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2017

January 2017

12 January 2017

Arkana Partners announces new fund targeting Nigerian businesses requiring $20-$60 million

By Staff Writer | Nairametrics

Mid Cap Nigerian businesses looking to attract private equity funding have received an added boost. Arkana Partners, an investment firm have set up a private equity fund that will target equity investments in Nigeria of up to $100 million.

Reuters reports that the fund is set up by Kayode Akinola and Marlon Chigwende who were previously with Africa at private equity giants KKR and Carlyle respectively.

Here is Akinola as reported by Reuters.

“We will be focused on the mid-cap, where we believe the bulk of opportunities are,” Akinola said, adding that while the emphasis will be on private equity investments the new firm will be flexible in its approach.

“You need to bring your entire tool bag to the market. (In Africa) you can’t just say you’re only going to do buy-outs or just greenfield,” he said, referring to developing projects, often in infrastructure, from scratch.

The new firm will look for ventures which are ready to absorb up to $100 million but will mostly focus on opportunities requiring between $20 and $60 million of equity, Akinola said, highlighting that what counts as “mid-cap” can vary widely in different African economies.

It remained unclear when fundraising for the new venture would take place or how much the firm aimed to raise.

Akinola is Nigerian while Chigwende is originally from Zimbabwe and are taregting businesses in South Africa and Nigeria.

Akinola was also bullish about Africa, despite the inherent fears.

“The thing about emerging markets is that sometimes you have to be countercyclical. Africa continues to be a market where structural demand across most sectors will drive long-term growth.”

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/arkana-partners-announces-new-fund-targeti...

12 January 2017

The Richest Africans in Technology

By Dean Workman | IT News Africa

When Forbes released their list of Richest Africans in 2017, the leaders in the tech industry could not be ignored.

Here are the 5 richest Africans in tech in 2017:

5. Onsi Sawiris- Egypt $1.07 Billion-telecoms

Onsi Sawiris is number 18 on the overall African rich list, he is the patriarch of the Sawiris family, Egypt’s wealthiest family. Onsi made a large portion of his fortune through his company Orascom Construction Industries. He then started Global Telecom Holding S.A.E. in 1998, it is an international telecommunications company operating GSM networks in the Middle East, Africa, Canada and Asia. The company now has a total population under license of approximately 409 million. Global Telecom Holding is a member of the VimpelCom Group, which is one of the world’s largest mobile telecommunications provider by number of customers.

4. Koos Bekker- South Africa $2 Billion- media and investment

Koos Bekker number 11 on the overall African rich list, is a respected and shrewd executive who managed to oversee the transformation of South Africa’s newspaper publisher Naspers into a digital media powerhouse. Bekker saw the rise of Naspers due to their market capitalization which saw from $600 million to $45 billion all whle not taking a single salary, bonus or benefit, instead he was compensated via stock options which grew over time. In 2015 he sold more than 70% of his Naspers shares. The company now operates in 130 countries and it is also registered on the London and Johannesburg Stock Exchanges.Other than media in the US and China Naspers boasts the largest market capitalization of any media company and is larger than any in Europe.

3. Isabel do Santos- Angola $3.2 Billion- Investments in Unitel

Isabel do Santos, 8th on the overall African rich list, is the daughter of Angola’s long serving president. The richest African women on this list, dos Sants made her fortune through investments in various ventures in Angola and Portugal. In Angola, her assets include 25% of the county’s largest mobile network, Unitel, and 42% of a bank, Banc BIC. In addition, she owns 6% of Portuguese oil and gas firm Galp Energia and is a large stakeholder in both Portugal’s fourth largest bank and a cable TV and telecom firm, Nos SGPS . Dos Santos claims to be an independent businesswoman but controversy and rumors have always surrounded her with regards to her father’s dealings in her businesses.

2. Naguib Sawiris- Egypt $3.7 Billion- telecoms

Naguib Sawiris, 7th on the overall African rich list, built his fortune in the telecoms sector with his company Orascom Telecom Media & Technology (OTMT). Sawiris has also, since 2013, built major stakes in gold mining companies that operate in Canada, Australia and Africa. The Egyptian stepped down as CEO of OTMT in December 2016.

1. Mike Adenuga- Nigeria $5.8 Billion- telecoms

Mike Adenuga, is placed 3rd on the overall African rich list and is Nigeria’s second richest man thanks to the fortunes he has made from his telecoms and oil production companies. Adenuga’s telecoms company, Globacom is the second largest operator in Nigeria with 36 million subscribers, the company also extends into Ghana and the Republic of Benin. His oil business, Conoil Producing, runs 6 different oil blocks. He made his first fortune trading lace and Coca-Cola.

Full article available here.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/the-richest-africans-in-technology

12 January 2017

ENGIE to strengthen Senegal renewables sector

By Staff Writer | ESI Africa

ENGIE joins forces with the national renewable energies agency in Senegal, ANER, in order to accelerate renewable developments in the country.

The international energy company revealed the news on Wednesday, explaining that the first part of the partnership will involve the development of solar energy for individuals in multi-occupancy or individual housing.

The company elaborated that the aim of this collaboration is to study the initial deployment of these solutions to 11,000 households in the city of Dakar and its suburbs.

In achieving this, the focus will be on photovoltaic (PV) solar panels for the production of electricity and solar water-heaters for the production of hot water.

Through this partnership, both the companies will be looking into financing solutions for the equipment to facilitate a feasible deployment plan.

Market Energy Performance Contracts

As part of the agreement, ENGIE has also committed to market energy performance contracts (EPC) to industrial operators and the tertiary sector in large urban communities in the country.

According to the company, the goal of this commitment is to reduce sites’ energy consumption and help to balance the Senegalese electrical system.

“In Senegal, ENGIE will adapt the concept of EPC that it has used in all its industrial client and large tertiary markets around the world for many years,” the energy firm stated.

The global energy company has further committed its participation in an industrial cluster to promote renewable energies, particularly by professional training actions and strengthening the local industrial network.

ENGIE CEO, Isabelle Kocher, commented: “ENGIE is aiming to use its technical experience and financial capacity to support Senegal’s energy policy, in close partnership with local stakeholders.

“The agreement we have signed today reflects our desire to be a major stakeholder in renewable energies and services in Africa and to solve the huge energy supply problems found on the continent.”

The group is also involved in the Senergy project, a 30MW photovoltaic power station in the town of Santiou Mekhé, scheduled for commissioning this year, the company said.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/engie-to-strengthen-senegal-renewables-sector

12 January 2017

China plans fresh $40 billion round of investments in Nigeria

By Staff | This Day, Nigeria

The Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister, Wang Yi, has disclosed plans by the Chinese government to invest up to $40 billion in Nigeria as part of efforts aimed at deepening relations between the two countries.

The amount, which was announced by the minister during a joint briefing with his Nigerian counterpart yesterday in Abuja was in addition to other contributions China had made to Nigeria to support her developmental activities.

He said his country had invested about $45b in various projects in Nigeria and is at the verge of releasing another $40b.

“China has already invested or financed a total number of $22billion projects here in Nigeria, another $23billion projects are on-going. In addition, we are also following up another over $40billion of investments, which are in the pipeline,” Yi said.

The Chinese foreign minister had met earlier in the day with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, where the president pledged that Nigeria would honour all agreements signed with the People’s Republic of China.

“This administration is very serious about infrastructural development. We want rail, road, power, skill acquisition for our people. We ought to have developed beyond this point, but we neglected infrastructure when we had the resources.

“Now, we have to collaborate with you, and we will keep our side of the bargain in all the agreements we have signed,” Buhari was quoted to have said in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

The president had visited China in April, last year, as guest of President Xi Jinping, and the two countries signed memoranda of understanding on projects, running into billions of dollars.

At the press briefing with his Nigerian counterpart, the Chinese Foreign Minister said the purpose of his visit to Nigeria was to implement the important agreement and cooperation reached between the Chinese and Nigerian presidents and at the same time work closely with Nigeria to ensure that the outcome of the FOCAC summit are well implemented here in Nigeria.

“In order to achieve further development and prosperity of the two countries, we need to strengthen our political mutual trust, deepen complementarily between our developments, further expand practical cooperation and deepen our strategic partnership,” he said.

He described Nigeria and China as strategic partners whose relations he noted had developed well. He, however, said when compared with the size, population and markets of the two countries, their cooperation had large potential to be deepened.

The foreign minister said he was confident his visit would be successful in further strengthening the strategic partnership between China and Nigeria.

Earlier, Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, commended the Chinese government for her solidarity with Nigeria and Africa.

He said the relationship between Nigeria and China was one that was very strong and had been going on for many years.

While commending the Chinese government officicials for their yearly visit to African countries with a view to discussing substantive issues of development, he stressed that the visits were unique because they helped to display and show solidarity of the Peoples Republic with Africa.

Onyeama said: “You know of course that the Peoples Republic of China has been meeting regularly with Africa and the forum for discussing technical cooperation with African countries, the acronym is FOCAC.

“The last one took place in South Africa last December and the government of China made available a total of $60b for Africa and a number of countries, including Nigeria are in discussions to see how much of that could be used to assist in the various projects that we have in this country.

He said aside the FOCAC issue, China had, so far, invested between $60b and $80b in Nigeria, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to china last year had further opened up more areas of cooperation.

“In area of infrastructure, which is one of the priority areas in the diversification programme of this government from oil to agriculture and infrastructure, the Chinese government has been showing a lot of cooperation with us,” the minister said.

He identified transportation as one area the Chinese government had been very helpful to Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Nigeria has withdrawn its recognition for Taiwan, pledging her support for one China in a move considered as part of efforts at strengthening its relations with China.

Nigeria is, therefore, to withdraw all diplomatic relations with Taiwan as a country, as well as withdraw accreditation from Taiwan’s nationals. In addition, the Taiwanese office in Abuja would be shut, while it would be allowed to relocate to Lagos as a trade mission with skeletal staff.

This position, which was contained in a joint statement by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of both Nigeria and China in Abuja yesterday, also saw the governments of the two countries reaffirming their mutual respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other.

Nigeria, in the statement reaffirmed that the “One China” policy was at the core of its strategic partnership with china.

It said: “The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria recognizes that there is only one China in the world; that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.

“The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria reiterates not to have any official relations or engage in any official contacts with Taiwan, and supports all efforts made by the Chinese government to realize national unification”.

On her part the Government of the People’s Republic of China while appreciating the gesture of Nigeria over the Taiwan issue reaffirmed her commitment to actively develop China-Nigeria strategic partnership across board.

Speaking to journalists after the statement, Onyeama stated that the federal government took the decision to remove any iota of doubt in the minds of the Chinese people about Nigeria’s commitment to the unity of China.

He said: “On the issue of building trust, the international community has embraced one China and China is a member of the United Nations and we don’t want to leave any doubt on the issue,” adding: “We adhere to it completely and there is no ambiguity at all.”

He said Nigeria as a nation would do everything to realize the one China policy as well as any effort that would promote the peace and well-being of the People’s Republic of China.

According to Onyeama, China is one of the countries that has been in full support of reforms in the UN that would see Africa having two seats at the UN Security Council, saying it deserved to be supported in her unification drive.

Similarly, Yi, while noting that the gesture would enhance the bilateral ties between the two countries, said China would not only respect the one Nigeria policy but would do everything to support the one Nigeria dream.

He pledged the support of China in helping Nigeria overcome her security challenges as well as supporting the administration’s efforts at diversification of the economy, particularly in the area of agriculture and infrastructure.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/china-plans-fresh-40-billion-investments-i...

2017

January 2017

11 January 2017

World Bank sees Zimbabwe GDP growing 3.8% in 2017

By Staff Writer | The Source Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s economy grew by 0,4 percent in 2016 and could accelerate by 3,8 percent this year, higher than the regional average, the World Bank has said in its latest report.

The projection contrasts sharply with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which expects the GDP to record a growth of -2,5 percent this year in the absence of reforms and new money while the government forecast a GDP growth of 1,8 percent over the same period.

The World Bank did not explain the basis of such a prediction.

The report titled: Global Economic Prospects, noted that the Sub-Saharan Africa economies growth rate slowed to 1,5 percent in 2016, the weakest pace in over two decades but are expected to pick up to 2,4 percent this year, as commodity exporting economies adjust to low prices.

South Africa and oil exporting countries, which contribute two-thirds of regional output, accounted for most of the slowdown, while activity in non-resource intensive economies generally remained robust.

The impact of low commodity prices is seen continuing throughout 2017, though some recovery is expected.

“South Africa is expected to edge up to 1,1 percent this year while Nigeria is forecast to rebound from recession and grow at a rate of 1 percent, as an anticipated modest improvement in oil prices, coupled with an increase in oil production, boost domestic revenues.

“Angola is projected to expand at a moderate 1,2 percent pace as high inflation and tight policy continue to weigh on consumption and investment. In other mineral and energy exporters, the outlook is generally favorable,” reads the report.

The World Bank also notes that the heightened policy uncertainty in the United States and Europe could cause financial market volatility, affecting borrowing costs and capital flows to the region.

“A reversal of flows to the region would hit heavily traded currencies, like the South African rand, hard. A sharper-than-expected slowdown in China could weigh on demand for export commodities and undermine prices,” the report reads.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/world-bank-sees-zimbabwe-gdp-growing-3-8-i...

11 January 2017

Uganda’s economy expands by $375 million

By Staff Writer | The Exchange

The size of Uganda’s economy expanded by Shs163.280 billion in the first quarter of 2016/17 financial year supported despite slowdown in GDP growth rate.

Newly released statistics by Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) indicates that the quarterly GDP at current prices for the first quarter 2016/17 is estimated to have grown by approximately Shs52 billion from Shs21.528 billion estimated for quarter four of 2015/16.

Uganda remains predominately an agriculture country despite the underdevelopment in agricultural sector and its subsequent decline in its share contribution to the total GDP in the last 10 years.

Giving highlights on Uganda’s economic growth performance, director macroeconomic statistics at Uganda Bureau of Statistics recently, Dr Chris N. Mukiza said: “The share of value added in the agriculture sector grew to 23.7 per cent, whereas that of industry sector dropped to 19.4 per cent and services declined to 48.8 per cent during the first quarter of 2016/17.”

In terms of the total value (size) of Uganda’s GDP at market prices Dr Mukiza said it was Shs14.027 trillion in first quarter down from Shs14.049 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2015/16.

However, it when comes to quarterly GDP growth computed statistics shows that Uganda’s economic growth rate for 2016/17 shrunk by 0.2 per cent compared to 0.6 per cent registered in the fourth quarter of 2015/16.

The decline in Uganda’s economic growth in the first quarter is attributed to poor performance in some key sectors of the economy, which registered contraction during the period.

Dr Mukiza said the decline in real GPD is largely from contraction in agriculture where its value added is estimated to have declined by 1.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2016/17, following the earlier decline by 1.0 per cent in the previous quarter four of 2015/16 financial year.

“The contraction is attributed to declining value added in cash crop and food crop growing activities; for instance, cash crops declined by 5.5 per cent and food crop declined by 0.8 per cent from earlier decline by 1.3 per cent in quarter four of 2015/16,” he said.

Dr Mukiza added: “Other activities that declined are forestry, fishing, livestock activities, and agricultural support services.”

However, Dr Mukiza said the service sector value added remained stable at Shs7.239 trillion in the first quarter of 2016/17, similar to the value added registered in quarter four of 2015/16.

He explained that this was because of the increase in value added of trade and repairs, information and communication, real estate, education, human health and social work, transportation and shortage and accommodation was offset by a reduction in value added in public administration and finance and insurance services.

In the value added industrial sector, he said the sector grew by 1.3 per cent in the first quarter of 2016/17 from the 2.7 per cent decline in quarter four of 2015/16.

“The main driver to this growth were construction which grew by 9.2 per cent, electricity by 2.3 per cent water grew by 2.0 per cent and mining and quarrying activities by 0.9 per cent. However value added of manufacturing activities declined by 4.6 per cent on account of poor performance of cash crop and food crops that resulted in a decline in agro processing industries,” he said.

Uganda’s overall economic outlook in terms of growth remains largely unchanged from the earlier projections. The International Monetary Fund projects that the real GDP growth rate forecast will be around 5 per cent for 2016/17, 5.5 per cent for 2017/18, and 6.0 per cent for 2018/19.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/ugandas-economy-expands-by-375-million

11 January 2017

Mauritius-based firm acquires Movenpick Hotel (Ghana)

By Bernard Busulwa | Joy Online (Ghana)

A Mauritius-based investment fund has acquired the Movenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra from Kingdom Holding Company (KHC).

The transaction, according to a press release by the new owners, Quantum Global Investments Africa Management Ltd, was closed on December 28, 2016.

The transaction marks the most sizable open-market hotel transaction in Sub-Saharan Africa, notes Quantum Global.

“Complementing Quantum Global’s already significant African investment portfolio the value proposition of this transaction is underpinned by its status as one of the largest hotel and mixed-use properties in West Africa occupying an exceptional position in both business and touristic segments of the African hospitality market,” said the release.

Quantum Global’s Group CEO, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, remarked that the acquisition of Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra, one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most successful hotels, is a great testament to the strength of the Group’s Hotel Fund and its growing portfolio.

QG Africa Hotel LP is a $500 million investment vehicle which aims to capitalise on the emerging opportunities in the hospitality sector.

The fund is a long-term direct equity investor in hotel projects across sub-Saharan Africa, including greenfield and brownfield operations. The investment activities include construction, conversions, acquisition and renovation of hotel projects across sub-Saharan Africa.

It is managed by Quantum Global Investments Africa Management Ltd.

“The hospitality industry across Africa is an indicator of the vitality and attractiveness of key locations across the continent and we look to further take advantage of those opportunities and generate value-added returns for our investors,” he said.

Sitting on a 16 acres (6.5 hectares) site of landscaped gardens in Accra’s Central Business District, Movenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra comprises extensive food and beverage as well as conference facilities making it the largest 5-star conference hotel in Ghana.

The 5-star hotel is also complemented by retail as well as office facilities that form part of a unique environment, valued by tenants as well as hotel guests.

Adrian Leuenberger, Managing Director, Group Head of Asset Management, Quantum Global, said Movenpick Ambassador Hotel Accra has demonstrated outstanding growth through the highly-rated and reliable delivery of world class hospitality facilities to its international and local customers.

“We are delighted with this major acquisition and are looking forward to a very promising future.”

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/mauritius-based-firm-acquires-movenpick-ho...

2017

January 2017

10 January 2017

Kenya set to remain a hotspot for private equity investments in East Africa

By Brian Ngugi | Business Daily, Kenya

Kenya has been tipped to remain a hotspot for private equity (PE) with global deal makers expected to be attracted by an improved business environment.

Analysts at Cytonn see the financial services, information and technology sectors as some of the key areas set to interest investors on the back of good returns.

“We remain bullish on PE as an asset class given the abundance of global capital looking for opportunities in Africa, the attractive valuations in private markets compared to public markets and better economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa compared to global markets,” it said a new outlook on Monday.

“The year saw an increase in PE deals in the region, with the first three quarters registering 140 deals. In 2017, we expect a continuation of this trend, especially in Kenya, which remains an attractive destination for investors.”

Thirty three of the private equity deals in 2016 in East Africa had a disclosed value totalling Sh48 billion and, 14 of them with value of Sh30.6 billion came from Kenya.

The firm notes the improvement in ease of doing business, high return potential across all sectors, a well-diversified economy and consolidation in sectors such as financial services has created an avenue for increased PE activity.

In the financial services sector the analysts expect activity to be driven by consolidation in the banking industry and innovations.

Of key focus in 2017 for the sector will be the consolidation in the banking sector, which has already begun, with three deals recorded in 2016, notes Cytonn.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/kenya-set-to-remain-a-hotspot-for-private-...

10 January 2017

Afreximbank admits Chad as member

By Brian Ngugi | Business Daily, Kenya

Chad has ratified the agreement on the establishment of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) to become the newest member of the continental trade finance bank.

The ratification was done by Chadian President Idriss Deby.

“The ratification of the Agreement marks the full activation of Chad’s membership of Afreximbank and allows the Bank to fully deploy its programmes and facilities in the country to stimulate trade activities and develop value-added exports across its economic sectors.

It also opens up opportunities for the Bank to provide much-needed financing for the construction of trade-enabling infrastructure in the country,” said the multilateral lender in a statement.

Members of the bank numbered 43 as at May 2016. Current Afreximbank participating states include Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cape-Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, and Lesotho.

Others are Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic Of Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra-Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The agreement on the establishment of Afreximbank concluded in 1993 in Abidjan requires countries that did not sign it before it came into force should first issue an instrument of acceptance and accession, and then formally ratify the agreement in order to fully activate membership as participating states.

Participating states become shareholders when they acquire shares in the bank. Afreximbank shareholders are a mix of public and private entities divided into four classes and consist of African governments, central banks, regional and sub-regional institutions.

Others are private investors and financial institutions, as well as non-African financial institutions, export credit agencies and private investors.

Class “A” shareholders are African states, African central banks and African public institutions, including the African Development Bank.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/african-trade-finance-bank-admits-chad-as-...

2017

January 2017

06 January 2017

South Sudan plans to increase oil production

By Johnson Kamungire | Africa Review

South Sudan plans to increase its oil production in the coming days, authorities have revealed.

The move follows better global oil prices promised by The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec).

Opec is the body that co-ordinates petroleum policies among member countries, in order to secure fair and stable prices for petroleum producers.

Mayom Alier, South Sudan’s deputy head of mission in United Arab Emirates confirmed the decision by Juba on Wednesday while addressing the media.

South Sudan heavily relies on oil revenue to fund its national projects since the country became independent in 2011.

“We are planning to increase oil production as oil prices go up to increase our revenue and expand the ways of oil industry.

“Rise in oil prices is good news for us South Sudanese,” Mr Alier said.

South Sudan oil production capacity has fallen below 130,000 barrels per day from more than 350,000 barrels per day before the 2013 political turmoil.

The country last year deployed more boots to guard the operational oil areas in Upper Nile region amid sporadic clashes between rebels and government forces that affected oil production.

Recently, the oil Minister in Juba, Ezekiel Gatkuoth announced that South Sudan currently has 3.5 billion barrels of oil reserves.

Source: https://asokoinsight.com/news/south-sudan-plans-to-increase-oil-production