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Friday, May 25, 2018

IF YOU WERE AN AFRICAN LEADER HOW WOULD YOU FINANCE DEVELOPMENT AND TRANSFORMATION

Written by: Muoka Chibuzor G


Africa was born to win, as it remains a continent full of untapped opportunities and totally susceptible to astronomical developments and unparalleled transformations. The acknowledgement of this indisputable fact fuels and motivates the inner desires of a knowledgeable African leader to reposition the African nation, thereby making the proceeds of their wise decisions beneficial to posterity. Africa being the root of the black race is endowed with enormous natural resources and raw materials from time immemorial, but as a result of several drawbacks of which includes: failed planning, poverty, high level of illiteracy, excessive borrowing, indiscriminate consumption, and corrupt leadership. Sadly, Africa has continuously produced the world’s poorest and most underdeveloped countries irrespective of her riches and enviable glory. This shows that there is an error somewhere, and according to Albert Einstein who was a German theoretical physicist, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” Thus, there must be a positive change; else Africans would keep groping in the dark.

There are rooms for greater achievements in Africa, and this needed positive change must be embraced and fuelled with proactive actions, so as to facilitate development in the right direction. Africa can be propelled forward, so that it grows and becomes more advanced in every facet of life, in essence, it becomes a more advanced continent. The process of development is facilitated by myriads of unrestricted transformations occurring in a stepwise manner; if one would clearly understand that Rome was not built in a day. These stepwise transformational changes would gradually and completely change the obstinacy of Africa to positive change, and make her adaptive and susceptible to growth and development. To achieve this admirable feat in Africa, a magic wand is not needed, and neither is it as complex as rocket science, but rather a critical examination to uncover the dilapidated areas, and the proffering of effective solutions for their immediate revival, becomes of optimum importance. One of the indispensable agents of development in this context is public finance of which is all about the role of the government in stabilizing the economy of a nation. Public finance is the branch of economics which looks at government revenue and expenditure, and the adjustments put in place by public authorities to achieve desirable goals.

At this juncture, the need for efficient finance (funding) comes into play. According to Sanjay Kumar a Sri Lanka businessman, “finance is critical. If sufficient investment is made in infrastructure and venture capital made available, there would be a big improvement in the situation of things.” Therefore, finance is a field that is inseparable from investments. National growth can only come from investments and not from enjoyable consumption nor from addictive borrowing. However, in order to generate any form of finance and make any tangible investments, the peace and stability status of a nation must be taken into account, because a nation in chaos is absolutely devoid of development and characterized by backwardness. Hence, no amount of investment in societal disunity would bring tremendous transformation and development. It’s like aiming to save water in a clearly perforated basket, of which is a daunting task. Having gained independence from the colonialists, the onus is on the African leader to review and modify colonial ideologies that fuel incessant disunity, so as to ensure that various ethnic and diverse backgrounds are accommodated, and all reasonable grievances addressed. Since the rules were created by colonial masters who knew very little or nothing about the people’s actual ways of life. This amendment action would help make the environment conducive, and the people friendlier and willing to embrace transformation and development.

Firstly, the primary source of finance would be harnessed from the wise utilization and channelling of available natural resources into productive areas and the deep involvement in commercialized agriculture. Agriculture must be given every necessary attention via public sensitization and flag off of agricultural development programs, because agriculture is one of the best weapons against hunger and abject poverty. An adage says “a hungry man is an angry one, and to him a piece of bread is the face of God.” Therefore, for a progressive society, there must be a constant availability of food for the highly esteemed populace. The products of natural resources and agriculture would also be exported and sold to other countries so as to generate revenue. Through the revenue, agriculture can be made more mechanized so as to boost output. This would promote African trading, and project the African market to the limelight. Intra-African trade would be promoted and Africans would be encouraged to patronize and not despise locally made products. This would spur Africans to become more creative and seek to develop manpower. To ensure strict compliance, high import tariff or bans are placed on the importation of products that are locally produced, thereby reducing the prevalence of unnecessary importation, making the people value what they have, protecting local industries, boosting the economy, and also creating more jobs which absorbs the idle and eliminates crime occurrence within the society.

Secondly, the secondary source of finance would be gotten from taxation which is the centre part of modern day public finance. Tax which is a mandatory financial charge must be taken very seriously. Revenue from taxation would make the government more capacitated to fund public expenditures and execute transformational ideas. Approved revenue agencies are created and deployed to various sectors of the economy so as to collect tax. Tax can be gotten from the income of exporters, importers, and property owners. In addition, the privatization of several sectors of the nation would prevent monopoly and bring about healthy competition among organizations as they strive to provide the people with the best, while bringing in development to the places where they are located. Money generated from these secondary sources would be budgeted for the creation and provision of public basic amenities of which includes; provision of a good educational system, advancement of the weak health care system, creation of good transport systems, generation of adequate power supply etc. When the public basic amenities are available, the maintenance of favourable and stable government policies would attract foreign investors who would love to help develop the African nation in the course of executing their industrialization ideas.

Thirdly, the tertiary source of finance would be gotten from the seeking of foreign aid of which can be bilateral or multilateral. Aid is an important tool for promoting economic development and welfare. Therefore, it would be sought for from various international organizations including the United Nations (UN), World Bank, or from developed countries and the European Union who are members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Funds gotten from foreign aid must be used judiciously, and a good percentage of it used to empower the youths by the creation of entrepreneurial skills. Project aids would be used to build schools where entrepreneurial studies would be incorporated into the school curriculum so as to churn out youths who would help diversify the economy, eradicate monopoly markets, and provide more rooms for employment. The utilization of foreign aids seems to be a lubricant in frictional life; however, it must be sought for and utilized with wisdom so as to make the best out of it. For example, receiving food aids doesn’t always help; rather it further impoverishes the local farmers who can’t sell their farm products in the midst of imported foods. This shows that the excessiveness of foreign aids can as well cripple the economy and dampen the spirit of entrepreneurship, when it becomes a hobby.

In conclusion, the welfare of the followers must be of primordial importance to a true leader, because human investment is one of the best investments one can ever think of, bearing in mind that the African society is solely a true reflection of its occupants. When the subsequent generations to come are prone to low-quality education and poor healthcare, there would certainly be high mortality rate as a result of ignorance, poverty, and disease. Consequentially, every investment in infrastructure and economy would then be of little or no benefit. Therefore, financing the development and transformation of an African nation can only be achieved by the true commitment of a devoted African leader, and the proper adoption of several developmental strategies of which includes the expedient exploitation of the primary, secondary, and tertiary sources of finance as addressed in this paper.



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1 comment:

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