The idea of travelling to Africa is immediately followed by concerns about local diseases (Malaria for example or routine vaccinations such as measles, mumps, rubella, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough. Hepatitis A. Typhoid). The fear of one’s safety is another reason to investigate in which part of Africa you should travel or not. Being robbed, kidnapped, in the middle of civil unrest or government’s changes, experiencing price inflations due to your foreign look/accents are equally what tourists feel when contemplating a trip in Africa. A very recent cause for concerns are Police brutalities in the United States; the American equivalent of African sceneries and Safari Tour!
Silicon Valley, in North America, has travelled from fiery California to “tax-friendly” Texas. Big Tech expeditions are expanding to “The Motherland”; while avoiding corruption (or not) and embracing peaceful or safe locations for long term business in Africa. We are discussing in this article the “Verzuz” between Honest Ghanaian and Musically gifted Nigerian. What is going on with these particular “Yahoo Businesses”?
One of the eighth worldwide Centre for Global Health and Pandemic Prevention will be located in Ghana. The location for the seven others has not yet been considered as valuable information for the public. Thursday 15th of April was the opportunity to ride the Ghanaian tail in a tweet by German ambassador to Ghana. THREE days after Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, announced that his headquarters will be in Ghana!
<< Excellent news: Germany support the launch of a new “German-West African Center for Global Health and Pandemic prevention”. It will be located in Ghana and be part of 8 new centers worldwide to fight global challenges #sciencediplomacy #weareinthistogether >>. The tweet was complemented with a picture of three people in Lab gears, one of them being Black – of course – and another one of Asian descent, by the look of her facial features (eyes). This picture gave a strong diplomatic vibe in the midst of current #AsianHate assaults; rather than a German related collaboration.
Historically, << The six principal colonies of German Africa, along with native kingdoms and politics, were the legal precedents for the modern states of Burundi, Cameroon, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania and Togo. Parts of contemporary Chad, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, the Central African Republic and the Republic of the Congo were also under the control of German Africa at various points during its existence >> Source: Wikipedia.
<< In an exclusive webinar held on Thursday, “Germany-Africa Economic Relations: Making Deals Post COVID-19,” panelists sought to mobilize German investment into the African energy sector, establishing clean energy and digitalization as two major pillars of economic and investment cooperation.
In recent years, the African continent has shifted to the forefront of Germany’s foreign policy and development agenda, with programs rolled out under the country’s $1.1 billion Development Investment Fund for Africa, which is primarily dedicated to easing the entrance of German businesses into African markets. Co-hosting the webinar, the Germany Africa Business Forum (GABF) is a private think tank whose goal is to strengthen investment ties between Germany and Africa, co-founded by moderator Sebastian Wagner. In July 2019, the organization announced a multi-million dollar funding commitment to invest in German energy startups that focus on Africa. A prime example of German-African cooperation lies in Equatorial Guinea, which employed two German contractors in the construction of West Africa’s first LNG storage and regasification plant located on the country’s mainland >> Source: Africa Oil & Power.
<< African governments should build on this positive trend to maximize foreign investments. This includes eliminating corruption; improving safety and security; strengthening macroeconomic environment, investing in quality education and skill development in science, technology and innovation; and avoiding a ‘race to the bottom’ syndrome, that gives unnecessary tax holidays and waivers to foreign companies.
Investing in Africa is good business and a sustainable corporate strategy for foreign investors. Advanced and emerging countries’ governments and the private sector should leverage these profitable, emerging investment opportunities. Using official development assistance to leverage and de-risk the investment climate in Africa is a key component in attracting FDI. Japan’s Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) initiative, to insure a facility in Ghana, is a laudable effort that should be scaled-up and supported by other actors.
Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa offers investment opportunities to foreign companies. Good examples abound: the Sumitomo Chemical’s insect-proofing mosquito nets technology is helping to fight malaria; the Sonatrach, JGC, and Hitachi’s desalinating seawater technology is accelerating access to clean water; and the Commodity Risk Management Group and the Sompo Japan Niponkoa’s weather index insurance is helping to mitigate climate change. In Africa, each SDG offers business solutions and investment opportunities to foreign companies >> Source: United Nations.
Ghana is described as having a clean government, peaceful and safe access to uninterrupted electricity, great transport. Nigeria has the biggest online presence in Africa, which should have been an important point for attracting a Big Tech’s Headquarter. Amazon has announced in June 2020, 3,000 new work-from-home jobs in South Africa, virtual customer service jobs. Facebook is set to open its second Africa office in Lagos, Nigeria in the second half of 2021. The office will house a cross-section of Facebook teams from sales, policy, and communications to engineering. It is the company’s latest commitment to Nigeria—Africa’s largest internet market. Google has opened its first Africa Artificial Intelligence lab in Ghana from 2019. Google‘s Developers Space, located in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria is the flagship startup and developer hub in Africa. This hub provides the African tech community with access to Google’s resources, programs, tech and business mentors from January 2020. Microsoft‘s first development centers in Africa opened in Lagos, Nigeria and Nairobi, Kenya from 2019 and will employ 100 full-time developers who will work across artificial intelligence, machine learning and mixed reality innovation.
Meanwhile in the United States, a case of child abduction was avoided thanks to Foundational Black American defending their own children. Nigeria had experienced 300 children being kidnapped from their school than 7 of them escaping their abductors. South Africa is experiencing abductions of children as a normal mean of business through child, sex and organ trafficking. Will the hashtag #StopAfricanHate trend higher than #StopAsianHate?
#ISM: Proud Former marine builds amazing school in Africa
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BY: Sylvaine FRANCIS
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