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Gowling WLG has a long and successful track record of advising on transactions in the natural resources, energy, infrastructure, transportation and financial services industries across Africa. Our sector-focused groups are supported by our highly regarded white collar defence, international disputes and global tax teams.

Our legal professionals have been doing business in Africa for over twenty years, and have developed close relationships with business leaders, legal professionals, governments and financial institutions across the continent. We work closely with a wide range of clients, including major banks, development and private equity funds, government agencies, and companies active in the natural resources, energy, infrastructure, transportation, technology and telecommunications sectors.

Recognised for our extensive industry knowledge and in-depth understanding of the unique legal, regulatory, commercial and cultural landscape across Africa, our team is also known for its ability to structure "first of kind" deals in emerging jurisdictions on the continent, particularly in the infrastructure and energy sectors.

We've worked on transactions in nearly every jurisdiction in Africa. Transactions in French-speaking and civil law countries are handled from our Paris and Montréal offices, while transactions in Anglophone and common law jurisdictions are managed out of London, Dubai, Toronto and Calgary.

We spend a significant amount of time on the ground in Africa. Our alliances with law firms in Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa, as well as our network of carefully selected "best friend" law and other professional service firms in other jurisdictions, serve as an extension of our team. This gives you access to some of the best lawyers and consultants in Africa, with the added strength and resources of an international law firm.

Work highlights in Africa

Infrastructure

  • Currently advising the Rwandan Ministry of Trade and Industry on the development of a series of trade logistics projects, including bonded and unbounded warehouses, logistics parks and off-dock facilities in Kenya and Tanzania.
  • Advised TradeMark East Africa and the Kenya Ports Authority on the development of enabling legislation to support ports development through PPP structure.
  • Worked with the IFC as lead international legal adviser to their team advising the governments of Kenya and Uganda on the joint concessioning of the two countries' railway systems. The project was Euromoney's Africa Infrastructure Project of the Year, and Gowling WLG gained runner-up status in the Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Awards for our work.
  • Advised the Government of the Central African Republic with respect to the constitution and structuring of contracts in connection with the new international airport and a special economic zone in Bangui.

Energy

  • Currently advising the South African National Treasury, Department of Energy and the Development Bank of South Africa on the development of South Africa's base and mid-load IPP programme across three technologies: cogeneration, coal and most recently natural gas.
  • Advised the EEHC and the IFC in relation to the development, design, engineering, construction, financing and maintenance of a US$2.5-billion, 2250MW CCGT power generation complex in Dairut, Egypt.
  • Currently advising the sponsors on all financing and project aspects of a 720MW CCGT IPP in Ghana, and the same client on a 140MW IPP in Tanzania.
  • Advised Africa Growth and Energy Solutions on the development of a 25MW solar farm in Sierra Leone, the first of its kind in the country. We're advising the same client on a project to solarise telephone masts and a series of mini-hydro facilities in Cameroon.
  • Advised Artumas Group Inc in multi-stakeholder negotiations with the Government of Tanzania agencies, lenders and other stakeholders in respect of a fully integrated gas-to-power-to-transmission and distribution project.

Natural Resources

  • Advised BNP Paribas on a $50-million borrowing base facility for Sea Dragon Energy in respect of oil and gas concessions in Egypt.
  • Advised HSBC, Standard Chartered, Nedbank and the IFC on the $500-million financing of Petroceltic plc, which included Egyptian and Algerian assets.
  • Advised Cove Energy Plc on its AIM IPO in connection with its farm-in to certain oil and gas assets in Mozambique and Tanzania, a related £42-million fundraising and its subsequent £1.2-billion takeover.
  • Advised AIM quoted Firestone Diamonds plc on its acquisition of Kopane Diamond Developments plc with assets in Lesotho for £52.7 million, and on its US$225-million debt and equity fundraising to build and commission its main treatment plant.
  • Advised Hummingbird Resources Plc on its admission to AIM, strategic investment by the IFC, royalty financing with Anglo Pacific, acquisition of its Yanfolila gold project in Mali from Gold Fields and its project finance facility with Taurus Mining Finance.

To learn more about how we can help you pursue business opportunities in Africa and beyond, please contact Jonathan Brufal or Richard Grant.

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