In dealings between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and Sub-Saharan Africa during the third quarter of 2014, activity was led by three main infrastructure deals signed at the 2014 West Africa Investment Forum in Dubai, alongside banking, finance and investment deals.

Below are the top power plays over the three-month period, listed by value of transaction:

1.       $16bn: Abu Dhabi’s Royal Group leads infrastructure drive in West Africa

Trojan General Contracting, part of the Royal Group owned by HH Sheikh Tahnoon bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the Abu Dhabi Royal Family, committed to equity participation in $16bn worth of road and rail projects across the region at the West Africa Investment Forum, alongside Earth Capital Partners.

2.       $1.98bn: Essar Projects commits to projects in Benin, Guinea-Bissau and Niger

Essar Projects, UAE subsidiary of the Mumbai-based Essar Group committed to road projects worth $1.98bn, at the West Africa Investment Forum, including an airport at Glo-Djigbe in Benin, a bridge at Farim in Guinea-Bissau and the construction of a coal-powered power plant in Salkadamna, Niger.

3.       $700m: Hasan Juma Backer agrees to develop dry-port in Côte d’Ivoire

Oman’s Hasan Juma Backer Trading & Contracting agreed to develop a $700m dry-port in Ferkessedougou, Côte d’Ivoire, at the West Africa Investment Forum. The project is part of the rehabilitation of a trunk road from the Port of Abidjan to the country’s northern border at Ouangolo.

4.       $506m: QNB raises Ecobank stake to become largest shareholder

Qatar National Bank raised its Ecobank stake to 23.5% in September in a transaction worth $283m, weeks after its initial deal to acquire a 12.5% stake in the Lagos-listed bank through a combination of ordinary shares and convertible preference shares in a deal thought to be worth $223m.

5.       $500m: Kuwait bank leads first sovereign sukuk in South Africa

Kuwait Finance House led the launch of the first sovereign sukuk in South Africa through its Investment arm KFH-Investment, listing the product on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange alongside BNP Paribas and Standard Bank with a period of 5 years and 9 months, an expected return of 3.9%.

6.       $400m: Etisalat negotiates sale of mobile towers to IHS Nigeria

Etisalat Nigeria has declared its intention to sell 2,136 of its communication towers to IHS Nigeria, Africa’s largest independent phone tower company, before leasing the towers back for its network, as part of strategic plans to raise network performance and also roll-out 2G and 3G across the country.

7.       $300m: Dubai sovreign wealth vehicle ICD buys into Dangote Cement

The Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD), an investment vehicle for Dubai’s sovereign wealth, has acquiring a 1.4% minority interest in Dangote Cement, Nigeria’s largest traded company by market capitalisation and the largest cement manufacturer on the continent, of the Dangote Group.

8.       $50m: Al Ghurair forms partnership on aluminium plant in Ethiopia

Dubais’ Al Ghurair Group has finalised plans to establish an aluminium refinery in Ethiopia in a 50:50 partnership with local partner Tracon Trading, in the Lebu area of the capital of Addis Ababa, with an initial production capacity of 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes of aluminium expected to begin within a year.

9.       $49m: UAE Water Aid raises funds to water seven million people

This year’s Water Aid campaign was co-ordinated by the UAE Red Crescent and spearheaded by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, raising $49m in sixteen days before work began drilling wells in Tanzania, Niger, Togo and Ghana, and helping refugees in Somalia and Sudan.

10.   $18m: Abu Dhabi confirms funding for $18m solar project in Sierra Leone

The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development is part funding an $18m solar park in Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown selected by the International Renewable Energy Agency under a seven-year cycle of loans. Abu Dhabi’s Masdar PV will manufacture the photo-voltaic solar panels for the project.

Top 10 deals between the GCC and Sub-Saharan Africa, H1 2014