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Africans Seek Investment Abroad; African Immigrants in U.S. Forced out of Jobs; Motocross World Champion Takes Tourists on Unusual Safari

Aired November 3, 2001 - 12:30:00   ET


TUMI MAKGABO, CNN ANCHOR: This week on INSIDE AFRICA: Shoring up a threatened economy. Africans seek investment opportunities abroad amid speculation that the war against terrorism will hurt the continent. Dealing with the economic fallout of the September 11 attacks, personal stories from African immigrants in the U.S. And...


GREG ALBERTYN, MOTOCROSS WORLD CHAMPION: Hi, I am Greg Albertyn, three times Motocross world champion. Ride with me on safari, on INSIDE AFRICA.


MAKGABO: Looking for a way to spend your vacation? Then join us, as we take you on a bike safari through the jungles of southern Africa.

MAKGABO: Hello, I am Tumi Makgabo. Welcome to INSIDE AFRICA, our weekly look at news and life on the continent.

In our cover story this week, we look at efforts to shore up the economies of African countries in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Experts predict severe economic consequences for the continent, as the world shifts its attention to fighting terrorism.

But that hasn't deterred African leaders and businessmen, who are looking for ways to boost trade and investment. This week, they gathered in the U.S. city of Philadelphia, at the invitation of the Corporate Council on Africa.

Alfonso Van Marsh was there.


ALFONSO VAN MARSH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Remi Olukoya is working his Philadelphia ball room like a seasoned politician.

REMI OLUKOYA, NIGERIAN COMPUTER SPECIALIST: Yes. As a matter of fact, we are heading to...

MARSH: He's not running for office. Olukoya is looking for American investors for his Lagos, Nigeria-based computer technology company.

OLUKOYA: Well, I'm into IT, you know...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: IT -- Information Technology...

MARSH: Last year, trade between Africa and U.S. totaled around $40 billion. African and U.S. business leaders say receptions like these are ground zero for investment in Africa.

(on camera): There's a lot of mingling, a lot of talking about business down there, but away from it all, there are some concerns -- concerns about terrorism. Before the September 11 attacks on the United States, there was growing U.S. interest in investing in Africa, but now there are some fears -- fears that the economic impact of terrorism and the U.S.-led coalition to fight it may mean that there's less U.S. interest and fewer U.S. dollars going toward investment and development in Africa.

(voice-over): Networking is part of a U.S.-Africa Business Summit, originally set for September but rescheduled after the terrorist attacks. Some of the organizers are positive about the future of African development, but...

MAURICE TEMPLESMAN, CORPORATE COUNCIL ON AFRICA: The madness and sadness of this terrorist act to which there's no justification. Of course, the world has to do more -- had to do more in order to bring the developing world along, but I think this is a setback.

MARSH: Business-seeking delegates face a number of challenges, including a recent United Nations World Investment Report that shows a $1.4 billion decline in foreign direct investment, or FDI, in Africa last year. Business leaders, however, are putting a positive spin on the news.

MAGNUS KAPAKOL, NIGERIAN PRESIDENTIAL ADVISER: If there is a moderation of the rates of interest in FDI activity, it may be because we are also making a shift from just having too much emphasis on oil to opening up other sectors of the economy and making it a little more diverse.

MARSH: According to a new Zogby International poll, tourism, telecommunications and information technology are the most attractive African sectors for international investment, despite negative opinions about the African infrastructure needed to develop them. The U.S. government says it's answering the call with programs like the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

Addressing African business leaders before the summit, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, praised that act's ability to open U.S. markets to African goods.

COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE: Our common goal, our common goal is for African nations to reach the point of self-propelled development, where their citizens are able not just to survive but to thrive.

MARSH: It's standing room only at a workshop titled "How to do Business in Nigeria." Nigerian Remi Olukoya already has a U.S. partner. They were introduced at the same summit last year.

OLUKOYA: However, I realized that it would be greater to each (UNINTELLIGIBLE) technology was going. I couldn't cope on my own, and I needed strategic alliances to deliver (UNINTELLIGIBLE) technology to my folks back there.

MARSH: Despite a decrease in foreign investment across the continent, entrepreneurs say strategic alliances are the only way to ensure Africa stays open for business.

Alfonso Van Marsh, CNN, Philadelphia.


MAKGABO: Well, some African immigrants in the United States are dealing with a different consequence of the September 11 attacks -- they are among thousands of people who've since been laid off from their jobs.

As Carol Pineau tells us, the misfortune of these immigrants is having a trickle-down effect on families back home.


CAROL PINEAU, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Before September 11, restaurant owner Negiste Tekle made a good living. Every evening, her restaurant in Washington was packed with Eritreans crowding around small tables or standing several deep at the bar. Today, the restaurant stands almost empty.

NEGISTE TEKLE, RESTAURANT OWNER: Most of our customers in the restaurant are working in service industries, like the airline business, taxi drivers, and around the area that has slowed business. A lot of them have been out of work. They have been fired.

PINEAU: In Washington, with National Airport, the last airport reopened, and hotels and restaurants nearly empty, the tourism industry has taken a major hit. Among those hardest hit were immigrants working in tourism and service industries, many from Africa.

At the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the congregation prays for peace.

GABRIEL MALAKU, BISHOP: Many members of our church are now out of work because of September 11.

PINEAU: Among those affected is the church deacon who used to work at a car rental agency at the airport.

KASSAHOUN ABATE, DEACON: I am left with no work for more than two months, so I'm sure my family just -- I am having now nothing for my family. So, right now, there's no work, there is no anything.

PINEAU: Many of those laid off are ineligible for unemployment or welfare. Instead, they turn to the community coping systems.

GETACHEW DEMISSE, PARISH PRESIDENT: This wasn't a big organization that was prepared to handle this kind of a large problem. But as cultural- social systems that are within the society that people came with from Ethiopia, where the ones that was really handy at this time, and they came in to rescue most of the people.

PINEAU: But the circle of people affected by this tragedy extends far beyond the borders of the United States. Among the uncounted economic victims are families in places as far away as Addis Ababa, Asmara and Mogadishu -- families who used to rely on remittances sent back home.

DEMISSE: If one person who is considered as a head of a family here in the U.S. for those who are living in Ethiopia -- one being out of a job means another 10 being out of a job or being out of food in Ethiopia.

PINEAU: For families of people like Wegen Tadesse, who recently lost his job driving cargo trucks from Dulles Airport, the Ethiopian community in Washington can only do so much.

WEGEN TADESSE, TRUCK DRIVER: I have brothers and sisters, so I always send the money to support them, because I am the only one here, so.

PINEAU (on camera): Nearly two months after the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, levels for tourism remain far below normal for this time of year. With the upcoming holidays, travel is expected to pick up, but that increase may not be enough to get all of the workers laid off after September 11 back on the job.

Carol Pineau for CNN, INSIDE AFRICA, Washington.


MAKGABO: Now, if you have access to the Internet or you'd like to read a little bit more on this topic, all you have to do is go to our Web site, that's And while you're there, why not take part in our quick vote, and also post your thoughts on our message board.

And when INSIDE AFRICA continues, a conversation with Congolese President Joseph Kabila on the status of the peace process in his country.


MAKGABO: And welcome back. Time now for more economic news. For that, we turn to Zain Verjee -- Zain.


Let's begin with some mixed news for the world's largest gold producer, South African-based AngloGold. The company says its $1.7 billion bid for the Australian company Normandy could be finalized before the end of the year.

AngloGold released its quarterly report during the week. The company's net profits fell to about $47 million because of losses in some areas. Experts see this as a lackluster performance, but Chief Executive Officer Bob Godsell disagrees.


BOB GODSELL, CEO, ANGLOGOLD: I think it's misleading to say that the profits fell. Indeed, the headline earnings are up by 15 percent in dollar terms, 19 percent in local currency terms. The operating profit is up. I think this is a quarter where the company has performed well in every possible measure. Our costs are down by 5 percent in dollar terms, one percent in local currency terms. That's -- it's a very good performance, a very strong performance.


VERJEE: However, AngloGold says the price of its product is still uncertain, even though investors flock to gold as a safe haven asset after the September 11 attacks.

Going back to work, flight crews of troubled regional carrier Air Afrique have ended an eight-day strike. Crew say they are now beginning legal proceedings to receive four months of back pay. The once-prosperous Air Afrique has been crippled by mounting debts and mismanagement.

In August, the airline's 11 member states agreed on a restructuring package, paving the way for Air France to become the principal shareholder. But Air France now says its first priority is to deal with the fallout from the September 11 terrorist attacks before developing any plan to save Air Afrique.

Time now to check the markets.

I'm Zain Verjee, and those were your business headlines. Tumi, back to you.

MAKGABO: Zain, thank you very much. Right.

Now, let's turn our attention to the quest for peace in some of Africa's conflict zones. In Burundi, a giant but cautious step toward ending an eight-year civil war between the predominant Tutsi army and Hutu rebels. Under a deal brokered by former South African President Nelson Mandela, a transitional government was installed on Thursday. President Pierre Buyoya, a Tutsi, will lead the first 18 months of the transition. A Hutu leader will then take over until elections are held.

As part of the deal, peacekeeping forces from South Africa arrived in Burundi during the week to protect returning exiled opposition leaders. But the future of the pact is on shaky ground, facing opposition from both Hutus and Tutsis. Many of the main rebel groups reject the pact and have stepped up attacks on government forces. And some, including elements of President Pierre Buyoya's ruling party, are opposed to the presence of the South African peacekeepers.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They are here to protect men who committed genocide. South African army is not allowed to do that. Any army in the world can't do that. Any army. So, we come to accept that in Burundi -- never.


MAKGABO: Our South Africa -- our Johannesburg bureau chief Charlayne Hunter-Gault spoke with South Africa's Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lakota about the decision to send troops to Burundi.


CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mr. Minister, thank you for joining us. Why has the South African government decided to send peacekeepers to Burundi?

MOSIUOA LAKOTA, SOUTH AFRICAN MINISTER OF DEFENSE: We take the position that resolution of conflict in Africa is a critical, critical condition for the implementation of the development programs now adopted by our continent. But therefore, if the resolution of conflict and the stabilization of the continent is to take place, African nations must lead that process.

HUNTER-GAULT: But two of the Hutu armed groups have refused to sign the peace accord, and some of the Tutus are arguing that the South Africans are coming in as an occupying army, coming in to protect people who committed genocide. What's your comment on that?

LAKOTA: I think some individuals say that this is an invasion, against the volume of voices of both Burundi political parties, countries of the region, international organizations -- clearly must give the lie to the suggestion that South Africa is an invasion -- an invading force. And we have no designs on their country.

HUNTER-GAULT: How important is this mission and this transitional process to what is going on in the rest of the region as well as the continent, especially those conflict areas?

LAKOTA: From the point of view of Burundi itself, it would present the people with a major opportunity to reconstruct their society and to proceed with the economic development.

From the point of view of the countries surrounding, it will be a tremendous example of how people that have gone to the depths of conflict and destruction of human life and infrastructure can rise from the doldrums, so to say, and once again take their place among nations (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

And then, of course, from the point of view of the DRC, it would make a tremendous contribution toward encouraging the processes in the DRC. And I think across the subcontinent elsewhere -- Angola, Rwanda, Uganda -- I think many of these countries -- Somalia, Ethiopia -- I think many of the others that are also faced with difficulties like this, including Sierra- Leone and so on, would observe that the times have changed, and priorities of this stabilizing world are different and they require that people must move away from conflict.

HUNTER-GAULT: Well, Minister Lakota, thank you for joining us.


MAKGABO: Charlayne Hunter-Gault speaking to the South African Defense Minister Mosiuoa Lakota.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the situation is somewhat different. The 1999 accord, signed in Lusaka, is still not quite off the ground.

Things looked quite optimistic after President Joseph Kabila took over from his assassinated father Laurent Kabila. The warring factions and neighboring countries that back them returned to Lusaka earlier this year to sign on to a set of principles to guide a national dialogue.

But since then, the process has been slow, and the optimism that greeted President Joseph Kabila seems to be fading. The president was in Washington this week, and we asked him what he thought about it.


JOSEPH KABILA, CONGOLESE PRESIDENT: I believe people are still optimist -- optimistic, rather. We still believe that peace will return to the Congo. The situation in January and February -- I believe that people are still positive about the future of the Congo, we ourselves the Congolese.


MAKGABO: One of the most contentious points is convening a national dialogue. The last attempt was in Addis Ababa in October. Opposition groups criticized the government for walking out of that gathering, accusing President Kabila of stalling the peace process. But the president insists his government is still committed to peace.


KABILA: Those talks, which were held on the 15th, did not encompass each and everybody who was supposed to be in those talks. And we, as the government, did not find it fit to take part in talks that did not really have the character or the -- did not really bring each and everybody who was supposed to be there.

In the Congo, the church is quite a very strong organization on ground; it was left out of the dialogue. There is an element of one of the rebel movements, a splinter group, which was left out of the talks. You've got other members or other political parties who were left out of the dialogue.


MAKGABO: The next attempt at convening a dialogue will be in South Africa. No date has yet been set. President Kabila says his government plans to attend if all groups are included.

Another issue is that of withdrawal of foreign forces from the Congo.


KABILA: As far as the withdrawal of any troops is concerned, we are, of course, waiting for the U.N. body, the (UNINTELLIGIBLE), to give us an official report or confirmation of the withdrawal of any troops. Well, we cannot just rely on the news media report, we want an official report from the U.N. body, which is there to monitor the whole situation.


MAKGABO: Zimbabwe, Namibia, Rwanda, Angola and Uganda are backing various sides in the conflict. Earlier this year, the U.N. confirmed that some Rwandan forces have withdrawn. President Kabila says a U.N.-backed cease-fire is still holding.

And there is much more ahead on INSIDE AFRICA. A very different kind of safari through the jungles of Southern Africa. That's when we come back.


MAKGABO: Hello once again. We'd like to take you now to an art exhibit, one that's pulling in the crowd in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. Artist Joackim Onyango Ndalo is well known for his portraits of world leaders, but as Kelly Callahan (ph) reports, recent world events have added a new dimension to his work.


KELLY CALLAHAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Joackim Onyango Ndalo has been painting for three decades. Usually, his subjects are respected world leaders, like United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and well- loved statesmen like Nelson Mandela. But his latest subject he neither loves nor respects.

JOACKIM ONYANGO NDALO, ARTIST (through translator): I draw him not because I like him or because he is good, but because I see he's not a human being. The heart he has is not like that of a human; it is one of an animal.

CALLAHAN: With his sons looking on, Ndalo is drawing Osama bin Laden, the man the United States holds responsible for the September 11 attacks which killed thousands.

NDALO (through translator): When you are saying he has attacked those buildings in America which had over 100 floors and that the buildings were really destroyed and he killed all those people, those people who had not done anything to him? And there's really no reason that caused him to do it.

CALLAHAN: The painting depicts the destruction in New York and angry U.S. President George W. Bush and a smiling bin Laden. It draws curious looks at this exhibit in Nairobi. And it also draws painful memories.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It brings the memories of what happened in Nairobi in 1998. And it is something that you don't want to wish on anybody.

CALLAHAN: Kenyans were familiar with terrorism and with Osama bin Laden long before September 11. Bin Laden was implicated in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. In Nairobi, more than 200 people were killed.

NDALO (through translator): I was drawing this picture with a lot of sadness. I couldn't even compare it to what happened in Kenya, because of the thousands of people who died. I took my brush and paints, and this is what made me to draw these images.

CALLAHAN: Ndalo hopes his sons will continue to do this type of work. He hopes their paintings will depict a more peaceful world.

Kelly Callahan (ph), for INSIDE AFRICA.


MAKGABO: And from an art exhibit to a safari, but a rather unusual one. And who else to lead on this amazing journey but our very own Paul Tilsley. Now Paul, where are you?

PAUL TILSLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Tumi. I am at Victoria Falls on the ultimate African safari on two wheels.


TILSLEY (voice-over): Ten tourists preparing to depart for a safari. Nothing unusual in that, but the fact that the passengers asked -- no, demanded -- their pilot fly this low perhaps points to the fact that this is no normal tour group.

Through the African bush, they roar like DayGlo special forces troops. This is the bikers' ultimate vacation, a week spent on souped-up 400 cc Enduro motorcycles, led by the most decorated off-road rider on the planet, three times world motocross champion Greg "Alby" Albertyn.

ALBERTYN: I hope I can be a good example for my country and (UNINTELLIGIBLE). You know, there is a lot of talented people here, and it's a magnificent continent, and it has a lot of potential and a lot to offer.

TILSLEY: Alby's safaris are run in northern Zimbabwe, far from any political unrest. The only demonstration we've experienced was this, of delight.

ALBERTYN: What better marriage than motorcycling and safari?

TILSLEY: Starting with a spray of Victoria Falls, the journey whisks just 10 riders at a time through a hectic schedule, including a cruise on the mighty Zambezi River, and some of the most challenging trails in the world.

The tourists stay in five-star game lodges, and the journey ends with two nights on a Kariba Dam houseboat. Most of this gang are from Phoenix, Arizona. Nothing in life has prepared them for this: Negotiating hippos and elephants.

(on camera): Question: How could you tell a happy motorcyclist? Answer: By the flies on his teeth. Well, we've got some pretty happy motorcyclists here. We've got flies, we've got the world Motocross champion, and we've got lots of wild animals.

(voice-over): The riding is tough. Everyone on the trip, including Albertyn -- and yes, me -- crashed at least once.

TOM STEVENS, TOURIST: We're climbing rocks, going through river beds, traveling to places that basically people or vehicles haven't gone to before.

TILSLEY: As our safari neared its end at Kariba, I was reminded of the words of local writer C.M. Ledab (ph): "When you require the taste for dust, when you long to see the elephants, when the sunrise sets your heart on fire, you've been away too long."

Paul Tilsley, for INSIDE AFRICA, Kariba.


MAKGABO: Well, indeed, makes you want to go away right now.

The INSIDE AFRICA, as always, loves to hear from you. So if you have a comment about the program or know of an event that we should add to our calendar, why not e-mail us at Please include which country you're writing from, and your response could be used on a future broadcast.

And that's all for this week's show. Thanks for joining us. Hope you'll tune in again next week. I am Tumi Makgabo.





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