RENEW Strategies

A Few of My Favorite Things: Some Facts About Africa

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Laura Davis
| December 22, 2011

As 2011 draws to a close for RENEW and the rest of the world, I wanted to take a few moments to remember some of my favorite things…about Africa:

  • Thirty-six out of 46 African governments made things easier for business in in 2011.
  • The International Monetary Fund expects Africa to grow by 6% this year and nearly 6% in 2012, about the same as Asia.
  • Africa's combined consumer spending in 2008 was $860 billion, and it is expected to grow to $1.4 trillion by 2020.
  • According to Standard Bank, around 60 million Africans have an income of $3,000 a year, and 100 million will in 2015.
  • Africa’s enthusiasm for technology is boosting growth. It has more than 600 million mobile phone users—more than America or Europe.
  • Ethiopia has grown by about 7.5% this year, without a drop of oil to export.
  • Trade between Africa and the rest of the world has increased by 200% since 2000.
  • Inflation dropped from 22% in the 1990s to 8% in the past decade.
  • In 2010, private-equity firms raised $1.5 billion for projects in Africa.
  • In 2010, total foreign direct investment was more than $55 billion—five times what it was a decade earlier, and much more than Africa receives in aid.
  • Foreign investors are no longer just interested in oil wells and mines. They are moving on to medium-sized investments.



In the midst of all these great signs of growth in Africa, RENEW is also growing. Highlights from 2011 include:

  • Implementing a project in Afghanistan, including an investor conference in Washington, D.C. and an investor trip to Afghanistan.
  • Conducting surveys on the investment climate in nine countries in Africa.
  • Running due diligence on opportunities in East Africa

Wonder what the future holds for the RENEW team? Stay tuned for more information about what’s ahead in 2012…

Note: Information collated from The Economist and World Bank publications. Artwork - Recycled Africa - Created by Anouk Zijlma