Global Risk Insights

  • Cameroon’s Economy Blindsided: Blackout Is Creating Internet Refugees

    Internet crackdown in Cameroon By Global Risk Insights, 11:42 am

    There has been no internet access for Cameroon’s English-speaking regions for 58 days. Many banks and ATMs are closed, plunging the regional economy into chaos. Local businesses are losing foreign contracts. Anglophone Cameroon is home to Cameroon’s growing tech scene and five of the country’s seven seaports. The internet blackout is forcing Nigerians working in the Cameroonian tech sector to return home. It may play a decisive role in the upcoming 2018 elections when President Biya seeks another term.

  • What’s Holding Back Pay-As-You-Go Market In African Off-Grid Solar?

    holding back pay-as-you-go market in African By Global Risk Insights, 12:13 pm

    While the world electrification rate is roughly 84 percent, only 19 percent of the sub-Sahara Africa population is connected. The grid is unlikely to expand fast enough to satisfy demand. Pioneering business models relying on pay-as-you-go could push off-grid solar energy to reach 9 million African households by 2020. Despite the early success of off-grid solar energy access through pay-as-you-go payment models, challenges remain.

  • Chinese Ivory Sales Help Fuel World’s 4th Largest Crime Sector

    Chinese ivory sales By Global Risk Insights, 12:51 pm

    Wildlife tourism represents 80% of total annual travel sales to Africa. Environmental crime deprives countries of future revenue. After China announced last week that it plans to end all commerce in ivory by the end of 2017, illegal poaching is back in the spotlight. Corruption remains the key enabler of wildlife trafficking. High-level members of poaching syndicates, sometimes government officials, are rarely convicted. The fight against environmental crime has to be addressed as a political issue. It’s the world’s fourth largest crime sector after drug smuggling, counterfeiting and human trafficking.

  • A Year On: Magufuli’s Reforms And Tanzania’s Economic Outlook

    US dollar as cross-border trade currency By Global Risk Insights, 7:36 am

    A few weeks ago the World Bank published their ‘2017 Ease of Doing Business Report’: Tanzania performed impressively in this year’s report, climbing seven places in the world ranking. This upward trajectory is largely due to the substantial reforms over the past year in four key areas: business licensing, land reforms, easy registration of businesses and people’s registration.

  • Under The Radar: Foreign Investors Under Attack In Ethiopia

    Bubble In African Private Equity By Global Risk Insights, 7:05 am

    Mounting violence in Ethiopia has seen over 500 killed, as protests against the government’s economic and human rights policies continues. The tensions at the heart of the crisis are systemic ones, yet what makes the violence particularly worrisome is that foreign investors have become prominent targets. Foreign businesses are being systematically attacked in protest of the government’s development-centric approach

  • #FeesMustFall: South African Students Pressure Mining Sector To Fund Free Tuition

    South African Students By Global Risk Insights, 6:15 am

    Anger with the ANC continues to grow, as students in South Africa stage nation-wide protests against a planned tuition hike. Protesters are calling for free tuition, and are putting pressure on the mining industry to help fund it. South Africa is facing increasing instability as student protests sweep across the country, leading to violent clashes with police. The unrest began last week, and has continued to intensify in response to government plans to raise tuition fees by up to eight percent in 2017.

  • Gabon’s Risky Internet Shutdown, The World’s First Since 2011

    2017 Nations Cup By Global Risk Insights, 7:14 am

    Following contested elections on Aug. 27, Gabon has seen a crackdown as President Ali Bongo seeks to solidify his victory. The most visible sign of this was Gabon’s four day internet shutdown, which has been followed by daily internet curfews from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. The situation in Gabon is therefore unique, in that it represents the first time since the 2011 Arab Spring that a country has implemented scheduled, continuous internet curfews.

  • EAC’s Half-Hearted Approach To Integration Is Slowing The Union

    EAC By Global Risk Insights, 9:15 am

    For some, the 1977 dissolution of the East African Community (EAC) finally marked the forlorn end of Africa’s decades-long flirtation with Pan-Africanism. For others, it represented the triumph of sovereignty and nationalism over unrealistic infatuations with asymmetric economic marriages. The last fifteen years of the organization’s newest iteration have fallen somewhere in between the two

  • Under The Radar: Sukuk Bonds Boom In West Africa

    sukuk bond By Global Risk Insights, 2:57 am

    The growth of Islamic finance in recent years has seen a rapid increase in the value of ‘Islamic Economy’ – with the global shari’a-approved financial sector projected to be worth $3 trillion by 2018. While Middle Eastern and Asian countries are leading this trend, one region—Sub-Saharan Africa—remains under-serviced. Indeed, with over 250 million Muslims, the region is home to a quarter of world’s Muslim population, yet commands a disproportionately small fraction of Islamic financial activity.

  • Tanzania’s Fiscally Solid Outlook Still Doesn’t Attract Investments

    By Global Risk Insights, 9:05 am

    For a country still coming to grips with a contested poll in Zanzibar and the withdrawal of hundreds of millions of dollars of development assistance funds from the US and possibly other Western countries, Tanzania has a surprisingly solid fiscal outlook. The nation’s GDP has increased by about 7% for the last several years, and its current account deficit is narrowing. It continues to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) than most of its East African neighbors, with FDI rising 14.5% in 2015 and 61.7% in the last six months alone.