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African Business 2020 edition

  • Text
  • Agenda
  • Business
  • Invest
  • Union
  • Industry
  • Sustainable
  • Development
  • Regions
  • Trends
  • Sectors
  • Afcfta
  • Trade
  • Investment
  • Africa
  • Global
  • Continent
  • Projects
  • Economic
  • Infrastructure
  • Countries
A unique guide to business and investment in Africa. Global Africa Network is proud to launch this inaugural edition of African Business 2020 at a time of energetic planning for a prosperous future for the continent. The African Union’s Agenda 2063 is much more than a document about a hoped-for future, it contains concrete goals and deliverables. The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA) and the development finance institution, the African Development Bank (AfDB) are already rolling out valuable projects that are changing the reality on the ground in vital areas of the African economy. Perhaps the most significant event of recent times is the signing by African leaders of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) which will bring together all 55 member states of the African Union and cover a market of more than 1.2-billion people. African Business 2020 has articles on all of these recent trends, plus overviews of the key economic sectors and regional and country profiles. In 2019 Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed received the Nobel Peace Prize for peace-making efforts in his region. The economic dividends of peace are beginning to be felt. In 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa assumed the mantle of AU Chairperson. He brings to the role considerable experience in conflict management, constitution-writing and seeking consensus. Global Africa Network is a proudly African company which has been producing region-specific business and investment guides since 2004, including South African Business and Nigerian Business, in addition to its online investment promotion platform www.globalafricanetwork.com

AFRICA OVERVIEW

AFRICA OVERVIEW Africa’s big chance Large infrastructure projects and an increase in intra-African trade could be the platforms to launch the continent into a new era of prosperity. John Young In the first decade of the 21st century when commodity prices were booming, it was common to read about “Africa rising”. But increases in gross domestic product (GDP) and increased profits for oil and minerals producers did not bring much change for the vast majority of Africa’s citizens, nor did they deliver any major structural changes or useful infrastructure. Africa remains remarkably resource-rich and its growing population presents opportunities to build markets on a vast scale. Meaningful initiatives at regional and continental level suggest that Africa is now better prepared to set itself on a path to development and prosperity. The African Union (AU), development agencies and banks are pursuing policies and programmes designed to tackle the continent’s great problems, chief among them poverty, energy supply and infrastructure. Despite the poor performance of the oil and mineral giants (Nigeria, Angola and South Africa), Sub-Saharan Africa is experiencing good growth rates. By 2021 five economies will exceed 0-billion GDP (Angola, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa) with a further four topping -billion (Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Tanzania). Cameroon follows closely behind (IMF). Africa’s growth rate in 2017 was 3.7%. Ethiopia’s GDP grew 7% for five years to 2018. Four of the fastest-growing economies in the world in 2019 were Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Rwanda (World Bank). Scoring well on the World Bank’s “Doing Business” list is so important that some countries are reported to have set up AFRICAN BUSINESS 2020 12

AFRICA OVERVIEW “war rooms” to tackle each category and so improve their ranking. In the 12 months to 1 May 2019, 73 reforms to make doing business easier were recorded in Sub-Saharan Africa. Reforms included measures related to getting electricity and construction permits and paying taxes. Bad politics has often held Africa back and there are still areas on the continent where conflict or selfish elites block progress. There are insistent demands for change in Algeria and South Sudan, Somalia, Cameroon, Burkino Faso and other countries are experiencing armed conflicts. However, the new Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for his efforts in his region and the newest chairperson of the AU, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, is a good symbol of a clean broom, following as he did a discredited leader who is widely believed to have allowed extensive looting of the state. Two years earlier, two Southern African leaders who collectively were in power for 75 years were ousted: Angola’s Jose Eduardo dos Santos and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. Challenges to opportunities The size of Africa’s population (currently estimated at 1.2-billion) represents both opportunity and challenge. The continent by 2030 will increase the number of children in primary school from 189-million to 251-million and by 2050 Africa will record 42% of all global births (UNICEF). The upside of this is that huge markets for goods will be created 13 AFRICAN BUSINESS 2020

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