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London Business School Grooms Sahara Group’s Future Leaders



London, United Kingdom; September 11, 2019 – Excellence meets opportunity as a brilliant quartet of Sahara Group employees commence a four-week London Business School development course under the framework of the Sahara Leadership Program (SLP), the energy conglomerate’s initiative for empowering its future business leaders.

The SLP is a bespoke program designed to identify, develop and empower select employees for senior leadership roles within Sahara Group as the organisation continues to expand across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Sahara Group’s delegation to the LBS Accelerated Development Progamme include: Adetowun Adekoya, Joke Olatunji, Chineze Nnama and Jessica Akintade. The modules will cover: A journey of self-awareness, The financial Equation, Strategy and Innovation, Delivering Customer Value, Effective Decision-Making and Leading Organizational Change.

According to Sahara Group’s Head of Human Resources, Ivie Imasogie-Adigun, the Sahara Leadership Program, in addition to other learning platforms, is an expression of Sahara’s commitment to capacity building and fostering an environment that promotes learning, innovation and excellence. “For us at Sahara, learning is a vital talent development strategy as we continue to expand our operations globally. We are deliberate about creating sustainable learning opportunities that equip our employees for global competitiveness in all our businesses,” she said.

Adetowun, Industrial Chemist and Head, Energy Audit at Ikeja Electric, an affiliate of the Sahara Power Group, said he was delighted at his selection and was looking forward to applying knowledge gained from the training to his current and future roles in the business.

(l-r) Jessica Akintade – HR Business Partner, Sahara Group, Adetowun Adekoya – Head, Energy Audit, Ikeja Electric, Joke Olatunji – Senior Business Analyst, Sahara Group and Chineze Nnama – Legal Manager, Sahara Group photographed at the London Business School.

“The Sahara Leadership Program presents an opportunity for developing leadership capacity that can help sustain the growth of the business and even chart new frontiers for the Sahara Group. I am soaking in the mindset change and more importantly, realising that there are great opportunities ahead in my exciting journey at Sahara.”

Joke Olatunji, Senior Business Analyst at Sahara Group holds degrees in Mathematics and Statistics as well as Actuarial Science from the University of Lagos. She described the SLP selection process as “very intensive, grueling and disruptive,” adding that she hoped to ultimately become a “transformational leader with a reputation for spearheading business expansion and mentoring younger colleagues in line with the Sahara Brand’s practice of institutionalising learning.”

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A Legal Manager at Sahara Group, Chineze Nnama holds a law degree from the University of Hertfordshire and an LLM from University College London. Chineze said the SLP was an “an amazing learning platform” for grooming effective leaders. “I am confident that at the end of the Sahara Leadership Program I will be equipped to function as a resourceful business leader across different markets.”

Jessica Akintade, HR Business Partner for Sahara’s Africa Businesses, is a graduate of Psychology from Obafemi Awolowo University. Post the SLP training, Jessica is looking forward to “expanding her tentacles” into various aspects of Sahara Group operations in Upstream, Downstream, Midstream, Power and Infrastructure sectors. “From class room learning experiences with experts from different fields at Sahara to a thrilling opportunity for further training at the prestigious London Business School, the whole experience has honestly been unbelievable,” she stated.

Sahara Group

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Mixed-use is the key to funding hotel development in Africa




JLL’s research into global property transactions reveals that in the first half of 2019, there was a 42% increase in the value of mixed-use property transactions

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, September 16, 2019 – A new report from JLL, the world’s largest professional services firm specialising in real estate, has revealed that people seeking to finance a new hotel project in Africa will be much more successful if their hotel is part of a mixed-use development.

JLL’s research into global property transactions reveals that in the first half of 2019, there was a 42% increase in the value of mixed-use property transactions, whereas there was a decline in other sectors, with Office down 4%, Industrial down 6%, Retail down 20%, Hotel down 18% and alternatives down 40%.

Xander Nijnens, Executive Vice-President, JLL Sub-Saharan Africa, explains that the trend is driven by lenders’ approach to risk. He said: “Diversifying risk by including alternative types of property, commercial, retail, hotel and branded residences, in one development, provides comfort to financiers due to the diverse and more consistent income streams generated. Branded residences are also increasing in prevalence because they provide up-front cash inflows and a more predictable source of revenue than one gets from a hotel alone.”

In Africa, the leading funders of hospitality construction projects are government-backed Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) like International Finance Corporation (IFC), Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the CDC Group, Proparco and the German Investment Corporation (DEG). They are motivated by economic development, skills development and job creation and have a lower requirement for the predictable, consistent loan repayments required by a commercial bank. DFIs are also able to stomach more risk.

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A driving factor for this trend is that hotels rent their rooms in euros and US dollars rather than in local currency which, from a financing perspective, reduces the risk to the lender and lowers the interest rate paid by the borrower.

The research comes a week ahead of the Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), Africa’s highest profile gathering of the hospitality and tourism industry, which takes place in Addis Ababa on September 23-25.


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Fenix International to Launch Off-Grid Solar in Mozambique in partnership with leading operator Vodacom




Launching sales in Mozambique is the latest step in Fenix’s expansion

MAPUTO, Mozambique, September 16, 2019 – Fenix International, a next-generation energy company and subsidiary of ENGIE, opens its sixth market in Mozambique, where it expects to reach 200,000 households with clean energy and inclusive financial services within 3 years.

Launching sales in Mozambique is the latest step in Fenix’s expansion. Headquartered in Kampala, the company has already connected 500,000 customers to solar power in Uganda, Zambia, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, and Nigeria. Fenix has rapidly grown operations as a subsidiary of ENGIE, enabling the company to scale off-grid energy and financial services across new markets, with Mozambique the fourth new market opened within the past year.

Luke Hodgkinson, Managing Director of Fenix Mozambique, comments, “Mozambique has set an ambitious target with their ProEnergia initiative to reach 100% of the population with electricity by 2030. The country represents an optimal market for off-grid solar products, with only 27% of households currently connected to electricity and a highly distributed population. Fenix’s operations here will focus on reaching those most in need of energy access, particularly districts in the North and people who are using expensive, polluting, and dangerous methods such as kerosene and candles to light their homes.”

By replacing fossil fuel-powered lanterns, solar home systems allow off-grid customers to illuminate their homes with clean LED lights, as well as charge phones and run radios, TVs, hair clippers and speakers. Fenix’s latest product, Fenix Power, is a GSM-enabled power system that enables the company to determine product usage and potential technical issues remotely, improving the customer experience. Fenix is the first PAYGO solar company in Mozambique to use these Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to reduce costs and bring high-quality, affordable technology to rural, last-mile customers.

Fenix has partnered with Vodacom and Vodafone M-Pesa SA to tackle the challenges of distribution, connectivity and mobile payments that have left rural Mozambicans underserved by affordable energy products in the past.

Luke adds, “We are delighted to partner with Vodacom and Vodafone M-Pesa SA. With their market-leading brand, distribution network and payment platform, and Fenix’s high-quality products and excellent last-mile customer service, together we can provide clean energy and financial inclusion to millions of rural Mozambicans. Once these foundations have been established, the possibilities to bring other life-changing products, from household appliances to crop insurance, are truly endless.”

Gulamo Nabi, from Vodafone M-Pesa SA adds, “We’ve been working to unlock the potential of M-Pesa for the millions of Mozambicans in rural areas, far from the national grid or traditional financial services.

“Vodafone M-Pesa SA is excited to work with Fenix to access these areas and provide the easy, fast and secure payment platform for customers to light up their homes with clean, affordable energy. This is totally aligned with our mission to create mobile solutions to change our customers lives.”

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Fenix is headquartered in Maputo, but will operate in every province of Mozambique within the next three years. Whilst sales have already begun in the South Region, the next point of entry for investment will be in the province of Nampula before the end of the year. This decision is motivated by Fenix’s commitment to delivering its solution to households most in need and in the hardest to reach corners of rural Mozambique. To serve its customers across the country, Fenix will train and employ over 150 full-time sales and marketing, customer service, product diagnostics, and logistics professionals.

Fenix International

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Arab central banks’ chief laud Egypt’s successful economic reform experience




Governor of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) Tarek Amer

CAIRO – 15 September 2019: Governors of Arab central banks and monetary institutions applauded Sunday Egypt’s successful economic reform, which helped restore investors confidence.

This came during the 43rd session of the Arab Central Banks Governors and Arab Monetary Associations, which kicked off earlier in the day at the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) with the participation of over 200 Arab bankers, central banks’ governors, ministers, economic experts and officials of the Arab Monetary Fund.

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Participants asserted that the Egypt’s economic reform experience over the past four years should be documented as a model to be followed by other countries.

Egypt Today

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