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African Business 2021

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The 2021 edition of African Business is the second issue of this useful guide to business and investment on the continent. The positive reception accorded the inaugural edition in 2020 was encouraging and we are optimistic that this publication and future issues will continue to meet the need for timely and relevant information in an exciting time for African business. African Business 2021 has articles on recent trends plus overviews of the key economic sectors on the continent and regional and country profiles. There is an in-depth analysis of the implications for trade on the continent of the introduction of the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) and an article on the growth and importance of exploration for minerals, gas and oil. Namibia and Botswana feature in an article on how cooperation can drive economic growth and an opinion piece focusses on the role that digital technology can play not only in the financial sector, but in the driving progress in a broader sense. Global African 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: https://www.globalafricanetwork.com

Elections in the Central

Elections in the Central African Republic were marred by violence in 2020. Climate The Regional Economic Community (REC) of the Central African region is the Economic Community of Central African (ECCAS). ECCAS was established in 1983 when the Customs and Economic Union of Central Africa (UDEAC) joined forces with the Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (ECGLC) and the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe. The member states of ECCAS are Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Rwanda and São Tomé and Príncipe. ECCAS contributes to peace-keeping through the Mission for the Consolidation of Peace in Central African Republic (MICOPAX). The six members of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) share a common currency, the Central African CFA franc managed by the Bank of Central African States. The countries are Cameroon, Chad, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and the Republic of the Congo. The region covers 6.5-million square kilometres. The place where the rains from the north-east meet the winds from the south-east is called the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). The ITCZ crosses the equator twice a year, creating two rainy seasons and two dry seasons. Thunderstorms are common. Rainfall in the southern section is more variable and proximity to the coast influences weather patterns, as does topography. The equatorial region is the wettest part of the continent and its evergreen tropical rainforest is the second-biggest on earth. The Congo Basin is Africa’s biggest water catchment area. Variations in climate extend north and south of the equator, starting with the savanna forest, and getting drier the further one travels away from the equator. In the most northerly part of the region, the thorny steppe occurs, which is typical of the Sahel. Economy Commodity prices play a big role in the fate of the economies of the Central African region because minerals and oil are the two biggest assets currently being utilised. The vast forests contribute to the export baskets of many nations but there are concerns that illegal logging may be reducing this resource. The powerful rivers of the region present further opportunities; the Congo Basin has 44% of all Africa’s estimated internal renewable water reserves (African Development Bank). Political instability hinders growth. Three of the region’s states are considered “fragile” (Central African Republic, Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo) and Cameroon is experiencing severe tensions between English-speaking regions that want to secede from the predominately Francophone country. There is little integration within the region and infrastructure is under-developed. The region’s abundant natural resources could fuel the development of a manufacturing sector. Resources Oil, timber, copper, cobalt, diamonds, uranium, gold, natural gas, fish. AFRICAN BUSINESS 2021 52

Rwanda Economic growth of 10% was achieved in 2019. Capital: Kigali Other towns/cities: Butare, Ruhengeri, Gisenyi Population: 12.1-million (2018) GDP: .5-billion (2018) GDP per capita (PPP): 251 Currency: Rwandan franc Regional Economic Community: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of Central African State (ECCAS) Land mass: 24 668km² Coastline: Landlocked Resources: Gold, cassiterite tin ore, tungsten ore, beryllium, methane, coffee, tea, pyrethrum, bananas, beans, sorghum. Main economic sectors: Agriculture. Other sectors: Tourism, mineral processing, agri-processing, cement, textiles, cigarettes. New sectors for investment: Energy, manufacturing, infrastructure. Key projects: National Strategies for Transformation, sevenyear programmes which follow previous five-year Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategies. Chief exports: Coffee, tea, hides, tin ore. Top export destinations: UAE, Kenya, Switzerland, Democratic Republic of the Congo, US, Singapore. Top import sources: China, Uganda, India, Kenya, Tanzania, UAE. Main imports: Steel, machinery and equipment, food, petroleum products, cement and construction material. Infrastructure: Four paved airports; roads 4 700km of which 1 207km paved (2012); lake port(s): Cyangugu, Gisenyi, Kibuye (Lake Kivu). ICT: Mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 74 (2017). Internet users percent of population: 29.8% (2017). ICT Development Index 2017 (ITU): 21 in Africa, 153 world. Climate: Temperate, two rainy seasons. Mountainous with grassy uplands. Mild in mountains with some frost and snow. Religion: Christian with almost half Protestant, 44% Roman Catholic. Modern history: In the period before Rwanda achieved independence from Belgium, the country’s king (from the minority Tutsi ethnic group) was overthrown by Hutus who also drove tens of thousands of Tutsis out of the country. These exiles banded together as the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) and a civil war ensued. A state-sponsored genocide in 1994 led to the deaths of approximately 800 000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus. The mainly Tutsi RPF won the civil war against the national army of Rwanda and Hutu militias and established a government of national unity. The first post-genocide elections were held at local level in 1999 and at national and presidential level in 2003. President Paul Kagame has been president since 2000, having overseen the amendment of the constitution to allow for a third term of office, which began in 2017. Kagame has worked hard to build national unity and has won international praise for his efforts to turn around the nation’s economy. Critics believe that democratic opposition has been crushed under the guise of protecting unity. 53 AFRICAN BUSINESS 2021

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