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Aung San Suu Kyi to attend the 2nd Myanmar Oil and Gas Summit

Posted on 21 May 2013 by Africa Business

Aung San Suu Kyi gives speech to supporters at Hlaing Thar Yar Township in Yangon, Myanmar on 17 November 2011. Author Htoo Tay Zar. Source: Wikipedia.org

 

It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Prize laureate and Chairperson of the National League for Democracy will be attending The 2nd Myanmar Oil and Gas Summit, Yangon, 17-18 June.

The conference and exhibition which is endorsed by the ASEAN Council on Petroleum (ASCOPE) will also be attended by a delegation from the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), local and international oil companies and service providers form throughout the world.

To receive the latest event agenda as well as registration details, please reply to this email and my colleague will be in touch. This is the largest oil and gas event which takes place in Myanmar and we do expect it to sell out again.

SPEAKERS INCLUDE:

Ms Cho Cho Wynn, Deputy Director General, MINISTRY OF NATIONAL PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT / DIRECTORATE OF INVESTMENT AND COMPANY ADMINISTRATION (DICA)

VICTORINO BALA, Secretary in Charge, ASEAN COUNCIL ON PETROLEUM (ASCOPE)

U KYAW SOE, Exploration Geologist, PARAMI ENERGY DEVELOPMENT CO LTD

DR DEVA GHOSH, Professor in Geophysics, Universiti TEKNOLOGI PETRONAS,

U Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing, Chairman, SMART GROUP OF COMPANIES

U LYNN MYINT, Vice President, NORTH PETRO-CHEM CORPORATION (MYANMAR), Former Chief Geologist, MOGE

U AUNG MIN, Freelance Consultant, ASIA PIONEER PETROLEUM EXPLORATION TEAM, FORMER MOGE

U AUNG MYAT KYAW, Secretary Geotechnical Committee MYANMAR GEOSCIENCES SOCIETY

DR ANDRZEJ BOLESTA, Economic Counsellor, EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND IN BANGKOK

CHRIS FAULKNER, CEO, BREITLING OIL & GAS

JOHN MCCLENAHAN, Ashurst, PARTNER

JAMES FINCH, DFDL Mekong Group, PARTNER

Kenneth Stevens, Managing Partner, LEOPARD CAPITAL

Sebastian Pawlita, Partner, POLASTRI WINT & PARTNERS

DR EULOGE ANICET NKOUNKOU, Minerals on Energy, INTERNATIONAL LAW OF PETROLEUM EXPERT

Please visit: http://www.myanmarsummit2013.com/

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ACT hosted visionary leadership

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

“It is only through collaboration between education, innovation and business that we will be able to take our country forward and make Cape Town a global African city of inspiration and innovation.”

So said Chris Whelan, CEO of business think-tank Accelerate Cape Town, at Friday’s Accelerate Cape Town Member’s Meeting sponsored by Deloitte. Whelan, who heads up the business organisation that counts more than 45 of South Africa’s largest corporates among its members, added that it is critical that innovation is approached as a collaborative effort. “Whether we’re developing a new product or building a future society, the key to unlocking our success as a city and country is innovation and partnership.”

According to the AC, TWhelan was joined by Dr Vincent Maphai, a business leader  and former Chairman of BHP Billiton Southern Africa. Maphai who also acts as the Education Commissioner on the National Planning Commission, detailed the key requirements for growing talent in the country in terms of what inspired the thinking of the NPC.

Maphai said that in democracies, the government is a reflection of its society. “If we are unhappy about our government’s actions, we must remember that we as civil society elected them to their positions of power. For us to succeed as a nation and be able to become the shapers of our future, we need to step up and start taking our role in the country very seriously.”

He added that active citizenry should be combined with strong leadership in order to create a government that is able to take decisions that they can also implement. “Madiba is a perfect example. His views were not based on scoring political points or promoting his own interests, but rather on what is best for the country as a whole.” Challenge of job creation and lack of education.

Maphai said that the NPC is faced with a massive dual challenge of creating jobs while also overcoming the struggling education system. He stated that while he’s in favour of the current Outcome Based Education system, the country is in dire need of well-trained, committed teachers.

“We don’t have enough skilled workers in the country, and the skills that are available come with a hefty price tag. Until we attend to the mess in education, we can forget about dealing with the issues of inequality that the unions keep talking about.”

According to Maphai, there are ways in which to bring positive change to the country. “If you’re a major company like SAB, you are fortunate enough to have a strong supply chain that enables you to train people and empower them to come and work for you. This is one contribution to addressing the disaster we are facing of a shrinking tax base and growing social grants handouts. But we should also look at requiring the individuals who receive social grants to run the gardens and bake bread in schools and then utilise the money allocated to school feeding on more important items.

“In this country, we don’t need more money or resources, of which we have more than enough. Instead, we need greater resourcefulness, especially in the form of political and social innovation.”

Maphai was joined by Dr Julius Akinyemi, head of the MIT Media Laboratory and chief adjudicator of the Innovation Prize for Africa. Akinyemi said that the mission for schools is to educate students and create new capabilities, but added that most schools fail woefully on the latter aspect. “Innovation is the enabler for creating new capabilities, allowing you to make a social impact by improving efficiencies in the environment or the lives of individuals. This focus on innovation creates an entrepreneurial environment that is very nurturing and empowering to people, leading the creation of businesses, jobs and an environment that enables us to move forward.”

He said that, in terms of the state of innovation in Africa, the problem lies not with a lack of innovation but rather in creating a nurturing environment that allows innovators to be productive. “Businesses have an important role to play. Joint innovative development, for example, creates an opportunity for the research and development team to collaborate and work side by side with businesses, incubators and venture funds in a highly productive environment. A perfect example of this model in action is Workshop 17, the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business innovation hub based at the V&A Waterfront.”

Akinyemi added that innovation should not stop after the first positive result has been achieved. “Through constant innovation you are able to find out more about your company – what works and what doesn’t. This re-innovation process creates jobs as well as a nurturing environment and better profitability.”

In conclusionACT and Whelan said that determining the strategy, plan and call to action around fostering a culture of innovation in Cape Town will be a key point on his organisation’s agenda going forward. “We need an active citizenry and a strong government and business sector driven by innovation and partnership to further progress this city and truly achieve our objective of making Cape Town a world class destination for talented people to work and live in.”

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Satellite ultra-broadband in Europe & Africa

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

NEW YORK, May 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:

Satellite ultra-broadband in Europe & Africa

http://www.reportlinker.com/p01029508/Satellite-ultra-broadband-in-Europe–Africa.html#utm_source=prnewswire&utm_medium=pr&utm_campaign=Broadband

In this report, IDATE identifies the latest developments and major trends in the broadband and ultra-fast broadband markets. After a detailed analysis of the various terrestrial networks and their coverage, it examines satellite technology and the opportunities for positioning it as a complementary service to terrestrial networks to reduce the digital divides that currently exist in Europe and Africa.

Region: Europe: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Eastern Europe, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, TurkeyAfrica: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Rep., Chad, Congo, Dem. Rep., Congo, Rep., Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eriteria, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

Contents • Part 1

Recalling the objectives of the Digital Agenda

• Part 2

Status of broadband market in Europe

• Part 3

Status of ultra-broadband market in Europe

• Part 4

Status of satellite broadband market in Europe

• Part 5

Satellite operator strategies

• Part 6

IDATE’s assessment and market forecasts up to 2017

• Part 7

Introduction to Africa

• Part 8

Status of broadband market in Africa

• Part 9

Satellite operator strategies

• Part 10

IDATE’s assessment and market forecasts up to 2017

• In this report, IDATE identifies the latest developments and major trends in the broadband and ultra-fast broadband markets.

• After a detailed analysis of the various terrestrial networks and their coverage, it examines satellite technology and the opportunities for positioning it as a complementary service to terrestrial networks to reduce the digital divides that currently exist in Europe and Africa.

Recalling the objectives of the Digital Agenda 9• Digital Agenda objectives are being met for basic broadband 10• Objectives of national plans diverging from Digital Agenda for ultra-broadband 112. Status of broadband market in Europe 12• DSL network coverage is improving 13• Rural coverage still needs to progress 14• As a consequence of the DAE, bitrates are improving fast 15• Competition from mobile networks gathers pace 163. Status of ultra-broadband market in Europe 17• Migration to ultra-fast broadband continues on the fixed market… 18• Adoption among households remains low 19• LTE is now launched in most European countries 20• Mobile operators are now tackling the residential fixed market 21• Towards the era of the Gbps 224. Status of satellite broadband market in Europe 23• Some

Figures

on satellite broadband consumers 24• Satellite access solutions are highly competitive 25• Satellite access solutions are tailored to tackle under-served terrestrial markets 26• Full satellite triple-play packages can be proposed 27• 5. Satellite operator strategies in Europe 28• Eutelsat 29• SES 31• Avanti 33• 6. IDATE’s assessment and market forecasts for Europe 34• 7. Introduction to Africa 36• A market with several barriers to entry 37• The fast deployment of submarine cables is a game changer 38• On land, fibre backbone networks are also being deployed 39• Impact of fibre deployment on satellite bandwidth princing 40• 8. Status of broadband market in Africa 41• Africa has less than 5% of world users 42• Fixed broadband prices are unsustainable 43• Mobile telephony is becoming the entry point for Internet access 44• Mobile broadband is progressing rapidly 45• Mobile broadband pricing is decreasing 46• 9. Satellite operator strategies in Africa 47• YahSat 48• SES and Eutelsat 49• 10. IDATE’s assessement and market forecasts for Africa 50• IDATE’s assessement and market forecats up to 2017 51• Who are we? 52

Figures

• Figure 1: Fixed broadband penetration in Europe 10• Figure 2: Digital agenda objectives 11• Figure 3: Total DSL network coverage in Europe, end-2011 (% of population) 13• Figure 4: Rural DSL network coverage in Europe, end-2011 (% of population) 14• Figure 5: Fixed broadband lines by speed, 2008-2012 15• Figure 6: Fixed broadband lines by speed, January 2012 15• Figure 7: Total HSPA coverage in Europe, end of 2011 16• Figure 8: Rural HSPA coverage in Europe, end of 2011 16• Figure 9: FTTx network coverage, end-2011 18• Figure 10: FTTH/B adoption, YE 2012 19• Figure 11: Other FTTx technologies adoption, YE 2012 19• Figure 12: Timetable for LTE spectrum in Western Europe 20• Figure 13: Evolution of LTE coverage in Portugal following use of the 800 MHz band 20• Figure 14: HomeFusion service offered by Verizon Wireless 21• Figure 15: LTE service for homes offered by TeliaSonera 21• Figure 16: Evolution of fixed broadband technologies up to 2030 22• Figure 17: LTE-Advanced performance 22• Figure 18: Bandwidth consumption, per subscriber 24• Figure 19: Bandwidth consumption, by application 24• Figure 20: Evolution of satellite broadband offering for basic package 25• Figure 21 : Price change of a broadband satellite reception terminal 25• Figure 22: Positioning of some satellite broadband offerings in France(as of February 2013) 26• Figure 23: In the USA, ViaSat and Hughes tackle 26• Figure 24: Dishnet satellite triple-play packages being offered by Dish (based on HughesNet Gen4 service) in the USA 27• Figure 25: Satellite broadband terminal proposed by Eutelsat with TV reception capability 27• Figure 26: Ka-Sat coverage 29• Figure 27: Selected packages based on Ka-Sat 29• Figure 28: Evolution of Tooway subscriber base 30• Figure 29: Evolution of Tooway download speeds 30• Figure 30: Hybrid vision of SES 31• Figure 31: Broadband for communities (launched in 2011) 31• Figure 32: Evolution of ASTRA2Connect subscribers 32• Figure 33: Evolution of ASTRA2Connect download speeds 32• Figure 34: Avanti coverage in Europe (Hylas-1 satellite) 33• Figure 35: Satellite broadband packages distributed by irish distributor, Qsat (downlink speeds from 4 to 10 Mbps) 33• Figure 36: Forecast of residential subscriptions to a two-way ultrabroadband satellite solution in Europe, 2013-2017 35• Figure 37: Literacy rates in Africa 37• Figure 38: PC penetration in Africa 37• Figure 39: Evolution of submarine cable deployments in Africa 38• Figure 40: Map of terrestrial fibre backbones in Africa, YE 2012 39• Figure 41: E1 pricing for a selection of African countries, 2012 39• Figure 42: Excerpt from Seacom commercial brochure 40• Figure 43: Average evolution of bandwidth prices over 2009-2012 40• Figure 44: Fixed broadband access penetration in Africa, end 2012 42• Figure 45: Fixed broadband penetration compared with literacy rate 42• Figure 46: Price of fixed broadband subscriptions based on per capita GDP 43• Figure 47: African mobile penetration, as of YE 2012 44• Figure 48: Top 5 African mobile markets, at YE 2012 44• Figure 49: Status of 3G, as of February 2013 45• Figure 50: Top 5 African 3G markets, at YE 2012 45• Figure 51: Monthly broadband basket, YE 2011 46• Figure 52: YahClick coverage 48• Figure 53: Eutelsat IP Easy coverage 49• Figure 54: Satellite broadband packages being offered as of year-end 2012 by Get2Net (SES ASTRA2Connect) 49• Figure 55: Forecast of residential subscriptions to a two-way ultrabroadband satellite solution in Africa, 2013-2017 51• Table 1: Basic coverage national objectives, in selected countries 10• Table 2: Objectives of national broadband plans, in selected countries 11• Table 3: Electrification rates in Africa 37• Table 4: Selection of mobile broadband basket (prepaid handsetbased), YE 2011 46• Table 5: Array of speeds offered by Vox Telecom in South Africa and Coolink in Nigeria (as of February 2013) 488

To order this report:Broadband Industry: Satellite ultra-broadband in Europe & Africa

Contact Clare: clare@reportlinker.com
US:(339) 368 6001
Intl:+1 339 368 6001

 

SOURCE Reportlinker

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Soutien des Gouverneurs pour une reconstitution réussie du Fonds africain de développement (FAD) – FAD-13

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 15 mai 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Nous, gouverneurs du Fonds africain de développement (FAD) et ministres du Plan et des Finances de Côte d’Ivoire, du Ghana, de Guinée, du Liberia, du Sénégal et de Sierra Leone, avons participé à l’atelier de présentation des priorités opérationnelles et stratégiques du FAD-13, le 14 mai 2013 à Abidjan.

Au cours de cette importante réunion, plusieurs questions ont été abordées quant à l’impact du FAD sur nos pays, et son rôle dans la transformation de nos économies. La Banque (http://www.afdb.org) a, par exemple, rapidement octroyé un appui budgétaire, afin que les pays bénéficiaires puissent maintenir et réhabiliter les services de base offerts à leurs populations, à un moment où tous deux en avaient grand besoin.

Selon nous, le FAD constitue, assurément, un canal pertinent de financement du développement. Le Groupe de la Banque est également l’un des relais de la voix du continent. Les priorités opérationnelles et l’orientation stratégique du FAD sont en phase, tant avec l’agenda de développement de l’Afrique, qu’avec les besoins des différents pays. Les réformes institutionnelles engagées successivement ont renforcé la capacité de mise en œuvre du Groupe de la Banque, sa réactivité, ainsi que sa quête de résultats efficients.

Ce qu’accomplit la Banque dans le secteur des infrastructures en Afrique, est d’autant plus crucial que le potentiel en la matière est immense.

Aussi saluons-nous la création et l’augmentation de l’enveloppe du FAD relative aux opérations régionales, préalable nécessaire à l’ambitieux agenda de la Banque en ce domaine. Pour de nombreux pays africains, les solutions régionales mises en œuvre dans les services publics, tels que les réseaux électriques et de transports, s’avèrent moins onéreuses et plus efficaces, ainsi que de bien meilleures qualités, en complément aux programmes nationaux.

Nous savons l’intérêt qu’il y a à renforcer les capacités dans les domaines de la passation de marchés, des audits internes et externes, de la gestion des revenus issus de l’exploitation des ressources naturelles, et à accroitre la mobilisation de ressources internes, surtout s’agissant des pays richement dotés, de la région. Nous saluons le travail et l’implication de la Banque sur ces questions.

Cependant, nous estimons que le Groupe de la Banque pourrait faire plus encore dans le soutien à la diversification économique et la création d’emplois, notamment des jeunes, en s’impliquant davantage dans l’amélioration de la productivité, tant des entreprises privées que des industries agricoles de tous niveaux – micro, petites et moyennes entreprises. La BAD pourrait également jouer un plus grand rôle, s’agissant de réformes économiques et structurelles qui aient un impact significatif et vertueux sur le climat des affaires.

Enfin, nous avons conscience des défis auxquels la Banque et le Fonds sont confrontés dans le cadre de la mobilisation de ressources, en cette période où plusieurs donateurs doivent faire face à de fortes contraintes économiques.

Toutefois, nous jugeons qu’il faut maintenir l’élan actuel et qu’il nous faut rester concentrés sur l’objectif principal, qui est d’aider les pays membres régionaux de la Banque à transformer leurs économies, à créer des emplois et à réduire la pauvreté. Nous espérons que le cycle de négociations du FAD-13 saura y répondre en ce sens.

Signé à Abidjan, le 14 mai 2013

M. Albert Abdallah Toikeusse Mabri

Gouverneur du Groupe de la BAD et ministre du Plan et du Développement de la République de Côte d’Ivoire

M. Mohammed M.Sherif

Economiste en chef, Ministère des Finances de la République du Liberia

M. Seth Terkper

Gouverneur du Groupe de la BAD et ministre des Finances et de la Planification économique de la République du Ghana

M. Ngouda Fall Kane

Secrétaire général du Ministère de l’Économie et des Finances, Représentant le Gouverneur Amadou Kane, Ministre de l’Economie et des Finances du Sénégal

M. Kerfalla Yansane

Gouverneur du Groupe de la BAD et ministre d’État chargé de l’Économie et des Finances de la République de Guinée

M. Foday Mansaray

Gouverneur temporaire du Groupe de la BAD, ministre d’Etat et ministre des Finances et du Développement économique de la République de la Sierra Leone


Distribué par l’Organisation de la Presse Africaine pour la Banque Africaine de Développement (BAfD).

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

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African Development Fund: Governors support a successful ADF replenishment

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, May 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ We, the African Development Fund’s Governors, Planning and Finance Ministers from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone attended the ADF-13 Presentation Workshop on the Fund’s Priorities and Operational Strategies, in Abidjan, May 14, 2013.

During this important meeting, many issues were raised concerning the impact the ADF is having in our countries and its role in the transformation of our economies. The Bank (http://www.afdb.org) for instance, has delivered rapid budget supports to maintain and restore core basic services to the people in the region, at a time when some countries needed it most.

We noted that the ADF is indeed a relevant channel of development financing. The Bank Group also plays an important role as the convener and voice of Africa. The ADF strategic orientation and operational priorities are aligned with the Continent’s development agenda and countries’ needs. Successive institutional reforms have strengthened the Bank Group’s Delivery capacity, Responsiveness and Results-focus.

The Bank’s work in the field of infrastructure is very important, given Africa’s huge infrastructure potential. We appreciate the establishment and augmenting of the ADF Regional Operations envelope, which is critical in supporting the Bank’s ambitious regional integration agenda. For many African countries, regional solutions to the provision of public services, such as regional power grids and transportation networks, are more cost effective and provide better services and complement national programs.

We support the building of capacity in the fields of public procurement, internal and external audits, managing revenues from natural resources, and enhancing domestic resource mobilization as they are important for resource rich countries in the region. We, therefore, are appreciative of the Bank’s work and interventions in these areas.

However, we do believe that the Bank Group could do more to support economic diversification and job creation, for the Youth especially, by helping to improve the productivity of private enterprises and micro, small and medium-sized agribusinesses as well as supporting economic and structural reforms with the highest impact on improving the business environment.

Finally, we recognize that there are major challenges for the Bank and the Fund to mobilize resources at a time when many donor countries are facing some economic constraints. Nevertheless, we think that we need to keep the momentum and focus on the big picture, which is to help the Bank’s Regional Member Countries transform their economies, create jobs, and reduce poverty. We hope the ADF-13′s replenishment will meet our needs.

Signed in Abidjan: 14 may, 2013

Monsieur Albert TOIKEUSSE MABRI

Gouverneur du Groupe de la BAD et Ministre du Plan et du Développement de la République de Côte d’Ivoire.

Mr. Mohammed M. SHEIRF

Chief economist, Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Liberia


HON. Seth TERKPER

Governor for the AfDB Group and Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of the Republic of Ghana

Mr. Ngouda Fall Kane

Secrétaire général du Ministère de l’Économie et des Finances, Représentant le Gouverneur Amadou Kane, Ministre de l’Economie et des Finances du Sénégal


Monsieur Kerfalla YANSANE

Gouverneur du Groupe de la BAD et Ministre d’Etat chargé de l’Economie et des Finances de la République de Guinée

Mr. Foday MANSARAY

Temporary Governor for the AfDB Group and Minister of State, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Republic of Sierra Leone


Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

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Global Trade Partners in the 21st Century

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Remarks

Robert D. Hormats

Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment

World Economic Forum

Pretoria, South Africa

May 14, 2013

 

 

As Prepared

 

Thank you Lyal for the kind introduction.

I am delighted to be in South Africa again. I visited last fall with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

What was most striking then, and continues to be the case today, is the extent to which the image of Africa has changed. According to the IMF, growth in sub-Saharan Africa will surge to 6.1% next year, well ahead of the global average of 4%.

Africa is booming in nearly every sector, ranging from massive energy developments in Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana, and other countries; to the growth of Rwanda and Kenya’s information and communications technology sectors; to South Africa’s thriving auto industry. And, though far from declaring victory, Africa is reaching a turning point in its hard-fought battles against poverty and corruption.

Today’s Africa looks nothing like what, in 2000, The Economist referred to as the “Hopeless Continent.” It is critical that we concentrate the world’s eyes on the new image of Africa, that of progress and promise. Perspectives are evolving—in 2011, The Economist referred to Africa as the “Rising Continent” and, last March, as the “Hopeful Continent.”

Trade is at the heart of Africa’s economic resurgence. So, in this context, I will speak first about America’s vision for global trade in the 21st century and then, focus on implications and, indeed, opportunities for Africa. America’s global trade agenda in the 21st century is shaped by a foundation laid, in large part, in the mid-20th century. After World War II, American and European policymakers worked together to build a set of international institutions that embodied democratic and free market principles.

The GATT—which led to the WTO—World Bank, IMF, and the OECD were designed to foster international economic cooperation. These institutions were vital to the economic prosperity of the United States, and to the success of America’s foreign policy and national security for the next three generations.

As we move into the 21st century, a new multi-polar global economy has surfaced. The emergence of a new group of economic powerhouses—Brazil, Russia, India, and China, of course, but also countries in Africa—has created momentum (if not necessity) for greater inclusiveness in the global trading system.

At the same time, these new players must assume responsibilities for the international economic system commensurate with the increasing benefits they derive from the global economy. In addition to the geography of international trade, the nature of trade and investment has evolved to include previously unimaginable issues such as e-commerce and sustainability.

So, part of our vision for trade in the 21st century is to build a system that is more inclusive, recognizes the new realities of economic interdependence, and matches increased participation in the global trading system with increased responsibility for the global trading system.

We are making progress with bringing new players into the global trading system as equal partners. Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama entered into force last year.

And, we are continuing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership—or TPP as it is more widely known. With Japan’s anticipated entry into the negotiations, TPP will grow to include 12 countries of different size, background, and levels of development. The agreement, when finalized, will encompass nearly 40% of global GDP and one-third of global trade.

In addition to TPP, we are embarking on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union. TTIP—as it is being called—will strengthen economic ties between the United States and Europe, and enhance our ability to build stronger relationships with emerging economies in Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world.

TPP and TTIP are truly historic undertakings. Our objective is not only to strengthen economic ties with the Asia-Pacific and Europe, but also to pioneer approaches to trade and investment issues that have grown in importance in recent years.

These agreements will seek to break new ground by addressing a multitude of heretofore unaddressed non-tariff barriers, setting the stage for convergence on key standards and regulations, and establishing high quality norms and practices that can spread to other markets. TPP, for example, will raise standards on investment and electronic commerce, and afford protections for labor and the environment.

Our agenda also includes strengthening the multilateral trading system through the World Trade Organization. For example, the United States would like to see a multilateral Trade Facilitation Agreement, which would commit WTO Members to expedite the movement, release, and clearance of goods, and improve cooperation on customs matters. A Trade Facilitation Agreement would be a win-win for all parties—Africa especially.

Cross-border trade in Africa is hindered by what the World Bank calls “Thick Borders.” According to the latest Doing Business Report, it takes up to 35 days to clear exports and 44 days to clear imports in Africa. Clearing goods in OECD countries, in contrast, takes only 10 days on average and costs nearly half as much. Countries like Ghana and Rwanda have benefited tremendously from the introduction of trade facilitation tools and policies.

Ghana, for instance, introduced reforms in 2003 that decreased the cost and time of trading across borders by 60%, and increased customs revenue by 50%. A multilateral Trade Facilitation Agreement will create a glide path for increased trade with and within Africa.

Our views for 21st century global trade partnerships go beyond Europe and the Asia-Pacific, and efforts at the WTO. We are committed to supporting Africa’s integration into the global trading system. The cornerstone of our trade relationship with sub-Saharan Africa is the African Growth and Opportunity Act—known as AGOA. Of all of our trade preference programs, AGOA provides the most liberal trade access to the U.S. market.

Exports from Africa to the United States under the AGOA have grown to $34.9 billion in 2012. While oil and gas still represent a large portion of Africa’s exports, it is important to recognize that non-petroleum exports under AGOA have tripled to nearly $5 billion since 2001, when AGOA went into effect. And, compared to a decade ago, more than twice the number of eligible countries are exporting non-petroleum goods under AGOA.

South Africa, in particular, has made great strides in diversifying its exports to the United States. Thanks to AGOA, the United States is now South Africa’s main export market for passenger cars, representing more than 50% of exported value in 2012. Because AGOA is such an important mechanism for African countries to gain access to the U.S. market, the Administration is committed to working with Congress on an early, seamless renewal of AGOA. Our trade relationship with Africa goes beyond AGOA. For instance, AGOA represents only one-quarter of South African exports to the United States. The composition of South Africa’s exports to the United States, moreover, reflects complex interdependencies and industrial goods.

And, our trade relationship with Africa is not just about one-way trade. There is an immense opportunity for U.S. companies to do business on the continent.

We recently launched the “Doing Business in Africa Campaign” to help American businesses identify and seize upon trade and investment opportunities in Africa. The campaign was announced in Johannesburg, in part, because South Africa can play a prominent role in directing U.S. investment into other parts of the continent.

Although progress has been made on diversifying exports beyond energy, there is much more to be done. African ingenuity and entrepreneurship must be unleashed to drive innovation and growth throughout the continent. This requires closer integration to share ideas, transfer knowledge, and partner on solutions. Through AGOA and the “Doing Business in Africa Campaign”, we are promoting a business climate in Africa that enables and encourages trade and investment. However, realizing these goals is goes beyond trade preferences and commercial linkages.

Africa is also featured in America’s vision for global trade in the 21st century.

For example, we recently launched the U.S.-East African Community Trade and Investment Partnership—the first of its kind—to expand two-way trade and investment. The Partnership is designed to build confidence among the private sector by building a more open and predictable business climate in East Africa. We are considering a variety of mechanisms to accomplish this, including a regional investment treaty and trade facilitation agreement. The Partnership highlights our desire to help Africa integrate and compete in today’s global economy.

I will conclude with one final point. I began by saying that trade is at the heart of Africa’s economic resurgence. Trade is also at the heart of America’s economic recovery. We have a common interest and a common goal.

When it comes to enhanced trade, what is good for Africa is good for America. And what is good for America is good for Africa.

Thank you.


SOURCE

US Department of State

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IMF Mission Concludes the 2013 Article IV Mission to the Republic of Congo

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

BRAZZAVILLE, Republic of the Congo, May 14, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission led by Mr. Mbuyamu Matungulu visited Brazzaville during April 29–May 13, 2013, to conduct discussions for the 2013 Article IV consultations. The mission met with the Honorable Obami Itou, President of the Senate; the Honorable Koumba, Speaker of Parliament; State and Finance Minister Ondongo, Special Presidential Advisor Gokana, National Director of the BEAC Ondaye Ebauh, and other senior officials. It held discussions with development partners and representatives of the private sector, including members of the banking profession.

At the end of the mission, Mr. Matungulu issued the following statement:

“In 2012, real GDP growth rebounded to about 4 percent despite a marked decline in oil production. Activity in the non-oil sectors was robust, driven by a surge in public spending in response to the ammunitions depot explosion of March 2012. The brisk increase in spending put pressures on prices, bringing end-year inflation to 7.5 percent as domestic supply response was limited. Reflecting the high import content of increased government outlays, the external current account turned negative in 2012. Credit growth remained robust. The basic non-oil primary budget deficit increased considerably, stemming from the expansion of government spending. However, the deficit was smaller than projected, with domestically-funded investment outlays somewhat lower than anticipated.

“Real GDP growth is expected to strengthen to 5.8 percent in 2013 despite a further decline of oil production, underpinned by continuing strong activity in construction and public works, telecommunications, as well as a timid start of iron ore production. Inflation eased to a monthly average of -0.1 percent in January-February 2013, and is projected to remain subdued during the remainder of the year as pressures from the 2012 ammunitions explosions fallout gradually recede. While the current account is expected to improve, the country remains vulnerable to adverse changes in external conditions, particularly on terms of trade. Compared to the initial budget, the mission’s current fiscal projections for 2013 reflect a shortfall in oil revenue equivalent to 4.8 percent of non-oil GDP, a reduction in government spending, as well as much higher-than-anticipated payments on arrears to social sectors. While the basic non-oil primary budget deficit should be contained below the projected level, the build-up of government deposits with the central bank would likely be much lower than targeted under the 2013 budget. The mission urged stronger treasury management and discussed quarterly fiscal targets for the remainder of the year to minimize slippages.

“The authorities’ medium-term development agenda seeks to foster private sector development, facilitate economic diversification, and secure growth inclusiveness. It appropriately emphasizes preservation of macroeconomic stability, improvements in governance and transparency and in business conditions, as well as a scaling up of investment to begin closing large infrastructure and skills gaps, while seeking further gains in budget consolidation. The mission encouraged the authorities to expedite reforms to improve the quality of spending; and welcomed World Bank involvement in the efforts to improve the management of the public investment program and enhance the productivity of the development budget. It underscored accelerated implementation of World Bank-supported reforms to improve the business environment, including in financial sector; and to roll out envisaged social protection systems. Regarding the management of oil resources, the mission reiterated calls for early adoption by Parliament of the draft law on budget transparency and accountability, following the achievement last February of compliant status under the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). As Congo moves ahead with the establishment of Special Economic Zones, the staff team urged caution. In particular, the mission encouraged the authorities to refrain from extending special fiscal incentives, and to focus instead on revamping infrastructure, including the inadequate electricity network, and advancing administrative facilitation. The staff team favored implementation of economy-wide reforms that improve the business environment for all so as to prevent abuses. It confirmed Congo’s low risk of debt distress but noted the need for continuing prudent borrowing policies to maintain long-term debt sustainability in the post-HIPC era.

“The mission discussed a medium- and long-term fiscal framework aimed at protecting spending from oil revenue volatility and ensuring budget and debt sustainability while supporting growth and guarding against the risks in the face of declining oil reserves. The framework makes provisions for scaled up investment and a buildup of net wealth that would sustain expenditures when oil resources are depleted. Under the agreed framework, nearly 65 percent of projected total oil revenue for 2013–2019 would be spent (two thirds of which on capital goods), and 35 percent saved; and the basic non-oil primary budget deficit would be limited to 36.1 percent of non-oil GDP by 2015.

“The authorities concurred with the need to improve coordination of economic policy management through development of appropriate reform-monitoring mechanisms. In this context, staff welcomed the government’s support to the ongoing review of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central African States (CEMAC)’s reserves pooling framework. Finally, the mission reminded the authorities of Congo’s legal obligations under Article VIII, Section 5, including the obligation to provide data to Fund staff on official holdings of foreign exchange.

“The mission wishes to express gratitude to the authorities for their hospitality. Upon its return to Washington D.C., the team will prepare a staff report to be discussed by the IMF’s Executive Board.”

 

SOURCE

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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Switzerland promotes broad-based growth in Burkina Faso and Mozambique

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Africa Business

BERN, Switzerland /African Press Organization (APO)/ On 8 May 2013 the Federal Council decided to grant Burkina Faso and Mozambique general budgetary assistance of CHF 32 million each for the years 2013 to 2016. This will support both countries in implementation of their poverty reduction strategies, which focus on broad-based and sustainable growth.

 

Burkina Faso and Mozambique have in recent years displayed on-going macroeconomic stability, robust economic growth and a substantial increase in own revenues. Progress has also been made in social issues such as education, healthcare and water supply. Poverty reduction has seen only limited success, however, and both countries still need to catch up considerably, particularly in terms of basic infrastructure and economic diversification.

 

Through performance-based disbursements for the national budget and targeted policy dialogue, budgetary assistance helps to narrow the remaining development gaps and consolidate previous successes. This is done primarily with measures aimed at supporting broad-based growth and improving public services. Both of these budgetary assistance measures from Switzerland are being made in association with other donors.

 

Switzerland has cooperated with Burkina Faso and Mozambique for many years. It enjoys high visibility and is well regarded within policy dialogue for its expertise in core areas of the reform agenda and the predictability and far-sightedness of its interventions.

 

Burkina Faso and Mozambique are priority countries of Switzerland’s development cooperation, and the efforts of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) are largely complementary. Budgetary assistance forms part of the package of measures to implement the framework credit on financing economic and trade policy measures.

 

SOURCE

Switzerland – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Renewed UK-Lebanese partnership on two conferences

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Africa Business

2nd LIOG Summit 2013 and LICEX 2013 launched with a positive commitment to Lebanon

Following the remarkable success last December of the Lebanon International Oil and Gas Summit (LIOG 2012) in its first edition, organizers of the summit, Global Events Partners Ltd. (GEP) from the UK and Lebanon’s Planners and Partners S.A.L., are partnering again to launch two events in 2013, in Beirut.

This shows a commitment to Lebanon as an attractive investment destination and as one of the best venues for conferences and exhibitions in the region, according to organizing partners.

The first event will be the “Lebanon Infrastructure Conference and Exhibition” (LICEX 2013) in October and the second will be this year’s edition of the 2nd Lebanon International Oil and Gas Summit (LIOG 2013) in December like last year.

Building on success – The 2nd LIOG Summit 2013

The 2nd Lebanon Oil and Gas Summit (LIOG 2013) will be held on 4 and 5 December 2013, in the Phoenicia Intercontinental Hotel in Beirut.

This year’s edition is expected to build on the momentum and success of the 2012 summit, which was held under the patronage of the Ministry of Energy and Water and in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, attracting over 330 delegates and 35 speakers from 23 countries representing 150 local and international companies and organizations, including major IOCs.

Paul Gilbert, Managing Director of GEP, said, “In the coming second edition of LIOG, we are committed to keeping the highly strategic nature of the event for the second consecutive year, with a very strong conference programme and a couple of new activities.”

Dory Renno, Managing Director of Planners and Partners S.A.L.,highlighted the fact that “The 2nd edition of LIOG has established a solid position for the conference as a platform for the emerging oil and gas industry in Lebanon.”

He explained that the timing will be perfect, as companies will be preparing themselves for the start of the negotiations phase. “The early response from companies has been great,” Renno added.

Always innovative –LICEX 2013

The Lebanon Infrastructure Conference and Exhibition (LICEX 2013), on the other hand, is taking place on 10 and 11 October 2013 in Beirut.

Supported by the Secretariat General of the Higher Council for Privatization, LICEX 2013 is gaining unprecedented support from government organizations and private businesses both locally and internationally.

‘’LICEX 2013 will feature an exhibition and conference,’’ said Paul Gilbert. ‘’Participants will have the opportunity to hear from government officials and industry experts about the latest planned infrastructure projects and to discuss the vast investment opportunities available in the country. They will have also the opportunity to hear from international experts about the latest on the Public Private Partnership.”

“There are a lot of new business opportunities to develop in Lebanon through a number of infrastructure contracts on offer,” explained Dory Renno, who expected that the exhibition segment of the event will turn those opportunities into real projects in the near future.

The timing of LICEX 2013 coincides with the increased interest and talk about the much-needed partnership between the private and public sectors in Lebanon.

A land of opportunities

“We believe in Lebanon and in its business climate, which makes it a great place for the conferences and exhibitions industry,” said Gilbert. “We also strongly believe that successful conferences like LIOG, in both of its annual editions, reflect a positive image about Lebanon as an attractive investment arena.

“Investors who want to be involved in Lebanon should come to events that are organized in Lebanon, experience the wonderful hospitality and the beautiful city of Beirut and importantly to understand first-hand the many opportunities that Lebanon has to offer.”

*******

To learn more about the events, how to participate and other details on the programme, participating delegates, speakers and sponsors, please visit: www.liog-summit.com and www.lebanoninfrastructure.com

***********

To confirm interviews and appointments please Contact Ms. Mariette Mokbel (Media Relations): Tel: +961 70 44014
Email:
mariette.mokbel@planners-partners.com

For further questions related to agenda items, please contact Mr. Antoine Dagher (Summit Producer / Media Consultant) Tel: +961 3 982 505. Email: adagher@gep-events.com

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Connecting West Africa 11-12 June 2013 Radisson Blu Hotel, Dakar, Senegal

Posted on 27 April 2013 by Africa Business

Connecting West Africa
11-12 June 2013
Radisson Blu Hotel,
Dakar, Senegal
Visit the website: www.comworldseries.com/westafrica

Connecting West Africa is taking place at the Radisson Blu Hotel, in Dakar, Senegal on 11-12 of June 2013. The theme for 2013 is Meeting the Networks & Infrastructure needs of Digital West Africa”.

Connecting West Africa is the region’s leading digital event and attracts over 500+ telecommunications professionals to network and do business. Hear from top speakers who will deliver you the latest business knowledge and meet world class vendors showcasing the technology of tomorrow at the co-located exhibition.

Hear from Industry Leading Speakers responsible for shaping the future of West Africa
CTIC Dakar * ECOWAS * Equateur Telecom *Expresso Telecom * Google * International Financial Corporation (World Bank Group) * Isocel Telecom * Mobile Money * Sierratel * Sonatel & Itmag.sn * SOS Consommateurs * Technocentre Africa, Orange Côte d’Ivoire * Telecom Italia Sparkle * Tigo Senegal * Viadeo and many more….

The conference will focus on the following areas:

Connectivity needs in West Africa

Cable & Satellite

Enterprises & Governments

Partnerships and Finance

Cost-Efficiency

Connecting Rural Areas

Download the agenda for more information: www.comworldseries.com/westafrica

Admission to the Conference

Free for all regional Operators & Regulators (FREE Until 28th May)

Regional Non Operators need to pay $999 (Early Bird Rate expires on 7th May)

International Operators need to pay $999 (Early Bird Rate expires on 7th May)

International Non Operators need to pay $1,999 (Early Bird Rate expires on 7th May)

Remember to quote your VIP Code: CWA13/MP when registering.

Join our Online Communities:
Twitter:  @AllAboutCom using #CWA2013
Linkedin:
Connecting West Africa Telecoms Group
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/comworldseries
Face book: www.facebook.com/AllAboutCom
Blog:  www.comworldseries.blogspot.com

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