April 2015 African Business News


Lesley Nneka Arimah, Africa Regional Winner of the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Read "Light" by Nigeria's Lesley Nneka Arimah, Africa Regional Winner of the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize

When Enebeli Okwara sent his girl out in the world, he did not know what the world did to daughters. He did not know how quickly it would wick the dew off her, how she would be returned to him hollowed out, relieved of her better parts.

New MBAs Should Start Their Careers in Frontier Markets

New MBAs should start their careers in frontier markets like Nigeria, Kenya, says Harvard Business Review

“Where are the stores?” asked the Scandinavian executive. Strive Masiyiwa was interviewing him to be CEO of the Nigeria telecoms venture lead by Econet Group, which Strive founded and chairs.

Michelle Kathryn Essomé, CEO, African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA)

African private equity exits show momentum after 38% increase in 2014

Private equity (PE) exits in Africa reached an eight-year high in 2014, and strong activity should continue as more companies enter the period where an exit becomes increasingly imperative, according to data from EY and the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA).

Aliko Dangote, billionaire and chief executive officer of Dangote Group, pauses during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 22, 2015. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloombergp

Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote courts Blackstone to boost Nigerian gas

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, plans to quadruple the supply of gas to Nigeria by building pipelines that may be backed by Carlyle Group LP and Blackstone Group LP, the world’s two biggest private-equity firms.

Bob Diamond, CEO of Atlas Mara and Former CEO of Barclays

Bob Diamond and Ashish Thakkar's Atlas to invest $23M in Banque Populaire Rwanda

Robert Diamond’s Atlas Mara Ltd. said it’s in exclusive talks to invest about $22.5 million in Banque Populaire du Rwanda and merge it with BRD Commercial Bank Ltd., creating one of the central African country’s largest lenders.

Brian Molefe, the newly appointed acting chief executive officer of power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., is a former senior Treasury official. Source: Transnet SOC Ltd./Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. via Bloomberg

South Africa Treasury ex-officials soothe investors in new roles

South Africa is increasingly turning to National Treasury officials from the country’s first decade of democratic rule to help steer key economic institutions and boost investor confidence.

Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Nigeria's central bank orders banks to disclose bad debtors

Nigeria has ordered banks to publish lists of individuals and companies with non-performing loans to curb a rise in bad debt as the industry stumbles amid low oil prices.

Tayo Oviosu, CEO, Paga

21 Nigerian tech CEOs at the top of their game

Here are 21 of the country’s tech entrepreneurs who are at the top of their game and are making serious waves in the tech space.

Demonstrators carry placards during a march against xenophobia in downtown Johannesburg, April 23, 2015. Credit: voanews.com

Xenophobia? Afrophobia? Genocide? My thoughts on phobias ... and what's taking place in South Africa: Lovelyn Chidinma Nwadeyi

My name is Lovelyn Chidinma Nwadeyi. I am a Nigerian. Born in Nigeria to two Nigerian parents. Raised in Queenstown, Eastern Cape by those same Nigerian parents right up until I completed my Bachelors at Stellenbosch.

Billionaire businessman Christo Wiese is the fourth-richest South African with a personal fortune of $7 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Photographer: Hetty Zantman/Financial Mail/Gallo Images/Getty Images

South African billionaire Christo Wiese has $2B to spend after Virgin Active deal

Brait SE, the Johannesburg-listed company that last week agreed to buy British health-club provider Virgin Active, has a further $2 billion to spend on deals, according to its largest shareholder and billionaire Christo Wiese.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ethiopia predicts record $1.5B foreign direct investment in 2015

Foreign direct investment into Ethiopia will reach a record $1.5bn this year, on the back of successful efforts by the fast-growing and populous African country to attract overseas manufacturing companies.

Lola Olusola, Founder, Ella.ng

I don't see Konga and Jumia as competition, I see them as enablers: Lola Olusola, Founder of Ella.ng

Women nowadays are becoming more and more noticed for their exceptional success in the tangentially male dominated corporate world of global business and technology.

Lawrence Nazare, Executive Director, Continental Re

Pan-African Continental Re sees huge growth as Africa's construction booms

Africa’s Continental Re plans to double premium income from its property and engineering business to $80 million over the next five years, as it bets on the continent’s infrastructure boom, its executive director said.

Safaricom completes migration of M-PESA platform to Kenya

Safaricom completes migration of M-PESA platform to Kenya and plans to open up M-PESA APIs

After two years of intercontinental conference calls, eight test runs, and countless hours put in by 320 consultants, Safaricom has successfully completed the migration of its M-PESA mobile money platform to its data center in Kenya.

Super-rich Africans splash out big bucks for luxury London homes.

Super-rich Africans splash out big bucks for luxury London homes (Photos, Infographic, & Video)

Sophisticated, glamorous and spacious — when the super-rich go house-hunting they are searching for something special. Real estate in London’s swankier suburbs can catch a buyers’ eye. Mayfair, Kensington and Chelsea have long been the stomping ground of the elite — and are now welcoming a new wave of African investors.

Nigeria’s President-elect Muhammadu Buhari

Buhari will release full audit on Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)

Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari’s administration will publish the full audit of the state oil company and expects it will need to repay the government more than previously recommended, his party’s policy director said.

Innovation Africa

Developing African skills for the 21st century: AfricanBrains presents “Innovation Africa 2015” on 30 Sept – 2 Oct 2015 in Kampala, Uganda

Africa’s leading high level summit for education and innovation returns for its fifth year in 2015 and will take place in Kampala, under the patronage of the Government of Uganda, hosted by Hon Jessica Alupo, Minister of Education & Sports.

Oke Okaro, former Head of Mobile, Bloomberg. Credit: forbes.com

Bloomberg's former Head Of Mobile Oke Okaro on how smartphones will fuel innovation in Africa

Nigerian-born Oke Okaro, 41, is a product visionary, award winning technologist and pioneer in the U.S. mobile and connected devices industry.

The “next” BRICs: The MINTs (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey) and the PINEs (the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Ethiopia)

Why are businesses shifting focus to emerging markets like the MINTs (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey) and PINEs (the Philippines, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Ethiopia)?

In 2013, McKinsey & Company predicted that by 2025 almost 230 Fortune Global 500 companies would be based in cities in the emerging markets.

A man hold a placard, center, reading 'Africa is all for Africans' prior to a march against immigrant attacks in South Africa, in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Police and soldiers officers raided a hostel considered a hotspot for anti-immigrant attacks in downtown Johannesburg as Sosuth Africa continued a crackdown in xenophobic violence. (AP Photo/Schalk van Zuydam)

South Africa's image suffers after anti-immigrant attacks

Only a few kilometers (miles) separate Alexandra, a gritty Johannesburg township where South Africans attacked immigrants last week, from Sandton, a district jammed with high-end stores, restaurants and gleaming office towers symbolizing the upper reaches of the prosperity that attracted so many job-seekers to South Africa.

'Jagaban' Bola Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State

'Jagaban' Bola Tinubu: How the 'Godfather of Lagos' could shape Nigeria's government

“I am a talent hunter. I put talents in office, I help them,” says former Lagos state governor and opposition alliance leader Bola Tinubu, being quite open about his role as one of Nigeria’s most powerful political godfathers.

Two Rivers, Nairobi, Kenya (Illustration)

Urbanization and population growth fuel African real estate

With Africa’s population set to quadruple by 2100 and economic growth still strong across many countries demand for good quality real estate is on the rise, according to a new report by global property consultant Knight Frank.

African Ad Agencies Emerging as Force in World Market.

African Ad Agencies Emerging as Force in World Market

Western advertising and public relations agencies are increasingly merging with African counterparts to attract international corporate clients looking to break into Africa — considered the last frontier for consumer markets.

AfricInvest

Private equity firm AfricInvest invests in Nigerian agro-commodities company Elephant Group

An indigenous firm, Elephant Group Limited has announced that it has sealed a deal with AfricInvest for an equity investment in the company.

M-PESA

Vodafone M-PESA and MTN Mobile Money agree to interconnect mobile money services

Customers of M-Pesa and MTN Mobile Money in East Africa will be able to transfer money to each other following an agreement between Vodafone Group and MTN Group to interconnect their mobile money services.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ethiopia: The Addis millionaire's club

At first glance, Ethiopia would seem like a tough place for business owners to make it big. The strength of the state stands in contrast to the fledgling private sector, where foreign competition is barred in key industries and big sectors are entrusted to state-owned companies.

Cape Town, South Africa

Africa is the incubator for some of the most disruptive tech ideas

Africa is a continent predominantly of young people, and those young people are benefiting from modern communications networks which connect this vast continent as never before.

Nigeria is projected to be the first African country to hit $1 trillion in GDP by 2030

Nigeria is projected to be the first African country to hit $1 trillion in GDP by 2030

Nigeria’s economy will more than double in the next 15 years, according to projections from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive officer of Norges Bank Investment Management, listens during an interview in New York, on April 15, 2015. Photographer: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg

CEO of world's largest sovereign wealth fund turns to Africa to boost profits

Norway’s sovereign-wealth fund is pouring a bigger share of its cash into Africa in a bid to capture some of the fastest growth in the global economy.

Jason Njoku, Founder & CEO, iROKOtv

My biggest fear is that Nollywood becomes less popular: Jason Njoku, Founder & CEO, iROKOtv

If you watch a lot of Nigerian movies or follow the Nigerian startup scene, chances are Jason Njoku needs no introduction.

South Africa's Brait to pay $1B for control of Richard Branson co-owned Virgin Active, in biggest M&A deal from Africa so far this year.

South Africa's Brait to pay $1B for control of Richard Branson co-owned Virgin Active, in biggest M&A deal from Africa so far this year

South African investment house Brait SE (BATJ.J) is to pay 682 million pounds ($1 billion) for a controlling stake in gym group Virgin Active, Brait said on Thursday, seeking to tap the growing health-conscious middle classes particularly in Africa and Asia.

Ashish Thakkar, Founder & MD, Mara Group

It's Africa's turn to shine: Self-made tycoon Ashish Thakkar, Mara Group's Founder & MD (Video)

From banking to hospitality and real estate to e-commerce, Ashish Thakkar built his vast business empire from scratch.

Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank (AfDB)

Build Africa's defenses against economic shocks now: Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank (AfDB)

While many of the world’s most advanced economies suffered historic setbacks following the 2009 financial crisis, overall African economies fared well.

Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman, Templeton Emerging Markets Group

A new way forward for Nigeria: Mark Mobius, Executive Chairman, Templeton Emerging Markets Group

A couple of years ago, many investors were optimistic about Nigeria and the stock market was booming, buoyed by strong economic growth and government reforms to improve the country.

Jose Filomeno de Sousa dos Santos, Chairman of Fundo Soberano de Angola (FSDEA), Angola's sovereign wealth fund

Angola's sovereign wealth fund allocates further $1.4B to Africa projects

Angola’s sovereign wealth fund said on Monday it was allocating $1.4 billion to five new vehicles that will invest in sectors such as mining, timber, agriculture and healthcare within the country and elsewhere in Africa.

Nigeria's Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Time's "100 Most Influential People" list

Nigeria's Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Time's "100 Most Influential People" list

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been listed by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most influential people.

Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria's Agriculture Minister, is on the shortlist for the position of President of the African Development Bank (AfDB).

AfDB President candidate and Nigeria's Agriculture Minister Akinwumi Adesina wants to boost private sector lending at the regional bank

The African Development Bank should increase private sector lending to curb widening inequality on the continent, according to Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s candidate to be the next president of the lender.

Tuedon Morgan: The first Nigerian to reach the North Pole

Marathon runner Tuedon Morgan becomes the first Nigerian to reach the North Pole

The first Nigerian to do the North Pole Marathon tells the BBC how proud she felt to plant her country’s flag in the snow at the end of the race.

SABMiller’s Peroni brand is not as popular in South Africa as is the local Chibuku Super brand (Source: Getty)

SABMiller sees Africa expansion pay off as continent booms

SABmiller sales crept up in the last quarter as the world’s second largest beverage firm’s focus on African markets paid off it emerged yesterday.

Kia Sorento: Kia plans to produce 25,000 vehicles per year in Lagos, Nigeria.

Kia to produce 25,000 vehicles per year in Lagos, Nigeria

Kia Motors Nigeria has made good on its promise to start production of vehicles in Nigeria with the inauguration of the Kia assembly plant in Lagos.

The top 10 cities for Africa's millionaires

The top 10 cities for Africa's millionaires (Photos, Videos, & Infographic)

Wealthy Nigerians used to travel abroad to get their fix of luxury goods. However these days, they can take a stroll around Victoria Island, an exclusive neighborhood in Lagos where brands like Porsche, Hugo Boss, and Ermenegildo Zegna line the streets.

The top 7 countries in Africa for mobile money. Credit: qz.com

The top 7 African countries for mobile money (Infographics)

As many as 30% of cell phone users in Africa report that they participate in mobile banking. A new report from the Pew Research Center shows the transformative power of the cell phone in the world’s fastest-growing market for mobile technology.