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FG Supports Google’s Next Billion Users Plan



By Abdullahi Mohammed

Google CEO Sundar Pichai welcomed the Vice President to the meeting held at Googleplex, the corporate headquarters of Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc., located in California, United States

VP Osinbajo Meets Top Google Executives in First Leg of US Investment Road Show
*FG, Global Firm working on making content cheaper, localized, accessible to Nigerians 
*Google Artificial Intelligence Centres coming to Nigeria soon

In line with its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, especially its strategy to diversify the economy by making technology an enabler for forex revenue earnings, the Buhari administration would be actively supporting Google’s Next Billion users plan intended to ensure greater digital access in Nigeria and around the world.

This will afford millions of Nigerians access to the Internet and particularly support content distribution.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, gave the assurance during a meeting with Google executives at the company’s corporate headquarters in the Silicon Valley at the start of the investment road show he is leading to San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai welcomed the Vice President to the meeting held at Googleplex, the corporate headquarters of Google and its parent company Alphabet Inc., located in California, United States.

Nigeria has been identified as one of the major countries where the latest generation of Internet users will come from, and the next billion users are said to be already changing the Internet in three key ways: the prominent use of smartphones to access the Internet, an instinct for universal computing, and a demand for localised content.

The future of the internet is in the hands of the next billion users, as the global technology company has noted, and it is reckoned that the latest generation of internet users will come online on smartphones in places like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and Nigeria.

For Nigeria, the Google Next Billion Users plan is expected to provoke innovation on an unprecedented scale.

In the same vein, the VP and Google executives also discussed  localization of content and content creation to make content cheaper and more accessible to Nigerians.

Prof. Osinbajo also discussed other areas for possible partnership with Google, including the establishment of Google Artificial Intelligence Centers in Institutions of Higher Learning in Nigeria and the establishment of a YouTube Creator space to support Nigeria’s digital content producers and enable them make money with their craft leveraging on YouTube and Google Tools.

Other areas discussed include the expansion of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator Program in Africa. Google has also indicated interest in the policy environment in Nigeria and formulation of policy to encourage partnerships and investments from Google with companies in Nigeria’s technology space.

This is in line with Nigeria’s ERGP plans, and the country’s quest to become a data driven digital economy, knowledge and business process outsourcing hub for the global market, and making gains in terms of the efficiency and transparency of process that a digital economy offers.

Also in Federal Government’s effort of ensuring a skilled work force, it is partnering with Google to increase the number of Nigerians in the global technology firm’s Launchpad Accelerator, and Google I/O Developer Festivals.

Also Google will offer training to Nigerians on Android and Web Development, Digital Marketing and Taking Business Online.

A major objective of the Vice President’s trip is to showcase to the world the progress and strides in the country’s technology, innovation and creative space by Nigerian Start-ups and entertainment industry practitioners.

At the meeting held on Monday in Silicon Valley, the Vice President also interacted with scores of Nigerians working with Google.

The Vice President later met with a series of key technology investors and also visited the headquarters of LinkedIn where he was the Special Guest at the firm’s Fireside Chat in a room packed full of Nigerians in Diaspora among others.

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African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) to pay first dividends to African member governments & other shareholders



ATI has earmarked an initial USD2.5 million in payments to its shareholders which include 14 African member governments


In a much anticipated announcement, the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI)  declared that its General Assembly had approved the first ever payments to shareholders. The announcement comes on the heels of ATI’s Annual General Meeting held in Abidjan, where the company also announced its record-breaking 2017 financial results for the sixth consecutive year.


ATI has earmarked an initial USD2.5 million in payments to its shareholders which include 14 African member governments.


The company’s CEO, George Otieno noted “We have been planning for this moment for several years and I am happy to finally announce that we are ready to give something back to our shareholders. This signals our intention to continue showing value to our member governments and shareholders, while providing non-member countries and institutional investors an incentive to join.”


In 2017, ATI recorded gross exposures of USD2.4 billion and, in the same period, the company covered investment and trade activities across the continent valued at USD10 billion. ATI also posted a USD10 million profit representing a 55% increase over 2016.


ATI owes its strong results in part to growing demand from investors and African governments for their products as the continent continues to position itself as an attractive destination for investors. Africa’s drive to increase trade within its borders is also fuelling ATI’s success.


The African multilateral insurer also announced the Government of India’s USD10 million shareholding, which will be represented by ECGC, India’s export credit agency.



Volume of Business Supported Since Inception: USD35 billion (+40%)

Combined Ratio: 62% (+11pps on a comparable basis)

Insured Trade & Investments (Gross Exposures): USD2.4 billion (+23%)

Return on Capital: 4.6% (+1.5pps on a comparable basis)

Gross Written Premiums: USD44.8 million (+52%)

Shareholders’ Equity: USD242.2 million (+16%)

Net Earned Premium s: USD14.0 million (+9%)

Rating (S&P): *A/stable

Profit: USD9.9 million (+55% on a comparable basis)

* S&P revised its outlook from “negative” to “stable” on 16 March, 2018. ATI is currently rated A/Stable.

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Vantage Capital provides $10 million of funding for Cap Tamarin Ltée, a Smart City property development in Mauritius



By Abdullahi Mohammed



The promoter of the transaction is Trimetys through its subsidiary, Cap Tamarin Ltée, a Mauritian-based diversified real-estate, hospitality, education and agricultural group led by Kian Jhuboo and Georges Talbotier



Africa’s largest mezzanine fund manager, announced today that it has provided $10 million of mezzanine funding to Cap Tamarin, a mixed-used, residentially-focused “Smart & Happy” Village located on the sought-after west coast of Mauritius in a seaside village called Tamarin. The promoter of the transaction is Trimetys through its subsidiary, Cap Tamarin Ltée, a Mauritian-based diversified real-estate, hospitality, education and agricultural group led by Kian Jhuboo and Georges Talbotier.  Since their first real estate project in 1998, Trimetys has developed a variety of different projects on the island which include hotels, sport centres, a shopping centre and a school as well as constructing more than 300 residential units.

Cap Tamarin will create an integrated “work, live and play” environment that is technology-focused, intelligent, innovative and sustainable. Cap Tamarin has already received the prized Smart City Scheme certification from the Mauritian government. On completion, the Cap Tamarin development will span over 400,000m2 and will comprise of residential units made up of a combination of apartments, senior homes (non-medicalised and medicalised), villas and individual houses. A key attraction for Cap Tamarin residents will be a 40,000m2 landscaped park facilitating direct access to the Tamarin Beach and lagoon. Cap Tamarin will benefit from a comprehensive range of public services  such as schools, a smart citizen advice office, a post office  as well as  cultural and innovation centres. The innovation centre will be used by start-ups, SMEs and research-based organisations to stimulate innovative activities which are a core component of the Smart City Scheme. The development will also expand on the existing commercial office and retail spaces.

Warren van der Merwe, Chief Operating Officer of Vantage Capital, said, “Vantage Capital is excited to partner with Trimetys to make our first Mauritian investment in a mixed-use development in a prime coastal location that manages to combine an aspirational island village lifestyle with a strong developmental impact on surrounding communities.”

Zaheer Cassim, Associate Partner at Vantage Capital, added, “Tamarin is an old fishing village that is to be transformed in an environmentally-sensitive manner into a well-planned residential area on the picturesque west coast of Mauritius. The village is surrounded by hills in the east and the beach on the west with the Tamarin River running through it and represents an ideal location for a development of this nature.”

Georges Talbotier, Director of Cap Tamarin, declared “This partnership rewards the achievement of several milestones in Cap Tamarin’s development plan. Supplemented by bank financing and sales, the entry of Vantage Capital as a reference investor, will boost the realization of the project.” He adds, “We need strong partners to achieve such an ambitious project. For us, Cap Tamarin “Smart & Happy Village” is the realization of a vision and we thank Vantage Capital for sharing our values. “

The investment is Vantage Capital’s eighth transaction in Fund III, a $280 million fund, with a 55% allocation to countries outside South Africa. This investment represents the 26th transaction executed by Vantage across three generations of mezzanine funds.

Werksmans Attorneys and BLC Roberts & Associates acted as legal counsel to Vantage in South Africa and Mauritius respectively. Cap Tamarin and Trimetys were advised by Mauritius Commercial Bank’s Capital Markets division.

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Emerging African Real Estate Trends in Focus at The 2018 API Summit & Expo



By Abdullahi Mohammed


This year’s Summit promises to be the most robust and optimistic gathering in recent years as more than 600 executives representing 250 companies from 30 countries seek to capitalise off 3-4% continent-wide GDP growth



Investors and developers are taking a more informed approach”-  Leonard Michau, Broll Property Group.

2018 has introduced more depth in Africa’s real estate markets” – Bronwyn Corbett,

Grit We are seeing growing consumerism in Africa”- Gerard Zeelie, Standard Bank

Entrenched as the must attend and largest property gathering for senior African property investors, developers and decision makers, the 9th API Summit & Expo ( will be held on the  20th  & 21st  September 2018,  Johannesburg, South Africa.

This year’s Summit promises to be the most robust and optimistic gathering in recent years as more than 600 executives representing 250 companies from 30 countries seek to capitalise off 3-4% continent-wide GDP growth, rising commodity prices headlined by $70 oil prices and greater political stability in Africa’s major bellwether economies.

According to Summit host, API Events’ managing director, Kfir Rusin, “Africa’s resurgent economies and property markets are increasingly viewed as a smart destination for investors as global business leaders hunt for yields and growth.”

As he adds, “This year’s theme – Building a Smarter Future for African Real Estate – will build the platform for influential property stakeholders to connect with each other and discuss issues around optimal sizing and restoring global confidence, while also unpacking innovations in building, identifying new funding avenues, and fostering better market transparency.”

The innovative far reaching theme and achievable objectives have gained traction with some of Africa’s largest pan-African property brands. These include its largest bank, Standard Bank, Africa’s most active acquirer of diverse property assets, Grit – Real Estate Income Group, Africa’s largest multidisciplinary property services company, Broll Property Group, and Ethiopian Airlines signing up as this year’s official airline sponsor.

Noted for her bullish views on African investment and rapid acquisition of assets in multiple African geographies, Bronwyn Corbett, chief executive officer of Grit, says, “The most significant factor contributing to a smarter future for Africa real estate is a change in perception around Africa in general and Africa real estate specifically. In 2018, foreign direct investment, political stability and infrastructure improvements have all been catalysts for creating more depth in Africa’s real estate markets, and the world is slowly figuring out the opportunities present on the continent. Real estate has a big role to play in tapping into these opportunities.”

Accessing and ‘waking to the continent’s opportunities’ has been a business advantage and imperative for the Summit’s lead sponsor, Broll Property Group, whose regional and continent leaders attend each year to share insights, debate and network with their peers. As the group’s head of African operations, Leonard Michau says, “Broll is proud to sponsor what is recognised as the leading real estate seminar within sub-Saharan Africa. The API Summit & Expo is well organised, and provides a range of high-quality content, speakers, and panellists.”

The accrual of speakers and ability to interact is a crucial objective for one of Africa’s most exacting funders, Standard Bank’s head of real estate finance, Gerhard Zeelie, as he adds,  “The API Summit & Expo achieves impressive high-level participation from attendees across the continent while providing an important platform for delegates to showcase the trends and themes driving opportunity in real estate.”

Global and regional trends and their relevance and learnings to the API’s Summit’s shareholders – Africa’s real estate stakeholders – is what positions the Summit at the forefront of innovation and driving Africa’s markets forwards by delivering new and relevant presentations and case studies, says Rusin.

“This year, from a new trends perspective; we have some of Africa’s leading innovators including Respublica, The Capital Hotel Group and the Zero Carbon Group delivering first time case studies to African stakeholders on student housing, serviced apartments and prefabricated affordable housing solutions, respectively.”

Additional case studies and presentations unique to this year’s two-day conference include presentations by the Washington State Investment Board, the UN General Council on the future of Africa’s cities, Mauritius’ Smart Cities, the first African Index Real Estate Index Fund and bespoke retail and consumer insights and panel discussions with Novare, Massmart and Sagaci Research.

With Africa’s consumer and retail market estimated to be worth over $1 trillion in two years, the evolving and growing sector is of major concern to the continent major moneymen and the overall economy. As Standard Bank’s Zeelie says, “We are seeing growing consumerism in Africa, with increased use of mobile. The retail market, for example, is rapidly evolving and responding to changed consumer behaviour.”

Having successfully doubled its property investment and development conference portfolio across the continent in 2018 from four to nine conferences due to investor demand and sector activity, the interest in African real estate development is rising and reflects a changing view of the continent’s emerging markets, as Rusin concludes. “Our team’s experience and personal equity with international and African property decision makers has enabled us to attract executive delegates, speakers presenting new data and case studies from across the continent and internationally and we look forward to laying the foundation for a Smarter Future for African Real Estate.”

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