Whenever I see an African startup playing media games, it is a bad signal. I have seen many not-for-profits outraising commercial startups in Africa simply because their mission is clear and they find those who are aligned. They are never in the media looking for donors.
We have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants for our commercial venture by simply realizing that we are aligned with the objectives of the donors. Many successful African ventures have received millions of dollars in grants.
I used or believe it was a lazy way out but I have realized that these guys who give grants have a broader agenda to understand the market and are really paying for experiments. I have wondered why local governments don’t use this approach to understand markets too?
The best R&D institutions are people in the field trying to survive. This whole #COVID19 saga has reinforced the importance of understanding local economic activity. African governments have been experts at paying lip service and now reality is glaring. We don’t know anything.
People don’t need “palliatives” they need jobs and need to work to survive. The sheer amount of wasted resources in Africa is more than the grants we receive from outside. Underdevelopment is simply a capital misallocation problem. Our priorities are warped.
I looked at the Billions disbursed as “social intervention” funds and wonder how much data on growth or markets the governments get in return? This is the problem of having illiterates ruling us.