Go to content
African Proverb [22] or Why it’s Better for Nations to Manufacture their Own Goods
Published by in Education · 27 August 2019
In this proverb from the Ashanti, Nobody will deceive a baboon by tricks, the tricks can be assimilated to the capacity that industrialized nations have to design or conceive sophisticated equipment. These tricks are, therefore, the techniques and technology that the baboons (industrialized nations) use in order to manufacture industrial equipment of all kinds.

The “tricks” that enable the “baboons” to manufacture sophisticated equipment cannot be shared easily or free of charge. Otherwise, the baboons will threaten their own business and strategic interests. However, they are willing to sell the products that they have developed with their tricks to Africans, among other clients.

When the baboons decide to outsource the assembly of parts sent in kits to Africa, many Africans tend to believe that the baboons have shared their “know-how”. Assembling a car in Africa, whose parts have been designed in an industrialized nation, does not make this African country an industrialized nation.

African countries cannot pretend to free themselves economically if, industrially speaking, they keep on purchasing capital goods from industrialized nations. Indeed, these nations will “not” reveal to them the “tricks” that enable them to manufacture these capital goods. African countries “must” produce their own goods and progressively improve them so as to satisfy their own needs. In order to produce their goods, Africans must develop and manufacture their own “tricks”.

Competing economically with industrialized nations is most likely doomed to failure if Africans continue to follow the paradigm that consists in importing their goods and services from overseas nations. This is why the baboons are laughing every time Africans pretend to industrialize, but with equipment and a technology that the Africans do not master themselves because they were designed by the baboons. Indeed, only the baboons know the tricks behind their industrial equipment and the machinery which they sell to African countries that want to industrialize. This is why a baboon cannot be fooled with his own tricks; a message which is not, unfortunately, often well understood in Africa.

comments powered by Disqus
Lenda Rudy Massamba
Back to content