LNG in Mozambique

Updated on 29th June 2018 Article published at the China-Lusophone Brief, on 21st March 2018 Article also published in How We Made it in Africa, on 24th May 2018 Also published at the NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies, on 25th May 2018 Mozambique, which gained independence from Portugal in 1975, is home to a culturally…

Lessons from Singapore Companies in Sub-Saharan Africa

Over the past few years, business leaders and investors have become increasingly aware of the economic potential of Sub-Saharan Africa’s burgeoning consumer market. Singapore is an increasingly interested player in the Sub-Saharan African arena. There is a growing number of Singapore companies, from small to large, drawn to the region.They venture not only to familiar South Africa, but are also attracted by the blossoming tech industry in East Africa and by the booming population in West Africa, which brings the promise of a huge untapped market.

Smart Cities in Africa: Nairobi and Cape Town

Smart cities leverage on technology and use the large amount of data their citizens generate every second to optimize resources, to connect people and to improve business and trading. A smart city targets energy savings and adopts environmentally friendly technologies, which helps promoting sustainable development.
Nairobi and Cape Town rank among the most advanced cities on the African continent on the smart city front. Nairobi, capital of Kenya and home to over 3 million people, won the title of Most Intelligent City in Africa for two years in a row. Going south, Cape Town blossoms as one of the best places to do business in the continent as the South African government continuously implements thoughtful planning and cutting edge technology to attract businesses and improve the lives of its citizens. Both Nairobi and Cape Town look at Singapore as a role model for the city of the future.

What Africa can Expect from the US in Foreign Policy

In the wake of controversial picks for Trump’s cabinet, the spotlight turns to his appointed choice for Secretary of State, the highest diplomatic rank in the United States government. After a brief interlude with Mitt Romney, which would certainly be a favourite pick among Republicans, Donald Trump showed that he would continue with his anti-establishment agenda and decided instead to recommend Rex Tillerson for the role.

Rex Tillerson is an experienced executive of the Oil and Gas industry, with 41 years working in ExxonMobil. Tillerson ascended to become the company’s chairman and CEO in 2006, roles that he occupied until the end of 2016 when he finally left the company. He was nominated US Secretary of State on early February.

However, more than one month into the role, a large number of vacancies in the US State Department are still to be filled. Adding this to the isolationist rhetoric Trump has preaching and to the recent proposed cut in funding to the State Department make one think that American foreign affairs will not be a top priority in the Trump presidency.

Integration Efforts in the East African Community

The East African Community (EAC) is an economic bloc formed by Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. The countries have a history of cooperation dating back to the early 20th century. In the recent years, they have started various infrastructure projects to improve the connection between its members, ultimately decreasing the cost of doing business and making the bloc more attractive to trade with foreign countries.

Singapore is enjoying this opportunity, with investments in the African continent growing at a compound rate of 12% per year; the city-state has traded more than US$400 million with the EAC alone in 2013. Singapore is currently involved in various businesses in the region, ranging from agriculture to digital logistics solutions, and is eager to expand its presence even more. This pace will increase as legal frameworks and institutions covering the whole EAC bloc gain strength and eliminate corruption in the region; and when basic infrastructure problems are solved and an easy flow of goods and services is reached in the region.

Unleashing Zimbabwe’s tourism potential

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in Southeast Africa, bordered by Mozambique, Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. The country has a population of over 15 million people, from which around 2.8 million people live in the metropolitan area around its capital, Harare.

International tourism accounted for 20.3% of Zimbabwe’s exports in 2014 and generated a revenue of US$ 827 million to the country. The Victoria Falls and the Zambezi river account as the most sought-after sight-seeing places by the tourists visiting the country.

Although Zimbabwe holds unmatched natural beauties, the sector accounts for only a small portion of the country’s GDP.

Improving the laws to attract foreign investment, fostering private-public partnerships in hospitality and largely invest in the marketing of the Zimbabwean brand in the international market could be the first steps that will make the tourism sector gain more traction in the country.

Trump Effect on the African Oil

After the shock post November 8th with the results of the American presidential election, the world started studying what a Trump presidency in the USA would mean to the international markets and geopolitical environment. Africa is one of the largest exporters of raw commodities to the USA and will certainly experience changes in the trading dynamics with the world power once Donald Trump assumes his place in the White House, on 20 January 2017.

Among the raw products Africa exports, crude oil has a prominent place. The continent’s oil exporters had the USA as its largest buyer of the product until quite recently. In 2005, the USA imported 1.8 million barrels per day of crude oil from Sub-Saharan African countries. This figure remained fairly constant until 2010 when the USA’s domestic production of the commodity reached historically high levels.

By 2015, the USA was importing only 274 thousand barrels per day from Sub-Saharan Africa. The high revenues countries such as Nigeria and Angola extracted from oil, started to dry up. Could a Trump administration possibly revert this trend and propel the USA to buy more of the African crude oil once again?