Atta Africa Financial Update

Executive summary: A new generation of African entrepreneurs are leading the way.

Emerging market veterans and novices alike will be familiar with the ubiquitous road-side (and often in-road) vendors of all things useful across Africa. Vendors tout any-and-everything from bottled water to mobile phone top-ups; newspapers to maps of the continent.

While this conspicuous and informal entrepreneurialism still dominates, growing numbers of formal businesses have sprouted and flourished over the last decade as African nations have boomed as a result of soaring commodity prices and the rapid expansion of consumer goods and service industries.

Some of the best known entrepreneurs include Nigerians Aliko Dangote - Africa’s richest man, who has built a cement empire - and Tony Elumelu, whose business interests include power and financial services. Some of the newer, younger, generation has also come into the spotlight, such as Ugandan Ashish Thakkar, the entrepreneur who is a partner of Bob Diamond and Swaady Martin-Leke, former GE executive who has setup businesses in Southern Africa.


Kenyan shilling weakens, increasing likelihood of central bank action

  • The Kenyan shilling was again weaker - the currency has lost about 14 percent against the U.S. Dollar this year
  • The central bank has already boosted interest rates by three percentage points to 11.5 percent since June and intervened at least three times last week to sell dollars to support the shilling
  • In addition to the strenghting global dollar, a slide in valuable tourism revenue and a widening current account deficit are contributing to press in the Kenyan economy

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