Browsing: Dubai

The report notes that figures reveal that the region’s share of Dubai total trade grew considerably over the years. In 2020, it was the emirate’s third-largest trading partner in Africa, with total trade value hitting US$12.2bn. This was a 24.4 per cent share of Dubai’s trade with Africa.

East Africa’s trade with Dubai is relatively balanced.

Imports accounted for 43 per cent of trade activity, while re-exports and exports made up 42 per cent and 15 per cent in 2015-2020. Imports grew 22 per cent in the same period, while exports grew 15 per cent, and re-exports 3 per cent. 

“This is in contrast to what we see in Africa, where technology is seen as more developmental than disruptive. It allows new players to enter into the market – a market that is often uncharted.”
Lacina Koné spoke about Smart Africa’s vision to transform Africa into a single digital market by 2030. “The strategy consists of five main points: putting ICT at the heart of national development plans; improving access to ICT especially for banks; ensuring transparency, accountability, and openness through ICT; putting the private sector first in the ecosystem; and using ICT to promote sustainable development,” he said.
“Looking at the registered mobile money market share, Africa owns 50 per cent, we also own 70 per cent of mobile money transactions globally. Africa by nature is a mobile continent and we are leading the world in that sector,” Koné added.

Just three decades ago, Dubai was a little more than a desert with patchworks of settlements and limited infrastructure. However, the country was timely in exploiting the opportunities offered by the oil boom in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This strategy produced unprecedented wealth for the small Gulf nation.  

As mentioned, oil is a limited resource and with this in mind, Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his successor, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, put into effect a plan that is turning the city into the world’s top tourist destination. 

Commenting on Africa’s participation at the conference and the continent’s development in general Egypt’s representative at Expo 2020, Ahmed Maghawry Diab, who is also an official from the country’s Ministry of Trade and Industry said, “…the world has started to look at Africa and rediscover it…the continent has a lot of difficulties, but it has also started to develop.”

Another optimist for the continent’s development and what it has to offer is Dr. Levi Uche Madueke, Head of the African Union (AU) Strategic Partnerships Office and AU Commissioner General for Expo 2020 said, “…Africa is undergoing a dynamic socio-economic and political transformation. There is a lot happening on the continent but the world is yet to hear all about it. It is time to take charge of Africa’s narrative and reclaim its rightful place in the global arena.”

More than half of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population still does not have access to electricity according to a March 2020 report by the IMF. This means that the potential of the energy sector in Africa is immense since industry, education, healthcare and many other aspects of the economy cannot be fully exploited without power. 

In addition to inadequate power, those in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have to pay on average nearly twice as much for electricity in comparison to consumers elsewhere in the world.  Even with power for the 50 per cent of the population, power shortages cost the continent an estimated 2 to 4 per cent of GDP a year.