After off-grid electricity, what chance off-grid water?

Water Scarcity Financial Times | 31 July, 2017 Innovative solutions bring the prospect of accessible water to the isolated poor By Imaduddin Ahmed   Fifty-one million people lack access to safe water in the core East African Community member states of Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, according to WaterAid. Over 13,000 children under five die…

Leapfrogging into the light

Financial Times | 27 March, 2017 Solar systems help Rwanda government switch from provider to regulator of electricity by Imaduddin Ahmed Mobile phones were the “leapfrog” infrastructure of the last decade. They allowed governments and companies in developing countries to skip installing landline systems underground. Off-grid solar home systems are proving to be the leapfrog…

Stories private equity is looking for in Africa

Businesses: –    The business model is scalable –    There is a compelling case that there is large latent/unmet demand for the product/service –    Competition is underperforming/non-existing and barriers to entry are high –    Competition for financing a given firm is low (don’t want to enter a bidding war) –    Strong personal relationships with management –  …

Land of a thousand hills

Imaduddin Ahmed delights in the charms of a transformed Rwanda The Friday Times | July 05 – 11, 2013 – Vol. XXV, No. 21 Rwandans greeted outsiders well into the nineteenth century with hails of arrows. And who could blame them? The first European to the area – an officer of the British Indian army…

African cleavages

New to Sub-Saharan Africa but bitten by the private equity bug that says invest to capture its growth? Visualising SSA as one monolithic entity and having difficulty in breaking it into digestable parts? Here are a few cleavages to consider to get you going. Distinguish consumer markets with a lot of growth potential (economic growth…

Frontier market funds

A non-exhaustive (will be periodically updated) list of emerging and frontier market financiers: Government/multilateral development finance institutions and banks – International Finance Corporation (IFC), the for-profit arm of the World Bank – Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), US DFI – CDC Group (formerly Commonwealth Development Corporation), UK DFI – DEG, German DFI – L’Agence Française…

Consumerism, & BCG, McKinsey & E&Y bullish on Africa

In Season 4, Episode 3 of the popular TV series Mad Men, Don Draper meets Anna’s niece, a U.Cal Berkeley student. “I’m not political,” she tells Don, “I just don’t understand who’s in charge.” “You’re in charge,” comes the ad man’s response. Historian Andrew Marr concurs. Summarising his authoritative book A History of Modern Britain,…