Africa News blog

African business, politics and lifestyle

Can Africa sustain its economic growth momentum?

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dangoteForget the days when the image of Africa in the developed world was one of rolling vistas of unspoilt safari parks, natural disasters and war.

In the last 10 years, western firms and investors have been showing much greater interest, ploughing increasing investment flows into the continent of 1 billion people.

In its World Economic Outlook, the IMF predicts sub-Saharan Africa will grow by an average of 4.7 percent this year, a rate that is second only to Asia.

Africa offers a higher rate of return on investment than any other region in the world, Razia Khan, regional head of research for Africa at Standard Chartered Bank in London, told a Thomson Reuters Newsmaker event this week.

Nigeria’s Jonathan flying high

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NIGERIA-BANK/IFCWould you order three new jets just so your successor could use them?

President Goodluck Jonathan is keeping Nigerians guessing as to whether he plans to stand in elections due next January, but suspicions are growing that he will eventually decide to contest.

Plans he has set out range from boosting power supply – perhaps Nigeria’s most critical need – to improving roads. Those are certainly not projects that anyone could complete quickly. On Wednesday, cabinet approved the purchase of three presidential jets at a cost of $150 million – adding to the suspicions he sees himself making use of them.

Africa optimism rising

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SAFRICA-When some of the most influential figures in emerging markets finance spoke to a group of Reuters editors, they were asked about top picks for growth beyond the so-called BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

One continent came up again and again – Africa – and one country in particular – Nigeria. Goldman Sachs global head of economic research, Jim O’Neill, highlighted the improvement in the growth-environment index of Africa’s giant over the past decade.

from Reuters Soccer Blog:

‘You call this noise? What is a million vuvuzelas?’

SOCCER-WORLD/By Ruona Agbroko

If it hadn't been for Nigeria's goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama, the 1-0 defeat to Argentina could have been much worse for the African side. That is one reason why the Nigerian supporter contingent, even if outnumbered by the Argentinian fans, remained upbeat throught the match.

The green-white-green stripes of the Nigerian flag were seen on toddlers, their parents and even foreigners at Ellis Park Stadium in central Johannesburg.

New Africa about much more than football

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SOCCER-WORLD/The first World Cup in Africa also highlights a dramatic change driven by forces more powerful than football.

While the competition may help change Africa’s image in the minds of any outsiders still fixated on cliches of bloodshed and famine, those in the know long ago spotted Africa’s emergence from no-go zone to frontier market and are seeing the returns.

South Africa overshadowed by growth of the rest

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KENYA DRAUGHTSouth Africa’s place as the sole economic giant in Africa is set to decline in coming decades as its growth is outstripped by countries to the north that have emerged as some of the fastest growing in the world.

As part of a package of Reuters reports on Frontier Markets, my colleague Ed Cropley takes a look at the importance for South Africa’s future of positioning itself as a springboard to the rest of the continent.

Ill health hung over Yar’Adua presidency from start

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By Estelle Shirbon

NIGERIA-PRESIDENT/ARRIVALNo sooner was Umaru Yar’Adua named in late 2006 as the Nigerian ruling party’s presidential candidate than people started asking whether he would survive four years at the helm of Africa’s most populous nation.

The answer to that question came on Wednesday night, when Yar’Adua died a year before the end of his term — a sad end for a quiet man who had been in poor health since well before he was catapulted into one of the world’s toughest jobs.

Yar’Adua death leaves succession wide open

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NIGERIA-PRESIDENT/The death of Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua is unlikely to plunge Africa’s most populous state into crisis, but it intensifies what was already shaping up to be the fiercest succession race since the end of military rule.

Yar’Adua has been absent from the political scene since last November, when he left for medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, and his deputy Goodluck Jonathan has been running the country since February and has since consolidated his position.

Nigeria. Return of the “Evil Genius”

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GUINEA-STRIKE/Nigeria’s former military leader Ibrahim Babangida has made clear his plans to run for president in next year’s election and for “IBB”, a self-proclaimed “Evil Genius”, to take such a decision can only be a sign that he thinks it is in the bag.

If elected, a generation would have passed since he plunged Nigeria into one of its darkest spells by annulling a 1993 election which was widely regarded as fairer than some of the few before and at least some of those since.

Oga den dey chop money

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lagosWhen someone tells you “noting shaking” he means all is well — in Pidgin English, the
Nigerian lingua franca that is attracting new attention thanks to a Lagos radio presenter.

If someone bumps into your car in the rush hour and you want to avoid the hassle of a
police report or even a fist fight, you would simply say: “No wahalah” — “No problem.”

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