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Ghana: Economy Among Africa’s Best

Ghana is the eighteenth-most attractive economy for investments flowing into the African continent, according to the latest Africa Investment Index (AII) compiled by Quantum Global’s independent research arm, Quantum Global Research Lab. In 2016, Ghana attracted a net foreign direct investment of US$3.5bn.

According to research by Quantum Global Research Lab (QGRL), Ghana’s economy has experienced strong and robust growth over the past decade, making its success a case worth emulating by its regional peers. Industry was the main driver of overall growth with an annual average growth of about 13%, followed by services with 8.4% and agriculture with about 8%. The strong growth record has fostered the country’s graduation to lower-middle-income status in 2010.

Commenting on the Ghanaian economy, Prof. Mthuli Ncube, head of Quantum Global Research Lab, stated: “Ghana’s democratic attributes are as robust as its economic growth, and by improving policies and institutions, successive governments have been able to build an attractive business climate conducive to growth. These measures include reducing the number of days it takes to register a limited liability company and days spent on resolving commercial disputes in the courts. Furthermore, the election of a new government in 2016 has revitalised the drive for higher growth and infrastructure investment, all which augurs well for investment opportunities in the country.”

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Higher Oil Prices by End Of 2017 Could Lift Nigeria’s Economy

Nigeria, the second biggest oil producer in Africa, is likely to enjoy increased earnings from its exports by the end of 2017, when global prices are expected rise to $60 per barrel, an increase that will boost the nation’s struggling economy.

Global oil prices fell from a peak of $115 per barrel in June 2014 to below $35 in February last year before recovering to $ 50 per barrel in December.

“I am hoping that we are heading towards $60 per barrel and I don’t see higher than that,” Gulf News quoted Emmanuel Kachikwu, the country’s Oil minister, as saying.

Kachikwu added that the West African nation production rose from a daily production of 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in early 2016 to the current 1.6 million and expects the output to hit 2.1 million by end of January.

The current production is the lowest since June 2007.

The nation’s output fell close to a 22-year low in May, following attacks by militants in the oil-rich region of Niger Delta, who damaged gas and oil pipelines and forced Chevron to shut its facility in Okan.

The government is negotiating with the militants.

Kachikwu said increased security by government forces in the region and the engagements with the militants who are demanding greater share of the oil-revenue will stabilize production this year, Gulf News reported.

In November, Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) exempted the nation from a production cut of about 2.1 bpd due to the damage on its oil and gas infrastructure, Vanguard News reported.

Nigeria’s economy, which earns about 80 percent of its foreign revenue from crude oil exports, is facing its worst crisis in 25 years.

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Time: SA One of the Top 10 Risks to The World in 2017

Cape Town – South Africa is one of the top 10 risks to the world in 2017, a report in Time magazine revealed on Tuesday.

Time magazine gave South Africa a special mention as the 10th risk to the world, with the tag line “Struggling South Africa”.

“The deeply unpopular President Jacob Zuma, beset by corruption allegations, is afraid to pass power to someone he doesn’t trust,” American political scientist Ian Bremmer explained in his report.

“The resulting infighting over succession stalls any momentum toward crucial economic reform in the country and limits South Africa’s ability to offer leadership needed to stabilise conflicts inside neighbouring countries.”

The country’s gross domestic product showed a worrying 0.5% growth in 2016, far below the 5% growth required by the National Development Plan to create 11 million jobs by 2030. Nomura economist Peter Montalto forecast SA growing by only 1% in 2017 and 1.6% in 2018.

A lack of growth will not help the increasing unemployment figures, causing social instability and further increasing inequality. Unemployment figures hit a 13-year high in November 2016, with 27.1% job seekers unemployed in the third quarter of 2016.

What won’t help matters is if South Africa is downgraded to junk status. It avoided being plunged into non-investment grade status in 2016, but analysts warned that 2017 could see rating agencies Standard & Poors, Moody’s and Fitch move to downgrade the country, warning of political noise.

The noise focuses on Zuma, who has yet to face 783 fraud, racketeering and corruption charges. The Constitutional Court in October 2016 refused to hear the National Prosecuting Authority’s appeal on the North Gauteng High Court judgment, which reinstated the charges.

Zuma survived a call by ministers at a National Executive Committee meeting in November to step down as his relationship with the Gupta family comes increasingly into focus. His term as ANC president ends at the end of 2017 and as state president in 2019.

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