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Head to the future news (edition 4-5-2020)

1. Egypt keeps investing in energy in spite of COVID-19

The Benban Solar Park in the Aswan governorate will see the opening of the new monitoring center postponed to the end of 2020. This big project grants 3.8 TWh of annual energy supply and is the fourth larger solar plant in the world.

“The government has pursued an energy diversification strategy, known as the Integrated Sustainable Energy Strategy (ISES), to 2035 to ensure the continuous security and stability of the country’s energy supply”

“Although the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) has postponed the tender closing date for the contract to build the infrastructure to facilitate electricity interconnection between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, it has stated that the successful bidder will be announced in June. The estimated budget for the interconnection line is US$1.6bn, and it paves the way towards establishing a unified Arab electrical network.”


2. Equatorial Guinea’s year of investment

The recent drop in price of oil doesn’t stop the announces year of investment in Equatorial Guinea. Officially no project has been postponed in the country and the fees to the service providers have been regularly charged.

“The 2020 Year of Investment is focused on building refineries and processing capacity, which are the projects that create jobs,” said H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons. “The role of the government is not to save everyone. Right now, companies are like someone who is depressed or sick. The first thing a company needs to do is recognize that it has a problem. Second, it needs to run a diagnostic and understand why it has a problem. In this case, the government is the doctor that provides the diagnostic.”

The investment is not limited to the infrastructures “Our 2020 fiscal budget secures a certain amount of funding for education and health,” said H.E. Cesar A. Mba Abogo, Minister of Finance, Economy and Planning. “Defining minimum allocations for the state budget has to be done. The pandemic is giving us the opportunity to rethink what we are doing when we dream about diversifying the economy. Everything we do does not make sense if the people are not at the center of it.”



3. COVID-19 recovery will be faster with renewables

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the African Union (AU), renewable energy allows states to provide a fast response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, as well as building more resilient energy systems.

If the pandemic highlights healthcare problems it also put on the spotlight the importance of efficient water supplies systems, to improve overall hygiene, agriculture, and the productive sectors

Renewable energy can cost-effectively supply the critical power needed in Africa’s rural communities to supply health centers, facilitate the provision of clean water, support agriculture, and facilitate other productive sectors. Such measures are critical to the continent’s ability to deal with the pandemic.”


4. COVID-19 is a growth chance for telecommunications

In the sub-Saharan Africa, mobile communications are becoming widely used, day after day. The overall traffic increases and the pandemic shows the importance of the new technologies to face the disease.

“In order to block the spread of COVID-19, it is clear that is necessary to isolate people with
symptoms, as well as people who recently have been in close contact with them. Today, we see applications being created and distributed that report health status and track contacts.”

GITGE ( Infrastructure Telecommunications in Equatorial Guinea) has decreased the unit cost of the IP transit services by 30%, in the application of directives from the Guinean Ministry of Telecommunications, and on top of that, has implemented an additional 30% in traffic growth free of charge. In summary, today, the oil and gas sector has better communications, in latency terms, and a 70% higher capacity than three months ago, without additional costs. We expect that these improvements will expand the use of telecommunications even more by the oil and gas sector and that this will improve their productivity and secure their operations during COVID-19.

5. What you can control

If nobody really knows when this situation will stop, and it is futile to stare to a dead wall waiting for the vaccine, a proper entrepreneur must face the reality and focus on what can actually control: what and how you communicate
Speak with your customers, partners, employees, and share your feeling about the future. Avoid any spreading of false myths and news about the virus. Don’t be brutally honest but don’t sugarcoat things either. Be straightforward about what’s going on, both good and bad. This will help to limit confusion and gossip, as well as minimize any shocks as new information comes in.

Since there is already talk of easing restrictions in some areas as the COVID-19 curve begins to flatten. Find the positive news stories where you can and pass them along. Reassure your employees and customers that you’re in this for the long haul.


6. An emergency checkup

“ We all need to be prepared to deal with things that wouldn’t even seem possible. It’s prudent to have plans in place for how to deal with all sorts of events from a virus to Earthquake and more.” Says an entrepreneur in Utah, recently hit by an earthquake.

These are his advices to handle specific situations like the one we are all facing:

  • Make a list – including contact information — of people, support services, and clients you may need to contact.
  • If you continue to work, be sure to job cost properly as you estimate. It’s important you are profitable — and that you have not bid below costs just to generate quick cash
  • the health and safety of you and your crew is vital to your business; So don’t take unneeded risks, so follow with caution all the precautionary measures that your government has listed.
  • Sending out or posting on your website a COVID-19 update from your company. We have all seen dozens of emails like this, but it is a simple way to let your clients know that you are still in business, that you are monitoring the situation, and that you are practicing safe practices.
  •    Another idea would be to send an additional letter from the CEO or company president. Let customers know that you personally are there for them and will work as hard as you can to ensure that your firm is able to handle all their needs.

7. Infection decline forecast


Assuming that countries will maintain strict lockdown measures, and cases will follow the general epidemiological outbreak bell-shaped curve, the peak and decline of the COVID-10 infection will be as follows:

Italy: Peak April 27th  Decline May 18th

United States: Peak April 13th Decline 8th June

Spain: Peak 8th April Decline 11th may

France: Peak 6th April Decline 11th May

Germany: Peak 30th March Decline 4th may

United Kingdom: Peak 13th April Decline 18th May

Turkey: Peak 4th may Decline 15th June

Iran: Peak 20th April Decline 11th may

Russia: Peak 27th April Decline 25th may

Source: Global Data


8. Are the enterprises optimistic about the future?

A poll made on April 19th shows the overall feeling about the optimism related to the future.

The question made in this poll was:

How optimistic are you about your company’s growth prospects?


It is encouraging to say that since March 13th the general positive feeling is above 50%, with a peak of 63% with positive and optimistic feelings.

Source: Global Data


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