Mali: At the Dawn of a New Year

By Christine Lagarde (Version in Français) My second stop on this trip to Africa, after Kenya, was Mali—a country that is facing an extraordinarily difficult transition: from restoring political stability to securing economic stability—from crisis to recovery. Having gone through massive turmoil in 2012, Mali is emerging successfully, thanks to the perseverance and fortitude of its people. […]

A New Frontier for Kenya and Africa

By Christine Lagarde For yet a third year I have kept my tradition of starting the New Year with a visit to Sub-Saharan Africa—a region that truly offers great promise! As the world economy has remained focused on the crisis of the advanced economies, Africa has quietly forged ahead with strong growth led by a vibrant […]

Preventing Civil War in South Sudan

This post comprises the first two paragraphs of a column that appeared on the NYT.com’s Economix blog on Thursday, December 26, 2013.  To read the full post, click here. The news from Juba is very bad. South Sudan is in the throes of political conflict and serious fighting, with several hundred people reported dead and more injured, […]

Egypt Attracts $8 billion to Its Energy Sector

The final results of the Arab Spring’s impact on Egypt after more than two years of political turmoil remain to be seen, but Egypt’s Oil and Mineral Resources Minister Sherif Ismail is sounding an upbeat note about overseas investment, stating that foreign energy companies operating in Egypt have emphasized their commitment to research and exploration plans as […]

Serious Oil Problems Uncovered in Nigeria

A report last week from Amnesty International said energy companies operating in the oil-rich Niger Delta region weren’t entirely up front about what’s causing the “hundreds” of spills reported every year in the region. In a 66-page report, the rights group said oil companies, in particular Royal Dutch Shell, have made numerous claims about sabotage […]

Africa’s Success: More Than a Resource Story

By Antoinette M. Sayeh When meeting with people outside Africa, I’m often asked whether Africa’s growth takeoff since the mid-1990s has been simply a “commodity story”—a ride fueled by windfall gains from high commodity prices. But finance ministers and other policymakers in the region, and I was one of them, know that the story is richer […]

Somalia Seeks Foreign Investment in Energy Sector – Big Oil Cautious

Oil companies are renowned for going into hostile environments in their relentless search for the world’s seemingly insatiable thirst for “black gold.” That said, there remain a few nations where even the intrepid masters of the universe hesitate to tread. In Central Asia, it is Afghanistan, despite the nation’s purported 1.6 billion barrels of extractable […]

Don’t Be Fooled by Libya—This is a Failed State

Gunmen today seized Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan from a hotel in central Tripoli, releasing him shortly afterwards, but making it clear that post-Gaddafi Libya is a failed state and that the government is incapable of taking full control over its oilfields and export terminals. While the markets have been responding lately with unfounded optimism […]

China in Africa: Partners in the Year of the Snake

African exports to China have increased six-fold since 2000 alone, the bulk of it in oil, and this year, China surpassed the US and Europe as Africa’s largest trading partner. Starting from $11 billion in bilateral trade in 2000, Beijing racked up $160 billion dollars in trade with Africa by 2011, and for 2012 Chinese […]

Does Sub-Saharan Africa Deserve A Slice Of Your Portfolio?

“One of the most remarkable features of the global economy over the past fifteen years has been the striking surge of economic growth over much of sub-Saharan Africa,” Charles Collyns, assistant secretary for international finance at the US Treasury, advised earlier this month. We’ve heard this story before, of course, only to discover that the investment results […]