2019-20 Investor Trip Programme
The African Investments team organised and hosted investor events in Senegal, Morocco, Botswana and Zambia during 2019
- showcasing investment opportunities
- unpacking local tax, corporate and investment risk considerations
- connecting key executives across the investment community.
The missions were attended by a broad range of local companies, local financial institutions and financial service providers plus local and international investors seeking exposure to these strong economies.
Senegal’s Trade and Investment Agency APIX, introduced delegates to local investment environment noting the 2018 GDP growth forecast of around 7%, low inflation (2%), low sovereign risk (B+ Stable, S&P) and inherent currency stability due to the Franc CFA being pegged to the euro. The government continues to reform the the business environment to increase competitiveness which includes structural and sectorial reforms, e-services to expedite processes, special economic zones and an aggressive infrastructure vision to 2025. Several major business opportunities were presented across agriculture including export horticulture, mining, energy and infrastructure development.
An expert panel provided insights into risk mitigation including FONSIS (Senegal’s Sovereign Wealth Fund) and the IFC who discussed successful local investments, WASH-FIN/USAID on services offered to assist local companies to build sustainable business models, MIGA-World Bank on political risk insurance and protection against payment default and from local investment bankers who shared transaction successes.
Investment opportunities from investment bankers and local businesses spanned energy, WASH, agribusiness and fintech and included co-investment opportunities with FONSIS and with the pioneering African private development finance institution, GroFin.
A dynamic young group of entrepreneurs from Enterprise Value Accelerator (EVA) gave short pitches on growth projects in fintech, biogas and agribusiness followed by an investor panel who provided feedback and discussed challenges and opportunities for access to capital for SME’s.
Investors toured the WASH-FIN/USAID-supported DELVIC Sanitation plant in outer Dakar which is a pilot project with potential for scaled replication across West Africa. The plant produces energy, ash and clean water from solid septic waste and is seeking investment partners to fund expansion.
In Morocco, renewable energy was again a key focus of the event with a special report from the Moroccan Agency for Energy Efficiency on the progress against the government’s national energy strategy. Morocco imports over 90% of its power needs and is on track to increase domestic capacity by 10,000 MW by 2030 through renewable energy projects in solar, wind and hydro. However, access for private investors to Medium Voltage generation remains constrained by the current regulatory framework.
IRESEN, the government-funded research institute supporting innovation in renewable energy, presented several world-class technology advances in renewable energy. IRESEN plans to support the commercialisation of some of these technologies through new start-up companies.
Other projects presented included the ambitious Nador West Hydrocarbons Trading Terminal, coal-fired power, water treatment, waste-to-energy projects and a range of sustainable and socially responsible projects for co-investment with local impact investors, Global Nexus and SEAF Morocco. Local investment bankers and financial institutions met with investors to share deal flow and to strengthen business networks.
The group visited Outlierz, a seed venture capital fund, which invests in key scalable industries across Africa including fintech, insurtech, logistics, healthtech and agritech and heard from highly successful Silicon Valley-backed startups tackling digital data interrogation (ENIGMA) and forex solutions.
The African Investments team partnered with Stockbrokers Zambia and the Lusaka Stock Exchange (LSE) to present an investor event with a special focus on the LSE which celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year. A range of LSE-listed companies gave presentations on their businesses including Zambia Sugar, ZSIC (planned listing), Zanaco and Copperbelt Energy Corporation. Executives from the LSE, IFC, the Securities and Exchange Commission Zambia, local investment banks, pension funds and local asset managers provided insights into local capital market development and support for private investment.
A consortium of agri-businesses from the Mukusi region discussed challenges for the sector and highlighted significant investment opportunities through inclusive, community-based projects. Networking sessions provided opportunities for these businesses to consult with local capital market experts develop strategies for accessing new capital.
An overlapping back-to-back session with Waterpreneurs showcased a selection of the country’s top start-ups that are supported through business incubators/enablers Impact Capital, Musangu Foundation and 4IP Group. Joint networking sessions with the Waterpreneurs WASH-sector delegation provided opportunities for building new business connections across the local investment community.
Investment pitches were interspersed with insightful commentary on the need to deepen the country’s capital markets to support private sector development and the risks around government sovereign debt.
Investors joined the BRSC Conference, an affiliated group conference, in Gaborone in June 2019. Now in its 15th year, the BRSC showcases local mining, infrastructure and energy companies and includes a full exhibition space and B2B networking.
Strengthening commodity prices, growing public and private sector interest in renewable energy solutions and the strong investment credentials of Botswana ensured a positive and vibrant 2-day event attended by over 250 delegates.
*** NOTE that the 2020 Investor Trip series has been postponed until 2021 due to the Covid-19 situation