Well invested ODA would rapidly cut poverty in Africa

ICAfrica has a mandate to try to reduce the number of people living below the poverty line in Africa by empowering the poorest entrepreneurs, mostly women, with micro-loans to help them grow their businesses and bring their families out of extreme poverty

ICAfrica is a registered Canadian NGO and a Social Entrepreneur which arose out of the frustration of seeing millions of people continue to die unnecessarily due to extreme poverty, while international NGOs and the UN development agencies are said to be spending $25 billion a year, from donor countries, to assist Africa. Unfortunately that huge amount of spending has not translated into tangible economic improvement for the over 500 million people still living on less than $1 a day. In fact, in the past 25 years, poverty numbers almost doubled, according to the latest UN statistics. ICAfrica now believes that Africans will continue to beg for aid perpetually unless the donor nations changed their current method of assistance and focus on providing small amounts of economic support directly to individuals that have the capacities to grow economic activities. ICAfrica’s recent work in several African countries have shown that investing a mere $200 into a qualified micro business, results in a sustainable venture and fully supports the basic economic needs of a family of five, while $500 will generate a middle class employment in a mid to small-size business. So if well invested, the western billions could go very far in rapidly bringing down poverty numbers in Africa.

We have already spent several years and lots of money supporting education, eradication of diseases and government infrastructures in Africa (while poverty remains high). To a good extent, a suitable foundation has already been laid for the advent of wide-spread grassroots economic expansion. We must now believe that a majority of African adults already have the skills to prosper in economic activities but lack the minimum capital required for success. Many western diplomats, who have worked in Africa lately, will attest to this fact. ICAfrica suggests that a new foreign aid approach, that provides concentrated direct assistance to micro and small businesses, be tried. We truly believe, through our verifiable field pilot work and studies, that the solution for extreme poverty in the region is to empower large numbers of small entrepreneurs, especially the women, to generate the economic activities required by the population. Today, 70% of able bodied adults (230 million people), men and women, are under-employed or unemployed.

Social Entrepreneur organizations like ICAfrica can help donors and governments in reaching the right grassroots economic-growth entrepreneurs. Our work in the field involves identifying men and women with the right entrepreneurial skills and directly assisting them with micro-loans and business coaching to quickly add value and grow their ventures, create jobs for others, earn more to bring better incomes into their families, and become part of the collection of engine that drives their national economies. In the past 3 years we have worked with and established several micro business groups in Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda. These groups now lead grassroots economic development in their various communities. And due to the success of this initial pilot, we now have a long list of qualified entrepreneurs waiting to receive their first micro-loan.

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For more information, please contact the writer:
Eugene Nzeribe, Executive Director, | ICAfrica | Ottawa Ontario Canada | Tel: 613-371-9800 |
email: eugene_nzeribe@icafrica.com | www.icafrica.com

 

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