In developing Africa, the African entrepreneur now has an even more critical role if compared to many years back. For decades gone we have left the development of our nation in the hands of our leaders and for decades, we have been begging and are still begging for aids to satisfy our hanger. This is just not right no matter what angle you look at it from.
Is Africa developing?
Well, to be honest, I would never wish to have to answer this question in public. Not that I am not proud of what we have achieved so far, but I honestly don’t know what to say. If given the options, I would prefer the question “can Africa develop”? I prefer the later, because, for the past 10 years or more, the African youths have shown a spark of energy that brightens the future. The perspective of how to develop our content is changing, and more and more youths are finding solutions to our own problems and trying to make living out of those solutions.
If I may attempt to answer the question, is Africa developing? I would say we are developing at a less than proportionate rate. This is in comparison to a number of resources more especially, natural resource deposits in our continent. These resources, coupled with the so-called foreign aid that Africa has had for decades now, Africa should be part of the first world continents today or at least to be in the next few years to come. Unfortunately, that is not the case. I came across a question on a website called Quora and it asked: “what are possible strategies for developing Africa”? Some of the answers there will really marvel you. Below is an extract by
Terence Milbourn, Social Enterprise Inbound Marketing;
The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty in the least developed countries of Africa. These good intentions have been damaging the continent for the past 40 years. I want to paint you a very different picture of Africa in the future. One with which you might not be quite so familiar.
If the industrialized nations really want to help the Africans, except for occasional humanitarian emergencies, they would wind-down and terminate aid altogether. Why? Because the countries that have received the most development aid are the ones that are in the worst shape now.
Despite the billions that have been poured into Africa, a lot of the continent remains poor, and more people are getting poorer. And as Einstein once said, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
The explanation for this paradox is twofold. Huge bureaucracies are financed with the aid money ~ voters are disconnected from their politicians, corruption and complacency are promoted ~ and Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. Additionally, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship they so desperately need.
As absurd as it may sound, development aid is one of the primary reasons for Africa’s problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, most Africans wouldn’t even notice. Only the functionaries would feel hard done-by. Which is why they maintain that the world would ‘stop turning’ without overseas development assistance (ODA).
Take Kenya for an example ~ even with all that aid, people are still starving to death there each year. So someone should help them, right? But unless Kenya is going to be holding out its begging bowl forever, it has to be the Kenyans themselves who help these people. But right now, whenever there’s a drought in a region of Kenya, the corrupt politicians instinctively cry out for more help rather than ask themselves, what can we do?
These and a lot more of the answers in that website are the more reasons why the African entrepreneurs now have even a bigger role to play. If our governments are failing to provide the right strategies to develop our various countries in Africa due to political reasons, the African entrepreneur has no politics to play, and so those reasons don’t apply making the African entrepreneur the only hope of changing Africa.
The role of the African entrepreneur
The number one strategy for developing Africa for me is developing the African entrepreneur to play its role as a catalyst of development. The growth and development of Africa now rest on the development and growth of its entrepreneurs.
Walking down the memory lanes, governments have come and gone and the same promises have been made over and over again just that none has been fulfilled. If we continue to depend on our governments to redeem their promises, the content will remain where it is for even more decades to come.
Just like every entrepreneur, the African entrepreneur has the role to
- Mobilize capital
- Train and maintain resources
- Grow and expand to meet local demand and export in supplement of the efforts of the government for national growth acceleration.
The way forward
If the African entrepreneur is able to perform its role properly thus; raise capital, use the capital to create business opportunity and then create more job opportunity through the business to absorb the many unemployed youths, only then that we can say that Africa is developing.
We all know that development is a gradual process and it only happens when each stakeholder is contributing effectively.
The reason why we have been left behind in development is that the African continent has been dependent on the governments of its nations to lead the development strategy.
Well, it isn’t like the African entrepreneur does not know exactly what it’s supposed to do to develop Africa, but the problem is how it’s going to do it. I said there is a spark of light from the youth which brightens the future because many youths are now realizing that it is no longer helpful to depend on our governments to develop our countries and in the long run our continent.
So they are taken the bull by its horns despite the many circumstances. All our governments need to do is provide the necessary infrastructure that will enable the African entrepreneur to grow to perform its role.