Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Africa Oil Week's Programme Expanded

Africa Oil Week, the leading international oil and gas event set to take place in Cape Town, South Africa on the 5 – 9 November 2018, will build on 25 years of success by adding a host of sessions and initiatives to their conference programme tailored towards driving transactions, deal-making and new partnerships.

Brand new for 2018 is the AOW Prospect Forum, held in partnership with AAPG and open to ICE delegates, where National Oil Companies, Independents and Geo-service Companies will take to the stage to showcase open acreage, broker farm-out opportunities and present data viewings.

Alongside the Prospect Forum, AOW's Seminar Theatre will also feature varied content across the week. Ministers and CEOs of state owned enterprises from countries including: Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Madagascar and Uganda will be hosting exclusive roadshows and bidding rounds highlighting licensing and investment opportunities to global operators and investors.

The African Local Content Forum, held in partnership with the Nigeria Content Development Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and sponsored by Shell, will host case studies and dedicated panel discussions on three key aspects of Local Content: Workforce Development, Policy and Private Sector on Wednesday 7 November.

This year's event will showcase the AOWomen Initiative, which is designed to mainstream women in energy, develop blueprints for capacity building and gender equality to ensure women have a presence and a voice in shaping energy policy across Africa.

The AOWomen Initiative will kick off with an exclusive breakfast briefing sponsored by Noble Energy on Thursday 8 November. Speakers will include Pam Darwin, Vice President – Africa of ExxonMobil and Mahawa Kaba-Wheeler, Director for Women, Gender & Development at the Africa Union.

AOW will also see the launch of the Student Programme and Future Leaders Initiative. New for 2018, the Future Leaders Initiative offers a half-price ticket to those getting started in the industry, providing a key opportunity for the leaders of tomorrow to network with peers and keep up to date with latest industry trends.

The Student programme will draw over 100 final-year students from leading pan-continental institutions including the University of Cape Town and the University of Namibia, with the aim to inspire a new wave of talent.

The programme grants students access to two days of content at AOW, including two dedicated sessions on capacity development led by Lindiwe Mekwe, CEO of Petroleum Agency South Africa, and Heads of Talent from leading industry organisations.

As Africa Oil Week shifts its focus towards becoming a deal brokering, finance and FID centred  platform, it becomes a must attend business development event like no other in the industry. The Summit will also host a live panel broadcast on CNBC Africa on the morning of Thursday 8 November surrounding future funding models in the African energy sector.

This session will cover topics such as global funding, M&A in the African upstream and funding strategies, presented by expert panellists including: Solomon Asamoah, CEO, Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund, Paul McDade, CEO, Tullow Oil and Somit Varma, Managing Director, Warburg Pincus LLC.

Directly following the CNBC panel will be three dedicated breakout sessions focusing on the role of global finance in the African upstream and how to drive transactions. These sessions will be moderated by leading industry figures from Latham & Watkins and Deloitte.


With an expected audience of 1,300 attendees from over 70 countries, the 2018 Africa Oil Week has truly evolved into the only true go-to event for the African hydrocarbon sector.  

  • Published in Africa
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UNBS, Agriculturists Get Commonwealth Standards Network Support

The Uganda National Bureau of Standards is collaborating with the British Standards Institution (BSI) under the Commonwealth Standards Network (CSN) Programme, which will support UNBS to achieve its strategic objectives and support agricultural and other value chains in complying with international best practices.

The Programme will support finalisation of the National Standardization Strategy and will provide targeted technical assistance in improving the core UNBS functions – such as testing, certification and inspections.

It also aims to raise awareness of product requirements and commitment to quality in a number of agricultural and related value chains where difficulties are being experienced in exporting fruit, vegetables, fish and other commodities. 

UNBS Test Laboratories, the National Metrology Laboratory and the Certification and Import Inspection Departments will benefit from specialised training and a range of capacity-building interventions, led by international and regional industry experts.

Additionally, existing standards and guideline documents for agricultural and related goods will be simplified and translated, and training will be provided to grass roots producers. 

Upon completion, the project is expected to deliver a number of important benefits. This includes further enhancing Uganda’s ability to maintain quality standards for its products and services, especially food exports to international trading partners, as well as greater awareness about the benefits of UNBS services and activities among MSME’s.

Ultimately, these interventions will help UNBS to continue to set the effective standards for consumer safety, environmental protection and facilitate access to international markets for Ugandan products targeting the Commonwealth nations. 

In her speech, UK Prime Minister Teresa May said: “Our Commonwealth family already accounts for one-fifth of global trade, and we must continue to work together to build further upon this solid foundation by building on our existing trade links and establishing new ones.”

“I firmly believe that regardless of which corner of the Commonwealth you are from, we all will benefit from the jobs created by doing so. Every one of those new jobs will mean another family seeing their hard work rewarded, and the spread of greater opportunity.”

UNBS Executive Director, Dr. Ben Manyindo, said: “The support from the Commonwealth Network will go a long way in improving the competitiveness of local products in international markets which will improve our balance of trade especially among the selected value chains”.   

Overview of the Commonwealth Standards Network Programme 

The CSN Programme was announced in the UK Prime Minister’s keynote speech during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in May 2018. The programme, funded by the UK Department for International Development and implemented by the British Standards Institution (BSI), sets out to: 

  • Facilitate the growth of global value chains in the Commonwealth developing economies, particularly in supported sectors;
  • increase the volume of products and services exported from Commonwealth developing economies, that meet international standards;
  • create connections between Commonwealth countries (particularly National Standards Bodies and Ministries of Trade), allowing them to identify new trade opportunities;
  • improve the business environment and create competitiveness; and
  • enhance the use of International Standards to foster innovation and improve export potential. 

Set to finish in March 2020, the CSN Programme is organized along the three bespoke technical assistance streams and addresses key Quality Infrastructure challenges in Africa (Uganda and Zambia), Oceania (Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu) and the Caribbean (St. Lucia).

Additionally, an online portal designed to improve standards development and increase information sharing between Commonwealth National Standards Bodies and key stakeholders will be created for the benefit all Commonwealth member states.

  • Published in Events
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AfDB Eyes Nordic Investments

The African Development Bank in a multidisciplinary team roadshows presented financial products and investment opportunities to Nordic investors to leverage more access to financing.

The roadshows brought together more than 50 private sector companies, investors and government and public institutions in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.

The aim of the event was to bring the Bank closer to customers in order to increase awareness of key private sector stakeholders to understand the Bank's financial and risk mitigation products for investment projects.

The roadshows also generated significant interests of businesses to the Africa Investment Forum, the Bank's maiden market place, scheduled for November 7-9 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The first roadshow took place in Norway on 24-25 September, followed by Sweden on September 27- 28. In Finland, the Bank met key private sector companies, private funds, and pension funds from 1-2 October and the final event was in Denmark on October 4-5.

The Bank presented its strategy for the transformation of African economies and showcased investment opportunities on the continent. The highly interactive event targeted commercial banks, institutional investors including pension funds, asset managers and insurers as well as individual investors across the Nordic region.

"Nordic countries are very important for the development of Africa and we want to see more investments coming from these countries. Hence, the roadshow organized to showcase African investment opportunities and to present the Bank as a gateway for their investments", said Olivier Eweck, Director, Syndication, Co-financing and Client Solutions Department, adding that "several private investors and companies have shown keen interest in the Africa Investment Forum".

The African Development Bank team discussed key roles in accelerating Africa's investment opportunities across the Nordic region in line with the Bank's development priorities for Africa as enshrined in the High 5s.

The Bank sees its partnership with long-term investors from the Nordic region as important and welcomes their perspective and visions to support new investments in infrastructure, and to foster sustainable development initiatives in Africa.

The Africa Investment Forum is a novel platform for international business and social impact investors looking to transact and invest funds in Africa. It will connect investors with both public and private sector projects throughout the continent.

The Bank expects that holding the event under one roof would provide an ideal platform for interfacing with its partners, reduce intermediation costs, improve the quality of project information and documentation, and increase action-oriented engagements between African governments and the private sector.

Why Deepak Malik Quit DFCU At A Time Bank Needed Him Most

Deepak Malik, the Chief Executive Officer of Arise Holdings Ltd, the biggest shareholder of struggling DFCU Bank gave no reason for quitting as director (and board member) of DFCU Limited and DFCU Bank Limited, it has emerged.

In a letter written to Mr. Elly Karuhanga and Mr. Jimmy Mugerwa, respective chairpersons of DFCU Limited and DFCU Bank Limited, jotted on July 5, 2018, Deepak tendered in his resignation notice with 'great sadness' but gave no reason for a bank he served since 2004.

He indicated then, when he wrote the resignation letter, that his board engagements would end on 21st, September, 2018. He however availed himself 'as an adviser to the respective chairpersons of DFCU Limited and DFCU Bank Limited'.

News of Deepak’s departure came at a time DFCU’s second biggest and longest investor, Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), had announced it was putting an end to their relationship with the commercial bank it set up with government of Uganda in 1964.

CDC’s Investment Director in charge of Financial Institutions, Irina Grigorenko, said in a communication to DFCU it was “undertaking a review of its investment in DFCU Limited which may lead to the disposal or some of some or all of its shares in DFCU over the short to medium term.”

Subsequently, news indicating that Arise, DFCU’s biggest shareholder, with a 58.71% ownership, was also leaving surfaced. The bank was quick to refute those claims through a press statement and Arise stayed but not Deepak. The actions of CDC and Arise BV threatened the smooth running of the commercial bank.

DFCU is believed by industry observers to be the second biggest commercial bank in Uganda after they bought Crane Bank from Bank of Uganda under terms scantly explained to the public.

Many industry experts speculated that Deepak’s departure was in preparation for Arise’s final DFCU exit. Actions of Arise and Deepak have somehow destabilized DFCU and sent shivers among shareholders, the public and the financial sector.

Just before the public got used to news that two top investors at DFCU could be leaving, reports of a liquidity crisis hitting them surfaced indicating that the commercial bank failed to secure loans from Bank of Uganda after hitting inter bank borrowing limit.

This under liquidation talk have persisted and continue to portray the bank as one that is struggling and might need a bail out. News emerged this week indicating that the bank management is engaging government for a possible bail out.

Current Shareholders of DFCU

  1. Arise BV 58.71%
  2. CDC Group of the United Kingdom 9.97%
  3. National Social Security Fund (Uganda) 7.69%
  4. Kimberlite Frontier Africa Naster Fund 6.15%
  5. 2 undisclosed Institutional Investors 3.22%
  6. SSB-Conrad N. Hilton Foundation 0.98%
  7. Vanderbilt University 0.87%
  8. Blakeney Management 0.63%
  9. Bank of Uganda Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme 0.59%
  10. Retail investors 11.19%


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