Regional markets: Focus on Africa


Long regarded as an emerging region and one of the next industrial gas frontiers, the time is arguably now for Africa. The continent is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies and an increasingly attractive destination for the investors of tomorrow, it is claimed. But it is also coming to the fore against a favourable backdrop of economic struggle in many other regions.

The global financial crisis and subsequently sluggish markets of advanced economies like North America and Europe are positioning Africa to finally realise its potential as one of the key emerging markets in the face of weakened investment prospects elsewhere. Slowing growth in China will likely assist the cause of the ‘lion’ economies in the near term.

There will be various barriers to overcome before Africa is able to fully seize the day in its development, including investment in infrastructure, industrialisation, agriculture, and stability of power/energy supply. The African Development Bank (AfDB) has reportedly stated that Sub-Saharan Africa needs to spend around $93bn per year over the next 10 years on infrastructure, for example, with less than half of that currently being provided.

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