US Strategy in Africa According to John Bolton

I recently watched a C-Span telecast of US National Security Advisor John Bolton’s talk at the Heritage Foundation in which he unveiled the US Africa Strategy. His remarks were similar in tone to those of USAID Administrator Mark Green at the American Enterprise Institute the day before. In both speeches there was quite a bit of talk about countering China and to a lesser extent Russia—both speakers used the word predatory to describe China’s approach in Africa.

Africa policy as described by Ambassador Bolton consists of three themes: bilateral aid, economic support, and security and peacekeeping.

Bilateral Aid. One gets the impression that assistance to Africa has more to do with great power rivalries than concern for Africa. If anything there seemed to be a more transactional tone to the policy as outlined by Bolton. He stressed that aid will be given to countries that support US interests including, for example voting with the US at the UN. Ambassador Bolton would not say definitively whether it translates to higher or lower levels of aid, indicating that the amounts will be the result of a “bottom up” country by country approach.

Economic Assistance falls under the Prosper Africa umbrella and will emphasize private sector investment in Africa. We do not have much detail about the components of Prosper Africa. Amb. Bolton, however stressed that US economic assistance is intended to promote independence, self reliance, and growth in Africa. This is all in addition to the enhanced trade and development finance capabilities that will transform OPIC into a new International Development Finance Institution. There will also be a new and/or revised set of trade agreements with Africa, implying an uncertain future for AGOA.

Security and Peacekeeping. Ambassador Bolton also spoke about the peace and security aspect of Africa policy. The US wants to see African governments play a greater role in managing their own security. He cited the G5 Sahel Joint Force—Mauritania, Niger, Chad and Burkina Faso and Mali as an example of African joint security cooperation that the US would like to see replicated in Africa and around the world. Bolton was also critical of the UN peacekeeping system and promised an overhaul. The US is looking to streamline peacekeeping missions and terminate those considered ineffective. Additionally existing peacekeeping operations must be robust and accountable, and are not expected to continue indefinitely.

There are some surprisingly good ideas in the message coming from the White House. Economic growth and self reliance are certainly desirable for anyone who wants Africans to be truly free. Transparency and rule of law benefit business, civil society and ultimately average citizens in any country. On the other hand, certain trends are a cause for concern, such the Trump administration’s tendency to favor fossil fuel investments. It is thus unclear whether US Africa strategy will help African nations become true partners, and competitive participants in the global economy.

On the economic front, here are a few steps which if taken would indicate movement in the right direction:

  • Encourage participation by African companies into global supply chains. Companies need off takers as well as investors to grow prosperous, job creating businesses. Furthermore, increased exports will help stabilize African currencies and make trade and fiscal balances more manageable.
  • Implement policies that encourage value added industry and reduce dependence on raw materials. Negotiate trade deals that include an enhanced, effective AGOA. Develop enforcement mechanisms that defend American exporters without hampering African governments’ ability to encourage local industry. For example, we should avoid punishing East African governments for discouraging used clothes imports whose impact on US industry is minimal.
  • Help create an environment conducive to value added economic activities. For example, design investment promotion programs to support transfer of management know-how and technology as well as respect for intellectual property.
  • Respect and encourage African multilateral institutions including the African Union, NEPAD, and the regional groups—East African Community, ECOWAS, SADC.
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Financing High Value Industry in Africa

The most recent data from the UNCTAD World Investment Report shows that foreign direct investment (FDI) into Africa was down 21 percent in 2017 compared to the prior year. The decline is attributed primarily to lower commodity prices. More diversified exporters such as Ethiopia and Morocco fared better than those countries that are more dependent on commodity exports. Recently, commodity markets, particularly oil, have rebounded suggesting better macroeconomics for many countries which should improve the FDI numbers. We will know things have changed for the better when more economies look like Ethiopia and Morocco and the ability to attract investment is not tied to commodity prices.

In a recent post on emergingmktstories we addressed the need to encourage high value trade and investment in Africa and to discourage unnecessary imports such as used clothing. It is especially important to finance the growth of the African private sector. This includes startups, established companies, and greenfield projects. These companies have the greatest potential for wealth generation and job creation. Companies in high value-added sectors like manufacturing and agro-processing import tools and machinery—items in which US companies are competitive. In other words by investing in African high value industries we create customers for US exports and strengthen trade relationships. In addition, the better jobs these businesses create would result in potential customers for American companies.

HOW AFRICA CREATES VALUE

Examples of high-value industries include:

Agribusiness. Investment opportunities exist at all stages of the agricultural value chain. Investors looking for some combination of growth, impact and disruption tend to prefer downstream businesses such as processing, as well as those inputs that support agribusiness such as equipment finance and cold storage.

Possible investors: DFIs, Private equity, Impact investors.

Manufacturing. Investors look for large and growing markets, either for export or FMCGs (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) in the domestic market. They also seek reliable, cost efficient processes that meet international quality standards.

Possible investors: Private equity, off takers in the supply chain with government DFI support.

Minerals Refining. Most African countries recognize the need to develop refining capacity in order to make the most out of their mineral resources.

Possible investors: Multinational refiners. Private equity

Startups. Successful startups bring innovation and increased competitiveness to African economies. In addition, their rapid growth creates wealth and jobs. Such companies also have the potential for social impact by addressing some of Africa’s most urgent problems. We have previously discussed startup financing issues in this blog. We can now include impact investors as part of the African startup ecosystem.

Possible Investors: Venture capitalists, Angel investors, Impact investors

PROMOTING VALUE CREATION IN AFRICA

Those of us in what we’ll call business support organizations—advisors, development finance institutions, international development agencies and others in the business of stimulating Africa’s private sector should promote the conditions that make African companies attractive to investors. For now, let us consider two key factors where we can make a difference:

I. Reliable cash flow.

It is the most obvious requirement but often overlooked in presentations to investors. Investors want a clear demonstration of the source of cash. This is often accomplished by integrating into the supply chain of a large customer. A contractual commitment from such a customer enables the company to obtain not only long term investment capital but also lines of credit and other forms of working capital that fuel day to day operations.

For an agribusiness deal the commitment might be an off taker agreement from a wholesale buyer of the output of a processing plant. Such a commitment not only provides cash flow, but also validates the business model, giving evidence of a growing market for the product.

Similarly, African manufacturers or refiners would look to supply parts or other inputs to a manufacturer. Such companies might also ship finished goods to a large retailer like Walmart or Movenpick.

Depending on the needs of the business, support organizations can help African companies succeed in the supply chain in several ways:

  1. International Exposure – Connecting the company with global companies who could be potential customers. Providing exposure in their industry via conferences, exhibitions and trade shows.
  2. Technical Assistance/Quality Management – Making resources available to ensure that the company is operating at international standards.
  3. Financial Management – The ability to provide sound financial information is critical to not only keep investors happy but also give management the data they need to effectively guide the company.
  4. Impact measurement – Many African companies are capable of significant social impact whether or not they explicitly brand themselves as social enterprises. Many investors have their own proprietary impact measurement methods, often based on the UN Millennium Development Goals or the Global Impact Investor Network’s IRIS methodology.

In addition to steps noted above, business support organizations can also support startups:

  1. Business model refinement – Helping management understand their strengths in the market and how to achieve scale.
  2. Business planning – Telling the story in a clear and concise manner that shows the source of investors’ returns.
  3. Impact measurement – Many of today’s startups consider themselves social enterprises and therefore impact measurement is an even bigger priority than for most other companies.

II. People

Everyone wants a great business model in a large and growing market, but people are necessary to turn that business model into financial and social results.

  • Professional Management.

Investors are always interested in the capability of the people running the business. They want to feel comfortable that there is a management team to execute the plan they’ve come to believe in. Their capabilities are developed through a combination of training and experience.

  • Sound governance.

Strong managers and directors help the company establish a clear set of rules and procedures that give investors and other stakeholders confidence that the firm will deliver on its promises.

  • Competent staffing.

Well trained personnel in engineering, accounting, marketing and other functions are critical to the performance of the company.

Business support organizations can partner with workforce training firms academic institutions and professional organizations to help enhance management and staff quality in African companies.

BUILDING BANKABLE STARTUPS

Startups and early stage companies are something of an exception since venture capitalists are often more interested in the disruptive characteristics of the company. Investors in these companies understand they have accepted a higher level of risk and therefore expect higher returns as well. That said, there is nothing like a signed purchase agreement to validate the business model and increase equity valuations.

We urge American business and policy makers to be present on the African continent to work with DFIs and with African business to build long term partnership to benefit American and African citizens, businesses, and governments.

Darnley Howard is a partner at PAN Diaspora Capital Management. PAN Diaspora Capital Management  is an organizational partner with the Initiative for Global Development for the Advanced Executive Management Program. The Roadshow will provide high level training for senior executives and create a forum for American and African businesses to connect. For more information, visit https://igdleaders.org/

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US-Africa Trade Policy–Play the Long Game

A popular subject among American policymakers, business people, and Africa watchers is US trade policy for Africa. The discussion takes place in the context of the Trump administration’s tough stance on trade around the world, China’s emergence as Africa’s biggest trading partner, and signs that Africa is becoming a more attractive destination for trade and investment.

Let us consider a new approach—one that will promote true economic partnership between the United States and the nations of Africa, and strengthen our geopolitical allegiance. We should not only look to increase trade with Africa, but also promote high value exports that play to our competitive strengths and foster growth and prosperity in Africa.

We are reminded of the urgency of a new approach by a recent opinion peace by Grant Harris, CEO of Harris Africa Partners. (He covers the same subject in a CNBC Africa interview). He discussed the threat by the US Trade Representative to take away some of the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The sanction would be in retaliation for increasing tariffs on second hand clothes.

Mr. Harris is right to call the threat against Rwanda a mistake. Though the Trump administration is within the letter of the agreement, it is a classic example of “doesn’t mean you should just because you can.” The move against Rwanda is an example of the Trump administration’s simplistic and short sighted approach to trade policy. In their minds, any event that contributes to the trade deficit, no matter how minuscule is to be opposed. It does not matter how destructive the used clothes business is to Rwanda’s economic development, or to our relationships with Rwanda and other African countries in a similar situation. Meanwhile, the impact on the US economy is negligible.

A smarter policy would be to play a long game that focuses on strengthening partnerships with countries like Rwanda. In the trade context, that means promoting higher value industry—more processing and refining of raw materials, and more manufacturing.

Except for labor and raw materials, most inputs for these industries will have to be imported, thus creating a market for US exports in industries in which Americans have competitive strength. The equipment and machinery needed to rev up African industry will bring considerably more export revenue, and produce better paying US jobs than the used clothes business.

At the same time we would be smart to encourage the development of African brands and respect the resulting intellectual property. By respecting African IP rights, we can create allies in global trade discussions against those who do not respect the concept of intellectual property.

This is an opportunity to make US equipment, management practices, and quality standards the norm among African businesses. The United States can present a different development model from China and other economic rivals who ship large quantities of ready made apparel into Africa.

The high value model of two way trade applies to other industries. For example, in agribusiness there is demand for modern American farm equipment. If such equipment is made affordable to small farmers in Africa we can increase farm productivity and food security in Africa and open new export markets for the US.

Playing the long game can help the US build long term economic partnerships that will benefit American as well as African businesses.

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Sources and Methods for African Investing

 

Ron_Brown_Series_2018

Today I had the privilege of participating on a panel on investing in Africa which was part of the Ronald H. Brown African Affairs Series organized by the Constituency for Africa in Washington, DC. I was struck by the variety of methods for market entry and investment that were discussed. From franchising–an effective model for many types of business, to large scale infrastructure investing by pension funds and other institutions. From private equity investments in growing companies to sovereign wealth funds, there is capital available from various sources to invest in many types of companies and projects. One challenge is to match the right kind of investor with the right company or project.

I was also impressed by the caliber of professionals on the panel and in the audience. Among the panelists were two business attorneys offering creative ways to manage the risks and challenges investors face. There were advisors to growing African companies and sovereign investors, and an expert on municipal finance and infrastructure investing. These panelists represent a wide and deep pool of talent that the business community should rely on to manage the risks and maximize the opportunities that characterize investing in Africa.

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How to Trade with Africa–How Everybody Wins

A popular subject among American policymakers, business people, and Africa watchers is US trade policy for Africa. The discussion takes place in the context of the Trump administration’s tough stance on trade around the world, China’s emergence as Africa’s biggest trading partner, and signs that Africa is becoming a more attractive destination for trade and investment.

Let us consider a new approach—one that will promote true economic partnership between the United States and the nations of Africa, and strengthen our geopolitical alliances. We should not only look to increase trade with Africa, but also promote high value exports that play to our competitive strengths and foster growth and prosperity in Africa. Concurrently, US investors are wise to keep a keen eye open for profiting from strengthening companies engaged in African imports.

We are reminded of the urgency of this new approach by a recent opinion piece by Grant Harris, CEO of Harris Africa Partners. (He covers the same subject in a CNBC Africa interview). He discussed the threat by the US Trade Representative to take away from Rwanda some of the benefits of the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The sanction would be in retaliation for increasing tariffs on second hand clothes.

Mr. Harris is right to call the specific threat against Rwanda a mistake. Though the Trump administration is within the letter of the agreement, it is a classic example of “doesn’t mean you should just because you can.” The move against Rwanda is an example of the Trump administration’s simplistic and short sighted approach to trade policy. In their minds, any event that contributes to the trade deficit, no matter how minuscule is to be opposed. It does not matter how destructive this could be to the used clothes business and to Rwanda’s economic development, or to US relationships with Rwanda and other African countries in a similar situation. Meanwhile, the impact on the US economy is negligible.

A smarter policy would be to play a long game that focuses on strengthening partnerships with countries like Rwanda. In the trade context, that means promoting higher value industry—more processing and refining of raw materials, and more manufacturing, where US technology, management know-how, and investment dollars can yield significant long-term returns. This could be an effective strategic approach to competing against China and other leading trading partners with Africa.

Except for labor and raw materials, inputs for these industries will have to be imported, thus creating a market for US exports in industries in which Americans have competitive strength. The equipment and machinery needed to rev up African industry will bring considerably more export revenue, and produce better paying US jobs than the used clothes business.

At the same time we would be smart to encourage the development of African brands and respect the resulting intellectual property. By respecting African IP rights, we can create allies in global trade discussions against those who do not respect the concept of intellectual property.

This is an opportunity to make US equipment, methods, and quality standards the norm among African businesses. The United States can present a different development model from China and other economic rivals who ship large quantities of ready-made apparel into Africa.

The high value model of two-way trade applies to other industries. For example, in agribusiness there is demand for modern American farm equipment. If such equipment is made affordable to small farmers in Africa we can increase farm productivity and food security in Africa and open new export markets for the US.

Playing the long game can help the US build long term economic partnerships that will benefit American as well as African businesses.

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3 Takeaways from ATIGS2018

ATIGS_Panel

The African Trade and Investment Summit which concluded this week in Washington, DC was ambitious in scale and scope. The event was a comprehensive look at the current business climate in various parts of the continent. It was also an opportunity for business people to connect and to initiate or strengthen business relationships. Here are three takeaways:

  1. The entire African continent was well represented. Similar conferences in the US seem to feature the biggest economies plus a few high profile nations in the east and west. At ATIGS there were attendees and panelists from every region and language group. In addition, there were several country briefings allowing attendees to explore a specific market in more detail.
  2. Africa has the world’s attention. Naturally there was much discussion about strengthening trade ties between Africa and the US. Meanwhile, other parts of the world are deeply engaged in many African countries and industry sectors. China and India of course have a strong presence. There were also briefings and business forums on the Middle East, the European Union, Canada, and Latin America.
  3. ATIGS provided a useful networking opportunity. The sheer size of the event and the wide variety of industries and countries represented made it a great place to meet people and make connections. The attendees included entrepreneurs, bankers, business developers, advisors, government officials and NGO executives, and a small number of investors. Attendees took advantage of breaks in the schedule for impromptu meetings and introductions. The organizers also provided an online mechanism to schedule meetings prior to the conference. That these meetings happened set the tone for the conference as a place for business to be done.

ATIGS_OH

ATIGS 2018 was an impressive event well worth attending despite a few logistical snags. The Labacore team has developed a strong network and displayed considerable prowess in marketing the conference. We look forward to their next project.

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Neglect is not an option!

 

A recent article in the Washington Diplomat entitled “Continent of Neglect” cites the need for increased engagement in Africa by the US foreign policy establishment. The gist of the article is that we are in an era when Africa has finally been recognized by mainstream Western business. Meanwhile our government is the least engaged in three administrations.

Some of the signs:

  • Budget cuts in the State Department, and in development assistance.
  • Undersecretary of State for African Affairs post remains vacant.

What can we as Africa focused  business people do in such circumstances?

1.  Seek private sector expertise to fill the void left by a less engaged government.

  • Fellow businesspeople including investors, operating companies and consultants with real world experience can provide helpful guidance.
  • Academia–universities and think tanks have a wealth of background information.
  • The African diaspora is well represented among our immigrant population. Nearly every region of the continent is represented and the diaspora is a source of on-the-ground expertise that can smooth the market entry process.

2.  Continue to engage with government and our political leadership to press the case for African countries not only as a foreign policy priority nut also as trade partners for mutual economic benefit.

One place where building partnerships with Africa will be top of mind is at the Washington DC stop of the African Investment Rising US Roadshow April 18-19. There the focus will be on public and private sector engagement in Africa. This is the first stop in a four city tour organized by the Initiative for Global Development to re-shape perceptions on doing business in Africa. For more information visit. http://www.aircampaign.org.

 

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Private Equity Investors Boost Value and Liquidity in Africa, Making Investments More Attractive

An important consideration in evaluating any class of investments is the ability to easily cash out of a position and lock in a healthy return. Among the elements required are liquid capital markets and a vibrant private secondary market for African equity and debt. The growing role of private equity in African finance has influenced the process of creating value and realizing attractive returns on African investments.

Now that private equity has been active in Africa for several years we are seeing more and better data on the performance of their portfolios. From this data we can draw conclusions about the experience of firms exiting their portfolio investments.

Some of the most respected work on African private equity exits has been done by Ernst and Young in partnership with the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. The 6th and most recent report—PE Exits in Africa 2017 covers the industry in 2016.

In summary, the report tells us that 2016 was a record year for the number of exits. The largest number were in South Africa but there were also several in Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, and Ghana. We saw significant increases in the number of exits in West Africa and North Africa.

African stock market regulators are working hard to set the stage for greater liquidity in the markets, however, at present, most exits consist of sales to strategic buyers and an increasing number of financial buyers. The financial buyers are largely private equity firms buying out the previous financing round.

Stock Markets as an Exit Option

The good news is that African stock markets have been quite strong, largely due to stronger commodity markets which have spawned economic recovery in many countries. (See table below) The consensus is that the recovery will continue in the near term. Liquidity is still a challenge. All else being equal the expectation of strong stock markets could make listing more of an exit option than it has been.

STOCK MARKET RETURNS IN LOCAL CURRENCY

12 12 MONTHS ENDING JANUARY 2018

GHANA

70.00%

KENYA

44.00%

NIGERIA

66.26%

SOUTH AFRICA

16.28%

MSCI AFRICA

22.56%

Implications for US Financial Investors

  • The activity in African private equity and venture capital have in many ways contributed to an improved investment climate for American capital.
  • A PE firm’s value creation process often calls for partners or suppliers to join with their portfolio companies. This is an opportunity for US companies to enter African markets by engaging with those portfolio companies.
  • The US investor could buy out a PE firms equity position. This requires strong local knowledge that is often easier for a local firm.
  • The PE firm or another financial investor could be an exit for a current investor. The growing number of PE firms allocating funds to Africa makes the financial buyer an increasingly likely exit option.

With these possibilities in mind it behooves US investors to build relationships with key players on the ground in Africa including the financial community and government officials tasked with promoting and regulating portfolio and direct investment. US investors may find opportunities across all sectors, of the various economies and markets in Africa.

Darnley Howard is a partner at PAN Diaspora Capital Management. PAN Diaspora Capital Management  is an organizational partner with the Initiative for Global Development for the Africa Investment Rising campaign. A highlight of the campaign is the US Roadshow from April 18 through 28. IGD will visit four cities—Washington, New York, Des Moines and Houston in order to showcase opportunities in Africa and create a forum for American and African businesses to connect. For more inform, visit https://aircampaign.org/

 

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Spotlight on Cameroon

Things are looking up in the land of Bikutsi and Makossa.

The Africa Rising story often features a few high profile countries that have dominated investors’ attention: Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and a few others are where most of the deals seem to happen.

Meanwhile, flying under the radar is Cameroon. Lately we are seeing an increase in business and entrepreneurial activity in the public and private sectors that leads one to think that this market deserves a closer look.

ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL PROFILE

The Republic of Cameroon is officially a democracy with executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. Paul Biya has been president since 1982.

Like most of Africa, the economy is based on natural resources, chief among them, timber, aluminum, agriculture (particularly, cocoa, palm oil), and oil & gas.

In addition there are hints of entrepreneurial activity that could lead to a larger private sector contribution to the nation’s economy.

RECENT ACTION

Just this year we’ve encountered several examples of entrepreneurial ventures and development initiatives that could be attractive to investors:

  • Ovamba is a financial services company that uses an innovative lending model to provide short term capital to small and medium sized businesses.
  • An American entrepreneur has made a big bet on palm oil in Cameroon. His business produces substantial volumes and has strong support from the local community.
  • We have been made aware of a major initiative by government to improve the Cameroonian infrastructure. Contractors an financial investors can select from dozens of projects in several sectors including transport, agribusiness, and electric power.

COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES

Anglophone meets Francophone. Though mostly French speaking, Cameroon has a significant English speaking population, making partners, and staff available for both language groups.

Bridge to West and Central Africa. Cameroon often identifies and is identified by others as a Central and West African nation. For this reason, and due to its location Cameroon can serve as a base of operations for Central or West Africa.

On the verge of becoming an LNG exporter. Oil and gas are fields have been developed on and off shore on the West African coast. Cameroon is a part of the west coast African oil story. LNG reserves are large enough that Cameroon may soon become a gas exporter.

POTENTIAL RISKS

President for life? President Biya his held office for 35 years. The country seems stable so far, but one wonders about the succession plan and whether an orderly transition will occur.

Anglo & Franco living together. The combination of Anglophone and Francophone that is a source of strength for Cameroon can also be a source of division and instability. So far that has not occurred and we consider this to be a minor issue.

We would love to hear from other business people about their experiences and impressions of the business climate in Cameroon. Your comments are welcome.

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Risk Management for African Private Equity

PE investments in Africa generally fall into the alternative investments group. As such they compete for a share of investors’ allocation to the alternative investments category along with frontier market regions. Our challenge as Africa-focused fund managers, consultants, and advisors is to attract more of this capital to Africa, thereby contributing to Africa’s development, and the success of our enterprises. Ultimately we would like to see African deals shed the “alternative” label.

One topic we constantly confront is the risk—both real and perceived of deals associated with Africa. It is therefore important for us to provide sound risk analysis and risk mitigation strategies to aid clients, LPs and other investors in their capital deployment decisions. Risk can be classified as political, economic (e.g. currency), and operational (e.g. supply chain).

What is the best approach for risk analysis?

Several well known rankings of world economies are a starting point for risk analysis. (see table) These include:

  • World Bank Doing Business ranking,
  • World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Index,
  • Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index,
  • JLL Global Real Estate Transparency Index.

The highest ranked African countries are usually in the middle of these rankings.

While these rankings and the data within them are a good preliminary indicator, do they tell the whole story? How do we find the growing business based in a less attractive country, but positioned to expand into other markets? Is political risk really a deal killer or are there circumstances in which business will get done anyway? Are there industries investors should avoid even when macro indicators look promising? Our ability to address these issues should lead to more nuanced assessments of risk and guide investors to better results.

How do we mitigate risk to make deals bankable?

Can PE firms take a leadership role in risk management using a holistic approach that recognizes the link between legal, political and financial risks?

Can management teams be “coached up “ to make a deal bankable? There are a number of ways PE firms and consultants can add value to make deals more attractive. For example:

  • Improving accounting and financial management, process improvements
  • Access to training such as online compliance

Probably the most important risk mitigation tool Africa-focused PE firms have is their knowledge and experience in African markets. This local knowledge is obtained in a variety of ways. Obviously Africa based firms have local knowledge built in at least for their home country and usually for their region as well. Other firms can rely on African professional staff and on local partners on the ground who can provide useful market intelligence.

Some conclusions to share with prospective LPs and other investors:

  1. Several African markets compare favorably with other emerging/frontier markets in Latin America and Asia according to the rankings:
  • Transparency of Kenya’s real estate sector exceeds that of Chile and Ukraine.

  • Cape Verde and Liberia are less corrupt than Brazil or the Czech Republic

      2. PE firms and advisors are highly knowledgeable about the African business                    environment and have access to excellent market intelligence. This                              enables them to educate and guide the investor community in                                      making realistic assessments of risk. 

I would encourage practitioners to continue the discussion on how to improve          investors’ understanding of risk management in Africa. We welcome your                insights on this blog and elsewhere.

Your firms’ local knowledge, both in-house as well as in your networks on the ground make you the right people to guide LPs toward profitable deals.

GLOBAL RANKINGS OF KEY AFRICAN MARKETS

WEF GCI

WORLD BANK DOING BUSINESS

TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL

JLL REAL ESTATE TRANSPARENCY

ALGERIA

87

156

108

ANGOLA

182

BENIN

124

155

95

BOTSWANA

64

71

35

41

BURKINA FASO

146

72

CAPE VERDE

110

129

38

COTE D’IVOIRE

99

142

108

104

ETHIOPIA

109

159

108

GABON

108

164

101

GHANA

114

108

70

85

KENYA

96

92

145

61

LESOTHO

120

100

83

LIBERIA

131

174

37

MAURITIUS

45

49

54

58

MOROCCO

70

68

90

71

MOZAMBIQUE

133

137

132

101

NAMIBIA

84

108

53

NIGERIA

127

169

136

83

RWANDA

52

56

54

80

SENEGAL

112

147

64

SOUTH AFRICA

47

74

54

SWAZILAND

111

TANZANIA

116

132

116

99

UGANDA

113

115

151

90

ZAMBIA

118

98

87

57

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