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Senegal's mango matters and Botswana's economic diversity plans

Senegal's mango matters and Botswana's economic diversity plans

Business Africa

In this week’s edition of Business Africa we look into Senegal’s plans to serve up more of its mangoes to the world and Equatorial Guinea’s struggle to cope with the oil price slump. We also examine Botswana’s efforts to diversify its economy as its diamond deposits dwindle.

Mango matters

Senegal believes it can significantly boost its economy by developing its mango production industry.

On a global scale, Senegal is a small player, compared to worldwide suppliers like Brazil, India and Israel; but it’s punching above its weight because of demand in Europe.

  • Unique export season compared to other ECOWAS members* (May-October)
  • 80% transported by boat which boosts environmental and cost credentials

As it’s only six days by sea to its main market, mangoes shipped at a lower maturity level often end up in fresh fruit salads; plus there are significant ecological and financial savings to be made compared to air freight.

What’s more the increasing popularity of organic and fair trade foods in Europe is seen as a big plus as more conscious consumers look for better taste, smell and flavour in their foods. But post-harvest techniques and pest control provide continual challenges.

Clair Muthinji and Nathalie Wakam report on why mangoes matter.

Dealing with a downturn

Equatorial Guinea is one of many African countries whose financial fortunes have fallen because of the global slump in oil prices.

But the impact of the drop has hit the West African nation particularly hard as production has also spiraled downwards. The country’s been trying to diversify but as Elvis Boh and Ruth Laetitia Lago report, its efforts have had mixed results.

Botswana’s economic diversity plans

Botswana could be considered one of the brightest jewels in Africa’s crown. Since gaining independence in 1966, its radically transformed from one of the world’s poorest nations to a middle-income economy country, where growth averaged at nine percent over three decades.

Its riches have mainly come from diamonds…and it also boasts the continent’s longest continuous multi-party democracy which has undoubtedly helped it develop one of Africa’s most advanced banking systems. Its widely hailed as an example of how mining wealth can benefit a whole nation.

With diamond production expected to dry up within the next 20 or 30 years, Michael Oduor and Brice Kinhou investigate Botswana’s bid to diversify through tourism, agriculture and technology.