Africa is an exciting, complex, and dynamic place to invest. We believe Africa will drive global growth for decades to come. However, getting accurate information about the continent is hard. Mainstream media outlets often focus on negative or disaster-based news stories. Investors are often pleasantly surprised to learn that there’s big business being done in Africa—and that many companies and markets are thriving. With this bimonthly newsletter, we aim to inform, educate, and inspire readers who are newer to the Africa story, while offering independent opinions and analysis for more experienced readers. We cover countries in sub-Saharan Africa, as North African markets have very different trends and characteristics.
How can readers use this newsletter? Our first mission is to bring sub-Saharan Africa into the comfort zone for our clients. We clarify and analyze news, events, and themes. Our next goal is to steer the conversation about Africa toward business, investments, and economic issues. Finally, we discuss the ways in which Africa is an integral part of global economic and business trends—and how ideas can originate in Africa and spread around the world.
What’s inside? Our reports include fresh and timely news and analysis to bring events into focus. We incorporate thoughts on how events and trends may affect African and global companies. We then bring the discussion down to a country-, sector-, or company-specific level. Sectors in focus include agribusiness, technology, communications, financial services, consumer products, industrials, manufacturing, transportation, power, healthcare, education, and more.
About the author: African News, Views & Ideas is written by Melissa Cook based on the work she does for her institutional research product. Ms. Cook has over 30 years of global research and business experience—including a front-row seat watching the emergence of new economies in Eastern Europe and China, and ten years covering Africa. She covered several sectors as an equity analyst at Wall Street firms including Drexel Burnham Lambert, Prudential Securities, and CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets. She was Head of Global Research at Lazard Asset Management. Ms. Cook has an A.B. degree in History from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Stern School of Business at New York University. She is a CFA charterholder and holds FINRA Series 7, 16, 24, 63, 86, and 87 licenses. In November 2014, Melissa Cook was appointed for a two-year term on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa.
Experience plus perspective—insight for clients. Readers benefit from Ms. Cook’s ability to connect global themes, the development of industries, political trends, and local data points in thought-provoking ways. Ms. Cook gathers information the old-fashioned way by visiting companies, government officials, investors, and local sources where they work. Melissa Cook has made more than 45 research trips to 16 African countries in the past decade, building a vast network of contacts along the way.