Trade between Africa and the United Arab Emirates goes back hundreds of years and there are strong enduring cultural ties, especially with the East coast of Africa. In more modern times, other international players have had greater economic infuence in the continent but over the last decade, the UAE has come roaring back and is likely to become one of Africa’s most important trading and investment partners. In this Special Report, our correspondent in Dubai, Heba Hashem examines the current business links between Africa and the UAE and how these are projected to increase in the near future.
Our Top 250 African Companies annual rankings this year shows some interesting trends with the growth of companies mirroring the general pattern of the continental growth. The dominance of mining companies, for example, is diminishing in favour of more consumer-oriented ones and companies in both East and West Africa show a spectacular spike while North Africa, given its political upheavals, has lost ground. South African companies, with their massive head start over the rest of Africa and their strong international component, still tower over the rest of the continent's firms but have been growing more slowly. There is little doubt that the status quo is shifting and it will be fascinating to watch what happens over the course of the rest of this year and the next.
The Top Companies report was compiled by Neil Ford.
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