By: IshiZuka Samo, Know Nothing Digest contributor and illuminati monetary fund board member
The Powers-That-Be dictate that business investments are the largest direct gain in the immediate for whatever countries are able to establish strong and lasting economic ties in African countries. There has been a great deal of international interest in foreign direct investment in developing nations in recent years as the field of global economic strategy grows its reach through the international academic and policy segments of the global community. I am also in agreement that over-interdependence between regional groups cooperating could alienate integration into the global trade community, in a sort of self-isolationist movement between similar minded nations.
In recent history firms operating in Africa have been required to move from country to country an attempt to navigate different laws, tariffs and meet a different set of standards to engage in business activity. Most countries in Africa are small and landlocked, creating challenges to accessing markets and scaling industries. By the early 1990s, heads of African governments started to establish a trade bloc called the African Economic Community to better integrate the continent’s trade and remove trade and investment obstacles to overall economic growth on the continent. Successes include the East African Community’s construction of a road running from southern Tanzania to northern Kenya, called the Arusha-Namanga-Athi River Road. Other East African Community infrastructure projects include the reconstruction of the Kenya-Uganda railway and enhanced import and export traffic at the port of Mombasa. Difficulties in African trade blocs include overlapping membership in the various regional economic communities, which involves being bound by different standards and rules creating challenges to meeting proposed obligations (Sow, 2016.)
Free Trade Areas have been another accomplishment of the African trade blocs. Challenges to building free trade areas include the lack of infrastructure, such as a cross continental rail system. In addition to the difficulties created by the natural terrain of the country, Africa constantly struggles with the historical division of the people of the continent by white ideas of race and racial inequality. Geographic and racial diversity along with regional differences have vilified the phrase Sub-Saharan Africa (de Haldevang, 2016.)
In an attempt to overcome the difficulties of the continent, groups like the World Bank and progressive journalists have worked to empower the region with reliable statistics. Knowledge of the problems and related factors is being compiled to research realistic solutions for the region’s economic planners. Useful regional statistics provided include information such as: the population of Nigeria quadrupled between 2005 and 2015. Also, there are over 180 million residents there today. Nigeria is the world’s seventh biggest country. When one global infrastructure power player visited Nigeria, the first world press proclaimed that “Mark Zuckerberg visited sub-Saharan Africa” (de Haldevang, 2016.) This plays into the historical narrative of regional and ethnic superiority that divides the country like a desert, instead of uniting the people like a shared economy.
Countries of South Africa: Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Sengal, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Comoros, Congo, Dem. Rep, Congo, Rep., Cote D’Ivoire, Gambia, The, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Sow, M, 2016, Foresight Africa 2016: regional integration in sub-Saharan Africa, https://www.brookings.edu/blog/africa-in-focus/2016/01/12/foresight-africa-2016-regional-integration-in-sub-saharan-africa/
- de Haldevang, M, 2016, Why do we still use the term “sub-Saharan Africa”?, Quartz Media, https://qz.com/770350/why-do-we-still-say-subsaharan-africa/
- Pugel, T., 2016, International Economics 16thedition