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There's room for all
THE WESTERN mind set, say commentators on the previous essay , is predatory, while China’s model is collaborative. In fact one saw China as the latest “Colonial Power in Africa,” arguing that China is building infrastructure for its own good- “to take all the wealth of Africa to China,” argued Archie McLachlan .
However, McLachan also agrees that the western business model is predatory, a position supported by Dr. Jerome Terhemba Andohol. This debate sent me back to essays I have written on Afro-Western economic links. The point is Africa is looking for development and trade partners -not masters. The West being the former Colonial masters, view Africa as a colony still. Consequently, they prefer to give Africa what they want not what the continent needs.
Research has demonstrated that the West does not understand Africa. Mention Africa in the West and images of starving Children in war or drought ravaged populations. In 2010 for instance, the global accounting firm Ernst and Young www.ey.com published its report dubbed Africa attractiveness 2011. The firm found that a majority of investors in the west are pessimistic about Africa.
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Says the study, only 38 per cent of respondents in North America and 45 per cent in Europe see any prospect for Africa soon. In contrast, 74 per cent of respondents in the Emerging Markets and 66 per cent in Asia saw better prospects in Africa. The study concluded “that Africa is on an upward trajectory economically, politically and socially.” Read http://eaers.blogspot.com/2012/05/time-for-africa-to-ditch-west.html
Africa is still growing. In fact all indications are that Africa could be the fastest growing region in the next five years posting annual growth rates above 5 per cent. Much of this growth is internally generated which is why the continent is not adversely affected by crises in the west.
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European contractors salivating over it
For instance, between 2000 and 2008, around a quarter of Africa’s growth came from higher revenues from natural resources. The other three quarters were internally generated by the growth of local enterprises which reduced profit repatriation.
This growth of highly profitable local enterprises, spread across all sectors, which boosted employment, tax revenue collection and domestic investment as they invested in further growth. This saw per Capita domestic revenue collection rise to $441 compared to development which shrunk to US$41 per Capita. Consequently, implementation of development programs in Africa became feasible and certain, feeding further growth.
To sum up, Africa has room for investors from any part of the world including the west provided the deals are quickly sealed and implemented to serve developmental needs. Two, Africa will only deal in mutually beneficial partnerships. That is why western explorers and drillers dominated the Oil and Gas exploration sectors and there are signs that they will benefit immensely as Africa also gains.
This means that predatory practises as is common in the west will be shunned. So what do we say? To the west acquire a new attitude to compete for business in Africa and you are welcome.e