Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Ghana & Brazil-South South Collaboration At It's Best

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One day while perusing the web, I saw something on Jen Brea's blog about something called "South-South cooperation". What the term South-South describes is an economic movement which has been around for some time, but has recently begun to gather a great bit of steam. The recurring theme here is that of developing nations assisting each other in the following areas- trade, socio-economic strategy, economic policy, tariff reduction, development, and etc. The excerpt that follows, to me was a great example of South South theory put into action, so I thought I'd share it with you.

"...Brazil has chosen Ghana as a key investment destination in Africa and an investment team would be in the country after the 50th anniversary celebrations to explore areas of interest, Mr. Luis Fernando Serba, Brazilian Ambassador to Ghana has said.

The Ambassador was conferring with Mr. Stephen Asamoah-Boateng, Minister of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment in Accra this week. Mr. Serba said the 45-year cordial relationship between the two countries had given the green light for the two to do business. He said Brazil's Amazon Forest housed about 20 million people and the country had also tackled its urbanisation problem in its main city, Rio de Janeiro and noted that Ghana could learn from their experience. Mr. Asamoah-Boateng called for technical support from the Brazilian government inagro-processing to help Ghana solve post-harvest losses as well as the management of the environment. Brazil, he said, was a success story when it came to agriculture exporting over 50 billion dollars of its produce annually..."

Source: AllAfrica.com


So, over the course of time, we have covered several major movements which in some way revolve around expanding business opportunities in Africa-the traditional foreign direct investors, China, the Diaspora, and now South-South economic and social investments into some of Africa's economies. It is from these types of initiatives coupled with the dedication of Africa's entrepreneurs, both at home and abroad, that are poising Africa's economies for a momentous paradigm shift. Without downplaying the significance of South South collaboration or the other two categories, I think that Africa's population abroad (the Diaspora) has been showing some very promising trends-albeit in a very quiet manner...

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2 comments:

Sijui said...

Benin, KUDOS on the exchange.....I will be sure to participate. This is why I remain adamant that BRIC forays in to Africa have the net effect of being a good thing!
To me, its greatest impact is breaking the cultural psychosis i.e. development is a Western preserve that the rest of us should mimic wholesale!
I also was introduced to an epiphany regarding Sino-Africa ties recently, of course the Chinese are in it for self interest but what exactly is the guise of this interest? Developing their SME sector! Not only do they want Africa to be a market for their low value goods, they want their entrepreneurs to ESTABLISH in Africa and incubate the development of high value goods and services for the international market including Africa. Now let me ask you, has Africa not been clamoring for an infusion of industrial innovation and investment? And yes the Chinese are coming in as competitors for both our domestic and international markets, and how again is this bad? Was the Marshall Plan and the FDI in to Asia not pursuing the exact same agenda?

The Brazillians are setting up an industrial agro-processing and research center in Accra. If done right the potential for everyone involved is limitless.

Benin "Mwangi" said...

Sujui:

Yes the Sino-Africa ties are one magnanimous example of South-South collaboration. China and India both compete internationally with African goods, yet both bring tangible benefits to the continent in the form of trade and investment. China is still evolving economically, so what we are seeing now is probably just the beginning. I believe that one of your statements above hints at competition being a positive force for growing economies in Africa-I agree with you. There are some who may not understand this and as such may have developed some very polarized views on the topic. But again, as you have pointed out each party has something huge to gain in this unique South-South interaction.

There are many things that Ghana did in the past that seemed to go against the grain of free market economics. I think some of the effects are still there. Yet somehow, over nearly two decades this country has been managing an impressive turnaround. The country is very unique in the way it's business environment is nurtured. Also, some of Ghana's counterparts in other parts of Africa have actually attempted to abandon agriculture. Ghana was wise in sticking with the "tried and true". To me the collaboration that they are doing with Brazil, right now epitomizes that. It is also ineresting to note the similiarities that exist between the two countries. These similiarities together with Brazil's successes in agriculture, to me, mean that if Ghana continues applying the model that Brazil has already proven, then Ghana could become the shiniest black star that the world has ever seen!

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