Can agriculture pull Nigeria out of recession?
After entering its first recession in 25 years, Nigeria is looking for ways to kick-start its economy in a world of lower oil prices.
Financing cocoa: will 2017/18 taste sweeter?
Alternative finance – the new normal?
The Midas touch; Iamgold Essakane mine – an example of a hybrid solar-diesel mine in Africa
Part 2 Coal-fired power stations in Africa: when policies and practicalities don’t stack up – Energy usage in Africa
Part 1 Coal-fired power stations in Africa: when policies and practicalities don’t stack up – A Changing Landscape
In a three part series, we discuss the practicalities and policy surrounding the use of coal-fired power stations in Africa. In the first post, we explore the changing landscape of coal-fired power.
Nigerian infrastructure investment: a key opportunity for the private sector
Nigeria’s minister of finance, Kemi Adeosun’s, recent call for a boost in infrastructure investment presents a key opportunity for the private sector in Nigeria
Protection for Foreign Investors in the DRC
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (the DRC) is one of the largest countries in sub-Saharan Africa. It is also one of the richest in natural resources, a substantial proportion of which are still untapped.
South Africa - Public Access to Environmental Records
Transparency and accountability in corporate governance are fundamental principles of environmental management in South Africa.
Watercourses and project development in South Africa – General authorisations for certain water uses under the National Water Act, 1998
The new general authorisation for section 21(c) and (i) water uses published in August 2016 (the New GA) replaces the need to obtain a water use licence for these water uses in certain circumstances.
Looking back on Power Africa in 2016
In 2013, the Obama administration launched Power Africa, a multi-faceted five-year financing and professional services initiative. The initiative aimed to double access to electricity in sub-Sahara Africa.
Part 2 South Africa: Protecting maritime creditors against defaulting shipowners
In Part 1 , we looked at the key factors making South Africa an attractive arrest jurisdiction. In this Part 2, we discuss how South Africa’s laws on the distribution of proceeds following maritime creditors.
Part 1 South Africa: Protecting maritime creditors against defaulting shipowners
South African admiralty procedures provide a powerful protection mechanism for local and foreign creditors who have claims against shipowning interests.
Part 3 Enforcing arbitration awards and English court judgments against Ghana
The final part to the enforcing arbitration awards and English court judgments against Ghana series looks into the practice and PPP and tender processes.
Part 2 Enforcing arbitration awards and English court judgments against Ghana
Following on from part 1 of the enforcement of arbitration awards, part 2 highlights the enforcement of English court judgements.
Part 1 Enforcing arbitration awards and English court judgments against Ghana
Once a favourable arbitration award or judgment has been rendered, investors in Ghana face certain hurdles when it comes to enforcement. We explore these in a series of three blog posts.
Nations rally against airborne cyber risks
Given that cyber-security is one of the most relevant issues in civil aviation today, it is no surprise that multiple stakeholders, addressed the development of a global framework for cyber security.
South Africa Shipping: A mortgagee’s claim is still at the bottom of the list
South Africa has become a preferred destination for ship arrests and as a result there has been a surge in the judicial sale of ships.
The future of uranium: Can I have some yellowcake please?
Uranium has long been considered the bogeyman of the energy industry, but with the election of Donald Trump and Kazakhstan’s plans to curb supply, times may well be changing for this controversial commodity.
Construction in South Africa: Beware of Bespoke Contracts
Anyone undertaking building works should be cautious when entering into bespoke contracts with building contractors, instead of one of the standard-form contracts available in the building industry.
Niger - Electricity and renewable energy
Niger suffers from a weak GDP (USD 7.143 billion in 2015; around 0.01 percent of the world economy), and according to the World Bank only 14.4% of the population has access to electricity.
Banking in sub-Saharan Africa: recent trends and digital financial inclusion – EIB Report
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has recently published a report on Banking in sub-Saharan Africa: Recent Trends and Digital Financial Inclusion.
New report encourages corporates to support renewable energy globally
Together with EY. we have authored a report for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) looking at Corporate Renewable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).
Former member Gabon re-joins OPEC following a 21 year absence
Oil rich Gabon in central Africa re-joined OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Export Countries) at the beginning of July 2016, with a view to boost its oil production.
A closer look at branch companies in OHADA
The OHADA Uniform Act relating to Commercial Companies and Economic Interest Groups was revised in 2014. Key changes included the introduction of a Société par Actions Simplifiés.
LNG-to-Power IPP Procurement Programme Information Memorandum released
The memo describes the scope of the LNG-to-power IPP Programme for prospective and interested bidders and highlights the opportunities the programme presents to the bidders and to the South African economy.
Angola beckons foreign investment
Angola’s ratification of the New York Convention is an invitation to foreign investors to start spending in the oil rich country struggling to maintain its balance sheet.
Compounding fears: Kenya’s controversial interest-rate cap on bank loans becomes law
On 14 September, Uhuru Kenyatta’s Kenyan government shocked the banking industry by passing the Banking (Amendment) Act 2016.
Ghanaian Real Estate: Opportunity for Growth in the Construction Industry
The residential construction industry in Ghana is a market with huge potential for growth. The population increases by around 565,000 people every year, bringing a corresponding need for more housing.
Zimbabwe to issue new bond notes to bolster liquidity
The Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ), Dr Mangudya announced on the 15 September 2016, that “bond notes” will be issued by the end of October.
DRC Adopts New Oil and Gas Legislation
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is considered to hold considerable crude oil reserves - perhaps 6% of the entire African continent’s reserves.
The changing face of rail in South Africa
The role that rail transport plays in the movement of both people and freight in South Africa is undergoing significant change in the face of increased demand.
Part 2 How should international investors deal with dispute resolution issues in Ethiopia: the practical considerations
Investors are currently negotiating with the government of Ethiopia to establish acceptable dispute resolution procedures to govern disputes that might arise in the context of the significant infrastructure.
Part 1 How should international investors deal with dispute resolution issues in Ethiopia: the Background
Ethiopia is currently high on the investment agenda. At the Global African Investment Summit in London in December 2015, it was highlighted as one of the models for development in Africa.
Export of containerised cargo and the impact of recent changes to SOLAS VI in Southern Africa
In Southern Africa, transportation relies on major transport corridors, which ultimately, depend on a limited number of key port states.
The changing face of South Africa’s shipping legislation
The government is about to launch an ambitious and extensive overhaul of South Africa’s shipping legislation to align it with modern practices and with the laws of the country’s major trading partners.
All Aboard: A Rail Infrastructure Resurgence in Africa
With more than $30 billion in African rail projects either in development or planning phases, rail infrastructure is going full steam ahead on the continent.
Light at the end of the corridor for trade in Africa
One of the keys to unlocking efficient and cost effective trade in Africa lies in striking the correct balance between the transportation of goods via road, rail and sea.
Part 2 Recent developments in trade and customs in South Africa
Following on from our previous blog post on trade and customs in South Africa, Part 2 explores the trade compliance and what needs to be done.
The increase of transport insurance recoveries in Africa means doing business differently
International traders and their brokers must be aware of the risks involved in trading and insuring commodities in the African market.
Part 1 Recent developments in trade and customs in South Africa
South Africa’s financial, trade and customs infrastructure is the most sophisticated in Africa and probably as advanced as most first world countries. And the laws are being updated.
Creation of Botswana Energy Regulation Authority is approved
The long-awaited, much-promised Bill to create a new regulatory agency – the Botswana Regulatory Authority (or BERA ) - to oversee energy matters in Botswana has been passed by the Parliament of Botswana.
The Modern Slavery Act 2015 – Do the new reporting obligations apply to you?
Certain companies incorporated in, or doing business in, Africa will be impacted by recent legislation in the UK designed to provide law enforcement agencies with stronger tools to tackle modern slavery.
Currency conundrums in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe abandoned the use of its own currency, the Zimbabwe dollar, in February 2009 and adopted a multi-currency regime.
Steam rising for African geothermal – Project Finance International
African geothermal hit the headlines in July 2015, when during President Obama's visit to Ethiopia Ethiopian Electric Power and Corbetti Geothermal signed Ethiopia’s first independent power purchase agreement.
How much is your investment worth? Using DCF in valuing mining investments in BIT arbitration
Investors in mining often structure investments to deliberately benefit from the protections of bilateral investment treaties. A key question is the value of the investment in the eyes of the arbitral tribunal.
Africa faces many hurdles in its path to agri victory: who is helping?
Africa is experiencing various hurdles in its path to becoming a world agricultural superpower. So what is being done to support the countries most affected?
Recognition of EEA bail-in rights in Africa update – amendment to UK rules
The scope of the existing PRA rules on contractual recognition is broad and in some circumstances, particularly in the trade finance context, compliance with the rules may be impracticable.
Part 2 Implications of Brexit: the possible opportunities for Africa
Brexit provides a unique opportunity for African nations to join together to leverage their position and collective bargaining power to negotiate more advantageous trade deals.
Tanzania – the new president’s budget; putting energy, infrastructure and industrialisation first
The first budget of the new President, Dr Magufuli, aims to encourage economic growth through job creation and industrialisation.
Part 1 Implications of Brexit: the possible impacts for Africa
In this environment, investors operating on the African continent are trying to answer a complex and important question: how will Brexit impact Africa?
Competition law enforcement crosses African borders
On 26 May 2016, in a bold move toward cross-border cooperation, the competition authorities of eight members of the Southern African Development Community signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
The impact of FOREX tightening on the economy and on global businesses: A focus on Nigeria and Zimbabwe
Since gaining independence from Great Britain in 1960, Nigeria, one of the ‘MINT’ economies, is often hailed as the emerging market to watch during the 21st century.
Morocco – a strategic financial hub in Africa
Morocco benefits from a good strategic geographic position and political stability, especially when compared with its neighbors in North Africa and the Middle East. This makes it an attractive jurisdiction.
“Dubai: Gateway to Africa”…
…was the catchy theme of the African Global Business Forum held last November in Dubai. Dubai is successfully positioning itself as the main international hub for trade with the African continent.
Zambia’s Fight To Boost Investment Incentives for mining
The current commodities cycle and related economic risks continue to contribute to suboptimal levels of investment in mining in Africa. Zambia proposes to boost investment incentives by changing its tax regime
Importing and exporting goods made easier: Receivables Financing in Africa
Obtaining conventional bank loans is still proving to be problematic for both foreign and local companies importing or exporting goods into or out of Africa.
Update on Zimbabwean indigenisation
The Zimbabwean Minister responsible for indigenisation published General Notice 9 of 2016, the “Frameworks, Procedures and Guidelines for Implementing the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act".
Where is the diamond? A review of dispute credentials of Sub-Saharan Africa
This series will aim to locate the jewel in Africa’s crown. We focus on the enforcement of foreign arbitral awards, which is a key factor for investors considering potential markets in which to invest.
Uganda introduces Islamic Banking and Bancassurance
Driven by the need for a progressive and globally appealing financial sector Uganda recently enacted the Financial Institutions (Amendment) Act 2016 to amend the Financial Institutions Act 2004.
Mozambique farmers ready to reap the benefits of investment
African Development Bank (AfDB) announced that between 2016 and 2017 it hopes to triple the level of support it provides to Mozambique. This would mean funds of around US$1.7 billion earmarked for Mozambique.
Djibouti: Becoming a key player in Africa
With a population of a mere 875,000 and a GDP figure of $1.58 billion, the state of Djibouti rarely makes international headlines. But things are changing.
What comfort does South Africa’s Protection of Investment Act provide to foreign investors?
South Africa’s current radical approach to investment protection is raising questions amongst foreign investors.
Financing projects in Africa: looking back and it’s not all doom and gloom
Lower commodity prices made 2015 a somewhat challenging year for project finance but despite the negative outlook, African deals are still being brought to market, securing finance for longer term investments.
Renewable energy generation and the need to store it
The interplay between energy storage technology and renewable energy generation is particularly relevant in Africa as it holds the potential to unlock economic growth.
Africa’s challenging path to becoming an agri superpower
Despite the continent’s potential to become a major agribusiness player, the regulatory environment is not yet supportive enough to attract large investments.
Unlocking Africa’s energy potential: 'If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’
African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina, described energy as ‘the lifeblood of any society and the passport to economic transformation’. Creating energy to light up Africa is high up on the agenda.
Africa’s New Deal: Bankability and government support insights from the Indonesian market
In January, the African Development Bank (AfDB) launched the ‘New Deal on Energy for Africa,’ an ambitious plan to light up Africa.
Japanese infrastructure investment in Africa – can TICAD deliver?
For the first time in its 23–year history, the next Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) will be held on African soil in Kenya.
Recognition of EEA bail-in rights in Africa – amendment to UK rules
Good news for UK financial institutions doing business in Africa under local law contracts.
Inter-regional grid infrastructure development in Africa on the rise
The lack of formal grid infrastructure across the African continent has created an opportunity to develop off-grid and mini-grid solutions which can assist in bringing power to rural and isolated communities.
Zimbabwe and Indigenisation: Clarification of Government policy?
In the latter months of 2015, signals were given from Zimbabwe Government circles to the effect that Zimbabwe’s indigenisation policy, and the manner of its implementation, would be clarified in the New Year.
Super senior security for new money in OHADA restructurings
Those located in the 17 OHADA jurisdictions in West and Central Africa have a new tool at their disposal: the possibility of a super secured senior position for creditors providing new money.
Nigeria’s Magic Beans
Of the major African economies, Nigeria has been hit hardest by the fall in oil prices. For those who remember Nigeria’s economic pressures of the 1980s, this will feel like déjà vu.
Africa, Commodities trading and Piracy
The combination of the three words ‘Africa’, ‘commodities trading’ and ‘piracy’ would have had four years ago everybody talking about piracy off the coast of Somalia.
Zimbabwe: A tale of two extreme ends: Mineral exploration & marketing
The Government of Zimbabwe in December 2015 published a draft bill targeted at promoting exploration and marketing of minerals. The Bill has caused excitement in the market.
A clean power initiative for Africa
300GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. This is the ambitious target which the Africa Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI) has set itself to boost renewable energy investment and bring power to 645m people.
Electrifying Africa: Obama signs Electrify Africa Act into law
The Electrify Africa Act has been signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama. The bipartisan legislation codifies promoting access to electricity and power development in Africa as a long-term U.S. foreign.
New financial provision regulations promulgated for mining in South Africa
Recent changes to the laws on the financial provision for closure and rehabilitation of mining operations represent a major step in enhancing the principle of sustainable development.
Recognition of EEA bail-in rights in Africa - update
At the end of 2015, the Loan Market Association and the Loan Syndications and Trading Association published suggested clauses for the contractual recognition of EEA regulators’ bail-in rights.
Smart regulation is the key to unlocking Africa’s agribusiness potential
Africa has a great potential to become a major source of world food supplies. The lack of suitable regulation however remains one of the main impediments to Africa’s growth.
Healthcare Infrastructure: Developing R&D and manufacturing infrastructure in the life sciences industries
An issue that remains a continuing subject of literature and debate is accessibility, pricing and affordability of medicines in Africa.
China’s slowdown: a cause for concern in Africa?
A growing diversification of Chinese investment beyond the natural resources sector provides a counter balance to fears of contagion arising from reduced trading volumes in Africa.
Breaking the resource curse
Export restrictions on raw materials
Rain, record temperatures... and risk
How extreme weather in Africa may impact our contracts.
Masen’s NOOR solar energy projects – the achievements of Morocco’s Solar Plan
Bankable energy tariffs in Nigeria – A nagging concern for Investors
Nigeria’s petroleum regulatory framework – taking a smaller bite at the big apple of reform
The Nigerian government recently changed its strategy to overhaul the country’s petroleum regulatory framework, proposing a new regulator and splitting the country’s state oil giant in two.
Electrifying Africa: A U.S. initiative for Africa
The power shortages and consequent economic difficulties faced by sub-Saharan Africa may slowly begin to improve after the U.S. Senate gave its nod to the long awaited Electrify Africa Bill in December 2015.
Recognition of EU bail-in rights in contracts governed by non-EU law
From 1 January 2016, EU financial institutions active in Africa will need to include a new clause in their non-EU law governed loan agreements, trade finance instruments and other agreements.
Ghana’s new PPP bill – what impact will it have on existing projects?
Ghana has had a National Policy on Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in place since 2011, and a draft PPP Bill is currently making its way through Parliament.
Workforce Establishment and Development in Africa
Africa’s abundance of natural resources has made it extremely attractive to mining companies.
Investing in Africa – how to maximise your return
We will be producing a series of blog posts assisting clients looking to invest in Africa with achieving maximum return from their investments.
Africa’s fastest solar project
Guardian article highlights the speed of construction of the Rwanda 8.5MW solar PV project, but the project’s success was cemented well before construction.
Video: Is Africa an untapped market for the airline industry?
A short video on the challenges, opportunities and success stories on the path to unlocking the full potential of Africa’s aviation market.
Zanzibar and Tanzania vie over oil reserves
Vast natural gas discoveries in East Africa are attracting global interest and investment and have given rise to complex and politically sensitive boundary disputes in the region.
Local content and procurement requirements in frontier African oil and gas jurisdictions – One size does not fit all.
A blog series on Local content and procurement requirements
Global African Investment Summit – setting the agenda for development
The Global African Investment Summit’s Hardtalk session on the challenges of investing in Africa identified two key issues for understanding the misperceptions and overcoming the barriers for investment.
Global African Investment Summit talks agribusiness
Agribusiness was one of the focus areas of the Global African Investment Summit, a two-day event attended by leading politicians and members of the business community.
MTN Fine: Implications for Doing Business in Nigeria
MTN announced that the Nigerian regulators have agreed to reduce the US$5.2 billion fine against it to US$3.4 billion.
Corridors of Power – Eskom’s African Transmission Development Plans
Enhancing sustainable development by using biodiversity offsets
Business challenges can become opportunities
Improved regional stability and economic development bodes well for investors in West Africa.
Remotely piloted aircraft systems: do new South Africa regulations facilitate mining?
A look at the benefits of RPAs on mining processes.
Investment protection in Angola
Despite a negative outlook, Angola is seeking structural reform to promote investment.
South Africa ranked 73rd in World Bank’s Doing Business Report
South Africa's ranking in the Doing Business Report exposes challenges for investment.
The future of African antitrust
Africa's regional regulatory bodies are playing a greater role in reviewing mergers and investigating and prosecuting anti-competitive conduct.
Does China's 'Black Monday' signal dark times ahead for Africa?
What does the recent downturn in the Chinese stock market mean for investment in African infrastructure?
Sanctions and agribusiness – are there exemptions to ensure food security?
Sanctioning bodies may consider exempting trade in agricultural goods from sanctions. What does this mean for African agribusiness?
North Africa: The next big towerco market?
MobiNil’s sale to Eaton Towers of around 2,000 of its Egyptian towers has led commentators to predict a wave of new tower deals in North Africa over the next year.
Conflict Minerals: How Dodd-Frank is affecting mining in the DRC
The Dodd-Frank Act’s scope extends beyond financial regulation to touch on ‘conflict minerals’ sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
LMA launches new African documents
The Loan Market Association (LMA) has launched a new South African recommended form of loan agreement and revised the East African and Nigerian recommended loan agreement.
Acquiring land for projects - an update from Uganda
A recent case has clarified the way in which the Ugandan government uses its powers of compulsory acquisition of private land for public purposes.
Agrarian receipts – assisting Africa’s fragmented farmers
Norton Rose Fulbright (together with the IFC and FAO) to assist Africa’s fragmented farmers with introduction of agrarian receipts.
How Africa is implementing COP 21
In the run up to COP21 taking place in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015, we have created an online resource summarising the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions.
South Africa’s hydraulic fracturing regulations – what they mean for exploration companies
After a long period involving heavy debate, 3 June 2015 saw the enactment of the Regulations for Petroleum Exploration and Production.
China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative: opportunities for investment in Africa infrastructure
China's ‘Belt and Road’ initiative has the potential to open a raft of new development opportunities for African infrastructure, mining and power projects.
Why ‘force majeure’ provisions matter – lessons learned from a military coup in Burkina Faso
Contract mechanisms such as 'force majeure' provisions respond to the unexpected, unpredictable and uncontrollable.
Mining – a tough year globally, but optimism remains in Africa
The mining and metals industry is going through a rough period, but there are good reasons to be hopeful for the future.
Zimbabwe’s honey farming industry – unlocking Africa’s agricultural potential through innovation
As investment in African agriculture grows, local small-scale producers have the potential to go beyond satisfying local market demands and look to global markets.
Obama’s Power Africa initiative caught in US congressional deadlock
President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, launched in Cape Town 2013, promises to double electricity access in sub-Saharan Africa over the next five years.
Tanzania develops first independent wind farm
The International Finance Corporation has partnered with Aldwych International and Six Telecoms to develop Tanzania’s first ever wind farm in the central town of Singida, north of Tanzania.
Repatriation obligations in West Africa – the impact on mining companies’ cashflow structure
Mining companies based in West African jurisdictions are commonly faced with an obligation to repatriate revenues deriving from the sale of mined products.
Investing in renewable energy with DFIs: Watts the deal?
The benefits (and challenges) of DFIs in African jurisdictions
African elections 2015: how the ballot box affects investors
By the end of 2015 voters in 14 African states are scheduled to have cast their ballots in general elections.
Transfer of power – developing a regional electricity generation market across Southern Africa
After years in which regional transmission lines have become congested and cross-border sales have declined, there are signs that change is finally on the way.
Scaling photovoltaic IPPs in Africa
IFC initiative for Africa SPV projects.