Africa Center

  • Investors and Entrepreneurs Debate the Impact of Disruptive Technology on Africa

    On Friday, April 20, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center launched two new policy briefs that tackle the complexities of disruptive technology and innovation in Africa. Authored by Aleksandra Gadzala, Atlantic Council senior fellow, “Fintech: Powering Inclusive Growth in Africa” seeks to help investors and policymakers better understand the waves of financial technology (fintech) innovation unfolding in sub-Saharan Africa, while “3D Printing: Shaping Africa’s Future” catalogues the experiences of countries around the world facing the challenges of widespread 3D printing adoption.

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  • Fintech: Powering Inclusive Growth in Africa

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    From cryptocurrencies to blockchain to mobile money, financial technology (“fintech”) is revolutionizing the basic structures of the global economy. Financial services delivered through fintech are becoming more accessible, efficient, and personal. In sub-Saharan Africa, where only 34 percent of adults have bank accounts, fintech companies are already providing financial products and services to millions of unbanked and underserved Africans in ways that traditional financial institutions cannot.

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  • 3D Printing: Shaping Africa’s Future

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    Disruptive technologies—such as the Internet of Things, robotics, and three-dimensional (3D) printing—have been heralded as the future of the global manufacturing sector. However, in Africa, they could hinder industrialization and result in fewer entry points into global supply chains. While it may be possible for African nations to “leapfrog” directly to newer technologies, it is more likely that developing the relevant worker know-how, infrastructure, and corporate capabilities necessary to leverage the potential value of these technologies will be a very gradual process. African policy makers must...

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  • Reserve Bank Governor Discusses South Africa’s Economic Resilience

    On Wednesday, April 18, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center, in partnership with the Global Business & Economics Program, hosted a discussion with Mr. Lesetja Kganyago, governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

    Dr. J. Peter Pham, Atlantic Council vice president and Africa Center director, and Mr. Bart Oosterveld, C. Boyden Grey fellow on global finance and growth and Global Business & Economics Program director, welcomed participants. Mr. Brian C. McK. Henderson, Atlantic Council treasurer, introduced Kganyago, with whom he had worked earlier in the central banker’s career.

    In his remarks, Kganyago addressed the issue of South Africa’s fiscal resilience, and how the country is positioned to deal with shocks from the global economy. He laid out how strong fiscal institutions and a healthy regulatory regime allowed South Africa to weather the 2008 financial crisis and...

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  • Pham Quoted in Daily Nation on Russia's Influence in Africa


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  • Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank Governor Discusses New Economic Order

    On Wednesday, April 18, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a roundtable with Dr. John Panonetsa Mangudya, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

    Dr. Mangudya presented a summary of Zimbabwe’s macroeconomic environment, highlighting a declining inflation rate, more diversified exports, and excellent human capital within the context of recent political and economic change. He elaborated numerous opportunities for investment and growth in Zimbabwe, including unexploited mineral deposits—particularly gold and platinum—and significant tourism potential.

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  • Pham Quoted in Le Soft International on DRC’s New Mining Code


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  • Pham Quoted in Prensa Latina on The Great Dam of the Ethiopian Renaissance


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  • Hruby Quoted in MarketPlace on Free Trade in Africa


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  • Gécamines Chairman Discusses the DRC’s New Mining Code

    On Friday, April 13, the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center hosted a roundtable with Mr. Albert Yuma Mulimbi, chairman of Gécamines and president of the Congolese Business Federation (Fédération des Entreprises du Congo).

    In his prepared remarks (official document attached), Mr. Yuma emphasized the importance of the mining industry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to the overall wellbeing of the country, calling it the “lungs” of the Congolese economy. He highlighted the 2017 production figures of DRC’s most profitable minerals, including copper, cobalt, and coltan, but stressed that the industry was not benefitting the Congolese people as much as it should. According to the speaker, the new Congolese mining code seeks to change this, increasing taxes on profits from 30 to 35 percent and royalties from 2 to 3.5 percent for copper and cobalt, and expanding the government’s stake in new mining projects from 5 to 10 percent. Mr. Yuma acknowledged...

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