Africa is a continent that holds 54 beautiful countries with people young and old who have some of the most intelligent minds. Why is it that the majority are impoverished and there is little movement for the economic systems in these countries to be improved? There is a cultural aspect of why economic growth is not happening, but more importantly, there is a bias that other countries have on the continent of Africa. The world treats African countries as though they need to be helped by giving them extra shoes for the children to go to school, or funds of large amounts of money that goes into direct medical relief. All of this “relief” and treatment of countries in Africa is actually hurting the infrastructure of the countries over time.
Entrepreneurs and business owners from Senegal specifically try to combat the poverty image because it hurts the growth of the country. A business owner in Senegal who produces shoes became completely broke and lost his business, because the American business lender, Blake Mycoskie, decided to donate thousands of shoes in this business owner’s town. In retrospect, this sounds like a good thing from the American’s perspective, but Mycoskie was actually stripping this business man’s opportunity to make money within his town. No one can compete with free—countries giving African countries “free” items actually hurts the economy. We are taking away opportunities for the people of these countries to start and continue businesses of their own and show how rich with value and integrity they are. What we need to do is help build within the countries by education and create helpful ways to build businesses within these countries.
Magatte Wade is an inspiring woman who has helped the people in Senegal by starting a skincare business. This business has employed the women and men of Senegal and uses products that are indigenous to Africa, showing how beautiful African products can be. This company has brought infrastructure to Senegal and has created many jobs for the people to flourish and show that they are rich with intelligence. Many women in Senegal who Wade has hired in her business have spoken about how they have never had jobs, they were always expected to stay home and wash clothes and dishes and prepare food for the men in their life. Wade has broken glass ceilings by giving women an opportunity to grow their culture in an aspect of women being able to work and bring home financial stability.
“We must continue to challenge the mindset”—Magatte Wade
Curiosity, human connection, and the ability to understand the mechanics behind a problem is something that our nation needs to be aware of. To help countries who are struggling, we need to take risks of judgment, question gender roles, and discover new opportunities in people that hold stigma and past beliefs may not have had. My life’s passion is to understand and create solutions behind a problem. When Magatte Wade started her beauty product company in Senegal, she started a revolution of change. The impact that people need to be able to change the economic infrastructure of poor African countries is to be curious- curiosity brings education.
Being resolved in understanding the mechanics behind why some countries are poor and why some countries are rich is something the world needs to hear. It is important to build up a country in which we can promote the development of youth. The youth experience the stigma of their country as useless and needy. This is a growth challenge for many of the people in African countries. We can make a change for these countries by giving them education, so they can provide themselves with great opportunities and jobs within their countries.
It seems like a simple task, yet many people do not think about this. Many people who live in these countries die going overseas to try and find jobs elsewhere. Hasn’t the world been through enough pain? Have we not struggled enough? Many people realize that business is the solution to picking up countries in Africa, and yet there is little to no motivation to create these businesses in these countries.
Anti-business attitude and philosophy is the main problem that has poor countries staying poor. One can no longer say they care about countries that are impoverished unless we make a movement and say this is enough—there needs to be change. We can be the change. We can be the revolution.