In this episode we are joined by Barnaby Fletcher, associate director at Control Risks. In a wide-ranging discussion covering politics, economics and conflict at different scales, we unpick the risks and opportunities for Africa in 2022.

We begin by discussing the nature of risk, outlining Barnaby’s work as a leading risk analyst for East and Southern Africa and the career journey he took to get there.

He defines risk as the potential effect of uncertainty, and explains how, while risk exists everywhere, the combination of debt, pandemic, climate change and multi-dimensional conflict makes Africa a particularly compelling case. 

Ongoing unrest in the Sahel, Sudan, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Libya and several other nations has involved a diverse cast of regional and international players, contributing to a fragmented conflict landscape that offers unclear prospects for a neat resolution.

Meanwhile, recent local elections in South Africa and upcoming national elections in Kenya and Nigeria have thrown up new tensions, cleavages and opportunities for domestic political players. As the 2021 Control Risks and Oxford Economics Africa Risk-Reward Index makes clear, however, Africa is also full of opportunities.

We discuss the burgeoning data, energy, agricultural and biotech sectors, highlighting how the failure of the rest of the world to provide support during the Covid-19 pandemic has forced Africa into exciting, self-sufficient development in key areas. The balance of risk and reward on the continent remains dynamic, but there is much to look forward to in 2022.

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Host and Executive Producer: Desné Masie

Co-producer: Peter Doerrie

Researcher: Angus Chapman

Digital Editor: Charles Dietz

Design: Jason Venkatasamy

Music: Corporate Uplifting Chill by MusicLFiles