Friday, January 11, 2008

Invest in Africa!


Sounds like a great idea, doesn't it? Well, perhaps not SUCH a great idea to the well-informed constituency of Phaedrus' core readership. But nevertheless, there are a number of Western financial corporations that have recently taken to extolling us to place our hard earned cash in the dark continent where we can - so they claim - enjoy spectacular returns! Gee whiz, we finally get something BACK from Africa? Sound to good to be true? Well they wouldn't lie to us, would they?

Sadly they are indeed peddling junk. How these people can keep a straight face while they're promoting African 'investments' is quite remarkable. They DO admit, as much however, when they describe Africa as the LAST great emerging market opportunity. In other words, every OTHER place on planet earth has had investment up to its ass; they're maxed-out investment wise and Africa's the very LAST place left that nobody except the Chinese have pumped a single buck into for obvious reasons (Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, DR Congo and Zimbabwe to name just five).

Sure, China has invested Big Bucks in Africa, but they've done so very smartly. They have not backed African businesses. They are not venture capitalists in this basket-case continent. They have taken cynical positions which just grab a share of Africa's mineral wealth. They're not betting on smart Africans' entrepreneurship, for as we all know, there ain't none! Nope, the Chinese just want to grab the minerals, precious metals and oil. Any useless piece of shit can dig a hole in the ground. It's not beyond the average African to wield a shovel. Not on a good day, anyway.

In any event, having carefully analyzed African investment opportunities as outlined above, Phaedrus himself has a bit of investment advice which folks with a few thousand dollars to spare might find valuable. Rather than invest in Africa, just bundle up your wad of cash and flush it down the toilet. The returns are precisely the same, and you have the added satisfaction of knowing that your hard-earned cash hasn't swollen some fat, corrupt African dictator's Swiss bank account. Plus you don't pay no middleman, and you save a pile on paperwork! As an infamous Nigerian government minister once smilingly said: "That'll be $46m please."

No comments: