Thursday 26 May 2016

Invest in our African future

The word “investment” generally makes us think of financial interventions and opportunities. So when we are encouraged to invest in our continent we may wonder what we have to offer, if not money.

If we think about it for a while we realise that investment can mean anything that we put in towards building up the continent on which we live: economically, socially and ethically.

So let’s put our heads together to come up with different ways in which we can invest in #YourEduloanFuture, and in the future of Africa.

Buy African

One of the best ways to make a financial investment in our country’s economy, and by extension, the economy of the continent, is to support local businesses.

It’s really easy to do as well – it’s simply about choosing products that have been produced locally when you do your shopping. Of course, some of our favourite products and brands come from overseas, but with just a little shopping around it’s usually pretty easy to find locally manufactured alternatives, which often offer better value for money and are of equal quality.

Educate yourself

There is no better investment than education. It’s an investment in the most important asset of all: human capital. It’s a pretty straightforward equation too – more and better education produces people who are more skilled, who have more knowledge, and who are better equipped for the world of work and other endeavours that benefit the economy.

An educated continent is a healthy continent, filled with people who have the skills, abilities and knowledge to make valuable contributions in whatever careers they pursue.

Teach others

Education and learning are lifelong activities. We never stop growing, never stop accumulating knowledge. One of the best ways of acquiring knowledge is to learn directly from other people.

Educating each other by passing on the skills and knowledge we have gained is a very important way in which we can invest in our continent, through the people who live in it. If we look around we’re sure to find plenty of opportunities to do so. We can teach junior colleagues the deeper details of our jobs or professions. We can share information we’ve gained from reading or from television documentaries. We can join online discussion forums; there a plenty of ways to spread knowledge and information.

Look after what we have

Africa is a continent with an ancient history. Tradition plays an important role in our cultures, and we often look to our forefathers for guidance, wisdom and knowledge.

In the same way, we need to look after what we currently have: our cultures and their symbols, our heritage, our way of life and our shared values. This can range from preserving historical buildings and artefacts for the benefit of future generations, to making sure that we pay our taxes on time so that money is available to fund the many initiatives that preserve and further our cultural values. 

Environmental awareness

Possibly the biggest challenge facing our continent at the moment is the threat of environmental destruction. We’re constantly being reminded of the damage we’re doing to the earth and its atmosphere with what we consume and dispose of – with our cars, technology and need for sources of power to keep everything up and running.

Africa is particularly susceptible to the effects of environmental change: the continent is already very vulnerable to catastrophic events like drought and famine. This means that we need to be extra careful to live in ways that are as kind as possible to the environment. A little reading up online will give you plenty of ideas for how to do this.

Any investment is a good investment

There are plenty of other ways to invest in your future and in a bright African future for all of us who live here, and our children to come. It doesn’t really matter how you choose to do it – as long as we are all making an effort.

I’m sure you have your own suggestions on how each of us can invest in Africa through how we live our lives. Give us your ideas here, or tweet us on

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