Stories by the author
That Africa is becoming pro-China in terms of trade and economic ties is no longer a boardroom discussion but rather a strategically executed plan in the public domain. The growth in the Sino-African relations is evident by the rise in trade volumes between the two partners from US$10 billion in 2000 to about US$198 billion in 2012. A white paper released by the Chinese government in 2015 shows that the trade volumes between the two partners are projected to reach about US$220 billion in 2014. Today, China is the leading trade partner with Africa.
After six years of a long wait, the US President and “son of Kenya” is “coming back home” on July 24th 2015. When he was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America on 20th January 2009, every Kenyan went into jubilation with high expectations of increased economic ties between the US and Kenya. Whether their expectations were met is a discussion for another day; but Barrack Obama is jetting into Kenya this month for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit to be hosted in Nairobi.
When the dollar starts to gain ground, it comes as a double-edged sword for economies in the emerging markets. Generally a strong dollar means more expensive imports for the emerging markets especially from the US. On the other hand, this means that exports from the emerging markets become cheaper in the US and other countries which prefer making their payments in USD.
But as it is always in the dynamic economic environment, there are numerous factors that always come into play and complicate the whole smooth picture.
Going by the growing investment opportunities in emerging markets, their popularity with investors from the developed economies is not dying down any time soon. Most of the investors are looking for high returns that their mature markets cannot offer, and hence finding prime investments in the emerging markets.
A recent survey done by The Economist Group on 217 companies from 45 different countries revealed that about 65% of them; intend to expand to Africa in the next one decade. Growth potential in most African economies coupled with the peace dividend from democratization of most governments drive the renewed focus on Africa. However, as many companies seek to set shop here, they are missing out on the fundamentals that will assure them of sustained growth within the continent.
The recent university terror attack at Garissa on 2 April 2015 marked the highest number of deaths in one single terror attack in the history of Kenya. Surpassing the 67-recorded deaths in the Westgate attack on 21 September 2013, the 148 lives lost in Garissa went into records as the most horrible of all al shabaab attacks on Kenyan grounds.
Looking at it from my perspective, I see that in a slow but sure pace, the criminal masterminds of terror in Kenya are fastening their grip on our land and making great success strides each day.
The year 2014 was a great year for the United States economy. However, the year 2015 hasn't been the same. While we are still not in dire straits, we're not seeing the consumer spending and job growth that we saw last year. While many experts seem to be brushing the bad data off as healthy trends, I beg to differ. Unfortunately, I think that we may be looking the next major market correction dead in the face if things keep going in the direction they are. Here's why...
Gaining momentum since 2006, the impact investing concept is now 9 years old but it is yet to be well established in many emerging markets including East Africa. As opposed to the maturity expected of an industry after such a long period of time, this particular sector is still nascent in the region according to a report by Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). The impact investing industry is facing a number of challenges both from the supply side (impact investors) and the demand side (local entrepreneurs) that are delaying its growth within the region.
Global oil prices are experiencing a free fall with the ultimate bottom resistance point predicted at $40 per barrel. Increased supply from all leading world oil producers is termed to be the core reason why we are experiencing the downward slide of the “black gold” prices. The ripple effect this has on the global economy has been accurately predicted to be a fall in fuel prices; which then leaves millions of consumers with additional savings to spend.
The impact investing space is growing in Africa and could be the trigger this developing continent needs for faster sustainable development. As the MDGs are being replaced by the SDGs in 2015, new development concepts and policies are being floated for Africa to adopt. Impact investing could be one of the best strategies if embraced and well implemented across the continent.