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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, Businessinsider, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Minister Accuses Past NCDMB Leadership of Squandering $500m on Unproductive Projects



Nigeria investment

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has accused the former executives of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) of mismanaging a whopping $500 million on projects deemed unproductive.

Speaking at a dinner hosted by The Petroleum Club in Lagos, Lokpobiri minced no words as he shed light on what he described as egregious financial mismanagement within the organization.

Lokpobiri, during the interactive session, alleged that substantial sums were squandered on ventures that yielded little to no tangible results.

Among the projects cited was the infamous Brass modular refinery in Bayelsa State, for which a staggering $35 million was purportedly disbursed without any discernible progress.

Similarly, Lokpobiri raised concerns about a $20 million investment in a fertiliser factory, questioning its whereabouts and efficacy.

The minister’s accusations didn’t end there. He underscored what he termed the imprudent disbursement of funds, highlighting instances where significant amounts were released in lump sums against professional advice.

Lokpobiri stressed the need for a comprehensive review of these investments, lamenting the magnitude of the financial losses incurred.

Furthermore, Lokpobiri pointed fingers at the mismanagement of loans totaling approximately $350 million, which were intended to support investors.

According to him, a staggering 90% of these loans ended up as non-performing, exacerbating the financial hemorrhage experienced by the NCDMB.

Addressing the crisis between himself and the incumbent NCDMB boss, Felix Ogbe, Lokpobiri clarified that his intervention was grounded in the oversight responsibilities vested in him as the chairman of the council overseeing the NCDMB.

He stated the importance of due diligence in governance and reiterated his commitment to ensuring transparency and accountability within the organization.

In response to Lokpobiri’s accusations, the immediate past Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Simbi Wabote, vehemently refuted the allegations, asserting that they lacked substantiation.

Wabote defended the integrity of the Nigerian Content Intervention Fund, hailing it as a pivotal initiative with an impressive 96% payback rate.

Wabote also defended the NCDMB’s investment decisions, citing instances of successful ventures such as the equity investment in Waltersmith’s modular refinery, which has shown promising returns.

He attributed challenges faced by certain projects to external factors and legal disputes, maintaining the organization’s commitment to prudent financial management.

As the allegations continue to reverberate across the industry, stakeholders await the outcome of the government’s review, which could potentially reshape the trajectory of the NCDMB and its approach to investment and governance.

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SEC Brings N2.36tn in Funds Under Custody with New Guidelines



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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has successfully brought about N2.36 trillion in discretionary and non-discretionary funds under custody.

This achievement follows the implementation of updated guidelines for Collective Investment Schemes (CIS) in Nigeria.

Last December, the SEC proposed amendments to address grievances within the Collective Investment Scheme segment of the capital market.

These amendments sought to enhance investor safeguards and address concerns raised by market participants.

In a notice published on its website titled ‘Exposure Of New And Sundry Amendments To The Rules And Regulations Of The Commission,’ the SEC outlined the new regulatory changes.

Among these changes was the requirement for all CIS funds, including those in discretionary and non-discretionary windows, to be placed under custody.

This move was aimed at strengthening investor protection and mitigating risks associated with fund management.

Dr. Okey Umeano, the Chief Economist at SEC, provided insights into the impact of these regulatory updates during a media briefing after the first-quarter Capital Market Committee meeting.

He highlighted that prior to the regulatory amendments, only funds designated as Collective Investment Schemes were subject to custody.

However, with the new guidelines in place, all funds, regardless of their discretionary or non-discretionary nature, are now required to be custodied.

Umeano revealed that the SEC conducted inspections to ensure compliance with the new regulations, resulting in N2.36 trillion of discretionary and non-discretionary funds being brought under custody.

This move underscores the SEC’s commitment to safeguarding investor interests and fostering trust in the capital market ecosystem.

Former SEC Director-General, Lamido Yuguda, emphasized the importance of segregating asset management and custody functions to mitigate risks.

He noted that while the separation of these functions was standard practice for public CIS products, it was not uniformly applied to bilateral arrangements.

However, with the implementation of the new rules, all investment management activities, whether in public CIS or bilateral spaces, are mandated to be in custody.

Yuguda stressed that the objective of these regulatory changes is to improve trust, protect investors’ assets, and bolster market confidence.

By ensuring that investment management activities are segregated, with custody handled by duly licensed custodians, the SEC aims to create a more resilient and transparent capital market environment.

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Lagos State Government Set to Demolish $200 Million Landmark Beach Resort



Landmark Beach

The Lagos State Government has issued a demolition warning to the proprietor of the $200 million Landmark Beach Resort, a renowned tourist destination in the region.

The resort nestled along the picturesque coastline faces imminent destruction to make way for the construction of a 700-kilometer coastal road linking Lagos with Calabar.

Paul Onwuanibe, the 58-year-old owner of the Landmark Beach Resort, revealed that he received a notice in late March instructing him to vacate the premises within seven days to facilitate the impending demolition.

The resort, which spans a vast expanse of land and hosts over 80 businesses, is a hub of economic activity, sustaining over 4,000 jobs directly. Also, it contributes more than N2 billion in taxes annually.

The news of the resort’s potential demolition has sparked concerns among investors and stakeholders in the tourism sector. Onwuanibe expressed dismay at the government’s decision, highlighting the substantial investments made in developing the resort’s infrastructure.

He explained that the planned demolition would not only lead to significant financial losses but also jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of employees and businesses associated with the resort.

The Landmark Beach Resort is a popular tourist destination, attracting approximately one million visitors annually, both local and international. Its unique amenities, including a mini-golf course, beach soccer field, and volleyball and basketball courts, make it a favorite among tourists seeking leisure and recreation.

The prospect of the resort’s demolition has triggered widespread panic among international and domestic investors associated with the Landmark Group. Many are now considering withdrawing their investments, citing concerns about the viability of the business without its flagship beach resort.

The Lagos State Government’s decision to proceed with the demolition is part of its broader plan to construct the Lagos-Calabar coastal highway, a 700-kilometer roadway connecting Lagos to Calabar.

The government had earlier announced its intention to remove all “illegal” constructions along the planned route of the highway, including the Landmark Beach Resort.

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