Afripol Most Influential Africans
Nelson Mandela: A symbol of freedom to the emerging continent and Mandela has become the conscience of the world. Mandela is a role model for a goodwill mindset; embracing reconciliation, forgiveness and unity in his native South Africa. The troubled continent littered with wars and disturbances needs Mandela's methodology for making sustainable peace.
President Goodluck Jonathan: The president of the most populous and influential country in Africa which is Nigeria. He has displayed maturity in tackling Nigerian huge and complex problems. A democrat who has shown credible interest in leading Nigeria to her vision of becoming the richest and most successful democracy in Africa.
President Goodluck Jonathan Prof. Wangari Maathai
Prof. Wangari Maathai: A warrior for the environment and has made planting trees in Kenya a point of duty. The first woman in Africa to win Nobel Peace Prize and the founder of The Green Belt Movement.
Chinua Achebe: A writer and author of “Things Fall Apart” that delved into the crash of civilizations when colonialism stepped foot in Africa. Achebe is a civic activist and chronicler of African storytelling; he has done more to express African state of mind to the world.
Wole Soynika: The first African to win Nobel Prize in literature. Wole Soyinka is a dramatist, poet and civil right activist. Great Soynika is a lion of Africa who has used his powerful intellectual acumen to mesmerise the world community.
Muammar Gaddafi: A colorful and influential leader in Africa. No matter what you might say or think of Gaddafi, nobody can deny his influence in Africa. He is political savvy and made the strategic move of re-establishing relationship with the West. He played a significant role in the formation of African Union. The most recent summit between Africa and Europe was held in his capital city, Tripoli, Libya.
(L)Muammar Gaddafi (R)Kofi Anan
Kofi Anan: A Ghanaian diplomat that needs no introduction, the former Secretary General of United Nations. At the end of UN tenure, Kofi Annan, became the Chairman of the Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa, organization dedicated to African food sufficiency and security,
Kase Lawal: The founder of CAMAC International and the chairman of Camac Energy, a NYSE /AMEX Company. A business baron and 21st century business executive. His prominence in the global business scene has become something of great interest to African and he has become a role model to aspiring business executive in Africa and in African American community.
Chinua Achebe Wole Soynika
Aliko Dangote: The founder of Dangote Group. Forbes magazine documented him as the richest Nigerian business executive. An intelligent and modern African business tycoon, whose conglomeration/empire has given thousands of jobs to Africans.
Philip Emeagwali: The inventor of the fastest computer. Philip Emeagwali has been called “a father of the Internet” by CNN and TIME, and extolled as a “Digital Giant” by BBC and as “one of the great minds of the Information Age” by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: The first woman president in Africa. She is committed to building the war torn Liberia. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has become an inspiration and role model to millions of African young women, girls and the youths of the continent,
(L) Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (R)Jerry Rawlings
Nduka obaigbena: The founder and chairman of Africa’s widely read newspaper named ‘Thisday’ and flagship magazine 'Arise', an international voice of Africa. His influence stems from his unflinching and sustaining commitment to African culture in the globalized media.
Jerry Rawlings: The former president of Ghana made the greatest impact on this West African nation after Kwame Nkrumah. He made radical reforms that transformed Ghana to a progressive capitalistic democratic society. His influence has not waned, he still plays vital role in cessation of conflicts in Africa especially at the ongoing fracas in Ivory Coast.
Mo Ibrahim: The Sudanese business mogul and billionaire. His commitment to democracy and good governance drove him to create a foundation that monitors and rewards good governance for African Heads of States.
(l)Charlize Theron (R) Mo Ibrahim
Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.
Economic perspective and analysis by Afripol Organization www.afripol.org
The West African energy giant, Oando Plc of Nigeria is set to raise the sum of 21 billion naira ($140 million) by selling shares in the capital market. The capital raised will be used to finance ventures in energy sector and
The West African energy giant, Oando Plc of Nigeria is set to raise the sum of 21 billion naira ($140 million) by selling shares in the capital market. The capital raised will be used to finance ventures in energy sector and"refinancing the acquisition of upstream assets, providing operational capital to fund the operation of the upstream business, and short and medium term investment in its gas and power business segment."
Oando Plc headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria is the biggest indigenous energy firm in Nigeria that market oil products and involve in oil exploration at its acquired upstream assets, the segment that will receive the largest chunk of the proposed capital infusion.
Oando Plc will raise the capital "through a Right Issue of 301,694,878 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N70.00 per share on the basis of one 1 new ordinary share for every 3 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each held as at the close of business on Friday, 18 December 2009." Two powerful and resourceful companies in the capital market: Vetiva Capital Management Ltd. and Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc will participate in the selling of the shares to raise the proposed capital.
The capital market venture was announced by the CEO and Group Managing Director, Mr. Wale Tinubu at the end of the meeting of the executive board of directors. According to Mr. Wale the company planned to raise the capital for the refinance its acquisition of upstream assets.
The achievements of Wale Tinubu, the erudite and efficient chief executive officer must be acknowledged as a driving force at Oando Plc for his vision and leadership. Under his strategic leadership Oando‘s growth has been tremendous thus appreciating the shareholders’ dividends.
During the press conference Wale reaffirmed, "the size of the business we run at Oando Plc would require a substantial amount of capital. We are doing things in several stages. The one we are doing now is Right Issue which is a small amount of N20 billion for the recapitalisation process. Then we will be proceeding to do a much larger international equity Issue which would occur at the beginning of the second quarter. Then there is going to be two debt issues. One is a local five year debt issue which we are working on right now and the mandate has been signed, it’s in the final stages."
Wale further emphasized: "the final thing would be the bond issue. We are in the process of fund raising the debt restructuring 5 year term for N60 billion. Then we would do an international equity and debt raising of N75 billion which would come in the 1st week of April (second quarter). The bulk of the money is going into our gas and upstream division for the upstream, we have our crude oil. You are aware; we have diversified heavily towards increasing our production in the crude oil sector."
The bold move made by Oando Plc buttressed the company’s growth and strong confidence even in the turbulent oil industry especially in Nigeria with her unending problems in Niger Delta. The issue of Niger Delta has a global effect on the oil price and energy sector but with relatively less impact on the oil-marketer Oanda.Oando Plc is listed on both Nigerian and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges, and has been concluding the arrangement to be listed in London Stock Exchange.
Recently it was reported by Reuters that "Dow Jones Capital Markets Report reported that Oando Plc had signed Memorandum of Understanding with Gazprom OAO. The two companies have agreed to collaborate on the development of oil and gas assets and infrastructure in the West African sub-region and the Gulf of Guinea."
Oando Plc is growing rapidly by increasing the number of oil rigs and "All Africa reported that Oando Plc has increased its fleet of oil drilling rigs to three with the acquisition of a USD 53.5 million rig, named the Constitution. Constitution, a swamp barge rig, has capacity for approximately 15,000 psi pressure output, about 3,000 horse power as well as the ability to undertake drilling operations, work over and high pressure/high temperature (HPHT) wells of over 30,000 ft drilling depths. The facility was purchased in July 2008, and was recently delivered to the Company. "
Emeka Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol, recently speaking at Energy Workshop noted that "Energy industry is capital intensive and continuously needs injection of large resources. The growing energy companies in Nigeria and Africa must be willing to look beyond the continent to raise capital that Africa cannot provide." Therefore Oando Plc is moving in the right direction.
Oando Plc is gradually but steadily making impact in the energy industry, therefore the infusion of the 21 billion naira will strengthen and energized its business prospect.
Oando’s stocks are doing well in the stock market in spite of the global economic downturn. Oando Plc must widen its scope beyond Africa and venture into new territory particularly in East Asia and Latin America. And the company must spend more resources in public relation to become an international household name, thus deemphasizing its Nigerian localized image.
Oando Plc has the potential and the credibility to become a major player in the global energy industry in 21 century. With this enormous injection of proposed capital Oando Plc is geared up for growth and expansion.
Nigerian government in the year 2006 paid almost $20 billion to two giant international syndicates: Paris Club and London Club of Creditors to settle her foreign debts. This transfer of wealth by a relatively poor nation contradicts the entire prudent financial judgment and rudimentary economic disposition preached to Nigeria by the rich donor nations that babbles about the ills of capital flight in developing nations.
The government of President Obasanjo, the Nigerian ex-Head of state made the arrangement and secured the purported $18billion debt relief for Nigeria from the Paris Club of Creditors, which became the inducement for the country to pay off her $36 billion foreign debt. Nigeria's total foreign debt stood at $35.916billion as of June 2005. The largest chunk of the debt $31billion was owed to 15 of the 19 creditor-countries of the Paris Club.
On Friday, April 21, 2006 Nigeria paid the final installment of $4.518billion to exit the Paris Club. Earlier, Nigeria paid off $12.4 billion in arrears and debts as was stipulated to fulfill arrangement and concord reached with the Paris club in June 2006.
In addition, the federal government of Nigeria finally paid off the last batch of outstanding debts owed to the London Club amounting to $2.15 billion. For the settlement of both Paris Club and London Club of Creditors, Nigeria paid off almost $20 billion. This is one of the largest transfers of wealth by a third world nation to the first world nations.
On the global financial scale and rating, there is no doubt that Nigerian payment of her debts makes her a credit worthy nation with - BB- rating from Standard & Poor's. But for a country with enormous internal economic problems; with 70% of the population mired in penury poverty with increasingly educational and health challenges to repatriate such a wealth to the west is not a prudent decision. Without doubt, Nigeria was compelled to do so by those nations that supposedly are the partners in fighting poverty in Africa.
In 1985, Nigeria owned $8 billion to Paris club creditors, out of $19 billion of its foreign debt.
By the end of 2004, Nigeria owned Paris club $31 billion out of $36 billion of its foreign debt. Since 1992, Nigeria has not received any loan from Paris club. So, where is the justification for the increase of the debt? Blame it on the malleable interest rate, interest arrears and interest charged on the arrears. Maybe the political and monetary instability did contribute to the debt increase, but it is beyond the control of poor Nigerians who bear the brunt of poverty. The Paris Club would have cancelled the total debt, rather than requiring for the debt buy back of the 40% of the remaining debt. Nigeria has a good record of servicing and meeting its debt obligations, and has paid its principal and reasonable interest on the debt, that can justify 100% cancellation.
Britain the former Nigerian colonial ruler was the largest creditor of the debt; she received $3 billion from Paris Club. United Kingdom declined the request of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and development charities including The Jubilee Debt Campaign to return the share of her debt payment to Nigeria. Britain was criticized for accepting the payment from developing country Nigeria. (To finalize the debt payment deal, Nigeria made the total payment of $12.4 Billion to Paris Club and Britain the largest creditor received $3Billion).
“The British government has drawn sharp criticism from development charities for taking a debt repayment from Nigeria which dwarfs the UK's entire annual aid budget for the African continent. Charity Jubilee Debt Campaign says the payments mean the G7 will receive more in six months from Nigeria than the 2005 Gleneagles G8 deal will provide to poor countries in a decade. The G8 is the G7 plus Russia. Trisha Rogers, Jubilee's director, said: "It is obscene for G7 countries to take billions of dollars from one of the poorest countries on earth. In particular this means the UK will take from Nigeria almost exactly twice as much as it is giving in aid to the whole of Africa in 2005." In his letter dated 27 January 2007, Tutu said: "While it is to be welcomed that much of the debt has been wiped off the books, it is unacceptable that 40 per cent ($12.4 billion) must be paid in a one-off payment.”
"For rich creditors to be claiming such a vast amount of Nigeria's savings at this time smacks of a meanness of spirit which stands in stark contrast with so many of the sentiments expressed in 2005.” (In 2005 G8 leaders gathered at Glenglades in Scotland and pledged to effectuate debt remission for Africa). Prime Minister Tony Blair replied that Britain will keep the debt payment and will not refund any money to Nigeria.
It's perplexing to comprehend why Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair refused to adhere to the appeal from eminent personalities of Desmond Tutu and Trisha Rogers caliber. The then Prime Minister Tony Blair had good credentials on Africa. He highlighted Africa in his leadership of G8 in 2005 and said that Africa's plight was "a scar on the conscience of the world." He also championed the cause of Africa with the formation of the Commission for Africa. During his leadership of G8 he recommended massive aid and debt remission for Africa, which has not been fully implemented due to the reluctance of some of G8 nations to oblige to their pledges. Africa is a continent beset with dire problems - Diseases, wars and instability are ravaging the continent. The least thing Africa needed is enormous capital flight. Every penny is needed to curb the problems and alleviate quality of life in the most populous nation in Africa. Britain and Blair understood Africa's political landscape and indeed Nigeria; particularly its sociological-economic needs more than the rest of the G8 and Paris Club members because of her colonial rule in Nigeria. Yet they participated in sharing the wealth from poor Nigeria.
The billions of dollars that Nigeria paid was larger than the donations the rich nations will be providing to poor countries in a period of ten years. The money paid to the rich nations of Paris Club and London Club of Creditors would have found its best use in Africa, if not in Nigeria.