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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 25th March 2015
Volume 12 Issue 12
   
Cover Story
IFN Rapid
News Briefs
Asset Management
Takaful
Ratings
Moves
IFN Reports
  Qatar insurance sector the fastest-growing in the GCC, Takaful included
  Islamic finance gains more traction in Europe
  Sovereign Sukuk: Fulfilling their promises, countries take action
  Appetite for Malaysian government Sukuk strong ahead of Barclays’ index inclusion
  Current Sukuk opportunities are unattractive to Islamic insurers, says AM Best
  Malaysia (potentially) downgraded — Sukuk market affected?
  High cost holding back Islamic microfinance industry in Indonesia
  IFN Global Trendswatch
  IFN Weekly Poll: Are we about to see a wave of social impact Sukuk issuances?
IFN Country Correspondents
  Indonesian retail Sukuk 2015: Exceeding the target
  Afghanistan: Islamic finance steadily gaining inroads
IFN Sector Correspondents
  An impressive growth of Al Meezan Mutual Fund
  Islamic syndications remain sluggish
IFN Country Analysis
  Tunisia: Slow and steady
IFN Sector Analysis
  Sukuk: The icon
Features
The UAE’s progression as a global hub for the Islamic economy
Sukuk: An alternative method for raising capital
Takaful and re-Takaful: Mainstays of Islamic insurance
Case Study
Sharjah Islamic Bank’s Sukuk: The first senior unsecured paper since October 2013

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