Source: How We Made it in Africa

The growing urban population in sub-Saharan Africa is rapidly driving up the demand for affordable housing in urban areas.


Khartoum, Capital of Sudan. Source: How We Made it in Africa

The United States has been imposing sanctions on Sudan since 1997 and listed it as one of the countries sponsoring terrorism. Sudan’s president has 3 warrants of arrest against him issued by the International Criminal Court. The country itself has been a hotbed of violence and turmoil, especially in the western part of the country in the Darfur province. In 2011, the southern part of the country seceded and formed South Sudan, taking with it most of Sudan’s oil reserves. In 2017 the USA lifted the sanctions. This report investigates various elements in the financial services sector in Sudan, pre and post the sanctions.

The banking sector globally is going through a challenging time with a slowdown in revenue growth and lower RoEs for the banks. African banking stands out in the sector as a segment that offers huge growth potential over the coming years due to the following factors:

  • Low penetration of banking products in both retail and wholesale segments, which is less than half the global average
  • Rise in middle-class population, most of whom are seeking banking solutions
  • Investments in African infrastructure and commodities sectors from overseas players, enabling M&A and project financing

As such, we believe that Africa will be a beacon of future growth in global banking.

Sudan capital Khartoum (Source: How We Made it in Africa)

Sudan has featured prominently in the news the past few months. Among the reasons for this phenomenon, was the USA lifting sanctions against the country, although it still kept Sudan on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the UAE have all reached out to Sudan in one form or another. The latest news involved Sudan experiencing a serious cash-flow problem, to the extent that it is trimming its foreign diplomatic services quite seriously.

Sudan, vilified by the West for a long time, is now rapidly becoming an important player in the complicated geopolitical games around the Red Sea. Johan Burger reports on why Sudan is attracting wooers from both East and West.


Sub-Saharan Africa is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in history. Since the beginning of the century, the urban population in the region grew by more than 200 million.

Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria, is a source of mixed emotions for its more than 20 million inhabitants.  Many come to the city from the hinterland to pursue their dreams. Some succeed, some do not. But all suffer one grief or another from the city’s punishing traffic jams, noise pollution from ubiquitous standby-generators, and so on. Despite its shortcomings, Lagos is a city of great potential. With a gross domestic product (GDP) of about US$136 billion in 2017, the city is already acclaimed to have the 7th largest GDP in Africa. ,  (The state government believes it is the 5th largest in Africa and aspires to become the third largest by 2020, three years from now. ) 




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