Kurt Davis Jr.

  • Turning The Lights On, Africa’s Energy Investment Opportunity

    Africa’s energy investment opportunity By Kurt Davis Jr., 12:35 pm AFKI Original

    Competing consumer and developer interests are finding middle ground in some African countries and striking out in others. Low energy prices are the most desirable political outcome, but investment slows or is avoided altogether below a certain price threshold. Short term, coal will remain a vital part of African power generation. But the potential for investing in Africa’s renewable energy market shouldn’t be ignored.

  • Growth Forces Change In Africa’s Booming Insurance Markets

    Africa's booming insurance markets By Kurt Davis Jr., 6:00 am AFKI Original

    Statistics suggest fertile ground for a regional boom in African insurance industries. Insurance companies have historically focused on South Africa, one of Africa’s most mature financial markets. Life insurance premiums there accounted for 90% of the African total in 2013. Fast growth, however, is changing the balance. Ghana and Kenya have already expanded the market, reducing South Africa’s market share. New consumers are forcing change in African insurance. Distribution through brokers and brick-and-mortar banks are inefficient ways to reach lower-income populations.

  • Banking In Southern Africa: More Mature But Not Fully Developed

    Banking in Southern Africa By Kurt Davis Jr., 8:45 am AFKI Original

    South African commodities will likely feel more pain in the second half of 2016. Some argue that a potential sale of Barclays Africa is influenced by the significant drop in its value relative to the rand and the subsequent effect on the JSE. Customers in Africa, at the end of the day, all want better access to financial services. Banks must be efficient, competitive and reduce cost to retail customers in mature and immature markets. That would benefit the entire continent, not simply Southern Africa.

  • Banking In East Africa: Beating Economic Headwinds

    By Kurt Davis Jr., 10:50 am AFKI Original

    East Africa has depended on economic diversity and local entrepreneurship to keep the economic pace in the past decade. The East African Community accordingly will expand faster than its peers. Lower import bills, less currency volatility and comparatively more foreign investment will bode well for the region’s growth and performance. It is hard to ignore how the integral parts of the system – the banks – do not benefit from that prognosis.

  • Banking In West And Central Africa Remains A Big Opportunity: Here’s Why

    Banking In West And Central Africa By Kurt Davis Jr., 3:58 pm AFKI Original

    The commodities downturn and slowing growth instill fear in some investors. But the underlying fundamentals of West Africa and Central Africa are positive. Nearly a third of adults in West Africa have a bank account. Throw in a very young population — 44% of West and Central Africa is 14 years old or younger. Mobile banking becomes a massive opportunity if you digest these demographics in the long term. The commodity decline is changing the Africa rising story. The financial services sector deserves not to be wrapped up in the anxiety.

  • Top 5 Opportunities In Sub-Sahara For Public-Private Partnerships

    sub-Saharan Africa for public-private partnerships By Kurt Davis Jr., 11:32 am AFKI Original

    South Africa is the confounding country on this list. Its public-private partnership environment has a good track record of successful projects. Yet the country’s political and economic volatility raise concerns. Still, South Africa is fundamentally very strong and can easily rebound. A system usually wins out when it has clear-cut procurement and bid processes, disclosure and audit mechanisms, a bidder scoring process and a strong regulatory environment. The 1 percent real GDP will pass.

  • Predicting Politics Isn’t Easy In Angola. Now The Same Is True About Oil

    Predicting politics isn't easy in Angola By Kurt Davis Jr., 2:32 pm AFKI Original

    Importers are struggling to pay suppliers. Shippers are delaying arrivals to the ports of Angola to provide importers a more appeasing option than simply going out of business. Banks are wondering if their dollar deficits — if they persist until 2017 — will sour relationships between Angolan importers and global suppliers. The presidential election is also hanging over this economy, scheduled for August 2017. Isabel dos Santos may be the person to watch.

  • East Africa, Bright Spot In 2016 In A Tough Economic Environment

    By Kurt Davis Jr., 12:19 pm AFKI Original

    Kenya remains the “comeback kid” in Africa when challenges arise. Don’t be surprised if the country’s real GDP growth reaches beyond 6 percent. In an ironic twist, low oil prices will help Uganda and its big deficit. The political tension of the upcoming Feb. 18 general election and the months following will factor in how markets respond to Uganda’s currency. But come April, expect Uganda to be back on track for a strong end to 2016.

  • Top Opportunities In African Telecoms For 2016

    By Kurt Davis Jr., 10:50 am AFKI Original

    DRC is in for a big telecom boom. It has a mobile penetration rate of 68% — lower than the African average — with a 100% penetration predicted by 2020. If you are not prepared to spend on Africa’s fourth most-populated country, then you will miss out. Capital will have to be patient. DRC is an early stage emerging-market country with an election planned in 2016, but the revenue potential cannot be ignored.

  • 7 African Women Expected To Move The Needle In 2016

    By Kurt Davis Jr., 2:59 pm AFKI Original

    The Democratic Republic of Congo is struggling with sexual violence and child recrutiment in war-torn and impoverished areas. Jeannine Mabunda advises President Joseph Kabila on sexual violence and child recruitment. Former minister of state assets, she has connections to concerned political leaders including U.S. Rep. Karen Bass. She is one of 7 African women expected to move the needle in 2016.