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What: Global Business Forum Meeting "Economic Development in Africa" with Dr. Todd Moss, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African Affairs, US Department of State

Who: Paula Freer, MARATHONOIL Company (Moderator), Tiffany Atwell, ABBOTT, Elizabeth Reicherts, BP, Kay Larcom, CONOCOPHILLIPS, John Hummel, ELI LILLY & Company, Al Marchetti, HESS, Charles Dominy and Anthony Das, IAP WorldwideServices, Elizabeth Wossen, KUWAIT PETROLEUM CORPORATION U.S.A., Louise Hilsen, NESTLE, Kimberly Pinter and Evelyn Boyd Simmons, PFIZER, Bertrand De La Noue, TOTAL Holdings USA, INC., David Lusting,UNILEVER, John A. Erhardt, Victor Mason, John D. Erhardt and A.L. Shrier, Global Business Forum Staff members.


When: November 28, 2007 @ 12pm

Where: Georgetown Club

Report:
Todd Mosspresented his point of view on what he called the 5 Africa paradoxes:

1) Big and Tiny: he said that Africa is big in extension but tiny in population and development; the financial market is notstructured and the big companies are not dying to get into the African countries.

2) Special but Normal: in his opinion, there is potential for agriculture but is not developed, there are huge diseasesand bad governance; the continent seems special but is just a normal place.

3) Poor and Rich: majority of the population live below the poverty line, there is a small elite emerging class, Africancountries are improving, not like the Asian tigers but still improving. The World Bank threat to cut on subsides will have a small impact in countries like Mali. Africa have a difficult businessenvironment, for instance in countries like Cameroon, the macro economic environment is good but the micro economic environment is a problem, it’s a difficult market for mid size companies.

4)Marginalized but Gets lots of attention: Africa is relevant for most economic sectors but is dominant only in diamonds; there are huge concerns about humanitarian issues, energy and international terrorism....
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