Another “product” that Georgia exports to South Africa and to the African continent is books through Books For Africa (BFA), a non-profit with offices and warehouses in Smyrna, and St. Paul, Minn. In the five short years BFA has been in Georgia, it has helped ship millions of books to African children and students. Since its founding in 1988, BFA has sent 29 million educational and law books to 49 countries. It has shipped 900,000 of those books to South Africa.
Books for children in need are a stimulus to the education system, which leads, hopefully, to an educated work force and development of democratic states and the rule of law, which in turn fosters economic growth.
While the United States faces strong competition from Brazil, Russia, India and China, South Africa welcomes U.S. investment and is working closely with the U.S. government and its Doing Business in Africa initiative, launched last fall.
Investment in South Africa will help pick up the U.S. economy. At the same time, large South African corporations have billions of dollars in investment in the U.S. and thus contribute to economic growth and jobs.
South Africa has the second-best banking system in the world, a world-class stock exchange and a globally integrated legal system. It’s the gateway to the rest of Africa and, in many cases, the economic engine that drives the African economy. We need a new generation of American and Georgian business leaders who will embrace it in the 21st Century.