- I nearly clicked my heels when I saw the news of Amrote Abdella being named Regional Director of Microsoft’s 4Afrika Initiative, an effort for Microsoft to support economic development on the continent while finding new business opportunities. I’m a big fan of Amrote’s. Seeing Davidson alumnae killing it will never get old.
What is getting old is American business news anchors not believing that there is opportunity to do business in African countries. See Stephanie Ruhle’s face during her interview with JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon at the 25:40 mark. At least Stephanie listened. Check out this interview Trish Regan did with McKinsey Director, Acha Leke, last year.
Interesting analysis of market headwinds Africa’s oil and gas industries face and how consistent regulatory policy could help mitigate the impact of dropping energy prices. Speaking of consistent regulatory policy, NJ Ayuk and his Centurion law firm, put out a guide to Gabon’s energy sector, including an explanation of its new hydrocarbons law.
Atlanta is a top-10 exporter amongst US cities to Nigeria. I hope the city puts more energy behind its connection to the country. The city recently completed its Metropolitan Export Plan with support from JP Morgan and the Brookings Institution. Currently, the only African countries an exporter in Atlanta can get information about exporting to are Morocco and South Africa. Yet, the growth of Atlanta’s exports to African markets outstrips exports to other parts of the world.
While the city has seen record export growth, its ranking among US metro areas remained at No. 18. There is a lot more than $178M in sales opportunities in Nigeria. For example, the Dangote Group is in the process of investing $16B in the development of an oil refinery and two fertilizer plants. Machinery and chemicals are two of Atlanta’s top export products. And that is just talking about one company. I believe that if Atlanta puts energy behind building its export pipelines to African markets, particularly Nigeria, the city will see it’s ranking rise.
A couple of weeks ago, several banks agreed to pay criminal fines close to $9 billion for currency rigging, a felony crime. Around the same time, the corruption deal with FIFA started heating up.
I get that billions of people love the beautiful game and the corruption in the sport has been ongoing for decades. It was definitely time for something to correct that. A total of nearly $9 billion in fines is enormous. Rate fixing is a serious crime, yet the banks involved got exemptions from criminal charges.
I often hear Wall Street saying that the markets will take care of themselves, as if we’re talking about some all powerful, all knowing being. Really? Since the beginning of time, people have tried to cheat people when it comes to getting something valuable.
We just went through several painful years during the Great Recession. Some of the same banks involved there faced fines in this case – J.P. Morgan. Citigroup. Corruption in FIFA will negatively impact people’s lives, but hubris on Wall Street could negatively impact a lot more people.