It is no secret that many western or foreign businesses have found fertile grounds for profit-making in African countries. Africans are usually excited to hear that another foreign business is coming to their area. Supposedly it shows that globalization is taking place and that the African continent is not being left out. But this trend also points a rather more disturbing trend: African youth’s lack of interest in entrepreneurship.
There are a wide range of business opportunities in the agricultural and other sectors that African youth can take advantage, but their lack of interests leaves these opportunities to be grabbed by foreign entrepreneurs. Why should we have a Kentucky Fried Chicken in Accra, Ghana, or Lagos, Nigeria? Kentucky is located in the Southern U.S.A. What’s it doing here?
In his speech at the 6th Africa Agriculture Science Week side event “Opportunities for Sub-regional Collaboration” this 16th of July, Madivamba Rukuni encouraged youth to actively take part in developing their respective African country through entrepreneurship. Rukuni urged, “Why don’t you fry your own African chicken and offer it in a better, more attractive way than KFC?”
There is nothing wrong with a young African deciding to raise chickens in a sizable and healthy space and then offering the chicken in a palatable and appetizing way to interested buyers. That way, we can have an African youth, raising his or her chicken in Africa and selling that chicken in Africa – the money stays here for the economic development of our own continent. The chicken scenario is just one example; other examples are as numerous as the imagination of African youth will permit.
If young people can wake up to the numerous business opportunities available to them within their own country and even the continent, they will be able harness these resources and ensure that Africa is indeed feeding Africa.
Blogpost by Toluwani Adekunle, a social media reporter for AASW6.
Photo: Carsten ten Brink