Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

How will Africa weather financial storm?

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Kenyan Maasai herdsmen walk on the animal migration corridor at the Nairobi National Park November 12, 2007. REUTERS/Antony Njuguna

Isolation might seem like a good idea when it comes to the storm sweeping global finance and there is no doubt that African countries are among the most isolated in the world economy.

Avoiding the impact seems unlikely, though, particularly at a time when Africa as a whole has been enjoying its fastest growth for decades and the continent has become an increasingly popular investment destination – not only for Asian countries in search of resources but for frontier investors willing to take higher risks for higher returns.

The African Development Bank’s chief economist told Reuters that Africa should withstand the first round effects of the financial crisis but that export demand and access to finance could be hit in the longer term.

Although some still see Africa’s isolation as a measure of protection, the enthusiasm of frontier investors has been fading too. The impact can be seen on stock exchanges from Lagos to Lusaka. Ghana has postponed a new debt issue due to the global conditions.

On the Great North Road into forgotten Kenya

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kenya_northernroad_resized.jpgMARSABIT, Kenya – We are in two Land Rover Defenders, headed north to Ethiopia through one of Kenya’s remotest and harshest areas.

Our route is along the Great North Road, the famed Cape Town-to-Cairo highway on what is said to be the only untarmacked stretch on the whole continent – roughly 550 kilometres from where the highway ends at Isiolo town north to Moyale on the Ethiopian border.  It has all the wildlife and stunning scenery Kenya is world-famous for, but few tourists ever see it.

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