What's on @ okra eXpress



At okra eXpress, we place a high premium on  sound bites from okra eXpress eventsLet us shine the light and global spot  light  on notable sound bites from previous okra eXpress event - Success Stories
The future is bright

Let's talk about sound bites from UK - China Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Network (SAIN)

Speaking at the okra eXpress event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress on 29 November 2012, held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, The Head of Secretariat, UK China Sustainable Agriculture Innovative Network (SAIN), spoke about the UK China cooperation on sustainable agriculture and food security. He also highlighted (SAIN''s) Private Sector engagement. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from STANDARD & POOR'S 

Speaking at the okra eXpress event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress on 22 June 2011 STANDARD & POOR'S Managing Director and Head of Global Carbon Markets told the audience at the okra eXpress event, "If policy priority for clean energy is well-placed worldwide,  investment in clear power assets alone could potentially reach $2.3 trillion over the 2010-20 period. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investment

OECD's Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan said that the UK would grow by 1.4% this year. Credit: BBC

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and DevelopmentBBC BusinessNews, views and interviews: Credit: BBC. OECD's Chief Economist Pier Carlo Padoan gives update on growth and highlighted that the UK would grow by 1.4% this  year, an upgrade from its forecast in May of 0.8%. BBC Reports: Last updated, 19 November 2013, at 12.21. Copyright © BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24997838
 
To further discuss the UK Anti-bribery Act, okra eXpress got in touch with a UK Silk veteran QC, a distinguished member of the Queen’s Counsel, specialises in fraud, corruption and financial crime to provide an update on current developments in Anti- Bribery Act.

Anesta Weekes QCOn 18 October 2012, a UK Silk - veteran QC, a distinguished member of the Queen’s Counsel, specialises in fraud, corruption and financial crime provided an update on current developments in Anti- Bribery Act and delivered her keynote speech at the okra eXpress event held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, Westminster. okra eXpress asked the UK Silk - QC and distinguished member of the Queen’s Counsel to also shed some light and share her views on the following questions:

  • What is a bribe?
  • What is a gift?
  • When is a bribe a gift?
  • When is a gift a bribe?
  • Is a gift a thank you token for past event or is the gift an inducement for future expectation? What is it exactly? What are the consequences for handling tax free cash, and undeclared payments for goods and services. Back hand / under the table payments. Please talk us through the UK's Anti-bribery law.  Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investment

Time to chillax and ponder on words of wisdom

Swift cheap cash V happiness: What exactly makes the World go round? The answer is very easy. Love, happiness, togetherness, Tender Loving Care. TLC. That is pretty great. Isn’t it? okra eXpress echoed. Happiness is happiness. And happiness is actually happiness. To get to the truth. one needs to go beyond the beyond. The truth is happiness. That’s the long and short of it. okra eXpress adds.

  • No amount of financial gain is worth compromising your integrity. You have traditional values, principles and standards, you stand by them.
  • It seems that you, bla, bla, bla,  et al… are not entirely truthful in  your dealings with others
  • Look, this is a deal. The current position is quite clear and there is no question about it. A deal is a deal and if you walk away from your deal, you walk away from your loss.
  • Steer well clear away from deals that are flogged on your face particularly in a form of a bundle. Always ask. What is this? What is that? Always determine exactly what the bundle is all about. What exactly is this bundle you are on about? You may find that once you start questioning their movements and activities, they will become agitated. So you need to be astute with these bundles. Always ask for the bundle to be dismantled and “spec save” the small prints bundle with your fine tooth comb to safeguard high professional standards. The bundle must be dismantled and properly explained, in the name of transparency and openness so that you are all fully above board. Otherwise, you will end up with having what you want rather than what you really need. When that happens, you ought to delete the word bundle off your spell check, swiftly walk away from the bundle quite heartily and accelerate to the next best thing without looking back in anger. Walk away knowing very well that this bundle is not worth your tears. Refrain from complaining about what you have not got. Instead spend your quality time creating what you want and be very thankful and grateful for what you already have – the air that you breathe in and out without charge and yes of course the glorious sunshine that helps to top up your tan without charge. Always remember, there is no one up above charging you for making great use and tapping into the sun’s rays and likewise, there is no one up above charging you for the wind, the air that you breathe in and out without charge okay! So chillax and enjoy the free energy in this carbonfriendly modern age – the clean energy environment era. Have a great week. Lol + hugs, with all good wishes, okra eXpress
Bribery: What is it and what's the penalty? Credit: BBC
Yuan notes
BBC BusinessNews, views and interviews: Credit: BBCBribery: What is it and what's the penalty? The BBC reports. Last updated, 28 May 2014 at 13.30. Copyright © BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13977221

Is Nigeria Ready to Lead Africa? Credit: BBC

Africa TodayBBC World ServiceCan Nigeria Lead AfricaBBC reports. Last updated, Saturday, 28 June 2014 at 13.06 GMT. BBC World Service. You can hit on this link when you feel able. Copyright © BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p021d1l7

BANK OF ENGLAND says, UK is in sustained recovery. Credit: BBC

LogoHeadquartersBANK OF ENGLANDBBC BusinessNews, views and interviews: Credit: BBC. The UK is in a sustained recovery and does not face major inflation risks, Bank of England policy makers have said. The BBC reports. Last updated, 20 November 2013 at 11.25. Copyright © BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25017580

German construction spending has picked up strongly amid signs of growing economic confidence. Credit: BBC
German construction site
Alert Copyright:Photo Above. German business confidence improved in November, a survey has indicated, amid rising optimising about the economy. BBC reports. Copyright © BBC owns the Copyright of the photos above 
BBC BusinessNews, views and interviews Credit: BBCGerman construction spending has picked up strongly amid signs of growing economic confidence. The Bundesbank, Germany's central bank believes the country's steady growth will be maintained as domestic demands strengthens and the global economic environment improves. BBC reports: Last updated, 22 November 2013, 10.34 Copyright © BBC owns the Copyright © http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25048290

Let's talk about Sound bites  from European Commission, Brussels

http://www.euro.cauce.org/en/countries.html
The European Commission’s Head of Unit, Economic Development, Infrastructure and Communication Networks, Trade and Regional Integration attended the okra eXpress event in London on 15 March 2011 via a video link from Brussels. This was what he said. “Ladies and gentlemen, I am very pleased to have the opportunity to speak to such a distinguished gathering of African and European business representatives and experts. (okra eXpress said, incidentally, the gist of the sound bites from The European Commission delivered at the okra eXpress event presented some of the issues setting out as seen by The European Commission. This video recording was sent to okra eXpress from The European Commission, which was played to the audience at the okra eXpress London event) with kind permission from The European CommissionSound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investment

Eurozone unemployment falls for the first time since 2011. Credit: BBC
ECB headquarters
Alert CopyrightPhoto Above Eurozone's unemployment rate falls © Copyright BBC owns the Copyright of the photo above 
BBC BusinessNews, views and interviews Credit: BBC: The eurozone's unemployment rate has fallen for the first time since 2011, according to the official data. The BBC reports, Last updated: 29 November 2013 at  12.57 Copyright © BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25151974

US stocks boosted by jobs data. US jobless rate falls to five-year low in November 2013. Credit: BBC
A woman at a jobs fair in Maryland in the US
Alert CopyrightPhoto Above US jobless rate falls to five-year low in November 2013 © Copyright BBC owns the Copyright of the photos above 
(Open(: US stocks jumped on opening following the release of stronger-than- expected jobs figures. Credit: BBC
BBC BusinessNews, views and interviews Credit: BBCUS jobless rate falls to five-year low in November 2013. The BBC reports, Last updated: 06 December 2013 at  15.21 Copyright © BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25264866

World Trade Organisation agrees global trade deal worth $1tn. Credit: BBC
Ministers at a summit in Bali, Indonesia
WTO logo from Bali meetingBBC BusinessNews, views and interviews Credit: BBC:The World Trade Organization agrees a historic global deal aimed at boosting commerce, which could add nearly $1tn to the global economy. The BBC's  Economics Correspondent, Andrew Walker reports, Last updated: 07 December 2013 at 15.21 Copyright © BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25274889

The EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht argues that this deal has got us closer to the original goals of the Doha roundCredit: BBC
http://www.euro.cauce.org/en/countries.htmlBBC BusinessNews, views and interviews Credit: BBC:The EU said the deal is a very important deal. The BBC reports, Last updated, 07 December 2013 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-25278845

http://www.euro.cauce.org/en/countries.htmlSound bites from The UK Foreign Office (FCO)
Speaking at the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event, in 15 March 2011, the Head of Africa Department at The UK Foreign Office, (FCO), addressed the audience at the okra eXpress event. "Thank you very much and can everybody hear me? That’s great. It is rather nice being the final speaker. Or at least it  is nice when one realises that as I have that what one is going to say fits rather well with what fellow speakers have said. We have talked a lot about challenges and opportunities, I am going to talk about that again first off, because it is important, I think to establish it as the background for one, what we are trying to do as policy makers, and two what we are trying to do as promoters we hope and helpers of the private sector in what it is trying to do in terms of trade and investment in Africa Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments


The economic outlook for Spain has improved, says ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P). Credit: BBC
BBC BusinessNews, views and interviews Credit: BBCStandard & Poor's upgrades Spain's economic  outlookStandard & Poor's raised its assessment from negative to stable and re-affirms its BBB - long-term sovereign credit rating. The BBC reports, Last updated: 29 November 2013 at 08.19. Copyright © BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25150368

Germany raises growth forecasts. Credit: BBC
The German economy is in good shape: the unemployment rate is low, employment is rising, and wage growth is returning to normal, "said Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann. Credit: BBC
Construction site in Berlin
Alert CopyrightPhoto Above © Copyright BBC owns the Copyright of the photo above
News, views and interviews Credit: BBC: Germany's central bank, the Bundesbank, has raised its forecasts for economic growth in the country. It announced it had raised its forecast for growth this year from 0.3% to 0.5% and for 2014 from 1.5% to 1.7%. BBC reports. Last updated: 6 December 2013 at 10.06. Copyright © BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25254542

Bank of France up quarterly growth forecast.  Credit: BBC
President Francois HollandeBBC Business
Alert CopyrightPhoto Above French President, Francois Hollande's government predicted economic growth of at least 0.1% during 2013 © Copyright BBC owns the Copyright of the photo above 
News, views and interviews Credit: BBC: The French economy will grow by 0.5% in the final three months of the year, said the country's central bank. The bank of France said it expected the demand to remain strong. BBC reports. Last updated: 9 December 2013 at 14.53. Copyright © BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25301237

The World Trade Organisation's Secretary General wept as he announced the historic deal. Credit: BBC
WTO director-general
image of Joe LynamNews, views and interviews: Credit: BBC. A "historic" deal reached by global trade ministers could be worth $1bn (£600m) a year to British business, Prime Minister David Cameron has said and he is delightedThe World Trade Organisation's Secretary General wept as he announced the historic deal. The BBC's Business correspondent, BBC News, Joe Lynam reports. Last updated, 7 December 2013 at 15.40 Copyright © BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25280908

Let's talk about Sound bites  from Hungary
http://www.euro.cauce.org/en/countries.htmlCouncil of the EU logo.svg

Let's talk about Sound bites  from Hungary, (Incidentally, at the time okra eXpress inspired, project managed and hosted the EU Africa Trade and Investment Outlook - An Evening of Business InspirationHungary held the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union). 

As part of the preparation leading up to the EU Africa Trade and Investment Outlook - An Evening of Business Inspiration okra eXpress held on 15 March 2011, okra eXpress asked the the diplomat at the foreign office in Hungary to furnish replies on Hungary's expectations of the EU presidency in relation to strengthen the EU Africa economic cooperation, stability and prosperity? His Excellency, The Ambassador of Hungary to the UK sent Hungary's response to okra eXpress in relation to the questions about Hungary's expectations of the EU presidency in relation to strengthen the EU Africa economic cooperation, stability and prosperity. okra eXpress subsequently distributed Hungary's response with kind permission from HungaryHungary held the rotating presidency of The Council of the European Union) at the time okra eXpress inspired, project managed and hosted the okra eXpress eventSound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments


Let's talk about Sound bites  from the Council of the European Union

Coat of arms or logo

As part of the preparation leading up to the EU Africa Trade and Investment Outlook - An Evening of Business Inspiration okra eXpress telephoned and entered into positive telephone dialogue with a cabinet member of The Council of the European Union, who subsequently sent okra eXpress an email and this was what he had to say. "Dear Ms. Oluwole, (okra eXpress), Congratulations for the impressive speakers list. The European Council had one clear success story in Africa last year. It was naturally the 3rd EU-Africa Summit. You'll find the digital link below". Email sent to okra eXpress from a Cabinet Member of The Council of the European UnionSound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investment  

Let's talk about Sound bites  from European Commission, Brussels

http://www.euro.cauce.org/en/countries.html
Speaking at the okra eXpress eventinspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress in February 2010, European Commission’s Head of Communications and Partnership, said at the okra eXpres event, Good evening everyone. I am going to speak on behalf of the European Commission, on behalf of the European Union itself. I am also aware of meetings like these that you are also hearing from government but the Commission's job is to speak for the whole of the European Commission and for the whole of the European Union. And that means 27 governments and about 12 of whom really are very new to dealings with Africa and some of whom of course have a lot of history with Africa. But getting agreement between 27 governments is no easy task as you can read in the press I’m sure. Europe and Africa have always had strong cultural and historic links. We are close neighbours and we share many common interests and concerns in a globalised world which is characterised increasingly by inter dependence. And this was recognised by  the heads of state and governments of both Europe and Africa at the summit of 2007 in Lisbon. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investment

Let's talk about sound bites from the okra eXpress event
 
Alert Copyright: Photo Above. Copyright © Amazon: Book on "China In Africa Book (African  Arguments)" published in 2007, by Dr. Christopher Alden, Associate Professor at The London School of Economics and Political Science, (LSE). Incidentally, Dr. Christopher Alden, the author of the book "China in Africa - African Arguments, published in 2007"and an expert in issues affecting today's diverse environment including, post-conflict peace building. Dr. Chris Alden writes extensively on Asia, Development, Economics, International Relations, Africa, and he wrote the first substantive book on China-Africa relations in three decades to shed light on the understanding and complexities of China’s engagement with Africa. 
Eversheds logo.jpg
Chairing the okra eXpress event in May 2009 held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, an event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, a Partner from Eversheds welcomed the audience at the okra eXpress event and this was what he said. “Good afternoon. Thank you very much for coming. There are few people struggling in and they would show up one by one I suppose. It is great to see such a large crowd for this event. My name is blah, blah, blah... I am a partner at Eversheds where I am responsible for the

Halt: Mea - culpa, (apologies), slight distraction 58 seconds approx... - incidentally a high pitched sound of a bell went off in Parliament during the opening remarks by a partner from Eversheds who was chairing the okra eXpress event at the time. This high pitched sound of a bell alerts Members of Parliament that there is a vote taking place in Parliament and that they must go across the road to vote. Mea-culpa, (apologies), for the slight distraction of the sound of a rather loud bellokra eXpress pressed ahead with the the talks. The sound bites are appended hereunder.

In any event, the partner from Eversheds continued his opening remarks and said: “there is a vote and if any of you are Members of Parliament and are willing to admit that, then you must go immediately across the road to vote”. "Anyway as I was saying, I am from Eversheds which is a law firm and do a lot of work between China and Africa which is why we have a natural interest in participating in an event like this. I am responsible for the firm’s China practice but I do have an Africanist past that I have to tell you about. Quite apart from having studied African Law in Paris, and having been quite absorbed with that. I first hitched hike across Africa for four or five months by myself in 1981, and I saw very, very little evidence of Chinese interests in Africa at the time I have to say. And fast forward to today, which I guess is 28 years later, and obviously China and Africa are extremely present in each others arms. Although I think that if you were in China in 1981, you would have seen lots of Africans studying medicine and other technical subjects in China, mastering the Chinese language and doing very interesting things in China. So although we are going to be talking a lot about China in Africa, I guess there is an entire different subject which we could be talking about which is Africa in China, which we don’t have time to talk about today, but let us at least acknowledge that that is a story which also is interesting to tell. Before I introduce the programme, and the speakers, I want to introduce, I’m not sure he is here, His Royal Highness, Prince, His Excellency, High Commissioner of Lesotho in the United Kingdom he is supposed to be amongst us today, and it is an honour to have him here. In addition to being Prince, he also has a job and he is his country’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, and he works hard at that. He is also deeply engaged personally in addressing issues of equality of the sexes in his country and the issues of environmental sustainability. I did some research on him for today, because I was interested to find out why a Prince would come to our event and it turns out that he is actually quite engaged in a practical sense with raising standards in his country and addressing some of its more serious problems. So I don’t know whether he is here. Maybe, he will show up for the drinks. He would be interesting to talk to. He also studies Chinese cause he also spent  a year in China in 1989 he did learnt quite a lot of Chinese at the time so he all round makes for a very interesting personality. We have of cause, a number of other distinguished guests amongst you, several, more than a handful of African Embassies have honoured us with their presence today, including a number of Ambassadors. We are very grateful for their participation as well as the participation of their senior staff. We also have participation of the Chinese Embassy here in London, we have someone from Chatham House, the media participation should be pretty good, we have got people from the FT, China Business Review, CCTV, Corporate Africa, Jana News Agency, African Energy and The BBC. A number of industry representatives as well and I think there is a value in doing this because you may not meet each other all of you over drinks. Statoil is here, CNOOC, China National Off Shore Cooperation is here and a number of banks such as Standard Chartered, Standard Bank, China Development Bank. Also on the non-banking side, there is CCPIT, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Japan Oil and Metals National Coopperation and China Netcom as well. So it is quite an interesting aggregate of people. And we have various advisers, I am one of them that is inevitable at such an event, I am one of them, lawyers, accountants, consultants of various forms, and we are also here. Before I get started, I would like to offer some thanks to the organiser, who is Bertha Oluwole from okra eXpress, she has done a fantastic job, pulling us all together, and working it so that we actually arrive in the same place at the same time." And our host for tonight is..... a British Member of Parliament (MP) he may be across the road voting, or he may be here, I don’t know, but we are certainly grateful to him as well for hosting this event. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from De Beers 

Speaking at the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, held on 10 February 2010Director, International Relations, External and Corporate Affairs, De Beers, told the audience that De Beers’ engagement with the Botswana government has been one of the most successful examples of a public / private partnership. De Beers had developed local skills and continued to do so, he said, helping citizen companies to develop by outsourcing its supply chain, transferring expertise in valuation and selling and setting up polishing factories. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about Sound bites  from African Union, Ethiopia, Africa

As part of the preparation leading up to the okra eXpress eventEU Africa Trade and Investment Outlook - An Evening of Business Inspiration on 15 March 2011, okra eXpress telephoned and entered into positive dialogue with Chargé d'affaires, representative of the African Union to the European Union Permanent Mission in Brussels and this was what he said. "Madame Bertha, you are really helping us and we are really grateful. We will support your actions so that something can be achieved and I know we can achieve something together. Let us do it that way and let us work closely together". Chargé d'affaires, representative of the African Union to the European Union, Permanent Mission in Brussels. African Union. (African Union positive telephone dialogue with okra eXpress, January 2011). Sound bites prior to the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from okra eXpress event

Centered red circle on a white rectangle.

On in 28 October 2010, the following sound bites were highlighted at the okra eXpress event at Asia House, London. Thank you very much your Excellency for giving  us a very incisive an informative piece of presentation which gave us a real sense of the way in which Japan has been a force for something very positive within your country. I hope you don’t think you are going to escape in incisive question you said you thought you might, but we have still got some microphones, and we have got lots of people who would like to ask you some questions. I’m sure before we finish off today. It is very interesting I think and  also that you would notice that Japan's profile internationally is relatively low, despite the large sums of money that it invests in Africa. And despite the prominence of Japanese brands that we have talked about the way in which Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Hitachi are all involved well known brands within Africa. It would be interesting to see whether Japan itself is recognised more as a political force within Africa as well whether that is something that Japan wants to be seen as. Or whether it wants to avoid getting involved in African politics. And I hope that we can somehow touch on that subject a little bit later on. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from EMVEST 

On 23 November 2011, food security and responsible investment in agriculture were the main themes of the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster. As usual, okra eXpress called upon and assembled an impressive line-up of excellent global formidable speakers and industry experts, this time to talk  about the opportunities for, and obstacles to investment in agriculture in developing countries. Their presentations and the interactive session allowed for a wide ranging debate on many aspects of food security. Is food security the next energy security?  With global food price inflation up almost 30% over the past year and farmland topping almost all other investments between 2000 and 2010, the long term trends are unmistakable. The Food and Agriculture Organization's prediction last year that food production will have to increase 70% by 2050 underlines the scale of the challenges. Speaking at the okra eXpress event on 23 November 2011, a Canadian lawyer, formerly Executive Director and Head of Emerging Markets Debt Sales and Trading, at Goldman Sachs, Europe tuned The Executive Lady Chairman, EMVEST, UK Asset Management and Agri Corp addressed the okra eXpress audience and said that "the question was not whether this boost to production was technically feasible but whether food would be affordable to all. China's ban on the use of land to grow bio fuels shows how seriously it views demand pressures. She agreed that GM crops will be part of the solution, with more recent GM varieties reducing the need for other inputs. More African countries besides South Africa would soon be allowing GM, The Executive Lady Chairman, EMVEST, predicted, with Zambia likely to be an early adopter. Besides technical solutions, speakers all emphasised the need for deeper public-private cooperation in agricultureEMVEST operates farms in five southern African countries under leasehold arrangements. These leases were acquired to working farms, and in Mozambique to 2,000 ha of unused land, following "a very defined process" which involved negotiations first at community level and then with local and national government. The Mozambican lease was granted on a two year "use it or lose it" term. EMVEST's Mozambican farm employs 320 local people, end Q3 and provide off takes (market access) for the smallholders. "It's imperative that governments devise rules with us", said Payne, "if they don't, it's a lose-lose situation". Working clearly with local communities is the EMVEST Asset Management mantra. "The bottom line is if we don't work closely with locals, and in some instances, for example, train them in how to maximise output on their own lands and provide them with a market to sell into, then we're not doing our jobs". As a final tip to anyone interested in creating new business in Africa, the Executive Lady Chairman told the okra eXpress audience and suggested that retail was the one of the best opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa at the moment, after agriculture and the food business generally.  EMVEST Asset Management (head quartered in Pretoria) has farming operations in five southern African countries and plans to expand in 14 SADC countries. The Executive Lady Chairman was recently described by "Financial News" as one of the 100 most influential women in finance in Europe.

Incidentally, the Executive Lady Chairman, EMVEST, UK Asset Management and Agri Corp has worked in the emerging markets on both the sell and buy side for over 20 years. After having been called to the Bar in Canada in 1985, the Executive Lady Chairman joined JP Morgan in 1986, where she was Head of Emerging Markets Sales, Europe. In 1993, the Executive Lady Chairman joined Goldman Sachs International as an Executive Director and Head of Emerging Markets Debt Sales and Trading, Europe. In 1997, she founded Emergent Asset Management Limited, an award–winning, alternative investment firm based in the UK, where she managed EM portfolios, as well as focusing on developing the firm’s Real Assets division in Africa through Emergent's "Pro Alia Management" and EMVEST Asset Management and Agri Corp., which currently manages a large agri fund involving growing, processing and distributing 34 commodities across five countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2011, she sold her stake in Emergent and bought out EMVEST, where she is now Executive Chairman. EMVEST's head office is based in Pretoria, South Africa. In both 2007 and 2008, the Executive Lady Chairman was appointed by Financial News as one of the Top 100 Women in Finance in Europe. She was awarded a Shell UK Women of the Future Award in 2006. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

 

The Executive Lady Chairman is on the Board of MyC4, a micro finance business focused on ending poverty in Africa, and is a Patron and Board Member of the Africa-focused charity Medical Aid Films. She is also Head of the UK Chapter of 85 Broads, the largest professional women’s network in the world. The Executive Lady Chairman began her schooling in Vancouver, Canada and completed it in Rome, Italy.  She holds three Honours degrees, including two in law from Oxford University and McGill University, Montreal, respectively. She also studied at St. Andrews University, Scotland, University of Perugia, Italy and University of Tel Aviv, Italy Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments


Let's talk about sound bites from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)
International Monetary Fund logo.svgAfrica’s Economic Growth. At the okra eXpress event in September 2010, okra eXpress invited the audience to reflect on the following sound bites from the IMF Managing Director. okra eXpress confirmed, "In a recent speech in Nairobi, IMF Managing Director, assessed the impact of the global economic and financial crisis on Africa. While noting that the turbulence had struck Africa in many ways, he said "all across the continent, we can see signs of life, with rebounds in trade, export earnings, bank credit, and commercial activity. The IMF now expects growth of around 4½ percent in 2010. "In short, I think that Africa is back - although a lot depends on a global recovery that is in its early stages". Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from Unilever
 Speaking at the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress in February 2009, held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, Unilever’s Vice President, Global External Affairs said, “I think it is very important thear that companies like Unilever continue to be committed to Africa for the long term. And despite what you may be hearing, seeing about the economic downturn, which I think will have an impact during the course of this year, most companies like ours see the potential of  Africa been significant and continuing to be a very attractive place in which a company like mine can do business. Unilever has been investing in Africa for many, many years. I mean, I think we opened our first factory in 1902 and we are now operating in 19 different countries, and we currently have 138 factories in Africa in different countries and employ about 88,000 people and have roughly about £2 billion turnover in different markets. On average, our business grew very healthily throughout the cause of the year on average between 10 to 15%, so that is a very good growth opportunity and that makes Africa very attractive for foreign direct investmentSound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from Germany - German Embassy in London

At the okra eXpress event in February 2008, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, held at 6-9 Carlton Terrace, a handsome building in Pall Mall in swanky London, and the home of the Former British Prime Minister, The now-deceased, William Gladstone, the German Economist, the Deputy Head of Economic Affairs Department and Economic Counsellor at the German Embassy in London highlighted the following points to boost Investment

How to Improve Trade and Investment

*         Strengthen PRIVATE SECTOR

*         Improve FRAMEWORK for Private Sector by promoting

*         closer regional integration

*         reliable infrastructure

*         clear property rights

*         efficient tax and customs administration

*         independent judiciary

*         transparent administration

*         Closer coordination between Foreign and Development Policies

Thank you very much

The Deputy Head of Economic Affairs Department and Economic Counsellor  at the German Embassy in London was speaking at the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from the okra eXpress Brussels event
http://www.euro.cauce.org/en/countries.html 
At the okra eXpress Brussels event in February 2009, okra eXpress reminded the audience and echoed the following points that were discussed and agreed on at the EU Africa Lisbon Summit in 2007, “We will develop this partnership of equals, ..., namely: the strengthening of investment, growth and prosperity through regional integration and closer economic  ties“. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about Sound bites  from Spain
http://www.euro.cauce.org/en/countries.html
Spanish presidency logo © eu2010.esCouncil of the EU logo.svg
Spain took over the rotating presidency of the European Union from Sweden, at the time okra eXpress inspired, project managed and hosted the EU Africa Business and Investment Event - For Better, For Worse - For Richer For Poorer. okra eXpress asked Spain the following questions.
  1. What are your expectations of the EU presidency in relation to strengthen the EU AFRICA Partnership?
  2. What strategic mechanism is currently in place to better enhance a way forward towards strengthening the relationship with the African countries?
  3. What investment opportunities can Spain offer Africa?

The Spanish Counsellor from the Embassy of Spain in London attended the okra eXpress event on 10 February 2010 to address the questions listed above. 

On 10 February 2010, at the okra eXpress event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, the Counsellor  at the Spanish Embassy in London addressed the okra eXpress audience and this was what she said. "Hello everybody, I don’t know if it would be very easy to speak about the same subject. Maybe it would be boring for you to listen to everybody talking about the same thing. {So in the time that has been allocated to me….}, I wanted to use some of them the first couple of minutes, to explain a little bit about JAES. Because I am pretty sure all of you are familiar but maybe some are not. So when everyone talks about the 3rd Summit, yes, but the third. When was the second? Everyone knows the second one was in Lisbon in December 2007. And the first? The First happened in Cairo 2000, but then, like the process stopped for a while. And didn’t get a real push until the European Council of December 2005 and that that’s when it started moving ahead again. And when we came to Lisbon, in December 2007, we ended up with two very important elements. And I have to talk a little bit about them so that I can explain the important changes that are taking place now. First of all it was the Joint Africa European Union Strategy, what everyone is calling JAES.  And then the Action Plan 2008 2010. And it had twenty-two priorities and eight partnerships. The partnership, Jonathan was mentioning. And I would just like to go through them so that you have an idea what they deal with.

  1. The first one is the peace and security that Jonathan mention
  2. The second one is democratic governance and human rights
  3. Trade and regional integration
  4. Millennium Development Goals which UK is co-chairing
  5. Energy
  6. Climate Change
  7. Migration, which Spain is co-chairing
  8. Science and Information Society and Space

So this is a very broad area. And what happened. How has this been structured? We have created these eight partnerships and then everyone of them has like a joint expert group and they elaborated all these lengthy road maps, all these actions that have to be undertaken under these partnerships. And on the one hand, we come now to this point in time to 2010. Well actually, in 2009, the Troika, European Union, African Union in Addis Ababa, said that we had to develop an option document that undertakes a thorough revision of the strategic partnership. And that is where we are now.  We were asked as Spanish presidency. Spanish rotating presidency of the European Union to undertakes that, to develop an option document. That’s what we’ve done. You could ask why? Why are you doing this? Well there are some issues that needed to be improved. This Action Plan was somehow, and that’s my personal take on it, a little bit ambitious. Too many priorities, too many areas we have been much into depths, every “JEG”, every joint expert group. This I think costs by the initial willingness to bring all this forward. But things need to be streamlined. And so as Spanish Presidency, we have developed an internal EU non-paper, called EU suggestions to improve the implementations of the Joint Africa EU Strategy in view of the possible updated action plan beyond 2010 And this one was discussed in January in the African group in the EU at EU level. And now, it has gone onto Addis Ababa and it is been discussed there. So these none paper will set or is trying the set the options, towards what we would do. It is not clear whether we would have a second action plan 2011 2013 or 2010 2012 or this one will continue. There are many options on the table and it has been discussed. So it is very difficult at this moment in time to say what will happen. We do not have, we are not witches, we do not have this transparent bowl to look into the future. But what is sure is that it would continue to exist 2011 2013 or 2010 2012. “JAES” will continue to exist. And why? Because, no one, absolutely any one is neither in Europe nor in Africa is fundamentally against it. And that is important. Any why? Why is not anyone against it? Because it has brought positive things. It has gone beyond development. It has sought in Africa a political counterpart which had never been done before. And it is trying to go beyond constitutions at political level NGOs and other actors. It has been very, very shy at the beginning. The NGOs and the Parliament getting together. But it is a good start. And what Jonathan was mentioning, trying to approach Africa as one. Which is a good and different starting point. And it is unique in nature. China as you mention has more economic approach and USA has and very direct links with Africa Union. But this is a very unique approach the European strategy. So building on this uniqueness I, I, it will follow.  And it will continue    

(Halt: A slight pause!  (8 seconds approx...). The Spanish Counsellor paused and asked Mischon’s Deputy Chairman and Head of Public Advocacy who was chairing the okra eXpress event, “how many more minutes she had left to speak”. Mischon’s Deputy Chairman and Head of Public Advocacy responded, "You have another two minutes”. The Counsellor from the Spanish Embassy pressed ahead with her talk. The sound bites are appended hereunder.

The Spanish Counsellor from the Spanish Embassy in London continued addressing the okra eXpress audience. "Ok, well in this two other minutes allocated, I wanted to say that JAES was never thought as a financial facility. And that has brought many, many misunderstandings. And that is one point that will have to be talked thoroughly through during this new process of new thinking. And there is no need for more money. The European Development fund allocated for the period 2010 2012 Euros 22, 000 million which is a lot of money. And can be used and strengthen in a more positive way through JAES, so everything can flow together. And I was also asked to speak about Spain’s policy and investment. I was asked to say something, so I will say and I will be very, very short in one minutes. Spain developed this thing called The Africa Plan, 2009 2012 with the intention to strengthen its policy towards Africa. We are new comers into Africa. We are very, very new comers into Africa. But the government has stated in 2004, has put Africa as a priority. So in terms of development it has been  increased and in terms of investment, also it was the third objectives of this plan, is investment. We have a big financial facility  for infrastructure and tourism. That is the sum up. Thank you". Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from Japan

Centered red circle on a white rectangle.

Speaking at the okra eXpress event in Brussels, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress  on 29 October 2009, the Chief Executive of Japan Bank For International Cooperation addressed the okra eXpress audience, and this was what he said. "Good evening everybody. My name is ….. I am the Chief Executive of Japan Bank For International Cooperation. I am very happy to be here from Tokyo to be with very kind people {doing work for Africa including business people}. First of all I would like to say thank you to okra eXpress for giving us the opportunity of explaining the Japan Bank For International Cooperation operations in Africa.   After TICAD 1V held in May of 2008, almost one and a half years have past. During this period Japan Bank For International Cooperation has been making various efforts to drive Japanese Investment for Africa". Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talks about sound bites from SJ Berwin, Brussels 
SJ Berwin LogoSpeaking at the okra eXpress Brussels event in February 2009, a partner from SJ Berwin Brussels told the audience at the okra eXpress event in Brussels that SJ Berwin runs a programme for African lawyers in which the firm was an active partner. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from okra eXpress event

At the okra eXpress event in February 2008, okra eXpress, invited the audience to reflect on the changes taking place in Africa and echoed the following points that were further discussed at the okra eXpress event. okra eXpress stated that "There is intense interest by policy makers and business inside and outside Africa, as well as by international development partners, to better understand the evolution and developmental, commercial, and policy implications of Africa- China trade and investment relations. There has indeed been much global debate about China's interests in Africa's oil and other resources, minerals, timber, agricultural products. Oil is Beijing's first concern and 34% of China's oil requirements are now sourced in Africa. Angola has become China's largest foreign oil supplier, passing Saudi Arabian in 2006, while The Sudan is its second African source with 65% of that country's oil export going to China. China multiplied contracts, aid packages and partnership ventures with a number of oil producing African states, namely Gabon, Angola, Algeria, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo and The Sudan. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from The European Commission, Brussels
http://www.euro.cauce.org/en/countries.html

Speaking at the okra eXpress event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress in February 2009, held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, European Commission’s Acting Head of Representation told the audience that the EU was the largest integrated market and the largest trading partner for  Africa. She admitted that the business environment was not conducive to investment due to a lack of transparency, a strong segmentation of the national market and the high cost of access to finance for small and medium size enterprisesThe recession and the food and energy crisis was delaying the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals but the EU was working on a support plan to limit the effects of the recession. It is hoping to improve the business climate by supporting micro enterprises and micro finance. Progress in good governance is also essential as good governance is fundamental to poverty reduction.  Regional integration is also important in improving the business climate. The recession and the food and energy crisis was delaying the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals but the EU was working on a support plan to limit the effects of the recession. It is hoping to improve the business climate by supporting micro enterprises and micro finance. Progress in good governance is also essential as good governance is fundamental to poverty reduction.  Regional integration is also important in improving the business climate. 

Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

http://www.euro.cauce.org/en/countries.htmlSound bites from The UK Foreign Office (FCO)  

Speaking at the okra eXpress event, in February 2008, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra event, held at 6-9 Carlton Terrace, a handsome building in Pall Mall and the home of the Former British Prime Minister, The now-deceased, William Gladstone, an Economist at the The UK Foreign Office, (FCO), and formerly lecturer at Harvard University told the audience at the okra eXpress event, “Sub-Saharan Africa is growing stronglycontinent that in the 1990s suffered the ignominy of zero growth has reversed that trend since the beginning of this decade, and grown in tandem with other developing regions. This growth is widespread, not just confined to oil exporters.  Even fragile states are growing steadily.  The UK and EU view this as positive, both for Africans – growth is the best way to alleviate poverty and improve living standards – and also for ourselves.  An emerging Africa is a continent with which we can do business. In December 2007 at the Second EU-Africa Summit in Lisbon that partnership was made explicit…. The Summit adopted a Joint EU - Africa Strategy with an Action Plan to guide implementation over the three years until the next Summit in 2010. The Plan comprises 8 partnerships covering the following:
  1. Peace and Security
  2. Good Governance
  3. Trade
  4. Millennium Development Goals
  5. Energy
  6. Climate Change
  7. Migration
  8. Science and Technology
An Economist, at the The UK Foreign Office (FCO) and formally lecturer at Harvard University was speaking at the okra eXpress event on 10 February 2008 inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpressSound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from the okra eXpress event
At the okra eXpress event in February 2008, a unique okra eXpress event and global campaign inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress under the strap line, “Indeed, Africa is open for business, investment, trade and development”, okra eXpress, advised the audience and echoed the following points that were further discussed at the okra eXpress event. okra eXpress stated, "In November 2006 the China - Africa Summit in Beijing saw heads of government of 48 African countries take part in the Forum on China - Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) that signalled a new and dynamic relationship between China and Africa. China's trade with Africa increased from $10 billion in 2000 to $50 billion in 2006 to make it the third largest trading partner with Africa after the United States and France. In this light, China's new-found interest in trade and investment with Africa presents a significant opportunity for growth and integration of sub-Saharan Africa into the global economy. Africa is open for businessIn 2006, Africa's economy grew at a rate of 5.7%, the US's grew at 3.4% and Japan's at 2.8%. The International Monetary Fund increased Africa's economic growth forecast to 6.8% from 5.7% in 2006. The position is quite clear and there is no question about it. You now only need to do three things, 1) Invest in Africa, 2), Invest in Africa, 3), Invest in Africa. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from Germany - German Embassy in London

Speaking at the okra eXpress event in February 2008 inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, held at 6-9 Carlton Terrace, a handsome building in Pall Mall in swanky London, and the home of the Former British Prime Minister, The now-deceased, William Gladstonethe Deputy Head of Economic Affairs Department and Economic Counsellor  at the German Embassy in  swanky London highlighted the following 10 reasons to trade and invest in Germany. 

10 reasons to trade and invest in Germany. 

  1. Leading Economy
  2. Global player
  3. High Productivity
  4. Excellent Workforce
  5. Innovative Power
  6. First class infrastructure
  7. Inviting Incentives
  8. Competitive Tax Conditions
  9. Secure investment framework
  10. Quality of life
Thank you very much 
The Deputy Head of Economic Affairs Department and Economic Counsellor  at the German Embassy in swanky London was speaking at the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, banging the drums to boost investments

BMW launch first fully electric car made out of Carbon fibre:  It is a battery power car without an exhaust pipe. Credit: BBC
Alert CopyrightPhoto Above BMW launch first electric car © Copyright BBC owns the Copyright of the photo above 
BBC BusinessNews, views and interviews Credit: BBCBMW have launched their first-ever electric production vehicle. The BBC's Theo Leggett had a look around the vehicle, which has been designed for easy accessLast updated: 29 July 2013 at 18.14pm. Copyright © BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23495325

The German economy is by far the most powerful in Europe, but what are the cultural and educational factors behind its dominance? Credit: BBC
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BBC BusinessNews, views and interviews Credit: BBC: German economic strength: The secret of successBBC reports. Last updated, 16 August 2012 at 00.26 Copyright © BBC  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18868704

Eurozone comes out of recession. Credit: BBC
Alert CopyrightPhoto Above Germany © Copyright BBC owns the Copyright of the photo above 
BBC BusinessNews, views and interviews Credit: BBC: The eurozone has emerged from recession after 18 months of economic contraction. The growth was widely expected after German economy rose 0.7% between April and June. BBC reports. Last updated, 14 August 2013 at 11.47 am Copyright © BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23692102

Let's talk about sound bites from STANDARD & POOR'S

 
Speaking at the okra eXpress event in held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, on 16 June 2012, Standard & Poor’s Managing Director Infrastructure Finance updated the audience at the okra eXpress event on “How Environmental Risk Is Changing the Investment Climate.” And this was what he said. “Good evening everyone, just to kick off the evening’s proceedings, I am just going to give you a quick overview on the area which I am mostly focused on which is environmental finance. So couple of topics, I’m going to keep this quite brief and high level and then we can have a discussion on the more detailed topics. My role and my background is to look at the environmental finance side of credit ratings so I am part of the project finance team and based here in London by looking at the issues of environmental finance worldwide so looking at renewable energy, clean tech, water, energy efficiency, natural resources, and also climate finance and carbon markets so it is quite a broad range but I am going to focus mainly on the renewable energy side for the next few minutes. But to put that into context I just want to touch on what is going on in the world of utilities especially on the power utility side, because I think you need to understand the situation of the challenges that have been placed by European power utilities to truly understand the opportunities there are in the renewable energy side, especially off shore wind which would be the main focus. So if we look at this is a distribution chart of our ratings in the utility world so we have around 80 credit ratings assigned to European utilities across the range from big companies like RWE, Eon, all these big companies that basically run the power and energy across Europe. So if you add up the amount of debt that these companies have issued over the past year or so, we are talking in trillions of Euros. They are really big companies and they basically tap the capital markets on a frequent basis. So they are very high profile. The thing about utility companies is that over the past 10, 15 years, they have undergone pro transformation partly due to deregulation or legalisation of the market, driven by the European Union Directives, and also because most of them have also been privatised. So they used to be big public sector entities and now they are in the private sector and as a result of that their financing structures change considerably. A lot of them are quite highly indebted and they expand through M&A activity to the point where their credit policy what we focus on. Their credit ratings have deteriorated. So the average rating in the utility world as you can see from this chart tends to be around single A to triple BBB……So where does that leave us in terms of renewable energy? Well if we focus principally on off shore wind and I am going to use off shore wind as a kind of case study here because we have just published a report and it is fresh on our minds and also because it is very topical given the huge investment opportunities in off shore wind. So I think, I wanted to focus on off shore wind a little bit. Now off shore wind is relatively immature market. It has only been around since about 1991. So less than 20  years or 20  years or so. Denmark and Germany really established it but now the UK is the leader. As you can  see from this chart here in terms of the amount of capacity in the off shore wind sector that has been planned. So the UK and Germany are by far the lion’s share in Europe. So if you take those two  countries alone, there is somewhere in the region of 109 billion Euros, will  be spent in off shore wind over the next ten years. UK alone is tending to build up to 18 giga watts of off shore wind. So these are huge numbers. Given the sort of time it takes to build, planning and all the other challenges which I will come onto. So there is a huge investment opportunities but at the same time it has been done in a back drop where utilities themselves where up till now been made to be funders of off shore wind are facing constraints both from the business and financial.  So we need to put these into context. So as I said that up to now we have seen mainly financing through utilities but utilities are going through constraint environment which we believe will leave to more project financing of renewable energy and especially in the off shore wind sector. Thank you Sound bites from the okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let’s talk about sound bites from the okra eXpress event in partnership with the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on China
UK is open for business, Trade and investment hails okra eXpress 
40th Anniversary of full UK China diplomatic relations. - Let's Celebrate40 years! Epic - what a joy. Let's flourish together. Count me in hails okra eXpress 
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 owns the Copyrights of the photo above

Sound bites "After meeting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao for talks, The Rt. Hon. Prime Minister, David Cameron hailed what he said was a deeper dialogue and said the aim of the deal was to reach $100 billion in bilateral trade by 2015. 

Delivering his keynote speech at the okra eXpress event in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, an event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpressin partnership with the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on China, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of full UK China diplomatic relations held in May 2012, a British Member of Parliament (MP) and Chair of the UK All Party Parliamentary Group on China, highlighted the following sound bites at the okra eXpress event:

  • The APPCG was established in 1997 to strengthen and widen the UK-China bilateral relationship and to facilitate increased dialogue and understanding with the National People’s Congress.
  • As Chairman I have sought to widen the remit of the group and support dialogue on policy issues such as trade relations.
  • It is also a timely event, as you may know next week will be the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of full diplomatic relations between China and Britain.
  • I’d therefore like to reflect on the trade relations between our two countries over the last four decades of diplomatic relations and consider the opportunities ahead. 

Partnership in Growth – Opportunities for the future

FCO trade priorities

  • Cooperation on low carbon growth business opportunities
  • Investment in the UK infrastructure investment – we’re open to FDI.
  • Financial service growth of the renminbi market in London. Vice premier Wang Qishan and the Chancellor have welcomed the role of the City of London can play in developing an off shore renminbi market

Conclusion

  • China and UK trading relations have become more aligned over the last four decades.
  • There is clear political commitment to strengthen trading and diplomatic relations. For example the Department for BIS has a ministerial level dialogue on growth and 50 more FCO posts are being created in China.
  • However, the trajectory of engagement and alignment needs to continue with more political resolve, particularly to support the work of business to realise opportunities in China. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments
Let’s talk about sound bites from the okra eXpress event

 “The following Sound bites were highlighted at the okra eXpress event on 22 June 2011, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress. “Green energy requires an upfront, a large upfront investment and African countries in general do not have the resources to make those investments. It is quite interesting actually, there has been a lot of talk about Dominique Strauss Khan at The IMF, but one of the big things that he was quite keen on when he came in was to say that climate change was a major issue and African and third world developing countries need to get some support from their western neighbours if the balance is going to be right. If you look at India, you look at China, you look at Russia, they have been very reluctant up till recently, I mean and their attitude has changed a lot now, but they have been reluctant. The arguments seem to be. And if you look at sort of abstract prospective it makes sense. Where they say well, you have polluted your way up the economic growth path, and now when we are just about to develop, you have started to tell us to do this, to do that when we do not have the resources. You have to make some transfers to make it happen. Now obviously in the aggregate, it is the environment that suffers. But it is the economics that have not been got right yet and until it does and the incentives are there, I think, it would be very difficult. Having said that, African countries are also increasingly conscious about environmental issues. Because the deforestation, the drying up of water supplies affects them quite strongly. I personally feel that over this century, the most major wars that we will be fighting will not be over anything as fancy as oil, I think it might be over something as basic as water. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let’s talk about sound bites from the okra eXpress event

 “The following Sound bites were highlighted at the okra eXpress event on 22 June 2011, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress

In my country for example, we have had a president who is prepared to ban all logging in the country until he had established who had title to what. Who had rights to log. Because we have large numbers of Chinese companies illegally logging. Now for a president to do that, shows the sort of attitudes that you have towards these issues and they are getting a lot more serious about it. The beach, the main beach in Freetown, my capital City, for example, he passed a decree that said I don’t want any permanent structures on the sand. You will have to break them all down. Go across the road and build something. Now that encourages you, because you sought of think ok we are not going to end up with some sort of facsimile copy of what you have in other major tourist destinations. So the willingness is there, but the economics has to be right for the political will to follow.  Thank youSound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from the okra eXpress event

At the okra eXpress event on 15 March 2011, the following sound bites were highlighted. “Africa is a great place to do business. A really great place to do business. So Africa is a growth story from a business prospective. And the gentleman there was talking about you know victim and villain, and I think that the reporting of Africa is not balanced and there is plenty of business opportunities. And I am absolutely convinced and I will come on to talk about it later why business is good for economic and social development. So what is lying behind that growth? Well we have benefited for sure from a rising tide. GDP growth rates have been high. Of the top ten countries in terms of growth rates over the next five to ten years, seven of them will be in Africa.  And so you have got very favourable growth rates. You have got a rapidly growing population. Notwithstanding some of the significant challenges in Africa, not least Cote d'Ivoire that we were talking about earlier or Southern Sudan, there is relatively more political stability. And therefore it is more stable environment to do business. So these are some of the things that have been behind the growth, along with the improving infrastructure. Now for sure whilst there are huge challenges in infrastructure, be that distribution, power, or water, over the last seven years we have seen material improvements. So these are some of the factors that have lead to the growth. And the growth rates which we have seen during this financial crisis, Africa dropped the list, in terms of the adverse impact of the global financial crisis. So we are still in GDP growth. Now there are challenges because of that the consequences of a higher fuel prices now, somewhat reduced investment. In 2008 it was the highest ever over $60 billion flowed into Africa. There are more people who have gone below the poverty line so there are challenges there for sure.  But Africa is still providing significant growth. So for businesses it is a favourable environment. Now what are the codes for growth to business? Having the right talent in a business is critical. And the talent to be successful in Africa is different to the talent to be successful in a developed market. You have to operate a lot of time with less data with more volatility, far more generalist and having people who can be more successful in the emerging markets is very very important. And there is a real war for talent going on at the moment right now and as big companies, multinationals and smaller companies look to expand and invest in capability development. I do think you need a degree of resilience and flexibility in your response. Like all markets emerging markets, Asia, Latin America, Africa is no different. There are ups and downs, far more volatility. The regulatory environment is changing quite rapidly, so you need to be adaptive and flexible. The understanding of the deployment of those regulations varies. It is varying up and down in a positive manner so you need to be flexible and resilient in that environment. Now the thing that particularly inspires me about Africa apart from its great growth and its loads of opportunity, is the ability to make a difference. Now the primary way in which businesses can make a difference is by having a successful business, providing employment, paying taxes, paying dividends, developing inclusive business models…. So it is great to be able to contribute to the economic development in that manner….. So one of the things that make Africa special is that you can get great growth. And there is a great need to contribute to the economic and social development by providing employment, by developing inclusive business model which I have talked about and also by direct community involvement and encourage others to invest into Africa. One of the things some companies have like De Beers, and a few others have in common is their fantastic local and global network. I am a firm believer that “doing good is good for business”. Thank youSound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

Let's talk about sound bites from GMX Consulting, Vietnam and Africa

Speaking at the okra eXpress event on "Investing in Global Agribusiness and CommoditiesAppetite for discussion", inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, the Vietnamese, Managing Director of GMX Consulting addressed the okra eXpress audience and provided insights on GMX Consulting's practical experience in structuring large-scale commercial agriculture partnerships between Africa and Asia. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

The following topics were also discussed at the okra eXpress event by global formidable industry experts and the okra eXpress audience  
  • Is food security the next energy security? Look at what needs to be done to address unresolved world food insecurity. 
  • UK China cooperation on sustainable agriculture and food security
  • Structuring large scale commercial agriculture partnerships between Africa and Asia
  • Driving investment in agribusiness. How do global investors source and access produce from Africa?
  • Can Africa feed the world? Is Africa developing into a significant food producer and exporter, which is vital to the global market? 
  • Highlight the potential opportunities in agri-business. Boosting development in global agribusiness in EBRD countries,  ACP countries and beyond.
  • The urgency to stimulate more private sector involvement to maximise productivity and help minimise food crisis.
  • The need to collaborate with partners to promote and monitor innovative and sustainable water practice. 
  •  Nestlé’s  perspectives on water strategy. Activities in relation to sustainability aspects relating to water management in their operations and agricultural supply chain, with reference to key field water initiatives especially focused on collaboration with farmers in their supply chain.
  • Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    BBC World ServiceBBC BusinessIncidentally, the Vietnamese, Managing Director of GMX Consulting gave business analysis interviews with the BBC World Service, and BBC Business News shortly before speaking at the okra eXpress event in Parliament, Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, on 29 November 2012. On the night of the BBC interview, the Vietnamese, Managing Director of GMX Consulting  also met up with with journalists and media professionals within the Vietnamese department at the BBC Broadcasting House. The business analysis interview with the Vietnamese, Managing Director of GMX Consulting was  broadcasted  by the BBC on Christmas Eve on 24 December 2012. 

    Let's talk about sound bites from Japan

    Centered red circle on a white rectangle.JETRO Japan External Trade Organization

    Speaking at the okra eXpress event on 28 October 2010, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, held at Asia House, the Secretary General of Japan External Trade Organisation, (JETRO) gave the Japanese perspective of the relationship between Africa and Japan and told the audience at the okra eXpress event. “Thank you very much for a very kind introduction. Trade as our main organisation suggests is one of JETRO’s key areas and African development project which JETRO has been supporting as TICAD 1V initiatives are mainly aiming trade development from African countries to Japan. First of all based on the Yokohama declaration, and Yokohama action plan of TICAD 1V in May 2008, the evaluation service for African products to enter the Japanese markets was held in April 2009 in order to promote support to realise access to Japan for African commodities. JETRO would continue best effort to encourage African products to be exported to Japan”. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from the okra eXpress event
    http://www.euro.cauce.org/en/countries.html

    “The following were highlighted at the okra eXpress event on 10 February 2010. “I think yes, looking at the ACP and the EPA, now on paper, the EPA is supposed to be good for Africa. It gives Africa free access to European markets, but it is the reciprocity of it that makes it a little bit difficult. Africa is in turn expected to open its markets to European goods and eventually European services. Now the natural evolution of this given the infancy of Africa what passes for an industrial base in Africa already or for that matter small businesses in Africa is that they are very likely not going to be able to compete with these European counterparts. And it is not just a problem for Europe, it is a problem with trade with China as well. They are not going to be able to compete. There is going to be job losses. There is going to be certain structural effect on the economy that the EPA has not as it stands, not made enough provision to counter. And this is why the Africans are refusing. Don’t forget, the Africans still have memories of structural adjustment programmes and what those did to African economies and African politics through the 90s and 80s if you like. Therefore, as far as Africans are concerned, it is an unfair competition, allowing the EPAs as they stand to go through. I think that is one of the big problems with the EPA. You are likely to find that they will persist and if they are pushed through, the backlash once the effect that tricks down the economy will be quite significant in Africa. Thank you. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from the okra eXpress event

    The following Sound bites were highlighted at the okra eXpress event on 22 June 2011, an event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress banging the drums to boost investmentRight, good evening everyone and thank you for taking the time to listen to me. What I am going to talk about is just to give you a sort of overview on Energy markets, Energy resources in Africa, West Africa in particular. And perhaps discuss a little bit around some of the opportunities and risks that we think in our work are likely to arise as events move forward and the sort of Carbon, Low Carbon Energy mix debate and if you like significant events and changes going forward. Now I was pretty taken aback when I sat in my sofa watching what was going on in Fukushima in Japan. And the very first thing that struck me was whereas one of the fall outs are of this event is likely to be a cooling off of the appetites for nuclear power. There is also likely to be rather perverse side effect which is that the reliance on hydro carbons both in the short term and perhaps in the long term is likely to be reinforced quite significantly. Indeed since then, I think Japan has been increasing its use of hydro carbons for electricity production. I think Germany has decided to reduce or at least slow its pace of nuclear use. And I think it would be very difficult for policy makers in Western Europe at least to be able to generate much public support for nuclear. Which after all if you look at the economics it is something that generally tends to be subsidised to some extent by the State. Now, what does this mean for Africa? Well on the one hand, I think it means that Energy resources in Africa are going to be competed over even more significantly than they were before. I am from West Africa which is emerging now as a major source of new discoveries for oil and gas. Indeed, we had, just a couple of years ago major discoveries off shore in Ghana. I am myself from Sierra Leone and there are companies that are reporting interests in drilling resource and ramping up their exploration in the hope of finding similar to what was found in Ghana’s lucrative oil fields.  It is not just restricted to Sierra Leone. Indeed we are also looking at next door in Liberia, in Guinea. Companies like US hydro dynamics are ramping up their efforts to see if they can make similar discoveries. No doubt now that the political crisis has reduced or to some extent been abated, in Cote D’Ivoire. You are very likely going to see the government there trying to ramp up hydro carbon production. Gabon, another West African country, which up till a few years ago, has been seeing, more recently has been seeing decline in output from its oil fields. It is now considering pushing the technological envelop even further if you like trying to encourage companies to drill in I don’t know the science of it sub sea sands?, I don’t know, something like that. Generally, not where you would expect to go for oil. Partly because it is quite messy, partly because it is expensive to get the oil out of the ground. On top of that, we have Nigeria, the giant in West Africa which so far since it discovered oil has been focusing most of its efforts in revenue generation from oil. But what is not known is that Nigeria has one of the top ten gas reserves in the world. One of the very clearly stated objectives of the new government and indeed the last administration and this one, the newly elected one in Nigeria is a commitment towards commercialising its gas reserves. Most of the reserves the gas in Nigeria tends to be burnt. Especially the gas that is been produced, while oil is been drilled.  Associated gas coming out whilst they drill wells and produce oil. Most of that is been fled. It is been burnt. Obviously environmental consequences. Now they are thinking about trying to establish some sort of capture mechanism. The problems that the Nigerians have had with this so far has been that there has not been the legislative or financial structure put forward by the government to make it interesting to companies to try and get them to invest in these pipelines in a sort of gathering infrastructure. The government is moving at a speed as we speak. There is legislation going through Nigeria’s Parliament which they hope will allow it to commercialise its gas reserves. There are talks of building a pipeline from Nigeria, going all the way up across North Africa to pipe gas into Europe. Now on the geo-political front this has also brought in interesting dynamics. Russia at the moment  largely controls a very large proportion of the gas that comes into Western Europe. Increasingly, observers are starting to notice that Russia is very, very prepared where necessary to use gas and Energy as a foreign  policy tool. Some of its former satellite States are finding out now that if they step out of line in terms with what Russia wants, it would either “jerk up” the price of the gas to the extent that it would damage your fiscal indicators or it would just cut off the supply {and leave Europe in winter darkness}. The Europeans, Western Europeans have generally taken their eye off the ball when it comes to Africa and West Africa generally. And after blah, blah, blah ….entered Nigeria and started to establish relationships with the government there to get a first  move advantage, on this huge gas reserves that Nigeria has, The European Commission belatedly went to try to see whether they could offer something. So there are geo-political implications there as well which brings me to the point of low carbonSound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investment

    Let's talk about sound bites from the okra eXpress event

    The following Sound bites were highlighted at the okra eXpress event on 22 June 2011, an event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress banging the drums to boost investment. "All across Africa, there are increasing efforts now by governments to try and see if they could encourage investment into low carbon alternatives largely bio fuel. Now this presents great opportunities. West Africa is not that far from Europe.  Our climatic conditions are ideal for producing some of these things like sugar cane, producing ethanol, and palm oil, and we use very little of our arable landThis I would caution comes with a lot of caveats, a lot of risks and I think anybody who is investing in low carbon or indeed governments in these regions that are looking to develop and encourage investment into low carbon industries in their countries should be very aware of.  One point is even though we are not using the majority of our arable land, it is not because we have used everything we need. We still don’t have food security, for example. It is a really perverse and crude way to put it. But I think it is a very stark illustration. What we do not want for example is to end up in a situation where people and cars are competing for food.  I say it very crudely, but if certain food stuffs get suddenly become very interesting for Energy production, start to become overpriced, because they are now being traded on Global Energy Markets,  while the locals, the low earning Africans are unable to afford it,  you are very likely to see social unrest. There is also the environmental implications. There is already a problem of deforestation in large parts of West Africa. You just have to look to perhaps, South East Asia, and places like that to see some of the implications of clearing large forests to put in palm oil plantations". Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investment

    Update on Staw Poll at the okra eXpress event

    The following Sound bites were highlighted at the okra eXpress event on 22 June 2011, an event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress banging the drums to boost investment

    okra eXpress conducted a swift straw poll from the okra eXpress audience. At the okra eXpress event on 22 June 2011. {It has been mentioned that the fact that the bio fuels are used is a sort of double edged sword. Some people will say  yes, it is a green thing. This is something that would save the planet. But as it has been pointed out that there is competition for the poorest people of the world for their most basic food supplies. Do you think bio fuels are a green answer? Hands up if you do. And if you don’t? Now that is interesting. I would say that is 70% bio fuels are not the answer. 

    Further sound bites from the audience on bio fuels at the okra eXpress event on 22 June 2011. “That is not just the bio fuels. If you suddenly start to have palm oil and sugar, ethanol, been traded on Global Commodity Markets in the way that oil and gas are at the moment,  it perverts the incentives for farmers who would chose to switch production from rice and cassava to more interesting and more funky things that they can get a lot more money for. So, bad enough that we don’t have food security already, it could actually end up reducing food security. 

    Hold your thoughts till the end. And we will have a little time for other questions at the end. But we have a packed schedule and I would now like to welcome bla,blah, blah, the Head of Carbon Market China at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Thank you very much for making time for us tonight.  And blah, blah, blah will be looking at the whole issue of Carbon Market Trading and more questions from him in about few minutes. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from the okra eXpress event

    The following Sound bites were highlighted at the okra eXpress event on 22 June 2011. In and around 2007, 2008, when we had the food price crisis, many African governments either to have largely ignored or presented lukewarm attempts at improving agricultural production for food Security, suddenly realised that after a number of riots, a number of West Africa countries, Cameroon, and a number of places, have realised that food security is now a regime stability issue.  And especially after the events of North Africa, I think anything that brings people out in the streets, is something that worries the governments quite a lot. So what has been their policy response? It has been, well if you come and invest in agriculture, “Agriculture”, we would provide all sorts of incentives. We would give you a tax holiday, we would help you acquire land, we would give it to you rent free, we would let you  import your equipments duty free, we would do whatever we can to  help you increase investment. There is a danger with that. Even if the investment not strictly going into low carbon or bio fuels, even if it is going into food productionThe drive seems to be towards getting large commercialized agricultural operations. Now yesthere are economies of scale, the larger you are, the more efficiency you can produce. Economics has taught us that. But, it sort of glosses over the human factor. Land ownershipland tenor systems in Africa are quite fragmented. Africans  don’t see land as an asset that you can trade in. Land is a question of identity to us. In my country in West Africa, and several parts Africa, you can’t actually go and buy land outside the cities. Land is owned communally. The Chief assigns a plot of Land to your family to farm. Should your father die, they will reassign it and you know. You cannot go and contract to take pieces of land. So indeed, the problems that the big agricultural investors who are looking at coming into West Africa, are finding is that the governments sometimes have had to be slightly heavy handed, in forcing people to give up land to allow them to do these large scale agricultural projects. Now, unless these projects come within a sort of holistic approach, that aim to increase production from small scale farmers, increase their output and improve food security, and their incomes, you are likely to see  civil unrest around some of these large agricultural projects. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investment

    Let's talk about sound bites from the okra eXpress event

    The following Sound bites were highlighted at the okra eXpress event on 22 June 2011. I would like to see responsible investments, into large scale agriculture including something like if we have a massive farm around here, all the small holders around it would get some sort of support, be that part funded by the governments, part funded by the investors, part funded by the development finance institutions, that would help these farmers bring back onto the efficiencies that these large agricultural projects. I’m talking about helping them better understand farming methods that would improve their yields. I’m  talking about helping with seeds and fertilizers. I’m  talking about helping them with finance that would help them to go out to produce which is at the moment is a major problem for them.The banks are not necessary prepared to lend partly because they do not have a trading history. Partly because they don’t have collateral, partly because the interest rates that banks charge are ridiculous. I mean I work for an  investment fund that manages a billion dollars, and I am responsible primarily for identifying companies to buy, African stocks and shares to  invest in, projects to do, and sometimes, I am pretty taken aback when I go to a tiny African country, or even larger African country like Nigeria, and find banks charging something like 18, 20% interest, not just that, they want their money within a year. If you look at what employs the majority of people in larger, in most African countries, you are very likely to come up with agriculture as the key thing. But if you look at the lending, the loan books of banks, what proportion of their lending goes to agriculture? You would be appalled to find out that in some places, it is as low as 2% in an economy that has 80% or 60 – 70% of people being employed by agriculture. So I think while the implications of recent events in Japan are likely to mean that the place of low carbon in the Energy mix is now going to have to be taken slightly more seriously. If not because the economics are right. If not because the governments are not prepared to do it, but simply because public sentiment is moving quite shapely in the opposite direction. Now this presents opportunities for us. But of course, but we have to take a very, very responsible approach to it. Because there is a huge risks that it might actually end up beckoning the people that it is supposed to benefit. .  I would stop here. I hope the few things that I have had to say have given you something to think about and I am happy to take any questions you have. Thank you  Sound bites at the  okra eXpress Brussels event banging the drums to boost investment

    Let's talk about sound bites from The European Parliament, Brussels

    Eva Joly - Grenoble 2012 (3).jpgCoat of arms or logo European Parliament, Brussels

    To further discuss the unresolved issues, okra eXpress got in touch with prominent international leaders and called upon a highly respected and World renowned Brussels based French judge, specialised in financial affairs, who in 1990 joined the High Court of Paris (Court of Cassation) as an investigative judge and is currently a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for France and the Lady Chairman of the Development Committee of the European Parliament, Brussels. The chairman delivered her keynote speech at the okra eXpress Brussels event, an event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, in November 2010, told the okra eXpress audience, and stressed that the Joint Africa EU Strategy (JAES) needed to be made a reality, she argued. She highlighted three issues,

    1. Tax policy
    2. Food security
    3. Human rights, on which she said action was urgently needed.Tax havens were an inducement ‘for African leaders not to care about development and for multinationals not to pay taxes’, and ‘land-grabbing’, whereby countries like Malawi, Madagascar and Ethiopia were ‘giving away their best land’ - not for food but for biofuel production - should be banned. In her office, the  Lady Chairman from The European Parliament, Brussels, said, she was seeing people who were really suffering from violations of human rights. There would be no development while this continued, she predicted. Sound bites at the okra eXpress Brussels event banging the drums to boost investment

    Let's talk about sound bites from the UK All party Parliamentary Party on international Development, UK

    DfID.svgParliament UK
    Delivering his keynote speech at the okra eXpress event in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, an event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, held on 29 October 2008, a British Member of Parliament (MP) and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on International  Development, a barrister and journalist turned politician  told the audience at the the okra eXpress event, "Investments that come from outside Africa need to be done in a way that genuinely provide a return on Investments but also provide a share for those who are involved and especially for local people who are engaged in it. So of course for that to happen, you have to have real meaningful trade opportunities that allow developing countries to build their home markets but also to ensure that they have access to developed countries. Your Excellencies, I hope you will accept that this is a really good event and the participation, particularly of the Ambassadors and High commissioners I think is important but the interaction, I am quite sure is even more important". Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from The European Commission, Brussels

    http://www.euro.cauce.org/en/countries.html
    Speaking at the okra eXpress event in Brussels, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress in Brussels on in February 2010, the European Commission's Head of Unit, Directorate-General, Development  and Relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific States, addressed the audience, and gave his assessment of the JAES’ achievements. There had been ‘extremely significant results in most areas’, he said. In particular, there was a greatly enhanced political dialogue, with for example discussions about peace and security every six months, at ministerial level, which had enabled Europe and Africa to speak with one voice on a number of urgent issues. On climate change and energy, the dialogue had also facilitated "common declarations". It had also had positive effects on EU and AU institutions, moving their communications beyond ‘closed circuits’ to working more closely with member states and external actors. The European Commission's Head of Unit, Directorate-General, Development and Relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific States, said the idea of working with the people, with civil-society - parliaments, private sector and non-state actors – was a pillar of the JAES, but so far had had mixed results, and finding ways for non-state actors to participate better in the EU-Africa partnership was a prioritySound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talks about sound bites from from African Union

    Speaking at the okra eXpress event in Brussels, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress in February 2010, The African Union's Ambassador, African Union Representative to the European Union, Permanent Mission in Brussels, agreed with the European Commission's Head of Unit, Directorate-General, Development  and Relations with African, Caribbean and Pacific States that it would be illusory to draw conclusions about the JAES from its first two years. He remained ‘optimistic’ about the strategy. It was an achievement in itself, he suggested, for heads of state from Europe and Africa to meet en masse as they had in Lisbon and discuss their differences frankly. He reminded the audience that seven years had elapsed between the first EU-Africa summit in Cairo, in 2000, and the second summit, illustrating the scale of the challenges that African and European leaders had set themselves. The African Union's Ambassador said that progress with the JAES since Lisbon had been ‘encouraging’, with political dialogue ‘enormously reinforced’. The two main challenges that he anticipated were to persuade heads of state to attend the next summit, and ‘to win" the media battle’. The African Union Ambassador, stated that the media could do far more to promote the partnership between Europe and Africa, and in some respects were an obstacle. He challenge the media to make Africa  attractive to Europeans ‘to present Africa as a place where one can do business, where one can  invest, where there’s a developed public sector’. There was a need for the media to tell the success stories, he said. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments 

    SJ Berwin LogoSound bites from SJ Berwin London

    Speaking at the okra eXpress event in February 2009, in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, Houses of Parliament,  inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, SJ Berwin's Lawyer, Senior Associate, told the audience at the okra eXpress event "Not too long ago Africa was been regarded as impoverished continent. The idea of an EU Africa Summit in the British seat of government would have been laughable. But here we are today. Most people a few years ago would have said that what business”? But there is a lot of business been done in Africa now which is why we are all convened here today. Happily the images of Live Aid and you know starving children is through receding and hopefully we are seeing more positives messages and it is hoping that those messages that we would be talking about at the networking today. Today the statistics that we hear more of in Africa are the GDP growth, if you know 6 – 8% year on year, the increase in the market capitalization and growth of African stock markets of 60 – 100% a year. The increasing foreign reserves of African countries, and foreign direct investment into Africa, and those are the positive images that I am thinking of that we need to focus on and see how we as a group of people can continue to encourage.  As I said earlier on SJ Berwin is a leading private Equity firm, and just to give you some Private Equity statistics that have just recently come out the Emerging Markets Private Equity Association, in 2008, the amount of money raised for Africa by Private Equity funds increased by 37% from that in 2007. Some $3.3 billion raised by private equity for houses foreign investment in Africa.  The number of funds increase from 21 sorry, increased from 16 to 21 between 2007 and 2008. So those are the messages that I am going to deliver. And hopefully the audience and the panellist here will hopefully deliver some more positive messages. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from okra eXpress and Mishcon de Reya

    On Tuesday 1 December 2009, Mishcon de Reya in partnership with okra eXpress, brought together a group of experts to discuss the role that advocacy can play in effecting lasting change in Africa. This event on "Advocacy Strategies in Africa  was chaired by Mishcon de Reya's  Deputy Chairman and Head of Public Advocacy. 

    The following are sound bites from the “Advocacy Strategies for Africa”. Mishcon de Reya event in partnership with okra eXpress

    • The Media

    Media offers an invaluable means of communicating advocacy messages to a wide audience. However, it must always be used cautiously. In Africa the media can be vulnerable to corruption and in the West, the way Africa is portrayed is often very damaging. Sound bites from the “Advocacy  Strategies for Africa”. Mishcon de Reya event in partnership with okra eXpress

    • Corruption

    Photo: Preparations are well underway for our 20th birthday celebrations and Integrity Awards ceremony tomorrow in Berlin!   More info here: http://transparency.org/20years - follow our livestream tomorrow and get in on the action by putting a question to our panellists! #TIat20

    Corruption can operate to dis-empower citizens. The corruption Perception Index (CPI) is one of the unique tools used by Transparency International (TI) to tackle corruption. The aim of the index is not to name and shame, its value lies in its ability to influence the actions of governments. An Executive Director from Transparency International pointed out at the event that the CPI was only one of the advocacy strategies adopted by TI. He emphasised that engaging at all levels of society was crucial and that the private sector had an important role to play in the fight against corruption. Sound bites from the “Advocacy  Strategies for Africa”. Mishcon de Reya event in partnership with okra eXpress

    Let's talk about sound bites from Japan Bank For International Cooperation, Japan

    Centered red circle on a white rectangle. 

    Speaking at the okra eXpress event, on 30 October 2008 inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, The Chief Representative of Japan Bank for International Cooperation, (JBIC), addressed the audience at the okra eXpress event and this was what he said. It is a great pleasure to be given the opportunity to make a speech today. I’m responsible for business in the UK, northern Europe and Africa at JBIC London officeNow, let me share what’s been going on in Africa  recently. Actually, Japanese companies have already started direct investment in Africa and JBIC is engaged in providing the financial support for such projects individually. Let me share some examples.

    1. MOZAL Aluminum Smelting Plant in Mozambique where Mitsubishi Corporation has made an  investment is one of themThis project is not only successful as a business, but is seen as a successful model of direct investment where part of the profit is returned to the local communities, where social infrastructures are being built. JBIC is providing financial support in the form of Project Finance.

    2. Another example of JBIC’s support by Project Finance is Ambatovy Nickel Project in Madagasca a project in which Sumitomo Corporation has made an  investment.

    3. Other projects we support include Phenix Logistics, a texitile business in Uganda and a mosquito net manufacturing business in Tanzania in which Sumitomo Chemical has made an investment.

    4. We have received a request to provide financial support for a coal mine development and coal-fired power plant business in Botswana which is being planned among the sponsors currently.

    In order to foster Japanese private business activities, in April 2009JBIC will establish the Facility for Africa  investment (“FAI”) which enables us to provide financial support through hard and local currency loans, equity  investments and guarantees as well as advisory service. I hope today’s brief introduction of JBIC is of some help to you.  Thank you very much for your kind attention. The Chief Representative of Japan Bank for International Cooperation, (JBIC), was speaking at the okra eXpress event, on 30 October 2008 inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpressSound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from China unicom, The People's Republic of China

    Speaking at the okra eXpress event held in July 2010, on Telecoms, Media and Technology investment and Future Trends, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress to bang the drums to boost investment in the TMT sector, the President of the China unicom European and African operations addressed the audience at the okra eXpress event to  highlight Telecoms, Media and Technology investment opportunities in Africa, other developing countries and beyond and why the Chinese are not actively investing in telecom operations overseas, and whether they will do so in the near future? Incidentally, President of the China unicom European and African operations the formidable speaker at the okra eXpress eventcommenced his career with China Netcom Group, a Chinese State-Owned Enterprise, in 2000 as the Head of International Operations.  He developed the group’s international business from scratch and established several overseas branches for the group.  The company later merged with part of China Telecom, and later with China Unicom, thereby becoming one of the largest full telecom service provider in China.  He held strategic senior management positions at the company headquarters in Beijing until 2007, when he was transferred to Hong Kong as the CEO for Asian and Middle East operations. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    BBC World ServiceBBC BusinessIncidentallythe President of the China unicom European and African operations gave two business analysis interviews with BBC World Service, and BBC Business News shortly after speaking at the okra eXpress event in July 2010 on TelecomsMedia and Technology investment and Future Trends. If  you  are keenly interested to have a copy of the BBC interview with the President of China unicom in mp3 format, okra eXpress will be immensely delighted to send it to you digitally upon receiving your request via this email bertha@okraexpress.com     

    On 10 February 2010, Mishcon’s Deputy Chairman and Head of Public Advocacy chaired the okra eXpress event on EU Africa Business Development – Trade and Investment: For Better For Worse, For Richer For Poorer, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress. Mishcon’s Deputy Chairman and Head of Public Advocacy introduced the speakers one by one to deliver their talks to the okra eXpress audience. “Good evening everybody, my name is … I am the Deputy Chairman of the law firm, Mischon de Reya and we are a huge fan of Bertha’s which is principally why I am here tonight and okra eXpress, I should say. We are assembled to discuss a matter of great moments and we have a great distinguished panel of speakers who are all going to speak in super quick time to allow for a maximum number of questions and answers. I am keen that there should be a dialogue, because everyone in this room has something to contribute. Can I ask….. who is the Director, Head of Africa Department, East Africa and Great Lakes, at FCO to start off the proceedings tonightSound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    http://www.euro.cauce.org/en/countries.htmlSound bites from The UK Foreign Office (FCO)
    Speaking at the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event, on 10 February 2010, the Director, Head of Africa Department, East Africa & Great Lakes, The UK Foreign Office, (FCO), addressed the audience at the okra eXpress audience, Ok. Thank you very much. So I’m very glad to be asked to speak. Particularly at something called “For Better For Worse For Richer For Poorer”, not least because I got engaged about three months ago. So my mind at the moment is entirely full of honeymoons, weddings, receptions, invitations and to remember the last five words my fiancés says so that I could repeat them back no matter what I am thinking at the time. I will try not to bring MDGs into my vows though I thinkThis is a great opportunity for me because I am quite new to this issue, now, I realise that someone saying that they are new to Africa tends to mean that they have been following it for two decades. Now in my case, I have been responsible for the strategy part of the Africa Directorate in the Foreign Office for a month. So what I bring you I’m afraid is not necessarily the in depth knowledge that you might have been hoping for, what we do in these circumstances, is bring someone with who has that in-depth knowledge, so my colleague ........... on the second row, is in fact the expert. I want to talk very briefly in four areas. I have got the questions that I have been  asked and I am going to turn them around, if I may to start off with

    1.       EU strategy towards Africa

    2.       Move on to the  question of one Africa

    3.       And then go onto the EEAS and post Lisbon structures

    4.       And sort of switch off in the end with about other  international partners if that’s ok

    The gist of the sound bites: "Our job is to remember that the relationship we have with Africa and African countries is  based on shared values and shared sense of  heritage of history, and it is our role to work with Africa and with China and make the best of  all our  contributionsThank you very much. UK's Director, Head of Africa Department, East Africa & Great Lakes, The UK Foreign Office (FCO) was speaking at the okra eXpress event on 10 February 2010 inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpressSound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from De Beers

    Wrapping up his talk at the okra eXpress event in February 2010, De Beers’ Director of International Relations, External and Corporate Affairs directed his comment to the Director, Head of Africa Department, East Africa & Great Lakes, The British Foreign Office, “I can’t finish without actually hoping, asking and making a comment that Jonathan, I do hope you bought your fiancée a diamond engagement ring. Because in that way, the real way, considering that the majority of diamonds come from those developing countries that choose to invest in their citizens, and in their infrastructure. So you would be helping in the development in Africa.  Thank you. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event by the Director of International Relations, External and Corporate Affairs, De BeersSound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from content and code - UK’s fastest growing technology business award winner by Microsoft

    Speaking at the okra eXpress event in 20 July 2010, and event on TelecomsMedia and Technology investment and Future Trends, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress to bang the drums to boost investment in the TMT sector, the CEO of content and code, UK’s fastest growing technology business by Microsoft joined other distinguished and formidable investors and industry experts to contribute to the positive talks presented to the audience at the okra eXpress event on the gist of the following discussions:

    1. We live in digital times. Are we up to speed in the digital age?
    2. Share views on and the impact digital technology is playing in this modern age
    3. Update on successful brands in the markets in today’s digital age
    4. Missed investment opportunities for the technology sector? What anti-hacking device can one fit into mobile phones?
    5. Shed positive spot light on the latest technology and future trends driving the digital market
    6. Highlight Telecoms, Media and Technology investment opportunities in Africa, other developing countries and beyond.
    7. Why the Chinese are not actively investing in telecom operations overseas, and whether they will do so in the near future
    8. To what extent does digitalization have an impact on technology, media and telecom industry?
    9. Broadcast media in the digital age. Current legal developments on the law and the media
    10. Specialist knowledge and understanding of Telecoms, Media and Technology – dealing with dispute resolution
    11. What are the major trends that may have an impact for TelecomsMedia and Technology companies and other industries in the next two years?

    The CEO of content and code addressed the okra eXpress audience in July 2010,  on TelecomsMedia and Technology investment and Future Trends, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress to bang the drums to boost investment in the TMT sector. Incidentally, content and code is UK’s fastest growing technology business. (Tech Track 100, 2010), voted best in the world twice and best overall partner in the UK. Microsoft Partner Network, 2010, winner, Country partner of the year, winner, 2010 worldwide partner of the year, winner, 2010 partner of the year, winnerSound bites from the okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments.

    Let's talk about sound bites from PepsiCo, USA

    Success Stories: The United States International Development, PepsiCo, and the United Nations World Food Program announced a groundbreaking Public-Private partnership(PPP) to maximise the production of chickpeas in Ethiopia. 

    U.S. Agency for International Development

    Speaking at the okra eXpress event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress in November 2011, held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, PepsiCo's director, agricultural Development and Sustainability told the okra eXpress audience that PepsiCo has partnered with the World Food Programme and USAID in a chick PEA project - Enterprise "EthioPEA" - which will enable 10,000 Ethiopian smallholder farmers to nearly double production, thanks to a plant to a plant breeding solutions, better cropping practices and drip irrigation. The food giant worked with local experts and none of the technology had to be imported. PepsiCo also has an Indian project which has helped 11,000 smallholder potato farmers to form cooperatives and obtain credit for drip irrigation, crop insurance and disease control packages with the product being sold at pre-agreed prices. PepsiCo is likely to expand this kind of collaboration as it continues to diversify its -Private global product portfolio. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from okra eXpress event

      

    Speaking at the okra eXpress event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress in November 2011, held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, PepsiCo's director, agricultural Development and Sustainability told the okra eXpress audience and quoted five food security goals.

    Five food security goals.

    1. Stop agriculture consuming more tropical land
    2. Boost productivity of farms with lowest yields
    3. Raise efficiency of water and fertilizer use
    4. Reduce waste
    5. Reduce per capita meat consumption. 

    Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from Standard Charted Bank
    DfID.svgCentered red circle on a white rectangle.
    On 30 October 2008, The Lady Vice Chairman, Capital Markets, Standard Chartered Bank and formerly British High Commissioner to South Africa, chaired the okra eXpress event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster and this was what she said “Ok, Good evening. Your Excellencies, Lords, Ladies and gentlemen. All protocol observed. Welcome to this evening and thanks very much for coming. My name is blah, blah, blah … and I am very happy to be here on behalf of Standard Chartered Bank who has a strong interest in Japan and a track record in Japan and in many other African countries. As you can see from your packs we have got a very packed agenda and some very distinguished speakers and our first speaker has to run and catch a flight so I do hope you all agree with me that we need to get started and get cracking. And I’ll keep the pleasantries and introductions to a minimum. I am sure that the High Commissioners and Ambassadors will forgive me as well as the British Member of Parliament (MP) and the Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on International Development. We have got a lot to listen to and a lot to take in. Hopefully some opportunity at the end for questions and answers, and also the opportunity also to mingle with less formality at the end of the speakers section. So without further adieu I will hand you over to the Rt. Honourable blah, blah, bla, Sound bites at the okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments.

    Let's talk about Sound bites from Nestle, Switzerland, the food giant and water management award winner


    Nestlé Waters

     
    Speaking at the okra eXpress event inspired, project manages and hosted by okra eXpress in November 2012Switzerland based, Nestlé's Strategic and Technical Adviser spoke about Nestle's Water Management strategy and practical solutions towards sustainable management and highlighted the following. 
    Creating the shared value - The Nestle in Society Approach - Nestle - Award winner Water Management
    • Our economic activities must  benefit the communities in which we operate. 
    • We will not sacrifice long-term development for short-term gain.
    • Going beyond sustainability, to create value for shareholders and society simultaneously. 
    • Development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments
    Let's talks about sound bites from okra eXpress event    
    At the okra eXpress event in October 2010, okra eXpress, invited the audience to reflect on the China – Africa Trade Statistics. okra eXpress highlighted that the Trade between China and Africa has grown tenfold since 2001. In 2009, trade stood at £107. billion. China, which has become a major investor in Africa, and has outlined its agenda plan of action for engagement in the continent over the next three years. While the debate on the pros and cons of Chinese investor is on-going. There is no question that China's influence is increasingly being felt on the ground in Africa. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from Eversheds, Paris 
    Eversheds logo.jpgSpeaking at the okra eXpress event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster in May 2009, Paris based Partner from Eversheds addressed the audience at the okra eXpress event on legal security and highlighted the following sound bites.

    OHADA Treaty main objectives

    1. Improving legal security and predictability in order to foster trade and investments
    2. Promote economic growth in Africa
    3. Modernize business law infrastructures

    Paris based Partner from Eversheds was speaking at the okra eXpress event on legal security. Sound bites at the okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from okra eXpress event

    Centered red circle on a white rectangle.

    On in 28 October 2010, the following sound bites were highlighted at the okra eXpress event at Asia House - The House with the Blue Plaque in swanky London. "Elinata Kasanga is a middle aged lady who lived in a village in a very rural part of Zambia. And in 2005, Elinata Kasanga had a conversation with Gordon Brown who at that stage was Britain’s Finance Minister. Gordon Brown had a telephone conversation with her she was in her village in Zambia, he was in Gleneagles in ScotlandGordon Brown official.jpgWORLD ECONOMIC FORUM ANNUAL MEETING 2009 - Tony Blair.jpg (We must point out that Mr Gordon Brown was acting in his capacity as chancellor of the exchequer under the direction and leadership of the then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, the blue eyed gentleman, a ballerina barrister turned Prime Minister.) Immediately after Gordon Brown spoke to Elinata Kasanga he went into a meeting with George W. Bush, President of the United States of AmericaGeorge-W-Bush.jpeg and Junichiro Koizumi the then Prime Minister of JapanJunichiro Koizumi in 2010and other world leaders. On top of the agenda of that meeting was Africa and Africa development and whether or not those countries were prepared to forgive the debts of the African nations. And Gordon Brown said to Elinata Kasanga, “It is for you and your family that we are having this meeting and this discussion”. In fact it was a very important meeting, because the countries did agree to cancel the debt, did agree at that point to cancel the debts of African nations including the debts of ZambiaOne year later, the BBC asked me if I could find out whether that had made any difference to the people of Zambia and the people of AfricaBBC World ServiceSo I was very privileged, to be able to travel into rural Zambia with the help of an NGO and they introduced me to Elinata KasangaAnd I asked Elinata Kasanga, has this made any difference to you? Elinata Kasanga doesn't have any access to television as far as I know, she doesn't have any access to a radio or newspapers, which is often the case of people living in rural Africa. But she did say one thing. She said during the past year, her husband had fallen ill. He had been to a clinic, taken some medicine, he got better, he returned to the village. He was able to work. he was able to support his family. And he was able to support Elinata who was also was caring for five more children whose parents had died of AIDS. Orphans being supported by that couple in that rural village in ZambiaThe next day I went to the clinic where her husband had received his treatment and the Doctor showed me a refrigerator on the side of the table in the clinic where the patients were treated. 

    And on the refrigerator was the flag of Japan, The Rising SunCentered red circle on a white rectangle.

    And inside the refrigerator were medicines that had been provided for by the people of Japan. That had made a real difference in that community. And the fact that the debts of Zambia had been forgiven, also gave the Zambian government an opportunity to spend more on crucial rural health care programmes. Elinata Kasanga doesn’t speak Japanese, but I think she would like to say Thank You to Japan for that.Centered red circle on a white rectangle.

    This is a very exciting time for the relationship between Japan and Africa. Africa’s economy is growing and there is an increase sense of stability and optimism in Africa. But there are also many challenges involved in doing business with Africa and in working out what that relationship will mean for both Japan and Africa in the years to come. And I hope that today we would be able to look at some of the opportunities and some of the challenges that that present for both sides who come from very different cultures and very different backgrounds. And yet have found many ways of working together to their mutual advantage. I am going to introduce to you a number of speakers to you today who have got different perspectives. And I am going to start by asking  our first speaker to give us an overview of as to way in which Japan and other Asian countries, have operated in Africa recently. And after our speakers have given us their presentations, I hope you will join us in a discussion and asking some questions about what you think are the key issues that face this crucial relationshipSound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from okra eXpress event

    The following Sound bites were highlighted at the okra eXpress event on 22 June 2011. Question from okra eXpress presenter: to the global formidable speaker and industry expert at the okra eXpress event on 22 June 2011. “That is fascinating. In my whole journalistic career, the low carbon projects that I even had the opportunity to talk to people about was an African project. In North Africa. “The desert… power station”. This was the idea of setting up huge mirrors in deserts which cannot be used for anything else, essentially, pointing the sun’s rays onto a huge vase of water as what happens in a regular power station and then all – well the plan, when I spoke to the founder five years ago was that this would generate enormous amount of Energy enough for most of North Africa and a quarter of Europe. Since then, I have heard almost nothing. Where did that project go?”

    Answer from the global formidable speaker and industry expert to the audience at the okra eXpress event. “I think you are quite likely going to start hearing about it again. There was one I looked at em… a while back, which was several hundred billion dollar projects. Em… just a tiny percentage of the Sahara which as you say quite rightly is enough to power the entire world. Em… when you look at projects like that, I mean, my firm tries to be a responsible investor. We don’t think profit has to be a zero sum game. So every project that we look at we balance its likely multiply effect on employment, and all these other sorts of things and it is  not just what is the highest rate of return. One of the things you have to look at when you talk about major western companies to invest in these sort of things is, are you really going to pack huge amounts of solar panels in a North African desert, generate all this electricity and export it to Europe while the continent you got it from is in darkness?  Is it? Are you going to be able to come up with a market solution that will allow you to produce enough electricity to supply and export? Because afterwards, people did get the investment and that investment has to be recompense in some way. So it is one of those interesting things. Speaking about that, South Africa has got some very interesting ideas as you know, Eskom, the National Power Producer in South Africa is suffering major problems with capacity. Its had to ration Power, mines which its economy depends on very heavily, has had to stop production sometimes, reduce production. So Eskom has been looking at similar projects, just across calamari, what have you. But, there is a lot of appetite for it. I would just caution that the design of the project should take account of local needs. Because if you don’t, what would happen at some point as we have seen with people going to Africa to produce food for export is that when the demand locally increases, the African governments will have no option, but to ban exports and we have seen that before. Now that’s a huge political risk and it’s not an interest on your investmentSound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Let's talk about sound bites from Aquila Capital Green Assets GmbH, Germany 

    Speaking at the okra eXpress event on 23 November 2011, on Investing in Agri business CommoditiesFood For Thought Event, held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, the CEO and Managing Director of Aquila Capital Green Assets GmbH, a German based company with three agricultural funds, addressed the okra eXpress audience and shed light on  responsible  investing in agricultureeconomically as well as ethically this was what he had to say, he agreed that GM crops will be part of the solution, with more recent GM varieties reducing the need for other outputs. Investing in African, farmland is not easy as investors might like. Restrictions on transferring land ownership in most African countries are a key reason why Aquila Capital has so far preferred “lower hanging fruit” in investment grade countries, although the CEO predicted huge institutional investor interest in Africa within few years. The downside to investor interest in African farmland, the CEO Argued, is that in the absence of strong institutions, sovereign wealth funds are fencing off and colonizing huge areas. China's example was not one to be emulated, he said. Aquila's  investors, by contrast, are put off by the lack of an institutional framework and regard investment in Brazil, never mind Africa, as already requiring “panache”. They are looking for “value storage plus cash returns” – Aquila’s farmland investments typically offer 10% IRR. Big money had been made from "development projects" in African agriculture, the CEO added. The CEO was managing director of Cargill's European Commodities merchandising division and head of global grain trading for NIDERA in Rotterdam before joining Aquila Capital.  Sound bites from the okra eXpress event, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    Germany based CEO and Managing Director, Aquila Capital wass speaking at the okra eXpress event on Responsible  investing in agriculture – economically as well as ethically. Sound bites at the okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments    

    Food for thought: Food waste reduction could help feed world's starving. Credit:BBC

    OnionsBBC World ServiceOne third of all food production is wasted, the UN estimate. "If food was as expensive as a Ferrari, we would polish and look after it". Instead, we waste staggering amounts. Professor Per Pinsrup-Andersen, head of an independent panel of experts advising the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization on how to tackle the problem. Some 40% of all the food produced in the United States is never eaten. In Europe, we throw away 100 million tonnes of food every year. And yet there are one billion starving people in the world. The FAO's best guess is that one third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted before it is eaten. Continue reading the main story

    Food waste

    33%

    of all food is wasted

    $750bn

    cost of waste food

    • 28% of farmland grows food that will be thrown away

    • 6-10% of greenhouse gases come from waste food

    • 39% of household food waste is fruit and vegetables

    Source: UN/FAO
    SPL

    The latest report from the expert panel of the UN Committee on World Food Security concludes that food waste happens for many different reasons in different parts of the world and therefore the solutions have to be local. BBC's Caroline HepkerBBC World Business Report. Last updated 2 July 2014 at 23.02 GMT. http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28092034

    BBC World ServiceBBC Business
    Incidentally,  the the CEO and Managing Director of Aquila Capital Green Assets GmbH gave business analysis interviews with the BBC World Service, and BBC Business News, on 24 November 2011, the morning after the night at the okra eXpress event. If  you  are keenly interested to have a copy of the BBC interview with the CEO and Managing Director of Aquila Capital Green Assets GmbH in mp3 format, okra eXpress will be immensely delighted to send it to you digitally upon receiving your request via this email bertha@okraexpress.com 

    Let's talk about sound bites from UK Department for International Development, (UK DFID) 
    DfID.svg Flag of Europe.svg
    Speaking at the okra eXpress event inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster in February 2009, to bang the drums to boost investment under the campaign strap line “Africa is open for business, development, trade and investments, an Economist and Head of Africa Regional Department at UK Department for International Development, (UK DFID), addressed the audience at the okra eXpress event and highlighted the following: “Foreign direct investment in Africa is more profitable than any other region”. The continent has a huge mineral and natural base and its labour force will increase. He predicted labour intensive, low cost manufacturing would move to Africa. Due to the financial crisis the IMF has reduced its growth forecast for Africa to 3% from 5%. Sound bites from the okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments
    Let's talk about sound bites from Standard Chartered Bank
    Speaking at the okra eXpress event in May 2008, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpresss, held  at 6-9 Carlton Terrace, a handsome building in Pall Mall and the home of the Former British Prime Minister, The now-deceased, William GladstoneStandard Chartered Bank's Economist and Regional Head of Economics for Africa, who is often called upon by the BBC to give business analysis interviews, delivered the keynote speech at the okra eXpress event and highlighted the following, "Since 2001, Africa has outperformed global economic growth, and one of the factors driving this has been the emergence of China as a major trading partner in Africa".  Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments
    You can hit on this link when you feel able for the sound bites at the okra eXpress event on China in Africa file:///C:/Users/Owner/Downloads/okraeXpressAfricaChinaBusinessInvest%20(1).pdf
    Let's talk about sound bites from De Beers
    Speaking at the okra eXpress event in February, 2008, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpresss, board member of De Beers, head of DTC in the UK and South Africa and chairman of the Boards of De Beers Partner DTCs in Botswana and Namibia addressed the audience at the okra eXpress event and highlighted the following. "We are in 50/50 partnership with the governments of the republics of Botswana and Namibia.  In Botswana our JV company – Debswana – mines the massive Jwaneng and Orapa Mines. In Namibia, where onshore mining is nearing the end of its life, we have investing billions of dollars in a fleet of offshore mining vessels which last year for the first time produced more carats than the land-based operations.  A Board member of De Beers, head of DTC in the UK and South Africa and chairman of the Boards of De Beers Partner DTCs in Botswana and Namibia was speaking at the the okra eXpress event in February 2008, inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    British Chamber of Commerce LinkToChina - Building UK China Partnership through business 

    British Chamber of Commerce LinkToChina - Building UK China Partnership through business

    Speaking at the okra eXpress event, on 24 May 2012 inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress, held in Parliament, Portcullis House, Palace of Westminster, the Chinese Executive Director, for the British Chamber of Commerce LinkToChina Initiative and Chief China Adviser at the British Chambers of Commerce, addressed the okra eXpress audience and highlighted the LinkToChina initative and their campaign in China to  boost UK China trade. He also gave an insight into the book he edited, "How To Do Business in the UK – A Practical Guide". In Chinese language

    The Synopsis of the book: The 120 page guide was launched in April 2012 at the flagship national Chinese Enterprise Outbound  Investment Conference, in Beijing attended by more than 1000 governmental and business decision makers,  investment agencies, chambers and media. Published in Chinese and distributed to over 40 provinces and cities in China, in addition to the 21 offices of the LinkToChina programme, How To Do Business in the UK has been written specifically for Chinese investors. It covers a wide range of business topics including UK investment from a Chinese perspective, UK science and technology, banking, legal practices, accounting and taxation, M&A, properties and immigration. Case studies of Chinese  investment in the UK are highlighted to showcase good practices of professional services and local authorities. Oxfordshire, Slough (and Segro Trading Estate), Bracknell and Swindon are illustrated as examples of good locations for Chinese  investment, where local authorities work closely with business community in welcoming Chinese investors. The guide also provides advice on how to find  investment projects in the UK through organisations such as the British Chambers of Commerce LinkToChina Programme and the chamber networks. 25 UK business opportunities from the subscribers of LinkToChina are included as examples. Sound bites about the LinkToChina from The Chinese Minister Counsellor of the Economy and Trade Office, Chinese Embassy in UK said: “This book offers exactly what the title says. It is very practical and offers excellent guidance. It is different from ordinary introductions of investment conditions about the country.” “What makes it especially valuable is that the book includes a large number of real  investment project opportunities. Sound bites at the  okra eXpress event banging the drums to boost investments

    About okra eXpress
    okra eXpress hosts series of multinational events bringing together  investors and targeted major players from industry and government with a particular emphasis on making more effective investments in developing world markets. okra eXpress cuts a slice across the continent offering creative and unique services with great ease in line with quality.

    The photos below are extraordinary photos taken at okra eXpress events inspired, project managed and hosted by okra eXpress. Alert: Copyright. okra eXpress owns the copyright of the photographs below unless stated otherwise. 


    Ladies never leave your handbag on the floor. You never see a gentleman leave his wallet on the floor, not unless he wants to give his pocket a rest. 
    Wear something pink. Pink makes girls wink  
    Alertokra eXpress owns the Copyright © of the photos above, unless otherwise specified

    Photographic memory V mental notes
    Whenever you enter into a dialogue with me, I will translate your words into images to have delightful 
    memories
     of youwith great warmth. So if you talk to me about rainbow 
    colours
     + snow white, I will 
    think
     about okra eXpress. 
    Think
     rainbow colours
    Think
     unmissable okra eXpress Have a great week. With all good wishes. 
    Lol
     + hugs, okra eXpress


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