Nigeria's Parallel World

Promoting business in Africa can be considered one of the best ways out of poverty; The Nigerian Capital City Abuja, is at the forefront of development and business promotion.

When most people think of Africa, they may think of barefoot babies in crowded schoolhouses, famine, or corrupt leaders and failed states. This depiction could be the description of any country in the developed world however. More often then not we hear too much negative publicity about Africa, and the societal and economic ails that supposedly only those in the developed world can solve. This could not be far enough from the truth. Nigeria's capital city Abuja is far from the traditional images depicted in the media of Africa. This is a vibrant Africa with an estimated population of approximately 400,000; and as a planned city has earned the title 'the Heart of Africa'. What's even more intriguing is the go-getter spirit of the entrepreneurs you see traipsing around the capital. Employment rates are low; especially for recent graduates which forces people to think outside the box when it comes to surviving and making money. These entrepreneurs contribute to the economy, but the downside of this is increased armed robbery and elusive 419 scams that have flooded the internet. On the positive side, Abuja is home to beautiful landmarks with a thriving business sector and nightlife. Nigeria has a regulated and growing capital market. Nigeria is also in the process of bidding against Glasgow, Scotland and Halifax City, Canada to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games. If successful, Nigeria will be the 1st African Nation to host these games. The Capital is well-equipped and on its way. There is still a lot to be done across the continent. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has suffered minor losses over the past couple of years decreasing from approximately 63% to 60%. Investors tend to shy away from investing in the continent due to instability and corruption making it more costly for the governments to attract investors. With continued private sector and capital market development as well as more foreign direct investment in Africa, economies can begin to flourish and the massess can begin to reap the benefits of this growth. With the promise of Abuja, more groudbreaking firsts are sure to come.