Are Jacob Zuma‘s sins too much for South Africans to forgive? Even his State of the nation address did nothing to restore confidence in his leadership. Well, he must blame himself for not addressing some very important issues. As his profile continues to drop, so does the ANC, and elections are just months away. Companies in South Africa are losing their money as the global economic crisis and politics are stressing out businesses in the country. Even Zuma’s Chinese friends are not happy with some of his decisions; they want an alliance with a steady ship, not a circus.
But Jacob Zuma is not to be blamed for everything; the crisis in the South African mining industry transcends local politics. The global mining industry should carry the blame for the glut on the market that has crashed commodity prices and made South Africa’s key miners lose billions and cut jobs. No matter how bad things are, some thrive. Bidvest is doing great, as Telkom expands its business…Duduzane Zuma too. Zuma will keep trying to restore confidence. He asked business leaders in the country to join him in doing this and they may have a solution. Too bad South Africa is in this condition; it might have been easy to help southern African neighbour Zimbabwe where food aid is urgently needed. The world can help them too; by reducing food waste. The Rockefeller Foundation is investing $130 million in this good cause.
In Kenya, it’s good news all around as Bamba Group whose focus is Monitoring and Evaluation — an integral part of development work — has been selected by foremost American accelerator Techstars, as the first East African company to join its programme. Techstars thinks the Kenyan company could become one of the world’s most valuable companies within the next five years. Also, Tullow may start pumping oil from Kenya in 2017. The British explorer says production cost per barrel could be as low as $25. Tullow is focused on driving down production cost as much as possible so that it can remain in business at a time of dwindling oil fortunes. The commodity as it is, is becoming a threat to stability in some African countries. Major oil producers on the continent are in serious economic turmoil as a result of the constantly falling prices of oil. Nigeria is an example.
Africa’s largest economy is in its worst economic crisis in years but indecision by policy makers in the country is making things worse. Nigeria’s currency, the naira continues to lose its value while the government and the central bank remained united in the decision not to devalue. A dollar now exchanges for N337. But the country has maintained its stand and is even introducing further restrictions. Small businesses are bleeding but even the bigger ones are not left out of the effects — Africa’s richest man Dangote has complained.
Nigeria plans to borrow a lot of money to shore up the deficit in its 2016 budget. But to what end? A lot of prices quoted in the budget are inflate. The parliament will not pass the budget as planned as the errors need to be fixed. Nigeria needs to do the right thing; from contentious budget to unvaccinated babies.
With the economic and political troubles in Nigeria and South Africa, Ghana and online may be the best places to invest. Not that Ghana is in a totally good shape, it still needs to borrow some money to refinance other debt, but there are no real dramas such as policy instability in the West African country.
ArcelorMittal will build a gas power plant in South Africa as it seeks to reduce the money it spends on electricity.
Chad’s president Idris Deby does not want anyone to break his record of years spent in power.
And in case you didn’t know, the fourth industrial revolution is a mischaraterization.