WHY it’s IMPORTANT to NOT Create an African Business where You Compete with the LOCALS
Message to African Americans Moving to Africa and Other African Diaspora Returnees:
I heard a (true) story of a black man from America, who moved to Africa and started looking for a business he could start. He noticed the number of stands of coconut vendors along side the streets, sometimes even a few within a few feet of eachother or right across the street from each other.
He noticed how they were all selling what he saw to be the same thing with no differentiating factor (business people know this to be a USP- Unique Selling Proposition). So he had a “genius” idea…”I can do the same thing, along the same streets, ONLY I have enough money to get me a refrigerated stand, and offer cups, and straws, etc.”
Dear African American and other Black Diasporans Moving back to Africa:
You could OWN that market – Yes, but NOW you just took food off of the table for someone else’s children and made it harder for them to provide.
This sows seeds of discord.
Believe it or not, when you go to somewhere like Ghana, with USD where currently (as I type this) $1 USD, would get you $4.8 GHC…YOU are privileged.
NOW, I know A LOT of us coming from an oppressive land ourselves may find this hard to hear, but STILL you KNOW how that was. NOW, don’t turn around and use your privilege against your brother or sister on the continent of Africa and take food off their tables.
They may not have the same ideas and in most cases their money is not as long, so NO DOUBT you could potentially OWN whatever business niche you decide to dive in to.
Look to do business that HELPS local African business owners and vendors, business that helps MOVE THINGS FORWARD. There’s enough need to where we can start an African business filling in the blanks that are needed or missing and improve things, and help local African business owners, without competing head to head.
Too many expats and repatriates doing things like this (becoming direct competitors) is what can lead to ill-will towards African Diaspora Returnees, because you DO have the means to put MANY vendors out of business, IF you wanted to compete head to head with them.
But I encourage you, if they want to sell coconuts or other trinkets as their days work, to earn an honest days wage for their labors, leave that for them.
When you repatriate to Africa (Ghana, no matter where it may be) look to add ON, NOT take away from the locals and TRUST ME, there is So MUCH opportunity for you to add-on.
There’s So MANY problems you could be solving to move things forward.
The PUREST ESSENCE of Business, is JUST problem solving. If you can spot a problem and provide a solution to it, then you have a business idea.
I write this because it pains me to see African diasporans doing this. There’s enough in you to add to them, and the needs of the continent of Africa, and profit handsomely, all without taking away.