Global Risk Insights
Global Risk Insights, 6:33 pm
Proponents of the sharing economy say Uber and Airbnb benefit Africa, but who exactly is benefiting? They’re inserting themselves into existing informal sharing dynamics, acting as corporate middlemen and disrupting existing livelihoods. Underdeveloped formal sectors and high unemployment in Africa created the sharing economy out of necessity. Uber and Airbnb are taking a share of the profits.
Global Risk Insights, 4:15 pm
Investors continue buying Nigerian bonds despite economic recession for the first time in 25 years, and urgent calls for reform. In March, high-profile investors competed on the London Stock Exchange for Nigerian debt, a 15-year $1B eurobond issued while President Buhari was being treated in London for an undisclosed illness. S&P affirmed a stable economic outlook. If Buhari leaves office abruptly, the administration’s gains in the fight against Boko Haram could be reversed, an analyst said. The president’s mystery illness is generating uncertainty.
Global Risk Insights, 3:31 pm
Lacking substantial oil reserves, Morocco took a backseat to Angola and Algeria during China’s resource binge in the 2000s. That has changed as China seeks to diversify investments. Morocco now has three Confucius Institutes and is becoming the default investment destination in North Africa as instability continues in the region. Anti-Chinese sentiment in more established China-Africa relationships is also leading China to diversify its investment portfolio. Casablanca is scheduled to play host to the China-Morocco Trade Week in December 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.