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European, U.S. Stocks End Week on High Note; Interview With PIMCO's Mohamed El-Erian

Aired September 23, 2011 - 14:17   ET


RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR, QUEST MEANS BUSINESS: Good evening, I'm Richard Quest and on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS we have a hour together and let us now-its perhaps a little bit later, let us look at how the markets have been doing

After two horrific days of losses stocks have found a (UNINTELLIGIBLE). Here Europe investors waited word from policymakers at the IMF and World Bank meetings. The major indices staged a dramatic U- turn, somewhat late in the session.


In New York, at the moment, the Dow Jones industrials up just 29 points. Now that is not a very big gain. But after the losses of several hundred points, or some several percent, we are well into 10,000, 11,000, but a small gain is better than large losses. Now French banks in the euro bourses were the biggest gainers, as investors went bargain hunting in the markets. BNP Paribas was up nearly 10 percent. Societe Generale up 8.8 percent. Deutsche Bank up 5.5 percent. Barclays shares-I wonder what my Barclays that we bought in 2008, 2009, are actually doing.

Stocks ended on a high note for the week overall. They still are firmly in the red. Taking the week as a total the CAC 40 is down 7.25 percent. The Xetra DAX 6.76, London is off over 5.5 percent.

It has not just been a bad week for the markets. As you well know from your investments. It has been a bad year so far.

Join me at the super screen. I'll show you exactly what I mean, as we put some perspective. Let's start with the Dow Jones industrials. Now if we look at how the Dow, since it is a Friday, we did decide it is a good opportunity to take a little stock and see how things are looking. The Dow over the course of the year, but I want to focus particularly on this bit. The high point of the year and the way in which we have seen this dramatic fall so far, right the way through.

What does that actually translate into? It translates from top to bottom, the Dow is off 16.5 percent. That is from peak to trough of 2011. The Xetra DAX in Germany, which by far and away has been the worst hit, in many ways; if I show you the graph you will see what I mean.

Push the button and all will work well?

Now, this of course, is the large fall off that we have seen. And the Xetra DAX is very dramatically down. That is quite a sizable fall. And to give you the idea and to give you the number, the German market is off 30.9 percent; 31 percent. That is well and truly into bear market territory. Traditionally we talk about a bear market as being a sustained fall in share prices by more than 20, or more than 20 percent.

The London FTSE, which is showing now, this fall on the FTSE is down 16.8 percent. So not quite as bad, but still somewhat-still falling quite sharply.

Now, as we factor in the market and was we recognize what has been happening in the markets, clearly attention has been in Washington as the IMF and World Bank, where they are also acknowledging what needs to be done.

CNN's Maggie Lake is following the annual meetings in Washington. Maggie joins me now.

Good afternoon.


You know we saw markets stabilize today. There seems to be expectation building that something is going to come out of these meetings, while everyone is here in the same town, in the same room. There certainly seems to be an acknowledgement. Everybody is getting on board about the fact that we are facing a crisis. The question is can they deliver action? Can they do something to help the markets?

I put that question to Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO, a frequent guest on this show, who is down here for the meetings as well. And I asked him what needs to be done. Have a listen.

MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, CEO, PIMCO: They can do three things. One, is agree on a common analysis of the issues facing the global economy. If you don't have a common analysis, there is no solution. Two, commit to a vision. Europe needs to commit to a vision of what it wants to look like in five year's time. The U.S. has to commit to a vision of what it wants to look like. And, thirdly, assign, either explicitly or behind closed doors, a coordinator. You need someone to coordinate this whole process. If we get this out of this meeting, we can turn it around. But I would pose the probably about 40 percent.

LAKE: Who is best situated to be the coordinator?

EL-ERIAN: There is only one-one, the IMF. America is too weak, the G7 is not representative, the G20 is yet to gain its footing. So people have to look at the IMF. And the IMF has to step up to the plate and has to do so in a legitimate fashion.


LAKE: I raised my eyebrows when he said that. And he acknowledges IMF might not be the ideal choice, but it is the only game in town. And speed is of the essence, Richard. El-Erian says the banking system is contaminated. And is stressing to officials that they must act now. Listen in.


EL-ERIAN: They should inject capital quickly into the banks.

LAKE: More capital, new capital?

EL-ERIAN: More capital, new capital. The banks have to be much more open about the quality of their assets. There is a lot of uncertainty about the quality of their assets.

LAKE: Particularly in Europe?

EL-ERIAN: Particularly in Europe. And that has to do with the sovereign debt crisis. And thirdly, you have to strengthen deposit insurance. Now, to do all these three things we may also require burden sharing, right? But it is better than the alternative. The alternative is a banking crisis.


LAKE: So far, most European officials not talking about new capital. Just talking about sticking with the stress tests that are in place.

And, Richard, when you boil this all down, because I pushed El-Erian on this, basically what the market is saying is that over the next few weeks-not months, weeks-Europe must decide what it is going to look like, and specifically Germany. Is it going to include everyone? Or are the going to go smaller? And what happens after that? That is a huge issue to resolve in such a short period of time. And that is why El-Erian is worried about the outcome.

QUEST: All right. Maggie, very quick question; he wants the IMF, we know about the banking problem, the last two weeks has had a different change of tone. People seem to realize that the window is closing to get this done. But Maggie, is there any feeling at the IMF meetings that they are actually going to do anything about it?

LAKE: You know, I think we are worried, Richard, and what you are hearing from officials is definitely recognition that the market is ahead of them. That they are behind, that they need to catch up. The problem we keep hearing from everyone, we talked to the Russians, the French, is that the mechanism, the structures are not in place in Europe for them to act quickly. El-Erian saying that you have to have the political will, if you do it through the IMF, they can become the structure. But you must have the political will. That is a huge question. And it is one that is not answered yet. I think they have to come up with at least the leadership part of it this weekend, if not the actual policy response. And again, you know, El-Erian was saying about a 40 percent chance. I think that is probably about right.

QUEST: Maggie Lake, who is in Washington for us this evening. Have a good weekend, Maggie.

Well be back with more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS after the break.



QUEST: I have a confession to make. I do have a soft spot, a bit of a weakness for chocolate. Can't resist the stuff. Whenever I see it, take one bit of chocolate, and the bar will be gone before you say, CNN Freedom Project. Well, that is our project, of course, to look at how to end modern-day slavery. So when this week I was told that we were looking at the human cost of chocolate I was particularly interested. Especially my love of the stuff.

It was fascinating to learn that 10 years ago the chocolate industry agreed to stamp out forced child labor from West Africa's coco farms.


Fast forward to today and the progress has been disappointing at best. In this documentary film "The Dark Side of Chocolate", we see children with machetes, evidence, targets missed, thousands of children in West Africa, still forced to farm cocoa. A product that eventually becomes the chocolate eaten by you and me. Frankly, if you gave it that much thought and you really concentrated on some of the atrocities, well, none of us would probably ever pick up a bar again.

We have reached out to the top chocolate and cocoa companies. We have invited them to come on QUEST MEANS BUSINESS. Now, the companies either declined or they didn't bother responding at all. There was this cocoa conference in London this week and today we attended their news conference.

The issue of forced child labor was mentioned, but ever so briefly. For CNN's Max Foster, who spoke to Tony Fofie, the chairman of the International Cocoa Council and the CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board, we certainly were not going to let them off this issue.



TONY FOFIE, CEO, GHANA COCOA BOARD: We will have to (INAUDIBLE) by that. There are a lot of initiatives that our envoy in both Cote d'Ivoire and in Ghana. And, in fact, there are much now programs that are taking care of where the worst forms of child labor issues, any part...


FOFIE: Well, the signing of the Harkin-Engel Protocol in 2001. It was initially between the government of Cote d'Ivoire and the U.S. Congress. But Ghana, we opened up our eyes and said, well, we want to find out whether there are any aspects of the worst of the brutality in Ghana.

And that is why we ultimately brought in the -- the Harkin-Engel Protocol issues.

FOSTER: When you talk about the Protocol, the deadline was initially 2005, wasn't it?

Then it was extended to 2008, then to 2010. It doesn't look as though they're taking it seriously.

FOFIE: I don't -- I don't think they actually knew (INAUDIBLE) of the work that is involved. You set deadlines, but you have to know the amount of work that have got to be done. And I think the governments of Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana are doing a huge lot for this.

FOSTER: What about bringing in some independent verifiers?

FOFIE: The verifiers have already been there. Oh I know a verity that I have been dealing with for these issues. And they meet in Ghana. They meet in Cote d'Ivoire and they meet in other parts of the world.

FOSTER: So what's your best estimate for the number of children working in the industry?

FOFIE: Well, I -- I don't think that it's much. And when you talk about cocoa, see, because now this has been a lot of awareness increasing in most of the cocoa growing areas. And the farmers are really taking their children, you know, to school. And even the children of the (INAUDIBLE) diggers, those who work on the farms.

So we think that we -- we have seen a lot of progress in this area.

FOSTER: But you say it's not a problem anymore.

FOFIE: A lot -- it's a less problem. (INAUDIBLE) less problem.

FOSTER: Thank you very much, sir.

FOFIE: Thank you.


QUEST: According to The 10 Campaign, a coalition opposed to child labor, an estimated 1.8 million children are working on cocoa farms in Ghana and Ivory Coast. Approximately 80 percent of those children reported carrying heavy loads.

In Ghana, 57 percent reported using hazardous tools like machetes.

Concerning figures, since 75 percent of the world's cocoa comes from Ghana and the Ivory Coast.

I'm joined now by Kevin Bales, president of Free the Slaves and a founding member of the International Cocoa Initiative board.

He signed the protocol back in 2001.

Kevin, you must have been very proud to sign the Protocol and very disappointed 10 years on, with the paltry results.

KEVIN BALES, PRESIDENT, FREE THE SLAVES: Well, I was proud to sign it and not least because there is something historic about an entire industry coming together to pool their funds to address the issue of child slavery and adult slavery in cocoa. That had never been done with any other industry before in history.

But I am disappointed. And to a large part, it's a resource question. It's all about the fact that while several million dollars a year are moving from the chocolate industry into work on the ground in West Africa, it's simply not enough to meet the size of the problem.

And, you know, the gentleman from Ghana may say it's not a serious problem anymore, but I believe that anytime anyone happens to be in slavery, that's a serious problem.

QUEST: You see, this is the problem. And we've gone over it all of this week. People like yourself and the other NGOs and the various organizations tell us how bad and how poor the protocol has done. The industry themselves say they've met five of the criteria, they're working on the sixth, more resources, it's a work in process.

You know, who's telling the truth here?

BALES: Well, Mr. Quest, I have to say, I'm probably telling the truth. But that's because I think I stand in the middle between the NGOs and the ICI and some of the cocoa companies, because it was actually work that I had done with a film crew that first discovered this issue more than 10 years ago and then helped to build the protocol.

QUEST: Right.

BALES: But the truth is that there's a bit of truth on both sides. It is an extremely difficult situation.


BALES: There are about 1.3 million family -- small family farms. Children are working on those farms, as they do all over the world, all over the developing world. But some of those children are caught up in situations of terrible forced labor. And that tiny -- that minority...

QUEST: All right...

BALES: -- are the ones we're worried about.

QUEST: Do you believe that today, the situation, albeit better, is still so bad, that people like me should stop buying certain chocolates, should continue to -- or should put the necessary pressure on?

That, in other words, is the rate of progress so poor?

BALES: I think it is poor. But now you can always buy fair trade chocolate, you do understand that?

That -- that's OK.

QUEST: All right.

BALES: At the same time, it's right to put the pressure on the companies, but not just the companies that have joined into the protocol. You understand there are a lot of cocoa using industries who have never taken part in dealing with the problem in their source material. Cosmetics uses a lot of cocoa products. And a lot of the large scale food press -- processors do, as well.

Archer Daniel Midland doesn't seem to be at the table.

Where are these major corporations that are making good profits off cocoa?

QUEST: We'll leave it there.

You and I will take more about this. Come back again and talk more about it with me.

We need to keep an eye on this if I'm going to continue to enjoy my chocolate.

Now, this weekend, I need you to stay tuned for a Freedom Project special. This time it's not cocoa, it's the child sex trade in India. It's called "Trapped by Tradition." Together with the Bollywood legend, Anil Kapoor, CNN visits a village where girls are more likely to be in the sex trade than in school.

You can see it at 2:00 p.m. In London. It's three ocork -- 3:00, of course, in Central Europe.

Imagine you spend a year looking for work. You go to scores of interviews. You get short-listed and the inevitable, you just don't get the job.

It was the situation for one job seeker we featured on this show two years ago.

How is he doing?

He's back to tell us.


Good evening.


QUEST: All this week, we have been hearing about the lack of growth in the economy and the lack of growth in the jobs market. Finding work in the current climate is a job in itself.

During the depths of the recession, we, of course, on this program had our very own job quest. And during that search, we met one job seeker who learned just how long and frustrating the road to reemployment can be.

We'll update you in just a moment, after we've shown you the look at Rodrigo Medina's journey, when he was a job quester.


RODRIGO MEDINA, FORMER JOB SEEKER: It's not very often that you get two interviews in one day.

I have another interview with a job recruiter on Wednesday. I talked directly to the decision-maker, which I see as good news.

So I'm just in from the interview I had at the consulting company. And it was rather disappointing. The conditions were really bad.

Hello. My name is Rodrigo Medina and I've been looking for a job in Barcelona for the last year. The last job that I had was for an American multinational in the cosmetics sector. And I lost my job pretty much due to the crisis.

I've been involved in three processes. They all have been very interesting. One of them, I got a call a couple days ago and they told me I'm not going on that one anymore. So I got a bit disappointed. But the other two, I'm still on. I'm a finalist on one of them and then on the second one, they're going to call me for a third interview. But I have to wait for a couple of weeks. So I need to be patient and just concentrate for now on the other places that I have working for me.

Today I received feedback from the interview, the final interview I had on Monday. And the feedback was not very positive. It seems like they choose another candidate for this position because he or she had had more experience in the field, in the sector.

So how do I feel right now?

I honestly feel really drained. I put so much hope and effort into this process that, as of today, I am really, really drained.

It takes -- all these interviews takes so much out of you, because you prepare them so well, you focus so much, you try to give your best and, at the end, the result is not what you wanted.

This whole situation, the last year, has affected my personal life greatly. My wife and I have been planning to have a baby for the last year or so and we have put that plan on hold because of my work situation. And this can no longer be. I'm 30 now. We've have been together for four years. We are so ready to have a baby. And we can no longer put it on hold a part of our happiness because of a job situation.

So I need to create -- I need to create my own luck. I need to create my own destiny. And I think I'm a smart enough guy to do so.


QUEST: It took Rodrigo a year plus to find a job. He's now the director of business development at a German multinational. And we're very pleased, it's lovely to follow back up and find out what happened.

We're very pleased that you've joined us now.

You found a job.

How many interviews did you go for?

MEDINA: To be honest with you, the number of -- the exact number of interviews, I don't remember. But probably more than 50 overall.

QUEST: During that process, did you get depressed?

MEDINA: At the beginning...

QUEST: And you didn't?

MEDINA: At the beginning I didn't. I didn't because I always thought that a better thing was coming along the way. But to be honest with you, at the end, I didn't get depressed, but I got really frustrated. And it was a really hard time in my life, I have to say.

QUEST: And what sort of toll did that take on your home life?

Because my -- from what I know from, you know, other people have talked...


QUEST: -- you know, the arguments, the -- the -- the frustrations, the bickering, it all takes its toll.

MEDINA: Well, I think we handled it very well. The -- I think the biggest problem was putting our life on hold, because we didn't have enough resources to move on with the plans we had before I lost the job. So the biggest frustration was putting our lives on hold and just waiting for -- for us to get the job and then move on.

QUEST: When you got this job...


QUEST: -- that -- that you -- you've currently got, what was it like?

Tell me the moment when you got the job.

MEDINA: I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it. I was really relieved and pleased that I finally got it and I couldn't wait to have the time to call my wife and tell her that it had the job. It was a really, really good moment.

QUEST: If you now think of people who are losing this job in this second wave of the recession...

MEDINA: Yes, yes.

QUEST: -- and particularly in Spain...


QUEST: -- which, frankly, you know, the -- it's pretty bad.

MEDINA: Yes, it is.

QUEST: What would you say to them?

What advice would you give to people who are still looking for that job?

MEDINA: My advice is that you have to work really, really, really hard to get a job, especially in Spain. But you have...

QUEST: But if the job is not there and there's 1,000 other people going for that same job, what's the different -- what's the differentiating factor?

MEDINA: But it wasn't there for me and I found one. I found one in Spain, which I thought it was going to be really difficult, and it was. But I -- I always kept trying. I always kept going for it. And, at the end, I think, eventually -- eventually, they'll find a job, too. But you really have to dig in really, really, really hard.

QUEST: And -- and if we listen, we can hear exactly how you did and the ways in which you did dig in really hard.

Have a listen.


MEDINA: Well, we have been waling for about half an hour now. And we have seen 29 places that closed. This problem is not only 29 places that I used to go into and shop into and drink coffees in, but it also means more competition, because people that worked in those businesses are, like me, in the streets looking for jobs.


QUEST: And the moral of the tale, don't stop looking, is that right?

MEDINA: No. No. Never. I mean you can't. You need a job to survive. It doesn't come from the skies, sadly, (INAUDIBLE).

QUEST: Come back in another year when you've been promoted.

MEDINA: Thank you, Richard.

QUEST: I will look forward to seeing you then.

Many thanks, indeed.

MEDINA: Thank you.

QUEST: And that is QUEST MEANS BUSINESS for tonight.

I'm Richard Quest in London.

Whatever you're up to in the hours ahead, I do hope it's profitable.


And I'll see you back here on Monday.

Thank you for your company this week.

Have a good weekend.



I'm Robyn Curnow from a sunny Johannesburg.

Spring is here and that means a new wave of tourists is going to be coming in to South Africa to enjoy the weather.

But having a medical emergency while on holiday can be a nightmare. Which is why in Kenya, a group of so-called flying doctors is selling peace of mind to corporate travelers and tourists alike.

David McKenzie has the story.


DAVID MCKENZIE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): When the dream vacation turns into a nightmare. You expected champagne at the end of your flight. Instead, you get an ambulance. This British tourist suffered a heart attack in the Kenyan bush. The only way to get treatment fast -- by air.

SEAN CULLIGAN, OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, AMREF FLYING DOCTORS: Very often, you're the patient's only link to a secure future in all sorts of ways. And that's not trying to over dramatize it.

This is actually a radio.

MCKENZIE: AMREF's flying doctors deal with cases like this every day. Their clients are businesses, insurance companies and individuals. They evacuate some 600 people a year.


MCKENZIE: The pilots of Flying Doctors take off day and night and land on any kind of surface across the continent -- tarmacs, dirt or no surface at all.

Kihara Kefa was a major in the Kenyan Air Force.

(on camera): You used to be a fighter pilot.

KEFA: Yes.

MCKENZIE: Is this a harder pilot sort of job?

KEFA: I think, yes, this is harder. This is -- that was -- that was easy, man, you know.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): He says pilots need to do more than just fly.

KEFA: When you get to the field there, you have to help the doctor give them a -- help them with the equipment, help them to load the patient. And then you let them do their job so that you -- you're able to do your flight and don't get involved with the patient.

MCKENZIE: For AMREF's operations director, little rest.

(on camera): What keeps you up at night?


It's funny you should ask that question, in so many ways, because, of course, the operation is ongoing, 24 hours. So often keeps me up, it hasn't actually let me go to bed. So it continues to go.

MCKENZIE (voice-over): Flying Doctors is the commercial wing of AMREF, the storied African medical charity. Started in the 1950s in Kenya by three surgeons, it's now one of the continent's leading health care organizations, active in more than 30 countries.

But there's one problem.

DR. BETTINA VADERA, MEDICAL DIRECTOR, AMREF FLYING DOCTORS: To cover overhead. The thing is, as an aid organization, you know, you raise funds, but most of the funds are actually project-related, or what we say, restricted.

MCKENZIE: AMREF covers its costs with Flying Doctors. Its fleet flew more than a million miles in 2010, with Cessna Caravans carrying much of the load.

(on camera): They call the caravan the workhorse of the Flying Doctors because it can land on short dirt air strips in the middle of the bush. And they put two pilots in here, a doctor and a nurse sometimes, and the patient, which can be in critical condition. And they have to work in this cramped space.

(voice-over): So all the most important medicines must fit in a bag.

Bettina Vadera says that in such a high pressure environment, there's no place for egos.

VADERA: We don't believe in this hierarchy, you know, there's the doctor and says, nurse, you know, syringe, please and this drug please and gloves, please. No. The doctor and the nurse, you know, they are both basically on the same level where their action and their involvement is concerned.

MCKENZIE: Every time a call comes in, a machine honed by decades of experience swings into action -- pilots, doctors, nurses and caravans saving lives.

David McKenzie, CNN, Nairobi, Kenya.


CURNOW: Thanks to David for that report.

Now, let's take a closer look at the Flying Doctors by the numbers.

Travelers pay in advance for coverage, anywhere from $5 for a month to $1,500 for an annual corporate rate. The Flying Doctors provided more than 800 evacuation flights last year, earning $780,000 for AMREF, its parent charity.

Coming up, navigating the petroleum industry in Nigeria. Our next guest walks us through his company's expensive operations.


CURNOW: Oil wealth has helped to fuel corruption and conflict in countries like Nigeria. But our next guest says that indigenous companies are helping to change the operating landscape.

I sat down with Wale Tinubu, the CEO of the Nigerian oil giant, Oando.

He described for us what it's like to successfully run a petroleum business in oil rich Nigeria.


WALE TINUBU, CEO, OANDO: In the downstream, where the largest fuel is distributed, in the midstream, where the largest gas -- gas distributors were to be -- we've got pipeline systems in several cities in Nigeria. And then the off stream we produce for -- we produce oil.

We also have a rig division that drills on behalf of the majors.

And so we have clients like ENI, Shell as -- as clients. So it's all range -- midstream, downstream, midstream, upstream (INAUDIBLE).

CURNOW: And you're the only Nigerian owned company doing this...

TINUBU: We're the...

CURNOW: -- of this size?

TINUBU: Well, yes. We're the only one who does everything. We're the -- we're the largest by far. And we're the only one in the -- in all parts of the (INAUDIBLE) industry.

CURNOW: So you're the poster boy, essentially, for -- for the future of Nigerian petroleum.

TINUBU: I think the direct mission, also, the fact that indigenous businesses are being built. We're running with world class standards, able to attract investors across the globe, but based in Africa, you know, as I mean, and trading for and on behalf of the continent, a new phenomena.

CURNOW: As commodity prices rise, as the growth that is fueling Africa makes people very optimistic, what, for you, as a business that's trying to sort of be a big regional player, a big continental player, what, for you, are the biggest challenges in terms of Africa, West Africa actually really taking advantage of this growth that -- that many people say is obviously happening?

TINUBU: A major challenge which we have is the capital, to be able to grow as fast as we would like to grow. The continent is growing a minimum 5 percent across the board. And the countries that will -- that have a commodities driven are growing as much as 7.5 percent year in year on.

Now, having the capital to bridge the -- the difference between supply and demand is -- is a bit of a challenge. That's our first challenge.

The second challenge, also, to a certain extent, is skilled labor. We find what we have had to do is we've had to, we call them repatriates. We have a lot of Nigerians waking in diaspora, Africans, as well, to, which we bring back. We hired -- we have a -- we -- we track them down wherever they may be, whether they're in the downstream, the mid stream or the upstream. And we offer them exactly what they're earning or (INAUDIBLE) purchasing parity. They earn, they -- they coming back to Nigeria gives them a lot more cash in their pocket. But they're able to perform those same functions here.

CURNOW: So you have somebody in London going and finding the Nigerian expatriates you want to bring back to Lagos?

TINUBU: Yes. Yes. We do. We do. We really have to launch a Web site, as well, to...

CURNOW: Just to bring skilled labor back home?

TINUBU: Just to bring skilled labor, yes. And it works. So, for example, when we are launching our rig operation, we have to have 500 skilled drillers. And we found them in places as far as India, China, South America...

CURNOW: Africans?

And you particularly wanted Africans?

TINUBU: Yes, I wanted Africans. I wanted Africans. I wanted Nigerians first and Africans next. I had my reasons for this, because I wanted to also prove, as we were doing, that we could build indigenous world class operations. So the company is 100 percent Nigerian. Well, not -- well, African, as well, too. But it's -- it's -- it's run and operated by -- by Africans with -- with world class standards, African...

CURNOW: On every level?

TINUBU: At every level, yes.

CURNOW: And is that a matter of point for you, that you just want to say, listen, we can do it?

TINUBU: Certainly. That's -- there's a -- there's a point to be proven there. But I think we've proven the -- we proved the point long ago. But it's also just practical in the sense that here is a chance for them to -- to be able to take the same skills that they've been -- they've learned all over the world and apply them to developing their own local community.

CURNOW: It's a no-brainer, as they say?

TINUBU: Yes. Exactly.

CURNOW: Thank you.


CURNOW: Wale Tinubu there of Oando.

Now from trends in the energy sector to a major deal in the diamond industry.


CURNOW (voice-over): Diamond giant De Beers recently announced it will transfer its London-based rough diamond sorting and trading division to Botswana. The 10 year contract alters a century old tradition of sending African diamonds to London and it could transform Botswana into one of the world's leading diamond trading and manufacturing hubs.

Botswana has been keen to diversify its economy by moving into the sales side of the diamond market.

Under the agreement, the government will be able to keep 10 percent of the stones mined in its soil and sell them independently. That share will rise to 15 percent over the first five years of the deal.

And this is what's trending this week.

U.S. computer company IBM has announced several initiatives that will expand the firm's presence in Africa. IBM says it will double the number of employees it sends to the continent on pro bono assignment in an effort to provide skilled assistance to local governments and NGOs in emerging markets. The tech company has also opened a new branch in Angola to help increase services across the Central African region.

And food and drink manufacturer PepsiCo is now eyeing Ethiopian chickpeas. The U.S. company is teaming up with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the World Food Programme to boost chickpea production in the East African country. PepsiCo says it plans to secure a supply of chickpeas for its own food products while also helping to develop local businesses that use the crop.

The company has also unveiled a plan to develop a chickpea based food supplement for malnourished children in Ethiopia.


CURNOW: Don't forget, we're always online at That's the place you'll find all of our interviews, stories, blogs, as well as behind the scene photographs.

But for now, for me, Robyn Curnow, here in Johannesburg, good-bye.