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AfDB Issues First “Light Up and Power Africa” Theme Bond

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Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President, African Development Bank

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has issued the first “Light Up and Power Africa” Bond for SEK 733 million (approximately JPY 10 billion) sold to the Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited, the sole investor in the transaction.

The “Light Up and Power Africa” Bond supports AfDB’s ambition to achieve an important goal of realizing Africa’s energy potential and bridging the continent’s energy deficit.

Over 645 million Africans have no access to energy. The electricity access rate for African countries is just over 40 percent, the lowest in the world. This undermines efforts to lift Africans out of poverty. Access to energy is crucial for the attainment of health and education outcomes, reducing the cost of doing business, unlocking economic potential, and creating jobs.

Over 90% of Africa’s primary schools lack electricity while 600,000 Africans die each year due to a lack of clean cooking energy. Insufficient energy access handicaps the operations of hospitals and emergency services; compromises educational attainment; and drives up the cost of doing business.

Energy access for all is therefore one of the key drivers of inclusive growth as it creates opportunities for women, youth, and children in urban and rural areas. The aspirational goal of this priority area is to help the continent achieve universal electricity access by 2025 with a strong focus on encouraging clean and renewable energy solutions.

This will require generating 160 GW of new capacity, 130 million new on-grid connections, 75 million new off-grid connections and providing 150 million households with access to clean cooking solutions.

As part of this effort, “Kenya’s Last Mile Connectivity Program II”, an energy project that provides access to electricity in Kenya, aims to provide electricity to 1.5 million people mainly from low-income groups and micro-enterprises that improve living standards and support economic growth.

Hassatou N’Sele, Acting Vice President, Finance and Treasurer of the AfDB Group, says  – “Our mission is the sustainable development of Africa and our core priorities are the High 5’s: “Light Up and Power Africa”; “Feed Africa”; “Industrialize Africa”; “Integrate Africa” and “Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa”.

We would like to thank Dai-ichi Life for their interest and investment in “Light up and Power Africa” Bond. Their role in this transaction is helping towards our goal of attaining universal electricity access by 2025, with a strong focus on encouraging clean and renewable energy solutions.”

The AfDB will use its best efforts to direct an amount equal to the net proceeds of the issue of the Notes to lending projects within the strategic “Light Up & Power Africa” priority, subject to and in accordance with the AfDB’s lending standards.

The proceeds of the Notes will be included in the ordinary capital resources of the AfDB and will be used for the general operations of the Issuer in accordance with the Agreement Establishing the African Development Bank.

The Bond was offered to Dai-ichi Life in a private placement format with Deutsche Bank AG as the sole arranger of the bond.

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E-Financial

SEC’s eDividend Campaign Moves to South South

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Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Nigeria through its Port Harcourt Zonal Office will be holding a Town Hall meeting with stakeholders and the general public.

 

This is in a move to enlighten investors and the general public on the process and benefits of eDividend and to discuss other contemporary issues in the Nigerian Capital Market.

 

This will also provide an opportunity to throw more highlights on investment opportunities available in Nigerian Capital market and how retail investors can benefit therein.

 

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at Hall ‘C’, Landmark Hotel, 4, No. 4, Worlu Street, off Olu-Obasanjo Road, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. Registration of participants starts by 9:00amwhile the main event starts at 10:00am.

 

The event will create an arena for the Apex capital market regulator to educate and enlighten the public on the above subject and also for operators, stakeholders and various investors to interact and discuss other issues surrounding the activities of the capital market.

 

Recall that the SEC in January 2015 commenced the e-dividend registration campaign in Abuja with a Road Show culminating in a Town Hall Meeting.

 

The Commission had announced that the e-dividend registration would continue seamlessly in spite of the expiration of free registration deadline which and also enjoined investors yet to enroll, to continue with the registration at a cost of N150 only.

 

“Investors should continue to approach their banks or registrars, as usual, to seamlessly mandate their bank accounts for the collection of their dividends electronically, including unclaimed dividends, not exceeding 12 years of issue; as the N150 would not be demanded from them at the point of registration.

 

“The N150 fee would not be demanded from the investors at the point of registration or submission of completed e-dividend mandate forms, divergent views have begun to trail the Commission’s stance that investors yet to register are to bankroll the exercise at a marginal cost of N150” the SEC added.

 

 

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Broadband, Mobile Phones, Others Expanding Business Frontiers – Okere

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Austin Okere, founder, CWG, has said that the ubiquity of broadband and the pervasiveness of mobile phones, along with breakthrough technology such as Artificial intelligence, Big Data and Blockchain are expanding the frontiers for business models in ways that were hitherto not possible, and leveling the playing field in the process.

He stated this in his presentation delivered at the 2018 Lagos Bankers & Stakeholders’ Nite held in Lagos over the weekend.

According to him, ‘any bank that does not read the signs and join the innovation train will definitely be disrupted and left behind. Remember that there was a time when the Post Office was at the center of our lives. When was the last time you visited a post office?’.

“Even though cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin tend to steal the limelight, it is their underlying blockchain technology that is proving to be of practical benefit. This technology, which goes beyond financial application, is expected to disrupt global supply chains by boosting transaction speed across borders and improving transparency.

“Essentially, the blockchain is a shared virtual public ledger where encrypted transactions are confirmed by outside parties. Confirmed transactions are placed in a “block” and added to the chain, hence the name blockchain. It is this technology that the FinTechs are leveraging to disrupt the traditional banks.

“Here in Nigeria, blockchain can help immensely unlock the immense capital locked in land assets that are not enumerated because of an antiquated system of land administrated that is very ripe for disruption.

“The most disruptive application of the blockchain technology however, is in the Financial Sector; and this will form the focus of my discourse. The consistent complain about banks have reached a crescendo in recent years. Is this justified?” he said.

 Okere added that Fintech companies in emerging markets have shown that with blockchain technology, it is possible to leapfrog to new forms of banking.

“Truth be told, Banks are best placed to continue to influence the future of Financial Services because of their huge branch network, solid reputations, and risk controls, as well as years of customer cultivation and loyalty. They however, have to radically change the mindset of we win when you lose’.

He noted that regulators are now helping Fintechs. “Fintechs are getting a lot of support from Regulators, believing that Fintech firms are small enough for any problems to be manageable, and on the other hand, might produce useful innovation (the sandbox approach).

“The intention is to lower market entry barriers for Fintech companies. For instance, France’s Central Bank has announced opening up a new innovation lab, aiming to collaborate with blockchain startups.

“In December 2015, Nasdaq executed its first trade on a blockchain, through its Linq ledger. The exchange said the blockchain promises to expedite trade clearing and settlement – all the steps needed to transfer the asset from seller to buyer including recording the transaction — from three days to as little as 10 minutes. That’s because the trades remove many manual processes and bypass third parties.

“As such, settlement risk exposure can be reduced by over 99%, dramatically lowering capital costs and systemic risk. Other stock exchanges tinkering with the blockchain include Australia, Germany, Japan, Korea, London,Toronto and  Myanmar.”

Okere explained that the future of Fintech seems bright. “Accenture recently released a report which found that investment in Fintech around the world has increased dramatically from $930 million in 2008 to more than $12 billion by early 2015.

“The Fintechs employ Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Machine Learning to glean the credit habits of customers from their mobile usage, and so have mitigated against the risk of default.

“The homepage of LendingClub advertises personal loans of up to $40,000. You can “apply online in minutes” and “get funded in as little as a few days,”. Another prominent Fintech lender Funding Circle claims that small businesses can get loans from between $25,000 and $500,000 in as little as 10 days.

“These are innovative services that seek to fill important niches in the credit markets. They enable people who have historically been shunned by banks to get loans in order to expand their businesses,” he said.

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Farmcrowdy Wins Digital Business of the Year Award in Africa

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Farmcrowdy, Nigeria’s first and leading digital agriculture platform has won the Digital Business of the Year (2018) award in Africa. The award was granted at the annual Global African Business Awards (GABA) ceremony in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Jimoh Maiyegun, Farmcrowdy’s Chief Technology Officer at the Global African Business Awards ceremony in Addis Ababa.

Launched in 2017, GABA, the world’s premier annual business award was created to celebrate, honour and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals in the continent of Africa.

Other nominees of the Digital Business of the Year award include e-commerce platforms – Konga, Jumia, Zando, Dressmeoutlet, Mall for Africa and Dealdey; WeFarm, the world’s largest farmer-to-farmer digital network; Interswitch payment gateway; and Delvv.io, South Africa’s branding and refinement partners.

Onyeka Akumah, Founder and CEO of Farmcrowdy says, “we are honoured to have our hard work aimed at impacting on the lives of rural farmers recognised.

We are delighted about the great opportunities ahead of us as we continually strive to remain at the forefront of technological innovation in Agriculture across Nigeria and eventually the continent of Africa.”

With a team of 35, Farmcrowdy has, in the last 20 months, empowered over 7,000 direct and indirect rural farmers and given thousands of farm sponsors a platform to participate in Agriculture from their computers or mobile phones in order to make profit at harvest.

This impact has seen the platform plant Maize, Rice and Cassava on over 8,000 Acres of farmland in less than 2 years and raised close to 600,000 chickens to boost food production in the country.

The leading digital agriculture platform has also raised $1.4 million dollars in seed funding from local and international investors including Cox Enterprises, Social Capital, Techstars Ventures and most recently, won a grant from the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovator Fund.

So far, the funds have given the leading startup the potency to scale its operations to 10 states of operation in Nigeria with plans for more expansion across more states and regions.

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