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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Almost There, The Next Best App Ever

For nearly two years now; developers in Asia, have been coding two of my best and ultimate Web apps; Welated and Swyws. And today, they informed me that they have 154 more days to go and we can do beta testing for these two sites. These are my ultimate social Web apps and I will never create any more after these, except may be do acquisitions in the future if that ever becomes an issue. I am anxiously looking forward to these two sites.

Kapenda Media Group, an Umbrella for Some Cool Web Properties

 

kapenda_media_groupSince I graduated from The Ohio State University in June 2009, I kept myself very busy, working and organizing some of my web properties under one umbrella, Kapenda Media Group.

I still have almost two years before I go back for my post graduate study and in the mean time, I will be busy doing what I love; having fun with my family while creating and growing some of the most innovative web tools and applications.

Kapenda Media Group, Inc. (KMG) is a premier media company dedicated to developing, managing, and marketing a diversified portfolio of web properties, mobile and social applications that are poised to efficiently provide indispensable information, entertainment, and communication services for people around the world to help them enjoy happier and more productive lives.

KMG is building one of the most innovative and comprehensive broad arrays of web properties, proprietary data tools, social and mobile applications for use by anyone, anytime, anyplace, anywhere, which consist of:

  • Welated, LLC (www.welated.com), a mass social media that alert users in real-time if their mates cheat on them with anyone, anytime, anyplace.
  • Wrisen, LLC (www.wrisen.com), a social application for social networks that lets users remember, honor, and cherish their passed loved ones and pets.
  • RentersQ, LLC (www.rentersq.com), a rental predictive intelligence tool that lets landlords and tenants around the world efficiently share rental history reports and information.
  • Tipmart, LLC (www.tipmart.com – relaunching), a localized reverse auction platform making it easier for anyone to buy and sell almost anything, anywhere.
  • Zemuse (www.zemuse.com – coming soon), a social platform for anyone to buy and sell original compositions and theme sounds for Radio Ads, Films, and TV shows.
  • African Prince (coming in October 2009), a mass unscripted reality TV show offering exhilarating and breath taking dramas and cool prizes.
  • Jetie (www.jetie.org – coming soon), a mass platform that enables high achievers and professionals share their life and work experience with grade students anywhere.

Big Dumb Idea: Microsoft outlines vision of pay-as-you-go computing

CNN.com and CNET.com are jointly reporting that Microsoft has applied for a patent on metered, pay-as-you-go computing.

I understand that Microsoft (MSFT), after failing to conquer the Internet and to acquire Yahoo (YHOO), that it is now trying to discover new ways, even the most ridiculous ones that are surely doomed to fail, again, in order to maximize their online revenue. And this one in particular, for consumers to pay per each computer use, is the worst and probably the dumbest, because users will be subjected to paying more unnecessary fees and the majority won’t buy into the plan.

There’s already that 24-hour running, the most annoying TV ad from “Blue Hippo – get a brand new laptop or desktop”. And I am not sure how successful that one has been either.

Update: So, with this new, ill-conceived idea, you as a user, would pick up a computer from wherever, bring it to your home or work and only pay each time you use it. Then will Microsoft become like FedEx Kinko’s, where some users used to go and rent computers billed per each minute of use? This is real dumb! Microsoft just needs to quit trying to exploit revenue online and focus on what they do best or worse, innovative software, and some unique computing peripherals.

CNN.com states that; “Under a Microsoft proposal, consumers would receive heavily discounted PCs, then pay fees for usage. U.S. patent application number 20080319910, published on Christmas Day, details Microsoft’s vision of a situation where a ‘standard model’ of PC is given away or heavily subsidized by someone in the supply chain. The end user then pays to use the computer, with charges based on both the length of usage time and the performance levels utilized, along with a “one-time charge.”

Read more about this at CNN.com.

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New Site, Welated, Due to Spill the Beans on Your Love Life

In May 2007, I launched a patent pending data tool, RentersQ (www.rentersq.com), the most loved to hate rental history reporting site, which Business First of Columbus calls “… a tool for landlords to help take guesswork out of tenant screening”.

This year, I am launching a new site, Welated (www.welated.com), which is poised to be the site that you and everyone else in the world will have to check before you go on a date with anyone, anywhere.

In 2000, I launched InterCOL (www.intercol.net), which I thought was the best business history reporting site project ever, back then, and then in 2005, I launched Tip-Mart (www.tipmart.com), a patent pending online reverse auction site, a new site is coming in early 2009, and then RentersQ.

Since last year, I have also been developing Gatepedia (www.gatepedia.com), another patent pending innovative marketing utility platform, but this one is a huge project and will take at least another 10 months before it’s launched to the public.

Each time I work on a project, I always think that this is my best, but when I start to develop a new one, then I realize that this one is my best yet.

So, Welated is the social venue you’d love to hate, and you’d wish you can stop me now, so I don’t have to launch it. Because, no matter who you are or wherever you are, Welated is going to spill the beans on all your personal relationships and love life. The good thing is, it’s going to be a lot of fun…!

I have to stop here, because I am starting to reveal too much about Welated.

It’s is on, just stay tuned…!

The Power of the First Class Flight

Last week, we were flying from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, on a Delta Airline, first class, and I sat next to this one guy; he looks like he’s in his late 50’s, and I am usually a quiet guy until you start talking to me. So, I boarded a little bit late, so he was already sitting down, and I just said hello and sat down quietly. Then he stroke me with a simple conversation, and we started talking.

To my surprise; he’s a CEO of a Fortune 50 company, and for the rest of the flight, about 1:45 minutes or so, we talked, he’s a very knowledgeable and diversified person, I felt privileged sitting next to him, and I can see that he too was impressed by my wide experience.

I’ve met a lot of interesting people in the past, but this guy is incredible and unselfish in sharing his experience on how he runs his company. I felt like I was in an A+ business school. It was the best time of my life, meeting and talking to someone like him, one on one, for the duration of the flight.

Why am I writing this here? No specific reason, but I just liked it a lot, meeting him, talking to him, and just getting to know him.

So, next time you take a flight anywhere, try flying first class, if you don’t already do, you may meet some interesting people. Stop trying to save a buck by flying in the coach, the first class is one of the best ways to networking.