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AFRICABIZ VOL 1 - ISSUE: 93
JANUARY 15 - FEBRUARY 14, 2007
Previous Issue
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.

- HAPPY AND SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS YEAR 2007

Africabiz Online editorial team wishes you and your loved ones a happy and prosperous business year 2007.


- CAUSES BEHIND BUSINESS FAILURES IN AFRICAN COUNTRIES

In most sub-Saharan African countries legal businesses that pay taxes (in comparison to gray economy and underground practices that do not pay any tax) fail to prosper and expand. The reasons are numerous but boil down to the following:

1- Lack of proper planning from the start.

2- Lack of financing to fund projects and particularly operating expenses during the first year of the operation.

3- Lack of managing skills and sometimes amateurism of projects' managers. Some businessmen or businesswomen turning to private business after retiring from civil servant positions, and therefore are not fully dedicated as an entrepreneur should be. That means they are not accustomed to working long hours for meaningless salaries - to soundly establish the business as a profit making concern.

4- Appointment to positions in the business is not done on competence basis. Sometimes, a family member, a nephew, a niece, a son or a daughter not qualified is preferred to a "stranger" who is qualified and could do better.

5- Logistics failure such as high cost of utilities' supply; bad planning for raw material's procurement and or energy crisis that cripple the operation for long hours, days and even months. That makes any business planning useless

6- Confusion between profits, operating expenses and cash-flow

These above listed are the main causes behind the failure of businesses in African countries. For more on the matter click here to read our featured article: "The 7 Major Reasons Businesses Fail and How to Overcome Them"

Many thanks for dropping by and see you here on February 15, 2007.

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 (5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13)
b- BLUE GOLD (14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19)
c- FREEZE-DRIED PAPAIN (20, 21, 22 and here)
d- KENAF (23, 24)
e- VEGETABLE OIL (25, 26, 27, 28)
f- CEREALS (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)
i- ROOTS & TUBERS (54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64)
j- FOWL BREEDING (66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76)
k- FISH FARMING (78, 79, 80, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87)
l- BIOMASS ENERGY (89, 90, 91, 92)
m- SUGAR CANE & PRODUCTS (93, 94,

- SUGAR CANE & PRODUCTS: PART I - SUGAR-CANE AS AN ECONOMIC CATALYST TO DEVELOPING IN AFRICAN COUNTRIES

With the current delivery starts a new series of business opportunities related to sugar-cane and by-products originating from the industrial processing of sugar-cane.

Sugar cane top viewSugarcane (image at the left side of this paragraph) is a grass originally from tropical Southeast Asia (Hortus Third). The thick stalk stores energy as sucrose in the sap.

When sugar-cane sticks (see image below this paragraph, at the right side) are crushed, they release a sweet and sticky juice from which sugar is extracted by evaporating the water. Crystallized sugar was reported 2500 years ago in India. Around the eighth century A.D., Arabs introduced sugar to the Mediterranean and it was cultivated in Spain. It was among the early crops brought to the Americas by Spaniards. [Source]

cut sugar-cane free of leaves and reeds In fact, this series about sugar-cane is a continuation to the previous one dedicated to biomass as sugar-cane is a super-biomass raw material and fits well with the definition of biomass given in previous deliveries [(89, 90, 91, 92,] but in addition to being a source for energy, sugar-cane, when processed, generates a string of high value-added products: Cane-sugar, cane syrup, molasses, bagasse, wax.

Cane-sugar, cane-sugar fresh juice and rum are the most known sugar-cane's products to the mainstream consumers in the developing world, but the other above listed and several others not listed yet are industrial products, which sell in huge volumes to industrialists in the developed countries.

For instance, molasses is used as it is as sweetener; as raw material to producing industrial alcohol, for explosives, synthetic rubber, and in combustion engines. The ground and dried cane (after juice has been expressed) makes an excellent mulch called bagasse that can be baled and shipped economically, because of its light weight. Bagasse is pure cellulose material, which is an excellent raw material to producing paper and other products such as cardboard. It can also be used as fuel source.

Cane-sugar is also used in innumerable recipes around the world. It is a natural preservative for fruits and meat. Sugar is a common adjunct to unpleasant medicines. The reeds of sugar cane are made into pens, mats, screens, and thatch.

It is possible to promote the production of biopharmaceuticals and other nutriceucals based on sugar-cane and related processed products as they have been used for ages as medicinal products by folks in Asia, Americas and Africa. The curing potentialities are endless. It had been reported to be antidote, antiseptic, antivinous, bactericide, cardiotonic, demulcent, diuretic, intoxicant, laxative, pectoral, pesticide, refrigerant, and stomachic. It is a folk remedy for arthritis, bedsores, boils, cancer, colds, cough, diarrhea, dysentery, eyes, fever, hiccups, inflammation, laryngitis, opacity, penis, skin, sores, sore throat, spleen, tumors, and wounds (Duke and Wain, 1981).

One sees, referring to the multitude of by-products originating from sugar-cane processing into cane-sugar, and the several usages related to these products that the cultivation of sugar-cane would be a tremendous and high profit yielding Economic Catalyst Operation to be integrated into the Developing Strategy for African Countries as here exposed.

- CANE-SUGAR MARKET'S CHARACTERISTICS

Sugar market is a peculiar one that do not obey the trading law of supply / demand. The main characteristics and peculiarities of the market read as follow:

1- Sugar (cane-sugar or beet-sugar) production is heavily subsidized all around the world.

2- Nearly forty percent of the world’s sugar is produced by the European Union, India and Brazil, with Brazil leading the way .

3- Paradoxically, Europe is the world's biggest exporter of sugar because of subsidies. This lowers world market prices and makes things even harder for more efficient Third World producers. Many southern countries, organizations and NGOs have publicly denounced what they see as unfair international trade rules which favor the rich.

4- There is no genuine world market for sugar. In fact, 80% of the sugar produced around the globe is never traded on an open market—it is consumed in the protected markets where it’s produced. The remaining 20% winds up on a world dump market where huge government subsidies help foreign producers sell surplus sugar at a fraction of the cost of production. For more on Sugar Dump Market, click here


- SUGAR DEFINITION. BEET-SUGAR VERSUS CANE-SUGAR - REFINED AND BROWN SUGAR

In non-scientific use, the term "sugar" means sucrose (also called "table sugar" or saccharose — a white crystalline solid disaccharide. Humans most commonly use sucrose as their sugar of choice for altering the flavor and properties (such as mouthfeel, preservation, and texture) of beverages and food.

Commercially-produced table sugar comes either from sugar-cane or from sugar-beet, which can contain sugar to the proportion of 12 percent to 20 percent of the plant dried weight. Some minor commercial sugar crops include the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), sorghum (Sorghum vulgare) [30, 31, 32, 33], and the sugar maple (Acer saccharum).

In science, sugar refers to any monosaccharide or disaccharide. Monosaccharides (also called "simple sugars"), such as glucose, store energy which biological cells use and consume. In a list of ingredients, any word that ends with "ose" probably denotes a sugar.[Source]


Brown-sugar dilemma

Brown cane-sugar -- a combination of sugar and (sugar-cane) molasses, is produced naturally as part of the process of refining white cane sugar by the traditional method that is crystallization.

Brown beet-sugar is made differently by refining the sugar all the way to the final white granular stage, stripping off all the molasses because beet molasses is unfit for human consumption (therefore ends up mostly as industrial fermentation feedstock, or as animal-feed). Then cane molasses is added back into the beet-sugar through a process called ``painting.' Painting coats the granules but does not necessarily penetrate them -- the molasses can sometimes be rubbed right off.

So, there is the possibility to be deceived when purchasing brown-sugar. You can get pseudo brown sugar made from beet-sugar when expecting to have pure brown cane-sugar. Despite what sugar industry officials claim, beet and cane sugar are not alike. And the sugar industry isn't bothering to tell.

It's true that both kinds are sucrose, but only up to 99.95 percent, and that minuscule 0.05 percent discrepancy, which is made up of traces in minerals and proteins can have important nutritional impact. [Source]

Brown cane-sugar is the only that is truly brown. The difference above outlined still play when considering refined pure white cane-sugar and brown cane-sugar. (This is important and one delivery of this series will deal further with the matter considering the difference in costs of production and nutritional advantages of each kind of cane-sugar - refined cane-sugar or pure brown cane-sugar. To setup "huge" processing plants or small-scale transformers' units?).

Further, these different types of sugars (refined beet-sugar, "brown" beet-sugar, refined cane-sugar and brown cane-sugar react differently in the kitchen.
[Source]

- AFRICAN COUNTRIES IN CANE-SUGAR PRODUCTION LANDSCAPE

This link list several data tables (Microsoft Excel) concerning cane-sugar and other sweeteners. Table below [source] outlined world production estimate for 2006/2007, per region:
Regions Tonnes x 1;000,000 Percentage variation 2005-2006 Vs. 2006-2007
Africa 9.6 8%
North & Central America 15.3 12%
South America 38.8 32%
Asia 53.5 44%
Oceania 5.5 0.5%
Total world 122.7 19.3%

Southern Africa Development Community - SADC is the main producer of cane-sugar in Africa. South Africa being the heavyweight that produces in 2005/2006 2,507,000 tonnes of cane-sugar - and standing for half of SADC production and 26 percent of the black continent production.

The global production of African countries represents less than two percent of world production of cane-sugar. Apart from South Africa and Mautitius, almost other 46 sub-Saharan African countries are net importers of sugar, which is an important indication that the cultivation of sugar-cane (when feasible) in most African countries and the processing of the crops to sugar is a sure recipe to boot the global economy and save foreign exhange balance.

Should the processing units be setup as huge processing plants or small-scale transformers' units? Is it necessary to produce pure white refined cane-sugar or simply brown cane-sugar? A forthcoming delivery of this series dedicated to sugar-cane will further consider the matter taking into acount the costs of production and the nutritional values of each kind of sugar.


MORE ON SUGAR CANE & PRODUCTS
1- Sugar Cane Industry, The (Cambridge Studies in Historical Geography)
by J.H. Galloway (Paperback Sep 23, 2005)
2- The House Surrounded by Sugar
by Leanna Williams (Paperback - Mar 8, 2006)
3- From Cane to Sugar (Start to Finish)
by Jill Braithwaite (Hardcover - Aug 2004)
4- Cane Sugar Handbook: A Manual for Cane Sugar Manufacturers and Their Chemists
by James C. P. Chen and Chung Chi Chou (Hardcover - Nov 8, 1993)
5-
Sugar Cane
by Alex Morgan (Paperback - Aug 28, 2002)
6- The Sugar cane factory: A catechism of cane sugar manufacture for the use of beginners
by Frederic I Scard (Unknown Binding - 1913)
7-
Sugar Cane Cultivation and Management
by Henk, Bakker and H., Bakker (Hardcover - Jan 1, 1999)
 

8- Sugar Cane (Tropical Agriculturalist)
by R. Fauconnier (Paperback - Feb 24, 1993)
9- Management Accounting for the Sugar Cane Industry (Sugar Sciences, Vol 8)
by A. E. Fok Kam (Hardcover - Mar 1988)
10- The nature and properties of the sugar cane
With practical directions for the improvement of its cultures, and the manufacture of its products)
by George Richardson Porter (Unknown Binding - 1831)
11- Sugar-cane and Sugar Industry in Nigeria
The Bitter Sweet Lessons
by Abdul-latif D. Busari (Paperback - Nov 2005)
12- The 2007-2012 World Outlook for Sugar Cane Mill Products
by Philip M. Parker (Paperback - Oct 13, 2006)

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