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Pan African Visions » Business in Africa, Editorial, Featured, Interviews, Partnership, Perspective » Game Changing Mission? African Americans Could Invest $230 Billion In Africa By 2017
Game Changing Mission? African Americans Could Invest $230 Billion In Africa By 2017

July 12th, 2013 | 13 Comments
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-Jerome Almon shares his vision of getting African-Americans to Bank on Africa

By Ajong Mbapndah L

Jerome AlmonU.S Businessman Jerome Almon says it is time for African-Americans to bank more on Africa and matching words with actions, he is launching a venture that will attract hundreds of billions of new investments in the continent. Almon, a veteran who also runs a successful entertainment company says investing in the continent will create wealth and opportunities for Africans and will also be economically beneficial to Africans in the U.S. Countries like India and China have made great progress in part because of strong ties and it is time for African Americans to have the same level of engagement with Africa said Almon in an interview to discuss his initiative with Ajong Mbapndah L

Mr Almon, you have been in the news recently with an ambitious plan to get African Americans invest about $230 billion by 2017, can you break down the vision in very simple terms for us?

It is a simple plan that ask a simple question, “Why should we have to ask others for help when we can help ourselves as Africans. African Americans spend well over a trillion dollars annually, and it does us no good, however investing in Africa through tourism, business ventures, and so on makes Africa financially independent while increasing the wealth and opportunities of Africans on the Continent and in America and it creates a cycle of economic growth for every country and its people in Africa and it makes all Africans everywhere more financially wealthy. It’s just common sense that we do it. We have complete power and control to do as we want with our money and resources-let’s do what’s best for us.

How did you conceive the idea and from the initial reactions you have got, how receptive is the public to your vision?

I looked around and saw nothing but opportunity for the African diaspora to help-especially African Americans with the huge amount of hard currency we spend every year and said to myself it’s time for us to do our share. Africans in every other region of the world were and are doing more than their share. Bottom line it works. The reaction to the plan at first was shock, but when the information was reviewed the people saw how reasonable and workable the plan was and really liked it. The amount of money is less than 8% of African American’s consumer spending. We were once on top of the world economically from Zimbabwe to Timbuktu to Egypt, let’s get back where we belong.

Definitely much could change in Africa with that kind of money, how do you think the money can be raised especially with the economic challenges that many African Americans are facing now?

It is very important that Africans in America not accept whatever they hear in the corporate media. African Americans are constantly told they are poor even though we spend more money than the GDP of all the countries on Earth with the exception of 15 (out of 229 ranked). We are as poor as Bill Gates is-which is not at all. If we spent our money among ourselves as Africans the way the Chinese, Europeans, and Indians, we would create more jobs than there are Africans in America. Equally we are not experiencing an economic downturn in the African American community, we are experiencing the lack of basic economic literacy and the lack of maximizing our potential in this area. For example, my hometown Detroit is bankrupt, but it is not bankrupt due to the lack of money as my website http://www.detroit1st.com shows. Africans in Detroit spend $30 billion a year, which would make Detroiter’s wealthier than over half the countries on Earth. If you convince someone that they are poor, they will behave as if they are poor. That is why the economic relationship with Africa is so important, think of what would happen if we as Africans followed such a common sense system with all of Africa’s natural resources?! The huge population of young people that can be the next innovators that produce the next Apple or Google, the large amount mineral wealth and natural resources that Africa has puts us as a people in a unique position. It is a matter of just seeing what is right in front of our eyes. The money is there, that cannot be disputed, it is a matter of consolidating it for African advancement. Through a basic media education program with 10 simple facts will allow us all to have a blue print to work from. The biggest issue is not that people don’t have the money and don’t want to help, they don’t know how to help and where to send the money. African Americans give away $12 billion annually to charities that don’t help Africans-American or otherwise. I say let’s spend and invest that $12 billion amongst Africa and Africans. Once you get the truth it compels you to act, it is impossible not to. Look at the fact that Africans from the Continent send more money back to Africa than all the foreign aid combined! There is endless potential if the North American, Caribbean, European, Australian, and South American Africans join in. Actually, it is normal for a society to invest 10% of its GDP into the economy, so we can do it-it happens every day. Any economic distress African Americans have is caused by our lack of doing business with Africans and Africa period. If Africans in America invested in Africa, there would be no poor African Americans-economically this is indisputable.

We have seen a few celebrities with projects in Africa like Oprah Winfrey and a school in South Africa, Isaiah Washington with a foundation in Sierra Leone etc, but many will agree there is still a strong disconnect between African Americans and Africa, why is it that the bonds are not as strong as those between Indian Americans and India or Latinos and South America?

The answer to that question is simple-we haven’t tried. A simple PR and marketing campaign from the African Union and its 54 members directed to African Americans saying “come back home-see what we can do as a people for ourselves, let’s talk, let’s do some things that benefit us all. African Americans should initiate a similar program of gaining membership in the African Union, adopting an African country to visit and work with, and most importantly right now reaching out to the 54 African embassies in America and finding out what Africa needs from us. We will find out that we can do so much together- we have to think big not small. African Americans should also learn an African language, this is a bond that the Chinese, Indians, and Latinos have-a common language. It is natural that we do this, so let’s do it. Our fate in America is the same as Africans everywhere else. It’s a matter of leadership, we need new leadership to compliment current leadership and move Africa and Africans to the next level.

We understand this idea is new, so what is the road map, the plan of action, beyond the first step to get word out there when do we see the first concrete steps towards the realization of the vision?

OPERATIONBLAKKOUT (1)We must control our own message, currently most news on Africa is filtered through the non African media. We have enough money and the human talent to have an African Al Jazeera with branches in Africa and America. This also allows us to educate and end misconceptions we have of Africa and other Africans, which also provides great business opportunities in advertising and business ownership globally. Next we need to set time tables and specific goals in regards to the funds and projects. This can be easily done with a diaspora conference in Africa and in America and making maximum use of the internet and social media. The most important thing in this area is SHOW the people what great results come from the cooperation. We need to set a top 10 list of priorities such as education, economic literacy, infrastructure projects, GDP goals, and so on. We have to look at this as a grand project with grand results which requires a grand executable plan. These simple steps are 90% of the solution. African Americans are spending the money anyway, why not in Africa, why not on African goods and services? We can all be wealthy together or poor together, I say let’s be wealthy as a people. Let’s help fund projects such as The Great Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia. The dam cost around $5 billion dollars

Are there partners you have identified besides African Americans especially in the continent?

I have been contacted by the office of the President of Sierra Leone, the South African government, African Canadian groups, Ugandan, Kenyan, the office of the President of Rwanda through a journalist in East Africa, the government of Tanzania, Nigerian, Angolan, and Namibian businessmen and dozens of other Africans from as far away as Hong Kong. The key is working with the leadership and people in Africa to partner them with Africans in the West and getting lines of communication open and resources to the needed area as efficiently as possible.

As much as things are changing in the continent, there are still leaders in power for over thirty years and counting, corruption is still too rife for comfort and there are countries where democratic values are not respected, how can such realities affect your project?

Democracy is a powerful thing-it automatically changes a lot of things. And one of things it does is create a middle class by its very nature, and that ends the chance of such prolonged rule. At a certain stage in development it is not viable, nor acceptable. Presidents and Prime Ministers come and go, but the country and the people still need power plants, roads, bridges, and technology. The concentration has to be on improving the average African’s life, and the rest will take care of itself. The West, China, India all faced the same issue and concentrated on the economic and infrastructure issues at hand and the democracy came along with the progress in these areas. All of my research and experience in this area shows that poverty creates dictators, and prosperity creates transparency and freedom.

Personally are there any countries that you have visited or some you consider as the kind of models of development and progress you will like to see across the continent?

Ironically, it is Germany, Canada, and China. Germany is a very efficient country. It was the world’s largest exporter up until 5 years ago. When you consider that the country has less than a third of the population of the US and 7% of China’s population, it is amazing. I always saw this as a model for Africa-especially South Africa. With Canada you have nearly as much efficiency and you have a very modern country in terms of infrastructure and human rights. Also with Canada you have a country the size of the US with 1 tenth of the population, which is very similar to most African countries. Canada is also a great model to borrow from in terms of its modern infrastructure and facilities such as hospitals. The country also mirrors African American economically, with our consumer spending being almost identical to Canada’s GDP. This allows for us to see what we SHOULD have with the amount of money we spend. Finally, there are more Africans in America than there are Canadians on Earth, look what they do with their resources and look what we Africans in America do with ours. We should have everything Canada has in America, but also each African country. We can easily do this. With China we see where we should be as a whole. China and the Chinese diaspora are moving as one economically and have been really seriously since the 1980’s-look at the result. If we adopt such a philosophy for Africa with its unmatched mineral and natural wealth we can be where China is in a relatively short period of time. China went from and agrarian society in the 1950’s to dominating the world economically today through its 5 year plan economic system. In these countries we see our potential and future, the keys are having the right vision, efficient execution of a workable plan, and constant monitoring of the feedback data and progress to make the plan more efficient.

With such a great vision, people will love to know who Jerome Almon, we see there is information about music labels you are, involvement in show biz etc, can you tell us who Jerome Almon is and the kind of experiences he has that should make people believe that this is a serious vision and this is something he can provide the right leadership for?

IMAG0140-1My background is in economics and political science, I have worked on the UN Delphi Project out of Belgium, I have attended America’s best Universities, and I have the real world experience-which is most important. I have managed one of the busiest retailers in the world. I speak working Zulu, German, Arabic, and English. I am a paratrooper and own a successful entertainment company that produces events that have 1.5-2.5 million fans per event. But what I am most proud of is my studying the history, geography, and culture of Africa. I have spent countless hours talking to Africans from university, African military officers, and African academics about Africa. My heroes were and are mostly continental Africans such as Jerry Rawlings, Haile Selassie, Thomas Sankara, Jomo Kenyatta, Nelson Mandela, Kwame Nkrumah, Samora Machel, Julius Nyerere, Jose Dos Santos, Kenneth Kaunda, Anwar Sadat and on and on. I have studied Africa since I was 8 years old. It is Africa FIRST for me always.

After reading this interview if people got interested what should there do, how can they get involved, support or find out more information?

They can contact me at africafirst@thepowerof1trillion.com and visit the website http://www.thepowerof1trillion.com for basic information which will contain very specific information on the plan this month.
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Written by Panafricanvisions

Filed under: Business in Africa, Editorial, Featured, Interviews, Partnership, Perspective
13 Responses to “Game Changing Mission? African Americans Could Invest $230 Billion In Africa By 2017”

joe lewis says:
July 14, 2013 at 1:54 pm

i been looking for this info for a long time this is the gospel for lack of a better word rite now our people got to get it together i am into pan africanism i want to get deeply envolved with this project big time this is the only way our people going to survive
Reply
Achiampong Edward says:
July 21, 2013 at 7:42 am

Brilliant idea and we hope it does not end only in words. There is much that African Americans can do to help Africa. Africa will always be their home and will welcome them with open arms
Reply
Ehirim Stephen says:
July 21, 2013 at 7:47 am

It is interesting that with the rest of the world scrambling about Africa, African Americans have remain timid. I mean the China,France,Japan,India,Brazil,Korea,Canada ,UK, etc and even the USA are scrambling for Africa, but where are our African American brothers?Will the white Americans toy with Europe?will the Hispanic population in America ever fail in its duties towards Mexico and other South American Countries?African Americans must engage more with Africa.It can only be a win win situation
Reply
Stone Ncube says:
July 21, 2013 at 7:50 am

Brilliant initiative and it will be great if this does not end up like others which raise hope only to end up disappointing people.
Reply
Essim Braitwhite says:
July 21, 2013 at 7:53 am

Whao, are African Americans about to wake up in recognition of their historic ties to Africa and the potentials the continent has for them?great project and kudos to Mr Almon
Reply
Amedofu Ayew says:
July 21, 2013 at 8:00 am

Nice interview and one of the best I have seen from an African American concerning Africa. It is good to see more engagement and it can be limited to Oprah opening a school in South Africa or Isaiah Washington working in Sierra Leone, bigger broad based projects can be carried out as well. The power sector has potential, and could definitely do with support from African Americans
Reply
Atabong Elvis says:
July 21, 2013 at 2:14 pm

I am really impressed by Mr. Almon’s vision and hope he can see it through, I will definitely look up the website
Reply
Jonathan says:
October 30, 2013 at 8:37 pm

If people really want to learn and know more about Africa. I am free for any questions. But I have a message for you do not be mislead. In African their is a huge investment from all types of people from the Western world including Asia but non from Africans outside Africa. Opportunities are endless and in Africa depending on the country you can never go wrong. At least am familiar with the situation in Southern Africa so I will any type of information in Southern Africa is welcome for your own information Southern Africa is short of real estate so this is another area of investment you can think of. For more and any other information just inbox me at mwanzaj23@yahoo.com
Reply
Lincoln NJENGA says:
November 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Dear Bro Almon,
Your boldness and courage will do doubt provoke thought beyond your imagination. I frankly had not looked at the Great African Re-union with such vividness. Indeed, the African-American engagement with mother Africa is enough to restore dignity and respect of the African. To some, the thought is actually scary.

And you are right; a second scramble for Africa is in the offing seeing that it is the last bastion for growth on planet earth. And on this score, China is first off the blocks! I imagine the word out there is if USA can elect (and re-elect) an African president, Africa is certainly ready for business.

May the God of all Creation, the Holy One of Israel-who has begun this good work in you-be gracious to you and bring this Great Vision to a glorious completion to the glory and honour of His holy name!

Your proposal for an African Diaspora Conference is therefore spot on given the increasingly important economic role African Diaspora remittances is playing in many countries. For instance, I am involved in a Kenya Diaspora initiative whose objective is to harness/mainstream the reasonably large remittances it receives annually for faster economic development.

The African Union estimates that Africans in the Diaspora exceed 170 million! Brazil has of late shown keen interest in the Continent. Perhaps this may be due to the fact that it is home to the largest number of the African Diaspora in the world.

Press on, brother, press on!
Lincoln
Reply
Frank Simmons says:
November 6, 2013 at 12:23 am

Yes , right on with the progress.
Reply
Justin Aadil says:
November 6, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Im into marketing and can help with a marketing plan
Nothing to it except to do it
Thx
Reply
Leslie says:
November 6, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Do you have a plan for investment? I did a direct import business of Artifacts for resale. I did alright for a while but it’s like people were no longer interested in African Art/carving.
Reply
A. B. MOMANYI says:
November 7, 2013 at 3:48 am

WELCOME HOME BRO. THERE ARE ENOUGH RESOURCES AND ROOM FOR ALL AFRICAN PEOPLE.WE WILL SHARE IDEAS AND ALL THE INFORMATION REQUIRED TO MAKE IT A SUCCESS.
Reply

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One Response to “AFRICA!-BLACKAMERIKKKANS-INVEST IN AFRICA!-AND COME BACK TO AFRICA AND BE BLACK FREE!- FROM PANAFRICANVISIONS.COM”

  1. Jadelaye Says:

    “Almon, a veteran who also runs a successful entertainment company says investing in the continent will create wealth and opportunities for Africans and will also be economically beneficial to Africans in the U.S.”

    I invest to create wealth opportunities for myself and my family first. Then my people at home. China and any other country does not invest in Africa to create wealth and opportunity for Africans. They do it for themselves and for their people.

    Opportunity in Africa is simply a by-product of their investment.

    We must invest to create wealth and opportunity for ourselves and our people first, just as Africans do when they come to US. They don’t invest to create wealth and opportunity for African-Americans. They do it to help themselves first, their families, and their people at home.

    We must do the same.

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