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Africa Trade Week: Africa is open for business

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With impressive economic growth figures, Africa is becoming an attractive destination for trade and export.

Africa is open for business and the continent is looking increasingly attractive as a trade and export destination, with average annual growth for Sub Saharan Africa forecast at 8% until 2023, which is a positive outlook following the downturn between 2015 and 2017.

This is according to Liz Whitehouse, MD of Africa House and Africa research partner to dmg events.

Africa Trade Week will be held from 23 to 25 June 2019 at the Gallagher Convention Centre, in Midrand, and includes the co-location of the South African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX), The Hotel Show Africa, and Africa’s Big 7.

Whitehouse pointed out that East Africa is primarily the driving force of growth on the continent, with the regional economy showing no contraction, as opposed to other regions.

This is largely because East Africa is not an extractives-dependent region, with mining and oil and gas only now starting to become of some importance. With South Africa and Nigeria excluded from regional data, East Africa emerged as the largest regional economy by 2018, she noted.

On the other hand, Southern Africa – even including South Africa – is the worst performing major region, with Angola, Mozambique, Zambia and DRC all hit by commodity price declines, while Zimbabwe, eSwatini and Malawi were affected by a combination of commodity prices, drought and Governance issues.

“West Africa looks relatively good, with the regional GDP growing from $600 billion to over $1 trillion and Nigeria expected to rebound in 2019 and beyond,” says Whitehouse.

“Central Africa is the smallest regional economy, but ticks along and is expected to maintain growth of around 3.5% a year – much of it driven by regional gateway Cameroon.”

Whitehouse noted that by 2023, the continent will see five economies of over $100 billion (Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Angola and Ethiopia); and five more of over $50 billion (Tanzania, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC and Cameroon).

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She points out that in many African countries and regions, key development drivers are inextricably linked to corridors – either by design or fortune. “As such, corridor development and ‘anchor tenants’ or projects are once again becoming critical in Africa’s development story.”

Whitehouse identifies several sectors which are key development drivers on the continent: Agriculture, extractives (stranded minerals), urbanisation & rising incomes, industrial, and ICT, telecoms & power. On the point of urbanisation, Whitehouse points out: “Urban areas in Africa comprise 472 million people. That number will double over the next 25 years as migrants push to cities and due to internal city growth. The largest cities grow as fast as 4% annually.”

She describes the urban “middle class” as not yet a stable entity, but a large “floating class” that hovers just above the poverty line, while the lower-middle consumer group added two million people a year in last decade. The upper-middle class remains a relatively small group, but is growing.

“Wealthier Africans are largely urban and are driving consumption of consumer goods and building materials,” Whitehouse says.

Africa’s top import markets remain South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Angola, with the key source of supply for all these markets being China. Not surprisingly, China also holds a significant part of the key supplier market share in these countries – 19% in South Africa and Angola and 33% in Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana.

According to Lynn Chamier, event director at dmg events, Africa Trade Week will bring the world to Africa and Africa to the world to source products, discuss issues and trends, and identify opportunities for international trade. More than 11 000 international industry professionals, from 53 countries, as well as more than 500 exhibitors, from more than 40 countries, will gather for the event, which will provide ample opportunity to do business and network.

This year, dmg will introduce a premium “matchmaking” service to assist exhibitors to meet their target market and will set up and facilitate personalised meetings between interested parties.

There will also be a variety of features that visitors can expect to experience at Africa Trade Week, including: The Global Pizza Challenge, Kitchen of the Future, Africa Housekeepers League of Champions, Wine Village, IID Design Pavilion (African Institute of Interior Design) and the DTI/Brand SA pavilion.

Various workshops will also be conducted at the Africa Trade Week, such as the Hospitality Leadership Forum, FoodNext.Africa, the Trade Development Forum, Restaurant Association of South Africa Workshops and South African National Halaal Association Workshops.

Africa Trade Week 2019 will incorporate three leading exhibitions – The Hotel Show Africa, Africa’s Big 7 and SAITEX, as well as their associated conferences and workshops, to create the new home of trade highlighting pan-African business opportunities, products, services, equipment, supplies, innovations, technology and solutions.

To book a stand or to register as a visitor, go to the websites: https://www.saitexafrica.com/https://thehotelshowafrica.com/ ; https://www.africabig7.com/

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Ecobank Transnational Incorporated debut $450 million Eurobond oversubscribed

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The proceeds will be used for Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI)’s general corporate purposes and to refinance existing Holdco obligations

LOME, Togo, April 18, 2019 – Ecobank Transnational Incorporated, ETI, the Lomé-based parent company of the Ecobank Group, is pleased to announce that it has successfully raised $450 million in its debut Eurobond which was oversubscribed.

The Global Offering is a 5-year unsecured note (144A/RegS) listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange. The bond matures in April 2024 and was issued with a coupon pricing of 9.5% with interest payable semi-annually in arrears.

The proceeds will be used for ETI’s general corporate purposes and to refinance existing Holdco obligations.

Investor interest was global, including United Kingdom, United States, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

On this debut Eurobond issuance, Mr. Ade Ayeyemi, Group Chief Executive Officer of ETI, stated: “This is another first for Ecobank and I’m very excited at the prospects for the Group as we continue the second phase of our 5-year ‘Roadmap to leadership’ strategy. Our efforts toward greater operational and capital efficiency are paying off, and this offer is another example of the measures we are taking to strengthen our institution and deliver value for all of our stakeholders”.

The Group Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Greg Davis, also commenting on this Eurobond said: “The success of this Eurobond reflects appetite from high quality and real money institutional investors globally and the trust that continues to be conferred on our institution and the markets we have chosen to participate in.”

Ecobank

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World Bank okays project worth $200 mln to support SMEs in Egypt

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CAIRO – 18 April 2019: The World Bank gave its final approval to a new project worth $200 million for supporting reforms aimed at securing further jobs for young people and women in Egypt.

The project is meant to increase the volume of credit to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), for being a key source of economic growth.

In a statement released on Thursday, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said the project comes within the framework of ongoing cooperation between the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry and the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSME), with a view to backing entrepreneurs, especially women.

“Our partnership with the World Bank Group aims to enable women and young people to become successful entrepreneurs. This investment provides several opportunities for improving Egyptians’ standard of living, through creating jobs and establishing a strong foundation for the country’s economy,” the statement quoted Nasr as saying.

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The project targets increasing seed capital and early-stage capital, as well as capital risk available to innovative startups facing higher risks and newly-established SMEs with great potential for growth and job creation, the statement read.

ِUnder the project, around USD 50 million will be directed to private-managed risk management institutions, such as investment funds, business accelerators, venture capital funds and investment companies, for the purpose of outlining the initial stages of the Egyptian investment system, the statement noted.

For her part, Marina Weiss, Regional Director of the World Bank office in Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, said “Egypt has shown a strong commitment to reforming its economy. Its reforms have begun to bear fruit, enabling the private sector to secure jobs which is an integral part of achieving a sustainable and overall growth”.

Also, she added that the WB is proud to support entrepreneurs across the country, notably women and young people.

The new program hinges on the success of the existing project “Promoting Innovation for Financial Inclusion”, which enables SMEs to get access to funding and promotes job creation in the private sector nationwide.

-Egypt Today

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Vantage Capital exits Thebe Timrite

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Thebe is one of South Africa’s leading black-owned investment companies, managing assets of over R6 billion ($420m)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, April 18, 2019 – Vantage Capital, Africa’s largest mezzanine debt fund manager, announced today that it has fully exited its investment in Thebe Timrite (“Timrite”), a leading black-controlled supplier of mining support products and services in South Africa.  Vantage provided an R89m ($6,3m) mezzanine debt facility to fund the 100% acquisition of Timrite by Thebe Investment Corporation (“Thebe”) and the Timrite management team in 2013, as well as to fund expansion capital expenditure. Thebe is one of South Africa’s leading black-owned investment companies, managing assets of over R6 billion ($420m).

Mokgome Mogoba, Associate Partner at Vantage Capital, said, “the investment we made in Thebe Timrite demonstrates the support we provide to black-controlled businesses and our commitment to transformation in South Africa. Furthermore, it highlights the faith that we have in the resilience of the South African mining sector and the employment opportunities it creates. This was the second time we had partnered with Thebe as we had previously supported Thebe’s investment in Safripol, another successful investment.”

Luc Albinski, Managing Partner at Vantage Capital, added, “Vantage was an active participant in many board discussions over the past six years at Timrite, helping to shape the growth strategies of the company during a difficult time in South Africa’s mining sector. It was a privilege to engage with Timrite management and Thebe as the company diversified its product range through world-class R&D, introducing new products into the market that have made our mines safer.”

Nonhlanhla Mabusela, CEO of Thebe Timrite, said, “we are grateful to have partnered with Vantage Capital during both strong and turbulent times within the mining sector in recent years. Vantage’s funding did indeed play a key role in facilitating black ownership in the underground roof support market, placing Timrite miles ahead of its peers in its transformation targets.”

Sizwe Mncwango, CEO of Thebe said “We would like to express our deepest gratitude to Vantage Capital for the partnership and support afforded to Thebe in steering the company over the last 6 years. The exit by Vantage Capital allows Thebe to become a sole shareholder of Thebe Timrite and we are excited about the future of this business.”

To date, Vantage Capital has successfully exited nine investments generating proceeds of R2.6bn ($190m) across its three generations of mezzanine debt funds and achieved an aggregate money multiple of 2.0x.

Vantage Capital Group

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