January 2016 African Business News


Video editors work at the headquarters of iROKOtv in Lagos on March 27, 2014. iROKOtv announced $19 million worth of deals on Monday to triple its content production, which focuses on Nollywood films and TV series. Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

Nollywood's biggest streaming service isn't afraid of Netflix

Following its expansion into 130 new countries earlier in January, content-streaming service Netflix is now available in all 54 African nations.

African economies to grow by 4.4% in 2016

African economies to grow by 4.4% in 2016, up from 3.7% in 2015

Africa will record a 4.4 percent economic growth this year, up from 3.7 percent in 2015 buoyed by increasing domestic demand and improved investment in infrastructure, the United Nations has predicated.

Nigerian businesses target 100% mobile-first market

Nigerian businesses target '100% mobile-first market' (Infographics)

In Nigeria, success for both tech start-ups and more conventional businesses such as banks and fast food restaurants means adapting to the age of what entrepreneurs have dubbed the “100 per cent mobile-first market”.

Nigeria Targets Country-Wide Broadband Access by 2020

Nigeria Targets Country-Wide Broadband Access by 2020

Nigeria plans to help revive economic growth by expanding broadband Internet access throughout Africa’s most populous country by 2020 despite delays in rolling out the needed infrastructure, according to the telecommunications regulator.

Nigeria open to deal with mobile group MTN over $3.9B fine

Nigeria open to deal with mobile group MTN over $3.9B fine

Nigeria is open to an amicable out-of-court settlement with South Africa’s MTN over a $3.9 billion fine imposed on the cell phone operator, a top regulatory official said on Wednesday.

Sim Shagaya, Chairman & former CEO, Konga

Konga Founder Sim Shagaya steps down as CEO

Nigerian tech entrepreneur Sim Shagaya has announced he is stepping down as the CEO of Konga. Konga is one of Africa’s leading ecommerce companies.

Dueling with Lions - Playing the New Game of Business Success in Africa: BCG

Dueling with Lions - Playing the New Game of Business Success in Africa: BCG (Report)

From a business perspective, Africa is at an inflection point. Local African companies have made investments and have expanded their offerings, in many cases taking business away from multinational incumbents.

Dan Matjila, CEO, Public Investment Corporation (PIC)

Africa's largest money manager PIC interested in raising Barclays Africa stake

The Public Investment Corp., manager of the bulk of the South African government’s pension fund money, said it would be interested in increasing its stake in Barclays Africa Group Ltd.

Julius Kipng'etich, CEO, Uchumi Supermarkets

Uchumi Supermarkets of Kenya mulls expansion in Nigeria, Ethiopia & the DRC

Uchumi Supermarkets Ltd., Kenya’s only publicly traded retail chain, is considering starting operations in Nigeria, Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of Congo after reorganizing its East African operations, Chief Executive Officer Julius Kipng’etich said.

Eazi Group

Ethos Private Equity pays $97M for control of South African equipment company Eazi Group

Ethos Private Equity Ltd. bought a 65 percent stake in South African equipment rental and sales company Eazi Group Ltd. for 1.6 billion rand ($97 million) in the fifth private-equity investment by its Ethos Fund VI in the past year.

Jason Njoku, Founder & CEO, iROKOtv

Jason Njoku's iROKOtv raises $19M in series D financing

iROKOtv, an online entertainment platform that targets audiences in Sub-Saharan African countries, plans to strike more deals in Nigeria’s booming movie industry after securing $19 million in funding from French premium cable company Canal+ and Kinnevik, a returning investor.

Sub-Saharan Africa & private equity approaches to enhancing economic development: ODI

Sub-Saharan Africa & private equity approaches to enhancing economic development: ODI (Infographic & Report)

Private equity has been the fastest growing flow to the region with a five-fold growth rate and more than $50 billion of inflows since 2008. Private equity now comprises approximately $12 billion annually and 20% of cross-border capital flows.

Dunkin’ Brands and Grand Parade Investments announce plans to open hundreds of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins restaurants in South Africa.

Dunkin' Brands and Grand Parade Investments announce plans to open hundreds of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins restaurants in South Africa

Master franchise agreement with Grand Parade Investments calls for the development of more than 250 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and more than 70 Baskin-Robbins shops in South Africa over the coming years.

Prudential Financial and LeapFrog Investments launch $350M investment partnership to access high-growth markets in Africa

Prudential Financial and LeapFrog Investments launch $350M investment partnership to access high-growth markets in Africa

Prudential Financial and LeapFrog Investments announced on Thursday the launch of a $350 million investment partnership to access high-growth markets in Africa.

Uber Lagos partners with Nigerian payments company Paga

Uber Lagos partners with Nigerian payments company Paga

Committed to solving payments for businesses and individuals, Paga has announced a partnership with technology company, Uber.

Teodoro de Jesus Xavier Poulson, Investment Committee Member, Fundo Activo de Capital de Risco Angola (FACRA)

Africa in 2016: Angola's public venture capital fund FACRA

How we made it in Africa asks Teodoro de Jesus Xavier Poulson – a member of the investment committee of Angola’s public venture capital fund, Fundo Activo de Capital de Risco Angolano (FACRA) – about his outlook for 2016.

Chris Low, Group Managing Director, Letshego Holdings

Botswana's Letshego buys FBN Microfinance Bank in Nigeria expansion move

Gabarone-based Letshego Holdings Limited the financial inclusion focused group with consumer, micro lending and deposit-taking subsidiaries across Southern and East Africa, says it has acquired a 100% shareholding in FBN Microfinance Bank (FBN MFB) from its parent, FBN Holdings plc.

Eko Atlantic City: An Illustration

Eko Atlantic City: The emergence of Africa's new financial haven

In terms of raising a 21st century model city with a blend of first-class architectural design, adept urban planning, self-sustaining power generation, and a keen consideration for environmental sustainability, the Eko Atlantic City (EAC) stands as one of the leading urban development projects in Africa.

Timi Soleye, President, CRYO Gas & Power

Nigeria cannot afford to wait for its electricity grid: Timi Soleye, President, CRYO Gas & Power

FirstPower has a most perplexing problem for a Nigerian business: too much electricity.

EbonyLife TV's Fifty

Hooray for Nollywood: 10 Must-See Films From Nigeria

Behind its better known competitors in the U.S. and India, Nigeria has the world’s third-largest movie industry.

Now is the time to buy Sub-Saharan African stocks

Now is the time to buy Sub-Saharan African stocks

With the exception of South Africa, public equities in sub-Saharan Africa are generally cheap.

Lagos, Nigeria

Economists share their 2016 outlook for Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa

These are the global economic realities that will continue to shape African markets in 2016. Strong US dollar. Low oil and commodity prices. Slowing Chinese growth.

A resort in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Tourism in Africa: On the rise but has not at its full potential

For the third year running, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has published the Africa Tourism Monitor, an annual report on the tourism industry in Africa.

Nancy Kacungira, Co-Founder, Blu Flamingo

"Africa Rising" or not? Change the narrative on Africa to a dialogue: Nancy Kacungira at TEDxEuston (Video)

“Africa Rising” is a moniker for the continent that has been in vogue recently. Africa has even been referred to recently as the “Hopeful Continent”.

Mobile in Africa: Still room to grow (Reuters/Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah)

Why this industry leader believes mobile in Africa has not yet reached its potential

Africa is a mobile-first continent. With almost 70% penetration and the innovations around mobile money, the continent is redefining what one can do with a cell phone.

Old Mutual Private Equity buys into South African food maker In2Food

Old Mutual Private Equity buys into South African food maker In2Food

Old Mutual Plc’s private equity unit bought a stake in In2Food, a maker of ready-made meals and snacks in South Africa, as the investor bets on an increasing appetite for convenience products among the country’s growing middle class.

South Africa's Silvertree Capital to invest $10M in African startups

South Africa's Silvertree Capital to invest $10M in African startups

Silvertree Capital, the investment arm of Cape Town-based Silvertree Internet Holdings (SIH), plans to invest US$10m (about R170m) in consumer-focused Internet start-ups in 2016, it said on Tuesday.

African startups raised $185.7M in 2015

African startups raised $185.7M in 2015

According to the Disrupt Africa’s African Tech Startups Funding Report for 2015, 125 tech startups raised funding in 2015 around the African continent, to the tune of US$185,785,500.

Orange buys Bharti Airtel operations in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone

Orange buys Bharti Airtel operations in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone

French telecom incumbent Orange has agreed to acquire Bharti Airtel’s businesses in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone in a continuation of its expansion strategy in West Africa.

Abacus launches Nairobi Stock Exchange Android app. Credit: techcabal.com

Abacus launches Nairobi Securities Exchange Android app

Abacus is a web and mobile software that lets you keep tabs on whatever is going on with the Nairobi Securities exchange in real time.

Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria

Nigeria Central Bank Cuts Flow of Dollars to Money Changers

Nigeria’s central bank stopped selling foreign exchange to money-changers as it struggles to stabilize the naira amid a plunge in oil prices that have hit government finances.

France's Orange acquires Liberia's largest cell phone company Cellcom in Africa expansion move

France's Orange acquires Liberia's largest cell phone company Cellcom in Africa expansion move

France’s Orange has agreed to buy Cellcom Liberia from privately held Cellcom Telecommunications Ltd. for an undisclosed sum as part of its expansion strategy in West Africa.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde watches children perform a dance in Abuja during her visit to Nigeria. Photograph: IMF via Getty Images

It's naira or never - Nigeria needs decisive action on its currency: Oluseun Onigbinde, Co-Founder, BudgIT

When Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, visited Nigeria this week, she called for more flexibility on the exchange rate, encouraging those who believe the naira could be devalued again very soon.

A USB key with the logo of Netflix, the American provider of on-demand Internet streaming media. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Naspers says it can cope with Netflix challenge in South Africa

Naspers, the largest listed company in Africa, said it was not worried about Netflix’s arrival in South Africa, adding it believed the market for video on demand was large enough to accommodate more players.

MTN is focusing on the future in Nigeria

MTN is doubling down on broadband in Nigeria even as its record fine looms (Infographic)

In the last decade, Nigeria has seen a rapid growth in smartphone subscription and internet usage.

Nigerian billionaire Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman, BUA Group. Credit: forbes.com

Nigerian billionaire Abdulsamad Rabiu sells flour milling business to Singapore's Olam for $275M

BUA Group, one of Africa’s largest food and infrastructure conglomerates, has sold its flour business to Olam International of Singapore for $275 million.

Attaendees at a Speed Meet Africa event discuss new opportunities

Goodbye Europe, Hello Africa: Frances Mensah Williams, Managing Editor, ReConnect Africa

When Ernestina Ellen Boadi resigned from her job as an Events Management Executive in London, it wasn’t because she planned to switch to a better job in the city.

Jim Ovia, Founder of Visafone and Founder of Zenith Bank

MTN acquires Jim Ovia's Visafone in bid to boost broadband offering in Nigeria

South Africa-based MTN, Africa’s largest mobile phone operator by number of subscribers, on Thursday confirmed it has acquired Nigerian wireless network provider Visafone after months of negotiation.

Job Creation in Sub-Saharan Africa - Entrepreneurs. Governments. Innovation - Forbes Insights-Djembe Communications

Job Creation in Sub-Saharan Africa - Entrepreneurs. Governments. Innovation: Forbes Insights/Djembe Communications (Report)

The report discusses the value of entrepreneurs, the challenges and opportunities inherent to entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa, and in-depth insights garnered from each of the markets surveyed.

Erika Van der Merwe, CEO, Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA). Credit: ventureburn.com

Investors increasingly turning to Africa's private equity markets: Erika Van der Merwe, CEO, Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA)

Investors seeking exposure to frontier markets in Africa, which contains some of the world’s fastest-growing consumer markets, are increasingly exploring Sub-Saharan African private equity markets.

Jason Njoku, Founder & CEO, iROKOtv

Jason Njoku sees huge potential for iROKOtv in Sub-Saharan Africa (Video)

With over 5,000 movie titles available, iROKOtv is the world’s leading provider of Nigerian movies, also referred to as Nollywood, online.

Africa - A continent of opportunity for pharma and patients - McKinsey

Africa - A continent of opportunity for pharma and patients: McKinsey (Infographics & Report)

Africa may be the only pharmaceutical market where genuinely high growth is still achievable. Here’s what’s driving that strength and how companies should react.