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Relocation Africa’s Algerian Immigration Interview

Our Immigration Lead, Lynn Mackenzie, recently had the pleasure of speaking to François, our Algerian immigration partner, about Algeria’s current immigration landscape.

To listen to Lynn and Nicole’s conversation about immigration in the current context, click here to view the recording, or view it below.

We would like to say a huge thank you to François for his insights. We hope you enjoy the recording.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

AfricaCom 2020 Registrations Officially Open

Virtual Africa Tech Festival will be taking place from 9 – 13 November 2020, bringing together AfricaCom, AfricaTech, The AHUB, and the AfricaCom Awards.

Join Africa’s digital thought-leaders as they discuss and debate the key issues impacting the journey to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the response to COVID-19, connecting the next billion and more.

Your virtual ticket gives access to the entire online event including both the AfricaCom and the AfricaTech exhibitions and the AHUB start-up zone. You can expect:

  • A digital experience featuring broadcast-quality, free content streaming
  • Access to the Africa Tech Festival Headline Keynotes, AfricaTech Centre Stage and the AHUB
  • AfricaCom and AfricaTech virtual expo with virtual booths

To get your virtual ticket, click here. And for more information about the event, click here.

 

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

West Indian Ocean Cable Company Secures $20 million IFC Loan for Increased Broadband Connectivity Across Africa

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced a loan to the West Indian Ocean Cable Company Ltd (WIOCC) to help the telecoms infrastructure provider expand and improve affordable internet connectivity as it continues to serve over 30 countries in Africa.

The $20 million loan is part of IFC’s global $8 billion fast-track COVID-19 response facility, announced in March to help sustain economies and preserve jobs during the pandemic. IFC’s support will help WIOCC upgrade subsea capacity, including the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy), and roll out terrestrial fiber optic networks across the region. EASSy is an undersea fiber optic cable system connecting countries in Eastern Africa to the rest of the world.

Pursuing our expansion will allow our company to leverage the opportunities created by the increasing demand for online services during the present crisis. It is also a demonstration of our dynamic partnership with IFC.

Chris Wood, WIOCC CEO

According to a report by IFC, only about 22 percent of Africa’s population has access to an internet connection, the lowest of any region in the world. The African Union, with support from the World Bank Group, has set the goal of connecting every individual, business, and government on the continent by 2030. IFC’s partnership with WIOCC is a step toward helping address the connectivity gap in Africa.

IFC’s partnership with WIOCC will help increase internet access across Africa, improving lives and allowing businesses to create and sustain potentially millions of jobs. With COVID-19 disrupting trade and business activity in an unprecedented fashion, building a strong internet infrastructure in Africa is more important than ever.

Linda Munyengeterwa, IFC’s Regional Industry Director for Infrastructure in the Middle East and Africa

WIOCC, a private company jointly owned by 14 African telecommunication operators, makes strategic investments in digital infrastructure to support reliable and scalable connectivity in Africa. WIOCC will be making additional investments in digital infrastructure in the immediate term in light of increased demand because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Opinion: African Grid Operators That Don’t Open Up to Solar Risk Being Left Behind

African grid operators that don’t put solar power onto their systems risk being bypassed as prices for solar production and storage continue to fall, John van Zuylen, CEO of the Africa Solar Industry Association, tells The Africa Report.
 
There are already many places where solar energy is the cheapest option says Van Zuylen, who is based in Kigali. That means the prospect of “a significant uptake of solar in the African energy mix, grid-connected but probably mostly off-grid. By rejecting solar, the national utilities may create themselves a new problem: losing their reliable customers.” Less than 1% of the world’s solar capacity is in Africa.
 
According to the Institut Montaigne in Paris, sub-Saharan Africa is the world’s only region where demographic growth since 2000 has been faster than the speed at which populations are being given access to electricity.
  • Only around 10 solar power plants of more than 5MW have been connected to the grid in the whole of sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa, the Institut says.
  • Africa has been largely absent from the global solar power plant deployment, which constitutes a “collective failure”, the Institut argues.
  • It’s only going to get worse if nothing is done: in 2040, almost 95% of the world’s population without access to electricity will be in sub-Saharan Africa, the Institut says.
Many African national grids are in poor condition and cannot absorb more than 20-30MW in a single location, limiting opportunities, Van Zuylen says.
  • For grids that don’t have these technical constraints, questions about risk-sharing, government guarantees and bankable off-take agreements have significantly limited the number of projects coming to fruition, he adds.
  • Meanwhile, solar home systems and mini-grids still require heavy subsidies to provide electricity at affordable prices for rural populations, which are often the ones with the lowest available income.

Urban subsidies

National grids are best placed to do something about it. According to a global outlook for solar power to 2024 published by SolarPower Europe in June, African utilities with access to an urban customer base may be able to finance connections for poorer rural households by subsidising them with revenue collected in cities.
  • Projects situated near these urban centres are more bankable due to economies of scale, the possibility of future capacity expansions and a lower risk of under-utilisation, SolarPower Europe says.
Some countries are becoming supportive of solar. Van Zuylen points to the example of Senegal, which this month removed VAT on all solar products, including water pumping systems.
  • The decision is part of a strategy that seeks to achieve universal access to electricity in Senegal by 2025.
  • Institut Montaigne says that of the 10 plants connected to sub-Saharan grids, four are in Senegal.
The best thing to do for grid operators is to “guide and accompany a smooth integration of solar in their grids,” Van Zuylen says. “If they do not do so, it could very well be that more and more customers will gradually disconnect from the grid completely as solar plus storage is not only reliable but also increasingly cost-competitive.”

The Bottom Line

Foot-dragging national grids risk being left behind as falling prices for solar and storage equipment have the potential to be a game-changer.

For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240.

Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].

Relocation Africa Cameroon & Sierra Leone Immigration Interview With Ola Alokolaro

Lynn Mackenzie, our Immigration Lead, recently had the privilege of interviewing Ola Alokolaro, from Advocaat Law, about Cameroon and Sierra Leone’s immigration landscape. To listen to Lynn and Ola’s conversation about immigration in the current context, click here to view the recording, or view it below.
Ola’s bio Ola Alokolaro is a Senior Partner with Advocaat Law Practice. He studied at the University of Buckingham, England, UK, and holds a master’s degree in Natural Resources Law and Policy from the (Centre for Energy Petroleum Mineral Law and Policy) University of Dundee, Scotland, UK. He has attended several continuing education courses such as The Law firm Partner as Leader at the Cambridge Judge Business School University of Cambridge. He is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, and the Nigerian Gas Association. With over twenty years’ experience, Ola advises multinational and indigenous companies on foreign investment law and public policy in Nigeria and other West Africa countries.   He has written several papers which have been published notable amongst which are, “Attracting Foreign Direct Investment to the Solid Minerals sector In Nigeria”; “Co-joined twins- Consolidation in the Oil and Gas industry through Mergers and Acquisitions”; “Treasure Trove -Financing the solid minerals sector in Nigeria”; and “Contracting Issues Under the Emerging Electricity Supply Industry in Nigeria”. We would like to say a huge thank you to Ola for his insights. We hope you enjoy the recording. For information as to how Relocation Africa can help you with your Mobility, Immigration, Research, Remuneration, and Expat Tax needs, email info@relocationafrica.com, or call us on +27 21 763 4240. Sources: [1], [2]. Image sources: [1], [2].