Just two short years ago, President Obama and the First Lady visited the West African nation of Ghana, hailing them and other African nations as coveted trade partners for the U.S., China, and the Middle East.
Fast forward to today: Thanks to the website All Africa, we have learned that the U.S. Department of Commerce has quietly closed its office in Ghana, shutting the country out of economic opportunities and trade relations with the U.S. All this, despite the fact that Ghana’s economy is booming. The same scenario is playing out in Dakar, Senegal and Angola.
The White House is sending a clear message to Africa. As Commerce’s offices close, so too closes the door on potential American business, along with other avenues to advance America’s political and commercial interests on the continent. These actions are both short-sighted, bigoted, and just plain stupid.
What all this means for us Black men and women in America is that there is an opportunity for us to directly engage in trade with Africa and import goods into this country (as well as export goods out of the country). There are 900 million men and women on the continent. 50-150 million Africans have spending power that is similar to the middle classes in the West, while 350-500 million are in Africa’s “aspirational classes – from households with stable jobs – that resemble counterparts in China and India being courted by Western firms. These Africa aspirants drink Coca-Cola, want mobile phones and yearn to own a car or motorcycle,”according to the book “Africa Rising: How 900 Million African Consumers Offer More Than You Think”.
For those of you out there who understand both the importance of financial self-determination and establishing a Black economy, this could be a great opportunity.
Ghana in particular has always been a huge exporter of both gold and cocoa, two products that have always been in demand in the U.S. Check out these Chambers of Commerce in Africa, the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).
Source: The Atlanta Post (http://atlantapost.com/2011/03/28/commerce-dept-pulls-back-in-africa/)