$ Development < $ Underdevelopment

first_imgNot to confuse our readers, the meaning of our title is that development is less expensive than underdevelopment. In other words, underdevelopment is in fact more costly than development. Take the private sector, for example. Company X earned gross revenues of US$100,000 in the year ending December 31, 2014. This company is owned by Liberians who are not sitting around waiting for government jobs, but have taken the entrepreneurial risk to go into business. Cost of goods sold and services rendered amounted to US$90,000. That means Company X only realized profits of US$10,000 in 2014. Company X is very efficiently run; but one solitary cost item sucks its profit margin dry. Fuel, used to generate electricity. This accounts for US$30,000 of the company’s budget per annum. The country in which it operates does not produce electricity. Home and business owners use what they can afford – anything from candles to diesel. Had affordable electricity been available, Company X projects that it could be doing at least 20% more business, which means hiring more workers (creating more jobs) and widening its profit margins. Multiply that by 10,000 Liberian businesses, and this amounts to tangible economic growth that does not require the manipulation of the numbers. A Liberian banking official recently told the Daily Observer that his bank is presently caught between a rock and a hard place, as are most banks operating in the country. In order to compete in the banking sector, his bank wants to begin offering debit cards. However, the servers that will keep the system operational 24/7 will need to be powered 24/7. In the absence of affordable electricity, that would be a major expenditure that the bank may not be able to afford. In business, the logical thing to do would be to pass the cost on to the customer; but if said cost is too high, customers may opt for a competitor who offers the same service for less. So if Bank X charges customersUS$5 per debit card transaction while Bank Z charges US$4, customers may opt for Bank Z unless Bank X offers other services that offset the cost and appeal to customers, causing them to stay. This banking official said that even foreign based banks operating here in Liberia are feeling the pinch of high energy costs; but for them, high profit margins in other markets absorb the losses incurred in Liberia. Unfortunately for small and medium-sized Liberian businesses, they do not have the luxury of subsidiaries that can absorb losses. As such, SMEs and large corporations alike struggle despite their best efforts to stay afloat.It applies across the board. Bad roads (underdevelopment) make business and private cars much more expensive to maintain and own. Bad roads also make transportation much more difficult, hence expensive. Business owners then have to pass the cost on to customers and the price of food skyrockets. How does this relate to development? If an enabling environment is created to enable businesses to thrive, they will. If, due to the availability of affordable electricity, the cost of doing business is lower, the prices of goods and services, especially essentials such as food and water, will also be lower for consumers, who may then opt buy more. Businesses will themselves be empowered to expand and pay taxes into government coffers. In this way, development (affordable electricity) is less expensive and more profitable than underdevelopment for businesses, consumers and government alike.Underdevelopment becomes even more unprofitable for governments from a legacy standpoint and from a stability standpoint. An administration that leaves a country underdeveloped will be judged very harshly in the annals of history. Every cabinet minister and executive who worked in that administration will be judged accordingly. Stability-wise, it is no secret in underdeveloped nations that when the level of underdevelopment reaches the critical point where it threatens citizen’s ability to feed their families, the perception of corruption takes over and anger sets in. The rest is effectively what we call history.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Editors Pick PC Tech 2018 Review in Startups and Innovations

first_imgStartup of the Year Africa 2018 – HydroIQ from Kenya. Advertisement With a few days left to wrap up the year it has been 2018, we look and recap some of the stories we covered in startups and innovations. From emerging as finalists to crowned as winners, to startups that received funds/grants, among others.10. Two Ugandans were shortlisted for the 2019 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation Anne Rweyora; Founder of Smart Havens Africa and Paul Matovu; Founder of The Vertical Farm were the 16 innovators across Africa shortlisted for the 5th annual Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation—in a move to recognize their efforts to solve problems across sub-Saharan Africa (goo.gl/7LtEUg).09. 8 startups were selected to benefit From UNFPA’s UGX144M startup fund 40 youth in eight teams from Adjumani, Arua, Yumbe, Moyo, Kitgum, Agago, Amuru and Lamwo have been selected to benefit from a UGX144M startup fund from UNFPA to help them kick-start their social businesses addressing challenges faced by women, adolescents and youth in the areas of Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights and Gender Based Violence (goo.gl/QvPyps). – Advertisement – 08. Andela hosted its first Inaugural Developer Conference in Kampala Andela held its inaugural Andela Uganda Developer Conference in Kampala as the flagship event saw Andela’s software developers joined by Uganda’s leading tech influencers, entrepreneurs, and tech enthusiasts discuss the challenges and opportunities that young aspiring developers in the Ugandan tech ecosystem face (goo.gl/iPDCpE).Some of the participants that attended the first Andela Developers Conference hosted by Andela Uganda at their head offices in Bukoto on Saturday 28th, July 2018.07. ICT innovators trained on intellectual property NITA Uganda through the Ministry of ICT & National Guidance and the Uganda Registration Services Bureau organized a workshop on Intellectual Property (IP) for ICT innovators—aimed at enhancing awareness and building capacity for IP among ICT innovators. Intellectual property is intangible property that is as a result of creativity such as patents, copyrights (goo.gl/gmStgd).06. Uganda and Kenya startups take lead as winners at the Social Venture Challenge 3 Ugandan startups and 4 from Kenya were among the fifteen teams out of a total of 32 emerging African social entrepreneurs to emerge winners of the 2018 Resolution Social Venture Challenge (goo.gl/3QDKuA).05. 17 African startups were selected to participate in the Seedstar Global Competition Seedstars World, the biggest startup competition focused only in emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes from their 6 months search startup tour elected 17 startups across Africa to participate at the 5th Annual Seedstars competition in Switzerland next year (goo.gl/zVT34n). Uganda will be represented by Agro Supply Uganda Limited who have has developed a unique mobile layaway platform allowing farmers to save money for the seeds and fertilizer using their mobile phone.Ogwal Joseph; Founder and Chief Executive (Left), and Watson Atwine (Right); IT Specialist who represented the team, recivce their victory dummy air ticket at the Seedstar Kampala competition at Outbox Hub on Friday 24th, August 2018.04. AgroCenta, From Ghana Awarded Seedstars Global Winner 2017 Seedstar this year crowned Ghana-based startup Agrocenta which is tackling food access and stock flow issues across Ghana communities, as Seedstars Global Winner 2017 winning up to USD$500,000 in equity investment and some unique growth opportunities (goo.gl/dAo5Dy).AgroCenta from Ghana was declared the overall winners of the 2018 Seedstar summit in Lausanne, Switzerland on 12th Thursday, April 2018. (Photo Credit: Seedstars Global)03. Tanzania’s digital firm ‘Nala’ won Ecobank’s 2018 Fintech Challenge Nala; a startup building smartphone-based mobile money products that will simplify mobile money transactions for Africans emerged winners of Ecobank’s second annual Fintech Challenge—a challenge that gives African Fintech startups a chance to promote their Fintech solutions, and potentially to partner with Ecobank in rolling-out their solutions across Ecobank’s 33 markets (goo.gl/84RdF7).02. Brian Gitta won the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation Team Lead and Founder of Matibabu; Brian Gitta won the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation an initiative of Royal Academy of Engineering. Brian and the team; Atwine Morris and Shafik Sekitto also received £25,000 to help support their invention. Brian become the first Ugandan to win the prestigious Africa Prize, and the youngest winner to date – following its previous events. (goo.gl/reYLGg)A 24-year-old Ugandan; Brian Gitta, software engineer has won the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, and becomes the first Ugandan to win the prestigious Africa Prize, and the youngest winner to date.01. Startup of the Year Africa 2018: Kenya’s HydroIQ HydroIQ is a virtual Water Network Operator startup that brings intelligence in water distribution by preventing leakages on the network and automatic (mobile) billing a payment. It was crowned Startup of the Year 2018 by Startup.Info (goo.gl/jzjKmo).Happy Holidayslast_img read more