Africa Needs More Millionares – Not AID Workers
July 12, 2005 13 Comments
Africans should get off the AID band wagon.
What we need is for Africans leaving school to make profits. We don’t need more NON-Profit organisations!
Imagine how crazy it is for poor nations to have almost everyone getting educated rubbing their hands in excitement at the prospect of spending their lives doing NON-Profit work, when in all rich economies, people clamour to get into business for PROFIT, INNOVATION and ENTERPRISE.
They frantically look for goods or services that people might need, and fight for venture capital financing by proving that their idea will use the least money and produce the most profit!
We on the other hand have such gaping holes in our markets for all sorts of goods and services and yet the NOT-for -Profit route is what appeals to many of us. Call it intellectual sloth, or perhaps it is just being rational to choose the perks of NGO employment. But if the primary unit of economic activity and growth is individual economic growth, then we need as many people making profits (i.e. trying to find the most efficient way of spending our country’s savings to create more wealth) for our economy to grow.
We have to reject AID and encourage entrepreneurship and provide incentives for business in our countries.
In non-profit work and in government ventures the measure of success is how much money has been spent on a project (you often hear politicians bragging about the size of the project in terms of spending as they doll out taxpayers’ money – it is never their personal money).
On the other hand, the measure of success in a for-profit venture is invariably the size of the difference between what was made and what was spent, and the expectations of future profits when people buy company shares. The aspiration is to increase efficiency, find better ways to do things – faster, easier, cheaper – so that customers remain dedicated to their products. (There are benefits for everyone: owner, employees and customers)
We need to regard our problems as profit making opportunities rather than angles with which to beg from the West. That means getting off the paternalism of Western charity so that we can own and solve our problems.