Africa’s population is estimated at 1,2 billion living in 54 different countries. Africa is described as a resource-rich continent with major key economic drivers such as trade, agriculture, mining, energy and manufacturing. Africa’s economy remains the lowest compared to other continents regardless of abundant mineral deposits and vast arable land. The continent remains at the helm of complex challenges such as shortages of energy, infrastructure and the manufacturing sector still needs to be revamped. The rates of unemployment and poverty levels are at their climax. The big question one can ask is, what could be the key to Africa’s economic turnaround?
BY PATSON CHAPEYAMA
In this age, entrepreneurship development has emerged as the key to Africa’s economic revitalisation process. Pathway breaking offerings by entrepreneurs, in the form of goods and services has a great result in intensifying job creation, which can produce a cascading effect of increased employment and higher earnings, contributing immensely to better national income in the form of tax revenue. Entrepreneurs play a pivotal role by investing in community projects and financial support to local charity organisations, enabling further development beyond their ventures.
What is entrepreneurship? My definition of entrepreneurship is a mindset that seeks out for opportunities through a business idea or expanding an existing one and managing the risk associated with it. Entrepreneurs are problem solvers, who are able to translate the challenges we are facing to earn a commercial value.
All business models are centred on a common principle of identifying a need in the society. The beginning of entrepreneurship is when one identifies a need in the society and provides solutions. As the continent is facing many challenges, it is calling out for problem solvers, who will identify a need and provide home-grown solutions.
One astounding discovery I learned in business is that great entrepreneurs of our time have one thing in common. They dared to start. It is not enough to identify a need or to come up with a business idea, you have to implement it. One thing is clear, whether a small dry cleaner or small IT shop down the street, entrepreneurship drives the economy.
Launching your own business is one of the most fulfilling and rewarding things to do, says Richard Branson, Virgin Airways founder. Napoleon Hill in his sought after book Think and Grow Rich, remarked that: “We who are in this race for riches, should be encouraged to know that this changed world in which we live is demanding new ideas, new ways of doing things, new leaders, new inventions, new methods of teaching, new methods of marketing, new books, new literature, new features for the radio, new ideas for moving pictures.”
Most African entrepreneurs are, to a greater extent, contributing to national gross domestic product and economic growth. Nigeria’s population is estimated to be above 163 million people and, according to Al-Jazeera, in every household in Nigeria you will find a Dangote product, which ranges from sugar, salt, flour just to name a few. Aliko Dangote Group of companies creates employment for more than 10 000 people.
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