En­trepreneurs need space to thrive

Financial Mail - - YOU SAID... - Ted O’con­nor Al­bert­skroon

Greg Mills, in Why is Africa Poor, ref­er­ences South Ko­rea, which had the same GDP as Zam­bia in 1968, yet to­day mar­kets its prod­ucts world­wide. Mar­tyn Davies (On My Mind, De­cem­ber 13) writes of the op­por­tu­ni­ties hid­den in a cri­sis, and how the Asian Tigers lifted their economies af­ter the Asian fi­nan­cial cri­sis of 1997. He points out that in 1992 Nige­ria and China had an av­er­age per capita in­come of $317. But in a lit­tle over 20 years China has be­come the sec­ond-big­gest econ­omy in the world. The dif­fer­ence in both ex­am­ples lies in knowl­edge, cre­ative think­ing, putting in place a course of ac­tion and, im­por­tantly, fol­low­ing through with it. Gov­ern­ments should take heed: ed­u­ca­tion is the key, and en­trepreneurs need op­por­tu­nity and cap­i­tal. The likes of Strive Masiyiwa of Econet in Zim­babwe and our home-grown Her­man Mashaba and Pa­trice Mot­sepe are nat­u­ral en­trepreneurs.

SA needs to lengthen the leash and give free rein to those with the know-how to cre­ate the space for en­ter­pris­ing in­di­vid­u­als to thrive.

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