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$1m for 10 African Netpreneurs, every year for 10 years; courtesy Alibaba’s Jack Ma!

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Alibaba Group founder and Executive Chairman Jack Ma through his Jack Ma Foundation has launched $10m ‘Netpreneur’ Prize, a new program created to support and fund African entrepreneurs who are working to address Africa’s most important challenges and further its digital economy through local entrepreneurship.

The prize was announced at the “Netpreneurs: The Rise of Africa’s Digital Lions” conference and is set to empower a new generation of entrepreneurs, and focusing on small business growth, grassroots innovation and women founders – and will award US$10 million to 100 African entrepreneurs over the next 10 years.

Read Also: Village Enterprise raises $3.5m to invest into entrepreneurs in Kenya & Uganda

Starting in 2019, the Jack Ma Foundation will host an annual pitch competition, with ten finalists selected from across the continent to showcase their talent and business ideas and compete for US$1 Million in prize money. All ten finalists will receive grant funding from the Jack Ma Foundation, as well as access to the Netpreneur community of African business leaders to leverage the community’s shared expertise, best practices and resources.

“As a fellow entrepreneur, I understand the importance of getting support during the early days. This prize demonstrates our support of the next generation of young entrepreneurs across Africa who are paving the way for a better future and imparting positive change in their communities. I am inspired and encouraged by these entrepreneurs who, together, will help build a sustainable, inclusive economy for Africa and for the world,” said Jack Ma.

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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed, signs exploration deal with Morocco’s energy ministry

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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed has signed a deal with Morocco’s energy and mining ministry and Adarco Energy for offshore natural gas exploration and production in Morocco.

NewMed made the announcement on Tuesday adding that it will collaborate with Adarco, and each will have a 37.5% stake in the Boujdour Atlantique licence.

NewMed CEO Yossi Abu said, “for a long time now we have recognised a huge potential in Morocco for collaborations in both the natural gas and renewable energy sectors.”

According to the deal, the remainder of 25% is granted to Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, in accordance with the Hydrocarbon Law of Morocco.

NewMed is the main stakeholder in Israel’s huge Leviathan offshore gas field and is looking to merge with Capricorn Energy to create a gas producer focused on Israel and Egypt.

Statista reports that in 2020, approximately 23.3 billion Moroccan dirhams (MAD) of gas and fuel oils were imported into Morocco. This was equivalent to 2.6 billion U.S. dollars and represented a decrease from the previous year when roughly 38.8 billion MAD (4.3 billion U.S. dollars) of oils were imported into the country.

Overall, Spain was the main trade partner in Morocco in terms of gas and fuel oil imports.

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Nigeria’s oil company, NNPC, signs separate gas pipeline deals with Ghana, Guinea, others

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Nigeria’s oil company, the NNPC have signed separate deals with the national oil companies of Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone in furtherance of the planned Nigeria-Morocco Gas pipeline project.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC, Mele Kyari; highlighted the roles played by the participating countries to make the planned commencement of the project to fruition.

“Today, we will be attaining another feat by signing five MoUs with the national oil companies and relevant entities from Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone.

“From inception of the project to this stage, concerted efforts have been made by the governments of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco, which led to the very commendable achievements recorded thus far.

“As the strategic vision of our great leaders gains momentum, I would like to express our appreciation to His Royal Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco and His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria for entrusting NNPC Limited with this strategic project,” he stated.

He added: “NNPC Limited will facilitate the continuous supply of gas and provide other enablers such as the required land for the first compressor station to be deployed in Nigeria, which is among the 13 stations earmarked along the pipeline route.”

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline mega-project had been first discussed during the official visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco in December 2016 to President Buhari in Abuja.

Nigeria and Morocco signed MoU for the gas pipeline in September which would link Nigeria to Morocco as well as supply West Africa and Europe.

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline mega-project had been first discussed during the official visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco in December 2016 to President Buhari in Abuja.

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