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Africa's biggest challenge is getting an honest workforce

06 Mar 2024 at 20:14hrs | Views
I used to criticise African companies like Dangote Group who hire so many Indians while there are many unemployed Africans, but now I understand their painful decision.

The biggest challenge in our manufacturing businesses is not power or infrastructure, the biggest challenge is getting an honest workforce.

Everyone we hire seems to be on a mission to steal as much as possible from inflated invoices, recording less than the actual number of units produced.

The worst part of this is that all of the fraud we've uncovered is not committed by one person, it's usually multiple staff members colluding with each other, from production to sales to finance, even management.

I reviewed management 3 times in one year.
 
It got so bad at one point that my main criteria for hiring staff was no longer competence or certificates, but honesty.

At least skills and abilities can be acquired, but once you're dishonest, you're beyond repair.
 
We always complain about the economy and the fact that there are no jobs.  I know people abroad who would love to start job-creating businesses in Africa, but they can't because they can't get someone they trust to run it.
 
I know people in Africa with so much money, they want to start factories and other job-creating businesses, but they can't because they are busy elsewhere and can't get someone they trust to run the business. So instead of investing in the real sector and creating jobs, they will just buy treasury bills, while the thieves scream no jobs and no food.

I bet big African organizations like Dangote can set up shop in any African country and create millions of jobs, but I bet corruption and dishonesty at the top of government is what keeps them from helping Africa.
 
Many great companies would be born in Africa if we could engage in partnerships, but we can't because you can't trust anyone.

This is an advantage that the Indians and Lebanese have over us in Africa. They can pool resources and do mega-businesses, unlike the Africans.  *One person has to do everything because we can't partner, so we end up with small and very small businesses.

*Even siblings CANNOT run a business together. The dying or dead super stores in East Africa that would have become the Walmarts...are a great example.

Start a poultry farm and they will steal your eggs. Some will even go ahead and kill the chickens so that they are allowed to take them home.
 
Start an entertainment/viewing/gaming center and they will pocket your money. On the days you are in the business, the money made will be 10 times more than when you are not there. Because they are eating your money and eating their future.
 
Buy and lease a vehicle to a driver to use and watch as they finish you off.
 
Start a restaurant, the same thing will happen.  More than half of the total food ingredients will end up in their personal kitchens.
 
Even the regular grocery store or kiosk attendants will find a way to steal from the small investors.
 
You will see them quoting their perversity by saying, "The goat grazes where it is tied, " Hmmmm"

Imagine them *justifying theft at work, killing their own jobs and the development of Africa.
 
You will see these people *poking their twisted fingers at politicians when they are no different.

I usually say that "the reason most Africans haven't stolen billions of government money is simply lack of opportunity.

The few honest Africans, both in government and in the private sector, are considered stupid.

You are not stupid.  You are what Africa desperately and painfully needs.

How are we going to evolve when those who are supposed to oversee and manage stores, kiosks, supermarkets, factories, schools, hospitals, water works, road construction, street cleaning, power plants, bus fleets, parking collections, building construction, etc., are the ones who conspire to steal from small local investors, large local investors, governments and foreign investors?

How will we evolve when our school principals are the ones plotting to steal school supplies, school fees and school food, etc.?

How will we evolve when our hospital officials are the ones who plot to steal medicine, beds, sheets, blankets, food, consultation fees, etc.?

How?  How?  Cry our beloved continent.

How will we evolve when the officials responsible for ensuring and enforcing standards and reducing cost estimates are those who conspire with local and foreign contractors to inflate costs and reduce work standards to steal public money for personal gain.

At all levels, "Africans are Africa's problem.

In my opinion, the simple reason, which can be replicated across the continent, why Rwanda is a rising star in Africa is that Rwandans and foreign development partners and investors know that the country's top leadership cannot accept dishonesty in both public and private service.

Partners imagine 54 Paul Kagame at the head of African countries!!!

Even the so called western world and eastern world would not want that because we would be FIRST in 10 years.

We Africans need to wake up and rethink Africa.

Africans at all jobs from the sweeper to the craftsman, the salesman, the storekeeper, the driver, the tea or coffee or flower picker, the purchasing manager, the head of the governor, the nurse, the doctor, the cook, the painter, the builder, the senator and the minister must be honest for the sake of mother Africa.

By being dishonest, we violate Mother Africa. Foreign elements know our dishonesty and so they come to Africa to steal our vast natural resources with abandon and give a few crumbs of bread to those Africans in charge of running our countries at the expense of our development and self-sufficiency.

Who will save us from ourselves?

Africa can rise again.  Let Africa rise.  Stand up and be counted as a people.

It is time to CHANGE...
 
Karim KONE, former CEO of BRS (now ORABANK) Burkina.

Source - online
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