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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

FOREWORD

FOREWORD African Business A unique guide to business and investment in Africa. Credits Publishing director: Chris Whales Editor: John Young Managing director: Clive During Online editor: Christoff Scholtz Designer: Simon Lewis Production: Aneeqah Solomon Ad sales: Gavin van der Merwe Sam Oliver Jeremy Petersen Gabriel Venter Vanessa Wallace Shiko Diala Administration & accounts: Charlene Steynberg Kathy Wootton Distribution and circulation manager: Edward MacDonald Printing: FA Print 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. Neighbours 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 www.globalafricanetwork.com ■ Chris Whales Publisher, Global Africa Network Media | Email: chris@gan.co.za DISTRIBUTION African Business is distributed internationally on outgoing and incoming trade missions, through trade and investment agencies; to foreign offices in Africa’s main trading partners around the world; at top national and international events; through the offices of foreign representatives in Africa; as well as nationally and regionally via chambers of commerce, tourism offices, airport lounges, provincial government departments, municipalities and companies. PUBLISHED BY Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd Company Registration No: 2004/004982/07 Directors: Clive During, Chris Whales Physical address: 28 Main Road, Rondebosch 7700 Postal address: PO Box 292, Newlands 7701 Tel: +27 21 657 6200 | Fax: +27 21 674 6943 Email: info@gan.co.za | Website: www.gan.co.za Member of the Audit Bureau of Circulations ISBN 978-0-620-86689-7 COPYRIGHT | African Business is an independent publication published Commission, Kenya Airways, Kevin Wright/Vedanta International, Magical by Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd. Full copyright to Kenya, Namdock, Nespresso, Ono Kusuki/pexels.com, Onomo Hotels, Railnet the publication vests with Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd. International, Tazara, Visit Rwanda. No part of the publication may be reproduced in any form without the written permission of Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd. DISCLAIMER | While the publisher, Global Africa Network Media (Pty) Ltd, has used all reasonable efforts to ensure that the information contained PHOTO CREDITS | Cover: kertlis/iStock. Jack Bain on Unsplash, De Beers in African Business is accurate and up-to-date, the publishers make no Group, Anglo American, iStock by Getty Images, Anton Swanepoel. representations as to the accuracy, quality, timeliness, or completeness of Other images: Absa Group, African Development Bank, Africa Minigrid the information. Global Africa Network will not accept responsibility for any Developers Association, Anton Swanepoel, CIMMYT, Damian Patkowski loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or any reliance placed on on Unsplash, De Beers Group, Founders Factory Africa, Invest Ethiopia such information. SOUTH AFRICAN BUSINESS 2021 4

Interoperability and the Rapid Payment Project Murray Gardiner, MD of Bluecode Africa, explains the transformative power of digital mobile open payment. The continent’s most developed economy, South Africa, is ready for greater ease in transferring money between customers of different banks. Such an enhancement will mean that those who often face barriers within the local financial system could be brought into the fold. The country is betting on interoperability with the Rapid Payment Project (RPP). The RPP will bring instant clearing and allow banks, and presumably non-bank financial institutions, the ability to ‘push’ payment clearing messages like instant electronic funds transfers (EFTs) to other financial institutions, facilitating a high volume of low-value instant payments. This will be transformative for the national payment system (NPS) and will allow for instant clearing and instant access to funds for small merchants. This represents a move towards instant digital ‘push’ payments for consumers, and the market will presumably open up to various last-mile payment technologies to enable choice in the market. What about cards? Cards are a ‘pull’ payment where consumers provide authorisation for merchants to withdraw money from their accounts by providing card authorisation information. This subtle difference has a profound effect. With cards, the merchants’ banks authorise merchants to accept card payments and the banks seek settlements on behalf of those merchants. This infers a close and interdependent relationship between banks and merchants and allows the bank to extend risk-based financial products and services. The downside of cards includes foreign rules, complex compliance and security requirements that have to do with the legacy technology behind transactions, and associated fraud risk. All the costs of plastic (POS terminals, fraud risk, data privacy compliance, and foreign exchange fees on local currency transactions) limit the reach of card acceptance to the established, more affluent segments of the market. The best of both worlds South Africa’s payments ecosystem needs a digital account-based alternative to cards: a mobile digital ‘pull’ open-loop merchant payment that provides the benefit of cards without the inherent costs and constraints. Additionally, this digital, mobile, open payment needs to have general acceptance, like card payments, but not be dependent on a foreign legacy card scheme. A digital, mobile account-based merchant payment would increase the size of the addressable market for financial services and create opportunities for banks and aggregators to bring the informal sector into the formal economy. This would benefit consumers and, most importantly, small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), including micro traders, small farmers, artisans, and the myriad sellers of goods and services that make up the informal economy. For digital mobile merchant payments to scale against Murray Gardiner, MD of Bluecode Africa cash, there must be a strong value proposition for both the consumer and the merchant. The consumer needs to be able to pay in a consistent way anywhere, irrespective of who the consumer or merchant banks with. For the merchant, payments must be simple, convenient. The merchant should also be able to experience the benefits of access to valued and affordable financial services. About Bluecode: Bluecode is a mobile payment solution that combines cashless payments via smartphones with value-added services and enables payments with merchant and banking apps. Founded in Europe, Bluecode has now expanded into Africa. Bluecode Africa is taking mobile payments into markets where its value as a technology payment service and scheme can make a significant difference for retailers, SMMEs and in the everyday lives of consumers. Bluecode Africa is focused on driving economic growth in the productive economy by unlocking opportunity and business potential with digital transparency. For more information: www.bluecodeafrica.com ■

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