South Africa’s Standard Bank and the Opec Fund for International Development have launched a smallholder risk sharing agreement aimed at making financing more accessible to smallholder farmers and small and medium sized agricultural producers in sub-Saharan Africa.More . . .
South African banking group Nedbank has signed a multi-million dollar deal to launch a carbon credit scheme in Kenya. The project, which spans 200,000 hectares of dryland forest, is managed in conjunction with Wildlife Works Incorporated, an NGO, and aims to release 2.5m tonnes of carbon onto the carbon trading markets.More . . .
- Citadel moves into East Africa, buys into railway TRANSPORT Cairo-based private equity firm Citadel Capital has announced plans to deploy $200-$400m into East Africa as it looks to expand beyond its existing business in North Africa and Sudan. The group has made its first major investment in the region with the purchase of a 49 percent stake in Sheltham Railways Company, the largest single shareholder in Rift Valley Railways.
- Rwanda begins to repair French connections Despite lingering resentment over France’s alleged involvement in the Rwandan genocide, the relationship between the two governments is improving, which could help efforts to bring those responsible to justice
- Before offensive, Somali president talks reconciliation Politics On a visit to London, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, president of the transitional government in Mogadishu, has been pushing a message of reconstruction and reconciliation with the Islamist insurgent forces which currently control much of the country.
- Acting leader unveils cabinet nominations Goodluck Jonathan’s unseating of the entire Nigerian cabinet raised some eyebrows, but appears to have been driven by a desire to address the considerable challenges the country faces rather than to enable him to run for office in 2011
- Africa can help the world build its way out of the crisis The world needs to build itself out of the financial crisis by investing funds in poor countries – it makes good economic sense and it can help reduce poverty, whether in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi or Zambia.
- Now is the time to focus on Rwanda Fast forward to the year 2025 and find yourself in Kigali, Rwanda’s thriving capital, where there are now direct flights to all major global cities. Few children are in the streets as they are busy in school, with homework or other formative activities. There’s an unmistakable international flair. Compared to the past, it is evident that international aid does not feature in any significant way in the national budget and planning – years of attracting investment and streamlining bureaucratic processes have paid off.
- The Engine Room While small enterprises are the lifeblood of African economies, they often struggle for financing. but are things changing?
- Yvo de Boer: Exclusive Interview “If you know, as I know, that 85 percent of the investments in the energy sector, which is responsible for 80 percent of emissions, are going to have to come from the private sector, it really is critical that we bring more of that private sector perspective into building a climate change regime”
- Gathering storms test US capacity With emerging security concerns in Somalia and Nigeria and events coming to a head in Sudan, the US faces major challenges in the year ahead
- Middle ground or party lines? If the UK opposition can articulate its Africa and development policies in terms of security, immigration and commercial promotion and keep its own right wing at bay, then victory in May’s elections may not change the trajectory of Britain’s approach to the continent
- A new chapter for African oil The presence of oil has proved to be a mixed blessing for many countries over the years, but by putting local content policies at the heart of their development plans, governments in sub-Saharan Africa are hoping to make the most of their new found reserves
- Challenging times for MCC individuality Created in 2004 to reduce poverty in developing countries, the Millennium Challenge Corporation has enjoyed considerable independence, something that may be threatened by major reviews of US development assistance
- A golden opportunity Africa's low level of connectivity to international air routes risks putting a brake on ambitions to boost Southern Africa's tourist industry on the back of this year's World Cup
- Alive and kicking The African microfinance industry appears to be in good health despite worries that the financial crisis would hit it hard, but concerns over management quality and legislative hurdles remain
- Bharti closes on Zain India’s largest mobile operator is on the verge of fulfilling its ambition of establishing a major presence in Africa. Success would transform the company into an emerging market multinational; a development that could have far-reaching implications
- TIA DEALS ROUND-UP 2009 Deal values and volumes may have fallen significantly during 2009, but the coming year looks much more promising
- LOAN MARKETS Loan volumes dropped sharply in 2009, but investment appetite is returning
- PROJECT FINANCE Rebounding commodity prices are expected to kick-start project finance activity in 2010
- EQUITY CAPITAL MARKETS Equity capital markets have proven resilient in the face of the global downturn
- DEBT CAPITAL MARKETS 2010 is likely to see renewed African interest in international bond markets
- Plenty of life left in African equity markets In 2009 there was a marked divergence between the performance of the larger emerging markets (up 74.5 percent) and the G7 markets (up 24.2 percent) relative to frontier markets (up 7 percent) and Africa (down 6.9 percent) making 2009 the second consecutive year in which African equities have underperformed most other regions of the world.
- 2009 performance masks 2010 potential To the casual observer, one glance at the performance of African stocks in 2009 may be enough to convince them that they don’t need to take a second look. The continent’s stock exchanges severely underperformed last year. Nigeria, for example, normally one of the continent’s most reliable performers, lost 34 percent.
- Can investors handle polarised metal prices? Metal prices may be notoriously volatile in the short term, driven by a combination of price inelasticity and the violent stock changes commonly seen at the front end of long supply chains. Whilst this volatility may offer arbitrage opportunities for metals traders, it may be viewed as ‘noise’ for analysts trying to determine the long-term value of a company.
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“There is a regional consensus that the crisis cannot be allowed to affect regional development”
“Africa probably has more resources than any place you can imagine”
“There can never be soft touch regulation. But it has to be regulation that is not arbitrary. The direction needs to be clear”
“Africa has lots of potential – raw materials and young people – but it needs FDI”