Atta Africa Financial Update

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

Executive summary: Zimbabwe sees unprecedented protests.

Follow Pastor Evan Mawarire’s #ThisFlag social media movement, Zimbabwe has experienced the largest and most peaceful anti-government protests for 15 years in recent weeks. The spontaneous protests began in frustration to worsening economic conditions and the re-introduction of the Zimbabwean dollar; various movements including public sector workers unions took to the streets. Most have gone without pay for over a month - President Robert Mugabe is being blamed for these woes.

Contemporaneously, a government delegation toured Europe to re-open financing channels, hoping to alleviate the country’s penury of hard currency. Few believe much-needed reforms - on which bailouts would be conditional - will be implemented, but the IMF also fears regional chaos if the economy were to collapse. This season’s severe drought would exacerbate the crisis.

Zimbabweans at home and abroad see these movements as the first of their generation, known for their peacefulness, but not the last. For many, expressing discontent before the end of Mugabe’s rule may be the only way to prevent it continuing post-mortem. 

Fact: You cannot own a pet rabbit in Queensland, Australia, unless you can prove you are a magician.

US$342m has been extended to manufacturing industry projects in Ethiopia

  • The Development Bank of Ethiopia has extended major funding to manufacturing industry projects
  • The loan is focused on local projects, with only 25% directed towards foreign projects
  • The major industry projects include agro- processing, leather, textile, metalwork, pharmaceuticals, chemical and construction

DEG has increased its stake in ZEP-RE to almost 15%

  • Germany’s development finance institution, DEG has invested an additional US$14.63 million in Kenyan re-insurer ZEP-RE
  • This raises DEG’s shareholding from 11% to 14.93%
  • The additional investment comes after the company’s substantial growth from US$125 million in 2014 to US$138.8 million in 2015
  • The company underwrites life and non-life insurance risks primarily in Kenya, with additional operations in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and Sudan