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African nations are now more like Wakanda: Foreign Ministry

By Agnes Anya  The Jakarta Post Friday March 23, 2018

People stand in front of the Merdeka Building in Bandung, West Java, on Aug. 14. The building was the venue of the Asia-Africa Conference in 1955. JP/Arya Dipa (The Jakarta Post/Arya Dipa)

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Indonesians, particularly entrepreneurs, should change their perspectives about Africa as the region has emerged as one of the world’s potential major markets, a Foreign Ministry official says.

“If you think about Africa, you have to remember ‘Wakanda’ and not ‘Gods Must Be Crazy’,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir, said in a press briefing recently.

Wakanda is a fictional country and the home of Marvel’s superhero Black Panther. Adapted in a movie titled after the superhero, Wakanda is portrayed as a highly wealthy African nation due to its advanced technological development and rare natural resource, vibranium.

Meanwhile, Gods Must Be Crazy is a 1990s movie set in Kenya, the film depicts life for African people when the region was still underdeveloped.

Arrmanatha said that Wakanda’s potential was the true picture of the current condition of African countries.

He called on Indonesian businesspeople to start exploring opportunities to establish trade and economic cooperation with African countries.

He also encouraged them to take advantage of the upcoming Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF), which will be held in Bali on April 10 and 11, to broaden their views on partnership potential with African countries.

The IAF, which is the first economic forum between the nations after more than six decades of close political rapport, will feature 550 representatives of government, state-owned enterprises, and private sector businesses from Indonesia and 53 African countries.

Similarly, Daniel Tumpal Simandjuntak, the ministry’s director for African affairs, said that most Indonesian entrepreneurs did not realize the trade and economic opportunities in Africa because they thought it was a region “full of conflicts.”

In fact, with its considerable population of young people, African nations were suitable for partnerships on information technology-based services, he added.

Kenya, for instance, has potential for development of e-commerce technology, Tumpal told The Jakarta Post after the briefing. (dmr)


From: THE JAKARTA POST (INDONESIA) Friday March 23, 2018

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