All the gushing about growth largely ignores the continent's political risks and challenges, says Dianna Games.
"Watch out. South Africa is on a slippery slope," a Nigerian friend said to me in Lagos last week when inquiring why the economic powerhouse in the south had been subjected to power cuts. Only a fraction of Nigeria's installed electricity capacity is working and the country has gone backwards in its power supply.
There is a significant South African business presence in Zimbabwe. About 27 of our biggest listed companies have operations there, and a number are also listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange. Some of these are its top performers. Strong economic ties were maintained despite the often mismatched political dispensations on either side of the border.
After two years of declaring that anyone with "unofficial" foreign currency was an economic saboteur and an enemy of the state, the Zimbabwe government last month said it would "turn a blind eye" to people buying fuel in hard currency. The government announced that it would be a case of "no questions asked" for people taking advantage of the new arrangement.
A few months ago new Absa CEO, Steve Booysen, predicted that the bank would look at buying an African bank every year for the foreseeable future as part of its future strategy. The proposed Barclays deal to take a 50,1% stake in Absa may leapfrog this bold prediction, as a tie-up with Barclays would give Absa a huge leg-up on the continent and representation in a number of African countries.