Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 3rd 2014 Contents SBG6 NEWS
SUNDAY BUSINESS GUARDIAN www.guardian.co.tt AUGUST 3 • 2014
Judith Aidoo thinks that people
of African descent are the next
big global economic force and
is predicting that it is only a
matter of time before this
Aidoo visited T&T, for the third time, to
speak at the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Invest-
ment Symposium, hosted by the Emancipation
Support Committee last Thursday.
In explaining her position to the Sunday
BG, the Ghanaian-American entrepreneur and
investment banker said the environment was
ripe with opportunities that people of African
descent needed to come together to take advan-
"Over a year ago,The Economist would have
said seven of the top ten fastest growing
economies in the world were African. Reason
being, commodity prices are high, populations
are growing and income has been increasing
in the region. Those regions of the African
subregion will double in population over the
next 25 years. Ghana has 23 million and, in 25
years, it will be 46 million. Nigeria same thing,
it will literally double.
"So you can imagine in such a short period
of time, another 600 (million) to one billion
people are going to come into earth, in that
particular part of earth. They need water,
housing, education, food, clothing, everything.
There will be a high demand for goods and
Data from The Economist and the IMF for
the period 2001 to 2010, included six African
countries on the ten fastest-growing economies
list based on annual average GDP growth.
Those countries are: Angola (11.1 per cent),
Nigeria (8.9 per cent), Ethiopia (8.4 per cent),
Chad (7.9 per cent), Mozambique (7.9 per
cent) and Rwanda (7.6 per cent).
Forecast data for 2011-2015 for fastest grow-
ing economies included seven: Ethiopia (8.1
per cent), Mozambique (7.7 per cent), Tanzania
(7.2 per cent), Congo (7.0 per cent), Ghana
(7.0 per cent), Zambia (6.9 per cent) and Nige-
ria (6.8 per cent).
"We can take some percentage of our retire-
ment savings and we should be looking at
investing in places we see opportunity," Aidoo
"Don t just watch from a distance. Let s
take our little money---which isn t always little
by the way, sometimes its big money---aggre-
gate our funds, like a sou sou, and we want
to create an investment fund, to invest in
places we see opportunity, be it Brooklyn, be
it Nigeria, be it Venezuela or our own home.
Assuming we don t have exchange controls
or we work with the authorities to allow it.
"If we were to actually aggregate, what
would it look like? Do we want to aggregate
$1 million and next year it would be another
million, two million or ten million?" Aidoo
"If we were doing that for the past 15 years,
by now we may have had more than $100
million invested in these countries easily. It s
a question of starting."
Aidoo s said her grandmother set an example
for her. She told the Sunday BG her grand-
mother was poor, but would always save what-
ever money she could. The entrepreneur said,
"She knew that it is important to save."
"If she can save, we can save. If we can
save, we can come together and start to invest
in the future. I m not saying put 100 per cent,
I m saying put one to five per cent of our sav-
ings. For some of us young people, it should
be 10 per cent because we have time to make
from our savings, a portion of it should be
put into places that we see are growing and
will grow in the next 20 to 30 years. We want
to be there. We don t want to watch other
people enjoying it."
On the other side of the equation, Aidoo
said, entrepreneurship and investment were
Likening entrepreneurship to a game of
Learn to leverage
Ghanaian American advises African diaspora:
ABOUT JUDITH AIDOO...
Dr Judith Aidoo was born in the US to
a Ghanaian father and an African-Ameri-
In 1984, she graduated from Rutgers
College and Harvard Law School in 1987.
She holds the position of chief execu-
tive of Caswell Communications Inc, a
radio broadcast company based in
Charleston, South Carolina and The
Aidoo Group Ltd, a Wall Street-based
merchant bank she founded in 1991,
along with its African regional affiliate,
Capital Alliance Company Ltd, which has
offices in Ghana, Nigeria, Mali, Kenya,
Zimbabwe and South Africa. She lives in
both the US and Ghana.
In 2004, Aidoo was profiled on CNN,
National Public Radio and the Oprah
Winfrey Show, regarding her efforts to
assist a young Nigerian student attend-
ing Columbia University.
Continued on Page 7
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