Hogan Lovells Reports on Middle East Investment into Africa
14 April 2016
International law firm Hogan Lovells today launched a report on Middle East Investment into Africa, in association with Legal Week, following on from a conference in Dubai yesterday discussing the same subject.
The report explores how the Middle East is becoming a hub for channelling investment into Africa, as its economies continue to develop. It discusses untapped opportunities, deal markets, capital raising, risks and challenges and the medium-to-long-term outlook for the continent.
The conference, held at The Palace Hotel, picked up on these areas, with a host of highly regarded speakers from organisations including Hogan Lovells, International Finance Corporation ("IFC"), ACWA Power, Amani Partners, Control Risks, ENA Consulting, Iris Advisory and Royal Capital Holdings.
Koffi Klousseh, Principal Investment Officer for the Africa Infrastructure Department of IFC (part of World Bank group) gave a keynote speech on the economic outlook and opportunities in Africa. He spoke about how the growing work force, urbanisation and emerging middle class is driving demand for infrastructure, agribusiness and financial services, whilst also bringing a significant challenge for the creation of jobs. Mr Klousseh concluded that there are exciting opportunities on offer, but that investors need to have an informed long-term outlook.
The conference considered various methods of investing in African markets and the best way of mitigating risk to ensure successful outcomes. The overriding sentiment was that whilst there are significant and growing opportunities across the continent, careful due diligence and forward planning is required to ensure success.
Speakers shared their experiences and insights on doing business in various African countries, highlighting the importance of choosing the right partners, being pragmatic and investing in a socially responsible way. Experts discussed the growing availability of finance and alternative finance (such as Islamic finance) to support the development of key infrastructure and social development projects.
Andrew Skipper, head of Hogan Lovells' Africa Practice said:
"We've witnessed a steady increase in clients from the Middle East entering into African markets, no longer solely in the North and East regions but across the wider continent. As African economies continue to expand and develop, businesses and investors are increasingly recognising the benefit of using Dubai as a base to access the massive growth potential available."
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