We believe the outlook for Africa is positive. It has stirred the interest of countries like China, India and other fast-growing emerging markets, which require increasing resources for their growing economies, as well as countries like Russia and Brazil, who look to expand their enterprises into global operations. South Africa, acting as a representative for the continent through the World Cup, has shown that it can host an international event to international standards, and we believe this bodes well for the region’s future investment prospects.
Africa as a whole has some of the world’s greatest deposits of natural resources, and only a fraction of those resources have been tapped so far. It is not only Africa’s mineral resources that appear attractive but also its agricultural potential and the abundance of water that we think may decide the rise and fall of nations in the future. In addition, the continent has a young and growing population, and its people could improve their education and skills to become a major asset to expanding manufacturing and mining enterprises.
While South Africa is by far the largest and most liquid of the markets in sub-Saharan Africa, we are now also looking at lesser-known markets in the African continent, including Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, Botswana, Ghana, Morocco, and Tunisia. Liquidity is the key concern for most investors, so markets that are the most liquid could attract greater investment flows. While markets in some African countries are developing quite rapidly, we think they have a long way to go before their potential is fully realised. In the meantime, private equity investments present an alternative channel for direct foreign investment, which is needed as a starter.
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