Archive for August, 2019

  • Culinary Delights
    wheatbaker

    Saraya deli a flavourful buffet experience at the Wheatbaker

    It was the 18th century, and in France, that the modern-day buffet was developed which soon spread across Europe. Serving a meal to oneself has a long and interesting history, but the original term buffet referred to the sideboard where all the various types of food was served, although, eventually this style of eating was converted to modern-day buffets. When I get ready to go to a meal that involves a buffet, I typically try to not eat anything before so I can have enough space to thoroughly enjoy the different food options.

    Read More :  Maison Kayser a taste of Paris, in Lagos


    I happened to be in Ikoyi for a meeting not too far from the Wheatbaker on 4 Onitolo road, so I decided to pop in for a quick lunch. The Wheatbaker is known to be an outstanding hotel in Lagos. It is timeless, luxurious and the story behind what we know as the Wheatbaker is quite an interesting one. The hotel is named after Amos Stanley Wynter Shackleford was born in the Maroon community of Charlestown, near Buff Bay, Portland, Jamaica, he was and industrialist and entrepreneur who started his career in the railway industry and when jobs on the Nigerian Railway were advertised in Jamaica, he took the opportunity offered and left for West Africa in 1913.

    He went into business on his own, setting up a bakery on a small domestic scale. This business flourished, and Shackleford introduced new production and marketing methods. The business expanded into other Nigerian towns, and in the 1930s into the then Gold Coast and he became known as the ‘Bread King’ and the bread as ‘Shackleford’. He eventually sold out and retired in 1950.

    The story of Amos Stanley a Jamaican who opened a bakery in Nigeria might explain why the bread is so fresh and delicious. The Grill Room which is one of 3 restaurants at the Wheatbaker is situated by the pool and offers an array of food options from roast tomato basil soup to  beef carpaccio and all the high-end steak, seafood and poultry you can imagine. I was very pleased to see the design and the amount of food present and exploding with excitement! They also have nutritious salads as well as vegan and vegetarian options.

    The Chef’s name at The Grill Room is Jannie Melis. When asked about his inspiration for his food he says “I just like to use good quality ingredients and allow the food to speak for itself is my main philosophy when it comes to cooking.” The buffet food was very flavourful and that is what I like the most about it. The wide selection of food originated from many places around the world. Something to take note of would be the beautiful cheese spread which you can scrape-out to your heart’s desire. Another notable point at the buffet would be the meat station which features several types of cuts from around Africa and South America. Every piece of food I ate from the smoked salmon, various cheese from gouda to cheddar, to the basmati rice and Indian flavored chicken, steak, lamb, and fresh vegetables. The Grill Room takes inspiration from Nigerian climate, South African and local cuisine, grills, seafood, pastas and much more.

    Wheatbaker

    I tend to stay away from buffets because I worry about quality control for large numbers. I worry about how each piece is carefully cooked because let’s face it not everyone knows how to cook large portions while ensuring each portion is equally delicious. Whenever I’m at the Wheatbaker out of habit I usually order straight from the menu but I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed my buffet experience at the Wheatbaker and can say that the food is of top quality and it is fresh.  As it was a rainy day, I had tea with my meal.  I particularly loved the English breakfast blend, it was delicious and had a hint of cinnamon. A perfect blend for a rainy afternoon.

    The Wheatbaker is a go-to place for many reasons, comfortable stay, a relaxing spa experience, great dining options, and event spaces too. It’s one of my go-to places in Lagos and I highly recommend it. It’s perfect for a business meeting, brunch on Sundays, afternoon tea or a midday lunch.

    Total – N11,000

    Service -4

    Taste  -4

    Value – 5

    This review was done by Lehlé Balde on behalf  of BusinessDay Media 

     

  • Culinary Delights

    Kohinoor the diamond restaurant in Ikate Lekki

    It was a rainy Sunday afternoon in Lagos and as work would have it we had a scheduled meeting for Sunday at 1 pm. As a food enthusiast, I was trying to find a place suitable for a Sunday lunch meeting. I decided to call my friend Edache Obe who is the founder of Dacheo Media a digital marketing company and Lagos Foodies Association, an official group of food lovers across Nigeria. He suggested we try out Kohinoor which is located on 72 Kusenla Road Ikate, Lekki.

    Read MoreNoir Lagos- The quintessential French restaurant in Lagos

    Ikate seemed far in my head but without the weekday traffic its a breeze to get to.

    Kohinoor

    On this occasion, I had a lunch meeting with my boss Oghenovwoke Ighure who is the Executive Director of the Department of Strategy Innovation and Partnerships at BusinessDay Media and Linda Ochugbua who is the digital sales manager at BusinessDay Media. They are both incredibly accomplished and intelligent individuals who are responsible for furthering so many important causes in relation to business, entrepreneurship and policy change in Nigeria and beyond. It is a great privilege to work with both of them.

    Read More: Discover Vanilla Moon where flavor and sophistication are king

    As I entered Kohinoor, I was blown away by the decor, the artwork and the attention to detail and effort put into putting the space together. The decor is out of the box yet classy. A high-end modern sports bar is the description that comes to mind. They even have authentic vintage motorcycles on the inside as decor, which is something I have never seen before in Lagos. After doing some research we found our that the name Kohinoor was birthed by the owner’s many visits to India. He came across the name “Kohinoor” and was intrigued by it. In India, Kohinoor is one of the rarest diamonds in the world. As one who appreciates some of the finest things in life, he was taken by the name & decided to christen his luxury restaurant, bar & lounge “Kohinoor Lagos”.

    Kohinoor

     

    The waiter greeted us and brought over the menu. The menu is vast at Kohinoor and one will never run out of options. The menu is a blend of continental and African dishes. After much deliberation and some help from our waiter, I decided to have the T bone steak which came with french fries and vegetables. The steak left a little to the imagination but the fries were very good and the veggies were fresh.

    Kohinoor

     

    Here is Linda’s review of Kohinoor;

    “Kohinoor is a well-planned and structured restaurant. I totally fell in love with the ambiance when I stepped in. The staff were extremely courteous and polite right from the doorman to the waiters. One other thing that will catch your attention is the wall paintings, the lighting, decoration, and the seating arrangement. I am still smiling at how impressed I was with their skills of paying attention to every single detail. The drinks came in quite quickly and it was nice. The chicken wings were extremely and spices were perfectly blended. The food was ok and we had a variety of spicy finger foods comprising of chicken wings, samosas, goat meat, etc. It was a nice restaurant and I am delighted that I found this new spot in Lekki”.

    Kohinoor

    Linda Ochugbua, Digital Sales Manager at BusinessDay Media

    Kohinoor is more than a restaurant as it organizes weekly theme nights such as Salsa dancing, Karaoke, Game’s Night, 90’s night and much much more. it’s perfect for all types of occasions; birthdays, business meetings, date night, lunch, brunch or dinner.

    Kohinoor Lagos serves an array of delicacies, both continental & African, to satisfy the palates of all irrespective of what their preferences are.

  • Interviews

    An Interview with Senegal’s President, Macky Sall

    Senegal’s President Macky Sall  in a exclusive interview with Patrick Atuanya Editor of BusinessDay and Lehle Balde, Senior Associate BusinessDay, discusses  the AfCFTA, financial inclusion, youth empowerment,  Senegal- Nigeria relations, the economic relationship many French colonies have with France, the newly discovered oil and gas reserves and much more. Excerpts;

    The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will cover a market of 1.2 billion people and a gross domestic product (GDP) of $2.5 trillion, across all 55-member States of the African Union. In terms of numbers of participating countries, AfCFTA will be the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization (WTO). What has Senegal’s role been in this monumental trade agreement?

     Senegal has held its place during the processes leading to the advent of this historic act, thus confirming our commitment to the achievement of African integration. The Continental Free Trade Area will give, as I recalled at the Niamey Summit, a new impetus to intra-African trade in terms of business opportunities and investment for the private sector and job creation for African youth. Already, during the Dakar Regional Forum on the AfCFTA-West and Central Africa, the Government of Senegal, in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UN/ECA), the Commission of the African Union and the European Union, worked to create a space for regional and multi-stakeholder dialogue on all the issues related to the implementation of the zone in the French-speaking States of ECOWAS and CEEAC. I must commend the leadership of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda in leading the African Union’s important reform agenda to ensure that it responds better to its missions. Similarly, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger successfully led negotiations for the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area, which gives new impetus to the objective of African integration through investment trade and which was launched at the beginning of July this year. Today, it is time to move forward with the implementation of this Agreement and its additional protocols, and Senegal will not be left behind in this regard.

    You were re-elected in 2019. Congratulations! We are now 3 months into your second term. In what state would you say Senegal is currently and what can the Senegalese people expect in the next 5 years?

    My re-election in the first round with more than 58% of the votes cast, on 24 February 2019, bears the stamp of a record rich in achievements throughout the country, that the Senegalese people have positively sanctioned. It is also an expression of hope, a call to consolidate Senegal’s transformation and to amplify the good performances achieved between 2012 and 2019. For seven years, we have worked to restore our country’s socio-economic balances, territorial equity and social justice; thus, reflecting my ambition of a Senegal of all, a Senegal for all.  Today, Senegal is in a better state than it was in 2012, thanks to the implementation of the Emerging Senegal Plan, a unique public policy framework. Naturally, beyond the strengthening of governance achievements, the reforms and strategic choices implemented aim to broaden and strengthen Senegal’s productive capacities and universal access for populations to water, sanitation, electrification, collective mobility, health, sports, culture and education.

    Moreover, in its Phase II, the Emerging Senegal Plan is being implemented through 5 major initiatives that will enable us to better prepare Senegal for the future, all of which are responses to the challenges of our time and the challenges of human modernity. I am referring to the employment of young Senegalese through the promotion and development of entrepreneurship, the social and solidarity economy for the empowerment of Senegalese women, the strengthening of human capital with a view to the trade skills and competences of the future, the reforestation of the territory to face climate change and improve the living conditions of Senegalese people, industrialization with greater involvement of the national and international private sector in terms of productive investment.

    Since 2012, you have managed to attract billions of dollars in investment, including from China, for your Emerging Senegal Plan and overseen average annual growth of about 6 percent? In your view, what is the key to effective governance?

    It is the choice of transparency and my determination to promote a new culture, that of sober and virtuous governance driven by the fight against corruption and all the scourges that could compromise the business environment.

    It is also an illustration of Senegal’s great tradition of cooperation, marked by the security of transactions and the stability of relations. My vision of an emerging Senegal is supported and shared by the partners who support us in achieving our ambition. It is implemented through projects that contain all the guarantees in terms of diligent execution, economic profitability, and social utility. The first generation of reforms of the ESP has supported the growth of more than 6 per cent of the Senegalese economy for more than three consecutive years. The effectiveness of our governance, the stability of our democratic system and the massive investment in infrastructures are real “magnets” for foreign direct investment, which is now very diversified, with a breakthrough by the the People’s Republic of China, which has chosen to make Senegal a reference partner, given its comparative advantages and its geographical position.

    What has been the biggest challenges in developing your emerging Senegal vision and executing the Emerging Senegal Plan (ESP)?

    The first challenge was consensus. The ESP addressed that challenge by taking into account all the strategic documents whose objective was to propose a logical framework for building Senegal’s development and drew a rich and useful synthesis. Then the other challenge is the pursuit of good governance; governance that is both sober and virtuous, which puts the interests of our country first. At the same time, we also needed to build confidence among Senegalese people about our ability and determination to reform Senegal with them, to enable it to regain productivity and competitiveness, and to restore confidence among technical, financial and private sector partners. We have rationalized public spending by increasing its efficiency. Thus, beyond economic imperatives, my vision of an emerging Senegal is supported by programs with a strong social impact, such as the Emergency Community Development Programme (PUDC), the national family security scholarship program, which has enabled 400,000 households to benefit from a quarterly allocation of CFAF 25,000 (approximately USD 50), universal health coverage (CMU) and the emergency program for the modernization of Senegalese access borders (PUMA). This territorial approach to public policies remains, in my opinion, for Senegal and Africa, a development model for creating the conditions for shared economic prosperity, collective development and social justice in both rural and urban areas. Today, this is an approach that Senegalese have made their own and from which they expect a lot, given their impatient demands.

    With the discovery of oil and gas reserves in Senegal, how prepared is Senegal for this potentially game-changing new revenue-generating economy that could also be disruptive for the Senegalese people? Do you have any concerns?

     The Government of Senegal, under my leadership, has been proactive and diligent in this regard. Today, Senegal has the advantage of having taken, well before the discoveries were announced, the useful and relevant measures to make the oil sector a reference model in terms of governance and transparency by joining, on my decision, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. In Senegal, natural resources belong to the people and not to the State. I had it enshrined in the Senegalese Constitution following the referendum in March 2016. I have also created a Strategic Orientation Committee on Oil and Gas Issues (COS-Petrogaz) composed of representatives of all the institutions of the Republic, actors in the sector and which will welcome members of the opposition and civil society. I proposed a law which was passed to allow national companies to benefit from the exploitation phase. The oil code has been revised to adapt it to the new Senegalese context with new provisions that better protect the country’s interests. The resources derived from oil and gas will be used to finance Senegal’s socio-economic development and a significant part of those resources will be reserved for future generations, within the framework of an income distribution law. This is the integrity and governance framework for the sector. I have given the Government of Senegal all the instructions required to build a well-functioning oil economy and a viable ecosystem that will be based on the National Oil and Gas Institute that I have created. Best practices are being tested and the first results promise good prospects for leading us to emergence before 2035. I am also very pleased with the cooperation between Senegal and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. With these discoveries, on both sides of our border, we have been able, based on good neighbor relations and the shared destiny of our two peoples, to build an intelligent partnership for the exploitation of these resources. Everyone knows that in Africa, border and resource exploitation issues are essential sources of conflict. Our two countries have joined forces, in partnership with BP, to ensure that the resources straddling this area are an additional link, in addition to the multifaceted and centuries-old relations that unite us, since Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, and Guinea have been jointly exploiting the Senegal River basin for several years through the Organization for the Development of the Senegal River. These examples of partnerships in Africa are to be welcomed.

    Senegal is widely considered to have always had a stable democracy in a region plagued by military coups, civil wars, and ethnic conflicts. It’s been considered an “exception” in West Africa. Can you speak to how this has been achieved? What can other African neighbors adopt from this unique Senegalese democracy?

     Senegal is an old democracy. We have been voting since 1848 under colonial rule, particularly in the municipalities of Gorée, Dakar, Rufisque, and Saint-Louis whose citizens were considered French nationals. The integral multiparty system is a living reality in Senegal since 1974, with its virtues and excesses. We are one and the same people. Senegal has experienced two peaceful democratic changes thanks to the maturity of the people, in a calm and transparent manner. Democratic expression is plural; there is no threat to individual freedoms and institutions function democratically. Our experience is based on the acceptance of the rules of the democratic game, electoral competition and the quality of our electoral system, which can certainly be improved, but has proven its worth.  In addition, Senegal is a country of dialogue and I have established dialogue and consultation as a mode of governance to prevent conflicts and to keep together the democratic promise alive.

    Senegal features a broad and diverse financial landscape, in which people tend to use a combination of different financial institutions, both formal and informal, digital and non-digital. What is your plan to bridge the financial inclusion gap in Senegal?

     Financial inclusion is a political imperative as part of my vision of a Senegal of all and a Senegal for all. It is at the heart of our economic system and from this point of view, there can be no Senegalese excluded from the traditional financing system. Senegal’s development integrates all components of society and more particularly rural populations. And I have chosen to focus on the social and solidarity economy by creating decentralized financing mechanisms that have made it possible to completely change the national economy. Today, in Senegal, we are talking about solidarity economy and innovative financing to support economic activity through the Delegation for the Rapid Entrepreneurship of Women and Youth. Through the combination of the development of digital technologies and access to finance for young people and women, Senegal is winning the battle for its development through entrepreneurship, which is recognized as essential to the dynamics of growth and job creation.

    How can Senegal and Nigeria work together and expand the trade, economic relations and investment in roads, transports, agriculture’s, energy and high-tech education within the member states?

     The Dakar-Abuja axis forms a central pivot around which major articulations of the community integration process radiate. Strengthening our cooperation in all areas and integrating our major infrastructure, education, health, energy, and other projects is an absolute necessity, especially in the perspective of the African common market. The competitiveness of our sub-region in the wider Africa region requires a convergence of our priorities and economic choices.

    Senegal

    The Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo and The President Macky Sall of Senegal

     France has been holding a great percentage of the national reserves of fourteen African countries since 1961: Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Togo, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. Many find this to be a cause for concern. What are your thoughts on this?

     We have a long tradition of partnership with France and, in view of these historical ties, some people have the impression that France is taking over the Senegalese economy. This is not the case. France is a privileged partner. There is no French exclusivity in Senegal. Our country is open to all partnerships if they are mutually beneficial. China, Turkey, India, Malaysia, Brazil and the United States of America are all partners with whom we maintain friendly cooperation with quite a few concrete achievements. And this cooperation has not affected our relationship with France.

     ECOWAS Heads of State have agreed to adopt the “ECO” as the new common currency from 2020. Some critics say that it is still the “CFA” under a different name! Would you enlighten our readers on what will be the real advantages of this new currency?                                    

    In the context of globalization, African economies are expected to undergo extremely important changes. In the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) region, the coexistence of several currencies could constitute an obstacle to the development of intra-country trade. The CFA (Communauté Financière d’Afrique) currency has a singular history, as a link between France and its former colonies in West and Central Africa. The regional integration process can easily be accommodated in a common currency in accordance with the convergence criteria. It is not about creating a currency just because it must be created. The CFA, its fixed parity and convertibility are parameters to be considered in order to move to a common currency in a wider area, as we are already doing within WAEMU (West African Economic and Monetary Union) with bold policies to meet the convergence criteria and deadlines, which I consider essential.

     Finally, what is your vision and hope for the Senegalese youth who constitute the majority of the population?

    As part of the political initiative called Emerging Senegal Plan / Youth Priority 2035, I have chosen to invest in the future through education and training, employment and entrepreneurship, health and sport as mechanisms for social inclusion, creativity, culture, and citizenship. This means that the Senegalese youth is an absolute priority in the implementation of public policies. As such, education, vocational training and employment are the markers of my youth policy. Between 2012 and 2018, the Public Administration and the private sector created more than 491,000 jobs, not counting the jobs created in the agricultural and informal sectors.

    I am aware of the opportunities that self-employment offers both in the fight against unemployment and underemployment. I have therefore created, in December 2017, the General Delegation for Rapid Entrepreneurship of Women and Youth (Der/fj) with a budget of 30 billion CFA francs. The mission of the DER is to help women and young people aged 20 to 40 to find financing throughout the country, to enable them to access decent and sustainable employment.

    In addition, as part of the employability of young people, I plan to implement, in the next two years, a CFA franc 80 billion program to promote their professional integration by strengthening the availability of training infrastructures through the upgrading and construction of technical and vocational high schools, the establishment of clusters, vocational training and the construction of business training centers.

    In this same dynamic, I do not forget the young Senegalese engaged in non-formal learning and will support them with a 20 billion CFA francs program. It is about giving them scholarships to help them be trained in their chosen field. My ambition is to ensure, in the medium term, the training of 100,000 young Senegalese to provide our companies with quality human resources that are qualified enough to support them in their investment and job creation programs. From the perspective of the oil and gas exploitation, young Senegalese people will be at the heart of the development of our local content. In addition, an intergenerational fund has been set up to address concerns related to the needs of young people.

    (This interview was done in part by Ms Lehle Balde for BusinessDay Media,read the french version here)

  • Interviews

    Une interview avec le president du Senegal Macky Sall

    La Zone de libre-échange continentale africaine (ZLEAC) couvrira un marché de 1,2 milliard de personnes et un produit intérieur brut (PIB) de 2,5 billions de dollars, dans les 55 États membres de l’Union africaine. En termes de nombre de pays participants, l’AfCFTA sera la plus grande zone de libre-échange du monde depuis la création de l’Organisation mondiale du commerce. Quel a été le rôle du Sénégal dans cet accord commercial monumental?

    Le Sénégal a été à sa place et a bien tenu son rang, pour l’avènement de cet acte historique, confirmant ainsi, notre engagement à la réalisation de l’intégration africaine. La Zone de Libre Echange Continentale donnera, comme je l’ai rappelé lors du sommet de Niamey, un nouvel élan au commerce intra-africain en termes d’opportunités d’affaires et d’investissements pour le secteur privé  et de création d’emplois pour la jeunesse africaine. Déjà, lors du Forum régional de Dakar sur la ZLECAf-Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre, le Gouvernement du Sénégal, en relation avec la Commission économique pour l’Afrique (CEA), la Commission de l’Union Afrique et l’Union Européenne, a travaillé à la création d’un espace de dialogue régional et multi-acteurs autour de l’ensemble des enjeux liés à la mise en œuvre de la zone dans les Etats francophones de la CEDEAO et la CEEAC. Je dois saluer le leadership du Président Paul Kagamé du Rwanda dans la conduite de l’important dossier de réforme de l’Union Africaine pour qu’elle réponde mieux à ses missions. De même, le Président Mahamadou Issoufou du Niger a su mener avec succès, les négociations pour la création de la Zone de libre Echange Continentale Africaine qui donne un nouvel élan à l’objectif d’intégration africaine par le commerce de l’investissement et dont le lancement a eu lieu au début du mois de juillet de cette année. Aujourd’hui il convient d’aller de l’avant dans la mise en œuvre de cet Accord et ses protocoles additionnels et dans ce cadre, le Sénégal ne sera pas en reste.

    Vous avez été réélu en mars 2019. Toutes nos félicitations ! Trois mois  se sont écoulés depuis votre réélection. A votre avis, dans quel état se trouve actuellement le Sénégal et à quoi le peuple sénégalais peut-il s’attendre dans les cinq prochaines années?

    Ma réélection dès le premier tour avec plus de 58 % des suffrages exprimés, le 24 février 2019 porte l’empreinte d’un bilan riche de réalisations à l’échelle du territoire national que les Sénégalais ont positivement sanctionné. Elle est également l’expression d’un espoir,  d’un appel à consolider la transformation du Sénégal et à amplifier les bonnes performances réalisées entre 2012 et 2019. Sept ans durant, nous avons travaillé à redresser notre pays, à restaurer les équilibres socio-économiques, l’équité territoriale et la justice sociale ; traduisant par là mon ambition d’un Sénégal de tous, un Sénégal pour tous.  Aujourd’hui, le Sénégal est dans un meilleur état qu’en 2012, à la faveur de la mise en œuvre du Plan Sénégal Emergent, référentiel unique des politiques publiques. Naturellement, au delà du renforcement des acquis sur le plan de la gouvernance,  les réformes et les choix stratégiques mis en œuvre ont pour finalité d’élargir et de renforcer les capacités productives du Sénégal, les accès universels pour les populations en matière d’eau, d’assainissement,  d’électrification, de mobilité collective, de santé, d’éducation de sport et de culture. Par ailleurs, dans sa phase II, le Plan Sénégal Emergent est décliné à travers 5 grandes initiatives qui nous permettront de mieux  préparer le Sénégal face à l’avenir et qui sont toutes, autant de réponses aux défis de notre époque et aux enjeux d’une modernité humaine. Je veux parler de l’emploi des jeunes Sénégalais à travers la promotion et le développement de l’entreprenariat, de l’économie sociale et solidaire pour l’autonomisation des femmes Sénégalaises, du renforcement du capital humain en perspective des métiers du futur,  de la reforestation du territoire pour faire face au changement climatique et améliorer le cadre de vie des Sénégalais, de l’industrialisation avec une plus grande implication du secteur privé national et international en termes d’investissement productifs.

    Mademoiselle Lehle Balde avec le president du Senegal Macky Sall

     

    Depuis 2012, vous avez réussi à attirer des milliards de dollars d’investissements, y compris en provenance de la Chine, pour votre Plan Sénégal Emergent avec une croissance annuelle moyenne d’environ 6 % ? Selon vous, quelle est la clé d’une gouvernance efficace ?

    C’est le choix de la transparence et ma détermination à promouvoir une culture nouvelle, celle de la  gouvernance sobre et vertueuse portée par la lutte contre la corruption et tous les fléaux qui pourraient compromettre l’environnement des affaires. C’est aussi l’illustration de la grande tradition de coopération du Sénégal, marquée par la sécurité des transactions et la stabilité des relations. Ma vision d’un Sénégal émergent est soutenue et partagée par les partenaires  qui nous accompagnent dans la réalisation de  notre ambition. Elle est déclinée à travers des projets qui renferment toutes les garanties en termes d’exécution diligente, de rentabilité économique et d’utilité sociale. Les réformes de première génération du PSE ont permis de soutenir depuis plus de trois ans, une croissance de plus de 6%. L’efficacité de notre gouvernance, la stabilité de notre système démocratique et l’investissement massif dans le domaine des infrastructures sont de véritables « aimants » pour l’investissement direct étranger, aujourd’hui très diversifié, avec une belle percée de la République Populaire de Chine, qui a choisi de faire du Sénégal, un partenaire de référence, eu égard à ses avantages comparatifs et à sa position géographique.

    Quels ont été les plus grands défis à relever pour développer votre vision d’un Sénégal émergent et mettre en œuvre le Plan Sénégal émergent ?

    Le premier défi a été celui du consensus. Le PSE l’a relevé en prenant en compte tous les documents stratégiques dont l’objectif était de proposer un cadre logique pour construire le développement du Sénégal et il en a  tiré une synthèse riche et utile. Ensuite la bonne gouvernance, une gouvernance à la fois sobre et vertueuse, qui met en avant les intérêts de notre pays. Il fallait aussi, dans le même mouvement, mettre en confiance les Sénégalais sur notre capacité et ma détermination à réformer le Sénégal avec eux, pour lui permettre de renouer avec la productivité et la compétitivité, et de restaurer la confiance les Partenaires techniques et financiers et du secteur privé. Nous avons rationalisé les dépenses publiques en augmentant leur efficacité. Ainsi, au-delà des impératifs économiques, ma vision du Sénégal émergent est portée par des programmes à fort impact social à l’image Programme d’urgence de développement communautaire (PUDC), du programme national de Bourses de sécurité familiale qui a permis à 400.000 ménages de bénéficier d’une allocation trimestrielle de 25.000 FCFA,  de la Couverture maladie universelle (CMU), du programme d’urgence de modernisation des axes frontaliers (PUMA). Cette approche territoriale des politiques publique reste, à mon sens, pour le Sénégal et l’Afrique,  un modèle de développement pour créer les conditions d’une prospérité économique partagée, d’un épanouissement collectif, et d’une justice sociale aussi bien en milieu rural qu’en milieu urbain. C’est aujourd’hui, une démarche que les sénégalais se sont appropriés et de laquelle ils attendent beaucoup, au regard des demandes impatientes.

    Avec la découverte de réserves de pétrole et de gaz au Sénégal, dans quelle mesure le Sénégal est-il préparé à cette nouvelle donne économique qui a le potentiel de générer des revenus pour le pays mais également occasionner des bouleversements de portée sociétale? Avez-vous des inquiétudes?

    Le Gouvernement du Sénégal, sous mon impulsion a fait preuve d’anticipation et de diligence en la matière. Aujourd’hui le Sénégal a l’avantage d’avoir pris,  bien avant l’annonce des découvertes, les dispositions utiles et pertinentes pour faire du secteur pétrolier, un modèle de référence en matière de gouvernance et de transparence en adhérant sur ma décision, à l’Initiative pour la Transparence dans les Industries Extractives. Au Sénégal, les ressources naturelles appartiennent au peuple et non à l’Etat. Je l’ai fait inscrire dans la Constitution sénégalaise à l’issue du référendum de mars 2016. J’ai également créé un Comité d’orientation stratégique chargé des questions de pétrole et de gaz (COS-Petrogaz) composé de représentants de toutes les institutions de la République, des acteurs du secteur et qui va accueillir des membres de l’opposition et de la société civile. J’ai fait voter une loi sur le contenu local pour permettre aux entreprises nationales de tirer profit de la phase d’exploitation. Le code pétrolier a été revu pour être adapté au nouveau contexte du Sénégal avec de nouvelles dispositions protégeant davantage les intérêts du pays. Les ressources tirées du pétrole et du gaz serviront à financer le développement socio-économique du Sénégal et une part importante de celles-ci sera réservée aux générations futures, dans le cadre d’une loi sur la répartition des revenus. Voilà le cadre d’intégrité et de gouvernance du secteur. J’ai donné au gouvernement du Sénégal toutes les instructions requises pour construire une économie pétrolière performante et un écosystème viable qui prendra appui sur l’Institut National du Pétrole et du gaz que j’ai créé. Les meilleures pratiques sont en train d’être expérimentées et les premiers résultats augurent de belles perspectives pour nous conduire, avant 2035 vers l’émergence. Par ailleurs, je me réjouis grandement de la coopération entre le Sénégal et la République Islamique de Mauritanie. Avec ces découvertes, de part et d’autre de notre frontière, nous avons su, sur la base des relations de bon voisinage et du destin partagé de nos deux peuples, bâtir un partenariat intelligent pour l’exploitation de ces ressources. Tout le monde sait qu’en Afrique, les enjeux liés aux frontières et à l’exploitation des ressources sont des sources essentielles de conflits. Nos deux pays se sont associés, en partenariat avec BP,  pour que les ressources à cheval sur cette zone soient un trait d’union de plus, qui s’ajoute aux relations multiformes et multiséculaires qui nous unissent, puisque le Sénégal, la Mauritanie, le Mali et la Guinée exploitent en commun, depuis plusieurs années le bassin du fleuve Sénégal, à travers l’Organisation pour la Mise en Valeur du fleuve Sénégal. Il convient de saluer ces exemples de partenariats en Afrique.

    Le Sénégal est largement considéré comme une démocratie stable depuis longtemps dans une région en proie à des coups d’État militaires, des guerres civiles et des conflits ethniques. Le Sénégal est considéré comme une “exception” en Afrique de l’Ouest. Pouvez-vous nous dire comment cela a été réalisé ? Qu’est-ce que les autres voisins africains peuvent apprendre de l’expérience démocratique Sénégalaise?

    Le Sénégal est une vieille démocratie. Nous  votons depuis 1848 sous la période coloniale, notamment au sein des Communes de Gorée, Dakar, Rufisque et Saint-Louis. Le multipartisme intégral  est une réalité vivante au Sénégal, avec ses vertus, ses excès et ses outrances. Nous sommes un seul et même peuple. Le Sénégal a connu deux alternances démocratiques  pacifiques grâce à la maturité du peuple, dans le calme et la transparence. L’expression démocratique est plurielle ; il n’y a aucune menace sur les libertés individuelles et les Institutions fonctionnent de manière démocratique. Notre expérience s’appuie sur l’acceptation des règles du jeu démocratique,  de la compétition électorale et de la qualité de notre système électoral, perfectible certes, mais éprouvé.  En plus, le Sénégal est un pays de dialogue et j’ai érigé le dialogue et la concertation en mode de gouvernance afin de prévenir les conflits et tenir tous ensemble, la promesse démocratique.

    Senegal features a broad and diverse financial landscape, in which people tend to use a combination of different financial institutions, both formal and informal, digital and non-digital. What is your plan to bridge the financial inclusion gap in Senegal?

     Financial inclusion is a political imperative as part of my vision of a Senegal of all and a Senegal for all. It is at the heart of our economic system and from this point of view, there can be no Senegalese excluded from the traditional financing system. Senegal’s development integrates all components of society and more particularly rural populations. And I have chosen to focus on the social and solidarity economy by creating decentralized financing mechanisms that have made it possible to completely change the national economy. Today, in Senegal, we are talking about solidarity economy and innovative financing to support economic activity through the Delegation for the Rapid Entrepreneurship of Women and Youth. Through the combination of the development of digital technologies and access to finance for young people and women, Senegal is winning the battle for its development through entrepreneurship, which is recognized as essential to the dynamics of growth and job creation.

     

    Le Sénégal est caractérisé par un paysage financier large et diversifié, dans lequel les gens ont tendance à utiliser une combinaison de différentes institutions financières, tant formelles qu’informelles, numériques et non numériques. Quel est votre plan pour combler le fossé de l’inclusion financière au Sénégal?

    L’inclusion financière est un impératif politique dans le cadre de ma vision d’un Sénégal de tous et d’un Sénégal pour tous. Elle est cœur de notre système économique et de ce point de vue, il ne saurait y avoir de Sénégalaises ou de Sénégalais exclus du système de financements classiques. Le développement du Sénégal intègre toutes les composantes de la société et plus particulièrement les populations rurales. Et j’ai fait le choix de miser sur l’économie sociale et solidaire  en créant des mécanismes décentralisés de financement qui ont permis de changer complètement l’économie nationale. Aujourd’hui, on parle au Sénégal d’économie solidaire et de financements innovants pour soutenir l’activité économique à travers la Délégation à l’Entreprenariat Rapide des Femmes et des Jeunes. Grâce la combinaison entre le développement des technologies numériques et l’accès aux financements au profit des jeunes et des femmes, le Sénégal est en train de gagner la bataille de son développement à travers l’entreprenariat qui est reconnu comme étant essentiel à la dynamique de croissance et de création d’emplois.

    Comment le Sénégal et le Nigeria peuvent-ils travailler ensemble et développer le commerce, les relations économiques et les investissements dans les routes, les transports, l’agriculture, l’énergie et l’enseignement de haute technologie dans notre sous-région?

    L’axe Dakar-Abuja fait partie des articulations majeures du processus d’intégration communautaire. Le renforcement de notre coopération dans tous les domaines et l’intégration de nos grands chantiers d’infrastructures, d’éducation, de santé, d’énergie, entre autres, constituent une nécessité absolue surtout dans la perspective du marché commun africain. La compétitivité de notre sous-région dans le grand ensemble Afrique passe par une convergence de nos priorités et de nos choix économiques.

    La France détient un grand pourcentage des réserves nationales de quatorze pays africains depuis 1961 : Bénin, Burkina Faso, Guinée-Bissau, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger, Sénégal, Togo, Cameroun, République centrafricaine, Tchad, Congo-Brazzaville, Guinée équatoriale et Gabon. Nombreux sont ceux qui s’en inquiètent. Qu’en pensez-vous?

    Nous avons une longue tradition de partenariat avec la France. Et au regard de ces relations  historiques, certains ont l’impression qu’elle fait main basse sur l’économie sénégalaise. Ce n’est pas le cas. La France est un partenaire privilégié. Il n’existe pas d’exclusivité française au Sénégal. Notre pays est ouvert à tous les partenariats, pourvu qu’ils soient mutuellement bénéfiques. La Chine, la Turquie, l’Inde, la Malaisie, le Brésil, les Etats Unis d’Amérique sont autant de partenaires avec lesquels nous entretenons une coopération conviviale à la base de certaines de nos réalisations ; sans que cela ne porte préjudice à nos relations avec la France.

     Les chefs d’Etat de la CEDEAO ont convenu d’adopter l'”ECO” comme nouvelle monnaie commune à partir de 2020. Certains critiques disent que c’est encore le “CFA” sous un autre nom ! Pouvez-vous dire quels sont les avantages réels de cette nouvelle monnaie pour notre sous-région?

    Dans le cadre de la mondialisation les économies africaines sont appelées à connaitre des mutations extrêmement importantes. Dans l’espace de la CEDEAO, la cohabitation de plusieurs monnaies pourrait constituer un frein au développement du commerce intra-pays. Le CFA a une histoire à la fois singulière et particulière, comme trait d’union entre la France et ses ex-colonies d’Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre. Le processus d’intégration régionale peut bien s’accommoder d’une monnaie commune dans le respect des critères de convergence. Il ne s’agit pas de créer une monnaie juste parce qu’il faut le faire. Le CFA, sa parité fixe et sa convertibilité sont des paramètres à prendre en compte pour passer à une monnaie commune dans un espace plus élargi, comme nous le faisons déjà au sein de l’UEMOA avec des politiques hardies pour respecter les critères de convergence et les délais, ce qui me paraît essentiel.

    Enfin, quelle est votre vision et votre espoir pour a jeunesse sénégalaise qui constitue la majeure partie de la population ?

    Dans le cadre de l’initiative politique dénommée PSE Priorité Jeunesse 2035, j’ai fait le choix d’investir dans l’avenir à travers l’éducation et la formation, l’emploi et l’entreprenariat, la santé et le sport comme facteurs d’inclusion sociale, la créativité, la culture et la citoyenneté. C’est vous dire que la jeunesse sénégalaise constitue une priorité absolue dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre des politiques publiques. A ce titre, l’éducation, la formation professionnelle et l’emploi sont les marqueurs de ma politique en direction de la jeunesse. Entre 2012 et 2018, l’Administration publique et le secteur privé ont su créer plus de 491.000 emplois, hors secteur agricole et hors secteur informel.

    Conscient des opportunités qu’offre l’auto-entrepreneuriat à la fois dans la lutte contre le chômage et le sous-emploi, j’ai créé en décembre 2017, la Délégation générale à l’entrepreneuriat rapide des femmes et des jeunes (Der/fj) doté d’un budget de 30 milliards F CFA. La DER a pour mission d’aider les femmes et les jeunes de 20 à 40 ans à trouver des financements sur l’ensemble du territoire national, pour leur permettre d’accéder à un emploi décent et durable.

    Par ailleurs, dans le cadre de l’employabilité des jeunes, je compte mettre en œuvre, dans les deux prochaines années, un programme de 80 milliards FCFA pour favoriser leur insertion professionnelle à travers le renforcement de l’offre d’infrastructures de formation à travers la mise à niveau et la construction de lycées techniques et professionnels, la mise en place de cluster, de formation professionnelle et la construction de centres de formation aux métiers.

    Dans cette même dynamique, je n’oublie pas les jeunes sénégalais engagés dans l’apprentissage non formel avec un programme de 20 milliards. Il s’agit de leur octroyer des bourses pour les aider dans leur formation. Mon ambition est d’assurer, à moyen terme, la formation de 100.000 jeunes sénégalais pour doter nos entreprises de ressources humaines de qualité, aptes à les accompagner dans leurs programmes d’investissement et de création d’emplois.

    Et dans la perspective de l’exploitation du pétrole et du gaz, les jeunes sénégalais seront au cœur du développement du contenu local. Sans compter la mise en place d’un fonds intergénérationnel pour prendre en charge les préoccupations liées aux besoins des jeunes.

    (This interview was done in part by Ms Lehle Balde for BusinessDay Media,read the English here)

     

  • Culinary Delights
    Vanilla Moon

    Discover Vanilla Moon where flavor and sophistication are king

    It was a beautiful sunny Saturday in Lagos, after a long work week most people look forward to Saturdays. There is a saying that goes ‘Saturdays are for weddings’ and that might be true for some, but for me, Saturdays are usually for relaxation and if time permits, catching up friends usually over lunch or dinner.  
    This edition of Culinary Delights’ is the 17th one and I would like to thank all our avid readers, who read the column every Friday and provide constructive feedback. At this point, I feel as though I have been to or at least heard about the majority of restaurants in Lagos, so discovering this weeks’ restaurant, Vanilla Moon restaurant came with an inexplicable kind of excitement. The pictures of the restaurant alone oozes an atmosphere of grandeur.
    I scrolled through Instagram and as I usually do and stopped by the My Crawl App page, a digital platform that shares events places and things to do in Lagos. The platform was created by Bukky Karibi Whyte, CEO of Robert Taylor Media. As I was scrolling through my Crawl app’s Instagram page, I came across Vanilla Moon, a brand new European restaurant in Victoria Island. What attracted me to the place was how bright and fresh the pictures looked online. I believe that it is fundamental for restaurants to have an online presence. Let’s face it, the world has become a digital place and increasingly people look online for vital decision making. The majority of places I go to are either recommendations from friends or online. Restaurants that are not maximizing their digital audience are missing out on huge chunks of the economy.
    Discover Vanilla Moon

    On this beautiful Saturday, I had lunch plans with my very good friend Basheer Tosin Ashafa. BTA is the MD/CEO of Cantagali Limited, a full-service, a niche-oriented and growing business group comprising companies such as Cantagali Limited (real estate marketing, property development, and facility management); and Triequity Capital (Investment & Finance). Basheer is very intelligent and our conversations are always very mentally stimulating. 

     

    As I entered the restaurant I had a big smile on my face because the outdoor decor was stunning.

    Discover Vanilla Moon

    The building reminds me of a modern french maisonette, reminiscent of a building you could easily find in Bordeau France.  Let’s just say Vanilla Moon made a great first impression. It’s the kind of space that gives you a feeling of happiness and joy just by being surrounded by the design and aesthetic. I have noticed a trend that a lot of new restaurants are incorporating green grass carpets and flowers for their outdoor dining areas. It was clear from the moment I walked in that this wasn’t your average restaurant. The ambiance was soothing, the décor was spectacular, and the staff was unpretentiously courteous. 

    Discover Vanilla Moon

    As I made my way inside I was greeted by a hostess who showed me to my table that Basheer was already seated on. As soon as I sat down they came to take my drink order and shortly after they took my food order. I wasn’t sure what to order so as usual, I asked the waitress to come and make a recommendation. As the restaurant is new she called the chef who is a gentleman from India, and while speaking with him I found out he had recently relocated to Lagos for the job. He recommended that I have the petit de Pollo, which is chicken on a bed of mashed potatoes with creamy mushroom sauce. I had it with mashed potatoes and spinach. It was really filling and tasty. I finished the whole plate and was extremely satisfied. 

     Basheer Tosin Ashafa, MD/CEO of Cantagali Limited

     

    Basheer had rib eye steak medium rare with mashed potatoes and spinach as well. It looked like 250g of deliciousness, I almost wished I ordered the same thing as him.

    Here is what he had to say

    It was clear from the moment I walked in that this wasn’t your average restaurant. The ambience was soothing, the décor was spectacular, and the staff was unpretentiously courteous. Need I say that the drink had a taste of elegance and I could bet that it came from the best mixologist in town, who took his time to recommend the various drinks. I particularly enjoyed the chef and his team taking out time to engage us and get direct feedback on the quality of the meal. The only downside for me was the few staff that  around the restaurant, which seemed a bit awkward. Overall, I had a great evening and I recommend Vanilla Moon to anyone who has great taste”.

    Vanilla Moon is located in a leafy by-lane of Victoria Island, Lagos. The menu is curated with an array of European dishes raging from a tapas menu that can take you to any outdoor Spanish market, fresh-house made pasta, steak room, sharing boards with Charcuterie, Sliders & Fondue. There is also the ruffle Mac & Cheese, Vanilla Moon Lobster Thermidor, and Twinkle Twinkle Tiramisu. 

    Discover Vanilla Moon

    The ambiance is perfect for a night out with friends, a date night or even a weekend brunch with loved ones. Equally works for outdoor/indoor dining. 

    Contact: Instagram: @VanillaMoonLagos 

    Total

    Petit de Pollo N6000

    Rib Eye N 14 000

    2 Mocktails N 7000

    N27 000 

    Rating 

    4.5 stars