President Barack Obama is right to reach out to African nations to get more U.S. companies involved in that continent’s emerging markets.
The United States is far behind China and European countries. People in other developed countries see the growth of the middle and upper middle class in Africa. Those are the growth markets.
They see the mineral, oil and other natural resources in Africa, and they want to invest. Obama’s summit this week in Washington, D.C., of close to 50 African heads of state is meant to extend America’s hand into that growing marketplace.
Americans have to get over viewing Africa as a place of famine, disease, heartache and trouble. That’s the popular media narrative of the continent along with reels of Tarzan movies still rolling in people’s heads.
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Obama’s promise of $33 billion in U.S. commitments beyond humanitarian aid for Africa is a start toward overcoming the lag of U.S. capitalistic interests in Africa’s emerging countries. Planned multibillion-dollar investments by U.S. companies in Africa also is a positive step.
The incentive is the ability to do business with 1.1 billion people in Africa,. Going after that market with U.S. exports will only strengthen the American middle class.
Africa’s population also is expected to continue to grow. Catching up with China and Euro Zone nations only makes good economic sense.