Andrew Rugasira is the Founder and CEO of Good African Coffee, an African-based social enterprise that brings quality coffees to the global market. Prior to founding Good African Coffee, Andrew was the CEO of VR Promotions, Ltd., Uganda’s leading promotions and events management company, which was featured in president Bill Clinton’s 1998 tour of Africa. Andrew was nominated the Young Global Leader 2007 by the World Economic Forum and remains an established leader in economic development. He graduated with honors from the University of London, and lives in Kampala, Uganda, with his wife Jacqueline and their children.
- What comes to mind when you hear the word “Africa”?
- We often think: poverty, disease, HIV/AIDS, death, conflict, genocide, etc.
- That’s one perspective that has been influenced by the narrative in the media all around us.
- To him, he thinks opportunity, entrepreneurs.
- The perspectives we hold influence the decisions we make and how we relate to people and churches in Africa.
- We need to deconstruct the narrative going around about Africa and how we perceive it.
Looking Back at History…
- Nov 15, 1884 – Bismark called The Conference of Berlin.
- They decided how to regulate colonialism.
- It was the “scramble” for Africa.
- Communities were split, families were separated by the borders that we drawn.
- By 1902, 90% of African was under colonial law.
- They produced tea, coffee, cocoa… they were not allowed to process, only export which had a dramatic impact on their economy.
- Africans are the best ones to solve their problems through hard work, production of quality products, etc.
- The people who were coming to offer help didn’t look like them.
Integrity is being truthful about what you need to do to get out of a difficult situation.
AID vs TRADE
- There have been well-meaning but misguided advocates for aid.
- They believed they could bring about change by giving out hand-out’s.
- Even when you to make your case for your vision, people will always stand in the way.
- There is no country in the world that has developed through handouts… why is Africa different?
- We use trade as an engine for growth because it’s part of economic doctrine.
- Trade creates transformational impact for communities.
- Trade is the only succcessful way to bring economies out of poverty.
- Africa today only contributes 2% of the world’s trade goods.
- We often only see the problem, not the opportunities.
- We need to look at Africans as partners, trade opportunity, etc.
- We need to give marketshare, not pity.
- We need to change the conversation.
1 – Aid is really not aid.
- Between 1970-2000 Africa has received $400 Billon in aid from Africa
- Their GDP decreased as aid increased.
- Aid is not effective.
- Aid is not really aid.
- It’s poorly structured.
- The country prioritizes what it will spend its money on.
- It’s insincere.
- It’s conditional – we tell them what to do with it.
2 – Aid undermines accountability.
- Aid creates chronic dependence.
- So many countries seek donors for their budgets.
- It undermines integrity and dignity of recipient countries.
- We need to get people thinking about the impact of their compassion.
- How do the people receiving our compassion while maintaining their dignity?
- We need to look at Africa as a people of consumers, great products, etc.
- Real partnerships can make sustained community transformation.
- The greatest help won’t come from the outside, it will come as you empower people on the inside.
The best way to help Africa is with trade, not aid.
Reconstruct the narrative in your mind that kindness is best expressed through a hand out.
The greatest kindness you can give is to help people help themselves.