By Frederick Philander
The acquiring of entrepreneurial skills development doesn’t only mean how to start a business alone, but also to take chances and absorb accompanying risks.
So said the executive director of the Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership, Dr David Abdulai, on Thursday. He was the guest speaker at the opening of the 2008 academic year of the Polytechnic of Namibia.
“In essence entrepreneurs are critical thinkers, risk takers, creative problem solvers, self-confident and innovative thinkers. These people by and large take initiatives and are ready to take on any business venture successfully because of their positive approaches to business,” Abdulai said.
A large number of lecturers and students attended the 2-hour paper on the campus in which he accused African leaders of having elusive development visions.
“Most of the African Heads of State have these elusive developmental visions that normally lead to nothing because of their integral cultural mindsets.
Africa cannot excel in business unless we free our minds from the myths of ‘I cannot do this or that, I will fail.’ We have to break out of such a mindset if we want to compete with the rest of the world,” he warned.
According to Abdulai, who hails from Ghana, Africans are too complacent and lack a driving force in business.
“We need to be resourceful and self-reliant, be diligent and creative and take chances and initiatives. We are not poor in Africa, we just lack initiatives and are afraid of the consequences of failure.
“At the same time we do not want to accept positive change and embrace it. Also, we need to learn to accept suggestions and critique in a positive manner, otherwise we will never grow strong,” the learned academic said.
He also said that Africans must learn to think outside their own comfort zones.
“A good entrepreneur is a person who literally can see with his or her eyes closed. They are analytical, have foresight and are by nature optimists. They go where there is no path and leave a trail for others to follow. True entrepreneurs are slowed down by obstacles, but they never stop in achieving their goals,” he said encouragingly.
The academic year at the Polytechnic starts on February 4.