Wednesday, 6 July 2011

My View on Investors and Investments

On paper foreign investments seems to be the right remedy for economic ills facing many poor countries. As many people have pointed out that foreign investors are supposed to provide opportunity for the host country to develop its natural and human resources, on contrary companies are profit driven with multitude of shareholders waiting for their invested bucks. Well established companies will seek any opportunity to increase their profit margin without care as long as their backers are happy. That’s why bigger companies have a wall of lawyers surrounding them in case of legal action against them.

Where do we stand?, as countries dependent on foreign donation to carryout basic functions of our governments we are between a rock and hard surface, we are bound to be squashed. Do we have to welcome foreign investors who are bent on exploitation? The answer in my view is NO. We as the owners of our own land and what is in it we have to have the final say on terms of which who ever is interested would abide and adhere to. We should be the one writing up rules and regulations and terms of their activities in our countries and not otherwise.

I have nothing against people of goodwill for our country because I believe that not all companies are purely exploitative some have good policies that allow growth in both the companies and their host area of influence in both environmental and personal growth. The most pressing issue is that we do not have policy makers with expertise in looking after our natural resources, most of them look at the end of the balance sheet paper to see how much they will be taking home without regard to the impact of that investment on the environment and the population. This is evident on many cases aforementioned by many critics and activist. We all do the blame game and I think we have become experts on it, what we need is action plan and implementation of those plans. We all know that the earth has finite resources let alone a country like ours at this moment of having natural wealth abundance we are beggars when our natural resources are depleted what will we become.

China is now booming in terms of a phenomenon economic growth such that it is financing the whole world including America and it is to do with them exploiting their natural resources at tremendous rate. But naturally growth boom time is followed by bust time because they will not be able to sustain that growth forever due to finite availability of natural resources that’s why they are expanding their tentacles to countries like ours hoping to sustain their growth by collecting our natural resources to fuel their fire.

Now instead of us be in a position to negotiate these deals for our greater benefit we are doing the opposite by having few people without regard to the well being of the populace, making decisions that will impact our very existence in the near future. We can not allow few people to decide the fate of our lives our children lives for few bucks without a hint of shame that are putting this country in danger of both social and economic collapse.

The days of exploitation will never end if we do not take effective actions against it. They need our natural resources we should be ones putting up prices not them as they have been doing over millennia. They exploited us because we could not do anything with our produces (cotton, and others) we did not have technologies or industries to process them, it is still the same story we have rare earth minerals but we do not have industries to transform them into components used in mobile phones or other consumer gadgets.

This is different era now education is not confined in one part of the world it is global the same to technologies are not confined in one part of the world so we should put special emphasis is developing internal technologies and learn and copy other people technologies so that we can exploit our own natural resources and develop our know-how and hence transform our lives for the better. We should come-out of our shells and realise that things do not just happen they are done and we are the people who should do it.

In nineties we had a lot of small scale businesses producing goods ranging from shoes to the making of car accessories, what we needed was to support them and be proud of our own products and the government to offer special help to develop such businesses so that they can improve the quality of their products. We still have such business in various aspects of industries ranging from furniture making to mineral explorations. They need help because they are the majority employers in our country. Since not everyone will be employed by the government these small businesses are the backbone of the real economy if given chance and help in terms of knowledge and capital they will become a formidable force against poverty in our country.

We can play politics all the time to amuse our unquenchable friends but when the natural resources are gone they will be gone forever.

Mungu Ibariki Nchi yetu na utuondoshee UBINAFSI kwenye nafsi zetu

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