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Friday, November 17, 2017

Unveiled: 3 key emerging trends for Africa

The 2017 version of Ecobank Research’s Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities (FICC) Guidebook, has identified tripod future for the African continent, reports NaijaAgroNet.

The Senior Public Relations Director at Ecobank group, Sherelle Folkes, disclosed in a press statement made available to NaijaAgroNet and listed these to include that the continent’s economy rebounding after a trying year, just as gas has been discovered as the next oil in West Africa, whilst the continent is evolving in Financial Technology (FinTech) leadership.

NaijaAgroNet quoted Folkes as saying that expert knowledge and analysis on African markets for investors and businesses, was launched at AfricaFICC, indicated a positive outlook for the continent, with three key trends forecast to take hold during the next 12 months.

NaijaAgroNet reports that the first indicates an economic rebound in sub-Saharan Africa driven by a recovery in the region’s economic heavyweights, such as Nigeria and South Africa, and ongoing growth in the top performers, Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire and (more recently) Ghana.

Growth will be driven by a rise in oil production (notably in Ghana, Republic of Congo, Nigeria and Angola), strengthening infrastructure investment across West and East Africa, and improved weather conditions which bode well for crops.

Strengthening economic activity, plus a moderate improvement in oil and mineral prices, will help narrow the current account deficit, but pressure on SSA currencies will remain.

The second emerging trend points to West Africa’s gas sector becoming a hive of activity in 2018 from Senegal to Angola, with the development of gas pipelines, floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) platforms and major gas field projects.

Governments in the Gulf of Guinea and across West Africa have ramped up efforts to secure gas supply in order to boost domestic power generation and diversify their revenues away from crude oil.
Deregulating the gas market and allowing market-driven gas prices will be key to unlocking further gas infrastructure investment across the region.

The third trend suggests Fintech innovation in Africa picking up speed in 2018 buoyed by a new generation of Africans who are ‘digital natives’. The proliferation of tech hubs across Africa (notably in South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire) will nurture the next wave of African start-ups and help connect them with investors.

Isaac Oyimah/GEE
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