Monday, June 6, 2011

Capturing the SADC opportunity

“Wow, the Africa as a mainstream investment story just gets stronger and stronger. I was speaking in Johannesburg to a visiting Chinese delegation with a strong showing of South African companies too. About 200 people in the audience and I was mobbed with 2 dozen people in a queue for Q&A at the end of my presentation. Nice coverage of it too in China see The combination of seminars, conferences and strong mainstream press coverage are much more often that what we were seeing only 4 years ago when we launched AfrAsia Bank. The parallels to the SE Asia boon of the 80s and 90s, which I happened to work in firsthand, just keep getting more noticeable.”


  1. Mr Benoit

    I read with interest some of the recent articles on Africa’s growth prospects and most of us, if not all, are now seeing the benefits of using Mauritius as the bridge to Africa to capture such growths.

    Africa has now experienced 15 years of economic growth and is following the trend of transformative growth which has taken place in the great majority of the world’s emerging markets. In this sense Africa is not a special case, it is simply late to the party. As in all other regions, much of Africa’s growth has and is taking place in countries which do not conform to Western models of government and governance. Growth in Africa is primarily due to economic liberalization and improved regulation, not to strong commodity prices. While African growth is now broadening and accelerating, it is quite uncertain which countries will be relative winners and which will be losers.

    It is predicted that over the next five years Africa will become the fastest growing region in the world. Africa has much greater scope than any other region for convergence and leap frogging. In addition, according to some, Africa is benefiting from the fact that several of the key transmission mechanisms for economic development have sped up. These include the breakdown of redundant ideologies, consensus about what good policy looks like, stronger business conviction and confidence in future growth and the availability and responsiveness of domestic and international finance. In Africa many believe these factors are reinforcing each other in a virtuous cycle of development.

    In fact there is every chance that Africa’s structural strengths will become a mirror image of the West’s entrenched structural weaknesses.

    Yes, these comments are biased – it’s very positive! But what a change that is. We are all brainwashed about Africa’s problems and supposed inferiority. The stunning progress made by Africa is beginning to be understood but its tremendous potential is far from being properly reflected in investment decisions and resource allocation. Positive expectations and high aspirations will be key components of the next chapter of Africa’s dramatic growth story.

  2. Great comments James. I have linked your blog to mine.

  3. Researcher - Economics, Web 2.0, PR, Communication, Marketing, Media...June 26, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    According to a global poll conducted for BBC World Service between December 2, 2010 and February 4, 2011 by the international polling firm GlobeScan, the two nations with the most positive views of China’s economic growth were in Africa - Nigeria (82%) and Kenya (77%).

    It is no matter of coincidence to note today that the Asian Tigers and the African Lions are buttressing their investment relationships. South Africa indeed stands out as the major intraregional source of FDI. Africa’s economic potential as well as its natural resources have wooed countries to the continent and in line with this yes indeed, South Africa is increasingly becoming China's investment focus.

    As a matter of fact, we all know that any investment made in an economy has short term and long term effects. Increase in quantity, quality, human and physical are there.. By diversifying its investment in South Africa, China is indeed going to create employment in the African continent. Capital deepening will increase productivity of the labour force and all such developments will definitely have a capacity generating force.

    Democratization remains an ongoing progress in Africa, and investment will keep giving dynamic impulses to the African economy.

    The comments may sound very positive, but there’s no changing the fact that lots of opportunities beckon and Africa is becoming economically integrated with Asia.

    Thumbs up for AfrAsia Bank Ltd, one of the first to recognize the growth potential of the African Lions to match the rise of the Asian Tiger economies!

    The African sequel continues :)