What's so grey about jena?
Jena is a Shona word which literally means white. As used here, Jena is an import of the word, "vhudzijena", a Shona word for grey hair. Used colloquially in Shona culture, it is a tribal name for the Soko Mukanya clan. In the broader African context, grey hair is a sign of advanced age and maturity, but it also signifies wisdom.
How does Grey Jena fit into the "Is Africa the next frontier to internationalization and globalization?" debate. The rude awakening of transition from youth to adulthood has revealed to me the lack of resolve and commitment to Africa's progress among the growing post-colonial African population. Besides laboring to enrich and impress the capital animal, what are Africans at home and in the diaspora doing for the growth of their continent? It is important for Africans to document, comment, analyse and introspect on their place in the world. Of paramount importance is for Africans to identify and support efforts by individuals, organisations and groups committed to Africa's growth in order to seize the moment and lead the convergence force to drive and direct their own destiny. There is a lot of wisdom to be gained from interacting with the proverbial grey jenas on African development.
~An afro-centric truth, a blatant betrayal of principle~
The Pan-African dream of Nkwame Nkrumah, Thomas Sankara and Patrice Lumumba has surely died. In its place has arisen a false sense of Afrocentricity, better known as authoritarianism. This wolf-clothed Pan-Africanism is nothing but a "sheepish conformity", a democracy-make-believe story to attract donors, not even investors. What is the ultimate goal of this foolhardy economic? To develop economies, improve livelihoods, advance progressive ideas, help Africa find its place in the world? Is there another endgame unbeknownst to us? Are we witnessing personal enrichment of the political elite, centralization of power among a few, especially former liberation war heroes and their allies?
How can we detoxify and rehabilitate the African mind to see beyond propaganda, populism and idealism? How do we re-ignite the African mind to visualise the endless possibilities inherent in our forgotten, or should I say, erased memory?
Research focus areas
Sub-Saharan Africa(SSA) & Emerging markets (EM) project
In 2017, investor interest in emerging markets grew to a record US$585 billion in 2011, but started an immediate slow descent to levels below those witnessed just before the financial crisis levels of US$509 billion. Is this a result of capital flight alone, or illicit financial flows from money laundering, payment for smuggled goods or concealed funds from illegal activities. Why is capital flight, instead of FDI attraction and investment more prevalent in SSA than anywhere else in emerging markets?
The global investor appetite for emerging market financial assets in Latin-America, Asia and Africa needs to be understood on a more fundamental basis to allow the man on the street to make individual decisions on how this impacts their personal life.
For example, what has caused SSA's economic stagnation over the past four decades, why foreign aid discourages capital flight, while short term borrowing and FDI contribute to it.
Firstly, all emerging markets are not created equal. Besides dozens of criteria available to categorize them and rank them simply based on financial-market statistics, IMF forecasts, and the World Bank; it is important to understand how SSA countries can strategically position themselves to bring investments home. This requires empirical and secondary trade analysis, incorporating areas of interest to foreign investors viz a viz; ease of doing business, the perceived level of corruption, and economic freedom. That is what this research project will accomplish over the course of it's lifecycle.