In Depth

Sun,09Dec2018

In Depth

BENIN | The biggest of West Africa’s small ports

The Port of Cotonou accounts for 90% of foreign trade.

Progress has been made in the operation of the Port of Cotonou, although there is still investment required for its infrastructure upgrades. Port management, which has just been outsourced to Port of Antwerp International, is being constantly improved to ensure greater efficiency and security.

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BENIN | Foreign trade: recovery in sight

TAR101-investbenin p10
Benin’s foreign trade is set to be boosted by the record cotton harvests achieved since 2016 along with Nigeria’s return to growth. The country’s economy has gone through a tough two years due to poor harvests and its giant neighbour’s embattled economic performance.

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BENIN | Growth: positive indicators

Cotton production for the 2016-2017 crop year was estimated at 450,000 tons
Record cotton harvests, economic recovery in Nigeria, a healthy building and public works sector… There are an increasing number of positive signs that indicate that Benin’s economy began picking up again in 2017. This economic dynamic is being driven by “Revealing Benin” (Benin Révélé), the ambitious Government Action Programme (GAP) financed by the IMF

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Briefing/Signposts: Kenya - Three's a crowd

 

The StarOn 9 March, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta shook hands with opposition leader Raila Odinga, half a year after  the troubled Kenyan general elections.

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Mozambique: The anatomy of corruption

 

Grant Lee Neuenburg/ReutersThe Africa Report shines a light on how an African government crafted  a shady deal, with the help of international contractors and big banks, that the country’s citizens will be paying for over decades to come

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The Question: Has Africa woken up to the full potential of its diaspora?

 

Worshippers wave the national flag of Ghana as Pope Francis arrives at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, USA. Photo: Alessandra Tarantino/AP/SIPA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 2015 the UN proclaimed the International Decade for People of African Descent, to a resounding silence from the continent. African governments want to tap into diaspora remittances and skills, but are they walking the talk?

 
YES: Kwesi Awuah Ababio, Director of diaspora relations, Office of the President, Ghana
 
The African diaspora’s footprints are found in the nation-building and private sector projects of almost all the continent’s 54 countries. As such, the diaspora’s potential in African countries can hardly be a matter of debate […]. Recognition of diaspora’s potential is seen primarily in what such ministries, sub-ministries and special offices prioritise in their diaspora-relations work.  In Morocco, for example, the ministry for diaspora is engaging in projects that emphasise the transfer of skills and competencies, with the aim of mobilising skills and investments of Moroccans abroad in support of development projects.  In Ghana there exists a special office within the presidency dedicated to furthering diaspora engagement with the same goals. At the policy level, Ghana, through the ministry of foreign affairs and regional integration, has funded the diaspora engagement policy for Ghana. When the document is finalised,  it will acknowledge the importance of the Ghanaian diaspora  to the development discourse. These and many other examples across the continent make it apparent that Africa has woken  up to the full potential of its diaspora, particularly in the diaspora’s pivotal role in accelerating development. 
 
NO: Kamil Olufowobi, Founder and CEO, Most Influential 100 Company
 
Africa is not wide awake to the full potential  of its diaspora. We hear daily from across the world about the violation of the civil liberties and human rights of people of African descent. Since 2015, when the United Nations declared the International Decade for People of African Descent, no country in Africa or even the African Union has announced its commitment to support policies related to the decade’s themes. Africa should stand up for its diaspora, who  will in turn stand with it to uplift the continent and its people.  At the Most Influential People of African Descent, a global civil society organisation working with influencers worldwide,  our goal is to partner with the African Union and African governments to utilise their soft power in diplomatic relations and bilateral trade agreements to persuade governments  with African diaspora populations to implement activities around the themes of access to justice for the diaspora victims of  human rights violations. According to the World Bank, the  African diaspora sends more than $40bn to Africa, and the United States census records Africans as one of the most educated immigrant groups in the US. These stats and many more  are too important for Africa to continue ignoring. 
 
This article first appeared in the June 2018 print edition of The Africa Report
 
 
 

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