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APO Group - Africa-Newsroom: latest news releases related to Africa

Press releases from
APO Group - Africa-Newsroom: latest news releases related to Africa
  1. Togo: The Orabank Group opens a trading room in Lomé

    The Orabank Group (, present in 12 countries and in four monetary zones in West and Central Africa, announces the opening of a regional and international trading room in Lomé, Togo. Ever since its formation, the Orabank Group has always had the will and ambition to support its customers (both individuals and businesses), to actively contribute to the financing of the private sector, to optimize the mobilization of local savings and to stimulate growth in African financial markets.

    This new trading room provides a concrete answer to each of these four objectives. Indeed, it offers Oragroup a leading position as a financial intermediary that places the bank at the heart of financial exchanges in the countries where it operates, in order to best serve its private and institutional clients, both in Africa and internationally, as well as other regional banks.

    In a market previously dominated by players operating from Europe and the United States, Oragroup now offers its clients a competitive and up-to-date offer in Africa, to intervene on the foreign exchange market in the monetary areas where its subsidiaries are established. The Orabank Group wishes to be a key player in the UEMOA money market and to play a leading role in boosting the secondary market for government securities.

    The opening of this trading room is also intended to strengthen synergies within the Group, allowing significant economies of scale in foreign exchange hedging transactions between subsidiaries while increasing the share of cash net banking income. This new step is part of the "2016-2018 Strategy - Consolidation and Efficiency" plan, aimed at strengthening the Group's financial strength.

    "This new step illustrates the dynamic of our Group characterized by a strong performance in 2016 and an upward trajectory in 2017, combining profitability, commercial development and innovations, particularly in the deployment of digital solutions. In 2018, Oragroup is set to accentuate its growth along with its values ​​of humanity, commitment, and rigor in order to contribute to the development of the African financial sector as a central engine of our economies. That is our collective will”, says Binta Touré Ndoye, CEO of Oragroup.

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Groupe Orabank.

    Press contacts
    Oragroup - Director of Communication
    Delphine Ndiaye
    +228 92 52 08 04 / +228 99 86 41 44

    35°Nord - Press Relations Agency
    Philippe Perdrix
    +33 (0) 6 84 24 62 96

    About Oragroup
    Oragroup is present in 12 countries of West and Central Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Chad, Togo) and in four monetary areas (WAEMU, CEMAC, Guinea Conakry, Mauritania). With 143 bank branches and 1,750 employees, Oragroup offers its 400,000 customers (large companies, both national and international, SMEs and individuals) a wide range of products and banking services based on proximity and efficiency. 
    Oragroup ( believes in financial inclusion through the deployment of innovative solutions and focuses on previously neglected segments of the population. This commitment is reflected in its CSR approach, which is an integral part of its strategy, focused on energy transition and environmental as well as social risk management, to the greater benefit of its employees and the public at large.
    For more information, please visit

    Media files
    Groupe Orabank
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  2. NAS Launches New Pearl Lounges at Marrakech Menara Airport

    National Aviation Services (NAS) (, the fastest growing airport services provider in the emerging markets, today announced the launch of its Pearl Lounges at the Marrakech-Menara Airport in Morocco reinforcing capacities at the newly renovated airport. 

    The two exquisite Pearl lounges in arrivals and departures, covering 800 square meters, combine luxury and serenity to offer maximum comfort for all passengers.

    Hassan El-Houry, NAS Group CEO said “We are pleased to be working with the Moroccan Airport Authority, ONDA to launch the Pearl Lounges at the Marrakech-Menara Airport.  Our Pearl Lounges are the perfect accent to the eclectic facilities offered at the airport, rated by Skyteam as the most beautiful airport in the world. All passengers, arriving, departing or in transit can access the lounge to relax and rejuvenate or get work done in a comfortable environment.”

    The Pearl Lounges are designed to be the ultimate in hospitality imbibing NAS’s expertise in lounge management across 31 lounges in Africa and Middle East. With more than 150 seats, the Pearl Lounge in departures includes a relaxed and comfortable ambience, a wide menu selection, free Wi-Fi, a smoking zone, shower facilities as well as separate designated entertainment areas for kids and teenagers.

    Agnès Laurent, General Manager of NAS Morocco highlighted “In addition to the elegant design, high quality facilities and premium services, the NAS experience includes high quality customer service and trilingual service professionals. Our Pearl Assist, Meet and Assist services and airside transfers also ensure added comfort and luxury at the airport.”

    NAS has been exclusively managing the refurbishment and operations of 16 lounges across nine airports in Morocco, following a ten year concession awarded by the Moroccan Airports Authority (ONDA). Taking over operations in January this year, NAS has completed Pearl Lounges in Casablanca Mohammed V Airport Terminal 2 and Marrakech Menara Airport. Other lounges in Casablanca, Rabat Sale, Agadir, Tangier, Oujda, Fez, Dakhla and Laayoune will be coming up soon.

    NAS is currently present in 14 countries across the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa; managing 31 airport lounges, and providing ground handling services to seven out of the world’s top ten airlines. With an expanded portfolio of aviation services and certified by IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO), NAS also has demonstrated expertise in supporting local hub carriers in the Middle East and Africa.

    All of the Pearl Lounge as well as the Meet and Assist services can be booked online at

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of National Aviation Services (NAS).

    Media contact:
    Nita Bhatkar

  3. BMCE Bank of Africa is honored to announce the winners of African Entrepreneurship Award 2017, its support program for African entrepreneurs

    BMCE BANK of Africa (www.BMCEbank.mais announcing the winners of the third edition of African Entrepreneurship Award (, an initiative that aims to support African entrepreneurs, and has encouraged, since its launch in 2015, 33 entrepreneurs who were supported by more than 300 African and Global Mentors.

    Following the final stage, 40 finalists from 19 African countries were brought together for a bootcamp in Casablanca on December 6 to 10, 2017. A concluding ceremony was organized on December 11 to reward the most impactful sustainable projects in three categories of the program: education, environment and unchartered fields.

    For the third edition of African Entrepreneurship Award, 12 winners from 9 African countries shared an envelope of 1 million dollars.

    First PRIZE: $100 000

    • Category : Education
    • Louise Williamson – South Africa: Sustainability Professionals, Startup « Sustainable fuel ovens for schools in remote areas »
    • Category: Environment
    • Allen Kimambo – Tanzania: Zaidi General Enterprises, Start Up

    Paper collection and recycling to protect the environment

    • Folashade Amusa – Nigeria: VicFold Recyclers , Start Up

    Waste collection, processing and recycling with reward system for households

    • Adan Mohammed – Kenya: Ecodudu, Start Up

    Animal food production from insects and larva.

    • Sylvester Mujakperuo – Nigeria: Saint Michelles and Joey Limited , Start Up

    Transforming used paper and cardboard into new paper products 

    • Kwame Ababio – Ghana: Green Afro Palms , Start Up

    Optimizing the cultivation and use of palm oil

    • Category: Unchartered Fields

    • Flavien Simo – Cameroon: Save Our Agriculture, Start Up

    Production of aquaponics kits that combines fish farming and plant farming.

    • Paul Bartels – Afrique du Sud: Waterbok Community Fire-Fighting Cart, Prototype

    Fire-fighting Cart

    INNOVATION PRIZE: $50, 000

    • Meryam El Ouafi – Morocco: Green Engineering Mission , Prototype

    New irrigation technology to optimize water consumption

    • Badr Idrissi – Morocco: Atlan Space, Start Up

    Smart drone use to combat illegal fishing

    • Geoffrey Ssekatawa –Uganda: Brent Technologies, Start Up

    Lubricant collection and recycling

    • Christelle Kwizera –Rwanda: VOMA Groundwater Solar Kiosks, Start Up

    Drinking water purification and distribution to vulnerable communities

    The 12 winners were selected by a remarkable jury, presided by the Chairman of BMCE Bank of Africa Mr. Othman Benjelloun and composed by:

    • Mr. Gong Li, ex-Chairman of Accenture, China,
    • Mr. John-Bernard Duler, French-American investor and entrepreneur,

    -Ms. Marie Paul Niat, Cameroonian entrepreneur

    • Mr. Brahim Benjelloun Touimi, Group Executive Managing Director of BMCE Bank of Africa

    Announced by Chairman Othman Benjelloun during Global Entrepreneurship Summit, held in Marrakech in 2014, and illustrating the commitment of BMCE Bank of Africa to spur innovative entrepreneurship in Africa, African Entrepreneurship Award reached its third year with more than 12,000 project proposals from 132 countries, including all the 54 African countries, and hosted more than 112 entrepreneurs who were coached in the bootcamp. This unique initiative has enabled BMCE Bank of Africa to concretize its vision of a growing Africa, boosted by its young entrepreneurs to bolster economic and social opportunities presented to all Africans.

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Entrepreneurship Award (AEA).

    Mohamed El Aoufi (Award):  
    Laila Ahlafi (Media): 
    Facebook: ; Twitter : ; Website:

  4. Road Safety - A Social Responsibilty: Debmarine Namibia embarked upon a long road safety awareness campaign to promote and inculcate road-safety consciousness in Namibia

    Debmarine Namibia ( embarked upon a long road safety awareness campaign to promote and inculcate road-safety consciousness in the country, primarily among its employees, but also aimed at drivers, passengers and the community members at large.

    Watch the video:

    Road safety and accident prevention are recurring, frequently explored subjects, although not always from the same perspective. The campaign conducted by Debmarine Namibia, was firstly rolled out internally among the company’s employees. The Company routinely captures and monitors road-related accident statistics of its employees and came to the realisation that with the rise in road-related risky behaviour, employees are more at risk away from the workplace than in the workplace. This led to the introduction of the internal Safety Ripple Campaign, designed to sensitise employees and create dialogue on the various aspects of risky road behaviour in an effort to encourage responsible safety culture and behaviour. Today, the Debmarine Namibia Facebook page published its locally produced video clip “Driving Safely Is A Social Responsibility”, which is a social experiment dealing with vehicle maintenance awareness. This is part of the Company’s external campaign, as a responsible corporate citizen to encourage other corporates and citizens to weigh in on addressing road safety, as a social responsibility.

    Road Safety requires not only driver fitness, but also vehicle fitness. A well maintained vehicle not only speaks volumes about the owner, but also will protect its driver and passengers on the road. The video shows the diverse reactions of Namibian drivers/passengers from all walks of life, when suddenly being confronted with possible drastic consequences of vehicle failure on roads. It is a clear call-to-action to most Namibian drivers to regularly service their vehicles, especially in December, as fatal accidents are punctually on the rise at this time of the year.

    Spotting risky behavior is part of the campaign, aiming to make the community more aware of the fundamental importance of vehicle maintenance, which could alone reduce road fatalities. For every person killed in traffic crashes, many more suffer serious injuries with life-changing consequences, such as the story showcased in the Debmarine Namibia’s video. Serious injuries are not only more common, but also often more costly to society because of long-time rehabilitation and healthcare needs.

    While it may be obvious that accident-related events are linked to risky behaviour, in Namibia, rollover crashes are mainly attributed to speeding, fatigue, alcohol, but also worn-out tyres, resulting in the loss of vehicle control.

    Drunk driving is only one of the leading causes of road accidents and it contributes significantly to accidents on the road. This led Debmarine Namibia to donate breathalyzers testing kits to the Private Sector Road Safety Forum and the MVA Fund worth N$ 130 000. The donation aims to support efforts to reduce drunk driving accidents and save lives.

    According to the MVA Fund Road Crash And Claims Report 2016, Road crash fatalities have become one of the leading causes of deaths in Namibia. The most concerning fact, is that young people are representing nearly half of persons killed in road accidents; 72% of those killed are male.

    Communications Manager, Stella Auala says: “Short cuts and quick fixes are risky. It is best to leave the servicing of your vehicle in the hands of trained automotive professionals. As they have the knowledge and adequate tools to diagnose and correct problems; and to ensure that you and other road users are safely back on the road.

    This campaign stresses the need to make road-safety a habit rather than an act of compulsion to follow the rules. 

    ABOUT the video clip:

    “Driving Safely Is A Social Responsibility”

    The feature is a social experiment aimed at reflecting a generalized attitude towards vehicle maintenance.  When confronted with the reality of possible consequences due to vehicle failures, the spirit of social responsibility emerges unanimously among participants.

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Debmarine Namibia.

    For further information, please contact:
    Debmarine Namibia Corporate Communications 
    Tel: +264 61 297 8000
    Fax: +264 811410538 

    o Video Clip: “Driving Safely Is A Social Responsibility”
    o Infographics_Road Safety Campaign Artwork (Vehicle Maintenance)
    o Images: breathalyzers testing kits handover to the Private Sector Road Safety Forum and the MVA Fund
    o Facebook Page:

    ABOUT Debmarine Namibia
    Debmarine Namibia ( is a joint venture marine diamond prospecting and mining company, owned in equal shares by the Government of the Republic of Namibia and De Beers.  Debmarine Namibia became operational in 2002 and mines in the offshore mining licence area off the southern coast of Namibia.  The Company operates five diamond mining vessels, namely mv Debmar Atlantic, mv Debmar Pacific, mv !Gariep, mv Grand Banks and mv Mafuta. The sixth member of its fleet is the exploration and sampling vessel the mv SS Nujoma. Two mining technologies are deployed, the airlift-drill and the crawler mining technology. The mining vessels mine diamonds off the ocean floor using highly advanced drill technology and supported with sophisticated tracking, positioning and surveying equipment. Debmarine Namibia is ISO 14001, ISM and OHSAS 18001 certified, in line with its commitment to safety and environmental management. Debmarine Namibia is a recognised world leader in marine diamond exploration and mining technology.

  5. Tax Year End: Is your business pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) compliant and ready for the new tax year?

    West African governments are clamping down on non-compliance among business and individual taxpayers as they strive to improve their low tax-to-GDP ratios or internally generated revenues. As the tax year-end looms in Nigeria and Ghana, companies have an opportunity to evaluate whether their payrolls are fully compliant with the laws and regulations around collection of pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) tax.

    Magnus Nmonwu (, Regional Director for Sage ( in West Africa, says that the tax authorities in both countries are scrutinising more closely whether employers are complying with their tax obligations. 

    The Ghana Revenue Authority has embarked on an education drive to lift tax-to-GDP ( which currently stands at 16.5%. It has accelerated its drive to bring small, medium and informal businesses into the tax net.

    Nigeria, also seeking to improve its low tax-to-GDP, has launched initiatives such as the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme ( -which gives taxpayers an opportunity to voluntarily declare all previously undisclosed assets and income. Some 90% of Nigeria’s 14 million taxpayers are salary earners paying PAYE. Government will be focusing heavily on rich individuals with undisclosed assets for enforcement.

    Tax to fund development

    Says Nmonwu: “Without improving tax collection, West African countries will not be able to effectively finance the building of infrastructure and the provision of public services. We are seeing Nigerian and Ghanaian tax authorities take a more robust approach to registering tax payers and enforcing compliance to help the governments meet their tax collection targets.”

    This means that businesses must ensure that they declare the correct earnings for all employees and that they include the right taxes and statutory deductions in payroll calculations.  It has become increasingly important to ensure that annual returns are filed and submitted promptly and accurately to the relevant tax authorities to avoid penalties.

    “Failing to comply – whether through deliberate evasion, late payment of payroll taxes underpayment as a result of a miscalculation – could cost your business dearly,” says Nmonwu. “You could face large fines and penalty interest, or even imprisonment, for underpayment of taxes and statutory deductions.”

    Out with spreadsheets, in with automation

    Because compliance is complex and the risks of non-compliance are high, West African businesses can no longer rely on spreadsheets and other manual methods to do their calculations and file returns. Automated solutions are becoming more essential for keeping reliable records and performing accurate payroll calculations.

    Payroll solutions available for businesses from start-ups to mid-sized companies and larger enterprises – can help take care of calculating the complex formulas for the various deductions, generating compliance reports, and keeping accurate records. That makes it easier to perform accurate calculations, file submissions on time and generate reports and electronic payslips.

    Tracking changing regulations

    Automation makes it easier to keep track of changes to tax regulations that impact on payroll tax calculations and various changes in legislation. The software is constantly updated to align with the latest tax laws and tables, so one needn’t to update spreadsheet formulas or learn to make new manual calculations when changes are made.

    “Business builders don’t go into business because they love filing tax returns,” says Nmonwu. “Using automated payroll software can help them save dozens of hours a year because they no longer need to worry about doing manual calculations or returns. Plus, they can rest easy knowing that automation reduces the possibility of human error. Payroll software takes the pain out of compliance, allowing business owners to focus on business strategy, customers, and employee engagement rather than on red-tape.”

    *For more information about how to remain compliant, visit: 

    Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Sage.

    For media queries:
    Idea Engineers (PR agency for Sage)
    Thuli Lamani
    Tel: +27 (0)11 803 0030
    Mobile: +27 (0)83 716 2572

    Del-Mari Roberts
    Tel: +27 (0)11 803 0030
    Mobile: +27 (0)72 5958 053

    About Sage
    Sage (FTSE: SGE) ( is the global market leader for technology that helps businesses of all sizes manage everything from money to people – whether they’re a start-up, scale-up or enterprise. We do this through Sage Business Cloud - the one and only business management solution that customers will ever need, comprising Accounting, Financials, Enterprise Management, People & Payroll and Payments & Banking.  
    Our mission is to free business builders from the burden of admin, so they can spend more time doing what they love – and we do that every day for three million customers across 23 countries, through our 13000 colleagues and a network of accountants and partners. We are committed to doing business the right way, and giving back to our communities through Sage Foundation.
    Find out more: