Editor’s Note: March 16, 2018
Investing in Africa is not the zero-sum game it once was
On Thursday the chairman of Dubai’s DP World, Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, suggested that the recent seizure of its port concession by the government of Djibouti over a legal dispute could hurt investment on the continent.
Unpredictable regulation “will basically make it more difficult” to attract much-needed infrastructure investment, he argued.
He has a point, but it’s not that simple.
While investors generally hold a lot of sway over African governments trying to attract foreign capital it’s not the zero-sum game it once was.
The continent’s investor base has diversified significantly in recent years, away from the historical dominance of a few leading economies in the West. Driven by China many emerging markets now actively invest on the continent.
In Europe more countries are looking to Africa, including some unlikely players. Norway, for example, has dozens of companies invested in Ghana alone.
Last, but by no means least, there is the emergence of African multinationals like Nigeria’s Dangote Group, South Africa’s MTN and Econet Wireless.
The picture is of course far from perfect, but the landscape is undeniably becoming more competitive. Simply walking away is not as easy as it used to be.
From The Continent
Angolan prosecutors have reportedly charged former central bank governor Valter Filipe da Silva over an alleged $500m fraud attempt against the government. The incident is said to have occurred in the final weeks of the presidency of José Eduardo dos Santos last year. More: Reuters
Major international mining companies active in the Democratic Republic of Congo have quit the country’s chamber of commerce saying it does not adequately represent their interests. This comes after the government last week passed a new mining law, which will hike royalties, over their fierce opposition. More: Reuters
The Daily Stat
The number of years since Cameroonian president Paul Biya, in power for 35 years, last held a cabinet meeting. More: Eyewitness News
The Global Perspective
Rights group Amnesty International has said oil majors Shell and Eni may have misled Nigerian regulators by wrongly attributing dozens of oil spills to theft or sabotage to avoid paying compensation. The two companies already face corruption allegations over a 2011 oil field purchase. More: Bloomberg
Israel’s supreme court has suspended a contentious government plan to forcibly remove tens of thousands of African migrants who have illegally entered the country. It has given authorities until March 26 to provide details on the plan following a legal challenge by Eritrean and Sudanese migrants. More: BBC
The Daily Follow
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