African tourists emerge as powerhouse for tourism on the continent, says UNCTAD report

Four out of 10 international tourists in Africa come from the continent itself, according to the new UNCTAD Economic Development in Africa Report 2017: Tourism for Transformative and Inclusive Growth.

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Pic Credit: Travel Noire

In sub-Saharan Africa, this number increases to two out of every three tourists whose travels originate on the continent. Data backing this key finding show that, contrary to perception, Africans themselves are increasingly driving tourism demand in Africa.

Tourism in Africa is a flourishing industry that supports more than 21 million jobs, or 1 in 14 jobs, on the continent. Over the last two decades, Africa has recorded robust growth, with international tourist arrivals and tourism revenues growing at 6 per cent and 9 per cent, respectively, each year between 1995 and 2014.

Focusing on tourism for transformative and inclusive growth, this year’s report encourages African countries to harness the dynamism of the tourism sector.

By collecting and comparing data from two different periods, 1995-1998 and 2011-2014, the report reveals that international tourist arrivals to Africa increased from 24 million to 56 million. Tourism export revenues more than tripled, increasing from $14 billion to approximately $47 billion. As a result, tourism now contributes about 8.5 per cent to the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The First Ten-Year Implementation Plan of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 aims at doubling the contribution of tourism to the continent’s GDP. To meet this target, tourism needs to grow at a faster and stronger pace.

“Tourism is a dynamic sector with phenomenal potential in Africa. Properly managed, it can contribute immensely to diversification and inclusion for vulnerable communities,” said Mukhisa Kituyi, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD.

To realize the potential of intraregional tourism for the continent’s economic growth, African Governments should take steps to liberalize air transport, promote the free movement of persons, ensure currency convertibility and, crucially, recognize the value of African tourism and plan for it. These strategic measures can have relatively fast and tangible impacts. In Rwanda, the abolition of visa requirements for fellow members of the East African Community in 2011 helped increase intraregional tourists from 283,000 in 2010, to 478,000 in 2013.

Another important theme highlighted in the report is the mutually beneficial relationship between peace and tourism. Peace is of course fundamental for tourism. The mere appearance of instability in a region can deter tourists, leading to devastating, long-lasting economic consequences. However, the perception of danger does not always correspond with reality.

The 2014 Ebola outbreak in Western Africa had a very high cost in terms of tourism numbers and revenue lost across the entire continent. Despite being limited to relatively few countries in the western part of the continent, tourist arrivals and bookings fell in countries as far from the outbreak as South Africa and the United Republic of Tanzania.

The report notes that the economic impacts of political instability can be quite significant and long-lasting. For example, following political instability in Tunisia, total tourism receipts in 2009-2011 declined by 27 per cent on average, from $3.5 billion in 2009 to $2.5 billion in 2011.

Addressing safety and security concerns and swift responses to crises by African Governments and regional institutions are paramount to the growth of tourism in Africa. Promoting strategies aimed at improving Africa’s image in the global media are also critical in ensuring the sector’s recovery after conflict or political unrest.

During the next decade, tourism’s continued growth is expected to generate an additional 11.7 million jobs in Africa. Furthermore, where tourism thrives, women thrive. In Africa, more than 30 per cent of tourism businesses are run by women; and 36 per cent of its tourism ministers are women, which is the highest share in the world.

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Pic Credit: UN Multimedia

Creating firm links between tourism, the agriculture and infrastructure sectors, ecotourism and the medical and cultural tourism market segments can foster diversification into higher value activities and distribute incomes more broadly. To unlock this potential, African Governments should adopt measures that support local sourcing, encourage local entities’ participation in the tourism value chain and boost infrastructure development. This continued investment into the tourism sector in Africa could lift millions out of poverty, while also contributing to peace and security in the region.

See full article here

See UNCTAD report here

Source: TRALAC

Art and its role in telling personal, family and collective histories

Serge Attukwei Clottey and GoLokal, My Mother's Wardrobe, performance at Gallery 1957, 6 March 2016, courtesy the artist and Gallery 1957, photo by Nii Odzenma

Serge Attukwei Clottey and GoLokal, My Mother’s Wardrobe, performance at Gallery 1957, 6 March 2016, courtesy the artist and Gallery 1957, photo by Nii Odzenma

On March 6 2016 as Ghana marked 59 years of independence, Gallery 1957, a new gallery with a curatorial focus on contemporary Ghanaian art by the country’s most significant artists celebrated its inaugural exhibition. With over 400 people in attendance, My Mother’s Wardrobe, a new creative work by Serge Attukwei Clottey captured a diverse and equally enchanted audience.

Founded by Marwan Zakhem, the gallery has evolved from over 15 years of private collecting and offers an ideal location for both local audiences and international visitors to discover new artists, and to gain a deeper understanding of the breadth of their practice through curated exhibitions. With an initial curatorial focus on contemporary Ghanaian art, the gallery will present a programme of exhibitions, installations and performances by the region’s most significant artists under the creative direction of Nana Oforiatta Ayim. The artist, Serge Attukwei Clottey, is the founder of Ghana’s GoLokal performance collective and the creator of Afrogallonism, an artistic concept commenting on consumption within modern Africa through the utilisation of yellow gallon containers.

Based in Accra and working internationally, Clottey’s powerful testimony to his mother in the aftermath of her death explores narratives of personal, family and collective histories. In continuation of the artist’s established use of assemblage, he considers the value of material as a tangible experience of loss. His works examine the powerful agency of everyday objects, with particular focus on the significance of personal clothing.

Serge Attukwei Clottey and GoLokal, My Mother's Wardrobe, performance at Gallery 1957, 6 March 2016, courtesy the artist and Gallery 1957 Photo Credit: Nii Odzenma

Serge Attukwei Clottey and GoLokal, My Mother’s Wardrobe, performance at Gallery 1957, 6 March 2016, courtesy the artist and Gallery 1957 Photo Credit: Nii Odzenma

I recently interviewed Nana Oforiatta Ayim, founder of ANO, and Creative Director of Gallery 1957 to gain a better understanding of Clottey’s work, Gallery 1957, the creatives industry and intrinsically the role of art in exploring and reconciling Ghana’s past and present.

Tell us about yourself

I write, make films, and work as a cultural historian, which involves uncovering or creating new narratives, particularly of what is now known of Ghana, and the regions that surround it. I live in Accra, Ghana, where I founded and run the cultural organisation ANO, and where I am the Creative Director of a new art space, Gallery 1957.

Tell us about ANO, (what does it stand for) how did it come about and what inspired its inception?

The name ANO is an aberration of the Akan word εno, which means grandmother. In Akan mythology, an old woman or grandmother is the ancestress of humankind. And even though, at traditional occasions, at festivals and funerals, it is often the men that play the role of elders, it is the old woman they go out to spiritually consult. I liked this notion of the origin of beings being female, of this alternative history to the dominant one in our largely Christian country, which is of the first human being a man. ANO is largely about the uncovering and re-writing and -formulating of alternative, more covert histories to challenge dominant, sometimes reductive ones. –

It is also a suffix in the language Esperanto, which I love for its ideal of a common language, one that would transcend national divisions, and that means belonging. In a global narrative, which has for so long been dominated by one side, and in which our cultural offerings, our philosophies and ways of being, were to some extent denigrated, I very much liked this ethos of belonging, of us all sitting at the same table, as equals, with all right to be there, no one sitting higher or lower than the other, most especially in a world that still differentiates on a spectrum from first to so-called third world countries.

The third meaning for it is as a short form of A.N. Other, a pseudonym for the unknown or anonymous. I remember going to museums in Europe when I was younger, and often seeing very sparse plaques alongside sculptures or masks, giving very little context or meaning to why they were there, where they were taken from, who created them, and from within what greater narrative they came. There was a sense that these objects like so much else that came from the continent of Africa were raw material, objects of inspiration for ‘greater’ artists with greater understanding, consciousness and agency. And so ANO is also about retelling histories on their own terms or at least attempting to, and in this way giving them more rounded truths.

Has ANO changed since its inception? If so, which significant changes have happened?

I first started working with the notion of ANO as a mobile platform in 2002 curating exhibitions at the Liverpool Biennial, organising events at the Royal Festival Hall in London, making films etc. The most significant change has been ANO’s settling into a physical space in Accra, and also expanding into more large-scale encompassing projects, like the Cultural Encyclopaedia.

Serge Attukwei Clottey, Love and Connections, 2016, Plastics, wire and oil Paint, 95 x 89 inches, ©the artist, courtesy Gallery 1957, Accra

Serge Attukwei Clottey, Love and Connections, 2016, Plastics, wire and oil Paint, 95 x 89 inches, ©the artist, courtesy Gallery 1957, Accra
How do you choose the artists who receive residency such as in the case of Serge Clottey?

It all happens quite organically. ANO is not a static institution with fixed paradigms and goals. It has been very porous and open, listening to and seeing what works, what synergies there are with other creatives, and then acting upon them. The residency programme emerged from shared interests and the notion that mutual collaboration could be of benefit.

What gap if any do you see in the art and creative works industry in Ghana?

I feel that whatever gaps there are are being addressed by people’s ingenuity. New institutions are springing up, like Gallery 1957 and the Archiafrika Gallery of Design and Architecture. The government is putting some funding into the arts, even if it could do a lot better. Institutions, like the National Theatre are starting to engage with young artists, like Ibrahim Mahama and Serge Attukwei Clottey, and of course artists keep pushing at their own boundaries. I think it is a very good time creatively in Ghana, and I’m excited to see what emerges over the next few years.

What role do you see art playing in creating a platform for reconciling socio-cultural, economic and political discourse beyond ANO?

I think art provides another way of seeing, of thinking, of understanding. I think it highlights things that might be obvious to everyone around, but that are not being addressed, as well as things that might not be obvious at all. I think that the more attention is paid to it, the deeper our engagement with our environment will be, as well as that with our own selves, and that in itself is the strongest foundation for any discourse or development.

You have been quoted as saying the following profound words on reconciling art and loss with regards to Clottey’s work:

“According to custom in many parts of Ghana, a person’s wardrobe is locked up for a year after their death then released to relatives, often leaving the person’s offspring with little or nothing of the material memory of that person. Textiles and materials in Ghana, and other parts of West Africa — each weft, line or mark — are potent carriers of memory, of communication, and the artist weaves into his sculptures subtle traces of loss, remembering, and of rebirth.”

In your view, does Clottey’s artistic work resonate with most Ghanaians?

I am going to do a series of talks at Gallery 1957 around his works for schools and universities and workers, and I’m very excited about the exchanges that will happen as a result of that. I think Serge’s work is deeply embedded in Ga cosmogony and offers an aesthetic and provocative way of looking at our past and recreating our future, and it is always a spectacle, which in itself excites people’s attention. The challenge now is to get the work and the discourses around it seen by more people than those naturally drawn to art, and I hope to do that with a series of films around Serge and other artists, their work and the deeper themes.

Serge Attukwei Clottey and GoLokal, My Mother's Wardrobe, performance at Gallery 1957, 6 March 2016, courtesy the artist and Gallery 1957, photo by Nii Odzenma

Serge Attukwei Clottey and GoLokal, My Mother’s Wardrobe, performance at Gallery 1957, 6 March 2016, courtesy the artist and Gallery 1957, photo by Nii Odzenma
My Mother’s Wardrobe is a result of Clottey’s residency with ANO, whose remit is to uncover hidden and alternative, personal and collective histories, which make up what is now known as Ghana. Can you tell us about other projects you are working on and what to expect in 2016?

There will be a lot of projects in 2016! Another collaboration with Serge on the Korle Lagoon around the themes of nature and its invasion and the mythologies around this within Ga philosophy, as well as a book and film on his work. A collaboration with Zohra Opoku for Gallery 1957, as well as a book and film on her produced by ANO. And an exhibition with Serge, Zohra, and Ibrahim Mahama at the end of the year at LACMA in Los Angeles, for ANO’s Cultural Encyclopaedia project. There will also be a preliminary tour of the country with what I call Living History Hubs, mobile museums, to gather and exhibit material cultural and upload it onto the Cultural Encyclopaedia site. And finally, an exhibition at Gallery 1957 with young artist and performer, Elisabeth Efua Sutherland which resonates deeply with ANO’s remit, as its subject is the role of the feminine in myth-making.

What advice would you give to upcoming artists in Ghana?

To listen deeply to whatever it is that resonates with them the most and to follow that impulse. To look around and see what inspires and challenges them in their environment, as well as outside of it. And to keep working at it, despite all the obstacles, and even without initial support; to create and express even if it is on their street corners or in their family compounds or in a market place, and to keep delving. I feel like it is consistency and integrity of purpose, as well as clarity of expression that draws support, in whatever form, to itself.

Lastly, why is this exhibition a must see for all?

The exhibition is a must see, because Serge is a very talented artist at the full potency of his creative expression. He is experimenting with form and he is delving into the various layers of his environment and bringing them forth in ways that are unexpected and that enchant and expand. The exhibition is a testament to ingenuity, to diligence, to just what is possible, and because of that I think acts a source of inspiration.

 

This article first appeared in my blog post @ Africa at LSE .

Investment policy reforms in Africa: How can they be synchronized?

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Pic Credit: Africa start up Eco system

African countries are increasingly implementing investment policy reforms as part of their efforts to build policy frameworks that are development-oriented and that balance investor and state rights and obligations. Such reforms are currently being adopted at continental, regional, bilateral and national levels, and include the negotiation of new investment treaties or policies and improving the existing investment policies or laws. However, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) World Investment Report (2017), notes that, if not carefully managed, the reforms ‘risk overlapping with one another, potentially diluting the impact of regional reform efforts and creating a more complex regime instead of harmonizing and consolidating it.’ This will result in unfavorable treaty multiplication as well as policy uncertainty and unpredictability and, ultimately, reduce investor confidence. Promoting investor confidence and policy certainty is key to Africa considering the continent’s desire to stimulate and expedite investment.

This Discussion Note briefly examines current examples of investment reforms in Africa and how they can be synchronized to bring about the intended reform without posing new challenges and jeopardizing investment promotion and protection. The Note significantly draws on insights from the 2017 UNCTAD World Investment (ibid).

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Investment policy reforms in Africa

At the continental level, the fifty-five African Union member states anticipate to launch a continental free trade area (CFTA) by December this year which is expected to include an investment chapter. The chapter is scheduled to be negotiated in the second phase of the CFTA negotiations together with competition and intellectual property issues. Though too early to project, the investment chapter is to be aligned with the overall objective of the CFTA – to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments. Considering that the CFTA will bring together all the AU countries, it is critical for African leaders to start thinking how to effect investment reforms within the CFTA in such a manner that will not cause the above mentioned challenges.

At the regional level, the South African Development Community (SADC) member states at the 36th SADC Summit in August 2016 adopted an agreement amending Annex 1 of the SADC Protocol on Finance and Investment (2006). The Annex was amended to remove fair and equitable treatment as well as investor-state dispute settlement provisions, to refine the definitions of investment and investors, and include public policy measures exceptions to expropriation as well as to include regulatory autonomy of host states and investor obligations. However, the amendments will come into effect upon ratification by three-quarters of the SADC member states.

Also important to mention here is investment issues in the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), which are scheduled to be negotiated in the second phase of the negotiations together with trade in services, competition policy and intellectual property rights.

At national levels, many countries including Botswana, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa and Morocco are reforming their investment policies with a view to adopting ones that carve out policy space and are aligned to their national development objectives.

Moreover, African countries continue to conclude and negotiate bilateral investment treaties (BITs) or treaties with investment provisions with countries within and outside the continent. In 2016, for instance, Nigeria concluded BITs with Singapore and United Arab Emirates; Morocco concluded a BIT with Russia; and Rwanda concluded a BIT with Turkey.

In addition, six SADC member states (Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa) concluded, with the European Union (EU), the Economic Partnership Agreement in 2016 which contains provisions relevant to investment including market access, national treatment (NT) and most favoured nation (MFN) with respect to commercial presence, free movement of capital. The EU is negotiating similar agreements with Central African, East African, West Africa as well as Eastern and Southern African countries.

Furthermore, African countries are developing guiding principles for investment policy making with Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, and the EU.[5] These principles are developed in line with the ongoing relations between Africa and the EU, Caribbean and Pacific states and will be used to inform their investment relations and policies in the future.

Synchronizing the investment policy reforms

In investment policy reform processes, African countries must cooperate at continental, regional, bilateral and national (as well as multilateral) to avoid undesirable treaty disintegration, overlaps and multiplication. The UNCTAD (2017) has provided ten policy options to serve as important reference for countries reforming their investment policies, particularly those negotiating new treaties or adopting new laws.

Image result for fdi aFRICA Among these options include: joint interpretation of treaty provisions; amending treaty provisions; replacing outdated treaties; consolidating treaties; managing relationships between co-existing treaties; referencing global standards; engaging multilaterally; abandoning unratified old treaties; terminating existing old treaties; withdrawing from multilateral treaties. Important to note is that each option has pros and cons, therefore determining the best option requires ‘a careful and facts- based cost-benefit analysis, while addressing many of broader challenges’. It is submitted that the best option is one which is balanced, predictable and suitable for sustainable development.

Joint interpretation of treaties includes shared government action of interpreting treaties without amending or re-negotiating (re-signing or re-ratifying) the treaty. This is probably the fastest and simplest way of treaty reform; and it brings clarity to treaty obligations or provisions for investors, host states and tribunals. Recent treaties including, for example, the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (2016), Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement, ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (2009) and even the Morocco-Nigeria BIT (2016) expressly address joint interpretations. However, this policy option may be difficult to negotiate in situation where there are pending disputes involving the application of provisions in question. It is also restricted in its effect in that it cannot wholly create a new meaning to the provision being interpreted.

Amending treaty provisions involves making changes or improvements to specific clauses of existing treaties. It allows states to expressly carve out their intended policy objectives and priorities. However, amendments of treaty provisions require agreement among and subsequent ratification by contracting parties, and this may be difficult to achieve if they are multiple contracting parties with contrasting views. For instance, the SADC member states amended Annex I of the SADC FIP in August 2016 and the amendments are yet to be ratified.

Replacing or substituting outdated treaties with new ones is another policy option and has been used by Morocco recently. Per UNCTAD (2017), ‘approaching the treaty afresh enables the parties to achieve a higher degree of change (vis-à-vis selective amendments) and to be more rigorous and conceptual in designing an IIA that reflects their contemporary shared vision’. However, this process ‘can be cost- and time-intensive, as it involves the negotiation of the treaty from scratch, does not guarantee inclusion of reform-oriented elements (depends on the negotiated outcome), and requires effective transition between the old and the new treaties’. To safeguard smooth transition, it is important to include explicit transition clauses clearly defining the time-period for applying old BITs.

Consolidating the investment treaty network means replacing pre-existing treaties by signing a regional/plurilateral agreement. For example, Australia agreed to terminate its BITs with Mexico, Peru and Vietnam on entry into force of the TPP. This is a holistic and comprehensive approach to investment reform and can reduce the risk of fragmentation and overlaps. But, this can be more difficult to achieve particularly in plurilateral negotiations and requires the consent of all contracting parties. As TFTA and CFTA have the potential to replace existing BITs between the contracting parties (intra-African investment agreements), the question is will the African countries agree to terminate their existing intra-Africa investment treaties? To overcome these challenges, it may be appealing to grant flexibility to the parties to decide their preferences.

Another policy option is to manage the relationships of co-existing (old and new) treaties. This is mostly possible when the new treaties are plurilateral or regional free trade agreements with an investment chapter and the old treaties are BITs. However, this policy option is not conducive for investment reform specifically in cases where the treaties differ in content and scope. To overcome these challenges, countries need to include specific provisions clarifying how the treaties will interact – for instance, in situations of conflict, the new treaties will override the old ones.

Referencing global standards relates to mentioning globally agreed best practices or instruments (e.g. UN Sustainable Development Goals, UNCTAD Investment Policy Framework for Sustainable Development, the ILO Tripartite MNE Declaration and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights). In the African context, it may also be important to mention relevant continental initiatives (e.g. Agenda 2063, Accelerated Industrial Development for Africa and Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa). This is cost-effective and time-efficient in that countries will make use of previously agreed instruments. However, this option provides wide interpretive discretion for the arbitrators, and parties will not have control over future developments of the agreed instruments.

Engaging multilaterally is the most effective way to address the inconsistencies, overlaps arising from individual countries’ reforms and it is more likely to result in uniform, binding and comprehensive investment standards at global level. But is also the most difficult as obtaining the consensus of many countries is hard to achieve. The failure of the multilateral agreement on investment in 1995 is a point of reference here.

Abandoning unratified old treaties is another way of synchronising investment reform. A country can simply abandon unratified treaties (not ratifying them) or expressly take a decision not to be bound in order to negotiate new treaties – for instance, the US publicly announced its intention not to be party to the TPP early this year. As of December 2016, 165 intra-African BITs have been signed and only 38 are in force, according to UNCTAD.

Another option available for countries is to unilaterally or mutually terminate existing old treaties. For instance, South Africa unilaterally terminated its old BITs with nine EU member states between 2013 and 2014 with a view to signing new ones preserving regulatory autonomy. Quite often rules for the termination of treaties are set out in the treaty. The termination of old treaties could result in situations where investors of one party no longer have legal protection in the host state.

Lastly, withdrawal from multilateral treaties is another policy option for countries to consolidate investment reforms. According to UNCTAD, the ‘unilateral withdrawal from an investment-related multilateral treaty releases the withdrawing party from the instrument’s obligations and – depending on the treaty at issue – can help minimise a country’s exposure to investor claims. Unilateral withdrawal can also signal the country’s apparent loss of faith in the system and a desire to exit from it (rather than reform it)’. However, withdrawal from could negatively affect the country’s cooperation with other countries.

Conclusion

While African countries are (individually or cooperatively) transforming their investment laws and engaging in new investment policy making negotiations, it is crucial for policymakers to consider harmonizing or consolidating these reforms at all (continental, regional and national) levels to avoid undesirable fragmentation and overlaps of investment regimes. It is also important to consider the countries’ investment agreements with external partners. More importantly, policymakers should carefully consider facts-based cost-benefit analysis of a particular policy choice that will reflect the aspired reforms, while addressing many of broader challenges.

Source: TRALAC

Dance of the lions and dragons – How are Africa and China engaging, and how will the partnership evolve?

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Pic Credit: Mckinsey & Co.

In a mere two decades, China has become Africa’s biggest economic partner. Across trade, investment, infrastructure financing, and aid, there is no other country with such depth and breadth of engagement in Africa. The Chinese “dragons”—firms of all sizes and sectors—are bringing capital investment, management know-how, and entrepreneurial energy to every corner of the continent—and in so doing, they are helping to accelerate the progress of Africa’s “lions,” as its economies are often referred to. Yet to date, it has been challenging to understand the full extent of the Africa-China economic relationship due to a paucity of data. This report aims to provide a fact-based picture of the Africa-China economic relationship. Its foundation is a large-scale data set about the economic relationship between Africa and China, including on-site interviews with more than 100 senior African business and government leaders, as well as the owners or managers of more than 1,000 Chinese firms and factories spread across eight African countries that together make up approximately two-thirds of SubSaharan Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP).

1) THE DRAGON HAS LANDED: AFRICA’S BIGGEST ECONOMIC PARTNER Since the turn of the 21st century, China has catapulted from being a relatively small investor in the continent to becoming Africa’s largest economic partner. And since the turn of the millennium, Africa-China trade has been growing at approximately 20 percent per year. Foreign direct investment (FDI) has grown even faster over the past decade, with a breakneck annual growth rate of 40 percent.1 Yet even this number understates the true picture: we found that China’s financial flows to Africa are around 15 percent larger than official figures suggest when nontraditional flows are included. China is also a large and fastgrowing source of aid and the largest source of construction financing; these contributions have supported many of Africa’s most ambitious infrastructure developments in recent years. We evaluated Africa’s economic partnerships with the rest of the world across five dimensions: trade, investment stock, investment growth, infrastructure financing, and aid. China is in the top four partners for Africa in all these dimensions. No other country matches this depth and breadth of engagement.

2) TEN THOUSAND BUSINESS BUILDERS: CHINESE FIRMS’ DIVERSITY, SCALE, AND AMBITION Behind these macro numbers are thousands of previously uncounted Chinese firms operating across Africa. In the eight African countries we focused on, the number of Chinese-owned firms we identified was between double and nine times the number registered by China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), until now the largest database of Chinese firms in Africa. Extrapolated across the continent, these findings suggest there are more than 10,000 Chinese-owned firms operating in Africa today. Around 90 percent of these firms are privately owned—calling into question the notion of a monolithic, state-coordinated investment drive by “China, Inc.” Although state-owned enterprises (SOEs) tend to be bigger, particularly in specific sectors such as energy and infrastructure, the sheer multitude of private Chinese firms working toward their own profit motives make Chinese investment in Africa a more market-driven phenomenon than is commonly understood.

Chinese firms operate across many sectors of the African economy. Nearly a third are involved in manufacturing, a quarter in services, and around a fifth in trade and in construction and real estate. In manufacturing, we estimate that 12 percent of Africa’s industrial production—valued at some $500 billion a year in total—is already handled by Chinese firms. In infrastructure, Chinese firms’ dominance is even more pronounced, and they claim nearly 50 percent of Africa’s internationally contracted construction market. The firms we talked to are profitable; nearly one-third of them reported 2015 profit margins of more than 20 percent. They are also agile and quick to adapt to new opportunities. Except in a few countries such as Ethiopia, they are primarily focused on serving the needs of Africa’s fast-growing markets rather than on exports.
What of the years ahead? An overwhelming 74 percent of Chinese firms said they feel optimistic about the future. Reflecting this, most Chinese firms have made investments that represent a long-term commitment to Africa rather than shallower trading or contracting activities.
3) BIG BENEFITS, BUT REAL ISSUES: WEIGHING THE IMPACT OF CHINESE INVESTMENT IN AFRICA

Our research points to three main economic benefits to Africa from Chinese investment and business activity: job creation and skills development, transfer of new technology and knowledge, and financing and development of infrastructure:
• At the more than 1,000 companies we talked to, 89 percent of employees were African, adding up to more than 300,000 jobs for African workers. Scaled up across all 10,000 Chinese firms in Africa, these numbers suggest that Chinese-owned business already employ several million Africans.

• Nearly two-thirds of Chinese employers provide some kind of skills training. In companies engaged in construction and manufacturing where skilled labor is a necessity, half offer apprenticeship training.

• Half of Chinese firms have introduced a new product or service to the local market, and one-third have introduced a new technology. In some cases, Chinese firms have lowered prices for existing products and services by as much as 40 percent through improved technology and efficiencies of scale.

• Chinese construction contractors command around 50 percent of Africa’s international engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) market. African government officials overseeing infrastructure development for their countries cited Chinese firms’ efficient cost structures and speedy delivery as major value-adds.

On balance, we believe that China’s growing involvement is a strong net positive for Africa’s economies, governments, and workers. But there are areas that need significant improvement:
• By value, only 47 percent of the Chinese firms’ sourcing was from local African firms, representing a lost opportunity for local firms to benefit from Chinese investment.

• Only 44 percent of local managers at the Chinese-owned companies we surveyed were African, though some Chinese firms have driven their local managerial employment above 80 percent. Other firms could follow suit.

• There have been instances of major labor and environmental violations by Chinese owned businesses. These range from in inhumane working conditions to illegal extraction of natural resources including timber and fish.

4) DIFFERENT DANCES: FOUR WAYS AFRICAN COUNTRIES ARE ENGAGING WITH CHINA

We focused our research on eight large African economies, and we found four distinct archetypes of the Africa-China partnership:

Robust partners. Ethiopia and South Africa have a clear strategic posture toward China, along with a high degree of economic engagement in the form of investment, trade, loans, and aid. For example, both countries have translated their national economic development strategies into specific initiatives related to China, and they have also developed important relationships with Chinese provinces in addition to with Beijing. As a result, China sees these African countries as true partners: reliably engaged and strategic for China’s economic and political interests. These countries have also created a strong platform for continued Chinese engagement through prominent participation in such forums as the Belt and Road initiative (previously known as One Belt, One Road), and they can therefore expect to see ongoing rapid growth in Chinese investment.

Solid partners. Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania do not yet have the same level of engagement with China as Ethiopia and South Africa, but government relations and Chinese business and investment activity are meaningful and growing. These three governments recognize China’s importance, but they have yet to translate this recognition into an explicit China strategy. Each has several hundred Chinese firms across a diverse set of sectors, but this presence has largely been the result of a passive posture relying on large markets or historical ties; much more is possible with true strategic engagement.

Unbalanced partners. In the case of Angola and Zambia, the engagement with China has been quite narrowly focused. In Angola’s case, the government has supplied oil to China in exchange for Chinese financing and construction of major infrastructure projects—but market-driven private investment by Chinese firms has been limited compared with other African countries; only 70 to 75 percent of the Chinese companies in Angola are private, compared with around 90 percent in other countries. Zambia’s case is the opposite: there has been major private-sector investment but not enough oversight from regulatory authorities to avoid labor and corruption scandals.

Nascent partners. Côte d’Ivoire is at the very beginning of developing a partnership with China, and so the partnership model has yet to become clear. The country’s relatively small number of Chinese investors are focused on low-commitment sectors such as trade.

5) THE $440 BILLION OPPORTUNITY: UNLOCKING THE FULL POTENTIAL OF THE AFRICA-CHINA PARTNERSHIP
One thing is clear to those who are closest to the Africa-China relationship: it will grow. We interviewed more than 100 senior African business and government leaders, and nearly all of them said the Africa-China opportunity is larger than that presented by any other foreign partner—including Brazil, the European Union, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

But exactly how quickly will the Africa-China relationship grow in the decade ahead? We see two potential scenarios. In the first, the revenues of Chinese firms in Africa grow at a healthy clip to reach around $250 billion in 2025, from $180 billion today. This scenario would simply entail “business as usual,” with Chinese firms growing in line with the market, holding their current market shares steady as African economies expand. Under this scenario, the same three industries that dominate Chinese business in Africa today— manufacturing, resources, and infrastructure—would dominate in 2025 as well.

We believe much more is possible: in a second scenario, Chinese firms in Africa could dramatically accelerate their growth. By expanding aggressively in both existing and new sectors, these firms could reach revenues of $440 billion in 2025. In this accelerated growth scenario, not only do the three established industries of Chinese investment grow faster than the economy, but Chinese firms also make significant forays into five new sectors: agriculture, banking and insurance, housing, information communications technology (ICT) and telecommunications, and transport and logistics. This expansion could start with Chinese firms moving into sectors related to the ones they currently dominate—for example, from construction into real estate and housing. Another part of this accelerated growth could come from Chinese firms more fully adapting their formulas that have proved successful in China to markets in Africa, including business models in consumer technology, agriculture, and digital finance.

There is considerable upside for Africa if Chinese investment and business activity accelerate. At the macroeconomic level, African economies could gain greater capital investment to boost productivity, competitiveness, and technological readiness, and tens of millions more African workers could gain stable employment. At the microeconomic level, however, there will be winners and losers. Particularly in sectors such as manufacturing, where African firms lag behind global productivity levels, African incumbents will need to dramatically improve their productivity and efficiency to compete—or partner effectively— with the new dragons on their turf.

For the foreseeable future, the dragons are here to stay. And with continued and likely growing Chinese involvement, it will become ever more urgent to address the gaps in the partnership, including a greater role for African managers and partners in the growth of Chinese-owned businesses. Moreover, both Chinese and African actors will need to address three major pain points: corruption in some countries, concerns about personal safety, and language and cultural barriers. In five of the eight countries in which we conducted fieldwork, 60 to 87 percent of Chinese firms said they paid a “tip” or bribe to obtain a license. After corruption, the second-largest concern among Chinese firms is personal safety. For their part, our African interviewees described language and cultural barriers that lead to misunderstanding and ignorance of local regulations. If these problems are left unaddressed, the misunderstandings and potentially serious long-term social issues could weaken the overall sustainability of the Africa-China relationship.
Everyone—African or Chinese, government or private sector—has a role to play in realizing the promise of the Africa-China partnership. We suggest ten recommendations, consisting of actions to be taken by African and Chinese businesses and governments, to ensure the Africa-China relationship grows sustainably and delivers strong economic and social outcomes (see Exhibit E1).

In the words of one of the many Chinese entrepreneurs we interviewed across Africa, “There is a wise saying in Yoruba: should I wash my left hand or my right hand? The answer is that the right hand should wash the left, and the left hand should wash the right. That is the way to do things. Africa is one hand; China is the other. Working together is the way to do things.”

Image result for dance of the lions and dragons mckinsey

Source: Mckinsey & Co. 

See full Report here

 

 

Draft Kenya Investment Policy: Investment growth for sustainable development

Through the leadership of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives (MITC), an inter-ministerial task force has developed a draft Kenya Investment Policy. The policy is aimed at enhancing the conduciveness of the environment for investment growth, though a harmonized approach to investment promotion, facilitation and retention. In addition, the policy provides for revision of legislations affecting the overall investment network.

 

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Pic Credit: Mutua Matheka

The development of the Kenya Investment Policy has involved a consultative process covering the national and county governments, including the private sector stakeholders.

Executive summary

To achieve the twin targets of Kenya’s Vision 2030 – 10% growth per annum and middle income industrializing country status – the Government of Kenya recognizes the critical role played by private investment and has put measures in place to attract and retain foreign investment while encouraging the expansion of domestic investment, with the aim of increasing private investment to 24 per cent of GDP by 2030.

Up to now, Kenya has not had a single and clearly defined policy solely focusing on investment generation and retention. The Government of Kenya has however formulated various strategies and policies that focus on investment growth and support, stipulated in various policy documents such as National Development Plans, Sessional Papers and Master Plans, including the new Constitution 2010. These programs and initiatives have had limited impact. They also led to the adoption of various fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, changes in investment related regulations and the creation of several government agencies tasked with responsibility for investment promotion and facilitation, some with overlapping mandates leading to duplication of efforts and unnecessary strain on limited government resources.

To address the limited impact of investment and a number of other challenges relating to the entry and treatment of investment, the Government developed the Kenya Investment Policy. The policy development process took a holistic approach to gain an understanding of Kenya’s context as well as international best practices to inform the policy’s proposals. The policy is guided by six core principles, which emphasise the need for openness and transparency, inclusivity, sustainable development, economic diversification, domestic empowerment, and global integration.

The KIP addresses private investments at the national and county levels. It is a comprehensive and harmonized policy to guide attraction, facilitation, retention, monitoring and evaluation of private investment. The KIP further recognizes the central role of Kenya’s Constitution (2010) which clearly delineates the complementary roles that national and county governments play in investment promotion. The KIP also creates an institutional framework that fosters coordination for efficient investment attraction, facilitation, and a favourable investment climate. The policy actions proposed in the KIP are designed to support and stimulate private sector development and improve the overall ease of doing business and competitiveness in the economy, with the ambition that Kenya becomes the premier destination for at least 50% of multinationals establishing their continental headquarters in Africa.

The KIP addresses some of the fundamental requirements for establishing a well-coordinated investment environment that will attract high-quality FDI into the country while upscaling local SME capacity. These include: a harmonized regulatory and institutional framework for investment; an effective investment promotion and facilitation government function; an active focus on attracting beneficial, high quality foreign investment; building a critical mass of domestic investors including strengthening their capacities; a targeted approach to offering incentives by aligning them to development priorities; significant resources devoted to investor aftercare and increasing national savings.

These objectives are to be achieved through the implementation of critical measures stated by this Policy, including the following:

Investment oversight. Operationalization of the National Investment Council, which will be responsible for formulating the country’s overall investment strategy and implementing the KIP to ensure that investment contributes to the country’s development goals, and approving Bilateral Investment Treaties and investment related chapters in treaties.

Investment promotion and facilitation. The primary responsibility of investment promotion and facilitation falls on the Investment Promotion Agency. Counties, through County Investment Units play a major role by developing bankable projects, outlining their competitive positions, and preparing marketing materials aligned to their areas of strategic focus. Officials at the county level also play an important role in investment facilitation, including securing community approval, providing land where needed, and participating in investment promotion activities for specific investment projects in collaboration with the IPA.

Investment entry and establishment. Various government agencies are involved at different levels along the investment entry and establishment process. The IPA plays a facilitation role among these entities through the One-Stop Centre to minimize the administrative burden on investors and government agencies.

Investment retention and aftercare. Counties play a major role in ensuring that investments located within their territory are given the highest level of attention. The Government is responsible for ensuring that the overall investment climate remains attractive to potential and existing investors. The IPA is responsible for taking the lead to provide effective aftercare services by working with counties and national government actors.

Investment assessment. Ensuring that investments are contributing to the country’s economic, social and environment sustainability objectives is important. Measuring investment impact with respect to community engagement, development objectives, and supplier linkages between investors and small and medium sized enterprises is a shared responsibility among the different actors. While the NIC will spearhead this process, it must work closely with other national and county institutions to ensure that the country continues to target and attract beneficial investment.

Establish a promotion and facilitation fund resourced by both the exchequer and grants from development partners, to be used for the purposes of targeted investment promotion and facilitation.

Establish land banks which could be used for large projects, including encouraging counties to establish a savings scheme where a percentage part of their budget allocation goes to purchasing land to be set aside for investment purposes.

» Download: Kenya Investment Policy, revised draft June 2017 (PDF, 1.08 MB)

 

Source: KEPSA

How Kenya can industrialise in 5 years — anzetsewere

This article first appeared in my weekly column with the Business Daily on June 18, 2017 — Manufacturing can play a crucial role in Kenya’s inclusive growth by absorbing large numbers of workers, creating jobs indirectly through forward and backward linkages to agriculture, raising exports and transforming the economy through technological innovation. It is with […]

via How Kenya can industrialise in 5 years — anzetsewere

Foresight Africa: Top priorities for Africa in 2016

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Photo: Mutua Matheka Photography

Africa is at a tipping point in 2016. Despite all the success the continent has achieved in recent years, new and old dangers—economic, political, and security-related—threaten to derail its progress. With sound policymaking, effective leadership, and enough foresight, however—Africa can meet and defeat these challenges as well as the many more to come.

In this year’s Foresight Africa, the Africa Growth Initiative and its colleagues discuss six overarching themes that place Africa at this tipping point and give their view on what they perceive to be key areas for intervention to keep Africa on its current rising trajectory. This year’s format is different from years past, encompassing viewpoints from high-level policymakers, academics, and practitioners, as well as utilizing visuals to better illustrate the paths behind and now in front of Africa.

 Explore the full report »
Managing Economic Shocks: African Prospects in the Evolving External Environment

In this chapter, Amadou Sy explores the recent external economic shocks to African economies—including the economic slowdown in China, declines in commodity prices, and the likely continued U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hikes—that have affected and will continue to affect growth trajectories in the region. With growth slowing across the continent in 2016, policymakers must take this opportunity to discuss and enact economic policy reform for both the short and long terms.

 Read chapter 1 »
Sustaining Domestic Growth: Structural Transformation Depends on Jobs, Industry, and SMEs

Growth in Asia and elsewhere has shown that industrialization is crucial to job creation, a value that is enshrined in the new Sustainable Development Goals. In this chapter, John Page provides recommendations on how African governments and their international partners can revitalize the region’s stagnating industrial development and spur structural transformation.

 Read chapter 2 »
Supporting Human Development: Triumphs and Challenges on the Continent

The region has witnessed remarkable improvements in poverty reduction in recent years, but persistent challenges in inequality, education, health, and violence, among others, still plague it. As the first year of the Sustainable Development Goals, 2016 provides the opportunity to be a jumping-off point for strong policies and efforts to accomplish these goals. In this chapter, Kathleen G. Beegle and Luc Christiaensen cover the assortment of opportunities 2016 provides for supporting human development efforts and argues for the central role that better data plays in addressing them.

 Read chapter 3 »
Capitalizing on Urbanization: The Importance of Planning, Infrastructure, and Finance for Africa's Growing Cities

With Habitat III in 2016, Jérôme Chenal takes the opportunity in this chapter to explore the consequences of Africa’s rapid urbanization. Africa is the second-fastest urbanizing region in the world, which historically has facilitated other regions’ transition from a reliance on agriculture to industry and jobs. However, without strong policies to deliver services, finance and build infrastructure, and support the urban poor, Africa’s rapidly growing megacities and intermediate cities cannot deliver on their potential.

 Read chapter 4 »
Maintaining Governance Gains: The National and Regional Agendas

2016 sees a number of governance milestones and obstacles, including elections across the continent (particularly in Uganda, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and for the African Union chairperson), as well as increasing regional integration and a seemingly stalled march towards good governance. In this chapter, Richard Joseph reflects on the region’s growth-governance puzzle and the complex institutional changes necessary to move from economic growth to economic transformation.

 Read chapter 5 »
Expanding African Trade: Creating a Comparative Advantage and Strengthening Regional Partnerships

In this chapter, Joshua P. Meltzer explores the impacts on Africa of the changing global trade environment. In particular, the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement will transform global trade architecture, likely to the disadvantage of Africa. However, our viewpoint contributors believe that, if African countries can successfully leverage regional integration and better utilize the African Growth and Opportunity Act, they might be able to maintain global competitiveness.

 Read chapter 6 »

Article Source: Brookings Africa Growth Initiative

About Foresight Africa

The Foresight Africa project is a series of reports, commentaries and events that aim to help policymakers and Africa watchers stay ahead of the trends and developments impacting the continent. Since 2011, the Brookings Africa Growth Initiative has used the occasion of the new year to assess Africa’s top priorities for the year.

 

 

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