Societe Generale continues its sustainable growth strategy in Africa During a press trip to Dakar, Societe Generale group confirmed the solid growth of its African operations, in line with its “Transform to Grow” strategic plan DAKAR, Senegal, November 29, 2018/APO Group/ -- A region of profitable growth for the group; A new organisation to promote a high level of operational efficiency; Launch of “grow with Africa”, a growth plan to foster positive transformation across the African continent. During a press trip to Dakar, Societe Generale (www.SocieteGenerale.com) group confirmed the solid growth of its African operations, in line with its “Transform to Grow” strategic plan. As part of the launch of its “Grow with Africa” programme, the Bank also announced several initiatives in partnership with international, regional and local clients and institutions in order to meet sustainable development needs in Africa. A pro-growth strategy With operations in 19 African countries*, Societe Generale has a unique positioning in the region, enabling the Group to offer its customers the expertise and knowledge of an international bank combined with the proximity of its local banking networks. With its roots in Africa stretching back over a century, the Group’s 11,500 staff members on the continent support local economies, serving 4.1 million customers, including 150,000 businesses. As announced in its strategic plan, the Group is targeting a compound annual revenue growth rate of 8% and profitability of over 15% by 2020 for its African operations. The Africa, Mediterranean Basin & Overseas Region Business Unit generated €1.52 billion in revenue in 2017, an increase of 11%. This trend continued in the first nine months of 2018, as the bank continued to roll out its strategy, building on its strengths to capture local growth.
  • Business customers account for more than 60% of NBI and outstanding loans. The bank is supporting this increasingly sophisticated client base, in particular via regional hubs of expertise that have proven their capability in more mature markets, such as structured finance or currency hedging solutions. Societe Generale has also decided to increase its outstanding loans to African SMEs by 60% over the next five years (+€4 billion).
  • In terms of individual customers, Societe Generale is looking to consolidate its leadership positions in several countries (Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Senegal, Guinea, etc.), specifically by drawing on the benefits of its high-end positioning, while remaining focused on improving customer satisfaction. The Bank is also forging ahead with its innovation strategy with the roll-out of YUP. This e-wallet solution was launched in August 2017 and currently has over 300,000 e-wallets opened and almost 4,500 agents. YUP adds around 1,500 new customers per day and is aiming for one million customers and 8,000 agents by 2020.
In order to deliver on this roadmap, Societe Generale is adapting its structure in Africa. Four regional divisions for Africa have been set up in Abidjan, Douala, Algiers and Casablanca, in addition to an organisation and IT system division in Casablanca. Specifically, this will enable the pooling of expertise, standardise processes and improve efficiency. The Bank is also looking to broaden its innovation initiatives, thanks to Innovation Labs in Dakar, Tunis and Casablanca, where new banking and non-banking solutions are being developed with start-ups and customers. Finally, the Group his strengthening its teams in Africa. With a strong renewal in the managerial structure, many African staff members well connected to local economies are being promoted to top management positions. Several initiatives on training, equality – such as the partnership with “Women in Africa” – and collective intelligence are also playing a key role in the Group’s inclusive growth strategy. Stepping up business initiatives to foster sustainable development in Africa      We believe that development in Africa is one of the collective challenges to which Societe Generale can contribute, and so the Bank made the decision to put its expertise and drive for innovation towards serving positive change on the continent. With the launch of the “Grow with Africa” programme, conceived in collaboration with several local and international partners, Societe Generale has identified four areas of development:
  1. Multi-dimensional support for African SMEs
In order to support SMEs, which are the cornerstone of African economies, Societe Generale will create “SME Centres” in each of its subsidiaries, bringing together under one roof the different organisations** that work together to promote business development. This initiative will go hand in hand with the Bank’s plan to substantially increase the amount of loans granted to African SMEs.
  1. Infrastructure financing
Infrastructure financing is a key aspect of development in Africa, especially in energy, transport, water and waste management, and even the development of sustainable cities. Societe Generale is deeply involved in infrastructure financing in Africa and intends to further increase its contribution. The Bank plans to double its African workforce dedicated to structured finance by 2019 and increase its financial commitments related to structured finance in Africa by 20% over the next three years.
  1. Developing innovative financing solutions
Societe Generale is dedicated to improving its support of agricultural industries, by working alongside all of the sector’s stakeholders, including farmers, cooperatives and SMEs. As such, Societe Generale is committed to providing access to a range of banking and non-banking services (healthcare, education, advisory) to one million farmers over the next five years, thanks to its YUP platform. The Bank is also focused on supporting energy inclusion, promoting renewable energy sources in areas that are not connected to the electricity network and supporting connections for households located close to existing networks.
  1. Promoting development through financial inclusion
For several decades, Societe Generale has been a key player in local economies, with the aim of improving financial inclusion among local populations. The Bank will continue in this direction by pursuing the roll out of YUP, which offers simple, accessible, bank-like products to a broad population, the majority of whom does not currently have access to banking services. The group has been active in microfinance for over 10 years and is committed to doubling its outstanding loans to microfinance organisations by 2022. Frédéric Oudéa, Chief Executive Officer of Societe Generale said: “Our long-standing presence in Africa makes Societe Generale an essential, well-placed player on the continent to serve as a unifying force around the challenge of responsibility and sustainably contributing to African growth. This ambition is a key part of our strategic plan. This is why we are launching “Grow with Africa”, an initiative that involves all stakeholders seeking to provide solutions to the specific environment in which sustainable development in Africa is expanding, and who are convinced that the futures of Europe and Africa are more closely linked than ever.”  The Group’s desire to contribute to sustainable development in Africa is also driven by the initiatives of the Societe Generale Corporate Foundation for Solidarity. The Foundation has already supported close to 100 projects promoting professional integration in 14 African countries, and the budget it dedicates to projects in Africa will be considerably increased over the coming years. * Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Morocco, Mauritania, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa, Togo, Tunisia ** public institutions, multilateral organisations, development agencies, educational institutions, private-sector companies, investment funds, etc. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Societe Generale.

Media Contact:

Corentin Henry

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+ 33 (0)1 58 98 01 75

Antoine Lhéritier

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+33 (0)1 42 13 68 99

Societe Generale:

Societe Generale (www.SocieteGenerale.com) is one of the leading European financial services groups. Based on a diversified and integrated banking model, the Group combines financial strength and proven expertise in innovation with a strategy of sustainable growth, aiming to be the trusted partner for its clients, committed to the positive transformations of society and the economy.

Active in the real economy for over 150 years, with a solid position in Europe and connected to the rest of the world, Societe Generale has over 147,000 members of staff in 67 countries and supports on a daily basis 31 million individual clients, businesses and institutional investors around the world by offering a wide range of advisory services and tailored financial solutions. The Group is built on three complementary core businesses:

• French Retail Banking, which encompasses the Societe Generale, Crédit du Nord and Boursorama brands. Each offers a full range of financial services with omnichannel products at the cutting edge of digital innovation; 

• International Retail Banking, Insurance and Financial Services to Corporates, with networks in Africa, Russia, Central and Eastern Europe and specialised businesses that are leaders in their markets; 

• Global Banking and Investor Solutions, which offers recognised expertise, key international locations and integrated solutions.

Societe Generale is included in the principal socially responsible investment indices: DJSI (World and Europe), FTSE4Good (Global and Europe), Euronext Vigeo (World, Europe and Eurozone), four of the STOXX ESG Leaders indices, and the MSCI Low Carbon Leaders Index.

For more information, you can follow us on twitter @societegenerale or visit our website www.SocieteGenerale.com

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Electrifying the Deserts of Africa This new two-day event will be hosted in Dakar, Senegal on 13-14 March 2019 DAKAR, Senegal, November 12, 2018/APO Group/ -- During last week’s Unlocking Solar Capital Africa conference, Solarplaza (www.Solarplaza.com) unveiled ‘The Solar Future: Deserts of Africa’, a new platform aimed at exploring the opportunities that accompany solar PV development in Africa’s deserts. This new two-day event will be hosted in Dakar, Senegal on 13-14 March 2019. “At Solarplaza, we want to facilitate the solar energy sector by expanding into new markets early on, markets that capture both opportunities and challenges. We believe that, by launching our African desert platform, we keep true to our mission of positively impacting the world by accelerating the sustainable energy transition,” said Lydia van Os, Africa Lead and Project Manager at Solarplaza. With a dispersed, but rapidly growing population, desert countries will need to tap into a combination of solar solutions, such as utility-scale power plants, mini-grids and off-grid applications, to create impact in regions that are disproportionately affected by climate change. Fully realizing the true solar potential of the deserts of Africa will require a vast effort, one that will need to align visionary governments, courageous development finance institutions, pioneering investors and experienced developers. Solarplaza seeks to support these efforts by creating the right platforms, like The Solar Future: Deserts of Africa (https://bit.ly/2T2ljBX), for these parties to meet, share ideas and form effective partnerships. As a preparation for this event, Solarplaza sought to take stock of the past, current and future initiatives related to the development of solar capacity in the African deserts, in order to provide context to the discussion we’ll aim to incite during the event. All of these desert solar initiatives as well as solar energy developments on a country level can be found in the brand new Desert Solar’ report (Africa.TheSolarFuture.com/desert-solar-white-paper). For the purposes of this report, namely determining the scope and scale of renewable energy ambitions in the region, the report included both photovoltaic and concentrated solar power initiatives and projects. Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Solarplaza.

For program and organizational related business, please contact:

Lydia van Os

Africa Lead, Solarplaza

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+31 10 3027907

For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please contact:

Laura Fortes

Account manager, Solarplaza

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+34 650046220

Media partnerships and press outreach, please contact:

Irene Rodríguez Martín

Marketeer

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+31 10 3027912

About The Solar Future Deserts of Africa:

The Solar Future: Deserts of Africa (Africa.TheSolarFuture.com) will take a deep dive into the specifics surrounding solar project development in Africa’s desert regions, including the countries that comprise the Sahara and Sahel deserts. These barren wastelands boast some of the world’s highest solar irradiation levels and offer sufficient availability of land. The governments that administer them are, together with financial and development institutions, actively promoting the development of solar capacity. Plans range from electrifying local communities to dreams of powering entire (remote) continents through the solar harvests of Africa’s deserts. Opportunities abound.

As a professional solar event organizer, Solarplaza has hosted over 100+ events in 36 countries around the world, ranging from exploratory trade missions in emerging markets to large-scale conferences with 450+ participants. The Solar Future: Deserts of Africa is Solarplaza’s 13th conference on the African continent.

For more information regarding the program, attendees and registrations, visit Africa.TheSolarFuture.com

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa, November 26, 2018/APO Group/ --

The second Black Industrialists Energy Summit (www.BIES-SA.com) will be hosted in Cape Town from 11-12 December as part of ‘EnergyWeek South Africa.’  This meeting takes place alongside the International Gas Cooperation Summit (www.IGCS-SA.com) and the Southern Africa Renewable Energy Summit (www.SARES-SA.com) at the Westin Cape Town Hotel.

Localisation policies have become a permanent factor for energy development in South Africa, with the B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice for the Petroleum and Liquid Fuels Sector forecast to be released later this year. The REIPPP Programme requires a 40% of South African entity participation, having already achieved black shareholding of 64.2% local ownership.

The Cape Town meeting will update delegates on Government’s plans for making the BIP a success and creating an environment where entrepreneurship in the energy sector can thrive.

Within two years of launching the Black Industrialists Programme (BIP) in 2012, 102 industrialists received funding while 48 companies were given assistance with market access. As recently as April 2018, the Black Energy Professionals Association was launched to increase ownership and build a base for Africa’s industrialists within the energy sector.

Director for EnergyNet’s Africa portfolio Valeria Aruffo commented; “With local content policies rolling out across the continent, we believe this is a key time to address the technicalities of delivering an empowerment programme which also needs to operate as a pragmatic growth strategy, supporting South Africa’s industrialisation efforts to achieve its economic potential.“

Delegates attending will learn about government strategies to achieve growth, what is expected of BIP participants and how Africa’s industrialists can create value, employment, revenue and innovation across the energy value-chain.

Participating organisations include the IPP Office, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA), Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA), Atlantis Green-Tech Special Economic Zone (SEZ), Standard Bank, Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and Solar Turtle.

Read more: Cape Town meeting to discuss next steps and...

Global energy and services company ENGIE, alongside its investment partner Meridiam consortium and Fonsis, the Senegalese Sovereign Fund, signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with Senelec, the Senegalese off-taker for two solar photovoltaic projects in Senegal, Africa.

Read more: ENGIE Signs 25-Year Power Purchase Agreement...

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 7, 2018/APO Group/ --

Greenpeace Africa (www.Greenpeace.org) blew the whistle today on the Republic of Congo's most recent greenwashing campaign by exposing its plans to tender three oil blocks in the heart of newly-discovered peatlands that Environment Minister Arlette Soudan-Nonault has vowed to protect. Four peatland oil blocks are already under allocation, awaiting development.

Tendering for the "Licence Round Phase 2" blocks began in September and is being actively promoted by the Congolese regime this week at the Africa Oil Week conference in Cape Town (1).

“It is shocking to see how the Congolese regime is playing the international community on peatlands. The same regime that claims to champion peatland protection at big media events is now showing the world its real intentions. This is a set back for peatland protection and we cannot just sit and watch while green commitments are used to hide the quest for financial profit,” says Victorine Che Thöner, Project Leader of Congo Basin Project at Greenpeace Africa.

Covering 145,500 km² – an area larger than England – the Cuvette Centrale peatlands in the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo are estimated to contain 30 billion tons of carbon or the equivalent of nearly 20 years of the fossil fuel emissions of the United States. They are home to communities that have been protecting them for centuries.

The Republic of Congo's Environment Minister was applauded only a week ago by the FAO and UN Environment at the launch of a new International Tropical Peatland Center in Jakarta. In her keynote speech, she waxed poetic about the "rich biodiversity" of the Congo Basin peatlands and vaunted the region's role in the regulation of the world climate. (2)

In March 2018, she and her DRC counterpart signed an 11-point "Brazzaville Declaration" promising to "put in place land use plans that guarantee the conservation and protection of peatlands."  But a clause about the "sustainable management" of zones covered by "economic activity" left the door open to business as usual. (3)

After "sustainably managing" the destruction of Congo's Intact Forest Landscapes for the international timber market, the regime of Denis Sassou Nguesso – in power discontinuously for more than 34 years – is now extending the phony "sustainable management" concept to peatland oil exploration.

One of the four peatland blocks already allocated is held by Italian major ENI, whose Milan offices were searched and documents seized last April in an investigation by an Italian court into alleged corruption in Congo. (4)  One of the others is held by French giant Total (5).

In all, 91% of Republic of Congo’s peatlands are covered by oil blocks. The new blocks span 17,915 km² of peatlands – the size of Kuwait. 

Last 22 September, Soudan-Nonault announced a 15 million euro commitment by the German cooperation agency GIZ to the "sustainable management" of Congo Basin peatlands.  GIZ has yet to communicate about the financing. (6)

Will it do so before international bidding to tear up the peatland oil blocks closes in June 2019?

Greenpeace Africa demands the immediate cancellation of tendering of Republic of Congo’s three new peatland oil blocks and of the contracts of its four existing peatland blocks.

Notes:

(1) Congo Licence Round Phase II 2018-2019, Ministry of Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Congo, https://www.Congolr2018.com/

(2) “New peatland protection center in Indonesia represents “triple win” for humanity,” CIFOR, 2 November 2018, https://ForestsNews.cifor.org/58437/new-peatland-protection-center-in-indonesia-represents-triple-win-for-humanity?fnl=en

(3) “Historic agreement signed to protect the world’s largest tropical peatland,” UNEP, 23 March 2018, https://www.UNenvironment.org/news-and-stories/press-release/historic-agreement-signed-protect-worlds-largest-tropical-peatland, “Troisième réunion des partenaires de l’initiative mondiale sur les tourbières (IMT) Déclaration de Brazzaville,” 22 March 2018, https://pfbc-cbfp.org/actualites/items/Tourbi%C3%A8res-doc.html?file=docs/news/Mars%202018/Signed-Brazzaville-Declaration_2.pdf

(4) “Eni offices searched in Congo Republic corruption probe,” Reuters, 6 April 2018, https://www.Reuters.com/article/us-eni-congorepublic-probe/eni-offices-searched-in-congo-republic-corruption-probe-idUSKCN1HD12Z, “Eni Congo sponsors $30 million search for oil, renewable energy,” World Oil, 16 March 2018, https://www.WorldOil.com/news/2018/3/16/eni-congo-sponsors-30-million-search-for-oil-renewable-energy

(5) Congo Licence Round Phase II 2018-2019, Ministry of Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Congo, https://www.Congolr2018.com/

(6) Facebook post on the official page of the Ministry of Tourism & Environment of the Republic of Congo, https://www.facebook.com/min.tourisme.cg/posts/2737469429612591

Read more: Republic of Congo Greenwashing Efforts Exposed...

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