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Africa: Banking boom expected

The Economist Intelligence Unit expects a sub-Saharan banking boom, with banks addressing the many Africans who do not have accounts. The Unit’s new report estimates that banking in 16 African economies will boost assets by 178 percent to 980 billion US dollars by 2020.

Angola is said to take the lead but Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda are also expected to triple banking assets. Well-developed banking sectors in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana will grow slower.

With America crumbling, the focus of jobseekers is often shifting to emerging markets. We have reported about Africa and its potential before and recent investments from all over the world confirm the growing interest in the “black continent”, not only in the banking sector. Despite some countries like Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe that are still struggling with civil war, fraud and hunger, many other countries are experiencing a steep economic growth.

The Economist estimates that over the next five years, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia will grow at an average of 7.2 percent annually beating their Asian counterparts.

Political reforms have often contributed to economic prosperity as local entrepreneurs were allowed to grow. Another estimate according to the African Development Bank is that by 2030, Africa’s new middle class – more than 300 million strong, – will spend 2.2 trillion US dollars a year.

China was one of the first countries to invest in all 54 African countries, but now companies from India and Brazil are also grabbing opportunities across the continent. The European Union has also started negotiations for EU businesses to enter African markets and after years of negligence the U.S. have attended the 10th African Growth and Opportunity Act forum in Zambia to form tighter ties on the continent.


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