Building wealth as a race

On the heels of the recently held Global African Investment Summit (TGAIS) I cannot help but think about creating and maintaining wealth. The Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, Francis Gatare, was quoted as saying, “...this forum shall provide a platform to discuss sustainable development in terms of trade and investments with a regional perspective for the reason that Africa provides the largest promise of investments.”

On the heels of the recently held Global African Investment Summit (TGAIS) I cannot help but think about creating and maintaining wealth. The Chief Executive Officer of the Rwanda Development Board, Francis Gatare, was quoted as saying, “...this forum shall provide a platform to discuss sustainable development in terms of trade and investments with a regional perspective for the reason that Africa provides the largest promise of investments.”

These words speak to a macroeconomic approach to development which is integrationist and forward thinking. If TGAIS is more than ‘a talkshop’ then what is being referred to is possible for many countries on the continent.

 

Moving the summit to Africa sends a strong signal but should also drive us to think about what needs to happen to ensure that wealth is created and maintained amongst the majority of people and not just for a few.

 

There are sometimes private conversations which lean towards stereotyping. Discussions that certain groups of people, such as Jews, have cornered the market on wealth creation while blacks not so much. I am often saddened by this line of conversation but cannot argue too much as we do have further to go along this path.

 

The culture of spending more than we have or of thinking small must end.

President Paul Kagame has been quoted as saying, “Africa cannot remain a story of great potential that never materialises. Something has to give way. Let’s work together as one team and push each other across the lines we need to cross.”

I could not agree more with this sentiment and would extend it to the entire black race, not just in Africa but throughout the world. We cannot as a people continue to achieve less than our potential of greatness.

Individual successes are to be lauded and used as a beacon for what is possible. As a group though, we need to find ways to ensure that a seat at the table is ours. We must no longer be seen as the ‘dependent group’. The ones being given the most charity, the most aid.

Yes, as a people we have had challenges, yes we have often been dealt a hand that leaves pain and sorrow but we must reach the point where our history no longer stands in our way. Our history as a people has been long and hard - it must not be forgotten but the time is now to change how we relate history to our future. 

No longer should we be fighting each other because of ethnic differences; no longer should we be accepting corruption as the way things work. No longer should we accept the status quo in many majority black nations where dependency is the order of the day and wealth is in the hands of a few.

We need to see backs of charismatic leaders who use illiteracy as a controlling mechanism as we also need to learn how to become thinking individuals who do not follow blindly. 

A people who are financially strong are hard to manipulate and control. There is much potential among us but this has to be leveraged and moved beyond what could be. Work needs to be done at both the micro and macro levels but the black race, as a truly independent set of people with a full seat at the table, is possible in this generation.

The writer owns and operates Forrest Jackson Relocation Services

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