Business

Africa Offers US Firms Compelling Trade Opportunites

At least two people have been arrested after attacking a police post in Kibaale District, adiposity http://codefor.asia/wp-content/plugins/wp-pagenavi/core.php Chimp Corps report.

The attack comes just a few weeks after simultaneous raids on defence installations in Mubende, order http://chaudharylaw.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-importer.php Kasese, link Bundibugyo and Kasese left at least 92 people dead.

Equator Region Police spokesperson, Phillip Mukasa, says assailants who were carrying jerry cans containing petrol and sulphuric acid attempted to grab a gun from a police officer who was on duty at Kisita Police Station on Saturday night.

The incident occurred at around 2:00am, according to Mukasa.

He identified the suspects as Alex Mugarula, 26 and Shaban Matovu.

“We received intelligence that an attack on Kisita Police station was being planned so we prepared to defend ourselves and the police. As soon as the attackers arrived to set the police on fire and loot guns, we quickly brought them to order,” said Mukasa.

He says one of the attackers identified as Innocent Wagira was killed by a mob as he fled from the scene.

Mukasa further pointed out the suspected assailants are currently being detained at Mubende police station pending investigations.

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Police have in recent weeks stepped up night patrols and tightened security at their bases to avoid attacks from negative elements to destabilise the country.

 
Africa offers US multinationals a compelling trade and investment opportunity thanks to the rapid economic growth rates being experienced across the continent along with burgeoning population growth and increasing urbanisation, ampoule http://curcumincapsules.art14london.com/wp-includes/class-feed.php according to Standard Bank.

The U.S.-Africa Leaders’ summit conferences are taking place in Washington.

African leaders and business will utilise this opportunity to sell the continent’s potential to American businessmen and also strengthen trade ties.

Economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa has exceeded 5 percent a year for more than a decade now giving the continent a 4.1 percent share of global gross domestic product (GDP), order http://cineaverde.com/wp-includes/class-wp-image-editor.php up from 3.4 percent in 2000.

By 2050, for sale http://cfsk.org/wp-content/plugins/events-manager/multilingual/em-ml-admin.php one in four of the world’s population will reside in Africa with at least 60 percent of the continent’s people living in urban centres.

“Trade with African economies and investment in Africa offer big rewards but it requires sound local knowledge, strong local partnerships, and a long term view,” said Mr Sim Tshabalala, Chief Executive of Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets and market valuation.

“In that sense the US plan to revitalise its commercial and trade links with Africa couldn’t come at a more opportune time.”

The renewed US interest in Africa is embodied by President Barack Obama’s Power Africa Initiative which was launched last year and aims to double access to power in six partner countries in sub Saharan Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.

The US government has committed more than $7 billion in financial support and loan guarantees to the project over the next five years.

That commitment has been doubled by the almost 30 private sector partners who have pledged $14.7 billion in project finance through direct loans, guarantee facilities, and equity investments for Power Africa.

Nevertheless, Stanchart believes, the US still has some catching up to do.

While the US is a major investor in Africa – particularly in information technology, manufacturing, resources, power, and financial services – trade flows have advanced on a much gentler trajectory.

Although US-Africa trade doubled from about $50bn in the early 2000s to $110bn in 2013, it still lags China whose trade with Africa exceeded $200 billion last year.

Yet it is precisely China’s emergence as Africa’s largest trading partner which underscores the potential value on the continent for US firms.

 FDI

Foreign direct investment into Africa has increased dramatically in the last decade and a half, and continues to grow.

In 2013, FDI to Africa increased by 9.6 percent to an estimated $56.6 billion, representing 5.7 percent of global FDI.

FDI is forecast to exceed $60 billion in 2014.  Total foreign inflows to the continent reached $186 billion in 2013, and are expected to top $200 billion in 2014.

Emerging economies – and the BRICS in particular – are seizing the African opportunity. In 1992 China, India and Brazil accounted for just 3 percent of Africa’s global trade compared to 25 percent today. A wide range of firms from India, Brazil and South Africa are also expanding quickly in Africa, often with strong support from their governments.

Yet, while the US may be arriving late to this party, the world’s biggest economy still offers unrivalled commercial and industrial excellence in many key fields. The vibrancy of US multinationals, with their proven track records, industrial processes, established retail networks and brands, are of immense attraction to the ongoing consumer revolution taking place across Africa.

US firms are also increasingly interested in the commercial opportunities in Africa. Major private equity firms, including the Carlyle Group, have launched Africa-focused funds valued in the hundreds of millions. Leading US technology companies are investing in new ventures and start-ups across the continent.  IBM has invested at least $100 million, with new Innovation Centres in Lagos and Casablanca.  Microsoft and Intel Capital are embarking on partnerships with African tech companies, and Google is working on delivering broadband to remote communities.

“Africa has come a very long way from its era of aid-dependence,” said Mr Tshabalala. “The rapidly emerging middle class in Africa is driving large-scale diversification of Africa’s economies which offers immense opportunities for companies willing to invest.”

In Nigeria the middle class has swelled by 600 percent since 2000.  Today, Nigeria is home to 4.1 million middle-class households, containing 11 percent of the total population.  Other economies doing particularly well on this measure include Angola, where 21 percent of households are considered middle class followed by Sudan (14 percent) and Zambia (10 percent).

The number of mobile phone users in Africa has multiplied 33 times since 2000 and in the next five years it is likely that almost every adult African will have a mobile phone. Over 50 percent of urban Africans are already online, a figure that is likely to grow rapidly over the next decade.

“While there is still a lot to be done the overall direction that Africa is moving in is overwhelmingly positive,” said Mr Tshabalala. “US companies can do very well in Africa provided they put in the effort to understand the continent’s markets in detail, rather than looking at the continent as a single, homogenous entity.”

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