Tudo sobre os preceitos e tradições que envolvem um doutoramento “honoris causa”. Ou: de como Coimbra se prepara para homenagear Lula da Silva, um doutorado com «uma mão bem constituída» e «bastante grande», que obrigou a fazer um anel maior do que é habitual!…
Estudantes brasileiros que frequentam a Universidade de Coimbra ao rubro - de capa, batina e máquina fotográfica em punho - com a presença de Lula e Dilma em Portugal. estão todos de acordo num ponto: aqui «fica bem mais fácil bater uma foto» com os presidentes. «no Brasil seria muito difícil por causa da segurança».
O ex-presidente do Brasil Lula da Silva advertiu que “não pode” já falar em nome do Brasil, mas ao pronunciar-se sobre a possibilidade de o seu país dar uma mão a Portugal na actual crise financeira afirmou que “tudo o que pudermos fazer para ajudar Portugal, temos de fazer”.
Lula, que esta segunda-feira chegou a Lisboa, sublinhou também que o “FMI não resolve os problemas”, mas que, pelo contrário, apenas os “agrava”.
Lula da Silva participou num jantar em Lisboa ao lado do primeiro-ministro, José Sócrates, e de Mário Soares e a propósito de uma eventual ajuda do Brasil a Portugal tratou de contrariar essa perspectiva, contrapondo-lhe que a crise se resolve com “a confiança dos mercados”
Lula recebe esta terça-feira o Prémio do Centro Norte-Sul do Conselho da Europa, na Assembleia da República, devendo depois rumar depois também a Coimbra, onde se encontrará com a actual presidente do Brasil, Dilma Rousseff, que esta terça-feira chega a Portugal. Em Coimbra, o ex-presidente brasileiro vai receber na quarta-feira o doutoramento Honoris Causa da Universidade de Coimbra.
Foto: Miguel Manso
NextThought Monday: Why Africa is Open for Business
Recently, I was asked to present the business perspectives in Africa to students of one of the top business schools in the US. When I asked the students at the beginning of my presentation if they would be interested in doing business in Africa, the great majority didn’t raise their hands. When I asked the few who raised their hands what type of business they would engage in Africa, their answer was working for an NGO or a microfinance organization. While this sample is not statistically valid, I think it represents the general perception of Africa in the U.S. as a region where there are no businesses in which to invest, except for philanthropy. For many, Africa is a region of famine, wars, poverty, and sickness. This stereotype is reinforced by the news media in the rare Africa news they chose to broadcast. In addition, most Americans never visited Africa and most likely will not. Therefore, any information that is received about Africa is taken for granted.
But in the last decade, things have been changing. Better governance, investments by Eastern countries, the end of wars, and the resolution of the debt crisis have all resulted in significant progress in supporting businesses and the resulting maturation of the business climate.
You will find more than 9 million search results from Google by typing “investing in Africa.” But beyond interesting anectdotes many noteworthy papers and books have been published on the subject of “investing in Africa” in the recent years, including:
The McKinsey report Lions on the Move notes: ”Today the rate of return on foreign investment in Africa is higher than in any other developing region”.
The annual flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) into Africa in 2008 increased to $62 billion, from $9 billion in 2000.
Wal-Mart Stores announced a cash offer of over 2 billion USD for a majority stake in the South African retail company Massmart Holdings, one of South Africa’s biggest retailers.
The CEO of the Rwanda Development Board makes the case for Rwanda in the Independent, a local media: Rwanda is now open for business.
An interesting interactive graphic “The New Gold Rush” recently published by The Wall Street Journal shows how the rise of a new consumer class is shifting the balance in Africa.
So how much more information does one need to be convinced that Africa is a worthy investment? Obviously, the continent is a complex grouping of 53 independent countries and clearly the business environment required for investments is not homogeneous. The growth of individual countries across the continent will differ greatly.
The risks of investing in Africa remain high, just as they are for most emerging markets. But the perceived risk is much greater than the real risk. And once the risk goes down, the returns won’t be as good.
It is therefore important to carefully select the countries where to invest.
The McKenzie report cited above provides good economical information on the African market. The report provides a ranking of countries in 4 categories:
1) Diversified economies: Africa’s growth engines: South Africa, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.
2) Oil exporters: They have the continent highest GDP per capita but the least diversified economies: the three largest producers are Algeria, Angola and Nigeria.
3) Transition economies: Rapid growing economies but agriculture and resources sectors account for as much as 35 percent of GDP and two-thirds of exports: Ghana, Kenya, Senegal
4) Pre-transition economies: Their economies are very poor, with annual GDP per capita of just 353 USD: RDC, Ethiopia, Mali