The Brief: PwC Appoint Nadine Tinen, Solar Park Freetown Project Commences, and 2018’s Top 5 Business Risks for Doing Business in West Africa

Nadine Tinen intends to grow PwC's revenue in the Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa region by more than 40% by 2022.

(Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC)

PwC Appoint Nadine Tinen to Lead the Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa Region

Nadine Tinen has been named Regional Senior Partner of PwC Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa. Receiving the appointment on 1 July 2017,  Ms. Tinen takes over from Edouard Messou.

A graduate of the University of Bourgogne (Dijon), where she earned a DESS postgraduate diploma in Tax Law, a Magistère specialised postgraduate diploma in Corporate Law, Tax and Accounting and an international diploma in European Tax Law (Diplôme International de Droit Fiscal Européen), Nadine has become widely regarded in the field for her expert advice to businesses over the past 20 years.

Commencing her career in 1996 at PwC Cameroon, she became a partner ten years later. She went on to take over the Firm’s Cameroon practice in 2010, before joining the Leadership Team for PwC Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa as Tax & Legal Leader, in 2014.

“Africa is a continent on the move, with an important role to play in the future of global affairs. In 2050, Africa will represent 12% of global wealth. Demographic, economic and social change is underway on the continent, and it’s happening now. This is why we need to work with the stakeholders in African development – spanning society, local communities and national, pan-African and even international businesses – to help them carry out their projects, from the initial strategy phase right up to completion. We believe that helping these stakeholders grow will allow us to contribute toward the development and promotion of Africa as a whole,” she said.

President Koroma of Sierra Leone Commences 6MW Solar Park in Freetown

The Solar Park Freetown project was inaugurated and commenced by His Excellency The President of Sierra Leone, Dr Enest Bai Koroma.

Led by former Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Samura Kamara and Hon. Minister of Energy, Henry Macauley, the landmark project will provide substantial access to clean renewable and sustainable electricity to both urban and western rural districts around the country’s capital, Freetown, a first in the history of the country.

Funded by the Sierra Leonean Government and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development, the project is expected to take 12 months to complete at a projected cost of USD12.6 million.

Global Risk Consultancy, Control Risks, Names its Top 5 Business Risks for West Africa

With investor confidence expected to experience a boost in 2018, as Nigeria exits the recession of 2017, specialist global risk consultancy, Control Risks, names factors such as political instablity in the run up to Nigeria’s 2019 presidential elections, and ongoing security concerns among the key risks for businesses operating in the region, in their annual political and security risk forecast ‘RiskMap’.

“2017 has been a tough and turbulent year for businesses in the region, however with Nigeria exiting recession, and foreign exchange shortages easing, we see a strong improvement in investor sentiment emerging. Another major engine of growth will be Cote d’Ivoire, where economic expansion is projected at around 7% next year. There will be only a handful of elections in the region in 2018, meaning continuity will largely prevail with policy decisions having the biggest impact on the business environment.”

“In Nigeria however, although presidential elections are next slated for 2019, campaigning has already started. The uncertainty that generates, as well as the need for cash that an election brings, mean that political instability and regulators whose actions will be difficult to predict remain among our top risks for businesses in the year ahead.” says Tom Griffin, Senior Partner for West Africa, Control Risks.

The firm has identified the following as the key risks facing businesses in West Africa in 2018:

  • Terrorism and militancy: Business assets and personnel in West Africa will remain vulnerable to attacks by transnational or domestic militant groups. In particular, al-Qaeda and its affiliates will continue to pose a threat to operators in the Sahel, while the oil and gas industry in Nigeria’s Niger Delta will remain exposed to attacks by domestic militant groups. Failure to resolve the underlying political and socio-economic grievances at the root of these movements will see the threat persist in 2018.
  • Irregular regulators: As countries in the region, notably commodity-dependent economies, face growing fiscal pressures, operators are likely to see regulatory bodies increasingly act as revenue-generating bodies, strengthening local content provisions, introducing stricter fiscal terms, reviewing contracts or erratically imposing fines in companies in the hope of boosting state finances. This will periodically give rise to commercial disputes, legal challenges, and the need for businesses to engage with government stakeholders.
  • Political instability: Protracted political and socio-economic grievances will continue to fuel popular discontent and a desire for regime change in parts of the region. Cameroonian President Paul Biya’s re-election bid amid a continued crisis in the Anglophone regions will exacerbate tensions, while Togolese citizens will continue to protest for the end of the 50-year Gnassingbé dynasty. Protests will pose security threats to businesses, while regime changes would prompt major institutional changes and complicate engagements for operators.
  • New sectors, new risks: From Senegal’s offshore potential to Nigeria’s embryonic mining sector, some countries in West Africa will be making forays into previously-undeveloped sectors in 2018. Prospective investors need to monitor closely how government’s ability to oversee these sectors evolves and what the associated risks around these projects become.
  • On-going operational risks: Many of the major risks and challenges businesses face in West Africa are the on-going practical impediments to day-to-day operations. Shortages of or difficulties in sourcing fuel, foreign currency, equipment and skilled labour; the infrastructure deficits that persist in the vast majority of the region, such as in electricity and transport, will continue to mean higher costs, higher demands on management resources a tougher capital-raising environment, and greater uncertainty for businesses than in other regions.