Today’s Wall Street Journal discusses the tensions at Monday’s Tokyo International Conference on African Development (click here for the actual article). While the progress on Japanese-African economic relations were highlighted, the unequal distribution of benefits from this relationship also received attention.
Japanese companies continue to invest in natural resources throughout the African continent. However, African leaders have called for investment in agriculture, an area that would result in greater reduction of poverty through more job creation, employment growth, and increased exports.
My response to these concerns were posted on the Wall Street Journal website and can be found below:
The request by African leaders for investments by Japanese companies that result in economic growth and development for the continent echoes the same concerns about China’s investment in Africa’s natural resources. It is great that leaders of different African countries can come together and play an active role in where investments go and ensure that investments not only benefit other countries but the local labor force and economies as well. As the title of a 2011 blog post from International Trade Examiner says, this is Africa’s “Pursuit of Independence in the 21st Century” (see http://wp.me/p28ZWx-2N).
What do you think about countries around the world investing in Africa’s natural resources?
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