Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Poverty and its Problems in Africa are Business Opportunities.

These days you do not need to look far to realize how poverty in Africa has ravaged lives of scores. While this is sad, we also forget to quickly realize that these problems provide abundant business opportunities in themselves. And I know that as you read this article, if you come from developing countries, you surely have someone or even yourself has a real need for food or shelter.
The irony is that, there are countless promises on the Internet all of which talk about being a millionaire overnight! Surely if this hype is all true, everyone should be a millionaire as of today but that is not and will never be the case. The Internet is still a far cry in the vast rural Africa which accommodates most of the population. So, the Internet hype cannot help Africa in the short run but can in the long run. What is critical for the rural areas in Africa is not international aid but rather sensitizing the masses about income generating activities and they are countless of them. While the market in the western world seems to be flooded with products and services to the extent that you can never have an opportunity to enter the market, the truth is, there are countless business opportunities in rural Africa. Therefore, all the efforts by the international community should be targeted towards educating people of the rich natural resources that surround them all of which offer numerous money making opportunities. In fact it is much easier to become a millionaire in these so-called third world countries than it is in developed countries where people laden with debt. The main point is, end poverty http://www.careinternational.org.uk/.
You must be asking the same old question, but where are those opportunities when we are starving to death across Africa? Well, this is the reason I am writing this article in order to show you how you can raise from racks to riches moreover in your own backyard. But before I show you how, I want to tell you that wherever there is a problem, that problem offers massive business opportunities. These business opportunities will vary geographically. What I mean is this; developed countries have their own problems that range from junk mail to bank charges while developing countries suffer the menace of slums to street children. Whatever problem there is, you can make a business opportunity out of it by devising a solution to that specific problem. In fact we should go further and borrow one term from the cyber world; the long tail so we can apply it in the non-cyber arena. I will break down the application of this term below. But whatever disagreements we have in the world today, there is one fact that we all agree about. That is, poverty alleviation is critical now than ever. We also agree that poverty in Africa is already at the breaking point. However, as bad as it is, it nevertheless presents us with business streams and linkages that can not only earn us extra money but develop rural areas.
I am now going to list down some of the problems faced by rural Africa and also use the long tail to filter out the income streams that can be utilised by virtually any one to earn money with the purpose of improving their quality of life.
1- Food shortage: This is the most sang out problem ever faced in Africa and the time of my life. So how can one turn this into a business opportunity? The answer is simple and straight forward but requires business thinking to mint money from this problem.
Using the long tail, you are not going to provide every type of food but instead:
(I) Choose only one type of food crop for example potatoes (locally called Irish potatoes and as to why they are called so, please, do the Google), as your speciality on a large scale as can be determined by your market and give them your best care and let the money roll in. Another person can choose another product and another and another, the list is endless!
(ii) Another product you can focus on is pig farming; again using the long tail, you can decide to produce pigs for either meat, sausage or simply breeding and selling young ones. Whichever you decide to do in this area, poverty will be alleviated. And again, do same with all the animals you can ever think of; by the way including dogs because puppies are a gold mine these days, cows for meat, milk etc.
(iii) If you choose to go for coffee or cotton, then go for it and give it your best short and sit back to reap the rewards but do not start to think of being the mayor of your area yet!
(IV) Plant acres of potatoes and feed everyone, of course, not for free.
Do you get the point in all the above examples?
2- Unemployment: As you can see from above, it is very clear that as an entrepreneur specializing in your area of production, you are already creating jobs for those youths who are causing havoc and misery on a daily basis. In essence, we are killing two birds using one stone. Brilliant, work done.
To underpin this problem further, let us consider some other hands-on-job projects that will really wet our throats.
(I)Trained brick layers; why not sharpen your art of making bricks as a home grown business brick maker using the God given abundant clay soil? Supply your entire village with bricks.
(II) Gather all the river sand, make gravel from stones and be the merchant in your area and beyond.
(III) Open up a restaurant and cook good food using international recipes and you can even specialize in breakfast.
(IV) Open up a school canteen and using adventurous recipes, supply the kids with cheap but dietary bites.
(V) Use your free land to improvise a sports academy to offer an alternative to traditional education.
(VI) Specialize in digging up latrine pits and charge people for your time and labor http://www.endwaterpoverty.org/.
(VII) Fetch water for homesteads at a reasonable fee.
(VIII) Begin a borehole and charge people for water where it is scarce. See what it means to have no water http://www.endwaterpoverty.org/
(IX) Provide security services for people’s property including gardens and shops.
(X) Learn how to drive and get a job as a driver and handyman.
(XI) Do all sorts of odd jobs for people and let them pay you.
(XII) Open a grocery shop and make sure you follow a business plan.
(XIII) Act as a middleman and receive commission for your services. You may know where to find something which someone else has no clue; that is money.
(XIV) Learn how to assemble bicycles and buy parts and become a bicycle seller.
(XV) Go to college and learn how to repair car and or become an electrician and form your company in rural areas.
(XVI) Buy milk in wholesale and sell retail and pocket the difference.
(XVII) Supply scaffolding services and charge money as you provide employment for yourself and other people. This is the forward for the building industry.
(XVIII) Open up a hardware supplies shop and make money.
(XIX) Do child care services and build your reputation as the best.
(XX) Collect rubbish and dispose it and make money. Go on and form a company for the service and employ other people to work for you.
(XXI) You are theater person, form a group to fashion out informative drama; go on the telly and make money.
You know what, I can go on and on, but this is the taste of what can be done to alleviate unemployment and ultimately poverty.
Crucially, it is the African themselves that will end poverty by being innovative and guarding their resources strongly against careless leaders who may destroy it. Nobody from Washington or London or Melbourne is going to bring about rural development but rather the local people have to stand up work hard.
The campaigns that are sounded all over the world should simply supplement the local initiative and should be government policy to develop the much needed infrastructure both administrative and physical. We must end the gruesome conditions that robbing us of precious lives. Read more here http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101050314/
This article will be continued from here.

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困難的不在於新概念,而在於逃避舊有的概念。......................................................................