At no point in recent history have calls for Africa to industrialise been stronger than they have been lately.
Across the continent, industrialisation is arguably the most talked-about subject among policymakers. So, why has action on the ground failed to move the needle on this important development marker? Why have we never pushed for African-style economic imperialism?
Economic imperialism is a situation in which one country or continent has a lot of economic power or influence over others. This power, Africa has failed to possess. We are still dependent on European, Asian countries and others who possess economic imperialism.
Industrialisation of Africa which will lead to economic imperialism has been a campaign promise across the African continent, with its acknowledged ability to bring prosperity, new jobs and better incomes for all. Yet the continent is less industrialised today than it was four decades ago. In fact, the contribution of Africa’s manufacturing sector to the continent’s gross domestic product actually declined from 12% in 1980 to 11% in 2013, where it has remained stagnant over the past few years, according to the UN Economic Commission for Africa.
Had African leaders heeded advice from experts and pumped profits from the commodity boom into stimulating manufacturing companies, the results could have been different.
Experts have said that one of the main reasons for Africa’s slow industrialisation is that its leaders have failed to pursue bold economic policies out of fear of antagonising donors.
African philosopher, Charles N Lambert, proposes that an African solution to lack of development in marginalised communities for the world is the principles of compassionate capitalism, empathy-driven innovations in business.
Lambert agrees that most businesses are driven by pure capitalism, and on the other hand-compassionate capitalism incorporate capitalism and at the same time provides empathy programs/innovations which is what Africa needs until they can stand on their own.
In recent years, there has been much talk about capitalism evolving into a model of economy wherein corporations ensure that communitarian and people oriented business models are embraced so that profit is not the only criterion or reason why they are in business. In other words, Lambert is calling for capitalism to move beyond the “profit at all costs” paradigm and into a kinder and gentler variety that can place communities and people above the mindless pursuit of profit.
Indeed, compassionate capitalism or capitalism with a human face is finding many takers both in the developed Western world and in the developing and emerging world in Asia and Latin America.
Compassionate capitalism means that corporations have to account for the costs that they impose on the environment, the communities that lie in the vicinity of their factories and plants as well as offices, their employees whom they have to treat with more kindness, and the consumers and other stakeholders to whom they must be accountable.
In other words, Lambert wants African corporations to practice a variety of capitalism that is more humane, compassionate, and just and fair. This not only entails a mindset change but also a movement away from the dominant philosophy of polluting the environment and refusing to pay for the cleanup, increasing pay for those at the top of the organisational hierarchy and letting those down the ladder high and dry, not compromising on quality and safety of their products and goods and services, and to be transparent in their dealings with regulators and the governmental agencies.
It needs to be mentioned that in these times of planetary crisis where the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change are threatening the very existence of civilisation, where gross income inequalities and the obscene wealth gap is leading to social unrest, and where the ever accelerating technological change threatens the social contract on which our relations with the world are based, compassionate capitalism is no longer an abstract and remote concept, but something that we need on an urgent basis.
The true purpose of business is to uplift the experience of existing. It is not to make owners wealthy. It is not to produce ever-cheaper goods and services. Compassionate capitalism as Lambert has said, is an economic system meant to make a lot of money, help a lot of people, and have a lot of fun. It is not to keep an avaricious and toxic economic model afloat. And it is certainly not to make a profit.
To achieve this philosophy, Development Channel App should be adopted in Africa to help bridge the development divide between developed and underdeveloped countries through the use of 25 empathy driven companies covering creation of strong middle class, food security and strong infrastructure among the world's most disadvantaged. Nicknamed the Mother App because of the intricate presence of 24 other apps inside of it, the International Development App aims to fast-track development through highly informative videos on unprecedented innovations that bridge the development divide between underdeveloped countries and communities in comparison to the highly developed.
It's a good one because it helps the less previlage financially. It is the first time in Africa's history to have a 25-in-1 app. And it's high time Africans woke up and embrace this move for Africa's style of economic imperialism.
Africa have been exploited by the West for way too long but with development channel, introduction of compassionate capitalism, there is going to be an economic revolution in Africa through the spirit of Pan-Africanism.
This, we can say is a calculated and orchestrated attempt to revamp Africa's economy, a move for Africa's economic liberation.