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The US$6bn Water Investment Programme Set to Transform Zambia’s Social-economic Outlook by 2030

This week the Zambian Government launches its game-changing US$6billion Zambia Water Investment Programme during the African Union mid-year Summit in Lusaka.

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By Alex Simalabwi, Executive Secretary  of the Global Water Partnership Africa-Coordination

This week the Zambian Government launches its game-changing US$6billion Zambia Water Investment Programme during the African Union mid-year Summit in Lusaka.

The Programme is part of the Continental Africa Water Investment Programme (AIP) that was adopted by African Union Heads of State and Government as part of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa – Priority Action Plan 2, during the AU Summit on 7th February 2021.

The Country is faced with challenges of poor access to clean water and decent sanitation. Joint UNICEF and WHO statistics indicate that over 6.4 million people in a population of about 18 million, do not have access to clean running water and nearly 8 million lack access to adequate sanitation. This affects the social economic development of the country with women and girls, mostly tasked with collecting water and doing home chores, bearing the brunt of it.

Estimating the relationship of water with economic growth and jobs is challenging due to lack of data, particularly in regard to determining the degree of water dependency of jobs. However, the UN reports that for every dollar invested in water and sanitation, there is a US$4.3 Ureturn in the form of reduced health care costs for individuals and societies around the world.

The UN estimates that three out of four jobs that make up the global workforce are either heavily or moderately dependent on water. Investment in small-scale projects including rainwater harvesting providing access to safe water and basic sanitation in Africa could offer an estimated economic return of US$ 28.4 billion a year, or nearly five per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) of the continent. Such investments have a beneficial effect on employment.

Led by the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation, the Zambia Water Investment Programme hopes to leverage up to US$6 billion in water security investments and the creation of about 200,000 direct formal jobs by 2030. In addition, the Programme envisages that at least 800,000 indirect jobs will be created for vulnerable and poor youths, women, and other marginalized groups.

What makes this Investment Programme different from other such frameworks is that, firstly there is high-level political commitment at the Head of State level within the country and internationally, through the African Union and the High-Level Panel of former and current Heads of State. The Panel was launched by the AU Chairperson and President of Senegal H.E. Macky Sall, at the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal on 25th March, 2022. Its objective is to develop actionable pathways for mobilising $30 billion annually by 2030, for implementing the AIP, under which Zambia’s Water Investment Programme falls, and to close the existing water investment gap in Africa.

The Panel is led by three Co-chairs:

  • E. Macky Sall, as Co-Chair in his capacity as Chairperson of the African Union.
  • E Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of The Netherlands
  • E. Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia
  • E Jakaya Kikwete, (Alternate Co-Chair) former president of the United Republic of Tanzania, who is also Chairperson of the Board of Global Water Partnership Southern Africa and Africa Coordination.

Secondly, the Investment Programme also known as AIP Zambia, is home-grown and aligned to the Four Strategic Development Areas of Zambia’s Eighth National Development Plan, 2022-2026. It was widely consultative and inclusive with inputs from development partners and local stakeholders. Global Water Partnership (GWP) Zambia joined the water sector development partners in designing the Programme.

AIP Zambia comes with a first of its kind mutual accountability tracking tool, the AIP-PIDA Scorecard that was adopted by AU Heads of States in February 2022. The scorecard will track progress in investment mobilisation, identify gaps, bottlenecks and define areas for mutual accountability. AUDA-NEPAD will report its progress to the African Union every six months.

The Programme recognizes that financing is a key issue, so it promotes Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) to water resourcing via the Blended Finance approach, as a viable way of making development priorities on water more investable. According to a recent Report by WaterAid, this approach involves the strategic use of public or philanthropic development capital to de-risk investments related to the SDGs, in order to attract commercial capital from private investors who would otherwise not have participated.

Rather than rely on treasury and donor funding, AIP Zambia hopes to leverage a water development fund, resourced via blended financing mechanisms that will leverage Official Development Assistance (ODA) and grant finance to de-risk priority water investments.  The various financing models include sovereign wealth funds, green local municipal water bonds, international investment guarantees, institutional investors and private equity, foundations, value-based impact investment, and climate finance. For local and rural populations, off-grid solar powered water distribution networks combing local water-energy-food security, scaling up rainwater harvesting schemes will be central.

The AIP Zambia delivery model will build on experiences from similar delivery units from other parts of the world including India’s Swachh Bharat Mission led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who slashed through India’s notorious red tape and pushed aside thorny political divisions to see it through. According to UNICEF the number of people without a toilet in India reduced from 500 million to 50 million in four years, between 2014 and 2018.

Positive spin-offs of the Zambia Water Investment Programme are expected to benefit communities in rural areas and densely populated shanty townships. The Programme will also see the creation of gender-centred climate resilient programmes, skills training and the growth of green-economy related small and medium enterprises.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Nigerian Investors Petitions Kenya Courts to Release Funds Held in Several Bank Accounts

2,000 Nigerian investors demanding the release of Ksh 1.44 billion ($1.8million) held by Safaricom and four other banks in Kenya.

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A petition has been made by more than 2,000 Nigerian investors demanding the release of Ksh 1.44 billion ($1.8million) held by Safaricom and four other banks in Kenya.

These investors claim that they were duped billions of shillings by a sports betting platform (86FB) that used Nigerian and African Fintech company Flutterwave to process payments.

Citing Kenya’s anti-money laundering laws, these investors are demanding that the sum of $12 million is split from the Ksh 6.6 B ($55 M) that was frozen in July in 62 bank accounts at Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), Equity Bank, Ecobank, and UBA Bank, as well as in 19 Safaricom paybill numbers.

The Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) was granted permission to freeze Ksh 5.17 B (USD 49 M) in 29 GTB accounts, with the remaining funds held in accounts at Equity and Ecobank in Kenyan Shillings, US Dollars, Euros, and British Pounds.

The large sums are alleged to be the proceeds of theft, credit card fraud, and money laundering that were wired under the guise of payments for goods and services.

One of the investors who identified himself as Morris Ebitimi Joseph claimed that he and other investors had filed a new lawsuit in Nigeria to seek the return of their funds.

They argued that a portion of the money belonged to them and have opposed the attempt to forfeit it to the Kenyan government which they claimed were fraudulent proceeds.

In his words, “I believe that the issuance of an order compelling Guaranty Trust Bank, Equity Bank, and Ecobank to deposit the sums excluded in the bank account of our advocates, justice shall be served to the 2,468 interested parties who were swindled of their hard-earned money through the scheme”.

Morris claimed that the investors put money into the investment scheme on the promise of better returns from the betting business, but however, never materialized.

Before the payments stopped, according to them, everything was fine for about six months. He also shared that after conducting research, he came to the conclusion that the operation was questionable, and now wants to join the case and help the court resolve the issue.

The Nigerian contingent is requesting the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), which declared in July that Flutterwave is not licensed in Kenya, to ask that the court issue an order directing Access Bank, Safaricom, and United Bank of Africa to deposit the excluded amount in the account of his attorneys.

“The claim made by the applicant/intended interested party represents the interest of 2,468 persons, thus occasioning monumental public interest.

Failure to expeditiously determine whether the application is in like fashion constitutes substantive and irreparable injustice,” Joseph says. He contends that there may be more people with an interest in the funds in addition to the 2,468 people who are requesting an injunction.

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AFDB, Others Invest $618 Million in Nigeria’s Digital Programme

African Development Bank (AFDB), French Development Agency (FDA), and The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) have invested the sum of $618 Million in Nigeria’s Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme.

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Akinwunmi AfDB

African Development Bank (AFDB), French Development Agency (FDA), and The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) have invested the sum of $618 Million in Nigeria’s Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme.

President of the African Development Bank (AFDB), Mr. Akinwumni Adesina while speaking at Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum held in New York, disclosed that investment in the program would help in the establishment of 451 digital technology SMEs and 225 creative start-ups.

Adding that the enterprises would create 6.1 million jobs and add $6.4 billion to the Nigerian economy.

He said, “That is the power of international partnerships working for Nigeria. Investors must recognize this and invest.

“The future is not just digital, the future will be driven by digital revolution. Today, Nigeria has five of the seven unicorns in Africa and raised almost $1.4 billion of the total of four billion dollars raised by Fintech companies across Africa in 2021.

“When you think of financial services digital innovations, think Nigeria, with Flutterwave, OPay, Andela, and Interswitch holding the status of unicorn companies, worth at least one billion dollars each.”

Mr. Akinwunmi further stated that $540 million have been provided by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and ISDB to develop Special Agro-industrial processing zones to help unlock Nigeria’s agricultural potential.

Noting that the funds will boost food production and agribusiness value chains across Nigeria and make Nigeria more competitive.

He also called for increased international partnerships in Nigeria, adding that the bank had invested $44 billion in infrastructure in Africa over the past six years.

Furthermore, Mr. Adesina disclosed that the growth in Nigeria would depend on its ability to fix its infrastructure deficits.

His words, “The National Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan shows that Nigeria will need total financing of $759 billion to support infrastructure over a 23-year horizon (2020-2043).

“These covers tackling the crippling lack of energy to power the economy, including power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure, water and sanitation, and transport infrastructure.”

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Foreign Investors Boycott Nigeria Oil Sector; Capital Inflow Drops By 82%

Capital inflow into Nigeria’s oil sector has dropped by more than 82 percent in the second quarter of 2022. 

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Despite the increase in global oil prices, capital inflow into Nigeria’s oil sector has dropped by more than 82 percent in the second quarter of 2022. 

Investors King learnt that while other sectors such as baking and manufacturing contributed immensely to the country’s economy, oil and gas barely make an impact. 

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that foreign capital inflow into the oil and gas sector accounts for 0.13 percent of fresh foreign investments into the Nigerian economy in Q2 2022, compared to other sectors like the banking and production sector contributing 42 percent and 15 percent respectively.

It is further revealed that the total value of foreign capital investment attracted by the petroleum industry in the second quarter of 2022 fell from $11.3 million in Q2 2021 to $1.93 million in Q2 2022.

Ola Alokolaro, a partner at Advocaat Law Practice (Energy and Infrastructure) disclosed that this is the lowest for Nigeria in 11 years.

He indicated further that the weak foreign investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector started in 2021.  

It is evident that foreign investors are boycotting Nigeria’s oil for other places. Recently, Italian oil giant Eni agreed to acquire two producing fields in Algeria for an undisclosed sum, including stakes in two major natural gas projects, as the company plans divestments away from Nigerian onshore assets.

A French multinational oil company, TotalEnergies has also announced plans to sell its stake in a oil joint venture in Nigeria and invest about $850 million in oil projects in Angola.

Nigeria’s oil production has been facing one of its most turbulent times. Widespread oil theft and poor patronage are some of the prevailing challenges. Investors King had earlier reported that for the first time in five years, Nigeria lost its crown as Africa’s largest oil producer to Angola. 

 

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