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In Africa, It’s Boom Time for Bonds

Street scene near Makola Market in downtown Accra, Ghana
Street scene near Makola Market in downtown Accra, GhanaPhotograph by Tom Cockrem/Getty Images

Quite the juxtaposition of headlines to start May: Bloomberg reported that the world’s 200 richest people added $45 billion of collective net worth in the week, as the Dow Jones industrial average hit 15,000. At the same time, the capital markets of sub-Saharan Africa, which has some of the poorest nations on earth, are feeling a financing boom unlike anything they’ve ever experienced, according to Chris Kay, a Bloomberg News reporter in Nigeria.

Both phenomena can thank central banks in the developed world for keeping rates painfully low, forcing investors into risk assets in search of return.