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French Films To Make R14Bn Investment In South Africa



French firms will follow up their R20-billion in investment commitments made to South Africa in 2019 with a further R14-billion investment, an official said on Friday.

French Foreign Trade and Economic Attractiveness Minister, Franck Riester, who lead a business delegation to South Africa this week, said French companies made pledges worth a combined R20 billion during the second yearly South Africa Investment Conference, which took place in Sandton, Gauteng, in November last year.

Speaking during a briefing in Johannesburg, Riester indicated that the additional pledges would be made during the third South Africa Investment Conference, which is scheduled for 17-18 November 2020.

Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 event would be a hybrid one, with a physical event in Sandton complemented with virtual access, South Africa’s online Engineering News of Creamer Media reported on Friday.

Riester did not provide a full list of the new investments, but indicated that firms such as Air Liquide, which is buying Sasol’s fleet of air-separation plants, Canal+, which has purchased a stake in Multichoice, and Total, which has made significant gas finds offshore South Africa, were likely to be among those that made fresh pledges.

French companies were also eyeing opportunities that could arise as a result of South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, including those in the renewable-energy, transport, water and sanitation and digital infrastructure sectors, as well as planned smart-city investments.

France continued to view Africa and South Africa as important investment destinations for French businesses, Riester said, adding that this strategic priority would be underlined again when President Emmanuel Macron visits South Africa in 2021.

Macron’s plan to visit South Africa in 2020 was disrupted by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Riester was the first high-level foreign government representative to visit South Africa since the lockdown and said it was a signal of the importance the Macron government attached to building its relations with the country, especially in “times of crisis”.

French pharmaceutical group Sanofi and the UK’s GSK recently committed to supplying 200-billion doses of a Covid-19 vaccine under a global framework known as COVAX, which has been set up to facilitate equitable access to approved vaccines.

More than 180 countries, including South Africa, have signed onto the COVAX Facility to ensure timely and cost-effective access to Covid-19 vaccines.

Riester led a delegation that included 13 French companies, most of which were in the healthcare sector.

He met with Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel and also visited a pharmaceutical plant that had capacity to produce vaccines.


Entertainment Post Covid | Nigerian Cinemas Count Losses



It’s been months since COVID-19’s initial impact on the industrial sectors of the economy, resulting in losses among many businesses and complete shutdown of others.

The film industry was not spared and cinemas across the globe have also paid a huge price.

The Nigerian Cinema industry is believed to have lost about N8bn in revenue according to Filmone co-founder, Moses Babatope.

News Central spoke with the Executive Director of Genesis Cinema, Opeyemi Ajayi on the current struggles and the future of the Cinema business in Nigeria.

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Kampala to Host 2021 MAMA Awards



MTV Africa has announced that its music awards in 2021 will be hosted in Kampala, Uganda.

The music television station made the announcement on Wednesday in a conference held simultaneously in South Africa and Uganda.

MAMA Awards 2021 is to be hosted in partnership with Uganda “The Pearl of Africa”.

The announcement of venue of the award was disclosed in a virtual press conference broadcast from Johannesburg and Kampala by Monde Twala and Craig Paterson, Senior Vice Presidents and General Managers at ViacomCBS Networks Africa (VCNA), The State Minister for Tourism, Godfrey Kiwanda at Ugandan Ministry of Tourism and CEO of the Ugandan Tourism Board, Lilly Ajarova.

The Question and Answer session featured Ugandan music stars, Sheebah Karungi, Bebe Cool and South African rapper, Nasty C.

Monde Twala, Senior Vice President of VCNA said: “We are excited to bring this amazing showcase to audiences across the continent and globally with an innovatively re-imagined awards show and celebration.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, content production has embraced innovation as the new gold and we are excited to take Africa to the World and showcase its immense talent and culture as we stage the biggest music awards show on the continent.”

See Categories in MAMA awards;

  1. Best Female
  2. Best Male
  3. Best Group
  4. Best Breakthrough Act
  5. Best Collaboration
  6. Best Hip Hop
  7. Best Alternative
  8. Best Ugandan Act
  9. Best Lusophone Act
  10. Best Francophone Act
  11. Best International Act
  12. Video of the Year
  13. Song of The Year
  14. Artist of the Year
  15. Alone Together Lockdown Performance
  16. Listeners Choice
  17. Best Fan-Base Award
  18. Personality of the Year
  19. MAMA Legend Award
  20. MAMA Generation Change Award

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Nigeria’s Burna Boy, Mali’s Tinariwen Receive Grammy Nomination



Nigerian Afro-fusion star Burna Boy’s ‘Twice As Tall’ has received a 2021 Grammy nomination in what is the musician’s second straight selection.

Burna Boy’s second Grammy nomination on the trot was expected, as the title of his album represents everything he has become in the last one year.

The strategy behind the TAT album was to corner global attention to the quality of Burna Boy’s music. In the album, he had P-Diddy and Timbaland work with him on some songs and throughout the production of the album.

He must feel a level of vindication for his choices.

After the success of his ‘African Giant’ project, which earned him his first Grammy nomination, Burna Boy will walk with his head held high, should he win the much-coveted award but this won’t come easy.

Burna Boy’s Twice As Tall album has been nominated alongside “Fu Chronicles” — Antibalas, “Agora” — Bebel Gilberto, “Love Letters” — Anoushka Shankar and “Amadjar” — Tinariwen, all of whom will be deserving winners of the award.

He’ll slug it out in the Best Global Music category with another African group, Tinariwen, a Tuareg music group from Northern Mali.

Tinariwen group

Tinariwen was formed in 1979 and has won many awards. The globally-reputed group was nominated for its 2019 project, Amadjar.

Recall that Burna Boy lost to Beninoise singer, Angelique Kidjo in the same category in the 2020 Grammy Award.

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