One of those moments at TEDGlobal that made me feel jazzy inside was when two performers from the Zip Zap Circus School came on stage to entertain us. I didn’t know what to expect because I’ve never heard of them before. Rest assured I will be on the lookout for future performances back in South Africa. When I spoke to one of them during a break they told me that they lost their sponsorship from Old Mutual. So if anyone can help please contact Zip Zap through their website here.
Next up was Idris Mohammed, a Private Equity Pioneer. One of the most memorable quotes from the entire conference came from Idris, “Make Africa rich will you will make her less poor.” Idris talked about the link between GDP, multi party democracies, one party states and monarchy’s. The problem is not with the economies as such it’s with African Leadership.
Private investment in Telecoms in Africa reached $15 billion in 2005. MTN Nigeria experienced a 90% return on investment. One of the constraints it seems in Africa is the lack of energy sources and over 600 million megawatt hours are needed. A comparison was made between $35 billion in aid versus $5 to $10 billion in private equity investment. The stock market capitalisation in Africa is about $605 billion and excluding South Africa it drops to a meagre $34 billion. And every time you look the needs of Africa instead look at it as an investment opportunity as big as $200 billion currently.