A well-known Zimbabwean businessman and friend of ours told us a fascinating story recently. One of his good friends had the pleasure of attending a summit by the United Nations while Henry Kissinger was presenting.

Kissinger talked about global finance and trends for an hour and didn’t mention Africa once. This irked the Zimbabwean businessman, so after the speech, he approached Dr. Kissinger and shared his mind.

Kissinger replied, "Up until you Africans take yourselves seriously, we cannot take you seriously."

This is a painful reality, but there is real truth to the statement.

  • We fight over who can own businesses and the color of their skin versus looking at the greater good and encouraging innovation and growth as a whole.
  • We squabble over millions when our economy should be producing 1,000 times what it is.
  • We seek to live for ourselves, which is why it’s rare to see multi-generational or family businesses here.

We may not all agree on the policies or the details of how things should be done, but there is one thing I hope we can agree on. It’s that if we would unify around collaborating together to build our nations, then it would be better for all of us in the long run.

If you’re reading this, you’re already in the Serious Club. It’s time to get serious.

Let’s get serious, Africa.

(photo via unamid)