According to the recently released DHL Global Connectedness Index (GCI), a detailed analysis of the state of globalization around the world by global logistics leader DHL, the Sub-Saharan Africa region averaged the third largest increase in connectedness from 2011 to 2013 among all global regions. In addition, five of the countries showing the largest increase in their scores – Burundi, Mozambique, Madagascar, Mali and Cote d’ Ivoire – are all located in the region. Burundi’s position as the country with the largest increase in its overall global connectedness score (pushing it up from the 140th rank to the 137th) was driven by a substantial broadening of its international interactions.
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Globalization refers to the process by which businesses or other organizations develop international influence, or start operating on an international scale. According to Charles Brewer, Managing Director of DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa, “Globalization is one of the key forces shaping the continent’s economic growth, and holds vast untapped potential to sustainably improve living standards for Africans. Citizens of globalized countries enjoy better access to a wider variety of goods and services, lower prices and better-paying jobs. Connectedness and prosperity are inextricably linked, and are a result of globalization. Sub-Saharan Africa’s increase in connectedness as shown in the GCI proves the region is on the correct path when it comes to global trade and connectivity.”
This third edition of the GCI ranks 140 countries on their global connectedness levels based on international flows of trade, capital, information and people. One of the report’s key findings is that global connectedness, measured by cross-border flows of trade, capital, information and people, has recovered most of its losses incurred during the 2008 financial crisis. The report also highlights that emerging economies are reshaping global connectedness and are now involved in the majority of international interactions.
In the GCI, Sub-Saharan Africa’s rising levels of connectedness was driven by the information and people categories. The gain in the information category is particularly noteworthy in light of the fact that this is the very category on which it lags the farthest behind other regions.
Brewer elaborates, “From a DHL Express Sub Saharan Africa perspective, certain industries have contributed significantly to our growth. We have seen robust growth in the Energy sector – particularly because of exploration companies mobilizing new campaigns in countries such as Cameroon, Congo and Gabon. The Technology sector continues to provide ongoing opportunities for us to provide innovative solutions, particularly through cross-business unit collaboration as customers look to align their internal requirements to achieve efficiencies and cost containment. Financial Services, although under competitive and regulatory pressure, has continued to grow – mainly driven by the need to provide customers with financial instruments quickly and effectively. From a consumer market perspective, the emerging middle class will, meanwhile, propel demand for fast moving consumer goods, health care products, as well as a need for retail, food, telecommunications and other consumer related necessities.”
The GCI measures globalization in 3D: It looks at the depth of countries’ cross-border interactions, their directionality (outward versus inward flows) as well as their geographic distribution (breadth).
“The report’s findings confirm that intra-African, as well as international trade, are on the mend. We remain ever-optimistic about Africa and the future only looks great. It’s time for Africa to focus, connect and grow,” concludes Brewer.