Linked inTwitter

We actively monitor change covering more than 150 key elements of life.

A Mundane Comedy is Dom Kelleher's new book. Extracts will appear on this site and across social media from late 2021. Please get in touch with any questions or thoughts.

The 52:52:52 project, launching both on this site and on Twitter in late 2021 will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

What's Changing? - Emerging Markets

Emerging Markets


Please see below selected recent emerging markets-related change. (Until mid-2018 the focus was primarily on Africa.)


See also:


September 2021

  • The economic outlook for East Asia looks less rosy. The World Bank now predicts growth of 2.5% for the region in 2021, down from its forecast of 4.4% in April. However, China is on track to hit 8.5% growth.


August 2021

  • India's economy grew at a record 20.1 percent in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, despite the country suffering a crushing COVID wave in the spring.


April 2021

  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) stated that it expects most Gulf economies to recover this year at a faster pace than previously estimated, as it raised its 2021 global growth forecast to 6%, up from the previous forecast of 5.5%. Saudi Arabia’s economy is expected to grow 2.9% in 2021, up from the 2.6% forecasted in January. The United Arab Emirates will see growth of 3.1% 2021, Oman is expected to contract by 0.5% to a forecast of 1.8% growth. Bahrain’s economy is expected to grow 3.3% in 2021, up from a previous forecast of 2.3%. Forecasts for Kuwait and Qatar remained almost unchanged, with Kuwait expected to post a 0.7% growth this year, up from an October estimate of 0.6%.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic is widening the income gap between sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world, according to the International Monetary Fund, risking greater differences in living standards between countries. This is particularly concerning for a region where millions have already been pushed into poverty by the pandemic. Sub-Saharan Africa’s projected growth of 3.4% this year is the slowest in the world. While this projection is an improvement on last year’s contraction of 1.9%, it’s still below the global growth projection of 6%, noted Quartz.


February 2021

  • Sub-Saharan Africa is forecast to see moderate but positive GDP growth of 2.7% in 2021, a rebound from the region’s first recession of 25 years in 2020, when GDP shrank by an estimated -3.7%. Meanwhile, by 2025, sub-Saharan Africa will reach close to half a billion mobile internet users, which in turn will drive a flurry of new applications and solutions for local markets, noted the FT.
  • The International Monetary Fund warned that Arab countries face a "lost decade" if they don't invest in technology and make key economic reforms to curb the pandemic's long-term economic impacts on the region. In the short term, it's time to spend big on health and COVID vaccines. However, to address long-term problems such as declining oil and gas revenues, ballooning debt and sky-high youth unemployment, the IMF said Arab leaders need to rethink how their governments raise money - including from higher taxes - and cut subsidies that burden state coffers when oil prices are low, reported GZERO Media.


January 2021

  • The Philippines economy contracted 9.5 percent in 2020. It's the biggest annual decline on record for the country, which trailed only Indonesia in COVID cases and deaths among Southeast Asian nations.


December 2020

  • The Lebanese economy, waylaid by financial and political crises on top of the pandemic, is set to contract by 19.4 percent in 2020, according to the World Bank. Next year things hardly get better, with a contraction of 13.2 percent expected in 2021.


November 2020


October 2020

  • The economic impact of Covid-19 started to show up in private equity activity and deals in Africa. With the continent’s largest economies on the brink of recession and investors looking to be more capital efficient while the effects of the pandemic unfold, private equity activity is slowing down across Africa in comparison to recent years. In the first half of 2020 the value of private equity deals on the continent was on pace for a 63% drop compared to 2019 said a report from the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA).


September 2020

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit expects foreign direct investment (FDI) flows across Sub-Saharan Africa to fall by 30% in 2020. In this featured analysis, we look at how the coronavirus pandemic has caused this slump in FDI and why the impact of this fall will vary across commodity-dependent economies - download the report.
  • India's economy contracted by 23.9% in the three months to the end of June, making it the worst slump since 1996. A grinding lockdown brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted business and left millions out of jobs.
  • Developing economies in Asia and the Pacific (basically all except Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea) will, as a group, experience a recession this year for the first time since the early 1960s, according to the latest update from the Asian Development Bank. ADB projects that the regional economy will contract 0.7 percent in 2020 and grow again 6.8 percent next year, confirming that the region's economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will be more gradual (in the form of an L or swoosh).
  • Nigeria's economy, the largest in Africa, contracted by 6.1 percent during the second quarter of 2020 because of the pandemic-induced economic crisis. After thirteen consecutive quarters of growth, this hit represents the country's biggest economic dip in over a decade.


August 2020

  • Argentina reached a deal with its international creditors to restructure $65 billion of its sovereign debt. Argentina defaulted on its debt for the ninth time in May 2019 and its economy was expected to shrink by 12 percent in 2020, following two years of recession


July 2020

  • South Korea’s economy plunged by the most in decades. The country slipped into a recession after its GDP slumped 2.9% year-on-year, alongside an on-quarter drop of 16.6% in exports - the worst performance since 1963. 


June 2020

  • While the world's largest economies battle for power in the post-pandemic world, many of the world's developing economies will still be digging out of the most severe shock they have experienced in generations. Faced with a quadruple hit of local economic shutdowns, collapsing demand for their exports, evaporating remittance flows, and vanishing tourism, many cash-strapped and highly-indebted developing economies are on the ropes, warned GZEROMedia. 
  • The Chinese government agreed to temporarily delay debt repayment for at least 77 developing countries as part of a Group of 20 nations initiative aimed at alleviating low-income countries' economic pain amid the pandemic. This is on top of an earlier commitment by President Xi Jinping to give low-income countries around $2 billion to help fight the pandemic and recover afterwards. Details about the allocation of that money, however, are still murky, added GZEROMedia.
  • The coronavirus pandemic forced a reset in China-Africa relations, from issues of race to diplomacy through aid. But the most pressing issue will be complex negotiations around debt relief. It’s estimated that up to 20% of Africa’s debt is owed to China, making talks on easing terms critical. As the director of the Johns Hopkins China Africa Research Initiative pointed out, China’s economic challenges post-Covid, and the fact that it has $1.9 trillion of its own debt, “make it unlikely that we will see Beijing agree to real and wide-ranging debt relief.”, noted the Quartz field guide on Africa after Covid-19.
  • The IMF now says, "the human toll has gone up," projecting that the Latin American region's economy will contract by 9.4 percent in 2020, a sharp drop from April's forecast of a 5.2 percent recession. Government-mandated lockdowns and travel restrictions have hit emerging market economies in the Caribbean and Latin America particularly hard because many of them rely on jobs in the informal sector and tourism industry to keep afloat.
  • In particular, Venezuela faced a severe economic crisis well before coronavirus arrived, but COVID has now inflicted a new degree of pain. The country's fuel shortage not only leaves drivers walking to work, stalled in traffic, in long lines hoping pumps will contain enough liquid to partially refill empty tanks, or sucking gasoline through plastic tubing to siphon it from one vehicle to another. It now also leaves coffins containing the remains of COVID-19 victims sitting in parked hearses that are unable to reach cemeteries because they have no fuel. It's an irony made even more bitter by the reality that Venezuela has the world's largest proven reserves of crude oil, noted GZEROMedia.
  • Peru's GDP plunged by more than 40 percent in April, the worst monthly output drop in the country's history. Coronavirus lockdowns have clobbered the mining sector, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the Peruvian economy.


May 2020

  • Even before the coronavirus crisis, 64 countries spent more money annually servicing their external debt payments than they did on healthcare. Now, the global health emergency is taxing their underfunded healthcare systems, complicating attempts to contain the virus. Many countries have already pleaded for emergency debt relief
  • Brazil is facing its biggest economic crash in 120 years, according to a new government forecast. A combination of coronavirus lockdowns and evaporating exports will shave 4.7 percent from its GDP, the largest drop since records began in 1900.
  • The Russian economy is set to shrink by more than 5 percent, the largest contraction since the financial crisis of 2009. A collapsing oil price may force the Russian government to reach deep into its (sizable) cash reserves to bail out businesses, send pensions, and pay the salaries of state workers. (30% of Russian workers are paid, directly or indirectly, by the state.)


April 2020

  • The UN estimated that Africa’s GDP growth will fall from 3.2% to 1.8% in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak. The major economies will very likely fall into recession, with predictions that South Africa’s economy could shrink by 8%. East Africa is expected to be more resilient, although its long-term growth rates of +6.5%, will slow considerably. Key indicators, including sovereign debt, currencies and equities, indicate large economic shocks will follow capital outflows, along with sharp devaluations in currencies, and rising bond yields, as well as plummeting equity markets.
  • Africa has been home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies for the past decade, but a global recession will have a disproportionately harsh impact on many countries and hundreds of millions of people. The spread of Covid-19 might end up being relatively limited - by mid April 2020 at just under 19,000 reported cases in a continent of 1.3 billion people - but its economic aftermath will be long-lasting


February 2020

  • On July 1, the new 54-country $3 trillion African Continental Free Trade Area will enter into force, though only about half of its signatories have ratified the agreement so far. Later this year the African Union is supposed to issue its own continental passports that will enable visa-free travel between all member-states.
  • What will Africa look like in 20 years? Harvard Business School’s Africa 2020: Creating Clear Visions for Future Prosperity gathered over 1,000 executives, innovators, thought leaders, and inventive minds from across the continent and its diaspora to join forces and build a collective vision for Africa.
  • With half of India’s population under the age of 25 and unemployment skyrocketing, young people, and those who watch the country’s economy closely, are keen to know what jobs will emerge in the next decade and beyond. In a Quartz special project, experts in seven key industries shared their insights on where careers are heading and how disruption is giving rise to new opportunities.
  • African countries’ debts to China are getting too big. Even the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are worried.


January 2020

  • Africa's economy is slated to grow at a rate of 3.8% in 2020, outperforming the projected worldwide growth rate of 3.4 percent. South Sudan and Rwanda are expected to experience the biggest economic gains, according to the Brookings Institution. Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Almost imperceptibly, attitudes towards Africa have been changing. Led by China, countries such as Turkey, India and Brazil see Africa less as a failing continent and more as a commercial opportunity. That view is subject to many caveats. But it is more in tune with how African countries want to interact with the world.


December 2019


November 2019


September 2019

  • China reported weak economic data. New figures showed industrial production growth expanded just 4.4% in August compared to a year earlier, the slowest pace since early 2002. Retail sales growth also slowed to 7.5%, below analysts’ expectations.


August 2019

  • Global remittances are now the largest source of capital inflow into developing economies. They exceed $500bn annually according to the World Bank, growing around 10% in the last year and from a level of around $300bn a decade ago. The volume of digital remittances has quadrupled in the past five years. Unlike foreign direct investment or international development funding, remittances from migrant workers to families back home are more resilient and responsive than other forms of capital. 
  • The V20 is a group founded by 20 vulnerable countries whose membership has since grown to 48. The members are mostly poor, together accounting for less than 5% of global GDP. They include low-lying atolls, such as the Marshall Islands, and economies dominated by agriculture, such as Kenya.
  • South Africa's unemployment rate rose to 29 percent in the second quarter of 2019, the highest figure in more than a decade. Rising joblessness underscores the challenges for President Cyril Ramaphosa, who led his African National Congress party to a slim victory in elections in May on the promise of economic reform and growth.


May 2019

  • The African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which would create a single market of more than 1.2 billion people if all African countries eventually sign up, went into effect. At the moment, much of Africa's trade is with countries outside the continent but the deal could boost continental commerce more than 50%, says the UN, spurring economic growth and creating jobs for Africa's soaring youth population.
  • Latin America used to be the world’s most prosperous emerging region, but it is on the verge of being overtaken by other regions that were long considerably poorer. It has lost ground since the 1980s despite reform initiatives because of sluggish growth and the unequal distribution of the gains of that growth. McKinsey's Latin America’s missing middle: Rebooting inclusive growth examined two “missing middles” holding the region back: a robust cohort of midsize companies and a solid middle class with growing spending power.
  • Venezuela released economic data for the first time since 2015. The numbers painted a grim picture: GDP contracted by 22.5% in the third quarter of 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. Oil earnings also dropped while inflation has skyrocketed to 130,060%. For comparison, the IMF put Venezuelan inflation at 929,790%


April 2019

  • Iran's economy is forecast to contract by 6 percent this year, and inflation is expected to rise to 50 percent. Iran's oil exports have more than halved since the US announced its decision to abandon the nuclear deal last year. 


March 2019

  • The Economist reported on the "new scramble for Africa". The 19th-century contest was for land and plunder; the cold-war one was over ideology. Today, countries including China, Turkey and India are rushing to strengthen diplomatic, strategic and commercial ties, drawn by Africa’s growing population as much as its resources. From 2010 to 2016 more than 320 new embassies were set up in Africa in probably the biggest diplomacy-boom ever. Foreigners are building ports and factories, selling insurance and banking and bringing technology for mobile phones and e-commerce. The foreigners expect to do well from all this, but Africans themselves could do best of all.
  • In 2020 Asia's economies will reach a milestone, accounting for more than 50 percent of global GDP, adjusted for purchasing power. That marks the first time since the 19th century that Asia will dominate global economic output.


February  2019


January 2019


December 2018


November 2018


October 2018


September 2018


August 2018

  • McKinsey noted that in emerging economies, growing sovereign debt reflects the sheer scale of the investment needed to industrialise and urbanise, although some countries are also funding large public administrations and inefficient state-owned enterprises. Even so, public debt across all emerging economies is more modest, at 46%of GDP on average compared with 105% in advanced economies.

  • In recent months, African nations have been in the process of creating, signing and ratifying the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The agreement is one of the largest trade liberalisation efforts since the founding of the World Trade Organization in 1995. At the 31st African Union (AU) Summit in Nouakchott, Mauritania; the total number of AfCFTA’s signatories reached 49 out of 55 African Union (AU) member states.

  • For GZEROMedia, Africa is set to be the fastest growing region in the worldeconomically over the coming decades. But the approach of the UK, Germany, and China in the region also reveal interesting details about their broader global concerns and who, ultimately, is poised to prevail. 

  • Venezuela removed zeroes from its banknotes. The new currency, known as the sovereign bolivar, will replace the strong bolivar and will be anchored to Venezuela’s cryptocurrency, the petro. Each petro is worth about $60, based on the price of a barrel of Venezuelan oil—around 3,600 sovereign bolivars, a significant devaluation in a country battling hyperinflation.

  • Nicaragua’s economy is expected to contract by almost 6 percent this year, in large part due to disruptions caused by the ongoing fightingbetween embattled President Daniel Ortega and opposition protestors. In 2017, the country's economy grew by nearly 5 percent.


July 2018

  • At the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, heads of state from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa discussed promoting multilateral global trade amid a worsening trade war. The "crumbling world order" spells opportunity for the BRICS, believes Quartz, as backing the multilateral trading arrangements the US seems to be dumping can strengthen their position.
  • HumanProgress analysis found that, since the start of the new millennium, Africa’s average per capita income adjusted for inflation and purchasing power parity rose by more than 50% and Africa’s growth rate has averaged almost 5% per year.
    Increasing wealth has led to improvements in key indicators of human wellbeing. In 1999, 58 percent of Africans lived on less than $1.90 per person per day. By 2011, 44 percent of Africans lived on that income – all while the African population rose from 650 million to 1 billion. If the current trends continue, Africa’s absolute poverty rate will fall to 24 percent by 2030.
  • Africa-based tech startups raised $169 million in the first half of 2018, more than they raised in all of 2017, reported GZEROMedia. Kenya and Nigeria, both of which have large English-speaking populations and burgeoning financial centres, were the top destinations for venture capital investment on the continent.
  • Meanwhile, Madagascar has the fastest broadband speed in AfricaThe island nation’s speed is more than double the world average, and outpaces many more developed countries.
  • In the past two years, China has lent $1.4 billion to the strategically located East African nation of Djibouti. That sum is equivalent to 75 percent of the country’s GDP, noted GZEROMedia.
  • GZEROMedia also noted that more than half of the world’s 282 mobile-money platforms are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to research from McKinsey & Co. Mobile money is another way Africa is “leapfrogging” traditional stages of development through the adoption of new technologies.
  • South Africa needs to improve its governance and regulatory transparency to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI), according to AT Kearney, who noted that the country's share of regional foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows had diminished since 2007, as demonstrated in the latest AT Kearney FDI Confidence Index.
  • China now owns more than 70% of Kenya’s external debt, reported Quartz. That figure is eight times more than the share of Kenya’s second-biggest lending partner, France.
  • Emerging markets are once again in the headlines, noted Chatham House. The IMF has announced a $50 billion Standby Agreement for Argentina, the Turkish lira is precarious and investors are unnerved by forthcoming elections in Brazil and Mexico. Against the backdrop of a strengthening dollar and rising interest rates in the US, the question is whether it is likely that there will be a new round of crises in emerging markets or whether the conditions are fundamentally different today from those in the 1980s and 1990s.


June 2018

  • Finance officials from 14 African countries discussed adopting the Chinese yuan as one of the currencies that their central banks hold. As China’s global investments grow, while misgivings about US dollar dominance mount, Beijing is keen to make its own currency an eventual rival to the dollar in international trade and finance.

  • According to recent data from the World Bank, more than half of South Africa’s population lives below the poverty line. Another 27 percent live at risk of falling into poverty. Just 4 percent are considered wealthy. Just 20 percent of South Africans qualify as middle class. 

  • Afrobarometer research in 36 African countries between 2014 and 2015 found that 67 per cent of respondents saw  democracy as the best system of government. In 26 of the 36 surveyed countries, popular demand for democracy surpasses citizens’ perceptions of how democratic their countries currently are. However, while constitutional restraints – particularly term limits – and laws protecting civil liberties are coming under attack across the continent, citizens of many countries have staged protests against these retrenchments.

  • Despite the volatility and turbulence of recent years, growth in emerging markets has outpaced that in developed markets in most countries over the past decade, argued BCG.

  • This year is proving to be a big one for major political transitions in Sub-Saharan Africa. After decades of one-man rule, the important economies of Angola, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia all have new leadership, noted the EIU, which is watching the new regimes closely to see how different their policy directions will be and whether there will be a decisive break with the past, which could open up new opportunities. Perhaps the most important transition is in South Africa, where the past few years have been very difficult, and GDP per capita in 2017 was 23% lower than it was in 2011.

  • Colin Smith of Africa Alert told jinfo that Africa is a huge and rapidly developing continent, so while listing just four relevant news resources is almost impossible, the ones listed below are those that are a little less well-known than major news resources such as Reuters and Bloomberg. Smith notes too that all 54 African countries have viable media resources and most also have well-developed government information websites. 

    • This site allows users to set up email newsletters, providing a daily update of the Top 10 African business news stories. It's a useful pointer to major events.
    • Bizcommunity: This is another site offering Africa-wide updates. It also displays contributor content, throwing up news stories that are a little outside of the mainstream.
    • Agence Ecofin: This is a French site (with an English version). It offers general news stories on Africa and a good resource across a variety of sectors including mining, finance and agriculture.
    • Forum on China-Africa Cooperation: One of the big ongoing news themes in Africa is China's growing economic involvement. This site is a useful one-stop-shop covering Chinese investments in Sub-Saharan Africa.


May 2018


April 2018



March 2018



  • 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.


June 2016

See also:




May 2016





  Image removed.




Image removed.

  • In Unlocking Nigeria’s Potential: The Path to Well-Being, Boston Consulting Group argued that Nigeria boasts natural resources and a young, entrepreneurial population and that specific improvements in infrastructure, education, and health can help the country harness those advantages.




April 2016













  • Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the world’s fastest-growing regions, however, according to new analysis from The Economist. In 2016, despite economic headwinds of soft commodity prices, US monetary tightening, El Niño-induced drought, infrastructure deficits, terrorist threats and political unrest in some countries, seven of the world’s fastest-growing economies will be in Africa. Although a deceleration from previous years, at 3.2% the region’s GDP growth will still be the world’s second fastest, behind only Asia.




March 2016







  • Recent developments in key African markets:



Image removed.


Image removed.




February 2016



  • African stock market flotations are on track to reach their highest level since 2010, in dollar terms, according to analysis by Baker & McKenzie, the law firm. About $3.1bn is likely to be raised from at least 16 initial public offerings this year, the Chicago-based firm forecasts. If so, it would be the strongest year for African IPOs since 2010, when $4.4bn was raised.



Selected recent Eurasia Group analysis of African markets:





  • In Nigeria, Eurasia is downgrading its long-term trajectory to neutral on erratic economic policymaking. President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration will continue to take an ad-hoc approach to confronting the oil price shock; a devaluation of the naira by mid-year is likely.



  • The Democratic Republic of Congo will shelve an onerous new mining code while Zambia will ease royalties in an effort to contain production and job cuts amid weak global copper prices. However, power supply constraints will persist and presidential elections will pose risks to miners in 2016.




January 2016




Selected highlights from PwC's latest African Business Group newsletter:


  • The Global African Investment Summit, of which PwC was a platinum sponsor, took place on 1-2 December 2015. The event was very successful and high profile with around 1,200 delegates and 7 heads of state in attendance. We had a strong multi-territory senior team.


  • Christine Lagarde says although all six central African states counted on their petroleum resources to improve their economies,Gabon,ChadandEquatorial Guineahave suffered most as a result of reducing world prices. She says they did not diversify their economies like Cameroon did


  • Seizing the opportunity provided by the first near universally available infrastructure, hundreds of technology start-ups have sprung up across the continent to plough new trade routes and seek breakthrough innovations. In parallel there is mounting competition between global tech companies —IBM, Google, Facebook, China’s Tencent - for a slice of what are some of the world’s fastest growing IT markets.


  • For the past 50 years, the scattered, unreliable state of data about African business and finance have deterred access to capital and hampered growth. Now, an array of big-data tools have sprung up to help transform the process for a multitude of users, including farmers, small-business owners, policymakers and international stakeholders looking to invest in the continent.












December 2015






November 2015













  • Chinese investments in Uganda are slated to double in the next five years, as the two countries continue to strengthen their economic corporation and trade relations.




October 2015










September 2015











  • EY plans to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in acquisitions in South Africa and the rest of Africa over the next five years as it looks to grow its business and develop new skills. Over the past few years, EY has invested about $100m in acquisitions, office infrastructure and skills development. EY Africa CEO Ajen Sita said the capital to be invested over the next five years would be more than $100m, but could not give a specific figure. "From an Africa perspective, we will deploy about 40% of all our investment capital in SA and 50%-60% outside in countries like Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and Mozambique". EY, which operates in 33 African countries, does business in tax, auditing, advisory and transactional advisory services. EY will target advisory businesses and supply-chain consulting. Recently the company announced it had acquired IZAZI Solutions, which provides technology solutions in the financial services space. It was EY’s fourth acquisition in its Africa practice over the past three years.











August 2015






July 2015





  • For the Financial Times, the problem is not that Africa has a missing class of people but rather a missing class of organisation. The founts of productivity are organisations, such as businesses, that make ordinary people productive by harnessing the potential of scale and specialisation while preserving worker motivation. Africa is short of such organisations: its private sector lacks scale while its public sector lacks motivation. Global businesses, by contrast, perform the alchemy of combining these factors every day.










June 2015







  • EY published its first Africa banking review. It analyses three of the largest Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) banking markets: South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya. However, given that economic integration in the East African Community (EAC) is far more advanced than other regional economic and political clusters across SSA, it also included Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, creating an east Africa perspective.



  • 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.





  • 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.




May 2015



  • Africa’s leading stock exchanges are open for trading, claimed KPMG. However, despite growing interest and investment in Africa, the lack of complete and good quality information about the African stock markets is contributing to a continued hesitance by international public companies to list on Africa’s stock exchanges and for foreign investors to invest in domestic companies listed on African stock exchanges. KPMG’s Listing in Africa report aimed to provide comprehensive information about selected African markets and stock exchanges, thereby providing international public companies, foreign investors and fund managers and private equity investors who are invested in Africa with valuable insights into listing and investing in securities across key markets in Africa.








April 2015





  • In The pioneering continent, The Economist argued that innovation is increasingly local and that a remarkable change taking place in Africa. A continent that has long accepted technological hand-me-downs from the West is increasingly innovating for itself. Much of this is made possible by technological advances elsewhere. Mobile phones are common today in even the most remote African villages. Ericsson estimates that the number of mobiles will rise to 930m by 2019, almost one per African. The spread of smartphones, some of which now cost as little as $25, is likely to push internet penetration to 50% within a decade. This is now allowing Africans to go beyond merely copying technology used elsewhere or adapting it to fit African circumstances. In some cases, firms are generating innovations that can also be used in rich countries.



  • The Economist identified the 15 fastest growing economies in 2015. five are in Africa.




  • PwC published a new post on its Growth Markets Centre (GMC) blog: The Battle for African Banking Supremacy argued that banking in Africa has undergone some dramatic changes over the past 20 years including a transition from government- owned banks in the 1980s and restrictive regulation to financial liberalisation and the spread of globalisation. Today, Africa is rising and poised to enjoy a growth in its banking systems - ultimately becoming the new banking destination, with seven out of ten fastest economies residing in Africa. Learn how African banks will have to evolve to survive, and watch the video on The Battle for African Banking Supremacy.




March 2015



  • The EIU's Africa is the horizon report found that, for the past twenty years, the centre of the global economy has been shifting from the developed to the developing world. Today, growth rates in developing economies are many times higher than in developed economies. Africa, in general, and Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, are two notable cases in point. In 2015 Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP is expected to grow at 4.5%, making it the fastest-growing economic zone in the world, outpacing Asia’s regional average of 4.3% annual growth. Obviously, in terms of overall market size, Sub-Saharan Africa is still quite a bit smaller than Asia, but, when considering the longer term, continued steady growth in Africa will result in an economic bloc with global impact over the next two decades. In the next five years alone, Sub-Saharan Africa’s percentage share of the global GDP is expected to increase from 1.4% to 4%.


  • Partners in Africa - The Key to success or Failure? is a new PwC blog post which explains that while it’s no secret that sub-Saharan Africa has seen significant growth over the last decade and there may have been bumps on the road, the trend is set to continue. The US private equity group, Carlyle is a case in point. In April of last year it closed its maiden private equity fund focused on sub-Saharan Africa at nearly USD 700 million, 40% above target. Last November, it announced its first investment in Nigeria, taking an 18% stake in Diamond Bank. And, the same week saw another first for Carlyle, this time in South Africa, where it acquired TiAuto in a deal thought to be worth about USD 182 million.


  • The results of PwC's Into Africa report show how megatrends are colliding across the continent - creating opportunities as well as challenges. The report also highlights North African cities as the top four leading the way due to their developed infrastructure, regulatory and legal frameworks and already established socio-cultural ecosystems. However, the other African cities with promise that we highlight can, and will, climb to join the top cities in our overall ranking with little effort and organisation.



  • PwC launched new PwC Business Schools in Rwanda and Ghana. The focus of PwC’s Business School is to enhance the skills of people, provide relevant development offerings to clients and help uplift communities. In Rwanda the Financial Services academy, Tax academy and the Public Sector Services academy were launched at an event attended by representatives from the public and private sector. PwC’s business school in Ghana is the first in West Africa and will provide training courses as well as tailor-made solutions for professionals in the West African sub-region.


  • Hein Boegman was named as PwC's new Africa TSP. Hein was voted by 400 Africa partners to become the new Africa Territory Senior Partner for PwC with effect from 1 July 2015, succeeding Suresh Kana who retires on 30 June. He is the Mining Industry Leader for Africa, serves on the PwC Africa Executive board and is the current Regional Senior Partner of PwC in Southern Africa.  He was also voted on to the Global Board of PwC in 2013.



February 2015







  • The European Investment Bank, Europe’s long-term lending institution, and East African-based regional development body, PTA Bank, launched a new EUR 160 million lending initiative to support investment across eastern and southern Africa. The EIB has agreed to provide EUR 80 million for the new initiative that will be matched by PTA Bank and represents the largest single private sector lending scheme ever backed by the EIB in Africa - see press release.




January 2015







  • PwC says Mozambique could become the world’s third largest producer of Liquefied Natural Gas  after Qatar and Australia, but needs to secure billions of dollars in foreign investment. PwC has predicted Africa’s energy industry would see a boom in coming years, with Mozambique and Tanzania expected to emerge as new gas frontiers.


December 2014


  • In China-West corporate ties grow slowly in Africa, Oxford Analytica concluded that, over the last ten years, China has become a significant competitor to Western governments, multinationals, and multilateral institutions in Africa. This is evidenced by increased rivalry for infrastructure contracts and resource deals as well as competing ideological development visions. However, there is also an emerging trend toward cooperation in both the government and corporate spheres.





November 2014









  • PwC published a new post in its Africa Upfront blog: Delivering affordable, interconnected, innovative public services. Muchemi Wambugu, Partner, Technology Advisory Services, PwC Kenya. argued that the rate of change driven by technology will influence the affordability, interconnectedness and innovation of public services. In Africa, public services can still end up being too expensive for many citizens - even when those services are subsidised. This is because the total cost to the citizen includes long travel times (particularly for those in rural, less-connected areas) and long waiting times, such as for initial diagnoses, which also reduces take-home pay.




  • Oxford Analytica warned that residential, legislative and local government elections could trigger significant political volatility across Africa in 2015. While regular elections underline the widespread acceptance of formal democratic rules, the high number of presidents seeking third terms (by making constitutional changes) in 2015 and 2016 indicates the era of ‘strong men’ is not over -- despite incentives from donors. In states plagued by violent insurgencies, polls could spur attacks by groups eager to capture media attention or pursue localised grievances. Elsewhere, they could lead simmering ethnic or post-conflict tensions to escalate.


  • Sourceforconsulting's The consulting market in Africa 2014 report found that there was 5% growth in 2013 to just over $2.1bn, while the African Consulting market is expected to grow by 4% in 2014 (but it varies considerably across the continent - 1% in Southern Africa, 3.5% in North Africa, 20+% in East Africa, 20+% in West Africa) The picture in terms of industries across the region is varied - overall, Financial Services looks set to remain the largest with strongest growth in real terms across most territories. In terms of types of consulting services, the picture is again variable depending on which country you are looking at - overall it is clear that Technology and Financial management & Risk stand out.


October 2014


  • IBM will put its super-computing data crunching to use in Sierra Leone, as part of the fight against ebola. It has launched a system which allows citizens to report ebola-related issues and government, health agencies and others to keep track of the disease. Citizens can use SMS or voice calls that are location-specific. The data will then be analysed to identify correlations and highlight issues. Already, regions with growing numbers of suspected ebola cases have been pinpointed and the delivery of urgent supplies such as soap and electricity have been sped up.






  • Can Technology Help Save Africa? examined whether tech be an important fix for some of Africa’s most pressing problems. For example, major fibre-optic cables are being submerged along the east coast of Africa, connecting countries from Djibouti south to South Africa, while cellphones have already had a major impact on sub-Saharan Africa. They are changing the way businesses and educators do work and for mobile banking. The conclusion? As long as “appropriate" technology is used, (i.e. not always necessarily the latest high-tech solution), it can certainly be an important contributor to African development, particularly since costs are dropping rapidly and its potential uses of are expanding exponentially.





September 2014


  • Fortune asked: Is Africa's rise for real this time? Its conclusion: Africa's economics are surging, and foreign investment is exploding. The challenges - including Ebola- are immense, but the continent may finally be ready to deliver on its promise.




  • PwC's UK International Development business has been working with colleagues from firms across Africa to build an integrated African and UK International Development business. This collaboration, under the UK/Africa Alliance, will coordinate efforts in Africa and the UK around the donor market place with clients like the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Dr Bert Odiaka, partner in charge of Government and Public sector in Nigeria, said: “Meeting in Ghana and spending the week working together has been a fantastic start to what we believe will be a long and productive relationship.


  • In its latest Africa Attractiveness Survey, EY noted that it is increasingly important to distinguish between trends in North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. While foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into North Africa have declined significantly, those into sub-Saharan Africa continue to grow — by 4.7% last year, and at a compound annual growth rate of 19.5% since 2007. Regional hubs, such as South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, together with emerging highgrowth economies, such as Ghana, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda, are at the forefront of rising FDI levels.



August 2014


  • Global investors are  taking note of the economic potential of sub-Saharan Africa. According to a new PwC report, Africa will grow faster than any other region - and will have the world's biggest labour force. Many international corporations are already active in Lagos, Kinshasa, and Johannesburg. But PwC says investors should also be getting excited about the "Next 10" Dar es Salaam, Luanda, Khartoum, Abidjan, Nairobi, Kano, Ibadan, Dakar, Ouagadougou and Addis Ababa.




  • The first US-Africa summit, attended by nearly 50 African heads of state, took on issues from corruption to Islamist extremism. But the dominant theme was Africa’s potential as an additional motor for global growth, and the role that US companies could play in that. If the goal was to shift US perceptions of Africa as simply a repository of war, poverty and disease, then the summit made a healthy start.




  • Roughly 12 million people will enter the African workforce each year in the next decade; but, even today, young people account for 60% of all unemployed. Creating a sufficient number of rewarding jobs is a substantial challenge. The answer to that challenge will vary by country, but it rests on reviving and reinforcing the manufacturing, agriculture, retail, and hospitality sectors, as well as technology-related businesses. There have already been positive impacts that innovations such as so-called mobile wallets – mobile phone apps for banking – have had on facilitating payments and commerce, and on creating a new class of jobs in Africa. Even more can be achieved by making broadband and technology more abundant and affordable.



July 2014




  • Across sub-Saharan Africa, consumer demand is fuelling the continent’s economies in new ways, driving hopes that Africa will emerge as a success story in the coming years comparable to the rise of the East Asian Tigers in the second half of the 20th century. After seeing years of uninterrupted economic expansion across Africa, governments, analysts and investors are focusing on this fast-growing continent’s shoppers and workers rather than just the usual upswing in commodity prices that have driven past cycles of boom and bust. The African Development Bank projected that foreign investment in Africa would reach a record $80 billion this year, with a larger share of the money going to manufacturing and not just the strip-mining of resources.




June 2014


  • According to Business Insider, there's a range of startups in Africa that are aiming to effect change in the continent. In fact, there are now more than 90 tech hubs in across Africa, according to the World Bank. These startups are tackling issues like education, connectivity, and transportation. In 2013, U.S. investors poured more money into African startups than any other year, according to CrunchBase.



  • PwC UK will be entering into a Strategic Alliance with PwC Africa. The UK/Africa Alliance is the next step in our strategy of linking together high potential markets across the PwC network and follows our successful and ongoing Alliances in the Middle East and CEE. The abundance of natural resources and the rapid growth of many African economies present significant growth opportunities. The Alliance also offers our people, across the UK and Africa, the chance to experience different working environments. To read about our strategy click on





May 2014



  • The FT warned that the "scramble for Africa" is on once more. Stock markets in sub-Saharan Africa have lead the world over the past five years, while surveys show that private equity managers are now more bullish about the region than they are about China, India or Brazil.  According to the International Monetary Fund, between 2010 and 2020 nine of the ten fastest growing economies in the world will be from Africa. So Africa has become the flavour of the month. Interest in the continent is surging among investment institutions, while fund managers and private equity providers are attempting to meet the demand.


  • One of the key features of the African digital renaissance is that it is increasingly home grown. In other sectors of the African economy, such as mining or agribusiness, much of the know-how is imported and the wealth extracted. But Africa’s 700 million or so mobile subscribers use services that are provided locally, and they are also downloading more applications that are developed locally. One of the main sources of locally developed applications is the technology hubs that are springing up across Africa. In a recent project carried out for the Botswana Innovation Hub, we worked with two of the longer established labs, the research arm of *iHub_in Kenya and BongoHive in Zambia, to create a map of tech hubs. There are now around 90 tech hubs across the continent, and more than half of Africa economies have at least one.



April 2014



March 2014



  • Deloitte opened an office in Rwanda to complete its network across East Africa, where it already has a presence in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia. Deloitte said the move was prompted by the need to move closer to its clients. The office is based in Kigali and will provide financial consulting, tax and risk advisory services to clients in both the public and private sector.


February 2014