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$80 Billion African Aviation Market in the Spotlight


First-ever Aviation Africa to bring together world’s leading airlines, ministers and authorities including IATA, Rwandair, CAA Ghana, to discuss untapped market’s significant opportunities

Aviation Africa 2015 which opens on 10th May at Le Meridien Hotel, Dubai will underscore the immense potential of the African aviation market. The two-day event, held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al Maktoum, President of Dubai’s Department of Civil Aviation and Chairman of Emirates Airline, has been established to forge a crucial dialogue among the aviation industry’s leading stakeholders on the social, economic and political benefits to be gained from wide-ranging improvements to the infrastructure in Africa.

Aviation in Africa currently supports more than 6.9 million jobs and over $800 billion in GDP across African nations. But this is nothing compared with what it can become. Annually, a further 155,000 jobs and $1.3 billion in GDP can be added through the effective liberalisation of just 12 key markets, including Ghana, Kenya and South Africa among others, according to an independent report published by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

“If you look at the sheer potential of just a handful of African airlines, routes and airports, you realise just how enormous an impact Africa can have on the future of aviation, and moreover you can clearly see just how beneficial a progressive aviation industry can be for the socio-economic future of the continent,” says Alan Peaford MBE, event organiser and summit Chairman.

“Geographically, it’s ideally located right next to well-established hubs in the Gulf, and is able to capitalise on the passenger and cargo traffic already streaming through the region.

“Aviation Africa 2015 will fill a void in the aviation calendar and give Africa a real chance to progress quickly, effectively and safely,” he adds.

Africa’s prospective growth, as well as the potentially vital role the Middle East’s aviation industry can play in the creation of a burgeoning African market will be the focal point of the various case studies and panels at Aviation Africa 2015.

Hon. Dzifa Aku Attivor, Minister of Transport for Ghana, will present the Keynote Address. The Ghanian transport minister is one in a long list of top-level industry speakers, delegates and experts who will share ideas and experiences with their Middle Eastern counterparts to bring Africa’s inevitably pivotal role in the future of aviation front and centre.

“There are many striking similarities between the Middle Eastern aviation market of 20 years ago and the African market of today,” says Alan Peaford

“The many experiences Gulf carriers, airports and regulators underwent as they grew to become the centre-ground of the global aviation space are bound to be similar to the issues that will arise in Africa as the continent’s nations begin to put their efforts and resources behind their aviation industry. Africa would do well to discuss, listen and learn from their Middle Eastern counterparts,” Peaford adds.

Discussing the role of the regulators at Aviation Africa 2015 will be Laila Ali Hareb Al Muhairi, Assistant Director General for Strategy and International Affairs, of the UAE’s civil aviation authority (the GCAA), Dr Hamdi Chaouk, former director general for aviation in Lebanon; Abdulai Alhassan, director general, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority and Mohamed Rahma, Undersecretary for international affairs, Egypt.

Speakers confirmed from African and Middle East airlines already include Girma Wake, chairman, RwandAir (formerly CEO, Ethiopian Airlines); Yves Naninque, CCO ECAir; Many other CEOs and COOs are attending including Africa’s leading cargo operator Astral Aviation, South African Airlines and Daallo Airlines. 

One session of particular note will see Ed Winter, CEO of Fastjet – Tanzania’s low cost carrier which has been enjoying great success since its launch in 2011 – he is on a panel with Air Arabia’s group chief executive, Adel Ali, exploring the impact LCCs have had on the aviation industry in the region.

Alan Peaford, said: “We are really pleased with the support we are getting from the industry across all levels of government, as well as airlines of all shapes and sizes.

“This is going to be a great networking event and an intriguing summit. Of course there is a frisson between many African carriers and the local airlines in the Middle East but it wasn’t that long ago that the likes of Emirates and Qatar Airways were in the same position as the African carriers are now and they have found many different ways around global and regional challenges,” Peaford says.

“It’s really exciting to see some of the new and smaller carriers represented at the event. There is a great hunger for the knowledge that will get this growth challenge right.”

Dr Nicklas Dahlstrom, human factors manager, Emirates Airline, will be discussing the challenges of multi-cultural workforces and the threat to safety of human performance.

There are also senior figures from aviation authorities and associations, who include Hussein Dabbas, VP Africa & Middle East, IATA; Tawanda Gusha, Director Airports, Civil Aviation Authority, Zimbabwe and Paul Murphy, vice president, Africa, SITA.

The event also features an exhibition with over 40 companies including Boeing, Jeppesen, African Open Sky, Ethiopian Airlines and Astral Aviation.  The event is supported by AFRAA – African Airlines Association, AfBAA – African Business Aviation Association and the Gold Sponsors are UAE International Trip Support and DAE – Dubai Aerospace Enterprise. 

Distributed by APO (African Press Organization) on behalf of Aviation Africa 2015.

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Business

Pula smiles at COVID-19 vaccine

25th November 2020
COVID-19 vaccine

A squeaky and glittering metaphoric smile was the look reflected from the Pula against the greenback this week and money market researchers lean this on optimism following Monday’s announcement of another Covid-19 vaccine which is said to have boosted emerging market economies.

With other emerging market currencies, the Pula too reacted to optimism and fanfare on the new Covid-19 vaccine against the weakening US dollar which has been losing its shine since the uncertainty laden US elections.

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Business

Choppies high on JSE rollercoaster volatility

25th November 2020
CHOPPIES

After bouncing back into the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) last week Friday, following a year of being in the freezer, the Choppies stock started this week with much fluidity.

Choppies was suspended in both the Botswana Stock Exchange and its secondary listing at the JSE for failure to publish financial results. Choppies suspension on Botswana Stock Exchange was lifted on 27 July 2020. On Friday last week, when suspension was being lifted, Choppies explained that this came into fruition “following extensive engagement with the JSE.”

Choppies stock, prior to suspension, hit a mammoth decline in value of more than 60 percent, especially in September 2018. Waking from a 24 month freezer, last week the Choppies share price was at R0.64 and the stock did not make any movement.

However, Monday was the day when Choppies stock moved vibrantly, albeit volatile. Choppies’ value was on a high volatile mood on Monday, reaching highs of 200 percent. At noon, the same Monday, the Choppies share had reached R1.05. Before taking an uphill movement, Choppies stock slightly slipped by 2 cents. But the Choppies share rode up high and by lunch time the stock had reached the day’s summit of R2.00 and that was at 13:30 when investors were buying the stock for lunch.

The same eventful Monday saw gloom on the faces of Choppies rivals, when Choppies gained by 220.31 percent around lunch time its rivals in the JSE Food & Drug Retailers sector were licking wounds. Spar lost 2.94 percent, Pick Pay fell by 2.43 percent, Shoprite 7.52 percent and Dis-Chem 1.98 percent. The only gainer was Clicks by a paltry 0.51 percent.

In an interview with BusinessPost, Choppies sponsors at the JSE PSG Capital Managing Director Johan Holtzhausen explained that the retailer’s stock was in high demand after a long suspension. He said when a company list or a suspension is lifted the market needs to find itself on the pricing of the share.

“Initially when the suspension was lifted there were more buyers than sellers. As far as we could see this created a shortage of shares so to speak and resulted in the price at which the shares traded going to R1.20 and eventually R2.05 before finding its level around R0.80 sent from a JSE perspective.

This is marked dynamics and reflect that there are investors that are positive about the stock in the long run. This is a snapshot over a short period and one requires a longer period to draw further conclusions,” said Holtzhausen in an interview talking about the Choppies stock.

On Monday this week where the Choppies value grew by 200 percent, the stock took a turn looking down, closing the day at R0.87 from a high of R2.00. According to local stockbroker Motswedi Securities on Monday while there was no movement by Choppies in the local stock exchange as the retailer appeared on the board as 141,000 shares traded at P0.60 each.

However in Choppies’ secondary listing the stock price rallied to over 200 percent during intraday trading on Monday before losing steam and declining to around R0.87 share.

Before press yesterday Choppies opened the market with the stock starting the day at R0.80 then went flat for few hours before taking a slide downward, dropping 5 cents in 30 minutes. Choppies then went flat at R0.75 for 50 minutes yesterday before going up at 10:20 am where it nearly recovered the open day price of 80 cents, but was shy of 1 cent. From 79 cents the price went flat until noon.

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Foschini-Jet merger, a class and rivalry conundrum dissection

25th November 2020
Foschini

Competition and Consumer Authority (CCA) has revealed that in its assessment of the Jet take over by Foschini, there were considerations on possible market rivalry and a clash in targeted classes.

According to a merger decision notice seen by this publication this week, high considerations were made to ensure that Foschini’s takeover of Jet is not anyhow an elimination of rivalry or competition or if the two entities; the targeted and the acquiring enterprise serves the same class of customers or offer the same products, to elude the anti-trust issues or a stretch of monopoly.

The two entities are South African retailers whose services stretched to Botswana shores.  Last month local anti-trust body, CCA, received an acquisition proposal from South African clothing retailer, Foschini, stating their intentions to take-over Jet.

South African government’s Business Rescue Practitioners earlier this year after finding out that Jet’s mother company, Edcon, is falling apart, made a decision that Foschini can buy Jet for R480 million. This means that Foschini will add Jet to its portfolio of 30 retail brands that trade in clothing, footwear, jewellery, sportswear, homeware, cell phones, and technology products from value to upper market segments throughout more than 4085 outlets in 32 countries on five continents.

However the main headache for the CCA decision which was released this week, is distinguishing the targeted and the acquiring entity businesses and services.

When doing a ‘Competitive Analysis and Public Interest’ assessment, CCA is said to have discovered that Foschini is classified as a “standard retailer” which targets middle-to-upper income consumers and it competes with stores such as; Truworths and Woolworths. The targeted entity, Jet, is on the lower league when compared to its acquirer, it serves customers of lower classes and is regarded as a discount/value retailer targeting lower income consumers or a mass market. This makes Jet to be in direct competition with Ackermans, Pepkor, Cash Bazaar and Mr Price.

“Therefore, a narrower view of the market is that Foschini through its stores trading in Botswana is not a close competitor to Jet. Additionally, there exist other major rivals who will continue to exercise competitive constraints on the merged enterprise post-merger,” concluded CCA this month.

The anti-trust body continued to explain that in terms of the Acquisition of a Dominant Position, the analysis shows that the acquisition of the target business by Foschini Botswana will result in an insignificant combined market share in the relevant market.

This made CCA reach to a conclusion that there is no case of an acquisition of a dominant position in the market under consideration or any other market on the account of the proposed transaction.

What supports the merger according to CCA is that it is in compliance with regards to ‘Public Interest Considerations’ because the findings of the assessment revealed that the transaction is as a result of the need for a Business Rescue by the target enterprise. This is so because in the event that the proposed transaction fails, it will translate into the loss of the employment positions at the target business.

“On that note the Authority (CCA) found it necessary to ensure that the proposed merger does not result in any retrenchments or redundancies. In light of this, the assessment revealed the critical need to protect the employees of the merged entity from possible merger specific retrenchments/ redundancies,” said CCA.

Before making a determination that the recently proposed transaction is not likely to result in the prevention or substantial lessening of competition or endanger the continuity of the services offered in the relevant market, CCA said it then moved into a concern for public interest which is a protection enshrined in the Competition Act of 2018.

CCA’s concern was mostly loss of livelihood or employment by 126 Batswana workers at Jet stores, stating that possible retrenchments or redundancies may arise as a result of implementation of the proposed merger.

Much to the desire of trade union or labour movements in Botswana and across Southern Africa where the Jet stores are stemmed-who also raised concerns about the retail’s workers job security- CCA subjects Foschini to keep the target entity 126 workers.

“There shall be no merger specific retrenchments or redundancies that may affect the employees of the merged enterprises. For clarity, merger specific retrenchments or redundancies do not include (the list is not exhaustive): i. voluntary retrenchment and/or voluntary separation arrangements; ii. Voluntary early retirement packages; iii. Unreasonable refusals to be redeployed; iv. Resignations or retirements in the ordinary course of business; v. retrenchments lawfully effected for operational requirements unrelated to the Merger; and vi. Terminations in the ordinary course of business, including but not limited to, dismissals as a result of misconduct or poor performance,” said CCA.

CCA also orders that Foschini informs it about all the details of 126 Jet employees within thirty (30) days of the merger approval date. CCA should also know information of when Foschini is implementing the merger, within 30 days of the approval date.

Other conditions include Foschini sharing a copy of the conditions of approval to all employees of the Jet or their respective representatives within ten (10) days of the approval date.

“Should vacancies arise in the target, the merged enterprise shall consider previous employment at one of the non-transferring Jet stores to be a positive factor to be taken into account in the consideration of offering potential employment,” said CCA.

According to CCA, in cases of any job losses, for the Authority to assess whether the retrenchments or redundancies are merger specific, at least three months before (to the extent that this deadline can be practically achieved and in terms of the prevailing and legally required employment practices) any retrenchments or redundancies are to take place, inform the Authority of:  i. The intended retrenchments; ii. The reasons for the retrenchments; iii. The number and categories of employees affected; iv. The expected date of the retrenchments.

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