The end of an era is here: after spending the last two decades trying to expand their businesses and make money in BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) , the World, rather the American, international investors appear to have shifted their focus: the motto may now be "It is Africa Stupid!". In fact, Africa is where the money is to be made. The point was hightlighted during the US-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington. The Summit, attended by 50 African heads of states, was uprecedented: in its attendance, in setting a new tone for US-Africa relations and its expectations.
President Obama put it clearly in his speech on Tuesday, August 5, 2014:"I want Africans buying more American products. I want Americans buying more African products."
Why, this change after two decades of abscence?
In the very short but telling article published on July 7, 2014 (see here), AfroAmerica Network argued that China had discovered that the next phase for World development is Africa. While the West focused on BRIC, China was busy exploiting African natural resources. The US-Africa Summit is a clear sign that things have changed.
"Some of the fastest-growing economies in the world. A growing middle class. Expanding sectors like manufacturing and retail. One of the fastest-growing telecommunications markets in the world. More governments are reforming, attracting a record level of foreign investment. It is the youngest and fastest-growing continent, with young people that are full of dreams and ambition," President Obama said at August 5's Business Forum during the Summit.
Yes, Africa in general is growing... fast, and faster than BRIC.
How the US World Investors will do it? Not like China, for sure.
China, by focusing on exploiting natural resources without long term investments aimed at creating jobs in Africa itself appear to have backfired. China is being burned and some Chinese investments appear to be increasungly shunned by Africans. The US are not ready to repeat the same mistake.
"We don’t look to Africa simply for its natural resources; we recognize Africa for its greatest resource, which is its people and its talents and their potential. We don’t simply want to extract minerals from the ground for our growth; we want to build genuine partnerships that create jobs and opportunity for all our peoples and that unleash the next era of African growth. That’s the kind of partnership America offers," President Obama added.
Jobs, developping talents, and partnerships: that is what Africans want and the United States are offering.