Investing in Africa

If a financial adviser offered you a chance to invest in a country that expected economic growth of 6% or 7% a year for the next two decades, in all likelihood you would jump with joy at the prospect. Yet the moment you found out that country was in sub-Saharan Africa, your enthusiasm would most probably die down. With the Ebola virus killing the populations and economies of several West African countries, and armed conflicts taking a terrible death toll in Nigeria, Kenya and other nations, Africa continually generates the kind of headlines that make Westerners queasy. In the U.S. alone the continent barely appears on investors’ radar screens. According to estimates, only about 0.3% of the average portfolio in the U.S. — just $3 out of every $1,000 — is invested in Africa. But more fund managers and economists believe it’s high time for that to change. With a lot of factors falling into place simultaneously, namely: rapid economic growth, unprecedented political stability, and a young and increasingly middle-class population, Africa could be expecting a promising upturn. Africa offers an opportunity to reap a better return than they would in the “old” emerging markets — an opportunity to cash on greater growth than they can expect from, for instance, the BRICS or the MINT regions. While economic growth and a rising stock market don’t always occur in tandem, some investors see the two creating a virtuous cycle in Africa.


The International Monetary Fund estimated that the real GDP of sub-Saharan Africa as a whole grew by 5.8% in 2015 as foreign investments in natural resources, increased public spending on infrastructure and better agricultural production combined to help local economies accelerate. Those are the kind of growth numbers that developed economies, and even other emerging markets, can only envy. The IMF in its most recent World Economic Outlook estimated that the U.S. economy expanded by 3.1% in 2015, while the euro area produced growth of only around 1.3%.


Favorable demography is helping to drive Africa’s growth. With the youngest population in the world, the region is in the economically fortunate situation of having a lot of people entering the workforce and very few retired people. In that sense it’s the opposite of Germany and Japan, where large populations of retirees are becoming a brake to economic growth. In the most thriving African economies, as the workforce expands, economists expect demographics to drive higher demand for services, goods, housing and infrastructure, which in turn will help drive domestic economies.


With the global population expected to increase to 9.6 billion people by 2050, from a little over 7 billion today, concerns about future food shortages have found their way to the international debate. The United Nations estimates that by 2030, global food demand will have increased by 50%, increasing the need for greater food production. Africa is in a unique position to help solve the problem, and to profit from doing so. The continent holds around 50% of the world’s uncultivated land that’s arable (that is, suitable for growing crops). The World Bank estimated in 2013 that African farmers and agribusiness could develop a trillion-dollar food industry by 2030—compared with $313 billion in 2010— if they started putting more of that land to use.

Adapted from www.marketwatch.com



Exercise 1

Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:


1) to cause sb to feel uneasy: __________
2) next to nothing: __________
3) a collection of one’s investments: __________
4) quick: __________
5) sth that has never happened before: __________
6) Brasil, Russia, India, China, South Africa: __________
7) Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey: __________
8) to move faster: __________
9) to want sth that sb else has: ___________
10)a person who no longer works due to old age: __________
11)when people want to buy sth: __________
12)one of a kind: _________



Exercise 2

Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:


1) a financial                      to the economy
2) in all                               a return
3) to generate                    spending
4) to fall                              resources
5) a promising                   likelihood
6) to reap                            into place
7) natural                           adviser
8) public                             upturn
9) a brake                           economies
10)domestic                       headlines



Exercise 3

Provide English equivalents of these expressions:


1) wzrost gospodarczy
2) czyjś entuzjazm opadł
3) oszacowanie
4) zarobić na czymś
5) jednocześnie
6) pozytywna ścieżka rozwoju
7) korzystna sytuacja demograficzna
8) stymulować wzrost
9) brak pożywienia
10)być w stanie pomóc



Grammar corner…

In the text you found some projections and predictions about the future, more precisely what will happen when a particular time in the future comes. The way to talk about it is called Future Perfect (also Continuous) and it tells us about what WILL HAVE BEEN DONE / HAPPENED at a point in the future or before it. Usually Future Perfect (also Continuous) sentences start like this: by the time I …, I will
have finished …, on October 30, I will have been working for this company for 5 years.



Exercise 4

Rewrite the sentences so that the meaning stays the same but you use either Future Perfect or Future Perfect Continuous.

1) Our tenth wedding anniversary is on June 7, 2017. => We ____________________ for 10 years on June 7, 2017.
2) My report will be done today at 17 p.m. => I ____________________ my report today at 17 p.m.
3) Next week is 30 years since I started running this business. => I ____________________ this business for 30 years next week.
4) If you don’t hurry up, all the best food will be eaten. => They ____________________ all the best food by the time we get there.
5) If ratings continue being so low, the president will hand in his resignation at the end of his term. => With ratings so low, the president ____________________ by the end of his term.


to make sb queasy – przyprawiać kogoś o mdłości
barely – zaledwie
a portfolio – portfel (np. inwestycji)
rapid – szybki
unprecedented – bezprecedensowy
to generate headlines – być źródłem nagłówków
to fall into place – układać się w całość
a promising upturn – obiecujący wzrost
to reap a return – otrzymać zwrot (np. z inwestycji)
natural resources – zasoby naturalne
public spending – wydatki z budżetu państwa
a brake to economic growth – czynnik hamujący wzrost gospodarczy
domestic economies – rodzime gospodarki
sb’s enthusiasm died – down czyjś entuzjazm opadł
an estimate – oszacowanie / prognoza
to cash on sth – zarobić na czymś
in tandem – jednocześnie
virtuous cycle – pozytywna ścieżka rozwoju
favourable demography – korzystna sytuacja demograficzna
to drive growth – stymulować wzrost
food shortage – brak pożywienia
to be in a position to help – być w stanie pomóc
crops – plony
arable – uprawne
to jump at a prospect – chętnie skorzystać z okazji
to take a death toll – zebrać śmiertelne żniwo
simultaneously – w tym samym czasie
a concern about sth – powód do zmartwienia czymś


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Ex. 1
1) to make sb queasy
2) barely
3) a portfolio
4) rapid
5) unprecedented
8) to accelerate
9) to envy sb sth
10)a retiree
11)demand for sth

Ex. 2
1) a financial adviser
2) in all likelihood
3) to generate headlines
4) to fall into place
5) a promising upturn
6) to reap a return
7) natural resources
8) public spending
9) a brake on economic growth
10)domestic economies

Ex. 3
1) economic growth
2) sb’s enthusiasm died down
3) an estimate
4) to cash on sth
5) in tandem
6) virtuous cycle
7) favourable demography
8) to drive growth
9) food shortage
10)to be in a position to help
12) arable
Ex. 4
1) will have been married
2) will have finished
3) will have been running
4) will have eaten
5) will have resigned