The European Business Council for Africa

Date: Thursday 10 February 2022, 14:00 – 15:30 CET

The Portuguese-speaking African Countries (in Portuguese: Países Africanos de Língua Oficial Portuguesa; PALOP), also known as Lusophone Africa, consist of six African countries in which the Portuguese language is an official language: Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, São Tomé and Príncipe and, since 2011, Equatorial Guinea as well.

In comparison to the Anglophone and Francophone countries, the Lusophone countries seem to be the most disconnected, primarily because of their language. In order to participate in the African or global economy, a certain level of proficiency in English and sometimes even French is required. Lusophone Africa is not an easy market to navigate, whether you are an entrepreneur or an investor. But for those who dare, it is definitely worth exploring. The focus of this webinar will be on business opportunities specifically in Angola, Cape Verde and Mozambique.

Between 1st February and 4th February the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will be hosting its 2022 forum for national trade facilitation committees - accelerating the implementation of trade facilitation reforms through the national trade facilitation committees despite the pandemic situation.

The forum will provide a possibility for members of national trade facilitation committees, policymakers, and other relevant stakeholders to learn about and discuss the latest trends regarding implementation of trade facilitation reforms, including the implementation of the WTO TFA and other trade facilitation agreement at the national and the regional level. Experts and practitioners will be sharing insights on good practices regarding trade facilitation implementation with a view to providing members of the NTFCs and other stakeholders with evidence on how planning, organization, automation and digitalization can assist in advancing and accelerating trade facilitation reforms, in particular through the current pandemic situation and the post-covid recovery era.

On 4 February, 12:00-15:00 (CET), the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) will be organising a webinar on international investment agreements and climate action.

This event will bring together experts and stakeholders from government, international organisations, civil society and academia to discuss the reform of the international investment agreements (IIAs) regime for climate change goals.

The objective is to share views, experiences and practices on how to ensure that the IIA regime does not hinder governments from implementing measures to mitigate climate change and accelerate a transition towards green investments.

It will also explore solutions for making existing and future IIAs more conducive to investments that have a positive contribution on the Sustainable Development Goals.

On Wednesday 9 February, 12:00-13:00 (CET-1) Invest Africa will be hosting an event covering the outlook for francophone Africa in 2022.

Francophone markets in Africa continue to drive economic growth and bounce back from the COVID pandemic in the 2022 fiscal year. Economies such the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Senegal retracted in 2021 due to Covid-19; strong government investment into digital innovation and renewable projects, however, have provided a launchpad for greater foreign direct investment, with President Macron of France leading the charge from the Global North to foster partnerships in order to harness the region’s investment opportunities. Côte d’Ivoire has also been hit hard by COVID-19, yet it remained amongst the few Sub-Saharan African economies that maintained economic growth. This response can be attributed to strong pre-crisis fundamentals, relative economic diversification, and timely relaxing of the fiscal stance. Will Côte d’Ivoire be held up as an example of economic stability in 2022? Will economic diversification and trade facilitation through regional blocs like Ecowas or the AfCFTA offer new economic opportunities for Francophone markets in 2022?

Date: 20 January 2022 from 13.00 to 15.00

As previous years, NABA will start the year by looking into the future: what will happen on the continent in 2022?

On the 16th of December, 16h00- 18h00 (CET+1), the Hellenic-African Chamber of Commerce and Development is hosting an online event on the topic of Senegal , under the auspices of SEV Hellenic Federation of Enterprises & the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) with the title:

«Senegal and West Africa - Business Environment and Opportunities»

regarding the country's economic situation, developments and trends, the business environment, export and investment opportunities in Senegal and more generally the conditions and prospects for co-operation between Senegal and Greece.

The conference will bring together leading government and business officials from Senegal as well as Greek businessmen active in that country.

Date: Wednesday, 2 February 2022 12:30 - 14:30 (London)

The impact of Covid-19 throughout 2021 has seen East Africa dealing with containment measures and global supply and demand disruptions, which have hit businesses and livelihoods hard.

Looking forward to 2022, the region’s economic outlook looks bullish, according to a recent African Development Bank report. The 13 countries that make up East Africa are projected to show an average growth of 4.9%, up from 0.4% posted in 2020. This is driven by sustained public spending on infrastructure, improved performance of the agricultural sector, a shift towards a more service-orientated economy and deepening regional economic integration.

Date: Monday, 31 January 2022 13:00 - 14:00

Africa is a diverse continent, with the world’s largest free trade area it could set itself on a new development path, harnessing its potential of resources and growing population. Africa has endured significant economic downturn as a result of the pandemic, but it has risen from recession in 2021 and recovery is expected in 2022. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the risks associated with future waves of infection remain a concern, especially with the continent’s low vaccination rate. Business continuity, investment and revenue-generation prospects may be impaired by successive waves of infection with countries being on lockdown which is further hindered by prolonged international travel restrictions.

The commodity boom will continue to flourish which bodes well for the energy, metals, materials and agriculture sectors. Effective skills development and investment into infrastructure is critical for digital transformation on the continent. Exchange rate pressure and external debt repayments call for constructive debt restructuring measures and better strategic positioning for international investors.

Date: Wednesday, 26 January 2022 12:30 - 14:30 (London)

North Africa was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, particularly those countries with a large tourism industry and strong service sector. Oil economies also suffered from falling prices as the global downtown trickled into domestic budgets. With access to vaccines, oil prices have recovered and travel has returned, setting the region up for a return to growth in 2022. Egypt, which fared relatively well through 2020 and 2021, is set for the strongest growth at 4.9%. Morocco, meanwhile, has received support from the African Development Bank to shore up its own recovery. Nonetheless, the region’s route to recovery remains uncertain as the Omicron variant has cast a shadow over the global economy and high levels of public debt squeezing the fiscal space available for economic stimulus.

Date: Tuesday, 18 January 2022 12:30 - 14:30 (London)

The economic recovery for Southern Africa in 2022 hinges on how COVID-19 evolves, vaccination rollouts and the policies that countries adopt. The impact of the pandemic has been severe, causing disruption to countries that depend on tourism, reduction in commodity exports and job losses, in a region that already has high unemployment rates.

However, countries in the region are continuing to weather the storm and Southern Africa is projected to grow by over 2% in 2022 (AfDB, 2021). This will not make up for the estimated 6.3% contraction in 2020, and slow growth in South Africa, the region’s largest economy, has reduced positive externalities for neighbouring countries.

Individual countries in the region have shown a mixed response to the pandemic and are on different growth trajectories. Lack of economic diversity is another vulnerability and commodities play an oversized role in many of the region’s economies, such as Angola, Mozambique and Zambia. Zimbabwe remains the most volatile nation politically and is plagued by hyperinflation. Conversely, Namibia is set to grow by 6.4% in primary industrial output and Angola is expected to come to the end of a long economic recession during 2022, in line with changing monetary and fiscal policies, combined with new oil regulations. Zambia’s change in government was well received by the private sector.