Monday, May 25, 2009

The United States is on holiday, but Africa is all business today

For those who haven't figured this out by now, recently I've been trying to schedule a post in the Empoprise-BI business blog every weekday at 5:00 am Pacific time. I often supplement this with additional posts every day, but I try to cover every weekday with at least a single post, the 5:00 am post. And I have similar schedules on the other blogs.

A great deal of work went into figuring out the times at which these daily posts appear in all of my blogs - basically, I did it all by alphabetical order. Actually there's a method to my madness; since the business day starts around 5:00 am Pacific time, that's a good time for a blog post to appear, I figure.

So anyways, I knew that I would eventually come to a day which would be a holiday in the United States. And that day is today - Memorial Day. Usually readership on this blog is down when people aren't working, so I figured that there would be some kind of hit in today's figures.

But while the United States is vacationing today, the rest of the world isn't. So I figured that I'd publish something from an area very different from the United States. So what about business in Africa? From the "Africa Open For Business" web site:

According to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the UN trade agency, UNCTAD, Africa offers the highest return on direct foreign investment in the world, far exceeding all other regions. While petroleum products are the driving force behind those returns, other sectors offer impressive growth.

One of the fastest growth areas is telecommunications. From 1999 to 2004, cell phone use in Africa grew at an annual rate of 58%, whereas in Asia, the region with the next highest growth, cell phone use grew at a relatively paltry 35%.

Africa is of increasing strategic interest to the global economy. The continent is expected to soon provide the US with more petroleum than the Middle East. The top supplier of oil to China is Angola. China and India are rapidly increasing their business dealings with Africa. These new power-houses are often beating out American and European firms.

Africa offers a consumer base of more than 900 million people. While more than half of Africa is estimated to live on a dollar or less a day, the other half does not, and they are hungry for products and services.

For more details, go here. And you can order a video for US$179. Yup, Africa's open for business, all right.
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