Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Money Sense with Jeremy Mansfield | Discussion on Entrepreneurship on the African Continent

Entrepreneurship is undoubtedly a critical tool to empower Africans economically and help them adress many of the developmental issues that the continent is trying to overcome. Jeremy Mansfield, Kizito Okechukwu, and Tracey Webster discuss the realities of the field and the direction that African entrepreneurs will take in the future.

Part 1 > (Entrepreneurship on the African Continent)

Part 2 > (Entrepreneurship on the African Continent)

To follow up with the host and the participants...

On Twitter @CNBCAfrica and @Jeremy947

On Twitter @AEntrepreneu

On Twitter @VirginUnite

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Africa's Cheetah Generation

Author: Yaw Adu-Gyamfi

George Ayittey, a Ghanaian economist, author and president of the Free Africa Foundation in Washington DC, wrote a book titled “Africa Unchained: The Blueprint to Africa’s Future” in 2006. In the book, the American University Professor sought to answer the question of why Africa is considered poor in spite of its vast natural resources. According to him, the answer is obvious: economic freedom was denied to them, first by foreign colonial powers and now by indigenous leaders with similarly oppressive practices, he opines. As war and conflict replaced peace, Africa’s infrastructure crumbled.

However, in a bold attempt devoid of bemoaning the myriad of difficulties facing the continent, the celebrated economist, proposes a program of development—a way forward for Africa.

Africa Unchained probes how Africa can modernize, build, and improve its indigenous institutions, and argues forcefully that Africa should build and expand upon traditions of free markets and free trade rather than maintaining exploitative economic structures. This plan has been termed as controversial, and since the publishing of the book half a decade ago, has ruffled many feathers both on the African continent and abroad.

The book also highlighted two generations of in Africa for which I will dwell on and discuss further. After a meeting with Professor Ayittey, I joined forces with young Ghanaian and African professionals termed as the cheetah generation, to highlight issues of socio-economic importance in Africa, mainly seeing challenges on the continent as opportunities to create wealth and jobs. Professor Ayittey talks about the Cheetah and Hippo generations in Africa at TED talk in 2007, Tanzania. He further adds that, since he coined the phrase –cheetah generation in his 2006 book, it has been used several times without recourse to what it really means. Below is a description of the two generations in Africa–Hippo and Cheetah–and how the latter is poised in his own words to ‘take Africa back one village at a time’ African elites may be classified into two groups: The Hippo and the Cheetah generations.