Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Zambians & Africans take Responsibilty for Change

Financial frustration is perhaps one of the most common situations in many people's lives. On a recent trip to Zambia my home country, I could not but notice the change in the attitude of many people concerning life in Zambia and personal financial stability. Just a few years ago many people were so disgusted by government policies that took away jobs and left many in abject poverty. People generally thought it was the sole responsibility of government to create and sustain jobs. I do agree with that notion to an extent but I also believe that the citizens do have the responsibility to effect change by becoming more innovation and industrious.

To my great delight people in Zambia are moving on with life armed with a new attitude;"We can make Zambia work for us!" This attitude has prompted many to go into Small scale businesses and have found ways of getting round the poor micro lending policies of the Zambian government. People all of a sudden have a realization that money is actually on the streets and not in some ivory tower office.
Even people in formal employment are taking part in this innovative and industrious spirit. Some people get loans from work and lend it to a business man or woman for a higher return. Granted, the interest rates are not exactly the most favourable but they put money in people's hands who in turn better their lives without whining about government not caring. The default rates are also high on these "street loans" but that has not stopped people from lending or borrowing to change their lives.

Young people are also taking part in this attitude change. Most of them who cannot find jobs want to start business with a little help from people who actually believe in them. I sat down with a friend of mine whose heart beats strong for the empowerment of young Zambians through entrepreneurial training and resources. Our hearts are one in this regard since we both know know that real success rides on the shoulders of sound financial, mental and spiritual education. If you're interested in helping please drop me a line and we can find ways to partner and help young Zambians and Africans.

My challenge to you is to invest in your country and its people. Find ways to make a meaningful contribution by starting businesses and or NGOs that have the welfare of people at heart.

Zambia is indeed changing and Zambians are leading the charge. You and I can sit here and argue about the legalities of micro-lending and or policy issues but the fact still remains; real change only happens when people decide to BE the change they seek.
To your Success,

4 comments:

Wangbu said...

Hello! I am a blog reader from the Philippines. You have a very nice blog. It is worth visiting.

Campbell Lumbila said...

Thanks Wangbu and hope you continue to find some inspiration from my blog.

Alison said...

I also work for an NGO in Zambia and was curious if you had any insight or knew of any good NGOs or sources of information to provide advice on how to go about training the next generation of leaders in Zambia and Africa. What I am curious to know is whether my specific work can bring more skills to help train youth. Financial literacy, for example? Leadership? Curious on your advice! please let me know!

Campbell Lumbila said...

Alison,
Great to hear from you. What does your NGO do? What is your specific area of work?
There are some ways that we can reach youth to equip them with leadership and financial skills. One way is to reach them in schools by working with existing clubs. This strategy was successfully used by the copper-belt health education program (CHEP). They went into secondary schools and worked with debate clubs to promote AIDS awareness by sponsoring debates. There is already a plan underway by an organization named SEYEZ (Social Enterprise for Young Entrepreneurs in Zambia) to do something like this but the organization is looking for funding to get the pilot project off the ground. If you like I can put you in contact with someone on their board.

I have personally worked on a similar project proposal but in the context of low income areas of Urban America. I am currently working to put it in a zambian context. TEACH TO FISH is an organization already working in Zambia in entrepreneurial training and poverty alleviation. I do not know their reach but am sure they can provide some vital information. You can visit their site at www.endpoverty.org