Can Namibia Realize Full Employment Without Foreign Direct Investment?

Have you ever actually looked at the can fish for Pilchards by Seawork? It reads: “Packed by: ABD Khan Co., Ltd, Thailand. Packed for: Seawork Fish Processors Pty (Ltd), Ben Amathila Ave, Walvis Bay, Namibia. PRODUCT OF THAILAND”.

So, what’s wrong with this?

They catch the fish in Namibian water by a Namibian-based company by a few Namibian employed fishermen, and then they ship the fish to Thailand for processing and packaging, and then ship the same fish in packaged Can, back to Namibia for sale to the Namibian consumers.

Again, what’s wrong with that picture?

There’s no value-added to the Namibian produced fish; instead of creating employment by allowing the fish to be processed and packaged in Namibia by the Namibians, they ship the fish to a foreign country and then allow the creation of more jobs there by those who process and package the fish.

Also, the cans are probably also produced in Thailand, so they enable the buying of Thailand produced cans to package Namibia’s produced fish. And that’s the missing value-added factor.

Because when ABD Khan Co orders cans from another company to package the fish, the Can manufacturer will likely creating more jobs and then increasing demands for more raw material, the raw materials that are used to make cans. The process goes on like that with further value-addition. By the time they ship the packaged Cans to Namibia; probably more than 10 people, employees, have contributed to the packaging of just one Can Fish to package fish for Seawork in Namibia.

Now imagine if Seawork were to process and package their own can fish products right here in Namibia. How many Namibians would be employed to process, and package the fish? Also, how many Namibians would be employed in manufacturing the Cans that are used to package the fish?

It’s nearly like that with almost all industries in Namibia; from uranium, diamonds, chicken, etc. The uranium in Namibia is mined and shipped overseas raw for processing, same as with diamonds, they are mined, some are cut and polished in Namibia, but more are processed and sold by NDTC outside Namibia in London.

Actually, and I stand for correction, De Beers pays the Namibia Government an average of about US$300 per carat for a diamond, and then De Beer resells them in London at the market value of about US$1,500 per carat, that’s a good fat profit for De Beer. In 2009, Namdeb produced about 2.1 million of carats, and then De Beers paid for an average US$300 per carat for those diamonds and went to resell them in London at the market value. You do the math, how much does the Government of Namibia actually make annually from the sales of its diamond to De Beer and how much does De Beer make further in London from the same diamonds they pay for in Namibia?

How about the chicken we buy and eat in Namibia? It is grown in Namibia but then it is shipped to Brazil for processing and then shipped back to Namibia for sale to the Namibian people.

Namibia has a high rate of unemployment; the rate used is 51% which is a 2008 rate. The actual unemployment rate for Namibia for 2010/2011 is about 54%.  This is just because we are letting this unemployment to keep rising; we chose to let it continue climbing. But we can actually create full employment for all the Namibian people just through the current industry and investment projects in Namibia right now, but only if we review and restructure the current factories and production facilities currently in Namibia.

Why is there a high rate of unemployment in Namibia? It’s because we all chose to let it be, not because of lack of it.

But then again, there’s a nasty flip side to this case.

Why would Seawork outsource to do their fish processing and packaging in Thailand? Why would any other Namibian made, grown and produced products be sent overseas for processing and packaging?

This is very simple; because of lack of entrepreneurship by Namibians. Namibians are becoming more and more alcoholics. They spend too many evenings and nights on Eveline Streets in Windhoek and other similar shebeens all throughout Namibia, just drinking and talking nonsense, instead of spending more time trying to venture out into creating businesses that would offer the service such as fish processing and packaging for such as Seawork and other fishing companies, right in Namibia.

Namibian entrepreneurs could establish chicken processing and packaging plants to provide chicken producers with the services they outsource to Brazil. Namibia already has cheap labor; these companies don’t outsource their raw materials for processing and packaging to overseas because labor in Namibia is too expensive.

It’s simply because Namibians spend too much time drinking and less time learning and developing their own skills to know how to do some of these things. And those who might want to venture out into their own businesses, they spend too much time crying foul over government tenders and over the BEE scheme, and not venturing out to develop and provide the needed services and solutions to add great value to what producers in the country are producing.

Seawork is not in the business of processing and packaging can fish, they are in the business of catching and selling fish. Hence the need for some Namibian entrepreneurs to step up and offer the service that Seawork and other producers need.

All this should be done by and between private enterprises, not the government. As an entrepreneur, you discover and seek out opportunities to make money, but as a “tenderpreneur”, you simply focus on what the government can feed you. There’s no spirit and gut to innovate and venture out on your own to offer the needed skills and services for such as Seawork.

The government should only step in to create an environment conducive to encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship mentorship and development. Also, one of the biggest issues the government of Namibia does is hiring foreign consultants to do the jobs that Namibians themselves could do.

Nearly every little thing, such as research, development, and written instruments in Namibia are done by foreign consultants, but yet, the Government of Namibia employs more than 80,000 of Namibians, who most of them are graduates of the Namibian institutions of high learning, such as the University of Namibia, The Polytechnic of Namibia, and IUM.

Most of these graduates are graduating without any real practical skills and knowledge. Mostly because these institutions are not developing and producing world-class students, they graduate with no jack-knowledge, just theory-based but no real life experience and or application. Why? Because some of those students spend too much time partying and drinking alcohol, and simply study to pass the exams. Also, because there’s no greater link and networking partnership between Namibia based enterprises and these institutions to offer practical learning environment and skills for the students.

Nearly the whole Namibian institutions need to be reviewed and refocused in order to realize full employment for the Namibian people. Hence even the recent N$14 billion budget that has been passed and allocated to help create employment in Namibia will not help much unless these fundamentals have been studied, reviewed and reformatted.

A development of the Groot Town Center ecosystem will help eliminate most of these issues, because we are developing it having considered, formatted and constituted interlink projects and programs to help encourage entrepreneurship mentorship and development, creation of innovation, and the development of cutting-edge production and manufacturing plants, right here in Namibia.

Invite me to talk to you, your employees today to lecture them on efficiency and productivity, or attend my next “Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership Meetup Series” for more real life experience training, entrepreneurship development and mentorship. It’s free and open for anyone.

Contact me now.

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African Prince, the New Reality TV Show

African Prince - the reality TV show
African Prince – is a reality TV show that I’m creating and will be working on as soon as Welated and Wrisen are fully operational, which should be in the next two weeks.

This show will be fun, entertaining, tantalizing and heart throbbing. As a sound engineer, who has spent years in music, TV and film production, I want to do something I know very well and enjoy the most, and this is it, it’s going to be fun…!

Just stay tuned, more info will follow soon.

Adam Lambert, the Next American Idol Winner and Best Selling Rocker of His Generation

From the first day Adam Lambert stepped on the stage in the audition room, looking all weird with his colored hair, like a sick, wet bird, I knew there was something real weird about him, but when he opened his mouth and blared out that high pitch note, I instantly knew he was going to sail all the way through.

Most of us have seen his magnificent transformation, from looking like a silly, surly looking, skateboarding homeless kid, to a unique, star in the making. Since Elvis Presley to Freddy Mercury, there has never been any other rocker, who has the charisma, talent, and all the stuff to cement him as the best and genuine male rock singer than Adam Lambert.

Even the American Idol, since its debut in the US, it has never produced anyone, who is as good as Adam Lambert. And, he’s going to be one of the best selling and biggest rockers since the invention of rock music. He’s got everything needed to be a rock star, he’s got the look, attitude, and the best thing about him is that he’s still humble and down to earth.

As the show progressed. I stopped trying to figure out who’s going to be the next American Idol, because my mind has already been set on Adam Lambert. This year, there were lots of contestants, some seemed to have great talent and some are just stagnant frogs made to make Adam Lambert sound even better.

There is no doubt in my mind that Adam Lambert is going to be crowned the next American Idol. And not only that, he’s going to fill concert arenas, and will become the next biggest and best selling artist, and I’d love to record engineering one of his songs.

So, please, just stop the show now, and give Adam Lambert his prize and send him to the studio to record his new single and subsequently, the next best selling CD.

The Most Stupid TV Commercials; Nationwide and Microsoft

For weeks now, Microsoft has been running TV commercials, generally promoting the PC. The commercial usually starts with an individual, usually has a young, sort of geeky looking person, out to buy a new laptop.

He or she (they have multiple actors) could be a young lady or guy, who starts out describing what kind of a laptop he or she wants and then the voice-over tells him or her that “if he or she finds that kind of laptop under $1,500…, then he or she can keep it”.

Now, the thing is this; it implies as though all the laptops for sale anywhere are more than $1,500 and that, if he or she’s lucky enough to find one under that amount, then he or she can keep it. And then, to make it even sillier, at the end of the commercial, when he or she has found the laptop she or he wanted, then he or she’s given a stack of bills, as though it’s a reward for finding a laptop under $1,500.

So, my question is; does that mean that there are no PC laptops under $1,500, and if I found one under that amount, then I can keep it, and that you’d reward me? Really a stupid commercial.

The second TV commercial that aggravates me, because it’s really stupid, and they keep running it over and over, it’s by Nationwide. The commercial starts with a woman (a black woman) who talks like she’s running diarrhea. She doesn’t talk like she’s scripted, which may be a good thing, as an indication that Nationwide uses real people, not actors, who say what they really feel about their auto insurance.

Now, this lady goes on, explaining and slowly stating that; “Nationwide has a forgiveness program…, which means, if you have an accident, then Nationwide will forgive you… they will not raise your premium based on your first accident…, because Nationwide….

Didn’t she just say that Nationwide has a forgiveness program at the beginning? Why does she have to repeat and explain her silly-line?

Geico and Safe Auto have some of the coolest, eye-and-ear-catching phrases, TV commercials. Microsoft and Nationwide should may be look up to them and may be, learn from them.

The Daring Power of Honesty

Every one of us, anywhere, are all in need of something, we are all competing for resources, to make a living, to survive, and whatever it is that we may want, we can only get it from each other, if we are completely straight forward with one another.

In order to successfully make it in this competitive market, in this crowded global economy, where everyone is doing everything he or she best can to better him or herself in order to best compete, there is only one thing you need to do to effectively get what you want; and that’s to gain the trust of everyone, known or unknown to you. And you can only gain their trust, if people get to know you, and the best thing to do for people to get to know you, is to properly introduce yourself to them, let them get to know you first, and be honest and straight forward with them. Your resume or link to your blog or web profile is the first best start for anyone to get to know you best. You don’t need to have a long resume or years of experience in your specialty, all you need is charisma, straightforwardness, and passion for what you want to do, and with that, you can almost get whatever you want from anyone.

Barrack Obama spent a few years in Chicago as a community organizer, then the state senate, and the only people who knew him then were the people of Chicago and the surrounding areas, but most of us elsewhere only came to get to know him the first time, when he spoke at the Democratic National Convention in 2004. When he stepped and spoke on that podium, on that stage, he displayed something that most of us are lacking; passion, enthusiasm, courage to dare, straightforwardness, and most of all, charisma and ambition. He looked very young then, but he was full of charismatic and passion. He spoke daringly the truth, he let people know who he is and what he stands for, and what he wants and hopes for, and most people listened. And look where he is now four years later.

No matter where you go, no matter whom you speak to or ask for anything, if they can look at you, and gain your trust based on your pitch, based on your personal information, based on your honesty, then you can almost have anyone listen to you and do whatever you want them to do. But if you come out like some schmuck from somewhere, lacking any of the stated above, then you can’t get anything from anyone, unless from the stupid ones, and there’re no more stupid ones out there.

Look, we all make mistakes, but the best education is not to keep doing the same mistakes over and over. So, don’t dwell on the mistakes you’ve made in the past, move on, do what you can so you don’t keep making the same mistake, and get ready, and go out there and make it happen.  Be honest, tell the truth, and everyone will eventually buy whatever you are selling. You can do it; you can get whatever you want from anyone, anywhere.

How to Produce a Successful Music Concert

There are some people who constantly ask how does one become or organize or plan to produce a concert?

Well, here is what you may do;

You already know most of the artists, you listen to music all the time, so you basically know which most people, your audience like and listen to most; so that’s who you want to focus on booking for your next concert.

The type of the artist you are considering has to be able to fill the venue you have in mind for the concert. I have worked in the past on concerts with artists like Seal, Boyz II Men, Simple Minds, Paul Simon, etc., so I don’t really know how to book an artist, not so huge for a small concert. The type of the artist you are considering has to be able to fill the venue you have in mind for the concert.

I have worked in the past on concerts with artists like Seal, Boyz II Men, Simple Minds, Paul Simon, etc., so I don’t really know how to book an artist, not so huge for a small concert. I am currently in the middle of the negotiation to produce a great live conference event and music concert with some of the world’s best acts in Sandton, Johannesburg in October 2009.

So, this is what I usually do when I plan to produce a new live concert; I first figure out the type of music I want to have for the concert and the artist(s), and then I check out the venue, it has to be the appropriate venue, the venue that my prospective artist(s) can fill out at full capacity.

And then I check out if that artist is on tour and if he or she is, if she or he will be in the proximity area. Because if they are on tour, you’ll get her or him cheaper, because they already are scheduled to be in the area.

And once I check out their tour schedule, and even if they are or not on tour, then I contact their management. You can find their management contact information everywhere, CD covers, official web sites, etc., and if you can’t find his or her management contact info, I usually just contact his or her record company, and this is what I say when I contact his record company.

Hi, my name is this and that, would you please give me the booking contact info for your artist “artist name”. And they will be gladly give it to me, no further questions asked.

And then I contact their booking agent, and this is what I say. I am this and that, “my name”, with “company name” and I am interested in booking your “artist name” for a show in “city name”, and then they may cut me right off and ask me, what venue, and I tell them the venue. If they are not familiar with the venue, they will ask me how many audience does it hold, and then I tell them because I have already checked it out and know it well.

And then, they may ask me what is our budget, and here is where I don’t tell them how much I have, because they are simply trying to figure out how much to charge me. And I simply tell them that I’d like to know their fees, and they will ask me how much will I sell the tickets for, and then I give them a bulk figure.

Then they may ask me if the artist will be the headliner and or will there be other artists and I tell them yes or no, depends on what/how I am doing the concert.

And then they give me a bulk figure of how much the artist charges, including lodging and air fare and ground transportation. Then if the price is reasonable, I may proceed. What they will need from me from there on is an official offer from me stating exactly my offer to the artist, fees, etc, for the artist to do the proposed show.

This is where the catch comes in. Your letter has to be worded professionally and on a company letterhead. Because they will take that letter and evaluate it and then decide whether to accept the offer or not.

If they accept the offer, they will contact me, and if they don’t contact me sooner, then I contact them to follow up in a day or two. Then once I or they call me back, then they will, not me, draft up an Agreement with all the details; including their Rider Agreement, which simply details their production requirement and stuff, such as their sound, lighting requirement, etc.

They will likely require a deposit depends on your letter offer, they may require 50% up front and the rest on the day of the show before the show or a few days before the show, this is really just depends on how they trust you and or believe in your financial ability.

But before you sign and pay your deposit, make sure you also have talked and secured the venue for the exact date and time.

There are many details and stuff that follow and leads up to the show. I used to do this full time for a minute. I am a certified audio and multimedia engineer, worked for a major TV network and other Film companies around the world doing live TV news, ENG, live sound, studio recording, engineering, mastering, sporting events production, etc., and concert production. I co-founded a record label and production studios, I have worked on many numerous concerts around the world, at one of the worlds’ largest out door concerts with The Rembrandts, and many other acts. So, I have the experience and skill in doing this.

I still do that, but only part time though, because I love it and now, I mostly volunteer doing sound at my church, The Potter’s House, and yes, it has one of the finest sound and TV production equipment. Feel free to come visit with us and check out our system.

So, if you need help in producing your next show, feel free to contact me. And boy, typing these long stuff is just too much time consuming, but I don’t mind helping out. And I am located in Columbus, Ohio and I go back and forth to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York. So, if I can help, just let me know.

Hopefully this helps a bit and good luck!