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Manufacturing—Legal Services—Energy—Innovation--Cyber Breaches—eCommerce—Investment—Hospitality/Tourism

Manufacturing

The Manufacturing Association of Nigeria launched Large Corporation Group, charged with drafting policy recommendations to establish the necessary economic and social climate for the operation and development of local large-scale industries. MAN President Frank Udemba said one of the group’s most crucial tasks is the facilitation of an effective linkage between small/medium and large-scale industries in the production and supply value chain. Such a linkage is critical if Nigeria is to become a manufacturing hub in the sub-region and beyond, he said. Senior Nigerian government officials and corporate executives attending the GE-sponsored launch event conceded that Nigerian manufacturers face tough conditions, notably inadequate power, for which they recommended distributed/embedded power as a short-term solution. “There is no foreseeable way of boosting manufacturing in Nigeria without fixing the power sector,” said GE Nigeria President and CEO Lazarus Angbazo Ph.D.  

 

Legal services

South African law conglomerate Centurion Law Group formed an alliance with Republic of Congo-based legal and tax advisers Sutter & Pearce to share knowledge and resources; cooperate to offer legal services to Centurion’s clients in Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic; and expand Sutter & Pearce’s practice through Centurion’s African network. Clients of both firms stand to gain from the new strategic alliance, with Centurion bringing its considerable pan-African resources and networks, particularly in the energy sector, and Sutter & Pearce providing extensive local knowledge in key petroleum markets, and over a decade of specialized experience in oil and gas law. Centurion CEO NJ Ayuk said his firm is making a huge financial and technology investment into boosting capacities of African legal service providers as the legal landscape of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community evolves.  

 

Renewable energy

Mainstream Renewable Power signed a $117.5 million equity investment from investors, including the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund and the IFC Catalyst Fund, Ascension Investment Management and Sanlam, to accelerate the build-out of wind and solar plants across Africa. The deal provides equity funding for the Lekela Power platform, a joint venture with the global pan-emerging market private equity firm Actis. The funding package will help Lekela meet its goal of constructing more than 1,300 megawatts of new power capacity in Africa by 2018, while addressing the challenge of climate change. It will allow Lekela to continue to build its pipeline of wind and solar projects in Africa, including four more wind farms in South Africa, two wind farms and a solar plant in Egypt, and wind farms in Senegal and Ghana. Energy poverty has been recognized as one of the key challenges for Africa, with an estimated two thirds of people in sub-Saharan Africa having no regular access to electricity. 

 

Power generation

Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Water signed a memorandum of understanding with Privinvest, the Middle East headquartered industrial group, to introduce hydrokinetic power generation over the next decade.  The MOU was signed within the context of Angola’s 2025 Energy Security Plan, which aims to achieve 9,000 megawatts of production by 2025 to provide access to energy to more than 14 million people, with particular priorities for hydrokinetic power generation.  Privinvest’s affiliates, CMN and Hydroquest, design and manufacture special turbines for use in both rivers and the sea.  Under the terms of the MOU, Empresa Publica de Producao de Electricidade (“Prodel”) and Privinvest committed to the creation of a joint venture company in Angola that initially will manufacture and operate hydrokinetic farms in Angola. The workload will be split between Angola and France. Prodel agreed to purchase all the electrical output of the venture in Angola. Operations are expected to commence with the commissioning of three test sites, which will have a combined anticipated production output of at least 12 Megawatts. The first site is expected to be online in 2017. Palomar Capital Advisers, affiliated to Privinvest, is mandated by the Angolan government to structure the project financing, which will be guaranteed by the Angolan government. 

 

Innovation

General Electric Co. opened a US$33 million GE Africa Innovation Center in Johannesburg, South Africa, its first such center in Africa and its 10th globally. The new center also is the first green and LEED-certified GE building in sub-Saharan Africa, boasting an Experience and Exploration Center, coffee shop and catering facilities, agile workspaces, a Learning and Development Center and Innovation Ideation and Collaboration Center, a GE Prototyping Laboratory and a sustainable Healthcare Customer Experience Center. It will be the company’s center of excellence for innovation in Africa within its key business sectors: aviation, energy, healthcare, oil and gas, power and transportation, and will serve as the new headquarters for GE Healthcare. As part of its commitment to support small and medium size enterprises, the building was more than 90 percent built, designed, and executed by local businesses. GE said. Jay Ireland, GE Africa president and CEO, said the center aims to “impact and enhance the career aspirations” of more than 100 engineers from previously disadvantaged backgrounds, who will share their innovative solutions while learning from some of the best GE minds in their respective fields. The engineers will work across GE’s product portfolio and deliver simplified world-class products to GE customers, he said. The center will enable skills and SME development in Africa and serve as the basecamp for the Londvolota Enterprise Development Trust, which launched in 2015 with a commitment to accelerate supplier development in South Africa and the equipping of SMEs to participate in the GE value chain. 

 

Cyber breaches

Contrary to the perception that cyber breaches are unique to large multinational companies in developed markets, East African governments are the top target sector for such breaches, followed by telecommunications and financial services, according to a report by business risk consultancy Control Risks. Globally there has been a 42 percent increase in the number of targeted attacks reported between 2015 and Q1-Q2 2016. For East Africa, advanced persistent threat and criminal targeted attacks are the most impactful cyber attack techniques in 2016. In Kenya alone, cyber crime cost the country more than 2 billion Kenyan shillings, or US$23 million. The Kenyan government has made great strides with the formation of Kenya National Computer Incident Response Team Coordination Center (KE_CIRT/CC) launched in 2012 and the development of the national cyber security strategy in 2014. According to Patrick Matu, compliance, forensics and cyber expert for East Africa, the lack of obligation in many emerging markets to report on incidents is creating a false illusion that businesses operating in these markets are not subject to cyber attacks. Cyber security still isn’t given enough priority by business leaders in the region as it’s often seen as an isolated IT problem and not a business issue.

 

eCommerce

Africa Internet Group is connecting its companies into Jumia’s ecosystem with the vision, “Expand your horizons,” giving them access to products and services from Jumia’s eight leading platforms to better serve customers. Africa Internet Group, now Jumia, has become the top e- commerce platform in Africa, offering portals for branded products, local sellers, hotel booking, food delivery, classifieds, real estate agents, car dealers and logistics services. Jumia’s new vision, “Expand your horizons,” expresses the group’s ambition to transform people’s lives through the Internet, overcoming the ground market challenges of the continent. Its stated mission is to connect African consumers and entrepreneurs to do better business together. Founded in 2012, with a presence all over Africa, the group has MTN, Rocket Internet, Millicom, Orange & Axa as investors. It has been creating a sustainable ecosystem of digital services and infrastructures through online and mobile marketplaces and classifieds to expand your horizons.

 

Investment

Vantage Capital, a leading mezzanine fund manager in Africa, said it provided a $13.7 million expansion capital facility to New GX Capital, a 100-percent Black- and family owned investment company. The funds will be used to finance additional investments as New GX grows its interests in telecommunications infrastructure, energy, waste management and information technology in South Africa and the rest of Africa. The parties will also collaborate in assisting communities in Attridgeville, Mamelodi and Soshanguve townships in Pretoria, South Africa, and the Phokwane rural village in Limpopo through the HM Pitje Foundation. New GX was established in 2005 by Khudu Pitje, a winner in the EY World Entrepreneur Awards Southern Africa emerging entrepreneurs’ category. This is Vantage’s 23rd mezzanine investment and the fifth investment in Fund III, which is targeting a final close of $270 million and has a 40 percent allocation for South Africa. 

 

Hospitality/Tourism

Tanzania-based Bakhresa Group appointed Verde Hotels from South Africa to develop and manage the overhaul and upgrade of the old Mtoni Marine Hotel in Zanzibar to a five-star property that will be known as Hotel Verde, Zanzibar’s greenest hotel. Bakhresa commissioned the Verde Hotels Group to manage the development and operate the hotel as a certified sustainable establishment offering a carbon neutral hotel experience. Verde Hotels will work with Estim Construction. Hotel Verde Zanzibar will pursue independent certification, utilizing the Green Star rating tool from the Green Building Council of South Africa. Verde Hotels intends to integrate sustainability into every facet of the construction and throughout the hotel’s daily operation, including renewable energy generation, regenerative drive elevators, a grey water recycling system, responsible procurement, waste minimization and management and indoor environmental quality optimization. The hotel will feature 142 ultra-stylish rooms, luxury suites, a spa, gym, restaurants, entertainment and marina.  

 

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