Welcome to the latest edition of Addleshaw Goddard's Africa Business Group Newsletter. We are delighted to present this latest edition which focuses on increasing foreign trade and investment in Africa. We are Markus Perkams and Nathalie Allen, both of Addleshaw Goddard's International Arbitration Group.

Foreign investment in Africa continues to grow, with China and India amongst those leading the way.

Last month saw a meeting in India of over 40 high-level ministers from different African countries with Indian counterparts, including India's foreign minister, to explore how to further commercial relations between India and numerous African countries, such as Cameroon, Ethiopia and Nigeria.  These relationships are very significant and in the last year, India's bilateral trade with Africa reached almost $90 billion.

We have also seen recent projects aimed at increasing investment in and the roll out of sustainable projects in Africa, recognising the need for sustainable projects and the fantastic sustainable resources at Africa's disposal.  Ghana and Niger are focusing on increasing investment, including foreign investment, in the energy sector, with a focus on solar and hydro energy.

These exciting developments come at an auspicious time, just as the African Arbitration Association has released a progressive and forward-thinking model bilateral investment treaty, or BIT for short.  This model BIT aims to reflect the evolution of investment treaty protections and arbitration by reflecting some of the lessons learnt over the years but also by reflecting more of the issues impacting development in Africa today, mainly the promotion of investment in sustainable development.  The model BIT seeks to promote an attractive investment climate that enhances sustainable development by stimulating, encouraging and increasing investments in Africa, as set out from the start in the preamble.  The model BIT also reflects a greater awareness of the need to promote human rights and to encourage reliable business practices. 

In sum, the model BIT represents a new, forward-thinking approach to investment treaties and provides a welcome focus on the standards to be applied to future foreign investment in Africa.

News Articles

India woos Africa with trade, tech and investment

India is trying to strengthen its long-standing ties to countries on the continent as New Delhi attempts to catch up with China, which has emerged as Africa's largest trading partner. Over 40 high-level ministers and dozens of businesspeople from various African countries visited India in July to attend a key investment meet aimed at boosting commercial relations between the two sides.

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Ghana investment promotion center (GIPC) to promote investment opportunities across Ghana's energy sector at African energy week (AEW) 2022

With significant opportunities present across the entire oil and gas value chain, the Ghana Investment Promotion Center, represented by Deputy CEO Yaw Amoateng Afriyie, will be making a strong case for Ghana-directed investment at AEW 2022. The African Energy Chamber (AEC) is proud to announce the participation of Yaw Amoateng Afriyie, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) at the African Energy Week (AEW) conference and exhibition, Africa's premier event for the energy sector, which will take place from October 18-21, 2022, in Cape Town.

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H.E Ibrahim Yacoubou to promote investment opportunities within Niger's energy sector

The Secretariat General confirms participation at African Energy Week 2022 where he will promote investment opportunities within Niger's expanding energy landscape while providing an update of current and planned energy developments. H.E Ibrahim Yacoubou, Secretariat General of the Ministry of Energy and Renewable Energies, Republic of Niger, has confirmed his participation at the African Energy Week (AEW) conference and exhibition, Africa's premier event for the energy sector, which will be taking place from 18 - 21 October 2022, in Cape Town.

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Chinese investment will keep Africa's lithium boom going

The number of lithium development projects in Africa will continue to grow in the future, Fitch Solutions has said.  In a new report, Fitch Country Risk and Industry Research said it expects interest from Chinese firms in lithium to sustain in the long term. Lithium is a critical raw material necessary for the transition to a green economy, due to its use in batteries. According to Fitch, there are currently nine lithium mining projects in development in Africa, far fewer than in the Americas, Australia and Europe.  

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Chinese private security firms are growing their presence in Africa: why it matters

Chinese private security companies have found a profitable niche market in Africa: Guarding Chinese executives and construction sites. They are also securing Chinese vessels at sea against piracy. The growing presence of Chinese private security companies in Africa comes against the backdrop of a global security architecture that is in transition.

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ECA and UN climate champions host African roundtable to mobilise investment for climate-resilient projects in Africa

Ahead of the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the UN Climate Champions hosted the African Roundtable on Initiatives to Accelerate Climate Action and Advance the SDGs and Coordination Meeting of the African Group of Climate Change Negotiators and National UNFCCC Focal Persons from 2-4 August 2022.

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Recent developments in African technology have changed how Africans view the continent

A new report that includes the surveyed opinions of 4,500 Africans from Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana has revealed that the recent wave of technology innovation coming out of Africa is changing how Africans view the continent. When asked if recent developments in African technology had impacted their perception of the continent, four out of five (84.6 per cent) answered "yes".

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Blinken unveils four-pronged us strategy for Africa

Speaking at the University of Pretoria on Monday 8 August, America's top diplomat sought to cast the United States as the continent's partner of choice, especially compared to China and Russia. South Africa is the first leg of a three-nation trip that will also take Blinken to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

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Catalytic investment to improve community health care for millions across Africa

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria is announcing a crucial new catalytic fund to support community health workers across up to 10 African countries. The Africa Frontline First Catalytic Fund (AFF-CF) will provide financing to accelerate and sustain the scale up of frontline community health workers, the backbone of community health services.

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Accelerating trade and investment between India & Africa

A developing entrepreneurial relationship has surfaced in the past several years as a result of the substantial historical, commercial, and cultural ties between Africa and India. This has opened up a huge opportunity to capitalize on the innovative capacity of entrepreneurs in both regions to collaborate and solve urgent problems that affect both regions, thereby boosting trade and investment. This was the theme of the second India & Africa Entrepreneurship & Investment Summit held at the Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya. 

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Investing in the youth is key to Africa's digital transformation and financial inclusion

The youth will drive Africa's digital economy; hence, the need to invest in their skills development to accelerate innovations and growth on the continent, African Development Bank Director General for East Africa Nnenna Nwabufo said. Speaking at the ninth World Financial Innovation Series in Nairobi, Kenya, on 19 July, she noted that the youth are ambitious, enterprising, and eager for change. "Africa's young people are the most avid adopters of ICTs and digital solutions." Recent statistics show that 60% of Africa's population is below 25 years old. "We anticipate a future that will be very different from today in terms of innovation, enterprise, and job and wealth creation," Nwabufo added.

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IFC invests in Uhuru investment partners

IFC of the World Bank Group today announced an investment in Uhuru Growth Fund I, a fund managed by Uhuru Investment Partners (Uhuru), a middle-market private equity firm in West Africa. The fund will provide growth capital to the region's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including women-led businesses.

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US invests over $1.6 billion in 153 deals in Africa last year

Over US $1.6bn were invested across 153 deals in investment markets in African countries in the year 2021, the

President, Foreign Investment Network (FIN), Dr. Alex Itkin has revealed. The key investment markets, according to Dr Itkin, remain Nigeria in the West, Kenya in the East, and South Africa in the South of the African continent.

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Kenyan president presides over ground breaking ceremony of sh91 billion project by Turkish investors

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday oversaw ground-breaking ceremony of a Sh91 billion (US Dollars 760million) investment project by a Turkish manufacturing conglomerate. Speaking in Naivasha, the president said the investment by the Turkish Special Economic Zone SEZ Limited will be a game changer for the country's economy. The president noted that the project will also create job opportunities for thousands of locals.

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African diplomats expect closer economic ties with China

Twenty-nine diplomats from 15 African countries visited the pilot zone for the In-Depth China-Africa Economic and Trade Cooperation Program in central China's Hunan Province from July 27 to 29. They expressed confidence in China's economy and said they expected closer economic and trade ties between their country and China.

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Egypt launches initiative to encourage investment in climate action

The first regional forum organized by the Egyptian presidency for the upcoming UN climate change conference will kick off in Ethiopia on Tuesday. Egypt will host the COP27 United Nations Climate Change Conference 2022 at the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in November.

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African nations expected to make case for big rise in fossil fuel output

Leaders of African countries are likely to use the next UN climate summit in November to push for massive new investment in fossil fuels in Africa. New exploration for gas, and the exploitation of Africa’s vast reserves of oil, would make it close to impossible for the world to limit global heating to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. However, soaring gas prices have made the prospect of African supplies even more attractive, and developed countries, including EU members, have indicated they would support such developments in the current gas shortage. 

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FDI in Egypt surges 183% during q1 of 2022

Net foreign direct investment (FDI) in Egypt grew by 183 percent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2022, to reach $4.1 billion, compared to $1.4 billion in the same period of 2021, according to data from the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE). Thus, net foreign direct investment in Egypt recorded the highest value since the first quarter of 2018, which amounted to $6.9 billion at the time.

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Contributor Articles

Africa leads the way in the development of investment treaty protections

Ahmed Mahmoud, AMG Jillo; Dr Markus Perkams, Addleshaw Goddard; Nathalie Allen, Addleshaw Goddard

It has been argued that Africa has played a pivotal role in investment treaty arbitration.  In 1964, the World Bank convened the first of four regional conferences in Addis Ababa to discuss the creation of the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).  Since its inception, 888 disputes have been brought to the ICSID forum under the ICSID Convention and Additional Facility Rules.  While many have benefitted from the protections within bilateral investment treaties (BIT), as enabled by ICSID decisions, a great many have also disparaged the conduct and evolution of this forum and its processes.  Many of these critics of the current system come from Africa. 

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International Data Transfers – Deadlines for EU SCCs and UK IDTA

The one stop shop solution for managing international data transfers. The EU and UK GDPR rules relating to International data transfers are evolving at pace. UK, EU and global businesses are being challenged to revisit their compliance matrix regularly and adapt of the latest regulatory, legislative and judicial developments in each jurisdiction they operate outside the EEA. Plan ahead and let our solution do the hard work for you!

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Ports partnership unlocks growth potential for Africa's economy

Africa has a sixth of the world’s population. But it accounts for just 4% of global containerised shipping volumes. The reason? Insufficient port capacity. The new partnership that we helped forge between ports giant DP World and British International Investment (the UK’s development finance institution) will help address this, investing in ports and logistics around the continent. In doing so, it will unlock Africa’s trade potential, creating 138,000 jobs and giving 35m people better access to vital goods and food supplies.

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Key Contacts

Markus Perkams

Dr. Markus Perkams

Partner, Commercial Disputes

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Nathalie Allen

Nathalie Allen

Legal Director, Commercial Disputes
London, France

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