West Africa sees biggest risk increase

6 February 2013

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6 February 2013 | Adam Leach

Rising Islamic terrorism, a lack of governance and the growth in illegal activity has increased the risk to investors and businesses operating in West Africa over the past year, according to a report.

The Global Risks Atlas, published today by Maplecroft, reports the region of West Africa has seen the highest increase in risk over the past 12 months, with the actions of Islamic militants and poor governance being highlighted as causes. Ivory Coast was identified as the country with the highest risk profile in the region and the ninth-highest across the world, while Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, Gambia and Togo, were also all in the top 50.

Maplecroft cited incidents of political turmoil in Ivory Coast and Guinea-Bissau for reducing governance, concluding this has the potential to deter companies from investing in the region and using West African suppliers. It also identified that a rise in illicit trades, such as cocaine trafficking, has added to instability in the region.

Somalia, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo were calculated as the three highest-risk countries worldwide. Afghanistan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Myanmar, Pakistan, Ivory Coast, and Syria completed the top 10.

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