Africans don’t work for money but for community

Ubuntu Africans don't work for money but community
Africa has three types of bakeries, according to Matthijs Spiering, commercial manager at Zeelandia. Big, industries, bakeries in supermarkets and very small bakeries. Medium bakeries are almost absent.

Ubuntu. If not the profit, but the value for the whole community is leading, as in Africa, a company is much different from one in the west. That’s what the PUM Business Boost teached us.

Nothing is more important than a family. The extended family: brothers, sisters nephews, nieces, aunts. With this vision, one doesn’t put his personal financial income on the first place. It’s the interest of the whole community that matters most.
Therefore, a truly African company is, by definition, a social enterprise. That’s the conclusion of the first PUM Boost Business.

Speakers were Matthijs Spiering, commercial manager of Zeelandia Bakkerijgrondstoffen, Leontine van Hooft from the GreenDreamCompany and Frans de Pater from AfricanWise.

Spiering told their foreign adventures started with exporting. From  that point they explored the market. If the market situation is favorable and the company finds the right contacts, there will be invested in local presence. In this way, two years ago, they launched Zeelandia South-Africa.

Africa is at the beginning of a Green Revolution, with 60 percent of the world’s arable land

According to De Pater it is logical that Africa has the greatest economic growth: In the global race for cheap raw materials, Africa has the best cards. Access to international capital grows; after all, Africa offers the highest return on direct foreign investment. With the youngest population and the spectacular growth in purchasing power, but also an increasing number of employees. And not to forget: Africa is at the beginning of a Green Revolution, with 60 percent of the world’s arable land.
When a company wants to be part of those African developments. It needs a very different approach from that in the West. De Pater summarizes the different ways of doing business together under the acronym SAVE:

Solutions in stead of product
Acces in stead of place
Value in stead of price
Education in stead of promotion


The background of this approach lies in the African way of life. Leontine van Hooft teached about ubuntu: ‘Tribal values ​​are embedded everywhere.’ In Africa, the growth model aims at poverty reduction and independence. The vision of people and the world is focused on respect and trust. A meeting is not held with professionals only, but with the community.
Diversity is the strength and a leader is among the people. ‘Money is not the greatest good. Always family values​​are most important.’

That’s why, in fact, it is not at all a matter of social approach that Zeelandia in Nigeria involves a bakery training in it’s business. This is just the way it goes in Africa. It’s a matter of adjusting the company to the local norms and values​​. And that’s always a prerequisite for doing business.

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