issue: 289 | 28 January 2019


Announcing the first project financing facility for Africa

Africa’s first project financing facility for mini-grids was launched this month with funding commitments from The Rockefeller Foundation and Ceniarth. The facility was launched by CrossBoundary Energy Access (CBEA) who will initially invest USD16-million into mini-grids serving 170,000 people, providing first-time power to homes and businesses. The focus is on markets with supportive mini-grid regulatory frameworks, such as Tanzania, Nigeria, and Zambia. Gabriel Davies, Head of Energy Access at CrossBoundary, said: “Mini-grids are critical to achieving universal electrification in Africa at the least cost. We believe long-term project finance structures will allow mini-grids to scale. We’re building investment portfolios that will attract the long-term, infrastructure-type capital the sector needs from institutional investors.”

Source: ESI Africa


Securities regulators in Africa and Middle East to collaborate and increase listings in the region and mitigate shared risks

Securities regulators in Africa and the Middle East have approved a joint project with Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSDA) to develop strategies to increase listings and the uptake of capital markets products in the region. During the 42nd Meeting of the Africa Middle East Regional Committee (AMERC) of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) the members agreed that promoting additional listings was key to tackling market liquidity challenges faced in multiple markets as well as reinforcing the central role of securities markets to support sustainable economic growth through increased market-based financing. Regional members acknowledged that the demand for sustainable assets also provided a platform to use sustainable issuances to fast track wider market structure and efficiency reforms that can strengthen the overall market value chain for all asset classes.

Source: Africa Business Communities


USD25-million approved for renewable energy projects across sub-Saharan Africa
The board of directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved an equity investment of up to USD25-million in ARCH Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARPF), a USD250-million private equity fund for renewable energy projects across sub-Saharan Africa. ARPF will provide equity for the development and construction of 10 to 15 greenfield renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa, adding approximately 533MW of installed energy generation capacity from renewable sources in the region. This will provide both base load and peak load power in underserved markets. ARPF projects will focus on mature technologies including wind, solar PV, small to medium hydro, geothermal and biomass.

Source: ESI Africa


ENI Group starts oil extraction in new well in Angola
Italian group ENI has started oil production at a well in the Vandumbu field, located 350 kilometres northwest of Luanda and 130 kilometres west of Soyo on the western platform of the 15/06 block in the Angolan sea, the group announced in Milan. Production at the VAN-102 well began with the FPSO N’Goma and reached around 13,000 barrels, the group said. The statement added that VAN-102 is an additional step in the development of the Vandumbu field, launched on 29 November 2018, three months before the original planned date, which will be completed in the first quarter of 2019 with the launch of the water injection well. Block 15/06 is being developed by a partnership made up of ENI (36.84%, operator), Sonangol P&P (36.84%) and SSI Fifteen Limited (26.32%).

Source: Macau Hub


MOD Resources capital raise enables progress at T3 copper project

MOD Resources has received firm commitments to raise USD10-million through an institutional share Placement with an additional USD5-million fully underwritten Rights Issue to be offered to existing shareholders. The majority of funds are intended for working capital to advance the T3 copper project towards production and defining additional resources within the surrounding T3 expansion project area. Furthermore, following media speculation, MOD Resources announced the receipt of an unsolicited, non-binding, indicative and conditional proposal by ASX listed Sandfire Resources. The proposal is to acquire 100% of the company's shares via an all-scrip transaction equivalent to USD0.38 per MOD share. The Board believes this proposal undervalues the company's unique and extensive assets.

Source: Mining Review Africa

Cape Verde

Cabo Verde Government creates sovereign fund with starting capital of EUR90-million

The Cape Verdean government has set up a Sovereign Fund with an initial allocation of EUR90-million to support national companies, announced the Cape Verde deputy prime minister and finance minister. Olavo Correia said that setting up this fund is intended to support large projects of companies with difficulties securing financing from commercial banks. The minister made the announcement in the traditional debate and dinner on the 2019 State Budget (OE2019), organised by the Sotavento Chamber of Commerce. During the debate, which was attended by more than 80 businesspeople from the Sotavento region of Cabo Verde, the Deputy Prime Minister confirmed that the fund had already been set up and its formal approval should take place at one of the next sessions of the Council of Ministers.

Source: Macau Hub

Democratic Republic of Congo

AVZ advances Manono lithium and tin project
ASX-listed AVZ Minerals has announced it is offering a Share Purchase Plan to raise a minimum of AUD5-million to advance its Manono Lithium and Tin Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo  The SPP will be underwritten to AUD5-million by Patersons Securities which is acting as Lead Manager and Underwriter to the offer. The New Shares will be issued at a 20% discount to the VWAP trading price over the five trading days before the date of issue of the New Shares and will only be offered to Eligible Shareholders free of brokerage and fees. Funds raised will be used to fast-track pre-development activity such as the Definitive Feasibility Study including hydrogeological test-work, environmental studies, pit dewatering and for general working capital.

Source: Mining Review Africa


Italy to finance Ethiopia, Eritrea railway line project
The Government of Italy has pledged to finance a feasibility study for the planned construction of a rail line linking the Eritrean port city of Massawa and the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. “We are excited and accept with great honour Italia’s plan to extend support our plan to link Addis Ababa with Massawa via railway,” Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed confirmed the reports. Speaking after meeting Prime Minister of Italy Guiseppe Conte during an official visit to Rome, Abiy Ahmed said that financing of the 736 kilometres railway line project would enhance the first step to a route which would be crucial for trade between the two countries.

Source: Construction Review Online


Ghana to receive EU VPA licence

Ghana will soon receive licence and certification from the European Union (EU) to export timber products to its member countries. This is under the Ghana-EU Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), which will make Ghana the first country in Africa and the second in the world to have the license and certification. This follows the successful assessment of the country’s forest governance structure, laws and active participation of the local communities and civil society organisations in forest governance, under the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) programme. Ms Diana Acconcia, EU Ambassador to Ghana, said the partnership agreement would soon be signed between the EU and Ghana to allow timber products from Ghana have easy access to the European markets.

Source: Ghana Web

Ivory Coast

Bridge loan facility expedites hydropower financial close
Infrastructure development finance institution, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has announced the financial close of a bridge loan facility contracted by Ivoire Hydro Energy (IHE) for the construction of the 44MW Singrobo-Ahouaty hydroelectric power project (SAHP) in Côte d’Ivoire. AFC’s commitment towards IHE amounts to a total of USD197-million, comprising a majority equity investment of USD276-million, and a bridge loan facility of USD170-million. The first disbursement of the bridge loan facility occurred in December 2018. IHE’s other shareholders include Themis, a project development company, and IHE Holding, a company incorporated by Ekolan Alain Etty, a local entrepreneur. The SAHP will be built by Eiffage, a French leading EPC contractor, selected following an international competitive bidding.

Source: ESI Africa


Andela secures USD100-million Series D to build distributed engineering teams and power the future of work

Andela, the company building distributed engineering teams with Africa’s top software developers, announced the completion of a USD100-million Series D funding. The round was led by Generation Investment Management with participation from existing investors including Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, GV, Spark Capital, and CRE Venture Capital. The most recent financing brings Andela’s total venture funding to USD180-million. Andela was founded in 2014 to connect Africa’s engineering talent with the demand for software developers worldwide. In four years, Andela has assessed more than one hundred thousand applicants, hired one thousand software developers, and integrated them into hundreds of companies, such as Safaricom, Percolate, and InVision. With the Series D funding, Andela will accelerate the development of its technology platform to identify, develop and match talent at scale.

Source: African Business Communities


Britam buys Sh1.4-billion power firm stake
Britam Asset Managers (Kenya) has bought a Sh1.4-billion stake in a local electricity producer through a United States-based investment firm as the company seeks to diversify its investments beyond equities, real estate and bonds. Britam said it would acquire a significant stake in Gulf Energy via New York-based Everstrong Capital — which has preferred infrastructure investments. Gulf Energy supplied 81 million kilowatt hour of electricity to Kenya Power worth Sh3.5-billion in the year to June. Through this investment, Britam’s Asset Managers institutional clients will achieve diversification not only across asset classes but also across currencies. This is because the returns from the power plant will be in hard currency,” said Kenneth Kaniu, CEO of Britam Asset Managers.

Source: Business Daily


Strathclyde Uni tackles solar power in Malawi

A solar power project, led by Strathclyde University researchers, has transpired in affordable energy supply businesses being set up in four Malawian villages. The partnership, which has been backed by a USD772,017 grant from the Scottish government, ensures locals own and operate the solar equipment. The project includes battery chargers and power connections for other small businesses. The Scottish international development minister, Ben Macpherson, praised the impact of the project, stating that it was an example of a "commitment to good global citizenship". The project, which has been awarded USD1.672-million by the Scottish government, will create enough solar energy to connect about 50 households and 20 small businesses.

Source: ESI Africa


IFC, Mauritania government partner to strengthen entrepreneurship and business environment
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has announced an advisory agreement with the Government of Mauritania to improve the business environment and strengthen entrepreneurship in the country. Mauritania has made significant strides in recent years in improving its business environment. Mauritania’s private sector remains mostly informal and businesses are constrained by the legal and regulatory framework. These constraints include weak property rights, the lack of an effective commercial justice system, difficult access to credit, and sometimes complex cross-border trade procedures. Under the agreement signed, IFC will provide advisory services to help address these legal and regulatory constraints.

Source: Africa Business Communities


SunFunder closes USD2-million debt facility in Mozambique with MFX Solutions for off-grid energy provider SolarWorks
SunFunder, a solar finance company providing debt capital to solar enterprises in emerging markets has closed a USD2-million debt facility with SolarWorks!, a leading Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) solar home system and energy services provider in Southern Africa. The investment took an innovative multi-currency approach through a partnership with US-based currency hedging company MFX Solutions. It will be used primarily for working capital to accelerate SolarWorks!’ growth in Mozambique and marks the first transaction in that country for both SunFunder and MFX. They expect the financing to directly impact the lives of 65,000 people with improved energy access and in the process displace at least 26 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Source: Africa Business Communities


Exim Bank India invests USD95-million in Mozambique’s railway
Export-Import Bank of India, Exim Bank, has, on behalf of the Government of India, extended a Line of Credit (LOC) of USD95-million for procurement of railway rolling stock including locomotives, coaches and wagons to the Government of the Republic of Mozambique. The LOC Agreement to this effect was exchanged between Mr. Rudra Gaurav Shrestha, High Commissioner of India and Mr. Adriano Isais Ubisse, National Director of Treasury, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Government of the Republic of Mozambique. With the signing of the above LOC Agreement for USD95-million, Exim Bank, till date, has extended 13 Lines of Credit to the Government of the Republic of Mozambique, on behalf of the Government of India, taking the total value of LOCs extended to USD734.44-million.

Source: Africa Business Communities


CDC announces new investment to support high-growth SMEs

CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, has announced a new investment designed to support high-growth SMEs in Nigeria. CDC has made a USD15-million commitment to CardinalStone Capital Advisors Growth Fund (“CCA”). CCA is a first-time, Nigeria-focused fund that targets SMEs across six sectors: agriculture, industrials, FMCG, healthcare, education and financial services. CCA will use CDC’s capital to invest in companies which support job creation, as well as import substitution to diversify the Nigerian economy. CDC is an anchor investor alongside Kuramo, a leading African investment firm, and has helped mobilise additional investment of USD15-million from the Dutch development bank FMO and NSIA (the Nigerian sovereign wealth fund).

Source: Africa Business Communities


NSE and Afrinvest launch factor equity indices to optimise investors returns

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), a multi-asset exchange and index provider, and Afrinvest Securities Limited (ASL), a leading capital market research and securities execution platform, have announced the launch of two new factor indices: the NSE-Afrinvest Banking Value Index (NSE-Afr BVI) and NSE-Afrinvest High Dividend Yield Index (NSE-Afr HDYI). The indices will be available real-time on both NSE and Afrinvest WA websites. NSE-Afr BVI and NSE-Afr HDYI were designed in response to requests for applicable benchmarks for measuring value in banking stocks and high dividend stocks listed on the Exchange. They will serve as tools for investment managers and corporate treasuries seeking appropriate benchmarks to evaluate the performance of their portfolios to a segment of the banking sector or high dividend orientation as applicable. 

Source: Africa Business Community


RwandAir to acquire new planes

The national carrier, RwandAir, is set to expand its fleet in order to serve planned routes in the region and long-haul routes, including in New York and China. Yvonne Manzi Makolo, the airline’s Chief Executive, told The New Times that they were in the process of acquiring more aircraft to support airline’s expansion strategy. RwandAir already operates a fleet of 12 aircraft comprising two Airbus A330s, six Boeing 737NGs, two Bombardier CRJs, and two Q400s. This fleet could soon grow if the national carrier’s plans to acquire another set of aircraft materialises. The airline also plans to lease two A330neos and two 737 Max 8s, which will be used for growth rather than a replacement.

Source: The New Times

Sierra Leone

Bumbuna II Hydroelectric power project receives financial aid
ElectriFI has committed USD3.5-million of development capital to finance 50% of Sierra Leone's 143MW Bumbuna II Hydroelectric power project's external development expenses. According to a company statement, these expenses are needed to reach the financial close of the project. Joule Africa, the project sponsor, signed a 25-year PPA with the Government of Sierra Leone in August 2017 and selected a preferred EPC contractor to construct the project in February 2018.  Mandated Lead Arrangers for the debt finance will be selected by Joule Africa shortly and construction is scheduled to begin by the end of 2019. When complete, Bumbuna II will provide much-needed, affordable, reliable and clean power for the people of Sierra Leone where access to electricity is currently under 20%.

Source: ESI Africa


UAE said to lend USD300-million to crisis-hit Sudan
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is giving Sudan USD300-million in financing and about 1.12 million tonnes of fuel, a Sudanese ruling party lawmaker and a local newspaper said, a potential boost for the government of the economically troubled country rocked by a month of protests. The agreement with the UAE’s government will provide for Sudan’s needs during its “agricultural season,” the Khartoum-based al-Intibaha newspaper reported, citing people in Sudan’s Finance Ministry. It also said that 26 shiploads of fuel from the UAE have arrived in the African nation, enough supply for three months. While al-Intibaha didn’t specify whether they were loans or grants, the head of the oil and gas committee in Sudan’s parliament, Ishaq Bashir, confirmed the report and said Sudan would repay the assistance.

Source: Arabian Business


Increased solar power to boost Uganda’s electricity sector

Following the launch of the 24MW solar plant in Kabulasoke in Gomba District, it has been declared that there are more solar power plants to be built. Xsabo Group, the company which forms part of the consortium that completed the development of the  Kabulasoke solar power park, is planning to invest USD200-million in the generation of solar power to supply to the national grid, its CEO David Alobo, has declared. According to The Independent, Alobo said the company plans to implement similar projects in Soroti (50MW), Mubende (50MW), Kasese (20MW), and Lira (10MW). The development work in Mubende is expected to commence in April this year followed up with Soroti and others.

Source: ESI Africa

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