The return of large scale Oil and Gas & ramifications of Angola’s growing downstream sector

By Favour Nnabugwu 



International oil companies (IOCs) are driving multiple exploration and production projects including Kaombo North, the Eastern and Western hubs at Block 15/06 operated by Eni Angola.

The IOC as well as CLOV Phase 2 and Dalia Phase 3 at Block 17 operated by TotalEnergies.

And earlier this year, Angola surpassed Nigeria as the top oil-producing country in Africa. In April, Angola produced 1.06 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil, while Nigeria and Algeria both produced 0.999 million bpd.

While the outlook for Angola’s upstream industry is more than optimistic, the country’s downstream sector still has some way to go. Currently, Angola’s sole operational refinery is the Luanda Refinery, which has only been able to meet 20% of the country’s demand for refined products.

As a result of this lack of infrastructure, Angola spends over USD1.7 billion annually on oil imports despite vast petroleum reserves totaling approximately 9 billion barrels of oil and 11 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

But even here, the outlook is promising. Angolan President João Lourenço and Minister of Mineral Resources, Oil, and Gas, Diamantino Azevedo have made strengthening the country’s oil and gas refining capacity a priority.

Their objectives are to meet domestic energy demand, reduce oil imports, and maximize the monetization of energy resources for regional and global markets.

These efforts got off to a strong start in 2022, when Angola expanded the Luanda Refinery in cooperation with Italian oil major, Eni, increasing the plant’s daily production to 1,200 metric tonnes per day.

In addition, several new facilities, namely the Cabinda, Soyo, and Lobito refineries, are in the works

Phase 1 of the Cabinda refinery — a 30,000 bpd crude unit that produces diesel, heavy fuel, jet fuel, and naphtha — is expected to be operational in mid-2024. Cabinda’s capacity will double to 60,000 bpd when the final phase of construction is completed.

As recently as this month, Africa Finance Corporation and African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) announced a USD335 million credit facility for the project, which will cover the first phase of construction. The refinery is being developed by the UK’s Gemcorp Holding Limited (GHL) in partnership with Angola’s national oil company, Sonangol.
The Soyo refinery project is scheduled to be completed in 2025. Angola’s Ministry of Mineral Resources and Petroleum has awarded the tender for the construction of the 100,000-bpd refinery in Soyo to U.S.-based Quanten Consortium Angola LLC. The consortium will design, build, own, and operate the deep-conversion refinery. In addition to the refinery, Quanten will develop a tank farm, marine terminal, and infrastructure there.

Furthermore, a 200,000-bpd refinery in Lobito province is being developed, with services provided by Japanese conglomerate JGC Holdings. Sonangol has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China National Chemical Engineering (CNCEC) for the construction of this refinery. The MoU aims to secure financing for the project and may lead to a contract for construction by the Chinese company. The refinery, expected to be operational by 2026, will have a capacity of producing up to 200,000 bpd.

In 2022, Minister Azevedo said that building refineries and modernizing the existing one would allow Angola to sustain its energy supply and reduce the steep costs associated with energy imports. He and President Lourenço have continued to move the country closer to realizing those benefits — and several others.

Scaling up its refining capacity will enable Angola to maximize the monetization of its energy resources. With new projects like Eni’s Ndungu Early Production Project and TotalEnergies’ CLOV floating production, storage, and offloading unit, Angola aims to trade ready-to-use fuels with Europe, reducing Europe’s reliance on Russian resources.

Further, downstream activities such as marketing and distribution will set the stage for job creation and business opportunities, from running service stations to supplying lubricant oils.

Also important, Angola will be better positioned to meet regional energy demands. As more refineries come online, Angola can utilize such cross-border trade systems as the Central African Pipeline System and the Angola-Zambia pipeline to deliver refined products to other African countries

Driving growth in Angola’s downstream sector is only one example of the steps Angola’s government has taken in recent years to strengthen the country’s energy industry.

To attract investment and further encourage production, the Angolan government has implemented extensive reforms, including simplifying control mechanisms, offering fiscal incentives for the development of marginal oil fields, establishing regulations for well abandonment and decommissioning, and enacting the country’s first natural gas law.

The African Energy Chamber sees the efforts by President Lourenço and Minister Azevedo as major wins for Angola that will help ensure ongoing foreign investment, energy security, and economic growth.

AfDB appoints Ousmane Fall as Director, Non-Sovereign Operations, Private Sector,

By Favour Nnabugwu


The African Development Bank Group has appointed Ousmane Fall, a Senegalese national, as Director of Non-Sovereign Operations and Private Sector, effective from the 1st of August 2023.

Fall takes on this new role with 17 years of experience. He spent the last four years at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), where he provided strategic leadership on country planning and ministerial dialogue in the African infrastructure space.

At the IFC, Fall covered various sectors, namely water, waste and sanitation; transport and energy; logistics; and telecommunications. He also oversaw the establishment of the Municipal Financing Platform for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Fall developed and executed the first asset-backed securities investment for access to energy in Africa, as well as the first private sector investments in hydro and solar in Gabon and Benin. Other firsts were a gas-to-power strategy for the Senegalese government, and the first municipal financing strategy for the cities of Dakar, Cotonou, Abidjan, and Douala.

He also led business development efforts across Africa, building strong relationships with private sector clients, central and local governments, cities, and selected sovereign-owned entities on the ground.

Fall earlier worked at the African Development Bank Group for 10 years. He held several positions, including those of acting manager for the Strategy and Transactions Support Division, and officer in charge for the Non-Sovereign Infrastructure Division, providing key advisory services and transaction support to Non-Sovereign Operations origination departments. He oversaw project officers in such areas as debt and guarantee transactions design, project bankability assessment, capital structuring, project credit enhancement, financial leveraging, and financial modelling.

He also spearheaded knowledge management and training on non-sovereign operations. He established non-sovereign operations modules on project finance, corporate loans, financial modelling, technical assistance, client relationship management, and equity investments. Fall was a successful investment officer, delivering landmark private sector transactions at the Bank.

He has extensive knowledge of African debt and equity markets, guarantee products, derivatives, and credit enhancement instruments. Fall led the execution of the first African Development Bank Group non-sovereign operations transactions in agriculture, health and education, and the first port dredging and gas-to-power projects. He also served in the Bank’s Public Sector Department, where he worked on solar projects in Morocco, hydro projects in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Cameroon, Guinea, and other transmission projects in Nigeria and Zambia. He also worked in the Risk Department, where he contributed to the definition and implementation of the Bank’s Capital Adequacy Framework and Exposure Management Policy.

Before joining the African Development Bank, Fall was an investment banker in the Structured Finance Division of Société Générale in Paris.

Fall holds a Master of Science in Finance from INSEEC Business and Management School in France (2005).

Commenting on his appointment, Fall said: “I am honoured and grateful that President Adesina appointed me to this position. I look forward to working under his leadership to serve the premier financial institution of the continent in its ambitious vision to transform the African continent through the private sector.”

African Development Bank president, Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina, said: “Ousmane has a proven track record of delivering results in private sector transactions. He will ensure the overall effectiveness of the Bank’s Private Sector operations through non-sovereign operations project and corporate portfolio management as well as transaction support to non-sovereign operations origination departments.”

Ajay Banga is 14th President of the World Bank

By Favour Nnabugwu


The Executive Directors of the World Bank today selected Ajay Banga as President of the World Bank for a five-year term beginning June 2, 2023.

Ajay Banga most recently served as Vice Chairman at General Atlantic. Previously, he was President and CEO of Mastercard, a global organization with nearly 24,000 employees.  Under his leadership, MasterCard launched the Center for Inclusive Growth, which advances equitable and sustainable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. He was Honorary Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, serving as Chairman from 2020-2022.

He became an advisor to General Atlantic’s climate-focused fund, BeyondNetZero, at its inception in 2021. Banga served as Co-Chair of the Partnership for Central America, a coalition of private organizations that works to advance economic opportunity across underserved populations in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. He was previously on the Boards of the American Red Cross, Kraft Foods, and Dow Inc.

Ajay Banga is a co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute and was Vice Chair of the Economic Club of New York. He was awarded the Foreign Policy Association Medal in 2012, the Padma Shri Award by the President of India in 2016, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and the Business Council for International Understanding’s Global Leadership Award in 2019, and the Distinguished Friends of Singapore Public Service Star in 2021.

The Executive Directors followed the selection process agreed by shareholders in 2011. The process included an open, merit-based, and transparent nomination where any national of the Bank’s membership could be proposed by any Executive Director or Governor through an Executive Director. This was then followed by thorough due diligence and a comprehensive interview of Mr. Banga by the Executive Directors.

The Board looks forward to working with Mr. Banga on the World Bank Group Evolution process, as discussed at the April 2023 Spring Meetings, and on all the World Bank Group’s ambitions and efforts aimed at tackling the toughest development challenges facing developing countries.

The President of the World Bank Group is also the Chair of the Board of the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). The President is also ex officio chair of the Board of Directors of the International Development Association (IDA), International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and of the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

Nigeria, 9 other countries rank top 10 in air pollution

By Favour Nnabugwu
Nigeria is among the top 10 African countries with air pollution in the world with 36 percent of pollution ranking 18th in the 5th Annual World Air Quality Report.
First on the list of the othe 9 countried is Chad with 89.7 percent air pollution, followed by Burkina Faso with 63.0 positioned as number 6th; Egypt is 9th with 46.5 percent; Sudan is 12th with 44.6 percent; Rwanda is 44.0 percent, 13th; Uganda is 39.6 percent, 17th; Ethiopia is 31.3 percent, 23rd;  Ghana 30.2 percent, 27th and Gabon 25.0 percent, 32nd
The biggest threat to environmental health in the world still involves air pollution. Over six million deaths annually and 93 billion days of illness are attributed to poor air quality globally. The total economic cost exceeds $8 trillion, or 6.1% of the annual global gross domestic product. Numerous health conditions, such as asthma, lung diseases, heart disease, and early mortality, are brought on by and made worse by exposure to air pollution.
Populations that are already at risk are most severely affected by air pollution. More than 90% of deaths attributed to pollution take place in low- and middle-income nations. There is a higher risk of developing or worsening health conditions in children under the age of 18, pregnant women, and older adults who are exposed to air pollution.
As a result, it is important to know the air health of the region you’re residing in, which is why IQAir, an organization mandated to fight the effects of polluted air. IQAir also operates the world’s largest free real-time air quality information platform.
 The air quality scientists at IQAir examined data from over 30,000 air quality monitoring stations spread across 7,323 locations in 131 countries, territories, and regions for this year’s report.
According to the data collated, Africa continues to be the continent with the lowest representation, despite an increase from 13 countries represented in 2021 to 19 countries included in this year’s report.
 Out of 54 countries, only 19 have enough information on air quality. The data analyzed for this report comes exclusively from empirically measured PM2.5 data collected from ground-level air monitoring stations. The PM2.5 measurement data in this report is aggregated from both regulatory air quality monitoring instrumentation and low-cost air quality sensors.
These devices are operated by government agencies, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and individual citizens who contribute to the monitoring of their local air quality.
PM2.5 concentration describes the amount of fine particulate aerosol particles up to 2.5 microns in diameter and is used as the standard air quality indicator for the World Air Quality Report. Measured in micrograms per cubic meter (μg/m3 ), PM2.5 is one of six major air pollutants commonly used in the classification of air quality.
Tanzanian, AfDB sign for Kakono Hydropower project

By Favour Nnabugwu


Tanzania and the African Development Bank (AfDB) signed a loan agreement for a total of $161.47 million (or about Sh374.9 billion) to be used in financing the Kakono Hydropower Project in Kagera.

The 87.8 MW project, whose total cost exceeds Sh700 billion, is also financed by the European Union (EU) and the French Development Agency or Agence française de développement (AFD).

The government signed an agreement with the AFD on its portion of the deal, totaling 110 million euros, just one week prior to yesterday’s new development, according to Finance and Planning Minister Mwigulu Nchemba, who spoke during the signing ceremony (about Sh272.6 billion).

The 35 million euro (Sh86.7 billion) grant from the EU, which will be managed by AFD, is the final amount of the total project cost that has not yet been agreed upon.
Following this important milestone, I request the grant arrangement between AFD and EU to be expedited in order to have the full package of financing ready for the project,” Dr. Nchemba, stated.

He emphasized that increasing on-grid energy production from the least expensive renewable sources is the Kakono Hydropower Project’s overall development goal in order to address the electricity deficits in north-western Tanzania.

In the northwest corner of Tanzania, in the Lake Zone, where expensive diesel generators are frequently turned on to either supplement the grid supply or improve the quality of supply to avoid protracted blackouts and brownouts, the development of the project will replace the use of fossil fuels.

Dr. Nchemba predicts that the project will be finished in five years. It will entail building an 87.8 MW hydropower plant as well as a primary school, a health center, and a 28 km long asphalted access road that is part of the Project. He continued by saying that this will ultimately result in an improvement in the local communities standard of living.

He continued by saying that the project also entails the provision of evacuation facilities and the execution of the plan for environmental and social management and monitoring. The Third Five Year Development Plan (FYDP III) of the country and the broad plan of the Sixth Phase Government are both supported by the Kakono Hydropower Project.

Dr. Nchemba also added that the targeted objective is to create a competitive and industrial economy for human development by strengthening the business and investment-enabling environment, productive infrastructure, reliable access to energy, and systems for education and training

Nigeria, Israel tightens partnership in entrepreneurship, others

By Favour Nnabugwu




Nigeria and Israel have commenced collaborative moves to deepen partnership in innovation, entrepreneurship and production with the aim of harnessing Nigeria’s huge potentials for its technological development.

The two nations agreed on these when the Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michael Freeman, paid a working visit to the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund,TETFund, Arc. Sonny Echono ,at the Fund’s Headquarters in Abuja.

Speaking during the visit, Ambassador Freeman expressed Israel’s desire to work with Nigeria in the area of technology and entrepreneurship development, describing Nigeria as a country of huge potentials due to its teeming youth population.

While describing Israel as a leading country in technology and innovation, Ambassador Freeman disclosed that 45% of Israel’s GDP comes from innovation and entrepreneurship start-ups, as the country’s major economic sectors are involved in high technology and industrial manufacturing.

He stated that with Nigeria’s huge potential, if same could be achieved, or even a 30% GDP addition to Nigeria coming from technology, innovation and entrepreneurship, it would hasten Nigeria’s economic development.

The Israeli Ambassador further stated that Nigeria possesses the potential to be a destination for businesses if innovative developments are harnessed, particularly through innovation incubation hubs.

This, he said, would provide young Nigerians who have entrepreneurship potentials but lacked expertise an avenue to be mentored and guided in the right direction.

Mr. Freeman also spoke about the Innovation Fellowship for Aspiring Inventors and Researchers (i-Fair) programme, an initiative borne out of the need to raise a generation of innovators, inventors and researchers in Nigeria; especially among the youths. He noted that the Embassy has worked closely with the office of the Vice President on the programme, which has spanned across two editions and also called for stronger partnership with the Fund in the upcoming Third Edition.

In his remarks, Arc. Sonny S.T Echono expressed appreciation to the Israeli Ambassador for his visit and commitment towards strengthening ties with TETFund in Nigeria’s quest for technological and economic development.

While expressing excitement at the numerous benefits derivable from the partnership, he stated that “If innovation and entrepreneurship can provide 45% of Israel GDP, one can only imagine what 10 0r 20% will do to Nigeria’s GDP with our population”.

According to Echono, there is a global consensus that Nigerians are hardworking and intelligent if provided with the right incentives, and one can envision what can be unlocked through technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Speech Delivered by Dr. Akinwumi A Adesina President, African Development Bank Group At the Official Launch of the Investment in Digital and Creative Industries (I-DICE) – State House Conference Center, Abuja – Tuesday, 14 March 2023.

Your Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,

Your Excellencies, State Governors,

Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed

Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo

Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami

Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed

Honourable Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Adeleke Mamora

Your Excellencies, Ambassadors

The President of the Islamic Development Bank, Muhammed Al Jasser

The Chief Executive Officer of the Agence Francaise de Developpement, Remy Rioux,

The Chief Executive Officer of the Bank of Industry, Nigeria, Olukayode Pitan

Director Generals, Executive Secretaries, and heads of government agencies,

Young business leaders of Nigeria,

Youth entrepreneurs,

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen.

I am delighted to join you today for the official launch of the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (I-DICE). I wish to commend the Federal Government for this initiative. The initiative is timely, strategic, and transformative as it will build the ecosystems to support more competitive entrepreneurs powered by digital technologies.

I am very proud of the African Development Bank Group’s leading role in this initiative, which has the potential to generate millions of jobs for Nigeria’s youths. The urgency of leveraging the implementation of i-DICE for sustainable job creation, and economic transformation, is now.

With over 70% of Nigeria’s population under the age of 30, Nigeria has one of the greatest assets in the world. Some would call this a challenge to be managed. I call it an opportunity to be unleashed. It’s time to do things differently.

Yes, we gather to launch the initiative, but what we are really launching is more than this initiative. We are launching hope for the youth. We are launching platforms that will enhance the ability and capacity of Nigeria’s youth to thrive. We are launching the creation of millions of jobs. We are retooling Nigeria to be more competitive in an increasingly digital world. We are creating hope for a new Nigeria, driven by the power of the youth.

What Nigeria does with its youthful population will determine the future of Nigeria. Its future in terms of first-rate education to make them competitive. Its future in terms of skills to fill jobs today and create jobs of tomorrow. Its future in turning its dynamic, talented, and entrepreneurial youths into revenue assets.

It is time to create youth-based wealth for Nigeria. Youth-based wealth will rapidly expand the creation of jobs, expand the fiscal space with new sources of taxes, and support a more inclusive Nigerian economy, now and well into the future.

That is why, shortly after I was elected President of the African Development Bank, we launched the Jobs for Youth in Africa strategy. We project that the program will create 25 million new jobs by 2026 that focus on practical and high-impact solutions.

We are making great strides.

From 2016 to 2021, the African Development Bank supported the creation of over 12 million jobs, 3.1 million of which were direct and nine million indirect. This has been made possible through our high employment impact operations and special initiatives in key sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, energy, and financial sectors, as well as in the digital and creative industries.

Additionally, the Bank’s Coding for Employment program has provided onsite centres and digital training platforms that have equipped 23,200 youth from 45 countries with the skills needed to succeed in the digital job market.

We have invested $2 billion in 37 tech projects to improve national and regional broadband infrastructure, foster private investment, and support digital enterprises.

And the African Development Bank is currently designing and will soon roll out Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks, new financial institutions that will build robust financial ecosystems around the businesses of young people across Africa.

That is why we like I-DICE: it is visionary, sees the future and prepares Nigeria for it.

That future is here. Every aspect of life is being transformed digitally. Think of digital financial services for money transfers, payments, banking, and insurance.

Think of e-health with rapid growth of digital platforms that aggregate services of medical doctors, pharmacists, and diagnostic service providers.

Think of e-government for better and more accessible service delivery to citizens.

Think of education, with digital platforms that connect teachers, tutors, and delivers open digital curriculum for enhanced and easily accessible learning for students.

When you think digital, think global.

It is estimated that the size of digital global health will expand from $217 billion in 2022 to over $1 trillion by 2031, an incredible growth.

The size of Africa’s digital economy will rise from $115 billion today to $712 billion by 2050. Most of this growth is already being driven by four countries, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, and Egypt.

The expansion of the digital economy is driven by several factors including the rapid growth in the youth population, the ubiquitous nature of access to mobile phones especially smart phones, increasing investments in supportive digital infrastructure, and the spark in digital entrepreneurship and innovations during the economic challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

These digital trends hold great promise to help create massive number of jobs. For example, estimates by Endeavor (2022) show that expanding digital infrastructure by 10% will lead to a 2.5% annual growth in GDP in Africa. Furthermore, expanding access to the internet in Africa from the current 33% to 75% can help create 44 million jobs, including 3 million jobs in online services by 2025.

We are already witnessing in Nigeria the power of digital technologies, tools, and platforms. Nigeria currently has 5 out of the 11 digital companies that have reached the status of unicorn with market valuation of $1 billion. Names that come to mind include Jumia, Interswitch, Opay, Flutterwave and Andela, mainly in the fintech space.

Nigeria’s poor and fragmented cargo transport system is getting transformed gradually, thanks to Kobo 360 a digital logistics platform launched by two young Nigerians, Obi Ozor, and Ife Oyedele. It is incredible that between 2018 and 2020 the Kobo360 platform has connected 50,000 trucks and truck drivers and helped to move freight worth $200 billion (Source: Endeavor, 2022).

The creative industry in Nigeria is growing rapidly, in line with similar trend in Africa. The creative industry in Africa generated over $14 billion in revenue annually between 2015 and 2018 and is projected to help create close to 3 million jobs by 2025. Nigeria has yet to fully tap into and unleash the power of its creative industry which still needs efforts to promote content creators, supportive infrastructure, and access to financing for the film, media, fashion, visual arts, tourism, hospitality, and entertainment industries.

The I-DICE program will help to fill some of these critical gaps by supporting enterprise and skills development, access to demand-driven digital and creative skills, entrepreneurship skills, ICT enabled infrastructure, as well as expanding access to finance.

The African Development Bank is pleased to be a partner with the Federal Government of Nigeria on the $618 million I-DICE program. The African Development Bank is providing $170 million in financing to the program.

I am delighted that we have been able to mobilize additional co-financing of $217 million towards the program. I wish to thank our partners, the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) that is providing $100 million; and the Islamic Development Bank that is providing $70 million. I also thank the Bank of Industry and the Federal Government of Nigeria for providing $45 million in counterpart funding. Through the independent fund managers for I-DICE, the program will raise an additional capital of between $131 million and $262 million.

The I-DICE program is set to be a real game changer.

It will help to create 6.1 million direct and indirect jobs and equip more than 175,000 young people with the technology and creative skills needed to drive innovation and foster entrepreneurship.

To start with, I-DICE will support 451 digital technology start-ups, 226 creative enterprises and 75 enterprise support organisations.

The benefits of the program to Nigeria’s economy are projected to be worth $6.4 billion.

Your Excellency, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to express my profound appreciation for the Federal Government of Nigeria’s unwavering commitment to the I-DICE program. H.E. President Buhari’s personal endorsement of the Program in June 2022 is a great manifestation of the high political ownership of Nigeria’s innovation agenda.

I also highly commend the dynamic leadership of the Steering Committee of the Advisory Council on Innovation and Creativity chaired by H.E. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that has spearheaded the design of I-DICE. The enactment of the Start-up Act in October 2022 provides a strong boost to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s efforts to enhance the enabling environment for the development of start-ups, as well as position Nigeria as Africa’s leading digital technology centre.

Thank you, Your Excellency Mr. Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo for your exceptional leadership and foresight in shaping the design of the I-DICE Program. There are many things you will be remembered for, but I can tell you that nothing will be more than your unrelenting passion for the youth and your drive to ensure that you prepare them for the digital world. Thank for your outstanding leadership and service for our nation.

With the I-DICE, H.E. President Buhari, yourself, Mr. Vice President, and the Federal Government would leave behind a legacy for the future growth and dominance of Nigeria in the digital and creative industries, in Africa, and globally.

Together, let us use I-DICE to unleash an ecosystem that will drive the emergence of more dynamic and competitive youth entrepreneurs from Nigeria.

Let us unleash the wealth creating potential of the digital and creative industries.

Let us foster the emergence of a stronger Nigeria.

A Nigeria, built on the dynamism and creativity of its young people.

Let us bring the future of the youth into the present.

May God Bless Nigeria!

Nigeria to Launch the Investment in Digita, Creative Enterprises Program (i-DICE) today

By Favour Nnabugwu




Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the President of the African Development Bank Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, and other partners will launch the Investment in Digital and Creative Enterprises (i-DICE) Program in Abuja on Tuesday, 14 March 2023.

The launch marks the rollout of a flagship initiative that will drive vital funding for Nigeria’s digital and creative industries. In addition to the leaders of government, corporations, and development finance institutions, the event will feature youth working in the digital technology and creative sectors, students, and investors.

i-DICE is a major step toward significantly upscaling entrepreneurship and innovation in digital technology and creative industries, which include film, fashion, and music.

The program is part of the federal government of Nigeria’s efforts to build back better, greener, and more inclusively, and to create sustainable jobs for its surging youth population. It will consolidate the country’s position as Africa’s leading start-up investment destination and youth entrepreneurship hub.

i-DICE is co-financed by the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and Agence Française de Développement. The federal government of Nigeria is providing counterpart finance through the Bank of Industry, which also serves as the executing agency. A steering committee chaired by the vice president’s office will oversee the initiative in cooperation with a technical committee made up of business leaders, and government ministries, departments, and agencies.

The DICE Fund, a venture capital outfit to be created under the program, will draw additional funding from institutional and other private investors.

AfDB, Coalition for Dialogue on Africa, launch $5.9m project to stem illicit financial flows from

By Favour Nnabugwu



The African Development Bank and the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) have officially launched a three-year support project to improve regional coherent and coordinated response to illicit financial flows.

The project will help African stakeholders actively engaged in stemming such flows to improve domestic revenue mobilization in African countries.

The launch of the African Financial Integrity and Accountability Support Project (AFIAP) took place at the African Union headquarters on 7 March. The project aims to improve regional coordination of combating illicit financial flows and the oversight and accountability of public finances, for optimal revenue mobilization and management in African countries. It will support the coordinated implementation of recommendations of the High-Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows(link is external) and the implementation of joint strategies and initiatives related to international taxation.

The grant will support CoDA in its role as the secretariat of both the AU High-Level Panel on IFFs, the Joint Secretariat of the Consortium to Stem IFFs from Africa, and the annual African Fiscal Policy Forum. The support will foster a coherent African response to illicit flows, in line with the AU Assembly Special Declaration on IFFs(link is external) passed in January, 2015, and will advance Africa’s continent-wide asset recovery agenda encapsulated in the Common African Position on Asset Recovery (CAPAR)(link is external) adopted in February 2020. This will be carried out by CoDA, the African Union Commission Departments of Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals and Political Affairs, Peace and Security Department, in collaboration with other national, regional and global actors.

The project targets selected African Development Bank member countries, with a particular emphasis on public sector capacities in low-income countries, to reinforce resilience via training, policy research and advocacy activities.

The Bank’s support is in line with the objectives of its Strategy for Economic Governance in Africa (2021 – 2025), its policy and strategic framework and action plan to prevent Illicit Financial Flows in Africa (2017 – 2021, extended to 2023), and “High Five objective that aims to “Improve the quality of life” for the people of Africa. It is consistent with ongoing similar support to regional organisations to stem illicit flows from the African continent..

The ceremony was witnessed by the Bank’s Deputy Director-General for Eastern Africa Regional and Business Delivery Office, Abdul Kamara, and the Executive Director of CoDA / HLP Secretariat, Souad Aden-Osman. Several other officials from the Secretariat, the African Union Commission and the Bank also attended the event.

Abdul expressed satisfaction with the project, noting that it is in line with the High-Level Panel’s mandate to promote a coordinated response of the Bank’s regional member countries in ensuring that policies and practices are mobilized in addressing financial crime, tax avoidance, money laundering. “In addition to combating illicit financial flows, this project will contribute to promoting greater efficiency in public financial management in order to boost revenue mobilization and management,” Kamara said.

“CoDA welcomes this financial support of the AfDB. We are eager to work with the Bank in ensuring Phase II of the implementation of the Panel’s recommendations is well underway. This collaboration with the AfDB is highly useful in this regard and on behalf of its Board of Directors and the High-Level Panel on IFFs from Africa, CoDA is thankful to the President, Management and Board of the AfDB for their continued support”, Aden-Osman said.