THE RECENT DISCOVERY of two huge diamonds at the Lulo Project, in northeastern Angola – one 38.3 carats and the other 131.5 carats – is said to have dazzled investors, highlighting the remarkable natural resources that have yet to be discovered in africa.
africa is a continent of one billion people, blessed with vast natural resources and at a similar developmental stage to China and india in the early 1990s. views of africa as a continent kept afloat solely by development aid no longer hold currency, and once-definitive analysis of a ‘hopeless continent’ have been gradually debunked. instead, africa is being viewed increasingly through an altogether different prism: commerce. investors and multinationals now believe africa – home to a dozen of the globe’s fastest growing economies and the last major region on earth still largely unexplored – is the next ‘big destination’ for global investment. of course, the ‘risk factor’ could be high, due to instability, conflict or natural disasters, but levels of profitability are high too, with competition in some sectors relatively low. as more and more african nations integrate themselves effectively into today’s global economy, it will become ever more apparent that it is the commercial ties that bind. indeed, lord stern noted: ‘The futures of the rich world and africa are ever more closely intertwined.’
Diplomat tackles these issues in a thought-provoking report: invest afriCa, with contributions from the Cameroon high Commissioner and the republic of djibouti’s Minister of economy, finance industry and Planning.
Diplomat is grateful to have a number of heads of Mission writing for us this month. in recent years, diplomacy has certainly moved from the ‘smoke filled rooms’ of international gatherings to the touchpad screens of today, and russia’s ambassador discusses the challenges of social media for diplomats and his country’s determination to evolve and grow its digital offerings. ukraine’s ambassador celebrates his country’s hosting of euro 2012, and the cultural and infrastructural legacy it left behind. he also discusses ukraine’s european integration and asserts the uK’s importance to his country’s economy. following the 52nd anniversary of independence, the high Commissioner for Cyprus discusses his country’s role during its eu Presidency, its plans for the current economic crisis and its political hopes for the future. to mark oman’s 42nd national day, the ambassador takes this opportunity to express his country’s loyalty and gratitude to his Majesty sultan Qaboos al-said for all the achievements he has helped bring about during his prosperous reign.
as always, Diplomat reviews the credentials of new heads of mission to the Court of st James’s, this month meeting with the ambassadors of afghanistan and Peru and the high Commissioner for Jamaica. for our series of photographic portraits, we feature his excellency Mustafa Mujezinović, ambassador of bosnia and herzegovina.
in the lifestyle section, Diplomat visits bangkok’s new ‘luxury urban retreat’, The siam and enjoys lunch at Mayfair’s newest italian hotspot, banca. readers with a taste for culture will find valuable advice in our book and art reviews, including details of the glittering new exhibition at royal jewellers, bentley & skinner on Piccadilly.
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