Doing business in Africa: opportunities and challenges in the second-largest continent

This report from Hogan Lovells, entitled Doing business in Africa, focuses on the challenges and opportunities facing those investing or operating in the world’s second-largest continent. The content is largely based on the discussions that took place at the law firm’s inaugural Africa Forum event in London in spring 2013.

Before delving into the details of transacting in a region that covers a fifth of the world’s total land area, is home to more than one billion people and comprises more than 50 sovereign states, it is important to consider the bigger picture. It is now widely accepted that Africa’s time has come, and optimism on the continent is being driven by four key factors, the first being GDP growth.

According to the International Monetary Fund, of the world’s 10 fastest-growing economies between 2011 and 2015, seven will be in Africa. Only China and India, expected to see 9.5 per cent and 8.2 cent growth in GDP respectively, will expand faster than Ethiopia (8.1 per cent), Mozambique (7.7 per cent) and Tanzania (7.2 per cent), and then only Vietnam (7.2 per cent) will outperform Congo (seven per cent), Ghana (seven per cent), Zambia (6.9 per cent) and Nigeria (6.8 per cent). Whereas a decade ago, most of the world’s GDP growth was expected to come from Europe and the Americas, including Brazil, that trend has reversed and the boom in Africa has seen unweighted annual average GDP growth on the continent exceeding that found in Asia…

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