African Eye News Circa 2015

The African Eye News offered extensive news coverage of business, banking and finance, investment, sports, health, and entertainment among others to educate and inform people of diverse backgrounds and locations the world over.
This was their website for a number of years.

The last post on their Twitter account was in 2015.
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Posts from 2015



AfrAsia Bank Picks 7 Euromoney Awards


The 2015 Euromoney Private Banking Survey has awarded AfrAsia Bank several accolades for private banking services, the most prominent being ‘Best Private Bank in Mauritius 2015’.

The award ceremony and gala dinner were held in February at Plaisterers’ Hall (London) and attended by Garry Sharp, Head of Private Equity and London Representative Office of AfrAsia Bank.

The Bank has been also been honoured in additional categories by the 2015 Euromoney Private Banking Survey. These include:

  • Best Private Bank for High Net Worth clients
  • Best Private Bank for Super Affluent clients
  • Best Private Bank for Asset Management in Mauritius
  • Best Private Bank for Investment Banking Capabilities in Mauritius
  • Best Private Bank for Research and Asset Allocation Advice in Mauritius
  • Best Private Bank for Succession Planning Advice and Trusts in Mauritius

Carried out annually, the Euromoney survey is primarily based on a peer ranking methodology with a section dedicated to market feedbacks. Listed on the London Stock Exchange, the magazine is cited as one of the leading benchmarks in the global wealth management industry.

“It is extremely gratifying to be recognised by our peers across such a breadth of categories particularly receiving this acknowledgement of the strength of our Private Banking offering in Mauritius. These awards are recognitions of our continued excellence in wealth management and our global capabilities to provide unparalleled financial solutions to our customers. We wish to thank our clients for their trust in our bank as well as the can-do attitude of our employees,” said James Benoit, CEO of AfrAsia Bank.

AfrAsia Bank’s Private Banking business has been honoured in the industry in various categories for an unprecedented fifth consecutive year by Euromoney. The Bank continues to recognise the need for an active advisory technique in investment and aims at exceeding clients’ expectations and meet their needs with tailored investment solutions through a timely process in all transparency.

AfrAsia Bank won its first Euromoney award in 2011, and subsequently in 2012, 2013 and 2014. It is the first time AfrAsia Bank has won seven awards at the same edition of the Euromoney Private Banking Survey – which brings its record to a total of 13 awards since 2011.

“Winning these awards on a global stage serves as recognition of AfrAsia Bank’s unflinching commitment to create value for its niche market and differentiate itself through innovative banking solutions. These accolades cement our position as a preferred provider of holistic wealth management solutions to high net worth (HNW) clients,” commented Thierry Vallet, General Manager of AfrAsia Bank.

AfrAsia Bank continues to provide innovative investment solutions in line with the market conjuncture through its asset management arm, AfrAsia Capital Management (ACM), where the Bank has also been awarded by Euromoney for its outstanding performance.

“Asset management has always been a fundamental component of AfrAsia Bank’s Private Banking and Wealth Management offering.  We are continuously leveraging this synergy to deliver innovative investment solutions and tailor-made customer-oriented services,” commented Swadicq Nuthay, Chief Executive of AfrAsia Capital Management Limited.

AfrAsia Bank has recorded an expansion in its Private Banking individual client base by 58%, with deposits increasing by 50% over the past Financial Year. In line with tailoring the most rewarding experiences for clients, the Bank aims at further differentiating itself through unique products with priceless privileges, including its World MasterCard credit card and pioneering rewards program, XtraMiles.

The Bank has recently been awarded by World Finance Magazine as ‘Best Wealth Management Provider in Mauritius 2014’. After 7 years of success story, AfrAsia Bank continues to invest in its delivery capabilities and its people to better serve customers focusing on the four core business lines: Corporate and Investment Banking, Private Banking and Wealth Management, International Banking Solutions and Treasury, to position the Bank as a Private Banking specialist offering innovative solutions to clients both locally and internationally.

African Eye



ICD, Afreximbank Sign Private Sector Dev’t Pact

Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD)

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), the private sector arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group (IDB), has signed an agreement with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to cooperate in the development of the private sector in ICD member countries in Africa.

Under the terms of the agreement signed in Manama, Bahrain, the two institutions will collaborate in joint operations, expand financial products and exchange information on modalities for enhanced and efficient interventions for private sector development in ICD affected countries.

Khaled Al Aboodi, CEO and General Manager of ICD, and Jean-Louis Ekra, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, signed the agreement on behalf of their respective institutions.

According to the agreement, ICD and Afreximbank will share information on projects and business opportunities in Africa and on participation in the arrangement of syndications or investment in funds.

They will also cooperate in structuring sukuk/debt capital market transaction opportunities, co-invest in Islamic leasing companies and support local financial institutions in Africa through the raising of capital via lines of finances.

In addition, they will exchange information aimed at upgrading knowledge and expertise about Islamic finance, environmental assessment, project finance and advisory services. The agreement also covers exploration of opportunities for cooperation in financing projects in the construction, energy, manufacturing and leasing sectors in African countries.

Mr. Khaled Al Aboodi, the CEO of ICD commented, “Africa and the Islamic finance industry are key strategic directions for ICD and we hope, via this partnership, we will increase our presence in the continent”.

“We are greatly encouraged at this opportunity to collaborate with ICD in growing the African private sector. ICD’s leadership and experience in promoting the establishment, expansion, and modernization of private enterprises complements Afreximbank’s longstanding commitment to using the private sector as the growth engine in achieving its mandate of promoting and financing intra- and extra- African trade,” said Jean-Louis Ekra, President of Afreximbank.

African Eye



Ghana: World Bank Empowers 20 Most Innovative Green Startups


Twenty Ghanaian high-potential startups have attended the first national bootcamp designed to promote local entrepreneurship and innovation in clean technologies.>

The initiative was organized last week by the soon-to-be-launched World Bank/infoDev’s Ghana Climate Innovation Center (GCIC). The bootcamp aimed to identify and launch growth-oriented Ghanaian entrepreneurs and new ventures involved in developing profitable and locally relevant solutions to climate change.

Several studies, including the World Bank s report Economics of Adaption to Climate Change and Ghana’s National Climate Change Policy Framework, have stressed how significant the impact of climate change will be on Ghana s economy, people and development.

Crop yields are predicted to decline by 7% by 2050 due to higher temperatures, while sea levels are expected to rise over one meter this century, causing the erosion of 1,120 square kilometers of land.

Ghana is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and as such, its prospects for continuous growth will depend on the country s ability to build competitive and climate-resilient industries, said Yusupha B. Crookes, World Bank Country Director.

In line with the National Climate Change Policy, by accelerating the development of local clean technology companies the Ghana Climate Innovation Center will help reduce the country s vulnerability to climate change, while also creating jobs and promoting investments in new clean technologies.

The twenty clean-tech companies in the bootcamp were competitively selected after a nation-wide campaign that led to almost 90 applications in a few weeks. Only the companies with the highest level of innovation, technical expertise, and potential for commercial success were invited to the bootcamp.

The bootcamp consisted of an intense two-day training program designed to refine the entrepreneurs business concepts and a pitching contest held in front of a panel of local investors and industry experts.

The bootcamp participants represented some of the most promising clean technology sectors in Ghana s green growth agenda, including solar energy, biofuels, waste and water management.

With the support from our mentor and various experts, we asked ourselves questions that we had not previously thought about, said Sylvia Akotia, one of the entrepreneurs who participated in the bootcamp and won one of the seven awards of the pitching competition. Having an external perspective has helped us identify our niche, our unique proposition, and the challenges we need to address to move forward with our business.

The bootcamp is the first of a series of activities that the Ghana Climate Innovation Center will implement to support the country’s National Climate Change Policy. After its official inauguration in mid-2015, the center will provide up to 200 local companies with business facilities and a targeted suite of services that includes early-stage financing, technology commercialization, business development and capacity building support.

Supported by the Danish International Development Cooperation Agency (DANIDA) and the Government of The Netherlands, the GCIC aims to assist more than 20,000 households to increase resiliency to climate change through improved access to potable water, availability of clean energy, and more sustainable agriculture techniques.

 African Eye



‘Patronize Locally Made Goods To Boost SMEs’

Murtala Muhammed

The Deputy Minister of Trade (MOTI) and Industry, in-Charge of Trade, Murtala Mohammed urged the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to promote and patronize Made-in-Ghana goods in the country.

According to him, MDAs must encourage their staff to voluntarily wear clothes made from local fabrics to work every day, just like what his ministry is doing.

The patronage of Made in Ghana goods and services would help boost the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the country, Mr. Mohammed added.

The minister lauded the erstwhile Kufour administration for introducing the programme ‘wear Made-in-Ghana clothes on Fridays across the country as part of efforts to promote the local textile industry.

Mr. Mohammed said this in Accra during the meeting with the Communications, Advertising and Marketing Thematic Group of the Made-in-Ghana Committee and the Market Research Institute.

He noted that the importation of pirated textiles had affected the performance of the local textile industry, and the government in line with Article 41 of the World Trade Organization would continue to seize and destroy pirated textiles.

Mr. Mohammed maintained that because these textiles were pirated, their standards such as chemical components could be harmful to the human body, and therefore, government would not donate such items to orphanages or the prison inmates.

He noted that in 2014, Ghana increased its local rice production by 60 per cent, while the quantity of imported rice went down by 40 per cent and urged local manufacturers and producers to abide by the Ghana Standards Authority rules and regulation so that their products would be up to international standards.

The President of the Association of Marketing Practitioners, Mr. Gordon Grant Biaku lauded the campaign but urged the government to begin by patronizing Made in Ghana goods and services to encourage other to emulate their example.

African Eye




Made in Ghana Campaign Takes Off in April

Pres Mahama

Ghana’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) is preparing feverishly towards the launch of the ambitious Made in Ghana (MiG) campaign to promote goods and services produced locally.

The campaign, which has been welcomed by players in the private sector, will be launched in Accra next month, the Head of Domestic Trade and Distribution at MoTI has disclosed.

The President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, in December last year, commissioned a 17-member committee of experts and professionals under the Chairmanship of the Minister of Trade & Industry, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah to champion a campaign on the promotion of MiG products and services.

Initially, the committee was tasked to begin and implement public awareness programmes that would project these goods and services produced in the West African second largest economy.

Madam Ansah noted in Accra during a meeting with the Communications, Advertising and Marketing Thematic Group of the Made-in-Ghana Committee and the Market Research Institute that: “This called for promotion of Made in Ghana goods and services which is also an important component of the President’s priority deliverables”.

According to her, the promotion would help reduce imports of foreign goods and increase patronage of local goods and services. It will help reduce significantly the huge gap that exists between exports and imports which amounts to an average of US$3.71bn between 2011 and 2013, Madam Ansah argued.

She was quick to add: “Again the promotion will help increase production for local consumption thereby expanding the production capacities of Ghanaian companies, to create employment opportunities to improve the living condition of our people”.


Some previous research on why made-in-Ghana goods and services are not patronized she indicated were: “Wrong perception that made-in-Ghana products and services are inferior and more expensive than imported ones; the informal nature of the domestic market makes many Ghanaians unaware of the wide variety of goods produced in the country and the unbridled importation of similar products from abroad some of which are cheaper than the locally made ones”.

Following from the above, Madam Ansah told the members of the Association of Marketing Practitioners that any strategy that would promote made-in-Ghana products and services must first address the issue of perception particularly in the informal sector.

She stated: “Perception is deeply ingrained, especially when it is wrong or negative, resulting in beliefs and negative attitude towards the products and services”.

Any Strategy for promoting made-in –Ghana products and services would therefore be deeper and more involving than a just a promotional campaign.

It should target change in attitudes which take time, re-orientation of the minds of Ghanaians, and the inculcation of the sense of patriotism in the citizenry, according to her.


The major benefits of the campaign which is expected to be launched in April, Madam Ansah mentioned include: provision of quality local brands; instill the spirit of patriotism;  growth of the Ghanaian economy; and job creation in the country.

She explained that in a bid to accelerate the pace of the committee’s work, three key sub-committees had been constituted with clear mandate assigned.

These are: Policies, Regulation and Legislation; Quality, Technical and Standards; and Communication, Advertising and Marketing.

On Policies, Regulation and Legislation, she said this sub-committee is set to look at issues that prevent local and central authorities in ensuring that Made in Ghana goods are patronized.

“It is equally expected that this sub-committee committee will look at our procurements policies vis a vis existing regulations if any and recommend for appropriate legislation when the need arises to enjoin State Institutions from importing goods from overseas.

For example, where it does not require any legislation, the President can direct state institutions in his State of the Nation Address not to import any goods from abroad and where it becomes possible, permission should be sought from the Presidency”, Madam Ansah noted.

While the Quality, Technical and Standards committee is also to analyze, develop and coordinate issues of production, technology and innovation to ensure that Ghanaian goods meet the demands of the Ghanaian consumer.

The Communication, Advertising and Marketing subcommittee, on the other hand is to determine the approach and role of marketing communication tools required to achieve the broad objectives of the campaign and to evaluate the process to ensure the sustainability of the enthusiasm of Ghanaians in the process.

The Vice Chairman of the Communication, Advertising and Marketing subcommittee, Kwabena Agyekum assured: “We are committed to ensure that this Made in Ghana campaign succeeds”.

 African Eye



ICD Grabs Awards

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) has won two awards at the industry-leading Islamic Finance news Deal of the Year Awards for 2014.

The multilateral agency contributed to both the ‘Africa Deal of the Year’ for its role in the CFA100 billion inaugural sovereign Sukuk from the Republic of Senegal in July; and ‘Cross-border Deal of the Year’ for its landmark US$100 million commodity Murabahah transaction with Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in September.

The Senegal transaction, completed on the 18th July 2014 and led by Citi and the ICD as joint lead managers and brokers, represented the first sovereign Sukuk from the republic and was unique in its complex structure via the nation’s securitization regime, which is the only regulation allowing for SPV-issued notes.

Despite the significant challenges including a lack of regulation, low awareness among investors and a low appetite for CFA-denominated paper, the transaction was highly successful and proved marketable among both regional and international investors: with strong oversubscription.

In September of 2014, the ICD signed its first ever cash-raising deal with a non-Islamic financial institution: a US$100 million commodity Murabahah with BTMU, Japan’s largest lender. With the proceeds of the deal to be deployed by ICD to finance its development projects in member countries, the transaction was a landmark cross-border deal marking its firm commitment to developing international relationship and encouraging participation in both member and non-member countries.

The deal also marked the first financing from BTMU with a multilateral institution, and was groundbreaking across the markets of both institutions.

Taken together, the two awards demonstrate recognition of the valuable role played by ICD in the development of private sector participation in the Islamic capital markets.

The dual awards ceremonies, to be held in March in both Dubai and KL, attract the cream of the Islamic finance elite and are generally recognized as one of the biggest events of the Islamic calendar.

Commenting on the achievement, Mr. Mr Khaled Al-Aboodi, CEO of the ICD, noted that: “The IFN Awards represent some of the highest honors the industry has to offer. As a repeated winner, the ICD is pleased and proud to maintain its pioneering status and high standards, and delighted that the industry continues to recognize our achievements in driving forward international, emerging market and cross-border capital market participation.”

African Eye



AfDB Supports 27 African Nations To Advance Climate-smart Initiatives

The African Development Bank (AfDB) announced that its support to Africa through the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) increased exponentially in 2014 to include one regional and 25 national Investment Plans.

It added that nine poor countries are being funded for renewable energy solutions under the fund. While additional $500 million from AfDB and CIF for a total of $2.1 billion going to 16 projects already underway in 11 African nations.

This was disclosed in the bank’s 2014 Annual Report entitled ‘Financing Change: AfDB and CIF for a Climate-Smart.

According to the report, 34% of the $8.1 billion global CIF portfolio goes to Africa, recognizing the region’s unique needs. Through its CIF portfolio, the AfDB supports countries to implement projects in Investment Plans through the CIF’s Clean Technology Fund (CTF), Forest Investment Program (FIP), Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR), and Program for Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP).

The report highlights five areas of growth in the four programs in 2014. First, the portfolio moved into full implementation in the 16 original AfDB CIF Investment Plans and in some cases to a second stage of development, such as in Concentrated Solar Power in Morocco and geothermal in Kenya.

Second, it added newcomer pilots Benin, Ghana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia under SREP. Third, it helped countries move forward in efforts to engage the private sector at the local and national levels, including through innovative private sector projects in Kenya, Mali, Ghana and Mozambique.

Fourth, it facilitated innovative financial solutions such as financial intermediation through local commercial banks and long-term debt financing in local currency. And fifth, it moved into an integrated approach to mitigation and adaptation in the forest and agriculture sectors through the FIP.

“Through the AfDB CIF portfolio, we are beginning to witness countries seeing economic transformation take place first-hand by incorporating low-carbon and climate-resilient solutions as an integral part of their ongoing business of development,” said Kurt Lonsway, AfDB Manager, Environment and Climate Change.

“Our role at AfDB is to provide climate finance in such a way that we effectively help countries create bankable climate-smart projects. In 2014, our work through the CIF with the other Multilateral Development Banks helped move that work substantially forward.”

The projects already underway cover a range of climate-smart solutions including concentrated solar power, wind and geothermal energy, and increased energy efficiency, institutional frameworks and innovative financial mechanisms for renewables, climate-resilient land and water solutions, climate forecasting and early warning systems, and participatory management and local community engagement in sustainable forest solutions.

Expected results from these projects include transformational impacts not only in climate-related sectors but also in a range of development sectors.

For example, some project areas are expected to see a 2.1 gigawatt (GW) increase in energy through renewables, a 390 megawatt (MW) increase in geothermal capacity, significant poverty reduction, and an exponential increase in rural micro-enterprises

African Eye