Industry Eyes Turn to Africa rtmworld Stuart Lacey

China Looks to Africa for Growth

China Looks to Africa for Growth

According to a local industry expert, Africa is changing rapidly and is drawing a lot of attention from foreign investors and traders.

stuart lacey rtmworld China Looks to Africa for GrowthStuart Lacey (pictured) is a 30-year pioneer of the office equipment and supplies industry and is based in South Africa with business interests right across the African continent.

“Yes, the Chinese are extending their One Belt, One Road initiative into a number of countries bringing investment and trade with them. But they are not alone. The Americans and Europeans are also proactive in the continent,” Lacey said.

According to Lacey, the era of dictatorships made it difficult to grow business with confidence. “Many countries suffered decades of horrendous mismanagement and despotic rulers who would do virtually anything to stop the advancement of their people and hang on to power for as long as possible and at any cost. Tribalism and the occasional coup or war didn’t help either,” he added.

In a report prepared for RT Media, with whom Lacey is partnering to run one-day VIP Expos across the continent, Lacey points out six of the world’s top ten fastest-growing economies (non-commodity based) were listed Africa: Rwanda at 8.7 %, Ethiopia 7.4 %, Ivory Coast 7.4 %, Ghana 7.1%, Tanzania 6.8%, and Benin 6.7 %.

“The younger generation has access to the internet and the free flow of information, something their parents never had,” Lacey said. “In 1986, the only way to send a message from the Virunga National Park (Eastern DRC) was through a hollow log and getting a ‘drummer’ to bang out the message to the next village… and wait two or three days for a reply.” Today, even the porters have at least one cell phone and this, according to Lacey signals open access to information which has made everybody far more aware of what is happening in other countries and enables people to compare their lives to others.

According to market insights, Africa’s overall economic growth was at 3.4% in 2019 and was expected to reach 3.9% in 2020 and 4.1 % in 2021, continuing the continent’s consistent growth. Obviously, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns will certainly change some of these numbers.


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