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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.

 

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Un nouveau rapport de la Banque mondiale prévoit un triplement de la part des pays en développement dans les investissements mondiaux d’ici 2030

Posted on 20 May 2013 by Africa Business

D’ici dix-sept ans, les pays en développement, et principalement ceux d’Asie de l’Est et d’Amérique latine, abriteront la moitié des capitaux mondiaux — soit 158 000 milliards de dollars (en dollars de 2010) — contre un tiers seulement aujourd’hui. C’est ce que prévoit la dernière édition des Global Development Horizons (GDH) de la Banque mondiale, un rapport qui étudie l’évolution probable des tendances en matière d’investissement, d’épargne et de mouvement de capitaux sur les vingt prochaines années.

Selon cette nouvelle publication intitulée Capital for the Future: Saving and Investment in an Interdependent World (« Les capitaux de demain : épargne et investissement dans un monde interdépendant »), les pays en développement, qui ne représentaient qu’un cinquième des investissements mondiaux en 2000, devrait voir leur part tripler d’ici 2030. Les changements démographiques joueront un grand rôle dans ces mutations structurelles puisque la population mondiale devrait passer de 7 milliards en 2010 à 8,5 milliards en 2030 tandis que les pays développés connaissent un vieillissement rapide.

« Le rapport GDH repose sur l’exploitation d’une somme phénoménale d’informations statistiques et constitue l’un des efforts les plus aboutis de projection dans un futur éloigné », explique Kaushik Basu, premier vice-président et économiste en chef de la Banque mondiale. « L’expérience de pays aussi divers que la Corée du Sud, l’Indonésie, le Brésil, la Turquie et l’Afrique du Sud nous montre combien le rôle de l’investissement est crucial pour la croissance à long terme. Dans moins d’une génération, l’investissement mondial sera dominé par les pays en développement, la Chine et l’Inde en tête. Ces deux pays devraient, en effet, assurer 38 % des investissements bruts mondiaux en 2030. Ces changements vont modifier le paysage économique mondial et c’est ce qu’étudie le rapport GDH. »

Le rattrapage des retards de productivité, l’intégration croissante dans les marchés mondiaux, la poursuite de bonnes politiques macroéconomiques ainsi que les progrès accomplis dans l’éducation et la santé sont autant de facteurs d’accélération de la croissance qui créent d’énormes opportunités d’investissement, lesquelles entraînent à leur tour une modification de l’équilibre économique mondial en faveur des pays en développement..À cela s’ajoute l’explosion démographique de la jeunesse, qui contribuera aussi à doper l’investissement : la population globale des pays en développement devrait s’accroître de 1,4 milliard d’individus d’ici 2030, sachant que le bénéfice de ce « dividende démographique » n’a pas encore été totalement récolté, en particulier dans les régions relativement plus jeunes que sont l’Afrique subsaharienne et l’Asie du Sud.

Les pays en développement auront probablement, enfin, les ressources nécessaires pour financer des investissements massifs dans les infrastructures et les services, au premier rang desquels l’éducation et la santé, ce qui est une bonne nouvelle. Les robustes taux d’épargne des pays en développement devraient culminer à 34 % du revenu national en 2014 et enregistrer une moyenne annuelle de 32 % jusqu’en 2030. Globalement, le monde en développement représentera 62 à 64 % de l’épargne mondiale en 2030 (25 à 27 000 milliards), contre 45 % en 2010.

Toutefois, comme le souligne Hans Timmer, directeur du Groupe des perspectives de développement à la Banque mondiale, « malgré de hauts niveaux d’épargne, et pour être en mesure de financer leurs importants besoins d’investissements, les pays en développement devront à l’avenir accroître considérablement leur participation, actuellement limitée, aux marchés financiers internationaux s’ils souhaitent tirer parti des profonds bouleversements en cours ».

Le rapport GDH envisage deux scénarios qui diffèrent par la vitesse de convergence entre les niveaux de revenu par habitant des pays développés et des pays en développement, et par le rythme des transformations structurelles des deux groupes (sur le plan du développement du secteur financier et de l’amélioration des institutions notamment). Le premier scénario prévoit une convergence progressive entre les pays développés et les pays en développement et le second une évolution nettement plus rapide.

Pour les vingt prochaines années, le scénario progressif et le scénario rapide prévoient une croissance économique moyenne de, respectivement, 2,6 % et 3 % par an dans le monde, et de 4,8 % et 5,5 % dans les pays en développement.

Dans les deux hypothèses, à l’horizon 2030, les services représenteront plus de 60 % de l’emploi total dans les pays en développement et plus de 50 % du commerce mondial. Ce changement est lié à l’augmentation de la demande en services d’infrastructure induite par l’évolution démographique. Le rapport GDH chiffre d’ailleurs à 14 600 milliards de dollars les besoins de financement d’infrastructures du monde en développement d’ici 2030.

Le rapport souligne aussi le vieillissement des populations d’Asie de l’Est, d’Europe de l’Est et d’Asie centrale, régions dans lesquelles les taux d’épargne privée devraient afficher une baisse particulièrement marquée. L’évolution démographique mettra à l’épreuve la pérennité des finances publiques et les États devront résoudre des enjeux complexes afin de maîtriser la charge des soins de santé et des retraites sans imposer de trop grandes difficultés aux personnes âgées. L’Afrique subsaharienne qui a une population relativement jeune, en augmentation rapide, et qui connaît une solide croissance économique, sera la seule région à ne pas enregistrer de baisse du taux d’épargne.

En termes absolus, l’épargne continuera néanmoins à être dominée par l’Asie et le Moyen-Orient. Selon le scénario de convergence progressive, en 2030, la Chine épargnera nettement plus que les autres pays en développement (9 000 milliards en dollars de 2010), suivie de loin par l’Inde (1 700 milliards), dépassant les niveaux d’épargne du Japon et des États-Unis dans les années 2020.

Selon le même scénario, à l’horizon 2030, la Chine représentera à elle seule 30 % des investissements mondiaux, tandis que le Brésil, l’Inde et la Russie y contribueront ensemble à hauteur de 13 %. En volume, les investissements atteindront 15 000 milliards (en dollars de 2010) dans les pays en développement contre 10 000 milliards pour les pays à revenu élevé. La Chine et l’Inde représenteront près de la moitié des investissements mondiaux dans le secteur manufacturier.

« Le rapport GDH met clairement en évidence le rôle croissant des pays en développement dans l’économie mondiale, et c’est incontestablement une avancée significative », indique Maurizio Bussolo, économiste principal à la Banque mondiale et auteur principal du rapport, tout en soulignant que « cette meilleure répartition des richesses entre pays ne signifie pas que tous les habitants des différents pays en bénéficieront de manière égale ».

Selon le rapport, les groupes de population les moins instruits d’un pays, qui ont peu ou pas du tout d’épargne, se trouvent dans l’impossibilité d’améliorer leur capacité de gain et, pour les plus pauvres, d’échapper à l’engrenage de la pauvreté.

Maurizio Bussolo conclut : « Les responsables politiques des pays en développement ont un rôle déterminant à jouer pour stimuler l’épargne privée par des mesures qui permettront d’élever le capital humain, en particulier pour les plus pauvres ».

Points marquants des différentes régions

L’Asie de l’Est et le Pacifique enregistreront une baisse de leur taux d’épargne et une chute encore plus forte de leur taux d’investissement, taux qui resteront toutefois élevés à l’échelle internationale. Malgré cette baisse des taux, la part de la région dans l’investissement et l’épargne continuera d’augmenter au plan mondial jusqu’en 2030 en raison d’une solide croissance économique. La région connaît un fort dividende démographique, avec moins de 4 personnes d’âge non actif pour 10 personnes d’âge actif, ce qui représente le plus faible taux de dépendance du monde. Ce dividende arrivera à son terme après avoir atteint un pic en 2015. La croissance de la population active ralentira ensuite et en 2040 la région pourrait afficher l’un des taux de dépendance les plus élevés de toutes les régions en développement (avec plus de 5,5 personnes d’âge non actif pour 10 personnes d’âge actif). La Chine, grand moteur de la région, devrait continuer à enregistrer d’importants excédents de la balance des opérations courantes, en raison de fortes baisses de son taux d’investissement liées à l’évolution du pays vers un système de plus faible engagement public dans les investissements.

L’Europe de l’Est et l’Asie centrale forment la région la plus avancée en termes de transition démographique, qui devrait être la seule du monde en développement à atteindre une croissance démographique nulle d’ici 2030. Ce vieillissement, qui devrait ralentir la croissance économique de la région, pourrait aussi entraîner une baisse du taux d’épargne plus forte que dans les autres régions en développement, à l’exception de l’Asie de l’Est. Le taux d’épargne pourrait ainsi descendre au-dessous du taux d’investissement, ce qui obligerait les pays de la région à attirer des flux de capitaux extérieurs pour financer leurs investissements. La région devra également faire face à une importante pression budgétaire due au vieillissement. La Turquie, par exemple, pourrait voir ses dépenses de retraites publiques augmenter de plus de 50 % d’ici 2030 en application du régime actuel. Plusieurs autres pays de la région seront aussi confrontés à d’importantes augmentations des dépenses de retraites et de santé.

L’Amérique latine et les Caraïbes forment une région où l’épargne est historiquement faible, qui pourrait afficher l’épargne la plus faible au monde en 2030. La démographie devrait certes y jouer un rôle positif (avec une baisse du taux de dépendance jusqu’en 2025) mais cet avantage sera probablement neutralisé par le développement du marché financier (qui réduit l’épargne de précaution) et une croissance économique modérée. De même, l’effet positif puis négatif de la démographie sur la croissance de la population active devrait d’abord entraîner une hausse du taux d’investissement à court terme puis une baisse progressive. Toutefois, la relation entre inégalité et épargne pourrait déboucher sur un autre scénario dans cette région. Comme ailleurs, les ménages les plus pauvres ont tendance à moins épargner ; l’amélioration des capacités de gain, l’augmentation des revenus et la réduction des inégalités pourraient donc doper l’épargne nationale et surtout contribuer à rompre le cercle vicieux de la pauvreté entretenu par le faible niveau d’épargne des ménages pauvres.

Le Moyen-Orient et l’Afrique du Nord disposent d’une importante marge de développement du marché financier, susceptible de soutenir l’investissement mais aussi, en raison du vieillissement de la population, de réduire l’épargne. De ce fait, les excédents de la balance des opérations courantes pourraient baisser modérément jusqu’en 2030, en fonction du rythme du développement du marché financier. Cette région est dans une phase de transition démographique relativement précoce qui se caractérise par une croissance encore rapide de la population générale et de la population active en même temps qu’une augmentation de la part des personnes âgées. Le changement de la structure des ménages pourrait aussi influencer les modèles d’épargne. Cette structure pourrait, en effet, évoluer d’une organisation intergénérationnelle, où la famille prend en charge les anciens, vers une structure composée de ménages plus petits avec une plus grande dépendance des personnes âgées vis-à-vis des revenus patrimoniaux. C’est dans cette région que les ménages à faible revenu recourent le moins aux institutions financières officielles pour épargner, d’où une marge importante de développement du rôle des marchés financiers dans l’épargne des ménages.

L’Asie du Sud restera l’une des régions où l’on épargne et investit le plus jusqu’en 2030. Toutefois, compte tenu des possibilités de progression rapide de la croissance économique et des marchés financiers, l’évolution de l’épargne, de l’investissement et des flux de capitaux peut varier considérablement : dans l’hypothèse d’une progression plus rapide de la croissance économique et des marchés financiers, les taux d’investissement resteront élevés tandis que l’épargne baissera considérablement, d’où d’importants déficits de la balance des opérations courantes. L’Asie du Sud est une région jeune qui, vers 2035, aura probablement le plus haut ratio au monde des personnes d’âge actif par rapport aux personnes d’âge non actif. Le phénomène général de déplacement des investissements vers le secteur manufacturier et le secteur des services aux dépens de l’agriculture devrait être particulièrement marqué en Asie du Sud ; la part de cette région dans les investissements globaux devrait ainsi presque doubler dans le secteur manufacturier et gagner au moins huit points de pourcentage dans le secteur des services, dépassant les deux tiers du total.

En Afrique subsaharienne, le taux d’investissement restera stable en raison d’une solide croissance de la population active. C’est la seule région qui n’enregistrera pas de baisse de son taux d’épargne dans l’hypothèse d’un développement modéré des marchés financiers, le vieillissement n’y étant pas un facteur significatif. Dans le scénario d’une croissance plus rapide, les pays africains plus pauvres connaîtront un développement plus marqué des marchés financiers et les investisseurs étrangers seront de plus en plus disposés à financer des investissements dans la région. L’Afrique subsaharienne est actuellement la région la plus jeune, qui affiche aussi le plus haut ratio de dépendance. Ce ratio enregistrera une baisse constante sur toute la période considérée et au-delà, entraînant un dividende démographique durable. C’est cette région qui aura les plus grands besoins d’investissement en infrastructures au cours des vingt prochaines années (en pourcentage du PIB). Dans le même temps, on observera probablement un changement dans le financement des investissements en infrastructures qui devrait être davantage ouvert au secteur privé, avec une augmentation substantielle des afflux de capitaux privés, venant notamment des autres régions en développement.

Source: WorldBank.org

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Developing World’s Share of Global Investment to Triple by 2030, Says New World Bank Report

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Africa Business

Seventeen years from now, half the global stock of capital, totaling $158 trillion (in 2010 dollars), will reside in the developing world, compared to less than one-third today, with countries in East Asia and Latin America accounting for the largest shares of this stock, says the latest edition of the World Bank’s Global Development Horizons (GDH) report, which explores patterns of investment, saving and capital flows as they are likely to evolve over the next two decades.

Developing countries’ share in global investment is projected to triple by 2030 to three-fifths, from one-fifth in 2000, says the report, titled ‘Capital for the Future: Saving and Investment in an Interdependent World’. With world population set to rise from 7 billion in 2010 to 8.5 billion 2030 and rapid aging in the advanced countries, demographic changes will profoundly influence these structural shifts.

“GDH is one of the finest efforts at peering into the distant future. It does this by marshaling an amazing amount of statistical information,” said Kaushik Basu, the World Bank’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “We know from the experience of countries as diverse as South Korea, Indonesia, Brazil, Turkey and South Africa the pivotal role investment plays in driving long-term growth. In less than a generation, global investment will be dominated by the developing countries. And among the developing countries, China and India are expected to be the largest investors, with the two countries together accounting for 38 percent of the global gross investment in 2030. All this will change the landscape of the global economy, and GDH analyzes how.”

Productivity catch-up, increasing integration into global markets, sound macroeconomic policies, and improved education and health are helping speed growth and create massive investment opportunities, which, in turn, are spurring a shift in global economic weight to developing countries. A further boost is being provided by the youth bulge. With developing countries on course to add more than 1.4 billion people to their combined population between now and 2030, the full benefit of the demographic dividend has yet to be reaped, particularly in the relatively younger regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The good news is that, unlike in the past, developing countries will likely have the resources needed to finance these massive future investments for infrastructure and services, including in education and health care. Strong saving rates in developing countries are expected to peak at 34 percent of national income in 2014 and will average 32 percent annually until 2030. In aggregate terms, the developing world will account for 62-64 percent of global saving of $25-27 trillion by 2030, up from 45 percent in 2010.

“Despite strong saving levels to finance their massive investment needs in the future, developing countries will need to significantly improve their currently limited participation in international financial markets if they are to reap the benefits of the tectonic shifts taking place,” said Hans Timmer, Director of the Bank’s Development Prospects Group.

GDH paints two scenarios, based on the speed of convergence between the developed and developing worlds in per capita income levels, and the pace of structural transformations (such as financial development and improvements in institutional quality) in the two groups. Scenario one entails a gradual convergence between the developed and developing world while a much more rapid scenario is envisioned in the second.

The gradual and rapid scenarios predict average world economic growth of 2.6 percent and 3 percent per year, respectively, during the next two decades; the developing world’s growth will average an annual rate of 4.8 percent in the gradual convergence scenario and 5.5 percent in the rapid one.

In both scenarios, developing countries’ employment in services will account for more than 60 percent of their total employment by 2030 and they will account for more than 50 percent of global trade. This shift will occur alongside demographic changes that will increase demand for infrastructural services. Indeed, the report estimates the developing world’s infrastructure financing needs at $14.6 trillion between now and 2030.

The report also points to aging populations in East Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which will see the largest reductions in saving rates. Demographic change will test the sustainability of public finances and complex policy challenges will arise from efforts to reduce the burden of health care and pensions without imposing severe hardships on the old. In contrast, Sub-Saharan Africa, with its relatively young and rapidly growing population as well as robust economic growth, will be the only region not experiencing a decline in its saving rate.

In absolute terms, however, saving will continue to be dominated by Asia and the Middle East. In the gradual convergence scenario, in 2030, China will save far more than any other developing country — $9 trillion in 2010 dollars — with India a distant second with $1.7 trillion, surpassing the levels of Japan and the United States in the 2020s.

As a result, under the gradual convergence scenario, China will account for 30 percent of global investment in 2030, with Brazil, India and Russia together accounting for another 13 percent. In terms of volumes, investment in the developing world will reach $15 trillion (in 2010 dollars), versus $10 trillion in high-income economies. China and India will account for almost half of all global manufacturing investment.

“GDH clearly highlights the increasing role developing countries will play in the global economy. This is undoubtedly a significant achievement. However, even if wealth will be more evenly distributed across countries, this does not mean that, within countries, everyone will equally benefit,” said Maurizio Bussolo, Lead Economist and lead author of the report.

The report finds that the least educated groups in a country have low or no saving, suggesting an inability to improve their earning capacity and, for the poorest, to escape a poverty trap.

“Policy makers in developing countries have a central role to play in boosting private saving through policies that raise human capital, especially for the poor,” concluded Bussolo.

Regional Highlights:

East Asia and the Pacific will see its saving rate fall and its investment rate will drop by even more, though they will still be high by international standards. Despite these lower rates, the region’s shares of global investment and saving will rise through 2030 due to robust economic growth. The region is experiencing a big demographic dividend, with fewer than 4 non-working age people for every 10 working age people, the lowest dependency ratio in the world. This dividend will end after reaching its peak in 2015. Labor force growth will slow, and by 2040 the region may have one of the highest dependency ratios of all developing regions (with more than 5.5 non-working age people for every 10 working age people). China, a big regional driver, is expected to continue to run substantial current account surpluses, due to large declines in its investment rate as it transitions to a lower level of public involvement in investment.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia is the furthest along in its demographic transition, and will be the only developing region to reach zero population growth by 2030. Aging is expected to moderate economic growth in the region, and also has the potential to bring down the saving rate more than any developing region, apart from East Asia. The region’s saving rate may decline more than its investment rate, in which case countries in the region will have to finance investment by attracting more capital flows. The region will also face significant fiscal pressure from aging. Turkey, for example, would see its public pension spending increase by more than 50 percent by 2030 under the current pension scheme. Several other countries in the region will also face large increases in pension and health care expenditures.

Latin America and the Caribbean, a historically low-saving region, may become the lowest-saving region by 2030. Although demographics will play a positive role, as dependency ratios are projected to fall through 2025, financial market development (which reduces precautionary saving) and a moderation in economic growth will play a counterbalancing role. Similarly, the rising and then falling impact of demography on labor force growth means that the investment rate is expected to rise in the short run, and then gradually fall. However, the relationship between inequality and saving in the region suggests an alternative scenario. As in other regions, poorer households tend to save much less; thus, improvements in earning capacity, rising incomes, and reduced inequality have the potential not only to boost national saving but, more importantly, to break poverty traps perpetuated by low saving by poor households.

The Middle East and North Africa has significant scope for financial market development, which has the potential to sustain investment but also, along with aging, to reduce saving. Thus, current account surpluses may also decline moderately up to 2030, depending on the pace of financial market development. The region is in a relatively early phase of its demographic transition: characterized by a still fast growing population and labor force, but also a rising share of elderly. Changes in household structure may also impact saving patterns, with a transition from intergenerational households and family-based old age support to smaller households and greater reliance on asset income in old age. The region has the lowest use of formal financial institutions for saving by low-income households, and scope for financial markets to play a significantly greater role in household saving.

South Asia will remain one of the highest saving and highest investing regions until 2030. However, with the scope for rapid economic growth and financial development, results for saving, investment, and capital flows will vary significantly: in a scenario of more rapid economic growth and financial market development, high investment rates will be sustained while saving falls significantly, implying large current account deficits. South Asia is a young region, and by about 2035 is likely to have the highest ratio of working- to nonworking-age people of any region in the world. The general shift in investment away from agriculture towards manufacturing and service sectors is likely to be especially pronounced in South Asia, with the region’s share of total investment in manufacturing expected to nearly double, and investment in the service sector to increase by more than 8 percentage points, to over two-thirds of total investment.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s investment rate will be steady due to robust labor force growth. It will be the only region to not see a decrease in its saving rate in a scenario of moderate financial market development, since aging will not be a significant factor. In a scenario of faster growth, poorer African countries will experience deeper financial market development, and foreign investors will become increasingly willing to finance investment in the region. Sub-Saharan Africa is currently the youngest of all regions, with the highest dependency ratio. This ratio will steadily decrease throughout the time horizon of this report and beyond, bringing a long lasting demographic dividend. The region will have the greatest infrastructure investment needs over the next two decades (relative to GDP). At the same time, there will likely be a shift in infrastructure investment financing toward greater participation by the private sector, and substantial increases in private capital inflows, particularly from other developing regions.

Source: WorldBank.org

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Developing countries to dominate global saving and investment, but the poor will not necessarily share the benefits, says report

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Africa Business

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Developing world’s share of global investment to triple by 2030
  • China, India will be developing world’s largest investors
  • Boost to education needed so poor can improve their well-being

In less than a generation, global saving and investment will be dominated by the developing world, says the just-released Global Development Horizons (GDH) report.

By 2030, half the global stock of capital, totaling $158 trillion (in 2010 dollars), will reside in the developing world, compared to less than one-third today, with countries in East Asia and Latin America accounting for the largest shares of this stock, says the report, which explores patterns of investment, saving and capital flows as they are likely to evolve over the next two decades.

Titled ‘Capital for the Future: Saving and Investment in an Interdependent World’, GDH projects developing countries’ share in global investment to triple by 2030 to three-fifths, from one-fifth in 2000.

Productivity catch-up, increasing integration into global markets, sound macroeconomic policies, and improved education and health are helping speed growth and create massive investment opportunities, which, in turn, are spurring a shift in global economic weight to developing countries.

A further boost is being provided by the youth bulge. By 2020, less than 7 years from now, growth in world’s working-age population will be exclusively determined by developing countries. With developing countries on course to add more than 1.4 billion people to their combined population between now and 2030, the full benefit of the demographic dividend has yet to be reaped, particularly in the relatively younger regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

GDH paints two scenarios, based on the speed of convergence between the developed and developing worlds in per capita income levels, and the pace of structural transformations (such as financial development and improvements in institutional quality) in the two groups. Scenario one entails a gradual convergence between the developed and developing world while a much more rapid one is envisioned in the second.

In both scenarios, developing countries’ employment in services will account for more than 60 percent of their total employment by 2030 and they will account for more than 50 percent of global trade. This shift will occur alongside demographic changes that will increase demand for infrastructural services. Indeed, the report estimates the developing world’s infrastructure financing needs at $14.6 trillion between now and 2030.

The report also points to aging populations in East Asia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which will see the largest reductions in private saving rates. Demographic change will test the sustainability of public finances and complex policy challenges will arise from efforts to reduce the burden of health care and pensions without imposing severe hardships on the old. In contrast, Sub-Saharan Africa, with its relatively young and rapidly growing population as well as robust economic growth, will be the only region not experiencing a decline in its saving rate.

Open Quotes

Policy makers in developing countries have a central role to play in boosting private saving through policies that raise human capital, especially for the poor. Close Quotes

Maurizio Bussolo
Lead Author, Global Development Horizons 2013

In absolute terms, however, saving will continue to be dominated by Asia and the Middle East. In the gradual convergence scenario, in 2030, China will save far more than any other developing country — $9 trillion in 2010 dollars — with India a distant second with $1.7 trillion, surpassing the levels of Japan and the United States in the 2020s.

As a result, under the gradual convergence scenario, China will account for 30 percent of global investment in 2030, with Brazil, India and Russia together accounting for another 13 percent. In terms of volumes, investment in the developing world will reach $15 trillion (in 2010 dollars), versus $10 trillion in high-income economies. Again, China and India will be the largest investors among developing countries, with the two countries combined representing 38 percent of the global gross investment in 2030, and they will account for almost half of all global manufacturing investment.

“GDH clearly highlights the increasing role developing countries will play in the global economy. This is undoubtedly a significant achievement. However, even if wealth will be more evenly distributed across countries, this does not mean that, within countries, everyone will equally benefit,” said Maurizio Bussolo, Lead Economist and lead author of the report.

The report finds that the least educated groups in a country have low or no saving, suggesting an inability to improve their earning capacity and, for the poorest, to escape a poverty trap.

“Policy makers in developing countries have a central role to play in boosting private saving through policies that raise human capital, especially for the poor,” concluded Bussolo.

Regional Highlights:

East Asia and the Pacific will see its saving rate fall and its investment rate will drop by even more, though they will still be high by international standards. Despite these lower rates, the region’s shares of global investment and saving will rise through 2030 due to robust economic growth. The region is experiencing a big demographic dividend, with fewer than 4 non-working age people for every 10 working age people, the lowest dependency ratio in the world. This dividend will end after reaching its peak in 2015. Labor force growth will slow, and by 2040 the region may have one of the highest dependency ratios of all developing regions (with more than 5.5 non-working age people for every 10 working age people). China, a big regional driver, is expected to continue to run substantial current account surpluses, due to large declines in its investment rate as it transitions to a lower level of public involvement in investment.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia is the furthest along in its demographic transition, and will be the only developing region to reach zero population growth by 2030. Aging is expected to moderate economic growth in the region, and also has the potential to bring down the saving rate more than any developing region, apart from East Asia. The region’s saving rate may decline more than its investment rate, in which case countries in the region will have to finance investment by attracting more capital flows. The region will also face significant fiscal pressure from aging. Turkey, for example, would see its public pension spending increase by more than 50 percent by 2030 under the current pension scheme. Several other countries in the region will also face large increases in pension and health care expenditures.

Latin America and the Caribbean, a historically low-saving region, may become the lowest-saving region by 2030. Although demographics will play a positive role, as dependency ratios are projected to fall through 2025, financial market development (which reduces precautionary saving) and a moderation in economic growth will play a counterbalancing role. Similarly, the rising and then falling impact of demography on labor force growth means that the investment rate is expected to rise in the short run, and then gradually fall. However, the relationship between inequality and saving in the region suggests an alternative scenario. As in other regions, poorer households tend to save much less; thus, improvements in earning capacity, rising incomes, and reduced inequality have the potential not only to boost national saving but, more importantly, to break poverty traps perpetuated by low saving by poor households.

The Middle East and North Africa has significant scope for financial market development, which has the potential to sustain investment but also, along with aging, to reduce saving. Thus, current account surpluses may also decline moderately up to 2030, depending on the pace of financial market development. The region is in a relatively early phase of its demographic transition: characterized by a still fast growing population and labor force, but also a rising share of elderly. Changes in household structure may also impact saving patterns, with a transition from intergenerational households and family-based old age support to smaller households and greater reliance on asset income in old age. The region has the lowest use of formal financial institutions for saving by low-income households, and scope for financial markets to play a significantly greater role in household saving.

South Asia will remain one of the highest saving and highest investing regions until 2030. However, with the scope for rapid economic growth and financial development, results for saving, investment, and capital flows will vary significantly: in a scenario of more rapid economic growth and financial market development, high investment rates will be sustained while saving falls significantly, implying large current account deficits. South Asia is a young region, and by about 2035 is likely to have the highest ratio of working- to nonworking-age people of any region in the world. The general shift in investment away from agriculture towards manufacturing and service sectors is likely to be especially pronounced in South Asia, with the region’s share of total investment in manufacturing expected to nearly double, and investment in the service sector to increase by more than 8 percentage points, to over two-thirds of total investment.

Sub-Saharan Africa’s investment rate will be steady due to robust labor force growth. It will be the only region to not see a decrease in its saving rate in a scenario of moderate financial market development, since aging will not be a significant factor. In a scenario of faster growth, poorer African countries will experience deeper financial market development, and foreign investors will become increasingly willing to finance investment in the region. Sub-Saharan Africa is currently the youngest of all regions, with the highest dependency ratio. This ratio will steadily decrease throughout the time horizon of this report and beyond, bringing a long lasting demographic dividend. The region will have the greatest infrastructure investment needs over the next two decades (relative to GDP). At the same time, there will likely be a shift in infrastructure investment financing toward greater participation by the private sector, and substantial increases in private capital inflows, particularly from other developing regions.

 

Source: WorldBank.org

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Le Canada signe un traité sur l’investissement avec la Tanzanie

Posted on 16 May 2013 by Africa Business

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzanie, 16 mai 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Le ministre des Affaires étrangères John Baird et le ministre des Affaires étrangères et de la Coopération internationale de la Tanzanie, M. Bernard Membe, ont fait aujourd’hui la déclaration suivante lors de la signature de l’Accord sur la promotion et la protection des investissements étrangers (APIE) entre le Canada et la Tanzanie :

« L’accord signé aujourd’hui renforcera les liens économiques entre nos deux pays et aidera nos entreprises à investir en toute confiance dans nos marchés réciproques. Toute démarche qui facilite les investissements bilatéraux contribue à la création d’emplois, à la croissance et à la prospérité à long terme pour les Canadiens comme pour les Tanzaniens.

« Un APIE est un traité qui vise à protéger et à promouvoir les investissements à l’étranger au moyen de dispositions juridiquement contraignantes, ainsi qu’à attirer les investissements étrangers. En offrant une protection accrue contre les pratiques discriminatoires et arbitraires, et en améliorant la prévisibilité sur les marchés, les APIE permettent aux entreprises de réaliser des investissements en toute confiance.

« Nous sommes déterminés à mettre en place les conditions propices pour que les entreprises puissent affronter la concurrence et réussir sur les marchés mondiaux, ce qui contribuera à créer des emplois et à stimuler la croissance économique au Canada et en Tanzanie.

« Maintenant que les deux pays ont signé l’accord, ils prendront les mesures nécessaires pour le ratifier. L’accord entrera en vigueur lorsque chacun des deux pays signataires aura mené à bien son propre processus d’approbation. »

 

SOURCE

Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Oando Energy Resources Announces Additional 2,500 bopd Production Capacity From Ebendo Field

Posted on 16 May 2013 by Africa Business

About Oando Energy Resources Inc. (OER)

OER currently has a broad suite of producing, development and exploration properties in the Gulf of Guinea (predominantly in Nigeria) with current production of approximately 5,205 bopd from the Abo Field in OML 125 and the Ebendo Field. OER has been specifically structured to take advantage of current opportunities for indigenous companies in Nigeria, which currently has the largest population in Africa, and one of the largest oil and gas resources in Africa.

 

Oando Energy Resources Inc. (“OER” or the “Company“) (TSX: OER), a company focused on oil exploration and production in Nigeria, today announced results from the successful completion and testing of the Ebendo 5 well. The completion and testing of the Ebendo 5 well, which is expected to contribute an additional 2,500 barrels of oil per day (“bopd”) gross (1,069 bopd net to OER), follows the successful resumption of 3,200 bopd gross (1,368 bopd net to OER) production on the Ebendo field, as was announced on April 24, 2013.

“We’re extremely pleased to announce the successful completion of the Ebendo 5 well drilling programme, increasing our net capacity by 1,069 bopd,” said Pade Durotoye , CEO of OER. “Ebendo currently has a total production capacity of up to 7,000 bopd, but is currently subject to takeaway capacity restrictions as a result of the Kwale-Akri pipeline. In light of this, we are increasing our efforts to establish our alternative evacuation pipeline, the 53 Kilometer, 45kboepd Umugini pipeline, that will further support the development of this field and reduce our dependence on one evacuation pipeline.”

The Ebendo 5 well was spudded as a deviated appraisal/development well on October 12, 2012, mainly to appraise the intermediate reservoirs encountered by the earlier Ebendo 4 well. The Ebendo 5 well was drilled to a total vertical depth (TVD) of 11,513ft and encountered eight hydrocarbon bearing sands. A drill stem test was successfully completed on two of these sands (XVIIIc and XVIIId). Sand XVIIId flowed for 18 hours and 30 minutes during the final flow test on four choke sizes. On average, it flowed on choke 28/64″ for 3 hours and 30 minutes, with an average oil and gas rate of 1,592 bopd and 2.45 mmscf/day, respectively. Sand XVIIIc flowed for 15 hours and 50 minutes during the final flow test on three choke sizes. On average, it flowed on choke 24/64″ for 8 hours and 23 minutes, with an average oil and gas rate of 840 bopd and 4.62 mmscf/day, respectively. Oil with API gravities of 47.2 degrees and 46.4 degrees were recovered from levels XVIIIc and XVIIId, respectively. Testing of sand XV is planned to occur during production, as there was a mechanical failure during testing of this sand after the completion of the well. However, from Modular Formation Dynamic Testing (MDT) pressure sampling, the fluid gradient in level XV was 0.272 pressure per foot (psi/ft), which is indicative of oil, there was no appreciable steady decline in the pressures during the Test.

The Ebendo 5 well was dually completed and sand XV will be produced through the short string while sands XVIIIc and XVIIId will be produced through the long string via a sliding sleeve. The Acme Rig-5 was released on April 17, 2013 from the Ebendo 5 well site.

The Company further announced that a new rig, the Deutag T-26, has been mobilised and a sixth well (the Ebendo 6 well) was spudded on April 18, 2013. TVD for the Ebendo 6 well is planned to be at 10,680 ft. To date, the Ebendo 6 well has been drilled to a total vertical depth of 6,231 ft. The results from this drilling programme will enable further appraisal of the shallow reservoirs encountered in the last two wells.

As pressure transient analysis or well-test interpretation has not been carried out, all results disclosed in this press release should be regarded as preliminary and are not necessarily indicative of long-term performance or ultimate recovery. The results will be updated when additional data becomes available.

 

SOURCE Oando Energy Resources Inc.

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Binghamton researcher studies oldest fossil hominin ear bones ever recovered

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

Recently published paper indicates discovery could yield important clues on origins of humankind

 

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new study, led by a Binghamton University anthropologist and published this week by the National Academy of Sciences, could shed new light on the earliest existence of humans. The study analyzed the tiny ear bones, the malleus, incus and stapes, from two species of early human ancestor in South Africa. The ear ossicles are the smallest bones in the human body and are among the rarest of human fossils recovered. Unlike other bones of the skeleton, the ossicles are already fully formed and adult-sized at birth. This indicates that their size and shape is under very strong genetic control and, despite their small size, they hold a wealth of evolutionary information.

The skull of Paranthropus robustus (SKW 18 SK 52) from the site of Swartkrans (South Africa). The specimen dates to approximately two million years ago and has yielded the oldest complete ossicular chain (malleus, incus and stapes) of a fossil hominin discovered to date. (PRNewsFoto/Binghamton University)

The study, led by Binghamton University anthropologist Rolf Quam , was carried out by an international team of researchers from institutions in the US, Italy and Spain. They analyzed several auditory ossicles representing the early hominin species Paranthropus robustus and Australopithecus africanus. The new study includes the oldest complete ossicular chain (i.e. all three ear bones) of a fossil hominin ever recovered. The bones date to around two million years ago and come from the well-known South African cave sites of Swartkrans and Sterkfontein, which have yielded abundant fossils of these early human ancestors.

The researchers report several significant findings from the study. The malleus is clearly human-like, and its size and shape can be easily distinguished from our closest living relatives, chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. Many aspects of the skull, teeth and skeleton in these early human ancestors remain quite primitive and ape-like, but the malleus is one of the very few features of these early hominins that is similar to our own species, Homo sapiens. Since both the early hominin species share this human-like malleus, the anatomical changes in this bone must have occurred very early in our evolutionary history. Says Quam, “Bipedalism (walking on two feet) and a reduction in the size of the canine teeth have long been held up as the ‘hallmark of humanity’ since they seem to be present in the earliest human fossils recovered to date. Our study suggests that the list may need to be updated to include changes in the malleus as well.” More fossils from even earlier time periods are needed to corroborate this assertion, says Quam. In contrast to the malleus, the two other ear ossicles, the incus and stapes, appear more similar to chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans. The ossicles, then, show an interesting mixture of ape-like and human-like features.

The anatomical differences from humans found in the ossicles, along with other differences in the outer, middle and inner ear, are consistent with different hearing capacities in these early hominin taxa compared to modern humans. Although the current study does not demonstrate this conclusively, the team plans on studying the functional aspects of the ear in these early hominins relying on 3D virtual reconstructions based on high resolution CT scans. The team has already applied this approach previously to the 500,000 year-old human fossils from the Sierra de Atapuerca in northern Spain. The fossils from this site represent the ancestors of the Neandertals, but the results suggested their hearing pattern already resembled Homo sapiens. Extending this type of analysis to Australopithecus and Paranthropus should provide new insight into when our modern human pattern of hearing may have evolved. The study has just been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

SOURCE Binghamton University

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Airtel reiterates commitment to customers in Uganda

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Chancy Namadzunda

Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), a leading global telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, today reiterated its commitment to Uganda and said it will “continue to make investments and offer world-class and affordable services to customers in the country”.

Airtel’s proposed acquisition of Warid Telecom has received approvals from the Uganda Communications Commission. With this, Airtel will further consolidate its position as the second largest mobile operator in Uganda with a combined customer base of over 7.2 million and market share of over 39%.

Warid customers will be able to retain their existing mobile numbers and continue to enjoy benefits such as remaining balances in their SIM and existing services. In addition, Warid customers will benefit from Airtel’s ‘One Network’ across 20 countries and get access to innovative products and roaming benefits on successful completion of integration.

Airtel Uganda Managing Director Mr. V.G. Somasekhar said, “We welcome Warid customers to the Airtel global network and assure them of a world-class experience. This acquisition will create a superior and wider network and we will invest more in key areas such as technological innovation and customer service.

“Further, the existing Warid customer will also be enjoying all Airtel services such as the widest 3G coverage, Blackberry services and superior roaming serviceson successful completion of integration. During this transition, I want to reassure Warid customers of our commitment to providing world-class, affordable services to customers in Uganda. They should also be assured of the security and continuity of Warid Pesa services during this period”.

He added: “After the successful completion of integration, Warid customers will begin to enjoy benefits of the 0ne network with lower roaming rates across Africa and South Asia that other Airtel Customers have been enjoying. It’s a great beginning to a journey with our loyal Uganda customers and for the economy as a whole.”

With presence across 17 African countries, Airtel is the largest telecom service provider across the Continent in terms of geographical reach and had over 62 million customers at the end of quarter ended December 31, 2012. Globally, Airtel is ranked as the 4th largest mobile services provider in terms of customer base.

Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top 4 mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers.

In India, the company’s product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G wireless services, mobile commerce, fixed line services, high speed DSL broadband, IPTV, DTH, enterprise services including national & international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G, 3G wireless services and mobile commerce. Bharti Airtel had over 271 million customers across its operations at the end of March 2013.

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AfDB Concludes First Pan-African Training for Regulators of Derivatives and Commodities Exchanges

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire /African Press Organization (APO)/ The African Development Bank (AfDB) (http://www.afdb.org) on May 10, 2013 concluded a one-week, pan-African training workshop for African regulators of derivatives and commodities exchanges. The training workshop was held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

At the opening ceremony, Job Essis N’Guessan, the representative of the Ivoirian Minister of Commerce, stressed the importance of commodities and derivatives markets, especially after the global food crisis of 2007 and the global financial crisis of 2008. He stated that as the environment in Africa is becoming increasingly conducive to investment, there is need to make sure that investor interest translates to an improvement in Africa’s ability to develop itself.

The workshop provided participants representing 30 African countries with strategic and technical skills to assist African securities and capital markets authorities develop legal and regulatory frameworks for derivatives and commodities exchanges.

On behalf of the Official Representation of the AfDB’s Headquarters in Côte d’Ivoire (ROSA), Chief Country Program Officer Sidi Drissi described the training session as being in support of the African Union’s 2005 Arusha Plan of Action and Declaration on African Commodities. The Plan of Action and Declaration highlight the importance of efficient financial and commodity markets as a prerequisite for equitable, inclusive and sustainable development.

“Having well-trained regulators are important for the proper functioning of markets,” he declared.

For participants from Kenya, this training comes at a particularly opportune moment, as the country is poised to license a Futures and Derivatives Exchange by August 2013.

“The training exposed us to other aspects of futures and derivatives regulation that we will be grappling with once the CMA has licensed the successful applicants for establishment of Futures Exchange, notably contract creation, licensing and monitoring of market intermediaries, clearing and settlement and market manipulation,” said Luke Ombara, Acting Director of Regulatory Policy and Strategy at Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

Keith Mukami of Bourse Africa Limited, another participant at the training workshop, described the sort of capacity building that the workshop provides as “the cornerstone to building sustainable and well regulated African commodity markets in the long term.” He finds it very encouraging to “witness and participate in AfDB’s efforts to building African commodity markets.”

The training workshop, the first in a series of trainings on market regulations, was jointly organized by the African Development Institute and the NEPAD, Regional Integration and Trade Department, both of the AfDB.

 

SOURCE

African Development Bank (AfDB)

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Denmark to launch new development programme for Zimbabwe

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Wallace Mawire

Denmark is planning to launch a new development programme in mid 2013 with substantial increase in budget  support for Zimbabwe, according to State Secretary of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr L.B.Petersen who recently visited the southern African country.

Petersen’s visit which marked the highest ranking visit from Denmark in years was meant to facilitate high-level consultations covering a range of issues.  “The visit is also an opportunity to launch the first case of direct support from a traditional donor to the government of Zimbabwe.Denmark will on a pilot basis launch direct support to the Judicial Service Commission in their rehabilitation of magistrates courts,” Petersen said.

Denmark is one of the major bilateral donors in Zimbabwe with a long history in the country going way back to the Nordic solidarity during the struggle for independence.

Petersen said that his government plans to spend approximately $40 million a year to support the government of Zimbabwe in various areas.

“We are currently in the process of formulating a new Denmark-Zimbabwe partnership programme for 2013-2015. The increased size and budget of the new partnership programme is a testament of our continued support to development in this country,” he said.

He added that a key priority in the programme is to contribute to the reduction of gender based violence in Zimbabwe.

“We do this through support to projects and programmes which address specific needs and concerns of women exposed to gender based violence,” Petersen said.

Some of the support will be channeled towards the agricultural smallholder sector,employment creation,value chain creation,promotion of good governance,rule of law and support to civil society.

According to Petersen, the Danish government has previously supported the government of Zimbabwe with $15,2 million for infrastructure rehabilitation under the Zimbabwe Multi-Donor Trust Fund (ZMDTF).

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