Saturday, January 27, 2007

Investing in Africa

Is it just me, or are newspapers full of hints that many countries in Africa are booming right now, unnoticed by the general public still in awe about growth in China and India? I think to spot beginning trends, one cannot wait till stories make the front pages. I usually watch out for recurring themes that are mentioned here and there as if they had no significance. Africa is such a case right now. You might here of a big IPO in Nigeria, increasing tourism in Mozambique, and a real estate boom in South Africa - but most journalists don't seem to put 2 + 2 together.

For the last two years, I have noticed more and more positive news coming out of West Africa and also Southeast Africa. And in recent months, the momentum is astonishing. Once you start watching out for news on successful businesses and investment in Africa you will notice it is in the news every day - but never as a top story.

Did you know, for example, how African stock markets performed last year? Botswana up 47%, Kenya up 47%, Malawi up 127%!!!, Mauritius up 46%, Nigeria up 40%, Uganda up 72%. If you read the companies & markets part of the FT closely, you will also notice that more and more investment and private equity funds are set up for the sole purpose of investment and Africa - for example Actis Capital , Aureos Capital, or African Capital Alliance, all members of the Emerging Markets Private Equity Alliance.

I'm posting this to encourage you to watch out for positive news and articles on Africa. Also, if you see anything interesting, feel free to post links and info in the comments!


Anonymous said...

Certain African countries are a experiencing a remarkable boom- I think many people still assume that Africa is a continent that continues to suck aid whilst showing no progress and has significant political risks. There are still many challenges- but glad to hear that other MBAs are noticing the potential.
Check this out

Anonymous said...

I was born in Uganda and my brother still lives there.There has been an amazing real estate boom there already.S africa is one of the most gorgeous places on Earth.If there could be some effective action taken on the personal security front AND a little less curruption,the whole world would rush to invest in Africa.At the moment,it seems the Chinese have cornered the continent and some of the currupt leaders,desperate to stay in power,are ''selling the family silver'' for peanuts.
God Bless Africa

Anonymous said...

Angel Angie,
I have been following your blog and have found it very informational and interesting. I am keen on applying to LBS. How good are chances in R3. Can you throw some statistics on R3 from last year ?

angie said...

Anonymouses: thanks for your links! That's great!

Niki: the chances in R3 are the same, just focus on high GMAT and convincing essays rather than tactical considerations.

RusGirl said...

African success story - Botswana:

RusGirl said...

hmmm... I don't know whether you can see the link in my post above.

I will split it in two parts: