The founder of SwiftaCorp, a pioneering African software and technology services group, Victor Asemota has opined that Africa doesn’t have problems, rather has issues and matters.
He said to think that there is a definite solution is what the real problem is. Issues and matters are dealt with using process and experimentation.
Asemota said this in a series of tweets on his verified and official twitter handle.
He also disclosed that a bank in Nigeria lost $2 Billion without customers or depositors knowing about it.
According to him, money can be created but very hard to destroy. Where did $2B stolen from a Nigerian bank go to? It went to improve other economies.
He said, “Woke up at 3 am this morning thinking of something that’s been bugging my mind and I’ve been unable to put a finger on it. The danger of the “African Problems” narrative vs “African Opportunity” both are dangerous extremes. I’ve been wondering why true innovation is hard to find?”
“Very few are talking about “African experimentation” or “African discovery” and “African exploration”. We believe there are definite states existing with definite answers and that is where we are totally wrong. There is, in reality, a lot of “African Ambiguity” seen as negative.”
“Labels are dangerous as they doom people into a path. Outcomes have remained the same because nobody is asking really hard questions. Change doesn’t come from the familiar but rather the unfamiliar. People with the real power to “let” change happen are within and not outside.”
“A bank lost $2 Billion and we swept it under the carpet. It still functions today without the customers or depositors knowing what really happened. We put lipstick on a pig and resold it. It is the same analogy for a lot of things we keep doing. Window dressing for the audience.”
“The audience also has an audience. That is something meta that I realized yesterday. Perceptions grow exponentially and become the norm. The reality is still there. Still insidious. We ring the panic button only when it is too late. Then the “Saving Africa” narrative starts.”
“There is a level of thinking that I believe we must have which is not too abstract or idealistic. It is the kind of thinking that rolls up sleeves and starts experimentation. Not the kind of thinking that writes fictional reports from hotel rooms and presents at conferences.”
“Money can be created but very hard to destroy. Where did $2B stolen from a Nigerian bank go to? It went to improve other economies. @EfosaOjomo has always been right. Corruption is not our problem, it is a lack of imagination.”
“My problem is that we keep making these pronouncements without practical steps and remedies. The people who have the power to solve it are paralyzed with the narratives those who don’t want it solved are peddling.”
“African ambiguity is both a problem and an opportunity. Our traditional religions recognize this duality. I have been trying to understand why we totally ditched our traditions and norms or corrupted what is left of them to make them grotesque and not very popular.”
“I can be good and bad but I try hard to remain good. To the world, I am either good or bad. They forget that I am a human and can struggle with conflicts. That is the problem of Africa as a person. The struggle each of us has within that becomes aggregated into a “problem.”
“Africa doesn’t have problems but “issues and matters”. To think that there is a definite solution is what the real problem is. Issues and matters are dealt with using process and experimentation. We doom learning opportunities to the shadows with labels and narrative.”
“Innovation happens in the middle. Ideas come from extremes but are developed into solutions in the middle. That young man who “wants to save Africa” will not be the one to do it. It will be those who learn from his mistakes. His biggest mistake will be pandering to an audience.”
“The best thing I can do for any young African is to get them to read one of the greatest blog posts every written about Africa by an African titled – “You lazy intellectual African scum“. If it doesn’t reset your thinking, you are far gone.”
“The African problem and African opportunity narratives are both audience narratives without any really practical endgame. Thank you Diaspora Africans for trying to save us from ourselves. We have been here before with “Africa Rising” then we fell on our face.”