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Nigeria is still, by a slim margin, the biggest economy in Africa, despite the economic woes of the past two years. A population of anything between 180 million to 200 million people makes its consumer market in particular of great interest to investors, manufacturers and exporters around the world. The country manufactures relatively few of the products it consumes and despite efforts to increase local industry, it remains largely import dependent.

The African continent is one of many opportunities. However, due to many internal issues, it cannot flourish on its own without the help of foreign countries. Due to frequent instances of corruption, government to government diplomacy might not be the best way to go. Modern diplomacy is not something only for the political elite, but it is about inspiring a nation. A bottom-up approach can therefore inspire much more, such as by sending business angels to help entrepreneurial activities that, in turn, will solve key issues in current society. There are two main categories to support: the youth, who have the aspirations, but not the opportunities, and the women, where entrepreneurship will help diminish the current discrimination that they face on a daily basis.

The world is on a relentless race for the adoption of the latest technology. The truth of the matter is that if Africa does not foster the right environment for its people and businesses to faster embrace the new technologies, it may find itself left far behind. And the technological chasm that needs to be bridged, will only increase over time.

In its World Economic Outlook released in early October 2017, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seems to be more optimistic about the global economy, but there are still many risks that can stall the recovery. It estimates that global growth in 2017 will be 3.6%, and forecasts a 3.7% rate for 2018 and 2019. The emerging market and developing economies will be the main growth engine, with an estimated growth of 4.6% in 2017, accelerating to 4.9% and 5% in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Regional economic integration isn’t working and changing that should be a priority. 

South Africa can facilitate investment and development of Africa’s nascent ocean economies. 

Policy trade-offs can translate Namibia’s endowment of natural resources into a real success story.

 

 

 

NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies

 

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Singapore 639798

 

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