Sub-Saharan Africa still in successful transformation

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Sub-Saharan Africa has gone through a remarkable period of transformation but numerous factors can still determine its success or failure.

“People tend to bucket economies – emerging and developed – but I think it’s an interesting debate. Are a number of the markets in Africa truly emerging?” Minos Gerakaris, head of trade finance at Rand Merchant Bank, told CNBC Africa.

“If you look at some of the measures that could be used in terms of openness of the economy, [such as] access to the capital markets, sophistication of the banking system, technology and infrastructure, by those measures, we are relatively advanced.”

Access to capital markets in particular has been a key aspect of advancement for emerging economies, and instrument such as Eurobonds provide that needed access. Countries such as Rwanda and Kenya have both had successful Eurobonds, indicating the effectiveness of the capital market instrument.

(READ MORE: Eurobond issuance on hot pursuit in Africa)

“I think the more important theme is that how many new sovereign names are coming to the Eurobond market and the issuing benchmark sovereign issues. At least five sovereigns have gone with a full issue in the last two years,” Gerakaris explained.

“Also, some have, through reverse inquiries, done private placements. Names like Mozambique, which given their sovereign rating, might not have considered in the past a full Eurobond, have significant interest and have done private placements into the market.”

Where the banking sector is involved, interest still remains high in this particular industry as it continues to remain a stronghold as a leader and facilitator of change in markets.

More recently, the telecoms space is also becoming a strong facilitator in the sub-Saharan region.

(READ MORE: The changing face of Africa’s telecoms sector)

“[Telecoms] has been one of the biggest boosts for the region in terms of accelerating growth. We heard the good news story of Nairobi with Safaricom, all of these are very positive steps, which enable and facilitate growth and diversification away from just reliance on single-resource economies,” Gerakaris added.