Friday, August 2, 2013

In Pursuit of the African $$$ - Why the Barclay's/UBS/Citigroup Growth Strategy is Alarming

Aliko Dangote - Africa's Richest Man
Bloomberg posted an article today about big acquisitions of African wealth accounts as a primary growth strategy for some of the largest banks in the world, namely Barclay's, UBS, and Citigroup. As Europe and the US continue to struggle with the ever-lasting recession, Africa's growth and wealth prospects are high. "The number of Africans with at least $1 million of investable assets climbed 9.9 percent to 140,000 in 2012, according to a report published on June 18 by Cap Gemini SA (CAP) and Royal Bank of Canada. That was the fastest rate of increase outside North America."

Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, and Mauritius are leading the pack. Wealth disparities aside, I am all for Africans building wealth both individually and that which trickles down into communities however the involvement of large European banks stinks of the 1600's. Barclay's as some of you know was handed one of the biggest reparations fines in history and was one of the first banks to explore opportunities on the continent at the beginning of the recent boom. They have largely been successful in acquisitions of business because they know the terrain. Let's not forget that pre-colonial Africa was doing quite well with the Ashanti tribe and others holding what today would be millions of dollars in gold and other assets. Barclays, as has been revealed time and time again was one of the most active banks involved in the slave trade and has had some presence for quite some time.

The vestiges of that history was evidenced by then State Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries in his opposition to the naming of the Jay-Z endorsed Barclay's Center in historically black Brooklyn.  I don't claim to be a conspiracy theorist or a financial scholar but I do know that fire need only to burn me once. As Africa's wealthiest build their legacy's, I hope their eyes are open to who they are leaving it in the hands of.

No comments:

Post a Comment