Kurt Davis Jr.
Kurt Davis Jr., 8:52 am AFKI Original
Many Kenyans worry a crash may be coming. Bubble advocates stress the near-30 percent annual growth rate in real estate since 2011, but occupancy rates are stable and high at 90 percent. Residential housing demand has always outpaced supply, particularly in lower- to middle-income segments of the market. The reality is most housing constructed in Kenya in the last five years is unaffordable to most Kenyans. Less than 10 percent can afford a mortgage. A local land price index shows that land and property returns in Kenya are outperforming treasury bills, bonds and stocks.
Kurt Davis Jr., 10:00 am AFKI Original
Under the new law, lending rates will be capped at 4 percentage points above the benchmark central bank rate. The Kenya Bankers Associations criticizes the move as a populist policy, arguing that President Kenyatta has his eye on next year’s election and hopes the cap will boost the economy in the short term. Kenyans supporting the bill are asking the bankers to suggest a better rate if this bill is so bad. Some fear a cap on interest rates brings potentially riskier borrowers into the system.
Kurt Davis Jr., 1:07 pm AFKI Original
After-work teas are becoming after-work beers and glasses of wine in Africa. As incomes grow in sub-Saharan Africa, consumers are demanding better quality wine and spirits – both imported and locally made. “Drink more please” — it’s not the best parenting line but it is the thinking of many top executives at wine and spirit companies. Sub-Saharan Africans drink 10-to-11 liters of beer per person per year. Comparatively, Asians drink about 19-to-20 liters and Americans drink about 73-to-74. Only South Africans drink more than the global average — around 46 liters.
Kurt Davis Jr., 8:24 am AFKI Original
Seychelles Finance Minister Jean Paul Adam isn’t worried. The African island nation, population 90,000, is a top 10 honeymoon destination. It’s not a major economy or a diverse one, relying on tourism and fisheries. But lack of economic diversity leaves the country vulnerable to external shocks. Brexit, a slowing global economy, and weakening economies in other sub-Saharan countries are creating an unexpected tropical storm for this sunny patch of islands. IMF’s 3%-plus growth forecast for Seychelles may fall to 2.5%.
Kurt Davis Jr., 10:48 am AFKI Original
Spending on gas projects in 2015 surpassed spending on oil for the first time in North Africa. The serendipitous discovery of gas in sub-Saharan Africa is bewildering to many investors. Discovering gas while searching for oil is like finding gold outside your door when you need cash. The question is how to turn the gold into cash. North Africa could be providing the near-term strategy for sub-Saharan Africa.
Kurt Davis Jr., 10:41 am AFKI Original
Zambia’s economy appeared to be improving. The kwacha went from the world’s third worst performing currency in 2015 to the world’s best in 2016. Then Zambia said it wanted an IMF bailout for its ballooning national debt. Creating more uncertainty, the Lungu administration said bailout negotiations only be finalized after the August general election. The incumbent said he will continue bailout discussions. Rival Hichilema may be against the bailout. If bailout talks fail, the markets will send a response to Zambia that will overshadow any election outcome.
Kurt Davis Jr., 9:29 pm AFKI Original
Mozambique, the economic darling of 2014 and 2015, is facing a perfect storm of problems — some self created. Political tensions are at their highest since the lead-up to the October 2014 presidential election. Sporadic attacks on road transport and other infrastructure in central Mozambique have fueled growing fears of instability. This has influenced international decision makers and weighed heavily on foreign investment. The government may not be to blame for everything, but frustration with the country’s debt is definitely a government problem.
Kurt Davis Jr., 3:52 pm AFKI Original
Her quick rise to the top cracks the glass ceiling of Africa’s male-dominated business world. Critics say she’s privileged, but what about the Bushes, Clintons and Kennedys? She’s accused of pilfering state funds but the movement of money between family members does not establish corruption in the system. Funds may be owed. If allegations of money laundering are confirmed, particularly within Sonangol, analysts will change their views on Isabel.
Kurt Davis Jr., 12:36 am AFKI Original
Overexploitation is the story of a new crisis in Africa — the quick depletion of Africa’s coastal fisheries. At its heart is illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. This is the case with up to a half of West Africa’s fish catch. A regional registry of fishing vessels should be established. The Port State Measures Agreement’s basic principal is simple: If ports where fish are landed are the checkpoints for the fishing industry, then it more difficult to find a port-side buyer for illegally caught fish.
Kurt Davis Jr., 9:20 am AFKI Original
Ghana’s status as an electricity exporter encourages private investment. Most rural districts are connected to the national electricity grid, making Ghana a leader in transmission and turning the focus to generation. Expect the private sector to supply more power than the current 53%. To support investor participation, Ethiopia liberalized the energy sector. Investors would be smart to diversify beyond hydro in Ethiopia. Some investors say Ethiopia has potential to become a major geothermal producer.