Trading And Investing In & Out Africa

ISSUE 54 - VOL 1
OCTOBER 15 - NOVEMBER 14, 2003

Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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After Seattle (1999) and Doha (2001) World Trade Organization - WTO - big circus took place at Cancun (10-14 September 2003). Any hope raised at Seattle's gathering and rekindled at Doha to reaching a global trading agreement between the North and the South was squashed at Cancun.

Eleven years ago, in 1993, developing countries were told that, according to computer' simulation, giving away their right to regulate imports and exports would turn around their stagnant economies into prosperous ones. And the rounds of negotiations started in 1995 at WTO center, Geneva, Switzerland, followed by Seattle, Doha and Cancun.

It is odd that poor countries policy-makers bought into that false and misleading concept. For instance, how sub-Saharan African countries, which get 70% to 90% of their budget revenues from customs duties - levied on imports and exports - could become richer if they forego said revenues? Furthermore, how could they compete with heavily subsidized agricultural commodities dumped by the United States of America and the European Union on international marketplaces and particularly in Africa?

So, third world's producers of agricultural commodities - cotton, coffee, sugar, tea. Etc. - agree to the false concept of Free Trade - which is in fact a deregulation of the international trade. They expect the big players - USA and the European Union - to be fair and put an end to the subsidies they grant to American and European farmers - US$ one billion a year since decades.

Once again, how one could expect (or hope) the rulers of the United States of America and the European Union would suppress said subsidies? Of course, they cannot. To hope for that and to continue believing it is another (strategic) mistake made by African decision makers. American and European rulers have to protect the interests of their countries if not their own interest to retaining the confidence of their constituencies. Even if they do ever agree, the subsidies cannot vanish overnight. It will be taking at least one decade - speaking conservatively - to suppress them - to sugar the pill to the beneficiaries.

Now, with the collapse of WTO's Cancun negotiations, the deceptive concept of Free Trade is naked for everyone to see. Cancun revealed the true reality behind the false concept of Free Trade: A door opened for the powers of the day to reinforce their hegemony on developing countries.

Of course, trading had always existed amongst the nations of the earth. However, trading between nations had always been an economic war. A war won only by nations prepared for the "battle". A global economic war that nowadays renders ideological debates and conflicts obsolete and anachronistic. (Visit French daily "Le Figaro" archive at www.lefigaro;com for an article by French economist Jean-Jacques Rosa titled: "Penser la Guerre Economique" that is "To plan for the economic war", published in the French daily Le Figaro Economique on January 21-22,1989.)

After the collapse of the negociations at Cancun, it is now obvious that the powers of the day are not ready to relinquish their power to new comers. Have you ever seen a prosperous merchant freely handing over market' share to the competition? No way. The competitors will have to work hard to grabbing pieces of the pie.

Therefore, all the talk about the "moral responsibility" of the North towards the South is plain joke to which the powers of the day will continue to turn a deaf ear. It is simply a waste of time for developing countries because, when the South is talking and wailing for a portion of the pie, the North's lobbyists and trading professionals are busy protecting themselves against the "intrusion" of the South into their Garden of Eden -
Click following link to read about: Backlash: Behind the Anxiety over Globalization or Search the web for Opposition to free trade

Therefore, the only scenario, which might give some reprieve to sub-Saharan African countries' farmers and help improving the economy of the South is to plan for and implement another economic development strategy:

1- To progressively shift from selling raw cash crops on the international market.

2- 2. To take necessary measures to supply first, national market; second African regional markets and last to sell to North's markets only a minimal portion of the cash crops. In other words to reverse the actual trend that is selling 90% to 99% of cash crops to the North and neglecting national and African regional markets.

3- To promote and develop new agriculture crops as Economic Catalysts capable of boosting up the economy and supplying national and African regional markets in all kinds of goods and services.

4. To process the crops into manufactured products.

For instance, is it not odd that sub-Saharan African countries import chocolate bars from the North when the two world's top producers of cocoa beans are Ivory Coast and Ghana? There are plenty of examples like chocolate bars, which are regularly reported in the Opportunities bulletin of Africabiz Online.

Indeed, there is a huge market in Africa for all kinds of manufactured products that could be supplied by African nations themselves, to creating national and inter-African trading relationships. Targeting said opportunities will be more productive than trying to convince the North to fulfill its "moral responsibility" towards the South. Click following link to read: Industrialization is the recipe to creating jobs and wealth in African countries

"CONTRIBUTOR'S GUIDELINES" are available here. We invite you 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 on November 15, 2003.

Dr. B.M. Quenum
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Business Opportunities


Roots and tubers could be set up as economic catalysts in Integrated Schemes to boost up the development of an African country. However, for the time being, roots and tubers produced in SSA countries are consumed as food staple - boiled (and crushed into pasta) and dried or wet flour. These foods are produced by traditional methods by women who sell their production on villages and cities markets.

Rare are the industrial concerns established in SSA countries to transform the raw material into value added products - as reported in the following diagram. Contrary to what happened in Thailand, where the country's policy-makers devised a winning strategy to promote the cultivation of cassava and its industrial industrial products. Nowadays, Thailand is a big player in the supply of cassava products for animal feed worldwide.

1- Roots & Tubers Market in Qatar
2- Roots & Tubers Market in Europe
3- Food Security: In Sub-Saharan Africa
In Latin America and the Caribbean
4- Roots and Tubers: A Vegetable Cookbook
by Kyle D. Fulwiler
Tuber Crops
by N. M. Nayar

6- Roots, Tubers, Plantains and Bananas in Animal Feeding
Proceedings of the Fao Expert Consultation Held in Ciat, Cali, Colombia 21-25 January 1991
7- Pest Management for Tropical Roots & Tubers Workshop on the Global Status of and Prospects
8- The Tropical Tuber Crops
Yam, Cassava, Sweet Potato, and Cocoyams by I. Chukuma Onwueme

Adobe Acrobat Reader is available here

Click following link for more on Roots and Tubers as Survival Crops in developing countries

More on Economic Catalysts

Control Your Desktop


In a previous issue we discussed the problem of Pink Screen and given solutions to minimizing the occurrence of the strange phenomenon. In the meantime, we found out that after applying said solutions, the problem persists on our XP platform. Not only for the monitor screen, which suddenly become blurred with a pink screen, but also for the operating system itself, which also crash from time to time. Very annoying when you are in the middle of typing a report or conferencing over the net.

In previous delivery above mentioned, we wrote: "There are people who took the matter seriously and made suggestions [a - b - c - d] to solving it. However, these suggestions and tips might not be the ones to help you get rid of the annoyance. The problem remains a mystery for the moment. Is it coming from the Monitor itself (loose Power cord) or from the Graphics card? Or from a magnetic field (Speakers) near the Monitor? The numerous links available give no final indication to which device to blame." And we contributed to solving the annoyance - under Windows 98 - with a suggestion available here

However, we did continue making research and thought about the problem of Disk Cache under Windows operating systems - Win9x or XP.

More on  How to Improve the Stability of Your System

Freebie Of The Month


Is Big Brother hovering over your head? Sniffing everything your are visiting on the net or impeding you to reach sites not politically correct? Here we are, in some countries around the world at large, you cannot surf as it pleases you. The Power of the day does not want free and responsible citizens who can be creators instead of zombies. They want followers, not thinkers. They want slaves.

Now it is possible to find out if your rulers are dictators posing as democrats. The University of Toronto's Internet Censorship Explorer - ICE - gives you the privilege to know. You just enter a target URL and a country into a search field on the Internet Censorship Explorer's website.

The software then scans the ports of available servers in that country, looking for open ones. By using the foreign computer as a proxy server, ICE then attempts to visit the target URL from behind that country's firewall. The result is either the visible website or a "page blocked" message is then returned to the user.


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