Friday, July 20, 2012

Manifest Destiny, v. 2.0

"There are plenty of Pilgrim Fathers among the Anglo Saxon race yet, and when America is filled up with their descendents, who shall say that Africa...shall not be their next resting place?"

Henry Morton Stanley, How I found Livingston: Travels, Adventures and Discovery in Central Africa,   1913.

The new battle for Africa has already begun.  The natural resources and relatively untapped markets present one of the more interesting growth opportunities for the G20.  The problem is, of course, that the current economic conditions presage competition more than cooperation.  It is more like Chess (or Stratego!) now.  Winner take all and devil take the hindmost.

Since civilization has "evolved" into its current manifestation, consumer markets, as opposed to raw territory or industrial capacity, has created the most wealth (and consequently granted the most power) in developed and emerging economies alike.

And so it is that Africa (especially sub-saharan Africa) remains something like central Asia was in the 1800s when large corporations and Empires struggled to extract the wealth of India.

The pieces on the board are all in place.  All that remains is the opening.

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