The sleek passenger train waiting for its inaugural journey at Djibouti’s barely finished Nagad station almost stretched out of sight down the platform. Three tracks behind it was an even longer goods train of dark green wagons that were so new they had yet to be stained by the dust that is ubiquitous in this corner of the Horn of Africa.
There was much excitement in Africa when Barack Obama was elected US president in 2008. But he didn't live up to many expectations. Daniel Pelz recounts the legacy of the first US president with African roots. Jubilant crowds flooded the streets of Ghana's capital Accra during Obama's first visit to Africa as US president. Even members of Ghana's parliament rose to chants of "Yes we can" when he addressed them.
Despite Singapore’s growing trade and investment partnerships with Africa, there have been no free trade agreements (FTAs) between the city state and the African continent. Rather, both parties have agreed to a number of bilateral investment treaties, primarily concerned with private investments and double taxation avoidance treaties. By using Singapore as a successful model of a trading nation that benefits from FTAs, this article seeks to examine the reasons why African countries have not successfully implemented FTAs with Singapore. It also considers what needs to be done to facilitate both intra- and inter-trade in Africa.
Modern transport links are vital to national and global prosperity. Without quick and reliable routes to move goods – and the facilities required to handle them – trade will be stifled and living standards held back. Nowhere is this need greater than in Africa. Poor transport links within and across borders explains why intra-regional trade is at 12 percent in Africa compared to 60 percent in Europe.
The continued failure of commodity prices to recover significantly and the global slowdown of economic growth, especially in China and other emerging markets, made 2016 a tumultuous year for many African economies, indeed, "the worst year for average economic growth" in the region in over twenty years, according to a report from Ernst & Young.
In Gaborone, Botswana’s peaceful capital rarely noted for its exuberant patriotic displays, an unexpected sight greets motorists on one of the city’s main thoroughfares. For perhaps a mile, lampposts, pavements, and piles of rubble are daubed with the blue, black and white of the national flag, the work of state sanctioned graffiti artists for last September’s 50th anniversary independence celebrations. For a country rarely comfortable promoting itself, the anniversary offered a reminder that there is much to celebrate.