June 2015 African Business News


Director Kunle Afolayan on the set of his new movie, which will be distributed on Netflix. Photograph by Kunle Afolayan

Meet Nigeria's Nollywood, the world's second largest movie industry

Last year, data was released showing that Nollywood is a $3 billion industry. It is bigger than Hollywood by volume, and right behind India’s Bollywood.

Patrick Njoroge, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK)

Kenya appoints Patrick Njoroge as new central bank governor

Patrick Njoroge has been formally appointed as the new governor of the Central Bank of Kenya by the president after parliament approved the choice, the central bank said on its website.

Funke Opeke, CEO, MainOne Cable

MainOne celebrates 5 years of transforming West Africa's internet landscape

MainOne, a leading telecommunications and data services company in West Africa, today celebrated five years of leadership in transforming the region’s Internet landscape.

RwandAir

RwandAir to purchase two Airbus jets in expansion move

RwandAir has signed a deal with a regional African bank for a $160 million loan as part of the financing to buy two aircraft from Airbus, the airline and the bank said on Thursday.

Charlotte Osei, newly appointed Chairperson of Ghana's Electoral Commission (EC)

Ghana's President names top woman lawyer Charlotte Osei to head electoral body

Ghana President John Dramani Mahama has appointed a corporate lawyer, Charlotte Osei, as head of the West African country’s Electoral Commission (EC), the presidency said in a statement late on Thursday.

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder & CEO, Facebook

Facebook to open 1st Africa office in Johannesburg. Ex-Ogilvy South Africa Chairman to head operations

Facebook will be opening its first headquarters in Africa next month as the company looks to acquire its next billion users.

Traffic on Agege Motor Road in Lagos

In Nigeria, the hustle that makes Lagos bustle

All of Lagos is a mobile supermarket. Informal stalls selling soccer jerseys, mangoes, and iPhone cables sprout between its buildings like plants growing in the cracks of a rock – improbable and tenacious.

Screenshot of some of the images found under the hashtag #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou on Twitter.

Here is the Africa the media never shows you

The portrayal of Africa by mainstream media, particularly Western media, paints it as a dark, ugly, hopeless place that is ridden with civil war, militant groups, corruption, violation of freedoms, starvation, chaotic urbanisation and utter desperation.

IMAX to launch in Nigeria. Partners with FilmHouse Cinemas

IMAX to launch in Nigeria. Partners with FilmHouse Cinemas

IMAX Corp. recently struck a deal with Nigeria’s leading theater chain – Filmhouse Cinemas. Per the agreement, Filmhouse Cinemas will launch IMAX theaters in a new construction site in Lagos.

The GCX buildout will be led by Eleni Gabre-Madhin, the CEO of Nairobi-based Eleni Exchanges.

Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX) to be fully operational by June 2016

Smallholder farmers and other participants along Ghana’s agriculture value chain look set to rake in more returns on their investments following the launch of the Ghana Commodity Exchange (GCX).

Miguel Azevedo, Head of Investment Banking, Citi Africa

Citi to Deutsche Bank on charm offensive in Africa as banks clamor for bond issuance deals

Bankers from London to Frankfurt and New York are on a charm offensive in Africa. Their goal: convincing governments to keep selling debt as first-half issuance slows from a five-year high.

Bisi Onasanya, CEO, First Bank of Nigeria

First Bank CEO calls on Nigeria to end FX trading restrictions and devalue Naira

Nigeria needs to let the naira devalue as foreign-exchange trading restrictions used to keep the currency stable are starting to harm growth in Africa’s largest economy, said the head of the country’s biggest lender by assets.

President Vladimir Putin (L), Prime Minister Narendra Modi (2L), President Dilma Rousseff, President Xi Jinping (2R), and President Jacob Zuma (R) pose at the 6th BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil on July 15, 2014 (AFP Photo/Nelson Almeida)

BRICS New Development Bank (NDB) to be operational by end of 2015, says South Africa's Ministry of Finance

The emerging market BRICS nations will have their own development bank by the end of the year, South Africa said Friday.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria's president fires the entire board of state-run oil company NNPC

The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday sacked the entire board of the state-run oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Bryant (ABC) Orjiako, Chairman, Seplat. Credit: Oil & Gas Council

Nigeria's Buhari should sell stakes in oil and gas joint ventures, says Seplat Chairman ABC Orjiako

Nigeria’s new government should sell its stakes in joint ventures in the country’s energy industry, the chairman of Seplat Petroleum said on Monday, adding his company would be interested in buying, especially in the gas sector.

Kenya's Safaricom and Airtel to settle trademark dispute out of court

Kenya's Safaricom and Airtel to settle trademark dispute out of court

Safaricom and smaller rival Airtel Kenya agreed to end a trademark dispute relating to the M-Pesa logo, said the Daily Nation.

Eytan Stibbe, Managing Partner, Vital Capital

Private equity firm Vital Capital plans $500M Africa fund as demand booms

Private equity firm Vital Capital Investments LP is planning a $500 million investment fund that will focus on African industries overlooked by competitors.

The falling oil price has put pressure on the Nigerian currency, the naira.

Nigeria tightens controls on foreign exchange

The Nigerian central bank has imposed new foreign exchange controls to try to stem the flow of dollars out of the country.

Bob Diamond's Atlas Mara in talks to buy Finance Bank Zambia

Bob Diamond's Atlas Mara in talks to buy Finance Bank Zambia

Atlas Mara Ltd., the company co-founded by Bob Diamond to invest in African financial businesses, is in talks to buy Finance Bank Zambia Plc, according to three people with knowledge of the matter

Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria

Buhari advised to end fuel subsidy

Nigeria’s new president, Muhammadu Buhari, has been advised by his transition committee to end a fuel subsidy program and privatize Nigeria’s four refineries, senior sources in his party told Reuters on Sunday.

South Africa threatens action as hedge funds slow to enroll

South Africa threatens action as hedge funds slow to enroll

South Africa’s Financial Services Board is threatening to take regulatory and enforcement action against hedge funds that fail to register as collective investments.

Booze firms toast Africa's ripening market. Credit: spierwines.co.za

Booze firms toast Africa's ripening market

For wine and spirits companies looking to expand their businesses, Africa and its growing middle class clamoring for refined tipples is now one of the world’s fastest-growing beverage markets, analysts say.

Oscar Onyema, CEO, Nigeria Stock Exchange

Nigerian Stock Exchange could start trading Naira futures as early as 2017, says CEO Oscar Onyema

The Nigerian Stock Exchange plans to start trading naira futures that will help investors hedge against movements in the local currency, Chief Executive Officer Oscar Onyema said.

Spanish billionaire Alberto Cortina. Photographer: Fernando Camino/Cover/Getty Images

Bob Diamond has a rival as Spanish billionaire Alberto Cortina eyes Africa bank deals

Ex-Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Robert Diamond has a rival: Spanish billionaire Alberto Cortina, who is building a banking presence in West Africa to take advantage of demand from sovereign and corporate clients.

Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria (Reuters/Joe Penney)

Why office space in Lagos is more expensive than New York (Infographic)

When you think about the most expensive offices space in the world, cities like New York and London,with their reputations as global financial centers, spring to mind.

The private jet route from Lagos to London was the eighth-fastest growing in 2013, according to NetJets. Photographer: Paul Taggart/Bloomberg

Africa will be second-fastest growing region for luxury goods through 2019

Rising 5.6% a year, Africa’s luxury retail sales may reach $5.2 billion by 2019. This is the second-fastest growth rate globally, Euromonitor estimates, trailing only the Middle East.

Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandel presenting the 1995 Rugby World Cup trophy to Francois Pienaar, former captain of the Springboks, South Africa's national rugby team

South Africa will bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup

South Africa was joined by Italy, France, United States and Ireland at the briefing, with their delegation including sports minister Fikile Mbalula and Gideon Sam, president of the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee.

Nigeria selects two sites for nuclear power plants

Nigeria selects two sites for nuclear power plants

Nigeria has selected two sites for the construction of its planned nuclear power plants, as Africa’s biggest economy tries to end decades of electricity blackouts that have slowed down its growth.

The Kenyan Flag: Kenya leads East Africa peers in private equity inflows, according to KPMG-EAVCA report.

Kenya has been #1 destination in East Africa for private equity investments over past seven years

Kenya continued its dominance in the region’s private equity industry with the country accounting for more than 60 per cent of private equity deals recorded in the East African region.

Emmanuel Nnorom, CEO, Transcorp

Nigeria's Transcorp on track for 850 MW capacity this year, says CEO Emmanuel Nnorom

Nigeria’s Transcorp is on track to boost its power generation capacity to 850 megawatts (MW) by the end of 2015 from 610 megawatts last year, the company’s chief executive said on Friday.

Gloria Serobe, Founder & Executive Director, Wiphold

It's time for South African business to step up: Gloria Serobe, Founder & Executive Director, WIPHOLD

In all the discussions about who’s responsible for the woes of this country and who will lead us forward, there’s one player that seems to get a free pass.

Smile Communications

Smile Communications awards Ericsson its 1st 4G/LTE contract in Sub-Saharan Africa

Ericsson has won a multi-country managed services contract from Smile Communications. This five-year agreement will be Ericsson’s first 4G/LTE managed services contract in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Understanding West Africa’s Infrastructure Potential - PwC

Understanding West Africa’s Infrastructure Potential: PwC (Report)

West Africa is increasingly identified as an attractive destination for investors across all economic sectors. Its growing population of over 300 million and abundant resources continue to drive steady economic growth, as seen by a 6% average annual growth rate over the past decade.

The top eight busiest ports in Africa

The top eight busiest ports in Africa (Photos and Infographic)

Check out a list and photos of the top eight busiest ports in Africa. Also, check out the infographic on the Port of Durban, Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest port and the second largest on the continent.

Oando petrol station

Nigeria's four refineries to resume production next month, says NNPC official

Nigeria’s four refineries will resume production next month, a spokesman for the state-run oil group said Thursday, raising hope of an end to perennial petrol shortages that have plagued Africa’s largest crude producer.

Novatel Wireless, DigiCore

US-based GPS systems provider Novatel buying South Africa's DigiCore for $87M

Two weeks after disclosing buyout talks with the company, Novatel (NASDAQ:MIFI) announces it’s buying South African fleet-management and vehicle-tracking hardware/software firm Digicore Holdings for $87M in cash.

Cluster development in Zimbali which overlooks the wetlands and the ocean. Units range from R7.5 - R11.95 million each. Image: JACKIE CLAUSEN

Where do South Africa's rich live?

Sandhurst in Johannesburg is South Africa’s premier millionaire playground. The Sandton suburb is home to 130 multimillionaires – those with assets of R120 million or more.

Bonang Mohale, Chairman, Shell South Africa

Why South Africa must get real: Bonang Mohale, Chairman, Shell South Africa

Looking back on the last 20 years, there is much to celebrate about South Africa’s progress. Indeed, we could easily have become a Syria, Libya, Iraq, or Ukraine—but our leaders had the foresight and the wisdom to give us the amazing gift of a united, inclusive, nonracial constitutional democracy.

Barth Nnaji, Nigeria's former Minister of Power & Geometric Power's CEO

Nigeria's former Power Minister Barth Nnaji's Geometric Power partners with GE to build 1,080 MW plant in Nigeria

Nigeria’s Geometric Power will build a 1,080 megawatt power plant jointly with General Electric , with the first phase of the project generating 500 MW expected to be completed in 2019 at a cost of $800 million.

Digging deep (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

In just 5 years, submarine cables have brought a 20-fold increase in bandwidth in Africa (Infographic)

Six years ago, the Sea Cable System (Seacom), the first undersea broadband cable along Africa’s eastern and Southern coastlines, was launched.

Nigeria’s new president Muhammadu Buhari

A new Nigerian government increases opportunities for the private sector

The swearing in of Nigeria’s new president Muhammadu Buhari last week has led to renewed optimism regarding economic progress in the country and new opportunities for the private sector, particularly in infrastructure development, consumer and financial services sectors.

A model displays a newly launched Xiaomi Mi 4i phone in Hong Kong, China May 5, 2015. REUTERS/BOBBY YIP

Huawei expects to double South Africa smartphone sales to 2 million units in 2015, says CEO Steven Wu

China’s Huawei Technologies company expects to double smartphone device import to South Africa, reaching 2 million this year, chief executive of the local unit said on Thursday.