How To Go Back To Africa By Investing In It

December 9, 2011  |  


It’s time for another Back to Africa movement…but this time updated to the times in which we live.  First, I already know that the vast majority of so-called African Americans have little desire to even visit Africa, much less move there.  That’s not what I’m suggesting here, although everyone should make the pilgrimage “home” at least once.  While I do encourage people to start physically moving to Africa if they find an opportunity and desire to do so, what I’m really suggesting is that we start going “back to Africa” economically.  Look at the chart above.  Now think about the US economy.  Look at your stock portfolio and your bank accounts, then look at the chart above again.  Now look at me.  I’m on a horse.  Old Spice.

It is estimated that out of the top 10 fastest growing economies IN THE WORLD over the next 5 years, 7 will be in Africa.  Black people are missing out, and our “Black leaders” are completely clueless.  Meanwhile, the richest Black person in America (Oprah) is not even close to the richest African in terms of net worth (and no, you won’t find those numbers in Forbes because they’re not public…just ask any Nigerian).  Read one issue of the African Business Magazine (they have a free iphone app) and you’ll begin to see the vast opportunity that is not even on Black folks’ radar right now.  While we’re worried about begging for jobs and scraps in America and spending money that we don’t have, there are billions of dollars ready and waiting for Africa’s long lost sons and daughters who are willing to help contribute to Africa’s sustainable development and help themselves in the process.

African immigrants and first-generation Africans in America already know this, and since the financial meltdown in the West, many are returning home to greener pastures.  Europeans, East Indians, Australians, and Chinese investors all know this.  So-called African Americans, those who’s families haven’t stepped foot in Africa in 100 years or more, need to wake up. Those other groups have no interest in the sustainable development of Africa or her people.  They see dollar signs, and they’re going after them.  You can’t blame them for acting in self-interest.  Why aren’t we?

But Black people in America have an advantage.  First, we have the technical and managerial knowledge that is desperately needed in Africa.  Second, we’ve been integrated in white schools and companies for over 50 years now, so we know everything they know, plus some.  Third, we look like Africans…we are Africans.  We just haven’t been home in a while.  And in reality, most people are more comfortable doing business with people that look like them.  Despite popular belief, most Africans will welcome us back with open arms.  Yes, there is still some tension left in the relationship between “African-Americans” and Africans, but these are small potatoes compared to the generally destructive and exploitative relationship between everyone else and Africans.  So if the Europeans, Indians, and Chinese can invest in Africa…we should be able to as well.  We can do it better.

There are a lot of negative views about Africa in the Black community, some of which are true, but many of which are perpetrated to keep the secret about the land of opportunity from us.  Most people think the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) countries are where the hottest investments are.  Well guess where the BRIC countries are investing?  Africa.

So how does one invest in Africa you ask?  That’s the tricky part.  There are some African stocks you can invest in directly or through ETFs, and that’s a good start, but that’s not where the high returns are.  You need connections and people on the ground in Africa to see any real money.  If you don’t know the right people you will probably lose your money.

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