Thursday, 4 April 2013

Africa: The Land of Entrepreneurs

One thing Africa does not lack is entrepreneurs. If you need something to happen, you can always find someone who can hustle that thing into existence. In this particular case, a reporter needed Somali pirates for a story, and African entrepreneurs provided him with what he needed...
The story begins in the slums of Eastleigh, a sprawling suburb of Nairobi in Kenya and home to a huge Somali community.
There I met Adan. He and his friends are running an industry that had been fooling some of the best journalists from around the world. Their business? Pretending to be pirates.
"We pretend because we have the talent," Adan told me. "They (journalists) go to the boss and say we need pirates. The boss comes to us and says the white men need pirates. So he says 'pretend to be a pirate'."
In the words of the economist Ha-Joon Chang...

Many people believe that the lack of entrepreneurship is one of the main causes of poverty in developing countries. However, anyone who is from or has lived for a period in a developing country will know that developing countries are teeming with entrepreneurs. On the streets of poor countries, you will meet men, women, and children of all ages selling everything you can think of, and things that you did not even know could be bought—a place in the queue for the visa section of the American Embassy (sold to you by professional queuers), the right to set up a food stall on a particular corner (perhaps sold by the corrupt local police boss), or even a patch of land to beg from (sold to you by the local thugs).
Always keep this in mind: In any economic condition, an abundance of entrepreneurs is not a sign of a state's success but its failure.

No comments:

Post a Comment