Doing business in Africa was the topic of a meeting of prominent business experts in Minneapolis Wednesday morning.

Why Africa?

“It’s just simply wide open. And it’s time to go in,” said Stephen Hayes of the Corporate Council on Africa.

NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports

Hayes was among those taking part in a conference at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson Global Institute. Hayes noted that companies like Cargill and General Mills already are doing business in Africa.

“The goal is to increase U.S. interests and investment in Africa. You can’t do that from Washington. The deals and decisions are made in the home corporations.”

Last year Minnesota exported $184 million worth of machinery, agricultural products and other goods to Africa.

Comments (4)
  1. dood says:

    They’re selling off our jobs to cheep labor all over the world, and this is supposed to be good news! At least the columnist is smiling in his picture.

  2. Isaac Osei-Kissi says:

    This is good news. 6 of the ten fastest growing economies in the world today are African. They are the youngest continent with the most youthful workforce. Africa’s middle class is now 300m strong and rising.
    Don’t believe all the negative stereotypes you see on TV about Africa, they are truly open for business. No wonder China, Brazil, India and Russia are all clamoring the continent cutting several business deals.
    American businesses should get in the game and not sit on the sidelines. To create more jobs in America, we need to create more demand for our products overseas and what a chance to sell to a continent where the growth rate year-on-year for the past decade has averaged over 5% at a time when Europe’s economy is fast shrinking.

    1. Ordinary Guy says:

      I can see your sympathies, but I think the birth-rate explosion in Africa is what’s driving that. Importing that labor effort without contributing substantially to our government costs is toxic to us in the U.S. I fear as well, that as is the case in other developing areas, that the common people will no doubt be neglected and their freedoms compromised. An export economy will not be sustainable here and when that market fails, anarchy will erupt.

      Responsibility in trade begins here, because it can’t there. Their own consumer market must prosper. Surely they need investment to get going, but they must build an economy that does not exploit workers and fatten the rich. I do wish we could agree.

      1. Isaac Osei-Kissi says:

        I agree with the fact businesses should not exploit workers anywhere.
        Africa’s birthrate peaked in the late 80s/ early 90s. Since then, it started to tapper off as a result of improved education and improved standards of living. So that cannot be the reason why Africa is doing well. The reasons for the growth are better global commodity prices, Massive inflows of foreign direct investments leading to rapid infrastructure development, adoption of democracy/ better governance across the continent and of course a booming youthful workforce.

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