Construction starts on Cameroon’s first destination retail mall

Actis (www.Act.is), a leading growth markets investor has started construction on “Douala Grand Mall & Business Park”, Cameroon’s first destination retail & leisure mall.

Developed by Actis and local partner Craft Development, Douala Grand Mall will comprise of 18,000 square metres of retail and leisure space, close to Bonapriso in Cameroon’s largest city. The mall will include multiple restaurants, a children’s play zone, a five screen cinema, a supermarket and retail shops. The Mall is Phase 1 of the development which also includes a business park hosting a hotel and corporate offices spaces.

To continue its strategic roll-out in modern trade, CFAO the international group specialised in distribution in Africa, has signed an agreement to set up and operate a Carrefour Market in the shopping mall and the leading Hospitality & Entertainment conglomerate Genesis Group is the cinema anchor.

The South African contractor, Raubex has been appointed as the general contractor and is now mobilised on site. A formal ground-breaking will take place mid-2018. The project is expected to create over 4,500 jobs using local material and labour and has been granted tax incentives following a convention signed with the Government of the Republic of Cameroon.

Amanda Jean-Baptiste, Partner, Head of West Africa, Real Estate at Actis, said: “Actis is thrilled to reach this key milestone in delivering Cameroon’s first destination retail mall; anchored by two flagship brands seeking to benefit from the growing consumer power. The Mall will make a significant contribution to job creation and other economic indicators in the Cameroonian economy.”

Mathurin Jidjouc Kamdem CEO of Craft Development added: this is a landmark project that will provide the vibrant city of Douala with one of its biggest international standard mixed-used development, with over 4,500 jobs created in both the construction and the operation phases.

Actis is also invested in the electricity sector in Cameroon. In partnership with the government Actis holds a majority interest in the country’s electricity utility, Eneo. Actis is in advanced discussions with the Government to facilitate further significant investment into the energy sector to continue to expand the electricity grid and improve the quality of supply. Actis has also established Honoris United Universities, a pan-African higher education business which brings together the most prestigious universities, Actis also has a strong presence across the wider Francophone Africa region including energy, education and healthcare businesses.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Actis.

For more information:
John Thompson
T: +44-20-7234-5107
E: JThompson@Act.is

About Actis
Actis (www.Act.is) is a leading investor in growth markets, delivering consistent competitive returns, responsibly. It has a growing portfolio of investments across Asia, Africa and Latin America and has raised over US$13bn since inception.
The firm invests through insights gained from trusted relationships and local knowledge, deep sector expertise and an unparalleled heritage, set within a culture of active ownership.

Applying developed market disciplines to growth markets, an established team of c. 100 investment professionals in ten countries identify investment opportunities in response to two trends: rising domestic consumption and the need for sustained investment in infrastructure across private equity, energy and real estate asset classes.

With these announcements Actis has further established a long term commitment to Francophone Africa. Actis is also invested in the electricity sector in Cameroon. In partnership with the government Actis holds a majority interest in the country’s electricity utility, Eneo. Actis is in advanced discussions with the Government to facilitate further significant investment into the energy sector to continue to expand the electricity grid and improve the quality of supply. Actis has also established Honoris United Universities, a pan-African higher education business which brings together the most prestigious universities in Tunisia and Morocco with other market leading institutions across Sub-Saharan Africa. Actis has also invested in Médis a prominent branded generic pharmaceuticals business in Tunisia and Algeria recently expanding operations to Senegal.

Actis is a signatory to the United Nations backed Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI), an investor initiative developed by the UNEP FI and the UN Global Compact. Actis targets consistent superior returns across asset classes over the long-term, bringing financial and social benefits to investors, consumers and communities. It calls this the positive power of capital.
www.Act.is

About CFAO
CFAO (www.CFAOgroup.com) is a key player in specialised distribution in Africa and in French overseas territories, and is a partner of choice for major international brands. The Group is a market leader in automotive and pharmaceutical distribution, and continues to grow in consumer goods and new technologies. CFAO has a direct presence in 36 African countries and provides a gateway to 53 of the 54 countries that make up the African continent. The Group is also active in seven French overseas territories and in Asia. It employs 15,200 people.
CFAO generated consolidated revenue of €4,228 million in 2017.
CFAO is a subsidiary of the TTC Group (Japan).

To find out more:
www.CFAOgroup.com

About Genesis Group
Genesis Group (http://GenesisGroupNG.com) is a leading Hospitality & Entertainment conglomerate with interests in Industrial Catering, Cinemas, Quick Service restaurants, food production, Real Estate, Oil & Gas support services in Nigeria.
Founded in 1991, Genesis is a household name in Nigeria and one of the leading service providers to the Oil & Gas Industry.

About Craft Development
Craft Development (http://Craft-Development-cm.com) is a fast-growing property development company based in Cameroon. Born out of the 25+ year experience of a construction engineer in real estate development and investment in Europe and Africa, the company offers local expertise wrapped in world-class international standards.

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Poor rains, fall armyworm leaves Southern Africa vulnerable

Prolonged dry spells, erratic rainfall, high temperatures and the presence of the voracious fall armyworm have significantly dampened Southern Africa’s current agricultural season’s cereal production prospects. Early action in the form of consolidating information through assessments and anticipatory measures that reduce the impact of threats are crucial for an effective response.

Fall Armyworm, which first emerged last season, has compounded the situation as it continues to spread within national territories and beyond. The pest is now present across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) except Mauritius and Lesotho. Partial fall armyworm monitoring has pointed to Malawi as the hotspot in the 2017/18 season, and the country has since declared a national disaster.

“FAO concludes that the damage may already have been done. Whether the dry spells continue, or a lot of rainfall is received within a short period, crop production is likely to be negatively affected and consequently, water supplies for humans and livestock,” said David Phiri, the FAO Subregional Coordinator for Southern Africa.

Poor season signals food and nutrition insecurity, limits income-generating opportunities

A Special Alert issued by the Food and Nutrition Security Working Group Southern Africa (FNSWG) painted a worrying picture of the situation, as many farmers from the region planted late while in some areas of Botswana, southern Mozambique and Zimbabwe did not plant at all. According to the Alert, South Africa—the largest producer of white maize in the region–has reported a 22 percent decline in area planted this season.

The poor rains and the presence of the fall armyworm, the Special Alert says, have far reaching consequences on access to adequate food and nutrition during the 2018/19-consumption year. Additionally, this will limit income-generating opportunities resulting in far reaching consequences on food and income security gains made in recent years.

The outlook marks a sharp swing from a largely successful 2016/17 summer cropping season that saw a significant improvement in cereal output across the region. However, the 2016/17 season is sandwiched by poor seasons as 2015/16 was characterized by an El Niño induced drought that left the region with a huge cereal deficit.

Southern Africa continues to experience shocks

Intermittent rains preceded the two seasons, which affected crop production and affected pastures. In some cases, a diametrically opposite situation prevailed, as some areas, for example in parts of Mozambique and Malawi where floods washed crops and livestock away.

Southern Africa continues to experience weather shocks, which threaten human, and livestock and these have become more pronounced with changes in climate. Phiri said it was imperative that stakeholders including the UN, SADC, funding partners, non-governmental organizations and the private sector come together to attain a “convergence of thought on the evolving situation.”

“There is an urgent need to determine the scale and possible impact of the prolonged dry spell on the season and intervene immediately. It is equally important to draw lessons from previous experiences and implement proven resilience-building interventions such as prepositioning water infrastructure, supplementary feeds and disease surveillance for livestock,” added Phiri.

Additional interventions which proved successful in the past seasons include input support for winter crop production on existing irrigation facilities, capacitating farmers for good post-harvest practices to minimize and avoid further losses as well as input support to restore agricultural production in the 2018/19 main cropping season.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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FMO arranges USD 200 million syndicated loan facility for Ecobank Transnational Incorporated

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (www.Ecobank.com), the Togo-based holding company of the pan-African Ecobank Group, today announced the closing of a USD 200 million 5- 7 year syndicated debt facility with FMO, the Dutch development bank.

It is the second syndicated loan facility for the Ecobank Group arranged by FMO in recent years. ETI will use the facility to provide funding to a number of subsidiaries across its network of 36 African countries. In line with the Ecobank Group’s strategic development objectives, at least 75 per cent of the loan facility will be directed to SME’s across various sectors of the economy.

FMO arranged the syndication and kept a stake of USD 58.5 million for its own account with other DFIs and impact investors providing contributions as follows: DEG – Deutsche Investitionsund Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH (EUR 21 mln), Proparco (EUR 21 mln), Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries – BIO (USD 15 mln), Development Bank of Austria – OeEB (USD 15 mln), Blue Orchard (USD 30 mln), Symbiotics (USD 21.5 mln) and Oikocredit (USD 10 mln).

Commenting on the loan facility, Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group CEO, said: ” “ETI is pleased to conclude this financing arrangement with FMO, who have been able to bring a significant number of players to the financing table. The transaction will greatly enhance our capacity to serve our SME clients, who continue to be a very important market segment for us.”

Jürgen Rigterink, Chief Executive Officer at FMO, added: “FMO is proud to have arranged this successful syndicated loan agreement for our long-standing partner Ecobank Group. Through this investment we support small and medium-sized enterprises in some of the most underbanked countries in Africa. Although SMEs in these countries provide the majority of jobs, their access to finance remains limited. We are really happy to bring new investors to these markets and help to spur economic growth where it is needed most.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ecobank.

Press contact:
Mireille Bokpe-Anoumou
Group Communications
Tel: (228) 22 21 03 03
Email: MBokpe@Ecobank.com

Press contact:
Anneloes Roeleveld
Corporate Communications
Tel: +31 70 314 9357
Mobile: +31 6 21303088
Email: A.Roeleveld@FMO.nl

About Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’ or ‘The Group’)
Incorporated in Lomé, Togo in 1988, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’) (www.Ecobank.com) 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 over 17,000 people in 40 different countries in over 1,200 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 organisations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals. Additional information on Ecobank can be found at www.Ecobank.com.

About FMO
FMO (www.FMO.nl) is the Dutch development bank. FMO has invested in the private sector in developing countries and emerging markets for more than 46 years. Our mission is to empower entrepreneurs to build a better world. We invest in sectors where we believe our contribution can have the highest long-term impact: financial institutions, energy and agribusiness. FMO has an investment portfolio of EUR 9.8 billion, spanning over 85 countries. Please visit www.FMO.nl for further information.

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Ecobank partners with the Global Partnership for Education to advance digital learning and skills in Africa

Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) (www.Ecobank.com), the parent company of the leading pan-African financial institution, has been selected as a private sector ‘partner of choice’ by the Global Partnership for Education (‘GPE’) in its mission to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The Presidents of Senegal and France are co-hosting GPE’s 2018 Financing Conference, aimed at replenishing its financial resources, which commences in Dakar today. GPE is seeking to raise US$3.1 billion from donors to support the education of children in developing countries over the next three years. Its goal is to enable governments to increase their education expenditure to 20% of their overall budget. GPE is currently active in 31 of the 36 countries that make up Ecobank’s pan-African footprint.

Commenting on Ecobank’s involvement, Serge Ackre, Managing Director of Ecobank Senegal, said: “Senegal is achieving significant economic progress thanks to investing 24% of its budget in education, setting up a countrywide programme of state-funded nurseries and providing free universal access to schooling. By co-hosting GPE’s financing conference, Senegal is asserting its rightful position as an educational blueprint for other African states to follow.”

Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank’s Group CEO, concluded: “Ecobank is proud to be the first banking group to join forces with GPE to advance educational outcomes across Africa. GPE is seeking to leverage our experience of working with African governments, DFIs and global technology leaders to develop digital solutions that will facilitate more targeted investment in Africa’s education systems.

“We all need to unite to help shape Africa’s future by equipping our children with the skills for success in the digital world. Only together can we force the pace of change necessary.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ecobank.

Media Contact
Mireille Bokpe-Anoumou
Group Communications
Tel: (228) 22 21 03 03
Email: MBokpe@Ecobank.com

About Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’ or ‘The Group’)
Incorporated in Lomé, Togo, in 1988 Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’) (www.Ecobank.com) the parent company of Ecobank is the leading independent pan-African banking group. 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 over 17,500 people in 36 different countries in over 1,200 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 www.Ecobank.com.

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