Sunday, May 30, 2010

A new dawn in Africa

One is a successful fashion designer, a second runs a commodity exchange, a third owns an international call centre, and a fourth runs a farm of 25,000 acres. All of them have lived, worked or studied in Europe and America, and all have abjured the soft life on offer in the West to make their futures back at home. Home is Africa, a continent that is widely regarded as a “basket case” filled with half-starved beggars living off charitable funds solicited by the likes of Bono and Geldof. So why did they return? read more

Brain gain: African migrants returning home

Africa may still be suffering from a chronic brain drain but some of the continent's elite are turning their backs on the West and taking their talents back home according to film-maker Andy Jones.
The story is as old as the hills. Man leaves village to seek riches in the big city.

In recent years, the village has been the continent of Africa, the city represented by the bright lights of Europe and America. read more

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rising Africa puts South Africa on the spot

"South African companies need to wake up. A lot of opportunities are already being stolen from under our noses, and not just by the Chinese -- it's the Indians, the Brazilians, the Russians, the Canadians, Australians," Bonnett said. read more

Africa's Local Champions Begin to Spread Out

Foreign consumer-goods companies including Coca-Cola Co., Nestlé SA and Unilever PLC have been in Africa for decades without much competition from local players. Now, home-grown companies are expanding aggressively across the continent, eager to accommodate a growing middle-class among the billion-person population.

Among the most prominent of these consumer upstarts: African retailers such as Nakumatt Holdings Ltd. of Kenya, the top supermarket chain in East Africa, MTN Group Ltd., Africa's largest cellphone provider, and South African restaurant chain Spur Corp. Nakumatt has expanded into three neighboring countries while 348-restaurant chain Spur has opened in seven other African countries. read more

China short-term boost, long-term threat to Africa

Despite all the criticism, said Akongbowa Bramwell Amadasun, the African exports to China are growing at an annual rate of 30 percent and only a quarter are oil-related. Furthermore, relations with China alone are responsible for a 6.1 percent increase on the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP). read more

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Africa's Pulse

Analysis of development trends shaping Africa's economic future (World Bank - April 2010):

The analysis takes a look at the followings:

1. Recent Economic Trends and Prospects
- Economic Recovery
- Africa's policy response to the crisis
- Risks to economic prospects
- Debt sustainability
- Aid flows lag commitments

2. Africa and the Millennium Development Goals
- Poverty
- Human development goals

Medium-term Challenges
- Infrastructure gap
- Investment climate
- Agriculture
- Governance
3. Yes Africa Can: Success Stories from a Dynamic Continent
- Rwanda: Improving health through results-based financing
- Mobile payments go viral: M-PESA in Kenya
- Tourism in Cape Verde
- Mali: Linking mango farmers to markets

Read complete report here
More on the World Bank in Africa:

Aid = Corruption?

WE live in a culture of aid. We live in a culture in which those better off subscribe – both mentally and financially – to the notion that giving alms to the poor is the right thing to do. In the past 50 years, over USD 1 trillion in development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa.” read more

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What's the Big Idea? Africa as the next "BRIC

Let me start with a riddle: What trillion dollar economy has grown faster than Brazil and India between 2000 and 2010 in nominal dollar terms and is projected by the IMF to grow faster than Brazil between 2010 and 2015?1 The answer may surprise you: it is Sub-Saharan Africa!

The Big Idea is that sub-Saharan Africa is on the verge of joining the ranks of the BRICs. As the world gets out of the global recession, forecasts made by the IMF and the World Bank stress that given the need for fiscal retrenchment in the advanced countries, some rebalancing of global demand is needed to sustain economic growth. Africa can serve as a new source of global demand. It’s only a matter of time before its population rivals that of China and India. As Bob Zoellick noted in a recent speech, we must start thinking about a “multipolar growth world”, where Africa can take its rightful place. In other words, this is not about charity: businesses are looking for new markets in which to invest and Africa is ripe for consideration. read more

Friday, May 21, 2010

Infrastructure key to Africa’s growth: Asia has role to play

If Africa wants to bridge the chasm from emerging to developed economy, it must have one crucial component in place. According to Paulo Gomes, founder and CEO of Constelor Investment Holdings, which was set up in 2006 to harness investment opportunities in Africa, infrastructure is sorely needed for the land-locked continent. Click here to read more and watch video

Interview with Congressman Bobby Rush, Co-Chair of the Africa Partnership for Economic Growth Caucus (APEGc)

U. S. Congressman Bobby L. Rush is a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the first congressional district of Illinois and is one of the senior Members of the powerful Committee on Energy and Commerce. He is also the Chairman of the Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection Subcommittee. Given his position and experience, he is uniquely equipped and positioned to influence U.S - Africa trade relations. It was his leadership as Co-Chair of the recently launched African Partnership for Economic Growth Caucus (APEGc) that sparked our interest. The primary mission of APEGc is to develop U.S. policies designed to strengthen U.S. –Sub-Saharan Africa relations by promoting growth and economic development. Despite major successes in Consumer Product Safety and other domestic matters, we honed in on his interest in enhancing opportunities for U.S. and African businesses through trade.
Read the interview here...

Françafrique at 50

To accept de Gaulle’s offer, these leaders had to agree, among other things, to allow the stationing of French troops on their territory, provide France with a steady supply of raw materials at pre-determined prices, assume all colonial-era debts incurred by France, maintain the CFA Franc as their common currency, and grant the French Treasury veto authority over their sub-regional central banks. De Gaulle got most of what he wanted, and granted independence. READ MORE