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South Africa

Gwendolyne Gosselin, a South African entrepreneur turning her passion for Shweshwe fabrics into a high impact community childrenswear and toy brand

Resourcefulness is a key trait needed by most entrepreneurs, and in the case of Gwendolyne Gosselin, founder of Mathilde & Co., that translated into learning how to sew. Today her unique brand of children’s clothing and toys, all made from Shweshwe fabrics, is winning fans at home and abroad. Importantly, it is also helping to change lives closer to home in her local community.

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Nigeria and South Africa affecting the overall perception of investors towards Africa

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In its World Economic Outlook released in early October 2017, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seems to be more optimistic about the global economy, but there are still many risks that can stall the recovery. It estimates that global growth in 2017 will be 3.6%, and forecasts a 3.7% rate for 2018 and 2019. The emerging market and developing economies will be the main growth engine, with an estimated growth of 4.6% in 2017, accelerating to 4.9% and 5% in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

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Four things this packaging company teaches us about Africa’s consumer goods industry

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The consumer-facing sector has been pivotal to Africa’s growth story, with McKinsey & Company estimating it accounted for almost 50% of GDP expansion between 2010 and 2014. But recent years have seen a combination of low commodity prices and droughts dampen the prospects of many countries, leading some to question whether the continent still holds promise for consumer brands.

One company with a good vantage point of the sector is Polyoak Packaging, a South African-based operator with a footprint in numerous markets across the continent. Polyoak produces rigid plastic packaging for a wide variety of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) items, including milk, dairy products, soft drinks and sauce condiments. How we made it in Africa recently sat down with Keith Dilkes, Africa export sales manager at Polyoak, to get his perspective on the trends impacting the consumer goods industry. Here are the main takeaways from the conversation.

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Meet SA’s game changers

When dark forces come knocking, don’t despair: Broforce an underfunded, over-powered paramilitary organisation that metes out excessive force is not far away. And the bros are here to save the day. If the hyper-violent mercenary scene created in the adventure platform game doesn’t appeal to you, perhaps the "save the world" mission will. No? No matter, Broforce has found its audience. Developed by a Cape Town gaming studio called Free Lives, the game has sold over a million copies. Free Lives has made over US$3m to date from three of its major titles that have put them on the map: Gorn (sold for $20), Broforce ($15), and Genital Jousting ($5).

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