New World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Agenda for Africa moves ahead in Berlin

New World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Agenda for Africa moves ahead in Berlin

BERLIN, Germany, March 13, 2018/ — An African ministerial working meeting conveyed by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) during this year’s Berlin International Tourism Fair ITB (8 March) agreed to move ahead with a new ten-point UNWTO Agenda for Africa. The final document will be adopted at the UNWTO Commission meeting for Africa, taking place in Nigeria in June this year.

Against the backdrop of international tourist arrivals expanding 8% in Africa in 2017, thus outgrowing the world average increase in arrivals, tourism is gaining weight as a development opportunity for the whole continent, with its vast diversity of nature, culture and wildlife its greatest vehicle for development.

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stressed that “tourism has huge potential to generate lasting development opportunities in Africa if we manage it in the right way, which is economic, social and environmental sustainability”.

The participants from 17 countries, including 14 ministers, supported a coordinated approach to seizing the continent’s potential for tourism, a sector that last year attracted more than 62 million international visitors. Issues on the UNWTO Agenda for Africa include, among others, connectivity, the image and brand of Africa, poverty alleviation, climate change, education and skills development, and financing. Delegates underscored the importance of educating other economic sectors on the broad impact of tourism for the benefit of societies and its people, and promoting tourism as a priority in national agendas.

The detailed, four-year UNWTO Agenda for Africa will be approved at the upcoming 61st Regional Commission for Africa – UNWTO’s annual gathering of all its member countries of the continent – in the Nigerian capital of Abuja (4-6 June).

The following countries were represented at the meeting at ITB: Angola, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Profiling Francophone West Africa as the leader in intra-regional trade

Profiling Francophone West Africa as the leader in intra-regional trade

LOME, Togo, March 5, 2018/ — Francophone West Africa leads in intra-regional trade with trade hotspots around Dakar, Abidjan, Cotonou and Lomé, according to analysis by Ecobank’s research team in its new website, AfricaFICC.

The team has updated Ecobank’s flagship Africa Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Guidebook (FICC) and made it available as an online resource: The website provides key facts for businesses and investors on the economies of Sub-Saharan Africa and the key sectors of activity.

The first regional section of the website to go live is Francophone West Africa, one of the most diverse regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. Stretching from Senegal and Cape Verde in the West to Niger 2,000 miles away in the East, Francophone West Africa covers nine countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. Together they make up the Union Economique et Monétaire Ouest-Africaine (UEMOA). The website gives a country-by-country analysis of each country, with an economic outlook, details on the FX, FI and banking sectors, and overview of the mineral, energy and soft commodity sectors, as well as key trade flows.

Data for Francophone West Africa show that, despite geographical differences, the region is one of the best integrated economic and monetary zones in Africa, bolstered by the shared currency (the CFA franc), the common legal system (OHADA) and the French language which has fostered economic integration and intra-regional trade.

Key factors to consider include:

  • The region’s economy is driven by agriculture, mining, hydrocarbons, trade and financial services, and is home to the world’s largest producer of cocoa (Côte d’Ivoire) and Africa’s largest regional producers of cotton and palm oil.
  • Abidjan, Dakar, Cotonou and Lomé are key trade hubs for trade, acting as conduits for the import and export of goods and services, both to the international market and to sub-regional markets.
  • Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal account for more than half the block’s GDP and trade flows, acting as vital lifelines for their landlocked neighbours, Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger. Benin and Togo are also major re-export hubs for capital & consumer goods and food, with large informal volumes not being captured by official data.
  • Côte d’Ivoire has the largest banking sector in UEMOA, followed by Senegal. Both countries are emerging as the key Fintech innovation hubs in Francophone Africa.

“Many businesses and investors struggle to find good and reliable economic data about Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Dr. Edward George, Ecobank’s Head of Group Research.

“Our new Africa FICC website offers a one-stop shop, with all the key economic, currency, banking, commodity and trade data that those working or investing in Sub-Saharan Africa need at their fingertips,” he said.

“Ecobank understands regional and local business customs, regulations and country-specific risks better than any other bank in Africa because we operate on the ground in 33 markets. This data will help us and our clients in making investment and other financial decisions as part of our seamless service,” said Charles Daboiko, Group Head for Francophone West Africa.

Country guides for the other regions of Sub-Saharan Africa – Anglophone West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa & Southern Africa – will go live over the coming month.

Country guides from other regions of sub-Saharan Africa – English-speaking West Africa, Central Africa, Eastern Africa and Southern Africa – will be posted online in the coming months.

Appendix 1: FICC facts and figures

Benin
• Benin is one of smallest countries in West Africa.
• It is West Africa’s third-largest cotton producer, with estimated output of 150,000 tonnes of cotton lint in 2016/17 – Benin’s most valuable export, worth US$187mn in 2016, with most exports going to India, Malaysia, Bangladesh and China for spinning and textiles.
• Benin is a major re-export hub, serving as a key informal conduit for capital and consumer goods going into and out of its eastern neighbour, Nigeria.

Burkina Faso
• Burkina Faso has recently emerged as West Africa’s third largest producer of gold (after Ghana and Mali), with estimated output of 45 tonnes in 2017 and is now its most valuable export, worth US$1.6bn in 2016. Thanks to major investment production of gold is expanding, along with other minerals such as zinc (169,000 tonnes produced in 2016) and lead (2,000 tonnes).
• Burkina Faso is West Africa’s leading cotton producer, with estimated output of 283,000 tonnes of cotton lint in 2016/17 which totalled US$423mn in 2016. It is also a significant producer of sesame (95,000 tonnes in 2017) and cashew nuts (86,000 tonnes), all exported raw to world markets.

Côte d’Ivoire 
• One of Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading soft commodity exporters, accounting for 14.2% of the total in 2016. Cocoa and cocoa products were the largest export, totalling US$5.7 bn.
• The world’s leading producer of cocoa, with record output of 2.01mn tonnes in 2016/17 (October-September), 42.8% of world output.
• Africa’s largest producer of natural rubber, with estimated output of 326,101 tonnes in 2015, most of which was exported to world markets.

Cape Verde
• An archipelago with the region’s smallest population of just over half a million people.
• With limited land and water resources, Cape Verde does not produce agricultural commodities for export and the country remains heavily dependent on food imports to meet domestic needs.

Guinea-Bissau
• Guinea Bissau is Africa’s third largest producer of cashew nuts, with estimated output of 200,000 tonnes of raw cashews (RCN) in 2017, around 8% of world production.

Mali
• Mali is the third largest producer of gold in Sub-Saharan Africa, Gold, with an estimated output of 63 tonnes in 2016 and production set to rise, is Mali’s most valuable commodity export worth US$2bn in 2016, and and makes up a quarter of government revenues. The government hopes to raise total production to over 100 tonnes in the near term.
• Mali is West Africa’s second largest cotton producer after Burkina Faso. Run by a state monopoly, Mali’s cotton production has risen steadily since 2013/14, reaching a record 266,000 tonnes of cotton lint in 2016/17, worth US$266mn in exports. Output forecast to grow further to 300,000 tonnes in 2017/18, thereby making Mali Africa’s largest cotton grower; Malian cotton fibre trades at a slight premium to Burkinabè fibre, owing to its longer staple length and reliable deliveries.
• In 2016 Mali exported US$228mn worth of live animals to neighbouring countries (mostly cows, sheep and goats)

Niger
• Niger is Africa’s largest producer of uranium, with estimated output of 2,904 tonnes in 2016, worth US$299mn, 93% of which is exported to France as fuel and the balance to the USA;
• Niger became an oil producer in 2011 when production started at the Agadem block: output has averaged 20,000 bpd; but production is set to rise following the award of a second oil licence in November 2013;
• Niger is a major re-exporter of food to neighbouring countries; in 2016 it exported US$134mn of rice, US$132mn of palm oil and US$31mn of pasta.

Senegal
• Senegal has the second largest banking sector in the UEMOA, after Côte d’Ivoire.
• Senegal’s banking sector is loan-driven, with loans and advances accounting for more than half of total assets and the wholesale lending activities – primarily to SMEs and local and multinational corporates – the main growth driver.
• Senegal’s mining sector is focused on gold, phosphates and cement production, with an estimated 10 tonnes of gold produced in 2016, all for export. New investment aims to increase annual production to more than 30 tonnes by 2022.
• Estimated output of cement was 2.9 million tonnes in 2016, both for domestic consumption and for export to the sub-region, and output of phosphate rock was 473,000 tonnes in 2016; Senegal is a hub for processing this into phosphoric acid, the key ingredient in fertiliser.
• Senegal has a dynamic horticultural goods sector which is seeking to challenge the dominance of Kenya and Ethiopia for market share of the EU’s organic fruit and vegetable market.

Togo
• Togo is a major trade hub for the West African region.
• Phosphate is Togo’s most valuable mineral export, representing up to 11% of foreign exchange earnings; a total of 846,091 tonnes was exported in 2016, most of which went to India and Canada
• Togo is a major exporter of cement (US$137mn in 2016), cotton (US$53mn) and phosphate rock (US$81mn), most of which is produced in Togo; it is also a re-exporter of imported goods including plastics (worth US$95mn), vehicles and machinery (US$76mn), cosmetics (US$49mn), with the majority going to neighbouring Ghana and Nigeria.

 

About Ecobank
Incorporated in Lomé, Togo in 1988, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (‘ETI’)  is the parent company of the leading independent pan-African banking group, Ecobank. It currently has a presence in 36 African countries, namely: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (Democratic Republic), Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Group employs over 17,000 people in 40 different countries in over 1,200 branches and offices. Ecobank is a full-service bank providing wholesale, retail, investment and transaction banking services and products to governments, financial institutions, multinationals, international organisations, medium, small and micro businesses and individuals.

Ecobank partners with the Global Partnership for Education to advance digital learning and skills in Africa

Ecobank partners with the Global Partnership for Education to advance digital learning and skills in Africa

LOME, Togo, February 1, 2018/ — Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), the parent company of the leading pan-African financial institution, has been selected as a private sector ‘partner of choice’ by the Global Partnership for Education (‘GPE’) in its mission to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

The Presidents of Senegal and France are co-hosting GPE’s 2018 Financing Conference, aimed at replenishing its financial resources, which commences in Dakar today. GPE is seeking to raise US$3.1 billion from donors to support the education of children in developing countries over the next three years. Its goal is to enable governments to increase their education expenditure to 20% of their overall budget. GPE is currently active in 31 of the 36 countries that make up Ecobank’s pan-African footprint.

Commenting on Ecobank’s involvement, Serge Ackre, Managing Director of Ecobank Senegal, said: “Senegal is achieving significant economic progress thanks to investing 24% of its budget in education, setting up a countrywide programme of state-funded nurseries and providing free universal access to schooling. By co-hosting GPE’s financing conference, Senegal is asserting its rightful position as an educational blueprint for other African states to follow.”

Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank’s Group CEO, concluded: “Ecobank is proud to be the first banking group to join forces with GPE to advance educational outcomes across Africa. GPE is seeking to leverage our experience of working with African governments, DFIs and global technology leaders to develop digital solutions that will facilitate more targeted investment in Africa’s education systems.

“We all need to unite to help shape Africa’s future by equipping our children with the skills for success in the digital world. Only together can we force the pace of change necessary.”

Hilton Marks Opening of Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort

Hilton Marks Opening of Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort

SAL, Cape Verde, January 31, 2018/ — Hilton (NYSE: HLT) marked the official opening of its spectacular new resort on the Island of Sal in Cabo Verde, announcing the company’s debut in the country and further growing the brand’s portfolio of world-class resorts.

Rudi Jagersbacher, Hilton’s president for Middle East, Africa and Turkey, and the company’s area vice president of operations for Africa and Indian Ocean, Jan van der Putten, were joined at the hotel’s opening ceremony by the country’s Prime Minister, Ulisses Correia, Justice Minster Janine Lelis, the hotel’s owners, and a host of dignitaries, ambassadors and guests.

Speaking at the event, Jan van der Putten said: “Cabo Verde is a fast-growing tourism destination that offers amazing weather year-round, a rich culture and pristine beaches, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to Sal with our world-renowned Hilton service and hospitality. We have an incredible product here and we expect to drive great business and opportunity to the hotel and to Cabo Verde as we look to expand in the country.”

Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort boasts of a stunning natural stone pool set within a lush tropical garden. Guests can enjoy a 24-hour fitness center, a kids club with a children’s pool and a nautical center for diving and sailing adventures. The hotel also features a beauty salon and Hilton’s signature eforea Spa concept with a wet area and eight treatment rooms.

Guests and local residents can enjoy a variety of dining options on-property, including:

THE BOUNTY BEACH CLUB: Blending international cuisine with Creole hospitality, Bounty Beach Club offers a casual but refined dining experience serving innovative specialties. Through the afternoon and into the night, guests can enjoy world-class cocktails while listening to the restaurant’s DJ.

POOL BAR: The Pool Bar offers a range of colorful and healthy food and drink options, including fruit juices and natural cocktails that guests can sip while relaxing by the pool.

CIZE BAR: In the evenings, guests can enjoy a carefully prepared cocktail or a glass of chilled wine at Cize Bar. As the sun sets, jazz, soul and Cape Verdean music add to the venue’s unique ambience.

MAGELLAN: Inspired by the sailing routes of the discoverers of the new world, Magellan is the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant and features a rich buffet with open cooking demonstrations and a selection of international dishes.

Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort is also the only hotel in the area to offer 24-hour room service and a minibar.

With over 1,000 square meters of flexible meeting and events space, including a 300 square-meter ballroom with high ceilings, Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort is ideal for business groups, small meetings and social events. The hotel also offers wedding packages which allow couples to celebrate their special day on the scenic beach overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

“Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort is a world-class destination resort that caters to the increasing demand for next level hospitality in Cabo Verde,” said Alejandro Casamor, general manager. “With a beach club, flexible meeting space and a host of other facilities, Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort is poised to become the preferred choice for travelers visiting the country.”

Each of the hotel’s 241 spacious guest rooms features a 50-inch LED television, Wi-Fi and a balcony or terrace. All rooms span at least 39 square meters, while suites offer at least 75 square meters of space. In addition, guests staying in Oceanfront Suites or in the Presidential Suite will be able to enjoy breathtaking ocean views.

Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort is also part of Hilton Honors, the award-winning guest-loyalty program for Hilton’s 14 distinct hotel brands. Members who book directly have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount, free standard Wi-Fi and access to the Hilton Honors mobile app. Diamond members will enjoy free Premium speed Wi-Fi, space-available upgrades, complimentary breakfast and 1,000 Bonus Points per stay. Gold members will have the option of a complimentary, continental breakfast or 1,000 Bonus Points per stay.

Hilton Marks Opening of Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort

Hilton Marks Opening of Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort

HILTON

Hilton Marks Opening of Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort

Hilton Marks Opening of Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort

Island of Sal in Cabo Verde

Hilton Marks Opening of Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort