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Sunday, 24 January 2021

CDC plans USD 1 bn investments for Africa, including Egypt

CDC Group is earmarking some USD 1 bn for infrastructure and finance investments in Africa in 2021, with a particular focus on Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nigeria, CEO Nick O’Donohoe told Bloomberg in an interview. This will be roughly what it invested in Africa in 2020, he said.

Where’s the money going? CDC — the UK’s development finance institution — is primarily focusing on climate-related and tech-based investments, but is “a big investor in infrastructure and will continue to be,” O’Donohoe said. CDC also sees “more attention” being given to healthcare after going through the pandemic, but expects these investments to be more concentrated in the private sector.

CDC has already made its mark on Egypt’s healthcare sector: Along with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Development Partners International, CDC last year raised USD 750 mn — of which USD 250 mn was earmarked for Egypt — to invest in the pharma industry across Africa through a shared investment platform. The platform’s first investment was the acquisition of Egypt’s Adwia Pharma in November.


Nigeria’s number one lender is looking at Egypt: Access Bank is looking to take advantage of the new African trade agreement and make an entrance into Egypt’s banking sector, the bank said in an online presentation cited by Bloomberg. Egypt is among eight markets identified by the bank as “high potential,” CEO Herbert Wigwe said in a conference call last week, adding that the bank will look to “leverage the benefits of the African Continental Trade Area.” Access Bank has a presence in 11 countries outside Nigeria, including Ghana, Kenya and Sierra Leone.

What’s the strategy? The bank plans to open offices in some markets and partner with established banks or use digital platforms in others. It gave no country-specific information but said it would provide more details “in another month or two, once the arrangements have been put in place.”

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