In a recent article by David Pilling, the focus on large corporations as the solution to Africa’s poverty disregards the important impact of micro-entrepreneurs in regions that are often overlooked by big businesses. While it is true that larger enterprises can play an important role in economic development, it is also essential to recognize the value of small businesses in communities that are often neglected by multinational corporations.
The World Bank emphasizes that extreme poverty still prevails in remote and conflict-ridden areas, where smaller enterprises can thrive. Programs aimed at addressing extreme poverty have been shown to be effective in transforming communities. Research has demonstrated that by teaching business skills in these areas, household incomes can increase significantly, leading to a rise in annual household consumption and savings. Randomized control trials have also found positive impacts on diet, health, and people’s ability to save for the future. The long-term success and scalability of these approaches have been highlighted by Shameran Abed, executive director of Brac International, and Esther Duflo of MIT.
It is clear that a comprehensive strategy is necessary to eradicate extreme poverty in Africa. This strategy must integrate proven methodologies with the development of larger businesses to create a resilient and inclusive economic landscape across the continent. Taddeo Muriuki, Chief Government Relations Officer at Village Enterprise in Nairobi Kenya emphasizes the importance of recognizing the impact of smaller enterprises on addressing poverty and advocating for a comprehensive approach to development in Africa.
In conclusion, while larger corporations can certainly play an important role in economic development, it is essential not to overlook the value of micro-enterprises. A comprehensive strategy that integrates proven methodologies with the development of both small and large businesses is necessary for sustainable economic growth across Africa.