The Spectrum Of Business In Africa Through E-Commerce

Commerce 3

Small scale and large scale entrepreneurs have taken the advantage of the effectiveness of the media and technology, including e-commerce to promote and market products, reaching every corner of the globe without fatigue. What is e-commerce and how has it been beneficial to entrepreneurs?

Assuming you live in Asia, Europe or America, would you like to travel thousands of kilometers for a product you want desperately in South Africa? Taking such a journey is not only waste of time but also money. Remember time is money. Through the birth of modern technology, e-commerce acts as a facilitator in getting your message to the manufacturer to send the consumer whatever he is looking for online.

Thus; E-commerce is online shopping making it easier for consumers to purchase products via the internet from manufacturers. E-commence enhances business to reach beyond consumer base and access global markets like never before. Last year, November 18, delegates at the ‘Sixth Annual European Conference highlighted on the effect and impact of in E-commerce generally in Europe.

The European E-Commerce sector is said to worth an estimated 350 billion Euros and it is predicted to create 1.5 million jobs in Europe by 2018.  The writer takes a look at the impact and benefit of e-commerce in Africa’s business. The effect of E-commerce business in the African continent is enormous, changing the face of the traditional consumer.

Internet trade has made it easier for African entrepreneurs to search for quality products online, compare prices and purchased products. According to research by Google South Africa, there was an increase of 49% in query volumes in Nigeria, 37% in South Africa and 33% in Kenya, during 2014.  E-commerce hasn’t been beneficial only to African entrepreneurs, consumers and manufacturers, but also attracted widely investment opportunities alike.

Some of the African countries with booming E-commerce markets, transforming the economic landscape are Senegal, Morocco, Mozambique, Ghana, South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania, Cameroun, and Kenya. At the epicenter of Africa’s thriving economy and business, E-commerce has driven hundreds of businessmen to success, in different fields, especially the mobile telephone industry.   In the year 2010 alone, the Ghanaian government made GHC598 million in taxes and levies, representing 10% of government income for that year.

The secret to every successful business depends on the variety and quality of the products. E-commerce holds a ray of hope for African entrepreneurs and small scale business. It seems after gaining the political independence; Africa folded its arms, waiting for a miracle to come from heaven. God helps those who help themselves, now Africa is gradually emerging from the realms of poverty through the eye of E-commerce.

How Kennedy’s Years of Lightning, Day of Drums Stole The Heart Of Ghanaians

DePree 1People’s Republic of Mozambique President Samora Machel meeting with U.S. Ambassador Willard DePree in July 1980. Photo: Courtesy of Willard DePree

Years after waiting to get to Africa, WILLARD DE PREE, US Political Officer, finally had his chance. He was initially assigned to Kaduna, in Nigeria, but that appointment was cancelled  Bill Edmondson, who was head of the political section in Accra had to return to the United States for family reasons.

Oliver Troxel, the DCM, asked De Pree, if I would be interested in going out to replace Bill Edmondson. He was very pleased with the assignment, especially in a country under one of Africa’s strongest leaders, Kwame Nkrumah. America played a significant role in Ghana’s politics and which cost Nkrumah at the end, when he was overthrown-ed a coup orchestrated by the CIA.

Ambassador Willard De Pree born in Michigan in 1928 and received his B.A. from Harvard University and an M.A. from the University of Michigan in 1952, was assigned to Ghana from 1964 to 1968. During his tenure of office in Accra, the US embassy received copies of the film that USIA had put out entitled, “Years of Lightning, Day of Drums,” about the Kennedy Administration.

Shortly before that film was produced, the embassy had sent the regional governors of Ghana to the United States for a tour. They had been escorted by Jack Matlock, who was then an officer at the embassy in Ghana. When the film arrived, the embassy decided to show it around Ghana at each of the regional capitals.

De Pree together with Jack Matlock, went to Blogatanga, in the northern region of Ghana and the governor put the screen in the middle of the town square and thousands of people, seated on all sides of the screen, showed up to see it. It was incredible, the reaction and feeling of black Africa toward Kennedy and the Kennedy Administration.

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Link of the film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvN5ecqCFk0

Top 20 African Countries Stink Of Corruption

Women sell food from their canoe at Makoko fishing community in LagosLagos: The Makoko slum in oil rich Nigeria crippled by corruption

In the abundance of water, is the fool thirsty? Africa is blessed with natural resources such as gold, oil, diamonds, cobalt, iron, copper, uranium, silver, bauxite, cocoa beans and petroleum etc. Unfortunately the standard of living of many people in the continent is deplorable. This is largely due to corrupt governments ruling many countries in the African continent.

Transparency International has been publishing the corruption perceptions index (CPI) since the turn of the new millennium. If a country has a CPI of 100 it is very clean. If the score is 0, then the country is highly corrupt.

Here is a brief overview of the top 20 most corrupt nations in Africa as of 2014, according to Transparency International.

=24. Mozambique (CPI score: 31)
Although the government of Mozambique has taken steps to fight corruption, its still a big problem. Corruption remains in both the public and donors, who support almost half of the nation’s budget.

=24. Sierra Leone (CPI score: 31)
Systematic corruption has caused weak governance and widespread poverty in Sierra Leone. The anti-corruption institutions still lack resources, staff and expertise.

=24. Tanzania (CPI score: 31)
Although there are comprehensive laws to fight corruption, its still a serious problems in Tanzania with bribery is often demanded in the business sector.

23. Mauritania (CPI score: 30)
Corruption has become deeply entrenched in Mauritania. Part of what fuels corruption in this nation is the insufficient information or absence of transparency about local companies, the identities of their owners, and financial report.

=21. Gambia (CPI score: 29)
Gambia’s judiciary is subject to pervasive political interference, and there is corruption in many parts of the government.

=21. Togo (CPI score: 29)
Corruption in Togo is common and those involved rarely punish. Corruption more among prison and police officers, and members of the judiciary.

20. Madagascar (CPI score: 28)
Madagascar is one of the world’s poorest countries and has had a negative growth due to corruption.

=18. Cameroon (CPI score: 27)
In Cameroon, many corrupt civil servants drive around in their expensive luxury cars. People who try to bring these corrupt officers to justice pay a high price.

=18. Nigeria (CPI score: 27)
Political corruption pervades Nigeria. The rise of public administration and discovery of petroleum and natural gas have led to corrupt practices.

=16. Comoros (CPI score: 26)
Corruption remained a serious problem in Comoros, it lacks rule of law. The nation gained independence from France in 1975. Since then it has witnessed around 20 coups or coup attempts.

=16. Uganda (CPI score: 26)
Even though the country has experienced high growth rates in recent years, corruption remains widespread at all levels.

=14. Guinea (CPI score: 25)
Rampant corruption in Guinea is hindering economic growth and increasing drug trafficking.

=14. Kenya (CPI score: 25)
Political corruption in the post-colonial government of Kenya has had a history which spans the era of the Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel arap Moi’s KANU governments to Mwai Kibaki’s PNU government. Experts estimate that an average urban Kenyan pays 16 bribes in a month.

13. Central African Republic (CPI score: 24)
Growth of Central African Republic is significantly hindered by wide spread corruption. Corruption is rife and undermines timber and diamond industries.

12. Republic of Congo (CPI score: 23)
In spite of its oil wealth, Republic of Congo is one of the most indebted nations in the world. This is largely due to rampant corruption.

=10. Chad (CPI score: 22)
Feud and corruption are blocking Chad’s economic growth. Revenue from oil is not spent responsibly. Corruption rules this nation.

=10. Democratic Republic of Congo (CPI score: 22)
As the nation emerges from a long period of violence and instability, it struggles with a legacy of entrenched corruption at all levels.

=9. Zimbabwe (CPI score: 21)
Corruption in Zimbabwe has become endemic within its political, private and civil sectors. In 2011, finance minister Tendai Biti claimed that at least $1 billion in diamond related revenue owed to the national treasury remains unaccounted for.

8. Burundi (CPI score: 20)
Despite the establishment of anti-corruption agencies, Burundi is remains a corrupt country in sub-Saharan Africa.

=6. Angola (CPI score: 19)
Corruption is a pervasive phenomenon in Angola. The current government is working on containing corruption by enacting laws and enforcing integrity systems.

=6. Guinea Bissau (CPI score: 19)
Guinea Bissau was once hailed as a potential model for African development. Today it is one of the poorest nations in the world. This is largely due to corruption among high-ranking officials.

=4. Eritrea (CPI score: 18)
People in Eritrea are living in a fear-ridden environment. Corruption and greed are rampant among the members of the ruling party.

=4. Libya (CPI score: 18)
Before the downfall of the Qadhafi regime in 2011, weak rule of law and systematic corruption had largely marginalized private sector activity in the nation. Corruption is the biggest problem facing Libya today.

Abacha 2

Former Nigeria’s head of state, late Sani Abacha stole $458 million and hid in bank accounts around the world, while thousands of Nigerians live in poverty.

3. South Sudan (CPI score: 15)

Since independence, South Sudan has taken steps to promote transparency and accountability in an endeavor to eliminate corruption. Unfortunately political will is lacking in effective implementation of anti-corruption policies.

2. Sudan (CPI score: 11)
Top ranking government officials are frequently involved in corrupt practices in Sudan. This has impacted the economic growth negatively. It is a huge challenge to do business in Sudan. Sectors like construction and transportation are prone to corruption.

1. Somalia (CPI score: cool
The Federal Republic of Somalia is located in the horn of Africa. Around 10 million people live in this country. It is the most corrupt nation in the world. There is lack of accountability in receipt and expenditure of public funds. Currently a parliamentary finance committee has been established to oversee all withdrawal transactions from the Central Bank, which is Somalia’s official monetary authority.

If the above-mentioned nations tackle corruption effectively, they will be able to enhance the standard of living of their people significantly.

Source: http://www.richestlifestyle.com/most-corrupt-countries-in-africa/

Would France Be Free From Terrorism Without Colonizing Many Islamic Countries?

 

France 3“France population consists of dangerous terrorists born and raised in the country, making the country an easy target.” – Joel Savage

The scramble for Africa was very swift. It was an opportunity Europeans made good use of it, but with iron fist, after discovering Africa’s wealth, in the least advanced continent. Even though malaria killed hundreds of Europeans, by 1862, they had reached the source of the Nile, then little later, they traced the route of the Niger and confirmed the reality of Africa’s rich mineral resources- ivory, gold, diamonds, tin, copper, rubber etc.

Between the 1870’s and 1900, Africa experienced European imperialist invasion, diplomatic pressures, military invasions, and eventual conquest and colonization. Among other European countries, France had Republic of Benin, Upper Volta, now Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Chad, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Senegal and Republic of Togo in Sub-Saharan Africa, and Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia in North Africa, then Djibouti, Lebanon and Syria.

Since most of the countries colonized by France were Islamic countries, Islam became the second largest professed religion in France, following Catholic-Christians, with an estimated total of 5 to 10 percent of the national population. France stands as the largest Muslim country in Western Europe. Do we have to ask: Would France be free from terrorism without colonizing many Islamic countries?

As the story unfolds, France ruled heavy Islamic dominant countries, including Republic of Guinea, until Guinea attained its independence in 1958.  Like Belgium, that couldn’t stand the pain of losing Congo and embarked on ruthless destruction of Congo, both physically and medically, France aimed to destroy Guinea as well. They emptied all the coffers of the bank and took everything from the state house, including the furniture to France. The newly elected Prime Minister Ahmed Sekou Touré inherited a very bad economy and complete looted country.

France still interested in Africa, established its embassies in every country they colonized and continued interfering with African politics. The reason whenever there is coup in any of the countries France colonized, they quickly send the military to arrest the situation. France seen as paradise, nationals from countries they colonized in Africa, had the opportunity to travel to France to study, request for political asylum and  to work as immigrants.

Apart from migration, a lot of Muslims were born in France, amounting to 15 percent of the total population, creating Muslim communities through out France. The country therefore has a long and complicated relationship with the Muslim world and its own immigrant population, many of whom have been in the country for generations.

Due to the heavy concentration of Muslims in France, the country is therefore an easy target for terrorists.  In the beginning of this year, gunmen shot dead 12 people at the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, in an apparent militant Islamist attack. That’s where France should have been careful to avoid the present  attacks that have killed at least 129 people.

Under President Francois Hollande, France launched its first airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria in September, but external attacks against terrorists, can’t weaken the foundation of terrorism threatening France, because the enemies-terrorists are within the people in the country. The France government should first fight against terrorism at home, to weaken its foundation, before concentrating on external issues.

Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda Governments Engaged In Massive Corruption Costing Africa Billions Of Revenue Loss

UGANDA 2

Top row: From left John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Armado Guebuzza of Mozambique. Underneath: President Takaya Kikwete of Tanzania and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda.

Hiding In Plain Sight: Trade Misinvoicing And The Impact Of Revenue Loss In Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda: 2002-2011

By Christine Clough, Dev Kar, Brian LeBlanc, Raymond Baker, Joshua Simmons,

A case study on the impact of trade misinvoicing in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda—titled “Hiding in Plain Sight: Trade Misinvoicing and the Impact of Revenue Loss in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda: 2002-2011”—found that the fraudulent over- and under-invoicing of trade is hampering economic growth and costing these developing governments billions of U.S. dollars in lost revenue.

Primary Findings

Between 2002 and 2011, US$60.8 billion moved illegally into or out of Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda using trade misinvoicing: Gross Illicit Flows from Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda, 2002-2011, millions of USD | No data from Mozambique and Kenya for 2011.

The report is only the second by GFI to use our new methodology to estimate tax revenue loss from trade misinvoicing.  The study finds that the potential average annual tax loss from trade misinvoicing amounted to roughly 12.7% of Uganda’s total government revenue over the years 2002-2011, followed by Ghana (11.0%), Mozambique (10.4%), Kenya (8.3%), and Tanzania (7.4%

Methodology

GFI Chief Economist Dev Kar and GFI Junior Economist Brian LeBlanc developed robust economic models that highlight the drivers and dynamics of illicit flows in both directions for each of the five countries analyzed. Nevertheless, GFI cautioned that their methodology is very conservative and that there are likely to be more illicit flows into and out of these countries that are not captured by the models. GFI notes that—due to data issues, varying customs rates by commodity and sector, and various other factors—it is difficult to assess the true tax revenue loss stemming from trade misinvoicing in a particular country. The tax loss figures presented in this study are rough estimates of the possible impact that trade misinvoicing could have on government revenues in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Country-Specific Findings

Ghana Kenya Mozambique Tanzania Uganda
Ghana Kenya Mozambique Tanzania Uganda
Cumulative Trade Misinvoicing Outflows US$7.32bn US$9.64bn US$2.33bn US$8.28bn US$8.39bn
Cumulative Trade Misinvoicing Inflows US$7.07bn US$3.94bn US$2.93bn US$10.44bn US$457mn
Gross Cumulative Trade Misinvoicing Inflows + Outflows US$14.39bn US$13.58bn US$5.27bn US$18.73bn US$8.84bn
Gross Annual Trade Misinvoicing as % of GDP 6.64% 7.76% 8.98% 9.36% 7.05%
Gross Annual Trade Misinvoicing as % of ODA 189.17% 288.63% 49.51% 131.21% 97.94%
Cumulative Outflows via Export Under-Invoicing US$5.1bn US$9.26bn US$1.26bn 0 US$261mn
Cumulative Outflows via Import Over-Invoicing US$2.21bn US$377mn US$1.08bn US$8.28bn US$8.13bn
Primary Method for Shifting Money Illicitly out of Country Export Under-Invoicing Export Under-Invoicing Both Export Under-Invoicing & Import Over-Invoicing Import Over-Invoicing Import Over-Invoicing
Cumulative Inflows via Import Under-Invoicing US$4.6bn US$3.94bn US$2.22bn US$108mn 0
Cumulative Inflows via Export Over-Invoicing US$2.43bn 0 US$711mn US$10.34bn US$457mn
Primary Method for Shifting Money Illicitly into Country Import Under-Invoicing Import Under-Invoicing Import Under-Invoicing Export Over-Invoicing Export Over-Invoicing
Cumulative Tax Revenue Loss via Trade Misinvoicing ^1 US$3.86bn US$3.92bn US$1.68bn US$2.48bn US$2.43bn
Average Annual Tax Revenue Loss via Trade Misinvoicing ^1 US$386mn US$435mn US$187mn US$248mn US$243mn
Tax Revenue Loss via Trade Misinvoicing as % of Total Government Revenue ^1 11.0% 8.3% 10.4% 7.4% 12.7%

FOOTNOTES

  1. GFI notes that—due to data issues, varying customs rates by commodity and sector, and various other factors—it is difficult to assess the true tax revenue loss stemming from trade misinvoicing in a particular country.  The tax loss figures presented in this study are rough estimates of the possible impact that trade misinvoicing could have on government revenues in Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda.
  2. All monetary values are expressed in U.S. dollars (USD).

Some of the graphs didn’t appear at this website, thus; beneath is the link to the original article: http://www.gfintegrity.org/report/report-trade-misinvoicing-in-ghana-kenya-mozambique-tanzania-and-uganda/

The African Dream: How A Million Migrants Are Building A New Empire In Africa

Dream

Chinese immigrants of the recent past and unfolding twenty-first century are in search of the African dream. So explains indefatigable traveler Howard W. French, prize-winning investigative journalist and former New York Times bureau chief in Africa and China, in the definitive account of this seismic geopolitical development.

China’s burgeoning presence in Africa is already shaping, and reshaping, the future of millions of people. From Liberia to Senegal to Mozambique, in creaky trucks and by back roads, French introduces us to the characters who make up China’s dogged emigrant population: entrepreneurs single-handedly reshaping African infrastructure, and less-lucky migrants barely scraping by but still convinced of Africa’s opportunities.

French’s acute observations offer illuminating insight into the most pressing unknowns of modern Sino-African relations: Why China is making these cultural and economic incursions into the continent; what Africa’s role is in this equation; and what the ramifications for both parties and their people—and the watching world—will be in the foreseeable future.

The Author

Dream 2

Howard W. French is an associate professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he has taught both journalism and photography since 2008.

For many years, he was a Senior Writer for The New York Times, where he spent most of a nearly 23 year career as a foreign correspondent, working in and traveling to over 100 countries on five continents.

Until July 2008, he was the chief of the newspaper’s Shanghai bureau. Prior to this assignment, he headed bureaus in Japan, West and Central Africa, Central America and the Caribbean. Mr. French’s work for the newspaper in both Africa and in China has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

He has won numerous other awards, including the Overseas Press Club award and the Grantham Prize. French speaks English, Chinese, Japanese, French, and Spanish.

From 1979 to 1986, he lived in West Africa, where he worked as a translator, taught English literature at the University of Ivory Coast, and lived as a freelance reporter for The Washington Post and other publications.

French is the author of A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa (Knopf 2004), which was named non-fiction book of the year by several newspapers. “Continent” won the 2005 American Library Association Black Caucus Award for Non-Fiction, and was a finalist for both the Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage and for the Hurston-Wright Foundation’s non-fiction prize.

Disappearing Shanghai,” French’s documentary photography of the last remnants of Shanghai’s historic old neighborhoods has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in the United States, Europe and Asia, and reprinted in numerous magazines. Prints from Disappearing Shanghai have been acquired by the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis, as part of its permanent collection, and shown in solo exhibition there.

Disappearing Shanghai” was published in book form by Homa and Sekey in August 2012. The work is a collaboration with the author, Qiu Xiaolong, a Shanghai native, who contributed original poetry.

French’s third book, China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa, was published by Knopf in May 2014. It was selected by The New York Times, The Economist and The Guardian as one of the most noteworthy books of the year. He is now at work on a new non-fiction book, also under contract with Knopf, about the history of Chinese power and the geopolitics of East Asia.

French contributes often to a variety of publications, including The Atlantic and The New York Review of Books, and occasionally reviews books for The Wall Street Journal. He is also a frequent public speaker.

French was a 2010-’11 fellow of the Open Society Foundations. He is also a board member of the Columbia Journalism Review, and he currently resides in New York City.

For more information, please contact Howard French at globetrotter@howardwfrench.com

Portugal: The Scramble For Africa

This is the history of the Portuguese colonisation of east and west Africa – what is now Angola, Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. The 19th century colonial scramble for AfricaA” found Portugal weak, vulnerable and completely unprepared to deal with the new realities foisted on it by the signatories of the Conference of Berlin in 1884.

Portugal

Between then and the end of World War I, Portugal’s colonial ambitions rose and fell. This carefully researched book documents the events of Portugal’s colonial expansion into the African continent, the characters and personalities, the wars and battles, and the gradually changing social structure of the colonies.

The Author

Paul

Paul Southern

Following an induced labour some time in the 1960s (due date: Halloween night), I had my subscription to a normal life revoked by itinerant parents, who moved from city to city. Lived in Liverpool, Belfast, London and Leeds, then escaped to university, where I nearlydied of a brain haemorrhage. After an unexpected recovery, formed an underground indie group (Sexus).

Met the lead singer through standing on a bee. Made immediate plans to become rich and famous, but ended up in Manchester. Shared a house with mice, cockroaches, and slugs; shared the street with criminals. Five years later, hit the big time with a Warners record deal. Concerts at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Melody Maker front cover, Smash Hits Single of the Week, Radio 1 and EastEnders. Mixed with the really rich and famous.

Then mixed with lawyers. Ended up back in Manchester, broke. Got a PhD in English (I am the world’s leading authority on Tennyson’s stage plays), then wrote my first novel, The Craze, based on my experiences of the Muslim community. Immediately nominated to the Arena X Club (the name Arena magazine gave to a select group of creative, UK-based men responsible for shaping the way their readers lived and enjoyed their lives).

Wrote a second book, Brown Boys in Chocolate, which predicted the London bombings. Fell foul of the censors and subsequently gagged by the press. Got ITV interested in a story on honour killings and inter-racial marriages and was commissioned to write a screenplay (Pariah) based on my life story. ITV balked at the content.

Subsequently, trod the wasteland before finding the grail again: a book deal with children’s publisher, Chicken House. Killing Sound, a YA horror set on the London Underground, was published by them in September 2014

http://www.amazon.com/Portugal-Scramble-Africa-Paul-Southern/dp/094699563X/