News

Africa's Powerhouse

February 07, 2014

Mwangi S. Kimenyi and Josephine Kibe
 
Lately many observers have been avidly discussing the recent high rates of economic growth in Africa. Speaking in Washington earlier this year, Donald Kaberuka, the president of the African Development Bank offered some cautionary words. While the good economic news from the continent may well represent a turning point from a past characterized by hopelessness, he said, Africa nevertheless remains far from a tipping point. To reach such a threshold, Africa requires major investments in three "I's": institutions, integration, and infrastructure. Even with the recent robust growth experienced over the past decade, Africa still suffers a major infrastructure deficit. Most of the countries have relatively weak institutions. And the regional integration project has been slow and marred by compliance and commitment deficits. Thus, as Kaberuka noted, although Africa has reached a turning point, progress to a tipping point is not an easy journey.

One of the regions in Africa that is making remarkable progress in all these "I's" is the East African Community. The EAC's original members -- Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania -- have recently been joined by Rwanda and Burundi. South Sudan is expected to join the community soon. The region has fast-tracked regional integration and has seen considerable progress in institutional reforms. Moreover, East Africa boasts much greater political stability than it has at any time in its recent past, and peace has been restored in most of the countries. The region has also seen major investments in both national and regional infrastructure; many more projects have been planned and are scheduled to commence shortly. On Nov. 28, for example, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya inaugurated the commencement of construction of a rail project that will link Kenya's coast town of Mombasa to Kampala (Uganda), Kigali (Rwanda), and Juba (South Sudan). With positive growth trajectory predicted over the medium term, the EAC has a good chance of reaching a developmental tipping point. (The photo above shows Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni waving an EAC flag during an event attended by the region's other leaders at Mombasa Port in August.)

Within the EAC, the Kenyan economy is the anchor. The overall performance of the region will to a great extent depend on what happens in Kenya. Kenya's economy is the largest in the region and is much more dynamic than those of other member countries. The country's economy is much better linked to the other economies in terms of investment flows and trade. Thanks to its more advanced human capital base, its more diversified economy, and its role as a leader in the information communication revolution in the region, Kenya's economy is expected to remain strong, creating salutary benefits to the other member countries. The prospects for a strong economy are boosted by recent institutional reforms that have culminated in the adoption of a new constitution that provides for devolved governance.

Kenya's economic dominance in the region is based on a strong private sector that has evolved under relatively market-friendly policies for most of the post-independence era. Kenya's record of relative political stability and its lack of dramatic ideological shifts over the same period have done much to cement its position. By contrast, the other members of the EAC have had rather turbulent political histories. In the case of Tanzania, a radical ideological orientation to socialism under the policy of "Ujamaa" was the cornerstone of founding President Julius Nyerere's government. Such factors undermined the growth of the private sector in the other EAC countries. Though these countries have undertaken substantive reforms, and are now on a positive growth trajectory, Kenya is likely to hold onto its dominant position for the near-to-medium future.

EAC member countries have diverse political histories. The five countries attained their independence in the 1960s. Tanzania was the first (1961), followed by Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda in 1962, and Kenya in 1963. Despite achieving political independence at the same period, the countries' political development has been somewhat heterogeneous. Only Tanzania and Kenya escaped major internal conflict and military rule. Uganda's Milton Obote was ousted in 1971 by Idi Amin, and what followed was a devastation of the country's economy brought about by Amin's policies, including the eviction of Asians, the nationalization of private enterprises, and the expansion of the public sector. Idi Amin was ousted through a military coup in 1979 by Milton Obote, who was again overthrown by General Tito Okello, who ruled for six months before being ousted by the current Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni.

Burundi has been marred by civil unrest since its independence, a conflict primarily between the Hutus and the Tutsis, the two main ethnic groups. Burundi, one of the five poorest countries in the world, has seen its growth and development curtailed by civil unrest. Rwanda, the smallest country in East Africa in terms of geographical size, experienced one of the worst genocides in history in 1994, in which over half a million people were killed within approximately a hundred days. The 1994 genocide in Rwanda was a culmination of the ethnic and political rivalry that long existed between the Hutu and the Tutsi (the same groups that were involved in the conflict in Burundi).

Tanzania boasts a large reservoir of resources: land, water, and mineral wealth. Although the country has been politically stable in recent decades, the development of the private sector was greatly hampered by the Ujamaa policy. The Ujamaa village was a concept propagated by President Nyerere, based on the ideals of "African Socialism," which stipulated that the president should determine how the country's natural resources were allocated and used. There was no freehold land ownership. Cultivation of land was collective, as the land rights were transferred to the elected village councils, "the Ujamaa." The Ujamaa concept not only affected agriculture but also nationalized the banks and industry and made the government the biggest employer. As a result, the private sector declined. The country became dependent on international aid. A nation rich in natural resources became one of the poorest in the world.

Although Kenya has never experienced military rule, and its political environment can be described as somewhat democratic, the country has had its share of politically instigated violence along ethnic divisions and tribal lines. Even though elections in Kenya have been marred by flaws and irregularities, the country is considered to have a wider democratic space compared to its neighbors.

Following the post-election violence in 2007-2008, Kenya held a constitutional referendum in August 2010, approving a new constitution that brought several important reforms. Among other things, the new constitution allows Kenyans to initiate referenda, thus promoting popular initiative. This democratic environment is not enjoyed in Uganda, where Yoweri Museveni has held power for the last 25 years, and who has stated that he will run yet again in the 2016 elections if his party endorses him.

In Rwanda, Paul Kagame has held the presidency since 1994; during that time, critics have accused him of infringing on media freedom and suppressing the opposition. Burundi has been somewhat democratic in its elections, but the country has also experienced presidential assassinations and at least one coup d'etat since it embraced democracy. Tanzania has a multiparty democracy (though Chama Cha Mapinduzi has been the dominant party since 1977).

As previously observed, Kenya has the largest economy amongst the members of EAC in terms of GDP. Kenya's GDP accounts for 40 percent of the region's GDP, followed by Tanzania at 28 percent, Uganda at 21 percent, Rwanda at 8 percent, and lastly Burundi at 3 percent. In terms of GDP at current market prices, Kenya's 2011 GDP stood at $34 billion, well ahead of the closest rival economy, Tanzania, with a GDP of $24 billion.

Compared to other African countries, Kenya has very limited arable land and rainfall -- but it also boasts the most sophisticated agricultural sector. Horticulture contributes the highest percentage of agricultural gross domestic product (33 percent), followed by food crops (32 percent). Industrial crops and industrial crops contribute 17 percent each. Kenya has consistently done well in horticulture and tea production and export. The horticulture industry has existed since pre-colonial times and continued to flourish when the export market was opened in Europe in the post-independence period.

Kenya is doing better than Tanzania in this industry because of the infrastructural rigidities inherent in Tanzania's export system. Tanzania produces much more horticulture produce than Kenya but sells very little overseas. Compared to Kenya, Tanzanian farmers grow the produce on a small scale and lack networks to enable them combine their harvest at lower costs when exporting. Additionally, higher freight charges at Kilimanjaro International Airport and Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar Es Salaam, coupled with inadequate storage facilities at the airports, make it even harder for Tanzania to export. By contrast, Kenya's Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta airport is well served by major airlines and charter operators, making it easier to access European markets and the rest of the world. The Kenyan government has also supported this sector by ensuring that supply chain bottlenecks are minimized as much as possible by streamlining the process. At the same time, the Ministry of Agriculture has steadily increased funding for irrigation projects and subsidized fertilizers.

Another agricultural product that makes Kenya competitive compared to its neighbors is black tea. Kenya is the world's number-one exporter of black tea. (Tanzania and Uganda are also major producers of black tea.) Kenya is competitive in tea production and export not least due to the fact that is the home of the Mombasa Tea Auction Center, the second largest tea auction venue in the world, which, among its other advantages, provides direct feedback of market prices to factories and farmers. Additionally, favorable weather conditions and tropical rich volcanic soils result in the production of high grade tea that has a unique flavor, making it the best in the world. Incentives offered by the government, such as value-added tax exemptions, withholding tax holidays for firms that process and package tea, and Export Processing Zones that offer favorable conditions for exporters, make Kenya's tea industry a competitive cluster in the region and in the world.

In terms of intra-East African trade, Kenya ranks at the top, averaging 37 percent in 2011-2012, followed by Uganda at 24. The intra-regional trade is driven by the manufacturing industry, and particularly the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCGs) and processed products that are major drivers of the economy. Kenya's competitive edge in this industry stems from the diversification of its exports basket, which makes it less vulnerable to shocks. Additionally, compared to the region, the country's transport system, including roads, the Mombasa port, and the airports, is more advanced than those of most other countries in the region (though there are bottlenecks at Mombasa). Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda have recently started building a superhighway from Mombasa to Kigali that will ease the movement of cargo through these countries. The fact that Kenya is one of the only two East African countries that is not landlocked (the other being Tanzania) gives the country a competitive advantage in terms of international trade. Kenya is also the region's major exporter and importer with the rest of the world.

Kenya is also very competitive in terms of human capital. It ranks at the top in terms of adult literacy rates. The adult literacy rate in Kenya is 87 percent, followed by Uganda at 73.2 percent, Tanzania at 72.9 percent, Rwanda at 70.7 percent and lastly Burundi's literacy rate is 66.6 percent. In comparison to other East African countries, meanwhile, Kenya has the highest public expenditure in education at 17.7 percent between 2008-2009 and 2011-2012, compared to Uganda, which spends an average of 10 percent. Education plays a major role in increasing productivity and economic growth and reducing poverty and inequality. Studies comparing the state of primary schools in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania conclude that a child from a poor household in Kenya is more likely to succeed than a child from a wealthy household from Tanzania or Uganda. Tanzania exhibits the worst performance among the three East African countries. Kenya also ranks on top in terms of enrollment of students in higher education, followed by Uganda and then Tanzania. In 2012, Kenya enacted the Universities Act, which is aimed at improving the quality of education at all levels by promoting separation of governance of universities and other tertiary institutions and strengthening its technical sector by separating it from the university sector. The Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2013-2014 ranks Kenya 44th in quality of education out of 148 countries. By comparison, Rwanda ranks 51st, Uganda 82nd, Tanzania 100th, and Burundi 143rd.

Kenya's private sector has been more dynamic than that of the other members of the community, which has translated into a more competitive and innovative economy relative to its neighbors. The service sector has been a huge contributor to the growth of the private industry in Kenya. This sector is the largest contributor to GDP growth since 2007 in the country, according to the IMF regional economic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa. Kenya has emerged as a technological and financial hub for East and Central Africa. A major techno-city project is underway in Konza, 40 miles from Nairobi, that aims to reinforce Kenya's reputation as the regional technology leader in Africa. The project has been dubbed the "Silicon Savannah." IBM also set up its first African research lab in Nairobi, following the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Intel, which also have their regional headquarters in Nairobi.

The Nairobi securities exchange (NSE) is among the best in Africa. Participation of foreign investors in the NSE has always been encouraged and their interests protected since independence. This is demonstrated by legislation such as the Foreign Investors Act of 1964, which aimed to protect foreign investors and allowed foreigners to repatriate their earnings. Several institutional changes have been instituted to strengthen the markets, such as the establishment of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) in 1990. The CMA's mission is to protect investors' interests, promote market development through research of new products and institutions, and ensure proper conduct of all licensed persons and market institutions. The introduction of the Central Depository System in 2004 further reinforced the integrity of the financial system by providing clearing and settlement services in the Kenyan Capital Markets by offering a central custody that enables simplified, swift, and secured services to the investors. Moreover, the automation of the trading system in 2006 greatly enhanced the efficiency of the Nairobi Securities Exchange. Just recently the NSE announced that it will upgrade its IT infrastructure to support the diversification of trading securities, including derivatives and futures. Market capitalization increased from $453 million in 1990 to $14.8 billion in 2012. Kenya has the most advanced capital market in the region and has over 60 listed companies on the stock exchange. The rest of the East African countries have less than 20 listed companies; Burundi does not yet have a stock exchange.

It should come as no little surprise that, in 2012, Kenya attracted the most private equity deals in East Africa. These involved investments in firms that have not gone public and are therefore unlisted on the stock exchange. The main reason for this large volume of investment is that Kenya is widely viewed as the regional economic hub because of the financial infrastructure that is already in place.

Another area in which Kenya is doing tremendously well in comparison to the other East African countries and the rest of the world is the mobile money services sector. The country is ranked number one in the world in mobile money. Mpesa, the flagship mobile phone banking product, put Kenya at the forefront of mobile money transfers and mobile banking services. Mpesa's success in Kenya is attributed to several factors: the need to provide a solution to the high cost of sending money from one place to another; the presence of a dominant player in the market (Safaricom), which was able to develop an efficient agent network; and support from the regulatory body (Central Bank of Kenya), which advocated for regulation to follow innovation.

The other East African countries have made considerable strides in mobile money, but serious challenges remain. In Tanzania, the inefficiency of the agent network and the lack of understanding of mobile money applications by potential and current users present a major problem in the mobile money industry. The major challenge in Uganda arises from the fact that the Ugandans lack a national identification system like the one in Kenya. Transferring money thus becomes a challenge.

Kenya boasts a market-based economy and the most liberal economic system in East Africa. A market-based system, among its other advantages, promotes economic efficiency and competition and encourages foreign investment. Since independence, the market structure has changed from one in which prices are influenced by the government to one in which they are determined by the market forces of supply and demand. Kenya has been a pioneer in embracing freedom of enterprise, and this manifests itself clearly in the broadcasting industry, where Kenya Television Network (KTN), the first non-pay, privately-owned TV station in Africa, was founded in Kenya. Liberalization of the agricultural sector was undertaken in the 1980s and 1990s, reducing government's control of agricultural production and marketing. This led to an environment that encouraged private sector participation in agriculture.

Moreover, building on the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), Kenya has developed a textile and apparel industry that exports to the United States. AGOA is a law that was passed in the United States that offers incentives for African countries to export to the United States in an effort to build free markets and open African economies. The World Bank recently hailed Kenya's private sector as the most vibrant and dynamic in East Africa. The Kenyan economy has been market-based for a longer time than all the other East African economies, and this has given it a competitive edge in attracting foreign investment to the country. Kenya has consistently attracted relatively high levels of foreign direct investment (FDI). FDI flows to Kenya have consistently been to transformative industries such as high technology. The recent FDI flows to Uganda and Tanzania are driven by recently discovered resources and are geared towards extractive industries. Kenya is the main source of FDI to its neighbors; outward investments to other countries have increased from $9 million in 2011 to $16 million in 2012. There are big Kenyan companies that operate throughout the East African region (Equity Bank, Kenya Commercial Bank, Nation Media Group).

The recent planning documents issued by the Kenyan government, The Economic Recovery Strategy (ERS) for Wealth and Employment Creation and Kenya Vision 2030 , detail carefully designed strategies that focus on growing and developing the economy. Vision 2030 in particular aims to transform Kenya to a newly industrialized, middle-income country by 2030. It is based on three pillars: the economic pillar, which seeks to maintain and sustain economic growth of 10 percent per year for 25 years; the social pillar, which seeks to invest in Kenyans so as to improve the quality of life in education, health, and housing (among other public goods); and the political pillar, which focuses on moving the nation forward as one and envisions a democratic system that is issue-based, people-centered, results-oriented, and accountable to the public.

In conclusion, Kenya remains a vibrant and promising economy in East Africa, one that is resilient and has the ability to bounce back after political shocks such as the 2007-2008 election violence and the Westgate Mall terrorist attack in Nairobi. There are challenges that the country still needs to address, above all poverty, inequality, and access to health services. The recent discovery of resources such as oil, base titanium, coal, and underground water, augur well for the country's future economic performance.
 
DISCLAIMER: The purpose of the ICF Newsletter is to compile and share relevant information for its users regarding the investment climate in Africa. The focus of this information will predominantly be on the latest reforms in customs, taxations, commercial justice, business registration and licensing, land registration and relevant events relating to the ICF’s mission.
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21 November 2014

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19 November 2014

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30 October 2014

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08 October 2014

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29 September 2014

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29 September 2014

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29 September 2014

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25 September 2014

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15 September 2014

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02 September 2014

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25 August 2014

Africa is a land of opportunity for business, declares Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB). Home to 6 of the top 10 fastest growing countries in the world, Africa’s vast investment potential has never been more attractive. Read More »
19 June 2014

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19 June 2014

Multinational companies are rapidly warming to the idea of expanding their businesses into Africa, especially to sub-Saharan markets - despite the considerable challenges common in emerging economies. Read More »
17 June 2014

From the 25th to 27th of May 2014 the Kigali International Arbitration Centre (KIAC) held its second arbitration conference in Kigali, Rwanda. Read More »
17 June 2014

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17 June 2014

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17 June 2014

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17 June 2014

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17 June 2014

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17 June 2014

Africa currently makes up less than 0.5% of commercial real estate investments, but international capital is beginning to move in as investors seek to access the continent's growth prospects. Read More »
17 June 2014

African youth are increasingly being urged to venture into business and create jobs. Whether out of passion or for survival, many young people are heeding the call to pursue entrepreneurship. Read More »
17 June 2014

Accra (Ghana), Casablanca (Morocco) and Freetown (Sierra Leone) have been ranked as the African cities with populations over 1m that have the highest potential for inclusive growth on the continent, according to the 2014 MasterCard African Cities Growth Index (ACGI). Read More »
17 June 2014

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17 June 2014

Movement of goods across East Africa will become much faster later this year as the region moves to complete one-stop border posts (OSBP) within the Community. Read More »
17 June 2014

Kenya’s new development strategy will see the World Bank Group spend up to US$4bn over the next five years to see it to fruition. Read More »
16 May 2014

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda officially launched Kenya’s National Single Window System on 2nd May 2014 in Nairobi at a ceremony witnessed by leaders from four African nations. Read More »
16 May 2014

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16 May 2014

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16 May 2014

The East African Community Secretariat has today signed a cooperation programme worth 2.3 million Euros with the European Union (EU) to improve Maritime Security and create a favourable environment for the economic development in the region. Read More »
16 May 2014

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16 May 2014

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16 May 2014

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16 May 2014

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16 May 2014

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16 May 2014

Around this time every year, I often get asked the same question; isn't the World Economic Forum just one big talking shop? It's a fair one. Once every twelve months, leaders from politics, business and civil society gather in a given city, congesting the roads and raising CO2 levels with all their talk. Read More »
16 May 2014

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16 May 2014

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09 April 2014

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09 April 2014

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09 April 2014

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08 April 2014

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08 April 2014

Economic and trade co-operation between Morocco and Mali is moving toward concrete steps. Read More »
08 April 2014

The Nigeria Customs Service has announced plans to embark on joint border patrol with its counterparts in neighbouring countries to promote security and trade in West and Central Africa. Read More »
08 April 2014

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08 April 2014

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08 April 2014

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08 April 2014

AFRICA's relatively untapped insurance market offers a vast opportunity for firms in both mature and emerging-market countries, a report by A.M Best has said. Read More »
08 April 2014

West African aluminium can manufacturer GZ Industries (GZI) is hoping to ride on increasing consumption of drinks to expand its business across Africa. The continent is tipped to become the world’s fastest growing beer market, according to a study by Dutch multinational banking and financial services group Rabobank. Read More »
08 April 2014

African countries are catching the eye of international investors as growth decelerates in India, China and Brazil. Read More »
08 April 2014

With the world increasingly seeing Africa as the preferred investment destination, France has launched the French-African Foundation for Growth, a new initiative designed to renew economic ties between the European nation and the African continent. Read More »
08 April 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- The Africa Group (TAG), the US-based boutique advisor and venture capital investor, today announces a 25% stake in Telemed Medical Services (Telemed), an Ethiopian engineering consultancy specializing in health system design and implementation within the Ethiopian healthcare sector. Telemed's work is geared to optimize and reinforce limited health resources in Ethiopia, a country where the doctor-to-patient ratio is ~1:30,000 and 80% of the population lives over 5 kilometers from the nearest health center. Read More »
08 April 2014

ZAMBIA will this week host a high-level investment and trade seminar for Zambian and Chinese firms at one of the Multi Facility Economic Zones (MFEZs) in Lusaka. Read More »
08 April 2014

GlaxoSmithKline is poised to announce a multimillion pound investment in Sub-Saharan Africa to step up its presence in the region, the Telegraph can reveal. Read More »
08 April 2014

According to Leila Farah El-Mokaddem, the African Development Bank's new Resident Representative in Egypt, "the economic empowerment of women is a hidden opportunity for our continent. Women constitute what we call 'smart economics.' By expanding income generation to both women and men, families are collectively better off, while the economy is more productive resulting in an overall win-win situation." Read More »
08 April 2014

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US$ 125-million Line of Credit (LOC) to Zenith Bank PLC (Zenith) for on-lending to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in Nigeria. Read More »
08 April 2014

East African Community, Commerce and Tourism Cabinet Secretary Phyllis Kandie has called for more investment of equity fund in the small and micro-enterprise (SME) sector to boost economic growth. Read More »
08 April 2014

SCAHMFAD (School of Catering, Hotel Management and Fashion Design) of Latrikunda-German in KMD has won a competition for promoting entrepreneurship and innovation in education and confronting youth unemployment in Africa. Read More »
08 April 2014

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10 March 2014

There are two economic realities on the African continent today. You will find the first one in World Bank, IMF and Africa Development Bank reports – and in articles across the globe about ‘Africa Rising’. This reality depicts Africa as a continent that is forging ahead – onwards and upwards. And some of the world’s best performing economies are indeed in Africa, such as Angola and Mozambique, which are growing at an extractive-powered rate of knots. Meanwhile, other southern African states are also surging ahead – with Zambia, Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) growing at speeds not seen in a very long time. Read More »
10 March 2014

Insufficient electricity in Rwanda is number one challenge and opportunity for investors, the head of a US Government body that supports American investors overseas has said. Read More »
10 March 2014

The President of Microsoft International, Jean-Philippe Courtois has disclosed that the Devices and Services company, Microsoft has invested $75 million in Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and other African countries in the areas of access, innovation, skills development, youth empowerment; software development; digital curriculum, skills among others. Read More »
10 March 2014

THE gains that made Uganda’s shilling the second-best-performing currency in Africa this year are evaporating after President Yoweri Museveni imposed harsher penalties on gay and lesbian people. Read More »
10 March 2014

Efficiency in revenue collection at the grassroots could be boosted after Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) took over the work from local governments. Read More »
10 March 2014

Botswana and Namibia will sign a deal at the end of this month to develop a 1,500-kilometer (932-mile) railway for transporting coal exports to the port of Walvis Bay, according to the Botswana Chamber of Mines. Read More »
10 March 2014

Public sector lawyers involved in drafting of the extractives sector laws and policies in the region will next week undergo training to improve their negotiation and policy-making skills. Read More »
10 March 2014

The Turkish Kitchenware sector is working to increase its trade investment inflow in Ghana through partnerships with Ghanaian industrialists within the next five years. Read More »
10 March 2014

Ethiopia and Uganda have pledged to join the Comesa free trade area (FTA) by December, raising hopes of higher trade volumes for Kenya and the region. Read More »
10 March 2014

William Asiko, ICF Chief Executive Officer, recently paid a visit to Senegal to see firsthand how ICF support is helping to improve the investment climate in the country. Read More »
10 March 2014

The Mayor of Kigali, Fidele Ndayisaba, has commended ICF support in making it easier for the private sector and members of the public to obtain construction permits in the City of Kigali. Read More »
10 March 2014

The Mauritius Registrar of Companies is making it easier for businesses to register and file statutory information of their businesses, thanks to support from ICF. Read More »
10 March 2014

Family businesses control a significant portion of Africa’s economy. While family businesses are quite common across the continent, only a handful of them enjoy longevity. The survival rate of most African family businesses beyond the founder’s generation is extremely low. For example, the late Nigerian business mogul Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, who at one point was believed to be one of the wealthiest men in Africa, successfully built one of Nigeria’s biggest business empires consisting of an airline, a chain of newspapers, extensive real estate, fisheries and retail. After his death in 1998, his businesses crumbled. None of them exist today. Read More »
10 February 2014

The Ministry of Finance and Planning in partnership with the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) has today officially launched a new project in Cabo Verde to modernise tax administration and make the tax system simple, efficient and more customer service oriented in order to improve the investment climate in Cabo Verde. Read More »
07 February 2014

Watch this short video to see exactly how ICF is transforming the investment climate across Africa in a meaningful way. It showcases a variety of successful projects that are making a positive impact for business in Africa. Read More »
07 February 2014

Taxpayers in Senegal can now enjoy a fully automated experience. The Modernization of Tax Administration project, co-funded by the Government of Senegal and the Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF), addressed challenges faced by business owners and tax payers in the country. Read More »
07 February 2014

2014 brings with it new challenges and opportunities for business owners, all of which need to be incorporated into a business’s plans going forward. This is according to Gerrie van Biljon, executive director of Business Partners Limited, who says business owners should make use of the first few weeks of the New Year to reflect on what worked well in 2013 and what needs to be improved or changed for the year ahead. Read More »
07 February 2014

WHEN Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta laid the foundation stone for the country’s biggest post-independence infrastructure project late last year — a high-speed railway line from the port at Mombasa to Nairobi — he said the scheme would define his political legacy. Read More »
07 February 2014

Libreville — Burkina Faso, benefitting from the close support of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the World Bank, has successfully become a member of the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF). Read More »
07 February 2014

Jean-Claude Béga, the Chief Financial Officer of Mauritius’ largest conglomerate, GML, spoke to AfricaMoney on how the arbitrage between existing operations and new opportunities sets apart a great company from a good one. Read More »
07 February 2014

IBM (IBM.N) began rolling out its Watson supercomputer system across Africa on Thursday, saying it would help to address continental development obstacles as diverse as medical diagnoses, economic data collection and e-commerce research. Read More »
07 February 2014

IT MAY be imprudent to write this about someone who is spending $10m on African journalism. But then, of all the things I have been accused of in my time, prudence was never among them. Read More »
07 February 2014

Japan has promised financial assistance to resource-rich African nations totalling $32 billion (R357bn) for investment in infrastructure and mineral resource development, along with education, health care and human resource development, in its bid to cement relations with the continent. Read More »
07 February 2014

Lately many observers have been avidly discussing the recent high rates of economic growth in Africa. Speaking in Washington earlier this year, Donald Kaberuka, the president of the African Development Bank offered some cautionary words. Read More »
07 February 2014

The potential for agriculture to drive inclusive economic growth, improve food security, and create opportunities for millions of Africans is enormous. Read More »
07 February 2014

Nestled on the southern stretch of the Gulf of Guinea, Gabon, a country of 1.5 million people in an area the size of the U.K. is something of a paradox; Gabon is rich, but does it make sense to do business there? Read More »
07 January 2014

Nigeria will overtake South Africa as Africa's largest economy in the next two years, experts predict. But concern is also rising that by not doing “enough” business in Africa, the country is missing an opportunity to benefit from the continent's economic resurgence. Read More »
07 January 2014

Rwanda, Jan 7: Revolutionary reforms which have made it easier for small and medium-scaled businesses (SMBs) to get credit, pay tax and deal with construction have militated favourably in Rwanda’s second place on the latest World Bank’s ‘Doing Business’ (DB) report. Read More »
06 January 2014

(CNN) -- A Chinese-funded railway project in Kenya could transform transport in east Africa, and strengthen cross-border political and economic ties. Read More »
06 January 2014

BBCR4TODAY @ BBC RADIO 4 TODAY Read More »
06 January 2014

In 2001 the world began talking about the Bric countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China - as potential powerhouses of the world economy. The term was coined by economist Jim O'Neill, who has now identified the "Mint" countries - Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey - as emerging economic giants. Read More »
04 January 2014

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde tells Berna Namata about the EAC partner states’ economic prospects this year and other cross-cutting issues affecting the region ahead of her visit to Kenya on January 6. Read More »
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