African capitalism is the idea of a possible face of capitalism in Africa. It is a kind of contextualized capitalism ideal, taking into account the values of the continent.
By Kenneth Amaeshi.
An article from Libre Afrique
Africans have long been engaged in a capitalist system, however, the type of capitalism introduced by settlers has not always been contextualized. Is the solution africapitalism? What exactly? It is an economic philosophy that reflects the private sector's involvement in Africa's economic transformation through investments that generate economic prosperity and social wealth.
Rethinking capitalism in Africa
The development crisis afflicting Africa is due to the political and economic systems inherited from colonization, which have not yet been properly reformed. Most of Africa is paralyzed by weak institutions, poor governance and distressed civil societies.
The failure of the state or the private sector to deliver on their commitments has led in recent years to advocate for better collaboration and partnership between the state, business and civil society. This is necessary in order to tackle the development problems of the continent.
Capitalism in Africa is associated with a strong state, in the sense that it has a large, highly centralized power. Civil society is weak and dependent on the power in place. Little effort has been made to contextualize capitalist policies.
Copy and paste has been preferred to take into account African culture. It should be noted that a study is underway in Côte d'Ivoire, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa as part of a partnership of nine universities. Its goal is to rethink capitalism in Africa by focusing on the role of business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs in the development of the continent.
The values of africapitalism
The africapitalism is unfortunately still at the stage of the idea and the speech. It is based on four fundamental values:
- A sense of progress and prosperity it is not only the absence of poverty, but the presence of conditions that make life more fulfilling. These include access to quality education, health, social capital and democratic institutions. This is extremely important for a continent with extremely negative human conditions. The Africapitalism project is committed to improving them by promoting responsible entrepreneurship and a favorable business environment.
- A sense of parity and inclusion : prosperity must be shared equitably. It is easy to create nourishing wealth with strong inequalities. African capitalism is based on inclusive growth. In other words, it is about promoting a form of business that seeks to create financial and social wealth including all stakeholders. How? One such example is Ugandan agribusiness Good African. The company reinvests 50% of its profits in the well-being of producers and their communities.
- A sense of peace and harmony : the simultaneous pursuit of profit and social wealth is above all a quest for balance, harmony and peace. African capitalism shares similar values with the sustainable development movement. This could be summarized as follows: "… a process of human development … in an inclusive, connected, equitable, prudent and safe way".
- A sense of belonging : because africapitalism seeks to consolidate itself in Africa, a continent in the process of development, it rests on a strong feeling of belonging and geographical anchoring. He sees Africa as a place, not just a market, and takes people as individuals and not just as potential consumers.
The potential of African capitalism
African capitalism is in fact the idea of a possible face of capitalism in Africa. It is a kind of contextualized capitalism ideal, taking into account the values of the continent. Presented as such, it becomes an aspiration to the rebirth of Africa. It calls into question the status quo and deviances like crony capitalism that has not positively transformed the continent and on the contrary has developed economic predation, corruption, inequality and poverty.
How to propagate africapitalism?
If we accept African capitalism as a vision of the continent, education is a way to generalize it. Its principles must be firmly anchored in the curricula of business schools in Africa. Another way to promote it is to put in place government incentives and pro-private policies.
It is also possible to use public opinion with reward systems to encourage companies to incorporate African capitalism into their everyday practices. Above all, the fastest way is to mobilize "A generation of private sector entrepreneurs who have the vision, tools and opportunity to shape the continent's destiny". This is exactly what the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Program, the African Entrepreneurship Programs supported by the Duke of York KG, entrepreneur Aliko Dangote and former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, are trying to do.
It is to be hoped that African capitalism will eventually become a new economic system that truly meets Africa's development needs. While change and novelty are always scary, but the continent of Africa is the last stronghold of poverty, the risk of change is very low. Why not dare?
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