An Investment Banker’s 54 Christmas Wishes For African Economies In 2019

Kurt Davis Jr.
Written by Kurt Davis Jr.

Christmas wishes

If I could be Santa and give gifts to each of my African friends, here’s what I’d wish for each African country in 2019.

  1. Algeria – A return to public life for President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (hopefully ahead of April 2019 elections).
  2. Angola – Renewed investor interest…the country very much needs capital to jumpstart a stalled economy.
  3. Benin – Improved trade relations with Nigeria.
  4. Botswana – A solution to growing angst on economic growth and jobs.
  5. Burkina Faso – A bump in gold and cotton prices (create some financial runway for the government).
  6. Burundi – Political and social stability with the hopes of foreign investment and funding returning.
  7. Cameroon – A peaceful pathway to avoiding a split in the country between the Anglophones and Francophones.
  8. Cape Verde – A boost to tourism and remittances after a relatively slower period.
  9. Central African Republic – A political solution to ongoing conflict and instability (still hoping for this one).
  10. Chad – The finances and willpower to have legislative elections in May 2019 (which have been delayed since 2015).
  11. Comoros – More and more and more tourism (maybe I should go this year).
  12. Congo (Brazzaville) – sustained excitement and success until Africa Oil Week 2019 (after such hype this year).
  13. Congo (Kinshasa) – A peaceful presidential election and transition.
  14. Cote d’Ivoire – The emergence of a consensus successor to the incumbent President Alassane Ouattara ahead of the 2020 election.
  15. Djibouti – A consensual solution to the dispute with DP World.
  16. Egypt – The right to host the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (please send me tickets!).
  17. Equatorial Guinea – Increased success on gas development (as oil prices lag).
  18. Eritrea – A plan for economic growth at home to attracts Eritreans back home.
  19. Ethiopia – More Abiy-mania and Abiy success in 2019.
  20. Gabon – Abundantly more successes than challenges for Bechtel with the infrastructure partnership with Gabon.
  21. Gambia – A sustainable path for the country’s external debt (with advisors now appointed for the country).
  22. Ghana – More gas production and more gas-to-power in Ghana…(2019 could be exciting).
  23. Guinea – A plan for developing bauxite onshore and creating more value in-country.
  24. Guinea-Bissau – A pathway to breaking political stalemates, unlocking economic forces, and re-engaging international investors and funders (all easier said than done).
  25. Kenya – A Theresa May dance school (just kidding)…a big growth year for Kenyan Airways, starting with the long hauls to New York.
  26. Lesotho – Increased exports beyond South Africa.
  27. Liberia – Closure on the lingering economic effects of Ebola and the very long civil war.
  28. Libya – Stronger integration and cooperation amongst the provinces in Libya.
  29. Madagascar – Sustained economic good times and growth.
  30. Malawi – A truce between current President Peter Mutharika and former President Joyce Banda (at the least after the Malawian election this year).
  31. Mali – Parliamentary elections in 2019 (after a couple delays).
  32. Mauritania – More economic engagement and discussion with Senegal (could be mutually beneficial to the two countries).
  33. Mauritius – Increased success as an international business hub for Asia and African businesses (despite increased challenges from other business-friendly centers such as Jersey).
  34. Morocco –  Continued success and growth for its relatively new financial district.
  35. Mozambique – A rebirth in its reputation post-Tunagate.
  36. Namibia – An escape for the ongoing recession.
  37. Niger – Better technology to address the challenges created by desertification (the spreading of the Sahara Desert).
  38. Nigeria – A bump in excitement amongst Nigerians for the upcoming election.
  39. Rwanda – Further success with the country’s health care initiatives.
  40. Sao Tome and Principe – Success in oil and gas exploration (big opportunity for a relatively small country).
  41. Senegal – More Senegalese engagement in the 2019 presidential election.
  42. Seychelles – Better output and returns for the fishing sector in 2019 (better technology and less illegal fishing).
  43. Sierra Leone – Better luck for Ms. Sierra Leone after this year’s contestant was disqualified from the Miss Universe pageant for arriving too late from her home country due to visas and several legs of travel.
  44. Somalia –  Fortitude in the ongoing fight with al-Shabab (who persists in Somalia).
  45. South Africa – Continued economic growth with 3Q 2018 providing some recent optimism for the country.
  46. South Sudan – Boost in trade with Sudan…let’s get the oil flowing.
  47. Sudan – A solution to the exploding debt and public finance situation (underpinned by years of sanctions).
  48. Swaziland – Increased economic engagement beyond South Africa (as South Africa is still reestablishing its economic footing).
  49. Tanzania – A re-engagement with (and return of) international investors that have left the country in the last 12-to-18 months.
  50. Togo – A coming-to-the-table moment between the government and protestors.
  51. Tunisia – Sustained democracy…simply put, the world is watching (and betting on) you.
  52. Uganda – A truce between MP Bobi Wine and President Yoweri Museveni.
  53. Zambia – A solution to the challenges at ZESCO.
  54. Zimbabwe – Debt relief (or at least restructuring) as the country approaches a new economic future.

Kurt Davis Jr. is an investment banker with private equity experience focused on Africa, Middle East, and Turkey. He earned an MBA in finance, entrepreneurship and operations from the University of Chicago and J.D. in tax and commercial law at the University of Virginia’s School of Law. He can be reached at kurt.davis.jr@gmail.com.