Opinion

Opinion: Reflections Of A Zambian Entrepreneur

An ideal country has three key people, a politician to make policy, a civil servant to implement policy and an entrepreneur to use policy and create value and pay taxes.

The taxes paid will provide cash needed for paying the politician, the civil servant and cater for other public needs such as health, schools, building roads, etc.

Therefore, these three people are all very important, if anyone of them is missing, then the economic and governance equation will not balance.

Now, since the politician and the civil servant are in most cases indigenous or local people, wouldn’t it be fair that the ideal entrepreneur should also be indigenous? Here is the interesting part, if the entrepreneur is a local person then most likely whatever money he makes is not externalised and creates a ripple effect within the local economy.

For instance, after making a profit he may decide to buy a plot to build a house, he will then buy materials locally and employ locals to help him build. This ripple will continue as the supplier of materials and the builders after making a profit will also decide to reinvest their money in other similar ventures locally.

This is exactly what happens in China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and even most European countries. Locals rule, locals implement and locals run the economy and pay taxes which develop their economies.

Making policy to suit foreigners or implementing policy to suit foreigners is like having a child who is still learning how to walk and when time to go shopping comes you decide to leave your child and go to borrow your neighbors child who can walk for convenience.

You will end up buying things like clothes for your neighbors child which will not fit or be suitable for your child. No country ever developed by entirely leaving the job of development in foreign hands. Local content is key.

In conclusion, for any country to develop, we expect the politician to make policy that supports local participation, the civil servant is expected to effectively implement this policy to the benefit of all including the local people. Local entrepreneurs should also work hard and out compete foreigners or at least come level. So everyone plays their role and the country develops.

By Kumbukilani Phiri

21 Comments

  1. Wise me

    Man you are wise! You have explained in as simple as it should be done. But at this moment in time one wonders whether we have the right politician, civil servant and intrepreneur in Zambia. My observations are that:
    1. People here

  2. Wise me

    Man you are wise! You have explained in as simple as it should be done. But at this moment in time one wonders whether we have the right politician, civil servant and intrepreneur in Zambia. My observations are that:
    1. People here were made by the forefathers to believe that independence means having free or easy things. This is seen in the way our education does not build responsible individuals to be relevant alround politicians to make policies for local intrepreneurs from every generation of the nation. Retired people are thought to be useless to any extent were they should be owed and die without being paid their dues which they could inject back into the economy by becoming entrepreneurs in various sectors of our country.
    2. Even if there were politicians making good policies, the monisterous civil service makes it difficult for the good policy emplementation because they are ready to skim-off public funds to enrich themselves.
    3. The local entrepreneur is ready and content to work with the politician as a cadre to receive alms and abbet the stealing by the civil servant as they connive sharing public resources through dubious business deals. Whereas the international intrepreneur is favoured because their tip to win a tender is lucrative and thus externalising our money offers high value turnover. Will this trend ever change. Doubtifully so because it has been inherited and coming at the time Bibilically foretold times are apparent. Read 2 Timothy 3 to understand the situation.

    • ROKA

      I agree totally with you that in 1964,the leaders told us that mayendele,and that the government was to provide everything. I remember clearly, practical subjects were regarded as slavery. At Mindolo Primary school in 1964, we were made to destroy a practical class room.But I was shocked what we found at Kitwe Boys High School organized practical subject teaching such as wood work,metal work, TD.Go to Kitwe Boys today ,these subjects, I don’t know if they are there,including the swimming pool. Emphasis was on liberation countries like Angola, SA,Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe, at the expense of developing Zambia.It was not bad but the approach.In short, our forefathers in unip potholed Zambians minds.It a strategy for unip to be in power eternally.

  3. Marker

    I like your analysis, surely Zambia what has gone wrong coz as you said,then the blame should be on the politicians .imagine which civil servant can make such a policy or is it the civil servant advising polician wrongly or politicians are slow to understand and critically thinking about the advice?

  4. kambwili

    This is good analysis if only we had learned leaders with brains. Thieves will never think and value such reasoning.

  5. Tom London

    Mr kumbukilani Phiri your opinion on paper your opinion is credible however modern politics under the new world order is different . Take RSA for the sake of this topic

  6. Loui Halw

    Good writing. Not putting pipo where they belong on merit has killed the whole system. We have politicians are playing all the roles with selfishness and would agree to anything as long as they fill their pockets. Politics of poverty. Freedom Sikazwe,Bowman..etcwhat do U expect?

  7. ROKA

    I agree totally with you that in 1964,the leaders told us that mayendele,and that the government was to provide everything. I remember clearly, practical subjects were regarded as slavery. At Mindolo Primary school in 1964, we were made to destroy a practical class room.But I was shocked what we found at Kitwe Boys High School organized practical subject teaching such as wood work,metal work, TD.Go to Kitwe Boys today ,these subjects, I don’t know if they are there,including the swimming pool. Emphasis was on liberation countries like Angola, SA,Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe, at the expense of developing Zambia.It was not bad but the approach.In short, our forefathers in unip potholed Zambians minds.It a strategy for unip to be in power eternally.

  8. Tom London

    Mr kumbukilani phiri your analysis on paper is logical however modern politics under the new world order can not work out that way in the sense that technology has turned things the other way round . Take a look at this scenario , the south African economy is in the hands of Anglo American , the USA ‘ s economy is in the hands of the Japanese and the whole middle East ‘ s oil industry is in the hands of Americans ,Germans , and 2 thirds of Africa is to a larger extant is now in the hands of The Chinese .
    Now to remind you one aspect of world economic s here again something interesting is taking place , oil produced in middle east , the G 8 determine the world price on the world market . Here at home the copper we produce marketing is done at the London metal exchange as such we don’t necessarily determine the price .
    So Mr kumbukilani your analysis is more academic than practical because modern economics is pushing us towards a single currency , the USA dollar and this is what makes modern politics vulnerable .
    Another interesting thing to consider is the external borrowing by almost all countries except China this aspect has a negative impact on developing countries like Zambia .
    And so you can not talk of modern politics without taking into account modern economics .
    This topic is you are trying to analyze is so wide and complicated because population also is a determining factor of your topic other wise I would say that it is a vicious circle because there are many related issues to the 3 aspects you mentioned .

    • Bowise

      THE SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEMS, IS HAVING CREATIVE LEADERS. LEADERS WITH FORESIGHT WHO CAN THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX, BREAKING THE VICIOUS CIRCLE. WHY SHOULD WE EXPORT COTTON TO A RHWANDA, WHEN WE CAN REVAMP THE LIKES OF
      MULUNGUSHI TEXTILES. GIVE THEM INCENTIVES TO PRODUCE QUALITY. FARELY PRICED PRODUCTS SUCH AS UNIFORMS EG FOR THE ARMY.
      COPPER, COPPER, WHY SHOULDN’T WE BE AT THE FOREFRONT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SINCE COPPER IS PLAYING A MAJOR ROLE IN ELECTRIC VEHICLES.
      Mind you; electric vehicle rotary motors use up to four times the amount of copper as that in a traditional combustion engine, from around 20 kilograms to 80 kilograms.

  9. Docks Locks

    One former Chief Executive Officer of the Zambia Railways Limited proposed to built underground railway line in Lusaka to avoid congestion in the capital city.
    The idea was good but it faded on a piece of white paper, no implemention. This is Zambia where good ideas are rubbished like news papers which are read on the first day.
    People are becoming rich on the expense of the poor. They promise to build bridges where they are no rivers, the poor populars will be there clapping hands appreciating the development a politician has promised them.

  10. drags

    goverment chimonembwa pantu taitasha ku bantu

  11. Jk

    This chipantepante govment

  12. JC SIKAZWE*

    PF can’t do such nakoswe mupoto.

  13. mulenga

    Too bad that our politicians are only there to plunder and all the rest suffer.

  14. Daisy

    Ba Phiri you make lots of sense.

    BUT they problem is leadership. Those countries you mention had selfless leaders not this gang that is giving everything to Chinamen in exchange for bribes that they chew in months.

    Nomba when it comes to voting you go for the same leaders with no vision apart from opening casinos for themselves. It is no use complaining when YOU have the power to change chalo chesu for the better by voting leaders with vision not ones possessed by ingulu of kabotolo but claiming to fear God just to hoodwink people.

  15. Kambole

    Nice and simple

  16. Feston

    Ok

  17. COLOSSAL

    True to the last full stop,we as a country need such critiques in order for us to grow.

  18. Zodwa Wabantu

    You speak the truth. However, in the equation the policy maker and the civil servant are letting the entrepreneur down and the whole country by extension.

    Policies are being made to suit the ‘investors’ – whose mission is to plunder or grab our resources from us. Making us beggars in our own country.

    The civil servant because of his laziness and desire for bribes to do the work he is paid to do.

    This is making us throw away wealth for nothing in return

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