Can a starving man or woman think of feeding the world? Can an uneducated man or woman think of changing the world with education? Can a struggling businessman or company in a local context think of taking the business global?
At first glance, it’s hard. For example, in the case of hunger, they used to say that hope is a good breakfast but a bad supper.
If someone does not have breakfast and lunch, and in the evening there is also no food, this is a disastrous situation. Human beings, like any other living organism, have biological needs (like food) to survive. In our life, when someone asks for help due to lack of food, we should be understanding and help when possible.
Ideally, most businesses are created to meet a need. Even a starving person can think of a food company to feed the world. An uneducated person may go to great lengths to obtain an education and become an educator.
A struggling local business can also grow and become world famous.
It’s not easy at all, but it can happen because we live in a world of great possibilities. Tanzania’s Permanent Undersecretary for Economic Management Policy, Ministry of Finance and Planning, Mr. Lawrence Mafuru, recently called on the private sector in Tanzania to stop looking inward and “think global market eight billion people. The big question is whether any company has been unable to serve the domestic market of 60 million people or the more than 300 million citizens of the EAC? Can it go for the 8 billion people? According to Mr. Mafuru- “There are abundant market opportunities there. What you need to do is think big and hope big. The sky is the limit, but the limit is in our minds.
He recalls the famous quote from the late business guru Reginald Mengi: “Everything you see is a figment of someone’s imagination or dream.
What is your imagination? What is your dream”?
If Tanzania and Africa are not ready to go global, countries outside Africa will continue to dominate us in terms of production and business. We end up being the market for the rest of the world and leave our young men and women unemployed. Just look at our roads and see how many cars are made in Africa and profitable. Look at our manufacturing sectors; the beer and cigarette companies are the biggest taxpayers. Can we build a nation by drinking and smoking beer? It’s hard.
In terms of population and natural resources, Tanzania has what it takes to become a world leader in many sectors. For example, our maize and cassava can give the world the kickstart it needs to fuel industries.
There are many crop value chains that can be established to serve the world. But we must stimulate our imagination and mark our nation. Look at beans from Tanzania, Tanzania is the main supplier in Africa, but we don’t have any brand image.
As Mafuru says, it’s time for Tanzanian-based companies to take the lead in going global.
We live in the age of the internet with the rise of digital marketing, and getting brands to go global is no longer for the rich and the corporate world. It’s more about the imagination and capturing the minds of the masses in the world.
Yes, businesses and businessmen in Tanzania face many challenges, but they can always rise to the occasion. To a large extent, business ventures aim to solve the problems facing the world.
Tanzania and Africa should be in the lead. We must collectively refuse to be a dumping ground for all products made outside the continent when we export very little. Every African country deserves a balance of trade for the benefit of its citizens.