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Growth is on the incline in the African continent recently, with seven out of ten of the world’s currently fastest growing economies being in Africa.
Africa Brief: Africa experiencing surge in sovereign funds, Zambia, Ghana, Rwanda seals 4G internet deal and more
Africa is experiencing the strongest growth in new sovereign wealth funds in the world as its nations are amassing commodity revenues and foreign-exchange reserves, JP Morgan Asset Management said yesterday. During the past two years, 15 state funds have been set up or are being considered in Africa, the group’s global head of sovereigns Patrick Thomson said.
Although Africa’s aviation industry, which supported $67 billion (R662.6bn) in economic activity and 57 million jobs, was small by global standards, its potential to grow was “enormous”, with a billion people spread across 20 percent of the earth’s land mass. International Air Transport Association chief executive Tony Tyler said yesterday.He pointed out that hopes for African unity and integration depended on connectivity provided by air transport. Tyler said international passenger demand continued to grow in April, extending the positive trend that had been developing since late last year.
With a population of one billion and an economy likely to double in size from US$2 trillion to US$4 trillion before 2025, Africa has quickly emerged as the next economic driver for the global economy. While the success of Africa’s rise is well-founded, a far more granular approach to grasping the nuances and realising the opportunities is essential. This goes beyond country-by-country assessments. A deeper assessment of this economic energy and growth reveals that it will be largely driven by Africa’s emerging cities. The nature of the business environment in Africa will increasingly demand a far more city-oriented investment approach.
Cities are burdened with aging and failing infrastructure in some areas on the one hand, as well as huge development and service delivery needs in previously disadvantaged areas on the other. In many cities across Africa, government institutions that are charged with the responsibility of delivering and maintaining infrastructure have become stretched by skills shortages and increased maintenance responsibilities.
Two of the goals as set out in the National Development Plan (NDP) are the transformation of urban and rural spaces in South Africa and investment into a strong network of economic infrastructure designed to support medium to long-term objectives.
It is projected that by 2016, over 500 million Africans will live in urban centres, and the number of cities with more than 1 million people is expected to reach 65, compared to 52 in 2011. This is already on par with Europe and higher than India and North America. With 40 percent of its population living in cities, Africa is more urbanized than India (30 percent) and nearly as urbanized as China (45 percent).
By 2030 Africa will have 760 million urban residents. By 2050 the figure is expected to grow to 1.2 billion. This rapid migration has intensified the need to develop Africa’s megacities, and infrastructure has become one of the key strategic priorities amongst senior leaders throughout Africa.
Whilst Africa is often perceived as a mysterious, underdeveloped continent, it’s quickly becoming one of the most valuable emerging markets for infrastructure. In fact, infrastructure development – in the form of megacities – is one of the key strategic priorities for senior African leaders. What’s driving infrastructure development in Africa?
Diversifying Africa’s resource-dependent economies and speeding up the infrastructure development so vital to its future will be two of the main topics at this week’s World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa. This week’s event carries the theme “Delivering on Africa’s Promise”.
By virtue of their combined size, BRICS nations represent 45 percent of the world’s workforce. But of this workforce a large number are unemployed or unemployable. For BRICS countries, as for Africa, the challenge is how to find ways to develop the skills of the workforce so that is more efficient and productive, to educate and train the unemployed so that they become employable, and – most importantly – to create meaningful jobs for them to fill.
Africa is the second fastest growing region globally, and as the economies of the African continent continue to grow, it’s important that governments support sustainable growth to create jobs, tackle inequality, and lift their people out of poverty. The theme of the World Economic Forum on Africa 2013 is “Delivering on Africa’s Promise” – apt given Africa’s growing middle class and the global demand for Africa’s resources.
The April 2012 World Economic Outlook report published by the International Monetary Fund presented a sturdy but cautiously optimistic future for the various African economies. Sub-Saharan Africa particularly recorded a strong 5 percent growth in 2011 and was one of the regions least affected by the global financial crisis. With the exception of South Africa, limited financial ties to Europe helped shield the region from the financial havoc that tore through Western economies in late 2011.