The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has identified intra-African trade as a critical factor for unlocking Africa’s trade potential.
Ms. Kanayo Awani, Managing Director of the Bank’s, says a lack of access to trade and market information is one of the key reasons for the low level of intra-African trade. Although the share of intra-African trade as a percentage of total African trade has increased from 10% in 1995 to around 15% currently, it remains low compared to the levels in Europe (59%), Asia (51%), and North America (37%).
Historically, African countries are more familiar with markets in Europe and America than they are with those in neighboring countries, resulting in the all too common phenomenon of manufacturers sourcing materials from outside the continent when they could access the same materials more cheaply from within.
The inaugural Intra-African Trade Fair 2018 is a key intervention aimed at boosting regional trade in Africa and will be the biggest gathering of buyers and sellers on the continent, with 1,000 exhibitors and more than 70,000 visitors expected. One of the key objectives of the IATF is to provide a platform for exchange of trade information.
To facilitate this, a Trade Finance Conference will run parallel to the trade fair. Experts from across the continent and beyond will be speaking at the conference, which will bring stakeholders from industry and government agencies together to find solutions to the obstacles hampering regional trade. The Conference will also provide a platform for networking and setting up of strategic partnerships.
The IATF is, essentially, a gateway into the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which heralds what will be the biggest free trade area in the world. The first ever Intra-African Trade Fair, will provide direct access to the lucrative market created by the AfCFTA, which boasts over 1 billion people and a combined GDP of over US $3.4 trillion, making it an unprecedented platform for businesses to grow their interests exponentially into Africa.
The trade fair will also provide opportunity for the presentation of bankable proposals for funding, and access to US$25 billion in trade finance for deals concluded at the event. Business-to-Business Exchanges will also be facilitated at the trade fair. According to Ms. Awani, Afreximbank is working actively with the African Union(AU) to implement the AfCFTA.
The IATF 2018 is being organized by Afreximbank in partnership with the AU and will be hosted by the Egypt’s Export Development Authority. Themed “Intra-African Trade for a Transformative Africa”, the IATF will take place from 11 to 17 December 2018 at the Egypt International Exhibition Centre in Cairo. The trade fair will be convened biennially.
- You can register as a visitor/delegate on our website at: intrafricantradefair.com. We look forward to seeing you in Cairo.
A Business Case For Cloud And Why Finance Needs A Seat At The Table
Most businesses are by now already at one or another stage of the enterprise cloud transformation journey and a staggering 93 percent of business executives who participated in Deloitte’s 2018 global outsourcing survey, confirmed that their organisations were adopting – or at least considering adopting – cloud.
Deloitte South Africa Finance and Enterprise Performance Management Leader Phillip Hechter says that, “Cloud is not just here, but here to stay. With the potential for significant cost savings and enhanced strategic value, cloud represents a fundamental shift in how technology solutions are developed and in how they are delivered”.
However, a migration to cloud is not without its challenges and the bigger the organisation’s ambitions, the bigger those challenges.
In the latest iteration of its ‘Crunch time’ series, ‘Crunch Time 8: The CFO Guide to Cloud,’ Deloitte highlights the need for the CFO to take an active role in navigating the challenges that emerge during this process; as well as in making strategic decisions that leverage the technology’s full potential.
The lowered costs on offer with cloud, are one of its biggest drawcards. Broadly speaking, the operational costs are less expensive than those associated with on-site technology and there exists the prospect for massive returns on a cloud investment when what might be ‘unfamiliar’ cost categories – like operating model optimisation, speed-to-market and innovation – are taken into account, alongside more traditional ones.
New core finance platforms
“Cloud solutions should be the default starting point for new core finance platforms and some major Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) providers only offer cloud-native options now. The rest are at the very least, punting cloud-optimised versions of their software. Certain components may need to remain on-site for now and ERP providers will most probably continue to support on-site technology for at least the next decade; but it is unlikely that this will continue in the long run and the industry is now focusing its investments in innovation, in cloud services”, says Hechter.
The accounting for traditional computing investments is based on established capitalisation principles, which are clearly set out in accounting regulations. In contrast, when it comes to cloud investments the regulatory framework is still evolving to reflect the fact that more and more organisations – across the board – are turning to cloud-based offerings, in order to satisfy their computing requirements.
As a result, the process of determining the appropriate financial treatment for cloud investments is a somewhat subjective one at the moment and each case – along with its unique facts and circumstances – needs to be carefully considered.
In terms of tax, a move to the cloud might impact an organisation’s current tax structures and allowable tax treatments vary in accordance with a number of different factors.
Hechter adds that, “It is important that the approach taken in negotiations is a holistic one and that all deals take into account the costs, benefits and impacts for all parts of the business. Thus, it is crucial that Finance works together with Legal, Procurement and IT. External advisors can also prove valuable, especially in organisations that lack experience in cloud contracting”.
Cloud vendors typically build their services and pricing models and – more often than not – their contracts, around standardisation. This means that they are likely to push back against any major changes to standard agreements. Cloud providers are competing for market share, though, and so there exists the opportunity to negotiate for extra benefits and service capabilities – which could be a key source of competitive differentiation.
Cloud brings with it a range of opportunities for real innovation including reduced time-to-market, scalability and a way to drive agility and innovation. There are a host of examples of companies that are using cloud to transform their service and product offerings, improve efficiency, increase customer engagement and ultimately reap significant rewards as a result. It can be done but at the end of the day, what you get out of it depends on what you put in.
Healthy Nations Are Wealthy Nations
We live in a world where even a poverty-stricken Ghanaian child can dream of solving Africa’s health problems. I believe that everything begins with a vision for a better future and a passion for one’s continent and people, with perseverance, no obstacle cannot be overcome. Perseverance conquers all difficulties.
While an individual cannot provide a solution to all of Africa’s unmet health needs, any effort goes a long way. I was a Ghanaian child that dreamt of an Africa in which all citizens would have access to adequate and affordable healthcare.
Africa is the second most populous continent, and home to 16%of the world’s population. The continent receives just a mere 1% of global expenditure on healthcare, a fact which is not only morally reprehensible, but economically unsustainable for families and their entire countries, as evidenced by the high medical costs, often inaccurate diagnoses, medication errors, and inadequate or unsafe clinical facilities for those who cannot afford better.
How does Africa, with a public healthcare system that is largely under-resourced and underfunded, build healthier nations? I have a few ideas:
1. Africa’s healthcare gap is worse in low and middle-income countries where 10-15% of hospitalized patients can expect to acquire an infection during their stay, as compared to 5-7% in high-income countries. This is despite hospital-acquired infections being easily avoided through better hygiene, improved infection control practices and appropriate use of antimicrobials. Because of statistics such as these, I am committed to doing my part to bring quality healthcare to people in developing nations through my non-profit, R.E.S.T.O.R.E Worldwide Inc.
Through the R.E.S.T.O.R.E foundation, which is primarily focussed on reconstructive surgery, not only do I donate my surgical skills, but also my vast knowledge in regard to sustainable healthcare and capacity building within the industry.
Individual efforts to better a community ultimately culminate into a nation built by individuals and this is the Africa we want to see. This is not as difficult as we think to implement in practical ways, for example; if ones passion point is education, one can gather a few of the young people in the area and conduct lessons.
2. I am privileged, not only to be able to provide but also have access to quality healthcare. However, I realize that this is not universal. As I write this, my thoughts are with the people of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi who are affected by Cyclone Idai.
What the survivors of this tragedy have in common is their immediate need for resources, stability, comfort, and medical help, among many other things. As well all know, healthcare does not exist in a vacuum. Efforts also have to go towards improving education, skills, and resources, as well as creating strategic partnerships among key stakeholders.
Public-private partnerships exist in all forms to lend a hand to all kinds of causes. Neighborhoods and local governments could team up for a cleaning exercise, professional associations and governing bodies can also team up to help a cause of their own, either as a short or long-term endeavour.
An estimated 60% of healthcare financing in Africa comes from private sources which is a testament to the fact that public-private partnerships are a sustainable and feasible way to grow any sector.
3. Africa is confronted by a heavy burden of diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV – not to mention the disease of “inadequate surgical providers”. Studies show a gross lack of knowledge about the basics of how to diagnose and manage common diseases
Africa is definitely ready for relevant, reliable healthcare dialogue. The top 30 innovators showcased at the recently concluded WHO Africa Health Forum in Cape Verde has given me and all other stakeholders immense hope. These 30 brilliant minds from across Africa and beyond have developed simple solutions to the complex and unmet health needs on the continent and these are the success stories that reinforce my belief in the future of a healthy Africa.
4. As healthcare stakeholders, it’s our responsibility to develop new medicines to treat disease, but these medicines are useless if they can’t get to the patients who need them the most. We need to commit ourselves to work together with all other healthcare players and to move away from simply donating aid, to building sustainable infrastructure and capacity.
To answer my opening question on how a public healthcare system that is largely so under-resourced and underfunded can build healthier nations; I say this is one way that a little boy from Ghana or any part of the poverty-stricken parts of the developing world can solve health problems in his or her community and ultimately build healthier nations across the globe. This can be done through identifying their passion point, doing all they can in their power, seeking out other like-minded stakeholders to partner with and working to create better paths for the generations to come.
-For more information visit: restoreworldwide.org
-Dr Michael K Obeng; Founder and CEO of RESTORE Worldwide, Inc. & Global Health Solution
HUGO BOSS Partners With Porsche To Bring Action-Packed Racing Experience Through Formula E
Brought to you by Hugo Boss
HUGO BOSS and Porsche have partnered to bring an action-packed racing experience to the streets of the world’s major cities through Formula E.
Formula E is known for its fascinating races globally. The partnership will have a strong focus on the future of motorsport. In doing so the races will host a unique series for the development of electric vehicle technology, refining the design, functionality and sustainability of electric cars while creating an exciting global entertainment brand.
HUGO BOSS which boasts a long tradition of motorsports sponsorship – has been successfully engaged in the electric-powered racing series since the end of 2017.
In this collaboration, HUGO BOSS brings its 35 years of experience and expertise in the motorsport arena to Formula E, as well as the dynamic style the fashion brand is renowned for.
Mark Langer HUGO BOSS, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) says that though they have been working successfully with motorsports over the years, he is exceptionally pleased that as a fashion brand they are taking the cooperation to new heights.
“As a fashion brand, we are always looking at innovative approaches to design and sustainability. When we first encountered Formula E, we immediately saw its potential and we are pleased to be the first apparel partner to support this exciting new motorsport series,” he says.
The fashion group is also the official outfitter to the entire Porsche motorsports team worldwide.
The fascination with perfect design and innovation, along with the Porshe and Hugo Boss shared passion for racing, inspired Hugo Boss to produce the Porsche x Boss capsule collection.
Its standout features include premium leather and wool materials presented in the Porsche and HUGO BOSS colors of silver, black and red.
Since March, a range of menswear styles from the debut capsule collection is available online and at selected BOSS stores. In South Africa the first pieces of the capsule will come as a part of the FW 19 collection.
Alejandro Agag, Founder and CEO of Formula E says he is confident that the racers will put their best foot forward on the racecourse.
“This new partnership will see the team on the ground at each race dressed with a winning mindset and ready to deliver a spectacular event in cities across the world. As the first Official Apparel Partner of the series, we look forward to seeing the dynamic style and innovation on show that BOSS is renowned for,” says Agag.
Oliver Blume CEO of Porsche AG says Formula E is an exceptionally attractive racing series for motorsport vehicles to develop.
“It offers us the perfect environment to strategically evolve our vehicles in terms of efficiency and sustainability. We’re looking forward to being on board in the 2019/2020 season. In this context, the renowned fashion group HUGO BOSS represents the perfect partner to outfit our team.”
Google Is Making Android As Difficult To Hack As iPhone—And Cops Are Suffering
May Will Be Gone In June Ending Months Of Political Battering And Speculation
This caterer’s recipe for success
The 4IR Strategy To Move Forward
Why Now Is The Time To Invest In African E-commerce
Wealth3 weeks ago
What You Need To Know About Mogul Reginald Mengi Who Has Died At 75
Billionaires3 weeks ago
How mogul Abdulsamad Rabiu has become a billionaire again
Entrepreneurs4 weeks ago
A Germ Of An idea
Arts4 weeks ago
Hip-Hop Cash Princes And Princesses: The Class Of 2019
Entrepreneurs3 weeks ago
‘Worth Millions And Billions’
Brand Voice4 weeks ago
HUGO BOSS Partners With Porsche To Bring Action-Packed Racing Experience Through Formula E
Health4 weeks ago
Organic In The Concrete Jungle
Focus2 weeks ago
Entrepreneurship Funds In Africa: Distinguishing The Good From The Bad