Notes from the Managing Director’s Desk
As for the rest of the world, 2020 has been a torrid year for Africa. Africa Integrity has closely tracked the impact of Covid-19 in different parts of the continent and we have been deeply saddened by the pain and losses it has caused. We have also been impressed by the responses of many cash-strapped governments, who have dug deep to lessen the public health, social and economic damage wrought by the virus. As we have observed in previous newsletters, the response has been heavy-handed in some cases and the crisis may have afforded cover to certain regimes for actions designed to narrow the democratic space. But, on the whole, Africa’s leaders have reacted sensibly, swiftly and effectively to the threat, in trying circumstances.
Recently, the success of measures imposed early on has been reflected in an easing of restrictions in many economies. Put simply, Africa is getting back to work. Key sectors, such as mining, are beginning to thrive once again. And, as my colleague Michael Kearsey writes below, Africa’s ever vibrant political scene has continued to surprise, both on the upside and the downside, proving that the virus has not quelled the peoples’ spirits. So, there is a quiet confidence emerging that Africa is entering a new phase, of economic, social and political recovery.
For our clients, the new phase represents opportunities and risks in equal measure. We believe that, globally, the pandemic-induced pause has changed forever the way consumers think about the corporate world. Now, more than ever, corporate behaviour will come under close scrutiny. Recent events in the UK have illustrated a renewed interest in the integrity of companies’ supply chains, across sectors. In Africa, it will be particularly important to ensure that resource inputs do not carry with them the risk of political exposure, use of child-labour, or infiltration of conflict minerals, to mention but a few concerns.
Against this backdrop, Africa Integrity is delighted to announce a focused strategic co-operation with Kleos Advisory (https://kleosadvisory.uk/), led by the highly distinguished Dr Tedd George, a polyglot Africanist and author of the seminal work “The Cuban Intervention in Angola, 1965-1991”. With over a decade of experience in the continent’s banking system, Tedd has built a specialism in value-chains in Africa, with particular focus on fintech and agritech.
In the coming weeks, we shall be unveiling a joint Africa Integrity/Kleos Advisory Value-Chain Integrity Monitoring Service for Africa-focussed clients. We believe it will provide significant added value for clients, by enhancing their Environment, Social and Governance agendas in the new, and very different, world that we are about to enter.
Watch this space…
This article originally featured in Africa Integrity’s July 2020 Newsletter. To join our newsletter mailing list, please contact us.