CHAPTER: Africa’s FMCG & Retail Sectors in Africans Investing in Africa, produced by the Brenthurst Foundation (South Africa) and Tony Elumelu Foundation (Nigeria), published by Palgrave MacMillan (2015)
THE admission by Nestlé that it overestimated the size of Africa’s middle class has caused ripples in the "Africa rising" story. But it is also a much needed reality check for companies that have pinned their hopes — and their investments — on ambitious growth forecasts of the middle-class pot of gold, writes DIANNA GAMES
Pubished in Business Day SA, June 22 2015.
Last week, the multinational food producer said it was cutting 15% of its workforce across 21 African countries and reducing its product lines. In 2008, it decided to invest heavily in sub-Saharan Africa based on projections of rising middle-class demand. Last week, it said turnover was way short of growth forecasts.
Much new investment in Africa in recent years has been based on the potential of this rising middle class despite the fact that the size and actual spending capacity of this category of consumer is rather hazy.
The African Development Bank’s 2011 research estimated that 34% of Africa’s population — 313-million people — was middle class.
What does it take to successfully expand business across borders? Benson Mwesigwa, Senior Manager, Africa Executive, KPMG Africa, Oliver Facey, Vice President of Operations for DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, Dianna Games, CEO, Africa at Work and author of "Business In Africa: Corporate Insights” and Bisi Sanda, Partner at EY discuss the importance of regional integration to facilitate cross-border opportunities for investors in the continent with CNBC Africa.
As long as politicians enjoy official passports and visa-free travel to many countries in Africa, the political will to change the situation will not be there, writes DIANNA GAMES
Published in Business Day SA on 8 June 2015
THE best African passports to have are those from The Gambia, Côte d’Ivoire or Kenya. Why? Because travellers with these passports need visas for just 41% of African countries, lower than the average of 55% of countries requiring Africans to have visas for other African countries
The worst to have is a Somali passport, even though the country does not require visitors to have visas — rather unsurprisingly.
These findings from research conducted by McKinsey were part of a broader discussion at the recent African Development Bank annual meetings in Abidjan, where business people, politicians and others raised questions about why the free movement of people across the continent, enshrined in the founding principles of pan-African organisations, is still difficult. The issue is one of the sticky items on the agenda of the Tripartite Free Trade Area negotiations, which are scheduled to be launched at this week’s African Union summit in Johannesburg. The free trade area, due to be launched in 2017, will cover an area stretching from Egypt to Cape Town.
Many of those governments around the table will be the same officials who have visa regimes in place for fellow Africans. Read more ...