Olusegun Obasanjo Photo: Corbis
“The reason I am‘re-inventing’myself as an investor... is because I was on the other side when I was in government. During that time I tried to create a conducive environment for investment into Nigeria, knowing fully well that you cannot talk of development and growth without investment”
The International Monetary Fund’s most recent forecast for sub-Saharan Africa anticipates average growth of 5.5 percent in 2012. These projections are in line with the expectations of This Is Africa’s sentiment survey. Only two respondents anticipated growth of under 5 percent, with most predicting levels of 5.5-6 percent.
The Arab Spring may be the most important geopolitical shift since the end of the Cold War. Attention now turns to the construction of new orders, and the outcomes are far from clear. Survey respondents agreed that expectations are high and emerging governments need to respond to long pent-up demands.
The 2012 outlook
Influential thinkers assess Africa’s prospects for the next 12 months
UK Secretary of State for International Development
“Ninety percent of all jobs around the world are created by the private sector, not governments”
The private sector’s role in development has seen a renaissance, with donors reassessing their strategies and development finance institutions positioned increasingly as central actors. But stakeholders need to increase coordination to maximise their impact
Against the backdrop of rising prices for hydrocarbon-based energy sources, a growing number of African countries are looking to renewable energy to address the region’s severe power shortage
The price of success
Africa’s ICT sector is booming, but prohibitive taxes on mobiles could put a brake on its growth
CEO of the Industry Sector and Member of the Managing Board of Siemens AG
“Africa has grown into a focus area and the best proof is that the whole board has convened in South Africa to get a first-hand impression”
POLITICS: On the Mend?
The same family and political party have ruled Togo for the past 44 years. In 2005 president Faure Gnassingbé, the English speaking son of president-for-life Gnassingbé Eyadema, was elected in controversial circumstances upon his father’s death.
After many years of political isolation, there are hopes that moves towards a more open political sphere could improve Togo’s international relations
Adji Otèth Ayassor
Minister of Economy and Finance
“Our plan has been to attract investors by improving our business climate, making it easier for commerce in the country”
On the back of economic reforms, Togo’s once closed economy is starting toattract a growing number of international investors
How to turn citizens into owners of national wealth
On November 28 Anadarko Petroleum doubled the estimate of its massive Mozambique gas discovery. If this proves correct, Mozambique will become a major gas exporter and can expect a hefty windfall.
The future of Africa’s agricultural sector
The overall statistics on African agriculture are well known. It employs over 200 million people and in most countries provides the livelihood of approximately 70 percent of the population. Despite this, Africa has the greatest proportion of malnourished families. Even in countries with the greatest agricultural potential, such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, up to 75 percent of the population is still undernourished.
Africa needs flexible capital, as well as patient capital
It is widely understood that Africa’s private sector requires a reliable supply of capital to grow, yet SMEs – vital to the continent’s economic growth story – continue to face significant hurdles to securing the financing they require.
Dean of Law and Social Sciences, School of Oriental and African Studies
“Many countries are going through the protocol of holding an election... but the actual conduct of elections is not legitimate in itself”
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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”