Did you know 90% of African products are undervalued?| At UmojaAA we answered your critical question.
5th UmojaAA Discussion paper: African Products-An evaluation |Umoja Auctions and Ads ‘UmojaAA’
Some of African Products| Overview
A lack of access to global markets or common online platforms is the drive to under development in Africa. Make no mistake African countries have all the resources the world is craving for. Why is it that Africa continues to produce what she does not consume and import what she consumes? Or should we say she produces what she does not know how to process into a final product? Whichever you put it; these questions are significant for anyone keen to understand Africa’s economy.
It is important to understand how crucial UmojaAA is. Free listings, Africa’s businesses directory, large and easy access for everyone to umojaAA is vital. Those who produce the goods will be able to determine the worth of their products. African products are crucial to African economies.
Take a look at Burundian coffee, Kenyan coffee, Ethiopian coffee, Ugandan coffee and so on. These are the best coffees sought after in global markets. However, if you ask the back born growers of these products, would they tell you the actual value of coffee! This is a perfect case study to consider about African products.
Livestock sector: Africans simply do livestock for meat consumption for local demand. But traditional means no longer viable to feed 1.3 billion people of Africa and let alone the world 7.8 billion people.[i] The issue to only having access to a local market is the lack of large demand which drives prices. So, farmers cannot be able to determine what their hard-labour work is worth, alternatively even if they know, no means of reach out to the large diverse customers.
Mineral resources: we know Africa has 30 percent of mineral resources the world need.[ii] This aspect should be enough for Africans to determine the value of their resources. Again, a scrambled of suppliers and consumers in many places without a joint communication, discussion, and bidding drive to a wastage. This is why the few who control the high value of resources are able to get away with undervaluing Africa’s precious minerals.
Governments do not know exactly what is going on around Africa. No checks on what is driving the markets. Or it could be the corruption that forces many leaders to turn a blind eye.[iii] It comes to no surprise that in every sector IMF or the World Bank development programmes are the ones producing yearly reports on economy, health, education, ..etc. There is nothing wrong with a study, right? The only issue here is these institutions conducts research specifically designed to benefits their investors who are westerners.
For example: In Ghana is cheap to buy eggs from Germany than buying locally produced eggs.[iv] This is the case despite the locally products are organic and imported are full harmful chemicals. It is also a case where local farmers cannot sustain the production if they cannot make a profit or make any sales. A case where a government is falling short on its duties to protect local industries.
Zambia, the authority has let China take over every state’s critical assets.[v] This kind of case squizzes local capabilities to the point they cannot make anything. For example, Chinese run restaurants in some African countries where they discriminate against locals from entry. Tourism businesses should be run by locals who understand the culture, history and way around to showcase the national identity.
We have to agree that Africa has a lot of young people who are looking for work. The lack of access to the job markets is big and shackle to African economy. In the previous article resharing African economy Remmy discussed how to reverse this trend. It is unacceptable that Los Angeles have Nigerian Doctors who are in high numbers than entire Nigeria medical doctors combined.[vi] This is driven by lack of means, infrastructure, and good working condition that such high in demand professionals end up serving foreign countries.
There many questions we can keep discussing but, by the end of the day we have to do the leg work. UmojaAA is doing the leg work to address these issues. UmojaAA is trying to raise the bar for the actual value of African commodities.
At umojaAA, these are the Key topics we are going to discuss in the article:
- Coffee and Tea industry at UmojaAA
- Livestock and agricultural products at UmojaAA
- Mineral resources industry at UmojaAA
- African jobs at UmojaAA
- UmojaAA common market for all.
In the context of global markets, there is a competition. The Competition is a good thing only if the playing field is fair. umojaAA vision is to provide such balanced playing field. There is a reason why you cannot put 200kgs and 60kgs boxers in the same boxing ring. At UmojaAA, Auctions gives a change for the forces of the markets to determine the values of African products. Second, at UmojaAA Ads are posted in an open market where everyone has access. So, this way again forces of markets are able to balance freely.
African individuals are in good position to know exactly what’s happening. Second-hand goods are resold to maximize the item’s output, when initial owner is done with them as long they are still in good condition.
Agronomy of coffee and tea is a very dedicated business. If you know what the value of coffee and tea is worldwide, it could be best agricultural business of choice for most Africans. Why is it that some farmers are getting rid of coffee plantation so that they can grow beans, soybeans or corn? At same time Africa coffee and tea are very sought after in western world because they are organic mostly.
Let’s take a closer observation in coffee business. In Australia like the rest of west: US Canada and Europe hundreds of millions of coffee cups are consumed per day. Yet most of these countries do not grow coffee nor tea. The cheapest small cup of coffee is $2. The table below shows what the value of coffee in the west is. Each cup of coffee contains on average 7 grams of coffee beans. That is an equivalent to the 142 cups per kg. On average of $2 price, a kg is valued to $284.
But we could not only consider final product of coffee, for African farmers we should calculate on wholesale price. In Australia, Burundi coffee is priced on average of $26/kg. the price of same coffee in Burundi uzines, is approximately $3. But farmers get on average $0.50 per a kg.
This is an indication and reasons why farmers are getting rid of these high value commodities. To them coffees have no value. A neighboring farmer of soybeans or corn is making more money than coffee growers. Furthermore, coffee growing requires an autonomy over the land they are grown on, which means nothing else you can use that land for. But a neighboring farmer can use same size of land to at least 2 different harvests per year.
It is not to suggest that coffee beans have no value. It is a matter of having access to global market and government support. Government should make sure farmers are rewarded accordingly. It does not make sense that in this trade those who do so little are rewarded more than those who deal so much to see a bag of coffee beans. UmojaAA wants to provide access to knowledge, and a common market. Farmers can see how big the market for their products is. Advantage of having everything in one place, is the attraction of consumers in big numbers and let traders bid against each other until the top price is reached.
UmojaAA, as a listing directory for all products anyone will be able to decide what is acceptable to them as long as he/she has options. A monopoly or a lack of knowing what is out there is a real dilemma to African economies. There will be a lot of buyers who are willing to pay a top dollar directly to the growers of coffee and Tea know it’s organic and is a good quality as African coffees and teas are already rated.
UmojaAA is a fair-trade platform, it advocates for fair playing field. No one should manipulate the markets’ behaviors. These are bad practices that are starving Africans and undervaluing African products.
Livestock is an African sector that is being restricted by external big player forces. How often is argued that African animals do not meet international exporting standards? It should not be a one way cross-continent business. Cattle rearing, goats, sheep, poultry, pig and more in Africa is a hard job and a good business. However, some farmers do not actually know the value of finished products in their possession.
Some farmers think the real value of a cow is simply meat or milk consumption. Do you think this is the real value? I rate 30 percent only at these things that farmers think is the true value and this is the reasoning.
For example, it is true that cows produce meats and milk. But in addition to this understanding, there is a skin, meat and milk are not reaching the end product which is much of a value to the owner.
From skin, in rich economies: manufacturers are able to produce shoes of many type, belt, good quality and high-end clothing pieces. These are priced higher than the meat from cows. Apart from fertilizers, the waste is used to produce feed for the other livestock such as pigs and poultry industries. A cow can be used in many other African products.
Meats are used not only for cooking and bbq, but also, they can be processed to other products which increase the meat value. Example is a beef jerky, dry processed and packaged to maximize the meat life span. Processing plants give values, and some of the traders do not know much of these values of processing meat. It is considered as monopoly knowledge. Those who know the tricks of the trade pay much less to the farmers and pocket most of the profit for themselves.
We cannot list all daily products that contain milk ingredients. To name few is cheese, this is a very consumed dairy product and highly priced. There are many more products that are produced using milk such as yogurt and more. You will be right to argue that must of value, is based in the end products. Due to the lack of the plants for processing, most of African livestock sector is not in position to produce finished goods. But alternatively, if given options they can still get reasonable value for their hard work.
UmojaAA goal is to give a voice to the voiceless. People should be able to have option to whom their African products are sold to. Thus, traders should compete over what is available on the platform. Suppliers can choose whoever is offering the legitimate prices.
3. Mineral resources industry at UmojaAA
Mining sector is the richest African industry. If harnessed adequately, it could be a solution to many African financial problems. Not only in Africa, it is also the largest in the world. Bauxite, cobalt, diamonds, phosphate rocks, platinum-group (PGM), Vermiculite and Zirconium are few in the list of what Africa has to offer to the world. Africa has made the world very rich for centuries except herself.
Before any further discussion of this sector, let’s look at Democratic Republic of Congo, the same rich soils that is supposed to make DRC rich, has become her curse. It has resulted in continuous wars. 5 million people are displaced within 2 years of 2017-2019.[vii] A death toll is proportionated to 5.4 million.[viii] 390 Women and girls are raped per month.[ix] It is rated the highest in the world. How is it possible that every smart phone around the world has something coming from Congolese soil, and yet nothing else of foreign investors coming in. only the clear evidence of exploiters.
DRC does not need handouts from UN, UNICEF, World vision, Oxfam, WFP and other global NGOs out there. It is already rich enough to support itself. What it needs is good clean record investors. External forces from foreign governments should be stopped. The good governance will come within, and foreign interference is nothing but a bad practice, advocating for corruption. The corrupt leaders produced by the crooked foreign corporations.
It is claimed to be unsafe zone for humanitarian, but so many foreign people rush to exploit resources. Chinese are there; Londoners are there, Americans are there, and Indians are there including Russians. It makes no sense, that hundreds of containers full dirt coming out of Congo end up on the ship in Indian ocean heading out.
But there are many cases, each country is almost similar story. Lucky villagers can easily find some of the soil riches in their backyard. They should have access to a large market and get a fair deal for all African products.
Exportation of raw material is harming African businesses, jobs and education. Governments should invest in infrastructure that promote investments in the sector. Allow the flow of investments towards Africa rather than everything out-flowing from Africa. There are so many youths that need jobs, graduates need to work and sustain their good future. It is ridiculous that so many lives are lost in the Mediterranean Sea trying to cross to Europe. Or a slavery trade in Libya, this thing should never repeat itself on African continent.
Governments must facilitate the investments that employ local people. Processing plants for raw materials must be an ultimate goal for the states, it will provide riches not only to those involved directly, but also to those around who can start small businesses and continue to employ people of different walk of life.
Employment should not be a big issue in Africa, use resources wisely and create a space for entrepreneurs to thrive and create those jobs. Each sector is inter-dependent on another, it is a matter of starting and get the wheel rolling.
UmojaAA is in a good position to help those who want to give it a go. Any item is listed free, easy to find and more. But importantly all youths educated within Africa or abroad can create a jobseeker profile for themselves. They can easily be found by potential employers.
On the other hand, employers from big and small businesses or sole traders can post any available vacant as soon as it becomes apparent. A large pool of qualified candidates should be able to find it and apply. This is how UmojaAA provide a platform for quality and effective job matching. This discussion takes us to the next step of UmojaAA jobs.
UmojaAA African jobs is all about having access to job markets. African jobseekers matching with available vacant offered in various industries. Candidates before they finish their education, they are given a platform to sell their skills and experience to employers. Word of a mouth is no long enough in African jobs market.
These are also in practice, Africa must adapt in modern technological spectrum. Sometimes jobs could be out there but if no one knows about it, then what is the point. Or there might a lot of qualified individuals who have no access to a platform where they showcase their talents. UmojaAA is the place where all that need to happen.
UmojaAA is a free place for everything to happen. Entrepreneurs should be able to find investors and interns or candidates at UmojaAA. Not only products are available to UmojaAA, ideas and education, as well as a source of knowledge.
In a common place like UmojaAA, it is not always about competition. Sometimes is about learning from your peers and competitors. Competition also drives quality higher, and Africa is in luck because it needs this concept more than ever to keep up with dynamics of globalization.
Great minds meeting great talents and skills to create amazing products, sells and services. At some point is not about finding a job, sometimes learning from others, candidates discover their potential too. Self-employment is possible at UmojaAA, having a good idea, use it and sell it to others.
From this discussion and ideas, UmojaAA is a large online platform, where all come to meet all. When talking about opportunity, UmojaAA is the Africa opportunity for Africans and African products. Anything can be listed in UmojaAA directory. in terms of ‘African products’ include: African jobs, Business listing, Individual postings and second-hand goods as well as services are offered. Most part of UmojaAA work is continuous work to make the system work to the fullest. Hundreds of posts at same time require continuous work to ensure a continuous and cybersafe processing tools.
All people can use the platform. It is easy and different languages have been integrated to ensure everyone can use it. As always sell all you don’t need, buy what you need. There are numerous guides on how to get the most out UmojaAA and how to stay safe at UmojaAA.
The end result must be good experience for everyone who use UmojaAA. Sellers should Take advantages of the platform to reach as many potential buyers as possible. Buyers should benefit by browsing from extensive listings of African products, directories and many categories at UmojaAA. Job applicants will benefit from browsing any listed job position available. Employers will have a pool of qualified jobseekers.
All goodies are packed in one place. UmojaAA will serve everyone in the community across Africa. UmojaAA will help to bring up the actual value of the African products. When all users have a fair playing field, forces of markets are best when determining the actual value of everything.
It is about time that Africa catch up with the rest of the world. As many Africans browse through Amazon, Ebay, Alibaba or Aliexpress; UmojaAA offers a platform to showcase Africa’s products. Let the World come and meet African producers at home. From this, African suppliers will be able to start determining what the actual price is for their goods.
The question of why 90 percent of African products are undervalued is because the producers are not the ones to determine what a price is. And when someone who have no idea what the cost of production is, can never be able to give accurate value of any product. The sweat of producing anything is reserved for those on the ground who would understand.
The value of African products such as: coffee, Tea, livestock and Mineral resources of Africa through UmojaAA will eventually be determined. But it is not about price tag, is also the labour force that is unbalanced in Africa. When foreign investment is looking and searching directly in Africa then it is beneficial for all Africans in different walk of life.
It is a joint of hands that will make our discussion paper be practical. UmojaAA is one part of the puzzle, Users of the platform are crucial to complete a full picture. What is obvious: first, time to all these to happen is now. Second, resources are to be sold fairly. Third, young people have to stop dying in high seas trying to cross to Europe. Lastly, work force must be harnessed by jobs offerings or create one. All the aspects discussed in the paper are essential for the Africa’s economies to get better.
[i] Worldometers.info. (2019). World Population Clock: 7.7 Billion People (2019) – Worldometers. [online] Available at: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/.
[ii] War on Want. 2020. Africa: A Continent Of Wealth, A Continent Of Poverty. [online] Available at: <https://waronwant.org/media/africa-continent-wealth-continent-poverty> [Accessed 3 August 2020].
[iii] War on Want. 2020. Africa
[iv] JoyNews (2019). Ghana’s Poultry Industry: Farmers unhappy about increase in chicken imports. YouTube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbxlHFzMJmU [Accessed 3 Aug. 2020].
[v] Jan 17 and Africa, 2019 | China in (2019). China Takes Over Zambia’s Airport, National Broadcasting Cooperation And ZESCO Power Plant. [online] Green World Warriors. Available at: https://greenworldwarriors.com/2019/01/17/china-takes-over-zambias-airport-national-broadcasting-cooperation-and-zesco-power-plant/ [Accessed 3 Aug. 2020].
[vi] Bar, R. (2020). Reshaping of African business|How bad is Covid-19 crushing the African economies? [online] UMOJA AUCTIONS AND ADS. Available at: https://www.umojaaa.com/news-and-feed/reshaping-of-african-business-covid-19/ [Accessed 3 Aug. 2020].
[vii] Refugees, U.N.H.C. for (n.d.). UNHCR appalled at rising violence against displaced in eastern DRC. [online] UNHCR. Available at: https://www.unhcr.org/en-au/news/briefing/2020/6/5efaeefb4/unhcr-appalled-rising-violence-against-displaced-eastern-drc.html [Accessed 3 Aug. 2020].
[viii] Voice of America. (2010). A New Study Finds Death Toll in Congo War too High. [online] Available at: https://www.voanews.com/africa/new-study-finds-death-toll-congo-war-too-high.
[ix] Refugees, U.N.H.C. for (n.d.). UNHCR