Deputy Editor, Europe, Middle East and Africa
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Nov 17, 2010
via Africa News blog

Should South Africa be a BRIC?


The ‘s’ in BRICs is lower case, pluralising the grouping of the world’s large and dynamic emerging economies. But South Africa’s aspirations to make it BRICS with a capital ‘S’ became clearer when Russia revealed Pretoria had “applied” to join.

Just what an application to join the BRICs means is still a bit unclear. Although Brazil, Russia, India and China have met for two summits and are due to hold a third in China next year to discuss common interests, the acronym was coined in 2001 by Jim O’Neill, now chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset management and at the time the bank’s chief economist.

Nov 4, 2010
via Africa News blog

Africa’s giants lag on reform

Rwanda led the table again as Africa’s top reformer in the World Bank’s annual Ease of Doing Business survey. Although it was beaten into second place by Kazakhstan on the global list, in Africa it moved up 12 places to a global rank of 58th.

Among the other usual suspects doing well in Africa were Ghana and Cape Verde, both up 10 places to 67th and 132nd places respectively. It will be interesting to see what impact the start of oil production in Ghana will have, when the new source of income may mean less need to appeal to foreign donors and investors.

Oct 7, 2010

IMF tries to rebuild consensus in uneven recovery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The International Monetary Fund on Thursday sought to head off a battle over currency values and restore global economic cooperation strained by an uneven recovery from the financial crisis.

IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said at a news conference that a weakening in the spirit of cooperation that grew out of the crisis was regrettable and said an adjustment in currency values must be part of economic rebalancing.

Sep 28, 2010
via Africa News blog

Shopping in Africa


A few weeks back it was HSBC announcing news of its talks for South Africa’s Nedbank. Now it is the world’s biggest retailer, Wal-Mart, seeking a foothold on the continent with a plan to buy South Africa’s Massmart for more than $4 billion.

The idea of Wal-Mart bidding for one of South Africa’s retailers had been around for a while as it focuses on international growth.

Sep 17, 2010
via Africa News blog

Calling young African journalists


If you are an African journalist or aspirant journalist under 30 and would relish the chance to study on the continent’s premier Journalism Programme and then join the Reuters news team for 6 months work experience, read on.

With the FitzGerald Prize, Thomson Reuters is offering a scholarship to do a post graduate BA hons degree at the University of The Witwatersrand ‘s Journalism Programme in Johannesburg followed by a stint in a newsroom in Africa.

Sep 10, 2010
via Africa News blog

Africa funds win record inflows


There is no shortage of signs of foreign investor interest in Africa as it transforms its image to one of rapid growth and away from the old stereotypes – with even Bob Geldof now planning a private equity fund.

Interesting data from fund trackers EPFR Global shows how that interest has translated into a pattern of net investment into African regional equity funds. You can read the Reuters story here.

Sep 9, 2010
via Africa News blog

Can Africa compete?


Africa’s rapid growth over the past few years is changing its image and has very much put it on the agenda of investors seeking higher returns than they can get elsewhere.

But the latest Global Competitiveness Report from the World Economic Forum suggests that African countries – and particularly its biggest economies – are at best stagnating and at worst backsliding when it comes to how well they can compete.

Aug 23, 2010
via Africa News blog

Banking on Africa

Mining companies are looking more cautiously at South Africa after a brouhaha over  shady deals. Media and diplomats are nervous of measures they fear could curtail press freedom. South Africans in general are wondering how much damage an ongoing public sector strike will do and whether it is a sign of worse labour unrest to come.

But global banking giant HSBC certainly seems to be taking a positive long term view of Africa’s biggest economy with its talks to buy up to 70 percent of South Africa’s Nedbank in a deal that could be worth more than $8 billion.

Aug 12, 2010
via Africa News blog

Nigeria’s Jonathan flying high


Would 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.

Jul 10, 2010

Africa prospects lure investors, but is it ready?

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Africa offers among the world’s best investment prospects as emerging markets grow ever more important, although its economies risk being destabilized by the slew of capital they stand to attract in coming years.

Energy-producing continental giant Nigeria was identified as a top pick by some of the most influential figures in emerging markets finance who spoke to the Reuters Emerging Markets Summit in Sao Paulo last week.

    • 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."
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