What’s Wrong With Africa? That Makes Me Sick?

I have written a hard-hitting analytic research article on Kenya, a country with a GDP of more than US$66 billion, a population of more than 41 million, with per capita GDP of just about US$1,600, unemployment rate at more than 40%, and the percentage of the population living below the poverty line is above 50%?

So, what’s wrong with that picture? After all, this song is nearly like all other African governments? What’s wrong is that the Service sector in Kenya makes up more than 65% of the GDP and industrial sector only about 25%, with Agriculture makes up the difference. And as little as the Agriculture’s composite is the lowest, more than 75% of the workforce (that’s out of about 1.6 million Kenyans) are employed in Agricultural projects.

So, what’s wrong with that? Again, this is a familiar song for most of African economies.

No, I am afraid to publish this article. I don’t think Kenya would like me, if they read this article.

Also, perhaps the whole African continent may be angry if this article is published.

In summary, I am just angry at how Africa manages its rare resources. The African continent is the wealthiest on planet earth, and yet the majority of Africans live like animals due to poverty. But why so?

Because Africa has stuck on the stone-aged ideology of colonialism and imperialism, and they forgot to learn how to move from a theory of a static economic under-development to a rapid and dynamic economic industrialization.

Africans have inherited political freedom from their oppressors some as many as over 50 years ago now, and which by the way, they have had no clue on how to make themselves to become economic independent.

They inherited political power but not economic power, as those who used to control their political power have never actually relinquished their hands from the African economy. And Africans instead of becoming innovative to develop the tools that could empower their market economies, they focus more on short-term goals on how to live today; what to eat for dinner today and what to eat for tomorrow instead on spending long nights in their garages and huts inventing new products which could help them develop their economy for the long-term.

Yesterday, I read on Facebook on someone who posted a comment on Desmond Tutu’s picture with a comment that said: “they don’t make them like that anymore”. Of course not, we are not in the 60’s anymore.

Today, young Africans are more focused on alcohol, sex, drugs and violence instead on the virtues of humanity. While in the 60’s, most Africans were more focused on how to rid colonialism and free themselves from the chains of the Oppressors.

For today, young Africans are not focusing on anything else other than where the party is tonight, and whoever buys the most booze becomes the most popular in town. So, where will Africa be let’s say in 50 years from now?

And for that, if nothing changes, even 500 years from now, Africa will still be a continent riddled with poverty, diseases, and violence. And yes, the new form of colonialism is Africans themselves. It’s no longer white people but Africans themselves. Why? Because in most African countries, in order to get a government-tender or to become successful in business, one must know someone who knows who’s related to someone in high ranking government position.

(Man, then why am struggling? I’m related to many top government officials within the Namibian government, including President Pohamba. I have never even met him in person, even when he’s my cousin, I never even went to visit him. Oh, that’s because I want to earn everything I can acquire and have. I don’t want anything handed to me on a silver platter. I have to work hard for everything I want in my life. And basically, I don’t want people to talk for as much as they talk and say, it’s because I’m related to the President, and I don’t want them to say crazy things. Whatever I have, I earn and will earn it through my own hard-work and dealings.)

I remember being in a Taxi about 6 months ago in Windhoek, driven by a young guy from Okalongo (Northern Namibia) and he was telling me, that in Namibia, if you want to become rich, you must become a politician. So, he left his rural home and came to Windhoek so he could work his way up, to become a politician, so that he can be rich one day.

But how can that work; well, you just have to be well-connected to some members of the political party. Then you become may be first an organizer, then a councilor (municipal or town), I don’t know, then later, you continue to serve until you are appointed perhaps to become a mayor of a town, then a governor, and perhaps the next you know it, you become an MP (Member of Parliament) and that’s when the money starts rolling in. Or am I wrong? How does it work then? I honestly don’t know. What I know is that for the market (political market) to work best, politicians who hold public offices, should be elected by the majority of votes, not politically appointed.

So then that means, once you are a politician in Africa, then you can get rich, right? In America, if you want to become rich (not wealthy) fast, if not selling illegal drugs, then become an artist (singer or rapper) or an athlete (basketball or football player), that’s why most black families in America spend more time and resources helping their kids to achieve their goals.

In western economies, most of the time, you can never be a successful politician unless if you had worked your way up first, mostly in difference disciplines such as in business or similar fields. That you have to prove yourself first, have to be successful in your field first, before you can venture out into running for a public office as a politician.

But in Africa, it’s the other way around. And who the heck that lied to the politicians, anywhere in the world, that they can become successful entrepreneurs any way? Where on earth have you ever seen or heard of a-once successful politician who went into business after politics, started everything from scratch and become extremely successful? Even Bill Clinton can’t do it, let alone Obama won’t be able to do it.

No, I cannot publish this article, it will make Africans hate me.

And, why do African governments like to copy each other any way?

Once one government comes up with one document, then most other governments would have similar documents;

Now nearly every African government has “Vision 20-something” papers. Kenya has Vision 2030, Namibia also has one, so as more other African governments.

And basically, the guy who’s hired as the consultant to write up these documents, all he does is change the name of the country in the document and share it with other governments.

And most of these consultants are foreigners, mostly those who have failed in their own countries, and then they go to Africa and act like they are big. And in return, they charge exorbitant amounts of money as consultants to African governments.

African governments are the largest employers in Africa, but yet, most of the documents; policies, technical manuals, etc., are written and most of the work in Africa are done by foreign consultants. Why? What happened to the African government employees? Why can’t they do the work and write the documents themselves?

And if you are a foreign consultant and dreaming of making a lot of money in Africa as a consultant, and if you are not white, then sorry, you won’t make it big in Africa. But if you are white, money will start rolling to you the moment you show up. African politicians like and favors to work with white consultants (behind closed doors).

I have seen some lousy work, that was done by some foreign consultants hired by some African governments, and were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the work was awful. Now the problem is further continuum. How? Because once the foreign consultant wrote the document, and once he delivers it to the office that hired him, then he gets paid and leaves.

Then the government will have to figure out how to implement; let alone interpret, that document to put into action to yield any intended results.

Africa, wake up!

In business, if you present your business plan to investors for funding, then you must know and able to defend whatever your business plan claims. If you can’t defend the claims made in your business plan, then how will you know what to do to implement its course of action?

That means, if you wrote your own business plan, then you should know and understand all the claims made in your document, and you should be able to defend it at anytime, because you wrote it; you have the vision of how you plan, operate, manage and make it work. So, if you hire a consultant to write your business plan, then how will you know, understand and be able to defend the claims made in your business plan?

That’s why in African government offices, there are so many documents and papers full of dust in file cabinets, that were written by paid foreign consultants, who simply write them up and hand them in, but Africans have no clue how to implement the claims made in those documents.

When and how can we make Africa eventually realize its potential? A continent with a wealth value at more than US$65 trillion, and Africa is still a poor continent?

If you want to contact me, feel free to email me at simon@grootgroup.com or visit our web site at www.grootgroup.com to learn how we can help your stagnant economy to rapidly develop and grow faster.

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One thought on “What’s Wrong With Africa? That Makes Me Sick?

  1. Brillant article; well done. I heve friends who are African and who live on that continent so I hope you accept that I am in no way being racist by saying that I loathe Africa and all that goes on there, including cruelty to people, destrction of wildflife (mostly for short-term gains) and the waste of resources, let alone the political naivety. Keep banging away, Simon and hopefully someone will listen.

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