Cov Africa

Investment and Risk Mitigation

With an emerging middle class of 400 million people, 10 of the fastest growing economies globally, and the most youthful population of any region, Africa is a continent of significant opportunity. There are also risks, as there are anywhere, including the challenge of combatting corruption, navigating opaque regulations and developing a skilled workforce. Below are tips for business success in Africa:   Build Personal Relationships: Most Western businesses are data driven and transactional in nature.…
Africa’s Growth Prospects. Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow at 3.8 percent in 2019, which is a significant improvement over last year’s regional growth rate of 2.6 percent. Excluding the continent’s largest economies (Angola, Nigeria and South Africa), which are growing collectively at an average of 2.5 percent, the aggregate growth rate for the region would be a healthy 5.7 percent. According to Foresight, about half the of world’s fastest growing…
New York, January 29, 2018 — Jay Ireland has joined Covington as a senior advisor in New York. Mr. Ireland has nearly four decades of senior executive experience across a number of industry sectors, including telecommunications and media, healthcare, energy, financial services, and manufacturing. Most recently, he served as President and CEO of GE Africa, where he was responsible for expanding the company’s footprint across Sub-Saharan Africa in power generation, healthcare, transportation, oil and gas,…
Tebogo Movundlela is the CEO of Aurora Wind Power, which is operating the West Coast 1 wind farm in South Africa. Owned by a consortium formed by Engie and South African investors (Investec Bank Limited and Kagiso Tiso Holdings), Aurora Wind Power celebrated the commercial operation of its 94 MW wind farm in June 2015. Secured in the second bidding round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme organized by South African…
Vive le Prezida!  Madagascar Presidential Elections of 2018 In November and December 2018, Madagascar went through two rounds of presidential elections. These were supposed to pull the country out of its marasmus of irregularly changing leaders that bedeviled its entire 20th century history. In 2001, election results were disputed: victory was claimed both by Didier Ratsiraka, the on-and-off President for the previous quarter century, and by Marc Ravalomanana (Marc), the mayor of Antananarive (Tana),…
Last week, the Trump administration launched an Africa policy that seeks both primacy and partnership on the continent. The administration’s efforts at partnership, especially as it relates to promoting U.S. business on the continent, are likely to be far more lasting and consequential. Ambassador John Bolton set the tone for the administration in a speech where he challenged African governments to choose the United States over China and Russia for their commercial, security, and political…
This is the first of a three-part blog series modified from the Renewable Energy Law Review’s Chapter on South Africa, written by Covington’s Lido Fontana and Sharon Wing. The full article as published in the Law Review is available here. The fundamental driver for renewable energy projects in South Africa remains the Renewable Energy Independent Power Production Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) of the Department of Energy (DoE). Prior to the formal launch of REIPPPP in…
In March 2017, World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim announced that the World Bank would provide a record $57 billion in financing for projects in sub-Saharan Africa in the 2018–2020 fiscal year period. Consistent with that commitment, the World Bank’s most recent annual report indicates that $19.8 billion was issued to partner countries and businesses in sub-Saharan Africa in the 2018 fiscal year. Moreover, the African Development Bank (“AfDB”) reached its highest ever disbursement…
  We are pleased to share that partner Ben Haley has relocated to the firm’s Johannesburg office to lead the firm’s Africa-focused compliance and investigations efforts. Mr. Haley joins another recent addition to the Johannesburg office, Robert Kayihura, who will lead the office’s Public Policy and global problem solving practice. Mr. Haley is an experienced compliance and investigations lawyer who assists corporations and individuals in navigating the dynamic enforcement environment. In addition to representing…
In 1998, China announced its “go out” or “go global” policy aimed at encouraging its enterprises to invest overseas. In 2013 this policy was reinforced with China’s introduction of its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) or “Belt & Road” initiative, which seeks to enhance development and trade routes in the region, connecting China with other countries along the ancient Silk road and a new Maritime Silk Road. Significant international anxiety has been expressed about China’s…