Saturday, September 26, 2020
Add this page to Blinklist Add this page to Add this page to Digg Add this page to Facebook Add this page to Furl Add this page to Google Add this page to Ma.Gnolia Add this page to Newsvine Add this page to Reddit Add this page to StumbleUpon Add this page to Technorati Add this page to Yahoo

ideas have consequences

You are here:Home>>Stevie C. Chiakwelu>>Administrator


E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

A sign of growing Chinese presence in Nigeria and Africa

It was just a matter of time before Chinese currency Yuan will join the family of currencies traded in Nigeria’s foreign exchange market. Therefore it was no surprise when Nigeria's central bank made it official that Chinese Yuan has been included “to a list of currencies that can be used for trade settlement in the domestic foreign exchange market as trade flows with Beijing increase.”

Chinese Yuan will join other 13 currencies including the U.S. dollar, Euro, British Pound and Japanese Yen that are traded in Nigeria’s domestic foreign exchange market. Many other countries including Russia, Turkey, South Africa's Standard Bank and now Nigeria are offering Yuan for bilateral exchange and trade in their local respective markets.

Apart from China’s encouragement to trading partners to employ the use of Yuan for trade transactions and settlements in the local exchange market; it does make sense at this point in time for Nigeria to make the strategic move of expanding the number of currencies in the domestic exchange market with latest inclusion of Yuan.  For China has become a major trading partner with Nigeria, the second largest economy in Africa.

China growing bilateral relationship with Nigeria is progressively stronger, a testament to a successful strategic partnership.  The increasing level of trade and investments between the countries are growing tremendously. According to Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria H.E Mr. Deng Boqing, “The volume of trade between Nigeria and China recorded a significant improvement, rising by 41.8 per cent to N540 billion ($3.67 billion) in the first half of 2010. The trade volume between the two countries grew by nearly 300 per cent since 2004 and reached the peak of $7.2 billion in 2008.”

China with over $2 trillion foreign reserve is making her presence felt heavily in Nigeria. The flowing in of Chinese money and investments in Nigeria is staggering, if not mind bugling.  Short while ago, China signed a $23 billion ‘sunshine deal’ to build four major oil refineries in Nigeria. While in July of 2010 China also signed another business deal to build $6 billion oil refinery in Lagos. It was also recorded that China direct investments in Nigeria has exceeded $7 billion and China is also committing $20 billion investments on Nigeria’s infrastructures. Recently China Export-Import Bank signed $900 million loan with Nigeria.

China is a significant player in Nigeria’s economic landscape with the numerous investments and deals in the country; she has garnered a great deal of respect in Nigeria. China has truly proven to herself and to Nigeria that she is committed partner in country’s development for a long term. In return China needs natural resources especially oil from the oil-rich Nigeria for fueling her economic expansion and feeding the mountainous appetite of her local industries.

With level of China’s contributions to Nigeria’s bulging economy, it is not really a big deal after all for Nigeria to trade Chinese Yuan in the domestic foreign exchange market.

Strategic significance

On part of China there will be a growing confidence of their presence in Africa and Nigeria in particular. China can flex its financial and economic power in Nigeria and the admission of Chinese Yuan in domestic currency market shows that China is a significant player in Africa. Although the presence of Yuan and other currencies in Nigeria’s market will decrease the demanding pressure on dollar, the principal trading currency in the market.

The point must be that dollar will not be displaced in the market by any other currency in the Nigeria’s domestic foreign exchange market. Dollar continues to be the dominant currency due to its value, universal acceptance and in its surging demand by the local banks and business community of Nigeria.

The volume of Yuan at initial stage maybe small, but progressively it will get bigger because the presence of China with regards to trade and investments will drive the demand for Yuan. The Nigerian local business communities are grateful of the arrival of Yuan in the market for they do not have to buy other currency first and convert it to Yuan later.

Chinese Yuan presence in the baskets of currencies used for transactions in the local African markets will continue to increase. The massive economic presence of China in Africa will continue to mature and enhance as Africa leverage the economic bilateral relationship with China to develop her economy.




South Africa becomes BRIC member

The South African Foreign Minister, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said that her country has received a formal invitation to join BRIC,  reported by the news agency AFP. The  BRIC -  Brazil, Russia, India and China are group of emerging nations with large and dominating economies in their own corners of the world. The BRIC nations have influencing economic power in each of their economic blocks.  For a while the economic experts have been speculating and forecasting that Nigeria will be the first country in Africa to make it to BRIC because of her size and future economic growth.

While Nigeria was sitting down occupied with lethargy and internal politics, South Africa as usual was busy lobbying for a membership into the league of the largest emerging economies BRIC.  Now South Africa has made it and has become the first and only African country that has made into the advantageous and prestigious economic group.  Nigeria’s finance minister, Olusegun Aganga has just dropped the ball this time and has shown lack of leadership in this issue. Aganga is a respected voice in the financial world, and should have used his influence and prestige to lobby for his country.  Africa should be proud of South Africa for trying to better her country but Nigeria must also catalyze her economic progress by getting involved and not waiting for things to be handed to her. Nigeria must be proactive and must make the intrinsic initiative to lead and to get involved.

Leaders of the BRIC countries--Brazil, Russia, India and China

South Africa is also a member of G20, the only Africa nation in the group. Nigeria is not admitted to G20 and cannot make it to BRIC nation membership. Being a participating member of this important groups can be good thing because it shows that the country is matured and respected to make it to those bodies. Moreover, significant strategic, economic and financial decisions are made in those meetings. A nation absent cannot be fully represent her interest and aspirations in the globalized economy. The participation can become a confidence booster that enable other countries to accept each other, therefore making more trading and investments possible.

"Chinese President Hu Jintao also issued a letter of invitation to (South African) President Jacob Zuma to attend the third BRICS leaders' summit, to be held in China in the first quarter of 2011. China in its capacity as rotating chairperson of the BRIC formation, based on agreement reached by the BRIC member states, invites South Africa as a full member into what will in future be called BRICS”  according to SA Foreign Minister  Nkoana-Mashabane .

“The BRIC countries are not formally linked but have held summits and taken steps to boost financial cooperation and investment opportunities among them. The group held its first formal summit in Russia last year. She said she received a phone call on Thursday from Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi informing her of the invitation to join the group, whose current members will account for 61 percent of global growth in 2014, according to the International Monetary Fund.”

Jim O’Neill, Chairman Goldman Sachs Asset Management, misread the tea leaf that South Africa will not be accepted into BRIC because of her relatively small population of 50 million comparing to Nigeria’s 150 million. But population is not everything as it has been proven with the entrance of South Africa into BRIC. South Africa is the largest and most developed economy in Africa. With relatively less corruption and with strong democratic standing coupled with durable civil and social infrastructures makes her attractive to BRIC. Nigeria will not only rely on her population as the only factor to be recognized as an emerging power, she must work aggressively to develop a disciplined and diversified economy.

Prior to this development, Kingsley Ighomwenghian of Agency Report, commenting on South Africa and Nigeria membership quest in BRIC, wrote: “The BRICs are some of the world’s fastest growing economies, to which according to Reuters, quoting Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev, South Africa had “applied” to join in. Others eager to join the club include Turkey, Mexico and Indonesia, which investors typically eye as possible additions to the BRICs, having grabbed a chunk of emerging market investment in recent years due to their scale, growth and impact on the global economy. “

Nigeria has been favored over South Africa because of her large population and her bulging GDP. Nigerian economy has been growing at about annual rate of 7.8 percent and even expected to grow up to 10 percent with the future upgrade and improvement of electricity. Razia Khan, an African research expert at Standard Chartered joined the debate by predicting that Nigeria’s economy may overtake and supersede South Africa’s by 2023 and “in the next five years, Nigeria will add another 23 million people and South Africa will add another 2.8 million.” Even with all the Nigeria’s advantage, the well organized South Africa made it to BRIC before her.







People's Democratic Party (PDP) has confirmed  that it would hold presidential primaries on Jan. 13 ahead of nationwide elections in April.

The PDP primaries for state governorship elections will be held on January 9, the party said in a statement issued by the ruling party in Nigeria, PDP.


Mr. Nwodo, Chairman PDP

The Associated Press writes that "Incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian southerner, is a favorite for the nomination. But his bid challenges an unwritten party agreement that favors the nomination of a Muslim northerner as the PDP's presidential candidate in 2011.A committee of northern political leaders has already chosen a "consensus" candidate to take on Jonathan." The northern consensus candidate was the former vice president of Nigeria - Abubakar Atiku

BBC reported that "A group of Nigeria's powerful governors have said they will back President Goodluck Jonathan for next year's elections - seen as a major boost to his campaign. Half of the 36 governors backed Mr Jonathan's bid to be selected as the ruling party's candidate.Whoever wins the PDP nomination will be the favourite for the April 2011 poll."


CAMAC Energy Inc finalizes two offshore contracts

CAMAC Energy Inc. (NYSE Amex CAK ), a US publicly traded Energy Company that primarily engaged and focused on strategic development of oil projects by singular and multilateral operations. The market capitalization of the formerly Pacific Asia Petroleum Inc is between (426.84 - 632.1) M. CAMAC Energy Inc announced that on December 10, 2010, CAMAC Energy finalized and executed a definitive Purchase and Continuation Agreement (the “Purchase Agreement”) with Allied Energy Plc and certain of its affiliates (“Allied”) to acquire all of Allied’s remaining interest in a Production Sharing Contract (the “PSC”) which relates to Oil Mining Leases 120 and 121 (“OML 120” and “OML 121”) granted to Allied by the Federal Republic of Nigeria (the “Non-Oyo Contract Rights”).

Speaking on the development, Byron Dunn, CAMAC Energy’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We look forward to again receiving NAE’s consent and closing this transaction, just as NAE approved the closing of our Oyo Field acquisition transaction in April 2010. This is transformational for CAMAC Energy and we are very excited about the potential value this acquisition could unlock across OML 120 and 121. We now have the opportunity to plan block development holistically, and to structure wells that not only effectively drain the existing Oyo Field producing horizons, but test deeper horizons in imaged Miocene reservoirs that underlay Oyo’s currently producing field.” Byron has for a while replaced Frank C. Ingriselli the former CEO of CAMAC Energy.

"The OML 120 block is located directly east of OML 133, which contains the giant 500 million barrel Erha Field, and north of OML 121, where in the southeast corner of the block Allied has detected signs of potential gas resources in preliminary drilling results. OML 120 covers an area of 916.6 sq km in water depths ranging from 150 to 1000 meters, and contains the Oyo Field. The OML 121 block covers an area of 887 sq km in water depths ranging from 150 to 1000 meters and is located directly south of OML 120. Based upon internal mapping and 3D seismic studies, nine new prospects have been identified by Allied within the OML 120/121 blocks. Based on available information, CAMAC Energy believes the OML 120/121 blocks, including these nine prospects, may potentially hold over 500 million barrels of recoverable oil resources."

Dr. Kase Lawal is the Chairman of Camac Energy Inc.


About CAMAC Energy Inc.

Chairman, Dr. Kase Lawal Byron A. Dunn, President, CEO and Director

CAMAC Energy Inc. (NYSE Amex: CAK) is a U.S.-based energy company engaged in the exploration, development and production of oil and gas. CAMAC Energy focuses on early cash flow and high-return global energy projects and currently has operations in Nigeria and, through its Pacific Asia Petroleum subsidiaries, in China. CAMAC Energy's principal assets include interests in the Oyo Field, an offshore oil asset in deepwater Nigeria that started production in December 2009, a 100% interest in the Zijinshan Gas Block asset located in the Shanxi Province, China, and the Enhanced Oil Recovery and Production business in Northern China. CAMAC Energy has offices in Hartsdale, New York, Houston, Texas, Beijing, China, and Lagos, Nigeria.


Wednesday, 08 December 2010 03:21

South Africa cancels Cuban debt and grants credit

Cancels $137M and  Offers $30M credit

President Zuma and wife arrive in Cuba for three-day official visit Pics credit: SA presidency

South Africa, a member of G20 and the largest economy in Africa cancelled approximately $137 million in debt owed by Cuba and granted $30 million in new credits to Cuba. This development took place in Caribbean Island communist controlled nation as South African president Jacob Zuma was on his official 3-day visit.

Cuba a trading partner to South Africa was being slowed down by command economy, recession and lack of trade, therefore the revival of trade becomes imperative to the visiting African president. President Zuma came to Cuba with some 50 representatives from different businesses of South Africa with interest to do business with Cuba.

“Trade between the two countries has been practically nonexistent for years because of the debt issue, while South Africa does pay an unknown amount for Cuban doctors working in the country and has a joint project to produce vaccines. Cuba last reported its foreign debt as $17.8 billion in 2007 and is currently going through a financial crisis that has left it hard pressed to obtain credits and meet obligations. “

South African trade ministry official Pumla Ncapayi said that his country hoped to export agricultural machinery to Cuba inorder  to help President Raul Castro’s program of improving agriculture and reduction of  food importation to Cuba.

“South African mining companies have expressed interest in Cuban nickel and other minerals in the past, but no major investments have materialized. More recently, a South African group of investors has financed hotel construction in Cuba. Meanwhile, Cuba has provided health services, as well as personnel and logistics for workforce housing construction and construction of facilities in the run-up of the 2010 soccer World Cup. Also, South Africa is funding some of the healthcare programs Cuba is providing to third nations in Africa. Cuba and South Africa maintain cooperation agreements in health, labor relations, social security and information and communications technology.”

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma, left, talks to Cuba's Vice Foreign Minister Marcos Rodriguez upon his arrival at the Jose Marti international   airport in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010. (L) President Zuma interacts with  Cuban  diplomat and Cuban people (Right)

South African Black liberation struggle was supported by Fidel Castro’s Cuba. And South Africa at the end of Apartheid has blossom into a full capitalistic economy and has become an emerging industrial giant.  While the Island nation of Cuba has refused to embrace free enterprise and democracy which can revive its fragile economy.



A Nigerian from Abia State becomes a Polish lawmaker

Hon. John Godson being sworn in

John Abraham Godson (Chikama Onyekwere) made history few days ago to become the first black person to become an honorable member of Polish National House of Parliament. John Godson was born in Abia State, Nigeria and migrated to Poland seventeen years ago. He became a citizen of Poland ten years; he will replace Hanna Zdanowska of Civic Platform, who was elected mayor of Lodz on the election that took place on Sunday.

“In the last local government and council elections on 21 November, Godson received Lodz’s second-choice vote from the Civic Platform list, gaining a place on the city’s municipal council. He was first elected to the Lodz city council in 2008.”

Godson a popular and highly educated man with many advance degrees is presently serving as a councilman in the central city of Lodz, before becoming a member of national parliament. Speaking with Polish Radio Lodz, he reminded his constituency at home in Lodz, that at Warsaw he will not relent in the promotion of his city Lodz. He promised to commute to Warsaw during his tenure and will continue to live in Lodz, saying: “I am from Lodz, I will live here, I want to die here and I want to be buried here.”

Godso's family

Godson promised to improve his constituency at Lodz with a bold and detailed policy agenda including rebuilding of the infrastructures and making broadband internet more accessible. He also promised to improve diplomatic relations with African countries.

“John Godson came to Poland in the first half of the 1990s and received Polish citizenship in 2000. He is a graduate of the Department of Agronomy at Abia State University in Nigeria and also holds a doctorate in human resource management. Godson continues to lecture at a number of universities throughout Poland.   Godson is also the president of the African Institute in Poland as well as a pastor of the Church of God in Christ, a Christian Pentecostal church active in Poland.”

The 40 years John Abraham Godson is married with children.

Wybory Parliament 2007


pictures from Godson's website


Many African and Nollywood actors are living in Houston

Ben Affleck - Hollywood actor, writer, director and now an advocate for Democratic Republic of Cong wants to make a movie about Congo. Ben Affleck is the founder of the advocacy group, Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), has just returned back from his recent trip to the eastern African country of Congo that has been bedeviled with instability since the era of cold war. Ben Affleck an actor, writer and director is asking Hollywood to finance a movie on Congo but he has received rejection letters from Hollywood moguls, movie financial houses and financiers.

"I would love to make a movie about Congo, but unfortunately I've asked Hollywood folks and they always say, ah, nobody wants to see a movie about Africa," said Affleck. "I think that points to this general sense that people sort of tune out, that it doesn't matter," he said in an interview.

"It's also a function of trends and conventional wisdom: if it comes down to a movie with fighting robots or a movie on what's happening in eastern Congo, you're not going to win."

Speaking and sounding like an expert on a panel at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on U.S. foreign policy in Washington D.C: “In eastern Congo, conflict and insecurity continue while the guns have fallen silent in other parts," claiming some 3.5 million lives. Ben Affleck emphasis further from the prepared report by the Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI), “The international community -- and the US in particular -- must do more to address the challenges in eastern Congo if another failure of humanity is to be averted in central Africa.”

Two short documentaries about eastern Congo have already been made last year by Affleck that was shot at Nord-Kivu region Of Congo. The 23-minute video called "Gimme Shelter,” featuring Rolling Stones' hit song was collaborated with Rolling Stones front man Mick Jagger.

Affleck said that making a movie on Africa has its problems, “But the other problem with movies about Africa is that there are no African movie stars in the United States. So the lead has to be someone who's American, and you have to figure out how to get an American person wedged into a story about Africa."

But maybe Ben Affleck has not heard about Nigeria’s Nollywood actors in America and Nigeria. Many experienced African actors and directors are living and working in Houston, Texas.

More on Democratic Republic of Congo

Affleck in Congo &  tragedy in DRC

From Mobutu Dictatorship to Kabila Disintegration

“Laurent-Desire Kabila marched into Kinshasa on May 17, 1997 and declared himself president. He consolidated power around himself and the AFDL and renamed the country the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.). Kabila's Army Chief and the Secretary General of the AFDL were Rwandan, and RPA units continued to operate tangentially with the D.R.C.'s military, which was renamed the Forces Armees Congolaises (FAC).

Over the next year, relations between Kabila and his foreign backers deteriorated. In July 1998, Kabila ordered all foreign troops to leave the D.R.C. Most refused to leave. On August 2, nationwide fighting erupted as Rwandan troops in the D.R.C. "mutinied," and fresh Rwandan and Ugandan troops entered the country. Two days later, Rwandan troops flew to Bas-Congo, with the intention of marching on Kinshasa, ousting Kabila, and replacing him with the newly formed Rwandan-backed rebel group called the Rassemblement Congolais pour la Democratie (RCD). The Rwandan campaign was thwarted at the last minute when Angolan, Zimbabwean, and Namibian troops intervened on behalf of the D.R.C. Government. The Rwandans and the RCD withdrew to eastern D.R.C., where they established de facto control over portions of eastern D.R.C. and continued to fight the Congolese army and its foreign allies.

In February 1999, Uganda backed the formation of a rebel group called the Mouvement pour la Liberation du Congo (MLC), which drew support from among ex-Mobutuists and ex-Zairian soldiers in Equateur province (Mobutu's home province). Together, Uganda and the MLC established control over the northern third of the D.R.C.

At this stage, the D.R.C. was divided de facto into three segments--one controlled by Laurent Kabila, one controlled by Rwanda, and one controlled by Uganda--and the parties had reached military deadlock. In July 1999, a cease-fire was proposed in Lusaka, Zambia, which all parties signed by the end of August. The Lusaka Accord called for a cease-fire, the deployment of a UN peacekeeping operation, the withdrawal of foreign troops, and the launching of an "Inter-Congolese Dialogue" to form a transitional government leading to elections. The parties to the Lusaka Accord failed to fully implement its provisions in 1999 and 2000. Laurent Kabila drew increasing international criticism for blocking full deployment of UN troops, hindering progress toward an Inter-Congolese Dialogue, and suppressing internal political activity.

On January 16, 2001, Laurent Kabila was assassinated, allegedly by a member of his personal bodyguard corps who was in turn killed by an aide-de-camp. Kabila was succeeded by his son Joseph, who reversed many of his father's negative policies. Over the next year, the UN peacekeeping mission in the D.R.C. (United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, known by its French acronym MONUC) deployed throughout the country, and the Inter-Congolese Dialogue proceeded. By the end of 2002, all Angolan, Namibian, and Zimbabwean troops had withdrawn from the D.R.C. Following D.R.C.-Rwanda talks in South Africa that culminated in the Pretoria Accord in July 2002, Rwandan troops officially withdrew from the D.R.C. in October 2002. However, there were continued, unconfirmed reports that Rwandan soldiers and military advisers remained integrated with the forces of an RCD splinter group (RCD/G) in eastern D.R.C. Ugandan troops officially withdrew from the D.R.C. in May 2003.”    (US State Dept.)



Running for mayor this time maybe a different story

Former US Senator Carol Moseley Braun who lost her re-election due to her visit to former Nigerian dictator Gen. Sani Abacha, is running for a new position. Carol Moseley Braun, the first black female US senator is gearing and getting ready for Chicago mayoral bid."The 63-year-old former U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand said that she hopes to raise $2 million for her mayoral campaign. She recently hired Mike Noonan, a former political aide to powerful Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), as her campaign manager and appointed Victor Reyes, a co-founder of the city’s Hispanic Democratic organization and close ally of Mayor Richard Daley, as a senior adviser."

Carol Moseley Braun, the only and first black elected senator in America "may try to recapture the breath-of-fresh-air enthusiasm that carried her to the Senate in 1992. But if she hopes to succeed retiring Mayor Richard M. Daley, who has led the country's third largest city for more than two decades, Braun will have to explain the miscues and embarrassing revelations that limited her to a single term — including a visit with a brutal Nigerian dictator — and overcome her years-long absence from public service."

"A former assistant U.S. attorney and state lawmaker, Braun was a relatively anonymous figure holding a relatively anonymous job — Cook County recorder of deeds — when she won a stunning Democratic primary victory over U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon in 1992. She went on to best little-known Republican Rich Williamson in the general election. Within months, Braun had a Mr. Smith-Goes-To-Washington moment: She stared down conservative North Carolina Sen. Jesse Helms, angrily promising to stand on the floor of the Senate "until this room freezes over" to stop the chamber from granting a patent on the United Daughters of the Confederacy insignia, which featured a Confederate flag. When it was over, 23 senators who'd voted in favor of the patent changed their votes, and the patent — routinely approved in the past — was denied.

That victory, however, was eventually overshadowed by criticism of Braun. She was excoriated by human rights activists when she met Nigerian dictator Gen. Sani Abacha, who'd been accused of human rights abuses, during a 1996 trip to Africa with her then-boyfriend. To make matters worse, Braun did not alert the State Department to her visit Braun explained she was traveling to Nigeria for a friend's funeral, and simply did not think to contact the State Department or tell the media, suggesting that she was the victim of a double standard."

The former Senator Braun did eventually lost her relection bid and Nigerian community in Chicago did not support her for relection. Many in Nigerian community in Chicago even supported her opponent and campaign against her on the ground that she was not supporting democracy in Nigeria. This time around everybody will be keen to see how she go about getting back her lost momentum of the past years before she was stopped by her controversial visit to Nigeria's dictator.



Mr. Blair in Aso Rock, Nigeria

The former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was quoted recently on the concern of world community on the forthcoming Nigerian 2011 election. Mr. Tony Blair the former British prime minister and a clever politican is no stranger to African politics and Nigerian politics in particular. He said that the international community is expecting a lot from Nigeria’s general 2011elections.

Tony Blair was in Nigeria visiting President Goodluck Jonathan at Presidential Aso Villa:“Everyone, including the international community, is expressing a great deal of interest, a great deal of excitement for the elections and everyone is anxious for the elections to be conducted in the best possible way, “I think the preparations are going on and expectations are high around Nigeria, which is a great thing. Back in the West, things are pretty difficult politically, difficult economically. There is a hugely enhanced interest in Africa and in Nigeria. There is a lot of hope and excitement.”

Former U.S. President George Bush (L-R), Chairman of Nigeria's THISDAY Newspapers Nduka Obaigbena, Britain's former Prime Minister Tony Blair and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pose for a photograph during the "Nigeria at 50 Awards", organised by Nigeria's THISDAY Newspapers, in the capital territory of Abuja February 21, 2010. Picture taken February 21, 2010. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde (NIGERIA - Tags: POLITICS MEDIA)

During his tenure in Britain he organized many out reach programs for African including the formation of task force on African debt problem. He promoted the idea of debt forgiveness and increase in foreign aid for Africa during his leadership and as a head of G8. But his initiates failed because the group of G8 responed lukewarm to the program of debt forgiveness and increased in foreign aid to Africa. Moreover, the opposing voice was that Africa needs more trade and trade concession, not more foreign aid. Many view foreign aid as corrupt -  a threat to engine of development and economic progress.


500 Million users of mobile phones in Africa

The second largest continent Africa with underdeveloped infrastructures has made a tremendous gain in the usage of mobile phones with more than half-billion subscribers. This was revealed at the yearly AfricaCom conference by Informa Telecoms & Media in South Africa which coincided with the 25th anniversary of mobile telephone usage in Africa.

“At the end of the third quarter of this year, according to Informa, African mobile users accounted for 10% of the global mobile subscriber base. It had seen 18% growth in the 12 months up to the end of September. While several African countries have passed 100% penetration in terms of number of subscriptions, the continent as a whole is now at 48.35%.”

africa Africa now has over half a billion mobile subscribers [Thats a lot of phones]South Africans using their phones

Thecla Mbongue, Johannesburg based Senior Analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media, said, “Although the rate of growth in mobile subscriptions in Africa will slow as markets mature, the continent continues to offer great opportunities for investors in the voice segment in under-penetrated markets and also in the non-voice segments with mobile broadband and mobile-money services taking off,”

“By 2015, there will be 265 million mobile broadband subscriptions in Africa, a huge increase from the current figure of about 12 million, and accounting for 31.5% of the total of 842 million mobile subscriptions that the continent will have in five years’ time, according to forecasts by Informa Telecoms & Media. There will be almost 360 million users of mobile-money services on the continent by 2014.”

“Africa, a continent that’s highly diverse with nations that are well off while others maintain the same living standards that people had several centuries ago, has just crossed an impressive threshold. There are now over half a billion mobile subscriptions, giving people such rich services as mobile banking, reminders to take medication to treat AIDS and malaria, and so much more. Africa accounts for 10% of all mobile subscriptions and the amount of users they have grew 18% year over year. All of this is thanks to companies like Nokia who build handsets like the 1280, one of the cheapest mobile phones on the market, as well as Vodafone with their 150 and 250 models that can be had for less than $20.”

Africa is progressing gradually in areas of innovations and technology inspite of all the existential problems confronting the continent. The acceptance and quick growth of mobile phone business buttress that Africa is poise for technological renaissance.  Even with the paucity of energy to power phone installments and technology, Africans turn to plant generators, batteries and solar panels to ease the inadequacy of electricity.

The introduction of mobile phone has come with tremendous advantages. It has helped to promote energy conservation and management of time. A farmer and trader do not have to undertake an unnecessary journey without first making a phone call thus saving time and money. Without doubt, mobile phone promotes commerce but at same time it makes life easier because one can reach out and touch.


Page 40 of 42