Nachdem Donald Trump afrikanische Staaten als „shitholes“bezeichnete, Südafrika die Enteignung weißer Farmer vorwarf, Melina Trump bei ihrer Afrikareise Ärgernis aufgrund ihres kolonialen Tropenhelms, dem nur noch die Nilpferdpeitsche fehlte erregte, befürchteten viele Beobachter, dass die Trumpadministration sich nun aus Afrika zurückziehen würde. Dass dem nicht so ist, machte nun der Nationale Sicherheitsberater John Bolton bei einer Tagung der republikanernahen Heritage Foundation am 13.12.2018 klar, bei der er eine neue Afrikastrategie der USA vorstellte. Zum einen solle dem „raubtierartigen“ Einfluss Russlands und Chinas in Afrika entgegengewirkt, der War on Terror gegen den IS weitergeführt werden, zum anderen US-amerikanische Investitionen in Afrika gefördert werden, zum dritten Wirtschafts- und Entwicklungshilfe nur noch Staaten zugute kommen, die sich an den nationalen Interessen der USA orientieren und mit diesen kompatibel seien. O-Ton Bolton:
„This strategy is the result of an intensive interagency process, and reflects the core tenets of President Trump’s foreign policy doctrine. Importantly, the strategy remains true to his central campaign promise to put the interests of the American People first, both at home and abroad.
The White House is proud to finalize this strategy during the second year of President Trump’s first term, about two years earlier than the prior administration’s release of its Africa strategy.
We have prioritized developing this document because we understand that lasting stability, prosperity, independence, and security on the African continent are in the national security interest of the United States.
Under our new approach, every decision we make, every policy we pursue, and every dollar of aid we spend will further U.S. priorities in the region. In particular, the strategy addresses three core U.S. interests on the continent:
First, advancing U.S. trade and commercial ties with nations across the region to the benefit of both the United States and Africa.
We want our economic partners in the region to thrive, prosper, and control their own destinies. In America’s economic dealings, we ask only for reciprocity, never for subservience.
Second, countering the threat from Radical Islamic Terrorism and violent conflict.
ISIS, al-Qaida, and their affiliates all operate and recruit on the African continent, plotting attacks against American citizens and targets. Any sound U.S. strategy toward Africa must address this serious threat in a comprehensive way.
And third, we will ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars for aid are used efficiently and effectively.
The United States will no longer provide indiscriminate assistance across the entire continent, without focus or prioritization. And, we will no longer support unproductive, unsuccessful, and unaccountable U.N. peacekeeping missions.
We want something more to show for Americans’ hard-earned taxpayer dollars.
Under our new Africa strategy, we will target U.S. funding toward key countries and particular strategic objectives. All U.S. aid on the continent will advance U.S. interests, and help African nations move toward self-reliance.
Our first priority, enhancing U.S. economic ties with the region, is not only essential to improving opportunities for American workers and businesses; it is also vital to safeguarding the economic independence of African states and protecting U.S. national security interests.
Great power competitors, namely China and Russia, are rapidly expanding their financial and political influence across Africa. They are deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage over the United States.
From 2016-2017, China’s foreign direct investment toward Africa totaled $6.4 billion dollars. And, over the past several years, China has devoted considerable state-directed and state-supported financing to projects in the region.
China uses bribes, opaque agreements, and the strategic use of debt to hold states in Africa captive to Beijing’s wishes and demands. Its investment ventures are riddled with corruption, and do not meet the same environmental or ethical standards as U.S. developmental programs.
Such predatory actions are sub-components of broader Chinese strategic initiatives, including “One Belt, One Road”—a plan to develop a series of trade routes leading to and from China with the ultimate goal of advancing Chinese global dominance.
In Africa, we are already seeing the disturbing effects of China’s quest to obtain more political, economic, and military power.
The nation of Zambia, for example, is currently in debt to China to the tune of $6 to $10 billion dollars. China is now poised to take over Zambia’s national power and utility company in order to collect on Zambia’s financial obligations.
Similarly, from 2014 to 2016, Djibouti’s external public debt-to-GDP ratio ballooned from fifty percent to eighty-five percent, with most of that debt owed to China.
In 2017, China established a military base in Djibouti that is only miles from our U.S. base, Camp Lemonnier, which supports critical U.S. operations to counter violent terrorist organizations in East Africa.
In May, U.S. officials accused China of using military-grade lasers from this base to target and distract U.S. pilots on ten different occasions. Two of our American pilots suffered eye injuries from exposure to laser beams.
And soon, Djibouti may hand over control of the Doraleh Container Terminal, a strategically-located shipping port on the Red Sea, to Chinese state-owned enterprises.
Should this occur, the balance of power in the Horn of Africa—astride major arteries of maritime trade between Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia—would shift in favor of China. And, our U.S. military personnel at Camp Lemonnier, could face even further challenges in their efforts to protect the American people.
Russia, for its part, is also seeking to increase its influence in the region through corrupt economic dealings. Across the continent, Russia advances its political and economic relationships with little regard for the rule of law or accountable and transparent governance.
It continues to sell arms and energy in exchange for votes at the United Nations—votes that keep strongmen in power, undermine peace and security, and run counter to the best interests of the African people.
Russia also continues to extract natural resources from the region for its own benefit.
In short, the predatory practices pursued by China and Russia stunt economic growth in Africa; threaten the financial independence of African nations; inhibit opportunities for U.S. investment; interfere with U.S. military operations; and pose a significant threat to U.S. national security interests.
Equally concerning at this time, the lack of economic progress in the region has accompanied the proliferation of Radical Islamic Terrorism, and other forms of violent conflict, across Africa.
Countering these serious threats is the second priority under our new Africa strategy.
In recent years, ISIS, al-Qaida, and other terrorists operating in Africa have increased the lethality of their attacks, expanded into new areas, and repeatedly targeted U.S. citizens and interests.
In Mali, JNIM, Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin—which describes itself as an al-Qaida affiliate—is increasing in strength and has killed and wounded scores of peacekeepers, partner forces, and innocent civilians, in addition to kidnapping Westerners and threatening U.S. allies.
In Libya, the local ISIS-affiliate has found fertile ground to recruit new terrorists and plot attacks against the United States.
In South Sudan, an ongoing civil war has ravaged a young nation, displaced millions, and led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
The continuing threat from terrorism and other violent conflicts across the region puts American lives at risk, and drains vital American resources.
Between 2014 and 2018, the United States provided approximately $3.76 billion dollars in humanitarian aid to South Sudan and refugees in neighboring countries.
This number represents only a small amount of the total aid that the United States devotes to Africa.
In fact, in Fiscal Year 2017, the Department of State and USAID provided approximately $8.7 billion dollars in development, security, and food assistance to Africa.
In Fiscal Year 2016, we provided approximately $8.3 billion dollars.
Between 1995 and 2006, U.S. aid to Africa was roughly equal to the amount of assistance provided by all other donors combined.
Unfortunately, billions upon billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars have not achieved the desired effects.
They have not stopped the scourge of terrorism, radicalism, and violence.
They have not prevented other powers, such as China and Russia, from taking advantage of African states to increase their own power and influence.
And, they have not led to stable and transparent governance, economic viability, and increasing development across the region.
From now on, the United States will not tolerate this longstanding pattern of aid without effect, assistance without accountability, and relief without reform.
Instead, we are pursuing a new path, one that, we hope, finally gets results.
Americans are a generous people, but we insist that our money is put to good use.
Our third priority, therefore, is ensuring that all U.S. assistance dollars sent to Africa are used efficiently and effectively to advance peace, stability, independence, and prosperity in the region.
Here are some of the specific, bold actions we will take under our new strategy to address the three priority areas I have just highlighted.
To expand our economic relationships in the region, we are developing a new initiative called “Prosper Africa,” which will support U.S. investment across the continent, grow Africa’s middle class, and improve the overall business climate in the region.
In addition, we will encourage African leaders to choose high-quality, transparent, inclusive, and sustainable foreign investment projects, including those from the United States. We will leverage our expanded and modernized development tools to support access to financing and provide strong alternatives to external state-directed initiatives.
America’s vision for the region is one of independence, self-reliance, and growth—not dependency, domination, and debt.
We want African nations to succeed, flourish, and remain independent in fact and not just in theory.
In the coming years and months, we also intend to pursue modern, comprehensive trade agreements on the continent that ensure fair and reciprocal exchange between the United States and the nations of Africa. We will begin these negotiations on a bilateral basis, and focus on creating mutually beneficial partnerships.
Our new economic initiatives in Africa will help support American jobs and expand market access for U.S. exports, while promoting sustainable growth in African countries.
We will focus our economic efforts on African governments that act with us as strategic partners, and, which are striving toward improved governance and transparent business practices.
As our partner nations develop economically, they will be better prepared to address a range of security threats, including terrorism and militant violence.
Under our new strategy, we will also take several additional steps to help our African friends fight terrorism and strengthen the rule of law. We will assist key African governments in building the capacity of partner forces and security institutions to provide effective and sustainable security and law enforcement services to their citizens.
Our goal is for the nations of the region to take ownership over peace and security in their own neighborhood.
The G5 Sahel Joint Force, comprised of Mauritania, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, and Mali, which the United States supports, is a great example of the enormous potential for African joint security cooperation.
The G5 Sahel Joint Force is seeking to build regional capability to combat terrorism, transnational organized crime, and human trafficking in the Sahel.
As this force gains capacity, G5 countries must remain in the driver’s seat—this initiative cannot be outsourced to the U.N. for funding and other support.
We want to see more cooperative regional security organizations like these emerge around the world.
As part of our new Africa strategy, the United States will also reevaluate its support for U.N. peacekeeping missions. We will only back effective and efficient operations, that we will seek to streamline, reconfigure, or terminate missions that are unable to meet their own mandate or facilitate lasting peace. Our objective is to resolve conflicts, not freeze them in perpetuity.
And, we will not provide legitimacy to missions that give large payouts to countries sending poorly-equipped soldiers who provide insufficient protection to vulnerable populations on the ground.
The sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers of the very populations that they were sent to protect has been, and remains, completely unacceptable. Continued malfeasance without consequences damages the integrity of the entire U.N. peacekeeping system. If we are truly committed to protecting innocent life in conflict zones, then we must insist on accountable, robust, and effective peacekeeping operations.
In April, the United States did just that regarding the decades-old U.N. peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara. We demanded a six month, rather than annual, renewal period for the mission, and we insisted on a stronger, more effective mandate tied to substantive political progress.
Because of our actions, the parties to the conflict and key neighboring countries agreed to meet for the first time since 2012. Last week, the U.N. Envoy hosted these talks in Geneva and the participants agreed to hold additional talks in early next year.
Moving forward, we will also ensure that bilateral U.S. security assistance targets nations that act as responsible regional stakeholders, and nations where state failure or weakness would pose a direct threat to the United States and our citizens. We want to use American dollars in the most efficient way to protect the interests of the American people.
Accordingly, we will make certain that ALL aid to the region—whether for security, humanitarian, or development needs—advances these U.S. interests.
Countries that receive U.S. assistance must invest in health and education, encourage accountable and transparent governance, support fiscal transparency, and promote the rule of law.
The administration will not allow hard-earned taxpayer dollars to fund corrupt autocrats, who use the money to fill their coffers at the expense of their people, or commit gross human rights abuses.
For example, the United States is now reviewing its assistance to South Sudan to ensure that our aid does not prolong the conflict or facilitate predatory behavior. We will not provide loans or more American resources to a South Sudanese government led by the same morally bankrupt leaders, who perpetuate the horrific violence and immense human suffering in South Sudan.
The administration is also developing a new foreign assistance strategy to improve the effectiveness of American foreign aid worldwide. American foreign assistance was originally designed to counter the Soviet Union during the Cold War, and most recently to fight terrorism after 9/11.
Today, we need to make adjustments to address the pressing challenge of great power competition, and to correct past mistakes in structuring our funding.
In developing our strategy, we are revisiting the foundational principles of the Marshall Plan. The Marshall Plan furthered American interests, bypassed the United Nations, and targeted key sectors of foreign economies rather than dissipating aid across hundreds of programs.
Our new foreign assistance strategy will ensure that all U.S. foreign aid, in every corner of the globe, advances U.S. interests.
Our goal is to move recipient states toward self-reliance, and prevent long-term dependency.
Structural reforms will likely be critical, including practicing fiscal responsibility, promoting fair and reciprocal trade, deregulating economies, and supporting the private sector.
We should emphasize bilateral mechanisms to maintain maximum American control over every American dollar spent.
Less needy recipients should graduate from foreign assistance, and assistance should decline to countries and organizations making poor policy choices.
In addition, we should target resources toward areas where we have the most impact to ensure efficient use of taxpayer dollars.
Countries that repeatedly vote against the United States in international forums, or take action counter to U.S. interests, should not receive generous American foreign aid.
The United States will respect the independence of other nations in providing humanitarian, security, and development assistance—we are not among those powers that pursue dollars for dependency. However, we draw the line at funding causes that harm our interests and our citizens.
Around the world, the United States seeks partners who are self-reliant, independent, and strong—nations that respect the interests of their people, the rights of their neighbors, and the principle of fairness and reciprocity in all agreements.
Under our new Africa Strategy, we will expand economic ties on the basis of mutual respect. We will help African nations take control of their own economic destinies and their own security needs. And, we will ensure that all U.S. foreign assistance in the region gets results for the American people.“
Hinzu kommt auch, dass die USA mit Indien, Japan und Australien (Quad) als Konkurrenz zur Neuen Seidenstrasse China nun einen „Asian- Africa Development Corridor“ gründen wollen. Erste Veränderungen sind auch schon auszumachen. So warnte der Kommandeur von Africom Dschibouti seinen Hafen den Chinesen zu überlassen und den US-Militärstützpunkt somit die logitische Unterstützung zu entziehen. Gleichzeitig haben die USA den Friedensdeal zwischen der äthiopischen und eritreischen Regierung mit eingefädelt und überlegen nun ihre Aktivitäten von Dschibouti nach Eritrea und dessen Hafen zu verlegen, um das Horn von Afrika und Ostafrika zu kontrollieren, auch mit Blick auf den Suezkanal und die Schifffahrtsrouten vom Persischen Golf über das Rote Meer vor dem kriegszerrissenen Jemen:
„In March this year, General Thomas Waldhauser, AFRICOM Commander in Africa, warned the US Congress that China would threaten US interests globally and particularly in the Red Sea if it takes a key port in Djibouti.
The Doraleh Port had been operated by UAE-owned DP World since 2006 but the Djibouti government broke off its agreement with the Emirati company and nationalised the port in February this year.
According to Waldhauser, Djibouti has assured the US that it would not hand the port over to the Chinese, who set up their first overseas military base in Djibouti in 2017, but he warned that if it does, this would cut off supplies to the US military base in the country and restrict the movements of US Navy ships in the area.
He further concluded that the US will „never outspend the Chinese in Africa“ and he was in „the process of rewriting US military strategy in the region with China in mind.“ Given the heavy economic and military presence of China in Djibouti, US interests shifted towards its neighbour, Eritrea, which could – in the future – host a new US military base and provide the US with access to its ports.
For this to happen, Eritrea first had to emerge from its diplomatic isolation, especially by normalising relations with Ethiopia. To achieve that, the US launched a quiet campaign last year involving church officials and US diplomats lobbying the two sides to come together and resolve their differences.
Soon after US senior diplomats and senators voiced official calls for normalisation of relations between Eritrea and all neighbouring countries. US allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE also played an important role.
While the US diplomatic offensive succeeded in pulling Eritrea out of isolation, it left Djibouti out of the grand rapprochement it engineered. (…)
The shift in US priorities in East Africa has also introduced a number of other major changes in the region. First, it has further diminished the importance the US gives to supporting the armies of countries in the Horn of Africa, particularly that of Ethiopia. This means that the Ethiopian army’s role in regional security and foreign policy will diminish, with the exception of UN peace-keeping missions.
Second, it has strengthened US support for the alliance between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, at the expense of Qatari and Turkish interest in the region.
This shift has also favoured the Egyptian army. In September, the US reinstated $195m in military aid to Egypt which was frozen last year over country’s dismal human rights record and relations with North Korea.
The US has also given its blessing for a new role of the Egyptian military in the Horn of Africa. In January this year, Cairo dispatched Egyptian troops to Eritrea, stationing them at the border with Sudan, provoking speculations that it is seeking to establish a military base there.
Third, this shift has also meant that the US government is putting more effort on the economic front, which could have diplomatic and economic implications. While the US realises that it cannot match the scale of Chinese investment in Africa, it is still looking to curb Chinese economic influence in the region.
Part of its strategy is to encourage US companies to invest more in East Africa. In Ethiopia, this trend is already visible: while in the past US officials from the Department of Defense and the White House used to visit Addis Ababa, now it is officials of the Department of Commerce with entourages of US businessmen.
Fearing reproach from Washington, some East African countries may scale down their ties with China and revise their public procurement procedures. Seeing this trend, China has already announced its decision to cut down investment in Ethiopia until its current debt payment is restructured.
The US government is also looking to set up a special agency to invest up to $60bn to counter Chinese interests in the developing world, including East Africa.
In his March address to the African Union, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: „We are not in any way attempting to keep Chinese dollars from Africa. But it is important that African countries carefully consider the terms of those agreements and not forfeit their sovereignty.“
Inzwischen finden in Afrika auch einige wichtige Initiativen statt, z.B. ein afrikanisches Investmentforum, das betonte, dass Investitionen wichtiger für die Entwicklung Afrikas seien als Entwicklungshilfe:
„The inaugural Africa Investment Forum took place from November 7 to 9 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the goal of unlocking Africa’s investment potential by facilitating onsite transactions. “Less talk, more transactions and deals” was the motto of the gathering.
The forum, which was initiated by African Development Bank (AfDB) President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, emphasized unequivocally the importance of investment, foreign and domestic, to economic development on the continent. As a result, it was the first investment forum of its kind, organized by Africa for Africa and in partnership with the friends of Africa. The gathering was attended by more than 1,900 delegates from more than 80 countries
Over three days, the AfDB brought together African heads of state, billionaires, institutional investors, and business and policy leaders from across the continent. There were tangible outcomes. The AfDB announced that 49 deals worth $38.7 billion have secured investment interests. More than 230 projects across fifteen critical sectors were previewed. The forum also provided opportunities for entrepreneurs in the early “structuring” phase of business development to practice pitching their projects in an open marketplace. Networking among individuals from the public and private sectors was at a premium.
The AfDB’s initiative reflects a determination to overcome traditional barriers to closing investment deals while addressing the region’s significant infrastructure deficit. Among the successes and investment interests, South Africa benefited from a $3.7 billion deal for railway expansion and development; Ethiopia’s off-grid energy plan received investment support of $100 million in blended finance; and the Electricity Company of Ghana project arranged for $500 million of development finance capital, indicating a revitalization of energy investment and changing financial strategies. The infrastructure and water and sanitation sectors also significantly benefitted from the forum’s boardroom sessions, which led to, investments in a road-rail bridge between Kinshasa and Brazzaville and in sanitation in Tunisia’s small municipalities, for example. Furthermore, South Africa, as part of President Ramaphosa’s effort to attract $100 billion in investment over five years, closed $6 billion worth of deals with African investors, indicating that entrepreneurs can be found within Africa to partner on infrastructure improvements and the expansion of cross-border flows of capital and goods.
These successes were prefaced by AfDB President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, who opened the forum by stating clearly that “Africa is not going to be developed by aid. It will be developed by investment…” This sentiment is likely to be embraced by the region’s development partners and governments, many of whom have made significant recent efforts to improve the investment climate on the continent.“
Ebenfalls in Planung und Verhandlung ist eine afrikanische Freihandelszone für den gesamten Kontinent, das sogenannte Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA), das in den nächsten Jahren nach Vorbild des EU-Binnenmarkts in Kraft treten soll, mit Ausnahme der Personenfreizügigkeit, um Migrationsströme zu verhindern und diese daher auf Geschäftsleute beschränkt wird. Nach JEFTA, der beabsichtigten Freihandelszone zwischen EU und Mercusor und CETA ist CFTA nun ein weiterer wichtiger Impuls für den Freihandel, der Trumps America First konterkariert. Perspektisch ergebe sich auch die Möglichkeit, sollte CFTA zustande kommen, dass die EU mit dieser ein Freihandelsabkommen ECFTA oder EAFTA abschliesst. So ist zur CFTA auf der Homepage der Afrikanischen Union zu lesen:
„Objectives of the CFTA
• Create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Continental Customs Union and the African customs union.
• Expand intra African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation regimes and instruments across RECs and across Africa in general.
• Resolve the challenges of multiple and overlapping memberships and expedite the regional and continental integration processes.
• Enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploiting opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources.
The 18th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in January 2012, adopted a decision to establish a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) by an indicative date of 2017. The Summit also endorsed the Action Plan on Boosting Intra-Africa Trade (BIAT) which identifies seven clusters: trade policy, trade facilitation, productive capacity, trade related infrastructure, trade finance, trade information, and factor market integration. The CFTA will bring together fifty-four African countries with a combined population of more than one billion people and a combined gross domestic product of more than US $3.4 trillion.
Negotiations for the CFTA are expected to in June 2015 and the CFTA should be launched by an indicative date of 2017. The main objectives of the CFTA are to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Customs Union. It will also expand intra-African trade through better harmonization and coordination of trade liberalization and facilitation and instruments across the RECs and across Africa in general. The CFTA is also expected to enhance competitiveness at the industry and enterprise level through exploitation of opportunities for scale production, continental market access and better reallocation of resources. The establishment of the CFTA and the implementation of the Action Plan on Boosting Intra-African Trade (BIAT) provide a comprehensive framework to pursue a developmental regionalism strategy. The former is conceived as a time bound project, whereas BIAT is continuous with concrete targets to double intra-African trade flows from January 2012 and January 2022.“
Auch die zukünftigen Konsummarktprognosen, die durch die CFTA nochmals katalysiert werden, locken Investoren an und scheinen nun auch die USA zu einem Umdenken zu bewirken, Afrika nicht als reines „shithole“zu betrachten:
„Africa is one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world. Household consumption has increased even faster than its gross domestic product (GDP) in recent years—and that average annual GDP growth has consistently outpaced the global average. In light of the increasing affluence, population growth, urbanization rates, and rapid spread of access to the internet and mobile phones on the continent, Africa’s emerging economies present exciting opportunities for expansion in retail and distribution.
In fact, consumer expenditure on the continent has grown at a compound annual rate of 3.9 percent since 2010 and reached $1.4 trillion in 2015. This figure is expected to reach $2.1 trillion by 2025, and $2.5 trillion by 2030. Also, in 2030, if the Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) is properly implemented, a single continental market for goods and services will be operational, offering corporations different points of entry to the continent and a potential market of 1.7 billion people.
Studies have shown that African consumers are savvy and brand loyal. Local vendors are entrepreneurial and present key assets for distribution chains. At the same time, the vast majority of consumer spending on the continent currently takes place in informal, roadside markets, even in those countries with the most well-developed retail and distribution markets. This disconnect signals enormous potential for growth as African consumers shift from the informal toward more formal forms of consumption—including shopping malls, supermarkets, and eventually even e-commerce—a process that is already underway in all but the most fragile and underdeveloped countries.
Even relatively frontier markets are receiving increasing attention from foreign investors, who consider factors such as favorability of the tax and regulatory environment, the stability of the political system, access to human and financial capital, and proximity to key markets. For example, when recent challenges increased the level of country risk in Nigeria, the largest African economy and historically common West African target of foreign investors, many companies looked to Ghana to establish their regional hub of operations, as its healthy business climate is bolstered by a stable, civilian-led democratic regime and increasingly peaceful neighborhood.
By 2030, the largest consumer markets will include Nigeria, Egypt, and South Africa. There will also be lucrative opportunities in Algeria, Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Tanzania, among other African countries. For example, Ethiopia has been reported to be one of the fastest-growing economies in the world over the past decade, with an average annual GDP growth rate of 10.5 percent from 2005-06 to 2015-16. In addition, with one of the highest savings rates on the continent, its economy reflects a more stable and secure consumer sentiment. The administration has also capitalized on the country’s connectivity boom by setting up the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX) to help overcome market distortions, especially in the agricultural sector. The ECX call-in service already receives over 1.5 million calls each month. Foreign companies, such as Coca-Cola and Heineken, recognize Ethiopia’s potential and have made substantial investments. More generally, African business leaders and investors such as Aliko Dangote are aggressively investing across the continent, which is a sign of their confidence in the future for growth in African consumerism.“