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Africa News

Africa Is Our Next Superpower

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Africa the next super power

Not that “Africa” is a country, of course, but it helps to look at broad, continent-wide trends. People are reluctant to the idea of demographics as the great driver of history. In the general case, this might be true. But the 21st century will see an unprecedented situation: one where every continent will face large-scale aging and slowing demographic growth. Every continent, that is, except one: Africa (or, to be more specific, sub-Saharan Africa). Africa is young whereas the rest of the world is graying, and any strategic thinking about the 21st century must take this into account.

Add to this Africa’s steadily improving situation with regard to governance (there are still many problems, but steadily less war, steadily more free elections, and so on), and a technological landscape and future that will allow Africa to leapfrog many aspects of the rich life that the rich world takes for granted. And national resources are just icing on the cake.

As is frequently remarked upon, and as a book review in this week’s Economist touches upon, China has a very deliberate and ambitious strategy of investment in Africa. The old categories of “neocolonialism” miss the point. So does the remark that China is only interested in Africa’s natural resources in order to fuel its own manufacturing-driven growth and put its strategic eggs in more than one basket.

For sure, China’s drive into Africa is mainly motivated by natural resources. But this is merely the catalyst of a broader phenomenon, which is really driven by the frustration of so many Chinese with the unbearably stifling and corrupt Chinese system. From a slow-growth West myopically hypnotized by China’s largely meaningless growth figures (and a bizarre envy of authoritarianism), we don’t actually see China for what it is, which is a very unhealthy society. The limitation on births. The ruthless and ineffective education system, which now no longer provides the jobs it promised. The omnipresent corruption and inflation. The stifling (literally) pollution. No wonder everyone who can is running for the exits.

It is this social phenomenon which is driving China’s scramble for Africa, more than “neo-colonialism” or a mere geopolitical grab for oil and soybean fields. And underlying it is an understanding that the West ignores at its future peril: Africa is where the future is.

Original title: China Understands What The West Doesn’t: Africa Is Our Next Superpower / Source: Forbes

Africa News

S.Africa ranked 13th most attractive FDI destination

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Green Energy

South Africa has climbed two spots to become the 13th most attractive Foreign Direct investment (FDI) destination.

This is according to global A.T. Kearney’s 2014 Foreign Direct Investment Confidence Index.

According to the index, South Africa, which was ranked at number 15 in 2013, closed two major deals with international companies BP and Google, signalling a positive FDI trend for the country.

British oil major BP, for instance, announced a 550 million US dollar investment over five years while global search engine Google made its first renewable energy deal with South Africa’s Northern Cape Province for 12 million US dollars.

The South African government stated that they are humbled by the ranking as it shows that the country’s strategic partnership with foreign investors is gaining momentum. Continue reading

Africa News

World Bank to support Kenya in 5-year plan

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Diariétou Gaye

The World Bank has endorsed a five-year strategy to help Kenya achieve its national development blue-print.

A loan facility of 348 billion Kenyan shillings has been approved.

The development strategy is set to aid Kenya flourish in its efforts to boost economic growth sustainably, create more jobs for the youth, improve infrastructure, and devolution in order to fight poverty and manage social diversity.

“While Kenya has grown on average at 4.6 per cent annually over the last decade, poverty and inequality have fallen less dramatically which has prevented many Kenyans from sharing in the benefits of the country’s strong economic performance,” the World Bank said in a statement. Continue reading

EABDC

Bitcoin for the poor

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Bitcoin

Cash transfers in Africa

THE affluent Midrand area of Johannesburg is about to make history. By the end of June a local company, ZABitcoinATM, hopes to install Africa’s first Bitcoin ATM. The machine will allow clients to insert local cash and change it into the crypto-currency minted on the internet, to be used at nearby businesses which have joined the scheme.

Up to 80% of African adults have no bank account, but at least 16% use mobile-money platforms. The continent annually receives $50 billion in remittances, which are subject to fees of up to 12% charged by wiring services like Western Union. If one could improve internet access and provide immediate conversion into local currencies, entrepreneurs speculate that Bitcoin might be able to undercut remittance services. Zach Harvey, the chief executive of Lamassu, the ATM’s manufacturer, could train his sights on companies like Western Union. Continue reading

Africa News

The amazing spirit amongst Africa’s tech entrepreneurs

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Jason Njoku

You think you have seen them all until you see more of them. Solutions that you thought had been long employed. Innovations that you thought had long been exploited. The DEMO Africa Innovation Tour across the continent was an eye opener. Last week we were in Ghana. Be sure to apply before coming Sunday, June 15th.

The startups came in numbers and ready to impress the judging panel, which comprised decision makers from top companies in Ghana and other global players including Google. From Citizen Eye, a social enterprise that aims at tracking oil money with an aim to empower citizens to hold the government accountable, to Kitiwa a startup bringing Bitcoin to Africa. Continue reading

Africa News

East African Energy-Boom Investments Take Focus in Budgets

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Petroleum Exploration

Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania plan to allocate money in their annual budgets to spur investment in infrastructure to exploit oil and natural gas from deposits that companies including Tullow Oil Plc (TLW) are developing.

Ugandan and Kenyan oil discoveries, made in 2006 and 2012 respectively, and new gas finds off the coast of Tanzania that have boosted reserves to as much as 46 trillion cubic feet have seen East Africa become a frontier for petroleum exploration.
Continue reading

Africa News

Africa’s women entrepreneurs take the lead

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Janet Nkubana

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Madinah Nalukenge recalls the day she set out to sell food on the filthy edges of a bus terminal in the Ugandan capital in 2004. She had just $10 left over from a failed attempt to sell bed sheets.

Now she runs a catering business that makes a monthly profit of up to $3,000, a source of pride for the 34-year-old single mother who spends her days offering plates of mashed plantain and greasy meats to transport operators in downtown Kampala. Continue reading

Africa News

New Push for Managing Africa’s Shared Water Resources

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World in Water

Africa’s patrimony of water resources is unparalleled – the continent has 9% of the world’s water, and only 11%of the globe’s population. The continent is also home to some of the world’s iconic rivers. Who hasn’t heard about the Nile, the mighty Congo, or the Niger?

Under the appearance of sufficient water at the continental average, however, lies a highly uneven resource distribution, meaning that many countries and transboundary river and lake basins face increasing levels of water stress due to rapidly increasing populations and various accompaniments of economic growth. Climate change exacerbates water insecurity, and in turn, vulnerability of the poorest populations.

Next week, the African Ministers’ Council on Water will host the 5th Africa Water Week in Dakar – the continent’s pre-eminent gathering of water experts, policymakers and civil society – under the theme, “Placing Water at the Heart of the Post 2015 Development Agenda.”

I can think of no other venue more suitable for discussing sustainable management and development of Africa’s international waters openly and fruitfully, and for catalyzing new opportunities and partnerships for greater impact. Continue reading

EABDC News Past Conference (2013)

Growing Africa by Tugba Gurcanlar – The World Bank Group

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Tugba Gurcanlar for the World Bank

On behalf of the World Bank Group, Tugba Gurcanlar has presented the Group’s report:

Growing Africa: Unlocking the Potential of Agribusiness

This report highlights the great potential of the agribusiness sector in Africa by drawing on experience in Africa as well as other regions. This evidence demonstrates that good policies, a conducive business environment, and strategic support from governments can help agribusiness reach its potential. Africa is now at a crossroads, from which it can take concrete steps to realize its potential or continue to lose competitiveness, missing a major opportunity for increased growth, employment, and food security. Continue reading

EABDC

Explore Africa on Pinterest

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Africa in Fashion

In preparation for the European-African Business Development Conference, we can not ignore the beautiful photos we come across about Africa. But more importantly, there are some awesome infographics and great editorials to be found online that describe the growth of Africa.

How about the development of mobile technology? Or did you read about the upcoming entrepreneurs that are making it big?
Not to mention the wonderful African styles in Fashion, Photography and Design… and we can find it all on Pinterest so we just keep on pinning!

Tell us, are you using Pinterest? Because pinning is addictive! Continue reading