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9:14AM

A sign of Africa's genuine emergence within, and connectivity to, globalization

Marriott, says the WSJ ("Hoteliers race to fill a gap in Africa"), may have over 600 properties in more than 70 nations, but up to now none inside sub-Saharan Africa. That now changes with planned hotel in Kigali, Rwanda.

Yes, Rwanda of "Hotel Rwanda" infamy.

Eight more planned after that.

But Marriott just trying to keep pace with Hilton, Carlson, etc, in capturing some of the crowded business traffic. Plus, with South African, Chinese and Indian hotel chains already in Africa's biggest cities, the Western firms realize it's safe to go into the water.

The infrastructure to support expanding business travel.  Nicest sort of emergent connectivity to be found.

References (1)

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Reader Comments (6)

While the United States, China, and India continue to connect the African continent to the rest of the globbalized world, do you think Africa might eventually serve as the site of great power war?

You have argued globalization can be messy, and it appears this new scramble for Africa could be messier than ever, especially if interests begin to clash.

September 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin Bayona

Western business people get Africa better than Western journalists. In fact, one could argue that Western journalists are doing Western businesses a disservice in Africa.

Many opportunities have been lost, simply because journalists throw out tired stereotypes and tell a single story - a classical example is Nigeria's Telecom sector.

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaduka

No, Kevin, I don't.

I see state-splitting occurring on its own internal terms (Sudan, Mali, that sort of thing) because Africa has a lot of artificial states where colonialists drew borders. That process can be somewhat peaceful or really violent (ethnic cleansing), just like a divorce in a family.

What I have said all along is this: That splittism is a natural result of the original colonial mapping process. Yes, it's ironic to see it happen as globalization enters the picture, but globalization changes things, people, expectations, etc., and the most ambitious of any group often want "out" (like in the Balkans).

Best way to deal with this is to push even more connectivity and encourage regional economic integration, so that whatever splittism occurs stays in the regional "family," so to speak.

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTom Barnett

Dr Barnett,

The article doesn't talk about local hotel chains, but usually the first people to exploit the favourable environment are the locals, and while the likes of Marriott cater to wealthy expatriates, locals also need hotel accommodation.

Having stayed at three major African cities - Accra, Lagos and Abuja, I can attest to the explosion in the numbers of local hotels (and I'm not wealthy enough to stay at the Hilton).

On state splitting, the US and (importantly) France are opposed to that sort of thing, but the French are a generation away from full retreat from Africa and US influence is set to wane. The Chinese and Indians are likely to adopt an "anything goes" policy as long as their investments are safe guarded.

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaduka

For a more stark indicator of Africa's connectivity, please check out this graph on Internet penetration in Nigeria.

http://oonwoye.com/2012/05/30/internet-in-nigeria/

You aren't going to be dealing with your Daddy's Africa - We are yet to come to terms with the political and economic significance of this. Blackberry sees some of its salvation in Africa (low cost devices, but internet enabled)

September 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaduka

The source of the data from Google.

http://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=wb-wdi&ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=it_net_user&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=country:GBR:EGY:NGA:SWE:ZAF:KEN&ifdim=country&tstart=-302662800000&tend=1275174000000&hl=en&dl=en&ind=false&icfg

September 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMaduka

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