Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Education Is At The Top Of The U.S. Corporate Wish List For Africa … Education Is Also At The Top Of Renaissance Research’s Wish List For Africa

• “Africa is the world’s second largest and second most populous continent after Asia, covering 20% of the world’s total land area, and home to 14% of the world’s human population, yet Africa remains the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped continent

• Africa has not received its “fair share” of global Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows

• Since the early 1980s, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to Africa averaging only 2.2% of the global total, while Asia received no less than 17.3% of the total

• Corporate America is interested and watching Africa closely; they see pockets of great potential

• US Technology companies are most attracted to investing in Africa

• Overall, the business case for investing in Africa is less compelling than for its competitors

• To make itself more attractive for US investment, Africa should:

o Invest in education , health and infrastructure

o Ensure the rule of law and a business-friendly climate for all investing companies

o Show it is serious about attracting foreign investment

o Market itself as aggressively as other regions of the world

o Demonstrate opportunity cost of not investing

• [Corporate America] is more interested in Africa than before, because the African market appears increasingly attractive, but Africa has tough competition and high hurdles for US investment. Education is at the top of the US corporate wish list for Africa; “educate your people so that we can employ them”

• The African countries that hold most interest are South Africa and some countries in the North, like Egypt; there are also some pockets of interest in West Africa, most notably Ghana, Nigeria and to some extent Angola; while some in the South (Botswana and Mozambique) and East (Uganda and Kenya), are also being watched.”

Source: The Conversation Behind Closed Doors – Inside the Boardroom: How Corporate America Really Views Africa May 20, 2009. [Report prepared for the new Africa Business Initiative of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.]


The World Bank's African Development Indicators 2007


Header credits: (c) William Kentridge 2009. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved.

Photo of South African slum dweller from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Photo of John Maxwell Coetzee in Poland (c) Mariusz Kubik 2006. Copyright controlled. All rights reserved. Via Wikipedia Commons. With thanks.


William Kentridge was included in the 2009 Time 100, an annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.


Nobel Prize Laureate J. M. Coetzee's Life & Times of Michael K

2003 Laureate for Literature J.M. Coetzee's Nobel Lecture

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1991 Laureate for Literature Nadine Gordimer's Nobel Lecture


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