05 Kookje Newspaper 2021-09-28
<A land of last chance and hope, Africa>
Written by James Hong, the CEO of
DAEBANG INDUSTRY CO., LTD.
“A market with great potential for 1.3 billion people, a treasure trove of natural resources such as cobalt”
“An opportunity to broaden the field of economic cooperation in Korea… Young people looking forward to active challenges”
It is often said that Africa is the land of opportunity or the last remaining hope. But what about the image of this huge continent that most people have in reality? A country still suffering from hunger and struggling to survive on aid, a country where various donor groups encourage regular donations, a country that is politically unstable and AIDS and Ebola are rampant, and it cannot be denied that these perceptions are completely wrong.
Most African countries were liberated from the colonies of Western powers in the early 1960s and attempted to leap forward politically and economically, but it is also true that they are experiencing many difficulties in national development due to a weak industrial base, insufficient capital, dictatorship and hunger.
However, if you look at it from a slightly different perspective, there are many strengths that only this continent has. First, in the reality that the whole world is suffering greatly from climate change such as large-scale wildfires in western California and Turkey in the western United States, unprecedented floods in New Jersey in the eastern United States, and a murderous heat wave in Vancouver, Canada, However, the African continent is geologically very safe, with few human casualties from typhoons, tsunamis and earthquakes.
Second, it has great economic potential with a huge domestic market with a population of 1.3 billion. The United Nations forecasts that Africa's population will reach 1.6 billion by 2030, and if this is realized, it will be comparable to China in terms of global production and domestic demand.
Except for Africa, most countries in the world have gone through the stage of landline phones initially and the use of mobile phones has become common afterwards, but African countries are using mobile phones right away, and the rapid development of the financial industry and business is also expected through this as well.
Due to the large-scale proliferation of mobile phones, communication networks using SNS are smoothly connected to all corners of the continent, and many fisheries companies in Busan have been engaged in various fisheries including deep-sea fishing for a long time in Senegal, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau and Angola, which are countries on the Atlantic coast of West Africa. And the world's largest Korean wig companies for blacks have been successfully operating their businesses throughout Africa for a long time. In addition, a number of domestic conglomerates, medium-sized and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are actively engaged in economic activities in various parts of Africa.
Third, it is estimated that there are about 100 million Africans living abroad, such as the United States and Europe. The foreign currency they regularly send and the knowledge and talents they have learned and experienced in other countries will serve as a catalyst for the future development of Africa, and their various relief activities will contribute to the development of Africa in the long term. African expert ‘Vijay Mahazan’ also emphasized this potential of Africa in his book ‘African Power’.
Fourth, above all else, it is certain that the African continent will be the last remaining blue ocean on earth as a treasure trove of natural resources. It would be a good way to try to solve the global food crisis in the vast African continent. After rice and corn, a crop called ‘cassava’, which is an important source of carbohydrates, is a vegetable that grows in the tropics. Once seeded, it can be harvested year-round.
Kim Soon-Kwon, an emeritus professor at Handong Global University, who has worked hard to solve the hunger problem by developing super corn in Nigeria and Cameroon for 17 years, has achieved great achievements in Africa to solve world hunger, to the extent that he was nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Africa also has abundant natural resources, accounting for one-third of the world's major mineral resources. Based on the world's total reserves, platinum is 89%, chromium 73.9%, manganese 61%, cobalt 52%, etc.
The strengths of the continent are numerous and numerous. Compared to other continents, the proportion of the young population is high, so the potential for future development is limitless. In short, Africa is a very young and vibrant continent. The author first started trading in Togo, West Africa in 1991, and then worked for many years at a fishing net and rope company. Based on the diverse networks and experiences accumulated at that time, I was able to enter the domestic packaging business in the mid-2010s, and now, based on this, I am actively exporting to Africa every year.
Africa experienced military dictatorship and extreme poverty like Korea, but it is one of the fastest-growing continents in the world in recent years. It is hoped that many companies will be at the forefront of pioneering Africa by gradually expanding the field of economic cooperation in Korea, which has been one-sided with Asia and the West, now to Africa. We look forward to the active challenges of our young people in Africa, a black continent of infinite possibilities.