23 January 2019

Africa Brims With Opportunity Despite Enduring Risks


At the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos this week, there are several sessions on Africa and the developing world in general where this report is going to be the centre of discussion. Our own President Cyril Ramaphosa and other heads of state will headline some of those discussions, but the continent's response to these risks goes beyond WEF, into the policy boardrooms and forums of the African continent itself.

The World Economic Forum recently released its 2018 Regional Risks for Doing Business Report, identifying five risks for the African continent. These are unemployment/underemployment, failures of national governance, energy price shocks, failure of critical infrastructure and fiscal crises. I am certain that some or all of these resonate regardless of the region or country in which one resides on the African continent.

As if to illustrate the point, as I write this we are seeing sustained protests in Zimbabwe over significant fuel price increases that evidently make it difficult for ordinary people and businesses to cope with daily living and operational expenses. Zimbabwe's fiscal challenges mean it does not have the capacity to provide the cushions that would lessen the financial burden on consumers, and so it has to find...


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