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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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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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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

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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China Railway Construction Corp Ltd (CRCC) has signed two deals worth a combined $5.5 billion for construction projects in Africa, Xinhua reported late on Monday, as the country’s railway firms increasingly flex their muscle overseas.

CRCC’s China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) unit will work on a $3.5 billion intercity railway line in Nigeria’s southwestern Ogun state, Xinhua said, citing the area’s state governor, Ibikunle Amosun. Read more

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Starting a new business within the continent of Africa can be as terrifying as it is exciting. At any given time, a fledgling company can come up against a number of common challenges.

From hiring the right people to defining your brand… start-ups must overcome these obstacles to ensure success. This is according to Dan Karua, Managing Director, Lamudi, Kenya.

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Senegal has scrapped visa requirements for foreign visitors and will slash taxes on air fares as it seeks to revive a tourism sector crippled by high costs.

The cost and administrative hassle of visas, coupled with taxes on air tickets, led to a fall in the number of visitors to the country.

The new measure on visa-free travel will come into effect on May 1, President Macky Sall said in an address to the nation late on Friday. Read more