Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Carnival of African Enterprising [Part 1]

This is the first part of the 5th Carnival of African Enterprising presenting views of bloggers based on the theme Positioning Africa in the 21st Century. This edition was first published in The African Executive on 10th October 2007. The second part will be presented on the 17th of October 2007.

According to Timothy Kioko, Positioning is the aggregate perception that people (target market) have of a particular continent (product) in relation to competitors in the same category. A country like India is positioned as a business outsourcing hub; China on the other hand, is growing super fast as a major force in the international trade arena and is in the process of positioning itself as a major trading partner in Africa. Saying that Africa is already positioned as the highest recipient of foreign aid, he advises the continent to re-position itself as a business hub by embracing democracy, efficiency, respect of property rights and encourage innovation. Africa should not sleep as the other regions take over the world!

Kenyanomics holds that adopting sound economic policies that encourage economic freedom will lead to economic prosperity. He adds that obsession with poverty eradication is a major threat to economic freedom in developing nations as it increases central planning and crowds out individual effort. Kimani argues that the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) only serve to widen avenues of corruption and increased budget imbalances, both of which have crippled Third World economies for decades.

Randy Nichols believes that developing a market based education system that encourages careers in business will boost the continent in its bid to position itself as a source of international labor. Experiential knowledge gained from such labor exports will form an integral part in Africa’s development. He advises Africa to embrace any opportunity to get training in fields that will see its marketability soar to greater heights.

According to Gustav S going to university does not mean that one is highly educated. Many Africans believe that the only way to achieve goals in life is to go to school, learn a profession and then get employment. Becoming a professional, going to the University or taking required steps to land your desired job are important but it is just the beginning of one’s way to success. He urges Africans to develop Discipline, Self Control, Consistency, Perseverance and Faith in order to move forward as a continent.

Finally, G. Kofi Annan says that the continent needs to develop its own film and broadcasting industries with focus on local content. By producing local themed movies in the “right way” we can better present African in the international media. In his opinion, one of the ways that will change the process of making African films for Western audiences is to tie the African film industry to the strong African-American film community. While the film industry at large struggles to make a return on the production costs, with blockbusters not making the numbers they used to, the African-American film community has a great opportunity to align with the African film community and continue to grow professionally and financially. But creativity and authenticity is the real key.



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