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AFRICA : AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE?

As the global economy experiences unprecedented shifts, Africa’s time to shine draws closer. Economic pundits are ready to place their bets on this emerging market despite decades of civil unrest, tribal clashes and political and economic turmoil overshadowing this vast and ancient continent’s true economic potential. Although still unable to free itself from the shackles of corruption and poverty, a self-perpetuating cycle, the success of the African economy currently rests on its ability to attract multinational corporations and foreign direct investments from Asia and Europe. Over the last ten years, trade between African countries and the rest of the world has grown significantly; charting a 170% increase in trade with the GCC, and 45% growth with China and India, currently the world’s fastest growing economies. Chinese investors have expressed considerable interest in Africa, and are already heavily invested in manufacturing and infrastructure projects in countries such as Sudan and Ghana. In places such as Ethiopia and Ghana, over 60% of Chinese investments in the countries constitute manufacturing. And the Chinese government is keen to see these numbers grow, having recently pledged an additional US$20 billion to the African economy over the next three years with an eye to developing infrastructure, agriculture and the development of small businesses.

Ranked as the poorest continent in the world, Africa has posted strong growth rates in recent years, second only to Asia, drawing increasing inward investment and giving rise to talk of its economic resilience, accompanied by much self-congratulation among officials. However, despite a projected GDP of 4.5% this year, a much more optimistic prospect compared to the debt-ridden economies of the west, industry players warn that the continent should not take a backseat in terms of creating opportunities for trade and investment.

 

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CONTENTS
 
 
Latest Issue
Wednesday 4th March 2015
Volume 12 Issue 09
   
Cover Story
IFN Rapid
News Briefs
Asset Management
Takaful
Ratings
Moves
IFN Reports
  IFN Awards 2014 in Dubai gathers over 400 of Islamic finance’s leading lights
  BIM — the first of its kind in the Middle East
  Islamic banks increasingly looking towards international and regional expansion
  UAE: New insurance rules, new game
  Niger eyes sovereign Sukuk issuer title
  Indian firm joins the international Islamic finance scene
  Sovereign Sukuk: Oman and Niger
  IFN Global Trendswatch
  IFN Weekly Poll: With several M&A activity reported over the past weeks, could we see more attempts from Islamic banks to merge in 2015 to gain market share?
IFN Country Correspondent
  2015: Indonesia’s Shariah capital market year
  Shariah compliant investment opportunities growing in Brazil
  A royal decree to create the Central Board for participative finance
IFN Sector Correspondent
  Falling oil prices…time to buy a Rolex
IFN Country Analysis
  Russia — moving strong, but will it make it?
IFN Sector Analysis
  Liquidity management: An improving sector
Features
What is an asset?
The expanding market for Shariah compliant investment funds
Islamic liquidity management products – an in-depth look

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