the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
African leaders will update participants on the latest developments in AfCFTA, including a preview of what to expect as African countries move to Phase II of this landmark trade and investment agreement this fall. They will also showcase how Africa’s energy sector is evolving to meet the need for rapid increases in electricity generation that balances concerns on climate change and meets the demands of the world market.
The Summit will also highlight new ways that women are being economically empowered, highlight what is new on entrepreneurship and foreshadow what to expect on post-COVID tourism and the creative industries. There will also be focused sessions on doing business in some of Africa’s most dynamic markets.
This year’s Business Summit will also feature high-level sessions on the health sector, including a discussion with the companies leading the world’s campaign against COVID-19 and U.S. and African government leaders outlining what to expect on vaccine roll out and laying the groundwork for stronger health partnerships. Sessions will also feature CCA’s U.S.-Africa Health Security and Resilience Initiative, which is creating more effective partnerships on Universal Health Care, Disease Management, and Trade and Investment in health products and services.
Union Bank Announces the Appointment of Aisha Abubakar as Independent Non-Executive Director
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (“Union Bank”) has announced a change to the membership of its Board of Directors with the appointment of Ms. Aisha Abubakar as an Independent Non-Executive Director effective 9th September 2021, following the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Ms. Abubakar joins the Board of Union Bank following her tenure as Nigeria’s Honourable Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development from 2018 to 2019. Prior to this, she also served as the Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment between 2015 and 2018. At the start of her career, Ms. Abubakar worked at Continental Merchant Bank Ltd., African Development Bank and African International Bank.
She is an accomplished public sector administrator with over three decades of professional experience in Public Service and Pension Administration, Investment Banking, SME Finance/Rural Enterprise Development and Micro-Credit Administration.
Ms. Abubakar is a Fellow of the International Professional Managers Association (IPMA-UK), and the President of the International Experts Consultants (IEC-UK).
Commenting on the addition to the Board, Mrs. Beatrice Hamza Bassey, Union Bank’s Board Chair said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I welcome Ms. Aisha Abubakar to the Board. She brings many years of robust experience which will be invaluable in supporting our efforts to steer the Bank forward and deliver on our strategic objectives.”
Also commenting, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Emeka Okonkwo said: “I am pleased to welcome our new Independent Non-Executive Director, Ms. Aisha Abubakar to the Board. We look forward to drawing from her wealth of experience and fresh perspectives as we continue to execute our vision to be Nigeria’s most reliable and trusted partner.”
AfDB Approves $50M Trade Finance Deal with Standard Chartered Bank
The African Development Bank Group has approved a $50m Trade Finance Unfunded Risk Participation Agreement (RPA) for StandardChartered Bank.
This was contained in a statement titled ‘African Development Bank approves a $50m Multinational Trade Finance Risk Participation Agreement facility for Standard Chartered Bank’ published on the bank’s website on Wednesday.
The statement said, “The board of directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a $50m Trade Finance Unfunded Risk Participation Agreement facility between the African Development Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.”
The essence of this agreement is to promote intra-Africa trade, ensure regional integration and lessen the trade finance gap in Africa.
“The agreement is expected to boost intra-Africa trade, promote regional integration, and contribute to the reduction of the trade finance gap in Africa, in line with implementation aspirations of the African Continental Free Trade Area,”
The bank’s Director for Financial Sector Development, Stefan Nalletamby, stated that “We are excited about finalising this facility with Standard Chartered Bank as it offers us the flexibility to use our strong AAA-rated risk-bearing capacity to increase access to trade finance and boost intra/extra-African trade on the continent, in support of the AfCFTA.
“This partnership is expected to catalyze more than $600m in value of trade finance transactions across multi-sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and energy over the next three years.”
Director-General of the bank’s Southern Africa region, Leila Mokadem, was quoted to have said, “The advent of COVID-19, coupled with stringent regulatory/capital requirements and Know Your Customer compliance enforcement, has seen many global banks reduce their correspondent banking relationships in Africa, while some are exiting the market altogether.
“There is, therefore, an urgent need for financing to reenergise Africa’s trade, which requires more participation of institutions like the African Development Bank.”
The parties in the agreement are expected to share the default risk on a portfolio of eligible trade transactions originated by African Issuing Banks and indemnified by Standard Chartered Bank.
Beneficiaries of this facility are issuing banks in Africa with the ability to grow their trade finance business has been constrained by inadequate trade confirmation lines from international banks.
Other beneficiaries are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and domestic firms which rely on these issuing banks to fulfill their trade finance commitments.
The RPA facility is aligned with the AfDB’s High 5 priority goals which are: light up and power Africa, feed Africa, industrialize Africa, integrate Africa, and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
Standard Chartered Launches Flexible ‘Smart Business Loan’ Product To Support SMEs
Standard Chartered on Wednesday launched its Smart Business Loan (SBL) product to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) in Nigeria.
David Idoru, Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking, of the bank in Nigeria, said in a statement in Lagos that SBL was an unsecured installment/term loan available to SME clients within key target sectors.
“Qualified SMEs would be able to access up to N20million loan, without providing tangible security/collateral to purchase asset, finance business expansion and other capital expenditure needs.
“This loan was designed to help SMEs meet their short to medium-term needs.
“As a Bank, our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity in the locations we operate in. This is done through offering cash, lending, trade and wealth management solutions that specifically drive economic growth,” he said.
Idoru said that the bank was constantly looking for ways to ensure SMEs get access to the needed support to enable their businesses to thrive, adding that prior to the product launch, clients were required to provide full collateral cover to access loans from the bank, but SBL had been designed to provide the necessary flexibility to the clients.
“It is accessible to new and existing clients of the Bank with no waiting period, including small and medium scale organisations, who can access up to N20million in loans without collateral for a maximum tenure of two years,” he said.
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