My mother is from Ijebu, a town in Ogun State, southwest Nigeria, where the people are generally noted for being astute business men and women with the propensity to save and conserve funds. I guess that is the reason my mum has always exhibited what I consider a never-give-an-inch posture, while haggling to buy anything. Unfortunately, I have turned out to be a weak negotiator because I seem to have failed to imbibe this very potent trading trait which is arguably a standard practice through which most people arrive at a mutually agreed price for goods and services in Africa.
Since goods and services will always have to be exchanged, it is expedient for every human being to at least develop a level of trading skill. However, going by the trend in the international trading landscape, Africa and Africans have continued to fall short in this regard. Undeniably, several individuals’ particularly African leaders acquired stupendous wealth from being slave traders. Tinubu Square, a commercial center in today’s Lagos, Nigeria, is named after a major nineteenth-century slave trader, Madam Tinubu who rose from a humble background to become a very wealthy woman and later one of Nigeria’s pioneering nationalists.
In evaluating this illicit trade and the state of trade in Africa today one cannot but ask oneself if Africa derived any socio-economic gain from the slave trade and how far did the illicit trade impact the social-economic lives of Europeans, either positively or negatively? It is also imperative to carefully examine and ascertain if the quality of the goods and services that Africa is currently parading in the world market the very best she can offer? We also need to ask ourselves if the people we have put forward as leaders and negotiators are the best we can offer.
Africa is evidently holding on to the ‘short end of the stick’, as regards international trade, she deserves and can get much more than she is getting in exchange for her goods and services if only she can brace up and get sensible in the way she trades with the rest of the world.
Just like yesterday, IWA is five and as a team leader, I can confidently say that we are better prepared to face the next five years, having seen the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of the publishing world in Africa, particularly in Nigeria where we are situated. As part of our plans to commemorate the fifth anniversary and in fulfillment of our commitment to you to always deliver good value for the money you invest in purchasing IWA, we had planned a flag off of another value-adding product from our stable which we have tagged African Home Front Forum (AHFF), at the close of 2013 but have had to reschedule the flag off to the beginning of the second quarter of 2014. We are also rebranding the tourism segment of IWA to be manned by a very experienced editor, Mr. Tayo Adelaja as well as also bringing on board an interesting contributor in the person of Laila St. Matthew – Daniel.
2013 was certainly an eventful year, but to my mind, the most remarkable of the things that happen was the death and burial of “Madiba”, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who because of the sacrificial life that he lived was probably one of the most celebrated Africans that ever lived, thus we are featuring some of his most popular quotes while on earth as well as some snapshots of some of the celebrities that attended his burial in this edition. On the cover page, we decided to beam our searchlight on how Africa has continued to allow very careless poaching of elephants in her savannahs and forests such that they have become graveyards rather than the sanctuaries that they use to be for elephants. The release of this edition into the market is also likely to be slightly late because I attended the Calabar Festival and I am so glad to report that the government and people of Cross River state Nigeria have kept fate with what is today regarded as the biggest street party in Africa.
I will like to use this auspicious time to thank our ardent readers and customers for their unflinching support for IWA in the past five years for without you there won’t be us, so we thank you. I pray that GOD will continue to bless your various businesses. I will also wish you a compliment of the season and may the New Year bring lots of goodness into our different homes. Salute!