Privatisation of Africa’s state-owned assets prompted by financial crises in several countries may be the trigger for a new wave of competitiveness and enterprise on the continent, starting this year. Speakers at the Deloitte Africa seminar on Africa’s outlook for 2017 highlighted the opportunities that may lie in wait for the continent if it frees itself from dependence on commodities, particularly oil. The recent cyclical fall in commodities prices, which showed early signs of turning last year, could force structural reform. Martyn Davies, MD of emerging markets & Africa at Deloitte Africa, said poor management of state-owned assets is largely responsible for the continent’s sluggish growth, notably in power and transport infrastructure. "Private capital is the greatest force for development," he said. In recent years the International Monetary Fund has intervened in 10-15 African countries a year. Its first step is to sell state-owned assets, which opens opportunities for more i...

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