The New Springboard – Africa
For the past handful of decades it has been alleged that in case you put ten Africans within a race, the fastest American would take position eleven. And so it has been the case for the other sports arenas for instance boxing; tennis; golf – sorry, soccer. A single would also appropriately argue that the former boxing globe champions Mohamed Ali and Mike Tyson as American citizens but of African descend. The same brush may also be used to paint Serena Williams and Tiger Woods for the Tennis and Golf sports respectively. So what about Africa?
To the majority of the outside world, Africa is a poor continent with enough population that is either susceptible candidates or already graduates of the American Idea of Discouraging Sex – sorry – AIDS. By inches, with the like of Swaziland’s King Mswati’s 13th wife’s infidelity, yes, this is possible. Also remember that majority of riffraff’s overhear suffer life elimination via hunger, kwashiorkor, malaria, elephantiasis of the scrotum, and septic wounds – diseases that understand clearly that they belong to the “socially excluded” (the latest euphemism for the poor). But the rich exit in style, through posh-sounding diseases, the affluent diseases – always to do with heart and related to overconsumption of meat and alcohol and stress. Yes, Alcohol. Alcoholism is another African way of dissolving problems.
The continent also produces sensational soccer players such as Didier Drogba (Chelsea) and MacDonald Mariga (inter-Milan) who have made the European leagues the current cash cows of sports business.
Behind this international perception of Africa as a region equaling diseases, poverty plus political tyranny lies a continent with immense potential that will define the new global economy in the course of the next two decades. This is a dream come true for the continent via the adoption of the following overviews:
Technological and Business Opportunities
Africa is an untapped potential of technological and business opportunities. All it requires is technological entrepreneurs who can link technological innovations to present the reality of the economic and social demands of the population.
Best Business Destination
For the future, Africa is the best business destination. The new development-phase will be driven by the private sector and the creation of private enterprise.
The aid-development strategy of the past creates an economic dependence and shifts development, innovation, and creativity from the continent, but as a source of cheap raw materials and unskilled labor. All technological value-adding processes have been taking place elsewhere, making Africa a “technology colony”.
Foreign Direct Investment
Although Africa’s development business is driven by commodities – forests, oil fields, and mines – these trends will soon change due to foreign direct investment mainly from China.
Global Financial Crisis Effect
The recent global financial crisis had minimal effect on Africa because the continent’s financial institutions had not ventured into derivatives or sub-prime mortgages.
Emerging Competitive Economies
Emerging competitive economies such as China, Brazil, and India have recognized Africa’s business potential. China for example has been captivated by Africa’s natural resources and has made several resource-related investments in various countries.
Trade between Africa and China has grown at an average of 30% per annum in the past decade, reaching $ 106 billion in 2009. The Chinese are doing business with Africa, not merely delivering handouts or aid that creates a culture of dependency.
To stimulate Africa’s economic growth, it is however yet to learn to be accountable to global business rather than to foreign donors.
As much as Africa appreciates this economic springboard offered by China, Africa is though carefully cautious of the potential influx of Chinese expatriates on her soil through the so-called “awarded tenders”. If such trend is allowed to prosper without proper checks and balance by parties involved, it may eventually turn to be a “handshake beyond the elbow” by China to Africa – a suicidal exodus that only BP’s “static kill” technique may have to be employed to gag it up. For it is such a bitter pill, our beloved Shanghai, that shall indeed cure.