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Dear faithful reader,
TRADE COMES PRODUCTION OF GOODS AND SERVICES AT COMPETITIVE
extensively exposed, There Are Already Aplenty of Initiatives To Boosting African
Economy. Score of International Supporting Organizations, several African
Regional Organizations, Multilateral Economic Treaties. Etc.
at the beginning of the 21 rst century, 50 years after most of said initiatives
were established, Africa is still in the backyard of international development
as shown by its meager share (1% to2%) of the international trade.
What is amiss? Why is it so?
of main Export Products From Sub-Saharan African Countries|
It is always good to ask the right question in order to finding the adequate solution.
United States of America's political leaders conceived the concept of "Trade
and Not Aid" to help solving the developing gap in Africa. Good. That sounds
good. However, we have to analyze the formula to evaluate its relevance in solving
the non-development state that currently exists in Africa.
you sell anything, you have to produce it first, at competitive price to be in
the position to sell. You certainly agree. Now what does Africa has to offer?
Only agricultural and mineral bulk commodities! (See Annexed- Figure.) Even that
is beyond the capability of most African countries. Of course, there are oil-producing
countries and those (quite the same) endowed with huge deposits of natural mineral
resources - iron, manganese and aluminium ores; a dozen countries in total out
of 48 sub-Saharan African countries. Rare are African countries that are in
the position to sell on the international marketplace value-added manufactured
products. Those that can do that offer mostly textiles, small tonnages of
agribusiness productions - outside cash crops: Coffee, cocoa beans, tea, cotton
- and canned food. South Africa and Mauritius.
In short, one is entitled
to say that Africa, at the current state of its non- performing economy, has nothing
"worthwhile" to offer to compete on the international trading marketplace of goods
and services. Therefore, we have to reconsider the formula "Trade but Not Aid"
as misleading and non-productive. "Trade but Not Aid" is a concept that could
not solve the developing gap in Africa because even countries that have something
to offer are as poor as the ones that could sell only peanuts - considering the
per capita GNP and the high percentage (up to 90%) of the populations living with
less than US$ 2 (two) per day.
Thus, a better formula like this one:
"Trade plus Developing Aid" is more appropriate to tackle the development
gap existing currently in sub-Saharan African countries. That formula spells as
- Trading agreement and facilitation treaties to help African countries sell agricultural
commodities developed countries - at remunerative purchasing prices.
- The availability of "global" financing, to carry out developing schemes.
In other words, provide financial aids to African countries, to set up strategic
developing schemes that effectively produce manufactured goods together with the
development of a diversified agriculture and expansion of services.
to manufacture all sorts of goods and propose attractive Services, Africa needs
financing that it could not provide itself. Financing to establish plantations,
industrial plants to process crops into high-added value productions.
that leads us to pinpoint the main hindrance that is impeding Africa to take off.
That is the lack of proper financing
to carry out developing schemes.
once solutions made available to providing "global" financing for the implementation
of projects included in African developing schemes, the international community
would have made a huge step to fighting poverty in Africa, to further integrating
the continent into the mainstream of the international trade.
initiatives are good ones. Treaties
with the European Union and AGOA
are useful.However, all these remarkable initiatives have either a "limiting"
implementing flaw (for instance, Structural Adjustment Programs concentrated solely
on macroeconomics equilibrium); or do not tackle the essential and stop midway.
For instance, treaties with the European Union have not "globally" considered
the problem of the access to the European market for African agricultural productions
or manufactured goods - except for Banana, Sugar and Pineapple. African Growth
and opportunity Act - AGOA - is also a good treaty, however its execution is restricted
by political "eligibility" procedure, which appreciation are the exclusive privilege
of the donor - the United States of America.
All that said, what African
countries are badly in need for is a global financing system, which "activation"
is "user friendly", not hindered by red tape and political appreciation of files
and dossiers but relies on the economic evaluation of projects.
stress out the word "global". It means that the financing of developing
schemes would yield positive results only if the scheme (of a particular African
country) considered in its "entirety". If that is not the case, the South
and North would continue signing treaties, which do not help African countries
get proper economic development and increase its share of the international trading.
right now, profit-making projects that supported by comprehensive business plans
are in limbo, since ages, in ministerial cupboards, around the continent. Proper
financing is lacking - in spite of innumerable treaties and international cooperation
conventions above mentioned - to carry out said projects that could lift the continent
from the backyard to the prosperous league of developed countries.
commercial banks and so-called "Development Banks" established in African countries
do not participate in financing developing in African countries. They have "shy",
conservative and not "global" approach to the financing projects included in developing
schemes. (One should remark, however, that the responsibility relies also on African
governments that do not propose to the "development banks" attractive and profit-making
projects.) Anyway, for the time being, African "development Banks" prefer to concentrate
efforts on less risky financing undertaking such as "pampering" clients for savings
deposits or granting credit facilities to local representative of international
trading companies; or providing credit lines to financing the harvest and storage
of cash crops: cocoa; coffee, cotton, tea and cashew nut. Click
here to read more
available here. You are invited
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"How Africa Could Bridge The Developing Gap".
thanks for subscribing to Africabiz. See you on February 15, 2003.
Dr. B.M. Quenum
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FRUIT INDUSTRY AS INCOME BUILDING POWER FOR AN AFRICAN COMMUNITY / PART XI: PRODUCTION
COST OF BROMELAIN / A FOOD ENZYME
cultivated in African countries is exported
as fresh or canned fruit, or locally processed into juice concentrates and syrup
for the local and export market. Pineapple bran, the cake / residue obtained
after extracting the juice, has a high content of vitamin A: it is an excellent
feed for livestock. From the juice citric acid could be extracted, or processed
into alcohol, after fermentation.
The most interesting processed
product, however, is a food enzyme called Bromelain or Bromelin, which is a competitor
Table below gives an idea about the investment amount
and production cost of Bromelain , based on a factory producing 50 Metric Tons
per year: (For the full table click
| || Amount|
(US$ x 1,000)
Crude Bromelain = 50 metric tons at full capacity.
Expenses: Raw material
(around 2,320 metric tons of pineapple stems) harvesting, handling and transport
to plant floor - production costs - insurance - utilities - staff and hands /
management salaries - external management assistance - amortization - interests
on loan - merchandise packaging. Etc.
of production off Plant Floor of One Metric Ton of Crude Bromelain||19,5|
Prices are fluctuating in the US$/ kg 45 to 120 range since 10 years running in
close relationship with offer and demand.
Obviously there is an opportunity for African countries to entering the market
of food enzymes and grabbing a biggest share because, owing to the above pricing
of papain / bromelain on the international marketplace, producing and exporting
- even small quantities - should be a profitable line of business for African
Indeed, there is no doubt that African countries have,
with papain and bromelain, a business opportunity with a secure credit worthy
outlets to the US, the EU and Japan; not to mention the huge market for nutriments
and supplements not yet fulfilled and available right now in the whole continent;
plus the possibility to supplying (in the near future) papain and bromelain to
the pharmaceutical industry for the production of vaccine against AIDS / HIV.
Next issue 46 shall deal with the potential market existing in African countries
for Nutriceucals and food Supplements.
For more details on international food enzymes market please visit following
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