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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

Bank Workers to Down Tools over Mass Sack

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Bank workers under the aegis of Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) have given notice to the Federal Government of their intention to down tools over the recent sack of some of their members.

 

New Telegraph reported that an official of the association, who disclosed this on condition of anonymity, said the sack of 281 workers by one of the old generation banks, was not justified as it did not align with the Labour Act and Collective Agreement.

 

To drive home its resolve, the source said the association had forwarded a letter to the Federal Government through Dr. Chris Ngige, minister of Labour and Employment, notifying it of the association’s intention to commence the industrial action beginning with the affected bank on October 24, before inviting other banks to participate.

 

According to the letter dated October 11, 2017, and referenced ANS/ORG/GO/YOS/338, which was obtained by our correspondent, the association noted that its decision followed previous notice already given to the bank on September 29, after several letters and meetings to enable both parties to resolve the impasse over the workers’ improper lay off.

 

According to the letter, “We will commence our action by calling on fellow Nigerians to make some withdrawals from their accounts with the bank to enable them to have enough provisions for the period of the industrial dispute. “Also, if there is no quick response, other banks will be called out on sympathy strike by the association.”

 

In the last one year, over 10,000 workers lost their jobs across all the banks in the country. A recent statistics released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that 8,663 workers lost their jobs in the first half of 2017. The data showed that an average of 360 people were sacked every week from January to June 2017.

 

The figures were higher in the first quarter and lower in the second. It was also revealed that while the 8,663 lost their jobs, more contract staff were employed during the period. In the first quarter of 2017, there were 174 executive staff, but the figure reduced to 161 in the second quarter. From 20,483 senior staff in the first quarter, the number dropped to 19,826 in the second quarter.

 

The drop was larger in the junior staff category where the number dropped to 33,783 in the second quarter from 36,202 in the first quarter. However, the number of contract staff increased from 20,237 in the first quarter to 21,837 in the second quarter. The job losses have continued despite warning by the Federal Government in 2016 that banks should desist from sacking their staff.

 

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E-PPAN Rallies Stakeholder to Discuss Big Data Analytics in Combating Payment Fraud

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By peter oluka

The Electronic Payment Providers Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN) has revealed that discussions at the 8th annual payment systems and fraud conference will focus on ‘Leveraging Big Data Analytics in Combating Payment Fraud’.

The Conference holds on the 7th November, 2017 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos-Nigeria.

The Annual Payment System and Fraud Conference is E-PPAN’s veritable rallying ground for the financial industry and its ally to deliberate on payment systems and fraud knowledge in Nigeria.

The event brings together senior level officers of the finTech, telcos, banking, regulatory bodies and public offices to brainstorm on the latest trends in electronic payment innovations and learn winning strategies to manage risks and prevent fraud.

E-PPAN hosts the event this year in partnership with key stakeholders in the industry such as: Central Bank of Nigeria, Police Special Fraud Unit, Nigeria Electronic Fraud Forum (NeFF), Committee of e-Banking Industry Head (CeBIH), Committee of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks In Nigeria (CCCOBIN), Information Security Society of Africa-Nigeria (ISSAN) and the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Bank in Nigeria (ACAEBIN).

A statement from E-PPAN reads: “The objectives for this year’s conference are to: Come up with new and proactive ways of fighting against fraud using Data Analytics; Leverage on the use of Data Analytics in an industry collaborative approach to manage and prevent electronic fraud; Set agenda for government and other key stakeholders on the need to synchronize various silos of data to help manage the Nigerian payment landscape”.

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Policy, Regulation Should Bolster Innovation To Ensure Financial Inclusion Is Achieved

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Daniel Monehin, division president for Sub Saharan Africa and Lead of Financial Inclusion for International Markets at Mastercard

By Daniel Monehin

Walk through bustling marketplaces in Africa and you will see a substantial amount of money changing hands, as merchants and consumers haggle over the goods and services. What stands out is just how many of these transactions are conducted using cash, and the reason for this is because most people don’t believe they have any other pragmatic option.

There is a large number of unbanked or underbanked people on the continent, and so many individuals that don’t save or have a financial history with a formal financial institution and are therefore found on the fringes of financial services – where most transactions are carried out with cash. What this typically creates is a vicious cycle that serves to prevent most of these individuals from accessing critical financial services to better manage their finances, grow their businesses or protect themselves against eventualities.

Financial inclusion remains a challenge, particularly in developing countries. Only just over 30 percent of Sub-Saharan Africans, for instance, have any formal account. There is a collective focus by both the private and public sector on the need to find ways to bring greater numbers of people into the financial mainstream and improve their livelihoods.

One of the areas that has the greatest potential to narrow the margin of exclusion is policy and regulations. Policy surrounding financial inclusion has garnered considerable attention in the last few years, as the importance of inclusion has been aligned with financial integrity, stability and literacy.

Policy makers face the ultimate juggling act as regulatory frameworks and policies need to find the balance between providing the necessary support that will bring citizens into the formal financial fold while simultaneously ensuring that these requirements do not discourage access to critical financial services by stifling individuals’ abilities to transact.

What is clear is that it is simply impossible to make tangible progress by working in isolation. It takes collaboration between players in both the public and private sectors to bring their specific area of expertise to the table with the view to develop holistic strategies and policies that will enable inclusion.

The good news is that industry stakeholders across the board have largely realised this and joined forces through organisations like the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) to share knowledge and engage to formulate and implement these policies. AFI is led by its members, comprising mainly financial regulatory institutions such as Central Banks, superintendence’s and Ministries of Finance from developing countries. The network currently includes members from 94 countries working together to accelerate the adoption of proven and innovative financial inclusion policy solutions with the ultimate aim of making financial services more accessible to the world’s unbanked. Mastercard is a proud member of AFI and continues to collaborate to ensure open dialogue with focus on building a strong network where solutions can be found.

What has made these platforms so impactful is that the regulators and policy makers understand the unique African context and have been formulating policy solutions that speak to this. Advancing financial inclusion through digital financial services, for example, has been a top priority and continues to dominate the agenda because of the role that mobile money, new tech and innovation are playing in allowing Africans to pay for goods and services safely and easily.

Although mobile money is a global disruptor, its impact has been especially noticeable in Africa, where mobile penetration continues to grow and where it has already proven to be a game changer in terms of providing affordable financial services.

Using a tool that people already hold in their hands means that more people can be connected to an interoperable financial ecosystem at a fraction of the cost – backing this up is the fact that there are nearly 280 million registered mobile money accounts in Sub-Saharan Africa, compared to 178 million bank accounts.

As such, driving policy that supports mobile-based payments as a critical enabler will remain a core focus going forward. But even with mobile and digital finance recognised as an answer of sorts to facilitating financial inclusion, that is only half the battle. There needs to be continuous innovation and advancement in this space to ensure that all Africans have the opportunity to be financially included – and the answer lies in collaboration across the public and private sectors to leverage each other’s strengths.

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