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It is Business as Usual

2018 has certainly been a very eventful year for me and top of the highlight was the fact that we were able to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Inside Watch Africa (IWA). One of the several things I did as team head and publisher to commemorate IWA’s tenth anniversary is that I have dedicated my desk in IWA all through the year to examine ways and means through which one can successfully attain ‘sustainability’ in human endeavours and goals. I must confess that it has been such an ‘eye-opening experience for me’.
The premise on which I have tried to situate my thoughts on ‘sustainability’, right from March edition which is usually the first edition of IWA for the year is that no one is likely to venture into anything, knowing from the start that the venture is not sustainable. Therefore, if this supposition is true the puzzle I have been trying to unravel is why do ventures that seem viable and very sustainable at inception end up failing prematurely? I had offered what I consider viable solutions to this puzzle in the previous editions, however, I will like to cap my thoughts on the issue by first stating an obvious fact which I have tagged ‘the main driver to successfully sustain a venture – profit. Whether we want to expressly state it or not the main reason we all go into ventures is to make profit.
Ironically, most of us rarely focus on making profits, particularly those of us in the creative industry; we often rather dissipate our energies on what I call the creative escapades surrounding the venture rather than focusing on making profit. Let me confess that though I was aware that the main reason of venturing into the publication of Inside Watch Africa (IWA) 10 years ago was to earn a living by making profit from the venture, but I also got swamped in the ‘creative escapades’, surrounding publishing IWA, before I recently started to retrace my steps back to the main reason for which I started to publish IWA.
Regrettably, most African leaders today do not recognize the fact that from time immemorial more than 95% of human activities have always been driven by profit. It has always been business for profit. History clearly tells us that human beings have always traded and done business among themselves to survive.
From 500 bc until the 1800s ad, migrations occurred in Africa. The Bantu migrations from the equatorial to southern Africa that lasted until roughly ad4 symbolized the linguistic bonds that link two-thirds of the African continent. However, from ad 300 to 1000, what may have linked different African regions and, in turn, joined them to the rest of the world, is globalization and urbanization. By this process, rural communities that originally served to support only their immediate inhabitants grew into centres of trade, religion, and government serving a larger region. Urbanization and the commerce it thus fostered gave rise to the great states of the African continent and contributed to the global trade and exploration of the modern age.
Simply put, nothing has changed; it is still business as usual and there was no time that global trade stopped. What has continued to happen is evolution and re-strategizing of the techniques of trading globally. We were told that the world is now a global village’’ but I would have preferred they call it what it actually is -- global market -- where all sorts of trading of goods and services have continued to take place in different shades and styles and at different levels. The fact that African leaders today have refused to understand that business is happening all over the place and that the rest of the world do not really need Africa’s permission to trade with Africa cannot be overemphasized. My submission on this matter is that the most important qualification a leader needs to be able to successfully lead his country or people in today’s world is to understand the global market and know how best to trade and deal in the market to the advantage of his or her people. Christmas is a very few away, so I wish all our esteemed readers across the world a Merry Christmas and a very happy 2019. Still in the mood of celebrating the 10th anniversary of IWA, on the cover page of this edition, we are looking at Africa in retrospect (2018); systematically cataloguing African stories that made the headlines in 2018. We also took a cursory look at trading activities in Africa in the year. Apart from these two reviews, the edition is loaded with very educative interviews and exciting stories. I can’t remember if I have ever recommended that you read any particular piece in IWA since I am sure that the whole edition is usually properly put together for your pleasure. However, permit me to say single outTime Out’’ with Tope in this edition, as a must read. Enjoy!