DBoateng.JPGAfrica’s buying behaviour must change to support the continent’s long-term industrialisation, job creation, SMME growth and development efforts, said CIPS Africa Advisory Board Chair, Prof. Douglas Boateng.

“While I fully acknowledge and respect the fact that Africa is part of a global community, we must support made-in-Africa goods and services and purposefully embrace the concept of ‘Africanisation’ in the medium- to long-term interests of the continent, said Prof. Boateng, SmartProcurement Editorial Board Member, at the Africa 2.0 Summit, Addis Ababa, in November 2013.

This means an estimated 1-billion African consumers using their collective financial muscle to strategically buy selected locally produced products. Such a move would discourage importing to the continent items such as toothpicks, canned tomatoes, orange and apple juices, and biscuits,” posited Boateng.

The associated raw materials for all these finished products were in abundance on the continent and its conversion into consumable products will help with vertical specific industrialisation and value addition, long-term job creation and SMME development, noted Boateng.

While he agreed that in the short term there may be price and quality challenges, he was of the firm opinion that long-term revenue and profit increases and associated investments in relevant plant, equipment and human capital would usher-in improvements.

Strategic sourcing applies to the African consumer, not only to private sector organisations, government departments and state-owned entities. The more the continent’s estimated 1-billion consumers strategically buy selected made-in-Africa products, the more revenue and profits can be generated and invested in much needed equipment to improve product quality and price, affirmed Boateng.

“Such a calculated move by the continent’s consumers can immensely assist in the medium to long term, to level vertical-specific playing fields for African producers to compete locally and globally, and stimulate indigenous value chain processing and manufacturing.”

The long-term success of Africa’ industrialisation, SMME and job creation efforts is linked to the buying patterns of its entire population. Unless the region’s consumers start to strategically support local producers through a considered change in buying behaviours, efforts to significantly reduce poverty will remain a pipe dream, concluded Boateng.

The conference was attended by representatives from over 47 African countries. More information about the summit and presentation can be found by clicking on the Africa 2.0 website www.africa2point0.org.

Professor Douglas Boateng is a member of SmartProcurement’s Editorial Board.
He is CEO of the PanAvest Partnership, Africa’s first ever Extraordinary Professor for Supply and Value chain Management at the UNISA Graduate School of Business leadership, Chairman of the CIPS Africa Advisory Board, President of the Institute of Operations Management(Africa), and Founding Chairman of West African Institute for Supply Chain leadership.