On the 16th December 2021, I had a fascinating chat with Shuaibu Idris, a Nigerian development economist and MD of Time-Line Consult, a Lagos-based financial consultancy and management firm, about the state of infrastructure spending and general investment levels on the continent for an article for the weekday South African media outlet, Business Day ( https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2021-12-23-george-philipas-infrastructure-spending-in-africa-is-at-a-crossroads/ )… Thought I would share his insightful extended comments.Continue reading “A conversation with Shuaibu Idris, a development economist from Nigeria, about the future of infrastructure spending in Africa”
An edited version of this article appeared in the Opinions and Analysis section of Business Day (South Africa) on 23/12/2021: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/opinion/2021-12-23-george-philipas-infrastructure-spending-in-africa-is-at-a-crossroads/
The pandemic has certainly not been kind to investment prospects in Africa. Lead by a slowdown in infrastructure investment from China, foreign direct investment (FDI), already heading south before the onset of the pandemic, fell by 18% in 2020. More ominously, greenfield investment, investment in new projects, fell precipitously by 63% according to the Global Investment Trends Monitor released by UNCTAD in Jan 2021, the largest regional fall on the globe last year. The proverbial onslaught culminated with the announcement earlier this month at the recent Forum of China-Africa Cooperation conference (FOCAC) in Dakar, Senegal that plots Sino-African relations for the next three years, of a vertical drop in investment from China from US$ 60 billion to US$40 billion.Continue reading “Infrastructure spending in Africa is at a crossroads”
This article appeared in Sunday Times Daily (South Africa) in the Opinion and Analysis section on 31/08/2021:
It has certainly been an active 18 months or so for President Cyril Ramaphosa and his foreign policy pivot to Africa. As Chairperson of the African Union (A.U) last year and at the G20 summit in November, he championed decisive measures to counteract the impact of the pandemic on Africa as a whole. Seeking debt relief, increased vaccine procurement and waivers on vaccine patents to encourage domestic African production.
And just last month, South Africa deployed 1500 South African troops making up the bulk of the multinational force under SADC command to counter the growing threat of an Islamic insurgency in northern Mozambique.