Hot on the heels of China’s US$1tn Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Conference earlier in May, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an equally ambitious ‘Asia-Africa Growth Corridor’ (AAGC) at the India-Africa Summit in Ahmedabad. The continental project, unmistakably a challenger to the BRI’s forays in Africa, will be developed in consultation with think tanks from India, Japan, Singapore and Africa, and will draw funding from India and Japan. The wooing of Africa and the range of options now available to African economies demonstrate their growing leverage on the global stage.
More than 640 million Africans, or about 60% of the continent’s population, don’t have access to reliable and affordable grid-connected electricity, and are therefore dependent on energy sources such as kerosene, charcoal and diesel. Likewise, many businesses also suffer from poor power supply. For example, it is estimated that some 95% of the mobile tower sites in the continent’s off-grid regions run on inefficient diesel generators, which significantly drive up costs.
Franchising can be an effective route for Asian companies to grow their businesses into various African countries. Franchising mitigates many of the financial risks of expanding to a new territory, and the franchisor also benefits from the franchisee’s local knowledge and networks needed to make the business a success.
South African beverage company Soda King Franchising has managed to expand beyond the country’s borders, and is now active in a number of African countries, most of which differ dramatically from its home market. This case study unpacks Soda King’s experiences of building a pan-African franchise business.
In the wake of controversial picks for Trump’s cabinet, the spotlight turns to his appointed choice for Secretary of State, the highest diplomatic rank in the United States government. After a brief interlude with Mitt Romney, which would certainly be a favourite pick among Republicans, Donald Trump showed that he would continue with his anti-establishment agenda and decided instead to recommend Rex Tillerson for the role.
In 2013, China proposed the joint building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, also known as the Belt and Road. The Belt and Road is a proposal for economic cooperation along key routes similar to the ancient silk road. The ancient silk road developed over time and was used to transport goods and ideas over land and maritime trade routes from Asia to Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It promoted trade and cultural exchanges, leading to prosperity and development for countries along the Belt and Road.