Posted by: apscott | June 29, 2008

The Fix

This entry is really an addendum to an article I wrote for GW Discourse, but it is one I feel is necessary to see my views on International Development – specifically that of Africa.

The above article paints an alternative picture to the African Crisis. However, I would like to offer some alternative solutions to this crisis as well. This region will not be fixed by a politician, anthropologist, or businessman. Rather, it will take an approach which combines assets from all three of these fields to make progress in this area. That being said, the following presents a specific area in which these three groups can partake to improve Africa’s world standing.

Green Technology and Africa have striking parallels to the Internet and Asia. Green Technology will be the heir to the internet boom, as Africa will be the heir to the booming markets in Asia. Interestingly enough, both the markets in the Internet and Asia became over-saturated and burst in the late 90’s.

However it seems to me that oversaturation is less of a worry in Green Tech and Africa. I doubt that too many green businesses, fuel efficient cars, or renewable resources will cause any imminent market crash; nor does too much entrepreneurship, honest governance, or social development pose any real threat.

Just as the Internet helped create an amazing market in Asia, I see Green Technology as the key to the African Market. The only difference is that market capacity seems much greater – possibly the greatest we have seen so far.

Governments tend not to get involved in Africa as they do not see any benefit of their time, capital, or manpower being spent there. However Green Technology presents the incentive necessary to get involved. By conducting R&D and investing in Green Technology, governments can develop the tools necessary to better the African situation.

Anthropologists, 501(c)3’s, and NGO’s can profit from this as well. The above article discussed a policy of creating wealth instead of reducing poverty. Green Technology is a perfect implement for this policy. Micro-finance, small business programs, and social development initiatives can teach Green Technology to citizens of developing nations, allowing them build the most sustainable infrastructure possible for productive growth.

Corporations hold a lot of stock in staying ahead of the curve. By investing in Green Technology, they will have already set themselves up for unprecedented innovation. Though it may be hard to believe, Africa holds the same potential. Entrepreneurship in Africa is among some of the best in the world. By investing in Africa, corporations will be able to gain tremendous returns compared to those earned in Asia. By combining innovation in Green Technology with investment in Africa, an immense market capacity will evolve, creating the newest and foremost region of growth and prosperity. Talk about a win-win situation.

Corporate involvement in Africa is the most powerful message I hope to convey. While many people find fixing governmental and social issues as the key to solving this crisis, I see a whole in the market where corporations are concerned. Corporate relations are the only ones capable of generating wealth instead of reducing poverty in this region – a policy which is integral for growth and prosperity in Africa.

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