Investment Climate: Top Four

An examination of some of the developments shaping our world over the last week. We touch on country-risk, corporates and individuals alike.

  1. Nigeria Islamist response. Over the past week, 42 people were reportedly killed and 400 arrested by security forces in Abuja during a crackdown on Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) protestors. Meanwhile, more than 15 people were reportedly killed by Boko Haram in attacks on towns in Konduga, Borno state. In the government’s view, both IMN and Boko Haram aim at the creation of states ‘within a state’ through violence. That characterisation forms the bedrock for a primarily kinetic government response to IMN. There is no dialogue in effect. Meanwhile IMN protestors, which the government accuses of carrying petrol bombs etc, were demonstrating against the incarceration of their leader Ibrahim Zakzaky since 2015 (and whose release was ordered by the courts in 2016). Triggers for further violence surround the state of relations between Shi’a and Sunni communities in Kano and Kaduna particularly, the health of Zakzaky in custody, protests against his incarceration, and next year’s Arabaen, an annual festival at the of the year (19-20 Oct next year).

  2. Women’s empowerment in Ethiopia.  Meaza Ashenafi has been appointed President of the Federal Supreme Court, one week after Sahle-Work Zewde was confirmed as President of the country by the National Assembly. Both are the first women to serve in such roles. Meanwhile, the president has placed women in half the cabinet positions. These developments are the latest in a stretch of reforms introduced by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in the 6 months since he gained power..

  3. Saudi reputational damage. In Ghana, opposition and ruling party parliamentary leadership have called for a United Nations-led investigation into the killing of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Kashoogi in Turkey, and in Nigeria there were low-level protests. However, beyond this the reaction has been muted, particularly at a diplomatic level. It is outweighed by interests around financing for regional, national and local developmental programmes, faith based organisations, and trade flows.

  4. Ghanaian building code. Ghana has set out its first a comprehensive building code. GS1207 (2018) outlines requirements for residential and non-residential buildings building, development, management and related practices. Harmonisation and anticipated policing of standards should support professionalisation of local players and reduce risks for consumers. Leading indigenous construction companies in Ghana include the ubiquitous Regimanuel Gray, Crystal Homes and more.

Nana Ampofo