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Kuranga & Associates Venture Capital

7 Nov

Kuranga & Associates Global Consultancy
Office: 646.481.6263
New York, NY
david.kuranga@kaglobal.net
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com/

Kuranga and Associates Venture Capital Fund

25 Sep

Kuranga and Associates is launching a new 30 million dollar Venture Capital Fund for Nigeria specializing in Small to Medium-size Enterprises (SMEs). The fund is currently in fund-raising stage and expects to hold its first closing by the beginning of 2013. SMEs have a vital role to play in developing economies as they account for a large percentage of the overall growth in the economy. For a myriad of reasons access to credit is a major obstacle for talented entrepreneurs across Africa. The goal of Kuranga & Associates Venture Capital Fund is to help remove this obstacle for talented African entrepreneurs starting in Nigeria. Kuranga and Associates is currently forming strategic partnerships with individual and institutional investors. For more information about the fund contact Kuranga and Associates MD, David Kuranga directly by email: david.kuranga@kaglobal.net, or phone: 646.481.6263.

Kuranga & Associates Global Consultancy
Office: 646.481.6263
New York, NY
david.kuranga@kaglobal.net
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com/

Calling Investors

5 Jul

We are looking for any individual or institutional investors interested in investing in a new VC Fund focused on SME’s in Nigeria. Investments will be targeted at renewable energy, agriculture, and firms that have a solid history of profitability and growth. The minimum investment is 1,000,000 USD for individuals and 5,000,000 USD for institutional investors. If you or anyone you know is interested and would like further details, please contact me directly.

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.
Managing DirectorKuranga & Associates Global Consultancy
Office: 212.363.0936
New York, NY
david.kuranga@kaglobal.net
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com/
http://us.macmillan.com/thepowerofinterdependence/DavidOladipupoKuranga

What does the Euro Debt Crisis Mean for Africa?

15 Jun

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates Global Consultancy, a political and economic risk management firm that specializes in Africa. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

Reports of a possibly uncontrollable tidal wave of defaults in the Euro Zone of countries, first with Greece, then Spain, and finally Italy (possibly Portugal) has sent ripples throughout global financial markets. Exchanges across Europe, North America and Asia have seen a great deal of volatility depending on the outlook of debt rescues underway in Europe. As Greece is set to vote this Sunday between a far-left party that pledges to cancel the multilateral Euro debt agreement or a right of center party that pledges to uphold it despite its unpopularity in Greece. There is a very real possibility that Greece will exit the Euro-zone since there is not much room to renegotiate the unpopular austerity measures that came with the bailout package Greece received. If that were to happen, Greece will soon default on its sovereign debt, further Greek businesses that took loans in the Euro would also default due to the fact that they would be forced to repay double what they borrowed due to currency devaluation. Inflation will also climb to over 30% in the net-importing country.

A default in Greece will trigger great concerns that Spain and Italy will also default. Similar to the way the collapse of the Thai Baht in 1997 triggered the Asian Financial Crisis that rippled across Asia in a contagion and subsequently was felt throughout global financial markets. A collapse in Greece will make banks, creditors, and financial institutions that hold European debt to become concerned of the prospect of a default by another Euro-zone country, notably Spain, Portugal, and Italy. If Euro-zone leaders are not able to provide suitable lines of credit to those countries the cost of credit in those countries will skyrocket, making growth and fiscal recovery virtually impossible. Spanish banks have already been pledged 125 Billion by European countries, the need there will be much greater than this if Greece defaults as the government will also need additional lines of credit. In a self-fulfilling prophesy, both Spain and Italy, and likely Portugal will also default on their sovereign debt. In the case of Italy, sovereign debt totals a massive sum of over 1 trillion USD. In the meantime, given that many banks in Europe hold sovereign debt from these same European governments, average depositors in Europe will make a run on banks. Liquid capital in many financial institutions across Europe will dry-up quickly, banks could easily fail.

While much has been said on how this potential collapse in Europe will impact North America or Asia, not much has been written on what impact this will have on Africa. The country in Africa that is most exposed to European financial woes is South Africa. during the 2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC) South Africa actually experienced negative growth. Trouble in Europe will undoubtedly spell immediate trouble in South Africa. Other countries directly linked to South Africa through trade and investment will also feel the impact of the crisis. The rest of Africa has limited exposure to the global financial system thus the impact of crisis in Europe will not be as severe. However, commodity prices on raw materials will plummet as global demand for such goods declines. This will inevitably have an adverse impact on many African economies that rely heavily on the export of these unprocessed commodities.

African governments that have been borrowing will find it difficult to access credit and a wave of austerity measures will hit even some of the basic rudimentary social services available in Africa. Controversial petroleum subsides in Nigeria will be scrapped, in other countries other programs in healthcare and education are also likely to suffer. The degree of cuts in Africa will depend on how long it takes European decision-makers to wrestle the debt crisis. Talks of a collective Euro-bond have increased as a way of issuing sovereign debt backed by all members. There is also the possibility that the IMF could step in an offer emergency credit to the block if global leaders can agree.

The rapid growth, now seen in many countries in Africa will slow, and some countries in Southern Africa, particularly South Africa could see economic declines as was the case in 2008. While the effects of a European crisis will be greater in Africa than the 2008 GFC, with the exception of South Africa the impact will not be as great in the region as other regions that are more exposed to default risk in European financial markets. Still, African leaders cannot afford to ignore the developments of Greece this weekend. If indeed Greece does default, governments in Africa will need to immediately begin to reduce spending and look for ways to diversify trading partners within the region and with other nations in the developing world.

Kuranga and Associates Global Consultancy is a political and economic risk management firm with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates go to www.kaglobal.net. © Copyright 2012 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.
Managing Director

Kuranga & Associates Global Consultancy
Office: 212.363.0936
New York, NY
david.kuranga@kaglobal.net
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com/
http://us.macmillan.com/thepowerofinterdependence/DavidOladipupoKuranga

Boko Haram: Mali Connection?

14 Jun

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates Global Consultancy, a political and economic risk management firm that specializes in Africa. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

According to the President of Niger Mahamdou Issoufou, the rebellion in Mali has direct links to the terrorist organization Boko Haram operating in Nigeria. Like Boko Haram the rebel faction Ansar Dine in Mali is an Islamic fundamentalist group that has links to Al Qaeda in North Africa. Their common ties likely mean that the two groups have members that train together and are likely sharing weapons and other resources. It has also been reported that Boko Haram has fighters in Mali. The link has led to speculation as to whether the impending multilateral intervention in Mali will lead to increased activity in Nigeria and whether militants will cross from one territory to the other.

The link between Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, and Ansar Dine seems more functional than ideological. The groups are working together along the lines of their common interests. However in totality their alliance does not appear to be as cohesive as has been speculated. The agenda of Boko Haram is as political as it is religious and ideological. It appears that they have financial backing from elite elements from the north of Nigeria. Ansar Dine financial backing is largely from Qatar in the Middle East. Aside from the mutual benefit from training and weapons, they do not appear to have any substantive intersecting interests with Ansar Dine. Still since the collapse of the regime in Libya, more weapons and munitions have been floating around the Sahara region than ever before. Military action in Mali will see the weapons move to other territories perhaps even back into Libya where local lords have carved out territories under their control.

One of the likely beneficiaries of the multilateral intervention in Mali may indeed be Boko Haram. If their strategic Al Qaeda ally Ansar Dine is defeated, their weapons and much of their support could come to Northern Nigeria where Boko Haram has come under increasing crackdowns on their hideouts by security forces in Nigeria. Al Qaeda in Algeria may also get a boost of both weapons and fighters after the multilateral intervention in Mali. Mauritania along with Niger are also both likely to have greater security threats along their western and northern fronts respectively pending the multilateral intervention in Mali. All three states have held meetings in Nouakchott, Mauritania and have stepped up patrols along their border with Mali. Along with Nigeria, all three of Mali’s neighbors are under increased security risk that will not go away with the collapse of the rebellion in Mali. Just as the governments of surrounding countries are increasing their vigilance to guard against the threat coming from Mali, investors and firms operating in these countries need to also take steps to guard against the rising political risks they face as a result of these developments.

See my previous article on this topic.

Kuranga and Associates Global Consultancy is a political and economic risk management firm with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates go to www.kaglobal.net. © Copyright 2012 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.
Managing Director

Kuranga & Associates Global Consultancy
Office: 212.363.0936
New York, NY
david.kuranga@kaglobal.net
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com/
http://us.macmillan.com/thepowerofinterdependence/DavidOladipupoKuranga

Capitalizing on Private Public Partnership’s In Africa

4 Jun

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates Global Consultancy, a political and economic risk management firm that specializes in Africa. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

With the onset of the Global Financial Crisis, governments all over the world have straddled with the limited availability of capital alongside the need for capital intensive development projects in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). In increasing trend in the developing world has been for governments to forge partnerships with private partners as a means of leverage limited resources. There have been several Private Public Partnerships (PPP’s) in Africa over the last few years. The growing trend is that these will increase in the years to come. Political risk assessment and subsequent risk management is the key to succeed in these ventures for both private and public partners.

LEKKI TOLL ROAD, LAGOS NIGERIA

A key example of a recent PPP is the Lekki toll road where the growing population in Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos has created a substantial transportation infrastructure hurdle and some of the worst traffic conditions in the country. The need for new roads and transportation corridors to accommodate the growing population and new housing developments is substantial. One area of expansion has been the Lekki Peninsula Phase I and II. The government of Lagos State in Nigeria oriented a PPP toll bridge from the Lekki Peninsula to the Lagos Island and mainland connection. The partnership was a result of a joint loan taken between the government, the African Development Bank and the Lekki Concession Company Limited (LCC), a subsidiary of ARM Investment Managers. The project expands the existing 50km of the Lekki-Epe Expressway in Phase I, and adds an additional 20 km of road on the Lekki Peninsular Phase II.

Some of the improvements made with the project was to widen the first 23km and upgraded the last 26.5km of the expressway from Lekki to Epe on the main corridor from the peninsula into Victoria Island. In addition a new ramp was installed at the Falomo junction connecting to the Falomo Bridge. The project also installed walkways for pedestrians. The project also consisted of a coastal road and upgrading 10 additional connecting roads between the Lekki expressway and the coastal road. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB) the project is projected to create over 1000 jobs.

Financing

In addition to the 85 million USD in financing provided by the AfDB, total project cost was roughly 382 million USD, or about 44.91 billion Naira required additional financing. The AfDB provided about 35% of total financing. The project was also funded in part by Standard Bank London. The project is supposed to last for 30 years, with the repayment of the private partner coming from the collection of tolls over the time period. The tolls run from between 0.30 USD to 2.00 USD depending on the vehicle used. When the road opened late in 2011 it was the first major public private partnership in the transport sector for Nigeria. The involvement of the AfDB helped to validate the due-diligence process for international partners and provide a stamp of approval for international investors to participate. To date there have been substantial private investment in the telecommunication sector this is the first significant partnership in the transportation sector.

Controversy

Since the initiation of the toll road project there has been opposition, in part linked to opposition to Governor Fashola of Lagos State. There is considerable controversy over the legality of a toll road and the practice has been challenged in court. In addition there has been opposition to the user fees attached to using the bridge.  Many of the services including clinics and hospitals are located on the other side, thus residents have to pay an added cost just to access basic facilities that are presently not available on the peninsula.

Image

The Success of PPP’s and Political Risk Management

The legal challenges and protests that has surrounded the Lekki Toll Road is an example of political risks that could shroud PPP’s. The nature of PPP’s particularly in infrastructure generates a high priority on risk assessment and risk climate in the host country. Most infrastructure projects involve hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars to construct and develop and maintain. They take years to build and construct as oppose to months and weeks with other types of investment. Once an investment has occurred there is almost no way to turn back, as an investment in infrastructure is relatively immobile and must function in the host society in order to generate revenue. Thus in an infrastructure investment, investors are stuck with what they have got in terms of investment climate and there is not much that can be done once an investment occurs. For this very reason, infrastructure investment in frontier economies has been slow, particularly in Africa where there are a myriad of opportunities but a high-level of fear that the risk outweigh the potential benefits of revenues. Thus in the previous decades since independence in Africa infrastructure development has been lead by the state. The state has conceived planned and built much of the existing infrastructure in Africa utilizing its own resources in the process.

Of all the parties that could potentially invest in infrastructure, the state has the least level of risk. The most significant risk being, if there is civil conflict an key infrastructure falls into the hands of forces that are opposed to the state. This has occurred in several countries in the region including Sudan and Cote D’Ivoire, but most recently in Libya. With the limited level of risk, the state has the highest potential of seeing a return on investment (ROI) or at the very least increasing political support with particular constituencies as a result of the investment in infrastructure. With this dynamic the vast majority of infrastructure development in Africa is limited largely to what the state prioritizes and has the resources to execute. This paradigm has resulted in low-levels of investment in infrastructure given the limited resources available to the state.

This dynamic of the government being the primary driver of infrastructure development is changing with the success of the private sector in the telecommunications sector on the continent. Major internet and mobile phone service providers have reaped big profits in Africa over the last decade and are projecting strong growth for the next several years. This success of this infrastructure development has led to the possibilities of public private partnerships in other areas beyond the telecommunications industry to include transportation, air, rail, sea, and roads. There are numerous political and economic risks involved in investing in African infrastructure.

Private investment in infrastructure requires some type of concessionary agreements with the government. Ideally these agreements should last long enough for the private investor to get a high enough ROI to justify the investment and could be for the life of the infrastructure put in place. These concessions are often for several decades or longer. Needless to say, it is unlikely that the political administration that negotiates an infrastructure concession will be around throughout the life of the agreement. Political turnover is the first major risk when investing in infrastructure and other long-term PPP’s.

In this it is possible that future political administrations will not honor the agreements made by predecessors especially if they are under political pressure to disavow them. These risks are not unique to Africa, expropriation of vital infrastructure from private investors is a possibility that investors should consider when investing in infrastructure. These risks can be managed from the onset by tailoring concessionary agreements with expropriation clauses and mandatory minimum levels of compensation if they occur before the expiration of the concession. The risk of expropriation of the telecommunication services is not likely to occur in Africa. Telecommunications are viewed as a luxury, thus the providers are providing something that is not considered an entitlement. Thus it is not likely that there will be political pressure on future administrations to expropriate or nationalize telecommunications infrastructure investments.

Infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and highways, are typically provided to citizens free of cost by the state. Public private partnerships in these areas where a private company will be allowed to charge user fees to the public for access may be a bit more controversial. There has already been considerable controversy in Lagos, Nigeria surrounding the Lekki toll road. The concession made by the Lagos State government has already faced substantial opposition and legal battles. In addition there were a number of “Occupy” protests where residents attempted to block the road. They were supported by opposition politicians who were arrested along with protesters. It is not at all clear that a future administration in Lagos will honor this agreement. Any investment in infrastructure such as roads and bridges, if structured with user fees as the primary means of repayment, should come with considerable risk management from the onset with expropriation clauses and mandatory compensation and payment schedules if that were to occur. While it remains unlikely that Lekki toll road will be expropriated, the risk of this occurring is higher than with the telecommunications investments. As governments open-up to investment areas that have been previously regulated and controlled by the state, there are a vast array of opportunities in Africa for firms to form lucrative partnerships with the state. The key to succeed in these ventures is assessing and managing the political risks.

Kuranga and Associates Global Consultancy is a political and economic risk management firm with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates go to www.kaglobal.net. © Copyright 2012 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.
Managing Director

Kuranga & Associates Global Consultancy
Office: 212.363.0936
New York, NY
david.kuranga@kaglobal.net
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com/
http://us.macmillan.com/thepowerofinterdependence/DavidOladipupoKuranga

#OccupyNigeria: What Now?

30 May

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates Global Consultancy, a political and economic risk management firm that specializes in Africa. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

Attempts to fully deregulate the subsidized petroleum industry failed in January as a result of mass nationwide protests, with demonstrations, marchers, and strikes under the hash tag #OccupyNigeria, which begun over the hike in the price of fuel and the removal of the state subsidy at the beginning of January 2012. Protesters took issue with the subsidy removal that more than doubled the price of petroleum and caused the cost of basic goods to skyrocket, yet was promoted as a necessary austerity measure for the country. The government produced estimates that 8 billion USD would be saved in the budget by removing the subsidy. All the while high ranking state officials continued their exorbitant expenditures, including the presidency, members of the national assembly, and cabinet. The expenditures were for salaries, allowances, and other budgeted items that were clearly not in the spirit of saving given that the state indicated in needed to save and cut costs. The prevailing view was that the president was out of touch and did not care about the plight of average Nigerians.

To defend the programme the administration released statements that the 8 billion would be used to invest in health care, infrastructure, education, improving the downstream refining capacity to reduce oil imports that would all help ordinary Nigerians. Members of the cabinet came forward to defend the administration and support the programme. The minister of Finance also reiterated the administrations claims that the 8 billion would be used to improve the standard of living for average Nigerians in various programmes but offered no specifics or itemized figures or estimates as to where the money would go. No official provided any detailed account as to precisely where the money saved from ending the subsidy would go. Protesters were not convinced by these vague statements, neither were they moved by the administrations attempts to pacify criticism by announcing a slight reduction in salaries of those in the executive. Strikes and protests continued until the government agreed to restore the subsidy at a higher level of NGN 97 per litre. The standoff undermined the administration and caused many in the cabinet to lose credibility including the President, the information minister, the petroleum minister, and the minister of finance.

Decades of corruption in government and a lack of transparency was a major concern of protestors who used the Occupy name to identify with other protests movements throughout the world. The administration did not understand the distrust that people understandably have for government in Nigeria. The fact that they tried to sell the programme without providing any specific account, even from the ministry of finance, as to where the money was going was a tactic that was rejected by the masses. Going forward the lack of transparency surrounding the subsidy removal is not likely to work in the future. Nigeria is no stranger to nationwide strikes and protests. Long before the Occupy movements all over the world and the mass protests that occurred in Tunisia and Egypt, Nigerians have held nationwide strikes that have brought the country to a standstill and forced the government to back down on removing the oil subsidy. The administration has stated that it intends to phase-out the subsidy and has not given up completely on deregulating petroleum prices. If the administration moves again to completely remove the subsidy on petroleum it is likely that more civil action will take place. Labour remains adamantly against any increases in fuel and the masses, which started the protest without ever being prompted by labour unions appear to be in full support.

Since the protests, an investigation by the legislature has unveiled a 7 billion USD fraud in the subsidy program between 2009-2011, calling the program “fraught with endemic corruption and entrenched inefficiency.” Implicated are bureaucrats in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and ministry of petroleum resources. The still ongoing problems of mismanagement in the NNPC regarding the subsidy program has led to a long awaited probe by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) into the NNPC. A number of groups behind the #OccupyNigeria protests have indicated that if those responsible are not brought to book they will once again resume protests. The issue with the subsidy program is the single greatest issue that has undermined the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and many of his key reformers in his cabinet. If it cannot be resolved in the coming months in a way that pacifies the growing outrage over the outright theft by business and government officials associated with the subsidy program, the administration will not be able to regain the credibility it lost in the January #OccupyNigeria protests. What is clear is that if not for the protests, the legislature and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) would not have taken the rampant corruption seriously and would not have taken steps to redress it. The threat and perhaps execution of further civic action may indeed be necessary to ensure a higher standard of governance including greater accountability and transparency.

Kuranga and Associates Global Consultancy is a political and economic risk management firm with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates go to www.kaglobal.net. © Copyright 2012 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

David O. Kuranga; Ph.D.
Managing Director
Kuranga & Associates Global Consultancy
Phone: 212.363.0936
david.kuranga@kaglobal.net
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com/          http://us.macmillan.com/thepowerofinterdependence/DavidOladipupoKuranga

Mali Gold Tax

18 May

As I indicated as a substantial residual political risk in the previous two articles I wrote on Mali dating back to April 5th and the morning of May 17; See:

https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/the-political-risk-in-mali-moving-forward/

https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/investing-in-mali-security-and-political-risk-management-in-west-africa/

Mali instituted a new gold tax of 2% yesterday. In both articles I refer readers to a recent speaking engagement I had in New York City on March 2nd. See:

http://webcast.murdockcapital.com/InvestOp010NovaCapital.htm

These residual risks in Mali will remain for years to come. However, there is still money on the table, provided that firms operating in the country increase their political risk management capacity, the country is just as profitable today as it was in 2011. All major firms that have invested in the country can still move forward with all their plans, provided that they increase their political risk management capabilities.

Kuranga and Associates Global Consultancy is a political and economic risk management firm with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates go to www.kaglobal.net. © Copyright 2012 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

David O. Kuranga; Ph.D.
Managing Director
Kuranga & Associates Global Consultancy
Phone: 212.363.0936
david.kuranga@kaglobal.net
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com/

http://us.macmillan.com/thepowerofinterdependence/DavidOladipupoKuranga

The Political Risk in Mali: Moving Forward

17 May

As I predicted in an earlier article the military junta in Mali stepped down to allow for the restoration of constitutional order. As the May 22nd deadline for elections emerges there is continued concern that the military will step back into power. I have received yet again more queries from investors and decision-makers at some of the firms exposed to the country as to what will happen next. I have done extensive research that utilizes detailed accounts from the last decade of regional intervention in Africa. The accounts, which include minutes from the closed door meetings similar to the ones that are occurring now behind the scenes of the Mali crisis, can be found in my book The Power of Interdependence. I strongly recommend investors, scholars, and political advisers for the African region to read this text as it provides detailed insight behind the multi-lateral interventions in the region and could answer many questions surrounding issues like the Mali crisis.

What Next?

The West African regional block, ECOWAS, does not want the military to return to power in Mali. They have numerous resources at their disposal to exert their wishes and they will not hesitate to use them should it become necessary. For this reason the military will not return to power in Mali. Any attempts they make will be short-lived and will greatly reduce the ability of military leaders in the country to have any say in the future course of the country. Thus all the investors and firms that are concerned of this scenario, need not be. While the road ahead will be filled with bumps and winds, the dooms day scenario that many have been inquiring about is not a significant possibility at this time. This does not however mean that there are no major political risks in Mali or in several other countries in the region.

Investor Related Risks

What is most alarming to me about all the inquiries that I am getting on Mali is the short-term risk focus that many decision-makers have adopted with respect to the current state of their investments in the country. The greatest political risk in Mali is residual and thus will remain long after this immediate crisis passes. It is imperative that the investors and firms that are exposed to the country change their risk-management strategy towards a long-term approach. I once again urge everyone reading this to listen to my brief discussion I gave in March available on video. In this discussion I talk about the case of Chad and how energy investors were subject to hostile fees and taxes from the government after being in the country for a few years. At the time the Government of Chad was facing a security threat along their border with Sudan, not at all dissimilar from the security threat that Mali is facing today. Regardless of whether the principal investment officers at some of the major mining and infrastructure firms invested in Mali today realize it, there will eventually be an election in Mali that will bring about a greater risk than what we see today. Along the road leading to the election there will be political shifts. Further the need for greater resources to face the pressing need to secure the state has already been felt by civilian leaders. Once the election has taken place the risk for even greater political shifts will actually increase and the residual risk for investors will remain for years to come.

I urge those who have contacted me and who have been reading my articles to shift towards a long-term risk management strategy, one that safeguards investments and ensures sustainable returns. I shun those who seek to acquire my services for short-term political advice in situations like these because what the situation requires is long-term political risk management. The short-term crisis that has caught our attention will pass but the real risk for investors will remain. The good news is these political risks can be managed in such a way that will limit the risk exposure that many investors and firms will face in the years to come.

Kuranga and Associates Global Consultancy is a political and economic risk management firm with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates go to www.kaglobal.net. © Copyright 2012 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

David O. Kuranga; Ph.D.
Managing Director
Kuranga & Associates Global Consultancy
Phone: 212.363.0936
david.kuranga@kaglobal.net
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com/

http://us.macmillan.com/thepowerofinterdependence/DavidOladipupoKuranga

Investing in Mali? | Security and Political Risk Management in West Africa

5 Apr

In recent days, I have received a number of inquiries about the situation in Mali and in West Africa as a whole. There is great concern for the stability of the country and what this means for stability in the West African region. Following the successful NATO-backed rebellion in Libya, security and stability in surrounding states has deteriorated. Heavy weapons, and trained fighters have been moving about the desert regions between Libya, Algeria, Niger, Mali, Mauritania and Chad looking for refuge and a new home and perhaps new costumers for their heavy weapons. For the time being many of the ex-Libyan military Tuareg fighters have settled on Mali as their preferred destination. At the present they have secured much of the north of Mali, aided by heavy weapons taken out of Libya to do battle in Mali.

The roughly 7000 man Mali army has not been able to quell the well armed fighters pouring out of Libya into the north of the country. The fighting has caused an estimated 200,000 people to flee into neighboring countries, primarily Niger and Mauritania. Both these countries as a result of the fighting in Mali face a growing security threat that they did not have previously. It is not clear if this threat will spread to other countries before it is contained. In part, due to the security threat, the military in Mali overthrew the civilian government and has taken power. Their primary grievance was the inability of the civilian administration to handle the rebellion in the north. Since the military junta seized power, the rebellion spread further and now reaches further into Mali than ever before.

The West African regional body, ECOWAS at the time of the military takeover was taking steps to provide military assistance to Mali to fend off the rebellion. Regional leaders have already agreed to provide 3000 troops to assist Mali in reestablishing sovereignty over its vast desert territory. However, the regional body has no intention of providing this assistance to the military junta that took power. Regional leaders have repeatedly demanded that the junta relinquish power and reverse their overthrow of the civilian government. They have implemented a series of sanctions including shutting the borders to the landlocked country and freezing assets and declaring travel bans on junta members.

What Next?

Given the response of ECOWAS the junta is likely in its final days. The civilian government will likely return as soon as junta leaders are able to ensure they will not face prosecution for their actions. Once back in power the civilian administration, aided by regional forces will begin to address the rebellion in the north. They will likely take a dualistic approach of both negotiations and an increasing military presence in northern Mali. While the security risk for the region will remain, the regional framework in West Africa will move to contain it and take steps to reduce the security risk gradually. The process through which this will occur is outlined in my upcoming book The Power of Interdependence: Lessons from Africa.

What Does This Mean For Investors?

There have been reports and statements that mining investors in Mali have put much of their activity on hold, pending the conclusion of sanctions and when stability returns. In the long term stability will return to Mali and the civilian government will come back to power before elections are held. As this happens investors should be encouraged to continue to invest in the country and the region. While investing in Mali and in the region as a whole, investors, particularly in the commodity extraction industries should be mindful the the lingering political risks that could impact their fiscal returns. Recently I had a speaking engagement at the Murdock Capital Investment Opportunities Symposium on Friday March 2, 2012 in New York. In my talk I highlighted a case that parallels the residual political risks that remain in Mali and throughout much of West and Central Africa in the commodity industries. See Video: http://webcast.murdockcapital.com/InvestOp010NovaCapital.htm

Investors in Mali and in the West African region will need to enhance their capacity to manage political risks in order to protect their investments and ensure sustained returns.

Kuranga and Associates Global Consultancy is a political and economic risk management firm with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates go to www.kaglobal.net. © Copyright 2012 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

David O. Kuranga; Ph.D.
Managing Director
Kuranga & Associates Global Consultancy
Phone: 212.363.0936
david.kuranga@kaglobal.net
https://kurangaandassociates.wordpress.com/

http://us.macmillan.com/thepowerofinterdependence/DavidOladipupoKuranga