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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 22nd April 2015
Volume 12 Issue 16
   
Cover Story
IFN Rapid
News Briefs
Asset Management
Takaful
Ratings
Moves
IFN Reports
  Albaraka Turk’s syndicated Murabahah financing facility
  Malaysia taps international legal expertise to boost Islamic finance market
  GCC players likely to hold off Sukuk plans until the second half, says RAM
  Shariah investors look to the UK’s student housing sector
  World’s largest Takaful market sees improvement but obstacles remain
  Sovereign Sukuk: Two issues and a mandate
  IFN Global Trendswatch
  IFN Weekly Poll: Can large international ‘non-Muslim’ conventional banks still play a role in Islamic retail banking?
IFN Country Correspondents
  Afghanistan: Islamic finance not far off
  Brazil continues efforts to attract foreign investment
  UK backing for Islamic bonds: A model for India
IFN Sector Correspondents
  Cross-border distribution — A key concern for Islamic funds
  Islamic syndication market starts to gather pace at long last
IFN Country Analysis
  Nigeria: Africa’s Islamic finance giant?
IFN Sector Analysis
  Derivatives and hedging in Islamic finance
Features
Islamic banking in Oman — two years on, the industry keeps growing
Oman’s meteoric rise
Update on the regulation of derivatives in Canada
Effects of Islamic derivatives on the strategic positioning of Islamic banking
Islamic hedging and the role of IIFM
Case Study
World’s first export credit agency-guaranteed Sukuk: Emirates Airline

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