2018 African In-country Investor Trips


The African Investments team led an extensive series of investor trips to Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Morocco, Zambia and Botswana during 2018 bringing together

  • investors
  • local companies and entrepreneurs
  • government officials and agencies
  • local financial institutions and financial services providers

to discover and deep-dive into top investment opportunities across the continent.

East Africa 2018 - Tanzania | Rwanda | Ethiopia

In Tanzania the TIC highlighted the country’s strong GDP growth rate (7.2% 2017E), growing per capita income, falling interest rates and a wide range of incentivised investor-ready opportunities across pharmaceuticals, agribusiness, automotives, tourism and infrastructure, but noted falling FDI inflows into the country over the past three years which has been attributed to a declining business environment. Against the backdrop of political uncertainty, particularly around mining and oil & gas projects, law firm Clyde & Co Tanzania outlined the latest changes to legislation discussed various risk mitigation measures and an expert panel shared insights into the power sector. Excellent investment opportunities included hazardous waste management, renewable energy solutions, agribusiness and a number of highly promising gold projects.  Site visits hosted by Trend Solar (innovative rural affordable power solutions) and African Investment Advisors (frozen meat cold chain) highlighted a sample of the investment opportunities in this strong economy.

The Rwanda Development Board, Ministry of Mines and the Tony Blair Institute provided excellent overviews of the numerous opportunities and business-enabling incentives for investment in Rwanda which justify its rating as the 2nd best country in Africa for doing business.  The RDB outlined 14 brownfields investor-ready projects across all sectors followed by presentations from local companies and investment bankers on the latest investment opportunities in the region.  Stand-out presentations for companies offering strong growth included GET IT (food supply chain), Ngali Holdings (all sectors), Ignite Solar (renewables) and Edecon (construction). MeshPower (rural solar mini-grids) and World Food Bank (poultry, grain and vegetable projects) hosted site visits to rural Rwanda providing evidence of social uplift through agriculture and energy investments made in collaboration with local communities.

Ethiopia has the continent’s second largest, well-educated and young population and is one of the fastest growing economies in the world spurred by sweeping pro-investment economic reforms to attract investment across a range of sectors previously closed to foreign investors.  The EIC offers a wealth of information on the government’s vision for development and key areas open for investment, in particular energy, agro-processing, textiles, pharmaceuticals and tourism. Delegates were presented with investment proposals across these themes interspersed with expert commentary from local investors and business executives. Local social enterprise group, Enterprise Partners, co-hosted an entrepreneur showcase to introduce the country’s newest businesses across all sectors and a diverse group of panelists explored challenges for access to private equity financing for local SME’s.

West Africa 2018 - Nigeria | Ghana | Cote d'Ivoire

Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with a reputation for producing some of the continent’s best entrepreneurs. This year’s investor meeting in Lagos comprised a day of large-cap investment presentations and panel discussions followed by a day dedicated to entrepreneurs co-hosted by venture capital fund, LoftyInc Capital.  Infrastructure, Energy and Oil & Gas projects dominated the large cap investment proposals and a VIP panel discussed challenges facing the Oil and Gas industry which focused on the lack investment in major infrastructure to support a vibrant domestic market and the ongoing delays and bureaucracy for project approvals. On the entrepreneur front, some excellent pitches incorporating a positive social impact were delivered by LoftyInc’s supported venture groups across agribusiness, technology, media, energy and telecommunications.  A roof-top cocktail event sponsored by Orbitt, gave delegates an opportunity to network with local business leaders.

Ghana remains a top-ranking African destination for investment based on GDP growth, rule of law, educated labour force, infrastructure and government stability.  The government’s priority investment sectors for investment are energy (production and distribution), infrastructure, agro-processing, tourism and manufacturing and those sectors attracting special new investment incentives include farming, waste processing and VC financing.  Investment opportunities were predominantly focused on agribusiness including some innovative technology applications, and renewable energy.  An entrepreneur presentation day was co-hosted by the Climate Innovation Center Ghana, a business incubator supporting entrepreneurs contributing to Ghana’s Green Economy.  One-page summaries on the entrepreneur projects presented are available for distribution.

Côte d’Ivoire investment is booming in line with strong GDP growth (7.6% to June 2018) and a government that is addressing political risk and improving the regulatory environment. Excellent investment opportunities were presented by country partner Hudson, in the aviation, finance, education and pharmaceutical industries and investors from Côte d’Ivoire, China and France provided insights on successful investments in the region. The African Development Bank which is headquartered in Côte d’Ivoire, outlined various financing instruments and guarantees to help manage political and commercial risk.  Other presenters offered investment opportunities across renewables, real estate, waste water management and agribusiness. The BRVM (West African stock exchange) hosted delegates at their offices to discuss the bourse’s growth plans across the region.

Southern Africa 2018 - Zambia | Botswana

Private equity, impact investors and financial institutions from US, Europe, South Africa, Botswana gathered in Zambia to be presented with projects across agribusiness including bioplastics from cassava, renewable energy including biofuels and geothermal energy, infrastructure including eco-housing, transport, logistics and warehousing and gold mining. Projects sought both debt and equity and deal sizes ranged from USD 300k to USD 200M.

A lively panel discussion on developing and deepening local Zambian capital markets was arranged and moderated by Joseph Mate, Head of Africa for Qbera Capital. Thanks to Mr Muchindu Kasongola (President, Capital Market Authority of Zambia), Ms Taolo Modisi (CEO, Alpha Reign) and Mr. Jito Kayumba (Partner, Kukula Capital) for their frank insights into the impediments and potential incentives for local investment into private equity. The panel argued for recognition of Private Equity as an investable asset class under the Zambia Pension Scheme Regulation Act, called for coherence in regulations across the financial sector and proposed that local funds commit a small percentage of funds under management to alternative asset classes to develop local capital markets.

Thanks to Tuzini Tomato Farms for an onsite tour of their expanding tomato operation and to the team at the Lusaka Securities Exchange for hosting our group at the LuSE.

In Botswana, over 400 delegates converged in Gaborone for a 2-day investment conference and trade exhibition focused on the resources, energy and infrastructure sectors with keynote addresses from government ministers and the country’s top mining companies.

North West Africa 2018 - Senegal | Morocco

Senegal is a politically-stable republic and is rated by the World Bank as one of the top African economies in for growth in 2018, driven by the government’s pro-economic reform programmes.  Senegal is also a member of both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) which provide access to large associations of West African countries with common economic, monetary and trade policies.

The investor event in Senegal had a strong focus on mining and on entrepreneurs and SME’s with socially and environmentally sustainable projects.  Gold Sponsor, Teranga Gold Corporation, gave an excellent presentation on their expanding gold operations in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire and outlined their award-winning commitment to social sustainability.  Other mining presentations included Mineral Deposits Ltd (MDL), Bassari Resources, Sahel Minerals and Nyamnya Gold covering the spectra from exploration to mining.  The mining theme culminated in a site visit to MDL’s Grand Côte mineral sands project where investors were able to view the world’s largest single dredge operation.

The Senegal event also included a “Dragon’s Den” style entrepreneur session with several promising young entrepreneurs from the Enterprise Value Accelerator group giving presentations on their ventures, with interactive feedback from investors.  Other presenting SME’s included innovative solar-powered solutions to agri-equipment and a rapidly expanding commercial solar roof-top power provider, both of which hosted site visits to their flagship projects in Dakar.

The African Investments team hosted investors, local companies, entrepreneurs, government officials and agencies, financial institutions and advisory groups in Casablanca, Morocco. Investment in Morocco is supported by an attractive legal and regulatory framework, various tax incentives, uncapped repatriation of funds, political stability, expanding infrastructure, an educated workforce and a strong, expanding GDP.

Energy Transition is a national government priority and investment in renewable energy was a key focus of this year’s Investor Trip with presentations from key government agencies.  The government has committed to a renewable energy target of 42% of Morocco’s energy mix by 2020, representing an additional installed capacity 6 GW (2GW Solar, 2GW Wind Turbine and 2GW Hydroelectric power). The target for 2030 is 52% which will require investment of ~USD 40bn for more than 10 GW of new capacity.

New projects have been commissioned over the last five years in wind energy (1200 MW), hydropower energy (1800 MW) and the NOOR solar energy projects led by MASEN (830 MW) and represent about 65% of the set targets. New deregulation laws now permit Independent Power Producer (IPP) access to the high voltage grids and permit the sale of green electricity to industrial consumers through Power Purchase Agreements (PPA), thus contributing to the increase of installed capacities. Further liberalisation of laws and regulations are underway to allow private enterprises access to the low and medium voltage networks to supply consumers directly, and to sell a percentage of surplus production to the national electricity utility, ONEE.

The growing Moroccan investment in renewable energy is boosted by the research activities of Institut de Recherche en Energie Solaire et Energies Nouvelles (IRESEN).  IRESEN built an 8-hectare Green Energy Park at Ben Guerir to test all solar technologies in real climactic conditions and the centre supports numerous PhD research projects, international internships and public and private sector research.    This fantastic facility was visited by the Investor Trip delegates who saw firsthand the potential for Morocco to capitalise on their world-leading expertise in renewable energy technology.