December 2014 African Business News

Emperor Mansa Musa of Mali

Fact of the Day: With a jaw-dropping net worth of $400B, Emperor Mansa Musa of Mali was the world's richest man. Ever

Emperor Mansa Musa of Mali amassed a jaw-dropping $400B during his reign from 1312 to 1337, making him the wealthiest man ever, outranking the Rothschilds ($350B), the Rockefellers ($340B), and Bill Gates ($81.2B).

Liberian former football star George Weah comfortably beat off a challenge from Robert Sirleaf, the son of President Sirleaf

Landslide win for former football star George Weah in Liberia senate race

The former football star George Weah has won a landslide victory in Liberia’s senate elections, in polls disrupted by the Ebola outbreak.

Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, UBA, and Transcorp

Nigeria's economy resilient to oil prices: Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, UBA, and Transcorp (Video)

Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings, UBA, and Transcorp, has said that the Nigerian economy is more resilient to falling oil prices than is being projected.

Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Angola's President

Angola to further cut fuel subsidies in 2015 on low oil prices, says President Jose Eduardo dos Santos

Angola, Africa largest oil producer behind Nigeria, plans to keep decreasing fuel subsidies next year after it raised gasoline and diesel prices by 20 percent last week, President Jose Eduardo dos Santos said.

Nicky Newton-King, CEO, Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)

African Women To Watch: Capital Markets (Video)

Stock markets across Africa have made steady progress across the last decade. Since 2002, Africa’s five leading exchanges have tripled the combined market capitalization of listed companies.

Johannesburg, South Africa

Investors keep an eye on the big picture in Africa, in spite of short-term challenges

Concerns about the scale of the Ebola crisis and plunging commodity prices would have had investors fleeing Africa not that long ago. But dealmaking in the sub-Saharan region is buoyant as most investors set aside short-term worries and bet big on growth.

Ramco Printing Works - One of the subsidiaries of Ramco Group

Paris-based private equity firm Amethis Finance buys 30% stake in Kenya's Ramco

A Paris-based private equity fund has bought a 30 per cent stake in a subsidiary of Ramco Group.

Table decoration at a Nigerian wedding (Photo Credits: Privé Luxury)

How Nigeria's Rich Spend Over $2 Million On Their Dream Wedding

Illusionists flown in from Spain, flowers imported from France, or an R&B superstar flown in from the United States.

Maria Kiwanuka, Minister of Finance, Uganda

African Women To Watch: Finance (Video)

Women make up more than half of the workforce in financial institutions globally. However, only 19% are in senior positions, a mere 14% hold board seats, and just 2% are CEOs, according to a 2013 study by PwC.

Wole Soyinka, the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature

Game Changers Africa: Wole Soyinka (Video)

In 1986, Nigerian author and playwright Wole Soyinka, became the first African to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Delivery Science

10 African startups that rocked 2014

2014 has been another amazing year for startups in Africa.

A customer browses men's shoes in the footwear department inside a Truworths fashion store in Sandton, South Africa

Investing in Africa: How investors are tapping into a new middle class

These days, oil, cocoa and precious metals aren’t the only things that are attracting foreign investors to Africa.

Zainab Ashadu, Founder of designer handbag maker Zashadu

Zainab Ashadu: The brains behind Nigerian designer handbag maker Zashadu

Nigerian designer, Zainab Ashadu, is the brains behind the Zashadu brand of designer handbags, whose modern, colorful creations use the ancient art of tanning and leather-dyeing from Northern Nigeria.

Moody's Says Nigeria's Economy Resilient in Face of Oil Plunge

Moody's Says Nigeria's Economy Resilient in Face of Oil Plunge

Moody’s Investors Service said Nigeria’s economy remains resilient in the face of falling oil prices even as the currency slumped to a record low and growth in Africa’s largest crude producer is set to slow.

Vladimir Putin (Left) and Jacob Zuma, presidents of Russia and South Africa, respectively

Geopolitics Key to South Africa's $100 Billion Nuclear Plan

Politics may tip the balance as Russia’s Rosatom Corp. and France’s Areva SA (AREVA) prepare to battle it out for South Africa’s planned nuclear-energy project that could cost $100 billion.

Africa: A continent of new consumers

Africa: A continent of new consumers

Africa has the foundation for an exceptionally long runway for consumer spending.

The truths and fictions of the "Africa Rising" story

The truths and fictions of the "Africa Rising" story: KPMG Africa

The truth about Africa Rising is that it is real. The economy is growing and potential for huge and sustained growth is enormous.

Ashburton Investments

Bahraini firms eyeing major push in Africa: Ashburton Investments

Africa’s attractiveness as an investment destination continues to grow in recognition, a leading investment expert has said.

MainOne's Lagos data center to open in January 2015

MainOne's $40M Lagos data center to open in January 2015

MainOne, a major provider of telecommunications services in West Africa, has announced that its US$40 million data center in Lagos will begin commercial operations in the middle of January 2015.


Afren shares jump 11% on preliminary offer from Nigeria's Seplat

Oil producer Afren Plc said it had received a preliminary offer for the company from Nigerian oil and gas explorer Seplat Petroleum Development Co Plc.

What’s Happening in Nigeria’s Economy? (Image credit: Bloomberg News)

What's happening in Nigeria's economy? The short answers

The Nigerian economy is being challenged by crashing oil prices despite the central bank’s best efforts to stem outflows.

Tanzania's state house in Dar es Salaam, the official residence of the Tanzanian president

Tanzanian Economy Increases by Almost a Third After Rebasing

The size of Tanzania’s economy increased by almost a third after the East African nation factored its expanding industries such as oil, gas and telecommunications into the calculation, Finance Minister Saada Mkuya Salum said.

Bob Diamond, Co-Founder, Atlas Mara

Bob Diamond's Atlas Mara successfully increases stake in Union Bank of Nigeria to 29.9%

Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited ("Atlas Mara" or the "Company") has successfully completed its previously announced acquisition of approximately 20.9% in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc ("UBN"), from Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria ("AMCON"), for a purchase price of approximately $250 million (the "Transaction").

Thin SIM card can be overlaid on existing SIM card

Kenya court blocks Equity Bank's thin SIM technology rollout

The Kenyan High Court has suspended the decision of the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) to allow Finserve Africa, a subsidiary of Equity Bank, to roll out the ‘thin Sim’ technology, following an urgent application by Kituo Cha Sheria.

Ayo Salami, CIO, Duet Africa Funds, Duet Asset Management

256% returns in Africa vs 13% returns in the G7? Africa - The next frontier of growth investment: Ayo Salami, CIO, Duet Africa Funds, Duet Asset Management (Video & Presentation)

Ayo Salami, Duet Asset Management’s Chief Investment Officer of Duet Africa Funds, spoke about investment opportunities in Africa at the recent Global CIO Summit hosted by HedgePo in Gleneagles, Scotland.

7 African countries with booming ecommerce markets

7 African countries with booming ecommerce markets

Ecommerce is at the epicenter of Africa’s thriving economies. With internet penetration rapidly spreading across the region, this represents huge potential which has hitherto been untapped.


Kenya sovereign debut opens path for Kenyan corporate Eurobonds: JPMorgan

Companies in Kenya, whose government raised $2.75 billion in debut Eurobond sales this year, may follow peers in South Africa and Nigeria with bond offerings in 2015, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

National Bank of Angola (Banco Nacional de Angola)

Africa Comes Into View

China’s growth story has been remarkable. The country’s economy grew at a staggering 10% annualized pace for 20 years as its government conducted a massive infrastructure building campaign.

PostNet, Hibiscus Mall, Margate, South Africa

Dubai's Aramex buys South Africa's PostNet franchise for $16.5M

Aramex has bought the master franchise for South African retailer PostNet for $16.5 million from OneLogix Group, the Dubai-based courier firm said on Sunday as it expanded its presence in Africa.

iHub, Nairobi, Kenya

East Africa's burgeoning tech hubs (Video)

In Kenya, East Africa’s largest economy, 1 in 5 people access the web using a smart phone.

Africa Arisen - The Blue Sky Continent 2014 - KPMG

Africa Arisen: The Blue Sky Continent 2014 - KPMG (Report)

This report presents thought-leadership, opinions, and predictions from Senior Partners attached to KPMG offices throughout Africa.


Uber is coming to Kenya, following launches in South Africa, Nigeria, and Egypt

Uber, the rapidly growing taxi app, is preparing to launch in Kenya.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria's Minister of Finance

Nigeria revises budget downwards following oil price decline

Nigeria has revised its budget downwards by 8% and lowered its growth estimates, following the dramatic fall in the price of oil.

Uchumi, Garden City Mall, Kampala, Uganda

Kenya's Uchumi raises 896M shillings ($10M) in oversubscribed rights issue for regional expansion

Kenya’s Uchumi Supermarkets has raised 895.8 million shillings ($9.89 million) in an oversubscribed rights issue to expand its operations in the east African region.


Nigerian billionaire Tony Elumelu invests undisclosed amount in Silicon Valley mobile startup Wonderloop

Tony O. Elumelu, one of Africa’s wealthiest magnates (who recently launched a $100 million program to support entrepreneurship in Africa) is understood to have put an undisclosed sum into Silicon Valley-based mobile startup Wonderloop.

African venture capital activity shows impressive spike in 2014

African venture capital activity shows impressive spike in 2014

It’s been a good year for Africa’s startups. In terms of investment activity at least, data from one of the world’s most comprehensive startup databases, CrunchBase, shows that there’s been a huge increase within the last year, highlighting confidence.

Diezani Alison-Madueke, Nigeria's Minister of Petroleum

Nigeria's petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke appointed Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) president

Nigeria’s Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, on Tuesday emerged the new president of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum, GECF.

Professor and pastor Yemi Osinbajo is the Vice Presidential candidate for Nigeria's All Progressives Congress (APC) party

Nigeria APC presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari picks professor and pastor Yemi Osinbajo as running mate

The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, General (Retired) Muhammadu Buhari, has picked Professor Yemi Osinbajo as his running mate in Nigeria‘s 2015 presidential election scheduled for February 14, 2015.


How to Write about Africa

Always use the word ‘Africa’ or ‘Darkness’ or ‘Safari’ in your title. Subtitles may include the words ‘Zanzibar’, ‘Masai’, ‘Zulu’, ‘Zambezi’, ‘Congo’, ‘Nile’, ‘Big’, ‘Sky’, ‘Shadow’, ‘Drum’, ‘Sun’ or ‘Bygone’.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Page-to-screen possibilities for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 'Americanah' (Starring Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo)

A hair-braiding salon can be a fascinating place. Between itchy scalps and painful braids, there are stories of migration, connection, and division amongst its braiders and patrons.

Aliko Dangote, Chairman, Dangote Group

Aliko Dangote, Africa's richest tycoon, adds another $2B into Nigeria refinery

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest businessman, is increasing the size of his investment in an oil refinery, petrochemical and fertiliser plant in Nigeria by more than a fifth to $11bn despite a looming slowdown in Africa’s biggest economy.

Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)

Johannesburg Stock Exchange in Africa gateway play

The Johannesburg Stock Exchange has launched an initiative to attract companies listed in London, New York, Toronto and Sydney to dual list in South Africa as it seeks to reinforce its position as the continent’s top exchange.