Craig Eisele on …..

October 10, 2008

7500 DOW Possible??

The simple answer is YES!!!

I know I wrote in December 2007 that I expected a 9,000 DOW and believed that an 8,000 Dow is where I said it should be… but 7,500 is panic and that is what I am seeing around the world… people are afraid… plain and simple.

DO NOT sell you 401K or other funds now… it is far too late for you to do that… your best bet is to hold on and try to read and watch something other than economic news… at least until AFTER the election.

I am working on my economic predictions for the rest of 2008 and 2009… and in some cases even into 2010. I should release that November 5 or 6, AFTER the Elections… there is nothing good in store… except that we will know more about where our Government is taking us… and at least THAT will restore some stability to the financial markets in the USA and give a good indication of the future of the economic health of the Country.

You will see great swings in the market… mostly down for now… but you will get high upswings as well… do not take any of these seriously at this point… we really are at about the right pricing given the full economic data….

Additionally you will see a more bad economic news and then a few good pieces… but overall it is glum out there… so stop reading things like this and others and concentrate on what is important to you.. your life and your family… the rest will settle out soon… just not as soon as you would like.

Craig

NOTE:  This is MY OPINION. I make no assurances of this actually being the way the market will go. You should do your own research and make your own informed decisions!!!

October 17, 2007

U.S. Claims Africa a “Foreign Policy Priority”

State’s Frazer Says Continent is a U.S. “Foreign Policy Priority”

United States Department of State (Washington, DC)
NEWS
3 October 2007
Posted to the web 3 October 2007
Washington, DC
Africa stands as a “foreign policy priority” of the Bush administration, Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi E. Frazer told the United States Congress October 2.

In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, Frazer said the United States is working to promote conflict resolution; humanitarian assistance; strengthening of transparent, democratic African governments; greater economic growth and a strengthening of counterterrorism efforts.

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“All of these elements are part of the picture when we consider the Horn of Africa subregion and Ethiopia in particular,” she told the lawmakers in her prepared testimony. Frazer’s testimony updated the lawmakers on the latest conditions in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa subregion.

Frazer said the United States government has provided more than $200 million to support humanitarian programs throughout Ethiopia in fiscal year 2007.

Turning to Eritrea, Frazer told the lawmakers the United States continues to have “grave concerns” about human rights issues in that country, including the level of democracy, rule of law, freedom of the press and religious freedoms.

“Fourteen years after independence, national elections have yet to be held, and the constitution has never been implemented,” she said. “Several thousand prisoners of conscience are being detained without charge indefinitely and without the ability to communicate with friends and relatives. The government has severely restricted civil liberties, and arbitrary arrest, detention (including two Eritrean employees of the U.S. Embassy detained since 2001), and torture are serious problems. Security forces detain and arrest parents and spouses of individuals who have evaded national service or fled the country, despite the lack of a legal basis for such action.”

On Somalia, Frazer cautioned that the current situation there “poses a threat to regional stability.” She added, however, that the United States has provided more than $89 million in fiscal year 2007 to respond to that nation’s emergency humanitarian needs.


Copyright © 2007 United States Department of State.

October 1, 2007

Craig Eisele Creates Trans-African Development Strategies, Inc.

Craig Eisele Creates:

Trans-African Development Strategies, Inc.
 

            Trans-African Development Strategies, Inc or “TADS” is a New “Private” NGO focused on Infrastructure Development in Africa.

            The purpose of TADS is as follows:

1.    To provide Infrastructure development throughout Africa, whereas the Countries of Africa incur NO DEBT.

2.    To rehabilitate the 108,000 km of roads in Sub-Saharan Africa as identified in a study for the World Bank in 2006 (co-authored by David Wheeler) to facilitate development of trade throughout the Continent of Africa.

3.    To establish a modern limited access 4-lane “Highway” extending from the Mediterranean Cost of Africa and ending in South Africa (hopefully Cape Town, and 1 to 2 kilometers wide the full length of approximately 10,000 km.

4.    To encourage investment in the major portions of Infrastructure in the areas of Communications, Transportation and Power along the path of the “highway listed above in Item #3 and itemized below.

5.    To facilitate the development of a Trans-African Railroad

6.    To facilitate the development of a series of Pipelines to include Oil and Gas (refined and crude products) and Transportation of Water resources to areas in need.

7.    To bring a Fiber Optic Cable through the CENTER of Africa allowing Communication, Video and Internet into areas beyond the coastlines of Africa.

8.    To erect an Electric Transmission line from North to South through the Center of Africa.

9.    To develop electric Generation facilities including Hydro, Solar, Wind, Nuclear and Natural Gas along this same route.

10.  10 To assist in the development of Manufacturing Facilities and secondary and tertiary processing facilities for Natural resources to maximize value added services within Africa and to substantially add and foster job creation.

11.  To Assist in the building of Schools and Hospitals along this same pathway.

12.  Assist in the development of large scale commercial farming and ranching operations.

13.  To repeat Items 3 through 12 on at least one possibly 2 East to West Trans Continental Paths in Africa intersecting with the Primary Route of North to South and tying the Continent of Africa together with World Class Facilities.

We are certain that this will allow Africa to not only be self sufficient, but also Increases Wages to alleviate Poverty, reduce human suffering increase health care availability, and foster educational benefits throughout Africa and allow other NGO’s to better server those people who are in need but are not getting the aid they now desperately need because of the lack of infrastructure.

We also believe that the increase in GNP and GDP will spawn an increase in Tax Revenues and the ability for the countries to be able to access international financing for other projects that each individual country deems appropriate for its population.

TADS expects to raise 100 Billion Dollars of “AID” for the Roads and Highway Projects paid over the next 7 years. With Direct Spending on African Labor and materials to exceed 40 Billion Dollars up to 70 Billion dollars over the 7 year period. A Strategy to obtain these funds has been developed and refined over the last 2 years. While meet with skepticism by many the project is real and attainable despite the nay-sayers and those who would detract form the ultimate goal of a “New and Brighter Future for Africa.”

This estimate does not include anything except the road and highway projects.

TADS has a REAL Vision for Africa and invites anyone wishing to see this vision realized to participate in anyway they feel is appropriate.

While this is the first in a series of Announcements, more information will be provided over the near future.

 

Craig Eisele

Managing Director

Trans African Development Strategies, Inc.

 

September 29, 2007

US Companies losing in Africa

Yes, The headline is correct. Companies in the USA are losing out on major business opportunities in Africa… as are European Companies… and they are losing to China!!

But do not take my word for it, google “China Africa” and you will see for yourself. China is not only winning in Africa they are moving at an ever increasing pace and will dominate African trade and be the primary “investor” in Africa because of the “west’s” inability to effectively coordinate investment strategies.

What do I mean by coordinated investment strategy…. it is not a complicated idea…. it is the working with other companies in a form of horizontal integration to assure the success of the investment.

For example: If the US Company is interested in Mining. then transportation becomes an important issue… yet the availability of efficient roads or rail transport is limited at best.

The coordination becomes searching for partners who wish to build a Trans-African Railroad or who are interested in highway/road development such as Trans-African Development Company.

Telecommunications and Internet is similarly available by numerous companies wishing to justify their investment and looking for “customers” to make their network affordable.

Electricity or other power sources also lend themselves to partnering with such companies.

Simply: Since no “company” has the ability or resources of a COUNTRY… like China…. then Companies interested in investing in Africa MUST find a way to compete NOW…. by affiliating with other Companies, Groups or Organizations that can facilitate their Investment into Africa.

This Article is somewhat self serving… yet it should also help Companies interested in investing in Africa, a Strategy for making such investments.

Self-serving because Trans African Development is looking to rehabilitate the road infrastructure that could make their investment economic model look better and increase the feasibility of such investments. HOWEVER, Trans African Development is NOT looking for investors to rehabilitate the existing road infrastructure in Africa… Yes, we are looking to raise the 50 million Euro to jump start our efforts in Africa… BUT, the real money to rehabilitate MUST come from those Governments of the Industrialized world to rehabilitate the basic road infrastructure in Africa.

DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) has but 300 miles of PAVED roads… yet it’s land mass is that of ALL of Western Europe. It is not enough to get a concession for the development of Natural resources in DRC… it must be transported to global markets.

Trans African Development is looking for sponsors to implement a strategy of marketing and promotions and PR to raise the funds for this Road rehabilitation that will not only bring African gratitude to those countries (and therefore those countries Companies) but will help hundreds of millions of Africans as well as give these “traditional” Western Companies access to those resources and be able to effectively compete with China for those resources and markets.

Sadly I believe that the “traditional” Western Companies may be too late already as their existing strategists have lacked the ability to think beyond their industry and their standard business models. But I welcome feedback form those “Companies” who wish to find alternatives to their current models and who are willing to seek markets outside the black box of traditional thinking that will only cause them to lose out to China in the long run especially in Africa.

July 20, 2007

A “REAL” Vision for African Development!

A “REAL” Vision for African Development!

A proposal by Craig Eisele and the Trans-African Development Company.

First and foremost I must say that “most” of the “Aid” to Africa is needed and serves a good purpose. HOWEVER… I believe, that the most important “aid” to African Development is not being given in the manner in which it is most needed.

Given the Statement released at the Last AU Meeting in Accra this month (July) and the focus on Regional Integration and the Ultimate Goal of African Integration and Unity I feel that this proposal, I put forth today, is in keeping with these stated Goals and Ideals. I hope the leaders and governments of those Countries read this and believe in it half as much as I do and commit to making this “Vision” a reality… for the future of Africa is at stake.

It is no secret that the “Keys to Investment” (as well as economic prosperity) are Power, Communications and Transportation. No society can develop without these three key components… and the lack of these components also hinders (actually cripples) the ability to have an effective (let alone vibrant) “manufacturing” sector of the economy. Manufacturing brings most jobs to the most people. Without these Components poverty, and despair become the norm. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in Africa today… yet that can change dramatically and substantially within 10 years IF we can do what I propose.

So what can be done for Africa that is “really” in Africa’s Best interest… and even in the best interest of the world at large. If you believe my introductory statements above, then I will hope you agree that what Africa needs, more than anything, is a MAJOR COMPREHENSIVE Development of its Infrastructure. A form of Governmental/Private development needs to be initiated. A Developmental Project that will NOT create any Debt to any Country. A project that will have a portion of it as private (but publicly traded components) as well as a segment or portion under “Governmental Ownership and Control” …. specifically, the Highway Portion of the project.

I envision this Comprehensive Infrastructure Development Project as follows:

It is through the building of a “Highway” and “rehabilitation” of the major trade roads in conjunction with the establishment of a “uniform” railroad; Development of the Power Generation and Transmission sector and the Ability to Communicate with the outside markets and the world for Technology, education, ideas and innovation that matters the most. If this is done, then I believe, that not only will the economic benefits proliferate throughout the ENTIRE Continent of Africa, but that the overall health education and welfare of the vast Majority of Africans can be established quickly and effectively.

The world has tried to “fix” or otherwise address problems throughout Africa without the basic means of delivering their “aid” to Africans. Kofie Annan, in his recent quest for better Agricultural production, has indicated in a footnote that transportation is necessary for the Agricultural Sector to flourish. It is evident that Africa can not only grow sufficient food for every person in Africa and have more than enough for a productive export market for basic food products, but there is no effective way to get that food to markets before it decays throughout its own Country or to even a neighboring Country …. let alone the rest of the Continent or the world.

OK… sorry I am impassioned on this subject and sometimes I get carried away in what I want to say… so here is MY Vision for the Future of Africa that I firmly believe will not only be able to create a 100 plus million strong “Middle Class” of Consumers within Africa, but will exceed the Millennium Development Goals that CANNOT be met without the program that I will articulate below. ANY person who believes that the MDG’s can be met without this and believes Africa can be self-sufficient within 20 years without this project is at the least incredibly nieve’ or worse delusional.

Africa today is in a unique position of building infrastructure from the ground up using 21st century technology that can be effective for the next 50 years with minimal maintenance and upkeep before major upgrades will be required… by that time the “tax base” and revenues generated by the individual countries will be sufficient to upgrade that Infrastructure the same as all industrialized countries currently can do today and without international “aid”.

My Vision on How to best accomplish the MDG’s (and so much more) and actually give Africa an opportunity to be something more than a depository for international aid, is listed below in three phases that are to be implemented simultaneously:

  1. Phase 1: Obtain a right of way one kilometer wide from each Country that the first segment of a “highway” will go through. This is envisioned as a Trans Continental Highway similar to the ones that Most Industrialized nations have and close to the US Model of Interstate Highway System. However the FIRST segment must be constructed to prove its worth.

I have already received expressed interest from 3 of the first nine countries that this first segment will go through.

ALL of this Construction MUST be done by a Private Company with focus on costs and efficiency and completion and MUST be done at NO COST to any country. The Highway Component of this Infrastructure along this “right of way”, will be transferred to COMPLETE Ownership by the AU (African Union) and the individual Countries for the revenue generated to be used for routine Maintenance, security and general governing purposes.

It is hoped that each country will take advantage of this “highway” to create planned communities, cities and Industrial parks along this path. Planning for Potable water, Electricity and sewage and trash and looking for synergies between industries and natural resources along the way is imperative to maximize economic benefit and the quality of life for the citizens. I suggest a 50-kilometer “zone”or buffer on either side of this project for the planning to be professionally engineered and developed for maximum effectiveness.

I would like to see a fleet of NEW Trucks and tractor-trailers built by someone like Peterbuilt ON THE CONTINENT of Africa. Given that Peterbuilt has a factory that produces 5000 trucks a year in a single factory today in the USA, it is obviously more cost effective to build a NEW plant in Africa for the Construction of these trucks… AND, I would be willing to not only help them build such a plant but to BUY the first 5,000 trucks for exclusive use on this highway. The Domestic Market in Africa and the export potential is worth this type of investment IF we build such a “highway”. Just look at South Africa now who is building cars for export to Europe!

Simply the creation of such a Highway by itself gives access to huge economic benefits that those countries involved are not able to see without this “highway”.

Now the scary news for some… the cost for this 4-lane highway is estimated at 45 to 50 Billion dollars (35 to 40 Billion Euros). Given the 60 billion to be spent on Aids in Africa the next 5 years by the US Government… I DO NOT expect the US Government to pay the entire cost for this highway… but I do expect them to substantially contribute to this highway. And yes, I do expect them to mandate that a certain amount of this money be spent with US Companies as I expect any other country “donating” to this project will also expect benefit from their “donation”. But, the majority of labor MUST be African and local subcontractors within Africa MUST be incorporated into this project to maximize the benefit within Africa and create an economic benefit far greater than the highway itself in the short run. Further… wages must be at least 2 times the current local wages.

I consider this “Highway” a bargain at twice the price. But again the key is to let a “PRIVATE” company under the auspicious of a “Not-for-profit” subsidiary to build it to keep cost LOW and assure that the monies spent are mostly on the “Highway” and then transfer ownership as indicated above. Using the Non Profit Company forces greater transparency in the process and assures a corruption free development.

I consider this HIGHWAY a moral imperative for aid by countries claiming they want to help Africa. This Highway however should be incorporated into “Phase 2” of this project as listed next… making the total cost over 7 to 10 years close to 100 Billion Dollars or 75 Billion Euros. But Combined, the benefits as indicated by David Wheeler would be many times that amount on a regular and recurring basis… and that was a study just on Trade… if you factor in the self-imposed mandate I am offering that 80 percent of labor and available raw materials be purchased in Africa… the economic benefit on a local level is staggering. I also proposed to make pay for workers 2 to 3 times the current wages being paid locally for the greatest benefit to the local economy.

  1. Phase 2: Joining ALL the Sub Sahara Countries. I mentioned a study by David Wheeler earlier. In this study (which I consider extremely enlightening and beneficial) he and his group, in a study done for the World Bank, were very specific in identifying the existing roads, the quality of these roads, the trade that exists on those roads, and the economic benefit that repairing these roads would bring based upon Trade alone.

Phase 3: Components to be added along the “right-of way”. The right of way does not mean that these components can link into any country or their infrastructure… only that the Skeletal Structure of this build can be available and ultimately subject to “Interconnect Agreements” with each country. It is obvious that those agreements will need to be worked out on an individual basis and that those will involve complicated negotiations… but the idea that these “Components” of the Infrastructure are available ultimately makes the interconnects a matter of reality for all parties. The Components I am hoping to build along this “right-of-way” are as follows:

      • Power: I would not want to establish a sewing factory in most places in Africa because of the unreliability of Power. Power is one of the 3 key components to attract investment and to develop a healthy economy. While Eskom (South Africa Power Company) has make strides in building out, to the northern neighboring countries, Electric Transmission lines, it is no where near sufficient to satisfy the needs of those other countries.
      • It is my hope that we can attract a Company like GE to build a factory IN AFRICA that will produce Wind Power generators for deployment along the “ right of way”. I envision the installation of Four thousand (4,000) 3.6 Megawatt wind turbines to run alongside of this “right of way”. As the highway will be newly build the transport of the blades and the Generators themselves, for these turbines will be possible. Given the world wide demand and the 2 year wait because if existing manufacturing facility constraints I feel this facility would be a great idea and whoever builds such a facility will “lock-up” the market in Africa for these wind turbines.
      • What is the COST of this electric Transmission line and 4,000 Wind Turbines and a few Gas Turbine Generators for specialty manufacturing such as smelting or processing of Ores from Mining or processing wood from Lumbering operations… about 25 billion dollars… and how do I expect it to be paid for… simply, it will ultimately be paid for by a sale of Equities in a Public Company that will be traded on at least 6 International stock exchanges around the world.

      Railroad: What is the sense of having an abundance of natural resources that can create jobs not just in the mining of such resources but in the processing of ores and ultimately the production of finished goods throughout Africa…. but that is the case now in Africa. Highways alone cannot handle all the requirements of economic development… a railroad is necessary to move huge quantities of goods to ports and markets around Africa and the globe and currently there is no standard rail system in place to do that… but that can change by use of a double track rail system capable of carrying rail cars set to various widths (gauges) but with the main gauge of standard gauge and a secondary gauge in many areas of “cape gauge”.

The initial Cost of a MODERN Rail System with RF readers and GPS (which can also be utilized on the “highway” for truck locations etc.) with a Modern State of the Art “Central Operations Center” electronically controlling all operations of the system I have been able to estimate at 35 to 40 billion dollars… again as with the Power Project Component, I plan on this to be financed by Equity issuance in a Publicly listed Company on international stock exchanges.

Fiber Optic Cable: So much as has been done to bring Fiber to the coast of Africa that it is like saying that only the coastal areas of Africa are worthwhile… I propose a Fiber Optic Program through the interior of Africa with FREE access to the WWW for Schools established along the corridor that this project will go through… the estimated cost (high actually) for 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) of Fiber Optic Cable is under 500 million dollars. And Yes, I have a plan for that financing as well but it is NOT via Public Offerings.

Pipelines: As with the section I wrote on Railroad there is extensive wealth of Oil and Gas that is locked within the Continent of Africa… not easily accessible without the “highway” and even if it was accessible the transport is next to impossible without this being a major component of the right of way I am proposing. This pipeline should be used for “Crude” as well as “Refined” as the “Power” Component listed above will make it realistic and economical for Oil Companies to develop their field, refine a portion of their products IN AFRICA and sell those products in Africa as well as export to the world. Remember that Major Oil Companies have already said that existing Oil Production is not sufficient for the demand expected in 2030… so 200 a dollar a barrel prices are realistic generation will allow for refineries within Africa. This is also a case for the development of the Wind Power generation listed above as the revenue from Oil will be more important and better used from sale then for domestic consumption… a fact most industrialized nations are facing now and are rushing to use renewable energy to sustain their economies in the future. Cost: I have no Idea…. nor do I care… as the price of Oil and Gas makes this component economically feasible and a necessity for Oil and Gas Companies. So simply… they will have to pay for this.

But I also want to add the most precious commodity… a Water pipeline… this commodity is required by every country… and its availability… or unavailability is of extreme importance to every country on the continent. As Natural and renewable energy becomes the norm and oil and gas is in short supply the need for water will only continue to grow around the globe. Currently it is not economical to ship water around the globe… but agriculture and populations within Africa will need this in ever greater numbers and quantities… so the addition of this component is looking forward to the basic future of the Continent of Africa.

 

 

Well this is my Vision for Africa. One that I see creating 75 million jobs on the continent within 20 years. One that will bring development, the creation of wealth The Industrialization of Agriculture and reduction of hunger, one that will bring new opportunities in improving the human condition in Africa in areas such as education, health and the reduction of poverty to levels comparable to industrialized nations… but honestly it requires a commitment by the industrialized nations to actually want to improve Africa for the people of Africa… it requires a commitment of 100 billion dollars over the next 7 to 10 year to build the Phase 1 and 2 components of this project… to build the road structure necessary for the delivery of goods and services necessary for an economy that can be vibrant and not a welfare state … A Commitment that will allow Africa to grow itself into an Industrialized Continent capable of taking care of itself. Where the aid that may still be necessary in Medical and Education can be delivered to those that need it and done so in an expeditions fashion and minimal delays… A Continent that can feed itself, getting food to the people who need it will take days, and not months…. But again the Industrialized nations around the world MUST DONATE this to the Continent so as not to saddle the continent with excessive debt and where dribbling of aid that currently takes place is supplanted but a surge in aid with the objective of significantly reducing that aid as Africa grows and prospers from this project.

 

I have more than this… but I feel this is sufficient… the “Highway” will need to be expanded to run through at least 43 countries. While the rehabilitation will be a temporary substitute for that, it will be necessary to grow such a “highway” of 4 lanes or more of high speed from the benefits that the first 2 phases of this project I am proposing will be able to generate.

While this is my “Vision” for Africa… it is also a Moral Imperative that this take place for the benefit salvation of 800 million Africans.

This article is not a “puff” piece article… it is my drive in life to make this a reality… and so far I am extremely encouraged by the response I have gotten. Yes. There are the Naysayers. Those that say Africa will never develop. Those people and organizations that only see Africa as a giant war zone… Those that have no real comprehension of the real Africa, its people or its potential…. And those that say the project is simply too big to be accomplished… and yet I say to them “Pashaw!” ok… maybe that is too nice… but it is a nice way of saying that this project CAN AND MUST be done… and I expect to work on this for the rest of my natural life to assure that it is done and done right…. That being NO DEBT to already impoverished Countries!!!

If you have read this and are in a position to help make this a reality then I encourage you to write to me at the address listed on “About Craig Eisele” section of this blog. If you are not able to help and support this idea or concept… then please leave a message to let others know that this project has broad support.

I am willing to meet and discuss this with ANY Governmental or NGO group or organization that truly wants to help Africa and wants to see them flourish. Anyplace, Anywhere, Anytime… I will always try to be available to make this project succeed… heck I have even established a methodology to that 92.5 percent of ALL funds donated to this project are used for the Construction with complete transparency to the world… not how is that for a capitalist….

July 19, 2007

Why Invest in Africa? Why Not! Answers and Possible Solutions Hopefully Within a Year.

Why Invest in Africa? Why Not!!

Biz-Community (Cape Town)
NEWS
19 July 2007
Posted to the web 19 July 2007

A new study, the Baird’s Communication Management Consultants Africa Review, promises to discover exactly what encourages US investors to invest in Africa, and what puts them off.

The study, announced earlier this week in Johannesburg, will look at two sets of opinions as to why multinationals are not investing rapidly in Africa.

The first part of the study will involve interviews with top executives of US-based multinationals to find out why they have reservations when it comes to investing in Africa. The second part of the study will see the findings of the first being put to policy-makers such as ministers of finance and planning, and also to senior civil servants on the continent. Leaders of international organisations involved on the continent will also be asked for their feedback on the findings.

Partnership

The study is being conducted by Baird’s Communication Management Consultants (Baird’s CMC), an international communication management consultancy, in partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC.

The study will be just the first in a series that the company will carry out in the future on the subject of the investment and policy relationships between the developing world and its potential investment partners.

The study could be a first step to understanding the policy changes required to normalise US investments in Africa, says Daeman Harris, vice president International Division, Middle East and Africa, of the US Chamber of Commerce. “We want to get to the bottom of the issues that either encourage or dissuade US investors from [investing in] the continent. This unprecedented study will articulate both the complexities and opportunities seen by the US business community as they weigh decisions to enter into African markets. We want this survey to serve as a point of departure for a new and dynamic dialogue between both US and African entrepreneurs and their government counterparts”.

No sugarcoating

It is essential that the views expressed by the US business leaders are frank and do not sugarcoat the pill – no matter how bitter it may be – so the actual contacts will be in the form of confidential interviews with guarantees of no attribution in order to ensure the information obtained moves beyond public rhetoric. The study framework is therefore designed to bring to the surface private corporate investment conversations that rarely see the light of day in public forums.

Then African policy-makers will be engaged with the aim of ascertaining what policy changes will be required to satisfy investors’ concerns and conditions for improving investment from US multinationals, and to get a realistic assessment at to whether the changes are likely or even realistic. A panel of senior, experienced interviewers will conduct all the interviews.

An aim of the study partnership is also to bridge the knowledge-gap in the global discourse between governments on how to increase trade and investment in the continent. “The notion of an African century has become almost axiomatic in any discussion about trade, investment, development and good governance on the continent, but it has not yet translated into sustained investment growth across the continent,” says Mark Chataway, Baird’s CMC co-chairman.

“Contribute to economic growth”

Policy-makers often get sugarcoated views in public meetings, but according to Harris, “the goal is to contribute to economic growth in Africa, by helping policy-makers to focus on frank private views, as opposed to the polite public conversations. We hope that the outcome of this study will be a more productive engagement by US business and African policy makers, to improve investment in Africa,” he said.

He believes that international investment and trade is redefining the global economic landscapes, but that the commercial relationship between the US and Africa has yet to develop into a truly successful partnership.

“I hope, however, that independent intelligence on the opportunities in Africa and the many, different obstacles that hinder its progress could begin to transform this partnership.”

Identify misconceptions

Francois Baird, Baird’s CMC co-chairman, believes the research will identify some misconceptions that continue to create barriers and produce surprises, “We will be considering systematically the attitudes of African leaders – both policy and decision-makers – with a view to addressing these barriers and perceptions. Usually, people just try to discern their responses by trawling through speeches,” he said.

The results of the study will be published next year and discussed in a public forum with senior business and government leaders. The aim will be to foster convergence between what African politicians and policy-makers are willing and able to do, and what US business needs to invigorate its investment in Africa.

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