Connect with us

Business News

Mismanagement of firms can be linked to self-doubt : The Standard



One of the biggest tragedies of corruption and its domination of our headlines is that it makes us annoyed and emotional.
In this state, we fail to focus on other strategic issues in the country.
Some conspiracy theorists have opined that trumpeting corruption is designed to do just that: distract us from more important economic issues.

SEE ALSO :Graft: Raila pushes for all those named to step aside

Consider that corruption mostly targets only 30 per cent of the profits.
The entrepreneurs take home 70 per cent. Should we not focus more on the 70 per cent? Not that I support corruption.
Let us focus on two such issues masked by corruption headlines. One is the closing of the Kenyan supermarkets and their place taken over by big well established foreign brands.

Private entities

The fact that the new entrants are in business means there is a market for their goods and services. Why then did the Kenyan supermarkets close?
We are quick to blame mismanagement and corruption. But why should there be mismanagement of private entities driven by profit?

SEE ALSO :‘It’s a flat lie,’ DP Ruto denies Sh21b lost in dams scam

Why should there be mismanagement when our schools of businesses are filling up to the brim? Corruption seems to be a good excuse not to confront the fundamental issues.
One, is the cropping belief that Kenyans are not good enough to run their economy.
That has created a huge market for expatriates, consultants, and advisers.
Matters are made worse by the belief that our institutions are not good enough.
That has created a big market for foreign universities that have become very aggressive in marketing, even using recruitment agents.

SEE ALSO :Uhuru stuck in 4-way junction and choices have consequences

This market goes even downstream with demand for other qualifications beyond a degree.
Accountants, human resource personnel, marketers, supply chain analysts, among others, are required at times by law to have other certifications.
A university degree has to be supplemented by lower qualifications. Employers and even regulators are making our education very expensive.
Yet, they are all against any university fees increase.
But they see nothing wrong with students paying for the extra courses and certificates.

SEE ALSO :Deal with dams’ scam, then fix what makes it easy to steal from State

While students in other parts of the world are busy exploring new academic areas and exploring the world with gap years and academic exchanges, ours are busy chasing certificates that often replicate what they study in the university.
Needless to say, money could be put into alternative use. Students from humble backgrounds are most affected by this rush for extra certifications. The second issue is cars.
We want to limit the age of the cars imported into the country to reduce pollution and support manufacturing.
But wait a minute, the cars to be manufactured, sorry assembled, are not electric, they are using the old-fashioned internal combustion engine. What’s the issue here?
Why can’t we restrict the age of the books that can be imported into the country to ensure that our students get the cutting-edge ideas and become globally marketable like Indians in computer science?
This would transform our thinking and the economy in the shortest time possible.
One can’t fail to notice that the proposal to limit the age of imported cars is coming at a time when Kenyans are just getting addicted to cars.
Just like with our indigenous supermarkets, we have never developed a car locally.
We laughed at the Nyayo Car, but two presidents later, there is not an indigenous Kenyan car like India‘s Mahindra or Korean Hyundai. Why?
We have been made to believe that we can’t make one, yet the internal combustion engines and the motors that make the electric car have been with us for 100 years.
The lithium battery at the heart of the electric car and your watch is almost 50 years old. The debate over the age of imported cars is masking a bigger issue; why can’t we make cars? It’s less about the jobs to be created or lost.
The two issues, and others like having non-Kenyans leading some of the blue-chip firms, show a worrying trend in Kenya; the evolution of self-doubt among us.
We are not even sure how to run the country with all the proposals to change the constitution. We are not even sure which is the best education system is for us.

Create wealth

The corruption dominating our headlines is about self-doubt. Confident men and women look for legitimate and dignified ways to create wealth. Self-doubt leads to shortcuts (read corruption).
Yet, the solution to self-doubt is old-fashioned schooling. Confidence should be the be first takeaway from any schooling system.
The success of British, American, Japanese, Chinese and other nationalities is based on national confidence built from early schooling to university.
However, our Form ones are busy studying how we evolved from apes through Zinjanthropus, Cromagnon and other long names while the British kids are learning about the 1,000 years the UK has never been invaded, the Japanese about their history from 600BC and Americans about Silicon Valley and its technology.
Will competency-based curriculum restore the self-confidence of the Kenyan graduate so that they can see the world as their playground?
Confidence matters to students even more than the grades. We can only wait and see. But we could ask in whispers: did the shift from A level to 8-4-4 solve our problems?
How come the American system which is close to 8-4-4 took man to the moon?
-The writer teaches at the University of Nairobi

Register to advertise your products & services on our classifieds website and enjoy one month subscription free of charge and 3 free ads on the Standard newspaper.

Source link