Africa is being sold – prostituted – to anyone who poses as a foreign “investor”.

You have so-called African “leaders” – a few people in positions of power and with power – prostituting their countries to the next pretentious so-called foreign “investor”, who is promised and given preferential treatment over the nationals and their business efforts. A foreign “investor” who comes in and literally handed free resources such as free land and free labour (not accessible and granted to nationals except a few with umbilical connections to the powerful who have [the] unchallenged power to decide who to cut off from or connect to the umbilical cord of national resources) and given free rein; yet comes in with nothing substantial to invest except to piggyback on all government resources and incentives such as grants and other privileges to make a killing and run away, without any social responsibility whatsoever.

The value and greatness of any so-called “great” companies and organisations and by extension, potential “investor” – in Africa (any African country) – should not only be based on the stock price or “great” but certainly fuzzy promises of value creation made and hence laid out in their “investment” proposals submitted to African authorities. But, more importantly, on what value they create and have, hence, created in their home countries. How they treat their most valuable asset [resource] – the people who work for them and therefore the people who ultimately create [organisational] value. Particularly their welfare, how they live, their quality of life, which is essential [key ingredient] to any working life.

It makes no sense for a company or organisation to be highly regarded, highly rated as “great” and valued, while its workers – the very people who make it great and highly rated by creating its value – are struggling to make a living, to afford or keep up with the cost of living and can’t afford [to buy] decent homes or pay rent in fairly decent neighbourhoods and have to supplement their lives with extra jobs.

There’s no way such company or business organisation can honestly intend and/or claim to want to create value in (to) other (foreign) societies – in form of foreign investment – in Africa or anywhere else. It’s simply intent on extracting value – whatever value there’s to extract in foreign economies (markets) – and as fast and quick as possible, at the least possible costs, and exit (run out) as fast and quick as possible.

The language and talk of “creating value” is simply a snake oil salesman’s tactic. It’s a gimmick only the gullible and ignorant or the wilfully  corrupt, especially as is widely the case across many African countries, will fall for and accept.

The value and greatness of any company and/or organisation must therefore be substantially measured by and reflected [correlated with] in two fundamental aspects: a) the welfare and quality of life of its entire workforce (personnel); not merely and only its so-called “senior” management [executives] and how well spoken and articulate they are, at articulating the values and culture and greatness of the company and/or organisation without regard for [the plight of] those who are the real creators of its value, who make it great by [with] their hard work, who do the hard grind under such extreme working circumstances and low pay; (b) what value it has created within the society – the environment in which it operates – and how it has positively contributed to the preservation [protection] of the environment, and how it treats its workers and their welfare.

These should be part of the key components (elements) of any “investment” proposals made by potential foreign “investors” in Africa and they should constitute the core criteria upon which African authorities judge and hence accept and allow foreign “investors” into African countries. Short of that, they should effectively not be accepted and allowed entry into African countries and given access to national resources.

We must not shy away from asking what makes any company or organisation that purports itself as “great”, great? What makes it great?

How does it create and/or where it ultimately derives its value? What is the [social and environmental] cost of such value and greatness?

There’s this prevalent but nonetheless naive and frankly pathetic tendency to glorify the so-called “captains of capitalist industry” without asking whether or not those captains are captaining their industrial ship empty or full? And if their industrial ship is full, what is it full of?

A captain captaining an empty ship is no captain. He or she is a sole-ship cruiser on a leisure, if not entirely ego trip. Similarly, a so-called “captain of industry” captaining an empty industrial ship is captain to none but himself/herself and own interests.

It’s similar to this equally pathetic tendency of glorifying a leader for their leadership prowess and achievements while completely ignoring the contributions of the leader’s followers – that is, the led – in that which and what makes the leader great and therefore, essentially and ultimately, for which and what the leader is being glorified.

No leader becomes great alone without the help of their followers and certainly no one can be a leader without [the] followers. A leader is as good and/or great as (and hence, reflects the quality of) his or her followers. Great leadership is (a manifestation/reflection of) great followership. A good or great leader is a good or great follower too.

Similarly, no single individual creates value alone, and no company or any organisation becomes good or great without the help and dedicated and selfless contributions of others within the company or organisation and society as a whole.