Africa Infrastructure Report 2009
The 2009 Annual Report of the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa is now available. Launched at the G8 Gleneagles Summit in 2005, the role of the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa is to help improve the lives and economic well-being of Africa’s people through encouraging, supporting and promoting increased investment in infrastructure in Africa, from both public and private sources. Using its convening power, the ICA acts as a catalyst – enhancing, accelerating and precipitating the development of Africa’s infrastructure.
The ICA also works to help remove some of the technical and policy challenges and barriers to building more infrastructure and to better co-ordinate the activities of its members and other significant sources of infrastructure finance, such as China, India and Arab partners.
Download the report here:
- Annual Report - 2009 [PDF 5.2mb]
- Download Annual Report Overview - 2009 [PDF 3.1mb]
Launch of New Infrastructure Fund For Africa
A new investment fund dedicated to infrastructure financing in Africa has just been created by Argan Invest, a member of the group FinanceCom.
Argan Infrastructure Fund (ARIF) will invest in several sectors of infrastructure, such as energy, transport and logistics, telecommunications and infrastructure-related industries, reports a press release from Argan Invest published Friday 17 December 2010.
"The impact of infrastructures on the development of emerging markets, economic and demographic growth (…) and the promotion of public-private partnerships are all key factors making infrastructures a new viable asset class within the African continent", explained Mehdi Tahiri, managing director of Argan Invest.
The fund so far holds over 88 million dollars, and aims to reach 236 million dollars.
Forty percent of these investments will be made in Morocco, 30 percent in other countries in North Africa and 30 percent in sub-Saharan African countries.
Small business loans approved in "minutes"
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Small Business Administration announced two new lending initiatives on Wednesday aimed at getting relatively modest loans to small businesses quickly.
The idea is to get loans under $250,000 into the hands of small businesses efficiently: Applications are only 2 pages long and can be approved in anywhere from "minutes" to 10 days, according to the SBA. Greater access to credit should help spur firms to grow and hire, giving the economy a boost.
"Many entrepreneurs and small business owners across the country have enormous potential to drive economic growth and create good-paying jobs in their local communities, but too often they face barriers in fulfilling that potential," said Catherine Hughes, chairperson of the SBA's new Advisory Council on Underserved Communities, in a written statement. Banks have been slow to lend to small businesses, even as credit availability has eased since the global financial crisis hit. More than three-quarters of small businesses that applied for a loan during the first half of 2010 received only "some" or "none" of the credit they desired, according to a New York Federal Reserve report released in October. Unlike big corporations, which can issue stock, sell bonds or take other measures to raise cash, small businesses are largely at the mercy of banks for financing.
But big banks have complained that it often doesn't pay for them to spend time and resources administering a small loan. The SBA's new Small Loan Advantage incentive cuts the paperwork burden. Larger banks that are already so-called "preferred" lenders can make loans through its flagship 7(a) lending program up to $250,000, and get them approved quickly by submitting a single-page credit memo, according to Jonathan Swain, assistant administrator for the SBA.
Loans submitted electronically "will be approved in minutes," according to the SBA. Other applications will be approved within one business day. Some 630 banks are preferred lenders and have the authority to approve loans independently. As with a normal 7(a) program, the loans are guaranteed at 85% up to $150,000 and 75% over $150,000.
A second initiative, called Community Advantage, aims to get SBA-backed loans to underserved communities, such as minority-, women-, and veteran-owned businesses, as well as firms in lower-income or rural areas. The program encourages borrowers to develop a business plan and work with advisors. Applications should be approved within 5 to 10 days. Instead of banks, the three-year pilot program operates via alternative, community-minded lenders like Community Development Fund Institutions, nonprofit Certified Development companies and approved micro-lending intermediaries. These organizations haven't previously been able to access government loans through the 7(a) program.
"We are taking steps that will increase the number of places small business owners in underserved communities can go to get loans," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills in a statement.
Both programs are expected to be up and running by March 15.
First Published: December 15, 2010: 2:10 PM ET from CNN Money
New Addition to Libera Team
Libera Partners has engaged Mr. Okezie Ofoegbu as a Principal in its consulting/advisory business. Mr. Ofoegbu joins Libera from Emerging Capital Partners (ECP) where as Vice President he was part of a team that invested and managed $1.8 billion of private equity funds in frontier markets with a particular focus on Africa. While at ECP, he led and participated in the development and management post-investment of an over $200 million portfolio covering telecommunications, financial services, logistics, chemical/industrial companies, oil and gas and agro-allied businesses. Prior to ECP, he was Staff Infrastructure Analyst with ExxonMobil's Upstream $100 million operations in Nigeria. His role at ExxonMobil included business analysis, project development and management, business process improvement and technology infrastructure development. He currently seats on the advisory board of LoftyInc, a business incubator with businesses in United States, Nigeria and Ghana. Okezie has an MBA in Finance, Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania and BSc. in Computer Engineering from the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria. The management of Libera welcomes Okezie on board.