Wednesday, June 30, 2010

MarketWatch: Tiny Mauritius lures China with talent, Africa know-how

These established trade routes with Africa are a major draw for the Chinese developers of the Jinfei zone, a 521-acre project being hacked out of the red soil and undergrowth about a 10-minute drive north of the capital here that the government says will amount to a $750 million development, Mauritius' largest single foreign direct investment ever.

One of the first economic zones planned by China in Africa, it's a small part of Beijing's plans to greatly increase its foreign investments overseas - what the Chinese press calls the country's "going out" strategy. Read more...

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The FORTUNE/TIME/CNN Global Forum 2010

Leaders of business, government and society from all around the world journey to South Africa to discuss "the new global opportunity". click here to visit webpage

Meredith Witney: Insular nations better off

Meredith Whitney says insular African nations have faired better during the financial crisis than nations dependent on one another.
Watch video here

MarketWatch: African markets offer opportunities for the smart investor

"From an investment standpoint, it's a market that's hard to ignore, because it's a massive continent with a huge and young population and very important resources," said David Damiba, a senior fund manager at Renaissance Asset Managers in London. read more

Global Forum: For growth opportunities, don't overlook Africa

I'm was one of the ignorant ones -- I've spent most of my career as a foreign correspondent in east Asia -- but after three days of drinking from the fire hose, I've learned, along with a lot of the other attendees at the conference, that any number of African nations need to be included on any list of emerging "Hot Spots." An illuminating report on growth and opportunity in Africa by the McKinsey Global Institute had a lot of the conference goers shaking their heads and saying, in effect, "I had no idea…'' read more

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Surprisingly, among many of the most sophisticated
international businesses and investors – even among
some of the keenest of the geopolitical Africa-watchers
– there is scant recognition of this unprecedented
and unanticipated turn of events. Yet, this record of
economic performance is indicative of the fact that
an increasing portion of Sub-Saharan Africa is presenting
significantly profitable opportunities for new
investments and/or expansion of existing investments.
Multinational corporations (MNCs) from
countries in the South, most notably China and
India, have been far quicker to appreciate – and to
capitalize on – these changes than have their counterparts
from the North (Broadman 2007). In fact,
not only have Chinese and Indian firms, but also
Brazilian, Middle Eastern, and Russian businesses
have begun to substantially increase their investments
in Africa (Broadman 2008). These investments
are all occurring despite the fact that there is
a deeply held perception that Africa is a highly risky,
if not a dangerous, place to do business. read more (pdf)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

McKinsey Quaterly: Doing Business in Africa

McKinsey Quarterly is in the third of a four-week series on the future of Africa. This week's series cover Doing Business in Africa. Africa topics page

Below are the titles including short descriptions of each of the articles:

Making the most of Chinese aid to Africa
It’s time to move beyond sterile arguments and accept China’s role in Africa. But it’s also time for China to enhance that role. more

The China–Africa business connection: An interview with the CEO of Standard Bank
Jacko Maree describes his experiences working with a Chinese investor—the giant Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. more

The case for investing in Africa
The continent is now growing much more rapidly than the OECD nations. It may well be on the cusp of a reversal of fortunes. more

Assessing Africa’s business future: An interview with the CEO of Absa
The CEO of one of South Africa’s largest financial-services companies discusses the state of business in Africa. [includes related video interview] . more

Capturing Africa’s business opportunity
In the aftermath of the global crisis, Africa no longer seems uniquely risky. The opportunities are huge. more

Toward a well-governed Africa
A democratic, prosperous, and peaceful Africa is now within sight. more

Note: you will need to register in order to access these articles.

China Turns Its Focus To Africa

If China-Africa engagement continues into the future in such an explosive fashion, there will be large communities of newly arrived Chinese traders, engineers and manufacturing professionals from Cairo to Addis Ababa, from Lagos to Luanda, from Harare to Maputo to Capetown.

New Chinese enterprises will launch plants for “local products,” including clothes, pots and pans, plastic buckets, watches, shoes, soft drinks, packaged convenience foods, soap and cosmetics and low-end mobile phones. They could also make and sell consumer electronics, like localized versions of MIT Media Lab OLPC laptops and PCs, and white goods, like televisions, air-conditioners, fans, rice cookers and refrigerators. There will be factories for cement and steel beams for new apartment and office buildings, for furniture and solar power panels. Employing thousands of new plant workers, a line of Tata’s Nano-like inexpensive car and utility truck/SUVs could be produced in South Africa for export throughout the continent.

Simultaneously, these new Chinese-funded projects would require IT support, specialized oil drilling expertise, design services, project management skills and factory floor manufacturing equipment--in short, a new Chinese-led African business and technological eco-system with an appetite for a wide range of products and services. read more

Will Africa outdo China this century?

According to Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu, former Economic Advisor to the South African President, Africa is in a strong position to claim the century from China. Read more..

Japan Targets African, Bolivian Mine Projects Under Revised Law

apan, the world’s second-largest economy, may invest in African and Bolivian mineral projects after a revised law to help companies acquire overseas mining rights takes effect from July 1.
State-owned Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., or JOGMEC, said it can invest as much as 27.5 billion yen ($300 million) this fiscal year started April 1 in mining and minerals in collaboration with private companies and provide guarantees to fund projects. Under the current law, the agency can invest only in metal and mineral exploration projects. read more

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Africa Business Conference and Trade Fair

This month’s Africa Business Conference and Trade Fair in Baltimore, Maryland will bring together over a hundred dynamic small business owners and entrepreneurs, from the United States and Africa, looking for new opportunities and business relationships in Africa.

The global impact of the economic downturn has sparked the need for new ways to network and do business. The conference mission also aligns with President Obama’s new National Export Initiative program, which calls for doubling exports within the next 5 years. read more

For more information about 2010 Africa Business Conference and Trade Fair visit their page

African airlines set to post first profit since 2002 as global economy recovers

When you speak to many folks who seem to follow Africa's latest economic progress, they're quick to pointing at the minerals-for-infrastructure deals with China that tend the dominate the headlines. But, as one undertakes a closer examination, the breadth of the economic expansion is quite surprising. A great example of this is the below article on African airlines (not the name of an airline) which are set to not only turn a profit this year but also increase their footprints to new national and regional destinations as the demand for fast and reliable transport is on the rise

Airlines in Africa are expected to post $100 million profit from an earlier forecasted loss of $100 million. The upward revision is in line with the whole. Read more

Bharti closes $9 bln Zain Africa deal

Here's another eye popping deal by Bharti of India for a whopping $9 billion.
Read more

Telcos to put $700 mln in new Africa cable

I've just come across yet another news article confirming the increasing investment in Africa, not not by China, but other players. This time it's the French telco giant, France Telecom with a consortium of 20 companies to put $700 in new submarine / submarine to land cable mainly in West Africa. read more

Friday, June 4, 2010

Two Continents

Africa Progress Panel: Panel Progress Report 2010

Africa Progress Report calls on African leaders to turn “scramble for Africa” into real results for the continent; progress being made despite not because of governance. Read more

Thursday, June 3, 2010

West must change approach to Africa

Tom Cargill, Assistant Head of the Africa Programme at Chatham House, writes on the West’s relationship with Africa:

French President Nicholas Sarkozy put it best this week, when he spoke of the increasing important of Africa in Global Affairs: “Africa’s formidable demographics and its considerable resources make it the main reservoir for world economic growth in the decades to come.”

This is indeed the principal finding of our new Chatham House Report ‘Our Common Strategic Interests: Africa’s role in the post G8 World’. Yet so far there is very little evidence that Western policy makers, publics, or most importantly, businesses, are waking up to the opportunities that are slowly draining away from them with each passing day. READ MORE

Boston Consulting Group: The African Challengers - Global Competitors Emerge from the Overlooked Continent

BCG: Economic awakening underway in Africa

Forty African companies, the “African challengers,” have been rapidly expanding , competing in the global economy, and highlighting the vitality of a continent whose economic accomplishments rarely receive attention, according to a report by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The 40 African challengers range in size from $350 million to $80 billion in annual sales and represent most of the major industry sectors. They all display strong growth, an international footprint, and ambitious plans to further expand overseas. Most of the companies are based in South Africa (with 18 companies), Egypt (with 7), and Morocco (with 6). The nine remaining players come from Algeria, Angola, Nigeria, Togo, and Tunisia. These eight countries represent 70 percent of Africa’s GDP, according to The African Challengers: Global Competitors Emerge from the Overlooked Continent. READ MORE

THIS IS AFRICA: Regional integration

There is a renewed sense of optimism surrounding regional integration in africa, as the continent’s governments increasingly turn to the private sector as the main driver of economic growth

Regional economic and political integration was the focus of this year’s African Investment Forum, held in Accra, Ghana, under the banner of Accelerating intra- African trade and investment.
Click here to read more

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

World Bank: Renewing the World Bank Strategy for Africa

The World Bank is reviewing its strategy for Africa, which is outlined in the Africa Action Plan. The strategy is being reviewed against a backdrop of changes in the global economy, in Africa and the World Bank. As part of its review and preparation, the Bank is consulting with a wide array of stakeholders to seek their views and input. The process, outlined in our Consultations Plan, is expected to be finalized in late 2010-early 2011. You can help by sharing your views on how the Bank can best support Africa reach its development goals. To read more about progress on the current action plan, please click here.

To submit your input, please click here

Africa leads the charge of emerging markets

Emerging markets would see estimated economic growth of 6 percent this year, Stanlib chief economist Kevin Lings said yesterday, as he urged investors to build this into investment strategies.

"We are looking at the sub-par growth in the developed world," Lings told journalists in Johannesburg.

"This means growth between the developed world and emerging markets would be uneven." In recessions past, it has been the US economy that has led the world back to growth but this time around experts are punting emerging markets. read more

McKinsey Quaterly: What’s driving Africa’s growth

The rate of return on foreign investment is higher in Africa than in any other developing region. Global executives and investors must pay heed.
Africa is nearly as urbanized as China is and has as many cities of one million people as Europe does. read more

Delta Launches New Africa, Asia Routes

On June 1, Atlanta-based Delta was slated to begin a nonstop flight to Accra, Ghana, three times per week, building on its status as the only American carrier to fly nonstop to the continent. The airline recently said it would further expand Africa service by starting a flight from Atlanta to Monrovia, Liberia, via Accra in September. Delta already flies from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Nigeria and South Africa.

From New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, Delta has routes to Ghana, Egypt, Senegal and Lagos, Nigeria. On Wednesday, June 2, the airline is set to launch a second route to Nigeria, this time to the capital city of Abuja. read more