Spring 2018: Africa Region Update
PARTNERS WORLDWIDE IN AFRICA
The Partners Worldwide Africa Region recently began implementing a three-year strategic plan.
The plan focuses on strengthening the governance of our local partners, building up agricultural value chains, increasing the regional infrastructure of Partners Worldwide in Africa, and improving the capacity of our internal operations.
We are focusing on helping a targeted group of our local partners reach a higher level of organizational competency and resiliency.
The first step in this process is to work alongside them to assess their desire and readiness to participate in an in-depth organization capacity plan. This capacity plan will inform priority areas, such as strengthening their board’s oversight role, hiring high-capacity senior management, or installing efficient loan tracking software systems to increase their competence and impact.
2018 ECONOMIC OUTLOOK
Africa is expected to experience positive economic growth in 2018. The World Bank forecasts growth of around 3.2 percent, up from 2.4 percent in 2017.
Economic growth has recently slowed due to a fall in commodity prices. However, prices of agricultural, energy, and metal commodities—on which many African economies rely—are expected to rise again in 2018.
Africa’s economic growth, or lack of it, has begun to depend more on improvements in the business environment and macroeconomic governance rather than natural resources.
Since December, at least 80 people have been killed in conflicts between nomadic herdsmen and farmers in rural communities in Benue State and Taraba State in eastern Nigeria. Please pray for peace, resolution, and healing.
Kenya and Liberia
There is increasing political stability in Kenya and Liberia which recently went through power transitions. Kenya went through a re-election and Liberia had a run-off election. Liberia elected former football star, George Weah, in the run-off election. Voter turnout was good, and Weah promises to encourage infrastructure projects to recover Liberia’s struggling economy.
Please pray for continued unity in Kenya and settling of differences between the government and opposition.
Zimbabwe’s recent power transition, after a military takeover ousted Robert Mugabe, gives hope for government reforms and economic regeneration. Please pray for stability as the new government leads Zimbabwe in making a fresh start and as its citizens look forward to elections later this year.