The Zero-sum mentality


….assumes that for me to win, others have to lose. It thinks insufficiency and scarcity at all times and somehow it has snowballed from being the personal struggles of a few societal actors to becoming the underpinning philosophy around our shared economic structures.

It has moved from the minds of a few to becoming national philosophies. And it shows in the way resources are administered. It is tough to pass the message that there’s really no limit to the amount of wealth that a nation can produce and it is one reason why rather than complement one another, we compete against ourselves. Africa is the most complicit in this. And our natural resource endowment instead of being a blessing has become a curse in some sense. It has become a point of unending conflicts and wanton destruction of lives and properties. The average African has no idea that wealth and money are spiritual first before it is physical and there really can be just enough for everybody. The more productive a people, the more wealth they can generate. It’s the idea of Gross Domestic Product – which is about how much goods and services are produced by a people. That’s what determines the wealth they can command and also the wealth per head. If we continue with the ignominable reputation of consuming what we don’t produce and almost never producing anything, we won’t make it alive.

We have got to have a change of mindsets and attitude and think sufficiency. The key actors and government functionaries must do their best to at least offer every African a place on the starting blocks so everyone can have a chance at attaining the advancement that their individuality deserves. And all the basic infrastructure that is required for this must be provided.

Dear African, we have enough — enough to go round. Only if we can see!

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