Commercial News from Africa

Key commercial and political activity in Africa for private equity investors by DCE Partners, UK Private Equity advisors to Atta.

The South African rail sector. After a 30 year investment hiatus, the South African rail sector looks set to expand off the back of a huge government capital injection. Increasing congestion, road deterioration and the high cost of road logistics has forced the South African government, in a bid to increase competitiveness, to look at alternatives to road transport; which currently accounts for 88% of the countries freight tonnage flow. The two big state owned firms will spend upwards of R400 billion over the next 20 years on the refurbishment of old locomotives and the purchase of new ones. Local firms with refurbishment and ground up manufacturing capabilities are in short supply and look well positioned to capitalise on the sectors expansion.

Obama to unveil US$14b in U.S. corporate investments in Africa. U.S. companies pledged new investment in Africa of US$14billion for investment in construction, clean energy, banking, and information technology projects.  Business leaders said they wanted to seize opportunities in the region, home to six of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies. Dangote Group announced plans to invest US$5 billion in energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa jointly with Blackstone Group. World Bank announced US$5-billion in financing and investment guarantees for Power Africa, a privately funded program to install 10,000 megawatts of new generation capacity and connect 20 million new customers across Africa by 2018. More than 90 U.S. companies are slated to participate including Chevron Corp, Citigroup Inc, Ford Motor Co, Lockheed Martin Corp, Marriott International Inc and Morgan Stanley.