Hold on to your hats – next year will be a rocky ride for Africa WRITES DIANNA GAMES
CHINA’S promise last week to deepen partnerships with African countries and provide $60bn over three years to address constraints to development, was good news for a continent facing many headwinds as it rushes headlong into 2016.
Ironically, China’s slowdown is one of those headwinds. But there are many other issues that will make next year a difficult one for sub-Saharan Africa.
The continent’s petro-states have slashed budgets and put infrastructure projects on hold as budgets dry up, but they continue to reel from the effect of low oil prices.
Any hopes that this was just a brief cyclical blip have been dashed by the fact that 18 months since the oil price plunged, there is no sign of an upturn.
Oil industry executives speaking at the Africa Oil Week conference earlier this year confirmed the view that the "world of $50 oil" isn’t going to change anytime soon.
At the same event last year, oil majors flagged ambitious exploration projects and mentioned the billions of dollars lined up for Africa’s oil and gas assets. This year, the broad narrative focused on project pullbacks and how to negotiate this long, rocky road.
- Published in Business Day SA, December 7, 2015