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May 21, 2020, 1:38 PM
Africa must substitute importation with production if we want to be economically independent and recognised.
Made in The Gambia or let’s say made in Africa products cannot be secondary where we are all yearning for a self reliant society. We have been hearing these words in quotes: "necessity is the mother of invention" over the years! Isn't it? Those who said so were part of what is historically known as the industrial revolution! It is when raw material and labour force (free of charge) in colonized countries was being simultaneously SNATCHED to feed the bellies of foreign production plants or factories.
We stayed on waiting for what the engines of those production plants and and or factories produced to be shipped back, for us to buy! Paradox wrapped within out right "larceny"! How can such a cycle ever be a dependable course towards economic independence and power? A question only deception can answer but not rationality. It is definitely economic war fare at the farthest! We cannot continue waiting for other societies to be producing for us even our most basic needs. In fact our own mindset has been hijacked by what we buy and use. How can that be? Simply because many of those who invent are inspired, motivated or guided by either necessity or their own environment which includes cultural perspectives! Look at the karate KIMONO then compare it to NGEUMBA or LUUK that our own wrestlers put on during matches. How about clothes we order compared to what suits us in our own environment. How about we reflect on things like what we call "guenyo" in wolof? Which is used to tie one's trouser on the waist. Where that is encouraged by new styles from our own tailors, we will be able to minimize the importation of belts be they leather or plastic.
We will also safe our fauna as almost all belts are made of skins from pythons or cattle. Africa can restore its own wild life by going more cotton, metal or wood than leather! Everything about wood can be replaced by tree planting but no one "replant" dead wild life!
Production done sensibly but not in a senseless way is definitely one of the best ways of guaranteeing IMPORT SUBSTITUTION. In any nation or society production cannot remain secondary where citizens expect to be economically independent and self reliant! The total independence of any nation cannot be complete where production is yet to be an attractive percentage within our competitive world. In a stable nation, skills MUST rely on will to increase production. No nation can be self reliant without skilled workers.
Which is exactly why knowing our society while identifying sons and daughters like Dodou Malang, Njuga Cham and many others around remains a natural duty for some of us.
Dodou Malang is a Gambian running a family business in Basse URR. Malang was inspired by the preventive measures recommended by WHO and The Gambia's ministry of health thus invented a very user friendly "wash hand machine" to help fight against Corona or Covid 19. Isn't that what our highly adaptive machines we call brains are expected to do?
Dodou is from a family of metal workers who are known not only in Basse, they are a household name in The Gambia, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry and Mali. it is a family that inherited those skills from their late father a great man, a disciplinarian with outstanding skills. Who trained his children to become Ambassadors, professionals in various fields. Dodou himself is an intellectual of high caliber yet chose to hold the fort back home.
The Malang family back in years invented locally made small boats known as 'BARAA'. They are sometimes equipped with yamaha machines to help passengers cross from one end of the river Gambia to the other. The same boats fish mongers also use.
The Malangs just to name a few of what they specialise on which inlcudes but not limited to metal beds, fences, roofs, modification of the body of cars, donkey, horse and Ox carts, safes for keeping valuables, repair locally made or imported metal products. Indeed latter shows their ability to match any foreign company once the right equipment is within reach. Dodou Malang as a person is a very calm and hard working gentleman. With families like the Malangs equipped and motivated importation will soon be substituted Inshaa Allah.
Attached video will show Dodou in action! Eating what one grows or using what one invents must not remain verbal. LET US DO IT IN THE WORKSHOP AS THE "TALK SHOP" IS CLOSED FOR REPAIR!
Analysed and Shared By Essa Bokarr Sey, who Specialises on Investigations, Analysis, Diplomacy , Speaker at International conferences universities or events around the world. Sey served in France, China North and South America as diplomat from 1995 to 2003.
Worked as contractor for USSOCOM under the US ministry of Defense as technical Instructor - Linguist for the US Military. Currently the Deputy Chief Executive Officer OIC Secretariat Gambia