Sub-Saharan Africa: Riskiest investment region [Business Africa]

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By Ignatius Annor

Sub-Saharan Africa has been named riskiest region in the world for business and investors due to militant violence and abuses by security forces, according to new report by risk consultants Verisk Maplecroft.

Wilson Khembo, Director for ‘’Seven Oaks Road’’a political and security risk consultancy firm in West Yorkshire, England tells our Ignatius Annor that ‘’ the new report is not an anomaly’’.

‘’Africa needs foreign direct investment that can be pumped into manufacturing, investment that can be pumped into infrastructure development. If we are able to get this sort of investment, then obviously we’ll be able to diversify our exports and increase our global share on the global market. For investors to come to Africa and invest their money, they need to be assured that their investment is going to be safe’’, he said.

Tension over wages opens fresh battle with labor unions in South Africa as the country struggles to revive the troubling state airline. Early December, a meeting with trade unions to discuss a three month wage offer for South African Airline staff was called off. It’s a blow to employees – many of whom have not been paid since Marc, and to efforts to revive the ailing state airline company.

Phakamile Hlubi is spokesperson of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA). She tells Business Africa that the offer for workers to forfeit 5 months of salary arrears would be ‘’unlawful and unfair’’.

”Our proposal, as NUMSA and the South African Cabin Crew Association was that because of the sort of financial constraint at this time, we are willing to compromise and say that they can pay workers their three months now and their bonuses and then the five months can be deferred to next year. But we can’t accept a situation where workers must forfeit. That, in our view, would be unlawful and unfair’’, she said.

The fresh tension are yet another hurdle to South Africa’s plans for the national airline to fly again. South African Airways has not flown a commercial flight since March, when its fleet was grounded to help contain coronavirus. But the airline was having problems even before COVID. Almost a year ago, the cash-strapped airline first went into bankruptcy protection. Administrators then published a rescue plan in June. The state funding to execute its rescue plan cannot be used for employees as the government attached conditions that breached labor and companies regulation.

The situation is even more difficult global pandemic, which has affected finances and demand for international travel.

And, a promise to deliver significant savings to businesses in Egypt and the UK. Both countries ink a trade partnership deal on December 5. The deal will come into effect from January 1, 2020 when the U.K will officially leave the European Union.

The agreement will ensure that there is an equitable and a continuation of preferential trade treatment for the products of the two countries. It will provide tariff-free trade on industrial products, liberalization of trade in agriculture, agricultural foods and fisheries making trade easier, as well as delivering significant savings to businesses in both the UK and Egypt.

In addition to securing trade, the agreement provides a framework for cooperation and further development of political, economic, social and cultural links.

Total trade on goods and services between the UK and Egypt was worth $4.7 billion in 2019. The U.K has in the recent months made treaties with several other African countries to consolidate its external trade pacts

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