Afri-Spective Blog

Afri-Spective Blog

Startups in Africa are solving real challenges, downturn or not

28 June 2022

Earlier this year YCombinator, the leading Silicon Valley based accelerator program, sent a letter to their cohort, which was entitled "Economic Downturn," advising startups on how to adjust their fundraising strategy and their spending in light of troubl…

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How security trustees protect investor rights in corporate debt restructuring

18 May 2022

By Rehma Imrith, Commercial Director  In the wake of the global economic downturn initiated by the Covid-19 pandemic, numerous businesses have found themselves facing financial difficulty. As a result, many companies – especially those in the emerging ma…

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Addressing the exit challenge in Africa

26 January 2022

By almost every measure, the outlook for private market investments in Africa seems bright. Nearly nine out of 10 LPs say they plan to maintain or increase their allocation to African private equity over the next three years, according to a 2021 survey …

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Thoughts on the Andela unicorn round

29 October 2021

Andela has recently announced a US$200mn Series E financing round led by SoftBank at a pre-money valuation of US$1.5bn.   The relevance of this event for the African venture capital ecosystem is significant from several perspectives.   First and foremos…

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Mauritius: Update to Securities Act aims to encourage investment and economic growth

09 October 2021

Written by Fazil Hossenkhan (Managing Partner, Moka, Mauritius) and Nafiisah Jeehoo (Associate), Bowmans Companies in the capital markets and private equity space are likely to benefit from the coming into force of the Mauritius Securities (Amendment) Ac…

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On Nigeria's National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Bill and its impact on investors

15 September 2021

Written by Bukola Bankole (Partner) and Genevieve Henshaw (Senior Associate), The New Practice (TNP) A few weeks ago, news of the leaked National Information Technology Development Agency Bill (the “Bill”) was all over the internet with its key provisi…

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The growing popularity of Foundations in Africa

06 August 2021

Written by Akshay Asgarally, Associate Director - Business Development, IQ-EQ In recent decades, estate planning and asset protection vehicles have seen a significant boost in popularity amongst High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI) in Africa. The estimated …

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Why discretionary family trusts are great for asset protection and estate planning

05 July 2021

As the world continues to navigate its way through Covid-19, many are concerned about taking care of their loved ones should the worst come to pass. Indeed, the pandemic has brought asset protection and estate planning to the forefront of financial planni…

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Driving change and positive outcomes through deal documentation

09 June 2021

The critical role of development finance institutions (DFIs) in helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals is well documented (see additional resources below). As a DFI, FinDev Canada’s mission is impact-driven as we seek to deploy and mobilise …

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The Special Purpose Fund (SPF) rules in Mauritius

25 May 2021

The Mauritius Financial Services Commission (FSC) recently released a set of rules under the Special Purpose Fund (SPF) regime to provide further flexibility and ease access to new markets. The rules provide flexibility and global competitive cost structu…

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Collaboration is vital to increase the resilience of economies threatened by the climate crisis

12 May 2021

The case for accelerating investment in climate adaptation and resilience is clear. The latest scientific evidence shows the significant impact of climate change on economies, communities and natural systems. We know that increases to a global temperatu…

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Value creation is a combination of talent, strong processes and governance

13 April 2021

In 2013, Albert Alsina founded Mediterrania Capital Partners and began refining his model of Value Creation while working directly with small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and mid-cap companies in Africa. Since that time, Albert and his team have engage…

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Gender-smart impact investing in emerging markets

08 March 2021

The global investment opportunity to improve the lives of women and their families is becoming increasingly well recognised. According to IFC, women-led small and medium enterprises (SMEs) worldwide face a US$1.4trn shortfall in access to credit. A McKins…

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Resilience, resurgence and results in 2021

04 February 2021

As the first quarter of 2021 is fully underway, there is a widespread hope that this year will mark the beginning of economic recovery and the transition to a smarter future driven by data, technology adoption, cross-country and cross-sector collaboration…

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Stronger financial systems create better jobs

02 February 2021

Last year, the World Bank argued that Africa is well-positioned to take advantage of new digital technologies — if governments can encourage innovation and investment to flow, including by increasing access to finance. This, the report argues, will unleas…

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Getting to the Root of Africa’s Food Challenges

14 January 2021

Senegal is home to 350,000 herding families. But in Dakar, the West African nation’s capital, grocery store shelves are piled high with powdered milk—mainly imported from Europe. The situation is a stark example of the stubborn agriculture production and…

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Financing the Sustainable Development Goals: The Contributions of the Multilateral Development Banks

24 December 2020

The year 2020 marks 75 years of multilateralism since the United Nations (UN) came into existence and 5 years since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs present a new vision …

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Private Equity and Value Creation: A Fund Manager’s Guide to Gender-smart Investing

09 December 2020

Gender-smart investing is a growing asset class with a compelling business case. Billions of dollars are held in assets under management, in both private and public capital markets, and the opportunities to mobilize capital and invest to close gender gaps…

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The State of Blended Finance

25 November 2020

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target a range of development challenges, from combating climate change to ending poverty and hunger. To achieve the SDGs in developing countries, a significant scale-up of investment is required. Blended finance i…

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Africa’s digital revolution needs data centres

11 November 2020

Have you ever wondered what happens every minute on the internet? The answer is a lot! The world’s most popular apps and websites have seen significant growth over the last four years and will continue to grow rapidly as more people access the internet a…

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Startup Bill 2020 and the opportunities for venture capitalists in Kenya

28 October 2020

Introduction Kenya is experiencing a rapid growth in its entrepreneurial market and has been distinguished as among the leading hubs of startup businesses in Africa. This is largely owed to the technological advancement and enabling environment for local…

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Notes on a ‘Green New Deal’ for Africa

14 October 2020

The New Deal, introduced by the American president, Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s, had a tremendous effect on the global political economy. For proponents of government interference in the capitalist economy, the New Deal has become a reference point…

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CAMA 2020 and the implications for the private equity industry

23 September 2020

Introduction As part of a broader initiative of the Nigeria government to improve the country’s business environment, a bill to amend the 30-year-old Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990 was given presidential assent on 7 August 2020. The Companies and…

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Mauritius strengthens AML/CFT framework to avoid EU blacklist

27 August 2020

Background In February 2020, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) identified Mauritius as a jurisdiction having strategic AML/CFT deficiencies and placed the country on the list of “Jurisdictions under Increased Monitoring”. On this basis, the European…

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Non-Deliverable Forwards As A Headging Tool for Currency Volatility In Nigeria

29 July 2020

By OlayemI Anyanechi, Managing Partner, Sefton Fross & Oluwaseyi Alao, Associate, Sefton Fross Introduction The Nigeria currency has been under a lot of pressure in recent times, owing to decrease in export earnings due to the instability in price …

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The PPE of Overseas Development Assistance

16 June 2020

Written by 'Tokunboh Ishmael, Managing Partner, Alitheia IDF To see the original article, please click here Politics, Philosophy and Economics of ODA in a time of COVID-19 In these unprecedented times, development assistance must shed the skin of its…

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7 Reasons Why We’re Still in Ethiopia During the Crisis

21 May 2020

By Tom Scriven CFA, Partner & General Counsel, RENEW    In our latest white paper, we outline seven reasons why RENEW believes a ‘stay the course’ approach to investing in SMEs in Ethiopia is the best response both to the economic crisis created b…

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The 2018 Nigerian Companies Bill – A Mixed Bag for Private Equity Investors

28 April 2020

Written by Gbolahan Elias, Partner, G Elias & Co and Yemisi Falade, Senior Associate, G Elias & Co   Some aspects of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill 2018 (the “Bill”) significantly impact private equity invest…

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Institutional investors are all rational, but they’re not the same

16 April 2020

Written by Ladé Araba, Managing Director, Africa at Convergence Finance Twitter handle: @LDAraba  Institutional investors have become increasingly open to non-traditional, high yield investment opportunities as they grapple with low yield environments…

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Impact Investing: Profit with Purpose

10 April 2020

Written by 'Tokunboh Ishmael, Managing Partner, Alitheia IDF Impact Investing seeped into the conscience of the investing ecosystem over a decade ago and refers to the varying degrees that investments can deliver positive social, developmental, econom…

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South African regulatory reform – what does it mean for Private Equity Fund managers?

25 March 2020

Following the Global Financial Crisis in 2008, regulation was largely criticised for failing to protect customers, prompting regulators throughout the world to undertake a review of financial regulation. Following the lead of a number of developed count…

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Marketing in Africa–Navigating the AIFMD

25 February 2020

Marketing by private equity GPs to investors has become significantly more complex over the last few years, with the tightening up of regulations and the advent of the Alternative Investment FundManagersDirective (“AIFMD”) which governs marketing to Europ…

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Private Equity in Africa: Emerging Trends

29 January 2020

Private equity in Africa has come a long way since the early 1990s, which saw development financial institutions investing in government-initiated development projects across the continent. The period that followed was characterised by the emergence of a …

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Solving Africa’s working capital problem

05 December 2019

Africa’s continued growth depends on innovations in access to finance As the global economy undergoes rapid technological change, leaders worldwide are deeply worried about the future of jobs. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, …

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The Climate Opportunity in Africa

11 November 2019

Africa stands to be amongst the regions worst-affected by the climate crisis[1]. The World Bank argued in a 2016 report[2] that sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are most vulnerable to climate change-induced poverty, given that they have the highest initi…

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Bolstering Africa's Consumer Class

26 September 2019

The breadth and depth of the African investment story was shown by investors continued backing of enterprises catering to Africa’s consumer. For example, noting the opportunities posed by the low level of insurance penetration in Nigeria, Verod Capital Ma…

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Founder Shares: Do The Tax Rules Follow the Commerical Reality? 

29 May 2019

Founders of businesses will usually inject large amounts of intellectual capital into their ventures apart from economic capital from banks and seed capital from investment pundits.  Tax is hardly a consideration at the commencement stage of a business ve…

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Grant Thornton Renewable Energy Discount Rate Survey 2018

23 October 2018

Grant Thornton, in collaboration with Renewables in Africa and Clean Energy Pipeline, launched its first Africa Renewable Energy Discount Rate Survey earlier this year and the results are now available on our website here. A lack of transparency across A…

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It’s Time for Development Finance Institutions to Join Africa’s Technological Revolution

24 August 2018

Technological innovation has swept across Africa in the past decade. There are almost one billion cell phone subscriptions on the continent, up from 129 million ten years ago. In addition, software advances have disrupted the way people from Senegal to So…

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Switched On: Renewable Energy Investment in Africa

21 June 2018

Invitation to Participate: Grant Thornton, in collaboration with Renewables in Africa, has launched its first Africa Renewable Energy Discount Rate Survey, spearheaded by valuations expert Tomas Freyman. You can access the survey, here.    Over the p…

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Africa’s Private Debt Goes Digital

31 May 2018

Africa is home to an increasing number of growth companies in need of capital. Before these businesses start tapping into sources of finance to expand operations, they must evaluate the type of  funding that suits their particular needs. There are a numbe…

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Legal and Regulatory Trends Shaping Private Equity investments in Nigeria 2018

16 May 2018

Raising a private equity fund in frontier markets is tough business. There are a number of considerations, particularly for first time fund managers, which range from fund formation to growing an investible pipeline, investing and monitoring and exit – al…

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How the African Development Bank Boosts the Private Equity Industry through its “High5s” Priorities

02 May 2018

According to data from the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association concerning returns to Limited Partners (LPs) over a 10 year horizon, small-to-mid cap private equity funds (i.e. those with fund sizes below US$150mn) have delivered returns…

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Brexit: Risk or Opportunity for African Investors?

18 April 2018

With less than a year until the end of Article 50 talks between the UK and EU – the future remains uncertain. Recent progress is welcome but detailed negotiations on the big issue – the UK’s future relationship with the EU, including market access – have…

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Blended Finance – A tool for driving private equity investment in Africa

21 February 2018

The 2017 African Economic Outlook predicts that Africa’s average growth is expected to reach 4.3% in 2018. The private equity (PE) and venture capital industry in Africa continues to witness strong performance across diverse sectors. Returns to investors …

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Leapfrogging 2.0: How Africa leads the way

07 February 2018

The subject of Africa ‘leapfrogging’ developments through technology is not a new one, and it has been written about extensively. There is no doubt amongst most commentators that it is the mobile revolution that has catalysed this phenomenon, particularly…

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Dealmaking in Africa: The top challenges investors face

24 January 2018

When it comes to deal sourcing, Africa is no different from other regions in the world – investment practitioners on the continent encounter numerous friction points when sourcing investable opportunities. The reasons for this are both general and speci…

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Leaner, fitter private equity firms are set fair for a positive 2018

22 January 2018

A new year is always an opportunity for a fresh start — it is a chance to put new plans into action and do some fresh thinking. It is not difficult to start the year in an optimistic mood, although the question is: is it justified? The African private equ…

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Deal Origination 2.0 - Digital deal sourcing and the future of African private equity

28 November 2017

Deal origination is a labour-intensive process, especially when conducted through traditional methods such as accessing business owners in the immediate network, screening inbound leads, engaging with investment intermediaries, and proprietary research fo…

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Investment Funds: The South African Headquarter Company Regime Hurdle

18 September 2017

With the increasing appetite for investments into African jurisdictions, the South African private equity landscape needs to adapt in order to attract direct foreign investment and to facilitate the seamless investment and divestment in and from these j…

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Nigeria’s FX Window: Boosting investors’ renewed confidence?

22 August 2017

Nigerian law guarantees investors the unconditional transferability of proceeds of their investments in Nigeria in convertible currency, provided that inflow and repatriation are effected through Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) authorised dealers - subject …

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East Africa: A Rising Hub

03 August 2017

Being local is key. Simply put, it helps us to identify great businesses, work in partnership with investee companies, and manage risks. That philosophy has always been core to the investment thesis across each of the markets we work in and Africa is no e…

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CDC Group: Investing to transform lives

06 July 2017

In February, AVCA spoke to Clarisa De Franco, Head of Africa Funds, and Jeremy Cleaver, Portfolio Director, about CDC Group’s investment strategy over the next five years and the importance of development finance to Africa’s growth. We asked them to sha…

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Mauritius, the International Financial Centre of Excellence

21 November 2016

Mauritius has emerged as a tried and trusted international financial centre of substance in cross-border investments. Its competitiveness among global players has been sharpened by the sound legal and regulatory framework and attractive fiscal and non-fis…

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Building Africa – The Power of Private Investment

09 November 2016

I recently read a story in a local Tanzanian paper on how little progress there has been in African governance over the last decade, as cited in the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG). There was progress, the article said, just not very much …

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Brexit: What does it mean for African private equity?

24 October 2016

Markets were thrown into a state of turmoil on Friday, 24th June, 2016, following the surprise outcome of the referendum that saw the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU). Notwithstanding the outcome of the referendum, the UK has yet to commence the …

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