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Africa Investment Forum: Projects Worth $140m on the Table to Boost Vaccines and Healthcare in West and East Africa

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Africa Investment Forum

Members of the Africa Investment Forum team showcased two projects during a virtual investor roundtable as the continent looks to boost its healthcare sector and attract much-needed investment in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The projects, jointly worth around $140 million and located in East and West Africa, were previewed for potential investors.

The roundtable, held 21 October, is part of a series of events organized by the Africa Investment Forum and hosted by the Atlantic Council to drum up interest in the Forum’s upcoming Market Days, where a range of investment opportunities will be unveiled. The invited participants represented the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors.

The first opportunity, with a project cost of $96 million, is for the development of a 250-bed specialist hospital offering world-class healthcare services in a West African country. Feasibility studies have been undertaken and the land has been secured. The second, entails the construction of a $45 million WHO-prequalified vaccine production plant in East Africa that will be capable of routine production of three vaccines, including for Covid-19.

After the presentations, a panel of investors provided their insight on investing in Africa’s healthcare sector. The panelists were Rhulani Nhlaniki, sub-Saharan Africa Cluster Lead at Pfizer; Jean-Philippe Syed, Principal with private equity firm Development Partners International; Afsane Jetha, Managing Partner & CEO at private equity firm Alta Semper Capital; Stavros Nicolaou, Senior Executive – Strategic Trade at Aspen Pharmacare; and Dr. Dumani Kula, Chief Operating Officer for Africa with Evercare Group, a healthcare company. Aubrey Hruby, a Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, moderated.

Syed said the African hospital sector, and in particular health tourism, had suffered as a result of pandemic-related travel restrictions.

Nicolaou said Africa’s disease burden—the highest of any continent—made preventive care, including vaccines, all the more important for Africans. The need for pharmaceuticals will increase the requirements for partnerships that can overcome constraints such as research & development.

Other challenges mentioned by the participants include overcoming cold chain and last-mile-delivery issues, and ways to scale up pilot technologies, such as the use of drones to facilitate vaccine delivery.

Health is one of five priority investment sectors under the Africa Investment Forum’s Unified Response to Covid-19 (https://bit.ly/3nnig7l) pillars. The others are agribusiness, energy and climate change, ICT/Telecoms, and industrialization and trade.

At a panel discussion organized by the University of Edinburgh last week, Africa Investment Forum Senior Director Chinelo Anohu referenced the East Africa vaccine plant project in the context of Africa’s current limited access to Covid-19 vaccines. Through trade and investment, particularly in its pharmaceutical sector, the continent can avoid vaccine inequity, Anohu said.

“What we’re looking to provide with the Africa Investment Forum is a co-investment platform where you mobilize domestic investors, mobilize project sponsors for the continent, and then mobilize international investors, those who are looking to make an investment and get a profit,” Anohu said.

The Africa Investment Forum aims to channel investment into Africa. Its 2021 Market Days, to be held on 1-3 December,  will showcase transformative investment opportunities from across the African continent, many with the potential to drive Africa’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Africa Investment Forum was launched in 2018 by eight founding partners: The African Development Bank, Africa 50; the Africa Finance Corporation; the African Export-Import Bank; the Development Bank of Southern Africa; the Trade and Development Bank; the European Investment Bank; and the Islamic Development Bank.

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Investment

AFDB, Others Invest $618 Million in Nigeria’s Digital Programme

African Development Bank (AFDB), French Development Agency (FDA), and The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) have invested the sum of $618 Million in Nigeria’s Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme.

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Akinwunmi AfDB

African Development Bank (AFDB), French Development Agency (FDA), and The Islamic Development Bank (ISDB) have invested the sum of $618 Million in Nigeria’s Digital and Creative Enterprises Programme.

President of the African Development Bank (AFDB), Mr. Akinwumni Adesina while speaking at Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum held in New York, disclosed that investment in the program would help in the establishment of 451 digital technology SMEs and 225 creative start-ups.

Adding that the enterprises would create 6.1 million jobs and add $6.4 billion to the Nigerian economy.

He said, “That is the power of international partnerships working for Nigeria. Investors must recognize this and invest.

“The future is not just digital, the future will be driven by digital revolution. Today, Nigeria has five of the seven unicorns in Africa and raised almost $1.4 billion of the total of four billion dollars raised by Fintech companies across Africa in 2021.

“When you think of financial services digital innovations, think Nigeria, with Flutterwave, OPay, Andela, and Interswitch holding the status of unicorn companies, worth at least one billion dollars each.”

Mr. Akinwunmi further stated that $540 million have been provided by the International Fund for Agricultural Development and ISDB to develop Special Agro-industrial processing zones to help unlock Nigeria’s agricultural potential.

Noting that the funds will boost food production and agribusiness value chains across Nigeria and make Nigeria more competitive.

He also called for increased international partnerships in Nigeria, adding that the bank had invested $44 billion in infrastructure in Africa over the past six years.

Furthermore, Mr. Adesina disclosed that the growth in Nigeria would depend on its ability to fix its infrastructure deficits.

His words, “The National Integrated Infrastructure Masterplan shows that Nigeria will need total financing of $759 billion to support infrastructure over a 23-year horizon (2020-2043).

“These covers tackling the crippling lack of energy to power the economy, including power generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure, water and sanitation, and transport infrastructure.”

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Foreign Investors Boycott Nigeria Oil Sector; Capital Inflow Drops By 82%

Capital inflow into Nigeria’s oil sector has dropped by more than 82 percent in the second quarter of 2022. 

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Despite the increase in global oil prices, capital inflow into Nigeria’s oil sector has dropped by more than 82 percent in the second quarter of 2022. 

Investors King learnt that while other sectors such as baking and manufacturing contributed immensely to the country’s economy, oil and gas barely make an impact. 

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that foreign capital inflow into the oil and gas sector accounts for 0.13 percent of fresh foreign investments into the Nigerian economy in Q2 2022, compared to other sectors like the banking and production sector contributing 42 percent and 15 percent respectively.

It is further revealed that the total value of foreign capital investment attracted by the petroleum industry in the second quarter of 2022 fell from $11.3 million in Q2 2021 to $1.93 million in Q2 2022.

Ola Alokolaro, a partner at Advocaat Law Practice (Energy and Infrastructure) disclosed that this is the lowest for Nigeria in 11 years.

He indicated further that the weak foreign investment in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector started in 2021.  

It is evident that foreign investors are boycotting Nigeria’s oil for other places. Recently, Italian oil giant Eni agreed to acquire two producing fields in Algeria for an undisclosed sum, including stakes in two major natural gas projects, as the company plans divestments away from Nigerian onshore assets.

A French multinational oil company, TotalEnergies has also announced plans to sell its stake in a oil joint venture in Nigeria and invest about $850 million in oil projects in Angola.

Nigeria’s oil production has been facing one of its most turbulent times. Widespread oil theft and poor patronage are some of the prevailing challenges. Investors King had earlier reported that for the first time in five years, Nigeria lost its crown as Africa’s largest oil producer to Angola. 

 

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Nigeria’s Banking Sector Leads Foreign Direct Investment; Attracts Over $15 Billion in 5 Years

In the last five years, the banking sector has attracted $15.8 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

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In the last five years, the banking sector has attracted $15.8 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). This figure reflects 23 percent of the total capital importation into the country in the period. 

According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria attracted $69.39 billion in both foreign portfolio and foreign direct investments (FDIs) within five years.

Aside from the shares portfolio, the Nigeria banking sector was the most favoured by foreign investors with almost one-fourth of the country’s foreign capital inflow.

From January 2017 to December 2021, about $26.21 billion was invested in Nigeria through shares portfolios. Between 2017 and 2018, the banking sector’s share of the total capital importation accounts for 61.5 percent.

It however dropped downward to 22 percent in 2019, to 19 percent in 2020 and 16 percent in 2021. 

Nonetheless, the Nigerian banking sector shares still enjoy considerable attention from foreign investors. 

From an estimated $3.11 billion in foreign capital inflows recorded in the first half (H1) of the year,  the banking sector accounted for N1.47 billion or 47 percent, while only N301 million, representing 10 percent was invested in equities. 

In the second quarter (Q2), production and telecommunications also competed strongly with 15.24 and 10 percent respective shares of the capital importation value. General financing was 12.85 percent, while trading attracted 3.68 percent, and agriculture had a meagre 3.74 percent.

According to NBS, “The total value of capital importation into Nigeria stood at $1.535 billion from $875.62 million in the corresponding quarter of 2021, showing an increase of 75.34 per cent. When compared to the preceding quarter, capital importation decreased by 2.4 per cent from $1.573 billion.

“The largest amount of capital importation was received through portfolio investment, which accounted for 49.33 per cent ($757.32 million)”.

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