Nigeria: Songhai Editorial (May 2016) - Cote d'Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal

Recent weeks have seen a steady stream of data releases from international institutions confirming the reality that we feel on the ground – 'commodity markets sneeze and (about half of) the region catches a cold'. The canker of corruption, and the broad cast of culpable actors across developed and developing nations alike, has been a theme also. On a more positive note, civil society continues to inspire, even in the face of adversity, as does growth in Senegal, and transactions across the region's real estate, ICT and power sectors.

Donor Data

Knock on effects of the global commodity price slump have led the World Bank to lower its 2016 growth projections for Sub-Saharan Africa from 4.4% to 3.3%. This chimes with the United Nation's Global Investment Trends Monitor report which points to the link between falling principal commodity price exports and 'faltered' FDI flows into Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Similarly, the IMF's Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa notes that a) around half of the region's 45 countries have seen growth fall in 2015-16, and b) the remainder of Sub Saharan African countries has seen performance steady or actually improve. The first group includes both Nigeria and South Africa while the latter takes in a diverse suite of net oil importers and/or countries recovering from shocks, raising infrastructure investment or otherwise improving the business environment. Among them, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal and the Central African Republic. A brighter picture is painted for 2017-2018 though, when the World Bank expects growth to increase to 4.5% on the back of economies such as Nigeria, South Africa andAngola finding their way back on to an even keel.


For now, Nigeria's economy continues to grapple with sharp difficulties e.g. March to April 2016 drop in FBN Quest's Purchasing Manager's Index from 54.4 to 46.5 on the back price volatility, power and foreign exchange constraints. Central Bank Governor Godwin Emefiele painted a sobering picture in his May monetary policy committee (MPC) statement including the first quarter of negative growth "in many years" in Q1 2016. In response, "the MPC voted unanimously to adopt greater flexibility in exchange rate policy to restore the automatic adjustment properties of the exchange rate". Details are yet to come but it is the strongest signal thus far that the totemic USD1:NGN197 exchange rate peg is to be relaxed. The other regional oil hegemon Angola has made its own volte face – turning to the IMF for a USD1.5 billion bailout package – conditionalities (by another name) will follow.

Ghanaian authorities, who were forced to turn to the IMF for support in 2015, won praise for "broadly satisfactory implementation of its reform programme (slippage on the wage bill notwithstanding). Positives noted by the IMF include reduction of the fiscal deficit from 10.6% to 6.7% of GDP in the last four years, a primary fiscal deficit at zero, above expectation payment of arrears and above projection 2015 economic growth of 4% per annum. We also note the uptick in business confidence recorded in the Q1 2016 Association of Ghana Industries business confidence survey. For all that, challenges remain acute. Headline inflation of 18.7% is among the highest in the region. Power supply remains problematic. Over the past couple of months, electricity provision has been more stable not least because of procurement of the controversially costly power barges from Turkey. But now, even expensive consistent power supply is off the cards – load shedding or "dumsor" is back. Just when businesses and consumers were getting out of practice of planning their lives and businesses around dumsor, the menace has returned.

Gabon meanwhile is having to deal with the retreat of Shell which is seeking to sell off US$700 million worth of its assets in the Central African economy. The International Oil Company (IOC) has been operating in Gabon since the 1960s and though it has remained tight-lipped about its divestments, clearly the commodity price slump coupled with Gabon's lacklustre oil production of late – a 30% reduction in the past 10 years- are likely to blame. This retreat may be a difficult sell to the electorate as Ali Bongo will be seeking to hold onto another term in August's presidential race.

Anti-Corruption Pow Wow

In an austerity era, few will dispute the urgency of sealing off the leakages of corruption. Such is the consensus around this point that the London Anti-Corruption Summit was able to side-step the embarrassment of British Prime Minister David Cameron being overheard describing Nigeria and Afghanistan as 'fantastically corrupt'. Asked to comment, Nigeria's president Muhammadu Buhari said first that "I am not demanding an apology from anybody, I am demanding a return of assets" and second that Cameron was not wrong.

It was as balanced a response as could be hoped for in light of what is being learnt about the role of the UK in the movement of illicit funds. Furthermore, no one could accuse the Buhari administration of being lack lustre on corruption. Though they may rightly worry that the current approach rests too heavily on the priorities of the office of the presidency rather than changes to the structure of governance in Nigeria.

At the moment, civil society organisations and the business community may struggle to give governance in Ghana the thumbs up, particularly with the emergence of the report from the Attorney- General regarding the controversial GHC3.6 million (US$940,000) cost to the taxpayer to brand 116 buses bus branding polemic. Having said that, should Nigeria, Ghana and others in the region deliver on plans articulated in London quite some ground will have been covered (see table below).

Bright Spots and High Ambitions

At 6.5%, Senegal is experiencing it strongest growth performance in over a decade – boosted by President Macky Sall's economic 'Plan Emergant' and encouraging growth in agricultural production.

Kenya's social enterprise ecosystem also appears to be pushing forward with companies like New Venture Africa seeking to plug the unemployment gap by linking start ups with high level consultants.

Still on the subject of job creation, Nigeria's business magnate Aliko Dangote says that over the next two years, he will seek to create a staggering 210,000 jobs mainly in the agricultural sector.

What's the Big Deal?

Please see below for a snapshot of the deals we're seeing being done across the continent:

  • In Nigeria, Vantage Capital announced its USD20 million investment in the real estate company, Landmark Africa.
  • And Orange's Orange Digital Ventures took a USD85 million equity stake in Africa Internet Group, owners of the much vaunted Jumia ecommerce company.
  • Still on the digital theme, Ghana's Surfline Communications is set to benefit from 5 million Euro investment from PCM Capital Partners.
  • The hydroelectric power company Virunga Energy is to benefit from a USD9 million CDC Group ten-year loan facility, targeting the construction of new power plants in the Eastern DR Congo.
  • CDC Group has also announced the acquisition of a 10.7% stake in I&M Holdings in Tanzania.
  • Also in East Africa, Progression Capital Africa and Equator Capital publicised its USD12 million investment in Jamil Bora Bank in Kenya.

Key Anti-Corruption Commitments

The table below lists what we believe to be some of the key, tangible commitments made by leadership of our countries attending the London Anti-Corruption Summit.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions