Next Finance English Flag Drapeau Francais
Jobs Training Search

Africa: A continent of opportunities

As global demand for commodities continues to grow, we believe Africa is in an enviable position with its vast resources, not only minerals but also food—60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land is in Africa...

Article also available in : English EN | français FR

We believe the opportunities in Africa are appealing primarily because of the continent’s strong growth. Economies in Africa are together expected to grow more than 7% annually in the next 20 years due to an improving investment environment, better economic management and China’s rising demand for natural resources. [1].

As global demand for commodities continues to grow, we believe Africa is in an enviable position with its vast resources, not only minerals but also food—60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land is in Africa. [2] The potential for long-term growth in consumer-related areas is also very attractive, with the continent’s approximately one billion inhabitants. [3]

Despite the continent’s problems, we are encouraged by another side of Africa that is gradually emerging with the development of capital markets, consumerism and technology.
Mark Mobius

Within Africa, a few frontier markets that we believe are attractive are Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya. Nigeria has a population of about 155 million people, it is rich in oil and gas reserves and raw materials such as iron ore, coal and bauxite, and its climate and terrain lend themselves favorably to agriculture. [4] Nigeria’s economy is projected to grow 7.4% in 2011. [5]

Ghana is seen by many as one of the most politically stable democracies in sub-Saharan Africa. It has a relatively young population of over 20 million and is rich in resources such as oil and gold. [6] We are excited about the prospects in Ghana, especially in areas related to consumers and commodities. In addition, investment in infrastructure is likely to require financing, so we are also looking closely at the financials sector.

Although the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007–2008 took many people by surprise, it culminated in the establishment of a coalition government and the adoption of a new constitution in 2010, creating a foundation for future stability and growth. Kenya’s economy appears to be doing well at the moment. Exports such as tea and horticultural products have recovered, and the tourism sector is also seeing a rebound.

The sentiments that arose in recent tensions in North African countries spread not only to other African and Middle Eastern countries, but also to Asia and other parts of the world. Regimes that do not have the support of the public and have not been elected democratically are likely to come under increased pressure going forward, which could lead to periods of volatility.

Although these events can be distressing and sometimes have a very high personal cost, it is important to consider how the developments that follow could act as building blocks for the future. Increasing economic and political freedom could be positive for the welfare of individual countries as well as the overall region in the long term. Wherever we invest, we consider these risks and factor them into our investment decisions.

Despite the continent’s problems, we are encouraged by another side of Africa that is gradually emerging with the development of capital markets, consumerism and technology. As larger emerging markets increasingly invest in Africa, we are seeing money funneled toward infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, schools and hospitals, all of which are likely to benefit African economies in the years to come.

Mark Mobius June 2011

Article also available in : English EN | français FR

Footnotes

[1] Standard CharteredBank, The Super-Cycle Report, 15 novembre 2010.

[2] World Bank, Feature Stories: Concessional Funding Key to Unlock Africa’s Agriculture, 29 January 2011

[3] UN Statistics Division, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision

[4] World Bank, 2009.

[5] nternational Monetary Fund, World Energy Outlook, October 2010.

[6] World Bank, World Development Indicator, 2009.

Read also
Tags


Share

Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Viadeo Viadeo LinkedIn LinkedIn

Comment
Advertising
In the same section
Sections