Stories by Aubrey Hruby

Expert Voices

New investments aim to propel small business growth in Africa

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes African Union (AU) Commission Chairman, Moussa Faki
German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomes African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki on Oct. 31 in Berlin. Photo: John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images

African small businesses face an uphill battle attracting equity investments and are constrained by a funding gap of as much as $140 billion, according to a new report from the London Stock Exchange Group.

Why it matters: Small businesses account for nearly 90% of companies in Africa and provide nearly 80% of the continent’s employment, a much higher percentage than the United States' 53%. With Africa’s population set to double to 1.6 billion by 2050, these enterprises will play a critical role in creating local, sustainable jobs.

Expert Voices

With new development finance agency, the U.S. matches China's ante

US President and CEO of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation Ray W. Washburne and US Presidential Advisor Ivanka Trump speak
President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation Ray Washburne and Ivanka Trump during the CEO Summit of the Americas on April 13, 2018, in Lima, Peru. Photo: Manuel Medir via Getty Images

On Oct. 5, President Trump signed the Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act, establishing a new $60 billion development finance agency to invest in less developed countries. The United States International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC) will replace the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), and in doing so will double its funding and enhance its capabilities.

Why it matters: Growing economic competition from China in emerging markets has finally shaken the U.S. out of its complacency toward development finance. With new and more efficient investment capabilities, the USIDFC has the potential to re-establish the U.S. as a global leader in commercial diplomacy.

Expert Voices

With new investments, Ethiopian Airlines expands African aviation market

A Boeing 787 Dreamliner is hosed down on arrival in Addis Ababa on August 17, 2012.
A Boeing 787 Dreamliner is hosed down in Addis Ababa. Photo: Jenny Vaughan/AFP via Getty Images.

On Oct. 1, Ethiopian Airlines partnered with Chad's government to launch a new national carrier, connecting the country to international markets through routes previously suspended for safety concerns. In addition to Chad's Toumai Air, Ethiopian Airlines will acquire stakes and managing operations in new or existing state-owned flag carriers in Mozambique, Zambia and potentially several other nations.

The big picture: Already Africa’s most profitable and fastest-growing airline, Ethiopian Airlines is investing heavily in Africa’s airspace, creating new regional connections and increasing access to Western and Eastern markets. On a continent of 54 countries, air travel often requires inefficient routes and costly tickets, but Ethiopian Airlines is looking to change this reality.

More stories loading.