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Ozwald Boateng Steps in as Guest Editor for a Leading Issue of New African

Posted on 18 May 2013 by Africa Business

Made In Africa Foundation

The Made In Africa Foundation is a charitable organisation, established to support strategic infrastructure projects and create sustainable solutions to some of Africa’s most pressing problems. It works to support technical feasibility studies, to kick start key infrastructure developments and to engage the African diaspora in innovative fund-raising activities. The Foundation was founded in 2011 by international designer Ozwald Boateng OBE, and Nigerian businessman Kola Aluko, and is supported by Atlantic Energy.


The leading pan-African current affairs magazine, New African, has just published its May edition, guest edited by the internationally renowned Ghanaian designer Ozwald Boateng , a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and founder of the Made in Africa Foundation.

This new issue looks at a Future Made in Africa and, in a 60 page supplement, celebrates the Organisation of African Unity’s (now the AU’s) golden jubilee. It has a strong focus on infrastructure, which reflects the work of the Made in Africa foundation – a $400m fund to finance feasibility studies to fast-track infrastructure investment throughout Africa.

Editorial contributors include Tony Blair , President Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson , Tony Elumelu, Mo Ibrahim , David Adjaye , Jay Naidoo , Omar Bongo Ondimba, Minna Salami, Swaady Martin-Leke, and Kandeh Yumkella and Babatunde Fashola .

In its “Trailblazers under 50” feature, New African presents its selection of 50 Africans under the age of 50, who are breaking ground and raising hopes for Africa’s future.  The list includes Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Alex Wek , Didier Drogba, Hadeel Ibrahim , David Rudisha, Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu, Juliana Totich, P-Square, Dambisa Moyo and its very own readers.

In his introductory article “Why our future should be made in Africa“. Boateng insists “If the world is to get beyond boom and bust, it requires African creators, farmers, workers, industrialists and leaders to be given the tools and opportunities to play their part for the good of all”.

Omar Ben Yedder , publisher of New African magazine, commented: “ Ozwald Boateng has done a fantastic job and this really is a collector’s item – one which we hope will be read and studied in schools and universities across Africa. It was a true learning experience working on this issue”.

The May 2013 issue is available on newsstands and local vendors now.

SOURCE Made in Africa Foundation

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IFC to Support Central Bank of Nigeria in Strengthening Sustainable Banking

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

About IFC


IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit



ABUJA, Nigeria, May 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement with the Central Bank of Nigeria to support the implementation of standards, policies and guidelines for environmental and social best practices in the Nigerian banking sector, with the aim of promoting sustainable and inclusive growth of the Nigerian economy.



As part of the agreement IFC will train Central Bank staff on how to supervise the financial sector in the implementation of the Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles and Sector Guidelines, passed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in July 2012 and signed by all Nigerian banks.



The Nigerian Sustainable Banking Principles include commitments by the signatories to integrate environmental and social considerations into business activities, respect human rights, promote women’s economic empowerment, and promote financial inclusion by reaching out to communities that traditionally have had limited or no access to the formal financial sector.



Aisha Mahmood, Sustainability Advisor to the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said, “Working with IFC will help us further develop existing practices and capacities on environmental and social risk management among financial institutions. As regulators of the Nigerian financial sector, we recognize that financial institutions are key drivers in supporting sustainable economic growth.”



The partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria is part of IFC’s Environmental Performance and Market Development Program, which aims to encourage sustainable lending standards among financial institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa and to promote environmental and social standards at a market level.



Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC Country Manager for Nigeria, said, “Sustainable business practices are important to financial institutions as they effectively add value both to the banking sector and to the general economy. We will support the Central Bank of Nigeria in this key initiative by sharing knowledge and technical resources.”



IFC is a leading investor in Sub-Saharan Africa and Nigeria, with a fast-growing, well-performing portfolio. IFC’s portfolio in Nigeria stands at $1.1 billion, the largest country portfolio in Africa and the eighth-largest globally.




International Finance Corporation (IFC) – The World Bank

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MasterCard to Power Nigerian Identity Card Program

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Africa Business

13 Million Cards to be issued first, in largest card rollout of its kind in Africa

About MasterCard

MasterCard (NYSE: MA) ( is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews (!/MasterCardNews), join the discussion on the Cashless Conversations Blog ( and subscribe ( for the latest news (

About NIMC

The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) was established by the NIMC Act No.23, 2007 as the primary legal, regulatory and institutional mechanism for implementing a reliable and sustainable national identity management system that will enable Nigerian citizens and legal residents assert their identity. The Act mandates the NIMC to create, own, operate and manage a national identity database, issue national identification numbers to registered individuals, provide identity authentication and verification services, issue multipurpose smartcards, integrate identity databases across government agencies and foster the orderly development of the identity sector in Nigeria. The Act also empowered the NIMC to collaborate with any public and or private sector organization to realize its objectives.

About Unified Payments

Unified Payments is owned by a consortium of Nigerian Banks. Our core businesses comprise Processing, Merchant Acquiring, Switching, Payment Terminal Services and provision of Value Added Services & Solutions. Unified Payments pioneered the issuance and acceptance of EMV Chip + PIN cards in Nigeria, leading to reduction of ATM fraud in Nigeria by over 95%. The company enabled Nigerian banks and merchants for the first time ever to accept foreign cards at ATMs and Points of Sale Terminals, and also pioneered the issuance of Naira cards that are globally accepted.

About Access Bank

Access Bank Plc ( is a full service commercial Bank operating through a network of over 300 branches and service outlets located in major centres across Nigeria, Sub Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom. Listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Bank has over 800,000 shareholders and has enjoyed what is arguably Africa’s most successful banking growth trajectory in the last ten years ranking amongst Africa’s top 20 banks by total assets and capital in 2011. As part of its continued growth strategy, Access Bank has made sustainable business core to all its operations. The Bank strives to deliver sustainable economic growth that is profitable, environmentally responsible and socially relevant.

CAPE-TOWN, South-Africa, May 8, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ The Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) ( and MasterCard ( today announced at the World Economic Forum on Africa the roll-out of 13 million MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards ( with electronic payment capability as a pilot program. The National Identity Smart Card is the Card Scheme under the recently deployed National Identity Management System (NIMS). This program is the largest roll-out of a formal electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion initiative of its kind on the African continent.

The Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) will be issuing MasterCard-branded National Identity Smart Cards with electronic payment capability. This program is the largest roll-out of a formal electronic payment solution in the country and the broadest financial inclusion initiative of its kind on the African continent.


Earlier this year Ajay Banga commended the Finance Minister of Nigeria Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and the Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido on the Cashless Nigeria initiative and discussed MasterCard’s commitment to supporting a widespread national identification program in the country.



Infographic – Navigating the Next Cashless Continent:

As part of the program, in its first phase, Nigerians 16 years and older, and all residents in the country for more than two years, will get the new multipurpose identity card which has 13 applications including MasterCard’s prepaid payment technology that will provide cardholders with the safety, convenience and reliability of electronic payments. This will have a significant and positive impact on the lives of these Nigerians who have not previously had access to financial services.

The Project will have Access Bank Plc as the pilot issuer bank for the cards and Unified Payment Services Limited (Unified Payments) as the payment processor. Other issuing banks will include United Bank for Africa, Union Bank, Zenith, Skye Bank, Unity Bank, Stanbic, and First Bank.

The announcement was witnessed by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy in Nigeria, who stressed the importance of the National Identity Smart Card Scheme in moving Nigeria to an electronic platform. This program is good practice for us to bring all the citizens on a common platform for interacting with the various government agencies and for transacting electronically. We will implement this initiative in a collaborative manner between the public and private sectors, to achieve its full potential of inclusive citizenship and more effective governance,” she said.

“Today’s announcement is the first phase of an unprecedented project in terms of scale and scope for Nigeria,” said Michael Miebach, President, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard. “MasterCard has been a firm supporter of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) ( Cashless Policy ( as we share a vision of a world beyond cash. From the program’s inception, we have provided the Federal Government of Nigeria with global insights and best practices on how electronic payments can enable economic growth and create a more financially inclusive economy”.

Chris ‘E Onyemenam, the Director General and Chief Executive of the National Identity Management Commission, said “We have chosen MasterCard to be the payment technology provider for the initial rollout of the National Identity Smart Card project because the Company has shown a commitment to furthering financial inclusion through the reduction of cash in the Nigerian economy.” He added “MasterCard has pioneered large scale card schemes that combine biometric functionality with electronic payments and we want to capitalize on their experience in this field to make our program rollout a sustainable success for the country and for the continent.”

“Access Bank’s involvement in this project is testament to our ongoing efforts to expand financial inclusion in Nigeria,” said Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, CEO of Access Bank. “The new identity card will revolutionize the Nigerian economic landscape, breaking down one of the most significant barriers to financial inclusion – proof of identity, while simultaneously providing Nigerians with a world class payment solution”.

“Unified Payments is the foremost transaction processor and pioneer of EMV processing and acquiring in Nigeria, owned by leading Nigerian banks. We will use our expertise and experience to guarantee the success of the project and ensure that the data of Nigerians are protected. We look forward to working with other partners in delivering value to all stakeholders”, said Agada Apochi, Managing Director and CEO, Unified Payments.

The new National Identity Smart Card will incorporate the unique National Identification Numbers (NIN) of duly registered persons in the country. The enrollment process involves the recording of an individual’s demographic data and biometric data (capture of 10 fingerprints, facial picture and digital signature) that are used to authenticate the cardholder and eliminate fraud and embezzlement. The resultant National Identity Database will provide the platform for several other value propositions of the NIMC including identity authentication and verification.

Thanks to the unique and unambiguous identification of individuals under the NIMS, other identification card schemes like the Driver’s License, Voters Registration, Health Insurance, Tax, SIM and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) will benefit and can all be integrated, using the NIN, into the multi-function Card Scheme of the NIMS. When fully utilizing the card as a prepaid payment tool, the cardholder can deposit funds on the card, receive social benefits, pay for goods and services at any of the 35 million MasterCard acceptance locations globally, withdraw cash from all ATMs that accept MasterCard, or engage in many other financial transactions that are facilitated by electronic payments. All in a secure and convenient environment enabled by the EMV Chip and Pin standard.

Upon completion of the National ID registration process, NIMC aims to introduce more than 100 million cards to Nigeria’s 167 million ( citizens.



MasterCard Worldwide

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PLATINUM SPONSOR INTERVIEW: “Symbion and many other companies from the United States are ready to invest in Africa.”

Posted on 07 May 2013 by Africa Business

Exclusive interview with Paul Hinks, CEO of Symbion Power, platinum sponsors at the upcoming African Utility Week (

1) Why the recent decision to acquire the stake in the South African company EJP Power?
We wanted a foothold in South Africa and we wanted to strengthen the management of our organization on the Africa continent.  EJ Power has good, experienced management who live in Africa.  We can’t manage day to day business with a whole day of time difference and between 9,000 and 13,000 kms of distance, depending which of our current operations you measure it against.

2) Is this a vote of confidence in South Africa’s economy and future?
It’s a vote of confidence in Africa.  South Africa’s economy is mature compared to many of the emerging economies in Africa but it’s a hub for African business so a good location to have people.  But we don’t consider South Africa as the only hub in Africa these days.  There are others in West Africa and East Africa where the economies are thriving.

3) You already have a good track record in Tanzania.  Can you tell us how your project is progressing there?  How important has your relationship with the government been?
Tanzania is the first country in Africa that we have worked in. Until then we were heavily focused on Iraq and Afghanistan so it has been a pleasure to return to Africa.  We now own 3 power plants in Tanzania generating 217 Megawatts and we have recently signed an agreement with the utility there, TANESCO, to jointly develop a 400MW power plant and a 650km transmission line in the south at Mtwara.  This plant will have the potential to provide natural gas fired power to neighboring countries such as Mozambique and Malawi and eventually it can feed the Southern African Power Pool. It’s an important Public Private Partnership due to the large gas deposits that have been discovered, in addition to the existing gas field at Mnazi Bay.

4) How excited are you about entering the Nigerian market?
Very excited. Nigeria is the most vibrant market in the energy sector in Africa and it’s so very, very different than the Nigeria we used to hear about decades ago.  I tell everyone who is skeptical to just go there and see what’s happening and not rely on old information, or the words of people who haven’t been in recent years.   We will soon open a new office in Lagos that will become the headquarters of our African independent power business.  South Africa will be the headquarters for our construction and engineering business but we intend to pursue IPP opportunities in South Africa too.

5) What is your vision for Symbion in Africa?
I’d like to see Symbion become one of the leading independent power companies on the continent who can also build our own infrastructure at economic costs.  I’d also like us to leverage our origin in the United States to bring other US interests into our developments such as the various government agencies that provide debt funding and credit support as well as other US and African private sector companies.  The name Symbion comes from the word Symbiotic, which means a relationship of mutual benefit between two or more entities.  That’s what we strive to achieve. We have many different partnerships in Africa and elsewhere.

6)  What surprises you about this industry?
What most surprises me is that electricity, a commodity that people all over the world see as being essential for daily life and critical to growth, is so insufficient in Africa.  However, right now I see great efforts being made throughout the continent to change this although some places are still woefully behind the curve.

7)  What has been the secret of Symbion’s success so far?
Symbiotic partnerships with local companies.  Not being greedy and trusting and sharing with our local partners.  Symbion’s men and women are committed and they are courageous.  They aren’t intimidated by adverse news reports about security issues and we make our own judgments about the risks we will take.  Eight years of Iraq and Afghanistan built a very strong team who look out for each other.

8 )  What will be your message at African Utility Week?
My message to everyone at African Utility Week is that Symbion and many other companies from the United States are ready to invest in Africa.  These firms are ethical, they have integrity and they need partners in both the public and private sectors.  The US government wants to support both the US and the African private sector as this is the route to development on the continent.  President Obama’s strategy for Sub Saharan Africa was set out in June 2012 and I am sure that everyone will soon see that he is committed to it.

9)  Anything to add?
Yes,  as well as my duties as the Chief Executive Officer of Symbion Power I am also the Chairman of the Corporate Council on Africa which is the largest (not for profit) organization in the United States that promotes trade and investment between the United States and Africa.  Until this year it was exclusively American but now we have opened the doors to companies from Africa too.  I’d encourage private sector players who have interests in partnering with US companies to join the CCA because this is where you can get the introductions and the information you need to build new relationships with some of the major players in the US.  I’d also encourage public utilities to attend our CCA US Africa Summit in Chicago in October this year.  Details on membership and the Summit can be found on the website.


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British-Nigerian Femi Oke to host Al Jazeera’s The Stream

Posted on 06 May 2013 by Africa Business


International broadcaster Femi Oke has been revealed as the new host of Al Jazeera English’s hit social media show The Stream.

The former BBC, Sky and CNN journalist will take over presenting duties from Monday 6th May. Femi has been based in the US since 1999 and spent nine years anchoring and reporting for CNN in Atlanta. She was host for the programme Inside Africa, which she also helped launch. For the last five years she has been a senior editor and host at the largest NPR affiliate in the US, WNYC.

The Stream is billed as a social media community with its own television show. It’s received critical acclaim since its launch in 2011, winning the Royal Television Society’s award for Innovation, a Webby People’s Choice Award for News and Politics, and a Gracie for Outstanding News Talkshow.  It also received an Emmy nomination last year for New Approach to News and Documentary Programming.

Femi commented on her new role: “I’ve been watching The Stream since it first came on air, because it was so different from anything else on international television.  I loved how it responded to the explosion of social media, used Skype and Google Hangouts not just as back-ups like a lot of programmes do, but as a genuine way to connect with viewers. I must admit watching from my laptop in New York I was amazed and a little jealous.  Here was a show that ‘got’ social media, had a young engaged audience, covered the news, and a broad range of topics in way that made current affairs fresh and exciting.”

Paul Eedle, Director of Programmes at Al Jazeera English, said: The Stream continues to be a great success for us, and is pulling in ever greater audiences online and on air. Femi’s style is warm and inclusive so she’s perfect for the interactivity of the show.”

Femi describes herself as British-Nigerian, born in London to Nigerian parents.  In 2007 Femi Oke’s work in Africa was recognized by The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Communications Agency with the presentation of the African Achievers Award 2007. Femi was also named Nigerian media personality of the year in 2007 and picked up the Interaction media award in 2008 for her commitment to broadcasting the complex issues of Africa.

For more on The Stream, please visit

Follow Femi Oke on Twitter @FemiOke.

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MITSUMI wins IT Distribution Company of the year award at BoICT Awards Nigeria

Posted on 30 April 2013 by Africa Business

About MITSUMI Distribution:

MITSUMI was formed in Nairobi, Kenya in the year 1996 with the aim of introducing appropriate and affordable technologies to Africa and now 17 years on, we are a largest IT & CE distributor.

We are authorized distributors for leading global IT brands. Our growing brand portfolio includes HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba, Samsung, Microsoft, Sandisk, Western Digital, BenQ, Tripplite and Huawei.

As one of the Africa’s largest IT distributors, MITSUMI is the conduit through which the power of technology flows to 19 Countries in Africa. MITSUMI is a leading and fast growing technology distributor in Africa because of its Pan Africa distribution strategy/vision, aggressive expansion, regional geographical coverage and extensive customer base. MITSUMI has its head office in Kenya and presence in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, South Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Benin, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Mauritius and Madagascar including strategic mother hub in Jebel Ali (U.A.E).

MITSUMI has 15 warehouses and 8 service centers in Africa. These capabilities help us reduce turnaround time in distributing products to the African markets. MITSUMI’s credit facilities to partners also consolidated its leadership advantage in Africa.



Nigeria, West Africa – The 4th Annual Beacon of ICT Awards 2013, the annual industry wide celebration of deserving talents, contributions and commitments to the growth of the ICT industry was held on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at the Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos, Nigeria.


MITSUMI Distribution, one of the Africa’s largest IT & CE distributors wins ICT Distribution Company of the year award. A constellation of leading players in ICT and financial space were gathered for this year’s Beacon of ICT Awards.

The Beacon of ICT Awards is the annual industry wide celebration of deserving talents, contributions and commitments to the growth of the ICT industry. Over 55,000 Nigerians have voted in unionism for MITSUMI in this year’s edition of Beacon of ICT Awards.

Beacon of ICT Awards is one of the biggest red carpet events in Nigeria and has hosted most of the greats from Ernest Ndukwe, the father of Nigeria modern telecom; Engr. Yomi Bolarinwa, the exemplary public servant; among others.

Ernest Ndukwe, former boss of the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), was the special guest of honour.


Mr. Rajiv Patel - Country Manager at MITSUMI Distribution has received the award

Mitesh Shah – Managing Director at MITSUMI Distribution saidwe are delighted that Nigerians have recognized us and we are proud to receive this honour. MITSUMI has a long history in the Africa market and we always demonstrated our ability to diversify our business model and add value to partners.”

MITSUMI IT Distribution has a first-mover advantage in Africa since the company was the first to establish a chain of in-country presence in these markets ranging from facilities like warehousing, stocking points and support service centers in 1996.

MITSUMI’s regional geographical coverage and extensive customer base has made the group the largest and fastest growing distributor in Emerging Africa.

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Stanbic IBTC declares N12bn profit on gross earnings of N92bn

Posted on 25 April 2013 by Africa Business

Stanbic IBTC Holdings, a member of Standard Bank Group, has declared a profit before tax of N11.7 billion for 2012, an increase of 16 percent above the N10.1 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2011, according to its audited results for the financial year ended December 31, 2012. Similarly, profit after tax rose to N10.2 billion, translating to an increase of 53 percent over the prior year’s N6.6 billion.

The Stanbic IBTC group also made significant gains in other parameters during the period, as indicated in the results made available at The Nigerian Stock Exchange on Friday, April 19, 2013. Gross earnings, which stood at N63.4 billion in December 2011, increased to N91.9 billion in 2012, signifying a gain of 45 percent. The total assets increased to N676.8 billion last year, a 22 percent increase compared to the N554.5 billion recorded in December 2011.

The strong performance, despite the challenging operating conditions, is indicative of the soundness of the group’s decision to adopt a holding company structure, in line with its strategy to provide end-to-end financial services and build a franchise capable of generating sustainable and respectable returns to its stakeholders.

“This performance is a testament of the credibility of our strategy to realise our objective of being the leading end-to-end financial solutions provider in Nigeria. We continue to assess our risk assets through our robust and systematic risk management practices, whilst ensuring that adequate provisions are made for unforeseen shocks in line with the operating environment,” stated Mrs. Sola David-Borha, Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC.

She said the group continued to expand its business on the back of growth in transactional volumes and activities, money and capital market activities and loan book. “Deposits from customers increased by 24 percent, while our loan book grew by 5 percent despite the sell down of existing large performing exposures to enable us comply with the post restructuring single obligor limit.”

During the period under review, total operating income increased by 22 percent to N67.4 billion, from N55.2 billion in December 2011. Gross loans and advances to customers went up 5 percent to N279.5 billion, compared to N266.6 billion in December 2011. Customer deposits went up 24 percent to N355.4 billion from N287.2 billion in the corresponding period of 2011, while non-performing loans at N14.3 billion decreased by 13 percent from N16.5 billion in December 2011.

The group will continue to seek opportunities in strategic sectors of the economy in order to grow its business in line with its future growth strategy, said David-Borha. “Our expanded branch network, excellent customer service, diversified business model and access to an extensive pool of experience within the group have put us in a desirable position to generate growing value for shareholders in 2013.”

Following its adoption of the holding company structure, the operating subsidiaries of Stanbic IBTC Holdings PLC are Stanbic IBTC Bank (including Stanbic Nominees Nigeria Limited), Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Limited, Stanbic IBTC Stockbrokers Limited, Stanbic IBTC Trustees Limited, Stanbic IBTC Ventures Limited, Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited and Stanbic IBTC Investments Limited. Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited and Stanbic IBTC Investments Limited are newly incorporated companies.

Some of the recent milestones recorded by the group include surpassing the 800,000 clients mark in the first year of the launch of the Stanbic IBTC Bank’s *909# mobile money solution and attainment of over one million retirement saving accounts by its pension business, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited.


Source: Standard Bank

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Last Flight to Abuja

Posted on 24 April 2013 by Africa Business

Last Flight to Abuja the blockbuster airplane disaster thriller from multi award winning Nollywood filmmaker Obi Emelonye is now finally available to be watched online anywhere in the world on all internet enabled devices. The feature film originally inspired by a series of airplane disasters that rocked Nigeria in 2006 is available to be seen for a small fee via Distrify, the innovative online self distribution platform based in the UK.
Based on real life events, Last Flight to Abuja went on to become the highest grossing film of 2012 at the W Africa box office and is officially holder of the titles of the biggest ever premiere and the longest running movie in Nigeria cinema history.
The much anticipated online release comes just before the film competes in 5 key categories including Best Film at the 2013 African Movie Academy Awards. The producers are preparing to finally release the film on DVD to the international market in late May 2013, a few weeks ahead of the first anniversary of the Dana Air tragedy.
Last Flight to Abuja was originally premiered to the world in June 2012 just one week after the Nigerian Dana Air and Ghana bound Nigerian cargo plane tragedies and paid tribute to the many deceased and has since been used as an advocacy tool to raise awareness for increased aviation safety in Nigeria, Ghana & Africa as a whole.
As the producers embark on the online release, all involved with the film remain sensitive towards the feelings of the family and friends of the victims may their souls continue to rest in God’s perfect peace.

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IMF Executive Board Concludes 2012 Article IV Consultation with Nigeria

Posted on 29 March 2013 by Africa Business

ABUJA, Nigeria, March 29, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ On February 6, 2013, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the 2012 Article IV consultation with Nigeria.1


Macroeconomic performance has been broadly positive over the past year. Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is projected to have decelerated slightly to 6.3 percent, reflecting the effects of the nationwide strike in early 2012, floods in the fourth quarter of 2012, and continued security problems in the north. Annual inflation increased from 10.3 percent (end-of-period) in 2011 to 12.3 percent in 2012, owing mainly to the adjustment of administrative prices of fuel and electricity; large increases in import tariffs on rice and wheat; and the impact of floods in Q3. The external position has strengthened and international reserves rose from US$32.6 billion at end-2011 to US$44 billion at end-2012 (5½ months of prospective imports), driven by sustained high oil prices, stricter administration of the gasoline subsidy regime, and strong portfolio inflows.

The fiscal policy stance was tightened in 2012 and fiscal buffers are being rebuilt. The non-oil primary deficit of the consolidated government is estimated to have narrowed from about 36 percent of non-oil GDP in 2011 to 30.5 percent in 2012, mainly due to expenditure restraint. Monetary policy remained tight in 2012 in response to inflationary pressures. The central bank kept its policy rate unchanged during the year but raised the cash reserve requirement for banks from 8 percent to 12 percent and lowered allowable open foreign exchange position for banks. Financial soundness indicators point to continued improvements in the health of the banking system.

In 2013, growth is expected to recover to above 7 percent. Inflation is projected to decline below 10 percent, supported by the tight monetary policy stance and ongoing fiscal consolidation. The key downside risks are a large drop in world oil prices; and slow progress in building consensus around key fiscal reforms.

Executive Board Assessment

Executive Directors commended the authorities for prudent macroeconomic policies that have underpinned a strong economic performance in recent years. Looking ahead, Directors agreed that widespread unemployment and poverty remain key challenges for policymakers, and called for renewed efforts to make economic growth more broad-based and inclusive.

Directors supported the authorities’ strategy of consolidating the fiscal position while opening up policy space for needed investment in infrastructure and human capital. To this end, they underscored the need to improve tax administration, better prioritize public expenditure, strengthen public financial management, and improve the fiscal framework. In particular, they encouraged the authorities to reduce poorly-targeted fuel subsidies, adopt a rule to set the reference oil price in the budget, and fully operationalize the Sovereign Wealth Fund as soon as possible. Efforts to mobilize public support for these reforms should be intensified.

Directors considered the current tight monetary stance to be consistent with the authorities’ objective of reducing inflation to single digits. They also took note of the staff’s assessment that the exchange rate in real effective terms is broadly in line with fundamentals.

Directors commended the authorities’ success in restoring financial stability after the 2009 banking crisis. In light of this achievement, they recommended winding down the operations of the asset management company to curb moral hazard and fiscal risks. Directors welcomed the central bank’s commitment to address supervisory and regulatory gaps identified in the Financial Stability Assessment Update, particularly the need to strengthen cross-border supervision and the regime against money laundering and terrorism financing.

Directors concurred that wide-ranging reforms are key to make growth more inclusive. They agreed on the importance of supporting sectors with high employment potential, not through protectionist measures or tax incentives but rather with initiatives to improve governance, the investment climate, and competiveness. Directors welcomed reforms underway in the energy sector, and looked forward to an early passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill which would boost investment, government revenue, and fiscal transparency. They also encouraged the authorities to promote market-based access to credit for small- and medium-sized enterprises.


Nigeria: Selected Economic and Financial Indicators, 2009–2013


2009    2010    2011    2012    2013

Act.    Act.    Act.    Act.    Proj.


National income and prices

(Annual percentage change,

Unless otherwise specified)

Real GDP (at 1990 factor cost)

7.0    8.0    7.4    6.3    7.2

Oil and Gas GDP

0.5    5.2    -0.6    1.8    4.9

Non-oil GDP

8.3    8.5    8.9    7.1    7.5

Production of crude oil (million barrels per day)

2.2    2.5    2.4    2.4    2.5

Nominal GDP at market prices (trillions of naira)

25.1    34.4    37.8    43.1    48.1

Nominal non-oil GDP at factor cost (trillions of naira)

17.7    19.9    22.5    26.9    31.1

Nominal GDP per capita (US$)

1,110    1,465    1,522    1,637    1,686

Consumer price index (end of period)

12.5    13.7    10.8    12.7    8.2

Current account balance (percent of GDP) 1

8.3    5.9    3.6    4.7    4.0

Consolidated government operations

(Percent of GDP)

Total revenues and grants

17.8    20.0    29.9    28.1    26.7

Of which: oil and gas revenue

10.6    14.0    23.4    21.5    19.9

Total expenditure and net lending

27.3    26.9    29.4    27.1    26.7

Overall balance

-9.5    -6.9    0.5    0.9    0.0

Non-oil primary balance (percent of non-oil GDP)

-26.8    -34.3    -36.0    -30.4    -28.3

Excess Crude Account / SWF (US$ billions) 2

7.1    2.7    4.6    9.7    18.1

Money and credit

(Change in percent of broad money at the beginning of the period, unless otherwise specified)

Broad money

17.1    6.9    15.4    10.0    18.1

Net foreign assets

-10.9    -10.3    5.5    13.9    12.4

Net domestic assets

28.0    17.2    9.9    -3.9    5.7

Treasury bill rate (percent; end of period)

4.0    7.5    14.3    …    …

External sector

(Annual percentage change,

unless otherwise specified)

Exports of goods and services

-33.4    36.5    20.1    6.5    0.7

Imports of goods and services

-22.6    36.6    27.2    4.2    3.5

Terms of trade

-16.3    10.0    9.1    1.0    -2.1

Price of Nigerian oil (US$ per barrel)

61.8    79.0    109.0    110.1    104.4

Nominal effective exchange rate (end of period)

82.2    83.6    82.2    …    …

Real effective exchange rate (end of period)

110.0    120.7    119.4    …    …

Gross international reserves (US$ billions)

42.4    32.3    32.6    45.9    53.4

(Equivalent months of imports of goods and services)

7.4    4.5    4.3    5.9    6.4


Sources: Nigerian authorities; and IMF staff estimates and projections.

1Large errors and omissions in the balance of payments suggest that the current account surplus is overestimated by a significant (but unknown) amount.

2Consistent with federal, state, and local governments.

1 Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country’s economic developments and policies. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board. At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country’s authorities. An explanation of any qualifiers used in summings up can be found here:



International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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Airtel appoints Charity Chanda Lumpa as MD for Zambia operations

Posted on 29 March 2013 by Chancy Namadzunda

Bharti Airtel, a leading telecommunications services provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, today announced the appointment of Ms. Charity Chanda Lumpa as Managing Director (MD) of Airtel’s operation in Zambia with effect from May 1st 2013.

Speaking on the appointment, George Sokota, Chairman of Airtel’s operation in Zambia said, “I am delighted at Charity’s appointment, which is in line with Airtel’s stated philosophy of promoting local talent in Africa. She has an exceptional track record of accomplishments at top management level in private, public and international organizations and I am confident that with her rich experience she will grow the organization from strength to strength.”

Jayant Khosla, CEO (Airtel Africa Anglophone Region), added, “Airtel is extremely pleased at the appointment of its first lady Managing Director in Africa. It has been our endeavour to consciously promote diversity within the employee base and provide opportunities to women employees, particularly in leadership positions. I firmly believe in the continued growth of our Zambian operation and I’m confident that
this exceptional team will continue to deliver innovative and best-in-class mobile services for all our stakeholders under her leadership.”

Lumpa, a Zambian national, holds an MBA in Finance. She is back in her home country after a six-month stint in Lome, Togo, where she was the Head of Ecobank Group Credit Administration. Prior to her current appointment, she acted as Managing Director for Ecobank in Zambia. Before joining the banking industry, Charity was the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Zambia National Tourist Board (ZNTB).

Great talent continues to be the source of competitive advantage for Airtel Africa. David Ssegawa, Chief Human Resources Office, Airtel Africa said in order to drive sustainable business growth in all our markets, it is key that the company consciously  build a robust and diverse  pipeline of African leaders  who will take this business to the next level.
“Over the last two and a half years, we have built our talent strategy around three key pillars, namely; the aggressive search for and recruitment  of top African talent into very senior roles at both the Head-quarters and Country operations, the design and delivery of world-class Leadership development programmes  in collaboration with best-in-class institutions like Havard and INSEAD; and the creation of a winning culture in an exciting place where people are  engaged and inspired  to realize their full potential,” he said.

Ssegawa adds “Our recent appointment of a Nigerian CEO & MD for Nigeria and the appointment of the first lady Zambian MD for our Zambia business are key milestones alongside our people agenda for Africa.”

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