Telecom sector heads from Goldman Sachs, Barclays Capital, Citigroup, Standard Bank, Lazard, ING, Investec, and Rand Merchant Bank are among those participating in the 3rd TMT Finance & Investment Africa Conference (www.tmtfinance.com/africa) at America Square. The event gathers leadership from the telecom and finance community and features debates on Telecom Growth, Mergers and Acquisitions, Financing, Network Ownership and Investment.
Infrastructure related activity is accelerating across the continent through sale and leaseback of existing infrastructure assets, especially mobile tower portfolios, and the increasing demand for new investment. Issam Darwish, CEO of IHS, one of Africas leading telecom infrastructure businesses, who is speaking on the mobile towers panel, said in a recent interview that 700,000 new mobile towers sites are needed to bring the whole continent to 95% capacity which would require US$30bn to US$50bn of investment.
Bankers are also predicting that the African telecom market will see a substantial increase in M&A deals in the coming year driven by increasing pressure on profits, and a need for consolidation. The African telecom sector has been through an exciting period of growth and there is much more to come, commented one investment banker. But with so much pressure on profits it makes little sense to be anything other than number one or number two in the market and this will drive deals across the region over the next 6 to 12 months.
Also speaking at the TMT Finance Africa event are chief executives from Avanti Communications, Wananchi Group Holdings, Helios Towers Africa, IHS, Tata Communications and Eaton Towers as well as financing heads from IFC of the World Bank and Huawei, the leading Chinese equipment manufacturer. Regulatory experts and advisers will also participate including experts from the Nigerian Communications Commission, the GSMA and Simmons & Simmons. More speakers will be announced shortly to bring the total across the programme to 35.
The TMT Finance & Investment Africa Conference provides a knowledge sharing and high end networking platform for executives from telecom operators, service providers, finance and investment institutions, law firms and professional intermediaries. It features a series of leadership panel debates and visionary keynote speeches on telecom growth strategy, mergers and acquisitions, financing, network ownership and investment.