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Why the “Professional Pessimists” Are Wrong About Africa’s Economic Future

Africa’s economic landscape today looks bleak. Debt levels, unemployment rates and bankruptcies are all on the rise across much of the continent. And it doesn’t look like there’s going to be much help from the international community to weather the worst financial crisis in a generation. Both Chinese and private creditors aren’t giving borrowers a whole lot of flexibility and traditional donors in the U.S., Europe and Japan are preoccupied with their own crises.

Given how difficult the times are for so many people, it’s easy to lose perspective and see only the negative side of things.

But Djoudie Etoundi-Essomba thinks that would be a serious mistake. More importantly, the Washington, D.C.-based founder and CEO of the investment advisory firm Emerging Africa Partners argues that while things are indeed challenging now, there are still a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the continent’s economic future.

Djoudie joins Eric & Cobus to challenge some of the prevailing negative narratives about Africa and explain why he thinks the so-called “professional pessimists” are wrong.

Show Notes:

About Djoudi Etondi-Essomba:

Djoudie is an Afropolitan, and CEO od E.A. Partners. Following almost two decades of experience in international business in Africa, the US, Europe and southwest Asia (the Middle East), and through sectors that have included Automobile, Publishing, Investment Consulting for Local Government, Strategy and Management in Frontier (FMs) and Emerging Markets (EMs), Djoudie launched E.A. Partners, a Washington, DC based consultancy developing and promoting investment projects in African growth markets, intervening in Design and Strategy, Negotiations, and Implementation and Management.  

E.A. Partners’ sectors of activity include among others agro-industry, transport and energy infrastructure or industrial gases. Meanwhile, Djoudie has continuously focused on how technology can both boost African inclusive growth and poverty reduction, and can be catalyzed by it: drones and satellites for drip-irrigation, blockchain trading platforms for agro-commodities, bio-engineered new seeds for African soil or digital retail platforms for oxygen and acetylene.

In the 2018 article “Wakanda is real.”, Djoudie detailed an overview of African technology and its global impact.  He now continues to develop projects with private multinationals, governments, NGOs and multilateral organizations, while also being an advocate for Better Governance and Inclusive Growth in Africa, as well as for the continent’s potential to transform the Global Economy.    

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