Monday, February 3, 2014

The Outlook for Africa 2014

Last week I was invited to attend the Africa Frontiers Forum which was all about
'The Outlook for Africa 2014.'

(Professor Foster-Pedley and Dr Davies in discussion)

It was a very interesting Forum indeed with many guests eager for knowledge.
You can find some interesting Tweets all about the event on #AFF

The event was hosted by Dr Martyn Davies from Frontier Advisory.

He gave us some interesting points to consider:

  • How do we deal with structural unemployment?
  • Ghana is good at diversification of economy.
  • Is Africa the next Asia?
  • Who are the first-movers?  
Next up was Professor Jonathan Foster-Pedley (Henley Business School - Africa)
He too had some interesting items to share with us:
  • Create a strategic plan for your lives
  • The purpose of business is to develop value
  • Managers analyse the mess, they ask how can we fix it?  They then develop a plan and adjust accordingly.  They catch mistakes before they get big.
  • We need better managers for SA
  • A business plan should be sound and round.
  • He reminded us that Google was still in Beta for 10-15 years even when it was worth a billion.

Next we had some interesting panel discussions around Africa.
The first panel was moderated by Hannah Edinger (Frontier Advisory) and the panel featured Peter Draper (SAIIA), Neville Matjie (TIKZN), Colin Grieve (AfrAsia Bank, South Africa) and Dr Clive Coetzee (KZN Provincial Treasury)

Among some of the key take-aways from this panel were:
  • Credit is expensive in Africa
  • Africa is an opportunity
  • 50% of the World's Arable Land is in Africa
  • Look to invest in neighbouring countries like Botswana, Swaziland and Namibia.
Next we had an interesting discussion with Dr Martyn Davies and Saxen van Coller (Dube TradePort)
Dr Davies informed us of the African Hubs:
  • Johannesburg
  • Nairobi
  • Paris
  • London
  • Dubai
Can you spot the two that don't belong?

Ms van Coller then told us about the Dube TradePort and the development of the Aerotropolis around Dube TradePort.

On a question as to what she thought about British Airways landing an A380 at King Shaka Airport she replied, 'We are on the radar.'  

Next we had a look at the Banking and Finance Outlook for 2014.
Hannah Edinger moderated and was joined by Cas Coovadia (Banking Association of SA) and Yolande van Wyk (eWallet Solutions FNB)

(Hannah Edinger, Cas Coovadia, Yolande van Wyk) 

Some of the key points included:
  • Banks need distribution in Africa
  • Banks need to change the way they operate in Africa
  • Disruptive Technology is geared for Africa

The event was wrapped up with a discussion by Dr Davies and Professor Foster-Pedley.

Dr Davies showed us some of the entrepreneurs that had become successful in Africa.
Among them were:
In conclusion Africa is truly an inspiring place and you can become very successful in Africa.

As was said in the Forum - Africa is an opportunity.

Upcoming Africa Frontiers Forum:
African Cities as Emerging Hubs and Drivers of Innovation and Growth
Date: Wed 19th Feb 2014
Where: IDC, 82 Grayston Drive, Sandton
Twitter: @FrontierSA and @MartynDavies888
Facebook: Frontier Advisory 

Article and Images by +Fred Felton 

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