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AFRICABIZ VOL 1 - ISSUE: 54
OCTOBER 15 - NOVEMBER 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.

- INDUSTRIALIZATION IS THE RECIPE TO CREATING JOBS AND WEALTH IN AFRICAN COUNTRIES

50 years after African countries recovered their sovereignty, Africa is still in the backyard of economic development as shown by its meager share (1-2%) of the international trade.

Africa is simply a marginal participant in the global trade. Why is it so?

It is always good to ask the right question in order to finding the adequate solution. Africa is a small player in the jungle of international trade, because it has nothing to offer apart from raw agricultural and mineral commodities - coffee, cocoa beans, cotton, aluminum, manganese, iron, cobalt ores and diamonds.

To sell on the international marketplace and garner profits, African countries have no choice but to embrace the industrialization processing of their many agricultural products and other commodities.

Currently, agricultural sector is the main jobs' provider in sub-Saharan African countries (SSA) as shown in Table 1 below:

TABLE 1
Composition of Labor Force and GNP's Evolution by World's Regions / 1980-2000
Average Annual % Growth
Employment Structure
Gross National Product
Agriculture
Industry
Labor Force
Total
Agriculture
Industry
Services
High Income
7.5
33
1.05
2.6
2.45
1.95
2.85
Low & Middle Income
60.5
17.5
1.95
3.5
2.55
4.4
4.05
SSA Countries
70
9
2.75
2.0
2.5
1.35
2.45
East Asia & Pacific
72.5
14.5
1.8
8.95
4.35
11.95
8.7
South Asia
67
14.5
2.1
5.15
3.1
6.1
6.3
Europe & Central Asia
25
36.5
055
-0.1
0.5
1.1
1.0
Middle East & North Africa
42
22.5
3.25
1.25
3.9
1.1
1.0
Latin America & Caribbean
29.5
24.5
2.65
2.45
2.15
1.95
2.85
World
51
20
1.8
2.05
2.05
2.35
3
Source: Compiled From World Bank Development Reports Since 1980

However, productivity and job's creation in African agricultural sector are not dynamic enough to cope with jobs' demands generated by the increase of the population. SSA countries do not either create jobs nor wealth on a sustained basis, which is one the reasons of the prevailing poverty all over the continent.

Pr. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, of Toronto's University, dedicated an extensive study to the industrialization process in SSA countries. - Comparing the Size and Productivity Distribution of Manufacturing Plants in sub-Saharan Africa and the United States - published on April 2002. He found out that the lagging industrialization process in sub-Saharan African countries contributes to the low level of economic development in the region. Table 2 below is adapted from Professor van Biesebroek's works:

TABLE 2
The Share of Industry in The GNP of Sample Countries
Aggregate Economy
Employment per Plant
Coverage of GNP
Population (millions)
PPP* US$
Share of Industry
Average
Median
in LF*
in GNP
Ethiopia
62.8
599
0.02
0.10
155
10
0.79
Burundi
6.7
533
0.03
0.16
61
12
0.65
Tanzania
32.9
478
0.05
0.17
91
12
0.31
Zambia
9.9
636
0.09
0.40
85
23
0.12
Kenya
30
975
0.07
0.17
95
22
0.17
Ivory Coast
14.7
630
0.08
0.16
168
18
0.48
Ghana
18.9
1,793
0.13
0.16
57
16
0.14
Zimbabwe
11.9
2.470
0.07
0.30
292
90
0.23
Cameroon
14.7
1,444
0.09
0.23
162
22
0.63
USA
273
30,600
0.17
0.19
61
9
1.00
PPP* = Parity Purchasing Power. LF* = Labor Force.

The comparison of the fourth and fifth columns reveals that the share of GNP generated by the industrial sector is invariably higher than the share of the labor force it employs. Value added per worker is higher in the industrial sector than in agriculture or services - more than five times in some countries.

Expanding the manufacturing sector - and its interactivity with the agricultural one - and providing special training and support to the farmers are sure recipes to boost up the economic activity in sub-Saharan African countries - SSA. As shown by figures in column fifth - and contrary to the common belief - industrial workers' productivity in some SSA countries perfectly matches the productivity of their American colleagues.

The industrialization process will create a larger consumers' base in each African country with higher purchasing power. Therefore, the dependence towards overseas markets would be less important in a first stage. Otherwise, selling raw agricultural products - cotton, coffee, cacao beans to name the few, will lead SSA countries to a dead end of continued poverty. Negotiation rounds at the World Trade Organization will not give any reprieve to African farmers. The solution is to process the agriculture products to satisfy national market first and second African regional markets. Overseas markets coming as a last conquest. Click following link for more about: After Cancun, it is time to think about another strategy.


- 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, 2003.


Dr. B.M. Quenum

Editor of AFRICABIZ
Contact Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN AFRICA


- Several business opportunities - component parts of the Integrated Developing Scheme described in Africans, Stop Being Poor! 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, 45, 46)
h- ESSENTIAL OILS (47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52)

- INTRODUCTION TO TROPICAL ROOTS AND TUBERS: I - THE BURIED TREASURE OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Historically, the cultivation of roots and tubers was performed to assure food security for Africa's tribal kingdoms before the colonial era. Indeed, roots and tubers are hidden wealth, which are not destroyed by invaders during tribal warfare. In Africa, colonial powers neglected their promotion and cultivation - as international trading commodities - in favor of cash crops - coffee, cocoa, cotton and tea. African farmers were left alone without any technical or marketing support to provide roots and tubers to feed the population. For instance, in most sub-Saharan African countries the increase of the production is done through extensive method i.e. extension of plantation areas, instead of productivity's increase through adequate fertilization, irrigation or variety improvement. More on the matter is available here

- ROOTS AND TUBERS ARE SURVIVAL CROPS

The major roots and tubers crops are: cassava, potato, sweet potato, and yam Click here for a webpage dedicated to images and photos of roots and tubers. They contribute to the energy and nutrition requirements of more than 2 billion people in developing countries, and will continue to do so over the next two decades as shown by the figure below, which compares the average annual growth rate of most common staple foods up to 2020 - taking 1994-1996 period's average production as reference.

Average Annual Growth Rate for Main Crops Up to 2020 - Data Source: FAO

Cassava, potato, and sweet potato rank among the top 10 food crops produced in developing countries. Sub-Saharan Africa - SSA - is expected to experience the fastest growth in food demand for all roots and tubers, largely driven by rapid population growth. SSA share in the total demand for developing countries will be 53 percent, with cassava accounting for two-thirds of the increase.

- ROOTS AND TUBERS ARE ECONOMIC CATALYSTS IGNORED BY SSA COUNTRIES

Roots and tubers could be set up as economic catalysts in an Integrated Scheme to boost up the development of an African country. However, for the time being, roots and tubers produced in sub-Saharan African countries (SSA) 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 these raw materials into value added products - as reported in the diagram below. Contrary to what happened in Thailand, where the country's policy-makers devised a winning strategy, to promote the cultivation of cassava and related manufactured industrial products. Nowadays, Thailand is a big player in the supply of cassava products for animal feed worldwide.


Diagram About Cassava Transformation to Other Products
Sliced Tubers
Half Finished
Animal Food
Dried cossets; raspa (Brazil); glapeck (Thai)
Cassava Tubers
Food
Industry
Biscuit; thickeners; binding
agent; constituent;
tapioca; glucose; sorbitol. Etc.
Press
Starch
Humidified
Products
Dried
Products
Gari; farinha;
foufou; attiéké.
Industrial
Utilization
Paper; bio-plastics;
textiles; fermentation
composites; drilling. Etc.

In next issue 55 several opportunities available to using roots and tubers as an economic catalyst will be explored.

MORE ON ROOTS AND TUBERS
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
5-
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

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