I am very bullish on Africa.
A few weeks ago, I visited two countries in west Africa, Senegal and Cap Verde.
The purpose of my trip was to visit Senegal and then Cape Verde because I am doing business with both countries, and I wanted to meet my clients and government partners.
Although I enjoyed my trip to Dakar…
naseba has been given an exclusive mandate to do a capital raising road show, raising $350 million for an airport expansion project in Cape Verde.
Cape Verde is indexed as one of the top two African countries to be the safest destination for foreign investment by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
The country shows great opportunity because it is politically stable, a strategic location and has investment-friendly rules and institutions.
So over the 3 days, I had the honor of meeting the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Jose Maria Neves who is giving great support for the project.
My client also organized for me to meet Her Excellency Mrs Sara Maria Duarte Lopes, Minister of Infrastructure and Maritime Economy who emphasized in our meeting the project’s importance, stating that it is a “priority for our country’s economic development goals within the West African region.”
I had lunch with the previous President, Pedro Pires who was voted by Forbes top 5 most influential men in Africa.
President Pires was awarded the 2011 Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership in recognition of Pires role in making Cape Verde a “model of democracy, stability and increased prosperity”.
The trip was effective for me to see first-hand the projects we are raising money for, and to see the opportunity of this ideal “gateway” into Africa.
Although we have worked with Capital Consulting and my clients in Cape Verde two times in Saudi Arabia, it was great to spend time and get to know them personally.
The Chairman of the Capital Consulting, Saidy Andrade has become one of the more influential business men in West Africa. I like his American “go getter” style. He is one of the key people involved driving the development in Cape Verde.
Saidy took great great care of me … Incredible lobster lunches, dinners … the seafood was excellent.
We took a private plane to visit the country … interesting to fly in a private plane to an island for lunch, and then we flew to another island for dinner later that same day.
The project will be executed in three phases via a long term plan.
Phases one and two will see an investment of EUR310m create 15,000 new construction jobs and develop the airline and airport so they are fully operational.
The final phase, requiring investment of a further EUR3bn, will ensure the goal of a consumer-centric and commercially driven strategic aviation hub is achieved, similar to Dubai International Airport.
It will also see a further 75,000 jobs created in Cape Verde.
I got to meet and spend time with Mr Mário Paixão Lopes, President of the Board of Administration of The National Airport Authority (ASA), who emphasized his support for the airport expansion project.
Last year, I had the pleasure of working with Ambassador José Armando Duarte, President and CEO, Cape Verde Investment Promotion Agency when we organized a investor road show for them in Riyadh.
Now Jose is entirely focused on attracting foreign direct investment and integrating local companies into the global economy. I enjoyed a great dinner and cigar with Jose.
Africa is the ultimate frontier; the future.
However, many African airlines are currently blacklisted from flying to the European Union due to safety reasons.
My interest in this project is because Cape Verde is ranked top 2 safest countries in Africa – the project will provide more than two billion customers with a safe way into Africa through Cape Verde.
Cape Verde strategic location in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean makes it a perfect air and sea hub for the economic crossroads from West Africa to Europe and South and North America.
I am proud to have been mandated by Capital Consulting to organize and host a capital raising road show to help achieve a strategic aviation hub on Cape Verde.
The country is in the perfect location to be the gateway into Africa, and completion of this project will have a profound effect on Cape Verde’s economy — and Africa as a whole.