These two continents that are so far apart, and challenges in collaboration is a significant issue. These include a range of cultural, political and social gaps that needs bridging.
The challenges remain, but progress has also been made by many individuals and organizations. One individual that has made a difference is Camilla Coffey.
Camilla is associated with the New South Wales chapter of the Australia Africa Business Council, and has considerable experience in bringing African and Australian businesses together. She has also travelled around Africa over the last decade.
Among other talents, Camilla Coffey specialises in connecting people and promoting ethical business development in Africa.
I spoke to Camilla on the phone to Sydney, where she shares her experience.
Here are some quotes from the interview:
“It is not all war, and famine and disease…”
“Africans want to thrive, and want to do well, and do well with so little”
“You can pass through a township (in Africa) and see someone’s washing on the line and their white will be the whitest white you’ve ever seen… the most beautifully clean clothing – and you think how has he done it? I can’t get my clothing that good.”
“I get a buzz out of seeing people making shoes out of disused tyres”
“You must see an African sunset”
“There is an image problem for Australians when they think about Africa”
“There is a lot of competition for Africa against Asia and Latin America”
“There is a challenge for African businesses to grow large enough to get onto a Stock Market before they can get foreign funding and interest from Australians”