Trading And Investing In & Out Africa

ISSUE 73 - VOL 1
MAY 15 - JUNE 14, 2005

Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum
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By Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum

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Since the end of the 1980's, African countries are submitted to Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP) deemed to turn around the economy, and assist fighting against rampant poverty.

We all know that SAP failed to do so. The failure is now implicitly recognized by SAP' sponsor - The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), that are now feverishly searching for alternatives. They proposed all kinds of Poverty Reduction Programs (PRP) that, after nearly a decade of implementation, had not delivered any substantial result. African countries implementing said Poverty Reduction Programs are not fairing better as shown by the level of the population living with less than one or two US$ per day that amounts to up to 70% in most African countries. Poverty level remained in said countries either the same as before SAP or Poverty Reduction Programs' implementation; or increased to highest level.

In spite of the failure of said programs to creating jobs to cope with demand, and to build up riches at national level to increase the per capita Gross National Product (GNP), international aids institutions implicitly propagate the following credo: There Is No Alternative (T.I.N.A.), which means that African countries have no choice but accepting and strictly implementing SAPs and PRPs.

Worse, the international aids institutions' experts add another injunction to African governments governments that is not to get involved in the developing process. They force African countries to disengage from public companies (utilities companies and industrial concerns,) and sell state owned equity shares to private companies. Of course, the buyers were, most of the time, private companies from the developed countries - globally called the North.


Let us put it blankly. There are other alternatives than SAP and Poverty Reductions Programs (PRP) as devised by their sponsors - the IMF and the World Bank.

First, the simple fact that the IMF and the World Bank's experts cooked PRP to correct the failure of SAP in alleviating poverty in African countries is the proof that it is possible to devise other alternatives.

Second, there are countries that acted as contrarians to the programs and advices given by the IMF and the World and faired better than countries that blindly followed said advices and programs.


Remember the Asian financial crisis of the mid 1990's? Most Asian countries were hit by a financial crisis threatening to destroy decades of prosperity in Malaysia, South Korea, and Indonesia.

Thanks to the political and nationalistic vigilance exercised by the Prime Minister, Dr. Mohamad Bin Mahathir, Malaysia pulled through 1997's Asian financial crisis 24 months in advance to other Asian countries.

Dr. Mahathir did not applied the "economically correct" doctrine - the prevalence of the Market's Law - advocated by the IMF and the World Bank - that is to let funds "flee" the country without any limit and control; at foreign decision-makers and speculators' whims.

On the contrary, Dr. Mahathir, a seasoned politician, fully aware of local economic and political conditions, used independent thinking to solving the crisis. He stood firm against propositions and pressure from the IMF and the World Bank, and took iconoclastic economic decisions such as the temporary re-nationalization of formerly privatized state run companies - to save them from bankruptcy. In addition, he established time-limited foreign exchange control, devalued the national currency - the Ringgit - and pegged the exchange rate to the United States' Dollar.

These bold economic decisions, a blend of orthodoxy (devaluation of the national currency) and creative imagination (the re-nationalization of formerly privatized companies) help Malaysia pull out of the financial crisis far in advance to other Asian countries - like South-Korea and Indonesia - that bent to the Market 's Law as suggested by the IMF and the World Bank.

At Bangkok, on July 6, 2002, Dr. Mahathir declared to Asian business leaders:

"Independent thinking helped Malaysia recover from the 1997 Asian economic crisis. We should explore new and additional methods and mechanisms of doing business, rather than staying with our conventional way, in order to strengthen our resilience, and to reduce the problems that surfaced following the 1997 financial crisis." He continued stating:

"The 1997 crisis has taught us not to be dependent on standard measures that are prescribed by international institutions. They are often not workable and bring even more hardship to the people. They reduce the options for us to manage our economy and social problems."

Another contrarian country is Argentina, which economy collapsed in December 2001. Then doomsday predictions abounded. Unless Argentina adopted orthodox economic policies and quickly cut a deal with its foreign creditors, hyperinflation would surely follow, the peso would become worthless, investment and foreign reserves would vanish and any prospect of growth would be strangled. For more you may read Argentina's Economic Rally Defies Forecasts published on December 26, 2004 in the New York Times by Larry Rohter.

Said doomsday predictions did not occurred. Indeed, three years after Argentina declared a record debt default of more than US$100 billion, the largest in history, the economy has grown by 8 percent for two consecutive years, exports have zoomed, the currency is stable, investors are gradually returning and unemployment has eased from record highs - all without a debt settlement or the standard measures required by the International Monetary Fund for its approval.


Argentina's example is completely different from the Malaysia one. Malaysia blocked foreign money transfer for a while and resume it as soon as the recovery was on track. Till now, Argentina had not done so and is still dragging feet to comply. Argentina move is not in accordance with our analysis available at this link African Countries Should Not Refuse To Pay Back Debts;
and African countries' policy makers should think twice before following suit. They should analyze Argentinean economic conditions, and international political environment (not similar to the African ones) that permit Argentina's move. [For more on the local and international political and economic conditions that permit Argentina's bold attitude, you may read the article by Larry Rother above mentioned.]

Nevertheless, the main point is that two countries used imagination and creativity to avoid surrendering to T.I.N.A., ignoring and even defying economic and political orthodoxy. Their boldness and creativity had been recognized by the liberal economists themselves. Declared Mark Weisbrot, an economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a liberal research group in Washington:

"This is a remarkable historical event, one that challenges 25 years of failed policies. While other countries are just limping along, Argentina is experiencing very healthy growth with no sign that it is unsustainable, and they've done it without having to make any concessions to get foreign capital inflows."

Indeed, in spite of the lack of legal security - due to the refusal to pay back debts, Argentina remain a destination for foreign investors from Brazil, Mexico, and Asian countries - China and South Korea in particular, which see the opportunity to enter the market that had been "abandoned" by traditional North American and European investors. During a state visit to the country in November 2004, the Chinese president, Hu Jintao, announced that his country plans to invest $20 billion in Argentina over the next decade.

But the bulk of the new investment comes from Argentines who are beginning to spend their money at home, either bringing their savings back from abroad or from under their mattresses. For the first time in three years, more money is coming into the country than leaving it. African billionaires should start doing the same to boost the economy in their respective countries.

There are so many opportunities to invest in Africa that one is distressed to see that Africans are still stacking money abroad instead of investing it at home.

On their part African countries' policy makers should always propose alternatives to the solutions advocated by international experts, and avoid surrendering to T.I.N.A.

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

About the author: Dr. Bienvenu-Magloire Quenum is the principal/ managing director of Dr. Quenum & Associates, IBC. He is an experienced Investment & Business Planner with 25 years consulting practice in African countries. He is the editor in chief of Africabiz Online

Your feedback / objection / contribution is welcome. Visit WorldWide BizCenter, and choose General Information (as topic) to create a thread for discussion. On the top of the WorldWide BizCenter page, there is a HELP link to assist you making an efficient use of the discussion board. This link also is useful

Many thanks for subscribing to Africabiz. See you here on June 15, 2005.

Dr. B.M. Quenum
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More on the matter

Business Opportunities


Starting from this issue N° 73, another kind of fowl is discussed that is different from the ones considered in previous issues. They are called Ratites and have the particularity to run. They are not flying bird. They run and run fast. Ratites are represented by two families: the Ostrich and the Emu that produce flesh similar to four legs' animals.

The emu breeding industry is gathering momentum and is poised to become a substantial domestic and export earner for countries that would enter the fray.

For the past decade, the industry has gone through the high-priced breeding cycle linked to the lengthy maturity period (18 months) necessary for the female emu to start laying eggs. However, it is currently breaking into the commercial market with secure knowledge in husbandry and product development. This means that new comers will not have to support the capital losses incurred by the pioneers in the trial and error phase of husbandry; and will not have to wait for products to be refined and developed as they are readily available and in place. They will find stock purchasing prices attractive.


Emu farming has opened a potential products' range that will sell well on the international marketplace over the next decade. These products include leather, meat, feather, decorative egg shells and emu oil.

The oil in particular has great profit potential. It is used, as it is, as a cosmetic or as ingredient for cosmetic and pharmaceutical's preparations. The oil is an aid to arthritis treatment and a relief for all types of muscle and joint pain; as well as a treatment for burn pain and scarring.

Further, the emu's oil possesses extraordinary anti-aging elements that are currently under study with results to date increasingly attracting serious interest from the cosmetic industry. Source: for poultry, young stock may be bred for resale, and eggs sold for hatching.

Emu meat, like ostrich meat, is similar in texture and color to beef. Compared to beef, it has more iron, protein, and vitamin C. The low fat meat has less sodium than beef, chicken, or turkey. There are huge potential in preparing the meat to target African market: smoked and sun died meat for instance. Click here to read more

1- Poultry Breeding and Genetics
by R.D. Crawford
2- The Dollar Hen: The Classic Guide to American Free-Range Farming.
by Milo M. Hastingd, Robert Plamondon
3- Small-Scale Poultry-Keeping: A Guide To Free-Range Poultry Production.
By Ray Feltwell
4- The Encyclopedia of Farm Animal Nutrition
by M.F. Fuller, et al
5- The Mating and Breeding of Poultry
by Harry M. Lamon, Rob R. Slocum.
6- Modern Livestock and Poultry Production
by James R. Gillespie

7- Success With Baby Chicks: A Complete Guide to Hatchery Selection
by Robert Plamondon.
8- The Classic Guide To Poultry Nutrition:
Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Gamebirds, and Pigeons.
By Gustave F. Hauser
9- The Strange History of The Ostrich
In Fashion, Food and Fortune.
By Rob Nixon
10- Ostrich's Avian Incubation: Behaviour, Environment and Evolution.
By D. Charles Deeming

More on the introduction to Emu breeding

Control Your Desktop


RSS is becoming increasing popular - versus "classic" email's dispatching - because it is a fairly "simple" way to promote a site that have the following advantages:

1- No need to establish a personal mail server.

2- Or to subscribe to a provider specialized in mail dispatching.

3- And to have to cope with advertisement introduced by an mail dispatcher that offers free dispatching service.

4- You distribute information with a media that is spam free, spyware free; and therefore you have the certitude that subscribers will get the feed that will not be stop by email clients' filtering system.

5- A convenient method to sharing content between websites.

Not so fairly simple as the slightest mistake in coding may result in the "inadequacy" of the RSS feed that could not be read by RSS Readers or Aggregators. Fortunately there are desktop and web-based RSS coders that simplify the task. Click here for more on the matter

The last listed advantage is one that email dispatching cannot beat. Any publisher that is interested to have a specific RSS feed on his website has the possibility to incorporate the RSS URl and that is!


Unless you subscribe to a pay service such as the maker of OPTIMUS Alert Bar you do not have a listing of people who subscribe to your magazine. That you get when you use email dispatching. However, RSS feed had the final advantage that subscribers pay more visit to your website and boost the traffic. said advantage advertise or create complicated content sharing partnerships.


Starting from Issue 72, Africabiz Online has a RSS Feed, which URL is /africabiz/rss/rss1.xml Click here for more

Click the More link below to read further on the matter.

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Freebie Of The Month


Here is a website that centralizes tutorials for several many applications and make computing life easier. No need to shuffle through bulky tutorial books. You have them all in one place: tutorials and docs about Operating Systems, Webdesign (Macromedia), Microsoft Office, Graphics, Internet Marketing, Programming, Web Hosting, Control Panel Manager. Etc.

No doubt once you visited the site, it would remain your daily destination for searches concerning anything related to computing. Click here for


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