Deputy Editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa
Matthew's Feed
Apr 2, 2011
via Africa News blog

Nigeria’s non-vote: Incompetence or sabotage?

Photo

According to the shame-faced head of Nigeria’s electoral commission, one of the excuses given by suppliers who failed to get ballot papers to the country in time for Saturday’s parliamentary ballot was that there had been problems as a result of the tsunami in Japan.

Contractors in Nigeria tend to be pretty adept with their excuses, whether it’s about a failure to fix the plumbing or to build a highway on time, but this one stands out for its audacity.

Mar 10, 2011
via Africa News blog

Africa: Not just about commodities

Photo

High commodity prices have certainly helped African producers both because it means they get paid more for their exports and it encourages  investment to increase production.

But almost all the speakers at the Reuters Africa Investment Summit have agreed that the change in Africa is driven by more than just digging minerals out of the ground, pumping oil or growing crops for foreigners to consume.

Mar 8, 2011
via Africa News blog

Send us your investment bankers

Photo

Not so long ago, anyone with the talent and means was heading out of Africa in search of better paid and more fulfilling professional work.

That’s all changing and the emotional appeal of a return to the home country is playing a less important part in the Back to Africa decision than the jobs and opportunities suddenly opening up thanks to fast economic growth and expanding financial markets.

Mar 8, 2011
via Africa News blog

African turmoil? Zambian president doesn’t think so

Photo

One of the big questions at the Reuters Africa summit has been what impact the turmoil in North Africa is going to have south of the Sahara – something we’ve looked at on this blog too.

Zambian President Rupiah Banda doesn’t expect much on the political front, at least not in his country.

Mar 7, 2011
via Africa News blog

U.S. banks push harder in Africa

Photo

Two of the world’s biggest banks told the first day of the Reuters Africa Investment Summit that they planned to strengthen their presence in the continent as their own customers see their businesses here grow.

Citi’s Africa CEO, Naveed Riaz, said it may expand into three new African countries over the next 18 months to strengthen its corporate and investment banking business. He didn’t say which, but interestingly a return for Citi to Angola didn’t appear to be among the top targets despite its oil wealth.

Mar 7, 2011
via Africa News blog

More graft means less money

Photo

You can’t discuss investment in Africa without looking at the risks and there is no doubt that corruption is among those.

Patrick Lumumba, director of the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission, has plenty of experience of trying to fight graft and has the death threats to show for it. He spoke to the Reuters Africa Investment Summit and had some harsh words for the continent’s leaders – including those in Kenya.

Mar 7, 2011
via Africa News blog

Can South Africa grasp Africa’s opportunity?

Photo

While Africa becomes ever more attractive for local and foreign investors, the biggest danger for its biggest economy is that it fails to seize on the opportunities it has in the changing world, South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan told the first Reuters Africa Investment Summit.

Plenty of short term money has flowed into South African assets – something of a headache for its policymakers as a strong rand currency makes its exports less competitive even if it helps keep inflation under control.

Mar 4, 2011
via Africa News blog

Africa set for banking boom

Photo

From March 7 to 10, political and business leaders from around Africa will be joining us for the inaugural Reuters Africa Investment Summit to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing investors in Africa.

One of the key areas of interest will be financial services and ahead of the summit, consultancy Bain & Company released a study indicating that the $107 billion industry could grow by an impressive 15 percent a year until 2020.

Feb 23, 2011
via Africa News blog

Could revolt spread in Africa?

Photo

So far there hasn’t been much political fallout in the rest of Africa from the revolts in the northernmost states.

Of course there are lots of differences between sub-Saharan African countries themselves let alone when you compare them to those north of the desert.

Feb 22, 2011

Gaddafi revolt highlights Africa risk spots

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi was once crowned Africa’s “King of Kings” by minions from south of the Sahara and the turmoil in Libya can only increase the chance of north Africa’s revolts flinging sparks across the desert.

There has been little echo of the Arab uprisings so far.

The dynamics are different in sub-Saharan Africa with ethnic division, less urbanised populations and poorer communications making it harder to organise mass movements in some states while unprecedented growth prospects reduce the impetus elsewhere.

    • About Matthew

      "Deputy Editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Most of my career has been spent covering Africa, but I have also reported from other parts of the region. I joined Reuters in 1995 after starting out as a reporter with BBC radio and for a local newspaper in Sierra Leone. I have been posted in Lagos, Abidjan, Kinshasa and Johannesburg - from where I led Reuters African coverage from 2009 to 2011. I spent three years as bureau chief for Israel and Palestinian Territories, based in Jerusalem."
    • More from Matthew

    • Contact Matthew

    • Follow Matthew