The liberalisation of the DRC’s insurance sector, spearheaded by legislation opening the market to international players, is attracting increased attention. However, despite a sizeable market offering that holds the promise of growth prospects, the country’s challenging operating environment may serve to deter potential investors. As with any regulatory overhaul, teething issues are expected.
Wildlife poaching and trafficking in Sub-Saharan Africa is a growing trend, facilitated by an environment characterised by corrupt officials and political elite, and well-established local and regional criminal networks. Apart for the obvious environmental and social costs, this illicit trade has a direct bearing on the reputation of foreign investors in the region.
As Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption efforts continue to stall, concerns are increasing that his war against corruption has been reduced to a thinly veiled excuse to target members of the political opposition. To maintain the credibility of his public stance against corruption, Buhari cannot afford to spare corruption within his own administration.
Over the next weeks Shadow Governance Intel will be releasing analysis that looking at China’s evolving interests in Africa. This will culminate in the release of a Report (available in the Store) that explores China’s burgeoning relationship with the Continent. The report, available in early October, details China’s key commercial actors in Africa, highlighting the trajectory of the main trends in this complex relationship.
Sonangol’s complex relationship with the Presidential office has created a de facto parallel government. Over the years it has operated outwith the traditional remit of a national oil company, exercising undue political and economic influence to the benefit of a select few. However, a combination of low global oil prices and restructuring will likely serve to finally curb its influence.
Under pressure to maintain Ethiopia’s economic growth, the government is keen to attract increased investment in its nascent manufacturing sector. A growing consumer market, a stable economy, and a large and relatively cheap labour pool, is an equation that is bound to attract interest from companies across the globe.
Italian oil company Eni’s most significant natural gas discovery off the coast of Mozambique in 2011 has served to strengthen both economic and commercial relations between the two countries. With both keen to take advantage of the burgeoning relationship, Italian investments in Mozambique are only expected to increase over the coming years.
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While ostensibly stepping down from his position as President of Angola, President Jose dos Santos has managed to amass a considerable power base over the years and will remain a highly influential figure in Angola’s political and business spheres. His successor, Lourenço can be viewed as a guarantor of smooth transition. He is a loyalist who is not expected to bring about significant political or economic change in the short term.
The Senate’s passing of the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill is a small, but significant, step towards the long-awaited restructuring of Nigeria’s troubled oil and gas industry. It is through the PIGB that the government hopes to open up the sector to more and better business opportunities through increased transparency, better accountability and clearer regulations.
The actors and transit routes involved in the DRC-Dubai gold trade raise suspicion; not least because estimates suggest that 70% of all DRC gold reaches Dubai. Those who stand to benefit may have little incentive to enforce a crackdown. Understanding the nuances of the DRC-Dubai trade route should be a priority for sector stakeholders.
Investment and religious connections have emerged as the driving forces behind the Gulf’s relationship with Africa. Qatar, lacking its neighbours’ religious, cultural and economic connections to the continent, appears to have been less effective in garnering African support.
In a matter of weeks, the introduction of three new laws has completely changed the legal and regulatory landscape of Tanzania’s extractives industry, risking the country’s reputation as one of Africa’s most attractive investment destinations. As Acacia has discovered, this emerging environment is not a welcome one.