Commercial News from Africa

Key commercial and political activity in Africa for private equity investors by DCE Partners, UK Private Equity advisors to Atta.

Africa’s oil and gas sector will account for over 10% of world output by in the near future (PwC). 2014 is likely to see renewed interest in the African oil and gas sector from multinationals. With new and significant discoveries in both hydrocarbons and natural gas across Africa, the continent’s contribution to the sector are expected, by at least one source, to reach 13% of global oil production by 2015. According to a recent report by PwC, Africa contains 8% of the worlds’ supply of oil and 7% of the worlds’ supply of gas. This brings opportunities to invest in the sector and is giving rise to some of the continent’s own rising stars.

Fastjet to fly to Nairobi soon. FastJet, a low-cost carrier, will extend its network to Nairobi, Kenya this year, increasing the number of regional routes to three. The pan-Africa budget airline said the Dar-Nairobi frequency would not take long since negotiations have been going on for quite some time.   It plans to create bases in countries other than Zambia and Tanzania, and is eyeing operations Angola and Kenya - potentially using the Fly540 brand it acquired from Lonrho.

Chinese firm to invest US$160m in Zimbabwe. Chine Powerway Renewable Energy Company plans to invest US$160 million in the construction of a 100MW solar plant in Zimbabwe. Powerway will partner with Mobility Holdings, a local company that specialises in renewable energy projects. The project is expected to occupy about 400 hectares of land that has already been identified while it would take about 12 months to complete. The plant will carry a 25-year guarantee. Powerway has provided more than 1.2 GW of solar power products and construction services in over 22 countries.

Kenya signs AfDB Sh18 billion (US$217m) road, and dam loan. The National Treasury has signed loan and protocol grants agreements with the African Development Bank (AfDB) totalling Sh18.6billion (US$217m) for the Thwake multi-purpose dam and Outer Ring road projects. On completion, the dual carriageway will have service roads, grade separated intersections, pedestrian-foot-over bridges, walkways and cycle tracks over the entire length of the road.