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Opinions of Monday, 3 November 2003

Columnist: Adomako-Gyimah, Julian

Africa Deserves More

I have just been reading the address by the former President of Ghana here in the UK and this man is really gone funny again. He did point out the fact that, the NPP whilst in opposition realised the popularity of the NDC amongst women. They therefore decided to kill them so as to raise panic and win their votes. How can people believe and even give this man the chance to say things like this? A child will even know that, this is a true lie and an analogy by an ignorant African. Africa can get rid of all its economic problems if and if only we give room to intellectuals and not ignorant people who find themselves at high places.Well, today Africa has been suffering from brain drain and this started right from the first wave in civilisation.

Africans were taken from their homelands and forced to work on farmlands in the Americas and Europe and these same people were exploited in the second wave in civilisation which is popularly referred to as the Industrial revolution/age. Most Africans now find themselves on foreign lands and they keep sending money to their relatives at home via wiring and other means but the question that arises is that, what is wealth? Wealth of a nation according to Adam Smith depends on the knowledge and Expertise and his means that, Africa will continue to lie in the gutter of practical life and Poverty unless we stop the brain drain. At the Microsoft headquarters in Redmond USA, Steve Balmer will admit that, their wealth isn't in their software they manufacture but the knowledge and expertise, and this is the reason why so many companies are finding it so difficult to compete with them.

Britain, USA and several western societies are making millions of money at the expense of Africa by way of entising professionals of African descent to seek greener pastures in their home. Several intellectuals have found themselves in these societies and are currently working in Financial institutions, Hospitals, Engineering firms and several areas in western societies. The closed system in most western societies however make it impossible for these professionals to take their money away to their friends and relatives. They thus end up spending the money in the same societies they work thus helping the economy once again.

In Africa, the system is so open that, expatriates and private investors encourage capital flight to the detriment of mother Africa. In the communist capital of Cuba, investors are forced to invest a percentage of their net present values back into the economy and thus, this phenomenon is managed very well by Fedel Castro and his comrades. Have we ever wondered what the future holds for Africa if we keep losing our human resource to western societies? Money isn't a true measure of wealth and this is why Africa keeps accumulating debts instead of generating wealth. According to the mangement writer, Alvin Toffler, we are in the third wave in civilisation and developing countries can win the markets and become very good economies provided they give attention to their technological needs.

Surprisingly, the Chinese economy will be bigger than the UK economy by 2005 and will in fact be the largest economy in the world by 2020 and this is a fact. Malaysia, Singapore and several Asian countries had independence around the same time as Ghana but have we ever wondered the secret to their success? It is their human expertise and knowledge and this is why Ghana could even give Ghana Films over to the Malaysians and change its name to GAMA to our own detriment. Africa has the ability to become wealthy once again and the only way this can be made possible is for the intellectuals to give their outmost support. Most countries in Africa have been blessed with so many natural resources but why are we still lurching in poverty? It is all because we lack the knowledge and expertise to add value to these resources. Most companies will turn their faces and look up to the developing world as the cost of labour gets more expensive in western societies and what can Africa do to win the trust of all these countries? We can only do this by assuring investors of the right human resource and the technical knowhow and this is exactly what countries like India and Taiwan are doing.

Knowledge and experience are the two measures of wealth and this is why most companies survive in the midst of strong competition. HSBC has just bought the Bermuda Bank for $1.5 billion and they are sure of an early pay back period and high accounting rates of return because they have the right human resource to execute the appropriate tasks perfectly. We will have to encourage intellectuals to stay at home and one way we can do this is to make education a right and not a privilege. People are forced to leave the shores of Africa right after their studies and nobody can stop them because they would have paid for their own education.

Since the introduction of the academic user fees by most governments in Africa, the exodus of intellectuals has soared and these governments have little power to stop this. Let's make education a right by going back to Nkrumah's ideologies and Africa can smile once again and become a dominant force on the world market. The world has laughed at us and this is the time for as to strike a blow by gathering all out intellectuals. The western world will fall on its knees should all the intellectuals of African descent head back to Africa and oh! what a great day this will be. Af Marcus Garvey outlined "we can succeed in big business just as we've succeeded in other lines of intellectual and mechanical endeavours provided we study business and the steps necessary to success; we can even sail the stem ship on the high seas". Africa will rise again if only we all help-one people, one aim and a common destiny.

Julian Adomako-Gyimah M.InstBA
President and Founder of Ayudar International
United Kingdom

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