It's not just the Chinese and the Japanese that are targeting the African continent for corporate expansion and promising investment returns, the Germans are getting in on the act, too...
From today's Wall Street Journal:
LAGOS, Nigeria—The message from his boss on the phone from Germany was straightforward, recalls Hendrik Harren, a former website manager in Africa: "I want you to build the Amazon of Nigeria for me."
The caller was Oliver Samwer, an Internet tycoon in Berlin who had already cloned American e-commerce businesses for Europe's market. By 2012, his focus was shifting to the developing world.
Mr. Harren found his new assignment daunting. "I had never founded an Amazon," he says.
Two years after the call, Nigerian men on motorbikes ply the streets of the chaotic megacity of Lagos delivering toothpaste, English soccer jerseys and women's wigs in a small and unprofitable, but growing, online shopping business.
In a recent New York Times Op-Ed column, Seth D. Kaplan, a professorial lecturer in the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University, and the author of "Betrayed: Poltics, Power and Prosperity," posits that Nigeria is "arguably the worst run of the world's seven most populated countries." But interestingly, Kaplan asserts, Lagos -- Nigeria's largest city, seems to have turned a corner. Nigeria, of all places, Kaplan writes, may be pointing the way to a strategy by which fragile states might begin to succeed. In other words, using Lagos as his primary example, Kaplan suggests cities can help save countries. To get the full benefit of Prof. Kaplan's reasoning, follow this link to read "What Makes Lagos a Model City."