Blogs

Egypt Snapshot

Egypt’s economy grew 5.3% in the fiscal year to June 2018 from 4.2% in 2017 as the country continued its recovery through painful years of reforms, largely prompted by conditions of a US$12bn International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan. The 2016 floating of the Egyptian pound saw it immediately devalue by 50%, while inflation soared and import prices became prohibitive. At the same time, the government introduced value-added tax and withdrew fuel and food subsidies. These tough measures have seen the economy stabilise. Finance minister Mohamed Maait said recently that the budget deficit fell below 10% for the first time since …

Democratic Republic of Congo Snapshot

The December 30 2018 election in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which was widely acknowledged to have been rigged, declared Felix Tshisekedi as the winner over Martin Fayulu, who got the most votes. It is understood that Tshisekedi’s election was the result of a deal made with former president Joseph Kabila, whose rule since 2001 was characterised by conflict, corruption, authoritarian rule and human rights abuses. The DRC remains the African country with possibly the greatest untapped potential – with great mineral wealth but an underdeveloped economy and an impoverished nation. The African Development Bank said real GDP growth …

Guinea Snapshot

Guinea’s mining industry has been one of the main drivers of its economic growth and of the significant increase in mineral exports from the West Africa region. West African countries exported US$16.1bn of minerals in 2017, 26.3% more than in the previous year, largely due to the large increase in exports from Guinea, whose mining sector continues to grow apace. A report by Who Owns Whom on Mining in West Africa indicates that Guinea has 25% of the world’s bauxite reserves and is the world’s third-largest producer of bauxite, from which aluminium is extracted, with output increasing by 43% from …

Smart Cities

Readers of London’s Daily Telegraph may have rated Cape Town the greatest city on earth, but the city does not rank in the world’s top 50 smart cities, where New York, London, Paris, Tokyo and Reykjavik rank in the top five. While there are multiple definitions of what makes a smart city, and technology is obviously a key factor, there does seem to be consensus on a number of contributing factors, notably the high standard of quality of life for its citizens, including safety, mobility, services and cultural and environmental factors. The Internet of Things is a critical tool for …