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Africa Trade Week: Africa is open for business

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With impressive economic growth figures, Africa is becoming an attractive destination for trade and export.

Africa is open for business and the continent is looking increasingly attractive as a trade and export destination, with average annual growth for Sub Saharan Africa forecast at 8% until 2023, which is a positive outlook following the downturn between 2015 and 2017.

This is according to Liz Whitehouse, MD of Africa House and Africa research partner to dmg events.

Africa Trade Week will be held from 23 to 25 June 2019 at the Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, and includes the co-location of the South African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX), The Hotel Show Africa, and Africa’s Big 7.

Whitehouse pointed out that East Africa is primarily the driving force of growth on the continent, with the regional economy showing no contraction, as opposed to other regions.

This is largely because East Africa is not an extractives-dependent region, with mining and oil and gas only now starting to become of some importance. With South Africa and Nigeria excluded from regional data, East Africa emerged as the largest regional economy by 2018, she noted.

On the other hand, Southern Africa – even including South Africa – is the worst performing major region, with Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and DRC all hit by commodity price declines, while Zimbabwe, eSwatini and Malawi were affected by a combination of commodity prices, drought and Governance issues.

“West Africa looks relatively good, with the regional GDP growing from $600 billion to over $1 trillion and Nigeria expected to rebound in 2019 and beyond,” says Whitehouse.

“Central Africa is the smallest regional economy, but ticks along and is expected to maintain growth of around 3.5% a year – much of it driven by regional gateway Cameroon.”

Whitehouse noted that by 2023, the continent will see five economies of over $100 billion (Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Angola and Ethiopia); and five more of over $50 billion (Tanzania, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC and Cameroon).

Also Read Interview With Mall for Africa Founder and CEO, Chris Folayan

She points out that in many African countries and regions, key development drivers are inextricably linked to corridors – either by design or fortune. “As such, corridor development and ‘anchor tenants’ or projects are once again becoming critical in Africa’s development story.”

Whitehouse identifies several sectors which are key development drivers on the continent: Agriculture, extractives (stranded minerals), urbanisation & rising incomes, industrial, and ICT, telecoms & power. On the point of urbanisation, Whitehouse points out: “Urban areas in Africa comprise 472 million people. That number will double over the next 25 years as migrants push to cities and due to internal city growth. The largest cities grow as fast as 4% annually.”

She describes the urban “middle class” as not yet a stable entity, but a large “floating class” that hovers just above the poverty line, while the lower-middle consumer group added two million people a year in last decade. The upper-middle class remains a relatively small group, but is growing.

“Wealthier Africans are largely urban and are driving consumption of consumer goods and building materials,” Whitehouse says.

Africa’s top import markets remain South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Angola, with the key source of supply for all these markets being China. Not surprisingly, China also holds a significant part of the key supplier market share in these countries – 19% in South Africa and Angola and 33% in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.

According to Lynn Chamier, event director at dmg events, Africa Trade Week will bring the world to Africa and Africa to the world to source products, discuss issues and trends, and identify opportunities for international trade. More than 11 000 international industry professionals, from 53 countries, as well as more than 500 exhibitors, from more than 40 countries, will gather for the event, which will provide ample opportunity to do business and network.

This year, dmg will introduce a premium “matchmaking” service to assist exhibitors to meet their target market and will set up and facilitate personalised meetings between interested parties.

There will also be a variety of features that visitors can expect to experience at Africa Trade Week, including: The Global Pizza Challenge, Kitchen of the Future, Africa Housekeepers League of Champions, Wine Village, IID Design Pavilion (African Institute of Interior Design) and the DTI/Brand SA pavilion.

Various workshops will also be conducted at the Africa Trade Week, such as the Hospitality Leadership Forum, FoodNext.Africa, the Trade Development Forum, Restaurant Association of South Africa Workshops and South African National Halaal Association Workshops.

Africa Trade Week 2019 will incorporate three leading exhibitions – The Hotel Show Africa, Africa’s Big 7 and SAITEX, as well as their associated conferences and workshops, to create the new home of trade highlighting pan-African business opportunities, products, services, equipment, supplies, innovations, technology and solutions.

To book a stand or to register as a visitor, go to the websites: https://www.saitexafrica.com/https://thehotelshowafrica.com/ ; https://www.africabig7.com/

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Hospitality & Tourism

Radisson Individuals makes its African debut with hotel signing in Ghana, to open its doors in October 2021

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Image Source: Radisson Hotel Group

Radisson Hotel Group is proud to announce its first Radisson Individuals property in Africa, with the signing of Earl Heights Suites Hotel, a member of Radisson Individuals, Accra, Ghana. Due to open by the end of 2021, this new addition places the Group firmly on track to achieving its objective of reaching 150 hotels in operation and under development by 2025.

Located in Dzorwulu, the property is currently undergoing a full renovation and is on schedule to open within this year. Just 5km from Kotoka International Airport (KIA), the main access point by air for domestic and international visitors, the serviced apartment property is conveniently located near shopping malls, restaurants, as well as the University of Ghana, situated north of the district. Also within reach, is the tranquil Legon Botanical Gardens, with its canopy walk, rope courses, canoeing and rich birdlife.

Due to its strategic geographical location, ease of access, and aviation facilities and connections, Accra has become a conference and aviation hub for West Africa. It is also dominated by local and international business activities, making the city one of the most attractive African cities to do business.

The 58-serviced apartments property will comprise of modern studios as well as spacious and elegant one- and two-bedroom suites. Creating a true destination for its guests, the property will offer culinary options in the restaurant, The Society, which will include outdoor seating as well as in the hotel bar. The property will also feature a spa, gym, pool, convenience store, and business centre, providing the perfect base for both business and leisure.

Radisson Individuals is a conversion brand that offers independent hotels and local, regional chains the opportunity to be part of the global Radisson Hotel Group platform, benefit from the Group’s international awareness and experience, with the freedom to maintain their own uniqueness and identity.  Radisson Hotel Group plans to more than double its serviced apartments portfolio within the next 5 years across EMEA. Today, serviced apartments represent around 10% of the Group’s EMEA portfolio with 45 properties and more than 5,400 units in operation and under development.

Erwan Garnier, Senior Director, Development, Africa, Radisson Hotel Group, said: “We have identified Ghana as a key focus country in our five-year development plan and, Accra as a focus and primary city. The signing of the property, which compliments the Radisson Hotel & Apartments Accra announced last year and scheduled to open in 2023, is also aligned with our current conversion-focused growth strategy, which will remain a priority, especially post-pandemic. We are therefore proud the Radisson Individuals African debut, will be on Ghanaian soil, carving the path for the new brand to continue its expansion across the continent. In proud partnership with Earlbeam Group of Companies, we are thrilled to be contributing to the country’s tourism industry, a key pillar of the national economy.”

Alfred Danso Darkwah, CEO of the hotel’s owning company, Earlbeam Group of Companies, said: “The Earl Heights Suites Hotel partnership is an exciting opportunity – it brings together the union of Radisson Hotel Group and The Earlbeam Group Of Companies, two well-seasoned brands from the hospitality and real estate sector respectively. This will be the first branded apart hotel in Ghana, completely unique, providing each guest a boutique home-away-from home experience. In addition, it delivers partner confidence, guarantee of service standards, and assured safety and security, leaving a positive mark on Ghana’s hospitality sector. We believe this Radisson Individuals hotel will inject much-needed life within the local hospitality industry and pave the way for upcoming projects between Radisson Hotel Group and The Earlbeam Group of Companies.”

Image Source: Radisson Hotel Group

Herewith the link to the renders of the hotel, which is on track to open its doors in October this year Radisson Individuals

Radisson Hotel Group operates to high standards of performance and advocates socially and environmentally sustainable business practices. More than ever, Radisson Hotel Group’s highest priorities remain the health and safety of its guests and employees. The Group partnered with SGS, the world’s leading inspection and certification company, to implement the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol, which ensures the highest hygiene standards and strengthens the Group’s existing rigorous sanitation guidelines. In the run-up to the opening of Earl Heights Suites Hotel, a member of Radisson Individuals the hotel will implement the Radisson Hotel Group brand standards including the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol related to safety and security.

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Entertainment

TuneCore Launches Operations in Africa, Appoints Two Female Regional Executives

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TuneCore Jade Leaf and Chioma Onuchukwu

TuneCore, the leading digital music distribution and publishing administration company for independent artists, has launched operations in Africa. Jade Leaf has been hired as Head of TuneCore for Southern Africa and will share responsibility for key countries in East Africa with Chioma Onuchukwu, who has been hired as Head of TuneCore for West Africa. Both Leaf and Onuchukwu will report to Faryal Khan-Thompson, Vice President, International, TuneCore.

Onuchukwu will be based in Nigeria and oversee countries in West Africa including Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. She will also look after Tanzania and Ethiopia in East Africa.  Leaf’s territory encompasses Southern Africa, including South Africa, where she will be based, as well as Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Lesotho. Leaf will also manage TuneCore operations in East African countries Kenya and Uganda.

Said Onuchukwu, “I am elated to be joining a renowned, independent music distribution powerhouse, especially in an incredible era for music creators in Africa at a time when we are gaining global recognition and increasing momentum. I look forward to collaborating with and supporting local artists.”

Before joining TuneCore, Onuchukwu was Marketing Manager at uduX Music, a music streaming platform in Nigeria. There she worked directly with popular African artists such as Davido, Yemi Alade, Patoranking, Kizz Daniel and more.

Commented Leaf, “I am incredibly excited to join the team in a time where the global conversation is around independence and ownership. TuneCore opens up a world of potential for independent artists at every level of their careers. Africa is home to a diverse range of artists who are seeking a reliable distribution service who understands their local needs and can ultimately give them the opportunity to turn their art into commercial success.”

Previously, Leaf worked at Africa’s largest Pay TV operator, Multichoice as the Marketing Manager for Youth & Music Channels, where she led brand re-imaging and marketing efforts for Music TV giant Channel O. Before that, she worked at Sony Music Entertainment Africa, focusing on African artists and content, as well as numerous marketing campaigns & projects for local and international artists.

There has been a meteoric rise in the uptake of streaming services in Africa, the growth has been attributed to several factors such as an increase in internet penetration via smartphones, the entrance of international and local streaming platforms in key territories and its youth population – More than 60% of African’s are under the age of 25.

In 2020, TuneCore saw an increase in music releases globally, with many African artists opting to use the DIY Distributor – DJ Spinall and Small Doctor in Nigeria, Spoegwolf in South Africa, Mpho Sebina in Botswana and Fena Gitu in Kenya to name a few.

Stated Khan-Thompson, “Africa is an extremely exciting music market with a lot of potential for growth. By hiring Jade and Chioma to lead our efforts, TuneCore is well positioned to maximize opportunities for independent artists across the continent. Both Chioma and Jade bring a wealth of experience and genuine interest in helping artists make their dreams come true. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have two incredible women representing the TuneCore brand in the continent”

TuneCore

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IFC Invest in Liquid Telecom Bond to Support Broadband Connectivity in Africa

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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, invested in Thursday’s bond issued by a subsidiary of Liquid Telecommunications Holdings Ltd., which will allow the telecoms and technology solutions company to expand access to broadband Internet and digital and cloud services across Africa, further facilitating the growth of the continent’s digital economy.

Proceeds from the bond issued by Liquid Telecommunications Financing PLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liquid Telecommunications Holdings Ltd, will enable the company to refinance existing debt and free up funds to expand its digital infrastructure network across Africa, including in markets with low broadband penetration.

By developing digital infrastructure, Liquid Telecommunications, Africa’s largest independent fiber, data center and cloud technology provider, aims to increase digital connectivity and inclusion in Africa and support the region’s growing digital ecosystem.

IFC played an anchor role and subscribed to 16 percent of the bond, equivalent to $100 million, which was listed on Euronext Dublin, Ireland’s main stock exchange, on February 25, 2021. The issuance raised $620 million.

Internet access in Africa relies largely on mobile networks, many of which are enabled by wholesale connectivity providers such as Liquid Telecommunications. Broadband penetration is low across the continent, with a mobile broadband penetration rate of 34 percent and fixed broadband penetration of less than five percent in most countries across sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa.

“We are delighted that IFC has taken a significant anchor position in our new bond. In the countries in which we operate there are great opportunities to address under developed telecommunications and Internet access, as well as to accelerate the adoption of digital and Cloud-based services. Our refinance enables us to continue to invest in the African digital eco-system including driving penetration of digital and Cloud-based services to businesses who may not previously have had the resources to benefit from them, helping to bridge the connectivity divide, which is more crucial than ever in our current circumstances,” said Nic Rudnick, Liquid Telecom Group Chief Executive Officer.

“Our best chance at ensuring much-needed internet access for everyone in Africa, from large corporates and small businesses to individuals, is to invest in digital infrastructure. Our investment in the Liquid Telecom bond will help the company free up capital to further expand broadband access across Africa, laying a solid foundation for a faster, more resilient recovery,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, Interim Managing Director and Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer of IFC.

To support Africa’s digital economy, which could be worth $180 billion by 2025, IFC provides financing to mobile network operators, independent tower operators, data centers and broadband connectivity providers. IFC also provides capital to help entrepreneurs and innovative businesses grow and works with financial institutions and telecommunications companies to speed the adoption of digital payments and lending to expand financial inclusion.

Source IFC

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