African Banker du 07-03-2022
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Date de parution 07 mars 2022
Langue Français
Poids de l'ouvrage 80 Mo

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1 s t Q u a r t e r 2 0 2 2P U B L I C AT I O NI C A N 5 7 I S S U E
Banking in Cameroon ABK Awards– historical review Banks pivot to AI Countr y Focus: Senegal and South Africa
Inter views:Diane Karusisi– Bank of KigaliNick O’Donohoe– British International Investment Paulo Gomes– Orango Investment CorporationAlain Law Min– Mauritius Commercial Bank Gwen Abunaw– Ecobank CameroonChristopher Marks– MUFG Profile:Dr Slim Feriani– Djibouti Sovereign Fund
EUROZONE €8.00, UK £6.00, USA $9.95, CFA Zone CFA5.000, Egypt E£80, Ethiopia R200, Gambia Da400, Ghana GH¢40.00, Kenya KShs800, Liberia $8, Mauritius MR300, Morocco Dh60, Sierra Leone LE 70000, South Africa R50.00 (inc tax), Tunisia DT7, Uganda USh30,000, Zambia ZMW 100, Other Southern African countries R49.00 (excl tax), Tanzania TShs20,000.
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Cover StoryWest Africa: Digital revolution well under way
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Editorial Human and artificial intelligence
News in Brief Banking sector news from around the continent
African Banker’s World Who’s going where in the African banking industry
Cover Story Banking in West Africa Digital revolution well under way Reshaping the industry Is a viable regional market still a pipe dream? Focus on Cameroon Economy poised to reach 5% growth after slowdown The state of the banking sector
In Conversation Gwen Abunaw,CEO, Ecobank Cameroon
 Profile 30Dr Slim Feriani,CEO, Djibouti Sovereign Fund
 In Conversation 34Diane Karusisi,CEO, Bank of Kigali
 Technology 38 More African banks turn to AI
 Milestones 40African Banker Awards – a fascinating journey The
 Trends 46 Finance gender gap costs Africa $95bn per year
 In Conversation 48Christopher Marks, Head, Emerging Markets, MUFG 50Alain Law Min,CEO, Mauritius Commercial Bank
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Capital Markets CocaCola’s $8bn African IPO plan A big year for Nigeria’s bourse Day trading dawns in Kenya First Abu Dhabi’s $1bn bid for Egypt’s EFG Hermes Airtel Uganda to list 20% shares Egypt’s $1.5bn transport startup heads for Nasdaq Encouraging returns by African exchanges New listings boost for Egypt exchange Macro Pharma debuts in Egypt
 In Conversation 58Paulo Gomes,Chairman,  Orango Investment Corporation 60Nick O’Donohoe,CEO,  British International Investment (CDC)
 Country Focus 62South Africa:Thumbs up for  banks despite stagnant economy 64Senegal:Finance lines clear for  ambitious rail expansion
 Investment 66 Inbound investment hits new record
In Memoriam 68Professor Ezzeddine LarbiThe gentle intellectual giant 70Emmanuel TumusiimeMutebile, Governor, Central Bank of Uganda
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The Bigger Picture Recipe for Africa’s recovery
Talking Point Madiba’s red line crossed again
A N V E R V E R S I ,E D I T O R
Human and artificial intelligence
nthis issue, we run a stor y about the steady march of ar-tiîcial intelligence (AI) into ev-er-increasing areas of life. The dchoouInmmepaubntyienrhtuteolmlidagonestnacbseekcasanutdhsedaittshacreeerynuremsqueuaniltlrye.dictionary deînition of artiîcial intelligence is “the ability of a computer or a robot controlled by a Perhaps the most ubiquitous mani-festation of AI for most of us is when we înd ourselves engaging or trying to engage in conversation with a ‘chat-bot’, deîned as a computer programme that simulates human conversation, either via voice or text communication. I do not consider myself a Luddite and am all for human progress in all îelds including technology but I must confess that I hate chatbots with a vengeance. I am not alone – it seems according to surveys in both the West and Asia, that chatbots are some of the most hated ‘people’ around – what a frightening number of people swearing that if they could kill a chatbot, they would happily commit murder. In recent years, whenever I’ve called a number to ask for a service, for ex-ample on my heating system, I have had to endure the ritual of going through the hoops with a chatbot and getting nowhere until mercifully it gives up and connects me to a real live person. The difference is immediate. Arti-îcial intelligence so far, I am happy
to note, is nowhere near human in-telligence when it comes to making discerning decisions and judgements. It is wonderful at number-crunching, making millions of calculations a sec-ond, putting things into boxes and so on but when it comes to interpersonal relations, it is still way back in the Stone Age. And thank God for that. The increasing use of technology in day-to-day life, especially in commu-nication, has made a huge difference in Africa and allowed many countries, and large sections of the population to leap aeons of technical evolution and interact with the world on equal terms. There is no need to repeat the phe-nomenal change brought about by the mobile phone and how African ingenu-ity has converted it into an incredibly versatile and convenient transactional tool, while also serving its primary purpose of telecommunication. In the same vein, banks among other public-serving organisations have been digi-talising at a furious pace.
Taking no prisoners Progress takes no prisoners. Yet, in Africa, while the continent has em-braced technolog y, it has done so largely selectively. It has not yet been overwhelmed by the torrent of mis-information and weird ideas that are choking up the social media in the West and there is still room for hu-man decision-making, especially in sensitive cases.
Right now in the UK, two shock-ing incidents of the harm that AI can cause are being discussed in Parlia-ment. One is the Post Office scandal where between 2000 and 2014, 700 branch managers (usually a mom-and-pop operation) were accused of stealing and given criminal convictions. The real culprit, it emerged later, was the software, a computer system called Horizon that had made mistakes. The people affected, all respectable people well integrated in their commu-nities, were devastated. Most of them were ruined and went into depression. Marriages fell apart and some com-mitted suicide. This was a case of an impersonal machine making fatal decisions based on faulty data. No-one at the time thought to wonder how and why 700 sub-postmasters would suddenly turn into crooks. The machine, rather than the people screaming their innocence, was believed. In another case, thousands of for-eign students working on a test re-quired for their visa extensions were accused of cheating by the US îrm Educational Testing Service’s system. 2,500 students were deported and 7,200 left the country. Again the problem was a glitch in the system. So, while we welcome progress that improves the quality of life, we should treat technology with caution – it’s a great servant but a terrible master.n
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AFRICAN BANKER’S WORLDNEWS
DPO, BANK OF KIGALILINK UP TO BOOST E-COMMERCE
African digital payments company DPO Group has partnered with Bank of Kigali, a leading commercial bank in Rwanda, in an arrangement that will allow the bank’s customers to access e-commerce and payments services through DPO Group’s robust platform. The move is expected to see the Bank of Kigali on-board hundreds of new online merchants, as well as offer digital payment services to its existing business customers. DPO has developed its own integrated payments technology to support businesses of all sizes across Africa to make and accept payments securely and swiftly with all currencies and payment methods, including via mobile money. Eran Feinstein, CEO of DPO Group commented: “Our partnership with Bank of Kigali will unlock
the rapidly expanding e-commerce market for local businesses and entrepreneurs in Rwanda, driving business growth across the country. Our secure payment platform already allows vendors to make and receive payments risk-free across the continent.” Joan Karenzi, DPO Country Manager for Rwanda added: “Partnerships such as this offer a brilliant opportunity to accelerate growth for entrepreneurs and banks across Africa, allowing them to use our technology to accept payment in the currency of their choice.” Caleb Gakunju, Head of Payments at the Bank of Kigali, commented: “The partnership comes as part of an effort to digitise all of the bank’s services to help our customers access digital products seamlessly and conveniently.” It is estimated that across sub-Saharan Africa, the potential size of the e-commerce market will grow to $180bn by 2025 and over $700bn by 2050, with a considerable increase from 2020 following the pandemic. In Rwanda, the estimated e-commerce growth is from $0.52bn in 2020 to $0.97bn in 2025.
EAIFLENDS $35M FOR KENYA SOLAR POWER PLANT
The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), which is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), has provided a $35m loan over a 15-year term to the 40MW Kesses solar generation facility, to be built near Eldoret in the Rift Valley region of Kenya. The project will cost a total of $87m. The îrst part of the loan was disbursed to Alten Kenya Solarfarms BV (Alten), the Kenyan
business of the Alten Group, in late December 2021. Kenya has become the ninth African country where EAIF has supported renewable energy projects in recent years. The others are Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Commenting on the project, Sine Zulu, Investment Specialist at EAIF’s investment managers, Ninety One, says: “The
Kesses plant brings multiple beneîts to Kenya’s economic development. It will also play an important part in combating climate change and strengthening Kenya’s ability to recover from Covid-19.” Alten Energías Renovables Group is an independent power producer (IPP). It will sell all its output to Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC), the national energy utility, on a 20-year take-or-pay Power Purchase Agreement. Construction of the plant has already commenced and is expected to be completed in Spring this year. Standard Bank was the mandated lead arranger of the project înance to Alten. Standard Bank is supplying
Below: Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta (c) attending the launch ceremony for a 50MW solar farm in Garissa, Kenya
$41m in debt comprising a term loan, VAT and Debt Service Reserve facility. Standard Bank is acting through its CIB and Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited divisions. Building the Kesses plant will improve access to energy for thousands of people and create up to 400 construction jobs, with 15 permanent jobs during operations. Eldoret has the largest population concentration in the Rift Valley area region. It is a centre for local government, higher education, business and înancial services, textile manufacturing, agribusiness and sports tourism.
A F R I C A N B A N K E R 1 S T Q U A R T E R 2 0 2 27
ADESINAEQUATES GOOD HEALTH TO NATIONAL SECURITY
Speaking at the 35th AU Sum-mit, African Development Bank Group (AfDB) President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina (above) said that the most important lesson of the Covid-19 pan-demic for Africa is the need to build a defence mecha-nism against external shocks, especially in healthcare and înancial security. “Investing in health is in-vesting in national security,” Adesina told African leaders in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. “Africa cannot afford to outsource the healthcare security of its 1.4bn citizens to the benevolence of others.” He said the continent needed $484bn over the next three years to address the socio-economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic and support economic recovery. Adesina outlined three strategic priorities for an African healthcare defence system: building quality healthcare infrastructure; developing the continent’s pharmaceutical industry; and increasing the capacity of
vaccine manufacturing. He added that the AfDB planned to invest $3bn to support Africa’s pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing capacity. Speaking on managing debt, he said: “Africa’s public debt, currently estimated at $546bn, represents a quarter of the continent’s GDP and is higher than the combined total annual government revenues of $501bn.” He also said the African Development Fund, the Bank Group’s concessional lending arm, had supported low-income countries with $8.5bn over the last îve years. Referring to re-allocated IMF Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), he said: “Passing the re-allocated SDRs for Africa through the African Develop-ment Bank will serve Africa very well, provide înancial leverage, and help recapital-ise other African înancial institutions, many of which the Bank helped to set up.” Adesina repeated his earlier calls for an African î-nancial stability mechanism to provide liquidity buffers to protect the continent against înancial and economic shocks. He said that while oth-er continents have such mechanisms, Africa was the only one that does not. He explained that this led to widespread regional spillover contagion effects and insta-bility from Covid-19-induced înancial shocks. “African economies must be protect-ed,” he stressed.
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