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competition policy wealth youth entrepreneurship

Merger control in Africa…and other links

I’ve spent the past few days at Oxford University in the UK, taking part in alumni weekend activities. Oxford is amazing in the spring, just before the start of the academic year. I attended various functions across the university. At the SBS business school events, I was struck by the increasing number of MBAs and other alumni who are setting up enterprises in Africa. It’s good to see that the continent’s opportunities are attracting global talent.

The Financial Times ‘BRICS’ blog carries a piece by lawyers from a South African law firm that points to some of the regulatory issues that investors into Africa have to take into account, specifically merger control. Regulation in African economies is becoming quite sophisticated, and it would be dangerous to assume that deals on the continent do not require the same degree of analytical rigour that is applied in entering other markets. The authors express support to a regional approach to merger control, though it would not supersede national merger control regimes. The emergence of the African Competition Forum is one development that would allow for the sharing of knowledge and tools across competition authorities on the continent:
http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2012/09/19/guest-post-african-regulators-get-to-grips-with-ma/#axzz276itO1vJ

The African Development Bank’s economic outlook for the continent was released this month, with a focus on youth employment. The report does not lament youth unemployment, but proposes policies to reap the potential demographic dividend presented by the continent’s growing youth population:
http://allafrica.com/stories/201209191071.html

I recently watched an MTV Base production featuring a group of young African stars interviewing the Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote. One of the interviewers asked Dangote to respond to allegations that he exercises monopoly control in the industries that his companies operate in. Dangote responded by arguing, essentially, that the barriers to entry in these industries (sugar, cement, flour) are low and that anybody is free to enter those markets. Interesting question, interesting response. Forbes reports that Dangote is stepping up his philanthropy, inspired by the Buffet and others (video):
http://www.forbes.com/sites/luisakroll/2012/09/18/africas-richest-person-aliko-dangote-on-why-hes-stepping-up-his-philanthropy/

Ventures Africa reflects on the South African Rich List. Once again, the Sunday Times places Motsepe at the top. Once again, this list diverges from Forbes, which rates Oppenheimer as the richest South African:
http://www.ventures-africa.com/2012/09/billionaire-patrice-motsepe-remains-south-africas-richest-man-as-rich-list-wealth-grow/

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