“I think you have to go into Africa with the idea that it’s core to your business. If it’s not core to your business – if it’s just an opportunistic move – I would question that strategy”
The rise of the so called Brics group of major emerging markets is fundamentally reshaping the complexion of global economic and political power. Nowhere has the impact of this been more visible than Africa, a trend that could have profound implications for the continent
Debate is raging about the volume of global phosphate rock reserves, with some arguing production could ‘peak’ within decades
The price of stalemate
The breakdown of security caused by the ongoing conflict in Libya is raising concerns over the influence of Al Qaeda’s North African branch in the region’s leading oil producer
With unprecedented investment into the development of Africa’s palm oil industry, governments in the region are trying to avoid past environmental mistakes made in Asia
Liberalised market conditions and improving telecom infrastructure are making a number of African countries viable destinations for companies looking to outsource parts of their business operations
With an increasingly visible middle class reshaping the sub-Saharan African investment landscape, the region is attracting unprecedented interest from private equity investors
Finding a path to growth
“to what extent can countries learn from others with similar endowments and higher per capita income when the global context has changed so fundamentally?”
Powering private sector development
Since the start of the millennium and following almost two decades of low growth rates, economies in sub-Saharan Africa have been gathering momentum. GDP growth averaged almost 6 percent, whereas during the 1980s and 1990s growth amounted to less than half of this.
Consumerism surge providing opportunities
Consultants, accountants, conferences and research reports are in unison vaunting the prospects of the fast growing group of people that make up the African consumer. With consumer spending in 2008 forecast to rise from $860bn to a startling figure of $1,400bn by the end of this decade, the African consumer is causing a stir with producers and investment managers alike.
These are exciting times for Africa. The continent is increasingly seen around the world as a place of opportunity for investment and business. Economic progress is taking root with annual growth averaging 5 percent over the last 15 years. Social progress is fast following in its wake. The fact that the continent has the planet’s youngest, fastest-growing and fastest-urbanising population is another attraction to countries and companies looking to the future.
Obiageli Ezekwesili, Vice President for the Africa Region at the World Bank
“I really see the agriculture story not just as a threatening situation; it is also a huge opportunity”
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“There is a regional consensus that the crisis cannot be allowed to affect regional development”
“Africa probably has more resources than any place you can imagine”
“There can never be soft touch regulation. But it has to be regulation that is not arbitrary. The direction needs to be clear”
“Africa has lots of potential – raw materials and young people – but it needs FDI”