Morocco rejoined the African Union (AU) in January after a 33-year absence. Last month it raised eyebrows when it also applied to join ECOWAS. While it had quit the AU over its recognition of Western Sahara, it rejoined without any further progress on the issue, and Western Sahara remains a member. Instead, as King Mohamed VI said in his speech to the AU Heads of State, Morocco has “no intention of causing division,” and this represents a significant change in its foreign policy stance.
Despite Singapore’s growing trade and investment partnerships with Africa, there have been no free trade agreements (FTAs) between the city state and the African continent. Rather, both parties have agreed to a number of bilateral investment treaties, primarily concerned with private investments and double taxation avoidance treaties. By using Singapore as a successful model of a trading nation that benefits from FTAs, this article seeks to examine the reasons why African countries have not successfully implemented FTAs with Singapore. It also considers what needs to be done to facilitate both intra- and inter-trade in Africa.
At the end of November 2016, a group of private equity professionals gathered in Cape Town for the SuperReturn Africa conference, which bills itself as the continent’s largest private equity and venture capital event. Jaco Maritz was there to learn about the opportunities and risks private equity investors see in Africa.
SMEs are engines of growth, vital to most economies. Research suggests that micro businesses and SMEs account for 95% of firms in most countries. They create jobs, contribute to GDP, aid industrial development, satisfy local demand for services, innovate and support large firms with inputs and services.
Africa will undoubtedly continue to be a dynamic region of interest for multinational corporations (MNCs) looking for the next growth frontier. Specific countries within the sub-Saharan Africa region are experiencing an economic growth rate higher than that of the global average. This is accompanied by trends of high urbanisation, a rising middle class, and a vision to transform from commodity-based economies to industrialised ones.