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Resurgent Africa – Address by Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group at the opening of the London Stock Exchange

Resurgent Africa – Address by Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group at the opening of the London Stock Exchange

Wednesday 22 January 2020.

Good morning!

I would like to thank Don Robert, the Chairman of the London Stock Exchange Group for inviting me to the exchange. It’s great to be here! It’s such an honour and privilege to be asked to open the market today.

The London Stock Exchange is the 3rd largest in the world with a market capitalization of about US$4.6 trillion.

And Africa is tapping into the London Stock Exchange.

In 2019, Africa had 110 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange, with market capitalization of US$197 billion.

As wealth grows in Africa, it leads to wealth right here also in the United Kingdom.

African economies are growing strong and the prospects for greater wealth creation are compelling.

Last year 17 African countries grew by 3% to 5% and 20 countries grew by 5% and above. Indeed, six of the fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa.

Foreign direct investments to Africa grew at 11% last year, far exceeding the 4% growth in Asia, even as FDI declined by 13% globally and by 23% in developed economies.

This is a resurgent Africa!

The Africa Continental Free Trade Area is worth US$3.3 trillion making it the largest free trade zone in the world.

Africa can no longer be ignored!

That’s why I am excited about the UK-Africa Investment Summit held on Monday right here in London.

It’s time to recalibrate UK-Africa trade and investment. And a good place to start on investments is on infrastructure.

The continent’s unmet infrastructure demand is worth US$68-108 billion a year, offering huge opportunities for global investors.

The London Stock Exchange can help to unlock a lot of capital for meeting Africa’s investment opportunities.

The Africa Development Bank has been a close partner of the London Stock Exchange. We participate on the Board of the London Stock Exchange Africa Advisory Group. And we are delighted with our partnership on the ‘Companies that inspire Africa’ report.

The Africa Investment Forum, launched by the African Development Bank, helped to attract investment interests worth US$40.1 billion last year, in less than 72 hours.

We want to do more to leverage institutional investors. With institutional investors holding £8 trillion of assets under management in the UK, and only 1% of that going to Africa, it is time to change the trend.

The African Development Bank looks forward to working with the London Stock Exchange to deepen the development of capital markets in Africa, and to attract UK institutional investors to Africa.

The synthetic securitization of US$1 billion issued by the Bank has attracted global institutional investors to infrastructure in Africa. The Bank is also working on improving African Capital markets’ access to domestic and international markets’ passive investment flows.

The Bank will be working with the London Stock Exchange Africa Advisory Group to attract a greater portion of the US$5 trillion in global Exchange Traded Fund assets under management into African capital markets. And we look forward to developing green bond markets with you in Africa.

We are excited about the recent listing of Kenya’s Acorn Holdings, the country’s first green bond in the Nairobi and London Stock Exchanges in January 2020.

The African Development Bank also hopes to partner with the London Stock Exchange on our planned initiative to unlock dormant capital from existing fixed assets across Africa, with an estimated value of US$4 trillion to US$5 trillion.

My ringing of the bell here today marks the beginning of a new, exciting, strategic and impactful engagement between the African Development Bank and the London Stock Exchange to jointly expand wealth creation in Africa and the UK.

So let’s get the partnership on its way.

And let the trade begin!

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of African Development Bank Group (AfDB)


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Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.