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Africa, a continent beset by numerous challenges relating to food security, armed conflicts, service delivery, infrastructure, and healthcare, to name but a few.
In Africa, unemployment – and underemployment, for that matter – is notoriously high, particularly amongst the youth, which makes up 60% of the continent’s population and nearly half of the total labour force.
The issue of financial inclusion is a hot topic on the African continent, with many technology and financial service providers competing to take the lead. Nigeria’s Interswitch Limited, a pan-African integrated payment system, took the decision to move into Africa around three years ago.
With promising economic prospects and major opportunities in the telecommunications, agricultural, tourism, finance and manufacturing sectors, Malawi is an investment destination of note. The government encourages both domestic and foreign investment in most sectors of the economy without restrictions on ownership, size of investment, source of funds, or the destination of the final product.
Although ratifications are a necessary step to securing women’s rights in Africa, major challenges remain in relation to the deeply embedded social and cultural norms of African culture.
Separated from the rest of the African continent by the Sahara and Atlas Mountains, Morocco is a North West African country with close ties to the Mediterranean. The Moroccan city of Marrakech is a popular tourist destination, along with the country’s pristine beaches and other imperial cities.
Private equity (PE) as an asset class has received reasonable prominence in Africa in recent times. New records are being set both at the levels of fund raising and sector diversity of investments. Africa is becoming increasingly investor-friendly!
Kenya is considered the Gateway to East Africa, and has been included on our Consumer Story list of Africa’s most promising countries for retail development. Key to its position on our list is the rapid population growth and good economic growth prospects.
Egypt is home to more that 82 million people, which is the third largest population in Africa and the largest in the Arab world. Recently, the Northeast African country has been plagued by political instability and waves of protestor violence, impacting a number of sectors, including business and tourism.
Ghana continues to experience impressive and sustained growth across a number of sectors, and for this reason the country appears on our list of key economies in Africa. It is important to note that the country registered one of the highest economic growth rates in the world in 2011.
The rise of the Angolan economy, over the past 10 years, has been nothing short of spectacular. From an economy plagued by hyperinflation and suffering from the consequences of decades of civil war in the early 2000s; today, the southern African economy is one of the fastest growing in the world and continues to attract billions of dollars in foreign investment.
Following on from our Africa Consumer Story: Demographics post, we take a look at macroeconomic drivers and spending patterns. Africa’s economic performance has improved greatly since the turn of the century, leading to large increases in GDP/ capita and lower levels of poverty.
KPMG Africa has published a report entitled Africa’s Consumer Story. The aim of this study was to analyse the key drivers of the retail market in Africa, including key demographic and macroeconomic factors. In addition, we considered the broad outlook for the sector and highlight the countries we expect will have the biggest growth rates in the sector over the forecast period. In this article, we take a look at the Demographics component of the study.
At the end of June 2013, the Zambian Government issued Statutory Instrument 55 of the Bank of Zambia (Monitoring of Balance of Payments) Regulations, 2013. The new SI 55 came into effect on the 1st of July 2013. The regulations are applicable to a number of parties including financial service providers licensed under the Banking and Financial services act, any importer of goods or services exceeding US$20 000, foreign investors and local investors who invest outside Zambia, to name a few.
The level of interest by African banks in anti-money laundering (AML) has risen drastically, according to the 2012 KPMG Africa Anti-Money Laundering Survey. The survey revealed that 66% of the main board of directors have prioritised AML issues, as banks work to comply with stricter global regulations.
Following on from our previous post, Country Focus Seminar: Mozambique, we take a look at some of the challenges and opportunities cited by Miguel Alvim, Advisory Managing Partner at KPMG Mozambique.
On 20 June 2013, KPMG hosted the Africa Exchange’s Mozambique Country Focus Seminar in Johannesburg, South Africa. His Excellency H.E. Fernando Fazenda of the High Commission of the Republic of Mozambique to South Africa set the scene for the discussions, noting that Mozambique has various investment opportunities and is open for business. In addition to the opportunities that abound in Mozambique, Fazenda noted that there are potential challenges facing those wanting to invest in the country.
Private equity investment might provide some exciting opportunities for your business, but it also comes with a number of challenges. Private equity is capital that is put into a new or growing business in return for part ownership of the business and a share of its profits. Private equity investors don’t typically want to be permanently involved in a business – they will step in for a few years and then exit by selling back their shares to the business, along with a return investment.
Growth, whether organic or inorganic (expansion by mergers and acquisitions), is often the most important driver of value. The main challenge management face in achieving ambitious targets is to assess the most optimal funding structure suitable for their company. There are several funding options available in our markets, these can be primarily categorized into debt and equity.
Seven of the world’s ten fastest growing economies are in Africa, 52 African cities have populations of over 1 million people and by 2040 it is expected that 1.1 billion Africans will be of working age. Africa has 60% of the world’s uncultivated, arable land; 56.7% of the world’s diamond (gemstone) production, 66% of the worlds’ cocoa production, 10% of the world’s oil reserves, 80-90% of the world’s platinum group metal reserves and 40% of the world’s gold reserves.
As supply chains are becoming more global and complex, logistics, especially the transport functions are equally becoming convoluted. In developing countries logistics is one of the biggest contributors to a nation’s GDP (in South Africa – 12.7%). Accordingly its management is vital for a growing economy.
South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana have over the years been the largest recipients of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) within the African continent as they jointly accounted for about 50% of the FDI inflow into Africa in 2011.
In recent times, the term going ‘green’ has gained notable traction in both the political and business world. Increasingly, we are called to realize the impact that our social and economic activities have on the environment around us, and in turn, the long-term implications that this impact has. In this article, we take a look at the key focus areas for Africa’s green agenda.
On the question whether ethical business in Africa is possible, and where, two qualifications are needed. The first qualification is this: asking the question should not imply that Africa is uniquely inclined towards bribery and corruption. Bribery and corruption are problems in Africa, they are not African problems.
In a sense such heat-maps already exist. The best known is probably Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index. This index indicates the perceived levels of corruption in different countries by way of a deeper shade of red. According to this index, the morally “safest” places when expanding into Africa are Botswana (ranked the 30th least corrupt country out of 176 countries), Namibia (58th), Ghana (64th) and South Africa (69th).
“Is it possible to do business in Africa without having to cross moral boundaries?” This question is encouraging as an indication that moral considerations increasingly form part of strategic business decisions. The concern with ethical business is no doubt inspired by stringent and more diligently enforced legislation on corruption. The unfortunate consequences of corporate participation in corruption has been evident in the case of Siemens, for instance, who agreed to pay $1.34 billion in fines for bribery in December of 2008.
The English philosopher Francis Bacon once claimed “opportunity makes the thief”. The implication is that people are not born thieves, but thieves are created in the moment, in situations where opportunities for thievery exist. A second and more unsettling implication is that anyone is potentially a thief. Criminologists working from the opportunity hypothesis also propose that crime is the result of a rational choice in which costs and benefits are weighed up.
The Bank of Zambia has recently issued new banking regulations in the form of Statutory Instruments 32 and 35 of 2013. The regulations deal mostly with the monitoring of foreign exchange dealings i.e. inflows and outflows in Zambia by the Bank of Zambia.