Cote d’Ivoire and the risk from terrorism

The biggest risk to a slow down in economic development in Cote d’Ivoire over the next 2 years is not a further decline in manufacturing output in China or the United States nor a resurgence of domestic political or ethnic violence.  The most significant risk is the threat posed by the importation of Islamic militancy from elsewhere in West Africa and the Western Sahel.   We identified a lack of preparedness and urgency to deal with the threat of Islamic militancy in Cote d’Ivoire in the government and the Grand Bassam resort  attack was therefore of no surprise.   We believe the risks of Islamic militancy can only be addressed by regional collaboration, a subject countries in the region have until now only played lip service to.

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Grande Bassam Abidjan(1)

 

 

 

 

 

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Risks to doing business in Angola

  1. The Angolanisation Policy Risk

 The Angolan government is committed to promoting Angolan companies and entrepreneurs. This policy pervades a wide range of commercially orientated legislation in Angola as well as the tender policies of many state and privately owned companies such as Sonangol.   A foreign company (“FC”) risks losing tenders should it decide to do business in Angola without a local partner.  Moreover, should the FC wish to engage in the oil and gas sector its Angolan partner must own 51% or more of the business.  In addition, any investment in either IT, transport or logistics, requires Angolans to hold at least 35% of the company’s share capital should the FC wish to freely repatriate profits abroad in the form of dividends.   The risks associated with an Angolan shareholder possessing a majority stake or a large percentage of shares can be mitigated by: i) proper and effective due diligence on the local partner;  ii) carefully drafted shareholders agreement and iii) the Angolan partner granting a power of attorney to the FC for the exercise of a percentage of its voting rights.

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The MTN fine and political interference in Nigeria

Negotiations embarked upon by the telecoms operator MTN with the Nigerian Communications Commission (“NCC”) in the hope of reducing the telecom operator’s US$ 3.9 Billion fine has exposed an interesting new approach by the Nigerian government that should be of interest to foreign investors in Nigeria

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MTN

 

 

 

 

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Nigerian Customs Service: Plus Ça Change?

The Nigerian Customs Service (“NCS”), together with the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the now unbundled Nigerian National Petroleum Company, are arguably the most important state controlled parastatals in Nigeria. In 2015, the NCS generated NGN 905 Billion in revenue, an amount that dwarfs the combined revenues generated by other countries in the Economic Community of West African States.  The organisation employs in excess of 12,000 employees, across all 36 states in the country and is a key stakeholder in the fight against Boko Haram and the illicit drugs trade. In addition, for many decades, it has also been well known for being institutionally corrupt. In many respects it is a barometer for measuring the economic health of Nigeria and in particular the progress of President Buhari’s pre-election promise to eradicate corruption as a cause of economic dysfunctionality and social inequality. Its importance cannot be overstated in such an import dependent economy where the GDP per capita is a mere US$ 2,758[1] and GDP growth is forecasted to be only 2.3% in 2016[2], far lower than the 6-7% GDP growth that is required.

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Col.-Hameed-Ibrahim-Ali-Rtd-CG-Customs(1)

 

 

 

 

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Nigeria: Breakup of NAFDAC?

By the end of 2020, it is expected that spending on pharmaceuticals in Africa will reach between USD 40 Billion to USD 65 Billion[1]. The African market is currently the second fastest growing pharmaceutical market after Asia, with an annual compound growth rate of 12.5%[2].  West Africa has both a large young population under 25 years of age and an increasingly ageing population over 60 years of age and is a key high growth market for pharmaceutical companies.  The initiative by the West African Drug Regulatory Authorities Network (WADRAN) and the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS) to create one drug regulatory authority should further enhance the region’s

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NAFDAC

 

 

 

 

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