December 7, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Heirs Holdings and leading Moroccan bank, Banque Centrale Populaire (BCP), on the 3rd December, 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on investing, co-financing, and exchange of information encouraging the identification of mutually beneficial investment opportunities across Africa.
Heirs Holdings is an African proprietary investment company with interests in financial services, power, oil and gas, real estate & hospitality and healthcare. Its operations are rooted in the economic philosophy of Africapitalism; which proposes private sector-led long-term investment in Africa by Africans.
The aim of the MOU was for both organisations to bring relevant experience as they work together to find new ways to create African solutions to African development challenges.
Both institutions signed the MOU during the signing of bilateral relationship between King Mohammed VI of Morocco and President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja Nigeria and the agreements, aimed at strengthening economic ties between Morocco and Nigeria.
The agreements covers the areas of investment, training, youth skills-building, oil and mining, tourism, infrastructure, banking, finance, insurance and logistics and represent the desire on the part of both countries to deepen political and economic ties.
The framework document, which outlines cooperation areas between Heirs Holdings and BCP, was signed by Heirs Holdings Chairman Tony O. Elumelu, who is also Chairman of the United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), operations in 19 African countries, signed an investment and cooperation agreement with Attijariwafa Bank on behalf of UBA with the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Banque Centrale Populaire BCP Mohamed Benchaaboun.
Both organisations, which have invested significantly in growing pan-African networks, will collaborate to identify common areas of interest and encourage investments in Morocco, Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
According to Tony Elumelu, the MOU is an opportunity for the private sectors of both countries to collaborate to leverage on opportunities for sustainable economic growth and that it shows that the leaders are committed to intra-African trade and to prioritising commercial relationships across borders.
“As businesses that both share a Pan-African perspective, we recognise the importance of intra African trade as a pillar of the continent’s economic transformation,” he said.
He added that his Tony Elumelu Foundation would continue to support youth skills development in Morocco and North Africa as a whole, through the Foundation’s $100 million Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme, which identifies, trains, mentors and funds 1,000 entrepreneurs from across Africa, each year.
Also speaking, Mohamed Benchaaboun highlighted the opportunities in Nigeria and beyond in Sub-Sharan Africa and that the agreement marks the beginning of a long-term partnership that will deepen African integration and help build confidence in both countries, as well as the continent as a viable investment destination.