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African Venture: No Secrets to Our Success - Comments (1)

Printer Friendly Category: Behind the Lines,Venture in Africa
Author: John Malone
Date: 25th June, 2006 @ 11:42:38 PM

You may realize this account is leading to a bitter end. It is.

This account is to inform the reader of how we succeeded and why we failed, and who helped each side.

Our success is in no way attributable to governments. In fact, on the Kenyan side, steering clear of typical government involvement was essential.

We introduced private management, cash tuition, and hired-by-incentive tutorial staff. We steered clear of the university faculty, and their incessant schemes to pad their pockets without working. “Sitting fees,” auto mileage schemes, and useless research projects were all activities to be avoided.

But we ALSO avoided the typical schemes of investors.

We were 100% invested in local management. We did not hire a single ex-patriot.

Our venture was in Kenya, by Kenyans, for Kenyans.

We did not use established and well-connected bourgeois Kenyans. We used, enthusiastic, shang-speaking, technology-loving, hard-working, smart young people.

We were forthright about our Christian faith. We adopted the slogan of Micro Mini Systems: “Providing things honest in the sight of all men.” We did not suffer from as much anti-Christian sentiment as there is in the USA. Neither, sadly, did we benefit hardly at all from US citizens in Kenya, whether government people, missionaries, secular “charities” and NGO’s, or the extremely few American commercial concerns, nearly all of which are in the hands of British managers.

As Kenyans rise through the middle classes, and come into contact with American culture and its associated “politically correct” unprincipled weeny-ism, they morph into the same sort of people. Their government leaders are generally extremely corrupt. They have learned US government people are of the same “tribe” as all bureaucrats, and therefore have short-term career agendas in mind at all time. Indeed, it’s the even-uglier Americans overseas, at least in Africa.

The reality of the circumstance in east Africa, at least for us, was this: there is so little development that a consistent approach on the everyday little things, and the daily practice of simple integrity are certain to succeed. Corruption cannot stand economically in the face of simple hard work and honesty.

That bitter end you are waiting to hear about is yet to come.

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