The shelves of African markets are decorated with foreign brains. These brains are all on sale, some wildly expensive, and some more moderately priced.
It’s no joke: poducts manufactured outside of the continent range from body products and cosmetics to foods and beverages, and they’re all are at the easy disposal of the African consumer. Despite this trend of Africans investing a fortune into foreign products, there are some exceptional Africans who believe that that their brains and knowledge should also go on sale.
An example of African entrepreneurship comes from efforts by the researchers at the Biotechnology and Nuclear Energy Center in Accra, Ghana, to create a more affordable insect bait. The center used to purchase foreign-produced baits at about $40 per liter, but with the production of local baits containing local, natural ingredients this cost has reduced to an average of $6 per liter–a reduction of more than 200 percent!
So what exactly happened here? The center was successful in identifying a need within their system. They then looked for (and found!) the solution to that need.
The local bait manufactured by the center was proven to give even better results than the foreign baits did. As a matter of fact, the farmer who experimented with the local insect baits had the highest level of productivity amongst his group of farmers and also won the farmer of the year award. The local bait reduced the cost of agricultural production and simulataneously resulted in an increase in the farmer’s productivity.
The success of the Biotechnology center presents a challenge to all Africans: What are you doing with your brain? There are numerous ideas waiting to be transformed into realities and there is no better time than now to take action. It’s time to get more African brains into African markets!
Blogpost by Toluwani Adekunle, a social media reporter for AASW6.
Photo: S.H. Nielsen