Weekly Africa Newsbriefs 19 March

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    Leriba Africa Newsbrief

     

     Week commencing 19 March 2018

     


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    Zimbabwe

    Econet to invest in solar power systems

    Global telecommunications group Econet Wireless has begun the process of investing more than $250m in a solar power systems project. Indications are that it has placed orders for nearly 20MW. The investment will be done through its subsidiary, Distributed Power Africa, and will provide solar energy solutions for industrial, commercial and home use and is targeting the creation of more than 5,000 new jobs in Zimbabwe over the next two years.

    The Herald Zimbabwe 12 March

     

    Egypt

    Samsung buys artificial intelligence start-up

    Samsung has acquired artificial intelligence start-up Kngine to improve its virtual assistant, Bixby. The acquisition was made by Samsung affiliate Samsung Next, which acquired 100% of Kngine. The start-up had struggled to raise investments after securing its first round and has had to move to the US to raise more money. Kngine had raised its first investment from Cairo-based Sawari Ventures. The total disclosed investment raised by the start-up amounted to $775,000. The financial details of the Samsung acquisition were not disclosed.

    Telecompaper 12 March

     

    Zambia

    Germany sets aside €20m for agriculture

    Germany is investing €20m to boost agriculture productivity among small-scale farmers. The investment will support various initiatives including the country’s Green Innovation centres for the agriculture and food sectors. The initiative, which has prioritised women and youths, is aimed at increasing the incomes of 70,000 small-scale farming enterprises and improving the region’s food supply through the adoption of innovations in agriculture.

    Zambia Daily Mail 13 March

     

    Ghana

    Grit acquires $20m office block

    Real estate income group Grit is set to expand into Ghana with the acquisition of a $20.5m office block. The real estate firm signed heads of agreement to purchase 5th Avenue Corporate Offices, a three-storey, fully let 5 070m2 complex in the upmarket Cantonments quarter of Accra from Ghanaian property developer, Greenline Development.  The asset is anchored by a public-private partnership in which the government holds a 38% shareholding.

    Liquid Africa 16 March

     

    Nigeria

    Truecaller, Vconnect collaborate on business app

    Swedish caller ID software company Trucaller will be integrating local online platform VConnect’s business directory to its app to strengthen the visibility of the country’s small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs). The integration is aimed at empowering SMEs in Nigeria to get more visibility and new customers. It will also help deepen relations between the two organisations and bring about the digital inclusion of small businesses. The Swedish firm will, however, be setting up its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

    Vanguard 13 March

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Opportunity

   
A rapidly growing and urbanising middle class set to experience a consumption boom; the world’s greatest resources of as-yet-untapped agricultural land, oil, gas and countless other commodities; and a growing number of entrenched, stable democracies with increasingly sophisticated democratic institutions. Africa is the last major region in the world to offer the prospect of take-off phase economic growth, delivering world-beating returns to investors.
5.6%
GDP growth rate in the decade to 2013 average in Africa; 7% expected in the next decade
7
of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world over the next decade will be African
4
of the 10 most improved economies for doing business are in Africa
   
Urbanisation Natural Resources
The population of Africa’s cities will triple by 2050 with over one billion people living in cities by 2040. Lagos is the largest with over 12,4 million people. Urbanisation presents opportunities for tertiary sectors like retail, telecommunications, banking and logistics. Major recent discoveries in oil, iron ore, natural gas, and other key commodities are set to provide major economic stimulus. Urbanisation in Africa and the rest of the world will drive demand for natural resources which Africa is uniquely positioned to satisfy with both new and old discoveries.
   
   

Risk

     
90%
of African countries score below 50 in Transparency International's corruption perception index
16
African countries use International Financial Reporting Standards, others inconsistent
45
African countries have media sectors that are considered not free
   
The continent remains a difficult place to do business. The regulatory and legal structures common in much of the world are only nascent in many African countries. In rapidly changing economies, reputations are only starting to develop and information on performance histories difficult to obtain. Weak media sectors often mean that critical information relevant to potential exposures is never publicly  disseminated. Data are scarce making traditional investment analysis difficult if not impossible. The incentives facing local partners are opaque and may well be antithetical to outside investors’ interests. As in any rapidly changing environment, opportunists are aiming to exploit potential investors. Just as the opportunities in Africa are clear, the stories of investments gone wrong are sobering.
   

Solved

   
Leriba is a specialist consultancy with a unique combination of financial and political research skills. We help analyse opportunities and examine current investments for unforeseen political and financial risks. We recognise the investment
 
opportunities in Africa but we are pragmatic about the challenges. Our insights provide actionable information which directly pay off through better investment decisions.
PEOPLE OUR VALUES COUNTRIES INDUSTRIES 
Our directors have decades of experience in Africa. We work with a network of associates across the continent with support staff in London and Johannesburg
 
First and foremost we aim to make a positive contribution to our clients and to the societies in which we operate. Clients can have full confidence in our ethics, professionalism and discretion. Our staff are governed by a strict code of conduct and many are members of professional societies
 
Unlike some other consultancies, our analysts live and work in Africa and have built up substantial networks and insight. We are able to work in any of Africa’s 54 countries.
 
We have worked in a wide range of industries, including:
 
Banking, oil & gas, mining, telecoms, IT, retail, logistics, agriculture, insurance, fund management, FMCG, hotels & tourism, energy and infrastructure 
       
       

Weekly Africa Newsbriefs 19 March

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Weekly newsbriefs

Weekly Africa Newsbriefs 19 March

To receive this brief in your email every Monday, please subscribe here.

Leriba Africa Newsbrief

 

 Week commencing 19 March 2018

 


solar-panels-1794467_1280

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zimbabwe

Econet to invest in solar power systems

Global telecommunications group Econet Wireless has begun the process of investing more than $250m in a solar power systems project. Indications are that it has placed orders for nearly 20MW. The investment will be done through its subsidiary, Distributed Power Africa, and will provide solar energy solutions for industrial, commercial and home use and is targeting the creation of more than 5,000 new jobs in Zimbabwe over the next two years.

The Herald Zimbabwe 12 March

 

Egypt

Samsung buys artificial intelligence start-up

Samsung has acquired artificial intelligence start-up Kngine to improve its virtual assistant, Bixby. The acquisition was made by Samsung affiliate Samsung Next, which acquired 100% of Kngine. The start-up had struggled to raise investments after securing its first round and has had to move to the US to raise more money. Kngine had raised its first investment from Cairo-based Sawari Ventures. The total disclosed investment raised by the start-up amounted to $775,000. The financial details of the Samsung acquisition were not disclosed.

Telecompaper 12 March

 

Zambia

Germany sets aside €20m for agriculture

Germany is investing €20m to boost agriculture productivity among small-scale farmers. The investment will support various initiatives including the country’s Green Innovation centres for the agriculture and food sectors. The initiative, which has prioritised women and youths, is aimed at increasing the incomes of 70,000 small-scale farming enterprises and improving the region’s food supply through the adoption of innovations in agriculture.

Zambia Daily Mail 13 March

 

Ghana

Grit acquires $20m office block

Real estate income group Grit is set to expand into Ghana with the acquisition of a $20.5m office block. The real estate firm signed heads of agreement to purchase 5th Avenue Corporate Offices, a three-storey, fully let 5 070m2 complex in the upmarket Cantonments quarter of Accra from Ghanaian property developer, Greenline Development.  The asset is anchored by a public-private partnership in which the government holds a 38% shareholding.

Liquid Africa 16 March

 

Nigeria

Truecaller, Vconnect collaborate on business app

Swedish caller ID software company Trucaller will be integrating local online platform VConnect’s business directory to its app to strengthen the visibility of the country’s small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs). The integration is aimed at empowering SMEs in Nigeria to get more visibility and new customers. It will also help deepen relations between the two organisations and bring about the digital inclusion of small businesses. The Swedish firm will, however, be setting up its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

Vanguard 13 March