Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The World Bank Seeks Economic Progress?



Geoffrey Kamali writes about the most recent opinion of the World Bank, as it pertains to business in Africa:

"Is Sub-Saharan Africa now a more attractive destination for investment than yester-years?

The World Bank appears to give an optimistic overview in a new report, just released Thursday. Titled 'Snapshot Africa', the report is a result of a survey conducted by the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the Bank's private sector arm specialised in promoting investment in emerging economies.

The report says about 300 investors, both local and foreign, were interviewed. It compares operating costs and conditions for investors in six industries in nine countries in the region that included Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mali, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The study, designed to help investment promotion intermediaries in developing countries attract foreign direct investment (FDI), is the fifth in a series of sector analyses under MIGA. Among sectors sampled include textiles, apparel, food and beverage processing, horticulture, tourism, and call centers."
This article was from a recent online issue of all Africa.com. Upon reading this, my initial thoughts were this dovetails nicely with some of the most recent discussion which have taken place here on The Benin Epilogue lately. So in a sense it also serves as a bit of a self-reminder for me that things are looking up!

7 comments:

Sijui said...

The positive exposure on Africa is good, but let's be careful about the probability of 'over-compensating'. We need to take our cues less from the World Bank, IMF, OECD types who are trying to assuage a guilty conscience of playing an active role in wrecking many African economies.......and thus are now tripping over themselves to herald 'success stories'.

The following article:
http://businessweek.com/bschools/content/feb2007/bs20070205_479509.htm?chan=top+news_top+news+index_b-schools, in my opinion is a better barometer of things to get excited about. I credit Harvard's African Business Summit with putting the fire in my belly to move back home and start a services based company. There is too much potential to be ignored, and the specter of success high if you have the imagination, optimism and perserverance to take on all the 'bogeymen' on the continent. I especially like the comment made by Mark Davies of BusyInternet Ghana (by the way, he provided us with the office space/infrastructure back then when we were too broke to afford it, at a reasonable price) about the lack of practical, innovative ideas for entrepreneurship in the services sector. To me, this is the one sector where Africa is ripe for the picking, and I am glad more African Diasporans from the Ivy League are getting on this bandwagon, and chasing the dream on the continent!!!!

James said...

my brother, you are doing an amazing job, You are educating many with your business journals,You called me a promient blogger, not, I am trying but like you I am new, I started in mid October 06, but it is fun. Keep up the insights.

Benin "Mwangi" said...

Sijui:

As always very deep stuff. Never really looked at it that way..One day I've got to ask you about a somewhat related topic (the impact of Ghana's HIPPIC designation, etc.)but nevertheless, from a data and statistical point of view wouldn't you almost have to agree that the WB knows their stuff? I mean not taking away from what you said..but, hey enquiring minds want to know-right? :)

But on the Harvard Africa Business Summit, thanks, I forgot to mention them and also the Harvard Africa Business Club-they are making giant footsteps-thanks for bringing it up. In fact, one of the prior mini-profiles here on this blog was on one of their members-James Makawa. As for Busy Internet-they are really on the job too. So you were one of the businesses that was part of their incubator? Man, I felt privaledged to converse with you before this conversation-but now my heads really spinning. You're a true entrepreneur-you took something such as that and really built on it-great job!

James:

Thanks partner. Only since October? Sounds like somebody's going 100 miles and running!

Speaking of 100 miles and running, I read up some more on you. You are quite the entrepreneurial success story yourself. You worked your way up from a sales person to a manager to a VP in one of America's top pharmaceuticals corporations and then retired at a fairly young age and now run your own successful human resources franchise. Are you really sure you want to be like me? I think it's me, plus many others, who want to be like you. :)

sijui said...

Benin, I'll kill two birds with one stone.......back in the day of the Structural Adjustment Programmes (1980 to 1998-99), Ghana was heralded as a success story by the World Bank. Under their prescriptions the economy was growing annually between 3-4%, great right?!!!!

In 2001 when Kuffour took over, inflation was 40-50%, the Central Bank's base rate was 50% and Ghana self declared itself a HIPC country. What happened to the Cinderella story?

BEWARE of multi-lateral 'success stories', by the same token, remember how the Latin American countries like Argentina were villianized for discarding their prescriptions? To date they still won't acknowledge Nestor Krichner's wise and timely gamble!!!

Benin "Mwangi" said...

Sijui:

Good Day! Happy to see that you are back and have provided some good material for me to brush up on. I am somewhat familiar with the Argentina headlines, but don't know enough about it to really respond at this time to your comment.

Plus, I'm on lunch break and would almost certainly run over if I tried to go into any response on the Ghana portion of your response. By the way you can email me at beninmwangi at gmail.com when you get the chance.

next time!

sijui said...

Just got this in my e-mail in box......great minds think alike, eh?!!!!!

*Register now for a chance to win an extra ticket for a friend!!!

The Africa Business Club at Harvard Business School presents the 9th Annual Africa Business Conference.

Theme: "Open for Business: Integrating Africa into the Global Economy"

Date: February 16th - 18h 2007
Venue: Harvard Business School Campus
Soldiers Field, Boston, MA 02163


The Keynote Speakers Include:
- H. E. Dr. Donald Kaberuka (President, African Development Bank Group)
- Simon Harford (Head, Actis West Africa)
- Nancy Barry & Dr. Jennifer Riria (Women’s World Bank & Kenya Women Finance Trust)

Panel Topics Include:
- Private Equity-Beyond Capital Access
- Leading Women in Business: Challenges and Opportunities
- Non-Governmental Organizations - System building in a non-profit context Telecommunications in Africa: What Next?
- Rewards of Private and Public Partnerships in the Natural Resource Sector
- Social Entrepreneurship: Experiences and Lessons from Africa
- Developing Africa's Media and Entertainment Industry
- International Trade and Investment - Emerging Globalization
- Kenya: Emerging Opportunities, a Vision for Growth
- Power Infrastructure - Recent developments in Africa Professional Services
& MUCH MORE

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Conference Only $100 Conference + Gala Banquet - $160

* When you register, send your name and email address to yap@africacenter.com for a chance to win free tickets.

Hoseah said...

It is really nice to see many universities taking a role in promoting doing business in Africa. Just to highlight one: Kennesaw State Univ. in Georgia is hosting a conference promoting Kenya; here is the link http://www.kennesaw.edu/globalinstitute/kenyandiaspora.htm

Keep up the good work my friend

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