John Campbell

Africa in Transition

Campbell tracks political and security developments across sub-Saharan Africa.

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Showing posts for "Investment"

Big Men: Ghana, Nigeria, and the United States

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Ebiowei, 48, carries an empty oil container on his head to a place where it would be filled with refined fuel at an illegal refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) Ebiowei, 48, carries an empty oil container on his head to a place where it would be filled with refined fuel at an illegal refinery site near river Nun in Nigeria's oil state of Bayelsa November 27, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Emily Mellgard, research associate for the Council on Foreign Relations Africa Studies program.

A great discovery often brings together strange bedfellows. Such is the case when the Jubilee Oil Field is discovered within Ghana’s national waters in the Gulf of Guinea. The heights and depths of the relationships between the people and groups pulled together around this oil field is the subject of the new Rachel Boyton (director) and Brad Pitt (producer) documentary Big Men. The documentary was filmed over five years from first discovery of the oil field to nearing “first oil” -when actual production begins. Read more »

Really, Really Rich People in Africa

by John Campbell
Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan (back L) looks on as Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote points to the site of a new cement plant branch during a commissioning ceremony at the Dangote cement factory in Obajana, Kogi state, June 11, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan (back L) looks on as Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote points to the site of a new cement plant branch during a commissioning ceremony at the Dangote cement factory in Obajana, Kogi state, June 11, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

According to Forbes, the first African ever has entered into the “top 25” of the world’s billionaires. He is Aliko Dangote, number 23. Forbes says that his net worth is now U.S. $25 billion up from $3.3 billion in 2007. His wealth is based on cement, but he is also investing in agriculture. Read more »

Unpacking Africa’s Growth Forecasts: Potentials and Risks

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Workers are seen in front the construction site of Eskom's Medupi power station, a new dry-cooled coal fired power station, in Limpopo province, June 8, 2012. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters) Workers are seen in front the construction site of Eskom's Medupi power station, a new dry-cooled coal fired power station, in Limpopo province, June 8, 2012. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Diptesh Soni. Diptesh is a master’s degree candidate at the Columbia University School of International Public Affairs (SIPA) studying economic and political development. You can read more by him at: https://dipteshsoni.contently.com/. Read more »

Optimism Opens the New Year in South Africa

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
South African Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus shows off South Africa's new banknotes before conducting the first transaction in Pretoria 06/11/2012. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters) South African Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus shows off South Africa's new banknotes before conducting the first transaction in Pretoria 06/11/2012. (Siphiwe Sibeko/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by John Causey, a private equity consultant based in Cape Town, South Africa. He specializes in sub-Saharan Africa transactions, with investors mainly from the EU and US.

Last year, the rainbow nation further solidified its status as an asterisk to the Africa growth story. Read more »

Nigeria: What if Globalization Reverses?

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
People protest on a street in Kano before the suspension of a nationwide strike by labour unions 16/01/2012. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters) People protest on a street in Kano before the suspension of a nationwide strike by labour unions 16/01/2012. (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Jim Sanders, a career, now retired, West Africa watcher for various federal agencies. The views expressed below are his personal views and do not reflect those of his former employers.

According to Fortune Magazine, investments in foreign held assets are decreasing. Joshua Cooper Ramo points out that, “figures on investment in assets held overseas, probably the best indicator of enthusiasm for globalism, are drifting down toward 40 percent from more than 50 percent in 2008.”  Read more »

President Obama and Sub-Saharan Africa: What’s Missing

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A man with a flag stuck to his forehead waits to catch a glimpse of U.S. President Barack Obama in Accra 11/07/2009. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters) A man with a flag stuck to his forehead waits to catch a glimpse of U.S. President Barack Obama in Accra 11/07/2009. (Finbarr O'Reilly/Courtesy Reuters)

Richard Joseph is the John Evans Professor of International History and Politics at Northwestern University and a Senior Fellow with the Program on Global Economy and  Development of The Brookings Institution.  He has been deeply engaged with American policy toward Africa for a generation.  In his guest post below, Dr. Joseph analyzes the Obama administration’s June 2012 policy paper on Africa and he provides specific policy recommendations for the President’s second term. Read more »

Two Perspectives on Falling Foreign Direct Investment in South Africa

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordham delivers his annual budget speech to Parliament in Cape Town 23/02/2011. (Nic Bothma/Courtesy Reuters) South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordham delivers his annual budget speech to Parliament in Cape Town 23/02/2011. (Nic Bothma/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by John Causey, an independent private equity consultant based in Cape Town, South Africa.  He specializes in sub-Saharan Africa transactions, with investors mainly from the EU and US.

South Africa’s foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows have dropped by 43.6  percent in the first half of 2012. The decline is the largest among all developing countries. Read more »

Nigeria and Norway: Accountability Dilemmas

by John Campbell
Workers, seen through a pipe, look on at the scene of an oil pipeline fire in Dadabili, Niger state 02/04/2011. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters) Workers, seen through a pipe, look on at the scene of an oil pipeline fire in Dadabili, Niger state 02/04/2011. (Afolabi Sotunde/Courtesy Reuters)

Nigeria and Norway have little in common except the first letter of their names and the fact that they produce about the same amount of oil each day. Norway on a per capita basis may be the richest country in the world, while Nigeria is among the poorest. Norway has among the world’s best social statistics, while Nigeria has among the worst. Norway has been a democracy for a long time, while Nigeria is still struggling to attain it. Read more »

Guest Post: Investment in Nigeria Remains Strong Despite Insecurity

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
Traders and shoppers crowd a market in Nigeria's main commercial city Lagos March 19, 2006. (George Esiri/Courtesy Reuters) Traders and shoppers crowd a market in Nigeria's main commercial city Lagos March 19, 2006. (George Esiri/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Jim Sanders, a career, now retired, West Africa watcher for various federal agencies. The views expressed below are his personal views and do not reflect those of his former employers.

In his July 1 Reuters piece, Tim Cocks states that despite “bomb blasts, gun attacks airline crashes, kidnappings, industrial-scale oil theft, armed robberies and fraud costing billions of dollars…investors just keep coming.”  While acknowledging that violence and political instability have damaged PZ Cussons’ profit margin, for example, Cocks cites sources who believe “the demographic dividend is colossal.”  That is, in the long term, “Nigeria’s big population will turn into a massive consumer market.” Read more »

Guest Post: Nigeria Hit by Domestic, Regional, and Global Headwinds

by Guest Blogger for John Campbell
A view of the trading floor at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the end of trading hours in Lagos April 24, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters) A view of the trading floor at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) at the end of trading hours in Lagos April 24, 2012. (Akintunde Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)

This is a guest post by Jim Sanders, a career, now retired, West Africa watcher for various federal agencies. The views expressed below are his personal views and do not reflect those of his former employers.

Last month at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Africa Progress Panel’s 2012 Africa Progress Report highlighted the threat to Africa of “rising inequality and the marginalization of whole sections of societies.”  Experts warned that “inequality in sub-Saharan Africa could threaten political stability and growth after a decade of rapid economic expansion.” Read more »