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The challenges of this financing are magnified in sub-Saharan Africa, as there is a paucity of projects that meet the high-water mark required by most investment banks. Basic requirements include experienced and credit-worthy sponsors, healthy financial ratios and forecasts, exhaustive technical due diligence, and a stable and cohesive political and legal framework. Development finance institutions (DFIs) are more flexible than investment banks, but African governments are increasingly less willing to accept the more onerous conditions attached to their funding. Read more

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Following on from partnerships and dual listings with a number of African capital markets, the London Stock Exchange (LSE) is looking to foster dual listings with the West African regional exchange.

“We are looking to attract and encourage dual listings,” Ibukun Adebayo, co-head of emerging markets at the LSE Group, tells This Is Africa during an event on west African capital markets.

“Listing with the LSE provides profile and extra liquidity in countries promoting dual listings.”

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Microsoft is aiming to connect rural residents in Nanyuki, a market town in Laikipia County in central Kenya, with low-cost wireless Internet. The move aims to deliver affordable Internet service and connectivity to central Kenya as a means of providing service to under-served regions of the country.

According to Microsoft: “The Internet service is made possible by utilising TV White Spaces, the unused portions of wireless spectrum in the frequency bands used for television broadcasting.” Read more

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Drones are a controversial topic when it comes to national security. However cargo drones, with their potential applications for last mile delivery in remote areas and humanitarian emergency situations, are tipped to be an exciting area of innovation for Africa.

But who is behind the push for cargo drones in Africa, why has it got the business world so excited, and how is progress on this embryonic technology panning out?

Cargo drones are small pilotless airplanes designed to transport 20-30kg packages across distances of 80km or perhaps further. The technology could have a revolutionary impact for delivering products to remote, poorly connected communities in much of Africa. Read more

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As the evolution of mobile banking continues to disrupt the financial services sector, the founder and executive chairman of privately held telecoms conglomerate Econet Wireless Group sounded the death knell for traditional transaction banking.

“The transactional side of banking is gone,” Strive Masiyiwa tells This Is Africa on the side of a Clinton Foundation forum in Marrakech, Morocco. Read more

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According to a report via cp-africa.com, Airtel Nigeria has inked an agreement with device manufacturing firm, RLG. The deal will see RLG produce handsets for potential Airtel subscribers.

The regional director of RLG in West and Central Africa, Tosin Ilesanmi, stated that the company will begin to produce handsets, tablets, power banks and other devices at its Ilesa factory. According to Ilesanmi, the company could create up to 10,000 jobs with the venture. Read more

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Ghana’s mobile phone sector is booming. The country’s regulator NCA reported that the country’s mobile phone operators signed up some 400,000 subscribers during February, a sign that the sector is prime for a new round of promotions.

The regulator said that the total number of customers has now reached 31.03 million. Read more

Nigeria regulator says innovation key to telecom growth

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Innovation is key to Nigeria’s continued growth in the telecommunications sector, the country’s regulator said this week. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said in a report that the industry’s growth “was a result of innovation in the industry.”

It comes after years of concerns over the sector, where users have often complained of the poor level of service and connectivity, although companies have sought to rectify these issues in order to deliver better overall service for their customers. Read more

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Toronto-listed Canadian miner GB Minerals plans to invest $175 million to begin producing phosphates in Guinea Bissau in 2017, a first for the West African country, its chief executive said.

Guinea Bissau is seeking to revive its economy after a military coup in 2012.

The International Monetary Fund says it is on track to nearly double growth to 4.7 percent this year.

we have full confidence in our collaboration with the government to make this project a success. Read more

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Although it is the most talked about, China is not the only Asian economy looking to Africa – and bankers are moving to facilitate the flow of capital.

A case in point: South Africa’s Standard Bank announced a partnership on 23 April with the largest bank in South Korea to provide services for its clients doing business in Africa.

The agreement with Woori Bank, which has been in the process of privatising from state ownership since 2010, aims to support the South Korean lender’s clients even though the bank has no presence in the region.

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