Africa Rising: Africa is home today to nearly 1 Billion consumers. By GDP performance it sits as one of the world’s fastest growing economies and by land mass is the biggest single marketplace! The needs and wants of Africa and Africans are by far the most significant in the world with the ensuing (though still surprising to the western world) buying power, the Geo-political environment is the most diverse, the profitability margins unprecedented! While succeeding in Africa is no child’s play, many business people and leaders are doing just that. The breadth of Africa’s commerce engagement span agriculture in small and big scale to meet basic and practical needs to research in medicine in universities like Africa University of Science and Technology where Masters and PHD researchers under the leadership of Professor Soboyejo (Princeton) engaged counterparts from Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and the like; to policy makers representing the continent for good in systemic regulatory frameworks they know will usher in economic sustainability even against all odds; to entrepreneurs who are building infrastructures in every sector from communications to banking to media, working in partnership with international entities and the Diaspora; to the recognition of the youth struggling to take their place as they assume center stage as a market and political force for the very near future.
The Personality Profile of the Rain Maker: I had the honor of speaking to 3 very respectable and quiet Africans; Ambassador Makanga – Ambassador of Gabon to the UN, Asogu Nkwazema – MD/CEO Intrazones Ltd, Kola Karim CEO and MD Shoreline Energy International. What they have in common – hard work, hard facts, hard intent! They are producers with quiet discipline, they execute their roles with authenticity and respect, no bluster, no posturing. They care deeply about the continent at large and are involved in ways that impact real people but without the pomp and pagentry. If they are in the news it’s because they were sought after or the news was organically there, not because they organized the press coverage, this kind, is exactly what Africa needs! My simple perspective is that “The emergence of Africa cannot be sustained by sound bites and emotional rhetoric but by serious work, serious people and serious discourse” The people I described above are “Rain Makers” they believe and keep at it till it happens, notwithstanding the obstacles. They honestly just do. The great thing is that there are many more like them and by the way they are diverse both ethnically and to a lesser extent racially, what they have in common is that they go relatively unnoticed everyday!
Because of its diverse socio-economic terrain, Africa’s Rain Makers have a unique type of resilience, perseverance and tolerance only matched by the grace with which they navigate it. Ten, twenty years from now as the world’s global terrain continue to see unprecedented challenges and changes (i.e EU/Brexit, US stance on immigration, NAFTA, UN, NATO etc.), it will require a new wave of people with a special touch of “magic”, Rain Makers who have the grit, the resilience, the focus, the perseverance and the tolerance to navigate that terrain. Africa is that training ground!
I end with this simple quote: “The significance of Africa as a marketplace is not determined by what anyone thinks or permits as a story or the given trend of any season. The significance of Africa is that it is big, rich and can never be discounted, all it has to do is emerge for the rest of the world to see!” – “Now that emergence cannot be achieved by sound bites and emotional rhetoric but by serious work, serious people and serious discourse.”