Africa optimism rising

When some of the most influential figures in emerging markets finance spoke to a group of Reuters editors, they were asked about top picks for growth beyond the so-called BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

One continent came up again and again – Africa – and one country in particular – Nigeria. Goldman Sachs global head of economic research, Jim O’Neill, highlighted the improvement in the growth-environment index of Africa’s giant over the past decade.

“If it were to show the same increase in its growth-environment score over the next decade, many investors will look back and say why the hell didn’t I invest in Nigeria,” said O’Neill, who coined the term BRICs.

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Recent interest in Africa has been buoyed by the World Cup while a series of reports have highlighted its prospects beyond the global crisis. There was a recent McKinsey study and Fitch has come out with an improved outlook for sub-Saharan Africa.

There is certainly plenty of optimism outside the continent. Will it be fully realised this time around?



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