UK government presents the Africa Infrastructure Board at the Mining Indaba, an initiative to offer holistic approach to infrastructure development in Africa

On the sidelines of the Mining Indaba in Cape Town, at a roundtable hosted by the UK Department for International Trade (DIT) (, UK government and private sector presented the Africa Infrastructure Board and emphasized the unique proposition UK companies and government could offer in providing a holistic approach to infrastructure development in Africa.

The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) hosted a number of African delegations attending the Mining Indaba to present the Africa Infrastructure Board. This is an initiative that brings together and puts the case forward for choosing the UK as an ideal partner not only to develop projects in the mining sector but to create a holistic solution that will benefit the wider community by developing the associated infrastructure around the project.

The High Commissioner of UK to South Africa, Nigel Casey, mentioned that the UK would be increasing their efforts to work closer with African governments and private sector. Mining projects are much more than just mining, he said, and they don’t work without the associated infrastructure. Without naming names, he mentioned that the UK was conscious that there is plenty of competition out there when it comes to offering comprehensive solutions to African partners. “We felt the need to up our collective game,” he said, “and create a new government industry partnership called the Africa Infrastructure Board, which brings together all the players in the UK whether that is government through DFID, or UK Export Finance, one of our best kept secrets, or the deep pockets of the Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), and private sector operators, all operating in one single place to offer an end to end solution.”

Oliver Andrews, Chief Investment Officer at the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) who was one of the panellists during the roundtable, noted how DFID, the UK’s government development arm, was instrumental in developing the model currently being used in infrastructure project financing. He also reiterated the importance of the City of London, especially as most contracts are generally governed by UK law. The support network in structuring these deals, that is the legal, capital raising and technical side in London plays a vital role.

Craig Sillars from the Department for International Trade showcased a number of projects where opportunities in the mining sector are being structured in a way that truly develops the infrastructure and act as a catalyst to develop other sectors. The UK DIT, for example, is working with a UK investor in Angola on resurrecting an iron ore mine. But as well as the mine they are developing a smelter, which will ensure in-country beneficiation of natural resources, and that will involve the extension of an existing railways, and the expansion of a port. “There will be 600MW of power attached to that,” he went on to add, “and 25,000 of agriculture land provided grow biomass to help provide charcoal for the smelter.”

Interestingly, he said that the UK was looking at partnering with China on the Simandou Mine in Guinea once they take over the mine to help them develop a holistic solution to develop the local infrastructure and sharing with them the designs they have put together to ensure a sustainable project that benefits the local community as well as getting the high quality iron ore to market.

“The approach we are taking,” he told the participants, “is to produce masterplans that will benefit the communities not only for the next four to five years but the next 60, which is what we are doing in Angola, and that when the mining project is finished the infrastructure will continue to benefit the whole region.”

Francis Gatare, CEO of the Rwanda Mining Petroleum and Gas Board, had said that most of the Rwandan involvement with the UK had been through government, but that private sector interest was growing.

It was agreed that London would continue to be an important hub for investors in mining and in infrastructure, not only as a financial centre, but also for the legal and technical expertise it offered, and that the resurging interest from the UK to Africa can only be a positive development for both the UK and the African continent.

The roundtable was held on the sidelines of the Mining Indaba, the biggest mining event in the world held in Cape Town every February.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of IC Publications.

For more information on the Roundtable or the Africa Infrastructure Board please contact

Source:: UK government presents the Africa Infrastructure Board at the Mining Indaba, an initiative to offer holistic approach to infrastructure development in Africa


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Africanews launches ‘Inspire Middle East’

Every week, Inspire Middle East will be broadcast to a global audience via Africanews ( and Euronews. This new flagship business and lifestyle programme will take viewers on a voyage of discovery through the region’s commercial, creative and cultural landscape.

Inspire Middle East delivers the stirring and uplifting stories of people in the MENA region, from trendsetters and artists to entrepreneurs and thought leaders. Produced in Abu Dhabi, the show will also spotlight young and influential innovators who are helping to bridge the cultural and business gap between East and West.

Every Saturday at 20:10 WAT

Inspire Middle East makes its debut by illustrating how art and architecture in the UAE’s capital have culminated in a soft, yet powerful, cultural diplomacy.

Speaking exclusively to Africanews, UAE Minister, Her Excellency Noura al Kaabi engages in dialogue at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Her Excellency discusses what the iconic museum represents and talks about how best to nurture burgeoning Arab artistic talent.

Watch the first episode here (

In the episodes to follow, Inspire Middle East visits the homes of luminaries spanning the length and breadth of the region. One highlight is couturier-to-the-stars Elie Saab and his business partner wife Claudine Saab.

Inspire Middle East also explores the empowerment and future of the Arab youth, with the UAE’s Minister of State, His Excellency Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh in the imposing surroundings of his private library. The show will also take a ride across Dubai with Magnus Olsson, the co-founder of the MENA region’s sole tech unicorn, Careem.

INSPIRE Middle East
Launch Saturday 3rd February 2018
Duration 12′
Broadcast on Africanews TV: Africanews English + Africanews French + digital platforms
> every Saturday at 20:10 WAT
Broadcast on Euronews TV: Euronews English + Euronews French + digital platforms
> every Friday at 21:45 CET / 00:45 GST
Executive producer Daleen Hassan @daleenhassan

Maithreyi Seetharaman is the launch anchor of the programme supported by Sky News Arabia.

About Daleen HASSAN – @daleenhassan

As executive producer, Daleen Hassan is the creative brains behind the concept of Inspire Middle East. She joined Euronews in 2010 and went on to become a seasoned

Reporter and Deputy Editor, interviewing high-ranking figures in the MENA region and covering international current affairs.

In 2014 and 2015 she anchored Business Middle East, a weekly business show in Arabic and English.
Before joining Euronews, Daleen was a producer for Abu Dhabi TV and worked as producer, reporter and news anchor for several media outlets in the Middle East.
Daleen, a Syrian-French journalist, has a Master’s degree from Lyon 2 Lumière University in Cinematography and Audiovisual Studies and a BA from The University of Damascus in Journalism and Media. She is fluent in Arabic, English and French.

About Maithreyi SEETHARAMAN – @maithreyi_s
Maithreyi Seetharaman, based in London is an international political economics and business broadcaster for 17 years, Ms. Seetharaman started her own content and creation company, Facultas Media Ltd., five years ago. Through Facultas Media, she created Real Economy, which is beginning its fifth season on Euronews, where she serves as anchor and executive editor.

Ms. Seetharaman is also the co-chair of the Fortune Most Powerful Women International Summits. In this role, she also represents Fortune MPW in the U.K., Europe, Africa & Asia.

Previously, Ms. Seetharaman was co-host of CNBC’s Squawk Box Europe and Capital Connection, and she often anchored Worldwide Exchange and European Closing Bell.
She earlier served Bloomberg Television, as an anchor and stocks editor in both London and prior to that, New York. Before joining Bloomberg, she was a prime time anchor for CNBC TV18 in India and a reporter for the Indian national financial daily ‘The Financial Express’.
Ms. Seetharaman holds two master’s degrees, one in International Relations and the other in Broadcast Journalism.

Follow Africanews and Euronews teams on Twitter: @africanews; @euronews_group
For breaking news follow: @africanews @euronews

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of africanews.

For further informations, please contact :
Solange Bodiong Chauwin
Communication Officer
T + 242 06 460 86 98

Euronews Group press office:
Lydie Bonvallet
T +33 (0)4 28 67 05 35

About Africanews
Africanews (, launched in 2016 (digital in January, TV in April), stands out as the first pan-African multilingual media source produced simultaneously in French and English, and offering coverage of African and global news from a sub-Saharan perspective.

Today, Africanews TV is available in 38 countries and 9.5 million homes across sub-Saharan Africa thanks to major pay-tv players and national channels (partial broadcast). The Africanews signal covers sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian Ocean islands via two satellites: SES 4 and SES 5.

Africanews’ digital platforms, available around the world, highlights the challenges and opportunities of a connected Africa:
– has a responsive website design to suited to all mobile, tablet and computer screens.
– two YouTube channels (in English and French) ( and and Facebook ( and Twitter accounts @africanews and @africanews.

Africanews is a 100% Euronews subsidiary. Africanews adheres to the same editorial charter as its European sister channel, Euronews.

Source:: Africanews launches ‘Inspire Middle East’


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The Ecobank Foundation commits US$ 750,000 to help eradicate malaria in Mozambique

As part of its partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the Ecobank Foundation ( is donating US$ 750,000 to the Ministry of Health in Mozambique to help combat malaria in the country. The financial contribution will support a net distribution campaign, while also providing life-saving testing and treatments.

“Mozambique has made great progress in the fight against malaria,” says Julie Essiam, CEO of the Ecobank Foundation. “With this financial contribution, we are supporting the Government in its determination to become a malaria-free country. We are a step closer to improving the quality of lives of children, families and whole communities.”

When it renewed its three-year partnership with the Global Fund in December 2016, the Ecobank Foundation committed a contribution of US$ 750,000 for the fight against malaria in an African country. These funds were multiplied through DFID’s (the UK Government’s Department for International Development) matching scheme, which pledges US$2 for every US$1 committed by a private donor. Hence, through this public private partnership brokered by the Global Fund, Ecobank Foundation’s contribution amounts to US$2.25 million for the government-led programme in Mozambique.

The Ecobank Foundation’s cash contribution forms only part of its collaboration with the Global Fund. One of the main objectives of the partnership is to strengthen the financial management capacity of the Global Fund’s grant recipients in Africa. In 2017, implementing partners in Liberia and Chad have been trained to improve their treasury and cash management capabilities. Mozambique will be one of the countries where the capacity building programme will be rolled out this year.

“The Ecobank Foundation shares our mission of building healthier and prosperous communities,” says Christoph Benn, Director of External Relations at the Global Fund. “Ecobank’s commitment to strengthening the financial expertise of our partners will help increase our response to the diseases in an effective manner. Through innovative public private partnerships, we can make long-lasting impact in the communities we serve.”

Together with other key private sector partners of the Global Fund, the Ecobank Foundation is taking part in a high-level mission to Mozambique this week. The goal is to witness first-hand the progress that the country is making in the fight against malaria with support from private sector’s stakeholders to the Ministry of Health. The trip will provide opportunities for the private sector partners to explore closer collaboration to further increase the impact of their interventions, both in Mozambique and across the continent.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ecobank.

Media Contact
Mireille Bokpe-Anoumou
Group Communications
Tel: (228) 22 21 03 03

About the Ecobank Foundation
The Ecobank Foundation ( was created to positively impact the lives of people across Africa. Established by the Ecobank Group, the leading pan-African bank, the Ecobank Foundation is positioned to contribute towards the continent’s transformation, particularly in the communities in which the bank operates. The Ecobank Foundation partners with organisations to provide relevant experience and expertise in the field of health, education and financial inclusion. For more information, visit

Twitter: @EcobankFdn

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Source:: The Ecobank Foundation commits US$ 750,000 to help eradicate malaria in Mozambique


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VP Osinbajo to Multinationals: You Can Bet on Nigeria’s Future, Set Up Factories Here Now

Address by His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, GCON, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, at the Commissioning of the New Nestle Milo Ready-To-Drink Factory in Agbara, Ogun State, Nigeria, on Thursday, 08 February, 2018:

“Our government is also a “ready-to-serve” government, ensuring that we implement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to keep the economy on the path of sustainable economic growth and global competitiveness.”

“One important component of the Plan is the provision of critical infrastructure, such as roads, rail and power, which this administration is fully committed to. We’re fully committed to supporting companies such as Nestle as we spur growth and create jobs within the economy.”



It is my very special pleasure to be here today on this occasion of the commissioning of the Nestlé MILO Ready to Drink Factory.

I am sure we all agree that Nestlé MILO holds a special place in the heart of every Nigerian – since as children, we all aspired to be future champions. Indeed, Nestlé’s commitment to doing business in Nigeria has been unwavering over the past 57 years, since the company’s establishment in Nigeria in 1961. This is truly worth commending – particularly when you consider the socio-economic benefits achieved for Nigeria by the location of its factories in rural areas and sourcing its raw materials from local farmers.

I recall inaugurating the Abaji water factory in May 2016 and, today, the Ready-to-Drink Factory is another testimonial of the company’s commitment and success in Nigeria.

I am told that this factory was built at a cost of N4.1 billion, and it will create 150 direct jobs in addition to local sourcing of raw materials from Nestle’s network of over 30,000 farmers.

Drawing an analogy from that, I must say that our own government is also a “ready-to-serve” government, ensuring that we implement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) to keep the economy on the path of sustainable economic growth and global competitiveness.

One important component of the Plan is the provision of critical infrastructure, such as roads, rail and power, which this administration is fully committed to.

We’re fully committed to supporting companies such as Nestle as we spur growth and create jobs within the economy.

Another is the creation of an enabling business environment, and making Nigeria a progressively easier place to do business.

To actualize this goal, in July 2016, Mr. President inaugurated the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), which he asked me to Chair, and he gave us the task of implementing this mandate.

The business climate reforms undertaken under PEBEC have already begun to bear some fruit and reflects that Nigeria is committed to creating an enabling environment to facilitate private sector-led growth and development. Many, of course, will recall that in October, 2017, the World Bank released its flagship “Doing Business” report for 2018. In that report, Nigeria moved up by an unprecedented 24 places, and for the first time the country was also recognized as one of the top 10 most improved economies in the world.

This result shows the power of collaboration across various levels of government, especially in the reform areas such as getting credit, where we are now ranked 6th out of 190 countries due to our enhanced legal framework, with the potential to unlock credit to small and medium-scale enterprises by giving added comfort to lenders.

Last week, PEBEC announced a National Action Plan (NAP 3.0), which commenced on February 5 and will run until April 5, 2018. This accelerated intervention programme will focus on implementing some of the most relevant ease of doing business reforms that have ever come within our radar within the next two months.

For example, we are working with NAFDAC, SON, the Nigeria Customs Service, as well as the Nigeria Police Force, amongst others, to ease the burden of product registrations, quality standards regulation, as well as the movement of goods and services across the country.

Since July 2017, the Council also began collaborating with State Governments to implement ease of doing business initiatives that will make States increasingly attractive investment hubs.

This year, we are working on a number of key reform initiatives, including the deployment of a National Trading Platform comprising a Single Window Platform, deployment of scanners, and a Ports Community system, that will together promote transparency and efficiency at our ports.

Our implementation efforts will be underpinned by ensuring compliance with Executive Order 001 and on efficiency and transparency in government, as well as our web-based reporting application for validation and objective feedback from the public.

Furthermore, we are, once again, collaborating with the National Assembly and supporting the passage of their priority business climate reform bills, while partnering to deliver an Omnibus Bill, which will address various irritants within extant laws that need to be amended for the purpose of achieving a better environment for doing business in Nigeria.

Last Monday, February 5th, Mr. President signed Executive Order 005, a decisive step in the promotion of indigenous businesses, talent and professionals, especially in Science, Engineering and Technology. The order mandates all procuring authorities to give priority to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts. The Order also directs all MDAs to engage Nigerian professionals in the planning, design and execution of National Security projects. The order also specifically prohibits the Minister of Interior from granting work permits to foreign workers whose skills are already available in Nigeria. Where expertise is lacking, procuring entities are required to give preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous development, prior to the award of such contracts.

From a broader perspective, two days ago, we launched what we call the Policy Laboratories, this is an intervention to accelerate the implementation of our Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). The Laboratories will bring together all private and public sector stakeholders necessary to achieve the specific policy or project objectives of our economic plan. In the first instance, we are focusing on three specific areas; agriculture and transport, power and gas supply, and manufacturing and processing.

The goal of these labs is to generate $24 billion worth of investment, 80% of which we expect will come from certain private sector participants, with 15 million jobs, projecting about 3.5% GDP growth this year, and 7% by 2020.

As a long time active player in our market, we look forward to continued collaboration with Nestle in achieving our objectives of economic growth and job creation.

So, on this note, I would like to congratulate the Chairman of Nestle Nigeria – Engr. David Ifezulike; the Managing Director – Mr. Mauricio Alarcon, as well as other members of the Board and management of Nestle Nigeria, and, of course, all of the workers of this great company, on the inauguration of the new Ready-to-Drink factory.

I believe it is a significant step, not just for Nestle, but also for Ogun State and Nigeria as a whole.

I, therefore, urge other multinationals to take a cue from Nestle, and bet on Nigeria’s future and domicile their manufacturing bases right here in this country, because this country is, clearly by far and away, the best investment destination in Africa.

Once again, let me congratulate you all and thank you very much for your attention.

Released by:
Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
08 February, 2018

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office of the Vice President of Nigeria.

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Source:: VP Osinbajo to Multinationals: You Can Bet on Nigeria’s Future, Set Up Factories Here Now


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