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Increased consumer spending in Africa attracts Gulf investors

By Patrick Alushula | October 10th 2016
R – L: Olawale Shonibare, Managing Director Shonibare Consulting FZE; Ashish J. Thakkar Founder of Mara Group; Dr. Jendayi Frazer Managing Director, AFEX and former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs; Dr. Cheick Modibo Diara Chairman ALN and former Malian Prime Minister and Eithne Treanor Founder & Managing Director, E Treanor Media

Africa's strong economic fundamentals and investment opportunities has attracted Gulf region investors who now want to tap into increased consumption.

During this year's ALN Annual International Conference in Dubai, over 300 investors gathered under the theme 'Africa: Bridging the Gulf" offering them an insight into Africa's high-performing sectors.

In the two-day event, in which a report by McKinsey & Co tipped Africa to be the second growing economy by 2020, Dr Cheick Modibo Diara, a Malian businessman, praised the continent's potential.

"Africa is a lion ready to come out of its den and when it does, the world will be a better place because of it. The continent is on a strong growth trajectory and presents the investment community a myriad of opportunities to tap into," he said.

McKinsey's report titled 'Lions on the move II: Realizing the potential of Africa's economies' put consumption by consumers and businesses at $4 trillion (Sh405 trillion) and tips it to grow rapidly.

According to the report, household consumption is expected to grow at 3.8 per cent a year to a total of $2.1 trillion (Sh212 trillion) by 2025.

Additionally, Africa could nearly double its manufacturing output from the current $500 billion (Sh50.5 trillion) today to USD 930 billion (Sh94 trillion) in five years provided that countries improve environment for manufacturers.

Among notable speakers were Chairman of ALN and former Malian Prime Minister Dr Cheick Modibo Diara, founder of the Mara Group,Ashish Thakkar and former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Dr. Jendayi Frazer.

"We have been able to showcase great opportunities to invest in Africa and provide potential investors the support they need to get started---We hope long-lasting business relationships will be made, with deals initiated or struck," Artique Anjarwalla, a Managing Partner at Anjarwalla Collins & Haidermota said.

The annual conference is sponsored by among others International Enterprise Singapore, Centum, Mauritius Commercial Bank, and Access Bank UK.

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