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IATA to Africa: Invest in Airport Infrastructure

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  • IATA to Africa: Invest in Airport Infrastructure

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has advised African governments to invest in airport infrastructure.

Such investment, IATA said, would ensure improvement in air safety.

Besides, focusing on airport infrastructure, the global airlines regulator also urged African governments to consider committing more resources to training of technical aviation personnel to boost the quality of industry expertise and education.

IATA said investment in human capital development was neccessary for the growth and development of air transportation in Africa.

Its Regional Vice President, Africa and Middle East, Muhammad Ali Albakri, made this known in an interview with The Nation at the weekend in Lagos.

He said air transport could grow in Africa, if governments plough revenues accruing from taxes and levies into expanding operational facilities to enable airline operate safely and profitably.

Albakri said the global body will continue to engageAfrican governments on ways to improve civil aviation regulation,promote safety and security as well as design measures that will stimulate the growth of air transportation.

The global airlines regulator, however, canvassed the sharing of security information among African countries to facilitate the movement of cargo and people across transnational borders.

He said connectivity within African countries still remains a major hurdle for many countries because of failure of African governments to liberalise their airspace.

Liberalising the African airspace, Albakri said, will make it easy for more carriers to fly into major capitals without bilateral restrictions.

Regrettably, Albakri said the Single African Sky Agreement reached by many countries many years was yet to take off, because some of them were yet to realise the benefits a liberalised airspace could bring to their economies.

He said though Nigeria has taken some steps to fix its aviator sector, a lot still needs to be done.

Albakri said: “Air transport in Nigeria supports more than 650,800 jobs, including tourism-related employment, and contributing $8.2 billion to the country‘s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“ Over the next 10 years, passenger volumes are forecast to grow more than seven per cent yearly, exceeding the global average by a healthy margin.

“For Nigeria, this means an additional 7.9 million passengers that will take to the sky every year, creating significant opportunity to accelerate economic growth, boost prosperity and support development.”

He said despite significant investment in Nigeria’s aviation sector, the country’s air transport infrastructure still ranks low among African states.

Albakri said though IATA recognises and supports the positive developments by Nigeria on infrastructure, it seeks continued adherence to international best practices and an optimal regulatory environment.

He said: “Now that the country is emerging from recession, aviation can unlock the enormous economic potential that exists within Nigeria. We encourage the government to continue to promote aviation for its role as a catalyst and economic enabler for the country, and to promote stronger connectivity within Nigeria and its neighbouring African countries.

“In addition, now is the time to continue to invest in modern and efficient infrastructure to accommodate the future traffic growth that will occur,” he said.

Albakri said unwarranted or excessive taxation on international air transport will continue to have negative impact on economic and social development.

This, he said, pushed IATA to join forces with industry partners in ensuring that airlines are subjected to fair and efficient taxation measures with respect to their operations, regardless of location.

He said: “IATA will continue to work with the industry to ensure that government authorities adhere to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations taxation principles. In this regard, IATA is actively involved in a range of activities.

“We will ensure that new and existing taxation measures, be they direct or indirect, are fairly applied and adequately consider the economic and social ramifications.

“We will continue to push against measures that result in double taxation, mobilise against taxation measures that unjustly target the industry, where the resulting tax revenues are not reinvested in air transport related services and infrastructure. He also said IATA will continue to play leadership role in influencing airport and airspace planning and development projects worldwide to meet airline requirements for safety, efficiency and functionality.

The IATA chief, however, spared a thought for the multiple entry policy obtainable for African carriers into Nigeria, urging other African carriers to open their skies for accelerated development of the continent.

Albakri said: “We encourage other countries to embrace what Nigeria has done by removing all restrictions that serve as obstacle to opening Africa with the least requirements.

“What we need in Africa is air services to connect the entire continent so that there could be exchange of expertise, knowledge and commerce.”

He said air safety in Africa has improved tremendously with more carriers embracing the International Operations Safety Audit ( IOSA).

Albakri said: “Safety has improved for African carriers due to hard work and focus on international standards, practices and procedures.

“We will continue to urge African countries to focus on airport and airspace management infrastructure improve training documentation, engage in regulatory information sharing to drive safety culture.”

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.

Investment

Germany Advances as Major Player in Pan-African Trade and Investment

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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.”

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Africa Offers Asian Business an Abundance of Investment Opportunities, Webinar Participants Learn

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The African Development Bank today held a workshop to convey the continent’s immense investment and partnership opportunities to Asian business leaders, particularly as the continent seems poised to return to economic growth in 2021 following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two-hour virtual event, held in English, Korean, and Chinese, offered participants an opportunity to learn more about the Bank and its operations. The webinar comes on the heels of the recently launched African Economic Outlook 2020 -Asia Supplement, which revised growth projections and outlook for Africa for 2020 and 2021.

“I take this opportunity to strongly encourage Asian private sector entities gathered here today, to partner with the Bank to take advantage of the multiple investment opportunities that exist on the continent,” said Samuel Higenyi Mugoya, the Bank’s Director for Syndication, Co-financing and Client Solutions Department, which co-organized the event, together with the Bank’s Asia External Representation Office.

In introducing the Bank, Takashi Hanajiri, Head of the Asia External Representation Office, provided an overview of the Bank and its history and components before providing a summary of its flagship Africa Investment Forum initiative and the opportunities it offers. Referring to the AIF event held in Johannesburg in 2019, he said “So far the largest deal was a LNG project in Mozambique with a total cost of $24.6 billion,” adding, “many Asian institutions, both public and private, are sponsoring the project.”

Following a discussion of the Bank’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hanajiri concluded on a positive note, noting “Africa’s growth will rebound to 3% in 2021 from -3.4% in 2020.”

Bank staff presented on the Bank’s non-sovereign operations and financial product offerings. Other sessions covered Africa’s immense potential in energy, particularly renewable energy, as well as agriculture, which remains the continent’s most important economic sector.

Director Mugoya praised Asian countries’ ongoing support for the Bank and Africa’s development. “There are four Asian member countries in the Bank, namely China, India, Japan, and Korea, that have been long-standing and strategic partners for almost 40 years. The Asian member countries have consistently contributed to the Bank’s capital requirements and supported the African Development Fund’s successive replenishments.” The African Development Fund is the Bank’s concessional window.

The webinar, which drew around 300 participants, closed with a question and answer session. Queries addressed such issues as the Bank’s representation in India, trade financing offerings and access to financing for women. Participating corporations and institutions included Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Export & Credit Insurance Corporation, Export-Import Bank of India, JICA, Korea Eximbank, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), and Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban Development Corporation (KIND).

Africa’s huge and highly diverse continent has the second-largest population in the world and the second-largest land mass after Asia, offering tremendous investment opportunities for the Asian private sector. The Bank views Africa’s private sector as a critical engine of economic growth and development but Asian companies often lack information about the business climate.

Until the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa was the second-fastest growing continent outside Asia. Over the past decade, the continent has experienced the longest period of unbroken growth in per capita incomes since the 1960s.

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FG Bonds’ Investors to Reap N160bn Interest Payment in 2 Weeks

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Investors to Get N160bn Interest Payment in 2 Weeks

Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) bonds’ investors are expected to reap N160 billion as interest (coupon) payment in two consecutive weeks even as the Debt Management Office (DMO) auctions N145 billion worth of bonds on behalf of the federal government.

Checks revealed that FGN bond investors last week received N142 billion as coupon payment from the federal the government investment instrument and will this week receive another N18.2 billion, hence coupon payment of N160.2 billion in two weeks. Further analysis showed that the N160.2 billion represents 68 percent of the N234 billion investors received as coupon payment in the second quarter (Q2’2020), and 33 percent of the N488.9 billion received in the first quarter (Q1’2020) according to the DMO.

Data from the debt agency showed that investors in FGN bonds received N723 billion as coupon payment in the first half of the year (H1’2020).

The DMO also showed that FGN bond coupon payment constituted 78.5 percent of the N921.9 billion spent by the FG on domestic debt service in H1’2020.

Meanwhile the DMO will this week offer N145 billion worth of FGN bonds to investors during its September monthly auction to be conducted on Wednesday. According to the agency, the bond auction comprises N25 billion worth of 10 years bonds, N40 billion of 15-year bonds, N40 billion worth of 25-year bonds and N40 billion worth of 30 years bonds.

At the last auction conducted in August, the DMO sold N116.65 billion worth of bonds. This was in spite of the N242.23 billion worth of bonds demanded by investors, representing 86 percent oversubscription when compared to the N130 billion worth of bonds auctioned by the DMO.

Also in a bid to further lower FG’s borrowing cost, the DMO slightly reduced the stop rate on the 15-year, 25-year and 30-year bonds by 15 basis points (bpts), five bpts and five bpts respectively to 9.35 percent, 9.75 percent and 9.9 percent in August from 9.5 percent, 9.8 percent and 9.95 percent in July, while the stop rate on the 10-year bond was raised by seven bpts to 6.7 percent from six percent in July.

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