Monthly Archives: October 2016

Ecobank renews Partnership with the Global Fund

A selected high-level audience composed of business leaders and development experts were present at the signing ceremony on September 16 2016, in Montreal, Canada
LOME, Togo, October 7, 2016/ — Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (www.Ecobank.com), the leading Pan-African financial institution, through its Foundation, has renewed its partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for a further three years. The relationship between the two organisations began in 2011,and the new agreement formalises Ecobank’s support for the Global Fund’s work in Africa. 


A selected high-level audience composed of business leaders and development experts were present at the signing ceremony on September 16 2016, in Montreal, Canada. The event, ‘Changing Africa: Enabling growth through the private sector’, led by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ecobank Foundation, Ms. Julie Essiam, took place on the side-lines of the Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment Conference. According to the terms of the agreement, Ecobank Foundation will work with the Global Fund to build the partnership into an engagement and advocacy platform for organisations and individuals who share a vision of accelerating the transformation of Africa.

Ade Ayeyemi, Ecobank Group Chief Executive Officer, pledged USD3 million at the Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment Conference in Montreal. Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hosted the event attended by Heads of State, government officials and hundreds of private sector and development leaders from across the globe. The Fifth Replenishment raised USD 12.9 billion with a goal of saving 8 more million lives.

Mr. Ayeyemi said, “Our job as bankers is to build the technical infrastructure that brings tens of millions more Africans into a more formal financial system. Ecobank’s founding fathers established a Pan-African bank to support Africa’s transformation. We are pleased to renew our productive partnership with the Global Fund. I am confident that we are a step closer to enabling prosperity across Africa.”

Through its Foundation, Ecobank will continue to take a prominent role with the Global Fund To Fight against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria on the African continent.

Julie Essiam, Chief Executive Officer, Ecobank Foundation signed the agreement with Mark Dybul, Executive Director, Global Fund. She said, “The Ecobank Foundation is pleased to be part of a historic moment with the Global Fund and what we are trying to do in Africa, which is to create a “thriving Africa”, and a prosperous continent. It is important for the private sector to collaborate to ensure that we use our platforms to unlock funds which will deliver sustainable progress and prosperity to Africa.”

Programmes supported by the Global Fund partnership have put 9.2 million people on antiretroviral treatment for HIV, provided 15.1 million people with TB treatment and distributed 659 million mosquito nets to protect families from malaria.

Mark Dybul, Executive Director, Global Fund said, “We are excited about the Ecobank partnership, which improves the impact of our grants in numerous ways. When you workto advance financial management, all the way down to sub-recipients in rural areas, that’s hugely important for development.”

The Global Fund is an organization designed to accelerate the end of HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria as epidemics. As a partnership between governments, civil society, the private sector and people affected by diseases, the Global Fund mobilizes and invests nearly US$4 billion annually to support programmes run by local experts in more than 100 countries and supports attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations.

Hilton Builds for the Future at AHIF with Its First Modular Hotel in Africa

Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill is due to open in 2020, as a 255 guest-room and suite hotel in Kenya’s capital

KIGALI, Rwanda, October 3, 2016/ — Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) (www.Hilton.com) has marked this year’s African Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) with the announcement of new properties and extensions in three African countries. It continues the company’s commitment to expansion across the continent as it seeks to double its footprint from its existing 39 hotels to more than 80 hotels in the next 3-5 years.

Among the new hotels agreed is Africa’s first modular build hotel (http://APO.af/b50EhV), the 280 guest-room Hilton Garden Inn in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, a concept that Hilton first premiered in 2014 through a partnership with CIMC Modular Building Systems. Other deals see the creation of Africa’s tallest hotel in Nairobi, while Hilton builds on its industry leading airport hotel legacy with an extension to the recently signed Legend Curio at Lagos Airport. Hilton will manage all three properties as it continues to expand its managed hotel portfolio.

Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president development, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide said, “Having been present in Africa for more than 50 years we’re proud to have remained at the forefront of pioneering hotel growth on the continent. This year at AHIF we’re breaking new ground in the region with the announcement of our first modular build hotel, a fast-paced construction solution that we feel has huge potential in Africa, with quicker returns for investors and a world-class hospitality experience for guests.

“We remain hugely committed to Africa across our portfolio of world-class brands, continuing to introduce our hotels to new markets across the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa in the coming years.”

Modular construction is an innovative solution that can be used to drive hotel development, offering numerous benefits including faster development, streamlined design and cost efficiencies. The process involves assembling portions of the hotel – including guest rooms and hallways – in China, before transporting them to the final site for completion, thereby significantly reducing the time taken for construction. The model helps ensure consistent quality and accelerates the build schedule on site, a particular benefit for developers and investors in emerging markets.

Hilton Garden Inn Accra Liberation Road is being developed under a management agreement with Independence Properties Ltd, whose majority shareholder is Trasacco Estates Development Company Ltd. With a planned opening in 2018, this will be the first Hilton Garden Inn in Ghana.

Ian Morris Director Independence Properties and CEO Trasacco Estates Development Company said: “After building a number of three star plus properties in West Africa the option to go modular and improve on room quality, project delivery and minimise construction risk was warmly embraced by our development, design and construction teams and we feel is the future of the industry.”

Paul Blackmore, Managing Director CIMC MBS, said: “We are very proud of the continued association between Hilton and CIMC, with Hilton Garden Inn being an excellent brand for utilising our modular technology. In Independence Properties we have another great partner focussed on a high-quality product. Africa is a key strategic focus for CIMC, where our solutions can minimise risk on site while protecting and improving owner returns.”

Located on Liberation Road, the main connection between Ghana’s capital and its major international airport, the hotel will feature three restaurants and amenities offered at each Hilton Garden Inn location, including complimentary high speed Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, 24-hour business and fitness centers, alongside four adjustable meeting rooms and a 450sqm ballroom.

Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill, Kenya (255 guest rooms)

A management agreement with Jabavu Village Ltd and White Lotus Projects sees Hilton expand on its existing presence in Kenya to create Africa’s tallest building. Standing 330m high, Hilton Nairobi Upper Hill is due to open in 2020, as a 255 guest-room and suite hotel in Kenya’s capital. It will offer multiple food and beverage outlets, including a relaxing poolside bar, speciality smokehouse and grill restaurant, lobby dining area with landscaped deck and a boutique rooftop bar with unbeatable vista views of the Nairobi skyline on the 43rd level.

Finally, having previously announced the signing of Curio, The Legend, Lagos Airport, Hilton has also confirmed that an additional 76 guest rooms will be added to the hotel bringing the room count up to 130-keys and further strengthening its expansion in the country. The hotel, due to open during 2017 will be the first within the airport environment giving guests and airline passengers alike unrivalled ease of access to the airports’ facilities.

A Lack of Relevant Skills and Talent Slows Down the Implementation of Resilience Programmes

Control Risks, the global business risk consultancy, today published its survey “The State of Enterprise Resilience”
NAIROBI, Kenya, October 4, 2016/ — Over one third of respondents of Control Risks’ Business Resilience Survey 2016/2017 (www.ControlRisks.com) felt that their organisations lacked the relevant skills or talent to drive corporate resilience; this is an increase of 17% on 2015. This is in spite of the fact that 27% of respondents have actively recruited dedicated resources to support the resilience agenda, and 46% have invested in training, awareness, and communications. Control Risks, the global business risk consultancy, today published its survey “The State of Enterprise Resilience”, assessing the degree to which the concept of resilience has gained traction and become embedded within organisations.

Further key findings include:
1 – ISO 22316 provides guidance on resilience programmes. 62% of respondents were either aware of or have read the draft of ISO 22316 – the guide to organisational resilience. 92% of respondents agree with the core principles which focus largely on shared purpose and collaboration across functions. However, 18% of respondents indicated that they would not be striving to adopt the core principles, preferring instead to stick to existing processes.
2 – The importance of effective leadership. 53% of all respondents indicated that the effectiveness of leadership was the highest-priority objective supporting the resilience agenda. This aligns to the guidance in ISO 22316 which states effective management and governance supports organisational resilience. Anticipation of and managing change rated as the next highest priority for organisations. To build sufficient adaptability, resilience should be driven from the executive and management and should be embedded across the organisation.
3 – Companies are more worried about long-term reputational damage than short-term financial loss. Over 70% of respondents see reputational damage as the most significant concern to their business in the event of a disruption – considerably more than reduced revenue (38%), the loss of new business opportunities (25%), or reduced shareholder value (26%).
4 – Increasing concern over cyber threats. Respondents rated cyber security as the most potentially disruptive external threat to their organisation, with 47% stating this was their primary concern.
5 – 92% of respondents agree that cross-functional working and sharing of information is a key principle of resilience. However, 48% of respondents remain reliant on centralised governance and oversight instead of multi-disciplinary risk meetings that would perhaps encourage greater cross-functional collaboration and information sharing.

Mark Whyte, Senior Partner at Control Risks and author of the survey, comments:

“The increased threat from disruptive events has encouraged companies from all sectors to consider specific threats to their operations and identify areas of vulnerability. It is clear that many organisations are focussed on the need to become more resilient, but the implementation of the strategies and tactics that support this is currently taking too long”.

“To build a resilient organisation the emphasis should not purely be on strategy, or the culture of the organisation, or the way it handles risk management. A resilient organisation is one where these three components integrate to achieve the desired effect”.

Andy Cox, Director at Control Risks and the report’s co-author, adds:

“The successful implementation of a resilience programme takes time. The development of resilience frameworks that span the enterprise, capturing and integrating existing risk management activities requires resource and patience. Having set-up many of these programmes for our clients, we have learned that the best way to approach this huge task is to consider it as a series of prioritised projects that incrementally increase the resilience of the organisation over time.”

Business Leader Samuel Owori will become first Ugandan to head Rotary International – 2018-19

Aims to build membership and understanding of organization’s impact and values
EVANSTON, Illinois, October 5, 2016/ — Samuel “Sam” Owori of Kampala, Uganda was today confirmed president-nominee of Rotary International (www.Rotary.org) – a humanitarian service organization that unites leaders committed to improving lives and bringing positive, lasting change to communities around the world.

As a member of the Rotary Club Kampala, Uganda for 38 years, Owori says, “Rotary has become a way of life for me – with the intrinsic value and core belief in mutual responsibility and concern for one another as a cornerstone. I feel immense satisfaction knowing that through Rotary, I’ve helped someone live better.”

During his one-year term as Rotary’s 108th president beginning on 1 July 2018, Owori will focus on building membership worldwide and increasing visibility and understanding of Rotary. He’s played an instrumental role in growing the number of clubs in Uganda from nine to 89 over the course of 29 years. “Today more than ever, the world needs to know and understand Rotary’s impact and values of advancing international understanding, goodwill and peace,” says Owori. “We are all too busy and we’ve lost our patience. Through friendship and service, membership in Rotary offers countless ways to connect and create meaningful change in your community, as well as opportunities to see the world through a more global lens.”

Rotary members throughout the world take action to make communities better. They contribute their time, energy and passion to carry out impactful and sustainable projects in the areas of peace and conflict resolution, disease prevention and treatment, water and sanitation, maternal and child health, basic education and literacy, and economic and community development.

As president, Owori will oversee Rotary’s top humanitarian goal of eradicating the paralyzing disease polio. Rotary launched its polio immunization program PolioPlus in 1985, and in 1988 became a spearheading partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and was later joined by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since the initiative launched, the incidence of polio has plummeted by more than 99.9 percent, from about 350,000 cases a year to 26 confirmed to date in 2016. Rotary has contributed more than US $1.6 billion and countless volunteer hours to immunize more than 2.5 billion children in 122 countries.

Owori is chief executive officer of the Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda. Before that, he was executive director of the African Development Bank, managing director of Uganda Commercial Bank Ltd., and director of Uganda Development Bank. He has studied law, employment relations, business management, corporate resources management, microfinance, and marketing at institutions in England, Japan, Switzerland, Tanzania, and the United States, including Harvard Business School.

Tigo Tanzania continues to pioneer under – five Mobile Birth Registration

The under-five birth registration initiative in Iringa and Njombe regions is expected to benefit more than 200,000 under five children in the two regions
DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, October 5, 2016/ — Tanzania digital lifestyle company, Tigo (www.Tigo.co.tz), is supporting the government under-five birth registration initiative through innovative mobile application that is massively accelerating provisioning of birth certificate for children under the age of five. The under-five birth registration initiative in Iringa and Njombe regions is expected to benefit more than 200,000 under five children in the two regions.

The programme brings registration closer to the community by establishing registration points at existing health facilities and at the community ward executive offices. This will enable parents in these two regions to have access to more than 700 registration points. Moreover, there will be more than 1,500 Registration Assistants equipped with 800 mobile phones donated by Tigo to support the registration process.

Tigo has been partnering with Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA) and UNICEF (www.UNICEF.org) in scaling up this project in Njombe and Iringa regions following success registered in Mbeya and Mwanza regions where more than 400,000 under –five children have been registered and provided with birth certificate from 2013 to date.

Speaking after the launch of the Project in Iringa and Njombe regions in Southern Highlands of Tanzania, Tigo General Manager, Diego Gutierrez said: “Tigo is proud to be the sole telecommunication company partnering with RITA, UNICEF and other stakeholders in order to make sure that every child birth in Tanzania does not go unaccounted for because identity is a basic right for every child.”

Mr. Gutierrez added that “through innovative mobile technology application, which ensures that birth registration data is uploaded and sent to a central database at RITA in real-time, we have been able to demonstrate our strong commitment to building a societal ecosystem that brings the promise of technology to life in the communities where we operate”.

The under-five birth registration initiative marks a significant shift in accelerating birth registration in Tanzania, after years of stagnation.

“We are transforming the system to make it easier for children and their families to access the entitlement of a birth certificate,” said Emmy Hudson Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Registration, Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA), responsible for the programme.

UNICEF Representative in Tanzania Maniza Zaman noted that ‘Improving birth registration for under five children will help Tanzania make rapid progress in ensuring its children are on the path to attain their rights. It will also help the Government to put in place the basic legislative framework necessary to position its 23 million children under the age of 18 at the top of its development agenda’.

So far the initiative has covered 2 Regions – Mbeya and Mwanza, and will cover an additional 10 Regions including Iringa and Njombe aiming to facilitate the establishment of a sustainable model of birth registration targeting 3.5 million girls and boys under the age of five. According to the Tanzania Demographic Health Survey (DHS) 2010, only 16% of children under the age of five have been registered by civil authorities, with the worst challenge being in the rural areas.

Marriott International Rapidly Expands its Footprint across Africa

Leading hospitality company announces 6 new deals, 1 new brand, over 1100 rooms Amdec Group Continues to introduce Marriott’s global brands into South Africa Sheraton Mauritius is Marriott’s first signed deal since completing the acquisition
KIGALI, Rwanda, October 5, 2016/ — Marriott International (www.MarriottNewsCenter.com) continues its robust expansion across the African continent with news of brand-new signings of new properties in Cape Town, Nairobi, Cairo and Mauritius. This announcement comes hot on the heels of Marriott’s recently completed acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which has created the world’s largest hospitality. The transaction has increased Marriott’s distribution in Africa, thus affirming the company’s number one position across the continent.

“The past couple of weeks have seen an incredible transformation for our company, and I am proud to say that we are continuing the momentum with our expansion and development plans across the African continent,” said Alex Kyriakidis, President and Managing Director, Middle East and Africa, Marriott International. “We officially opened the Kigali Marriott Hotel yesterday, under the patronage of His Excellency, The Honourable Prime Minister Murekezi, and today we announce six new deals across Africa, which when open, are expected to bring our total African property and room count to 205 and 37,000 respectively.”

These new signings comprise over 1100 rooms, and include AC by Marriott’s brand entry into Africa. The Cape Town deals are in partnership with the Amdec Group, Marriott’s long term partner and owners of the new Marriott Hotel and Marriott Executive Apartments Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, announced last year and currently under development. The Amdec Group has been instrumental in bringing in Marriott International’s global brands into South Africa, as they were the first to announce Marriott Hotels, Marriott Executive Apartments and now AC by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott into the market. The AC Hotel Cape Town Waterfront will be located at the gateway to Cape Town’s waterfront, while Harbour Arch will be the site of the 200-room Cape Town Marriott Hotel Foreshore and the 150-room Residence Inn by Marriott Cape Town Foreshore.

The first deal to be signed since Marriott’s completed acquisition, and further consolidating Marriott International’s presence on Mauritius, the globally renowned Sheraton brand will make a landmark debut on the island with Sheraton Mauritius St Felix Resort and The Residences at Sheraton Mauritius St Felix Resort. Owned by Clear Ocean Hotel Resorts Limited, the resort will be a part of a mixed use development with a boutique retail mall and branded residences. Scheduled to open in early 2020, the resort will feature 152 well-appointed guestrooms and suites and 37 branded apartments and villas.

The first Element Hotels property signed in Egypt will be the largest Element Hotel in the Middle East and Africa. Situated in Cairo’s upscale Heliopolis district and scheduled to open in 2019, Element Cairo is developed by Abraj Misr Urban Development and owned by Middle East Real Estate for Development (MERED). A part of the iconic new smart and ecofriendly development, The Gate Project, the largest housing, administrative, commercial, project in Egypt and the Middle East, Element Cairo will feature 344 light-filled rooms and an atmosphere designed to fuel a life in balance and on the move.

Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi, Hurlingham, is the brand’s second hotel in the city, strategically located in the upmarket suburb close to the city center and within easy access from the surrounding business areas of Westlands, Kilimani and Nairobi Central. Owned by Kamcan Properties Ltd, the 96 room hotel is a conversion from an existing hotel, will be operated under a franchise arrangement, and is expected to open in 2017.

“These news deals are testament to our combined development efforts going forward, as there are significant growth synergies between the brands and our newly combined company, with a focus on expending brands across the region, and looking for opportunities in new markets,” concluded Mr. Kyriakidis.

Continuing to capitalize on opportunities within the region, Marriott International has set a clear objective to be represented in all major gateway cities, commercial centers and established resort destinations while catering to a wide variety of market segments. Each of Marriott International’s brands, including those in the pipeline, target a specific segment and support the increased inflow of visitors within that segment.