An Investment Banker’s 54 Christmas Wishes For African Economies in 2018

An Investment Banker’s 54 Christmas Wishes For African Economies in 2018

If I could be Santa and give gifts to each of my African friends, here’s what I’d wish for each of the African economies in 2018…

1. Algeria – good health to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and a return to public life

2. Angola – a true rebound in the economy and more entrepreneurship in the process

3. Benin – a stronger response to vehicle smuggling in the country

4. Botswana – more international recognition for fostering the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle love…how much is that ‘love tent’ renting for? Also…keep working on diversifying away from diamonds

5. Burkina Faso – an emerging solution to the militant challenges in the country

6. Burundi – a realization of finance minister Domitien Ndihokubwayo’s assertion for the government to become self-financing in 2018

7. Cameroon – a solution to the tension between the Anglophones and Francophones

8. Cape Verde – more entrepreneurship and diversification in this economy

9. Central African Republic – a political solution to ongoing conflict and instability

10. Chad – onward restructuring of public finances

11. Comoros – sustained (and successful) efforts in addressing power challenges

12. Congo (Brazzaville) – success with Dangote’s cement investment such that other investors come

13. Congo (Kinshasa) – a presidential election… (I am clearly not Santa if I am offering the same gift each year)

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14. Cote d’Ivoire – an easing of tension between the military and the president

15. Djibouti – more ancillary economic benefits from the presence of numerous military bases

16. Egypt – an exciting and competitive election…there is a good public discussion to be had on the economy, the Sinai, and civil society

17. Equatorial Guinea – more gas-to-power to go with the oil exports

18. Eritrea – a return to international markets and politics

19. Ethiopia – more and more industrial parks in 2018

20. Gabon – a economic plan beyond oil production (as the economy faces challenges)

21. Gambia – with president in place, an investment and economic growth plan

22. Ghana – a bump in youth employment

23. Guinea-Bissau – a solution to the internal political turmoil that is eating away at the country

24. Kenya – economic rebound…less politics maybe…

25. Lesotho – sustained economic recovery (more mining…)

26. Liberia – a bridge (and helping hand) from the Johnson-Sirleaf administration to the new leadership

27. Libya – a long-term solution to the migrant crisis in the country

28. Madagascar – more and more rain (and less hurricanes) for the economy

29. Malawi – some renewed hope and stability in national politics

30. Mali – the return of the Festival au Desert (still begging for this…)

31. Mauritania – a plan (with Senegal and Kosmos) on developing gas-to-power solutions

32. Mauritius – international banking hub status (could help Africa and Asia connection)

33. Morocco – a lowering of the unemployment rate in the country

34. Mozambique – a reputational rebound for the country…(the debt fiasco will have to die away)

35. Namibia – strong commodity prices to support mining’s continued strength in the country

36. Niger – sustained efforts in combating extremism in the country

37. Nigeria – the arrival of a great stable of presidential candidates

38. Rwanda – a semblance of political opposition to engage Kagame and raise the political discussions

39. Sao Tome and Principe – an industrialization plan to substitute for some inputs

40. Senegal – economic hub status to the likes of Abidjan or Lagos (I would love to live there)

41. Seychelles – economic diversification in this tourist based economy

42. Sierra Leone – a positive vibe after mudslides killed too many people and national morale

43. Somalia – a return of international interest on the challenges in Mogadishu

44. South Africa – less political scandals and investigations (same as last year with 2019 election prep coming up)

45. South Sudan – a modicum of sustainability and increased production for the oil industry

46. Sudan – boost in trade with South Sudan…let’s get the oil flowing

47. Swaziland – a solution to the growing fiscal concerns and pressures

48. Tanzania – a return of the excitement among the investment community for the country

49. Togo – a solution to the political stalemate, protests, and growing refugee crisis

50. Tunisia – it’s arrival as an entrepreneurship hub for the MENA region

51. Uganda – a continued push on infrastructure investment (but while controlling the national debt growth)

52. Western Sahara – international support to quell militant conflict and clarify the country’s status

53. Zambia – stronger commodity prices

54. Zimbabwe – an open and fair election that excites Zimbabweans


Kurt Davis Jr. is an investment banker with private equity experience in emerging economies focusing on the natural resources and energy sectors. He earned a law degree in tax and commercial law at the University of Virginia’s School of Law and a master’s of business administration in finance, entrepreneurship and operations from the University of Chicago. He can be reached at kurt.davis.jr@gmail.com.