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 … Continue reading

PPP success in Rwanda shows potential for greater self-reliance

Financial Times Beyond BRICS | 2 April, 2015 New Times | 4 April, 2015 allAfrica | 4 April, 2015 World Bank EIN News Desk | 6 April, 2015 Twenty-one years after its genocide, Rwanda ranks 46th in the world for ease of doing business according to the World Bank, four spots below its former coloniser … Continue reading

African (frontier market) risks associated with PPP infrastructure

and how they can be mitigated. Compiled by a PPP transactions advisor to Rwanda (me). Barriers to private investment in African infrastructure: Country political risk –          Eg. medium or high likelihood of terrorist attacks, war, corruption, riots, strikes Risk of expropriation Payment risk Insolvency for state off-takers such as state utilities Inflation/currency depreciation Currency convertibility Risk … Continue reading

Is your local public-private partnership going to be a happy one?

By Imaduddin Ahmed and Shilesh Muralidhara The East African | January 11, 2014 Partnerships can be wonderful. They can also be disastrous. So, too, is this the case with partnerships entered into by governments and businesses for the delivery of public goods, which can either lose countries millions of dollars per project or initiate virtuous … Continue reading

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 –   … Continue reading

Allocating & valuing risk in public-private infrastructure projects

Notes from Timothy Irwin’s  Government Guarantees – Allocating and Valuing Risk in Privately Financed Infrastructure Projects Bordeaux Bridge – early template of public-private partnership – Govt built bridge – Firm maintained and operated it and contributed capital for construction – Firm would get the toll for 99 years. If annual revenue < min., govt would … Continue reading

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 … Continue reading

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, … Continue reading

Tips for entrepreneurs / business managers seeking equity investments: Part 2

A couple of resources for entrepreneurs, on how to pitch to venture capital funds. The first is how HEC Paris lecturer Serge Desvignes of Iris Capital recommends entrepreneurs format their presentations. In 10 slides: 1 –  Offer your solution to solve problems (needs met, value proposition) 2 – Description of products/services: succinct not over-technical (picture, video, … Continue reading

Tips for entrepreneurs / business managers seeking equity investments: Part 1

Think of the value you create for customers vis-a-vis the competition Working in venture capital / private equity, I come across a number of poorly presented business proposals. The first thing I want to know about a business is whether it will be able to sustain growth and profitability by offering customers something of value … Continue reading

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