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.