Trading And Investing In & Out Africa

ISSUES 64 & 65 VOL 1
AUGUST 15 - OCTOBER 14, 2004

Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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Welcome to Africabiz Online Synopsis RSS Feed edition. Previous issue available at this link

Dear faithful reader,

-AFRICABIZ editorial team is taking one month break from September 1 to September 30, 2004. Therefore this delivery stands for two issues: N° 64/ August 15 - September 14; and N° 65/ September 15 - October 14, 2003.


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During the last international gathering at
Accra, Ghana, to finding a solution to ending the political crisis in Ivory Coast, Ouattara and Bedie made show of complicity. They breakfast together - surrounded with political advisers, and walk hand-in- hand to the conference room.

- At a press conference, at the end of the meeting, Bedie declared to journalists, amazed by the sudden show of "friendship", that he had never severed links with Ouattara. He continued stating Ouattara was born in his home city of Dimbokro, in the Center of Ivory Coast. Further, that Ouattara family and his family know each over very well. In addition, he revealed that he was the "guardian" of Ouattara in the 1970's when he arrived in Washington D.C, USA, where he, Bedie, was Ivory Coast's ambassador to the USA.

That was a true revelation. So, Bedie knew Ouattara is born in Ivory Coast and the son of a mother born Ivorian. In spite of knowing that he cooked in 1993 the Ivoirité concept to get rid of a political opponent. He did so ignoring the sociologic and demographic composition of Ivory Coast where at least 26% of the populations are immigrants or sons of immigrants.

Thus, from a statement made by Bedie himself, we now know he took a misleading decision that brought down the economy of the country and create sociologic havoc, put an end to his power as head of state in December 1999, and led to the split of the county on 22 September 2002.

He believed that his opinion (Ouattara does not have a father born Ivorian) will erase facts (Ouattara has a mother and grand parents at the mother side that are born Ivorian).

That confusion (between his opinion and the hard fact) was already bad enough. However, Bedie and his close political counselors made another blunder. They took decisions that made it difficult to the Northerners - who are in the same situation as Ouattara - to get birth certificates and identification cards. Thus, half of the country's populations become strangers in their own country. And what happens when people are cornered and had no alternative did happen: The Northerners staged a rebellion on September 19, 2002 that split the countries in two antagonistic territories.

African leaders are not the only ones to take theirs opinions as facts and make misleading decisions. American neocons who shaped the doctrine of war of prevention, and lobbied for Iraq's invasion by U.S. troops did so on two main opinions.

First, Saddam Hussein is supporting Palestinians' second Intifada. So, if Saddam is toppled, they were convinced the intifada will vanish. Second, American troops would be welcomed with rice and flowers from Iraq' Shites community.

Anyone who is a impartial observer of the world political scene, knows the opinions developed by the neocons do not match with facts.

First, Palestinians launched the second intifada in September 2000 to officially protest against the well publicized visit made on September 28, 2000, by Ariel Sharon to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. This visit became the pretext for Palestinians instigating large scale demonstrations, which turned to an upraise. It was a protest against the slow implementation or the stalemate of Oslo Peace Accord and to fight for a Palestine sovereign state. The assistance offered by Saddam Hussein came after the intifada was launched. It does no initiated the upraise. That is the fact.

Second, as for the supposed friendliness of the Shites towards the occupation forces, that also do no match with the history of Iraq whose peoples are known as "stiff neck" since ancient times back to 5,000 years. Over ages Iraqis fought against invading forces and there is no reason they will change now. Further, Shites do not have good memory of trusting Americans. They remember very well how they had been abandoned to Saddam Hussein savage retaliation when they staged a rebellion at the end of the first Gulf war. In addition, invading forces are composed of Christians states. That also is completely crazy. It is for Mohammedans the recollection of the Crusaders.

Neither of the main opinions built up into arguments by neocons to wage war in Iraq turned out as expected. Palestinians' second intifada is still going on in spite of Saddam Hussein fall and Americans troops are right now battling defiant Shites all over Iraq.

Further, oil price was supposed to be cut back to the "reasonable" level of US$ 14 per barrel. Americans were sure that after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Iraqis would not make any attempt to block the exploitation of Iraq's oils fields. In the contrary, due to the prevailing instability and the constant sabotage of Iraq's oil infrastructure, oil prices are rising toward a level never reached before.

So, the neocons misled America into hot waters in Iraq taking their own opinions as facts.


Decision making process is already a complicated matter to make it more difficult acting on wrong and biased assumptions.

Any decision - in any line of business - is, from the onset, already a bad decision. Whatever maybe the quantity and quality of data gathered to reaching the decision, because there are always unseen events that may occur during the execution of the decision. Nothing planned by a human being ever happen as planned. There are always events beyond our control. And one has always to take necessary steps to minimize, as far as possible, unforeseen events. Thus the importance of relying more on facts than doctrines or staunched opinions.

Therefore, at any level of leadership, to make sound and relatively accurate decision, one needs hard, recent and proof checked facts and not vague assumptions based on personal opinions or doctrine.

The management of a company needs quality data to tell the story. It needs the more recent data to be able to compete on the global marketplace. Taking a crucial management decision based on obsolete data may prove devastating to the durability of the company.

The same apply more to a state. After decades of using false statistics about the performance of the economy, the Soviet Union's leadership was forced to admit the reality: The economy was not performing. That is one of the main reason for the collapse of Soviet Empire in 1989.

State's policy makers who rely on outdated information or take opinions that do not match with facts as decision making assumptions are just heading for trouble. The alleged existence of Weapon of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraq is the recent best example of outdated information used by policy makers to coin a country's foreign policy. Information is now emerging that WMD had been destroyed by Saddam Hussein after the first Gulf War. Thus, American decision makers used 12 years antiquated information!

Everyone is entitled to his own opinions; but no one can have his own facts because facts represent the "Reality" of events.

In other words, he who wants to change the Reality through a distorted reasoning will not succeed. He who behaves and acts that way is heading straight to facing - eventually - the ultimate manifestation of the consequences inherent to the Reality.

For instance, an ill person who refuses to acknowledge his illness (hard fact) and continue to live a careless life, discarding doctors' recommendations and prescriptions, will soon, doubtless, meet death halfway; when he could have save - or at least prolong his life - following recommendations and taking prescribed medicines.

"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 here on October 15, 2004.

Dr. B.M. Quenum
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Business Opportunities


As per information and data provided in Issue 61, there is the possibility to establish in Africa 8,000 operations to producing coarse gari flour and creating around 1,096,000 industrial jobs in rural areas. The market value being around US$ 3.8 billion.

In addition, coarse gari flour could be ground to fine flour of gari (granulation: 150 micron) that could be used as partial substitute to wheat flour in bakery. Here one is talking about a market of minimum 20 million metric tons of fine gari flour to cater for bakery business all over Africa - A market value of US$ 8 billion.

A consulting firm in Cameroon: Agro-pme dedicated a lot of research works on the substitution of flours originating from maize, sorghum and roots and tubers for bakery products. 40% inclusion of fine gari f flour in replacement of wheat flour in bakery products. Ing. René Taga, wrote an interesting article about the subject that is available here (in French).

To summarize, the development of an industry based on tubers and roots is one of the surest way to establish an economist catalyst to the economy of any African country. Targeting 10% of potential market (fresh cassava, Gari and fine Gari flour) would assure a revenue in the range of US$ 800 million to US$ 1.5 billion.

More on roots and tubers as economic catalyst

Control Your Desktop


Quality data - good numbers developed from a large pool of analyzed firms - takes time to develop. Financial information is available from most firms near the beginning of each year for the prior year; Only then can data providers begin to collect, analyze and publish reports.

As a result, detailed industry financial analysis doesn't usually appear until 9-12 months after the end date of the analysis itself, and then has a reasonable "shelf life" of 6-9 months. Marketing research data should be more timely, but you should still expect it to lag by 9-15 months, depending on the measure. If your data lags more than two years (real time, not by sometimes misleading "publication dates"), it's time to look elsewhere.

More  on how to harvest quality data

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