Ghana Predicted Fastest Growing Economy in 2019
- The IMF predicts Ghana to be the world’s fastest growing economy in 2019 estimating that GDP will rise 8.8% this year. This is double the pace of emerging economies as a whole.
- Ghana remains one of the largest exporters of gold and cocoa but it’s also now expanding crude oil production.
- A stable democracy with plans to formalise the economy, invest in its manufacturing sector and taxation structures have also been said to boost growth.
- However, despite this Ghana’s GDP per capita (i.e. output per person) remains low. According to the IMF, it is roughly half that of emerging and developing economies and unemployment is also marginally above the rate for sub-Saharan Africa. This measure suggests that individual citizens aren’t feeling Ghana’s increasing prosperity.
Nigerian Startup Gokada Raises $5.3m
- Gokada is a motorcycle hailing app based in Lagos allowing customers to order a motorcycle ride via its website or app. If you remove the G you have ‘Okada’ – the name for motorcycles in Nigeria.
- Okadas have existed in Lagos for years however Gokada and other motorcycle hailing apps like it are trying to position their new services as the safer, more affordable option.
- Gokada just raised $5.3m in Series A funding to expand its driver fleet, increase its daily ride numbers and grow its team.
- Gokada also plans to acquire more local tech talent following the opening of a state-of-the-art driver training school to train and verify up local riders.
Also, read my interview with Gokada’s former CEO Deji Oduntan here: https://annetteabena.com/ride-sharing-technology-in-africa-a-welcomed-disruption/
Africa-Wide Free-Trade Zone Launched
- 2 weeks ago I shared a ‘Focus brief’ on Free Trade in Africa. This week (May 30th) the agreement to launch the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) came into effect.
- It means a single African market of goods and services for 1.2 billion people
- The agreement is still subject to ongoing complicated negotiations for implementation though like the “rules of origin” issue e.g. Is a blouse made from Chinese silk, designed and stitched in China, but packaged in Kenya eligible to receive AfCFTA preferential tariff rates?
- There is also concern that the agreement could add detrimental complexity to existing regional agreements like ECOWAS in West Africa or EAC in East Africa.
Focus: Prime Minister Boris – Should African Governments Be Concerned?
What’s going on?
- On May 24th British Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation in June
- Conservative MP Boris Johnson has been pegged as the favourite to replace her as head of the conservative government and British PM
What does this mean?
- Post- Brexit Britain will need to re-evaluate its global relationships including its African relations (mainly to strike new trade deals) therefore the next Prime Minister will play a significant role in shaping the future of these relations – for better or worse.
Why should I care?
- Boris Johnson has a history of making degrading and racist comments towards African nations and has often glorified Britain’s colonial past E.g. he once advocated for the recolonisation of Africa
- As foreign secretary, his engagement with African governments remained limited.
- Interestingly this all comes with the backdrop of Africa’s new free trade agreement and such concerns could act as further impetus for this implementation i.e. making provisions for intra-African trade will lessen reliance on foreign powers like Britain
Series A: Series A financing refers to an investment in a privately-held, start-up company after it has shown progress in building its business model and demonstrates the potential to grow and generate revenue. (Investopedia)