400+ attendees, 50+ speakers and 20+ sponsors are gathering 8-9 June in Cape Town for the New Energy Update series of conferences, comprising of CSP Today South Africa, PV Insider South Africa and Wind Energy Update South Africa Tag 1.
Custom Search

Money Transfers Job Africa Map Weather

Tag Archive | "having"

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Living the FATCA life in Africa: New U.S. tax regulations add to burden of compliance on financial institutions across Africa

Posted on 21 May 2013 by Eugene Skrynnyk

Eugene Skrynnyk

Eugene Skrynnyk (CIPM, MILE, BComm) is a senior manager and specialist for the asset management industry in the Africa Sub-Area at Ernst & Young in Cape Town, South Africa.

Eugene Skrynnyk is the Ernst & Young Senior Manager and specialist for the asset management industry in the Africa Sub-Area.

Eugene holds a Certificate in Investment Performance Measurement (CIPM), Master of International Law and Economics (MILE) and Bachelor of Commerce and Finance (B.Comm.).

 

When the U.S. Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued final Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (“FATCA”) regulations in January of this year, there was a sigh of relief that the financial services industry in Africa could begin to digest FATCA’s obligations. However, achieving FATCA compliance remains a challenge for banks operating across Africa.

FATCA is already law in the U.S. but negotiations are under way to enshrine it in national law of countries around the world via intergovernmental agreements (“IGAs”) with the U.S. While a variety of African jurisdictions will each face unique obstacles with FATCA compliance, many in the industry share a general unease with FATCA’s scope, as well as scepticism that FATCA’s rewards (an estimated US$1 billion in additional tax revenue annually) justify its expenses. Generally, FATCA attempts to combat U.S. tax evasion by requiring that non-U.S. financial institutions report the identities of U.S. shareholders or customers, or otherwise face a 30% withholding tax on their U.S. source income. Overwhelmingly, FATCA compliance obligations apply even where there is very little risk of U.S. tax evasion and it impacts all payers, including foreign payers of “withholdable payments” made to any foreign entities affecting deposit accounts, custody and investments.

General issues in Africa

Concerns about privacy abound. FATCA requires financial institutions to report to the IRS certain information about U.S. persons. For this reason, IGAs are being put in place so that institutions could instead report information to their local tax authority rather than the IRS. In some jurisdictions, investment funds and insurance companies are permitted to disclose information with client consent. In other jurisdictions, such disclosure is prohibited without further changes to domestic law. The process to make necessary changes locally involves time and effort.

Cultural differences in Africa need to be considered. In certain situations FATCA requires that financial institutions ask a customer who was born in the United States to submit documents explaining why the customer abandoned U.S. citizenship or did not obtain it at birth. African financial institutions never pose such a delicate and private question to their customers. Even apparently straight-forward requirements may pose challenges; for example, FATCA requires that customers make representations about their identities “under penalty of perjury” in certain situations. Few countries have a custom of making legal oaths, so it would not be surprising if African customers will be reluctant to give them.

FATCA contains partial exemptions (i.e., “deemed compliance”) and also exceptions for certain financial institutions and products that are less likely to be used by U.S. tax evaders. It still has to be seen to what extent these exemptions have utility for financial institutions in Africa. For example, the regulations include an exemption for retirement funds and also partially exempt “restricted funds” — funds that prohibit investment by U.S. persons. Although many non-U.S. funds have long restricted investment by U.S. persons because of the U.S. federal securities laws, this exemption could be less useful than it first appears. It should be pointed out that the exemption also requires that funds be sold exclusively to limited categories of FATCA-compliant or exempt institutions and distributors. These categories are themselves difficult for African institutions to qualify for. For example, a restricted fund may sell to certain distributors who agree not to sell to U.S. persons (“restricted distributors”). But restricted distributors must operate solely in the country of their incorporation, a true obstacle in smaller markets where many distributors must operate regionally to attain scale.

Other permitted distribution channels for restricted funds are “local banks,” which are not allowed to have any operations outside of their jurisdiction of incorporation and may not advertise the availability of U.S. dollar denominated investments.

Challenges and lessons learned – the African perspective

Financial institutions will have to consider what steps to take to prepare for FATCA compliance and take into account other FATCA obligations, such as account due diligence and withholding against non-compliant U.S. accountholders and/or financial institutions.

The core of FATCA is the process of reviewing customer records to search for “U.S. indicia” — that is, evidence that a customer might be a U.S. taxpayer. Under certain circumstances, FATCA requires financial institutions to look through their customers and counterparties’ ownership to find “substantial U.S. owners” (generally, certain U.S. persons holding more than 10% of an entity). In many countries the existing anti-money laundering legislation generally requires that financial institutions look through entities only when there is a 20% or 25% owner, leaving a gap between information that may be needed for FATCA compliance and existing procedures. Even how to deal with non-FATCA compliant financial institutions and whether to completely disengage business ties with them, remains open.

The following is an outline of some of the lessons learned in approaching FATCA compliance and the considerations financial institutions should make:

Focus on reducing the problem

Reducing the problem through the analysis and filtering of legal entities, products, customer types, distribution channels and account values, which may be prudently de-scoped, can enable financial institutions to address their distinct challenges and to identify areas of significant impact across their businesses. This quickly scopes the problem areas and focuses the resource and budget effort to where it is most necessary.

Select the most optimal design solution

FATCA legislation is complex and comprehensive as it attempts to counter various potential approaches to evade taxes. Therefore, understanding the complexities of FATCA and distilling its key implications is crucial in formulating a well rounded, easily executable FATCA compliance programme in the limited time left.

Selecting an option for compliance is dependent on the nature of the business and the impact of FATCA on the financial institution. However, due to compliance time constraints and the number of changes required by financial institutions, the solution design may well require tactical solutions with minimal business impact and investment. This will allow financial institutions to achieve compliance by applying low cost ‘work arounds’ and process changes. Strategic and long-term solutions can be better planned and phased-in with less disruption to the financial institution thereafter.

Concentrate on critical activities for 2014

FATCA has phased timelines, which run from 2014 to 2017 and beyond. By focusing on the “must-do” activities, which require compliance as of 1 January 2014 – such as appointing a Responsible Officer, registering with the IRS, and addressing new client on-boarding processes and systems – financial institutions can dedicate the necessary resources more efficiently and effectively to meet immediate deadlines.

Clear ownership – both centrally and within local subsidiaries

FATCA is a strategic issue for the business, requiring significant and widespread change. Typically it starts as a ‘tax issue’ but execution has impacts across IT, AML/KYC, operations, sales, distribution and client relationship management. It is imperative to get the right stakeholders and support onboard to ensure that the operational changes are being coordinated, managed and implemented by the necessary multidisciplinary teams across the organization. These include business operations, IT, marketing, and legal and compliance, to name but a few. Early involvement and clear ownership is key from the start.

Understand your footprint in Africa

Many African financial institutions have operations in various African countries and even overseas, and have strategically chosen to make further investments throughout Africa. The degree to which these African countries have exposure to the FATCA regulations needs to be understood. It is best to quickly engage with appropriate stakeholders, understand how FATCA impacts these African countries and the financial institutions’ foreign subsidiaries, and find solutions that enable pragmatic compliance.

What next for financial institutions in Africa?

Negotiations with the U.S. are under way with over 60 countries to enshrine FATCA in national law of countries around the world via IGAs. Implementation of FATCA is approaching on 1 January 2014 and many local financial institutions have either not started or are just at the early stages of addressing the potential impact of FATCA. In South Africa, only few of the leading banks are completing impact assessments and already optimizing solutions. Other financial services groups and asset management institutions are in the process of tackling the impact assessment. Industry representative in Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe have started engaging relevant government and industry stakeholders, but the awareness is seemingly oblivious to date. In the rest of Africa, FATCA is mainly unheard of.

Financial institutions choosing to comply with FATCA will first need to appoint a responsible officer for FATCA and register with the IRS, ensure proper new client on-boarding procedures are in place, then identify and categorize all customers, and eventually report U.S. persons to the IRS (or local tax authorities in IGA jurisdictions). Institutions will also need to consider implementing a host of other time-consuming operational tasks, including revamping certain electronic systems to capture applicable accountholder information and/or to accommodate the new reporting and withholding requirements, enhancing customer on-boarding processes, and educating both customers and staff on the new regulations. Where possible, institutions should seek to achieve these tasks through enhancing existing initiations so as to minimise the cost and disruption to the business.

Conclusion

Financial institutions in Africa face tight FATCA compliance timelines with limited budgets, resources, time, and expertise available. This is coupled with having to fulfil multiple other regulatory requirements. To add to the burden, FATCA has given stimulus to several countries in the European Union to start discussing a multilateral effort against tax evasion. The support of other countries in the IGA process indicates that some of these countries will follow with their own FATCA-equivalent legislation in an attempt to increase local tax revenues at a time when economies around the world are under unprecedented pressure. The best approach for African financial services industry groups is to engage their local governments in dialogue with the IRS and Treasury, while for African financial institutions to pro-actively assess their FATCA strategic and operational burdens as they inevitably prepare for compliance.

 

About Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 167,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

The Ernst & Young Africa Sub-Area consists of practices in 28 countries across the African continent. We pride ourselves in our integrated operating model which enables us to serve our clients on a seamless basis across the continent, as well as across the world.

Ernst & Young South Africa has a Level two, AAA B-BBEE rating. As a recognised value adding enterprise, our clients are able to claim B-BBEE recognition of 156.25%.

Ernst & Young refers to the global organisation of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. All Ernst & Young practices in the Africa Sub Area are members of Ernst & Young Africa Limited (NPC). Ernst & Young Africa Limited (NPC) in turn is a member firm of Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee. Neither Ernst & Young Global Limited nor Ernst & Young Limited (NPC) provides services to clients.

For more information about our organisation, please visit www.ey.com/za

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“World’s Best Service” Awarded To Crystal Cruises By Travel + Leisure

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Africa Business

Magazine Readers Vote Luxury Line #1 of All Large Ships

Waiters prepare the Crystal Dining Room for dinner. (PRNewsFoto/Crystal Cruises)

LOS ANGELES /PRNewswire/ – Travel + Leisure magazine readers have voted Crystal Cruises as having the “World’s Best Service” of all large size cruise ships for 2013. With a #1 score of 95.41, this is the second year in a row the luxury cruise specialist has won the esteemed guest service award in its ship size category. A complete list of all hotel, resort, airline, and cruise line service winners is published in the periodical’s June issue.

Crystal has maintained exceptionally high service scores throughout its history, even after including gratuities as part of its all-inclusive enhancements a little over a year ago.

“We’re so pleased with the incredibly high-quality execution of our all-inclusive experience. Readers’ service scores mirror the ratings we’ve received from our own guest surveys,” says Crystal President Gregg Michel . “Our crew thrives on delivering the best Crystal Experience possible, down to the smallest detail, so it’s incredibly gratifying to see sophisticated travelers recognize that.”

Crystal is continually refining the guest experience and has made numerous enhancements to its Six-Star service over the past year. Gratuities, fine wines and premium spirits are now all included. Certified Master Sommeliers, Cheese Sommeliers, and Mixologists are always on hand to recommend perfect pairings. New Boutique Adventures and Private options have expanded onshore choices. New associations with Hollywood‘s Magic Castle and USC‘s School of Cinematic Arts offer additional learning and entertainment opportunities. New Fast Track Check-In has eased embarkation hassle. New VIP Airport Services simplify airline travel to and from ships. Maiden calls and new itineraries, including more local overnights and shorter voyages, have increased travelers’ cruise options. And, thanks to a five-year, $100 million investment in extreme makeovers of Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, guests always have a plethora of chic, yet comfortable, spaces in which to enjoy Crystal’s luxurious service.

Crystal’s passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history, including, over the past year, Travel + Leisure‘s World’s Best Large-Ship Cruise Line (17th consecutive year); Conde Nast Traveler‘s Best Mid-Sized Cruise Line (19th year) and Cruise Ships (#1 and 2); and eight Travel Weekly Magellan Awards.

The 922-guest Crystal Symphony and the 1,070-guest Crystal Serenity sail to all seven continents, with voyages of 5-108 days in the Mediterranean, Western Europe, British Isles, Scandinavia/Baltic & Russia, North Cape & Arctic Circle, Africa, Asia, Australia/New Zealand, South Pacific, South America, Antarctica, New England/Canada, Panama Canal, Caribbean, and a sumptuous annual World Cruise. Until June 28, all-inclusive, value-priced “Book Now” fares start at just $1,630/person.

For more information and Crystal reservations, contact a travel agent, call 888-799-4625, or visit www.crystalcruises.com.

SOURCE Crystal Cruises

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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)

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

China and Russia commit to World Energy Congress

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

“Most important energy event in the world this year”

SEOUL – May 14, 2013: The Chinese and Russian governments have committed to sending high-level delegations to the World Energy Congress in South Korea in October, organizers said.

The Organizing Committee for the 2013 World Energy Congress said it had been notified that China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) would send a ministerial-level delegation to the event and that the government body had advised Chinese energy companies of its plan to attend.

The Chinese delegation will be one of the largest to the Congress, which will host up to 5,000 delegates from around the world, organizers said.

The Committee further announced that Alexander Novak, the Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, would lead a delegation that will include the Russian ministries of Natural Resources and Environment, and of Foreign Affairs, as well as Gazprom, Transneft, Rosneft, RusHydro, the State Atomic Energy Corporation and other major energy companies.

The Russian delegation is planning a “Russia Day” event at the Congress.

The World Energy Congress is the world’s premier energy gathering and will take place on 13–17 October in the city of Daegu.

More than 200 prominent speakers, including energy ministers, industry CEOs and top experts and researchers, will answer the most pressing questions facing the global energy industry today

Under the theme of ‘Securing Tomorrow’s Energy Today’, topics range from the future prospects of the oil & gas, coal, nuclear, and renewables sectors to the tough policy decisions needed to balance the often conflicting priorities of energy security, universal access to affordable energy, and environmental protection. Delegates will also be given insights into how finance and innovation are shaping our energy future.

“We are delighted with the decision by the governmental and industry leaders in China and Russia,” said Dr. Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the London-based World Energy Council, which hosts the triennial event. “Having just been in China and Russia I know that this high level participation in the Congress will provide a fascinating overview of the opportunities and challenges of our energy world in transition. Such engagement by the world’s biggest players is crucial for a meaningful event.”

“Both countries are in the centre of many critical energy developments. We want to understand, within the global energy transformation, whether there is a refocus of ambition within the respective governments,” he said.

“We look forward to hearing more about developments in Russia and the energy challenges and opportunities in China at the World Energy Congress in October,” said Cho Hwan-eik, Chair of the Organising Committee of the 2013 World Energy Congress.

He added: “This will be the first time in the 90-year history of the event that China will have participated in such a significant way. For both the Chinese and Russians now to commit to the Daegu event underscores the fact that the Congress is the most important event on the global energy calendar this year.”

The Organising Committee also confirmed that a number of other governments are currently planning significant activity for the Congress. Mr. Cho added, “The discussions we are having with many governments at this early stage in our planning only serve to highlight the importance of this global event being staged in the heart of Asia at a time of significant transition in the energy sector.”

Media Enquiries:

Organizing Committee, World Energy Congress

Inang Park

Tel: +82 (2) 739 7016

M: 010 3213 7465

Email: inang.park@insightcomms.com

John Burton

Tel: +82 (2) 739 7045

M: +82 (0)10 2437 6265

Email: john.burton@insightcomms.com

World Energy Congress – international

Seán Galvin

Tel: +44 (0)20 7269 7133

M: +44 (0)7788 568 245

Email: sean.galvin@fticonsulting.com

World Energy Council

Monique Tsang

Tel: +44 (0)20 3214 0616

Email: tsang@worldenergy.org

About the World Energy Congress

The World Energy Congress is the world’s premier energy gathering. The triennial World Energy Congress has gained recognition since the first event in 1923 as the premier global forum for leaders and thinkers to debate solutions to energy issues. In addition to the discussions, the event provides an opportunity for executives to display their technologies and explore business opportunities. With the upcoming Congress in Daegu the event will have been held in 20 major cities around the world since its founding.

Further details at www.daegu2013.kr and @WECongress

About the World Energy Council (WEC)

The World Energy Council (WEC) is the principal impartial network of leaders and practitioners promoting an affordable, stable and environmentally sensitive energy system for the greatest benefit of all. Formed in 1923, WEC is the UN-accredited global energy body, representing the entire energy spectrum, with more than 3000 member organisations located in over 90 countries and drawn from governments, private and state corporations, academia, NGOs and energy related stakeholders. WEC informs global, regional and national energy strategies by hosting high-level events, publishing authoritative studies, and working through its extensive member network to facilitate the world’s energy policy dialogue.

Further details at www.worldenergy.org and @WECouncil

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Successful infrastructure project bonds require improved regulatory frameworks, says AfDB study

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

TUNIS, Tunisia /African Press Organization (APO)/ African countries need to improve their regulatory frameworks in order to ensure the successful launch of African infrastructure project bonds, says a new report launched by the African Development Bank (http://www.afdb.org).

Read the report: http://j.mp/10RPwzm

Africa is ready for the launch of such infrastructure bonds provided some conditions are met, says the report, titled “Structured Finance – Conditions for infrastructure project bonds in African markets”.

With Africa having now no other option than to tap into its own internal resources, the book “points in the right direction,” said Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank, in the foreword. “I hope it will be useful for all Africans who are involved in infrastructure development.”

The report is of the view that domestic capital markets can contribute to funding some of the most important local and regional infrastructure projects. Given the limited ability of local banks to provide long-term funding and the shrinking international assistance, the report encourages project sponsors to turn to domestic institutional investors by issuing infrastructure project bonds.

The legal and regulatory framework for bond issuance exists in many countries which are active issuers of bonds for their own funding needs. However, competition between the sovereign and other issuers is a potential issue in all markets.

Many of the ingredients for infrastructure project bond issuance are present, but more needs to be done to make it attractive for sponsors to tap local markets. From a sponsor’s perspective, issuing an infrastructure project bond must offer the optimal tenor and pricing compared to other options. It is therefore essential that governments do more to reduce local market rates and lengthen the yield curve.

According to the report, a crucial barrier in African markets is the enabling environment for infrastructure. The regulatory and tariff framework in many sectors is incomplete. Many countries have established public-private partnership (PPP) laws and institutions, but often they lack the resources and capacity to prepare bankable projects for the market. As important, there is often a lack of advocacy and political support for driving concessions and PPP projects through government, and too few are coming to market, although it remains early days in many countries.

There is a crucial role for governments in promoting infrastructure project bonds. Governments can play a greater role in supporting stable economic conditions, developing local capital markets and strengthening institutions. Those actions will encourage all issuers to come to market, particularly corporations for whom bond issuance has been limited to date. Promoting reform and corporatization of utilities and parastatals, including professional management and a clear regulatory environment, are preconditions for such entities to issue in the local bond markets – an important landmark in the development of local capital markets and the emergence of infrastructure project bonds.

“The African Development Bank can play various roles in that regard,” said Cedric Mbeng Mezui, the report’s lead author. “It can provide technical assistance in infrastructure, capital markets and domestic issuance, and work with intermediaries. For specific projects, it can use instruments such as the partial credit guarantee as well as any new tailored instruments, to enhance bond issuance and catalyze the market. Direct funding for projects in early-stage preparation and through debt and equity investments at financial close will help promote the overall market. Finally, the AfDB can play a role in unblocking the political bottlenecks that obstruct projects from being developed and implemented,” he added.

For Moono Mupotola, Regional Integration Manager, AfDB, “the book was prepared with a number of objectives in mind: firstly, to highlight the opportunity for project bonds; secondly, to elaborate on the conditions for efficient capital markets; thirdly, to explain the crucial role of constructive government policies; and finally to highlight lessons learned in other markets that might be useful for Africa.”

The report was launched during the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in April 2013 by Charles Boamah, AfDB Finance Vice-President.

 

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

African energy company to expand operations in the continent

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Wallace Mawire

Cennergi, a recently-formed African energy company which is committed to providing energy solutions to Africans, is reported to be gearing up to acquire sizeable operational energy assets in generation on the African continent, according to  Liz Hart, Siyenza Management.

According to Hart, Cennergi (Pty) Ltd, is a 50:50 joint venture between South African-based diversified resources company Exxaro Resources Limited (Exxaro) and The Tata Power Company Limited (Tata Power), of India, through its subsidiary Khopoli Investments Limited.

Cennergi is based in South Africa and will focus on the, development, ownership, operation, maintenance, acquisition and management of electricity generation assets in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The initial project pipeline focuses on renewable energy projects in South Africa and Cennergi’ s strategy is to create a balanced portfolio of diverse generation assets.

Liz says the company having spent the past year developing its business model and putting together a dynamic management team,  is now looking for African partners who can broaden its horizons.

“The company is seeking established and credible partners across Africa who own profitable, high quality operational energy generating assets, not limited to renewables, to boost its asset portfolio on the continent,” Hart said.

Cennergi is reported to have launched its operations in the South African renewable energy sector in 2012 and were awarded the bids for two wind farm projects in the Eastern Cape by participating in the Department of Energy’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer’s Programme (REIPPP).

“Whilst the company is proud of this early achievement, and although it aims to focus on using cleaner energy technologies, it has a much broader vision for its African operations. The Cennergi team will focus on building a diversified portfolio of energy assets which includes coal, gas, hydro, wind and solar,” Hart said.

 

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RUSSIA SEEKS GAMBIA’S SUPPORT TO HOST WORLD EXPO 2020

Posted on 13 May 2013 by Amat JENG

A special envoy dispatched to Banjul by the Russian Federation has disclosed that he came to seek The Gambia’s support in his country’s bid to host the World EXPO 2020 in the city of Ekaterinburg, report the Daily Observer – government’s controlled newspaper.

DV. Shubman, director of the staff of the Deputy Prime Minister, of the Russian Federation, said the event would open up a unique opportunity for the world to rediscover this city, designated in 1723 by Peter the Great, as the industrial centre of Russia. “We are here to promote the Russian bid to host the World Expo 2020. We made a presentation of our project to the Gambia government and we are very hopeful of a positive response from The Gambia,” DV. Shubman told journalists at State House in an interview Thursday, shortly after having a brief meeting with The Gambia’s Presidential Affairs minister, Dr Njogu Bah.

The Russian city to host the 2020 World Expo

“We have a team of our exposition which is a global mind and we are planning to receive up to 150 delegates from all over the world. They will be able to promote their countries in Russia in 2020, especially if Russia wins the bidding competition, of which five countries are battling for a win as to which country will host the event in 2020. Brazil, Russia, Thailand, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates have all officially bid to host the World Expo 2020. A decision will be made at the BIE General Assembly this year to determine the winner of the bids,” he explained.

Asked about the reaction of The Gambia government, Shubman said they are hopeful of a positive response. “We have not had any response yet from the Gambia government but we are hopeful of a positive one. We just came to make a presentation to the Gambian authorities about the bid which voting will take place in November this year in Paris. There is no response yet from the government but our presentation was received at the high level and we are hopeful that we will receive a positive one from The Gambia,” the Russian diplomat told reporters.

Dr Njogu Bah

According to him, his Banjul visit also accorded him and delegation to talk about Gambia-Russia relations. “We hope that we will be able to cooperate with The Gambia to support this project of Expo 2020 bid,” he added.

The Expo 2020 would be the larger of the two kinds of world fairs, analogous to the Summer Olympics. It is considered “sanctioned” by the BIE, held every five years. Germany hosted Expo 2000; Japan hosted Expo 2005 China hosted Expo 2010; and Italy is preparing to host Expo 2015.
DV. Shubman was accompanied to the Presidency by the Russian ambassador to Senegal and accredited to The Gambia, His Excellency Valery Nesterushkin Shubman.

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Africa can adhere to responsible, AMV-compliant mining practices

Posted on 13 May 2013 by Africa Business

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, May 13, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Key players in the mining sector attending an industry partnership meetingfor Mining and Metals session organized by the World Economic Forum and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) have underscored that the window of opportunity provided by rising commodity prices must correspond to a rise in revenues for African governments by equal measure. Held on 8 May, the session was aimed at examining how the Africa Mining Vision and its goal of facilitating transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources to underpin broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic developmentcan be translated into national mining visions, developed from a fully transparent and inclusive process

While the index price of precious metals and base mineralshas increased by over 200% in the last decade, industry leaders and policy makers here agree that the current contribution of minerals to Africa’s economic development is not commensurate.Stressing the need forbeneficiation andvalue addition and linkages in the mineral value chain, ECA’s Executive Secretary, Carlos Lopes says, “minerals have to contribute to structural transformation – we have to see a strongermanufacturing sector in Africa going forward.”

According to industry experts, Canada, Australia and Chile have used the minerals sector for industrial transformation and the composition of their GDP has seen a growth in the contribution of manufacturing. “Commodities have not been a curse but rather a blessing for these countries – the diversified and rich mineral resource base can do the same for Africa,” notes Lopes.

A continental approach that steers the course of Africa’s minerals towards a path that derives development benefits is already in place. “The tripartite partnership of the African Union, African Development Bank, and the ECA is establishing the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) to help AU member states achieve broad-based social and economic development based on Africa’s mineral endowment as stipulated in the Africa Mining Vision,”say Senior officials at the ECA. The Centre aims to create the institutional and policy space for broad social and economic linkages and thusfacilitate a mineral-led industrialization process.

As underscored by participants here,the risks are changing in Africa due to increased macroeconomic and political stability in most countries and this offers opportunities for investing in the continent’s highly prospective geology. However, countries need to improvegovernance and capacity to negotiate contracts and to audit the mineral value chain.There is a need for amore sophisticated regulatory environment, clarity of policy, as well as consistency and transparency in the overall policy framework.

There is also concerted agreement among stakeholders on the need to domesticate the Africa Mining Vision. “It is the only way country-specific issues, such as inclusiveness and linking mining to the rest of the economy can be captured and addressed,” stress the experts. In this regard, piloting of the country Mining Visions in a few countries will provide important lessons for the rest of the continent in the rollout of the development of AMV-compliant policies.

Participants discussed the mineral value management tooldeveloped by the World Economic Forum, which could be utilizedin the process of developing country mining visions, as it facilitates the capturingand alignment of the often divergent views of all stakeholders on the value of the minerals sector.The toolcouldhelpto align the value perceptions of communities, the private sector and governments.

In addition, there is room to address capacity gaps at country-level, and within governments, according to experts. “Instead of having agreements on a project by project basis, in one country, a generalized template that specifies all the key parameters can be developed and then customized,” they stress.

“Mining development agreements can become a law in themselves and governments often lack capacity to monitor implementation of these complex agreements,” argue the experts, who stress that a robust legal and regulatory framework ormodel mining policy or agreement will suffice. The call here this week to governments is “legislate, do not negotiate.”

 

SOURCE

Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Base stations’ ‘headlights’ often neglected factor – the right antenna tilt can improve network capacity by up to 20 percent and performance even more

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Africa Business

Bo Jonsson

Senior RF expert

CellMax Technologies

Bo Jonsson is the senior radio frequency expert at CellMax Technologies, a developer of ultra high-efficiency antennas for the global telecom market. Mr. Jonsson has more than 30 years of working experience with radio systems and more than 15 years in R&D designing fast hopping synthesizers, transmitters, receivers, filters etc. Bo Jonsson got his MSCE by 1987 and has held various titles over the years such as: RF-group manager, R&D manager, CTO, Systems expert, project manager and many others. See http://www.cellmax.se/.

We have had antennas since the days of Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian scientist who invented the radio a little over 100 years ago. So by now we should all know how to use antennas. But do we? With data replacing voice as the ‘killer application’ in the networks, antenna tilt – the angle in which the antennas are directed – becomes a serious issue and an area where many base stations today are clearly suboptimized.

The long narrow form of the typical array antennas gives them a fan-shaped radiation pattern, wide in the horizontal direction and relatively narrow in the vertical direction. There is usually a downward beam tilt, or downtilt, so that the base station can more effectively cover its immediate area and not cause radio frequency interference to distant cells. For good coverage and call quality, the signal must be strong in the desired radiation area, but drop of sharply where it is not needed or where it interferes with signals from other base stations.

You can compare with a car’s headlights: you want to see everything as clearly as possible in the direction you are travelling, but don’t want to waste energy by illuminating something irrelevant.

The most common antenna in a three-sector base station is the 18 dBi antenna with 65° of horizontal beamwidth and around 6.5° of vertical beam width. The 15 dBi antennas are still quite common, especially on the lower frequencies, with a vertical beam width of around 14°.

Most of the planning experience and rollout methods for mobile networks are based on these two antenna types. They are built on the assumption that there are interfering signals not in the adjacent cell, but further away. But in 3G and 4G systems, there is the interference mainly coming from the next cell; there are no longer any “transition zone” between service area and “disturbance area”.

So what does that mean in practice? Well, with data surpassing voice in new 3G and 4G mobile networks, interference is different and so must the antennas be to stay effective.

The efficiency of a cellular network depends on its correct configuration and adjustment of radiant systems: their transmit and receive antennas. One of the more important system optimizations task is based on correctly adjusted tilts, or the inclination of the antenna in relation to its axis. When the antenna is tilted down, we call it ‘downtilt’, which is the most common use. The tilt is used when operators want to reduce interference and/or coverage in some specific areas, having each cell to meet only its designed area.

With data being the networks’ new “killer application” instead of voice, a high carrier-to-interference ratio (C/I) is the key parameter for efficiency, data rate and general success. Carrier-to-Interference ratio (C/I) is the ratio of desired signal power in an RF carrier to the unwanted interference power in the channel. In voice, it was a waste to have very high C/I. But with data replacing voice in the networks we want to have high data rate all the way to the cell border. Basically, we would like to have a coverage that provides a constant signal level all the way to the cell border and there, suddenly, magically, drop to zero. This is of course not possible, but antennas with sharp roll-off can help us to get a lot closer to that ideal situation.

In most sites a sharper upper roll-off will provide higher C/I and less soft handover load. Both of which will increase performance and release capacity, often by over 10 dB in C/I improvement can be seen if the tilt is properly optimized with an antenna having a sharper roll-off curve and high efficiency.

This sounds too good to be true! Can you really improve network efficiency by just swapping the antennas and tilting them differently? Yes, you can. But it comes at a price. It requires both a very accurate tilt setting and a better understanding of how to use the very sharp cell border that these antennas give. Basically, it means that setting tilt after the scale on the tilt bracket is history. Half a degree makes a lot of difference. So, use a good digital leveler.

The conclusion is that most sectors would benefit significantly from an antenna with higher gain and a sharper upper roll-off curve than the standard 18 dBi can offer. Almost every site can perform better if the tilt is optimized better and more often. That is an easy and inexpensive way to improve the networks’ efficiency.

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Time for “Dark Continent” to invest in renewable energy

Posted on 09 May 2013 by Africa Business

By Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

Dr Al-Hosany is director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize and the Director of Sustainability at Masdar

In her role as the Director of Sustainability at Masdar; Dr Nawal Al-Hosany leads a team responsible for developing Masdar’s sustainability standards and policies. She is also mandated to oversee the processes of sustainability auditing, monitoring and reporting.

In 2011, Dr Al-Hosany further assumed the post of Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize; where she oversees the implementation of the objectives, mandate and strategic direction of the prize.

Dr-Al Hosany is a board member of Masdar Investment LLC and of the Emirates Authority for Standardization and Meteorology. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology.

In her commitment to remain at the forefront of the social science and sustainable development landscape, she has participated in numerous continuing professional development courses and continually seeks opportunities to stay updated on latest project management methods, as well as leadership, planning and decision-support mechanisms.

Dr Al-Hosany has been published globally in international journals and newspapers, including the International Journal of Management of Environmental Quality, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Renewable Energy, and International Journal of Renewable Energy Engineering.

Throughout her career, Dr Al-Hosany has been an active member of various boards in the UAE and around the world including the Advisory Panel for the Momentum for Change initiative of the UNFCCC, the Troika Plus of Women Leaders on Gender and Climate Change; the Climate Justice Dialogue Advisory Committee (an initiative of the World Research Foundation), and the Energy Efficiency Global Forum.

Dr Al-Hosany has also served as Sherpa to the UN Secretary General High Level Group for ‘The Sustainable Energy For all’ initiative for its Principle; HE Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar.

In 2011, Abu Dhabi Magazine cited Dr.Al-Hosany as one of the 40 most influential Emiratis who have helped shape the emirate. She has also received several medals and accolades for her professional achievements, including a Chevening Fellowship from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Emirates Business Women Award in the Professional and Career Achievements category.

Prior to assuming her current roles, Dr Al-Hosany held senior leadership positions with the General Headquarters of the Abu Dhabi Police, including Head of Design and Studies in the Engineering Department. In 2007, she became the first-ever female Deputy Director in the Abu Dhabi Police.

Dr Al-Hosany graduated from the Faculty of Engineering at the UAE University and obtained her PhD from Newcastle University in the UK. She is also credited as one of the first two Emirati women to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest free-standing mountain in the world at 5,895 meters above sea level.

 

About the Zayed Future Energy Prize: The Zayed Future Energy Prize embodies the vision of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who laid the foundation for renewable energy and sustainability as part of his legacy in sustainable development in the UAE. An annual award, the Prize is managed by Masdar, on behalf of the Abu Dhabi government and seeks to award achievements and innovation in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability, as well as to educate and inspire future generations.


Most of us are familiar with the satellite image of the world at night, showing Europe and parts of Asia ablaze with light. But despite its enormous size, larger than both China and the United States combined, Africa remains dark, with only a few pinpricks of light here and there.

Africa’s economies have shrugged off a global slowdown to record average growth of almost five percent. After ten years of high growth, 22 out of 48 countries have officially achieved middle-income status, defined by the World Bank as having per-capita income in excess of US$1 000. The combined population of these countries is 400 million people. Another ten states, representing 200 million people, could reach this landmark by 2025, the World Bank said. Africa’s population is expected to double by 2050, with a seven-fold increase in GDP if current trends are maintained. In order to provide universal access to electricity and sustain these growth rates, total energy production must double by 2030 from current levels, according to a recent report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Electricity still remains the only sure route to economic growth.

While some 99% of north Africans have access to electricity, only 77% of people in South Africa do. This figure drops to 29% for sub-Saharan populations outside South Africa, according to IRENA.

Like many other observers, including myself, IRENA believes the time is right for massive investment in renewable energy across the continent. “Africa has the opportunity to leapfrog to modern renewable energy,” IRENA said, noting that renewable energy technologies represented the most cost-effective solution for remote, off-grid areas and for extending electrification grids. Costs of solar photovoltaic have fallen by over 80% over the last two years to less than one US dollar per watt, with further price drops expected.

Renewable energy brings multiple benefits, including increased energy security, job creation, rural development and technological development. Finally, we should not forget that access to energy is particularly important for women, who have traditionally borne the burden of fetching water and cooking over open fires, with attendant respiratory health impacts and fire hazards associated with dirty fuels. The daily lives of these women, and their families, is made immeasurably better if they can access clean energy for household needs.

These are compelling benefits. In my work with the Zayed Future Energy Prize, which recognises and rewards leadership in five categories, I have been privileged to interact with renewable energy pioneers on several continents. Their creativity, persistence and leadership has led to their discovery of innovative solutions tailored for local conditions in business, non-profit and education. Interest has grown steadily over the past five years, with a record 579 nominations received from 88 countries last year – a 36% increase. I call upon leaders in renewable energy and sustainability in Africa to step forward for nomination this year, as with their help, we can finally put to rest the cliché of the dark continent.

For more information on the prize, please visit www.ZayedFutureEnergyPrize.com or email Serene Serhan at sserhan@masdar.ae


· YouTube video about last year’s winners: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mwf2VxivHY4

· Frequently asked questions (FAQ): https://www.zayedfutureenergyprize.com/en/application-process/faq/

· A brochure with further details is available at: https://www.zayedfutureenergyprize.com/resources/media/9185ZFEPHighSchoolFlyerFINAL.pdf

· Submission process video tutorial: https://www.zayedfutureenergyprize.com/en/application-process/submission-process-video-tutorial/

Bookmark and Share

Comments (0)

AfricaBusiness.com Newsletter

* required

*



AfricaBusiness.com Newsletter



Business in UAE
Copyright © 2009 - 2016. African Business Environment. All Rights Reserved. AfricaBusiness.com Business Magazine