03 Apr

50 Kenyan companies listed in London Stock Exchange Group’s inaugural ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ report

NAIROBI, Kenya, March 31, 2017

  • Landmark report identifies fastest-growing and most dynamic private businesses across Africa
  • Report shows breadth and diversity of African business, with 42 countries across 7 major sectors represented
  • Highlights strong company performances and the potential for these firms to become the next corporate champions powering Africa’s future economic and social  development
  • UK Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt. Hon. Priti Patel MP joins company CEOs to open trading in London
  • Companies included in the report will be celebrated at an event in Nairobi on 12 May
  • Almost half of the Kenyan companies operate in innovative industries, with 14 companies in the renewable energy space and 11 in technology and telecoms

50 companies operating in Kenya are named today in London Stock Exchange’s inaugural ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ report. Collectively, Kenyan companies make up 14 per cent of the total number of companies in the report, one of the highest concentrations of high growth companies in Africa. 28 per cent of Kenyan companies operate in the renewable energy space, reflecting the country’s preeminent role in exploring alternative energy production on the continent.

Amongst those from the country are:

  • Cellulant – a mobile commerce company operating a payments ecosystem which connects financial sector customers, Mobile Network Operators and businesses to their consumers
  • D.light – a solar energy company delivering affordable solar home and power solutions for people without access to reliable energy
  • Eaton Towers – owns and manages a network of telecommunications towers in Africa
  • Shop Soko – an ethical fashion brand and mobile technology-enabled supply chain platform

The report in numbers:

  • The report identifies 343 companies from 42 African countries as the continent’s most exciting and dynamic small businesses
  • Companies delivered impressive average compound annual growth rate (revenue) of 16 per cent over a 3 year period 2013-2015
  • Fast-growing companies appear in all regions of Africa. Highest concentration of companies from West Africa with 31 per cent of companies, closely followed by East Africa with 26 per cent and Southern Africa with 22 per cent
  • South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria are the countries with the most companies in the publication, each represented by over 50 companies
  • Fast-growing companies are present across a wide range of sectors
  • There is strong representation from innovative industries, with 22 companies in renewable energy and 40 in technology & telecoms
  • Industry, which covers areas such as oil and gas, construction, manufacturing and chemicals, is the biggest sector , with 23 per cent of companies in the report, followed by Financial Services which includes mobile banking, micro-credit, disruptive technology and Fintech, with 16 per cent, indicating that the continent has great promise for both traditional and more recent economic success stories
  • The 47 consumer services companies corroborate the trend of burgeoning consumer demand and growth of the middle-class across the entire continent
  • Report highlights the important role of female entrepreneurship;12 per cent of the companies in the report are led by female CEOs, three times the average for companies across Africa

Today, company CEOs featured in the report were welcomed to London Stock Exchange Group by the Rt. Hon. Priti Patel MP and Xavier Rolet, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group at a special launch event to celebrate African companies’ success, ambition and uniquely African entrepreneurial spirit. They were also joined by a broad range of Africa-focused investors, as well as senior representatives of African Development Bank Group, CDC Group and PwC, all partners on the report.

International Development Secretary, Priti Patel said: “London Stock Exchange’s first-ever ‘Companies to Inspire Africa’ report is proof of the dynamism and vision of the City of London in supporting Africa’s growing economies.

“Now is the time for UK businesses to seize the opportunities offered by Africa, and the UK Government is supporting the City of London to become the global financial centre for the developing world.

“This will help Africa industrialise faster, trade more and create millions of jobs, driving the continent forward to a future of prosperity, and helping some of the world’s poorest countries stand on their own two feet.”[…]

Read the full story here: APO

 

17 Mar

Infomineo reveals rising global interest in the Middle East Africa region from Fortune 500 companies

Overall, there was a 17% increase in the number of companies in MEA in 2016 compared to 2015, with Johannesburg being the leading destination for Africa

The Middle East Africa (MEA) region has become increasingly important for the majority of global Fortune 500 countries, according to a new report released by Infomineo (www.Infomineo.com), a global business research company specialising in Africa and the Middle East.

The report focuses on multinationals looking at entering, or already present, in the Middle East and Africa region. Overall, there was a 17% increase in the number of companies in MEA in 2016 compared to 2015, with Johannesburg being the leading destination for Africa.

The Infomineo analysis includes the regional footprint of multinationals in the MEA region, the most commonly chosen cities, and the factors which influence the selection of the region, country and city – each element revealing the dynamic growth patterns within the region and a clear trend of Fortune 500 companies establishing some kind of presence in MEA.

In 2016, 196 Fortune 500 companies had established a dedicated regional headquarters in the MEA region. In the Middle-East, Dubai is the most popular choice with 138 companies establishing a dedicated entity in the city. There has also been a marked uptick in companies deciding to cover MEA from outside of the region – 38 companies up from 22 have established a regional headquarters in areas such as London, Brussels and Paris. The leading destinations on the Fortune 500 list include Dubai, Johannesburg, Casablanca, Nairobi, Lagos, and Cairo. Egypt remains behind the leaders due to political instability, however, it has seen a 250% increase in Fortune 500 investment since 2015. Germany and France are leading in terms of coverage rate while China has the lowest presence in the region.

Industry type plays a pivotal role in the selection of city and country. Financial services are more likely to base MEA coverage from London, while technology companies are more inclined towards Casablanca or Lagos. The latter city is also the premier location for organisations looking to manage their operations across Western Africa with 12 Fortune 500 companies already established in the region. Automotive and Healthcare tend to have a presence in both Africa and the Middle East, while Technology is more inclined to having a presence from the outside.

Nairobi, in Kenya, is the leading destination for the FMCG companies and tends to be the top choice for organisations looking to service Eastern Africa. Dubai and Johannesburg are the most popular hubs overall, but both Casablanca and Nairobi are rapidly gaining traction and international awareness. Casablanca has the highest growth rate overall, while Dubai has the highest count. The same can be said for London, which has tripled its number of regional HQs in the region, acting as an MEA hub. Given the geographical proximity and the talent pool present in the city, it could be that London is playing the role of a first step into the MEA region, especially for Japanese and North American companies.

There are numerous factors which impact on the organisation’s selection of a specific city. These include the local market potential, maturity of the industry, existing competitors, political stability and the quality of the employment market, among others. Determining the attractiveness of a location along these clear lines assures the Fortune 500 companies of a stable and profitable investment and significantly mitigates risk. The most attractive cities are Dubai, Johannesburg, Casablanca and Nairobi, and at the lower end of the spectrum, Cairo, Paris, Algiers and Cape Town.

Through this analysis, organisations gain a thorough understanding of markets and factors which ensure a steady base of operations from which organisations can expand into the growing MEA market, and establish brand and identity within the growing middle classes. Infomineo has undertaken in-depth analysis and research on the MEA region, revealing the various factors inhibiting or inspiring Fortune 500 uptake. Further data on the analysis can be found here.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Infomineo.

13 Mar

GE’s Fuel-Flexible Power Plant Brings Vital Energy Boost to Ghana

Once operational, the 200 MW plant will be one of the most efficient power plants in the country and will generate the equivalent power needed to supply more than one million Ghanaian homes

ACCRA, Ghana, March 13, 2017/APO/ —

  • GE to Provide 200MW Turnkey Power Plant with Consortium Partner to Amandi Energy Limited in Aboadze, Ghana;
  • Tri-Fuel 9E.04 Gas Turbines From GE to Add Equivalent Power Needed to Supply More Than 1 Million Ghanaian Homes;
  • New Plant Will Help Ghana Tackle Energy Deficit.

GE, (NYSE: GE) the world’s premier digital industrial company, today announced the order of a 200MW combined-cycle power plant to be operated by Amandi Energy Ltd in Aboadze, Ghana. The plant will help to add reliable and efficient capacity to the grid to tackle Ghana’s increasing demand for power. The plant’s construction will be overseen by Metka, a leading international engineering contractor.

This turnkey plant will be powered by GE’s 9E.04 gas turbine  with tri-fuel capabilities. Initially fueled by light crude oil, the switch will be made to indigenous gas from Ghana’s offshore Sankofa natural gas field once available.

“GE’s fuel capabilities are unmatched. Having a turbine that is able to switch between fuels can provide increased plant operability allowing for power generation months before the indigenous gas supply would otherwise be available,” said Boaz Lavi, GM for Amandi Energy Ltd, Ghana. “This is crucial in helping Ghana meet its growing power needs.”

GE will also provide the steam turbine, heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), associated balance of plant, and 7-year CSA. Once operational, the 200 MW plant will be one of the most efficient power plants in the country and will generate the equivalent power needed to supply more than one million Ghanaian homes.

“Our customers have complex fuel needs, and this project illustrates the breadth of solutions we are able to deliver to meet their expectations,” said Leslie Nelson, GM Gas Power Systems at GE Power in Sub-Saharan Africa, “We are pleased that our strong regional presence allows us to get power to our customers, like Amandi Energy, quickly and efficiently.”

The rugged 9E can burn more than 50 types of fuels and can switch between natural gas, distillate and heavy fuel oil while operating under full load. GE’s 9E.04 has multiple features that help reduce fuel costs and increase revenue, such as a 145 MW output and 37 percent efficiency in simple-cycle. GE has more than 3,000 E-class turbines installed throughout the world with 143 million combined operating hours.

GE works with the government, corporate customers and other stakeholders in Ghana to support economic growth through infrastructure development in the power, healthcare and transport sectors. In 2014, GE opened a 200-capacity permanent office in Accra, and now has over 80 employees – 95% of which are Ghanaians.

Distributed by APO on behalf of GE.

13 Feb

Dangote Sets to Launch 25,000 Hectares of Rice Outgrower Scheme in Sokoto

Dangote Rice, a subsidiary of Dangote Group is set to launch in Sokoto. Sokoto state it’s multi-million naira 25,000 hectares of rice outgrower scheme with a prospect of hundreds of thousands of employment opportunities for the rural communities inhabitants.

President of the Group, Aliko Dangote disclosed at the weekend that the Company will on Wednesday, flag off with a pilot project of 500 ha by Gonroyo dam, in Goronyo community. Gonroyo dam is the second largest in the country, after Kainji.

The flag off ceremony which will be performed by the governor of the state, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwa will witness seedlings being distributed to the primary local farmers who will in turn plant the seed after which Dangote Rice company will purchase from them for milling and final processing.

Sokoto state is the second after Jigawa out of the 14 states spread across the state where Dangote Rice plans to operate outgrower scheme to empower local farmers and create job opportunities for community dwellers and reduce migration to the cities.

Dangote Rice projects in the 14 states, when, operational, will generate a significant number of jobs and increase take-home income for smallholder farmers, all while diversifying Nigeria’s economy and reducing the nation’s food import bill.

Statistics from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) estimates that rice demand in Nigeria reached 6.3 million MT in 2015, with only 2.3 million MT of that demand satisfied by local production.

This local production shortfall leaves a gap of 4.0 million MT that is currently being filled through formal importation of rice or illegal imports over land borders.

By year-end 2017, Dangote Rice plans to produce 225,000 MT of parboiled, milled white rice. This will allow us to satisfy 4% of the total market demand within 1 year. Our model can then be successfully scaled to produce 1,000,000 MT of milled rice in order to satisfy 16% of the domestic market demand for rice over the next 5 years.

Due to the current economic crisis, domestic prices for agro-commodities have risen dramatically over the last 12 months, making local agriculture an attractive investment. Dangote Rice Limited  seeks to take advantage of this economic trend and the favourable policies laid out in the FMARD’s Agricultural Transformation Agenda.

Dangote Rice has a mandate to locally high-quality milled, parboiled rice for the Nigeria market. This goal will be achieved by sourcing the raw material (paddy) required from the Dangote Rice Outgrower Scheme. […]

You can read the full-story here: APO

 

16 Jan

UKEF supports GE Oil & Gas contract with major energy project in Ghana

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has announced that it will provide $400 million in support for a GE Oil & Gas contract with Ghana’s Offshore Cape Three Points Project
LONDON, United Kingdom, January 16, 2017

GE Oil & Gas, which is headquartered in the UK, is providing subsea production systems to the project, which will develop oil and gas fields approximately 60km offshore from the western side of Ghana’s coast. Following first gas production in 2018, the new fields are expected to continuously feed Ghana’s thermal power plants for more than 20 years.

UKEF will provide US $400 million of support to the OCTP project, including a loan under its Direct Lending Facility

Rt Hon. Greg Hands MP, Minister for Trade and Investment, said: The Offshore Cape Three Points Project will greatly improve Ghana’s energy security. Thanks to the UK Government’s support, via UK Export Finance, and our global leadership in oil and gas, UK companies are ideally placed to support Ghana’s future development and seize the huge export potential that brings.

Lorenzo Simonelli, President and CEO of GE Oil & Gas, said: This contract represents GE’s ability to invest to build local partnership, resource and infrastructure capabilities, and will utilise engineering and manufacturing expertise from the UK, across the supply chain. Export credit agency financing is an important source of support for our customers, and the MoU signed with UKEF in 2015 has helped to support this success.

The Offshore Cape Three Points (OCTP) project will develop gas reserves expected to generate an additional 1,100MW of power for Ghana, which will alleviate the country’s reliance on energy imports, providing long-term energy security and supporting Ghanaian industrial development. This transformational natural gas project will help the country achieve its COP21 commitments for climate mitigation by displacing heavy fuel oil use with gas – equivalent to taking 1.2 million cars off Ghana’s roads each year or planting 152 million trees.

Support for the contract is a result of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between GE and UKEF in 2015, affirming UKEF’s support for GE and GE’s commitment to continued investment in its UK operations.

UKEF will provide US $400 million of support to the OCTP project, including a loan under its Direct Lending Facility. This will be UKEF’s first direct loan for a project in Africa. UKEF support will finance the specialised systems and equipment, a significant proportion of which has been sourced from the UK.

OCTP is understood to be the world’s first upstream oil and gas development transaction where a European export credit agency (ECA) has supported a major hybrid finance structure comprising both project finance and reserve-based lending. As the sole ECA, UKEF played a pioneering role in establishing this precedent, reinforcing its growing reputation as one of the world’s most innovative and flexible ECAs. The transaction has been named Project Finance International’s African Oil & Gas Deal of the Year for 2016.

Total investment in the development of the OCTP are estimated to be $7.9 billion over the life of the project, represents the largest foreign direct investment in Ghana’s history. UKEF’s support is provided as part of a larger USD$1.35 billion financing package alongside that of the International Finance Corporation and Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency of the World Bank Group, as well as commercial banks HSBC Bank plc, Standard Chartered Bank, Société Générale (London Branch), ING Belgium SA/NV, Natixis, Bank of China, Singapore Branch, Mizuho Bank Ltd and MUFG (Europe) N.V.

11 Jan

UK and Malawi renew their strong historic ties

New High Commissioner to Malawi, Holly Tett, presents her credentials while reaffirming UK’s commitment to Malawi

LILONGWE, Malawi, January 11, 2017

The new British High Commissioner to Malawi, Holly Tett, says the deep and strong bilateral relations between the UK and Malawi will be more important during this time that the countries are experiencing major changes like Brexit and the pushing of a reform agenda respectively.

The UK currently runs a £150 million (approximately K150 billion) development programme in Malawi to help progress and lift her people out of poverty

Ms Tett was speaking to local press at Kamuzu Palace in the capital Lilongwe shortly after presenting her letters of credence to President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika.

Accompanied by her partner Mark Kalch and the deputy High Commissioner Stephen Phillips, Ms Tett said that as a long-standing development partner of Malawi, the UK will continue supporting Malawi in a range of priorities.

“I talked to the President about a really true historic friendship that Malawi and UK have; we talked about deepening that friendship through what will be period of significant changes like Brexit in UK and as the President pushes through his reform agenda,” said Ms Tett.

Ms Tett said she will support Malawi to deal with the current humanitarian crisis (where the UK has already provided £43 million, approximately K43 billion), to continue with the momentum of the reform agenda and a broad range of priorities like education, health and issues that affect women, girls and children, and to further boost the sporting links between the two countries.

Holly Tett succeeds Michael Nevin whose tour of duty ended in September last year. Before her arrival into the country earlier this month, Simon Mustard served as the UK’s temporary High Commissioner. The UK currently runs a £150 million (approximately K150 billion) development programme in Malawi to help progress and lift her people out of poverty.