Poverty is the absence of production. Often, people who are said to be living in poverty tend to apportion the blame on others for their predicament. However, this goes to show the crisis of creativity in poor people.
Africa has usually been associated with poverty, wars, diseases, and underdevelopment. It is quite astonishing and puzzling that a continent embodied with a lot of natural resources stills prides itself as one of the least developed continents. Does Africa not produce enough? Does Africa lack a lot of creativity? These questions demand answers.
For a long time now, Africa has economically depended on the major economic powers for financial ballots from time to time. The World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other financial organizations have designed programs aimed at reducing poverty in many African countries. These programs aimed at reducing poverty are always a brainchild of the major economic powers. These programs perhaps always have a cosmetic touch to them as they rarely tackle the real challenge.
Africa perhaps needs to take a leaf of countries such as China and Singapore which were struggling economies a few donkeys’ years ago. But as it stands, they are the centres of the world’s major productions. Major companies are shifting their production departments to these countries because they offer a viable business environment.
A famous adage says “do not give a man fish but rather teach them how to fish” is what Africa really needs at the moment. Programs of offering monetary support to Africans does not solve the problem but rather exacerbates the problem. What Africa needs is to develop production industries that would help increase the production levels and bring to a stop the blame and dependence syndrome.
The production industries will help improve the exports of many African countries. Exporting finished products is going to be far better than exporting raw materials. The value of finished products is more significant than raw materials. The raw materials will be processed into finished articles which will be exported back to Africa. Acquiring these finished articles results in a trade deficit for many African countries who export only raw materials.
Another point worthy of noting about reducing poverty in many African countries is improving the fiscal discipline. Fiscal discipline has for many donkey years remained a number one hindrance to ending poverty in Africa. Lack of proper fiscal discipline has often bled corruption. Lack of prudent management of resources results in discontentment and cynicism in citizens. Lack of fiscal discipline results in pursuing programs that are not adding any value to the needs of the people. Proper fiscal discipline helps to put in place the availability of all necessities which in turn helps to foster development and equal distribution of resources for the benefit of all.
Africa needs to step up the levels of production and produce more because only then will Africa shed off the tag of poverty.
By Moono John
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