east Africa

By Sara Menker, CEO and Founder, Gro Intelligence

Last week, at a “Solve for X” gathering in Nairobi, I opened my presentation with a pop quiz. There were only two questions, and yet everyone got both wrong.

The first question: What was Nigeria’s GDP in 2013 — $270bn, $460bn, or $510bn? The second question: How much corn did Kenya produce in 2013 — 3.3m, 2.8m or 3.6m tonnes?

In both cases the crowd was evenly split amongst the choices. Read more

Uganda’s government has been locked in a long-standing battle with companies over the development of its 3.5bn barrels of oil, mostly located around the Albertine Graben.

So it is with some relief that last week a memorandum of understanding was finally signed with UK-based Tullow Oil, Total of France and China National Offshore Oil Corporation, providing a framework for commercial production which builds on an April agreement. Read more

Lagarde with Henry Rotich, Kenyan finance minister

IMF boss Christine Lagarde concludes a trip to Africa trip on Friday, continuing her tradition of starting the new year visiting one of the world’s fastest growing continents. For 2014, she chose Kenya and Mali, two very different economies on either side of Africa. Read more

Since getting much of its overseas aid cut off last year, the Rwandan government has faced problems plugging a gap in its budget.

No surprise then that it plans to take advantage of low borrowing costs in international debt markets. President Paul Kagame this week revealed more details of the east African nation’s anticipated debut eurobond issue. Read more

Kenya’s two biggest banks by market capitalisation, Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), both reported solid full year earnings on Thursday, underlining strong growth potential for financial services in east Africa’s largest economy. Read more

Independent and small-scale oil companies like to be quick on their feet, beating the energy giants time and again in the exploration race. But in some of Africa’s more promising energy areas, regulatory hurdles and resource nationalism are starting to hold things up. Read more

East Africa’s largest private equity fund Catalyst Principal Partners reached its final close last week, at $125m, writes Katrina Manson. It marks a growing pot of money chasing deals in the region whose nascent private equity industry has little record but is keen to make the most of a dearth of capital for a growth market of 200m people. Read more

Kenya’s mining industry could be about to face a boost as new-found exploration potential and rising commodity prices see activity intensify. Katrina Manson, east Africa correspondent, reports from the Kwale Mineral Sands Project on what the developments could mean for the country.

Alcoholic drink maker Diageo released some impressive results this week on the back of continued strong performance in emerging markets, which now account for almost 40 per cent of the company’s revenues.

Today, East Africa Breweries (EABL), which is 50-per-cent owned by Diageo and is Kenya’s largest company by market capitalisation, released its full-year results, allowing a closer look at conditions in one of Diageo’s fastest-growing regional markets.  Read more

Share prices for mining companies in the FTSE were down across the board on Monday by around 3 per cent but one (at time of writing) was falling more than all the rest: African Barrick Gold, which saw its share price fall more than seven per cent to 349.9p. The drop coincides with poor interim results for the first half of 2012 and the announcement of a new exploration programme in Kenya. Read more

How does a place were “love stories were born, relationships blossomed and relaxation became an art” sound for an investment opportunity?

To Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), it sounds great. The pan-African private equity company announced on Monday it has acquired a stake in Nairobi’s Java House coffee house chain, highlighting the increased appetite of PE firms for East Africa. Read more