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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 20th August 2014
Volume 11 Issue 33
   
Cover Story
IFN Rapid
News Briefs
Asset Management
Takaful
Ratings
Moves
IFN Reports
  South Korea & Islamic finance: Strategy re-think required
  Sovereign Sukuk: Kyrgyzstan begins laying bricks
  Can Basel III help Islamic banks address some of their biggest challenges?
  Mobile money & Islamic finance: a winning combination
IFN Country Correspondents
  Morocco: The market education challenge for Islamic finance
  New standards for Sukuk
IFN Country Analysis
  A class of its own: Islamic finance in France
IFN Sector Analysis
  Islamic syndicated finance
Features
  Islamic finance in France
France announced its intention to become a western center for Islamic finance in 2008...
  France: Islamic finance opportunities in real estate
Investors in the Middle East are expected to spend US$180 billion in commercial real estate markets outside the Middle East over the next 10 years ...
  Syndicated Islamic financings — a focus on total loss
Despite appearing similar to a conventional lease on the surface, Ijarah financings have some unique features and functions which offer both challenges and opportunities in terms of Shariah compliance ...
  Takaful Insurance and Oman: One year on
Over a year after the sultanate of Oman introduced its Islamic finance framework and encompassing Takaful guidelines, the country has seen steady and encouraging growth in the industry with numerous firms entering the sector...

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