“Look for 3 things in a person – intelligence, energy and integrity. If they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two.” – W. Buffett
After having major brain surgery at the age of 14, I have always had this inherent and intricate interest in the functioning of the brain. Researching the brain has however automatically made a direct connection to the spinal cord.
Moving, flexibility, exercise, posture, growth, sensory nerves to touch and feel and more importantly, to give a clear indication if something in the body is out of default.
We find that in the animal world of things, “Fat Cat” have significantly less agility, proper posture, and the integrity of their spinal cord, supported by exercised spinal muscles are well toned and oxygenated.
Taking a step back, the role of brain is only possible with the full integrity of the spinal cord. Our central nervous system controls the majority of body functions and the mind. Simpler, the brain interprets all the information we receive from our senses and internal organs, processing them, informing and infusing a reaction.
For example, if your hand touches a hot stove plate, there is but only a fraction of a second reaction from your brain, confirming that if intentionally you touched the stove, well then, it was a dumb thing to do. If by accident, it just saved scaring or worse damage to skin, tissue and maybe disfiguring of your hand.
The business spinal cord must act as the main conduit between the brain (government) and the body (business) in countries on the African continent. It will be through this moral spinal cord that the messages from the brain to the body travel. If the spinal cord becomes injured, then the messages between the brain and body are no longer clearly relayed. When relay is impaired, and no proper integrity of the spinal cord is made we suffer decisions made that the spinal cord cannot authorise.
There is purpose to the this synergy, and it is nestled in the fact that former South African President, who is also part of the Progress panel says, ““Annually, the continent is thought to lose about $50 billion.
“This is about the same amount the continent receives in terms of annual foreign direct investments.”
He continued to emphasise stressing, “While it is often assumed that these outflows are linked to practises such as bribery, corruption or money laundering, studies have shown that it is not criminal activities but tax evasion that is responsible.”
Says Mbeki, “Commercial tax evasion most commonly takes the form of trade wrong pricing, which means a company manipulates the exports and imports to artificially depress profits and dodge tax.”
Ms Winnie Byanyima, the Executive Director, Oxfam International, a non-profit organisation, decried the level of poverty recorded on the continent, in spite of all its economic development.
She asked, “How can it be that only a few are rich despite the economic development in the continent?” “More than 80 percent of its population is still leaving on less than one dollar a day, which is disheartening.”
“I believe that when Africa’s growth translate to health and free social services for the poor, inclusive growth will be achieved,” she said.
Guinea’s Minister of State for Mines and Geology, Mr Kerfalla Yansane, said Africa needed to take proper account of its natural resources. He said, “Proper records on the mining of natural resources are not kept.”
“There is also no knowledge of how most private companies are run, which has resulted in most of them having offshore accounts to cheat government of tax,” Yansane said.
The Chief Executive Officer, The Mara Group, Africa, Mr Ashish Thakkar, talking on behalf of the private sectors, said responsible investors were needed on the continent. Strikingly Thakkar says, “There is need for companies to stop influencing contracts and promoting corruption in Africa. They can do the right thing and do well,”
The Executive Director, Tax Justice Network, Africa, Mr Alvin Mosioma, said that the civil societies could only raise awareness on societal ills but that the political leaders on the continent held the key to its solution.
Scarier, Mr Abdalla Hamdok, the Deputy Executive Secretary, UN Economic Commission for Africa said that the $50 billion dollars alleged to be missing yearly from the continent was a conservative figure.
Hamdok said, “The real amount missing was enough to increase Africa’s Gross Domestic Product by 16 per cent, increase its savings and address all its infrastructure problems.”
Despite Africa’s economic growth pegged 5% annually over the past decade and outpacing most other regions, Mr. Mbeki’s group said, “It won’t be enough to guarantee a better life for those hundreds of millions of poor Africans.”
“The benefits of this growth have mostly been confined to those at the top of the income distribution and it has not been accompanied by an increase in jobs,” wrote the group, officially called the High Level Panel on Illicit Financial Flows from Africa.
A young population with boundless potential, Johan Rupert himself iterated a few days ago that in particular, South Africa is in for a disastrous future if the business and political climate around corruption is not mended.
The “feeders” of South Africa are under threat and corruption in South Africa is at its highest indicating a moral decay at many levels in the country.
If the warnings we at ventures Africa, through this piece do not sound the warning to the voting youth and active business community, it will be too late to leave this rich inheritance for the coming generation.