« Africa is open for business », voilà c’est dit !…en anglais

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Voici quelques articles, en anglais, concernant l’ouverture de l’Afrique au Business…

Africa is open for business (reuters.com)

MAY 25, 2011 12:41 EDT By Seretse Khama Ian Khama

A decade ago, doing business in Africa was once perceived as a difficult and complex undertaking due to various reasons including, among other things, the cost of doing business, the numerous processes associated with the issuance of clearances such as work and residence permits, a fragile investment climate and inadequate infrastructure. In addition, conflicts and war emanating from undemocratic elections, undemocratic practices, corruption and abuse of good governance compounded to the unattractiveness of doing business in Africa. But, with fewer conflicts, more democratic elections and economic growth rates that gradually have begun to compete with those of other developing regions, Africa is proving itself a continent of positive change.

To this end, Africa has realized the importance of having an open trade regime and moving away from protectionist policies of the post-independence era. This has been done by replacing import substitution policies with trade liberalization. The recent wave of liberalization in Africa has been driven by events in the multilateral arena with successive negotiations having been concluded under the GATT/WTO. Read more

Is Africa open for business ? (reuters.com)

APR 20, 2011 17:09 EDT

On Wednesday, May 25, there will be a THOMSON REUTERS NEWSMAKER in London. This is the second of the series “Is Africa Open for Business?”

REUTERS BREAKINGVIEWS Editor HUGO DIXON will moderate a panel with Amani Abeid Karume, who was President of Zanzibar from 2000 to 2010, Lord Paul Boateng, who was British High Commissioner to South Africa from 2005 to 2009, Arabia Monitor President Florence Eid and Nubuke Investments Managing Partner Tutu Agyare.

A common refrain from companies that are reluctant to do business in Africa is the prevalence of corruption and the lack of legal and political frameworks that insure the rule of law, human rights and the enforceability of contracts, typically covered under the catch-all term of “political risk”. As the world has watched events unfold in North Africa and Ivory Coast, the term is being used profusely by media pundits pondering the short- and long-term effects of every incident on political and economic stability in the region and beyond.

Dixon and the four panelists will discuss the role peaceful leadership succession can play in reducing “political risk” and promoting democracy, good governance and economic development on the African Continent. 

Africa Open for Business by National Black Programming Consortium (youtube/NBPC)

The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) is dedicated to developing black digital authorship and distributing unique stories of the black experience in the new media age. Since 1979 NBPC has invested over $7 million dollars in iconic documentary productions for public television; trained, mentored, and supported a diverse array of producers who create content about contemporary black experiences; and emerged as a leader in the evolving next-media landscape through its annual New Media Institute and New Media Institute: Africa programs. NBPC also distributes engaging content online through its social media portal Blackpublicmedia.Org, an online home for enlightening black digital content and engagement.

Doing Business in Africa (africaforopenbusiness.com)

According to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the UN trade agency, UNCTAD, Africa offers the highest return on direct foreign investment in the world, far exceeding all other regions.  While petroleum products are the driving force behind those returns, other sectors offer impressive growth.

One of the fastest growth areas is telecommunications.  From 1999 to 2004, cell phone use in Africa grew at an annual rate of 58%, whereas in Asia, the region with the next highest growth, cell phone use grew at a relatively paltry 35%.

Africa is of increasing strategic interest to the global economy.  The continent is expected to soon provide the US with more petroleum than the Middle East.  The top supplier of oil to China is Angola.  China and India are rapidly increasing their business dealings with Africa.  These new power-houses are often beating out American and European firms.

Africa offers a consumer base of more than 900 million people.  While more than half of Africa is estimated to live on a dollar or less a day, the other half does not, and they are hungry for products and services.  Even among the poor, there are surprising opportunities.  The rapid expansion of telecommunications is a prime example of the premise of C. K. Prahalad’s groundbreaking book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Incremental profits may be low, but vast numbers of potential consumers can result in high overall profits.

The risks of investing in Africa remain high, just as they are for most emerging markets, but as noted by Kim Jaycox, CEO of Emerging Markets Partnership’s Africa Fund, the largest fund investing in Africa, the perceived risk is much greater than the real risk.  And once the risk goes down, the returns won’t be as good.

For more information on investing in Africa, contact:

International Trade Administration (ITA)
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20230
1-800 USA TRAD(E)

The Corporate Council on Africa
1100 17th Street, N.W., Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 835-1115
Fax: (202) 835-1117

The Whitaker Group
1725 I Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006
Tel. 202-349-3781

AGOA – Africa Growth and Opportunities Act – US Government site with trade information and a very helpful resource page.

Mbendi – online information service on business in Africa.

Databank Financial Services Ltd. – investment house and mutual fund managers in Ghana.

Liquid Africa Holding Ltd. – investment and information service for all African markets.

Allafrica.com – news service with financial information on African markets.