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Writing Assignment for 'To Comma or Not to Comma.'
It is common for people to knit their brows when I gush over Africa and voice my confidence in the future of this continent. Obviously, (7) they don't give credence to statistics on Africa's burgeoning population and healthy economic growth rates. Blessed with natural resources and a growing consciousness among young Africans to strive for economic prosperity,(6) Africa is on the cusp of what should be momentous times ahead.

I am by no means denying the hardships of this continent. Basic necessities of life which we take for granted in our native countries, sometimes,(4a) pose significant challenges here. Lack of security,(5) absence of infrastructure,(5) inadequacy of medical facilities,(5) non-existence of entertainment avenues,(5) and shortages of essential goods and services can be big deterrents for expatriates(4b) who wish to live and work here. However,(7) if one is willing to make some sacrifices,(2) the professional as well as the financial rewards can be immense.

Companies offer large pay packages to attract requisite talent to man their operations here,(?) besides giving liberal hardship allowances and attractive perks like swanky houses and fancy cars. In the same breadth,(6) employees who are willing to stick their neck out find that their job responsibilities enhance and careers progress at a faster pace. The more people get discouraged by this continent,(?) lower are the number of prospective employees willing to work here. So,(8) the ones who do get rewarded quickly.

One argument which Africa bashers advance is that(4c) this continent doesn't offer suitable opportunities for intellectual stimulation. They claim that the poor quality of local talent forces one to downgrade one's working style. I would label this as a case of seeing the bottle half-full. There is,(4a) indeed,(4a) a dearth of quality manpower because civil wars and abject poverty has deprived the populace of suitable educational(3b) opportunities. However, it means that one can train and develop local resources,(1) and there is nothing as fulfilling.

Corruption in public places is cited as another downside. My personal experience has been that if you respect the local laws and comply with all statutory obligations(4c) you have nothing to fear. Companies become soft targets for corrupt officials only when they take shortcuts.

Political instability and hostile climate for doing business seem to be the other bugbears. While these are true, (2)I can quote numerous examples where success has been achieved in the toughest of environments. A case in point is Innscor in Zimbabwe which made substantial profits even when the country's economy was wiped out by hyper inflation. Another general example is the success of the expatriate Lebanese(3b) community in Africa. These are a bunch of hardworking,(3a) diligent and innovative people,(1) and they thrive in even the harshest of conditions.

Africa offers opportunities that are both challenging and rewarding. The question is whether one has the stomach for the struggle. If the answer is yes,(2) this continent is a goldmine for both professionals as well as entrepreneurs.
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