If you still think that Africa is a continent full of jungles, wild animals just roaming the lands, natives half dressed in tribal wear, or any other un-resourceful substandard land comparable to modern civilization, you are lost in translation! Africa is with little argument the most resourcefully rich and energy-abundant continents on the planet. Now Asians, as Europeans have been doing for centuries, are establishing long term plans of investment in the rich and fertile African soil.
Recently on April 26, 2006, China’s President Hu Jinato made a visit Nigeria in continuation of bilateral cooperation with the African country. Agriculture, communications, electric power, and infrastructure construction reached a bilateral trade volume of $2.83 billion in 2005, a 29.6% increase from the previous year. In the recent April visit, a $4 billion deal was signed to develop infrastructure and oilfields in Nigeria. Other African countries President Hu Jinato visited were Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Kenya. China has the second-largest world economy following the United States as ranked in the GDP (purchasing power parity) of 2005. All over the African continent Chinese companies have been outbidding other foreign construction firms. Just as well, since the China-Africa Forum created in 2000, $1.2 billion of African debt has been cancelled and tariffs on 190 Chinese imported goods going to 28 African countries have been scrapped.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan arrived in Ghana on May 1, 2006 with an astounding 121-member delegation. Those accompanying him were political officers and business leaders seeking to establish future investments in Ghana, as well to increase the bilateral partnership that already exists between both countries. Japan’s support and co-operation with Ghana entails the development of railways, roads, and other forms of infrastructure growth. The African visit took the Japanese delegation to Ethiopia prior to arriving in Ghana.
As part of South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun’s African tour, from March 6 – 9, 2006 President Roh Moo-hyun visited Egypt and met with President Mohamed Hosni Mubarak in discussion to further economic cooperation of mainly information-technology (IT), energy, and resources with the African country. Also on the agenda was the promotion of better South Korean and Islamic relations. In Nigeria, an oil development project of two-billion barrels was signed securing South Korea with petroleum reserves of 1.2 billion barrels in upcoming years. South Korea intends to triple its involvement in the Official Development Assistance (ODA) for Africa to $100 million by 2008. President Roh Moo-hyun also visited Algeria and Ghana this year to discuss and adopt strategic partnerships of economic projects and infrastructure construction in these countries.
Having spending power, and ancestry to Africa, where do African Americans fit into this translation? Two answers are with “dual citizenship” and African American involvement in the African Union (AU). Ghana serves as the spearhead for developing the legal framework for Americans of African descent to be eligible for African country citizenship. During former Ghanaian President Jerry John Rawlings October 21- October 23, 1995 visit to the U.S., he announced at a rally honoring him in Harlem, NY that the Black Diaspora must be represented in Organization of African Unity (OAU) activities. Ghana now plans to offer slave descendants dual U.S.-Ghanaian citizenship or lifetime visas. Should the Ghanaian Parliament approve the new passports, citizenship won’t be given to just anyone. African Americans committed to invest, live in Ghana, or help develop the country will be given priority. A lifetime visa means living and working in Ghana while being exempt from paying the costly and inconvenient work permits and renewal visas. The OAU was replaced by the AU in 2002 with aims to establish a single currency and a unified single defense force. With the organization of 53 African member nation-states, the overall AU aim is to form the United States of Africa—similar to the United States of America and to the European Union.
Wayne E. Brown is the Founder and CEO of WEB International Publishing. He is the author and publisher of BLACK SAMURAI: Work, Travel, Culture, Religion, Struggle, & Perspective of a Black American Man. For book signing, motivational speaking engagements, and/or appearances email: firstname.lastname@example.org or go the website for details: www.webinternationalpublishing.com