Worldwide: Songhai Editorial - 1 July 2016 (Brexit, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya And More)

One of the most compelling things about a Greek tragedy is its inevitability. Each character acts as they must. The conclusion is predictable, predicted and full of pathos. Buhari's intransigence on economic policy had all the makings of such an epic but he flirts now with a change of script. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the United Kingdom, which in recent days voted to exit the European Union. The implications are obscured by the subsequent policy vacuum. 

Brexit, Now What?

That simple question, 'in or out', has left a great many unknown variables in its wake. Among them – the UK's official negotiating position vis a vis EU market access, the response of the EU and indeed regional governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as bilateral policy toward our countries/region. Overseas development assistance, trade arrangements between the EU and African regional economic communities, remittances and investment flows are all in the line of fire. In fact, the ink had barely dried on EU Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) signed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC) and are still under discussion for the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The departure of the major EU member state with whom many SADC, EAC and ECOWAS nations trade presents a strong argument for renegotiation. Something the EU will be keen to avoid. Contagion may also pass through currency volatility and changes to appetite or ability for assistance. As stated in a rapid response piece written for Addleshaw Goddard, there are contingent dangers where local level Sub-Saharan African programmes and politicians may find themselves newly without funds. (See  www.songhaiworldweb.com/need-to-know/-things-may-fall-apartbut-brexit-what-next-for-africa). 

Political Risk at Home

The UK is not alone. Here too, home-grown constellations of political risk have also been well in view. For Ghana and Kenya alike, competition between the major political parties ahead of elections scheduled for November 2016 and August 2017 respectively has centred around the composition/conduct of their electoral commissions. An inability to remove the commissions from suspicion is a recipe for further polarisation, future electoral dispute and political violence. In Kenya, protests have already led to a number of deaths and there are no signs of the political climate being detoxified. No election date has been set in the DRC and though there has been no constitutional amendment to allow President Joseph Kabila to stay in office beyond a second term limit ending this year, recent comments, the lack of an election date and the conviction of opposition luminary Moise Katumbi in abstentia all point to an extended stay. In Nigeria by contrast, the next general elections are rescheduled for 2020 and risks are therefore of a different species. Here, the terrain is dominated by weak fiscal resources, forex constraints, slowing growth and the Buhari administration's problematic relationship with the legislature. At the nexus of political and security risk, there has been agitation in the south-south/south-east zones and middle belt of the country. All alongside an anti-corruption drive motivated by genuine zeal but marred in part by political expediency.

'No Shame... To Bend in Season' 

In the play Antigone, quoted above, the king sets policy in accordance with his character and a view of the world with which one must sympathise. In the end though, unable to change course, the king's choices lead to tragedy. Nigeria's exchange rate peg of the last 16 months looked set to follow a similar arc. However, this month the Central Bank of Nigeria announced a return to automatic adjustment, thereby setting in motion improvements in access to forex. Similarly, the USD3.9 billion fine on South Africa's MTN for failing to register all sim card holders as required has now been reduced to USD1.6 billion. Former US Attorney General's non-litigious approach appears to have delivered dividends. That said on both fronts, we are not yet out of the woods. There is still a parallel market and President Buhari, who is front and centre of policy despite the CBN's nominal independence, continues to express misgivings about the current exchange rate policy. Similarly, the national assembly leans against the MTN fine at a time when the relationship between the government and the legislature is at an ill-tempered low.

Public Sector Arithmetic 

History doesn't repeat itself but it rhymes. The same could be said of policy across jurisdictions as revenue mobilisation, balanced books, growth and economic diversification continue as oft-times contradictory objectives for leadership in our countries. Nigerian officials have been in China seeking financing in the tens of billions for transformation of the transport and power infrastructure. Ghana's finance minister Seth Terkper plans a 5th Eurobond for the country before the end of the year (and before the expected November 2016 election) targeting its own beleaguered power sector as well as refinancing previous debt. In Kenya, Finance Minister Henry Rotich now projects that the fiscal deficit will exceed its 9% of GDP target in 2016/17. Despite noting the tight terms Kenya should expect from foreign investors, the IMF has been relatively sanguine in its analysis of the situation, citing healthy domestic financing. No double policy makers will like Nigeria look to China, which has played an increasingly important role as a creditor over the last three years. Terkper though, could share tales about how quickly and dramatically the situation can turn around. 

Growth in Quarters 

Terkper could also speak to the fact that some sectors and some companies will continue to perform even in a volatile setting. This month Ghana held a digital economy event in which he noted the rapid uptake of telecommunications services across the country – 33 million subscribers in a country of over 25 million people. In fact, ICT, agriculture or off-grid power solutions are almost always the place the discussion lands in conversations about the shape of the future in our countries. Other good news from the neighbourhood – the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) announced low inflation figures of circa 1.9% and quarterly growth of 7.1% this month, Liberia has once again been declared Ebola free and growth in Cameroon is projected to reach a high of 6% this year alongside headline inflation of 3%. 

What's the Big Deal?

Please see below for a snapshot of investment deals and developments we're seeing:

  • In Nigeria, IHS acquires Helios Towers Nigeria and integrates renewable energy infrastructure into towers. Despite the acquisition, Helios Towers will continue to operate under the same name. 
  • Access Power has announced the award of a USD7 million prize to Mentach Energy in Nigeria, AGES Plc in Sierra Leone and Stucky Ltd in Madgascar
  • The French government is reportedly set to launch a US$60m fund providing concessional loans for private investors in renewable energy in Kenya 
  • The Ghanaian government continues to hint at the eventual privatisation of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG). Consequently, external consultants have been directed to undertake an inventory/revaluation of fixed assets.  
  • The firm Andela has reportedly raised USD24 million from the Zuckerberg initiative to train top developers across Africa. Thus far, the group claims to have trained close to 200 engineers out of a total 40,000 applicants. 
  • Ghanaian President John Mahama has celebrated the completion of 80% of phase one of Brazillian firm Construtora OAS' housing project in Greater Accra. Phase one includes 1302 of the total 5000 homes.
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 Mondaq.com.

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

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
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
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
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

Mondaq.com (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 www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com 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.

Disclaimer

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.

General

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