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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Markets

CARDBOARD BOXES are not sexy. But they are useful: imagine trying to shift a lorryload of eggs from farm to shop without packaging. Because boxes make it easier to move things around, they allow shops to stock a wider variety of goods at lower prices. So to run a cardboard-box factory in Africa is to put more and better food on African plates.

The Riley Packaging plant in Uganda is quite a sight. From wall to wall and floor to ceiling, it is crammed with vast rolls of paper. A visitor feels like an ant gazing at stacks of toilet rolls. A management consultant might ask: why does Riley need to keep so much inventory—three months’ worth—heaped idly on the floor? Surely there are better uses for the firm’s capital?

Actually, no. The paper has to be imported. Uganda is landlocked. The nearest port, at Mombasa in Kenya, is more than 1,000km (620 miles) away on iffy roads. Containers passing through customs there face long and unpredictable delays. The factory keeps masses of inventory because it cannot rely on supplies to arrive just-in-time. And “we can’t ever let customers down,” says Ashish Thakkar, a part-owner of the firm.

Ignorant investors beware

Tagged in: Africa investors Markets
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Despite socio-political challenges and  the serial upheavals in South Africa’s mining and agricultural industries, Africa’s largest economy remains the best place to do business in Africa in terms of business destination, a research compiled by business services company Grant Thornton has shown.

The report, titled ‘Emerging Markets Opportunity Index: High Growth Economies’, ranked South Africa 14th out of 27 largest emerging economies surveyed (in terms of their potential for business investment ); significantly showing SA as the highest rated economy on the African continent.

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EuropeLogo eInfastructure This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 313203
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