There has been substantial positive technological development in recent years that has improved our lives in one way or another. However, as we celebrate these contributions, we are faced with a subsequent problem: What do we do with our old or obsolete electronics?
Our homes and offices are filled with an assortment of electronics. This might be because we hope that one day they might be revived, or we consider it a treasure that we cannot let go of given the amount of money we paid for it.
While many wonder what to do with the technological waste at our disposal, a group of young Kenyan innovators have started a venture that uses it as raw material to make useful and sought-after products.
Started by two ambitious innovators in a home garage in 2013, E-Lab is a start-up with a mission to clean up the environment, as well as offer job opportunities to the growing number of unemployed youth in Kenya. University students and art-lovers Alex Mativo and Simon Mumo say they were inspired to start the venture by the availability of so much obsolete electronics in their homes.
Electronic waste is now Kenya’s fastest growing waste component. According to the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), over 17 000 tons of electronic waste is generated in the east African country every year. This includes personal computers, refrigerators and mobile phones.
The duo and their team collect electronic waste from households and electronic shops in Athi River, a growing urban centre a few kilometres from the capital, Nairobi. After collection, the electronics are taken to their warehouse where they are cleaned and sorted. What’s left is then transformed into various art pieces as per their clients’ needs, including jewellery and sculptures.
Joan Wanjiru, designer of E-lab’s fashion products, says they use everything from capacitors, to transistors and copper wire, incorporating colourful beads to give them a touch of diversity. According to Joan, they sell their creations to various models, corporates who promote conservation of the environment, as well as individual ladies who want to look good.
Their efforts have been gaining recognition. Earlier this year, Alex was among 21 young Africans to receive the prestigious Queen’s Young Leaders Award for his role in working to solve the electronic waste problem while creating jobs for young people. Soon, E-Lab aims to expand their operations:
“We see ourselves as the company that will absolve all that e-waste, and also create employment opportunities for people in Nairobi and all over Africa,” says Alex.
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Africa is experiencing a new wave of interest in agriculture as many now venture into the sector - not only for the sake of food production, but also for economic purposes. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), cultivatable lands in Africa (excluding forest areas) are three times larger than that currently being cultivated. This offers great potential and many young Africans have seized the opportunity to not only generate income, but to enhance food security, reduce poverty and boost employment levels.
It’s six in the morning and chilly outside, but Emmanuel Muniu is already in his greenhouse spraying tomatoes. Not your typical farmer, the 27-year-old quit his banking job last year to venture into agribusiness. He teamed up with a friend and leased half an acre of land in Kiambu, a town only a few minutes’ drive from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. After leaving their city jobs, the two learned the art of farming by visiting other farmers, as well as interacting with their customers in a local market.
According to Emmanuel, engaging fully in agriculture has generated positive results; he now understands his crops, the seasons and his market. He also asserts that farming is a good venture for young people to participate in as their main source of income.
Hundreds of kilometres away from Nairobi in Mogotio, we find another young farmer, Joyce Macharia. Realising that banana farmers in Kenya couldn’t rely solely on government institutions to provide them with banana seedlings exactly when they needed them, the mother of two decided to start a pilot project on a small farm, nurturing said seedlings. After it succeeded, she expanded and embarked on a mission to market her products to farmers who only thought they could get good seedlings from the government institute.
In the future, Joyce intends to start value additions like milling the bananas into flour to sell, and plans to form farming cooperatives to attract good market and bargaining power. She adds that there is great potential in agriculture and encourages the youth to venture into it, saying, “With agriculture you will never go wrong, because people need food.”
Emerging, ambitious entrepreneurs like Emmanuel and Joyce are why the Standard Bank Group has been committed to the agricultural sector for over 150 years. With us as a facilitator, we believe that the continent can be a bread basket to the world - capable of sustaining itself through successful development initiatives and uplifting communities throughout society.
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It’s been a fantastically busy year for Standard Bank. As always, we’ve stayed true to our ethos of driving Africa’s progress – not only through providing unsurpassed financial solutions, but also in meaningful ways that many don’t expect of a bank:
A key driver of growth in Africa will always be financial literacy. We believe sound financial practices are taught at home, which is why we developed the Kidz Banking App. Focusing on responsible money management, the app will create financially fit families ready to control their own financial future and contribute to Africa’s growth.
Caring about Africa’s People
The continent’s success relies on the health and happiness of its people. To this end, we have established and supported a number of humanitarian initiatives, such as Stanbic IBTC Nigeria’s Together 4 a Limb charity walk. We have also partnered with esteemed corporations to finance the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital , a facility that provides specialised healthcare to children in southern Africa.
Breaking New Ground
Innovation will help drive Africa’s prosperity. From WeChat and SnapScan , to Shyft and Business Online , our ground-breaking solutions allow retail and business customers to bank with ease and convenience, allowing time for the things that truly matter, like exploring the ideas that may power Africa’s next wave of progress.
Bringing People Together
More than just a financial institution focused on the bottom line, we like to get involved in the interests that bring our communities joy: A patron of the arts in the form of Joy of Jazz and Matisse Exhibition host, as well as the title sponsor of the Proteas and IRONMAN Africa series, it’s our mandate to support initiatives that encourage unity.
Partnering for Growth
We aim to be a catalyst for progress on the continent, financing both businesses and individuals to allow them to realise their growth potnential. Whether they’re fighting for a share of the retail market or want to develop across borders , our client-centricity and products and services help our customers move forward towards their goals.
Spotlight on Africa
Wherever we are in the world, we share Africa’s ‘good news’ story, attracting investors to our thriving markets and inspired people. Hosting the Africa Investor Conference in London and the US Africa Forum in New York affirm our commitment to the continent and forge partnerships that take advantage of its numerous growth opportunities.
A New Class of Leader
The Africa of tomorrow needs thinkers of tomorrow; men and women committed to a continent where prosperity is for all. Through our associations with the Young Presidents’ Organisation and Lionesses of Africa network , we will shape a new diverse, forward-thinking class of leaders – those who will drive a successful, inclusive Africa.
These are just some of the highlights of a whirlwind 2016. For more, visit our other blog sites, Arts & Culture and Group .
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With the launch of Stanbic Bank Ghana’s Wealth and Investment offering, the country’s growing population of High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWIs) can take advantage of a tailored financial services proposition that focuses not only on the critical aspects of wealth creation and preservation, but on philanthropy and legacy building.
The 2016 Knight Frank Wealth Report revealed that the West African nation has experienced the fastest High-Net-Worth growth rates in Africa over the last 14 years, and this trend will continue with Ultra-High-Net-Worth market growth rate anticipated to increase by 85% over the coming 10 years. This market is largely represented by entrepreneurs, and the latest globally connected crop have a broad view of the kind of wealth creation tools needed to meet their lifestyle needs and fund the next wave of economic growth.
Speaking at the recent launch, Alhassan Andani, Managing Director of Stanbic Bank Ghana, reiterated the fact that Ghana will benefit from economic opportunities fuelled by its stable leadership and increasingly diverse economy. To get the most out of these benefits, investors require the right level of specialised, personalised financial support – exactly the type Stanbic Ghana’s new Wealth and Investment division will provide.
Ben Mensah, Head of Stanbic Bank Wealth and Investment, maintains that Ghana’s economic climate will profit Ghana’s HNWIs if they have more domestic investment opportunities and better access to holistic wealth solutions. This is especially relevant, as research shows that the country’s wealthy are increasingly concerned about not only creating wealth, but protecting it by managing risk, preserving wealth between generations, and leaving a social legacy through high-impact social causes.
Mr Mensah predicts that Ghana’s HNWIs and those who make up the diaspora will demand services that enable them to support their entrepreneurial aspirations, while allowing a platform to further grow their wealth through diversification in Ghana’s rapidly emerging investment opportunities. In addition to domestic investment, Stanbic Bank Ghana is uniquely positioned to leverage in-depth sector knowledge, expertise and established networks to link Ghanaian investors with opportunities across the continent.
The decision to launch Wealth and Investment in Ghana was an obvious one: Besides the fact that the country is booming, it also has a long and proud tradition of entrepreneurship and innovation, even under challenging circumstances. And Ghana is, of course, poised to grow even faster as the TEN oilfield comes on stream and the country gears up to become - in all probability - the fourth biggest oil producer in sub-Saharan Africa over the next five years.
As Ghana empowers itself to become one of the leading industrial nations in Africa, Stanbic Bank Ghana’s Wealth and Investment division undertakes to empower our clients to make the right financial decisions that will see them reach their financial goals and meet their lifestyle needs. For more information, please visit: http://www.wealthandinvestment.standardbank.com/
Click here to download the Knight Frank Wealth Report.
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In a much-anticipated opening that will bring hope and world-class healthcare to the children of southern Africa, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital (NMCH) opened its doors to The Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital brings hope and world-class healthcare to the children of southern Africa. admit its first patients in early December. As its name implies, the hospital was one of the passion projects of the late Nelson Mandela, who firmly believed that there is no better revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
Before the completion of the life-saving facility, there were only four specialised children’s hospitals on the African continent. Now serving the entire SADC region, the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will bring essential medical relief to an area flagged by the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) as having the highest risk of death in the first month of life.
Located on the campus of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, the R1 billion, 200-bed facility was famous even before its opening as being child-centric in design; furniture and facilities are all child sized with wards containing a play area and family lounge. To make sure that it speaks the language of children, the hospital is colourful, including the medical equipment, with calming child-created art adorning the walls, hallways and gardens.
As well as featuring centres for excellence various medical disciplines, the hospital will also serve as a focal point for learning and medical practice in Africa: it’s staffed by 450 paediatric nurses who have undergone training for the past five years and 150 specialist doctors - some from renowned international hospitals - and will broadcast videos of operations, so medical practitioners in outlying areas throughout southern Africa can upskill.
The hospital is located on the campus of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. During a tour of the NMCH earlier this year, Joe Seoloane, Hospital Project Leader, said he is proud that he and others can officially say, ”Africa: here is a hospital for those conditions that you thought you needed to go to Europe for”.
Bringing such crucial healthcare to the youngest members of our society requires dedicated collaboration among partners who understand Africa’s needs and growth potential. According to David Munro, Chief Executive, Corporate and Investment Banking at Standard Bank, a project like the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital will undoubtedly shape Africa’s future positively, that’s why the bank was delighted to partner with the Hospital Trust in the development of the medical facility. He further says that the bank is equally proud to have worked side-by-side with General Electric (GE) in this endeavour, an organisation that, too, is committed to the progress and prosperity of the continent we call home.
Our collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust and GE shows the critical role of private sector investors in achieving sustainable healthcare and facilitating long term growth in Africa.
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The rose business in Kenya has bloomed and is one of East Africa’s agricultural powerhouses. Estimated to be worth over 63 billion Kenyan shillings, it contributes 24% to the country’s GDP, affirming Kenya as a significant player in the global floral market. More than 500 000 people in the country depend on the trade, according to the Kenya Flower Council, with roughly half of the country's 127 flower farms concentrated around Lake Naivasha, which is situated about 90 kilometers northwest of Nairobi.
The flower industry is big business and the success of this export can be attributed to Kenya’s sunny climate, enabling high-quality blossoms to be grown year round without the need for expensive-to-run greenhouses. The country also boasts excellent transport links to Europe through Nairobi airport, which has a terminal dedicated to the transport of flowers. This means that delicate floral cargo can be carried from growers to consumers quickly and without damage or compromising freshness.
Kenya’s flower power is so strong that it accounts for 35% of all sales to the European market, with flights leaving for Holland three times a day to satisfy the European demand. Another 25% goes to the UK and some direct sales to consumers around the world. The domestic market isn’t left out; the East African country’s roses beautify hospitals, weddings, markets, funerals and corporations throughout Kenya, where they are sold in all urban centres by street vendors and in shopping centers.
Floral farming is not always a bed of roses; Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia and Rwanda are all chasing the same customers. However, many of Kenya’s growers are hoping to sustain their position by running highly sophisticated operations that are responsive to the unique demands of different markets.
To further leverage their position, the Kenyan industry is now exploring other markets such as Australia, Canada and Japan. Direct flights from Nairobi airport play a crucial role in helping the Kenyan flower business take off globally. Award-winning journalist Nikiwe Bikitsha recently visited one of Kenya’s flower markets as part of the #AfricaConnected campaign with Standard Bank. While there, she met with Jane Ngige, CEO of the Kenya Flower Council, who explained how Kenya’s thriving flower export market is also helping combat the country's high level of unemployment with the establishment of a board committee of young directors.
Stanbic Bank in Kenya is a driver of the country’s agriculture sector, supporting local producers by helping them turn their farms into a thriving export business.
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The Africa Connected series profiles emerging economies in Africa to highlight that the continent is open for business. This week, journalist Nikiwe Bikitsha flew into Mozambique to explore the investment and business opportunities on offer.
Journalist Nikiwe Bikitsha on the sands of Mozambique, with a ship and a hawker in the background. Two strands of the country’s economy.
Famous for its abundant natural resources, Mozambique emerged from a bitter civil war in 1992 that left little time for development. However, in the years that followed, it became one of the fastest growing countries in the world.
Unfortunately, earlier this year, the southern African country made the news for all the wrong reasons: evidence of secret government loans emerged, causing the IMF and Western governments to cut aid. Subsequently, the metical currency dropped by 40% and inflation soared into the double digits.
Interviewing Mhamud Charania, Chairman of Mozambique’s biggest fast-moving-consumer-goods (FMCG) company ADC, Nikiwe found that the current economic crisis is hitting consumers hard due to fiscal policies aimed at controlling inflation. As a result, everyday Mozambicans don’t have disposable income, so the FMCG sector is struggling. Mr Charania also shared that transporting goods is almost prohibitively expensive due to the dire state of Mozambique’s infrastructure and logistics networks. Thus, the company imports 70% of its products from abroad.
Yet, there is growing hope: Fausio Mussa, Standard Bank Chief Economist in Mozambique, believes that the currency is showing signs of appreciating and stabilising, and the propects of natural gas development has improved investor sentiment. But, he stresses “tight” policies must be implemented before macroeconomic stability is achieved.
Until the next economic turnaround, social entrepreneurs are still exploiting lucrative areas of investment. Maputo-based UX Technologies, for example, jump-started the underdeveloped tech space with Biscate, a feature-phone accessible platform that connects the labour force with potential employers, thus providing some relief to the country’s current unemployment crisis.
Located in Maputo’s largest suburb of Matola, the Sunshine Nut Company has also successfully struck a balance between profits and community outreach. While on a tour of the cashew nut factory, Nikiwe learned that the global cashew exporter reinvests 90% of its proceeds towards transformation initiatives.
No economic exploration of Mozambique would be complete without looking at its tourism industry. Though one of the mainstays of the economy, Jerry Manussa, Marketing Manager of the Mozambique Tourism Authority, says the sector is not doing as well as it could, decreasing to 1.6 million visitors in 2016 from 2.2 million in 2012. He attributes this mostly to news of political instability. However, Mr Manussa assures potential visitors – and investors – that Mozambique is completely safe, with the conflict limited to isolated areas.
Like it’s thriving arts and culture sector (in which the government has enthusiastically invested), resource-rich Mozambique will prosper if the right steps are taken by its public and private sectors. Mandisi Mphalwa, SA High Commissioner to Mozambique, believes the country remains a viable place to do business, while Standard Bank, having operated in the country for 120 years, sees signals of resilience.
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Either l fell to the wrong hands or Stanbic isn't the bank. I was made to sign a blank insurance form to insure a car l bought under loan the the bank. Up to now no one has told me how the total I'm expect pay monthly; loan+insurance. I don't even know the repayment due date. None of the staff known to me receives my calls, nor are there helpful email answers coming from my enquiries to my bank contacts. My experience elsewhere is more rewarding and I'm lost for an encouraging word from anyone in this bank.
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Journalist Nikiwe Bikitsha embarks on the third segment of her #AfricaConnected quest to reveal the true, economically vibrant Africa. In this part of the journey, she travels to Mozambique.
For decades, Mozambique’s progress was hampered by the 15-year civil war (1977-1992) that followed the end of colonial rule. Though the economy has since developed, the former Portuguese colony remains one of the poorest nations in the world. However, foreign investment trickled in due to its abundant natural resources and government reforms. Indeed, the country offers numerous investment opportunities for those hoping to get in before the anticipated LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) boom:
Gas reserves: The recently discovery offshore LNG reserves could see Mozambique reach the status of a middle-income country by 2025. It’s thought the country will be transformed, with its current insufficient infrastructure improved to support this emerging industry.
Hydropower: Mozambique’s vast water resources are mostly untapped. Large rivers cross the country, their total energy capacity estimated to be 16 000MW, yet over 25% of the population has no access to formal power structures.
Agriculture: Agriculture is the mainstay of Mozambique’s economy, employing 83% of the labour force. It has great potential for growth, owing to the country’s diverse soils and climatic conditions, fertile coastlines and abundance of water. Main cash crops include cashew nuts, tea and tobacco.
Mining: Like its neighbours, Mozambique offers a wealth of mineral resources, including gold. With the recent discovery of coal in the Tete Province, the country is set to become one of the world’s major exporters in this resource.
Tourism: This sector declined dramatically during the civil war, and it’s still performing below par despite attracting more foreign investment than any other sector. However, thanks to Mozambique’s unspoilt nature, ecotourism is now an area with great potential.
Entrepreneurs and corporations wanting to take advantage of these investment prospects will find an experienced partner in Standard Bank : With expertise in sectors critical to development combined with on-the-ground knowledge, we customise our banking capabilities to local demands. Further, our ability to connect clients to opportunities is strengthened by our strong relationships with key players in the countries in which we operate, allowing us to move Africa forward.
While Mozambique’s government is focusing on ecotourism to revive the potentially lucrative sector, the country’s numerous other draws shouldn’t be forgotten. As well as bringing attention to entrenched and emerging economic sectors, such as IT, Nikiwe will visit a number of Maputo’s hotspots, including the Maputo Railway Station and the Jardim Tunduru Botanical Gardens.
While these attractions were designed by European colonial-era architects, they now seamlessly merge with modern-day Maputo, offering visitors an authentic “city life” experience that acknowledges the past while embracing a bright, diverse present.
Follow Nikiwe’s journey.
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Africa, like the rest of the world, is embracing the era of clean energy. It’s true that the deepening state of climate change and decreasing non-renewable resources, such as coal and oil, leave us with little choice, but many countries on the continent are perfectly suited to take advantage of renewables, and South Africa is no exception.
In late 2015, the Kouga Wind Farm at Oyster Bay in the Eastern Cape was officially opened. The province’s windy weather offers endless opportunities for growth in the renewable energy sector, and the R2 billion wind farm is already adding about 300GWh to the national power grid annually, while also mitigating over 270 000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions a year.
Aside from the obvious environmental and economic benefits, the project’s developers also insist that Kouga uplifts the communities in which it is based:
During construction, more than 1 000 temporary jobs were created through the farm’s engineering, construction and procurement contractor. 15 local SMEs were also used.
To date, R.1.7 million has been invested in the surrounding towns of Sea Vista and Umzamowethu, with the focus on childcare, health, food security, education and infrastructure development.
At the time of Kouga Wind Farm’s opening, MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Sakhumzi Somyo said he was delighted to see that the farm is placing so much focus on development.
Standard Bank was one of three major investors to finance the Kouga Winda Farm, because, as the Bank that sees Africa as our home, we believe it is essential to relentlessly pursue growth in the renewable energy sector. This will help stimulate economic development, support and protect the environment for future generations and ensure long-term sustainable prosperity for all. In short, increased interest in clean energy that can move Africa forward.
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It doesn’t get much bigger than Lagos, the largest city in Africa’s most populous country. We take you on a 24-hour tour of the former capital that is now the business hub of Nigeria, and home to a vibrant array of entertainment and shopping offerings.
We start off in Ikeja with a tour of Alausa, where the state secretariat and Governor’s offices are located. The well-maintained area is also the location of the Ikeja City Mall, as much of a hang-out location as it is a shopping destination.
Hail a keke napep – a motorized rickshaw – to take you to Allen Avenue. Brisk business happens here, with boutiques, fast food joints and banks populating the area.
Next stop is Awolowo Road, where you can find all makes and models of telecommunication equipment, from the now-extinct Nokia 3310 to the latest iPhone 6. A careful search could even produce the yet-to-be manufactured iPhone 7, along with the Nigerian-produced version of each.
New purchases in hand, take a taxi to Ikeja GRA, home of old money. Pass through Isaac John Street where several restaurants boast tasty local dishes.
From here, jump on a yellow bus, popularly called danfo, which will take you across the lengthy third mainland bridge into Lagos Island.
About a quarter of the way into the journey, expect a preacher to stand up and lead passengers in song. You’ll often find a self-proclaimed alternative medicine pusher on board too, offering herbal concoctions or imported medication purported to cure several ailments, ranging from minor headaches to high blood pressure.
When you disembark, head to the famous Balogun market, where you can find anything from gold to goat meat. Be wary of the man asking your help to decide between two bags to buy for his wife, as you may end up buying both while the man buys none. It’s a well-known trick.
Leave the market and move on to Victoria Island, passing through Obalende, the semi-slum that borders Ikoyi, home of the fabulously rich. Victoria Island is home to head offices of all Nigerian major banks, world-class hotels, telecommunications companies and the who’s-who in town. Take a stroll down Awolowo Road for some window shopping.
If you wish to linger on the island, you’ll witness the rapid build-up of traffic from 5pm; streets quickly become choked with traffic and hawkers. If you’re feeling peckish, try a packet of plantain chips – peppered, sweet, even honeyed flavoured.
There’s a lot more to be explored after dark. Lagos nightlife rates as one of the best on the continent, with a range of choices from the lounge-style cocktail bars to nightclubs blasting popular local Nigerian tunes that will keep you on your feet till the next morning.
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Like all sub-Saharan countries, Mozambique is rich in natural resources, yet the young democratic nation is facing a number of economic hurdles: Its GDP growth rate has decelerated due to lower commodity prices and decreased foreign direct investment, rising food costs and the metical depreciation have fuelled inflation, and political instability is further driving away investors and established companies.
One solution to Mozambique’s economic challenges is entrepreneurship: The success of independent SMEs is critical to a country’s economic growth, according to the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI) . Without it, there can be little innovation, productivity and job creation.
But prosperous SMEs cannot exist in a vacuum; a country’s ‘entrepreneurship ecosystem’ (i.e. attitudes, resources and infrastructure) greatly influence start-up success. Unfortunately, the GEDI shows that Mozambique’s ‘ecosystem’ is also struggling: Currently, the coastal country is ranked 116 out of 132 countries on the Global Entrepreneurial Index.
It’s clear that governments and private institutions with an interest in Mozambique and sub-Saharan Africa need to stimulate entrepreneurial development. To do this, they must offer assistance in the following areas:
Funding: The Anzisha Entrepreneur Survey 2016 found that the biggest impediment to business growth is lack of funding, causing many to stagnate at the idea, product development or expansion stage.
Digitalisation: Pervasive digitalisation enabled by the Web 2.0 internet is a major driver of entrepreneurial opportunities. The global trend, says the GEDI , reduces the initial investment needed to start a business and the cost of experimentation. In Africa, aspirant entrepreneurs need access to the technology and infrastructure to take full advantage of this trend.
Mentoring: A 2011 Gallup survey that included 83 countries showed that access to mentor support can boost the rate of new business creation. This is likely because mentors help develop small businesses by sharing their experience, expertise and social capital.
Investor readiness: As Jonathan Ortmans, president of the Public Forum Institute, noted, a 2015 Omidyar Network survey highlighted the link between skills and capital: Entrepreneurs in Africa complain about the lack of funding, yet many investors believe many projects are not funding ready. Preparedness for funding requires ‘soft skills’ (such as adaptability to market change) that ultimately determine business success or failure.
With the ultimate goal of stimulating Africa’s economies and so bringing prosperity to all, many NGO- and company-lead business accelerators have been established on or are networking throughout the continent. One of the most notable is the Standard Bank Incubator. Barely a year old, it has provided more than 100 South African start-ups with support in the form of training, mentoring and access to technology etc.
Having gained international recognition, Standard Bank hopes to expand the Incubator programme into the rest of the continent.
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Africa has the youngest population in the world. With 20 million people aged between 15 and 24, the continent could be sitting on the greatest economic asset of our time – or a disaster in a making.
The phenomenon of a very high number of young people compared to a country or continent’s ageing population is known as a youth bulge, and is common in countries where the infant mortality rate has been reduced, but women still have high fertility.
According to the World Bank , in a country with a youth bulge, if the number of working-age individuals can be gainfully employed, the level of per capital income should increase, making the youth bulge an economic dividend.
However, if young people can’t find work, the bulge becomes a bomb; a potential source of political and social instability. For an example of the destruction a “youth bomb” can cause when it detonates, look no further than Egypt, an “Arab Spring” country. Daniel LaGraffe of George Washington University argues that the impact of poverty and unemployment on Egypt’s youth played a major role in that country’s violent transition. The same is true of Tunisia and Libya.
Currently, the youth account for 60% of all African unemployed . In North Africa, the number stands at 30%, but it’s even higher in sub-Saharan countries such as Botswana and South Africa. However, these stats mask an even bleaker reality: Those who have work are underemployed in low-paying, unreliable jobs that often don’t match their education level.
Africa’s youth bulge does have the potential to boost the economy, and though leaders have tried to intervene (for example, Nigeria introduced a business plan competition that grants winners start-up capital etc.) the impact of their initiatives is unclear, and experts are calling for stronger job-creation mechanisms. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) suggests youth entrepreneurship.
Aeneas Chuma, ILO’s regional director for Africa, believes decent jobs for are critical to address instability. To create them, though, youth entrepreneurship must be encouraged, as successful SMEs capture growth opportunities and generate wealth, and, so, create employment.
Many Africans are already entrepreneurs, but on a subsistence level; the goal is to put food on the table from day to day as a matter of survival, not stimulate the economy. Yet, that innovative spirit exists, and the path to prosperity can be illuminated by more focused support from governments and the private sector.
The Standard Bank Incubator, for example, has provided more than 100 South African start-ups with support in the form of training, mentoring and access to technology with the long-term view to expand further into Africa.
Together with ambitious young Africans, we can move the continent forward.
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According to the recently published 2016 Wealth Report by Frank Knight, securing the right properties can serve the dual purpose of growing and preserving wealth. This is why most of the world’s ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) plan to increase their investment in property in 2016.
To high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs), it is important that they are able to use their wealth to achieve their dreams and facilitate their passions, but this requires professional guidance. This is especially so if one considers that, with the right advisors, the lifestyle passions of HNWIs can serve the dual purpose of growing and preserving wealth – not just spending it.
For example, while HNWIs are increasingly passionate about acquiring property in highly sought-after ‘lifestyle cities’ like London, Cape Town, New York and Monte Carlo, the right properties can also serve to diversify wealth globally, secure offshore safe-haven status for money, preserve wealth intergenerationally, provide more global passports, and locate children near word-class educational opportunities. Furthermore, if bought and sold at the right time, currency and price, it can also be a great investment – growing wealth rather than eroding it.
However, the complexity of such acquisitions and transactions requires expert and specialised skills. Standard Bank Wealth and Investment assists its clients to intelligently fulfil their life passions by working with, amongst others, Bonhams in the art world, Berry Brothers and Runt in wine, Stanley Gibbons in stamps and, of course, Knight Frank in property.
Through these strategic partnerships, the Bank delivers world-leading insight into the passions of its UHNW clients that open doors and initiate introductions in highly specialised fields, especially necessary if one is to realise the multiple wealth creation and preservation advantages of global property ownership.
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It cannot be denied that Africa has its share of social and economic problems, but the will to tackle these challenges and promote sustainable change can be found throughout the continent and prevails in every sphere of society. No better example of this can be found than in the 2016 Wealth Report by Frank Knight, which reveals that Africa’s current 2 620 ultra-high-net-worth individuals (worth a collective value of USD2 Billion in assets) plan to increase their contribution to philanthropy.
More than simple charity, philanthropy attempts to tackle a problem at its root cause. A global trend, it is now being followed by increasingly more ultra-high-net-worth individuals (UHNWIs) on the continent – especially those who made their wealth in the digital era – with as many as 65% of wealth managers in Africa reporting that “giving back” has become important to their clients.
The reasons for this vary; some are driven by personal fulfilment, some by a sense of duty, while others are inspired by the desire to leave a legacy or a combination of all three. Whatever the motivation, what matters, however, is that Africa’s wealthy are on the lookout for sustainable ways to use their wealth to solve the problems plaguing the continent.
Phillip Faure, Head of Philanthropy for Standard Bank Wealth and Investment, says that the wealth concerns of his clients are now accompanied by the strong need to improve the lives of others. He explains that Africa’s UHNWIs on the continent want to leave lasting legacies that will go beyond their families and businesses, as evidenced in the growing number of philanthropic projects and plans.
But, Faure notes that preserving wealth to make an impact in the future calls for highly sophisticated and specialised skills; whether giving back through signature projects, start-up incubation or quasi-commercial models, all have financial structures that require ongoing management and reporting.
In such cases, an institution like Standard Bank Wealth and Investment fits the bill. With a long and successful track record of helping our clients formulate financial plans to reach their long-terms dreams and ambitions, we are perfectly experienced and skilled to help Africa’s wealthy move their communities, and thus the continent, forward.
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As in previous years, we have, once again, been recognised for excellence at the 2016 EMEA Finance African Banking Awards, walking away with 16 awards in total, including Best Investment Bank in Africa for the ninth consecutive year.
According to Bill Blackie, Head of Investment Banking at Standard Bank, the awards are a testament to our sustained investment in understanding Africa’s complex and varied banking, transaction and regulatory landscapes from a client perspective. They also prove that our ability to navigate complex financial environments is recognised by the banking community and public at large.
Besides the coveted Best Investment Bank in Africa Award, additional accolades included:
Best Investment Bank in Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia
Best Foreign Investment Bank in Nigeria
Best Debt House in Nigeria (Stanbic IBTC)
Best Local Bank in South Africa
Best Broker in Rwanda and Uganda (SBG Securities)
To date, Standard Bank Group has delivered a number of transformative deals, reflecting our commitment to drive growth on the continent we call home. In addition, our sector expertise, on the ground presence and established transactional capability has enabled us to identify and leverage ongoing opportunity – all contributing to the stellar reputation we have throughout Africa and abroad.
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Journalist, Nikiwe Bikitsha bids farewell to Kenya. East Africa, particularly Kenya, has been a bright shining light in an otherwise economically challenged 2016 sub-Saharan Africa.
This is according to Jibran Qureishi, a Standard Bank economist whom Nikiwe Bikitsha interviewed during the Kenyan leg of her #AfricaConnected tour, which explores the continent’s key countries of opportunity.
Mostly, Mr Qureishi explains, Kenya’s anticipated GDP growth of 5.6% for 2016 can be attributed to its diversified economy. Though still reliant on agriculture as its main earner, the country is turning to more sophisticated sectors to drive growth.
Speaking to entrepreneurs and business leaders, it’s striking just how many initiatives that spur on Kenya’s prosperity were created to improve the lives of others, rather than for monetary gain alone: John Muchiri, Head of Merchant Payments for M-Pesa (a cellphone-based money transfer and financing service), says the main motivation for his company is the positive impact their product has had on the lives of average Kenyans.
Created in 2007 by the tremendously successful Safaricom, M-Pesa today provides employment to over 150 000 people, while its parent-company is currently the most profitable in Africa. But, says Mr Muchiri, profit was never the main focus; he and his team are passionate about transforming lives and they make that happen every day.
Moving on to the critical farming sector, Nikiwe talks to Jane Ngige, CEO of the Kenya Flower Council. She explains how Kenya’s thriving flower export market (the third largest in the world) is doing its part to combat the country’s high level of youth unemployment with the establishment of a board committee of young directors. According to Ms Ngige, the youngsters are trained to take over the flower farms, injecting them with new ideas and methods. This not only ensures future employment, but also preserves an essential foreign exchange-generating industry.
Designer Adele Dejak is yet another entrepreneur whose unstoppable ambition is uplifting those in her community. Though small, her jewellery-making business sources materials from suppliers situated all over the country, providing them with a reliable income.
With a population so willing to innovate and create, it seems that investment opportunities abound in Kenya. This is certainly the case, says Ory Okolloh Mwangi, Director of Investments at Omidyer Networks and one of the country’s most prominent citizens: Though challenges like corruption cannot be overlooked, lucrative opportunities exist in the tourism, energy (particularly renewables), construction and infrastructure sectors. Mr Qureishi confirms that construction has been a new driver of growth, but also highlights the innovation and technology sector as an attractive option.
Investors looking to take advantage of East Africa’s “shining light” will find a reliable partner in Standard Bank . Our main goal is to help Africa realise its true potential, and with our strong presence on the continent and global capabilities, we can help investors realise theirs, too.
To follow Nikiwe’s journeys, click here.
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Tanzanian haematology expert Dr Julie Makani What does it take to make a difference in the lives of people in your community, your country, your continent, or even the world? There probably isn’t even a recipe, but whatever it is that fuels one to make a big difference, there’s an infinite list of Africans who possess the ingredients.
These are some of those big thinkers who inspire the world with their life-changing work.
South African entrepreneur Elon Musk has made tremendous strides in revolutionising transportation on earth and in space. The founder of electric-car maker Tesla Motors has helped popularise the use of electric vehicles. Through his other business, SpaceX, a space transport services company, the 45-year-old has commercialised space flight. His company plans to launch the first humans to Mars in 2024, with a planned arrival in 2025.
Sickle-cell disease (SCD) is one of the major health problems in Africa. An inherited disorder, it affects various organs and red blood cells, inhibiting blood flow. Tanzanian haematology expert Dr Julie Makani is one of those leading the fight against SCD: she co-founded the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania, an organisation that works to prevent and manage the disease.
Born in Accra, Ghana, Patrick left his home country in 1985 to study in the United States. After completing his studies, he worked for Microsoft where he made millions managing a project for dial-up internet access. He returned to Ghana in the late nineties to establish Ashesi University, and so realised his dream of creating an institution that will make a difference on the continent. The school offers degrees in business, information systems and computer sciences.
South African Mark Shuttleworth made history in 2002 as the first African to fly into space, while also being the world’s second self-funded private citizen to do so. Apart from his history-making feat, Mark is known for his entrepreneurial genius and IT innovations, along with his efforts in improving access to quality education in his home country.
Through her belief that Africa is the next economic powerhouse, Kenyan business magnate Njeri Rionge co-founded multi-million dollar companies to support its growth, including Wanachi Online, East Africa’s leading pay-TV, cable, and broadband company; Ignite Consulting; and Business Lounge, one of Kenya’s top start-up incubators.
27-year-old South African Siya Xuza’s name is already being mentioned among the continent’s brightest minds. The Harvard-educated engineer invented a homemade rocket fuel, earning him a gold medal at the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair in the United States. His achievement also inspired the Nasa-affiliated Lincoln Laboratory to name a minor planet in his honour; Siyaxuza.
Discover more here.
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The likes of the late Malick Sidibe from Mali, Nigerian Solomon Osagie, and South Africa’s Alf Kumalo are just some African artists who have gone on to garner international acclaim, setting a precedent for a younger generation of creatives.
We present a snapshot of some of the artists whose work captures audiences both locally and abroad.
MÁRIO MACILAU – MOZAMBIQUE
Mário’s family struggled to make ends meet, causing him to drop out of school at the age of ten. Later, a lifeline emerged in the form of photography when a friend lent him a camera. Today, Mario’s work is featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world, and he has won several awards.
JOANA CHOUMALI – CÔTE D'IVOIRE
Joana’s passion for photography was sparked at an early age when her parents hired a professional photographer for a family portrait at home, and was further fuelled when she received a camera at 13. Her work highlights the richness of African cultures and traditions.
LAKIN OGUNBANWO – NIGERIA
Fashion photographer Lakin is known for creating bold, moody portraits. His work has been featured in several international publications such as Vogue, British GQ and Times New York. He has also shot some of Nigeria’s most prominent figures, including author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
EMMANUEL JAMBO – KENYA
Born in South Sudan but based in Kenya, Emmanuel is famous as Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s official photographer. When not working with politicians and celebrities, Emmanuel creates eye-catching fashion, wedding and commercial portraits.
ZOHRA BENSEMRA – ALGERIA
The Algerian photojournalist provides in-depth coverage of conflict, humanitarian issues and women in politics. Zohra’s work has taken her all over the world, often to places others avoided, including Iraq in 2003.
MICHAEL TSEGAYE – ETHIOPIA
An allergy to oil paint saw Michael switch painting for photography in 2003. Exploring remote parts of Ethiopia, his work depicts a range of social issues that affect people in his homeland.
Michael believes his goal as an artist is to understand his life and standpoint in this century, and then express it through art.
ZANELE MUHOLI – SOUTH AFRICA
Sexual and gender identity form the core of Zanele’s work; the photographer devotes a large part of her career to a LGBTI rights. The subjects in her award-winning photo series Faces and Phases are starkly framed in black and white, each image representing a positive record of the lives of members of the South African LGBTI community.
LAURA EL-TANTAWY – EGYPT
Born in England to Egyptian parents, Laura El-Tantawy’s work explores issues of identity, touching on religion, social and environmental issues. She began her career by documenting the lives of everyday Egyptians, but in 2011, Laura documented Egypt’s revolution, her work culminating in an arresting photobook, In the Shadow of the Pyramids.
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Some of Africa’s wealthiest business leaders and personalities take social responsibility very seriously, using both their time and resources to improve the lives of others. Here’s a look at some of the philanthropic efforts of some of the continent’s big givers.
Didier Drogba Foundation
La Fondation Didier Drogba was launched in 2007 by Ivorian soccer player Didier Drogba with a vision to improve education and healthcare in Côte d'Ivoire and other African countries. The foundation has since opened the doors to one of five hospitals built for underprivileged women and children, collaborated with the local Red Cross to assist orphanages, and worked with United Against Malaria.
Sawiris Foundation for Social Development
This grant-based organisation was founded in 2001 by Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris. Focused on youth training for employment, scholarships, cultural awards, microcredit, health and community development in the North African country, its initiatives are financed through the foundation’s endowment fund and annual donations from founding members.
The Tony Elumelu Foundation
TEF is an entrepreneurship-based organisation that focuses on empowering Africa’s entrepreneurs to unlock the continent’s economic and social development. The major programme of the foundation is the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP). Upon completion, would-be entrepreneurs receive non-renewable capital to kick-start their businesses.
The Liya Kebede Foundation
LKF was launched by supermodel and health advocate Liya Kebede in 2005 to advance safe motherhood in Africa alongside Kebede’s appointment as a Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal & Child Health for the World Health Organization. The foundation has since trained over 40 health workers in Ethiopia, who have gone on to assist more than 10 000 mothers in birthing their children safely.
The Motsepe Foundation
Started by South African billionaire Patrice Motsepe and his wife, Dr. Precious Moloi-Motsepe, in 1999, the Motsepe Foundation focuses on social and economic development in South Africa. The foundation’s initiatives include awarding bursaries to students pursuing careers in STEM and business fields, an entrepreneurship programme for women, and a youth soccer tournament that contributes to youth and education development.
The Dangote Foundation
The Dangote Foundation is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the Dangote Group, a multinational conglomerate founded by Africa’s richest man, Nigerian Aliko Dangote. The foundation has spent over $180 million on philanthropic efforts, which include the rehabilitation of some of Nigeria’s universities, and the provision of aid to the victims of the 2014 floods that swept through the country.
Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi
Ethiopian billionaire Sheikh Mohammed Al Amoudi practices the Islamic concept of ‘zakat’, which means donating a significant proportion of your wealth to the community for its betterment. Al Amoudi invests primarily in education and healthcare-related initiatives. He committed over $20 million to AIDS awareness and treatment between 2007 and 2011, and has been involved in building hospitals in Ethiopia.
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The renminbi, literally meaning the "people's currency"; is the official currency of the People's Republic of China. Since Chinese authorities started developing the renminbi as a currency of international trade, it has been growing in circulation in global markets.
In 2015 total trade between Africa and China reached USD149.8bn, up from USD28.8bn ten years earlier. The rise of China as a global economic power has transformed Africa. The most convincing evidence of this is in the trade figures. Future Chinese-African economic relations will see Africa leverage the renminbi as a global reserve and trading currency.
Standard Bank is already a dominant foreign currency player in Africa, currently conducting 2.1 million trades annually. Our partnership with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China’s largest bank, is critical to the future of both Africa and China, especially since we are able to support Chinese trade and investment into Africa in renminbi.
As Africa’s role in internationalising the renminbi deepens, we see the renminbi to likely emerge as a global reserve currency, eventually even becoming a globally accepted commodity denominator.
Here are some benefits of operating in renminbi for Chinese businesses dealing with Africa:
Allowing Chinese clients to use renminbi as their base currency will realise significant savings.
Renminbi promotes price transparency and reduces the cost of international trade for Chinese clients. This will also provide Africa access to a wider range of Chinese suppliers.
Invoicing clients in renminbi, a cheaper currency than the US dollar, is not only easier for Chinese clients, but since the value of the renminbi more closely matches domestic African currencies conversion and volatility costs are reduced.
Since Chinese clients plan and earn in renminbi, operating in renminbi provides a great deal of security, removing many of the risks that Chinese businesses often associate with Africa’s multi-currency US dollar denominated landscape.
Our renminbi capability provides Chinese retail treasurers with simple and economically viable renminbi solutions. This frees them to concentrate on the competition, market challenges, and detail of importing and exporting, without worrying about US dollar conversion rates, currency fluctuation or liquidity risks.
Our partnership with ICBC assists in providing the financial infrastructure to manage Chinese industrial investment into the continent.
As China intensifies its renminbi internationalisation strategy and capital account liberalisation, the renminbi’s use as a global trade currency can only increase.
This will see the renminbi increasingly denominate Chinese trade finance deals and see investments structured in renminbi, from inception to deployment, as the renminbi emerges as a global reserve currency.
Visit our Corporate and Investment Banking page for more details about our Foreign Exchange offerings.
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In the second stage of her Africa Connected journey to reveal the true, economically promising Africa, journalist Nikiwe Bikitsha will explore the vibrant capital city of Kenya in a whirlwind three-day tour.
Recent research has shown that one out of 10 businesses expecting growth in the next two years are considering expanding outside South Africa. Of these, 37% are considering countries in East Africa, including Kenya. So, what makes the East African nation so attractive to potential investors?
Just like Nikiwe’s first country of exploration, Ghana, Kenya offers investment opportunities in the agriculture, manufacturing, and infrastructure sectors. However, what sets ‘Africa’s Silicon Valley’ apart from its West African cousin is its rapidly expanding Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector.
Kenya boasts possibly the most famous innovation hub on the continent: The iHub in Nairobi. Here, Nikiwe will visit the headquarters of the newly opened IBM Centre, one of the city’s many tech incubators that help start-ups build, market and sell their solutions through a number of training and mentoring methods. According to experts, Kenya’s focus on innovation could see its ICT sector worth USD1 billion in the next three years.
Also on the agenda is a tour of Nairobi’s famous Kazuri Beads Factory. Popular with tourists, the factory produces handmade jewellery and pottery inspired by Kenya’s culture and wildlife. Though it exports around the globe, Kazuri is renowned for more than just its uniquely beautiful crafts: It famously provides sustainable employment for disadvantaged members of Kenyan society, currently employing over 400 women.
Further exploration will reveal that Kenya is a nation bent on gender-focused development, realising that more fairly-paid women in the workforce equals successful growth and, thus, increased investor confidence. During her trip, Nikiwe will interview two female entrepreneurs; co-founder of AkiraChix Judith Owigar and jewellery designer Adele Dejak. Though successful in different industries, both women are members of the Lionesses of Africa network and were speakers at the Standard Bank-sponsored Lionesses of Africa Annual Conference 2016 held in Johannesburg recently. In partnership with us, the network supports, empowers and drives the economic prosperity of businesswomen on the continent.
Showing that Africa is a trade destination favoured by international investors, Nikiwe will call into one of many Stanbic Bank branches to draw a few Chinese yuan (or renminbi). While novel, this is also extremely significant: China is currently Africa’s largest trading partner, and the Standard Bank Group’s partnership with ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) helps us facilitate the financial infrastructure needed to manage and grow Chinese industrial investment into the continent. By enabling the operations and investments of our partners and customers - at home and abroad - we meet our overall objective of driving Africa’s growth and making progress real on the continent.
For a full recap of Nikiwe’s Nairobi tour, be sure not to miss any posts on http://africaconnected.702.co.za/ . Or, follow #AfricaConnected on Twitter.
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I HAVE MET MR. MUHAMMED JAH A COUPLE OF TIMES, HE IS SO ENERGETIC, STRAIGHT FORWARD, FRIENDLY, ENTERPRISING, AND PEOPLE CENTRIC; HE LOVES EVERYBODY IS LOVED BY ALL. HE HAS TO SUCCEED WHEREVER HE WILL CONDUCT BUSINESS AS HE CAN EASILY IDENTIFY OPPORTUNITIES AND LEAD PEOPLE TO REALIZE THOSE OPPORTUNITIES. HE IS A NATURAL LEADER. I WISH HIM ALL THE BEST. SHAILENDRA MATHUR, (INDIA)
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Standard Bank is greatly honoured that our Wealth and Investment division has been named Africa’s Most Outstanding Private Bank for the second consecutive year by Private Banker International, a leading journal for the global wealth industry. This occurred at the 26th Private Banker International Global Wealth Summit and Awards held in Singapore on 14 October, proving that the international finance community acknowledges our commitment to building Africa’s most globally relevant wealth management offering.
We were, in addition, this week awarded the Best Private Bank in Kenya and Nigeria at the PWM/The Banker Global Private Banking Awards, and named the Best Private Bank in Africa, South Africa and Kenya in the Global Finance Awards.
Wealth and Investment has a presence in 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in Jersey, the Isle of Man and London. This international footprint, combined with our 154-year heritage, empowers us with the diversification necessary to provide global wealth solutions that are not only locally relevant, but that support the wealth management ambitions of high-net-worth individuals and families across the continent.
A major focus of ours is generational wealth solutions and services; we aim to create beneficiary support structures that include asset preservation and the skills needed to ensure a lasting legacy. Emphasis is placed on equipping the leaders of tomorrow with financial and investment advice through our international Leadership Academies, which educate the next generation on creating, managing, growing and preserving wealth in an interactive and engaging environment.
Africa is, after all, our home, and we place considerable emphasis on driving her growth.
These awards follow Wealth and Investment’s receipt of Euromoney magazine’s Africa’s Best Bank for Wealth Management Award for Excellence in July, further reflecting our consistent delivery of superior investment returns that outperform benchmarks.
It is our belief that our combination of targeted service strategies, relevant management models and client-centricity sets us apart as the continent’s leading wealth manager, and we are delighted to see these efforts reflected and acknowledged in these awards.
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This October, accomplished journalist Nikiwe Bikitsha started a journey with Standard Bank and 702 to reveal insights into Africa’s markets: The investment opportunities, trading conditions and the people. The Africa Connected initiative focuses on all the things that connect us in our quest to move the continent forward.
Nikiwe’s first stop was Ghana, focusing on the culturally vibrant and economically active capital of Accra. With only three days to explore the city, her itinerary had to include hotspots beloved by both tourists and locals alike, including Sky Bar, renowned as a great venue for after-work drinks; the scenic Labadi Beach; Jamestown, home to ancient structures built before and during the colonial era; and the famed Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park, final resting place of Ghana’s revered founder.
But Nikiwe’s trip was about more than just site-seeing and sampling local delicacies, such as “red red” and kpakpo shito. Attending the Standard Bank West Africa Trans-Regional Conference, she interviewed a number of high-profile individuals directly involved with the Ghanaian economy. Among them, Editor of Graphic Business Theo Yartey; South African High Commissioner to Ghana Lulu Xingwana; and Ghana's Minister for Trade and Industry Dr Ekow Spio-Garbrah.
Though acknowledging that the West African country faces a number of challenges (the most pressing and well-known being the energy crisis), all interviewees independently agreed that there are myriad business opportunities available for entrepreneurs or corporations looking to invest in the manufacturing, mining, agro-processing, construction, tourism, infrastructure and even the property development sector.
These views echo the position held by Dr. Manessah Alagbaoso, Head of Commercial Banking at Standard Bank Rest of Africa. He maintains that West African countries offer multiple avenues for investment, but, to make progress real, African businesses need a partner who understands emerging markets and has continental banking experience.
Standard Bank effortlessly fits this description: As Africa's largest bank by assets, we’re geared to connect key stakeholders to one another, understand and mitigate risks, and advise our customers on how to best unlock and capitalise opportunities throughout a number of products, industries and geographies on the continent.
Turning to the energy crisis, most interviewed believed that the worst appeared to be over. Earlier this year, additional power came online and the situation should ease further in 2017 after another power plant is completed. Ms Xingwana, however, still believes there are opportunities for Africans to invest in Ghana’s renewable energy industry (among many others), as “dumsor” (power outages) continues to threaten productivity while pushing up production costs.
“There’s an opportunity now for investors from South Africa and other parts of the world to come [to Ghana] and invest,” she shares.
For more information about #AfricaConnected, and to view the videos, uploaded tweets and blog of Nikiwe’s adventures - which will include an upcoming trip to Kenya this November - go to http://africaconnected.702.co.za/
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Our CE, Sim Tshabalala shared his views with SABC on why Standard Bank Group was among those who attended a media conference in Pretoria (South Africa) today, in support of the Save South Africa campaign.
“As business, we have said that the time has come for us to be very clear as corporate citizens and as an engaged citizenry, about our role and what we stand for, and what we don’t stand for.
It was important for us to be present to say we have got one of the world’s greatest constitutions, and have got some amazing institutions; our Independent Electoral Commission, the Central Bank, National Treasury and our organs of civil society. They are amongst the best and most well organised in the world- they’re engaged. Our trade unions are strong and engaged.
Our business community is also globally competitive, and one of the main reasons for that is our constitution, which has got some very well-defined and clearly articulated values for which we stand. Those values are necessary for a thriving business community, and therefore a thriving economy.”
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Paul Eardley-Taylor, Standard Bank’ Head: Oil and Gas for Southern Africa
Financial Times Summit highlighting energy export potential is taking place today, 2 November 2016 in Maputo, Mozambique. We’re partnering with the Financial Times to bring together key influencers of growth and investment in Mozambique’s energy sector as the country enters a pivotal era of opportunity and fresh challenge.
Ahead of his panel discussion this morning, Paul Eardley-Taylor, Standard Bank Head of Oil and Gas for Southern Africa, shares his thoughts on Mozambique’s potential as an investment destination.
“With Mozambique ranking amongst the world’s top 10 gas resources, the importance of developing Mozambique as a global and regional energy supplier is critical to the development of the entire region especially since domestic gas will in time represent a significant component of Mozambique’s LNG opportunity, amid a global trend towards cleaner energy.
Rapid urbanisation in Southern and East Africa - which includes some of the continent’s largest and fastest growing economies – has presented Mozambique with huge opportunity as a regional energy supplier.
More broadly, Mozambique’s potential to export LNG globally is equally considerable, with a large window of opportunity expected in global demand from 2023 onwards.
Leveraging this opportunity, however, requires that Mozambique reach financial close existing LNG opportunities in order to lock in long term LNG sales contracts, a balancing act in the context of significant global LNG supply.
Mozambique’s current debt repayment challenges needed to be understood within the context of the country’s future potential LNG export earnings, noting other LNG exporting country precedent.
For Standard Bank, the Financial Times Summit presents an opportunity, to explore ways for Mozambique to partner with specialists in the private sector to develop a sound framework to stabilise the broader economy, re-gain global investor confidence and unlock the country’s energy potential.”
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Dynamic career women and Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank IBTC Nigeria Sola David-Borha was honoured as Business Women of the Year – West Africa at the 2016 All Africa Business Leaders Awards, recently held in Lagos.
The AABLA, now in its sixth year, honours game-changing business leaders in a variety of categories and recognises the visionaries who have shaped the African economy, many of them of the ‘fairer sex’. Regional events have already been staged in three major cities throughout the continent.
In an interview with CNBC Africa's Onyi Sunday at the distinguished event, Ms David-Borha revealed that she felt honoured, but also humbled at receiving the Business Women of the Year award, as it means that all her years of hard work and sacrifice were not in vain. She also shared that, as a women, it is encouraging to be recognised for doing business in a very difficult environment.
Sola David-Borha has been a successful leader in Nigeria for a number of years. Prior to serving as Chief Executive of Stanbic Bank IBTC Nigeria, Ms David-Borha served as the CEO of Stanbic IBTC PLC from May 2011. She credits hard work as key to great success.
When asked by the CNBC Africa interviewer what advice she has to give to ambitious women who want to follow in her footsteps, Ms David-Borha says: “Don’t lose your courage. No matter the odds, no matter the difficulties, keep moving forward one step at a time and you’ll be surprised by how far you can go.”
The All Africa Business Leaders Awards ceremonies culminate in the AABLA All Africa Grand Finale, to be held in Johannesburg on 11 November, at which the West African winners will compete against their peers from around the continent for recognition as the best in business.
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