Items filtered by date: Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Dubai’s non-oil trade with Africa will exceed Dhs1 trillion for the period extending from 2011 until the end of 2019, the Chairman of Dubai Chamber, Mr Majid Al Ghurair has said.

Al Ghurair made this known while declaring open the 5th edition of the Global Business Forum on Africa (GBF Africa) which opened on Monday in Dubai.

News reported that the forum, organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Dubai Chamber) under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, ends on Tuesday.

Al Ghurair highlighted the long-established UAE-African relations in all fields, and Dubai’s status as Africa’s gateway to new markets building on its strong presence on the global economy map and its role in advancing international trade.

He said that over the course of its five previous editions, GBF Africa had become a leading Platform for expanding UAE-Africa economic cooperation and forging partnerships across different markets.

”The African continent is a key partner in Dubai’s plans to diversify its economy.

”With the support of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the forum has seen considerable growth in terms of significance and number of participants, bringing together heads of state, policymakers and business leaders to identify exciting business prospects emerging across the continent.

”The African market is a market of strategic importance to Dubai and a key focus of Dubai Chamber’s expansion strategy and we are closely monitoring developments and the business climate in Africa to identify growth opportunities available for our members,” Al Ghurair added.

He, however, underlined the huge potential to boost UAE-Africa trade and investment flows following the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area earlier in the year.

Al Ghurair also asserted that Dubai was well-equipped to support Africa’s next phase of growth and development, especially as the emirate offers valuable expertise in several key sectors, including logistics services, infrastructure, retail, tourism and finance.

“Held under the theme ‘Scale-Up Africa’, GBF Africa 2019 is among the world’s largest events focusing on Africa’s economic potential, highlighting business and investment potential and opportunities on the continent.

“Africa’s changing economic landscape is creating new business opportunities,” he said.

Participants at the event included George Weah, President of Liberia; Danny Faure, President of Seychelles; Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe and Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, Prime Minister of Mozambique.

Others are Ruhakana Ruganda, Prime Minister of Uganda; Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai; Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber; Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber and Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg, President of Dubai Business Women Council, among other prominent speakers.

Published in Business

A Federal High Court in Lagos has ordered all Nigerian banks not to honour any Mastercard transaction that has the logo of the National Identity Card Management Commission (NIMC) on it pending determination of a design infringement suit filed by Chams Plc and Chams Consortium against the Singaporean payment and financial technology company.

The trial judge, Justice Rilawanu Aikawa also ordered that the court order and other processes including the writ of summons, statement of claims, witness statement on oath, list of documents, and any other documents be served outside jurisdiction on Mastercard’s office at 152 Beach Road, 35-00, The Gateway East, Singapore.

The court made the order sequel to an ex-parte application filed by Chams Plc lawyer, Mr Kemi Pinheiro SAN asking the court for the restraining order. Joined as defendants with the Singaporean firm in the suit with number FHC/L/CS/1440/2019, are its Nigerian subsidiary Mastercard Services Sub-Sahara Ltd, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Mr Ajay Banga, Daniel Monehin, and Omokehinde Ojomuyide.

The court also listed the names of the banks on which the orders should be served.

In a 41-paragraph statement of claim filed before the court, the plaintiffs averred that sometime in 2006, they were invited by the Federal Government of Nigeria to bid for the Nigeria National Identity Card project. As a result of the invitation, the plaintiff went into research and originated a smart card technical design that could serve as a national identity card as well as a means of general financial payment and banking transaction. “The smartcard design is as a result of extensive financial, human, and intellectual investment in research and development and same has never been executed in any part of Africa”, the plaintiffs averred.

The national identity card, although designed primarily as an ID card, also has other functions that include the incorporation of bank transaction functionality such as cash withdrawals, balance enquiries, PIN change, bill payments, account transfers, and airtime purchases. It also features biometric functionality with electronic payments, and International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) travel card.

It said on May 25, 2007 NIMC, on behalf of the Federal government, announced the plaintiff (Chams Plc) as the preferred bidder for the concession. This was confirmed by a letter from NIMC on the same date.

The plaintiff further stated that due to the national significance, complexity, and enormity of the project, it was necessary for them to collaborate with other companies and service providers to provide support in other to achieve the multi-faceted design it created.

“The first and second defendants, as a result of their perceived competence in the financial and payment service space, approached the plaintiffs through the 5th and 6th defendants on the authority of the 4th defendant with an offer to provide the payment infrastructure for the card”, the plaintiffs further averred, pointing to several correspondences between both parties.

The plaintiffs further stated: “The concession was awarded to the plaintiffs based upon its unique and ingenuous design submitted to the third defendant and the federal government. The design was contained in the Lump Sum Contract of Works and Services for the Personalization of National Identity (Smart) cards and prototype documents submitted to the third defendant”.

“The plaintiffs further pointed to several trainings and workshops they organized in conjunction with NIMC, between March and May, 2012, where stakeholders are sensitized on how the national identity card is programmed to work. Technical partners, including Masteracard were also in attendance and they played active roles.

“The plaintiffs in uttermost good faith provided and made available their developments, research, design, and concept for the Nigerian National Identity (smart) Card to MasterCard in the belief that the plaintiffs and Mastercard were partners on the project”, it further stated.

Things however took another twist when in May 8, 2013, Mastercard in a press release announced to the world that it was set to produce over 100 million copies of the National identity smart card, using the exact designs created by the plaintiffs. ”By the joint press release of the defendants, it was discovered that Mastercard, without recourse to the plaintiffs as the originators of the concept and design, unilaterally and without justifiable reason announced the publishing issuance, and distribution of the national identity smart cards based on the same concept and design created by the plaintiffs”, it further stated.

Due to this infringement, the plaintiffs averred that its contract with NIMC was terminated. Although the termination was challenged in court, NIMC and the plaintiffs resolved the issues amicably.

However, the plaintiff claimed that on its design, NIMC had already awarded a contract with them to produce 50 million e-cards. “In order to fully implement the contract, the plaintiffs entered into several agreements with the first defendant to provide support to achieve the desired objective of the contract.

The plaintiffs further claimed to have lost reputation, and enormous amounts of money as a result of the action of the defendants. Part of the loss includes setting up of Chams limited that has capacity for processing and switching 100 million national identity cards; establishment of a card personalization plant in Abuja, Nigeria that has capacity to produce 1,750,000 cards per day; and acquisition of several technical partners.

Justice Aikawa has adjourned till November 25, 2019 to hear the motion on notice.

Published in Bank & Finance

Construction work has been completed at Tokyo’s National Stadium, set to be the centrepiece of next year’s Olympic Games, the site’s owners said on Tuesday.

The National Stadium is one of eight new venues to be used at the Tokyo Games, all of them are either complete or on schedule to be finished before the event. It will be officially unveiled on Dec. 21, with the Emperor’s Cup soccer final being the first sporting event to be held there on New Year’s Day.

The Japan Sports Council said the final work had been completed on Thursday with just the final quality and safety checks remaining before the stadium opens next month.

Construction started in December 2016, about 14 months later than planned, after the original design was scrapped because of a public outcry over spiraling costs. The delay meant the stadium could not host matches of the Rugby World Cup, as originally planned.

The stadium, which can accommodate 60,000 audience costs more than $1.25 billion.

The Tokyo Olympics is to run from July 24, 2020 to Aug. 9, 2020.

Published in World
Tuesday, 19 November 2019 14:05

What you need to know about Blue Economy

According to Said Adejumobi, Director for Southern Africa (SRO SA), Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the blue economy can be a site of economic production, which through its value chain process, can link small, medium and big production firms and thereby promote the alleviation of poverty, reducing inequality and ensuring better living standards for the people of our region.

Adejumobi said this on Monday at a high-level policy dialogue on the “The Blue Economy, Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability” in Windhoek, Namibia.

Mr Adejumobi stressed that the dialogue is focusing on the potential threats and dangers to the blue economy sector from climate change and environmental challenges. “If the blue economy is to serve as a viable mechanism for powering our industrialization process, the threats to the realization of such goal need to be urgently addressed”, he added.

Adejumobi further emphasised the importance of oceans which are at the heart of the planet, covering over two-thirds of the earth’s surface, being home to over 80 per cent of life on the earth, supplying nearly half of the oxygen we breathe, and serving as the largest carbon sink on the planet by regulating the earth’s climate through absorbing carbon dioxide that we produce.

“A recent report by the World Wildlife Fund estimated that the value of key ocean assets to be US$24 trillion, which is indeed a conservative estimate; the actual value is likely to be much higher because many key ecosystem services are difficult to quantify, with an annual value of goods and services estimated at US$2.5 trillion,” he added.

Adejumobi further observed that the blue economy is Africa’s “hidden treasure”, which if well and sustainably tapped, can make a difference in Africa’s economic transformation and development. “In realization of the immense benefits of the blue economy, sustainable development goal (SDG) 14 commits member States to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and maritime resources for purposes of development”, he said.

Speaking at the same event, Namibia’s United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, Ms Alka Bhatia noted that the desired outcome of a blue economy is to achieve “improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological shortages – an outcome which is at the center of UNDP’s work in Namibia, and globally.”

Ms. Bhatia further highlighted that Namibia’s fisheries is the third largest income earner and contributes about 15 per cent of total exports, “about 16,800 people were directly employed in the fisheries sector as per estimates in 2017,” she added.

It was Ms. Bhatia’s considered view that the blue economy concept moves nations away from the business as usual “brown” development model where the oceans are for free resource extraction and waste dumping, – “the concept allows us to internalize costs in economic calculations,” she emphasised.

The two-day policy dialogue offers a great opportunity for stakeholders to share ideas and opportunities, raise awareness on climate change and environmental stewardship, create innovative new partnerships and work together towards effectively addressing climate-related changes in order to realize the full potential of the blue economy.

Published in News Economy
  1. Opinions and Analysis

Calender

« November 2019 »
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30