Ghanaian independent power project sponsor Cenpower proved that African money can finance African private sector infrastructure initiatives by raising $900m in project finance to develop the Kpone Independent Power Plant.
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South Africa’s growth has been sluggish of late but the country’s financial sector remains one of the world’s most sophisticated, while the government’s reforms are allowing businesses to tap into fast-growing markets in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa more easily.
Algeria’s banking sector is one of the biggest in Africa, but it is also one of the most opaque and is dominated by state banks. Yet private lenders, all of which are foreign-owned, still find ways to operate profitably and many are wanting to expand.
Kenya’s Equity Bank is determined to launch a new mobile banking product that has the potential to shake up an industry dominated by the creator of M-Pesa, Safaricom. Experts say that while Equity could present serious long-term competition for Safaricom, it has its work cut out.
Ecobank’s reputation took a battering last year as it became mired in a well-publicised corporate governance crisis. Its new chief executive, Albert Essien, has restored some calm, and he tells Paul Wallace how he hopes to make the kind of returns that will entice more international investors to buy its stock.
Awash with hydrocarbons and boasting a highly liquid banking sector, Libya's potential is vast. However, continued political and social unrest, combined with the dominant position of state-owned banks, mean that the country's private sector banks have numerous obstacles preventing them from realising this potential.
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