Trading And Investing In & Out Africa

ISSUE 57 - VOL 1
JANUARY 15 - FEBRUARY 14, 2004

Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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Dear faithful reader,


We at AFRICABIZ ONLINE wish you and your loved ones a happy and prosperous business year 2004


A retrospective look to African scenery - back to four years ago - pictures devastating wars engulfing a long list of countries. Namely, Angola, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Rwanda, Somalia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Ivory-Coast. Some ragging for two to three decades running (Angola and Sudan). Ivory Coast - a particular sad case - being the last country to entering the inferno, at the end of 2002.

At the beginning of this New Year, the good new is that - under intense pressure from the international community, the United States of America, UK, France and the UN - warring parties are forced to go to the negotiation table. Therefore, peace is slowly gaining pace in some of these countries. Let us review each of them to see how close they are to resuming normal political life and economic recovery.


The fratricide war between MPLA and UNITA started at the dawn of the independence of Angola in 1976. The death of Unita's leader, Dr. Jonas Savimbi, on February 22, 2002, put an abrupt end to the war. Unita-guerrilla organization is now transformed into a civil party, which is now a player in Angola's political life. Apparently, war is over in Angola. Everything is to be rebuilt and the authorities have an opportunity to launching the economy on double-digit growth rate path. The country's leadership has no more excuse to blaming the bad performance of the economy on the civil war.. Click here for the latest news on Angola


Eritrea, a former province of Ethiopia, broken link after a very long independence fight - which started in the 1950's - and became sovereign state in 1993. The delimitation of land boarders with Ethiopia ended in disputes that led to another war between the "brothers". After 2 years (1998-200) of a bloody war - in World War I style - that killed millions on both sides, they signed a peace agreement that is holding since then. One should recognize, however, that tensions are mounting again between both countries about the same problem of land boarders. Let us hope that the dispute will be solved at negotiation's table to avoid the squandering of scarce national financial resources to purchasing ammunitions, weapons, warplanes and other army's equipment. Click here for the latest news on Ethiopia and Eritrea


This central Africa country is war-torn since decades. An ethnic civil war between the Hutus (85% of the population) and the Tutsis (15% of the population). A compromise was reached one year ago between the leaders of the antagonistic ethnic groups; and a reconcilement government established. However, fighting is still sporadic as a important Hutu's rebels group refused to adhere to the the power-sharing scheme brokered under South Africa's Mandela, Mbeki and Zuma. There is also a mistrust - from these rebels Hutus - that the Tutsis are not really handing over the power they had "exclusively" had for decades. Thus, as long as the Army's command posts are dominated by the Tutsis, there will be room for defiance from adamant Hutus who are for the "One Man One Ballot" system. Click here for the latest news on Burundi


The giant country of central Africa is slowly recovering from the civil war that followed the demise of Mobutu's regime. During 7 years of civil war, million people lost life, the country's wildlife decimated and the economy disrupted. Here also, South Africa's leadership played a strong role to bringing together the many leaders of the rebellions and the people holding "central" power in Kinshasa. A reconcilement government is in place - since June 2002 - till the presidential ballot scheduled for two years time. But sporadic and severe fighting is still occurring in the Eastern regions of the country. In spite of said continued fighting, one can say that the political and economic situations are improving day after day. However, no one can predict for sure that the country definitely left the turbulence zone as President (Kabila) and the four vice-presidents (rebellion's leaders) are would-be contestants in the presidential ballot scheduled for 2005 or 2006. Click here for the latest news on RDC


Charles Taylor (reluctantly) finally left the state power. He is indicted as a war criminal by the War Crime Tribunal of Sierra Leone and is on the radar screen of the international community. A US$ 2,000,000 bounty for arrest put on his head by the United States of America. From his hideout in Nigeria, he is still trying to manipulate (with satellite telephone) the Liberian political life; and his followers and the remnants of his fighters are still causing trouble in two-third of Liberia's territory. However, the presence of UN Peace Corps in Monrovia, the capital City, and the territories around, represents a buffer against his comeback. We shall see the political situation improving month after month. Click here for the latest news on Liberia


This country is without a "responsible" government since the 1980's. Warlords are ruling. No hope for improvement in the near future. The splitting country - Somaliland - may gain international recognition as a reward to its intense collaboration with the United States of America in the war against "terror" Click here for the latest news on Somalia and Somaliland


This war-torn country, where the most unbelievable atrocities were committed, Is slowly recovering from the devastating civil war of the 1990's. However, the improvement of the economic situation is too slow. The country emerging from a severe war, which destroyed everything, it was a good opportunity to launching a program capable of generating double-digit growth rate. If the economic situation does not improve quickly, the peace process could be jeopardized Click here for the latest news on Sierra Leone


Under intense pressure from the United States of America, Sudanese central government of Khartoum and the rebels from the southern region of the country are plodding on toward peace. A civil war that killed near 2,000,000 people in 25 years in having its last hiccups. A power sharing agreement is expected soon between the warring parties that includes oil proceeds' apportionment between the North and the South. An interim period of seven years will be established before national elections would take place. Let us hope the peace agreement would be soon finalized and the reconcilement government quickly in place to undertaking the much needed economic recovery program. Indeed, the economic improvement in Sudan will doubtless benefit not only the Sudanese but the whole central Africa region. Click here for the latest news on Sudan


The civil war that started in this West African country on September 19, 2002 is the saddest happening of all.

A country that was in the league of Intermediary Developed Countries is now listed among the Least Developed ones - the per capita GNP dropped from 1,200 US$ (1999) to US$ 600 (2002).

France saved the country from experiencing a Rwanda style civil war
. However, the persisting situation of "no war, no peace" is hampering the economy's recovery. There is a wait and see attitude from the business community. One cannot predict the outcome of the crisis - peace and reconciliation or secession of the North from the South - because to much killings occurred and hatred is now deep seated among Southerners and Northerners. Indeed, the country is still divided into two separate entities - 12 months after the signing of the Marcoussis Agreement; and there is so much to be done - in accordance with the Marcoussis Agreement' recommendations enacted in the reconcilement government program - that one could wonder how the forthcoming presidential ballot, scheduled for end of 2005, might take place. Let us wait and see. Click here for the latest news on Ivory Coast

"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 February 15, 2004.

Dr. B.M. Quenum
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Click here for more on Ivory Coast

Business Opportunities


Rare are industrial concerns established in SSA countries that transform Cassava into value added products - as reported in the diagram available here.

On the online monthly page of AFRICABIZ are listed four processed cassava's products, which highlight the fact that cassava could be an important components - an Economic Catalyst - to the Integrated Economic Development Scheme

The traditional processing techniques of chips are laborious. In villages women wash, peel and cut the root to pieces that are dried by sunshine on flat surface; on roofs, concrete surfaces, mats or along roadsides. One person can handle 25 kg of roots per hour and the loss of weight could reach 25-30 % of the initial weight of the fresh root. Mechanical peeling had been developed in Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia that reduce the loss of weight to 10-15%.

Conditions listed here lead us to tailor the medium-scale chips production unit as follows:

- 50 peelers to peel 50 x 25 kg = 1,250 kg of fresh cassava per hour or 1,250 x 8 = 10,000 kg per day - 10 metric tons per day; That yield 7,500 kg of peeled cassava (2,500 kg of wastes).
- 2 pedal maneuvered slicers that yield each 500 kg of Chips per hour. (Maneuvered by 2 workers).
- 6 handlers to feed the peelers and the slicers.
- Daily production of sun dried chips: 10,.000 kg of fresh cassava x .403 = 4,030 kg o or 4.030 metric tons.
- Monthly production (26 days) = 4.030 x 26 = 104.780 metric tons and yearly production (over 10 months): = 1047;800 metric tons.
- Raw material (fresh cassava) purchasing price:US$ 10 per metric ton.
- Bulk dried chip selling price:(ex-works) = 40 US$
- Waste (peeled cassava skin for animal feed preparation) selling price: US$ 2 metric ton


Based on above conditions the following operating data are obtained: (For more on the Investment's items click here)


Total investment


Operating Expenses: Raw material purchasing (fresh cassava)- production costs - insurance - utilities - staff and hands / management salaries - amortization - interests on loan. Etc.

1047.800 metric tons of sun dried cassava's chips =31
Chips : 1047.800 x 40 = 41,912
Wastes = 650 metric tons x 2 US$ 1.300


1- This medium -scale operation to producing cassava's chips is clearly a profit making business that creates at least 60 jobs. One can vision the impact it will have in an African country's rural community. One can also forecast the impact the setting up of 1,000 operations like this one: 60,000 jobs (transformers) in rural area, the development of the cultivation of the raw material and boosting of other activities such as transportation and packaging.

2- The selling price (40 US$ per metric ton - ex-works) is highly competitive as an addition of even 100% for C.I.F. - Cost Insurance and Freight expenses and taxes - would make the CIF offered price lower than the pricing on the international market place - as shown by figures (European Union) in Table below:

Source: United Nation Organization For Food and Agriculture

Figures listed in Tables above show that the production of pellets and chips on medium--scale are opportunities not to be missed by African countries. Cassava pellets will help not only developing livestock's production, but can be used to produce glues and alcohol that are currently imported from abroad in most African countries.

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

More on a small-scale chips production unit

Control Your Desktop


If you are a road-warrior, you certainly own at least two computers. One desktop in the office; (another one at home?) and a notebook to travel with. And you find yourself with non-synchronized files and directories on these separate computer.

One day, you will feel the urgent need to synchronize all of them. How to proceed?

Long times ago (in 1999, last century in fact!), we introduced you to a nice and performing desktop utility called at that time Windows Commander, that is now named Total Commander- [6, 23, 25, 49] A must have for files and directories management. So, if you have Total Commander installed on all your computers, you can easily perform files and directories synchronization between them; using the NET tab on the Menu of Total Commander and Choosing Port Connection to Other PC. It is easy and simple. You will need a Parallel LP1 cable to do the trick.

Another possibility is provided by a freeware utility called Easy2Sync. Spare some minutes though to read through the instructions provided by the developer. That may save your life! Do not hurry up attempting synchronization without taking notice of the instructions. Apart from that warning, Easy2Sync does the job perfectly. You can even use it to make synchronization between Servers. That is for the Pro Version that requires 60 bucks.

Click here to visit Easy2Sync website for more.

More on  How to Improve the Stability of Your System

Freebie Of The Month


Here is TimeCore a powerful time tracking tool that makes project's billing a snap. It is user friendly and very easy to use. It has an intuitive interface that considerably lowers the learning curve. You will take control of it very quickly and bill your clients to the last cents! TimeCore proves it: Times is money!

For more visit the developer website


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