What We're Reading: Innovation, Chinese engagement, Liberian Governance

  1. Liberia Corruption Survey. President George Weah took charge in January promising to curb corruption, but a new Afrobarometer survey suggests an escalation in the vice. About half of respondents said corruption increased in the past year and the police, National Electoral Commission and the parliament were perceived to have been the most corrupt in that order. Although 55% of respondents considered President Weah 'trusted', his government has faced criticism about corruption, notably about its response to USD100 million in local currency that reportedly went missing after the central bank shipped it in from overseas between 2016 and 2018. We also note ongoing concern about the president's commitment to transparency and strengthening institutions e.g. in April he unilaterally tried to replace the head of the Liberia Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (LEITI) against the law. https://bit.ly/2AhwRbJ

  2. Africa – A Crucible for Creativity. There have been a few interesting releases about stand out businesses and business practices from the region by McKinsey in recent weeks. It is a summary rather than detailed account but nevertheless useful for going well beyond the usual references to mobile money platforms such as M-Pesa. The highlighting of other companies that have achieved scale is quite inspiring. https://bit.ly/2z4YqV6

  3. China in Africa. The interaction is strategic, expansive and takes place at a state-to-state and private sector level. AidData has published a fascinating breakdown of Chinese government financed projects worldwide – Africa features prominently https://bit.ly/2zr1WtV. Bloomberg reports on discussions between Ghanaian and Chinese authorities about a USD1.5 billion loan aimed at projects addressing farmer yields and local processing https://bloom.bg/2DWtP0I. This discussion takes place at a time of increasing concern around Ghanaian sovereign debt levels. And in Kenya, we see Meru County targeting Chinese investment for the local agribusiness and hospitality industry especially. https://bit.ly/2Bt4md3.

Nana Ampofo