Trading And Investing In & Out Africa

ISSUE 34 - VOL 1
FEBRUARY 15 - MARCH 14, 2002

Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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The New Partnership For Africa's Development - Nepad - endorsed by the Organization for African Unity's Summit (OAU) held in Lusaka, Zambia, on July 11, 2001 is now fully on the launching pad.

The world most industrialized countries' supervision body - G-8 - had on the agenda of its forthcoming June 2002-summit at Ottawa (Canada) discussions on how G-8's countries could support initiatives and development projects linked to Nepad. Click here for more on recent supporting events on Nepad.

On its part the Organization For Economic Cooperation and Development - OECD - released at Paris (France) on February 5, 2002, a joint report (drafted with the African Development Bank - ADB) on the African Economy Outlook.

The Nepad initiative was hailed and approved by the report. However, the report's team did raised some concerns about the scheme operational validity. It had particularly expressed doubts about the availability of sufficient financing package to supporting the implementation of Nepad's initiatives below listed.

The main reason - according to OECD'S report - for the lack of financing being the continuous decline of the public financial aid that the developed countries allocate to the developing world.

From 1970 to 2000, that public financial support - calculated as a percentage of the GDP - had dwindled from an average of 0.7-1 % to 0.4-0.6%. And short term perspectives do not show a possible reversal of the nose dive trend. France's Jacques Chirac discusses the problem with several African heads of states at Paris on February 8, 2002, during a meeting dedicated to Nepad's initiative.


The conceptual policies to ruling Nepad actions had been well defined into seven structures below listed:

1- Peace, Security, Democracy and Political Governance Initiative.
Economic and Corporate Governance Initiative.
3- Bridging the Infrastructure Gap.
Human Resource Development Initiative
Capital Flows Initiative.
Market Access Initiative.
Environment Initiative

One can see that these policies are global and not yet linked to well identified development projects. Click here to further review these initiatives.

Several years will pass by (in the range of one decade to be conservative) before feasibility studies and business plans linked to common and regional specific economic projects are drafted and agreed upon by the different African states and approved by institutional financing bodies such as the IMF, the World Bank and so on. Click here for a warning issued on February 15, 2002 by a top G8 official against "unrealistic expectations".

Owing to the urgency to finding solutions to bridging the developing gap afflicting African countries' economies, is it normal and wise to focus too much attention and energy on Nepad's initiatives alone?

Even if things eventually move more swiftly one is entitled to raising following questions:

- Could the Nepad initiative be the driving force to solving the urgent and acute economic development problematic African countries are now confronted with?

- Could the basic concept of Nepad - the development of common and regional infrastructure projects - be sufficient to triggering the sustained economic development process needed by each African country?

- Could Nepad engineer the ultimate economic take off of any African country?

- Could Nepad create sufficient riches for African countries' economies to allowing for the fair distribution of wealth amongst the populations on a sustained and permanent basis?

In the long term, Nepad may become a driving force to developing African countries. However it won't be the decisive one. Because the implementation of global common infrastructure projects cannot properly address the low level of economic activities prevailing now and for too long in all African countries; and the subsequent high level of unemployment (quite 30 to 50% of the working force available) as here extensively exposed.

Implementation of regional projects will not boost up the economic activity level in each concerned African country. To increase the economic activity level in each African country, national government should imperatively implement integrated development schemes capable of generating double-digit annual economic growth rate on a sustained basis for three to four decades running. Click here for more.

Otherwise, Nepad or not Nepad, the prevailing poverty in African countries will worsen as the growth-rate of the populations (3 to 4%) and inflation level (5% - a very optimistic viewpoint) eat out any annual economic growth-rate below 10%. Click here for more.

It will take us up to several decades, far beyond the second century of the new millennium, to alleviate prevailing poverty and create descent living conditions for all in African countries, if we do not target double-digit annual economic growth-rate; and manage to sustain it over three running decades.
The matter had been given due consideration here.

Could Nepad initiatives trigger double-digit annual economic growth-rate in each African country? In a short span of time to counterbalancing the growth-rate of the populations?

We doubt it as existing regional organizations throughout Africa have failed till now to do so with their respective members states after more than one decade of existence and activities.

Nepad cannot help generating double-digit annual economic growth-rate in each African country in the short term. Because firstly Nepad implementation will be taking at least a decade to be fully operational and secondly the different above listed initiatives are global and not projects oriented from the start. These different initiatives will take two to three decades to producing visible results.

In the meantime the increase of populations will diminish the already meager per capita GNP and African countries will be engulfed in aggravated poverty leading to subsequent political destabilization, civil unrest and civil wars.

- Therefore, in addition to the efforts now made to promoting Nepad, national African governments should also devise and promote projects oriented development schemes; establishing integrated operations, which link together agriculture development, industrial transformation of crops and expansion of related services. These projects oriented integrated schemes will be more attractive to direct foreign investors and to the international commercial banking system. Click here for a case study.

Such integrated development schemes - having the inherent capacity (Synergetic Impact Factor) of boosting up the economic development and creating riches, are capable, in a very short span of time of 10 years, to tremendously multiplying the per capita Gross National Product.

Click here for a case study on how to boost the per capita GNP from US$ 380 to US$ 2,500 in ten years for an African country; and here for further consideration on the African Renaissance.

- ADDENDUM: Here we are. On this June 28, 2002 G-8's heads of states finished their two-day meeting in the remote hideout of Kananaskis, Canada, without dealing properly with the financing package needed to launching NEPAD's implementation.

The outcome is not a surprise. G-8's leaders promised to better tackle the matter next year. And next year, they will promise for the next one! And year after year Africa will continue to drift into sheer poverty.

It is obvious that the wealthy states will not hand out points of economic growth to any emerging country. Have you ever seen a prosperous merchant freely giving market share to competitors?

Africa will have to fight to win its share of the world's market. We Africans will never gain anything from G-8 for free! We will be panting year upon year after the carrot to no avail.

Let's become realist and devise alternative strategies to control the economic development of our countries. Just like the Asian tigers did. They didn't bank from the start on any kind of NEPAD; It is only now that, after three to four decades of sustainable double-digit rated economic growth, they are contemplating a strong economic union.

Russia gets G8 cash, Africa gets kind words

"The G8 was unanimous in being optimistic - and I am one of the optimists - about growth," said French President Jacques Chirac, promising to focus again on Africa's needs when he hosts the next G8 summit next year". Click here for more.

G8 pledges 'peanuts' to Africa. Click here for more

Africa's media unimpressed with Nepad Click here for more.

"CONTRIBUTOR'S GUIDELINES" are available here. You are invited to contribute to AFRICABIZ ONLINE MONTHLY ISSUE - with articles related to "How Africa Could Bridge The Developing Gap".

Many thanks for subscribing to Africabiz. See you here next month on March 15, 2002.

Dr. B.M. Quenum
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Click here for a brief on Nepad

Business Opportunities


Huge quantities of tropical fruits -oranges, pineapple, papaya, guava, lime and so on - are discarded by producers as waste in most sub-Saharan African countries. The producers cannot sell their products as fresh fruit in a short span of time. And for lack of cold room storage facilities, the fruits rot and are discarded as garbage.

This is really a sad matter as the development of an industry to processing tropical fruits into fruit juice, appetizers and essential oils will contribute to the improvement of foreign exchange balance of any African country.

For instance, a medium scale facility to processing 18,600 metric tons of lime and citron during 150 operational days, yields a Gross profit of US$ 1,296,000 obtained with a investment level in the range of US$ 2,620,000

-This is a real niche opportunity for any African country to improving its foreign exchange balance. It is also a perfect Economic Catalyst

The selling prices of the essential oils, pectin and fruit-juices - as exposed in the Turnover' section of the table available here - are far more higher than that of the initial fruits and will contribute tremendously to the growth rate and the global development process of any African country which promotes such industry.

One should bear in mind that above exposed outstanding Gross Profit margin had been achieved with only 150 operational days based on lime / citron as raw materials.

The Gross Profit margin could easily be doubled (with marginal investments into additional equipment) if other fresh fruits (pineapple, mango, orange, guava etc.;) are made available all over the year as raw materials to produce concentrated juice-fruit.

More on fruit juice production

Control Your Desktop


Few months ago hackers and villains in the cyberspace used only to cooked viruses of their own and transmit it through the World Wild Word to create havoc in other descent people computers.

Nowadays they move a step further in their mischievous achievements. They create virus adapted to the most popular virus scanners available on the market. They play cat and mouse with the virus scanners developers.

If you have not done so yet, it is high time to install a powerful virus scanner and update it regularly.

Don't make it easy for any villain to disrupt your hard work. Take simple precautions: 1- Never open attachment to a mail send to you by an unknown person. 2- Install and regularly update a Virus Scanner application.

Please review following previous issues - 24 : Beware of freeware - 16 : Virus scanning is not enough - and issue 27 - for additional information on how to protect your system from villains and vandals.

More on  hackers and villains

Freebie Of The Month


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FileAmigo assists you creating a web database with the data of your choice related to your human resources, assets management and operational processes. With FileAmigo you will be able to track any particular aspect of these data and add new fields when necessary.

FileAmigo LE (Light Edition) supports 1 database, 1 report and 3 users. This version can be upgraded to unlimited databases, reports and users.

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