Thursday, 5 April 2012

Africa gave up Facebook, Groupon and Zynga before they knew it could happen.

I read this article by Forbes.

It says what so many have said already. Africa is not deficient of ideas, but rather of support, of funds, of faith.

It's hard for me to accept at times. It's hard for me to be comfortable with African innovations stagnating until an American comes about with a wad of cash - simply because I believe everyone comes with their own ethos, their own way of doing things and when their money is on the line, they'll definitely be giving their two cents and moulding their projects to serve their needs. That's a fact of life wherever you go. I won't pretend as if its just the USA. China make it quite clear on the continent too, and others follow.

Mainly the hardest part of reading this article, was coupling it with my understanding of Africa's post-independence history. For many, these years in this century is Africa's calling. For many, pre-Y2K was coloured with war and famine and war and famine and coup after coup after coup. They don't know, or have never bothered to see that there were some, like my Grandfather, who were there willing to invest in their area, in their peers, in young talent. I've seen evidence of that - if anyone would like to dispute my claims. My Grandfather himself was a big thinker, one who had the ideas and requested the supported as everyone must, but then once he had made it he was there looking for the next big thing to support. His country cut the legs from underneath him and they thought they were doing just him a disservice, but they didn't see that 25 years down the line, Forbes would be asking "where are these people?".

That they can write to say we have none, as if we never did, as if we have not yet reached a level of understanding needed for development, frustrates me.  Ghana for one example had these people and then 1979 happened. They should now ask themselves, how to we get these types of people back. How do we grow IN THIS LAND, the type of people who can sponsor an African Facebook, Groupon or Zynga - I'm happy for Google to be unrivaled because I just love them that much ;-) - the way we did before.

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