• Emerging Technologies, Co-investing, Integration and Rapidly Changing Landscape Driving TMT Activity

    March 12, 2019 • Press ReleaseComments (0)

    Africa’s TMT sector continues to show impressive growth

    Global, March 12, 2019 – Global mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) activity in tech and telecoms rose to USD 439 billion in 2018 as transformations within the sector continued and the emergence of disruptive cloud, mobile, social and big data analytics technologies drove deal making. The sector had an exciting and strong year for M&A, up 21% from 2017. Megadeals have dominated the headlines.

    According to Baker McKenzie’s Global Transactions Forecast, issued with Oxford Economics, big-ticket transactions set for completion in 2019, and favourable market trends are expected to increase global M&A activity, with deal values predicted to increase a further 4% to USD 457 billion.

    Michael DeFranco, Global M&A Chair, said: “Despite the challenges facing the sector, businesses in all industries are increasingly looking to technology to change the way they do business and propel them in their markets. As the convergence of media and technology, direct-to-consumer capabilities, the cross-sector acquisition of technology, and the expanding demand for data and AI continue, deal making in tech and telecoms will remain buoyant in 2019.”

    Initial Public Offering (IPO) value in tech and telecoms rose to USD 68 billion in 2018, compared to USD 21 billion in 2017, boosted by large listings as well as activities relating to spin-offs from the big tech players. Chinese tech start-ups also continued to look at the US for better fundraising options.

    Ashlin Perumall, Senior Associate in the Corporate/M&A Practice at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg said that the technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) sector in Africa would continue to show impressive growth in 2019, with transactions expected to exceed earlier predictions of M&A investments worth USD 5.9 billion in 2019.

    “Increasing M&A deals and IPOs in the TMT sector in Africa point to the growing reliance of African consumers on technology across multiple platforms. The unabated demand for technology has caused extensive cross-sector disruption in Africa, with, for example the financial, energy, transport, retail, health and agricultural sectors all seeking opportunities to expand their tech infrastructure in order to acquire the necessary skills and innovation needed to keep up with demand.”

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  • Aurecon IRMSA


    November 16, 2017 • Design & TechnologyComments (0)

    Aurecon was announced as the winner of the Professional Services Category for the fourth consecutive year at the 2017 Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA) gala awards dinner, held on 2 November at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Gauteng, South Africa. The global engineering and infrastructure advisory company received this award for its involvement in a feasibility study for a planned Halal Industrial Park in the Western Cape. While Aurecon Principal Program Advisory, Simon van Wyk, was the runner up for the Risk Manager of the Year award.

    Aurecon’s ongoing success in risk advisory is largely thanks to the unique combination of technical knowledge and risk advisory experience within the team. Van Wyk says that not only is Aurecon able to understand its clients’ worlds at a technical level, but their unique design-led thinking risk management approach helps them to offer something that’s completely different in the market.

    What sets Aurecon apart as an advisory firm

    “What sets us apart from other advisory firms is our ability to uncover the uncertainties that will ultimately determine a project’s success. By asking the right questions, we’re able to help clients make sense of complexities, interdependencies, and future risks. We are honoured to again be recognised with a prestigious IRMSA award and we look forward to helping deliver further exciting projects in a manner that will continue to inspire Africa,” says van Wyk.

    Central to the category win for Professional Services award was the Aurecon team’s work on a first-of-its-kind Halal Industrial Park development for the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT). Aurecon was a member of the professional team appointed to undertake the feasibility study and business case for a Halal Industrial Park, which aims to grow the province’s share of the global Halal market from < 1% to 2% by 2025.

    To establish context in an unknown field, Aurecon’s Risk Advisory team created a new risk management approach that enabled the team to critically assess the contextual internal and external issues that could influence the viability of the project ahead of the project design. Deep contextual understanding of what drives project success led to clear risk identification that assisted the client with decision making and creating a confident path forward.

    “Aurecon used an entirely new approach to determine the effect of uncertainty on our key objective, which was to prove if there is a need for a Halal Industrial Park in the Western Cape and to provide key marketing material to ultimately secure a developer for the Park that complies with international best practice standards. Aurecon provided value through certainty as it became apparent that context is the essential link to holistic decision making; a paramount requirement for the Halal Industrial Park,” commented Aurecon’s client on the project, Nazeem Sterras, the CEO of the Western Cape Fine Food Initiative.

    For every $1 billion spent on projects, $51 million is lost because of poor sight of the uncertainties that lie ahead, according to the Project Management Institute in 2015. By turning uncertainty to certainty, companies can understand how losses can arise and how they can be ultimately prevented.

    “Aurecon’s risk advisory team has created a tested methodology that gives a company sight over the issues facing its goals, and greater control over how they will impact the organisation or project. We are mastering our craft of hybrid risk management which brings the best solution to the most complex problems; it’s a differentiator that is being recognised by industry,” concludes van Wyk.

    Contact details

    Danielle Bond
    Head of Marketing & Communications, Aurecon
    T +61 3 9975 3138 F +61 3 9975 3444 M +61 412 870 987


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  • systemspecs


    November 16, 2017 • Learning & Education, West AfricaComments (0)

    SystemSpecs, one of Africa’s leading financial technology firms, in alliance with the Lagos State Government, is expanding the frontiers of technology by empowering young Lagosians to significantly contribute to the advancements of the future, through CodeLagos.

    This revelation was made as the scope of the CodeLagos—an initiative of the Lagos State Ministry of Education aimed at teaching how to write code and creatively solve problems—was recently extended to out-of-school centres. This is in order to further broaden access to coding education for Lagos residents.

    In its first phase, the project trained more than 5000 students from 65 schools, including public and privately-owned primary as well as secondary schools across the state. The programme has now been expanded and will run in about 150 schools in the State.

    “By January 2018, the programme would have expanded to a minimum of 500 schools across the State, while the Out-of-School programme will expand to all the public libraries and selected community centres,” said Obafela Bank-Olemoh, Special Adviser to the Governor on Education.

    Speaking on behalf of SystemSpecs, its Executive Director, DeRemi Atanda noted that the firm has partnered with the Lagos State Government as part of its commitment to empower the next generation of innovators who will drive the future of work.

    “We know that technology is a major enabler of any thriving economy, and acknowledge the importance of building capacity in that area.”

    “Our vision is to lead efforts to develop the next generation of innovators and ensure that Nigeria becomes a net exporter of software technology solutions and services in the next few years,” Atanda said.

    CodeLagos’s out-of-school classes will start in 4 centres: Herbert Macaulay Library, Yaba; Ilupeju Public Library, Ilupeju; Isolo Public Library, Isolo; and Onikan Youth Centre, Lagos Island.

    SystemSpecs, developers of Remita – an innovative electronic payment solution, is a sponsor of the CodeLagos initiative and one of Nigeria’s leading investors in technology capacity development.

    By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria


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    November 12, 2017 • Government & Tech, InnovationComments (0)

    The Vice President of Ghana, Dr. MahamuduBawumia, Friday, urged the Domestic Tax Revenue Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority to take advantage of technology to implement an e-solution platform – the total revenue integrated processing system – to administer taxes.

    “With this, tax administration will not only reduce the turn-around time for taxpayers to do business but will also improve
    service delivery,” he stated.

    He said the country had reached a stage in her development, where it could not progress without adopting appropriate, current and improved technology to make tax administration convenient for taxpayers.

    Dr Bawumia was speaking at the closing ceremony of the 38th Commonwealth Association of Tax Administrators (CATA)
    Annual Technical Conference, in Accra.

    The five-day conference, which was on the theme: “Leveraging Technology to Enhance Revenue Administration”, brought
    together 209 participants from 18 Commonwealth countries and International Tax Organisations.

    The discussion of the conference was developed around two sub topics; “Facilitating, Monitoring and Enabling Compliance through Technology and Equipping Staff with skills to deliver in an Increasingly Digital Environment.

    He charged the participants to be ambassadors of what technology could do and take the initiative in recommending e-solution
    to deal with issues.

    He said the Customs Division of the GRA in September, this year, started the implementation of a paperless clearance of goods from the ports and these two platforms were greatly helping in the GRA’s revenue mobilisation drive, which was an ample testimony of the what technology could achieve when properly leveraged. 

    The Vice President urged the delegates, especially those from developing parts of the Commonwealth, not to lose sight of what technology could achieve for revenue administration.

    A communiqué issued at the end of the conference also underscored the need for deploying technology to maximise receipts from taxes.  

    Mr Duncan Onduru, Executive Director of CATA, read the communiqué, which said the Association recognised that domestic
    revenue mobilisation played a key role towards the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals.

    The Communiqué said many Member countries were undertaking or considering far reaching reforms and a modernisation agenda with the aim of improving their internal processes, systems and procedures to respond to the evolving needs of the taxpayers and changing business environment.

    It said recognising the increasing importance of digitisation was a critical feature of tax administration of the Century; the Association adopted the theme of the conference.

    It emphasised that investment in technology was critical to responding to the emerging business models as well as managing the cost of tax collection and improving compliance.

    The communiqué said issues arising from the Conference reiterated CATA’s commitment to continue fostering of partnership among Members and to exploring options.

    It expressed gratitude to Members who continued to support CATA training programmes by offering facilities.

    It also encouraged Members to take advantage of the capacity building initiatives that the Association was pursuing and extended its appreciation to partner organisations, which were working with or assisting CATA in the furtherance of its outreach programmes.

    It welcomed the commitment of the international community to the Addis Tax Agenda to support revenue mobilisation in developing countries.

    The Communiqué called for continuous engagement by developing countries during the implementation of Tax policies and noted the critical role that digitisation would play in the current transparency in tax reporting and exchange of information among countries.

    It said the Association welcomed the move towards the creation of the network of tax organisations as a viable platform for building synergies among organisations in their effort to provide service to the mutual members.

    The Association was committed to exploring opportunities for sharing of experience and best practices, for example, through facilitation of study visits, sharing of research findings and providing experts to facilitate CATA capacity building events through leveraging available technology platforms.

    By Morkporkpor Anku, GNA


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    November 12, 2017 • InternetComments (0)

    In the same way, the United States has embraced its technological supremacy, both offensively and defensively, to build its own global empire without a physical presence in any of its “colonies.” The sole remaining superpower is at the forefront of every major technological advancement….

    [Knowledge And Wealth]

     Oil has made us billions and fuelled our economic stability, but oil has also become the bane of our existence. For some, it is a curse that has caused poverty and corruption, but for others it is an essential source of untold wealth and power. But as the gap between rich and poor countries continues to expand, it is clear that intellectual capital and technology rule the world, and that natural resources such as oil, gold, and diamonds are no longer the primary determinants of wealth.

    Surprisingly, nations with few natural resources demonstrate greater economic growth rates than OPEC countries. Japan’s economic growth, driven by technological superiority, outpaces that of Saudi Arabia; South Korea is growing faster than oil-rich Nigeria; and Taiwan’s economy has moved well beyond that of oil-rich Venezuela. The United States and Norway are also rich in oil, yet their staggering economic growth comes from intellectual capital.

    In reality, it is not money but intellectual capital that drives prosperity. More important, perhaps, is the reality that poverty is driven and sustained by a lack of intellectual capital. The intimate relationship between intellectual capital and economic growth is as old as humanity itself, and is well illustrated by this parable from ancient Babylon (modern-day Iraq). A man asked his children:

    “If you had a choice between the clay of wisdom or a bag of gold, which would you choose?”

    “The bag of gold, the bag of gold” the naïve children cried, not realizing that wisdom had the potential to earn them many more bags of gold in the future.

    Seven thousand years later, Iraq — the cradle of civilization — has its own private bag of gold as it sits perched atop the world’s third largest oil reserves. Meanwhile, Israel, tucked away in the hostile terrain of a barren desert, has the clay of wisdom — the weightless wealth of intellectual capital embodied in the collective mind of its people.

    The striking economic gap that persists between rich and poor nations has increased sevenfold over the past century to what is now an all-time high. The accumulation of intellectual capital by rich nations has helped broaden this gap because it has enabled them to control technology and collect hidden taxes from less affluent nations. For instance, Nigeria pays a 40-percent “royalty” tax on its petroleum revenues to foreign oil companies that are ripping out its family jewels — the huge store of wealth in its oilfields. These oilfields started forming when prehistoric, dog-sized humans — our common ancestor with the apes — walked African grasslands on four legs.

    It’s a shocking reality, but the deep oil reserves laid down by Mother Nature millions of years ago and nurtured through the millennia in Africa have been whittled away within decades. And, for the dubious privilege of surrendering its natural resources forever, Nigeria is required to pay half its petroleum revenue in the form of “royalties” to the rich kids on the global block, the United States and the Netherlands. That oilfield has been exchanged for a bowl of porridge, and the black gold that should serve the underserved in Nigeria is helping wealthy Westerners get wealthier.

    Today, half the world’s population — three billion people — live on an average of $500 a year. In contrast, Bill Gates earns $500 every second. By controlling technology and taxing computer users, Gates has become wealthier than each of the 70 poorest nations on earth and using his financial might has conquered more territory than Genghis Khan, Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great combined.

    While Bill Gates is the new millennium’s Prince of Technology, he is by no means the first to have taken on the huge potential offered by the realm of technology. The Romans used roads and military technology to expand their empire. And, for centuries, Britain ruled a quarter of the Earth due to its unparalleled ability to command maritime technology and conquer the Seven Seas.

    Britain undoubtedly established itself as the world’s first superpower through its rapid and ruthless colonial expansion program. The British raised the Union Jack over Canada and Australia, India and Hong Kong, Egypt and Kenya, and countless other countries — even the United States. The Union Jack cast its shadow in every global time zone, giving rise to the saying, “The sun never sets on the British Empire,” a fact that was cold comfort to the colonized nations.

    In the same way, the United States has embraced its technological supremacy, both offensively and defensively, to build its own global empire without a physical presence in any of its “colonies.” The sole remaining superpower is at the forefront of every major technological advancement, which it has used to become deeply embedded in three-quarters of the globe. The US has accomplished a virtual economic colonization manifesting its presence throughout the globe by harnessing the power of technology and capitalizing on its clay of wisdom.

    Africa’s inability to realize its potential and embrace technology has left it at the mercy of the West. The time has come for Africa to seize the day and resist the efforts of America and others to leave their imprint and plunder its natural resources.

    Numerous examples throughout history support the idea that technology can be used as a tool of oppression. And there’s little doubt that America’s technological advancement has allowed it to exploit natural resources around the world. This is particularly evident in Africa, where the US is exploiting oilfields beneath the pristine rainforest — and being rewarded with a 40-percent tax at the expense of the African people. This lends credence to history’s assertion that those who control technology oppress those who do not, eventually enslaving them and, finally, wielding power around the globe.

    Excerpted from a keynote speech delivered by Philip Emeagwali at the African Diaspora Conference in Tucson, Arizona. The entire transcript is posted at

    Nigerian-born Philip Emeagwali won the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize, the Nobel Prize of supercomputing. He has been called “a father of the Internet” by CNN and TIME; praised as an “unorthodox innovator [who] has pushed back the boundaries of oilfield science” by UPSTREAM, a leading European oil and gas industry journal; extolled as “one of the great minds of the Information Age” by former US president Bill Clinton, and voted history’s 35th greatest African by New African.



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