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Covington Strengthens Africa Practice with Key Additions to Johannesburg Office

  We are pleased to share that partner Ben Haley has relocated to the firm’s Johannesburg office to lead the firm’s Africa-focused compliance and investigations efforts. Mr. Haley joins another recent addition to the Johannesburg office, Robert Kayihura, who will lead the office’s Public Policy and global problem solving practice. Mr. Haley is an experienced … Continue Reading

Recent Media Interviews on African Business Trends

Witney Schneidman, Chair of Covington’s Africa Practice, recently participated in a number of media interviews where he discussed various business trends on the continent. Below are links to those interviews.  An interview with CGTN that compared the commercial approaches of China and the United States in Africa. LINK CNBC-Africa’s Closing Bell had Witney Schneidman on … Continue Reading

Project Finance Master Class: Addressing Africa’s Infrastructure Deficit

There are ample studies that quantify Africa’s infrastructure deficit in terms of projects and funding. The World Bank estimates $93 billion of annual upkeep investment is needed for projects and Ernst and Young estimates that there are some 800 projects, largely in the power and transportation sectors, that require approximately $700 billion in new investments. … Continue Reading

Covington’s Africa Practice Will Be at SXSW

Covington’s Africa Practice is looking forward to being a sponsor of the first-ever Africa House at South By Southwest (SXSW) this year. Launched in 1987, with a mission to foster discussion and collaboration in the music and art scene, SXSW has morphed into the ultimate gathering place for creatives, innovators, and technologists. Held in Austin, … Continue Reading

What Next for Trump and Africa?

In late December, the Trump Administration released the “National Security Strategy of the United States of America.” The nearly 70 page document lays out the foreign policy priorities of the current Administration in both thematic and regional approaches. At the time of its release, the press focused on the strategy’s emphasis on Russia and China, … Continue Reading

The Trump Administration’s First African Growth and Opportunity Act Forum

Next week, some 40 African finance and trade ministers, along with a large contingent of senior U.S. government officials will descend upon the coastal city of Lomé, Togo for the annual African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum. There will be more eyes on this year’s Forum. Aside from Secretary Ross’ brief address at the … Continue Reading

Can Pension Funds Help Solve Africa’s Infrastructure Deficit?

Despite the global focus on growth trends in Africa, one trend has flown mostly below the radar: the increase in the number and size of pension funds. In addition to evidencing increased income security, the continent’s growing number of  pension funds could potentially be a new source of funding to address Africa’s  infrastructure deficit, estimated … Continue Reading

Africa Events in Washington: A Recap of March

This past March was a busy month in Washington for Africa related events. Covington participated in a number of business focused summits and congressional hearings touched on U.S. – Africa public policy and its impact on the commercial relationship. In early March, Covington’s Washington office hosted the Corporate Council on Africa’s (CCA) Annual Board Meeting. … Continue Reading

Crowdfunding in Africa: Opportunities and Challenges

Crowdfunding—or the use of online platforms to raise money for business ventures from a large base of investors—has been steadily gaining traction in Africa over the past decade. Still, crowdfunding in Africa remains limited compared to other regions: In 2015, the African crowdfunding market amounted to about $70 million, accounting for less than one percent … Continue Reading

AfDB President Launches “New Deal on Energy in Africa”

New African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina chose last week’s World Economic Forum at Davos for the official launch of the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, along with a Transformative Partnership for Energy in Africa (TPEA).  While a candidate for the AfDB president position a year ago, Adesina placed energy at the top … Continue Reading

From the AGOA Forum in Gabon to the WTO Ministerial in Nairobi

For years, many observers treated Africa’s plans for regional integration with a healthy dose of skepticism. Though the skepticism remains, what has changed is the wide-spread acknowledgement and elevated importance of regional economic integration to grow Africa’s economies, create jobs for its rapidly growing youth population, and improve lives. Last month’s AGOA Forum, hosted by … Continue Reading

Africa’s Tripartite Agreement: Another Step toward Integration?

Considerable attention has been paid to the recent signing of the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA) which will bind three of Africa’s regional economic communities (RECs) together into one large free trade market of 26 countries, accounting for nearly 60 percent of the continent’s GDP.  How significant the Agreement will prove to be lies in … Continue Reading

Kaberuka’s Last AfDB Annual Meeting Begins and Ends on High Notes

The election of a new president to head the African Development Bank captured the headlines out of Abidjan last week, but the Annual AfDB Programme and meetings were more than electing Africa’s new leading voice on development and inclusive economic growth.  Thousands of people attended this year’s Annual meetings from government, the private sector, and … Continue Reading

U.S. and Djibouti Hold First Strategic Dialogue

Just ten months after the historic Oval Office meeting between President Obama and President Guelleh of Djibouti, the two countries last week held the inaugural Strategic Dialogue in Washington, DC.  The announcement of a “strategic partnership” came last May when the two sides agreed to a ten-year lease extension for the Camp Lemonnier military base, … Continue Reading

Accelerating the Use of Geothermal Power in East Africa

Last week, London-based firm EnergyNet held its “Powering Africa Summit” in Washington.  The Summit, opened by U.S. Secretary of Energy Moniz, attracted project developers, equipment suppliers, financiers, the U.S. Government’s Power Africa team, and African government officials. Unfortunately, due to the African Union Summit that was being held at the same time in Ethiopia, no … Continue Reading

Fighting Corruption to Achieve Security

On October 23, 2014, Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice, Leslie Caldwell, described the fight against corruption as “a necessary enforcement action to protect our own national security interests and the ability of our U.S. companies to compete on a global scale.”  These comments not only apply … Continue Reading

African private equity: a building momentum with those who have the faith.

With certain developed economies such as the UK and US throwing out a seemingly ever greater volume of “can you believe it” data apparently evidencing a resounding rebound out of the Great Recession, and the seemingly un-tameable bull of western equities markets appearing to charge ever stronger, it’s perhaps unsurprising that investors pause to take … Continue Reading

Tunisia’s Path to Post-Revolution Elections

Since passing its new constitution in January 2014—which has been described by some as one of the most progressive in the region—Tunisia has continued its post-revolution transition to a permanent government.  Most recently, in early May 2014, Tunisia’s 217-member National Constituent Assembly approved a new electoral law.  In addition to requiring male-female parity in party … Continue Reading

East Africa: A Hotspot for Private Equity

African private equity (“PE”) presents a complex and rapidly evolving picture.  Still a nascent industry, particularly when compared to more established emerging markets for private investment, African PE is seeking a toe-hold in an ever-changing continent.  Susceptible both to the buffeting effects of global economic headwinds and local challenges such as lumpy pipelines of suitable … Continue Reading
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