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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Africa's GDP expanding; must manage terrorism and trade

S.A. Pres. Zuma wants free trade expanded.
At the same time U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was informing Congress that instability in North Africa - especially in Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and Morocco - was a huge threat to security in the region, Africa was heralded as the "world’s second fastest growing economy" at the World Economic Forum being held in Davos, Switzerland.

After expanding 5% a year in the past two years, well above the global average, Africa’s GDP is on track to grow by 5.3% this year. “If certain bottlenecks were taken out, I can easily see that doubling,” said Chrm.Graham Mackay, SABMiller.

The "bottlenecks" he was perhaps referring to include governance, economic and political exclusion, and weak institutional risks. Louise Arbour, President and Chief Executive Officer, International Crisis Group (ICG), Belgium, said current armed unrest in Mali is destabilizing West Africa.

“The narrative in Africa is changing and changing very fast,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Group Chief Executive Officer, Bharti Enterprises, India. “From the standpoint of investors and people coming into Africa, I think what is important to see is commitment from the political leadership to secure investments, ensure there are no major fallouts of any terror activities which have recently developed, and, importantly, manage foreign exchange in a manner which does not deliver shocks,” he added.

Mittal, one of the richest men in the world with wealth reported at $8.3 billion in 2011, also called for repatriation of business profits becoming the norm and development of Africa’s financial system.

Jacob G. Zuma, President of South Africa, said, “We realize that intra-trade is not enough and are working hard on that. We’ve just discussed and agreed to integrate three of the five economic regions, creating a free trade area of more than half a billion people," Zuma said.

1 comment:

  1. James B. says: Tomi, globally I see similar trends in South Central Asia, particularly Sri Lanka. Major growth in GDP/GNP, but massive failures with an infrastructure that has not caught up or kept pace with growth. More importantly, none of the wealth trickles down to the common folk. And from my side of the spectrum (work related), extremist activity (Islamic/Political) continues to rise! Arab spring ain't no Joke!


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