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AFRICABIZ VOL 1 - ISSUE: 45
JANUARY 15 - FEBRUARY 14, 2003
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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.

- THERE ARE ALREADY APLENTY OF INITIATIVES TO BOOSTING AFRICAN ECONOMY

Starting from the independence day of British colony of Gold Coast (the modern Ghana), in 1956, innumerable forums and meetings took place and treaties signed about ways and means to developing Africa and promoting its integration into world's economy. That is going on since five decades.

African countries themselves took several initiatives. They established regional economic organizations: ECOWAS, COMESA, CEMAC. SADC to name the few and now NEPAD that is a continental organization.

Starting from 1963, African countries and the European Union signed several Cooperation Agreements: (Yaoudé I - 1963, Yaoundé II - 1975, Lomé I - 1975, Lomé II - 1979, Lomé III - 1984, Lomé IV - 1990, Lomé -IV Revised - 1995, Cotonou - 2000). Click here to review the evolution of the membership to these different Agreements..

On January 13 to 17, 2003, hundred of officials from 33 African countries' governments attended a ministerial gathering, at Mauritius' capital city, Port Louis, to discuss the second African Gro wth and Opportunities Act - AGOA between the United States of America and Africa.

During the same period, together with the AGOA's meeting, the Private Sector Forum is held at the city of the Pointe-auxPiments, Mauritius, attended by 500 business leaders from USA and from around the African continent.

Both meetings' finality, together with a NGOs' meeting - January 13-15, 2003, is to discuss about ways and means to boost trade between the US and the continent.

There are also the permanent initiatives implemented over years by the United Nations' specialized organizations such as the United Nations Development Program / UNDP, the World Trade Organization / WTO, International Trade Centre / ITC - not to forget the famous Structural Adjustment Programs / SAP initiated by the IMF and the World Bank.

- AFRICA REPRESENTS ONLY 1-2% OF WORLD GLOBAL TRADE

One can see - in view of above listed forums, treaties and meetings - that there are plenty of initiatives since 50 years to boosting the African economy and bridging the developing gap.

However, in spite of all these good initiatives, the African continent represents, at the beginning of the 21rst century, a mere 1 to 2% of the world trade. South Africa alone accounting for 40 per cent of said share.

One is therefore entitled to ask the following questions:

- Why all these "remarkable" initiatives yielded so a meager result?
- Why the continent remains in the backyard of economic development?
- Why even the African countries performing well had not succeeded in alleviating rampant poverty and high unemployment?
- Even
South Africa that is seen as an African "superpower" does not stand out of the crowd as far as wealth distribution and fight against poverty areconcerned.
- The only brilliant exception is
Mauritius

Why is it so? How comes that Ghana that had the same per capita GNP (US$ 300) as Japan, Malaysia and Spain in 1955 (one year before the independence) is now trailing far behind? For answers click here to read about: "Before Trade Comes Production Of Goods And Services At Competitive Prices"

- Contributor's Guidelines are here for 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 February 15, 2003


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, 42, 43, 44)

- TROPICAL FRUITS INDUSTRY AS INCOME BUILDING POWER FOR AN AFRICAN COMMUNITY: PART XI : PRODUCTION COST OF FOOD ENZYME / NATURAL NUTRIMENT / BROMELAIN / A COMPETITOR OF PAPAIN

Pineapple fruit is an extraordinary concentrate of several chemical components necessary to a healthy human and animal life as shown by the composition here exposed.

Currently, pineapple cultivated in African countries is exported as fresh or canned fruit, or locally processed into juice concentrates and syrup for the local and export market. Pineapple bran, the cake / residue obtained after extracting the juice, has a high content of vitamin A: it is an excellent feed for livestock.

The most interesting processed product from pineapple, however, is a food enzyme called Bromelain or Bromelin, which is a competitor to papain.


Bromelain is a mixture of sulfur-containing protein-digesting enzymes (proteases) from the stem of the pineapple plant. Bromelain has been shown to be effective in the reduction of inflammation and helpful in the reduction of swelling.

- PRODUCTION OF BROMELAIN

Bromelain was formerly produced from pineapple juice (20,87 kg of fresh stern juice to producing 450 grams of Bromelain).

Now commercial bromelain is either industrially processed from dehydrated "Bran": the waste from the pineapple fruit juice processing factories, or from the mature plant
stems / stumps salvaged when fields are being cleared at the end of plantation cycle. The yield from 167 kg of stems' stern juice is 3.6 kg of bromelain - Source


- INVESTMENT ESTIMATE TO PRODUCING 50 METRIC TONS OF BROMELAIN PER YEAR:

In table below are listed investment items and estimate to producing 50 MT of Bromelain per year, from 2,320 metric tons of pineapple stems.

Items
Amount
(US$ x 1,000)
INVESTMENT

1- Buildings: Plant (1,000 sq. meter) - Offices (150 sq. meter) - Housing for management staff (3 x 100 sq. meter)

350

2- Processing Equipment: Know How acquisition - Equipment purchase and setup - Blank Startup Assistance - Spare Parts - Storage tanks / Areas. Etc.

675

3- Other Equipment: Offices equipment - Two trucks - Three four wheelers - Housing furniture. Etc.

150

4- Starting expenses: Feasibility study / Business Plan for the processing plant - Startup technical assistance (for six months) Etc.

120

Total investment

1,295
PRODUCTION LEVEL
1- Crude Bromelain = 50 metric tons at full capacity.
OPERATING COSTS

Operational Expenses: Raw material (around 2,320 metric tons of pineapple stems) harvesting, handling and transport to plant floor - production costs - insurance - utilities - staff and hands / management salaries - external management assistance - amortization - interests on loan - merchandise packaging. Etc.

975
Cost of production off Plant Floor of One Metric Ton of Crude Bromelain19,5

Above Table gives an estimate - in African operational conditions - for the production cost of one metric ton of crude bromelain i.e. US$ 19,500 or US$ 19.5 per kg.

- BROMELAIN APPLICATIONS:

Bromelain is nowadays used for medical treatment for the following health problems - Source:

- Atherosclerosis
- Cancer
- Dysmenorhea Infection
- Inflammation
- Osteoarthritis
- Peripheral Vascular Disease
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Scleroderma
- Sports Injuries
- Wound Healing

Indeed, bromelain has a very large specter of usage in biochemistry, pharmacology and miscellaneous illness treatments because it contains, among other components, various closely related proteinases. Click here for more.

- In view of above listed usage of Bromelain, and the outstanding chemical components present in pineapple fruit itself, African countries should devote more Research & Development to Pineapple fruit in order to creating pharmaceutical / phytomedicinal industries / food enzymes for local and export market.

Papain is a significant export item for Tanzania, Uganda, RDC and South Africa. However, imports from African countries accounted for under 1% of total imports of enzymes to the US as shown on table about US imports.

Obviously there is - with the production of Papain or Bromelain - an opportunity for African countries to entering the market of food enzymes and grabbing a biggest share because, owing to the pricing of papain / bromelain on the international marketplace, producing and exporting - even small quantities - should be a profitable line of business for African entrepreneurs.

Next issue 46 shall deal with the huge existing potential market in Africa for Nutriments and Supplements based on Papain and Bromelain.

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