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Twenty-One Listed African Companies Participate in The EFG Hermes One on One Conference in Dubai

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Recognized as the world’s largest conference in Frontier Emerging Markets (FEM), the EFG Hermes One on One will connect the leaders of 21 African companies from 6 African markets with institutional investors and family offices managing assets in excess of USD 11 trillion

LAGOS, Nigeria, March 4, 2019/ — EFG Hermes, a leading financial services corporation in Frontier Emerging Markets (FEM), kicked off its 15th annual One on One Conference today in Dubai under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Deputy Ruler of Dubai. With many changes taking place in the global investment landscape, the 2019 conference is headlined as “Navigating the Path to Opportunities.” This year’s event will see executives from 21 African companies – from a total of 186 companies representing 26 countries – meet directly with more than 520 investors representing 260 institutions and family offices, managing an aggregate USD 11 trillion in assets under management.

“Year on year, we are witnessing an increased participation of African companies in our flagship conferences. Nigeria in particular saw increased participation at a time when the market is experiencing important changes that will generate new opportunities,” stated Ali Khalpey, Chief Executive Officer of EFG Hermes Frontier.

“Investors are seeking opportunities that are expected to arise in key African markets, Nigeria is facing several key changes in terms of macro and equity performance, but visibility remains strong on 2019 earnings growth and yields continue to be attractive. At the same time, opportunities are arising in countries such as Ethiopia and Rwanda, which are expected to be among the top 10 markets for growth in 2019 thanks to innovative power generation and infrastructure projects. Kenya is making the reforms necessary to boost growth while Ethiopia has appointed a commission to explore opening up a stock exchange and all the needed regulatory frameworks and structures.,” Added Khalpey.

Commenting on the conference and the role it plays in the Firm’s newly entered Nigerian and Kenyan markets, Kato Mukuru EFG Hermes’ Head of Frontier Research said, “Since entering Sub-Saharan markets, we were keen to play our traditional role of bridging the gap between global capital and local opportunities. This event is an unmatched direct access platform for global investors and companies representing some of the world’s most compelling markets. Even in the face of macroeconomic challenges such as significant capital outflows from emerging markets and rising US interest rates, frontier emerging markets represent the greatest potential for driving growth and generating accretive returns. With thousands of direct meetings taking place between investors and presenting companies, we hope to provide attendees with insights on how to navigate these rougher global waters to unlock new value.”

“The overall outlook for frontier markets in 2019 is mixed, with macro-level factors such as the moderation of China’s commodities demand, the weakening of the yuan, ongoing tensions between China and the US, and the US Federal Reserve’s current fiscal tightening cycle creating significant challenges across regions,” Mukuru added.

“This year’s conference features a strong line of speakers from innovative global companies who will offer fresh perspectives on expected trends in FEM. Providing attendees with first-hand insights from key international players is a crucial part of the Firm’s effort to organize conferences that spur investments in our markets and drive growth,” Mukuru added.

In one panel session, CEO of EFG Hermes’ Non-Banking Finance Institution Walid Hassouna, CEO of ASA International PLC Dirk Brouwer and Khalid El Gibali, Division President for Middle East and North Africa at MasterCard will discuss the ways that non-banking financial institutions are opening up markets and whether they pose a threat to traditional banking institutions.

Another session on the strategies companies are employing to attract and retain customers in an increasingly challenging macroeconomic environment will feature the following panelists:

  • Sacha Poignonnec, Co-Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Jumia
  • Mahmoud El Meligy, Chief Operating Officer, Dubai Refreshment, PepsiCo Bottler and Distributor
  • Nada Amin, Vice President Consumer and Retail, EFG Hermes

Since inception, the One on One Conference has served as a crucial venue for connecting global investors with opportunities in the Middle East and North Africa. On the first day of this year’s conference, attendees will also vote in the EFG Hermes Consensus, the largest (and only live) poll of FEM market investors and executives that provides key insights into trends and expectations for global markets in the near and medium term.

– EFG Hermes

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Cellulant and Money Q Collaborate to Make it Easier for Africans Living Abroad

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Cellulant Vice President of Global & Regional Merchants  Richard Gesimba and Amit Shrimali – Founder and CEO, Money Q

Cellulant, Africa’s Leading Payments Solutions Provider has partnered with Dubai-based fintech solutions company to enable expatriates to seamlessly pay for bills and recharge airtime for their beneficiaries across Africa. These customers will be able to make these payments through KrosPayz, Money Q’s Africa-wide digital payments platform that enables online payment for transactions and value-added services at the point of sale.

Mobile remittances present a unique opportunity for millions of people to access the formal financial system, bringing financial services and prospects for revenue generation closer to their communities. According to estimates, Sub-Saharan African remittances increased by 16.4% in 2021 but only by 5.2% in 2022. The average cost of sending $200 over international borders remained high in the second quarter of 2022, at 6%. Mobile operators offer the best rates (3.5%), but less than 1% of transactions are made through digital channels. Remittance services are now much quicker and less expensive thanks to digital technologies.

The KrosPayz digital wallet, which is set to go live first in Malawi this April, will enable customers to pay for national and international utility bill payments, airtime recharge, execute their domestic fund transfers to individuals and companies, and also pay in the local markets for their purchases via QR code.

“Remittances are the single largest source of foreign exchange for many developing economies, and they are stable and resilient in the face of economic downturns. They have been described as developing countries’ most stable, abundant, and secure sources of foreign aid. This partnership reaffirms our commitment to enabling businesses, banks, and consumers to make fast and efficient payments across Africa. By leveraging Cellulant’s presence and partnerships on the continent, Money Q will be able to provide its services throughout Africa” stated Richard Gesimba, Cellulant’s Vice President of Global & Regional Merchants.

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Money Q’s goal is to ensure that no African should be deprived of using the digital channels on the continent. Commenting on the partnership, Mr Amit Shrimali, Money Q’s Founder and CEO stated “I am very excited with this partnership as it helps me to go a step closer to the vision of Money Q which is to make sure that none in the countries, we operate are deprived of using the digital medium to transact. The partnership between MoneyQ and Cellulant will indeed complement one another in growing the market share of both the companies in the African continent.”

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Shelter Afrique unveils new five-year strategic plan

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Shelter Afrique new Managing Director and CEO, Mr Thierno-Habib Hann

Pan-African housing development financier, Shelter Afrique has unveiled a five-year strategic plan to restore the Institution’s performance, competitiveness, and value creation for the long term.

Shelter Afrique unveiled the plan during a Ministerial and Board retreat in Nairobi, which was also attended by the Shareholders’ Bureau represented by Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Rwanda who currently serve as President, First Vice-president, and Second Vice-President of the Bureau, respectively. Development partners such as the African Development Bank, and investment partners such as Actis, Mi Vida and Shapoorji Pallonji (India) were also in attendance. Side discussions were held with Bilateral partners such as CDC, now known as BII (British International Investment), one of the initial shareholders of the Institution.

The new 2023-2027 strategic plan, dubbed the ‘New Dawn’, is expected to position the Institution for growth through improved governance, operational and financial performance. 

The plan focuses on building relationships with various stakeholders to deliver strong and impactful business performance based on a new corporate structure fit for purpose.  

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Refocusing the business

Speaking at a retreat organised by the Institution in Nairobi to appraise the Board of Directors, shareholder representatives, and business partners, Shelter Afrique Chairman Dr Chii Akporji said the unveiling of the new strategic plan was an important milestone for the Institution.

“The new strategic plan that we have dubbed the ‘New Dawn‘ has laid the foundations to refocus our business on growth and impact, while creating sustainable returns for our shareholders and all our stakeholders. It has the board’s unanimous support and provides the Institution with a clear compass,” Dr Akporji said.

Dr Akporji welcomed the new Managing Director and CEO, Mr Thierno-Habib Hann and thanked the board for showing a great sense of responsibility and collective support to the new leadership paving the way to “creating conditions necessary to enter this new phase confidently”.

Echoing the Chairman, Shelter Afrique’s new Managing Director and CEO, Mr Thierno-Habib Hann said it was imperative for the Institution to refocus, deliver and scale up, following the successful conclusion of its restructuring program.

“The past 20 years provided us with some vital lessons which have been critical in developing the new strategic plan – a plan centred on sustainable and competitive growth while delivering consistently and enhancing shareholder value.” Mr Hann said.

Mr Hann added that the new strategic plan offers the Institution an impetus to focus more on clients, business performance, and staff; provides a framework for upscaling engagements with various stakeholders; offers a motivation to bolster the institution’s corporate governance credentials; and creates the momentum to introduce new product lines.

“While driving Mobilization and Syndication, we will be focusing on four business lines, namely (1) Funded and unfunded lines of credit to financial institutions to finance housing solutions, (2) Project Finance for large-scale housing initiatives; (3) Affordable Housing PPPs structuring and (4) Thematic Housing Fund Management and Advisory Services. The new strategic plan envisages a streamlined approach, which allows us to reach the end users by establishing new product structures such as Employer Staff Housing Funds, Green/Resilient homes and Rent-To-Own financing”, Mr Hann explained.

New organisational structure 

The unveiling of the new strategy has necessitated the re-alignment of the organisation and the introduction of a new organisational structure and operating model designed to support the Institution’s innovation, growth, and productivity ambitions for the next five years.

Effectively, the Institution has created new units which will focus the business on financial institutions, project finance, fund management, and public-private partnerships. Additionally, the Strategy, Policy, research and partnerships functions will also be driven from the CEO’s office.  

“We believe the new organisational model is central to the successful implementation of our new strategic plan as it will make us more agile and competitive, enhance client focus, unlock significant potential across the business, and drive value-creation through operational efficiencies,” Mr Hann concluded. 

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Ghana Fintech Awards 2022: DPO Pay Fintech Discovery of the Year

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Leading African digital payments company DPO Pay wins the Fintech Discovery of the year award in the 2022 Ghana Fintech awards. As an initiative of Arkel Limited – a Fintech research and management consulting firm – that is supported by the Ghana Fintech and Payments Association, the awards acknowledge the fintech products and services, technologies, fintech firms and dynamic doers in the fintech ecosystem.

DPO Pay’s Country Manager of Ghana, Frank Anwelle, said: “We are very proud and humbled to receive the Fintech Discovery of the Year Award. Our Team at DPO Pay extends their appreciation to the Ghana Fintech & Payments Association for recognising the hard work and commitment we hold to growing African businesses on a local and global scale. Our innovative approach to simplifying payment processing across Africa continues to drive the core objective of DPO Pay as a merchant-focused solution.”

The award judged international fintech companies operating in the Ghanaian Fintech space on providing best-in-class infrastructure for the deployment of fintech solutions and the ease of integration with third parties to offer financial and non-financial services. The Fintech Discovery of the Year Award recognizes international fintech companies, working within the local Ghanaian ecosystem to provide multiple choices to the industry and clients, ranging from payments infrastructure, credit and debit cards, mobile money, merchant acquisitions, and other payment methods, leading to an integrated financial sector.

Throughout 2022, DPO focused on bringing payment solutions closer to local businesses in Ghana. As part of its efforts, the company has partnered with Mastercard to enable thousands of businesses in Ghana to offer their customers greater choice and convenience by pivoting online and accepting digital payments. It has enabled enable merchants to safely, seamlessly and securely accept a wide range of digital payment methods including mobile money and via e-wallets – both locally and from abroad – in the currency of their choice.

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In addition, at the end of 2022 DPO released a new version of their payments app, DPO Pay Mobile. With several new features, DPO listened to merchant feedback to redesign and redevelop DumaPay. The app, previously DumaPay, now offers a variety of new features to allow for easier, more convenient transactions no matter where in Africa their businesses are. The new mobile payments application allows businesses to securely transact in multiple currencies across Africa.

Founded in 2006, DPO has developed integrated payments technology to support businesses of all sizes in over 20 countries and accepts payments securely and swiftly in all currencies and through many payment methods, including virtual cards, mobile money, and e-wallets.

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