Halcyon monitors and analyses key markets, competitors, clients, issues, trends and hot topics. Please contact us to discuss how our insights can help you create value.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issues an annual report concerning the approximately 21 million people worldwide falling under its mandate: refugees forced to leave their countries due to war, political, racial or religious persecution, as internally displaced persons, or as repatriates on their way back home. An interactive visualisation gives an insight into the flows and connections of global flight and expulsion.
As Western populations live ever longer, they will need more nurses, care assistants, housekeepers and cleaners. The demand for highly skilled workers will therefore grow too, and countries will start to compete more fiercely for mobile talent. Migration will “define our future” , claimed the authors of a recent book.
Please see below selected pre-2016 intelligence about Africa. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.
- The “Africa Rising” narrative gained momentum around 2010. As is the way with these things, it arrived about a decade late - and just as things were about to go pear-shaped. Investors, hungry for yield, alighted on the only continent where living standards had not yet visibly begun to converge on those in the west. Their bet was that Africa had turned a corner. Were they wrong? These days, the mood has darkened. Nigeria and South Africa, which account for half of sub-Saharan Africa’s gross domestic product, are at or close to recession. Nigeria has squandered its oil boom. Long-sluggish South Africa has failed to meet the pent-up expectations of its black majority. The hopes of other resource-rich countries — including Angola, Mozambique and Zambia — have faded along with commodity prices. A flawed election in Uganda, plus a cavalcade of leaders clinging grimly on to power, from Zimbabwe to Burundi, undermine the idea that governance is on the mend. Those who helped change the Africa narrative, however, are sticking to the script. Among the true believers is the consultancy McKinsey, whose 2010 “Lions on the Move” report did much to feed the original story. This week it published a follow-up . Call it “Africa Rising: The Sequel”.
- South Africa’s economy grew by an annualised 3.3% in the second quarter, the fastest pace since late 2014. In the first three months of the year GDP contracted by 1.2%, leading to fears of recession, but mining, the mainstay of the economy, has since rebounded. #SouthAfrica: Consumer inflation slowed to 5.9% year on year in August, from the 6% reported for July.
- India’s vice president vies for influence in West Africa. Hamid Ansari is finishing a trip to Nigeria before embarking on the first high-level Indian visit to Mali in history. India has been touting itself as a preferable alternative to China for foreign investment in Africa, promoting its long history in the region and the potential for mutual benefits.
- The sixth Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), held on 4–5 December 2015, set in motion a deeper pattern of exchanges with its partners that could drive economic transformation across the continent. In ‘scaling-up’ measures to ease African bottlenecks in infrastructure, skills and finance. China is already a leader in investing and financing infrastructure in developing countries, with an estimate that China financed US$13.4 billion of African infrastructure in 2013. This sum surpassed the total financing provided by European and North American countries combined, as well as that of all multilateral and regional development banks.
- As access to the internet is growing, so are cyber ]crime rates in Africa where businesses and governments are starting to face a new type of threat for which few are currently prepared. Statistics show that 298 million people in Africa are active internet users, nearly 30% of the total population, a number expected to grow as internet penetration continues to improve in towns and rural areas. The financial sector is by far the most vulnerable sector. For example, every year Kenya's Commercial Bank loses $9.4 million to cyber perpetrated fraud. Resulting not only in economic loss but also affecting brand image and market reputation, there is a significant need for corporate entities to recognise these cyber threats and develop incident response strategies.
Please see below selected recent intelligence about Africa. This is a synthesis of major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has published global estimates of the number of people that die from malaria. In these 15 years the global death toll has been cut in half: from 839,000 deaths in 2000 to 438,000 in 2015.
Africa is the world region that is most affected by malaria: In 2015, the African continent held 9 out of 10 malaria victims (click on ‘Expanded’ to see this). But Africa is also the world region that has achieved most progress: from 2000 to 2015, African deaths from malaria were reduced from 764,000 to 395,000.
A History of the World was a partnership between the BBC and the British Museum, involving schools, museums and audiences across the UK. One can listen to and download all the episodes of the radio series A History of the World in 100 objects.
One hundred 15-minute programmes, each focusing on an object from the British Museum’s collection told a history of two million years of humanity through the objects we have made, starting with the earliest object in the museum’s collection.
My personal highlights included the following:
1. Mummy of Hornedjitef (-260BC, Egypt): status, legacy, journey beyond death (see image).
2. Olduval Chopping Tool (-2m, Tanzania): adaptable, can skin and butcher animals
Please see below selected recent intelligence about Africa. Please contact Dominic Kelleher with any questions.
- Today, seven of the 10 fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa and the continent is increasingly moving more into the global limelight as a promising investment destination - despite preconceived risks of investing in turbulent times. The World Economic Forum believes that a significant amount of the growth that is being experienced and enjoyed in key markets across Africa is as a direct result of governments being able to successfully implement far-reaching economic and political reforms, thus creating more conducive business and investment climates.
- New research from PwC projects that traditional assets under management (AuM) in 12 markets across Africa will rise to around $1,098 billion by 2020, from a 2008 total of $293 billion. The report, Africa Asset Management 2020, is an in-depth study which examines the asset management industry across 12 African countries which have financial markets of varying levels of development.
- Heads of state at an African Union (AU) summit in Johannesburg formally launched negotiations for a continental free-trade area. They set the target of 2017 for the agreement to be implemented. It is a highly ambitious goal in a hugely diverse continent. But Fatima Haram Acyl, AU commissioner for trade and industry, insisted that the initiative is not mere rhetoric. African leaders, she said, realise that improving trade is critical to tackling the continent’s problems of unemployment, poverty and underdevelopment. She added that Africa risks “missing the boat” as other regions push ahead with their own trade agreements.
- PwC's own Economics team launched its monthly Global Economy Watch for June. This month's issue focused on North Africa. It’s been almost five years since the beginning of the ‘Arab Spring’ which brought about significant change in North Africa and the wider region. With this milestone approaching, PwC economists have taken a look at the five largest North African economies – Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia – and highlighted some of the key points that businesses and policymakers should consider when thinking about North Africa Click here to read the full Global Economy Watch.
- Sub-Sahara Africa is primed for growth over the next 30 years with industry strength in mining, agriculture, oil production and a growing pool of young, educated people ready to enter the workforce. However, Deloitte warned that logistical bottlenecks, poor governance, rising unemployment, vulnerability to commodity price shocks and economic downturns in key trading partners will challenge the region’s economic growth.
- Deloitte Africa CEO Lwazi Bam joined the group’s global executive committee after Africa was deemed one of the firm’s 11 priority markets. The announcement follows the appointment of Punit Renjen as the new CEO of Deloitte Global "Mr Punit has a very deep understanding of the African markets and will continue Deloitte global’s investment in the African continent," Bam said. Punit advocates that our business should profit from doing good. He has already challenged all of us as leaders in our regions to ensure what we do as a business has a meaningful impact." Bam added that Deloitte Africa had been trying to better integrate its practices. "Our clients expect to be given similar services and to receive consulting of a high standard no matter which country they’re in."
- See What next for Nigeria’s economy?, by Andrew Nevin, Partner and Chief Economist at PwC Nigeria. In the months leading up to January 2015, the price of oil fell by 60% driven down largely by booming shale oil production, the drop in energy demands from emerging markets and the strengthening of the US dollar. By late-January of 2015, Brent Crude traded at around $50, hitting its lowest-levels since the global financial crisis in 2009. Prices however recovered to around $60 - 65 by the end of the first quarter of 2015 but this still represents a major adjustment from the $90 - 110 average price levels we’ve seen over the last five years.
Please see below selected recent intelligence about Africa in 2014 to date. These headlines are a synthesis of selected major recent developments at corporates, business schools, thinktanks, media, commentators, and other key influencers.
- China invited the US to co-operate in financing and building infrastructure in Africa and other parts of the developing world, an unprecedented proposal that has potentially sweeping implications for the future of international development aid.
- According to the FT, the flood of sovereign bond issuance this year by African countries is setting a benchmark that companies are beginning to use to raise their own debt.