By THE WEALTH CREATION FORUM
The wealth creation forum is a dynamic platform where an assemblage of dedicated professionals converge online from all over the world to brainstorm on and formulate strategies for wealth creation and sustainable development of Africa. Thus the forum can inter alia, provide advisory assistance to those setting up small scale and medium scale enterprises in order to promote job creation and fuel economic growth. The group also uses the knowledge generated to educate government functionaries, technocrats, policy framers and private sector bosses.
The forum considers a given topic and explores how it can lead to prosperity, marshalling points for and against. It can also explore a given small scale enterprise and find plausible ways it can be used to achieve critical mass employment.
March 2022 brainstorming:
The wealth creation forum explored how the bombardment of Ukraine by Russia has rattled the world political establishments and financial market, increased the price of goods and services and affected all countries of the world. The forum thereafter considered how African countries in particular can turn the tables around to ensure that Africa comes out stronger and better than before the conflict.
Key Findings from our brainstorming
1. Investments in Energy Innovation
“Gas monetization opportunities abound in Africa but our natural gas resources have not been effectively harnessed”
• Our industrial ‘waste’ can be monetized through several technologies, including LNG, PNG, CNG, and GTL technologies
• Since more European gas will be sourced from Africa due to the new market gaps, enterprising Africans must place themselves in the position leverage
• African leaders should position the continent to Western countries as credible alternative to their addiction to Russian oil and gas
2. Agricultural Sustainability
“Africa is a large continent that cannot feed her people yet she has the capacity to produce all that we need and more. Since the beauty of Agriculture is in the value chain, AFRICA will be at an advantage if we can fill in the yawning shortfalls of the global agricultural and energy markets”
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE WEALTH CREATION FORUM
• Since the demand for food and other basic necessities of life far outweigh the supply (which will worsen due to shortage in the global market), we must first undertake the necessary steps to achieve self-sufficiency and to feed ourselves before we think of exporting to other continents of the world. Critical players in the Agricultural sector must be supported with incentives and grants to boost productivity.
• We need to make available the necessary means of production. So we can grow our own food and processing them locally. Adoption of Smart industry, automated machinery and agricultural orchestration will be the game changer.
• In the long term, we can channel our energies towards export of processed agricultural products to other continents to maximize earning potentials and change the narrative that Africa I only good for sourcing raw materials.
• Agricultural enthusiasts in Africa should particularly focus on producing all of the major items that are largely sourced from the Russian and Ukrainian regions to harness and utilize the emerging market gaps internally and across the globe
The major aftermath of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis is that it provides unprecedented opportunity to African countries to strive for economic emancipation by walking the necessary miles that will bring smiles to the generality of Africans
However there are several mitigating forces to navigate.
- Africans do not have confidence in themselves (we do not know and have never aspire to our true potential and abilities)
- We lack organization as a people. Most of the African businesses still operate informally with no laid down structures and cohesion.
- Since we do not have a sense of who we are, we import western realities and definitions without ever bothering to embrace originality and deep thought (from finished laws to finished goods)
- We lack the political will to undertake the necessary projects to make things happen. Instead we resort to quick fix, shortcut measures that do not last the test of time.
- There is no effective leadership on the continent and virtually no understanding of what to do with power by those who are in the ideal positions to put the necessary solutions in motion
- There is also the challenge of governments and government policies to contend with. Policies change at very short notice for personal or group gains to the detriment of our collective progress as a people. Corruption is rife and we all pay the unfortunate price one way or the other.
- We do not have the adequate capital investments, technology and expertise to compete on the global stage where the odds are greatly against African countries.
- To make things worse, institutions and organizations like IMF, OECD, IBRD and WTO do not offer much respite to African countries. These institutions impose strange and unworkable economic policies on African countries without any iota of considerations for the peculiar realities and sociopolitical nature of the economy of African countries.
Solutions to Our Limitations
“Our solution lies in exploring how the continental self sufficiency and security can be pioneered by willing Africans”
Africa is blessed with arable land and a growing population. Our only salvation during this crisis is to start by building self sustainability and in order to do that we must:
• We need to go back to our origins to build African centered systems. A western standard of systems will only end up contributing and complimenting western societies.
• Inasmuch as we want to play the global game, we cannot play it according to rules set by our very competitors, adversaries and people who do not mean well for us
• Africans need to organize better and learn the art of community: to act in the interest of the whole and to work together constructively
• Our youths need to be taught veritable and credible nation building approaches to business and entrepreneurship. This entails the overhaul of the current school curriculum
• Proper education needs to be made available wherever it is lacking and to those that lack it. By proper education we mean one that is intentional about producing Africans who can solve African problems. Skills acquisition programs should be inculcated into the current school system all over Africa.
Walk the Talk
“Importantly, the Wealth creation forum wants all Africans to understand how the rest of the world excludes Africa in virtually everything. For example, G20 could have been G21, quite easily.
However, so long as these world leaders believe that Africa – home to about 1.4 billion people that is about 16.5% of the world population and with roughly 75% of earth treasure deposits does not deserve a seat at the table, little can be said until our leaders realize or an internal force comes up to galvanize the governments of Africa”
There is no better time for Africa than NOW to begin to marshal out plans on: Food sufficiency, Continental currency, Policy on alignment, Continental security and regional stability”
• As we approach the Russia-Ukraine crisis with solutions and initiatives, we must do so keeping in mind – the long term
• This long term must be rooted in sankofa – we must go back to the drawing board to come to terms with our identity and then redefine our purpose as a people (which is at the risk of being lost)
Every great nation and continent on earth was built by ordinary people doing small things that turned out great when their collective efforts collided to create far more value than they ever anticipated or even imagined.
While we talk, we must act! AND THAT IS NOW!!
Chief Chigbo Uzokwelu
Wealth Creation Forum