Africa In The News

Appeals body rules in Wal-Mart’s favor on South African merger, The Washington Post, 9 March 2012 Read More...

Deportation - South Africa apologises to Nigeria, Nigerian Tribune, 9 March 2012 Read More...

When will African ingredients get the attention they deserve?, William Read Business Media, 8 March 2012 Read More...

Mining Grab Triggers Biggest Outflows From South Africa Stocks Since 2008, Bloomberg, 8 March 2012 Read More...

Bitter leaf, delightful soup, cure for malaria, Nigerian Tribune, 8 March 2012 Read More...

South Africa Business Confidence Climbed In First Quarter, Wall Street Journal, 8 March 2012 Read More...

Standard pursues an African dream, Moneyweb, 8 March 2012 Read More...


Upcoming Events

April 2012


Stellenbosch, South Africa
2 - 4 April

Cape Town, South Africa
17 - 20 April

Johannesburg, South Africa
17 - 20 April

Cape Town, South Africa
24 - 26 April

Brand Africa FOCUS
15 March 2012

Luxury Plays Coy With Africa

While developed nations still absorb the bulk of luxury goods around the world, emerging markets – such as China and increasingly Africa – are providing the biggest growth opportunities for luxury brands.

Speaking at the South African Luxury Institute’s Wealth Summit in Sandton in March, Andrew Tymms of global consulting firm Bain & Company unveiled some interesting facts and figures around the high-worth industry which, in 2011, grew to €191 billion.

While the US is still the biggest global consumer, followed by Japan, Italy and France, China now comes in at fifth and Russia at 10th. “The BRICS are being targeted by the luxury groups – specifically China and Russia in the last decade. Companies are now turning their attention to Brazil and India. In due course focus will turn to Africa,” said Tymms.

Africa’s Richest

The Forbes annual ranking of dollar billionaires is out again and this year saw Africa’s wealthiest rise to 16 from 14 in 2011 and just 11 in 2010.

There has been some additional movement too, with one Egyptian dropping out of the list to make way for three Moroccans. Egypt still leads the pack, however, with seven mega-wealthy. South Africa contributes four more and Nigeria two.

Nigerian tycoon Aliko Dangote retains his title of the richest man in Africa with an estimated net worth of $11.2 billion and an overall ranking of 76th on a list topped by Mexican telecommunications entrepreneur Carlos Slim ($69 billion). Americans Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are second and third with net worth hauls of $61 billion and $44 billion respectively.

Dangote made his fortune in sugar, flour and cement, while the South African quartet have a bent towards mining. Diamonds did it for Nicky Oppenheimer ($6.8 billion) and a mining portfolio lifted Patrice Motsepe into 442nd position with a fortune of $2.7 billion. Johann Rupert, however, can thank the thriving luxury goods industry for his net worth of $5.1 billion. While Christo Wiese ($3.1 billion) has capitalized on his role as the largest single shareholder of Africa’s biggest retailer, Shoprite.

“There's sometimes a tendency to focus on the challenges that exist in Africa. But I think it’s important for us to also focus on the good news that’s coming out of Africa, and I think Ghana continues to be a good-news story.”
- US President Barack Obama, hailing Ghana as a ‘model for democracy’ during a meeting with Ghanaian President John Evans Atta Mills


Thumbs Up For Botswana

The 2012 Grant Thornton International Business Report has heaped praise on some African countries for the impressive number of women holding senior management positions. Top of the list in Africa was Botswana, with the highest proportion of women in senior management positions at 39%. In South Africa, women hold 28% of senior management positions, higher than the global average of 21%.

South Africa Embraces GM Crops

A new report by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) shows that South Africa has increased the land under genetically modified (GM) crops from 2.2 million hectares in 2010 to a record 2.3 million hectares in 2011. Maize is the biggest crop, at 1.9 million hectares, followed by GM soya beans (450 000ha) and cotton (15 000ha). The report ranks South Africa’s total GM crop area at 9th in the world. The United States has 69 million hectares of land under GM crops.