Browsing: Foreign Direct Investment

The path towards a common currency in the EAC

Should a common currency in the EAC come to fruition, the trade will be fueled by a reduction, albeit limited, in transaction costs, the elimination of exchange rate risk and region-wide price harmonisation – all of which will undoubtedly be underpinned by policy incentives.

  • Monetary Union is the third stage towards EAC regional integration, capped through Political Federation.
  • Considering individual economies are relatively small, currency harmonisation might play a significant role in improving intra-African trade.
  • The IMF, through its chief Christine Lagarde, previously warned the EAC not to rush into a currency union, pointing to the issues faced in Europe.

Interest in regional integration, including monetary, in Africa has remained intense over the decades since independence. Consequently, various regional groupings have been formed. Those initiatives were stimulated by the generally small size of individual economies. This led to a desire to promote economies of scale in production and distribution. A…

Southern Africa, East and West Africa saw their flows of FDI rise in 2021. It was only in Central and North Africa that flows of foreign direct investment were flat or declined, respectively. Flows to North Africa fell by 5 per cent to $9.3 billion.

Egypt saw its FDI drop by 12% as large investments in exploration and production agreements in extractive industries were not repeated. Despite the decline, Egypt has the second highest flows of FDI in 2021 on the continent.

UNCTAD reports that it expects FDI flows to increase in North Africa owing to pledges of as much as US$ 22 billion to the region from Gulf states. In Egypt, according to the UNCTAD World Investment Report 2022 tripled green field projects of US$ 5.6 billion and real estate projects of US$ 1.5 billion.

In Morocco, FDI flows increased by 52% to US$ 2.2 billion. This was driven …

It is critical to strengthen a professional, independent supervision secretariat to make the AfCFTA agreement's promise a reality. A strong secretariat can assist states in developing strong domestic institutions to administer, monitor, and enforce the AfCFTA. The moment for change has arrived. The conventional development models have failed Africa. The AfCFTA, on the other hand, signifies that Africa is open for business.…

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AfCFTA will be a game changer for Africa, but its success depends on certain enablers being present. The first and most obvious impediment and an obstacle to the initiative will be mustering the political will of the signatories to implement the necessary reforms to enable its success.  This may not always be politically feasible or possible.

The less obvious enablers and the financial institutions on the African continent. Their presence and activities have a direct and strong bearing on the success of AfCFTA. One of the foremost bankers on the African continent, Sim Tshabalala, the chief executive of the continent’s largest banking institution by assets, is fond of saying that banking is a derived business. This means that banks butter their bread from the activities of economic agents.

If AfCFTA is to succeed in its quest to merge the various comparative advantages of the countries that constitute Africa it will…

Interestingly, of the US$1.5 trillion in foreign direct investment recorded in 2021, 53% of that money was channelled towards developing economies. Africa made a very strong showing in terms of foreign direct investment in 2021.

According to the report, Africa attracted US$ 83 billion in foreign direct investment compared to the US$ 39 billion it achieved in 2020. Of the global investment flows that landed on African shores in 2021 US$ 41 billion went directly to South Africa.

Despite the positive developments that occurred in 2021 in foreign direct investment, the UNCTAD report concludes by stating that the growth and momentum in FDI flows in 2021 will not be sustainable given the adverse economic developments that have occurred in 2022.

UNCTAD expects these developments will either put downward pressure on the flow of FDI or flatten the curve.…

The movement of exchange rates on the parallel market has been caused by the government itself. Firstly, the government introduced a currency that economic agents have no confidence in because it did not have the macroeconomic fundamentals to give it credence. There was no parallel market for foreign currency during the years that the country made use of a basket of currencies.

The parallel market only emerged when the government introduced a surrogate currency called the bond note which was said to be at par with the United States dollar. No sooner than the surrogate currency had been introduced that the parallel market emerged, and United States dollars started trading at a premium.

Secondly, the government reportedly purchases foreign exchange on the parallel market. Through the central bank, the government issues new currency and then purchases foreign currency on the parallel market and drives up the exchange rate. It has …

Many, if not all, emerging markets have relaxed the regulations and restrictions related to FDI to encourage global investors to the continent.

The Business Insights on Emerging Markets 2021 also reported that the foreign direct investment in the emerging markets jumped from 15 per cent to 46 per cent over the last two decades.

The wave of technological advancements integrated with digitalization has captivated the globe and benefited the global economy in many unexpected ways. Developing countries in Africa need to embrace the fast pace technological revolution, which shall revamp the markets in the continent.

Emerging markets have been very active in creating the digital infrastructure for technological innovations accelerated by the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic.…

  • In 2020, the capital investment in the renewable energy sector was at US$8.72 billion, outshining oil and gas for the first time
  •  Despite the damage caused to the climate, gas and oil are at the core of the energy sector, which is concerning
  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) topped in the Middle East, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) in renewable energy close to US$2.4 billion in 2020

One of the conclusions of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, which was held in Glasgow, Scotland, is that the climate change effect caused by fossil fuels on the earth might be irreversible by 2030.

The COP 26 conference emphasized the cutting down subsidies granted for coal and fossil fuels to low- and middle-income countries. However, there is no amicable consensus arrived on the above emphasis.

It appears that global financial firms are reluctant to curtail the direct and indirect financing of …

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. …

In the years from 2014 and 2018, China was Africa’s biggest FDI source estimated at 16 per cent of all FDI into the continent. The Chinese represented the main source of FDI into the continent with the United States and France holding eight per cent of the total FDI.
With Covid-19 hitting the continent in March 2020, the cascading health and economic challenges on the continent has significantly affected FDI inflows.…