DealMakers AFRICA Q1 2019

From the editor's desk

As growth worries and trade war jitters threaten to spoil any rebound for emerging markets in 2019 the IMF and World Bank have reduced their 2019 regional growth forecasts. However, economies not dependent on commodities continue to grow strongly and East Africa is currently seen as the most successful economic region on the continent. The International Monetary Fund’s 2019 GDP forecasts for East Africa released in April are: Kenya 5.8%, Rwanda 7.8%, Ethiopia 7.7%, Tanzania 4% and Uganda 6.3%.

Information technology is a game changer for Africa, freeing it of geographical constraints. The speed and availability of technology suggest there are huge opportunities for some African countries and harnessing information technology more effectively could boost annual growth. In a study on IoT in Agriculture conducted by Frost & Sullivan, ICT solutions are overcoming challenges and changing the way traditional farming is conducted.


In its latest annual study “Where to Invest in Africa” Rand Merchant Bank’s Investment Attraction Index considers two important conditions for viable investment: economic activity and the operating environment, highlighting the lack of efficient infrastructure as one of the highest hurdles to business in Africa. Egypt is listed as the number one country in its investment attractiveness-ranked list of top ten countries.

This issue of DealMakers AFRICA carries the first in a series of articles exploring investment opportunities in the different African regions. Egypt, which is emerging as one of the best reform stories in the EEMEA, is the focus of the North African region.

Analysis of data by DealMakers AFRICA shows that the two largest transactions on the continent (excluding South Africa) during the first quarter of 2019 were in Central Africa. The acquisition by China Molybdenum of an indirect stake in the Tenke Fungurume copper and cobalt mine in the DRC for US$1,14bn topped the list followed by the acquisition by African Petroleum of PetroNor E&P in the Republic of Congo for A$1bn. In terms of regional activity, East Africa announced 27 transactions followed by West Africa (20 transactions) and Southern Africa (18 transactions) respectively.

Following on from the immense success of the first standalone DealMakers AFRICA Annual Awards in Nairobi in February the league table rankings of advisory firms will be released half yearly: in the Q2 and Annual issues of the magazine. Pictures of the event, together with the list of winners, can be viewed on the DealMakers AFRICA website, and have been included in this
issue adding a wonderful splash of colour to the pages. 

Marylou Greig