How we see Africa today
Africa remains a land of contrasts and extremes. It bears no comparison to the Africa of ten years ago. The influential West consistently fails to grasp this salient factor. There are now over 100 cities in Africa, each now hosting populations in excess of 1 million people. There undoubtedly remains chronic problems of poverty traps, hunger, unemployment, climate change consequences and food insecurity; alongside these debilitating phenomena, there is an emerging and burgeoning ‘middle class’ with massive purchasing power and with sophisticated tastes and aspirations. It is our intention to design solutions to address previous decades of hitherto apparently insurmountable problems. We will help deliver our commercial entrepreneurism and knowledge management techniques to transform the lives of the disadvantaged, transformation being the key word. Previous well-intentioned strategies delivered change, which is fleeting and reversible, whereas our transformation approach becomes embedded, sustainable, empowering, self-perpetuating and delivers hope instead of despair.
AFS features and champions ‘trade’ and not aid as the means to grow a successful future for Africa. Years of abortive dependence upon aid is demeaning, self-defeating and represents undistinguished, failed ‘sticking plaster’ policies. Entrepreneurism must become the platform and benchmark we use to build, rebuild and transform the sustainable potential and underpin the successful future of the African continent. Entrepreneurism can and will provide a sustainable legacy of self-determination and the means for Africans to become masters of their own destinies. AFS recognises the caveat however that we operate in a global society which is often unfair and where year upon year the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Citizens, employees and entire communities are inevitably often sacrificed upon ‘the altar of self-interest’ and greed. Africa often typifies this situation.
We are also especially aware of the role, influence and importance in Africa today of the vital contributions made by the global diaspora to the African continent. Their diaspora remittance funding now represents a massive part of the income which now significantly underpins the African economy. We further forecast the African diaspora taking an even greater role in the future as their commercial knowledge and experience begins to influences their homelands and their wider African families. This will also mean however that they will expect greater consideration, regard and attention from decision makers within African nations. Politicians and business leaders in Sub Saharan Africa should take time to listen to and learn from, the growing importance and aspirations of the diaspora for their native lands and their insights and wisdom.
Significantly, in these more enlightened times, distinguished and insightful African leaders now recognise that to successfully grow as prospering nations in today’s dynamic world, Africa must (and will) embrace and implement emerging insights, experience and knowledge so as to help them better understand the urgency and need to fast track change which will empower, transform and sustain the continent.