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The most important in this week’s headlines out of and concerning Africa, for those who need help catching up.
In this week’s news, old guns provide a new economic prospect, and Africa’s millionaires are on the rise.
Angola Recycles Old Guns To Create Steel Mill
Fourteen years after the end of Angola’s decades-long civil war, the country has decided to put it’s old weaponry back to use.
However, this time they are not to be used in war. Instead, the metal from old tanks, guns, and other weapons are being recycled to create the Aceria de Angola Steel Mill.
The mill, which recently began operations, was the idea of French business man Georges Choucair. Choucair has been in Angola since 1992, and is convinced that producing steel will be a major boost to Angola’s economy.
The reasons for this are twofold: firstly, steel is vital to a country’s internal infrastructure, as it allows large buildings, bridges, and other important structures to be built. Secondly, while supplying steel costs money, it will be less costly than importing it. Choucair predicts that the country will have enough steel that it will be able to export it by 2020, potentially turning Angola into an economic hub.
Africa’s Millionaire Population Grows
Africa’s economy is booming, and the rise in Africa’s middle and upper classes proves it.
At the end of 2014, there were 169,000 millionaires in the continent, and that number is expected to rise by 53% percent over the next 10 years.
The African middle class is also growing significantly, and more people are finding themselves with some amount of disposable income. As a result, luxury brands such as Hugo Boss and Porsche are becoming more common. Such brands face challenges, of course: the gap between rich and poor presents a challenge, but the rising middle class is a sign that things are changing.
In South Africa, many luxury brands are changing what they sell in order to appeal more to the middle class, and it is believed that brands in markets elsewhere will soon follow this example.