South Africa to Host the Japan–Africa Public Private Economic Forum

South Africa will host the Japan–Africa Public Private Economic Forum at the Sandton Convention Centre from 3-4 May 2018.

The Forum follows an announcement made in 2016, in Nairobi, Kenya by Japanese Prime Minister, Mr Shinzo Abe where he outlined intentions to accelerate the promotion of private sector-led economic growth by encouraging further business encounters among Japanese and African companies.

Minister Davies says that the Japan-Africa Public Private Economic Forum which is organised by the government of Japan in collaboration with South Africa, with full involvement of the business leaders from both countries, will provide an opportunity for Japanese and African companies as well as key business and development related institutions to highlight their work in Africa.

“The Forum will provide participating countries with opportunities to capitalise on the presence of a wide range of business actors to reflect on their approach to boosting investment in their respective countries, including by leveraging necessary public and private resources. Discussions will zoom in on the challenges surrounding a private-sector-driven economic growth and showcase successful and innovative examples to explore way forward,” says Davies.

The Forum’s programme will include a plenary, thematic sessions, business-to-business meetings and exhibition to showcase Japanese products to open the way to new business frontiers and networking sessions among participants.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.

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Uganda Government selects Consortium comprising YAATRA, BHGE, LionWorks, and Saipem to develop, finance, construct and operate a greenfield Oil Refinery in Hoima District, Uganda

Following the favourable evaluation of its private sector-led offer by the Uganda Government, the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium (AGRC) comprised of YAATRA Ventures (, Baker Hughes, a GE company (, LionWorks Group ( and Saipem (, signed a project framework agreement confirming its selection for the realization of a 60,000 barrels per day capacity refinery with a project estimated value of around $3 billion.

YAATRA Africa is an infrastructure development and financing company which provides innovative infrastructure solutions on the continent. LionWorks is a private equity company focused exclusively on pan-African infrastructure opportunities. Other companies involved are Saipem, a global leader in engineering, procurement, construction and installation, as well as drilling, in the oil and gas market that will act as services provider to the project investors, and BHGE, the only global Fullstream company, which will provide a comprehensive portfolio of equipment, technical and financial services.

The refinery, to be located in Hoima district, will process crude oil from fields developed by Total, Tullow and China’s CNOOC and future upstream operators. The Ugandan government has included in the project scope a refined-product pipeline to Kampala for transporting finished products from the facility as well as the distribution of refined products.

“The Ugandan Government’s commitment to fully realize its oil and gas sector and acceptance of the innovative solution provided by AGRC is driven by its strategic goals, leading to achieving middle income status. We look forward to the execution phase and delivering a world class facility that represents a unique opportunity for investors. The Project will deliver a broad, significant economic development impact for Uganda and the East Africa region.” Rajakumari Jandhyala, President & CEO, YAATRA Ventures, said.

“The Government’s selection of our Consortium as preferred bidder is a testament to the collaborative efforts of these best-in-class enterprises leveraging each other’s strengths to produce a solutions-focused proposal. When executed, this will help develop the industry infrastructure and provide livelihood for the Ugandan people and, by extension, other East African countries” said Ado Oseragbaje, BHGE’s Vice President, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ronald Mincy, CEO & Managing Partner of LionWorks, commented “This is a unique opportunity to work with Uganda on a transformational project that will provide jobs and skills to the country through improved access to substantially cleaner refined products for Uganda and the East Africa region.”

Maurizio Coratella, Saipem E&C Onshore Division Chief Operating Officer said, “The selection of AGRC will allow the development of a robust proposal leveraging both financial capabilities of YAATRA Africa and LionWorks and the technical resources and expertise of Saipem and BHGE, addressing the Government’s expectations for the growth of the energy sector. We are pleased to have been selected to help Uganda delivering this Project.”

Today’s announcement follows the formal announcement of the Ministry of Energy regarding the conclusion of the PFA agreement. The Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium will have each member undertake a specific role during Pre-Final Investment Decision (Pre-FID) Activities and Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of the refinery.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of GE.

YAATRA Media Contact:
Communications Director, YAATRA Africa

BHGE Media Contact:
‘Segun Obagbemi –
Regional Communications Leader, Sub-Saharan Africa

SAIPEM Media Contact:
Switchboard: +39 0244231

Media relations
Tel: +39 0244234088;

Relations with institutional investors and financial analysts
Tel: +39 0244234653; Fax: +39 0244254295;

Contact point for retail investors

YAATRA Africa, A YAATRA Ventures company (, is an Africa-focused infrastructure platform that provides investors with a systematic and repeatable approach to deploying capital into value-added infrastructure opportunities. YAATRA focuses on developing innovative infrastructure solutions in sectors that unlock productivity and drive economic growth in key African countries on the path to achieving middle-income status. YAATRA brings a rare combination of 25 years of public sector experience in Africa and in-depth understanding of private sector capabilities to execute high-impact projects that deliver financial returns for investors. The YAATRA approach resulted in a development solution for the estimated USD $3 billion Uganda refinery via the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium.
YAATRA’s partnership with world class private companies like GE, Saipem, LionWorks as well as relationships with public sector institutions like Milken Institute, OPIC, IFC, MIGA, and Africa Development Bank, while drawing legal, compliance and financial expertise of Sherman and Sterling, Deloitte, MUFG-Bank of Tokyo respectively, brings credibility to projects and enhances the confidence of African Governments in its solutions.

About Baker Hughes, a GE company
Baker Hughes, a GE company (NYSE: BHGE) ( is the world’s first and only fullstream provider of integrated oilfield products, services and digital solutions. We deploy minds and machines to enhance customer productivity, safety and environmental stewardship, while minimizing costs and risks at every step of the energy value chain. With operations in over 120 countries, we infuse over a century of experience with the spirit of a startup – inventing smarter ways to bring energy to the world. Visit us at

About Saipem
Saipem ( is a world leader in drilling services, as well as in the engineering, procurement, construction and installation of pipelines and complex projects, onshore and offshore, in the oil & gas market. The company has distinctive competences in operations in harsh environments, remote areas and deep water. Saipem provides a full range of services with “EPC” and “EPCI” contracts (on a “turn-key” basis) and has distinctive capabilities and unique assets with a high technological content.

About LionWorks
LionWorks ( is an independent investor which invests in infrastructure related projects and companies across Africa. The firm is dedicated to creating and catalyzing sustainable solutions and businesses that address the continent’s critical needs and leverages the firm’s combination of private equity and technical skill sets. LionWorks seeks development and acquisition opportunities in key infrastructure segments including power and renewables, transportation, water, healthcare, and natural resources related infrastructure.

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Source:: Uganda Government selects Consortium comprising YAATRA, BHGE, LionWorks, and Saipem to develop, finance, construct and operate a greenfield Oil Refinery in Hoima District, Uganda


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Digital transformation of Service Economy can drive growth across Middle East and Africa says World Bank

Investment into digital transformation in the major Cities of the Middle East and North Africa region can unlock huge potential for the service economy to drive growth and job creation across the region, according to the World Bank.

“The service industry including through digital transformation, constitutes a new source of growth for Middle East and North Africa region which have for too long relied on public spending as its main engine for growth,” said Rabah Arezki, Chief Economist for Middle East and North Africa Region (MNA) at the World Bank.

“To harness the power of external waves of technological innovation into internal sources of growth and job creation, the region needs to adapt several key areas including its internet and payment systems, its regulatory framework, its education system, its “tech state capacity” and the financing architecture for start-ups,” added Arezki.

Arezki will be addressing this subject in a Keynote Speech: “A new economy for MENA – how the service economy and digital transformation can drive growth and job creation across the region” at the Smart Cities Global Technology & Investment Summit 2018 ( in Algiers on June 27.

The two-day Summit and Exhibition will assess how technology can transform regional economies by driving investment into Smart Cities across Africa and the Emerging Market, features 150 international speakers and 4,000 delegates, and is hosted by Smart City Algiers.

Participants include International City Mayors, Government Ministers, Smart City Investment Heads and Industry CEOs and CIOs from Technology, Telecoms, Infrastructure, Energy, Security and other sectors critical to Smart City development. 10 sessions themes featuring Leadership Plenary Panels and Visionary Keynotes have been identified and will take place across the two-day programme which includes 50 sessions.

Key Session Themes include:

  • Smart City Strategies for Emerging and Developed Markets
  • Smart City Strategies for Africa and the Middle East
  • Developing Sustainable and Affordable Cities
  • Building Smart Technology Hubs and Stimulating Innovation
  • Mobility and Transport Models for Emerging Cities
  • Boosting Collaborative, Sharing and Circular Cities
  • Making Safer, Smarter and Healthier Cities
  • Leveraging Diaspora Models and Mobilising Talent
  • ICT Infrastructure Investment and Rollout
  • Leveraging Data and New Tech for Smart City Development

Smart City Global Summit 2018 takes place from June 27-28 in Algiers, hosted by Smart City Algiers and under the patronage of His Excellency, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the President of the Algerian People’s Democratic Republic.

Visit the website for more information

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of TMT Finance.


About TMT Finance:
TMT Finance ( is a leading news and events provider for telecom, media and tech investment and financing globally.

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Source:: Digital transformation of Service Economy can drive growth across Middle East and Africa says World Bank


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Ecobank shareholders approve resolutions as Chairman hails improved outlook

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (“Ecobank”) (, parent of the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African bank with operations in 36 countries across the continent, concluded its 30th Annual General Meeting in Lomé, Togo, today.

Shareholders welcomed Ecobank’s return to profit for the year to 31 December 2017 as they approved all the resolutions at the AGM, which included the ratification of the co-option of Messrs. Monish Dutt, Brian Kennedy and David O’Sullivan as Directors. They are nominees of the International Finance Corporation, Nedbank Group and Qatar National Bank respectively.

The firms Deloitte and Touche, Nigeria and Grant Thornton Côte d’Ivoire were re-appointed as Joint Auditors for a one-year term.

Ecobank Group Chairman Emmanuel Ikazoboh said: “Ecobank enjoyed a return to profitability in 2017 as the strengthening of underwriting and risk management processes began to address our legacy credit issues. There were substantial improvements in the financial performance of our Consumer Bank and Corporate and Investment Bank divisions and the Board is confident that the foundations are now in place to enable the sustainable growth that will create shareholder value throughout Ecobank.”

Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive of Ecobank Group, said: “Our digitisation strategy is rapidly yielding results that are putting Ecobank firmly on its path to becoming the digital bank of choice across its pan-African territories. Additionally, having ‘right-sized’ the business and ‘fixed the basics’, Ecobank is leveraging its inherent strengths as middle Africa’s leading financial platform to the benefit of all its stakeholders as a strong and sustainable bank as it promotes economic development and financial integration across the African continent.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ecobank.

Media Contact:
Mireille Bokpe-Anoumou
Group Communications Email:
Tel: +228 22 21 03 03

About Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’ or ‘The Group’)
Incorporated in Lomé, Togo in 1988, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’) ( is the parent company of the leading independent pan-African banking group, Ecobank. It currently has a presence in 36 African countries, namely: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic), Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Group employs 15,930 people in 40 different countries in over 940 branches and offices. Ecobank is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organizations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals. Additional information on Ecobank can be found at

Source:: Ecobank shareholders approve resolutions as Chairman hails improved outlook


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