Africa is “new investment hotspot”, says Oxford professor

Ian Goldin, the Oxford University professor and former economic adviser to Nelson Mandela, has described Africa as “a new investment hot spot”.

Speaking ahead of an investment conference in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, Professor Goldin identified six factors that paint a promising picture of the continent.

From now to 2020, Africa will:

– be the fastest growing continent in economic terms;

– experience the most rapid growth in consumption of consumer goods;

– have the greatest improvements in investment climate;

– population set to double that of Europe;

– have the world’s youngest labour force which will quickly outgrow that of China and India; and

– reduced inequality within the continent, while in the rest of the world it will increase

Golding says: “The changes taking place in Africa are truly dramatic. For example, in the early 1980s, more than 30 countries were ruled by autocrats and there were few democracies; by the late 1990s, that statistic was reversed.

He added: “In the period 1999-2009, the S&P 500 fell by 0.8% year on year; by comparison, the S&P Africa grew by over 23%.”

The management consulting firm, McKinsey, is similarly up-beat. It reports that African consumer spending has risen from $860bn in 2008 to almost $1trn now, and will reach $1.4trn in 2020.

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