This is a clip collage from African History Network Blog talk radio show on Thursdays 8pm ET. Rarely or for most never heard quotes of MLK in regards to economics in the Black community.
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By Elliot Booker — 3 years agoEthiopia is one of the Africa countries expecting strong growth. Photo: Petterik Wiggers/Wall Street Journal.The news last month from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding sub-Saharan African growth has investors breathing a sigh of relief.
The IMF expects sub-Saharan Africa to grow by 3.4 percent in 2018, up from the 2.6 percent in 2017. Although such figures create optimism, they do not match the higher growth numbers in previous years.
Between 2004 and 2011, for example, sub-Saharan Africa grew 6.2 percent, with a peak growth of 7.6 percent in 2007 and a low of 4.1 percent in 2009 due to the 2008 global financial crisis.
The average growth between 2012 and 2015 was 4.5 percent, and growth has trended downward since then.
The rebound in 2018, according to the IMF, is not an indication of strong momentum in growth going into 2019.
One-third of the countries will grow 5 percent or more in 2018—largely in the eastern and western regions of Africa—however, combined with a decline of per capita incomes in 12 countries which house 40 percent of the region’s population (~400 million people), according to the IMF’s report.
This piece looks at the countries offering the best opportunities in 2018, with a strong consideration for the challenges in 2019. That qualification for 2019 underlines the economic and political uncertainty that will be created by a few elections in the coming 18-24 months.
Expected growth of 1.9 percent and 1.1 percent in Nigeria and South Africa respectively will bump up against elections in both countries in 2019, which has some investors skittish about the coming year.
The election of Nana Akufo-Addo in 2016 excited many investors. Getting an administration in place and making some economic changes, however, took some time, thus 2017 receives mixed reviews. But all indicators point to a strong 2018 with growth expected at 8.9 percent.
Oil production is expected to pick up in the country to match the current $60-plus thinking on Brent prices in 2018.
Kosmos plans to resume drilling on Ghana’s TEN project in early 2018. Energy growth, including gas-to-power, will be the focus in 2018 which will further help Ghana strengthen local aspirations with consumer products and light industrialization.
Any forward movement on the “Made in Ghana” policy launched in 2016 would be helpful for a country that would love to manage its imports and build up local content.
Agri-business is also an exciting focus for this country, with many investors viewing Ghana as a key player in agriculture for the continent going forward. Education also always remains an interest in what is considered West Africa’s education hub.
Ethiopia is expected to grow 8.5 percent in 2018. To many investors, such high growth in Ethiopia is not anything necessarily new in recent times and has not always bred investment opportunity.
The positive from Ethiopia in 2018 may simply boil down to a three things: (1) the amount of consumers continues to grow (thus why Ethiopia has the largest mobile operator); (2) consumers are spending more; and (3) investments have been tried and proven (compared to pre-2012).
Investors will find a ready partner for manufacturing and light industry as the model has been tested and proven beneficial for both investors and the country.
Agri-business will also be a focus for investors as local content for packaged goods and food is big for the government’s tight management of imports in relation to the Ethiopian currency.
Non-food related goods, including pharmaceutical products and household products (i.e., toothpaste, detergent), still require more investment for similar currency reasons and to address local consumer demand.
The Francophone Africa show will continue into 2018 led by Cote d’Ivoire. The country is expected to maintain its 7 percent-plus growth in 2018 and 2019.
Power generation is improving, with increasing interest from private investors and development institutions, and accompanies West Africa’s second largest port, a modern airport, and a relatively strong road network.
The growth, however, may be outpacing other vital sectors, including the real estate and financial sectors. Housing and office space is in demand for a growing middle class and to support growing international businesses in the country.
The financial sector still requires some restructuring and offers opportunity for private investors with an appetite for smaller sized investments that are capable of producing strong returns.
Senegal is the other pivotal country in the Francophone story. The opportunity in the country is widespread and underpinned by 7 percent grow in 2018. Energy and transport infrastructure are still a vital focus for the country.
The story here is not new as Senegal knows its economic hub reputation for West Africa depends on its ability to support business in the region with basic infrastructural requirements.
Other exciting opportunities largely flow from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which are more the story in Senegal versus some other West African giants.
The government is doing a lot to support entrepreneurship in industrialization, manufacturing and agriculture in the country to boost SMEs. The ongoing complaint, ironically (for this article), remains the same with a lack of operational and financial partners.
Those concerned about a Senegalese election in 2019 can probably find solace in the strong performance of President Macky Sall’s ruling coalition in the 2017 legislative election.
The next three – Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mozambique
Picking one of the above three to finish out a top five is hard. Burkina Faso is on the right track with 6.5 percent growth expected in 2018 to follow up what appears to be 6.4 percent growth in 2017.
Extractive industries and public investment, especially in infrastructure, have largely driven these growth numbers. But the government recognizes the challenges with a large concentration of its growth dependent on its own spending.
Thus current spending allocated for 2017 and 2018 significantly focus on entrepreneurship and boosting the business landscape for SMEs, particularly as it confronts extremism in the country.
Pulling in foreign investors has not been easy and makes the growth story a more cautious one.
Kenya remains the ‘beast of the east’ but is still settling its presidential election. Many investors expect a big 2018 for the country when the dust settles (hoping the dust settles before 2018). The business environment is familiar to investors and it is the economic and financial hub for East Africa.
The country’s airline has refinanced; the financial sector has finally digested an interest rate cap; and foreign investors had to sit still during a 2017 slow down – they will want to release the pent-up capital and energy.
The excitement is nevertheless cautious, as any political situation (as seen in 2017) can cause a complete slowdown.
Mozambique is quietly getting back on track after a debt fiasco…yes the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is still investigating the fallout. That said, President Filipe Nyusi is doing his part to clean up the country’s image.
The gas story is getting back on track for LNG. Investors are returning to the country with Kibo Capital making the latest investment in the country’s consumer goods space. Other investors are lurking around agri-business, logistics and warehousing which is great news after the last 18-24 months.
A strong turnaround would touch the Lusophone hearts in Africa (including yours truly).
Zimbabwe makes the list because there are many investors who have been excited by this country for years. The economic collapse in 2008 and subsequent economic hiccups have kept many investors away.
Playing politics is not fun for investors but you can bet that there will be investors closely watching how the political situation plays out in Zimbabwe.
Any economic opening with clear investment rules and laws, followed by an improved legal system and enforcement would excite anyone looking at the country. That said, there is a significant amount of work necessary to create a favorable environment to attract capital.
Kurt Davis Jr. is an investment banker with private equity experience in emerging economies focusing on the natural resources and energy sectors. He earned a law degree in tax and commercial law at the University of Virginia’s School of Law and a master’s of business administration in finance, entrepreneurship and operations from the University of Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.Post Views: 572
By Elliot Booker — 4 years ago
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent survey of business owners, there are 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in this country. While the growth is encouraging, gross receipts for all minority-owned firms are still well below the average gross receipts for non-minority-owned firms. A huge problem is that despite a collective buying power of $1.3 Trillion dollars, very little of that money stays in Black communities or is spent on Black-owned businesses.
Brooke Stephens’, author of “Talking Dollars and Making Sense,” research has found that a dollar circulates in Asian communities for 30 days, in Jewish communities approximately 20 days, and in white communities 17 days. In contrast, a dollar circulates in the Black community only six hours.
According to Maggie Anderson, just 2 cents of every dollar an African-American spends in this country goes to Black-owned businesses. In her book, Our Black Year: One Family’s Quest to Buy Black in America’s Racially Divided Economy, Anderson recounts her experiences patronizing Black-owned businesses while highlighting the challenges many Black businesses face (Black businesses lag behind all other businesses in every measure of success).
Research has found that if higher-income Black consumers spent at least $1 out of every $10 with Black-owned businesses, it would generate one million jobs for African Americans.
Knowing how much of an impact supporting Black business can make, how do we go about supporting them?
9. Shop Online
In the internet age we live in there are plenty of online marketplaces to shop. Whether you find the stores through Google, some other search engine, or Etsy, there are black-owned stores that cover everything from hair products to clothing.Black Business Directories and Online Groups
There are several black-business apps and online directories that will help consumers locate black businesses. They provide real-time information on businesses ranked by referrals and reviews. There are also several Facebook and LinkedIn Groups dedicated to promoting black-owned businesses and providing a platform for entrepreneurs to network.
8. Social Media
Social media not only gives us access to many opportunities that might go missing in a normal online search, but it allows us to spread the word to like-minded individuals with literally the push of a button. Facebook, twitter, and Instagram alone account for at least two hours out of most of the population’s time every day. This is free marketing, a reliable review from a trusted source (yourself) to people in your circle, and it all it takes is a tweet or repost. There are popular hashtags being promoted to show support of black-owned enterprises.
7. Chamber of Commerce
This step will take a little bit of effort but it’s worth it in the end especially if you happen to be a business owner. Your city’s Chamber of Commerce or The National Black Chamber of Commerce can be used to find local business and who owns them. Most Chambers’ membership list can be searched for free. However, if you’d like to join there is usually a fee. The Chamber usually holds meetings and networking events where business owners get together to network and build relationships. Partnerships, business relationships, and referrals are common among members.
6. Find a business you like
No one is saying buy everything black and only black. As ideal as that would be, it’s highly impractical. If you could find a few items that you could buy on a regular bases from a one or more local shops or online, you could save money on gas for one and you’d be making a difference. But keep in mind, it’s never a bad idea to go out of your way to support black-owned businesses, even if it means taking a long drive.
5. Consider Specialty Shops
Think about some things that may be more specific to a black business. Whether seasonal or on a regular basis there are usually some things that may be more difficult to find if you’re an African American. Certain hair product, foods, cultural items and even services aren’t very easy to come by. Black businesses offering goods and services specific to the diaspora, rely one hundred percent on black consumers.
4. We all go to the doctor
By taking a little time to research or ask for a referral for an African American doctor, you can make one decision that will support not only a black business but the community as a whole. We all look for the best doctor we can find black, white, or other. If we want our kids to grow up and be doctors one day, we should hope that they’d have some patients as well. Just a quick FYI, African Americans make great doctors too. Just ask Ben Carson. Well, maybe not.
3. It takes a village
For many households, there usually comes a time when a babysitter, petsitter or a caregiver for our elders is needed. There are plenty of neighborhood daycares starting up as small businesses. You can also find reputable caregivers and senior homes owned by minorities. Young college students are in dire need of part-time work on weekends and nights. Many have gone into business for themselves as sitters. Passing off your children or pet for a few hours to a responsible young adult would make both of your lives easier.
2. Think Maintenance
How many times have you gone to Midas, called a tow truck, or needed repairs around the house? According to the US Census Bureau, 20% of black-owned businesses are in the repair and maintenance industry.
he purchase anyway. So, why not give the money to a business that needs it and will make a difference?
1. Think small
The say, “The journey of one-thousand miles begins with a single step.” If that’s true, 43 million African Americans taking one step in accord with one another can cover a lot of ground fairly quickly. You don’t have to do all your shopping black, but making one dedicated purchase in one place will make a big difference.
Small Steps. Big Results. So, how small is a small step? Next time you need beauty supplies, try to find a BLack-owned beauty supply store first. Nine out of 10 times, the stores usually frequented are owned by a minority group – who owns a shop in our community – but lives somewhere else. They earn substantial revenue in Black communities; if they didn’t, they’d open the shop in their community. You were going to make the purchase anyway. So, why not give the money to a business that needs it and will make a difference?Post Views: 872
By Elliot Booker — 4 years ago
Three Nigerian entrepreneurs, based in New York City, have created a new, healthy 100% raw sugarcane juice beverage that they say is better for you than coconut juice. The unique beverage is cold pressed from carefully selected farm-fresh sugarcane stalks with no added sugar.
How they got started
Ganiu Ladejobi, with his partners Peterson Lochard and Mackenzie Bien-Aime, saw an opportunity to offer a healthy beverage that they enjoyed in Nigeria. And so, they decided to name the company, Sugarcane Island.
In the beginning, they were distributing directly to health food supermarkets in New York City. Later, however, they added bars and restaurants to their distribution because “sugarcane juice is also a great mixer for cocktails and other mixed drinks,” explains Ladejobi.
Amazing health benefits
According to many nutritionists and physicians, sugarcane juice is extremely nourishing and rich in antioxidants, which helps fights infections and boosts the immunity. It’s also rich in iron, magnesium, calcium and other electrolytes which makes it particularly good for dehydration. Further, it can help cure colds and other infections and fight off fevers.
In a recent interview with Black Enterprise, Ladejobi said that sugarcane juice is more versatile than coconut water, which is why he believes that “sugarcane juice will be the next popular beverage here in the United States.”
He also hopes to expand to other products, including “a line of herbal teas, all natural sugarcane body soaps, sugarcane infused energy bars, and a few other things.”
For more details about the company and/or to order online, visit www.sugarcaneisl.comPost Views: 566