Africa’s private sector is the weakest link in advancing regional and global trade and investments in Africa. Foreign Aid is government to government “transactions” while foreign trade is mostly business to business engagements.
The growth of Foreign Aid is driven by governments and the growth of Foreign Trade can only be driven by the Private sector. So, until Africa’s private sector mobilize themselves and are empowered to show up on the global stage with financial strength, intellectual rigor, negotiating skills and market entry strategies they are only still playing in the sandbox.
Trade is an aggressive push to capture commercial opportunities. You must have some fight in you with intellectual fortitude and strong acumen on how the world of trade and investment works – otherwise you are only swinging at the wind – nothing happens for you! It is one of the important reasons why I invest time in teaching and coach my clients and members i.e. those who wish to lead the future.
I encounter too many people every day who keep showing up with shovels to build the foundation for a skyscraper – instead of showing up with their bulldozers. If your efforts do not match your goals, it all appears to be a pipe dream because you cannot compete when you are a kid in the ring with heavy weights. International Trade is where the heavy weights “fight it out” – if you are not prepared and coached to win you will be knocked out easily. You have lost already because of your lack of preparation.
It is also the era of David vs Goliath – you can take down heavy weights if you only know the right tools and resources to use in the ring and this is what gives me hope for Africa! Africa can win if they come to the drawing board to sharpen their skills – i.e. get the right stone to swing at the proverbial Goliath through proper market entry strategy and export development frameworks with flawless execution!
I had the opportunity to share on the same panel with Deputy General for the World Trade Organization (WTO), Commissioner for Trade and Development at the African Union, Director at UNECA and others:- I will continue to raise the clarion call that until the Private sector is invested in Africa is not going to get to its ultimate destination for prosperity for all.