Atta Africa Financial Update

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

Executive summary: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited Africa for the first time last week and chose Lagos as his initial port of call, influenced by a growing team of US-educated Nigerians in his close circle.

More than 15 high-profile roles are held by highly successful diaspora members who have steered the company towards backing coder training centres in Nigeria or leading social network for business education initiatives.

Notwithstanding the recent explosion of the Facebook satellite-carrying SpaceX rocket, Facebook’s ambitions to democratise internet access in Africa has seen tangible progress. Free Basics, the company’s “on-ramp to the internet”, lately saw 85 free online services including healthcare, job listings and education portals added to its Nigerian operations. Not without its critics, the scheme could provide a powerful tool to bring the continent online with the multiplier effect of real time and uncensored information.

Fact: Russian cosmonauts used to carry shotguns into space. This was primarily to fend off bears upon re-entry and landing

Japan pledges US$30 billion for Africa over the next three years

  • Japan needs natural resources, and Africa needs infrastructure - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told African leaders on Saturday that his country will commit US$30 billion in public and private support for infrastructure development, education and healthcare expansion in the continent
  • Japan’s overall direct investment in Africa totalled US$1.24 billion in 2015, down from about US$1.5 billion a year earlier
  • Its presence in infrastructure projects ranges from roads, ports and airports to power plants

IFC invests US$195 million in Ghanaian seaport

  • The IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a US$667m financing package to increase the container capacity of Ghana’s main seaport, a deal that is expected to trigger increased trade flows and improved transport links across West Africa
  • The financing package for the construction of a new container terminal in the Port of Tema, located 30 kilometers east of Accra, represents IFC’s largest port investment and biggest infrastructure mobilization to date in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • It includes US$195m from IFC’s own account and US$472m from three commercial banks – Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, and Standard Bank – as well as the Dutch development bank FMO
  • QBIS estimates this boost in trade will increase the revenues of Ghana’s import and export companies, which will lead to as much as a US$1.1bn rise in Global Value Added to the Ghanaian economy and as many as 450,000 new jobs