NBF Annual General Meeting 2017


The NEPAD Business Foundation will be hosting its eight Annual General Meeting and will also be celebrating 10 years of operations on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 at the Nedbank, Ground Floor Block C, 135 Rivonia Campus,  Rivonia Road, Sandown, Sandton 2196 from 10h30 - 13h00.

All NBF stakeholders are invited to attend this year's meeting themed 'Business for sustainable development in Africa'. NBF members who are unable to attend may elect a proxy to attend in their place. At this AGM, the NBF will provide a report back on the overall performance of the organisation including its programme brands and initiatives. 


Speaker's Bio:

AndileAndile Sangqu was appointed executive head for Anglo American in South Africa on 1 June 2015.

His role includes working with the South African-based businesses to help deliver the group's strategy in the region, provide leadership and co-ordination to the group's stakeholder relations initiatives in South Africa, and facilitate regional alignment with the group's central functions.

e serves as an executive director on the Anglo American SA board, Chairman of the Anglo American Zimele board and as a non-executive director on the Anglo American Platinum board. His qualifications include a Bachelor of Accounting Science (Honours), a Bachelor of Commerce, a Masters of Business Leadership, Higher Diploma in Tax Law and he completed an Advanced Management Programme (AMP) at Insead Business School.

Andile was previously group executive of sustainability and risk at Impala Platinum and brings extensive commercial, mining and stakeholder relations experience from his former executive and board roles.

Prior to his role at Impala Platinum, Andile was executive director for Glencore Xstrata South Africa, served on the Chamber of Mines' National Development Plan Committee and held executive and non-executive roles at Kagiso Trust Investments. Andile currently serves as a director of Business Leadership SA and the vice president of the Chamber of Mines.


African Leaders in Dialogue dinner 2017


The NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) and NEPAD Agency will once again be hosting the African Leaders in Dialogue dinner on Monday, 9 October 2017 at the Birchwood Hotel, 14 View Point Rd, Bartlett AH, Boksburg, Johannesburg. The event will start at 18h30 finishing at 22h00 and will be attended by 250 delegates comprising of senior business executives, African and G20 Ambassadors as well as high-level government officials.

This year, the ALD event will hosted as the highlight dinner for the African Union 9th Private Sector Forum which will run from Monday, 9 October 2017 to Thursday, 12 October 2017 at the same venue. Discussions for the dinner will revolve around technology and the youth under the theme 'Accelerating Africa's Industrialisation through Digitalisation and Youth Techpreneurship'.

Among confirmed Diplomatic dignitaries are Ambassador of the Republic of Angola; High Commissioner of the Republic of Botswana; Head of Office: Commercial Counsellor, High Commission of Canada; Ambassador of the State of Eritrea; Ambassador of Finland; Chargé d'Affaires, Federal Republic of Germany; First Secretary, Embassy of Japan; Minister Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Liberia; High Commissioner of the Republic of Malawi; High Commissioner of the Republic of Namibia; Ambassador of the Republic of Niger; Ambassador of Portugal; Ambassador of Sri Lanka; Trade Director for Southern Africa, High Commission of the United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland; Ambassador of the United States of America; and Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe.

Sunninghill Declaration 2017

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The Sunninghill Declaration is the outcome document of the SADC Indusstrialisation Week 2017 and the report that will be shared with Heads of States at the SADC Heads of States Summit in South Africa.


Tuesday, 1 August 2017: Day 2: Financing Infrastructure Conference & Pharmaceuticals Conference


Day 2 of the SADC Industrialization Week hosted two parallel conferences, the Financing Infrastructure Conference and the Regional Pharmaceuticals Conference.

The Financing Infrastructure Conference focused on the importance developing quality infrastructure as a requirement to ensure the implementation of SADC’S Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2030. The NBF profiled the North-South Rail Corridor as a quintessential example of the type of projects the region should prioritise.


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The Regional Pharmaceutical Conference launched the SADC’s Pharmaceutical Business Plan which will look at the gaps within the entire value chain process in order to form public-private partnerships that will develop solutions required in the industry.


Introduction to SIRESS- SABF

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Media - Industrialization - RSA

SIRESS Graphs_Values  Volumes Countries June 2017 - New Format Distributed

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SADC Industrialization Week 2017_ The Intra-African Trade Imperative

Pharmaceutical working group update



Monday, 31 July 2017 – DAY 1: ‘What will an industrializing SADC look like by 2030?’


The SADC Secretariat, the Southern African Business Forum (SABF) and the NBF kick-started the second annual SADC Industrialization Week alongside the third SABF Conference at the Focus Rooms in Sunninghill, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The theme for this year’s SADC Industrialization Week was ‘Partnering with the private sector in developing regional value chains’, and the event aimed at bringing together government, business, civil society and academics in order to form strategic partnerships that will facilitate the implementation of the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2030.

Attending delegates participated during the SADC Industrialization envisioning exercise which looked at what an industrialized region would like in 2030 and what necessary steps and partnerships where required to achieve the vision.


What will an Industrializing SADC look like in 2030?

SADC Industrialization Week 2017_ The Intra-African Trade Imperative

Sustainable Development Investment Partnership (SDIP)

North-South Rail Corridor

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INFRASTRUCTURE: SADC rail project for seamless infrastructure green-lights pre-feasibility study


Transport infrastructure is one of the key enablers for economic growth in Southern Africa. The COMESA-EAC-SADC Tripartite believe that the ability to speed up and increase the flow of goods transported and traded between neighbouring countries will reduce the transaction costs of cross-border trade in Africa, thereby boosting income earned from intra-African trade.

With funding from the DBSA-managed ‘SADC Project Preparation Development Facility’, the NBF’s Africa Infrastructure Desk (Afri-ID) will be conducting a pre-feasibility study on the North-South Corridor rail network (NSC) to help unlock higher trade volumes in Southern Africa.

The NSC involves the DRC, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana with rail line links from the port of Durban to the Copper belt in DRC and Zambia.

The study will outline the key factors for project viability including the rehabilitation and upgrade of existing infrastructure and equipment; a joint operational model; market demand along the line and a new financial model. The study will also explore the prospects of creating a seamless rail logistics corridor that will promote the migration of traffic from road to rail.

Embedded in the study will be the business case for both government and the private sector to identify innovative funding models for the entire rail corridor including the development of maintenance strategies to allow efficient, safe and competitive operation of trains.


CEO's Desk

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With upsets and shifts around the world being driven by the rise in protectionism in developed nations, Africa’s position, as well as its overall agenda, will not change. Infrastructure development is still critical, our economies need to grow and the standards of living for most Africans need to rise to match global averages. The only change is an increasing urgency to execute strategies and frameworks of the African Union as defined by NEPAD and the AU’s Africa Agenda 2063. The buffer that used to cushion many African economies may soon fall away as most developed nations look more inward for sustainable economic growth as opposed to off shore investments.

The NBF’s mission has never been more relevant to Africa’s development than at this moment. The integration of African economies to foster higher levels of intra-African trade and the mobilisation of local resources and investments to support infrastructure development and industrialisation are just a few of the areas we need to prioritise. African governments must now cooperate with each other and form stronger ties if they are to survive this wave of uncertainty in the global markets. 2017 could be the turnaround year for the African continent as the unstable global situation may finally force us to act in our best interest.


For the NBF, 2016 was an eventful year and the organisation made great progress with its programmes across the board.

The SADC Project Preparation Development Facility managed by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) awarded a grant to the NBF’s Afri-ID desk to conduct a pre-feasibility study on the North-South Corridor (NSC) rail project, which has been identified as a critical trade route for SADC that requires urgent attention and support to unlock trade volumes.

In addition, the NBF provided technical support to the SADC Secretariat’s Infrastructure and Services unit to accelerate the implementation of priority infrastructure projects. This was done to engage private sector so that it could provide input on the SADC PIDA Acceleration programme, which

comprises a priority list of cross border infrastructure projects that have been identified and approved by SADC Ministers of Transport. In partnership with the SADC Secretariat and its member states, SADC PPP Network, DBSA, the NEPAD Agency and the NBF, are working on the next phase which will focus on the acceleration of these priority projects to bank-ability and financial close.

Through the signed Memorandum of Understanding between the SADC Secretariat and NBF, the Southern Africa Business forum (SABF) has become the SADC Secretariat’s coordinating partner for mobilising private sector support and implement regional initiatives aligned to SADC’s Industrialisation strategy. The SABF working groups met regularly in 2016 to flesh out the challenges being experienced in each sector in order to identify solutions that will remove barriers to trade. The solutions being developed by the SABF working groups could become catalysts to identify key cross border value chains that will spur industrialisation in the region.

The African Corporate Governance Network (ACGN) grew its country membership from 16 to 19 members, by signing on the Institutes of Directors organisations of Algeria, Namibia and Senegal as new members. The Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN) launched an additional three working groups on Water Stewardship (WS); Skills Development and Transformation (SDT); and Sanitation (SANI).

The NBF African Investment and Integration Desk (AVID) ran its first Private Public Partnership training programme through grant support from the UK Prosperity Fund, which focused on building capacity and skills of two South African Municipalities in order to identify and package infrastructure PPP projects. SA National Treasury and the University of Cambridge Business School are two of the NBF’s partners in this practical PPP training programme.

Finally, the NBF was contracted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to conduct a study on extra territorial large scale land based investments in Africa, so as to understand how companies from South Africa, China and India are investing in agriculture in Africa. The results of the study were presented at a workshop held in Beijing, China in November 2016 to gain perspectives on how these investments were demonstrating responsibility and acknowledging governance of tenure and inclusion of local farm dwellers in these investments.


As the CEO, I am proud of the work we have done and of the milestones we have reached. I take this opportunity to thank our Patrons and Board of Directors for their leadership, and our members and stakeholders for their continued support. I also want to thank the NBF team for their hard work and unwavering dedication. They have proven once again that it is not the size of the team but the size of one’s ambition that determines excellent results.

Over the years, the NBF, meaning both the staff and the stakeholders have consistently performed beyond expectations and work jointly to deliver results which have supported Africa’s development, thereby positively impacting the lives of many African citizens. My faith in the organisation and its potential remains strong and I am excited and energised by our successes and new programmes for 2017.

SADC Industrialisation Week (day 2) - Second Annual SABF Conference

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As a response to the business community interests to have more input in the Southern African regional trade and industrial policy formulation, the Southern African Business Forum (SABF) was established as a coordinating platform to encourage and facilitate public-private development activities within the SADC region against the backdrop of regional industrialisation. Launched in August 2015 on the margins of the SADC Heads of State Summit in Botswana, the SABF has since established a secretariat that resides at the NEPAD Business Foundation.

On Wednesday,24 August 2016, during the inaugural SADC Industrialisation Week, held in Swaziland, over 200 private sector representatives from across the region gathered for the Second Annual Southern Africa Business Forum (SABF) Conference. The SABF Conference was the highlight of the SADC Industrialisation Week and took place on the margins of SADC’s 36 thw Ordinary Summit of Heads of State (31 st August and 1 st September 2016) where King Mswati III is taking on the responsibility as Chairperson of SADC.

The four key points highlighted in the Declaration include:

1. Hard and soft infrastructure shortcomings must always be addressed together. Hard infrastructure is only as useful as the regulatory environment that surrounds it, and either permits or hampers its utilisation.

2. Policy certainty, including stability, predictability, consistency and transparency is a prerequisite to attract investment for regional industrialisation, regardless of sector or scale. Large companies and SMEs from all sectors demand policy certainty regarding the use of tariffs, fees and levies at borders; mining houses and agro-processors called for stable and predictable export regimes; and infrastructure developers and agro-enterprises raised the need for consistent and transparent land use rights.

3. Prioritisation and sequencing is the key to successful implementation. Prioritisation should take into account geographical links, opportunities for incremental implementation to allow for short-term gains and industry-specific requirements to support priority value chains.

4. Enabling trade through the removal of non-tariff barriers, coordinated border management and a solid and efficient regional transit system is a prerequisite for industrialisation in all sectors. 

For more information contact the SABF Programme Manager, Lesley Wentworth on her drirect line:+27 10 596 1900 or on email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SADC Industrialisation Week (day 1) - Acceleration of NEPAD PIDA and SADC RIDMP Infrastructure Projects

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Infrastructure development is the linchpin to boosting the levels of intra-African trade in sub-Sahara Africa from the current 15% of total trade in the region. The achievement of this goal is in line with the focus of the NEPAD Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa Capacity Building Project (PIDA-CAP) funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB). This is why the SADC Secretariat with the support of the NEPAD Agency is working closely with key partners to enhance the capacity of the SADC Secretariat in order to fast-track the implementation of the PIDA priority infrastructure projects in the SADC Region, which are also part of the SADC Regional Infrastructure Development Master Plan (RIDMP). 

As part of the SADC Industrialisation Week, the SADC Secretariat, NEPAD Agency and the NBF hosted a consultative event on regional infrastructure projects on Tuesday, 23 August 2016 in Swaziland. The event was themed ‘Private sector Consultation/Pre-Market – Sounding Workshop’, and was developed as a follow-up to the ‘SADC-PIDA Acceleration Programme: Ministers’ Meeting for Beira and North-South Development Corridors’ which was hosted earlier this year in Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe. 

The focus of the session was to build on the lessons learnt from the Central Corridor acceleration experience and to scope and identify project opportunities for private sector participation. During the meeting, the SADC Secretariat and the NEPAD Agency provided background to the process executed by the Victoria Falls task force, and Ministerial meetings to arrive at a preliminary shortlist of 38 projects and went on to clarify the process followed by IOS consultants to filter the preliminary shortlist and arrive at the 10 proposed phase 1 projects that have high implementation readiness.

For more information on the next steps and future planned working group meeting kindly contact Peter Varndell, Programme Manager of the NBF’s Africa Infrastructure Desk (Afri-ID) on his direct line: +27 10 596 1909 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Vacancy: SWPN Programme Manager

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Deadline: 16 September 2016

Location:  Johannesburg, South Africa (only those with South African work permits need apply)

Duration: 1 year, renewable 



The Strategic Water Partners Network (SWPN) is a dynamic and cutting-edge partnership between the public sector (primarily the Department of Water and Sanitation – DWS), the private sector and civil society working collectively to close a 17% gap between water supply and demand that is anticipated to manifest by the year 2030 in South Africa. The partnership was established in 2011 and strives to contribute to efficient, equitable and sustainable water supply and access to water for all South Africans through the identification and application of innovative and cost effective solutions and programmes. These projects and programmes are developed and administered under 6 work streams or working groups namely Agriculture and Supply Chain Water (ASC), Effluent and Waste Water Management (EWWM), Water Use Efficiency and Leakage Reduction (WELR), Skills Development and Transformation (SDT), Sanitation (SANI) and Water Stewardship (WS) which are in line with the key strategic national imperatives. The NEPAD Business Foundation hosts the SWPN secretariat.


Function and Purpose

The SWPN Programme Manager should exhibit knowledge of and experience on water and sanitation development projects and initiatives in South Africa. The Programme Manager will coordinate all activities and initiatives of the SWPN and its associated working groups, assist in identifying and preparing projects, drive and manage relationships with various stakeholders at senior levels, provide project support and oversight and deliver on performance objectives and build linkages with stakeholders.

The Programme Manager would report administratively to the CEO of the NBF and would report functionally to the Management Committee of the SWPN and in turn, to the Steering Committee of the SWPN.


Principal Duties and Responsibilities

 Maintain or improve support for the programme by managing relationships with project partners and financiers, ensuring that reporting and communication is effective and goes beyond contractual requirements 

 Timely and resource efficient project and programme development ensuring that working groups implement projects to close the water gap in South Africa 

 Prepare, ensure implementation and review global partnership work plans for thematic working groups in line with financier requirements.

 Manage and provide guidance to the SWPN Programme Assistant, Project Managers and Secretariat staff 

 Project management including scoping, procurement, management of project finances, consultants and other resources 

 Budgeting, budgetary control and financial reporting according to contractual agreements and other rules and regulations applicable to project and donor funds 

 Technical and financial reporting on projects and the full programme

 Seizing opportunities for securing financing from existing and new funding partners and effective follow-up that includes proposal development of financing requests as may be required

 Create and seize opportunities to communicate and showcase the work of the SWPN through an approved communication plan

 Represent the SWPN at events as may be assigned by the Management Committee, Steering Committee or thematic working groups 

 Within the NBF and SWPN structures, ensure that due governance, procurement and project management processes are followed, programme and project decision-making principles or criteria are clear and consultation is effective


Essential skills and capabilities

 At least a Bachelor’s degree in a relevant field with Masters preferred:  A specialisation in water or public-private partnerships will be an added advantage

 At least seven years working experience relevant to the post. Specific experience and networks in any of the SWPN fields will be an added advantage

 A water management professional with expert knowledge of at least one of the focus areas of the SWPN; or a water management professional with cross-disciplinary experience 

 Excellent communication skills – both written and oral presentation

 Stakeholder engagement and process management expertise including the ability to manage multi-stakeholder groups 

 Project management expertise 

 Proven record on programme delivery and relationship management 

 Proven ability to develop, document, maintain and write project proposals and reports and manage project timeframes/budgets

 Ability to show initiative, self-manage and meet deadlines

 Ability to work within a team context

 Experience in dealing with governments, private sector, civil society and development agencies


Behavioural Qualities and Other Requirements

 Operate with integrity and ethics

 Performance, delivery and deadline orientated

 Team orientation – working in an integrated and diverse team environment

 Resilience – ability to produce results under pressure and working with uncertainty

 Flexible and adaptable – changing opinions / behaviour in the light of changing situations

 Methodical and systematic, with a strong attention to detail and accuracy

 Action-oriented, confident and show initiative

 Motivated and ability to work without clear guidelines


The NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) is a non-profit company promoting sustainable economic development in Africa through the private sector. The NBF is a “Chamber of Business for Development”, connecting the public and private sectors and development agencies, and implementing innovative and sustainable projects in partnership with each other. In supporting African economic development and growth, NBF’s key focus areas mirror the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency’s (NEPAD Agency) development themes of agriculture and food security; climate change and natural resources management; economic and corporate governance; human development and capacity building; and regional integration and infrastructure.


Qualified applicants are to send a CV and a brief cover letter (no longer than one-page) to support their application along with salary expectations and availability to commence duties to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  The closing date for submission of applications is Wednesday, 16 September 2016. Please be advised that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Enquiries by telephone will not be accommodated.


Second Annual SABF Conference - Swaziland


 The Southern Africa Business Forum (SABF) in collaboration with the SADC Secretariat will be hosting the Second Annual SABF Conference on Wednesday, 24 August 2016 in Swaziland. 

Kindly click the links below to access more information about the SABF and to register for the Conference: 






To register for the second SABF Conference, please select from one of the three parallel sessions below. All delegates will attend the main plenary and then separate into breakaway sessions. 




Includes subgroups on:

  • Pharmaceuticals; 
  • Agro-processing; and 
  • Mining 



Includes subgroups on:

  • Trade Facilitation & Non-Tariff Barriers; 
  • Standards & Quality Infrastructure; and 
  • Transport Infrastructure. 


Includes subgroups on:

  • Transport; 
  • Energy; and  
  • Water 



Ms Graça Machel to speak at the NBF's seventh AGM


The NEPAD Business Foundation will be hosting its seventh Annual General Meeting on Monday, 15 August 2016 at the Nedbank Executive Dining Room, Ground Floor Block C, 135 Rivonia Road in Sandton from 10h30 - 13h00.

The NBF's seventh AGM will host keynote speaker Ms. Graça Machel, founder of the Graça Machel Foundation andPatron of the NBF.

The theme for this year's AGM will be 'Transformative leadership by African governments, businesses and citizens' and will focus on Africa's long-term investment into educating and skilling the next generation in order to equip them with the tools necessary to achieve the 50-year targets set by the African Union's Agenda 2063.





Geoff Rothschild at WEF Africa, Kigali, Rwanda


Business Day TV Interview with NBF Director, Geoff Rothschild at WEF Africa 2016 in Kigali Rwanda. 

To access the full interview kindly click here.

Press Release: Can good corporate governance retain Africa’s investors in the midst of a commodity slump?

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Release date: Monday, 9 May 2016

Can good corporate governance retain Africa’s investors in the midst of a commodity slump?

Nedbank Head Office, 135 Rivonia Road, Sandton, Boonzaier Dining Room, Nedbank Executive Dining Rooms, Block A 

The global economic environment is changing and investors are hard pressed to find profitable and stable investment harbours for their funds. The end of the commodity super cycle, the slowing Chinese economy and volatile international markets are affecting Africa’s ability to maintain projected growth targets for 2016.  Without increased economic activity across all industry sectors, the continent will need to focus on softer issues such as good corporate and political governance to retain investors in the short to medium term.

The African Corporate Governance Network (ACGN), a NEPAD Business Foundation (NBF) programme developed to improve the institutional capacity of Institute of Director (IoD) organisations across the continent, recently launched a report titled 'The State of Corporate Governance in Africa: An Overview of 13 African Countries' during a summit in Maputo, Mozambique. The report, which was released in South Africa at the Nedbank-NBF Networking Forum, offers an insightful look into the corporate governance frameworks and the systems in place in thirteen of African countries that are key economic development role-players for the continent.

During the Nedbank-NBF Networking Forum, Thabang Chiloane, Head of Public Affairs for Nedbank Group, expressed confidence in the findings of the ACGN report which not only demonstrate Africa’s commitment to strengthening its governance foundation, but also establishes a solid baseline in terms of what corporate governance in Africa looks like. The report which was done on 13 countries namely Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe shows where the continent needs to focus its attention, and how to accurately measure governance improvements in the years to come. 

“Africa has an unfortunate reputation of being a very difficult place to do business, and while the continent has made exceptional progress in addressing the fears and concerns of international investors in this regard, much work remains to be done. “Chiloane explains, “This report clearly shows that many African countries understand the significance and importance of good corporate governance and are working towards improving the levels of good governance as the cornerstone of future economic growth for themselves and the continent as a whole.”

Looking at Africa’s top ten brightest stars in terms of economic growth, we can clearly see the correlation between good corporate governance and the financial inflows from foreign investors. Good corporate and political governance is the foundation from which sound and sustainable economic activity can be built on, as it feeds into the frameworks and structures that govern commerce including the movement, inflows and outflows of local and international funds. 

The ACGN report presents a compelling picture of a continent largely committed to sustainably raising its governance game in order to compete for investment on the global stage. However, while this may be the ‘big picture’ of the overall state of corporate governance across the 13 countries included in the research, what is also clearly evident from the findings is that Africa remains a continent of immense diversity and complexity - and the corporate governance systems and approaches of its various countries are no exception to this. 

This is demonstrated by the often vastly different stages of corporate governance progress seen across the 13 countries surveyed, with some still facing significant challenges as they start the process of setting out clear corporate governance frameworks, while others have established themselves as global leaders in governance with innovative and unique models and frameworks that many developed countries would do well to imitate.  

According to Lynette Chen, CEO of the NBF, despite these disparities, a key take-out of the report is the fact that African countries now have an obvious desire for, and commitment to, good corporate governance, and this augurs well for global investment into the continent going forward. 

“It is no secret that Africa is a lucrative market with its wealth in resources and a population of over 1 billion people.  Whilst Africa has become one of the most appealing investment destinations in the world, it is also poses many political and governance challenges to investors.  The key to the continent’s ability to grow that appeal and attract steady and sustainable inflows of vital investment money, will be its capacity to raise global investor confidence by ensuring that  good political and corporate governance standards are entrenched by the governments, its institutions as well as in the private sector.” says Chen.

That said, the report findings also underscore that many of the countries surveyed still have many challenges to be overcome, many of which will require collaboration and partnership with other countries on the continent. However, the fact that all 13 of the countries included in the research have established a national governance oversight body in some shape or form, demonstrates their commitment to tackling these challenges, and their seriousness in terms of putting good governance at the centre of their future development. 




Press Release: Local private sector develop solutions to weather the export slump and economic downturn

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AVID Breakfast 1 AVID Breakfast 4


Release date: Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Local private sector develop solutions to weather the export slump and economic downturn

The Country Club Johannesburg, South Africa – Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Following the drop in commodity prices and in the demand for Africa’s resources by China, African economies are slumping and GDP growth is stagnating in most of the continent’s emerging markets. South African corporates are hard pressed and struggling to stimulate economic activity that is in line with 2015 - 2016 growth projections. 

Speaking at a business breakfast hosted by the Export Credit Insurance Corporation of South Africa (ECIC) and the NEPAD Business Foundation’s Africa Investment Desk (AVID), Lynette Chen, CEO of the NEPAD Business Foundation said, “The key to stimulating economic growth in Africa following the end of the resource super cycle, will hinge on how well African countries can quickly diversify their export portfolios and move away from heavy reliance on single resource exports to underpin economic growth.”

Africa is rich in natural wealth, which includes arable land, minerals and hydropower potential. This has been the bedrock of the continent’s economy and continues to represent significant development opportunities for its people. Statistics show that natural resources account for nearly 80% of total exports and around 42% of government revenues. This is why the slowing of China’s economy and the country’s increased focus on services is affecting most African countries negatively as their economic growth was being supported by revenue generated from extraction and export of resources.

Lynette Chen added ”Although Africa’s ‘look-East’ policy is still a viable economic strategy  with a particular focus on Southeast Asian countries, the continent also needs to improve its levels of intra-African trade. This is why the NBF is working with the ECIC to encourage investment and exports in African countries, by working with investors to mitigate their risks in the current unstable economic climate.” ”

According to the World Bank, trade facilitation can provide important opportunities for Africa, however, most African countries face considerable challenges to achieving more open trade as the costs of trading remain high, preventing potential African exporters from competing in both global and regional markets.

In his remarks during a panel discussion at the ECIC-AVID business breakfast, Mandisi Nkuhlu said, “Due to the high cost involved in open trade on the international market, our exporters have been struggling with being competitive at a global level. This is why African policymakers have started paying more attention to addressing trade discouraging non-tariff barriers. The Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC) of South Africa is one of the initiatives that support the exportation of South African goods and services to drive domestic job creation contribute to fixed capital formation and GDP and generate fiscal revenue for the country.” 

Also, speaking at the ECIC-AVID business breakfast, Kutoane Kutoane, CEO of the ECIC added, “Essentially, the ECIC acts as an ‘insurer of last resort’ by providing insurance for export transactions that will otherwise not take place because commercial lenders are either unable or unwilling to accept the risks in medium-term and long-term transactions. These are the so-called unmarketable risks. The organisation’s vision is clear; it is to commit to sustainable business growth through innovative products, operational excellence, business development and strategic partnerships.”

Asked why export credit insurance was an important component of the financial solution for investment in African projects,  Andre Kruger, Head of the AVID programme at the NBF said, “AVID was established to support economic development and regional integration in Africa by facilitating and arranging finance for companies, government institutions and or their projects. This facilitation role includes assistance with the structuring of financial solutions integrates risk mitigation products and services available from ECIC along with other types of blended finance options, which will ensure that bankable projects are successfully funded for implementation.” 

Other panel members that participated at the business breakfast included Muzi Kubeka, Director, Norton Rose Fulbright;  Hildabertha Kundu, Deal Originator, DBSA; Philna Potgieter, Head: Commodity, Export and Structured Asset Finance, Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking; and Reetaben Ramanlal Ambaram, Head: Surety Global Corporate South Africa, Zurich Insurance.



NBF officially launch SABF Regional Working Groups


The NBF with the support of the SADC Secretariat, officailly launch the six Southern Africa Business Forum regional working groups.






Founding members

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Platinum members