African Economic Leadership Council (AELC) has this week launched and activated its local chapter in Gaborone aimed at helping entrepreneurs to navigate challenges that oppose their aspirations of setting their footprints beyond local economies.
This follows shortly after the Pan-African Organization was established and set in South Africa and Namibia. Although, AELC is classified as an organisation, the founders; businessmen Percy Koji and President Heinrich Hafeni said it is registered as a company with a deliberate intent to be exemplary and pay taxes in all countries of operations.
Koji who is also the Chairman, said AELC is a self-funded organization that relies solely on the pockets of the founders who are reputable entrepreneurs in their respective countries. The company is aimed at contributing to an increase in trade in Africa, with an intention of doubling trade in the continent in the next five years. This is said to be achievable through working with a multi-sector approach that involves working with business leaders, entrepreneurs, politicians to shape policies and infrastructure.
Trade Margin of Africa stands at approximately 16.8 percent; Asia at 60 percent while Europe at 50 percent, and that their aim is to accelerate the African Trade Margin. Koji said, having identified a gap from what policymakers say put against what is done and the implementation measures, theirs is to provide improved access to global markets in which entrepreneurs with more focus on SMME’s will be in a better position to capitalize on opportunities. He assured Batswana that they have access to investors who are keen to invest in Africa.
The owner of Percy Koji Wines expressed a concern over the current business world. He noted that expos usually happen and the entrepreneurs, share ideas and exchange contacts, but there is never growth that could be attributed to the ideas and exchange of contacts. He further noted that AELC seeks to find ways to strengthen capacity building within the continent.
Hafeni stated that this is their contribution to the Agenda 2063 of the “Africa we want” of not only ‘silencing the guns’ but getting rid of the barriers in business and intra-African Trade. The owner of the Hafeni Tourism Group, that includes a 20-bedroomed hotel, said they will be coming for the AELC expo in June of 2022 that is expected to be held in Francistown and expects many businesses to participate.
Former Ambassador Nkoloi Nkoloi said “Africa occupies less than 3 percent of the Global trade,” stating that, it called for interventions as of establishment of AELC. He commended them for coming at a time when the appetite of entrepreneurship, doing business and trade in Botswana is gaining traction.
Nkoloi further noted that, what they come with is nothing short of what the country needs, and it shows potential to drive the already existent ‘Pusha BW’ momentum. Chief Financial Officer at Local Enterprise Authority (LEA), Godfrey Molefe stated his expectation from professional perspective. He noted that, their expectation is that, AELC comes to deal away with problems often faced by local entrepreneurs, particularly SMME’s. He cited lack of access to conducive premises, inability to access financial assistance programs because of less operational experience.
The organisation that is expected to, eventually, be sustained by membership fees and subscription, promises entrepreneurs that registering with them will present opportunities. They will enjoy among others training, exhibition opportunities and funding. This organization is perceived by the speakers as a messiah to eliminate total dependence on Government for support and enable easy trade across all African countries.
The state of the art jewellery manufacturing plant that has been set up by international diamond and cutting company, KGK Diamonds Botswana will create over 100 jobs, of which 89 percent will be localized.
Local diamond and metal exploration company Tsodilo Resources Limited has negotiated a non-brokered private placement of 2,200, 914 units of the company at a price per unit of 0.20 US Dollars, which will provide gross proceeds to the company in the amount of C$440, 188. 20.
According to a statement from the group, proceeds from the private placement will be used for the betterment of the Xaudum iron formation project in Botswana and general corporate purposes.
The statement says every unit of the company will consist of a common share in the capital of the company and one Common Share purchase warrant of the company.
Each warrant will enable a holder to make a single purchase for the period of 24 months at an amount of $0.20. As per regularity requirements, the group indicates that the common shares and warrants will be subject to a four month plus a day hold period from date of closure.
Tsodilo is exempt from the formal valuation and minority shareholder approval requirements. This is for the reason that the fair market value of the private placement, insofar as it involves the director, is not more than 25% of the companyâ€™s market capitalization.
Tsodilo Resources Limited is an international diamond and metals exploration company engaged in the search for economic diamond and metal deposits at its Bosoto Limited and Gcwihaba Resources projects in Botswana. Â The company has a 100% stake in Bosoto which holds the BK16 kimberlite project in the Orapa Kimberlite Field (OKF) in Botswana.
African heads of state and global CEOs at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting backed the launch of the first of its kind report on how public-private partnerships can support the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
AfCFTA: A New Era for Global Business and Investment in Africa outlines high-potential sectors, initiatives to support business and investment, operational tools to facilitate the AfCFTA, and illustrative examples from successful businesses in Africa to guide businesses in entering and expanding in this area.
The report aims to provide a pathway for global businesses and investors to understand the biggest trends, opportunities and strategies to successfully invest and achieve high returns in Africa, developing local, sub-regional and continental value chains and accelerating industrialization, all of which go hand in hand with the success of the AfCFTA.
The AfCFTA is the largest free trade area in the world, by area and number of participating countries. Once fully implemented, it will be the fifth-largest economy in the world, with the potential to have a combined GDP of more than $3.4 trillion. Conceived in 2018, it now has 54 national economies in Africa, could attract billions in foreign investment, and boost overseas exports by a third, double intra-continental trade, raise incomes by 8% and lift 50 million people out of poverty.
To ease the pain of transition to its new single market, Africa has learned from trade liberalization in North America and Europe. â€śOur wide range of partners and experience can help anticipate and mitigate potential disruptions in business and production dynamics,â€ť said BĂ¸rge Brende, President, and World Economic Forum. â€śThe Forumâ€™s initiatives will help to ease physical, capital and digital flows in Africa through stakeholder collaboration, private-public collaboration and information-sharing.â€ť
Given the continentâ€™s historically low foreign direct investment relative to other regions, the report highlights the sense of excitement as the AfCFTA lowers or removes barriers to trade and competitiveness. â€śThe promising gains from an integrated African market should be a signal to investors around the world that the continent is ripe for business creation, integration and expansion,â€ť said Chido Munyati, Head of Regional Agenda, Africa, World Economic Forum.
The report focuses on four key sectors that have a combined worth of $130 billion and represent high-potential opportunities for companies looking to invest in Africa: automotive; agriculture and agroprocessing; pharmaceuticals; and transport and logistics.
â€śMacro trends in the four key sectors and across Africaâ€™s growth potential reveal tremendous opportunities for business expansion as population, income and connectivity are on the rise,â€ť said Wamkele Mene, Secretary-General, AfCFTA Secretariat.
The Forum is actively working towards implementing trade and investment tools through initiatives, such as Friends of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area, to align with the negotiation process of the AfCFTA. It identifies areas where public-private collaboration can help reduce barriers and facilitate investment from international firms.
About the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023
The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 convenes the worldâ€™s foremost leaders under the theme, Cooperation in a Fragmented World. It calls on world leaders to address immediate economic, energy and food crises while laying the groundwork for a more sustainable, resilient world. For further information,