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BBS-BitsBytes & STEM is one of the World’s Leading Names in E-Learning or Online Self-Paced IT or ICT and Academic Video Tutorials.

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SHIRLEY WEBBER: Africa’s growth a challenge and opportunity amid energy transition – Business Day

In 2019 the International Energy Agency released a report highlighting that one in two people born between then and 2040 would be on the African continent, which would overtake both China and India as the most populous region in the world. This growth presents both a challenge and opportunity as stakeholders review the role of the resources and energy sector in driving sustainable and responsible growth.While Africa has many challenges and is regularly positioned as playing second fiddle to the likes of China and India, which have dominated the Brics narrative for the past decade, we cannot ignore some of the themes playing out:Africa is emerging as a global force in oil and gas markets and its growth in oil and energy demand is forecast to outstrip China in the coming years.As African populations become more mobile, car fleets are expected to double. The “motorisation rate” estimates that the continent has 42 cars per 1,000 individuals at present, compared with the global average of 182 in developed markets. Many of these have poor fuel efficiency designs, and this increase in demand will drive the adoption of cleaner technology.Africa is expected to be the third largest natural gas market in the world and the emergence of the “hydrogen economy” and innovative players such as JSE-listed Renergen are likely to drive this energy shift materially.The Angolan Sovereign Wealth Fund is expected to benefit from its investment in a UK-based rare earths processing facility supplied by an Angolan deposit — one of three big producers outside China — and this is expected to be driven by electric vehicles and clean energy trends bringing much needed revenue into Angola.More than 70% of the world’s cobalt reserves are mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which has been described as the “Saudi Arabia of the electric vehicle age”.Zimbabwe and the DRC are home to two of the 10 largest lithium deposits in the world, and with the global lithium battery market expected to grow from $41bn in 2020 to $116bn in 2030, this represents an opportunity for these countries to attract foreign investment.Big commodity trading houses are ramping up their investments in Africa to incorporate niche commodities including lithium, biofuels and other renewable energy spin-offs and this theme is leading to improved price discovery and interest in the African energy market as it transitions from fossil fuels to clean energy over time.These are just a handful of the exciting themes playing out now, but the natural question is: will Africa simply be an extractive market where foreign investors reap the benefits but the local communities lose out? Based on our extensive analysis of the continent we believe the answer to this question is a resounding “no”. Local content regulations and beneficiation should be the focus for many governments to ensure inclusive economic growth for the continent.While the mining and resources sectors are important in terms of opportunity size, they now account for a minority of foreign direct investment (FDI) coming into the continent. Long-term investors are bulking up investment in the likes of telecommunications and downstream support services, as well as other critical infrastructure such as water, energy and transport. The number of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and planned LNG projects in Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Mauritania and Senegal are evidence that Africa is preparing for the energy transition.Research out of consulting firm EY captures this trend at a practical level, showing that extractive activities accounted for more than half of FDI each year between 2005 and 2011. But in 2011-2018 this trend had fallen every year, leading EY Africa markets leader Rod Wolfenden to say: “The big building blocks are now in place. Africans are the beneficiaries, but so are the next wave of investors, who will have an easier time developing their projects.”These building blocks are translating into big, exciting projects that will ultimately have a transformative effect on the African continent and its energy mix. The UN sustainable development goals and the Paris climate accords are adding further impetus to these investments.Morocco has built the world’s largest concentrated solar energy farm, and it is estimated this will reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 800,000 tonnes a year. The second largest project is in Egypt, where a $4bn investment is expected to prevent 2-million tonnes of CO² emissions each year.Nigeria has set itself an ambitious goal of transitioning its energy mix to 30% renewables by 2030, while SA is regarded as a trailblazer in the renewable and clean energy spaces. Africa is taking its place in the global resource market.• Webber is managing principal, coverage head: resources & energy, at Absa CIB.

In 2019 the International Energy Agency released a report highlighting that one in two people born between then and 2040 would be on the African continent, which would overtake both China and India as the most populous region in the world. This growth presents both a challenge and opportunity as stakeholders review the role of the resources and energy sector in driving sustainable and responsible growth.

While Africa has many challenges and is regularly positioned as playing second fiddle to the likes of China and India, which have dominated the Brics narrative for the past decade, we cannot ignore some of the themes playing out:

  • Africa is emerging as a global force in oil and gas markets and its growth in oil and energy demand is forecast to outstrip China in the coming years.
  • As African populations become more mobile, car fleets are expected to double. The “motorisation rate” estimates that the continent has 42 cars per 1,000 individuals at present, compared with the global average of 182 in developed markets. Many of these have poor fuel efficiency designs, and this increase in demand will drive the adoption of cleaner technology.
  • Africa is expected to be the third largest natural gas market in the world and the emergence of the “hydrogen economy” and innovative players such as JSE-listed Renergen are likely to drive this energy shift materially.
  • The Angolan Sovereign Wealth Fund is expected to benefit from its investment in a UK-based rare earths processing facility supplied by an Angolan deposit — one of three big producers outside China — and this is expected to be driven by electric vehicles and clean energy trends bringing much needed revenue into Angola.
  • More than 70% of the world’s cobalt reserves are mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which has been described as the “Saudi Arabia of the electric vehicle age”.
  • Zimbabwe and the DRC are home to two of the 10 largest lithium deposits in the world, and with the global lithium battery market expected to grow from $41bn in 2020 to $116bn in 2030, this represents an opportunity for these countries to attract foreign investment.
  • Big commodity trading houses are ramping up their investments in Africa to incorporate niche commodities including lithium, biofuels and other renewable energy spin-offs and this theme is leading to improved price discovery and interest in the African energy market as it transitions from fossil fuels to clean energy over time.

These are just a handful of the exciting themes playing out now, but the natural question is: will Africa simply be an extractive market where foreign investors reap the benefits but the local communities lose out? Based on our extensive analysis of the continent we believe the answer to this question is a resounding “no”. Local content regulations and beneficiation should be the focus for many governments to ensure inclusive economic growth for the continent.

While the mining and resources sectors are important in terms of opportunity size, they now account for a minority of foreign direct investment (FDI) coming into the continent. Long-term investors are bulking up investment in the likes of telecommunications and downstream support services, as well as other critical infrastructure such as water, energy and transport. The number of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and planned LNG projects in Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Mauritania and Senegal are evidence that Africa is preparing for the energy transition.

Research out of consulting firm EY captures this trend at a practical level, showing that extractive activities accounted for more than half of FDI each year between 2005 and 2011. But in 2011-2018 this trend had fallen every year, leading EY Africa markets leader Rod Wolfenden to say: “The big building blocks are now in place. Africans are the beneficiaries, but so are the next wave of investors, who will have an easier time developing their projects.”

These building blocks are translating into big, exciting projects that will ultimately have a transformative effect on the African continent and its energy mix. The UN sustainable development goals and the Paris climate accords are adding further impetus to these investments.

Morocco has built the world’s largest concentrated solar energy farm, and it is estimated this will reduce the country’s carbon dioxide emissions by as much as 800,000 tonnes a year. The second largest project is in Egypt, where a $4bn investment is expected to prevent 2-million tonnes of CO² emissions each year.

Nigeria has set itself an ambitious goal of transitioning its energy mix to 30% renewables by 2030, while SA is regarded as a trailblazer in the renewable and clean energy spaces. Africa is taking its place in the global resource market.

• Webber is managing principal, coverage head: resources & energy, at Absa CIB.

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Business

South African Businesses Fear Return of Lockdowns Amid New COVID-19 Variant – Voice of America

JOHANNESBURG — 
South African businesses are worried about the implications of the new coronavirus variant called omicron that was discovered in the country this week. Travel bans already are mounting and many fear lockdown restrictions will return.
Mimosas were guzzled Saturday at the trendy Altar Bar in Johannesburg.
But despite the steady stream of brunch-goers, the staffers were on edge.
The discovery of the new coronavirus variant called omicron has sparked fears that another lockdown is looming.
Bar manager Josh Young says it would be devastating for the business that only opened in September.
“I have warned my staff members that there could be a lockdown coming in and how we’re going react to it, how we’re going to operate after that. It is worrying because you’re basically taking money out of people’s pockets because this is what they do to survive,” Young said.
Scientists are still scrambling to determine what risks omicron poses.
Dr. Michelle Groome with South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases says getting vaccinated is still vital to preventing severe illness or death.
She says ongoing precautions like wearing masks and social distancing and limiting indoor gatherings also will help reduce the virus’s spread.
Groome says if hospitals get overburdened, South Africa will have to consider more restrictions.
“I know no one is in favor of the alcohol bans, but I think it really has shown to decrease the number of trauma-related hospitalizations, and if we get to the point where there, you know, is a need for additional hospital capacity, you know, something like that may need to be considered,” Groome said.
That is worrisome news for restaurants, bars and stores that are still struggling to recover from lockdowns in June and July.
Mike Kotsiovos co-owns a liquor store in Johannesburg.
“I’m panicking a bit,” Kotsiovos said. “Turnover is down quite a bit and it’s only a slight improvement over this last period that we’ve been trading normally, which is about a month. So, we [are] suffering basically.”
It’s also affected his personal life.
The 71-year-old said he hasn’t seen his daughter who lives in Britain in two years.
Britain was the first country to halt flights to and from South Africa when omicron was discovered.
The United States and European Union have followed suit.
Kotsiovos says seeing his daughter over the holidays is now unlikely.
“I think this time she’s not going to come. She was planning to come,” Kotsiovos said. “I think they booked a flight and everything, but I don’t think they’ll come. It’s her and her husband.”
The South African government says travel bans are unfairly punishing the country for having the expertise to identify new variants.
It says variants are found elsewhere in the world, but those countries aren’t punished with travel restrictions in the same manner as southern Africa.
South Africa’s foreign ministry says it’s working to persuade countries that have imposed bans to resume flights.

South African businesses are worried about the implications of the new coronavirus variant called omicron that was discovered in the country this week. Travel bans already are mounting and many fear lockdown restrictions will return.

Mimosas were guzzled Saturday at the trendy Altar Bar in Johannesburg.

But despite the steady stream of brunch-goers, the staffers were on edge.

The discovery of the new coronavirus variant called omicron has sparked fears that another lockdown is looming.

Bar manager Josh Young says it would be devastating for the business that only opened in September.

“I have warned my staff members that there could be a lockdown coming in and how we’re going react to it, how we’re going to operate after that. It is worrying because you’re basically taking money out of people’s pockets because this is what they do to survive,” Young said.

Scientists are still scrambling to determine what risks omicron poses.

Dr. Michelle Groome with South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases says getting vaccinated is still vital to preventing severe illness or death.

She says ongoing precautions like wearing masks and social distancing and limiting indoor gatherings also will help reduce the virus’s spread.

Groome says if hospitals get overburdened, South Africa will have to consider more restrictions.

“I know no one is in favor of the alcohol bans, but I think it really has shown to decrease the number of trauma-related hospitalizations, and if we get to the point where there, you know, is a need for additional hospital capacity, you know, something like that may need to be considered,” Groome said.

That is worrisome news for restaurants, bars and stores that are still struggling to recover from lockdowns in June and July.

Mike Kotsiovos co-owns a liquor store in Johannesburg.

“I’m panicking a bit,” Kotsiovos said. “Turnover is down quite a bit and it’s only a slight improvement over this last period that we’ve been trading normally, which is about a month. So, we [are] suffering basically.”

It’s also affected his personal life.

The 71-year-old said he hasn’t seen his daughter who lives in Britain in two years.

Britain was the first country to halt flights to and from South Africa when omicron was discovered.

The United States and European Union have followed suit.

Kotsiovos says seeing his daughter over the holidays is now unlikely.

“I think this time she’s not going to come. She was planning to come,” Kotsiovos said. “I think they booked a flight and everything, but I don’t think they’ll come. It’s her and her husband.”

The South African government says travel bans are unfairly punishing the country for having the expertise to identify new variants.

It says variants are found elsewhere in the world, but those countries aren’t punished with travel restrictions in the same manner as southern Africa.

South Africa’s foreign ministry says it’s working to persuade countries that have imposed bans to resume flights.

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Business

Ban unvaccinated from taxis, restaurants and taverns, asks business body – News24

Business for South Africa (B4SA) has called on government to move fast and restrict access to public indoor areas that are not required for emergency use (such as hospitals, grocery stores and certain Government services) to vaccinated South Africans only.B4SA is an alliance of business people who work with the government, and other social partners, to mobilise corporate resources and capacity to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. B4SA’s call came after a new Covid-19 variant, which the World Health Organisation named Omicron, was identified on Thursday.“We need to rapidly move to a situation where only vaccinated individuals should be allowed to travel in buses, taxis and airplanes, or to eat and drink in indoor establishments such as restaurants and taverns,” Martin Kingston, chair of B4SA.”This is in line with global restrictions and based on the science regarding airborne disease. Ventilation and masks remain important, but we now need to look at enforcing a further layer of protection.”Recently, investment group PSG Group CEO Piet Mouton urged shopping centres, airports, businesses and education institutions to limit access to unvaccinated South Africans.B4SA also called on employers to enforce restricted access to vaccinated individuals and implementing vaccine mandates wherever possible.The body is also calling for lower limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings to be reintroduced.“The global scientific community is in the process of determining the transmissibility of the new variant, and scientists’ initial view is that our current vaccines remain highly effective against death and severe illness,” says Kingston. “In short, vaccinations remain our best weapon against Covid-19. The country has sufficient vaccines available, and it is imperative that as many people as possible get vaccinated as soon as possible so as to not overburden the health system and to minimise lockdown restrictions.”“South Africa cannot afford more personal or economic pain,” says Kingston. “We have a responsibility to protect ourselves and our communities, and to safeguard both lives and livelihoods.”

Business for South Africa (B4SA) has called on government to move fast and restrict access to public indoor areas that are not required for emergency use (such as hospitals, grocery stores and certain Government services) to vaccinated South Africans only.

B4SA is an alliance of business people who work with the government, and other social partners, to mobilise corporate resources and capacity to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. 

B4SA’s call came after a new Covid-19 variant, which the World Health Organisation named Omicron, was identified on Thursday.

“We need to rapidly move to a situation where only vaccinated individuals should be allowed to travel in buses, taxis and airplanes, or to eat and drink in indoor establishments such as restaurants and taverns,” Martin Kingston, chair of B4SA.

“This is in line with global restrictions and based on the science regarding airborne disease. Ventilation and masks remain important, but we now need to look at enforcing a further layer of protection.”

Recently, investment group PSG Group CEO Piet Mouton urged shopping centres, airports, businesses and education institutions to limit access to unvaccinated South Africans.

B4SA also called on employers to enforce restricted access to vaccinated individuals and implementing vaccine mandates wherever possible.

The body is also calling for lower limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings to be reintroduced.

“The global scientific community is in the process of determining the transmissibility of the new variant, and scientists’ initial view is that our current vaccines remain highly effective against death and severe illness,” says Kingston.

“In short, vaccinations remain our best weapon against Covid-19. The country has sufficient vaccines available, and it is imperative that as many people as possible get vaccinated as soon as possible so as to not overburden the health system and to minimise lockdown restrictions.”

“South Africa cannot afford more personal or economic pain,” says Kingston. “We have a responsibility to protect ourselves and our communities, and to safeguard both lives and livelihoods.”

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