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Doing Business in Africa

1. If you look at Malaysian companies, they are not investing in Europe or the United States, they are investing in African countries, high-potential countries, where they can transfer their expertise.

Raphael Auphan, French business executive. Quoted in International Herald Tribune (November 4, 1997)


2. We have long been told or made to believe that most of our economic ills derive from mismanagement or bad planning, inappropriate technology or prestige projects. I ask our critics: Is it not largely their responsibility? Have we not inherited their management techniques?

Madan Murildas Dulloo (b.1949) Mauritian lawyer and politician. Speaking of Africa’s problems at the 21st summit of the Organization of African Unity, 1984. Quoted in Squandering Eden: Africa at the Edge (Mort Rosenblum and Doug Williamson; 1987)


3. International finance is always looking for new opportunities. The challenge for Africa is not just to be attractive to traders and investors, but to offer opportunities which are more attractive than anywhere else in the world.

Peter Hain (b.1950) British politician. Speech, Challenges for Governance in Africa Conference, Wilton Park, England (September 13, 1999)


4. Here, in the realm of the spices, a “market price” was being created-a set of fiscal frontiers within which to reach a consensus. It was the language of the stock exchange…and it was the bourse which had obviously imitated the ways of the souk.

Douglas Kennedy (b.1955) British writer, journalist and playwright. Describing bartering for spices in the Casablanca souk. Chasing Mammon. Travels in the Pursuit of Money (1992)


5. We want to ensure that in the process of privatizing, we do not create greater room for control by those persons who already control the greater part of our economy.

Robert Mugabe (b.1924) Zimbabwean president. Quoted in Financial Times (London) (March 5, 1997)


6. Africa’s earth is rich, yet the products that come from above and below the soil continue to enrich, not Africans predominantly, but groups and individuals who operate to Africa’s impoverishment.

Kwame Nkrumah (1909-72) Ghanaian president. Neo-Colonialism (1965)


7. Multinational organisations and those governments truly concerned about Africa should be directing all their efforts to creating and supporting a…policy of real diplomatic sticks and large economic carrots untainted by protectionism.

Nicky Oppenheimer (b.1945) South African chairman of De Beers. Speech, Southern Africa Business Association, London (June 26, 2000)


8. One of the principal reasons why genuine industrialization cannot easily be realized in Africa today is that the market for manufactured goods in any single African country is too small.

Walter Rodney (1942-80) Guyanese historian and political activist. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972)


9. The circumstances of African trade with Europe were unfavorable to creating a consistent African demand for technology…when that demand was raised it was ignored or rejected by the capitalists.

Walter Rodney (1942-80) Guyanese historian and political activist. How Europe Underdeveloped Africa (1972)