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IN THIS ISSUE Digital Retailing: Reshaping the Face of African Businesses PAGE 1

Investment Trends Around Africa

Country of Focus:

Ethiopia

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PAGE 11

Emerging Ideas

Unlocking the Power of Personalisation through In-Store Wi-Fi

Investors Diary

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RESOURCES: CONTACT US AT PEDESTAL AFRICA LTD. Email: info@pedestalafrica.com Web: www.pedestalafrica.com Phone: +2348084941390 LinkedIn: Pedestal Africa Ltd.

Infographics culled from: Abbakin.com (2018) Statista.com (2018) Internetworldstats.com (2017)

The Paypers - Africa: The Next Ecommerce Revolution (Rossini Zumwal, March 2018)

Cover story culled from Transformation in Africa’s Digital Retail Landscape (Isabelle Lurkin, Jan 2018)

Neo Moloko, Consumer

McKinsey Global Institute: Lions go Digital, Nov 2013

African Powers of Retailing (Deloitte 2015) Trends (2018) Njuguna Ndungu, New Frontiers in Africa’s Digital Potential Venturesafrica.com Itnewsafrica.com Abbakin.com

Emerging Ideas: Culled from itnewsafrica. com (June 2018) Country of Focus: Bashir Ali, Global Risk Insights (Feb, 2018) Investment Trends: culled from: The Africa Report (June 2018) Allafrica.com Itnewsafrica.com


AFRICA INVESTMENT NOTES

DIGITAL RETAILING: Reshaping the Face of African Businesses

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igital retailing has grown exponentially over the years and consumers are finding it more convenient as it makes their lives easier. The retail journey is no longer about merely walking into a store and grabbing something off the shelf; the consumer now embarks on a journey together with a or supplier that has several equally-important touch points that include building awareness and interest, then engagement, and a decision to purchase.

of internet users shop online or expect to do so in the future. According to Abbakin, 89% of internet users in Nigeria are potential online shoppers while 70% and 60% of internet users are potential shoppers in South Africa and Kenya respectively.

Retailing in emerging markets in Africa is on a high-growth path. The global growth rate of e-commerce is 16.8% while Africa’s ecommerce space is growing at a rate of 25.8%. The rising middle class in Africa has contributed to the modernization of the retailing sector and many African economies continue to transition toward consumption-driven markets. The increasing access to the internet is seeing a rapid emergence of e-commerce sites eager to tap into the continent’s growing online consumerism. It has been identified that in some of Africa’s biggest markets, a majority

Source: Venturesafrica.com The likes of Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa are at the forefront of this evolution. Companies such as Jumia, a Lagos-based online retailer, are dipping their fingers in almost all major markets on the continent, cutting themselves an enviable piece of every pie. Jumia is also |1


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among Africa’s best-funded e-commerce sites, having raised US $150 million in funding in 2014. According to a survey conducted in 2016 by Geopoll, one of the world’s largest mobile survey platform, with a network of 200 million users in Africa and Asia, 66% of Nigerians buy items online every few months compared with 60% in South Africa and 45% in Kenya. However, at least 55 per cent of Ghanaians and 51 per cent of Ugandans have never bought anything online. As more people make use of the internet to do their shopping, the demand for devices such as smartphones also increases. The 2017 Accenture Digital Consumer Survey finds that in countries such as South Africa, smartphone acquisition increased from 52% in 2016 and 63% in 2017. Some of the more technologically advanced nations like Kenya and Nigeria boast a smartphone uptake of more than 44% and 30% respectively. Across the continent, the number of smartphone users saw a nearly twofold increase, reaching more than 226 million. This spike in smartphone penetration is steering a digital revolution on the continent, exposing users to the endless opportunities the internet provides. Africa’s retail landscape today is witnessing customers surf the internet browser for a fragmented marketplace, searching and getting exactly what they want. No longer do they have to settle for something that is close to what they want; the browser curates the exact assortment they are seeking, far more quickly and easily than a visit to even a nearby store. Consumers are in complete, 100% control over their journey and their destination. Additionally, they can start and stop at their leisure and start right back up where they left off. On-the-go consumers are increasingly shopping from a place and time of their own choice, leading to a transformation in retail store sizes as focus shifts from ‘where’ the sale takes place to the ‘how’ and ‘when’ to make 2|

a sale happen. Digital technologies allow for ease of services for consumers with things like same-day pick up or delivery, purchasing on mobile devices etc. Across the continent, traditional commercial distribution channels are being bypassed (not replaced) in favour of online content consumption and service provision. The digital-age customer expects more from stores than boxes on shelves, no matter how nicely they are displayed. The physical store needs to be an extension of the complete  brand experience and allow the customer to interact with products in a real-life context.  The business model of the retailer has changed and adapted to these modern trends. According to the PWC’s (2017) Total Retail Survey, about 39% of retailers said that social networks provide their customers with the inspiration towards their ultimate decision to purchases. Innovative retailers have a fantastic opportunity to engage with in-store customers, providing them with memorable digital experiences that will see them spread the word and refer them to family and friends. Africa is poised to become the next big e-commerce marketplace and the significant profitability potential of the continent’s emerging consumers is undeniable. In order to take advantage of this, enterprises will need to be constantly expanding their product and service offering, and developing strategies that meet the demands of the digital customer. There are infinite opportunities on the digital platform, and fintechs are working round-the-clock to develop and introduce new products here. However, these changes will benefit only those economies that embrace digitization, invest in the required infrastructure, and introduce commensurate regulatory technology. As Africa undergoes an internet penetration boom we are seeing shifts in the consumer profile. With more African consumers coming online, their commercial habits are evolving faster than any other demographic


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in the world. By 2020, consumer spending in Africa is forecasted to exceed USD 1 trillion annually. The average African digital consumer is millennial (with an average age of 19.4 years). This is the first generation to have an education, a salary and a bank account. They are six times more likely to have a mobile wallet than the world average. The lack of physical retail infrastructure to meet consumer demands has also created a favourable environment for digital goods and services. Online retail is an easy and efficient option for African consumers. It is predicted that by 2025, e-commerce in Africa  will account for USD 75 billion in annual revenue or 10% of retail sales. With this increasing buying power, we are witnessing greater brand preference. This would translate into some $75 billion in annual online sales and advertising revenue. At the same time, the Internet will enable substantial productivity and efficiency gains in the retail sector, through cost savings, strengthened supply chains, and digitised payment collection. The potential technology-related productivity gains in the retail sector, could be worth $16 billion to $23 billion annually by 2025. Despite this wave of innovation, no African e-tailer has managed to achieve scale across the entire continent; the space remains wide open. To capture the full potential of e-commerce in Africa, companies will need to overcome several challenges unique to the African context. These include: 1.

Logistics and delivery infrastructure. While some major urban centres are well-served by logistics companies, many Africans live in informal or rural settlements that lack clear addresses. (Even in urban centres, existing logistics solutions may not be cost-effective, leading retailers to develop their own services.) Some of those attempting to serve informal or rural communities

have developed models that including delivering to the closest identifiable address, with delivery time and place arranged by phone. They also allow customers to pick up products at their warehouses. In addition, retailers have created their own delivery functions to guarantee delivery service levels. 2.

A poorly developed payments industry and low banking penetration. The lack of financial infrastructure makes cashless payments difficult to establish at scale, though mobile banking could provide a solution to this. To solve this problem, many e-tailers are using cash on delivery and mobile money payments. Some allow customers to deposit cash at bank branches or pay at an agent or store counter. Payment issues are a major hurdle, as current solutions (especially cash on delivery) generate significant cost increases.

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Limited consumer awareness. Although e-commerce is resonating with many middle-class consumers, others lack awareness of online shopping and may be hesitant to trust e-tailers with payments. To build awareness of their online channels, e-tailers such as Zando and Jumia have created a physical presence at markets and malls, offering free Wi-Fi in return for customer data and establishing a physical sales force armed with tablets that will walk consumers through the online experience, even identifying items to order later by text message or phone.

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Investment Trends Around Africa

Samaila Zubairu Appointed 3rd President and CEO of Africa Finance Corporation Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), recently announced the appointment of Samaila D. Zubairu as the Corporation’s 3rd President & Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Andrew Alli who successfully served in the position since 2008. Samaila Zubairu is a distinguished fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and an accomplished Infrastructure development finance specialist with over 29 years of professional experience. He is the CEO of Africapital Management Limited, in which position he established a joint venture with Old Mutual’s African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) to develop the Nigerian Infrastructure Investment Fund1(NIIF1) for infrastructure private equity across West Africa. He also recently coordinated the US$300 million acquisition of Eko Electricity Distribution Plc.   The appointment of Mr. Zubairu follows a six-month search process that saw over 100 candidates apply for the role. Mr. Zubairu will formally take the post imminently. Dr. Okwu J. Nnanna, Chairman of AFC 4|

welcomed Mr Zubairu while stating that “in Samaila, we have identified an individual with the exceptional qualities across deal origination, execution, and capital raising that will continue to facilitate AFC’s ability to deliver transformational change through infrastructure investment as it moves into a new era.” He also thanked the outgoing president, wishing him the very best in his future endeavours. Mr. Samaila Zubairu, AFC’s incoming President & CEO described the Africa Finance Corporation as “one of the most dynamic organisations on the continent. In the last decade, we have seen the organisation grow its balance sheet by a remarkable 400%, produce competitive returns, whilst transforming African economies through innovative infrastructure development and financing.” He also assured AFC of his commitment to the corporation. 

Malawi Seeks Investors for Airport Construction Project Under the public-private-partnership (PPP) model, Malawi is looking for investors for the construction of a new airport in Mangochi District, says Henry Mussa, Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism in Malawi.


AFRICA INVESTMENT NOTES The project is aimed at transforming the air transportation in the country thereby taking the visitors directly to Lake Malawi. Mussa said that the government is further planning to upgrade two other airports to boost the air connectivity of Malawi with the rest of the world. Therefore, he urged the local as well as international investors to help in the construction of airports with modern facilities at Likoma, Nyika National Park and Blantyre. The aim is to attract more foreign tourists in the northern and eastern regions of Malawi, thus boosting economic development agenda. According to the source, the project is in line with the President Peter Mutharika’s ambitious aim to transform the country by attracting global investors to partner government in modern construction projects. In addition to it, the Malawi government has also taken a number of initiative to upgrade its road infrastructure to facilitate tourism in the country.

AfDB Grants US$62mn Loan for Water and Sanitation Project in Uganda In a bid to help Uganda improve health and productivity across cities, the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US$62mn concessional loan to finance its Strategic Towns Water Supply and Sanitation Project (STWSSP). The project, to be implemented in 10 towns spread across the country over a five-year period, is designed to enable the government achieve sustainable provision of safe water and sanitation for the urban population by 2030, to improve health and productivity in the targeted towns. Rapid urbanisation spurred by economic growth is exerting pressure on Uganda’s water resources and sanitation facilities. Demand for urban services by far outstrips supply due to high urban population growth currently at 5.4 per cent, and inadequate investments in urban infrastructure and services.

On completion, the project is expected to provide access to water and sanitation to 390,000 people by 2023. About 150 people will receive training in appropriate urban sanitation. Sanitation and hygiene sensitisation will be conducted in 30 communities and support skills development for economic empowerment of 200 youth and women. The STWSSP is estimated to cost US$69.34mn, of which African Development Fund (ADF) will provide US$62.33mn and US$6.94mn counterpart contribution from the government of Uganda.

East Africa Wins Big at African Banker Awards East Africa dominated the African Banker Awards this year. The awards, held annually on the fringes of the annual meetings of the African Development Bank, celebrate excellence in banking and finance on the African continent. The announcements were made during a gala dinner in Busan, South Korea. The CEO of Equity Group Holdings in Kenya, James Mwangi, won Banker of the Year. His bank has seen impressive growth through a series of innovations and diversified investment channels away from consumer loans. Kenya’s Equity Group also beat off strong competition from four other shortlisted nominees to win the coveted ‘African Bank of the Year Award’. Tanzania’s Dr Benno Ndulu, former central bank governor who finished his second term last year, won Central Bank Governor of the year for his work in pushing for financial inclusion as well as for sound macroeconomic management. CRDB Bank plc, also from Tanzania was named the ‘Regional Bank in East Africa’. South African banks dominated the investment banking and deals of the year categories. Standard Bank Group scooped three awards, including the one for |5


AFRICA INVESTMENT NOTES ‘Investment Bank of the Year’. Standard Bank and Rand Merchant Bank in South Africa took the ‘Infrastructure Deal of the Year’ for the US$5bn Nacala corridor rail and port project in Mozambique and Malawi, one of Africa’s largest private sector funded infrastructure projects. BGFI Bank in Gabon won the award for Regional Bank of the Year’ in Central Africa. Le Crédit Agricole du Maroc won the award for financial inclusion. Ecobank won two awards ─ one for Innovation in Banking and one for Retail Bank of the year, largely for the way it has integrated technology to considerably widen its products and reach.

Dangote, Ethiopian Airlines, African Development Bank Ranked the Top Five Best Companies to Work for in Africa The World Bank Group, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Microsoft are the top five best companies to work for in Africa in 2018. This is according to an analysis dubbed the Employer of Choice Survey released in June this year. Anglo American, GE, Shell, Bridge International Academies and Nestle round up the remaining top 10 respectively, with Anglo American ranking 6th, an improvement by 25 places from last year, when it was ranked at number 31. The ranking is produced by combining the popularity of the brands (how often they are selected for review) with their ratings by survey respondents against a range of criteria. Those factors are combined into a scoring index which is shown against the brands. The first year of the Careers in Africa Employer of Choice Study saw domination by consumer goods and professional service brands. At the time, energy firms were popular, and banks struggled to make a mark. While the oil and gas majors hang on to top positions in spite of reduced recruiting activity, the ripple effect of a 2014-2015 slowdown into other sectors prompted reduced recruitment and increased restructuring for fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands. 6|

According to the survey, “Elsewhere, the increased demand for digital talent and the creation of digital functions within a variety of organisations is changing the talent landscape in banks and telecoms companies, evolving the perception of them as employers and the type of talent they are aiming to access,” the researchers explained. “It may be this which has inspired the significant gains for the likes of MTN and Standard Chartered Bank. Bearing out predictions from the last couple of editions of this ranking, we see the first significant impact from the agribusiness sector, with both Syngenta and Monsanto grabbing top 30 results,” they added, referring to companies in the agriculture sector. The professional services sector has seen a mixed performance as most of the big names suffered significant drops, hit by greater competition for their target talent on top of (in some cases) reputational fallout. This competition is being driven by the digital diversification of leading brands in other sectors, together with disruptive entrants such as Google, Facebook, Andela and Jumia, all of whom the researchers believe will likely secure strong results next year. In a surprising development, given their commercial challenges, Africa’s national carriers have returned to the top 100, with South African Airways (SAA), Kenya Airways (KA) and Ethiopian Airlines securing positions. KA was ranked number 47, and Ethiopian Airlines was ranked number 61, while SSA was ranked number 64. The famous Nigeria-born Dangote Group was down 3 positions from 2017 and ranked at number 59 this year. East Africa Breweries, a leading beer-make for the region dropped 79 positions from rank 16 last year to rank 95 in 2018. From the report, it emerged that the chance to learn new skills was a top attraction for employees in Africa. The survey also explained how Africa’s job market changing in terms of skills employers are looking for.


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CAPITAL APPRAISAL East African Countries Offer Highest Rewards for Investors

Source: Africareview.com (July 2018)

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thiopia, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda offer investors a reward score above the African continent’s average, according to the 2018 Africa RiskReward Index from Control Risks and Oxford Economics. Ethiopia and Tanzania lead the list of the top rewarding economies for the second time, with Kenya following in fourth position after Côte d’Ivoire. Strong improvements on both the reward and the risk side make Uganda one of the strongest performers of the June 2018 edition of the Africa Risk-Reward Index. Daniel Heal, senior partner for East Africa at Control Risks, said, “Ethiopia with its impressive reward score of 7.94 out of 10 offers opportunities for investors specifically in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors which continue to demonstrate high levels of growth. The government’s new privatisation push in the energy, telecoms and logistics sectors also offer new and exciting opportunities for investors. However, its risk score of 5.79 is also above the continent’s average of 5.54 due to the ongoing political transition under new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who will need to delicately balance the interests of the political elite with opposition demands for the opening of political space.

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With great economic potential across sectors from energy to agro-processing, Tanzania remains an interesting but volatile target for potential investors. However, the country’s continuously high reward score is overshadowed by a high risk score of 5.72. After Kenya’s protracted 2017 election period and consequently reduced investment levels, 2018 is an exciting year for investment opportunities in Kenya. Kenya’s reward score remains one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa and the ruling Jubilee Party of Kenya continues its probusiness policies. However, improving relations between the government and the opposition will be instrumental in ensuring that political tensions do not undermine economic growth, and more prudent fiscal and macroeconomic policies are needed to maintain positive economic prospects. Uganda ranks among the top economies in the 2018 Africa RiskReward Index when it comes to positively changing its scores. Relative political stability under President Yoweri Museveni means that priority national projects such as oil production or infrastructure projects face few policy or bureaucratic delays.


AFRICA INVESTMENT NOTES

POLICY MATTERS African Leaders Call for Transparency, Good Governance to Speed up Infra Development

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frica investor (Ai), the international investment and communications group, and Africa50, the panAfrican infrastructure investment platform, co-hosted the fourth Ai CEO Infrastructure Project Developers Summit on June 18 in Mauritius. The Summit was opened by Paramasivum Pillay Vyapoory, acting President of Mauritius, and closed by Aziz Rebbah, the minister of energy, mines and development of Morocco, who both emphasised the need for good governance, transparency and committed political leadership to speed up the process of approving and implementing infrastructure projects. “We need effective public-private collaboration to prioritise reaching rapid financial close on projects. This will demonstrate to private capital that early stage commercial project development in Africa is an attractive investment opportunity,” said, Ai CEO Hubert Danso According to Africa50 CEO Alain Ebobisse, “the game changer will be when enough public and private sector stakeholders realise

that the opportunity cost of delayed project implementation is too high. We must reach a consensus that it is in everyone’s interest to bring projects to financial close and operations more quickly and at a larger scale.” This was echoed by African Development Bank’s vice president for power, energy, climate and green growth, Amadou Hott, who emphasised the Bank’s growing focus on the private sector and rapid project implementation. The summit made a plea to the governments to show the political will to fast track projects and act with transparency and create stable institutions and a positive regulatory framework. As highlighted by the Mauritian President and the Moroccan minister, countries that have been successful, including their own, have master plans for infrastructure that they have implemented consistently over the long term, coupled with transparent, fair prices that reflect risks at every stage of a project. Overall, this year’s summit helped cement the consensus that it is in everyone’s interest to bring infrastructure projects to financial close and operation as quickly as possible.

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Investors Diary Africa Oil & Power Returns to Cape Town

and top executives from the private sector from across Africa.

For the third year running, Cape Town is host to the flagship Africa Oil & Power conference, connecting Africa’s top leaders in petroleum and power sectors on the 5th-7th of September,2018. AOP 2018 is the premier platform for energy investment and policy discussions for the entire continent. Present at the conference will include ministers, senior government officials

Africa Oil & Power’s theme for 2018 concentrates on the best way to drive Africa’s energy sectors forward — through energy coalitions, from regional cooperation at the government level and private companies coordinating on development and financing deals to how the private and public sectors can collaborate together.

Africa Investor Summit 2018

buy-side investor communities key insights to the industry’s challenges and opportunities to interact with peers on ground-breaking innovative industry processes, in discussions

LanteOTC Africa investor Summit coming up on 26 September, 2018 at Johannesburg Stock Exchange - Sandton, South Africa will offer 9|


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led by global industry leaders. The event brings together some of the top investors and prominent thinkers in Venture Capital, Private Equity, Legal and everywhere in between.

Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE) An annual International Conference and Exhibition organised by Society of Petroleum Engineers (Nigeria Council), scheduled to hold on 6th - 8th of August 2018 at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island Lagos, Nigeria. The international conference and exhibition event is designed to help participants Showcase their latest innovations and technologies, meet and interact with experts from other companies, potential and current customers, have an insight into customer feedback and valuable sales leads, gain access to network and limitless business opportunities and have a great knowledge on how to identify new potential customers including suppliers and partners. The exhibitions are strictly for local and international major operating companies and service providers, consultancies, drilling and completion specialists, HSE Experts, training and education institutions, projects, facilities and construction companies, software and IT companies.

Africa Investment Forum

November 7-9, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Africa Investment Forum is a transactional marketplace dedicated to advancing projects to bankable stages, raising capital, and accelerating the financial closure of deals.

Global Commodity Trade Finance Conference GTR’s annual Commodity Trade Finance Conference, organised in partnership with the Lugano Commodity Trading Association (LCTA), returns on September 27. Set to gather over 200 commodity trade experts from multinationals, trading companies, financial institutions and service providers, the event will assess the key trends impacting global commodity markets and trade, from geopolitical volatility to commodity financing appetite and liquidity.

Real Estate Unite The Real Estate Unite Conference coming up on 17th-19th September, 2018 at Eko Hotels Lagos has been designed to offer the greatest possible value and flexibility to operators, owners, users and players in all sectors of real estate including the residential, office, retail, healthcare, hospitality, logistics, leisure and industrial sectors. You have a choice of attending all the sessions in one theme area or selecting up to four various topics in two or more theme areas to make up your itinerary for the day.

The African Development Bank is championing the inaugural Africa Investment Forum (AIF) a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary collaborative platform for the economic and social development of the continent by | 10


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COUNTRY OF FOCUS FOR AUGUST

Ethiopia

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thiopia is driving economic growth through the government’s laser-like focus on sectors such as manufacturing, energy and infrastructure. A notable example can be found in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) where Ethiopia plans to leverage the Blue Nile to become Africa’s largest exporter of electricity. Although the GERD will boost the economy and meet Ethiopia and its neighbour’s energy needs the plan is facing severe pushback from Egypt which is traditionally the kingmaker when it comes to the River Nile. How Ethiopia negotiates this risk will be a key indicator of whether it achieves its goal of becoming a regional power supplier to neighbouring countries vis-à-vis Tanzania, Uganda and Sudan. In terms of infrastructural investments, Ethiopia is fast becoming a destination of choice for Chinese investors. 2018 was ushered in with the opening of the Addis Ababa–Djibouti Railway which cost $4 billion and was funded by Chinese state-owned rail and construction firms as part of China’s transformative One Belt One Road Initiative. The Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway connects the landlocked Ethiopia to Djibouti’s port which is significant as Djibouti handles 95% of Ethiopia’s cargo. With a growing population of 105 million Ethiopia is waking up to the

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perils of its landlocked status and dependence on Djibouti’s ports as proven by its recently acquired stake in Somaliland’s Berbera port. The ways in which Ethiopia capitalises on its economic linkages with neighbouring states will be key to it reaching lower-middle income status by 2025. In addition to state-led Chinese investment, private Chinese companies have also invested in Ethiopia, creating over 28,000 jobs, mainly in the manufacturing sector. It was during the 21-year reign of autocrat Meles Zenawi that Ethiopia put in motion its industrial strategy that prioritises labour intensive sectors such as manufacturing as a means to create employment opportunities for its large and mostly poor population. Ethiopia has seen some success in manufacturing due to the creation of various industrial parks and the reduction of bureaucratic red tape for businesses through the introduction of “one-stop shop” type regulatory

services from the government. Ethiopia’s new-found economic confidence is embodied by its state-owned, national carrier Ethiopia Airlines which has grown to become one of the world’s fastest growing airlines. Ethiopia Airlines recently overtook South Africa Airways to become Africa’s largest carrier in terms of revenue and profit.

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EMERGING IDEAS

Unlocking the Power of Personalisation through In-Store Wi-Fi

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he exponential rise of disruptive technology trends has added a new dimension to consumer expectations. Connectivity is now one of the most critical differentiators and businesses have no choice but to provide customers with internet connectivity while they are onsite.

The creation of a fully-integrated omnichannel communication and data-capturing system – a system which allows customers to interact with and form long-lasting relationships with the brand – is the deciding factor for those brands that want to entrench their position in the local mall and keep customers from wandering off to the convenience of smartphone shopping. Accenture found that 75% of consumers are far more likely to buy from a retailer that

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remembers their name, recognises their preferences and pays attention to their past history. In effect, the shopping experience has gone full circle, swinging back from the crass commercialisation towards the deft touch of the store owner and personal shopper. “When a customer can hear, see and interact with the retailer through services tailored to their specific needs, it results in a strong and loyal community,” says Réan van Niekerk, CEO of Metacom.

Connecting with the customer The concept of connecting with the customer may seem simple, but the reality is that implementing solutions that can engage on any meaningful level with the customer is complex. “The bricks and mortar store may still hold some of the advantage when it comes to developing personal relationships with customers, but they can only deliver on this with data, analytics and insights that can be costly and time consuming. The reality is that cultivating the customer and their loyalty is difficult and the retailer needs an edge.

and gain a deeper understanding of the customer’s buying habits and lifestyle preferences. This in turn helps the retailer to proactively influence customers and increase revenue. When demographics, customer behaviour data and data collected at opt-in are combined, retailers are presented with many more marketing opportunities. The retailer can include a short survey to gain qualitative data on customer insights and expand on their database, they can also use free Wi-Fi with dedicated landing pages to market new products through interactive campaigns. These managed Wi-Fi solutions are seeing rapid adoption as the retail sector recognises their value. A managed Wi-Fi solution means that once customers opt in, retailers can gather key analytics and knowledge, which they can use to gain a powerful competitive edge “Retailers can use this data to offer customers individually-targeted and personalised promotions and instore experiences. A customer could be greeted by name and offered a discount on an item that they’re interested in. Staff can also assist customers throughout the store with inquiries, which minimises the amount of time customers spend in queues. Through analytics, data and insight managed Wi-Fi services are unlocking the doorway to customer loyalty and engagement. By personalising the experiences and recognising shopper individuality, retailers can gain a competitive edge in an increasingly internet-driven world.

Managed Wi-Fi Solutions to deliver Insights Internet connectivity is fast becoming an expected service offering in Africa. Customers demand it, and it gives the retailer the ability to create experiences | 14


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FDI FLASH

Bayo Ogunlesi, Nigerian, acquires Italian railway company ‘Italo trains’

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n a mega investment deal, Nigerian born Bayo Ogunlesi, a former investment banker, through his company Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), has acquired Italo Trains, an Italian railway company. Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), a leading independent, global infrastructure investor, announced recently that its third equity fund, Global Infrastructure Partners III, has agreed to acquire 100 percent of the equity interest of Italian railway operator Italo-Nuovo Transporto Viaggiatori S.p.A. (Italo) for 1.94 billion Euros in cash.

Italo, headquartered in Rome, is the first and only private operator in the European highspeed rail passenger transportation market, and the second largest operator in Italy, with a market share of more than 35 percent in terms of passenger/km per year. It would be recalled that Adebayo made a milestone last year as one of the African entrepreneurs to acquire 3 foreign airports in 6 years. The airports were acquired through his private firm, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP).

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AFRICA INVESTMENT NOTES , AUGUST 2018: Digital Retailing - Reshaping the Face of African Business  

Digital retailing has grown exponentially over the years and consumers are finding it more convenient as it makes their lives easier. The re...

AFRICA INVESTMENT NOTES , AUGUST 2018: Digital Retailing - Reshaping the Face of African Business  

Digital retailing has grown exponentially over the years and consumers are finding it more convenient as it makes their lives easier. The re...

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