I have been reading reactions of many guys across Africa about what’s happening in South Africa and yes, as usual there were more emotions, less sober discussions.
Then I listened to BBC this morning focusing on African migrants and the capitalistic networks involved especially in Egypt and Libya. One of the migrants talked about how long he had tried to leave for Europe and says, Europe is better Africa and this is my only chance in life and will not let it go. Some how Patrick Mbonye had been thinking about same stuff because he called me for a phone brainstorming on the same issue and three things came out of our discussion
South African leadership has let its people down, of course like many other African countries and in this particular case leaders for a long time have been saying for a discussion sake One Zimbabwean does work for 6 South Africans but without encouraging its people to focus on attitude change. Same thing here, you hear in discussions that Four Ugandans do what One Tanzanian does. In Ugandan hospitality for example, it’s not that Ugandans are bad but we don’t have any institution that can train Ugandans to compete for jobs at a high level like Utalii does, or Mweka etc something we have told leaders over and over…….
2- African Unity
South Africa has the highest GDP per capital on the continent and this has been built over very many years and from the look of things that is going down and that means Africa’s position is also under threat…….yes, Africa has 15% of the world population but only has 2% of the world GDP and the 2% is there partly because South Africa has done well and therefore, there failure is our failure……that is why I always say if a Ugandan is failing in business don’t laugh because it means Uganda is failing, that is if you are looking at things with a bigger picture……
3-South Africa as an entry point
South Africa for along time now has been acting as an entry point into the wider Africa mainly because they positioned themselves as such as we were sleeping and yes, partying. The way things are going, South Africa is going to loose that position and it’s now time for East Africa to position herself and the next frontier and yes, the gateway into Africa and to be honest our geographical positioning is the most ideal…….
Back to migration, people migrate due to the absence of opportunities and of course, we Africans mainly prefer finished products and when we leave Africa we don’t realize that people in the countries we want to go worked hard to build themselves…..many times opportunities come clothed in hard work and we let those opportunities go by and we think there will come a windfall and things will be so good and that never happens…..I remember a pastor once saying that UK is same size as Uganda and if the English were asked to come to Uganda and the Ugandans go the UK, Ugandans will ask for visas to come to Uganda in less than 5 years………that means if we worked smart and hard, Uganda can be like UK…………even in the land of opportunities, Mike Tyson had to punch heads in order to make a living………
Uganda’s future main problem will be unemployment. Today 36% of our population is 9 years and below, 56% 18 years and below and I think 75% 30 years and below. That means less than 20% of the population has to work to sustain 80%. 82% of employable youths are actually unemployed or underemployed and 20% of those below 18 years will join that unemployed youth and if there is no strategy like it is currently, then we must brace ourselves for tough times………we would have had challenges already but we have food because we own 48.9% of East Africa’s arable land something we can take advantage of……
With good thinking and smart work, anything is possible!!!