For decades, left-leaning Westerners have blamed all of Africa’s ills on colonialism and exploitation. And of course many African countries have suffered a lot under colonial and apartheid rule. We should never forget that. But there are a couple of reasons why this world view is not only wrong, but dangerous.
Most problems in Africa don’t have anything to do with colonialism. We should keep in mind that Africa – just like most of the world until very recently – has always been poor. If we focus too much on colonialism, we get a wrong diagnosis – and that’s never a good starting point for fixing things. On top of that, it makes it easier for African dictators like Mugabe to blame outside forces for their own political failures.
In fact, this myth has itself become a major problem for Africa. By wrongly identifying colonialism and capitalism, it has even blamed the cure for the disease! Africa doesn’t suffer from too much globalisation. On the contrary, it suffers from too little of it! What Africa needs most is a lively entrepeneurial culture and the institutional framework supporting it.
And here’s the good news: They are there, they are ready, and they will never stop trying – Africa’s entrepeneurs, Africa’s workers, Africa’s new middle-classes. They are tough. They are creative. They are proud. And they are positive about the future.
Watch “Africa as you’ve never seen it before” – and next time you hear about economic growth in an African country, you will remember these people:
Africa: Open For Business – National Black Programming Consortium
“…probes into the world of successful African businesses and exposes myths while debunking fears surrounding doing business in Africa. With concise segments following successful African and Africa-based entrepreneurs, decade-long Journalist, Carol Pineau’s film shows resilient and creative businesses who meet and exceed international standards everyday.”