Africa’s ‘lion economies’ growth exceeds forecasts

The nations of West Africa, including Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Ghana have recently seen a significant increase in growth.

While many Europeans and North Americans still view the continent as poor, war-torn and desolate, Africans see more opportunities at home than outside the continent. In fact, many West African nations are booming.

In West Africa, the majority of people are on the move but don’t leave the region. This south-south migration is contributing to the economic boom across its major capitals.

“West Africans … are seven times more likely to move within West African countries than to go to Europe or North America,” Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque reports from Dakar.

“For the past 40 years, 15 countries in West Africa agreed to allow free movement of people and goods within its borders. Migrants from the region sent $33bn to their loved ones last year,” he added.

Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast and Ghana have seen strong economic growth recently, recording a six percent growth in their gross domestic product (GDP) last year.

“This is no shithole; it’s the land of opportunity, with perseverance anything is possible,” Christ Justell Ngana, a migrant from Congo working in Senegal’s growing capital, said

This is no shithole; it’s the land of opportunity.

Cheikh Ndiaye from Guinea Bissau another migrant worker who spoke to Al Jazeera, said: “Every week I send money back to my mom and my little sisters who are all going to school thanks to what I send.”

“After having left my family behind, I have no regrets to have chosen Senegal, I feel comfortable with people who are black Africans like me, I’d take that any time over being with white people and so far away from my family,” said Alpha Diallo, a migrant worker from G

Much of the growth is fueled by freedom of movement and cross-border trade. Economists at the International Monetary Fund acknowledge that across 18 countries, GDP is up 5 percent.

“Africa’s sleeping ‘lion economies’ are now roaring ahead with Ghana predicted to grow at 9 percent, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal at 7 percent.

“The US president may call it a shithole, but the United States invested $65bn in African countries in 2016, and that number is expected to rise in 2018,” reports Haque.

Masisi attends BRICS Summit

Botswana would not be left out in the euphoria gripping the region this week as neighbouring south Africa hosted the 10th BRICS Summit at Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

The Summit brought together leaders of the world’s most developing countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to explore trade and investment opportunities and discuss the obtaining world trade environment, currently characterised by trade wars between global trading partners.

Here in Gaborone, India’s High Commissioner to Botswana, Dr Rajesh Ranjan used the opportunity on Wednesday to gather a select group of Botswana-based Indian captains of industry, amongst them – Chairman of IBCCI Shyam Srikaran and President of IAB Rajat Dhuria – at the Chancery to watch a live telecast of Prime Minister of the largest democracy in the world, Narendra Modi addressing the Ugandan Parliament.

The Indian Envoy Dr. Ranjan explained that all leaders of Southern African Development Community (SADC) had been invited to the BRICS Summit as ‘observers’, an assertion that Botswana Government Spokesperson, Jeff Ramsay would later confirm to Botswana Guardian.Mokgweetsi Masisi had received a personal invitation from South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa and that he would be travelling to Johannesburg on Friday (today) to participate in the “Outreach Dialogue Session” between BRICS leaders and leaders from the region.

Ahead of his trip to South Africa, Prime Minister Modi visited central and east African countries of Rwanda and Uganda where he pledged hundreds of millions-worth lines of credit to the two countries.
In Uganda, Modi announced a combined US$205million line of credit for electricity lines, agriculture and dairy production, whist in Rwanda he announced a line of credit of US$200 million following talks with President Paul Kagame.

Addressing the Ugandan Members of Parliament in the presence of President Yoweri Museveni, Prime Minister Modi extolled the bonds of relationship that subsist between India and Africa, whose roots he traced back to Mahatma Ghandi. He said Ghandi was one with Africa and Africans and that his methods of peaceful resistance had inspired leaders like Nelson Mandela, Albert Luthuli, Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere amongst many in Africa.

Modi said India would build a Gandhi Heritage Centre at the sacred site in Jinja, where a statue of Gandhiji now stands to pay homage and “remind us of Africa’s role in shaping his mission that even inspired Africa to freedom and justice; and the universal and timeless values of his life and message.”

Modi said India is also opening 18 new embassies in Africa to cement the ties with a continent that India regards as a “partner.” Statistics attest to the truism of this assertion. At present, India-Africa development partnership includes implementation of 180 Lines of Credit worth about USD 11 billion in over 40 African countries. At the last India Africa Forum Summit, India had committed a concessional Line of Credit of 10 billion U.S. dollars and 600 million dollars in grant assistance.

Modi said that every year, over 8000 African youth are trained in a diverse set of programmes and confirmed that Indian companies have invested over US$54 billion in Africa.“Our trade with Africa is now over US$ 62 billion,”representing over 21 per cent more than in the previous year. Africa’s exports to India are growing, he said, and, both nations’economic ties are now increasingly driven by new partnerships of innovation in the digital economy.

It will seem that Africa’s cooperation with Africa transcends all human endeavours and activities. Modi expressed pride at the work of Indian peacekeepers in over a dozen UN peacekeeping missions in Africa, since the first mission in Congo in 1960.
He said that in all the UN peacekeeping Missions in the world, 163 Indians have made the “supreme sacrifice”, adding that this is among the highest number for any country.

“Almost 70 per cent of these embraced martyrdom just in Africa. Today, over 6,000 Indians serve in five peacekeeping operations in Africa”, he said.  President Masisi’s participation in today’outreach dialogue session with BRICS leaders is hoped to salvage some morsels from BRICS for Botswana’s development agenda. BRICS has set up a bank to rival both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), which are seen as pro-Western institutions. Government Spokesperson Dr. Jeff Ramsay is optimistic that Masisi’s participation in the BRICS outreach dialogue session is a harbinger of good things that will eventually come to Botswana, SADC and Africa.

He says the outreach dialogue – the first high-level initiative, expected to include other African heads of state – will activate the African angle in the BRICS mosaic.

“We also stand to enhance our relationships with other members of BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India and China,” he said, adding that in a multi-polar world, “we are happy to see” multilateral institutions that promote South-to-South and Pan African relationships.
Meanwhile, China, the world’s second largest economy has extended R190billion to South Africa. The gesture comes ahead of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit scheduled for Beijing in early September 2018.

Masisi is poised to attend the Summit. Botswana Investment and Trade Centre (BITC) this week also hosted a 70-person strong delegation from the China Council for Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) in a business forum to explore investment opportunities within both countries.

According to Li Hongbing, the First Secretary in the Economic and Commercial Counsellor’s Office at the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in Botswana, the trade value between China and Botswana was US$266 million whilst the outflow foreign direct investment from China to Botswana dropped by 77 percent year on year to US$18, 78 million for the period 2016/2017.In the same period, the amount of FDI from China to SADC was US$ 1.07 billion.
Ramsay said that indeed President

Angola guard accused of hiding drugs in subway sandwich.

A Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola. corrections sergeant was arrested Sunday (July 29), accused of trying to smuggle drugs hidden in a Subway sandwich into the prison.

Jeffery Day, 33, of Centreville, Miss., was booked with one count each of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana and malfeasance in office, the state Department of Corrections reported.

blocking the release of Albert Woodfox, the last incarcerated member of a group of Louisiana prisoners known as the Angola Three.

AP

From March to July officials reported guards arrested for having sex with inmates, a thwarted prison break, an inmate work strike and two inmates found dead from suspected drug overdoses

On Sunday Louisiana Department of Corrections investigators arrested Jeffery Day, 33, 908 Cane Creek Road, Centreville, Miss., during a shakedown at the front gate of the prison.

Investigators said they found 4.8 ounces of marijuana and 3.6 grams of synthetic marijuana hidden in a Subway sandwich inside Day’s vehicle inside the prison.

Corrections officers immediately notified the West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office and deputies booked Day with one count each of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute synthetic marijuana and malfeasance in office.

Investigators said Day, a sergeant, admitted to the crimes to investigators and voluntarily resigned from the department.

He had worked at Angola since November 28, 2016.

The investigation is ongoing.