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AU Stresses Need to Boost African Investments

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AU Stresses Need to Boost African Investments

AU Stresses Need to Boost African Investments

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The African Union (AU) Executive Council has emphasised the need for the continent to boost investment in Africa’s youth by promoting transformative and inclusive development agendas aimed at recognising the efforts by the youth in entrepreneurship and innovation.

This was stated during the opening of the 30th Ordinary Session of the AU Executive Council on Wednesday at the AU Headquarters, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, under the theme: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth”.

The opening ceremony was attended by a high level gathering that included: Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma AUC Chairperson, AU Ministers of Foreign Affairs, AU Commissioners, Dr Abdullah Hamok, acting Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), officials and invited guests.

Addressing the distinguished delegates at the opening ceremony, Mrs Zuma said that for Africa to succeed in its integrated and inclusive development agenda“ it requires that we revive and strengthen the spirit of Pan Africanism, unity and solidarity to successfully steer our way towards agenda 2063”.

To meet the first target in Agenda 2063 of commencing the Continental Free Trade Area by the end of 2017, Mrs Zuma stressed on the need to unlock the potential, the energy, the creativity and the talent of Africa’s young men and women.

She said that this can be achieved only through the African Skills revolution, by creating jobs and economic opportunities, through diversification, agricultural modernisation and industrialisation so that Africa’s youth can be the drivers of agenda 2063.

Dr Dlamini concluded her remarks by saying “whatever we do at this summit, we must ensure that we preserve the precious and principled unity of this continent and our union”.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of The Republic of Chad and Chair of the Executive Council Mr Moussa Faki Mahamat in his opening remarks noted that the 30th Executive council is being held on the back drop of significant changes happening at the African Union commission such as the AU reforms requested by Heads of States in Kigali and the pending AU elections which will be important for the organisation moving forward in meeting its obligations to the citizens of Africa.

The Minister commended the Excellent leadership of the AUC Chairperson and her Commission on championing Africa’s development agenda through the promotion of Agenda 2063. He ended his speech by officially declaring the 30th executive council open. (See complete speech of the Minister on the AU Website: www.AU.int)

Dr. Abdullah Hamok, Acting Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), in his opening remarks noted that unlike other regions of the world, the proportion of youth in Africa’s total population was rising and this growth presented great opportunities as relates to the continent’s demographic dividend as well as challenges derived from the risks associated with soaring rates of youth unemployment.

The Executive Council meeting is the second of three statutory meetings to be held under the on-going 28th Summit of the African Union, holding from 22-31 January 2017. The first meeting was that of the Permanent Representatives Committee which was held from 22 to 24 January. The final meeting of the summit will be that of the Heads of State and Government to take place from 30-31 January.

For three days, the Ministers of External Affairs and other ministers or authorities designated by the governments of AU Member States will deliberate on the different reports of the Specialized Technical Committee (STCs) ministerial meetings organised by the AU Commission during the last six months. They will also adopt the report of the Permanent Representatives Committee.

The Executive Council will prepare the agenda of the AU Summit with appropriate recommendations for consideration by the Heads of State scheduled to take place from 30-31 January 2017.

The meeting of the Executive Council will officially end on Thursday 26th January 2017.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

Dangote Says N300bn Bond Listing Reflects Nigerian Capital Market Depth

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Nigerian capital market Dangote Industries Limited

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The listing of Dangote Industries Limited’s N300 billion series 1 and 2 bonds on the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited has been described as an indicator of the depth of the Nigerian capital market.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the conglomerates, Mr Olakunle Alake, said this on Wednesday when a closing gong ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of the listing of the corporate debt instrument on the local stock exchange.

Mr Alake, represented by the Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr Mustapha Ibrahim, said, “We are pleased to have showcased the depth and liquidity of the domestic capital market whilst we reflect the strong quality of the issuer, despite the current global market realities.”

According to him, the depth of the market was reflected in the successful issuance of the bond, which was the largest aggregate local currency bond issued in the capital market so far within the year.

He further noted that the listing of the bond recorded participation from a wide range of investors, including domestic pension funds, asset managers and insurance companies and further demonstrated investors’ confidence in Nigeria’s credit reality.

On his part, the Divisional Head of Capital Markets at NGX, Mr Jude Chiemeka, speaking at the event, applauded the listing of the bond, which provides corporates with the opportunity to raise capital.

“The listing of this transaction on our platform not only allows for a more liquid capital market, but it also shows our capacity to facilitate large transactions towards enabling a more robust ecosystem,” Mr Chiemeka said.

He further noted that NGX remains committed to fostering similar transactions through its digital gateways such as this and a confident market where corporates and investors can achieve their respective objectives.

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Economy

Unlisted Securities Market Closes Flat at Midweek

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Unlisted Securities Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

Trading activities ended in a stalemate on the floor of the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange on Wednesday, with no single price gainer or a price loser at the close of business.

As a result of this development, the market capitalisation of the bourse remained intact at N1.03 trillion, as the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) also remained unchanged at 743.15 points.

The unlisted securities market closed flat in the midweek session amid low investor appetite for the market, as attention shifted to the fixed-income market, where the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sold treasury bills at the primary market, with the stop rate over 14 per cent.

Data from the bourse showed that the volume of securities traded yesterday was abysmally low as it went down by 99.9 per cent to 8,299 units from the 20.1 million units transacted a day earlier.

Likewise, the value of shares traded during the session dropped to N1.2 million, 97.3 per cent lower than the N44.5 million posted in the preceding trading day.

These transactions were carried out yesterday in nine deals, 75 per cent lower than the 36 deals executed on Tuesday.

Geo-Fluids Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 482.1 million units valued at N544.1 million, UBN Property Plc occupied second place with the sale of 365.8 units worth N309.5 million, while Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) Plc was in third place with the sale of 71.1 million units valued at N5.1 million.

Also, VFD Group Plc ended the session as the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 7.3 million units worth N1.7 billion, Geo-Fluids Plc was in second place with a turnover of 482.1 million units worth N544.1 million, while UBN Property Plc was in third place with the sale of 365.8 million units valued at N309.5 million.

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Economy

Naira Sells N461.24/$1 at I&E, N764/$1 at P2P, N747/$1 at Black Market

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Fake Naira notes banknotes

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian Naira appreciated against the US Dollar in the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) and the Investors and Exporters (I&E) windows of the foreign exchange market on Wednesday, March 30, but depreciated in the black market.

In the P2P segment, it gained N3 against its American counterpart to quote at N764/$1, in contrast to the N767/$1 it was traded on Tuesday as the demand for cryptos, which most traders in this category use the funds to buy, was relatively mild.

In the I&E window or the spot market, the Naira appreciated against the greenback yesterday by 51 Kobo or 0.11 per cent to settle at N461.24/$1 compared with the previous day’s N461.75/$1, according to data obtained from FMDQ Securities Exchange, with the forex turnover put at $74.31 million.

But in the parallel market, the domestic currency depreciated against the US Dollar in the midweek session by N4 to trade at N747/$1 versus Tuesday’s exchange rate of N743/$1.

Also, in the interbank window, the Naira lost N1.93 against the Pound Sterling to sell at N567.68/£1 versus Tuesday’s N565.52/£1, and against the Euro, it slid by N2.25 to at N499.21/€1 compared with the preceding day’s N496.66/€1.

Meanwhile, the digital currency market swayed to the bulls yesterday as most of the tokens tracked by Business Post ended in the green territory amid better-than-expected consumer confidence figures from the United States.

Data from the US Conference Board showed that its monthly survey rose to a reading of 104.2 basis points, better than the 101 mark expected, lifting Bitcoin (BTC) by 4.2 per cent to $28,519.76, as Ethereum (ETH) rose by 0.5 per cent to $1,788.52.

Solana (SOL) grew by 2.1 per cent to $21.08, Dogecoin (DOGE) gained 1.4 per cent to sell at $0.0751, Litecoin (LTC) increased by 0.6 per cent to $90.14, while Cardano (ADA) chalked up 0.5 per cent to quote at $0.3797.

However, Ripple (XRP) dropped 0.4 per cent to trade at $0.5336, Binance Coin (BNB) lost 0.2 per cent to settle at $313.02, and Binance USD (BUSD) and the US Dollar Tether (USDT) traded flat at $1.00 apiece.

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