Trading And Investing In & Out Africa

ISSUE 46 - VOL 1
FEBRUARY 15 - MARCH 14, 2003

Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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Dear faithful reader,


As we know Ivory Coast is since September 19, 2002 engulfed in a political crisis, which, till now, on the time of posting on February 15, 2003, had not degenerated into "full" civil war because of the presence of French troops patrolling the ceasefire lines.

Following that ceasefire, peace talks between rebels groups and the government were held from October 30 to December 24, 2002, at Lome / Togo under Togo's Eyadema supervision. These talks failed to resolving the crisis.

The situation deteriorating day after day, France's Jacques Chirac took the initiative to convene a gathering, at Linas-Marcoussis, France, of the three rebels groups and main Ivorian political parties.

After 10 days of nonstop negotiation (January 15-24, 2003) attendees reached the Linas Marcoussis-Agreement (the Agreement)), which was agreed upon by Ivory Coast's Gbagbo in the presence of a Conference (Paris / Avenue Kleber/ January 25-26, 2003) attended by a score of African and international leaders together with international economic development organizations. Click here for more.

On the evening of January 26, 2003 President Gbagbo appointed, at Ivory Coast embassy to France, at Paris, the reconcilement government's prime minister as provided for in the Marcoussis- Agreement

As briefly analyzed here, the reconcilement government's prime minister shall take over the executive power from the President. He cannot be removed from office by the president; and he cannot fire ministers appointed to the reconcilement cabinet by rebels groups and political parties.

Once back to his country, on January 27, 2003, President Gbagbo remained silent while his followers and activists took to the streets of Abidjan, in anti-French rallies, rampaging French commercial interests and showing banners rejecting the Marcoussis-Agreement and the entrance of rebels into the reconcilement government.

In order to make the Agreement applicable, France then introduced on February 5, 2003 the Marcoussis-Agreement to the United Nations' Security Council that unanimously endorsed it and empowered France with a more stronger supervising role.

In short, the United Nations'
Resolution 1464 places Ivory Coast under the guardianship of the International Community for renewable periods of 6 months.


At the time of posting this delivery, on the morning of February 15, 2003, the political situation is still very shaky in Ivory Coast. President Gbagbo, in his speech delivered on February 7, 2003, had not fully accepted the Agreement and is still opposed to the entrance of the rebels groups into the transitional / reconcilement government, which he had renamed Coalition or Unity Government. Rebels are threatening to renew fighting and push south to Abidjan, from the ceasefire lines, if the Agreement is not fully implemented as signed at Linas-Marcoussis.

However, whatever may be the trend of events in the future (peace or renew of fighting and global civil war), we have been witness to these important facts:

- African countries' leaders have not been able to put an end to the crisis.
- The regional organization (Ecowas), till now, five months after the beginning of the crisis, had not fully deployed troops to buffer the ceasefire.
- African Union, the continental organization, is also helpless. Just talks.
- France froze the civil war from reaching Rwandan genocide's level by acting promptly to securing the ceasefire.
- 43 year after its independence, Ivory Coast is under the tutelage of the United Nations.

Ivorians, mostly southerners and particularly Gbagbo's followers and activists are bitterly complaining about the Agreement and the downgrade of the executive power of the president. Some Africans from other countries too are on the same wave. They feel disgraced that Ivory Coast is under international tutelage.

Those dissatisfied with the Agreement have to ask themselves these simple questions: Who is truly responsible of the sad fact that Ivory Cost is under UN's guardianship? France's decision makers? African leaders? Ivorians rulers themselves?

We are amongst those who strongly believe that the Marcoussis-Agreement is welcome and that France had done a good job. France is not to be regarded as responsible of any wrong doing. We think that France should be hailed for acting so promptly after the ceasefire to freezing / stopping the civil war.

In the contrary, Africa's regional and intercontinental organizations - Ecowas and African Union - showed their limits. If France had not took the matter into hands, we were in for another genocide like the one that occurred in Rwanda and still raging in Liberia

The UN's Resolution 1464, placing Ivory Coast under international tutelage clearly mentioned that the crisis is a threat to the west African region. Threat for its stability and the harmonious development of its economy.

Map courtesy of BBC OnlineIndeed, the fragile economies of surrounding countries (Mali, Burkina Faso and also Niger) are already feeling the pinch. Economic activities are on the verge of grinding down in said countries, particularly in Mali, which have to reroute their import and export through twice lengthier (1,800 km instead of 800 km) and costlier gateways through the ports of Dakar in Senegal, Tema in Ghana, Lome in Togo and as far away as Cotonou in Benin instead of using the direct route to the port of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Click here for Africa's map.

The Agreement, if implemented, will doubtless solve the crisis, reunite the divided country, spare human life and stop the economic disintegration of West Africa.

Sure, it won't be easy to reconcile the bruised hearts; one million internally-displaced people and tens of thousands of refugees; and a lot of blood had been already shed. At least 5,000 people killed.

However, the Agreement deserves a try to avoid a genocide and an horrible blood bath. That alone is more important than the loss of power by an individual. And these are the reasons why we deeply think that
Marcoussis Agreement is a good deal.

The most to be blamed, however, for the sad guardianship status imposed on Ivory Coast through UN's Resolution 1464 are the Ivory Coast's rulers.

Since one decade, from 1993, successive Ivorian political leaders acted selfishly. They indulged in cynical quest for power and practiced shameless weak governance, with a tendency towards impunity for the wrongdoers as far as they are backing the rulers. They have not lived up to the economic and political responsibility they owe to the West African region, as regional economic "power" (40% of West African Economic And Monetary Union - UEMOA - GDP).

Ivory Coast's political "leaders" are collectively responsible for the sad fact that their country, 43 years after its political independence, is now under international guardianship.


Let's be frank, even if UN's Resolution 1464 was not adopted, France will recoup, one way or another, its financial inputs to sending troops to Ivory Coast in order to solving the crisis.

France will doubtless, as soon as the crisis is over, put pressure on Ivory Coast government, whichever it is, to gain bids for the reconstruction drive that will follow the end of the crisis.

That's fair. And that fact alone is already a restriction to the freedom of decision making process of Ivory Cost's rulers.

If Ivory Coast's rulers have, since 1993, strove hard to preserve the heritage of the founding father, Houphouet Boigny, instead of squandering it through hazardous political, economic, cultural and social decisions engraved into the Ivoirite concept, or Re-Foundation, (Gbagbo's nebulous political doctrine, which includes, without explicitly stating it, the Ivoirite concept), the country will be now in better shape, socially, economically and politically.

We Africans should realize that it is always better to build on existing assets; instead of starting afresh from rubbles.

Any African country, which, nowadays, adopts destructive strategy like Ivory Coast or Zimbabwe's Mugabe cannot expect to be salvaged by the international community; and when the international community finally steps in to sort out the mess, national leaders are big losers. Their decision making freedom is challenged if not curtailed.

And when humanitarian organizations also step in to help displaced people harmed by civil war, the country is still loosing as donated food competes with local agriculture's production and deprive local farmers from much needed revenues.

Let's hope that other African leaders, from now on, will learn their lesson, act and manage wisely, rule for all, concentrate 90% of their efforts to developing the economy and therefore protect their countries from being placed under the international community's guardianship.

"CONTRIBUTOR'S GUIDELINES" are available here. You are invited to contribute to AFRICABIZ ONLINE MONTHLY ISSUE - with articles related to "How Africa Could Bridge The Developing Gap".

Many thanks for subscribing to Africabiz. See you on March 15, 2003.

Dr. B.M. Quenum
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Click for more on the collapse of Ivory Coast

Business Opportunities


Nutriceucals (Nutriments + pharmaceuticals) are a broad range of chemical / bio products, which composition is based on natural enzymes. Nowadays they are largely used in the developed world to provide nutrition supplements to people: children growth supplement, elders' anti aging supplement, competition / sports' performance enhancement, cholesterol control medication, energy supplement, blended vitamins supplements, chronic conditions support, pigmentation control, skin protection treatments, weight loss support. Etc.

Bromelain and or papain (the main components of nutriceucals) have a very large specter of usage in biochemistry, pharmacology and miscellaneous illness treatments because it contains, among other components, various closely related proteinases. Click here for more.

The standard dosage of bromelain is unique in that it is based on the gelatin-digesting unit (g.d.u.) or the milk-clotting unit (m.c.u.) activity. The most effective range of activity appears to be between 1,800 to 2,000 m.c.u. or g.d.u. For use as other than a digestive aid (e.g. inflammation, trauma, arthritis, etc.) the typical dosage is between 250 and 750 mg. three times daily, taken on an empty stomach (before or between meals). Source

Owing to the remarkable illness' treatments properties of bromelain as above briefly outlined, pineapple agribusiness can be used to establish pharmaceuticals industries throughout African countries to deliver supplements and nutriments based on natural food enzymes (bromelain and papain) to the population.

The actual population level of Africa at the beginning of the new millennium stands at around 800,000,000 people. In table below is an estimate of profit level that could be achieved with nutriments / supplements industry based on pineapple / bromelain versus the percentage of targeted population. (One bottle of 50 capsule of nutriceucals per year; with U$ 2 per bottle as profit margin)

Population %1020304050
Bottles (50 caps) x 1,00080,000160,000240,000320,000400,000
Gross Profit US$ x 1,000240,000480,000720,000960,0001,200,000

The lowest hypothesis of targeting 10% of the population requires 20 (twenty) medium size factories (Producing globally 500 metric tons of bromelain per year).

Indeed, there is no doubt that African countries have, with papain and bromelain, a tremendous business opportunity:

- With credit worthy outlets such as the US, the EU and Japan (Big importers of food enzymes).
- With a huge potential local and regional markets (Globally near 800,000,000 people) for nutriceucals and supplements.
- With the possibility to supplying (in the near future) papain and bromelain to the pharmaceutical industry for the production of vaccine against AIDS / HIV.

For more details on the tremendous potential market existing in Africa for nutriceucals visit following link.

More on nutriceucals market in Africa.

Control Your Desktop


There are thousand of Files Transfer utilities based on File Transfer Protocol / FTP available on the Net. Some are free and other will cost you some bucks.

Many free FTP utilities lack, however, the important Server Side permissions' settings on files (755, 777. Etc.)
If you just need to transfer files to a website for everyone to browse that's fine. If you need to limit access to certain files (Administration, CGI files) then you absolutely need a Server Side Permissions enabled FTP utility


Here come BlueZone FTP by Seagull Business Solution. A freeware. A true Freeware. Not a Spyware (24, 44). As powerful as the most popular FTP paid for FTP Utilities. It features three panels (Desktop folder / Server Side Folder / and transfer information). Binary and ASCII or Auto transfer protocols and most important for power user, clear and user friendly Server Side Permissions' settings.

You can have a copy for free. Log on to Seagull website and fill the form available prior to download. You will get an email with link to download and Registration key.

For website file and document updating, classic FTP utilities do not have Server Side updating facility.

You need first to make the updating with your php editor and second load the edited file. Now it is possible to do the editing on server side.

Here is a little Server Side editing tool InternetNotePad that do the job pronto. Without fuss and properly. Very simple to set up and use. It is useful for quick and frequent updating of website.

More on file management utilities

Freebie Of The Month


Here is 10 Fingers BreakOut, a typing tutor game, that assist you learning typing or improve your typing skills. Based on Arcade Game. You will be escaping from invaders, shooting and trying to hit balls and in the meantime learning to type or improving your tying skills.

10 Fingers BreakOut is user friendly and small in size (Version 4.31 is just 600 KB) You can download it here

If you are willing to shed out US$ 5 to 9 (depending of your payment method!) you can get the Pro version nicknamed TypingQueen

TypingQueen features 20 lessons (10 more than 10 Fingers BreakOut). With TypingQueen you can easily reach 300 or more characters per min.

TypingQueen or 10 Fingers BreakOut? Click here to make you choice of these typing / game modules and improve your typing skills


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