Entrepreneur Magazine has chosen to feature me and my company in the December 2007 issue. The article in the Doing Good section covers my outlook on Africa’s brand dilemma and how I am using my expertise to help solve the problem and encourage business. You can read the article in the issue on newsstands or online at Entrepreneur.com. Thanks to JJ Ramberg for the good conversation.
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So far I’ve been very successful at avoiding Soulja Boy‘s “Crank That (Soulja Boy)” song and video. While I always do my best to stay up to date on what is hot and not in pop culture, I find it hard to digest too much throwaway content. Call me judgmental but there’s only so much fast food a brain can take, especially at my age. But when I came across this African remix video of the popular Soulja Boy song, I was struck with the cultural implications. For me the video shown below, while being extremely funny, reflects how African culture, pop culture and technology have come to coexist and open up new avenue for self expression and creativity. We can easily dismiss the Naija (Nigerian) Boy Crank Dat video as another Youtube parody, but if we take a step back we can see that the ease of which the cultures are colliding in the song and video is something to take notice of. The Naija Boy video perfectly captures the way the new Afropolitans see themselves in their native culture and in western culture. From the reference to spraying money, to the dance scenes in traditional Nigerian outfits, to the scenes of the “rapper’s” white “fans”, the nature of the growing Afropolitan demographic is quite evident. While the Naija Boy video is entertaining, it certainly represents a shift in mentality among Africans in the west. The video is a lesson in cultural development as it shows what African youth in the west are willing to participate in and how they are willing to spend their money. (link via YG)
I just wanted to say thanks to the good folks at Jamati.com for deciding to interview/feature me on their African entertainment portal. If you haven’t already visited the site, make sure you do. The global staff continues to produce an exciting online news magazine. Talking to the editors was definitely one of the most thought provoking interviews I’ve ever had.
But most Africans are seeing little benefit from this influx of oil drillers and investment. In fact, because of an economic paradox known as the “Resource Curse,” they are often hurt by exports of their countries’ oil. “Between 1970 and 1993, countries without oil saw their economies grow four times faster than those of countries with oil,” Ghazvinian notes, adding that oil exports inflate the value of a country’s currency, making its other exports uncompetitive. At the same time, workers flock to booming petroleum businesses, which saps other sectors of the economy. “Your country becomes import-dependent,” he says. “That decimates a country’s agriculture and traditional industries.”