Dreaming of a solid future for our children un-born is the duty of every generation. With each passing generation, the later should be greater than the former.
When a generation fails to dream for the future, chaos happens. Ambitions shatter and inspiration leads to unnecessary perspiration… obviously unfruitful toil.
Why Africa Must Dream
During the 2015 African SME Summit, one thing was clear. The rhetoric’s must give way to action. However, when action is a function of thought and in most ambitious terms dreams, then the bearers of the dreams must run and not faint. When Africa arrives in 2050, will the story be a tectonic shift from what we have today or will our children be made incompetent before they are born?
Though dreaming is free, it requires a sane mind, inspired outlook and intelligent people who are sold onto idealism, standards and are values driven. Africa must dream because it is our duty to bring hope to an aging world. Presentation after presentation and discussions after discussions, it was clear that there were so many things happening around us which we are not talking about.
Our stories may be different but in a troubled world, we cannot depress our people more than to tell the sweet, inspiring, innovative and impactful stories which are happening to people like Alex Bram and his colleagues at SMSGH, Mabel Simpson of Msims whose believe in an Africa which is possible and passionate that she will still sell an African accessory so as to satisfy her pride of an African lady.
Prof. Attuahene of Nobel International Business School in his delivery made a poignant assertion that businesses must be bold to copy, however, they should innovate else they become inferior. To Prof. Matthew Tsamenyi, professor of managerial accounting and faculty member of the China Europe International Business School, who reiterated the fact that there must be synergies drawn from our collective strengths to make a case for why we do business. Cecil Sunkwa Mills, CEO of Multichoice Ghana, showcased how the media can play a major role in telling a story of Africa which is refined and ‘ownable’.
Who to Dream and Tell the African Story
We will be making a grave mistake if African businesses took the position of solving an African problem in their quest to make economic sense. As never before, our world is so integrated. What is ours is also for the world. However, we own this space and name of Africa and hence our solutions to the world problem, though may be sourced from elsewhere, should bear the semblance of our believes, culture, values and ambitions. These should be so refined that on the world stage, people will only notice world class products. We cannot hide behind the inactions of the systems to be mediocre. There are solutions and if only we can apply a lot of intelligence, research and development, we will chart our own future devoid of mainstream assistance.
Every continent, every country in the world have their problems and challenges. Europe is aging, the United States of America cannot control gun violence and gets more people killed in domestic gun violence than terrorism. However, spends more money combating terrorism than gun violence at the homeland. China, with a booming economy is gradually slowing down with relative increase in labor cost, gradually causing businesses to shift manufacturing outside. Africa also has its challenges of infrastructure deficit and many others. In all these, it is what we decide to see and tell. For every bad news, there is good news to counter. What Africa cannot do, and for that matter Ghana, is to leave our stories to be told by others, without us being interested in researching and driving the narrative. To this end, the media in Africa must lead the way. We may be troubled by politics, but it is not the magic wand to change our fortunes.
African businesses must also form stronger tiers and learn from each other. It is ok to copy, it is ok to get envious, it is ok to get jealous but let us learn to overcome these. In our quest to getting better at the things we do, it is important that we ask and engage our minds to answer these tough questions and gradually learn to genuinely be interested in our collective success. Trust will always be an issue in business, but it can be learned. We can build the capacity to trust and collaborate, but we must be ready to be disappointed and stabbed at the back. That is the only way we can know those not worth working with.
Author: Yaw Asamoah