World | Africa

April 22, 2013

Investing in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities in Zimbabwe and South Africa

The Africa Business Club met on Friday to talk to Moka risk in terms of investment in Africa. Invited for the occasion, Anushka Ramlall, Risk Insight manager, specializing in the management of investment risk is particularly heavily upon the case of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Anushka Ramlall evokes different levels of risk to consider for investors wishing to try their luck in Africa, they are political, economic, legal, tax and operational. "One of the biggest risks is security. If the staff is not comfortable or safe, your business will not thrive. In addition, political instability also has a negative impact because the economic policies change, "says Anushka Ramlall. The latter adds that the phone is expensive, especially in countries with a monopoly and corruption is present in all African countries. Education is also a problem because it is not yet well advanced everywhere, which has an impact on the workforce. In addition, the health risks are not overlooked because it can be a cost on employee health insurance plans.

Zimbabwe is facing political instability since 1999, but the country is also experiencing a boom in various sectors such as agriculture, for example. Among the obstacles to investors in Zimbabwe, Anushka Ramlall stresses that all companies with a net excess of U.S. $ 500,000 Asset must be held at least 51% by local shareholders.

There is great uncertainty about the country's economic policies. Promising sectors currently are agriculture and mining. However, Anushka Ramlall, the government is not investing enough in infrastructure. In terms of energy, the country has not diversified its sources of electricity. Telecommunication tariffs are prohibitive especially because of the monopoly Tel One, the public operator.

Despite these difficulties, in the manufacturing sector, the opportunities open in the textile, in chemicals and metallurgy. These sectors include carriers because many products are imported from South Africa. At the mining sector, Zimbabwe is the second reserve coal, diamonds and platinum. In agriculture, there are opportunities in the sugar, horticulture and animal husbandry. The construction sector is not left with project opportunities in homes, hotels and other industrial and infrastructure buildings. Finally, the banking sector is not to be overlooked by Anushka Ramlall.

South Africa

South Africa continues to face high levels of corruption and poor performance of the public sector. Industrial relations are in good shape and not only in the mining industry. However according Anushka Ramlall, this country has different investments including banking, infrastructure, agriculture, housing, commerce, education and energy opportunities. What is the strength of South Africa is certainly its legal system, which reassures foreign investors.

 

Text by Patrice Donzelot, Defi Media
 

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