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October 10, 2019

Sub-Saharan Africa
Rich People and Wealth in Africa

Rich people are everywhere, and they can have something to say about the level of economic development in their home countries. Afrasia Bank and New World Wealth have just published the 2019 Africa Wealth Report, which includes North Africa and African island states in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. It identifies the continent’s six wealthiest cities, defined as total individual private wealth—equities, real estate, businesses—less liabilities. They are Johannesburg, Cape Town, Cairo, Lagos, Durban, and Nairobi.

Visitors walk past a reception with an electronic board displaying movements in major indices at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange building

February 13, 2019

Nigeria
Nigeria Is Oil Dependent, not Oil Rich

At a business breakfast on February 7, Doyin Salami pointed out the elephant in the living room of Nigeria’s economy. The country is not oil rich; rather it is oil dependent. He asked attendees to acknowledge this distinction.

Nigeria-Oil-Pollution-Rivers-State

January 13, 2020

Middle East and North Africa
Don’t Hold Your Breath for Democratic Change in the Middle East

The region is accustomed to cycles of protest and political upheaval, so it’s better not to bank on successful revolutions.

Demonstrators carry a national flag during an anti-government rally in Algiers, Algeria January 3, 2020.

January 2, 2020

Sudan
Sudan’s Transformative Year and the Challenges Ahead

2019 brought spectacular change to Sudan. It’s hard to overstate the astonishing distance the country has traveled over the past year. Recent headlines feature reports of truly unfettered humanitarian access, the conviction of former President Omar al-Bashir on corruption charges, and concrete steps on the part of the state to promote religious tolerance.

A Sudanese man wears a national flag and flashes the victory sign as people gather during the first anniversary of the start of the uprising that toppled long-time ruler Omar al-Bashir, in Khartoum, Sudan December 19, 2019

May 23, 2018

Nigeria
Nigeria's Dangote, Africa's Richest Person, Became Rich at Home

Outside of business and financial circles, Dangote is not well known in the United States. Perhaps that is largely because his business interests—banking, cement, sugar, salt, agriculture, and manufacturing—are centered in Nigeria and Africa rather than overseas.

Nigeria-Aliko-Dangote-Africa-Richest-Person

December 7, 2018

Financial Markets
Let the Sun Shine In on the Art Business

Subjective pricing and a tradition of anonymity make it attractive to money launderers.

The Cobbler by Jean Discart at Sotheby's auction house in London on April 20.

November 29, 2018

Cybersecurity
The U.S. Leans on Private Firms to Expose Foreign Hackers

When the Democratic National Committee realized they had been hacked in April 2016, they turned to experts from a private company: the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike. Within a day, the company had id…

The U.S. White House

October 25, 2018

Iran
Iran Is a Threat to the Banking System

At many banks, Nov. 5 will be a scary day. That’s when broad U.S. sanctions are set to be re-imposed on Iran, thereby placing new pressure on its struggling economy and increasing the regime’s desper…

Keep it clean

November 14, 2019

Mali
Foreign Troops Fighting Jihadists in the Sahel Face Criticism as Terror Grows

In response to the proliferation of ostensibly jihadist groups in the Sahel, governments have deployed more than 20,000 international and local troops, comprising 4,500 French soldieries, 13,000 UN peacekeepers, and about 5,000 troops connected to the G5 Sahel—an initiative godfathered by France and including Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. But terror groups have endured and grown more deadly.  

A French soldier kneels with his weapon while a camel stands in the background in a semi-arid landscape.

November 8, 2019

Nigeria
Middle Class Nigerians Struggle to Afford Housing in Lagos

Housing for professionals working in the modern economy are challenged in most of the world’s mega-cities. Lagos is no exception, as profiled by the BBC. Its reporter estimates that “middle-to-high-income” housing can cost between $5,000 and $40,000 a year. But the practice of paying a year’s worth of rent upfront sets Lagos apart: the BBC’s reporter was asked for between $11,000 and $22,000 for a two-bedroom apartment with electricity in a good Lagos neighborhood, Victoria Island.

Yachts seen docked at the marina in front of housing complex building