China occupies a prominent role in the economy of most African countries. In less than two decades, China became one of the most important trading partners and largest financier of infrastructure projects in Africa. From its early diplomatic efforts during the Cold War to derail any influence Taiwan and the Soviet Union could have on the continent, China shifted gears at the beginning of this century to focus on trade and economic development. Today, China’s investments in Africa are spread through a range of sectors, taking on the most grandiose infrastructure projects that were put aside since Africa’s colonial times. For all this, China’s influence on the continent is unrivalled and only seems to grow.
Over the past few years, business leaders and investors have become increasingly aware of the economic potential of Sub-Saharan Africa’s burgeoning consumer market. Singapore is an increasingly interested player in the Sub-Saharan African arena. There is a growing number of Singapore companies, from small to large, drawn to the region.They venture not only to familiar South Africa, but are also attracted by the blossoming tech industry in East Africa and by the booming population in West Africa, which brings the promise of a huge untapped market.
Smart cities leverage on technology and use the large amount of data their citizens generate every second to optimize resources, to connect people and to improve business and trading. A smart city targets energy savings and adopts environmentally friendly technologies, which helps promoting sustainable development.
Nairobi and Cape Town rank among the most advanced cities on the African continent on the smart city front. Nairobi, capital of Kenya and home to over 3 million people, won the title of Most Intelligent City in Africa for two years in a row. Going south, Cape Town blossoms as one of the best places to do business in the continent as the South African government continuously implements thoughtful planning and cutting edge technology to attract businesses and improve the lives of its citizens. Both Nairobi and Cape Town look at Singapore as a role model for the city of the future.
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in Southeast Africa, bordered by Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. The country has a population of over 15 million people, from which around 2.8 million people live in the metropolitan area around its capital, Harare.
International tourism accounted for 20.3% of Zimbabwe’s exports in 2014 and generated a revenue of US$ 827 million to the country. The Victoria Falls and the Zambezi river account as the most sought-after sight-seeing places by the tourists visiting the country.
Although Zimbabwe holds unmatched natural beauties, the sector accounts for only a small portion of the country’s GDP.
Improving the laws to attract foreign investment, fostering private-public partnerships in hospitality and largely invest in the marketing of the Zimbabwean brand in the international market could be the first steps that will make the tourism sector gain more traction in the country.
After the shock post November 8th with the results of the American presidential election, the world started studying what a Trump presidency in the USA would mean to the international markets and geopolitical environment. Africa is one of the largest exporters of raw commodities to the USA and will certainly experience changes in the trading dynamics with the world power once Donald Trump assumes his place in the White House, on 20 January 2017.
Among the raw products Africa exports, crude oil has a prominent place. The continent’s oil exporters had the USA as its largest buyer of the product until quite recently. In 2005, the USA imported 1.8 million barrels per day of crude oil from Sub-Saharan African countries. This figure remained fairly constant until 2010 when the USA’s domestic production of the commodity reached historically high levels.
By 2015, the USA was importing only 274 thousand barrels per day from Sub-Saharan Africa. The high revenues countries such as Nigeria and Angola extracted from oil, started to dry up. Could a Trump administration possibly revert this trend and propel the USA to buy more of the African crude oil once again?
Angola has experienced rapid growth in the last decade, mostly propelled by the exploitation of its vast natural resources. Today, the country ranks as the third largest economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Its history, like that of many African nations, is characterised by struggle and battle. After its independence from Portugal in 1975, Angola entered into a 27-year long civil war, where two major opposition parties, MPLA and Unita, fought for supremacy. In 2002, the two parties finally agreed on a cease-fire and started to focus on rebuilding the country. The rebirth of Angola started in 2002.
After the shock post November 8th with the result of the US presidential election, the world started studying what a Trump presidency in the USA would mean to the international markets and geopolitical environment. The vast majority of the polls and political analysts were wrong in their predictions on the outcome of this election. Hillary Clinton was the favourite, praised by the media and anticipated to defend Obama’s legacy in most policy aspects. The international markets would continue operating business as usual, and Brexit would have been the only bump in the road in 2016.
This Wednesday, May 18th, Singapore was host for a very special guest: a delegation from Madagascar, the 4th largest island in the world, located in East Africa, Indian Ocean. The entourage was headed by His Excellency, Mr. Hery Rajaonarimampianina, President of Madagascar, and included other members of the government, and business and political leaders.
The growing importance of adopting cleaner ways to generate electricity worldwide has brought LNG into the spotlight as one of the most affordable and less environmentally damaging fuels. Singapore, with its strategic location, has daring plans to grow into the preferred trading hub for LNG in Asia.