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AFRICABIZ VOL 1 - ISSUE: 42
OCTOBER 15 - NOVEMBER 14, 2002
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Editor: Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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A WORD FROM THE EDITOR


Dear visitor and international investor,


We warmly welcome you, if this is your first visit to Africabiz Online - The ultimate newsletter on trading and investing in 49 sub-Saharan African countries. If you are a regular and faithful reader, welcome back.

If you are a regular and faithful reader, welcome back.

- WAR AGAINST TERRORISM STARTS AND ENDS UP WITH BATTLE AGAINST POVERTY

One year ago, on September 11, 2001, the world was astounded and shaken by the airliners suicide bombings on the Twins at New York City and the Pentagon at Washington, DC

The United States of America hit back and rained Afghanistan with bombs to retaliate against the masterminds of the airliners suicide attacks. The bombs and the armada gathered to carry out the military campaign (troops carriers, warships, ammunitions, etc.) represent a lot of money.

We do not know how much yet. Certainly in the range of several billions US$.

We do know now, however, how much the 1991 Gulf war cost to the formidable international coalition built up by president George Bush Sr. to rout out Saddam Hussein troops from Kuwait.

According to the US Department of Defense the Gulf war cost stands at US$ 61 billion. Click here for more. However, the amount released by other sources is higher. On September 28, 2002 Saudi's Interior Minister Prince Naif declared: " The Saudi Arabia had bankrolled the US-led 1991 Gulf war to the tune of US$ 80 billion...." Click here for more.

Owing to the fact that several European Union countries (Germany; France, Italy and the United Kingdom in particular) also contributed significantly to the war financing, one can say that the total cost of 1991 Gulf war is far beyond US$ 100; and likely to be near US$ 150 billion. That's for the direct costs only.

To that one has to add "collateral" damages' costs such the Arabian / Persian Gulf's oil pollution, the repairs of Kuwait's oils wells set ablaze by Iraq. Etc. Iran for instance evaluated the collateral damage caused by the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait to US$ 23 billion, including US$ 15.4 billion in the sector of natural resources, agriculture and fishing, Click here for more.

There are also the formidable social and welfare costs bore by the Iraqi population and the worldwide damages done to the international tourist industry and the insurance sector business to name the few. Etc.

Taking all that into account one can conservatively say that the 1991 Gulf war cost is something in the range of US$ 250 billion.

A staggering amount of money you would certainly agree! What a waste of money. A complete squandering of financial means, which could have been allocated to building a better world for the entire humankind

One year ago, in October 2001 email edition, on the aftermath of the September 11, we wrote: "THERE IS EVERYTHING UNDER THE SUN FOR A BETTER WORLD" and demonstrated here that the amount of financial means necessary to lifting an African developing country from the "poverty league" of GNP 300 US$ / year to "bearable living conditions league" of GNP 2,500 US$ / year is only US$ 200 million per year over a period of maximum 10 years.

In other words, the amount of financial means necessary to initiating a development program to stem out poverty and diseases from 48 sub-Saharan African countries and establish an era of general prosperity is far less than the cost of 1991 Gulf war. - approximately US 150 billion over 10 years; that is to say US$ 15 billion per year of well planned and implemented investment thrust.

- REASONS BEHIND TERRORISM: POVERTY, OPPRESSION AND LACK OF CONSIDERATION

Now, in year 2002, 10 years after the Gulf war, war drums noises are becoming louder and louder again, in Washington, DC and London's governing circles.

Under the official cover of fight against terror / terrorism, hawk political leaders are lobbying hard for the support of the international community for a preventive military strike against Iraq. If they succeed in their bid, staggering amount of money and much needed financial means will be squandered again in purchase for and utilization of military hardware, weapons and lethal bombs; instead of invested in research and development to fighting AIDS / HIV, improving agriculture cultural conditions in tropical countries, creating infrastructure (roads, bridges, hospitals) establishing schools and universities, agribusiness concerns. Etc. .

It is really sad to see these people who pose as defenders of "the civilization" and who are supposed to be "the leaders" of the world behave like chaos mongers.

These Neros are supposed to be in charge of the most advanced economic countries in the world and they do not see the benefit of creating worldwide harmonious conditions for sustainable economic development. Instead they are falling all over themselves to creating havoc.

They do not see that lifting poor countries from abject living conditions to better ones will make them richer psychically and financially.

Indeed one can say that the obtuse blindness of the developed world's leaders is not only counterproductive but self destructive. It is obvious that the more developed the actual Third World becomes, the more prosperous the actual Developed World. New developed countries will buy equipment, machinery, fertilizers, medicines etc.; from old developed countries; and sell them back all kinds of commodities and goods. International trade will doubtless be boosted up. We will then live in a new era of tremendous crisscross exchanges and win win game for every nation involved.

Let us remind the hawks leaders of the world that the real reasons behind terrorism read as follows : poverty, oppression and lack of consideration.

Individuals of all nations and races engulf in abject poverty may become and do become puppets and slaves in hands of devious manipulators. For peanuts they are ready to carry out the most unthinkable action planned by their masters.

People who are living under an apartheid regime; with their dignity daily challenged and trampled down by a powerful oppressor may recourse to drastic actions to fight back in order to make their plight known to the world at large.

Those nations, which are looked down upon by the power of the day may have no other mean to attract attention to their desperate global economic situation than staging non conventional political actions bordering terrorism.

So, to stem out terrorism, corrections and durable solutions should be found for poverty, oppression of all kinds and lack of consideration to the less developed of the world.

That is a daunting task, which will require dedication from humanitarian leaders capable of acting without their eyes riveted on opinion polls. A right, wise and good leader should have vision, lead his people with a sound moral ethic and not behave like irresponsible common folks.

Contributor's Guidelines are here to review. Your contribution on "How African countries / entrepreneurs could bridge the developing gap" is welcome.

Many thanks for dropping by and see you here on November 15, 2002


Dr. B.M. Quenum

Editor of AFRICABIZ
Contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN AFRICA


- Several business opportunities with high profit making potential, which are economic catalysts and components to the Strategy for African Countries - here available - have been introduced to you. They are listed in following table.

a- SHEA BUTTER (Issues 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13)
b- BLUE GOLD (Issues 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)
c- FREEZE-DRIED PAPAIN (Issues 20, 21, 22 and here)
d- KENAF (Issues 23, 24)
e- VEGETABLE OIL (Issues 25, 26, 27 and 28)
f- CEREALS (Issues 30, 31, 32, 33)
g- FRUITS (34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40)

- TROPICAL FRUITS INDUSTRY AS INCOME BUILDING POWER FOR AN AFRICAN COMMUNITY / PART VIII : INTRODUCTION TO PINEAPPLE AGRIBUSINESS

In this delivery we continue our series on tropical fruits industry with pineapple agribusiness as income building power for an African community.

Pineapple is a member of the Bromeliaceae's family, which comprises about 2,000 species. Its botanic name is Ananas comosus Merr.

-  ONE OF THE LEADING COMMERCIAL FRUIT CROP OF THE TROPICS

Picture courtesy of clicked linkCurrently pineapple
is one of the leading commercial fruit crops of the tropics. It is
present on the food marketplace as: 1- Fresh pineapple. 2- Canned pineapple and 3- Bromelain (a proteolytic enzyme - similar to papain - obtained from pineapple juice. It is used as meat tenderizer, beer additive, stabilizer for latex paint, leather tanning ingredient, nutritional supplement .Etc.).

The waste obtained from the processing of fresh pineapple to fruit juice is also an
excellent animal feed.

The leaves and vegetal crop wastes  (ten times the weight of the fresh fruit) can be processed - at the end of the plantation cycle - into ensilage for animal feed. In that case it is an absolute necessity to lower to bearable amount the percentage of pest control chemistry' presents in the leaves. Otherwise the animal feed produced may proved to be
toxic.

Pineapple plant's leaves are also raw material for textile fibers similar to sisal plant's fibers. Fibers from pineapple plant's' leaves are "short" fibers compared to the "long" fibers generated by sisal plant.

Fresh pineapple fruit can also be processed into diced
dried fruit to be mixed with other dried tropical fruits (guava, mango, banana, papaya. Etc.)  for the very lucrative tropical dried fruits' appetizer / drink market. There is also a ready market for candied pineapple.
World Production of Fresh Pineapple 1994 - 1998
Production ( x 1,000 Metric Tons)
Countries
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
Africa
1,864
1,950
1,987
2,010
1,997
Nigeria
800
800
800
800
800
Kenya
270
270
270
270
300
Cote d' Ivoire
205
217
251
261
227
South Africa
80
147
134
152
140
Dem. Rep Congo
-
149
145
1140
135
Tanzania
73
73
74
73
74
Guinea
67
67
65
67
72
Others
369
227
248
247
249
North and Central
America
1,220
1,303
1,311
1,299
1,383
South America
1,715
2,151
2,372
2,716
2,359
Asia
6,635
6,746
6,561
6,698
6,266
Europe
2
2
2
2
2
Oceania
182
154
151
151
145
Australia
157
128
125
125
123
Others
25
26
26
26
22
World Total
11,618
12,306
12,384
12,876
12,152
Source: FAO

- AFRICA CAN DO BETTER AND GRAB A BIGGEST MARKET SHARE

Click for more on Thailand's pineapple industryTable above shows that Africa production represents more or less 16% of fresh pineapple's World Production; with Nigeria being the major player.

Africa production of fresh pineapple is less than Thailand output, which accounts in Year 2001 for 21 % of world production (down from a pick of 27% in the 1970's)
.

The bulk of African production is from Nigeria, Ivory Coast, South Africa, Kenya. Etc. It is sold on the world market as fresh fruit, except for South Africa and Ivory Coast  which sell also canned pineapple. However, Africa's pineapple canned industry is globally marginal compared to the world market as shown on table below:
 
Africa's Production of Canned Pineapple
Versus Other / World Production 1889 - 1998
(In '000 cartons 24/2)
 
1989
1990
1991
1992
1993
1994
1995
1996
1997
1998
Ivory Coast
209
196
174
201
191
205
217
251
261
227
South Africa
252
197
163
187
143
80
147
134
152
148
Other
World
9,763
9,643
10,512
10,737
11,741
11,772
11,949
12,065
12,329
12,109
Total
World
10,194
10,036
10,849
11,125
12,075
12,057
12,313
12,450
12,742
12,484
Source: FAO

- PINEAPPLE AGRIBUSINESS IS A REAL INCOME BUILDING POWER FOR AN AFRICAN COMMUNITY

Pineapple agribusiness, if well planned and organized, can be a tremendous Income Building Power for an African community. Pineapple agribusiness leads to the following non restrictive economic activities:

- Fresh fruit industry.
- Dried fruit industry.
- Fruit juice industry
- Animal breeding.
- Soft wine industry.
- Textile and knitting industry
- Pharmaceuticals.
Etc.

There is no doubt, in view of above listed economic activities, that pineapple agribusiness, well planned and integrated into the development scheme of an emerging country, will play a major role in activating the economy and significantly contribute to the Synergetic Impact Factor.

- DOOR TO ENTERING THE MARKET IS PERMANENTLY OPENED

In year 2000, tropical fruits
export value worldwide (98% originating from developing countries) was about US$ 36 billion.  For a global 61.4 million metric tons of production, mango accounted for about 36 percent of output, followed by pineapple at about 22 percent, papaya at 14 percent and avocado at 4 percent. Data for year 2001 indicate an estimated 4 percent increase in world output of tropical fruits to reach 63.4 million tons. Furthermore, according to statistics compiled by the FAO, the international market of pineapple is expected to rise by 35% over the period 1995-2005

The European market is the leading market, with 40% of total imports of fresh and canned pineapple, followed by the United States and Japan. Main suppliers to the European market are Cote d'Ivoire and Costa Rica. Ghana is developing marketing efforts to enter the European market. The country tripled its supply between 1993 and 2000 from 10,500 metric tons of fresh pineapple to 35,000..

The
main hindrance for pineapple originated from Africa to grab a biggest market share worldwide - and particularly in Europe - is the cost of transportation from producing countries to the European marketplace. Ship / cargo transport is normally the less costly dispatching mean to Europe. However, it is difficult for African exporters to book cargo shipment to Europe. They are obliged to opt for air freight, which is more expensive.  Even then they cannot book for large shipment.

Therefore. African producers need absolutely to concentrate on the
management of  the costs of production. They need to produce at less cost in order to compensate for the high cost of air freight. 

To be competitive on the international marketplace they have to produce high volume yields of fresh pineapple for less operational costs (they have to establish good balance of hands and machinery equipment; perform strict control of purchasing cost and per hectare utilization of fertilizer; put in place
efficient irrigation system; select good brand of pest control products and make moderate use of them. Etc.)

In next issue N 43, investment estimate to establishing one hectare of pineapple plantation will be described.

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