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Thursday, 2 August 2012

A Risk-Free Africa?

By Jessica Achberger

There is little doubt that many countries in Africa, including Zambia, are increasingly catching the eye of international investors. However, all this optimism risks downplaying several critical issues.

In a recent article in The Ghananian Chronicle, KPMG called Africa "Risk-Free for Investors." While the article caveats that the recent panel of KPMG, the sixth of its Africa Conversation series, was convened to identify and explain the complexities of investing in Africa, it made several blanket statements.

For example, the Zambian Economist has long advocated scrutiny when discussing China's investments into Africa. On China, the panel argued:
Substantive investment comes from China, now Africa's biggest trading partner. The panellists agree that China's engagement in Africa is increasingly to the benefit of Africans. China is an important partner in infrastructure development, which enables economic growth.
Habil Olaka, Chief Executive Officer of the Kenyan Bankers Association, said "Unlike the Chinese, many African companies have limited capacity to deliver on major infrastructure projects.
In Kenya, we have seen increased side opportunities for local companies, and this helps people on the ground. African collaboration with the Chinese is a win-win scenario."
It seems to soon too say that there is no longer a risk in Africa, for investors or the nations they invest in. For Zambia, it is crucial that the country remains competitive to outside investors, while ensuring that such investments are sustainable and responsible. 

1 comment:

  1. It would be absurd to tell an investor that there is a no risks involved when the come to invest in countries like Zambia. An investor already knows that risks are involved in any kind of business. The greatest challenge most countries face is too much govt regulations that does not allow investors much leway in their operations.

    China is now a partner and not corperation seeking only to make money for its people but also willing to contribute to Economic flow of capital in all areas where investiments are destined to be.

    Kunda.

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