No poverty is goal 1 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 1995, 10 percent world population lived in extreme poverty. More than one billion, almost 13 percent of the world population, live in Sub-Saharan Africa. This area accounts for two-thirds of global extreme poverty. At the same time, Africa has the fastest growing population with a median age less than 20 years, and about 30 percent of the Earth’s remaining mineral resources. This dynamic calls for special attention, and sustainable development in Sub-Saharan Africa is the focus in this chapter. This chapter begins with an analysis of Africa’s current situation in terms of development; it details challenges and opportunities and through concrete cases and examples summarizes what has worked and what has not worked. Based on this foundation, key issues for a sustainable future in Sub-Sahara Africa are addressed. Examples of business built on sustainable resources and business opportunities are also presented.
- Business development
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- Developed countries
- Developing countries
- Natural resources
- Human rights
- Working conditions
The first goal in the UN SDGs is No Poverty. Today 10 percent of the world’s population lives on less than $1.90 USD per day. In contrast, industrialized countries’ consumption is far beyond what is considered sustainable. This is not fair—we all have the same rights to our planets’ resources and equal standards of living. To realize sustainability, consumption in developed countries needs to be reduced and living standards in developing countries must improve.
Since “sustainability in developing countries” is quite a broad topic area, this chapter will narrow down the focus to key issues pertaining Africa and business development. Africa consists of 56 sovereign states, which vastly differ in terms of size, populations, cultures, governments, stages of development, economic development, resources, political stability, and so on. Regarding sustainability as it relates to the first SDG, the focus of this chapter will be on how to improve the lives of people in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of the world’s extreme poverty is concentrated. Since the poorest countries are becoming poorer, more focus is needed on the “Bottom Billion ” (Collier, 2007).
Many dynamics have to change in Africa in order to accelerate sustainable development. African states confront political instability, conflict and war, poor education, corruption, unemployment, poor access to finance, and a lack of transparency among many other problems. However, the biggest challenge for African countries today is high debt with states maintaining levels at about 70 percent of GDP. This figure has more than doubled in the last two decades (African Development Bank, 2021) and the COVID-19 situation will most likely only exacerbate this situation further. The focus of this chapter will be on sustainable business development and it will indirectly touch upon many of these challenges. If business is to be developed in a sustainable manner, it has the potential to make a positive impact in many aspects of these peoples’ lives.
Business development is a prerequisite for better living standards, which makes sustainability evermore crucial. The majority of Africa’s population is young with a median age less than 20 years old, compared to Europe with median age more than 40 years. With the fastest growing population in the world at 2.7 percent a year, Sub-Saharan Africa’s population will double by 2050 to 2.5 billion people, one quarter of the global population. This signalizes that there will be a large surge in demand for work and resources in Africa in the coming years. (The Economist, 2020) Sustainable development can create the basis for future opportunities, while inaction or business as usual could only snowball current challenges. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of World Trade Organization and the former Minister of Finance and Foreign Affairs of Nigeria, suggests if you want to help Africa, do business here (Okonjo-Iweala, 2007).
Thousands of books are written on how to solve the Africa’s challenges, but finding agreement on what the right solution is proves elusive. What is striking is that the economies of African nations today have to a large extent been shaped by development aid. In the last 60 years, more than $1 trillion USD of foreign aid has been transferred to Africa, yet real per capita income today is lower than it was in the 1970s (Moyo, 2009). More than a fourth of Sub-Saharan countries are poorer than they were in the 1960s (Acemoglu, 2014).
Whereas development aid has received a lot of attention over the past several decades, business as a tool for a long-term sustained development has not. To avoid generalizations, I will use various, real world examples to illustrate the current situation in Sub-Saharan Africa. The chapter will focus specifically on sustainable business development and it will identify areas prime for development.
In 2020, Tanzania’s economy was ranked as the ninth largest in Africa in terms of GDP. The country has a population of 56 million people. Agriculture is the cornerstone of the economy, employing 68 percent of Tanzania’s workforce. Gold, coffee, cashew nuts, tobacco, and cotton are key export goods and 40 percent of the food is imported. The majority of agricultural production is categorized as small-scale subsistence farming. Less than half of the population has access to clean waterFootnote 1 and only 35 percent have access to electricity. Undernutrition is still highly prevalent in Tanzania, yet morev than eight percent of the population is obese.Footnote 2 Adult literacy rates have been gradually increasing until now, 78 percent of the population can read and write in Swahili, English, or Arabic; 82 percent has mobile phone telephone subscription and 25 percent uses the internet. More than 95 percent of Tanzanians use charcoal for cooking. The ecological footprint of Tanzanians is 0.73 (2017) (Global Footprint Network, n.d.). Tanzania’s footprint is quite sustainable in direct contrast to Norwegians, whose ecological footprint is 3.61 planet Earths. Tanzania has one of Africa’s fastest growing economies increasing an average of seven percent in the last decade, compared to the global average of four percent. Relative to many other African countries, Tanzania has a stable political situation.
11.1 A Look Backward: Why Is the Situation as It Is?
There are many different opinions and theories on why countries in Europe, North America, and for example China and South Korea, have succeeded in industrialization and subsequently have increased living standards, whereas many countries in Africa have not. Some common explanations include: Africa’s history of colonialism and resource extraction; lack of sound macroeconomic policies; low agricultural productivity; large deficits and debt; low savings and investment; poor education; and too little focus on export promotion (Goldin, 2019).
Poverty has been the primary driver for large influxes of development aid in Africa. Recipient countries have followed different allocation models, but it is often earmarked to fight famine and disease and to support economic development. To understand Africa’s current business environment and its economic development, it is useful to have some background knowledge on Africa’s history with international development aid.
11.2 Lessons Learned from Over 50 Years of Aid
Often developed countries assume they know best what people in other countries need and want. However, what is based on good intentions might not necessarily lead to good outcomes or expected results. Making assumptions without actually conducting the proper due diligence can lead to devastating results.
Only half of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF ) funded projects have succeeded. The Chad-Cameroon oil pipeline to the Atlantic Ocean, Lesotho Highlands water project, Roll Back Malaria, and many more are examples of projects that are deemed as failures (NBC News, 2007). There are different reasons for each failure, but lack of local knowledge tends to be the common denominator (Short et al., 2020). It is a paradox that so many of these international development projects have actually made several African countries partly dependent on aid.
One would assume that after so many failed projects resulting in more harm than good would discourage similar initiatives in the future. After a failed tree planting project in the 1980s, the Turkana project in Kenya, only a few years later in 1995, Norwegian and Finnish aid organizations, private investment, and Green Resources AS started another tree planting project in Sub-Saharan Africa including among others Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda (Lyons & Westoby, 2013). Until today, it is one of the largest Norwegian private investments in Africa. The business model of the project involved planting trees to generate carbon credits to sell on the global market. Although it seemed to have good intentions and to be environmentally friendly, the largest plantation forestry operation on the African continent led to the forced relocation of local people, food insecurity, and the introduction of a new species that threatened the local plants. In 2020, financially, the project was deemed to have been a “massacre for the ‘billionaire adventure’ in Africa” (Bjergaard, 2020). Lack of knowledge and due diligence, assumed expertise, and not involving local people were deemed to the underlying reasons behind each of these failures.
Not all business projects that give rise to unintended, negative consequences are linked to state aid or large corporations. Some originate from individuals, who with good intentions want to contribute and help. People in developed countries have for a long time collected and donated used clothes via charities. These clothes however are not distributed for free; rather they create a multibillion dollar industry in which charities sell the used clothes in bulk to traders in developing countries, who retail them to locals. Donating used clothing could be perceived as a contribution to circular economy, and it might seem positive, but in the long-term, it works to the detriment of local businesses in the developing world. According to Oxfam, 70 percent of donated clothing goes to Africa (Kubania, 2015). Used clothing imports are estimated to be responsible for almost 40 percent of the annual decline in domestic production of clothing in Sub-Saharan Africa (Wilson & Hopewell, 2018).
If used clothes were not exported and instead used longer or resold by the original owner in the developed world. This would not only be more sustainable, but also indirectly support local businesses in Africa. Local production using local resources such as cotton would contribute toward gains in self-sufficiency. This is the reason why many states in Africa are banning imports of second-hand clothes (Reality Check Team, 2018). Another example of a well-intentioned initiative, that failed to achieve its desired results, was the case of a large company that spent millions to donate new computers to local schools. The organizers were not aware that there was no power grid in the areas, so no access to electricity in the region (Wharton University of Pennsylvania, 2007). These two examples illustrate the importance of consulting local knowledge and how partnerships and cooperation can help make projects work.
Even though many development aid-based projects in Africa have failed, there are many aid-projects, which have succeeded, especially in the health sector. The Melinda & Bill Gates foundation have created projects considered to be some of the most successful in Africa. The foundation has improved health, education, and quality of life for millions of people. Their goal is to have zero preventable deaths associated with malaria, TB, HIV, and malnutrition. Until 2016, the foundation had provided $9 billion USD in funding for projects on the continent. The budget for 2016–2021 was set to contribute another $5 billion (Philanthropy News Digest, 2016). It is estimated that the foundation has helped to save over 122 million lives through its work (Boseley, 2017).
Although the foundation’s engagement in Africa is not directly related to business, it is estimated that every $1 USD on childhood immunization provides a $44 USD return in economic benefits (Boseley, 2017).
The focus has typically been on people outside Africa that help Africa. However, there are many noteworthy African philanthropists, who might also have a better understanding of what works and what does not work for Africa. Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese billionaire, claims that Africa does not need help and it does not need aid. According to him, governance is the problem. Therefore, he financially supports political leaders, who have proven to provide among other things “sustainable economic opportunity” and “rule of law” (Jolis, 2012). Aliko Dangote of Nigeria and Mohammed Dewij of Tanzania are two more examples of wealthy Africans working on developing Africa, creating opportunities, and empowering the people (Nsehe, 2019). In addition, there are many Africans who have made a positive impact outside of the realm of philanthropy. In 1997, Dr Wangari Maathai started the grass-root movement to counter deforestation. Later in 2004, she received the Nobel Peace Prize for the impact of her work on the Green Belt movement and its contribution to sustainable development, democracy, and peace.
There are many different opinions on whether or not aid is a good solution for solving the poverty situation (Kwemo, 2017). Still, most agree that using development aid in an effective manner can contribute to solving problems in the developing world. According to Paul Collier, a well-recognized aid expert, shifting aid to support business is the right decision (Collier, 2016). However, in order to do business, knowledge is needed. There are two major sides of the equation for Africa to become sustainable; the people factor and the system factor. The people factor is about developing human capital and involvement. Handling something that is not anchored or originated from the beneficiary does not work.
So far, too much focus has been on the macro level interventions in Africa, and too little on micro interventions like human empowerment and educating people. The focus has to move from giving fish to teaching how to fish. Overall, collaboration with developed countries and aid has to be people centered rather than focused on exploiting natural resources. With this as a basis, the following are five key issues to take into account in the development of sustainable business in Africa.
Reduce export of non-manufactured natural resources
Involve stakeholders and collaborate throughout the supply chain
Manufacture products from local resources for own consumption and export
Make being a farmer more attractable
Reflect on the goal for the development
In a sustainability setting, these five issues are closely related to a change in mindset in addition to knowledge and education in the field of sustainability. The concepts of sustainability, environmental and social issues, have to be integrated into education, especially business education. A long-term focus is also crucial for projects and initiatives. In line with the Maslow’s hierarchy, all people tend to be short sighted when their physiological needs are not met. This is more often the case in Africa. People who are hungry and struggling to satisfy basic human needs are less concerned about biological diversity than people with secure access to food, water, and shelter. In the following section, I will address the five issues introduced above and provide examples to illustrate their relevance and importance.
11.3 Reduce Export of Non-manufactured Natural Resources
The African continent is endowed with an abundance of natural resources from diamonds, platinum, and gold to bauxite, cobalt, and many other valuable minerals. The majority of foreign direct investment has been directed to the exploration and exploitation of these extractive resources. In 2020, almost 70 percent of what was imported to Africa from the EU were manufactured goods, whereas over 60 percent of export from Africa to EU were raw materials, commodities (Eurostat, 2021).
Many argue for instance that Africa’s oil resources have been a curse, rather than a “blessing”, because it spurred environmental degradation and lowered local living conditions. The revenues have mainly enriched a select cadre of corrupt politicians (BBC News, 2012).
Most of what is extracted is done under poor working conditions and exported to be processed outside the continent, particularly to developed countries. The case of cobalt illustrates the consequences of political instability, breaches of human rights principles, illegal processes, mismanagement, corruption, exploitation, lack of people focus and negative economic consequences. The case furthermore illustrates that the situation is gradually improving and moving toward more sustainable processes.
The use of electric cars (EV) has increased tremendously. Much of the green energy transition will hinge on the availability and affordability of the metals required to make the EV battery.Footnote 3 Cobalt is critical and comprises half the cost.Footnote 4 Making up 10–30 percent of the cathodes, it prevents corrosion that can lead to overheating and fires. Technically, it has been difficult to find super heat resistant substitutes without major trade-offs in battery life and performance.Footnote 5
The issue is that global cobalt supply is constrained, and while demand is skyrocketing, it has become quite expensive.Footnote 6 Politically unstable,Footnote 7 Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) supplies 70 percent of the world’s cobalt, a byproduct from copper and nickel mining. It is transported by trucks to South Africa, so vulnerable to disruptions and shipped out of DurbanFootnote 8 for processing in China, which controls 80 percent of the commercial cobalt refining industry.Footnote 9 Demand is projected to surge by 400 percent in the next 10 years with rising demand for smartphones and electric cars.Footnote 10
The reason it is problematic is that DRC sourced cobalt has been linked to severe human rights abuses. An estimated 10 to 30 percent of DRC production comes from 2 million Congolese, artisanal, small-scale miners, digging by hand.Footnote 11. They frequently mine illegally, use child labor, and work in hazardous and sometime fatal working conditions. EV producers have a major dilemma with really few options. Future projects to expand supply are limited. Recycling rates can be economically improved, currently at 32 percent,Footnote 12 but additional cobalt supply will come from expanding existing mining operations in DRC. Mining companies in Norway, the UK, Belgium, and others are accessing deepsea mining projects, but Google, BMW, Volvo, and Samsung support a moratorium, vowing not to buy nor finance deepsea mined minerals.Footnote 13
BMW, is the only car company in the industry that has signed agreements directly with mines in Australia and Morrocco to supply its cobalt to bypass the DRC and ensure its sourced responsibly.Footnote 14,Footnote 15 Avoiding DRC cobalt is unrealistic and unsustainable for any company; even BMW in the future without major technological breakthroughs will have to source from the DRC. Other companies such as Tesla and CATL, China’s largest EV battery maker, have made public statements that they plan to engineer cobalt out of the battery. Telsa has also partnered with Panasonic, dramatically lowering cobalt content in their next generation EV battery, down to 5 percent.Footnote 16 Further, they are striving to completely eliminate its use to dramatically lower the cost of the battery, which could make the EV affordable to the mass market.
In response, cobalt suppliers have launched a number of different initiatives. Chinese industry launched the Responsible Cobalt Initiative, partnering with companies such as Daimler, Volvo, and Apple to address child labor risks in the supply chain via due diligence. Mine owners such as Tesla’s supplier, Glencore, have created the Fair Cobalt Alliance,Footnote 17 which will work directly with artisan miners to improve working conditions, eradicate child labor, and engage in community building to provide locals with other opportunities.Footnote 18
Realizing the importance of moving away from the resource extraction approach, there has been a focus on supporting local entrepreneurs to develop new and more sustainable business. It is argued that the solution for Africa’s greatest challenges needs to come from within, specifically using local expertise and resources (Gatesfoundation, n.d.).
Developing a country’s own culture with pride needs focus. Omoyemi Akerele, a driving force behind Nigeria’s fashion industry, works with local brands. She provides a good example of how local products and design can gain a national and international footing. African nationals and international celebrities have been seen wearing locally designed garments, bringing great pride to the local people.
There are many examples of promising businesses based on local knowledge and local people. Reviewing 650 nominations, Forbes magazine identified the 30 Most Promising Young Entrepreneurs in Africa. The list includes businesses ranging from affordable access to solar energy in areas where 87 percent of the population live without electricity, to a footwear brand becoming very popular within the urban populations, cashew processing companies, a mobile phone application to support rural crop farmers, and so on (Nsehe, 2018).
11.4 Involve Stakeholders and Collaborate Throughout the Supply Chain
Lack of infrastructure and the need for collaborative efforts have often been identified as other reasons for business project failures in Africa. In the agriculture business, post-harvest loss (PHL) is a significant problem among small hold farmers and the main cause is the lack of infrastructure to transport produce to market. This is the main reason why approximately 32 percent of crops and 24 percent of calories produced are not consumed. This waste amounts to the equivalent amount of food to feed 1.6 billion people (Deloitte, 2015).
Appropriate use of fertilizer is critical for ensuring good harvests. It is estimated that there is a need for eight times more fertilizer than what is currently used in Africa (Goedde et al., 2019). Yara, a Norwegian company and the world’s leading fertilizer company, realized that the lack of infrastructure to take goods to market was a major challenge. They began collaborating in various initiatives across different sectors and institutions to make progress, based on Porter’s Shared Value Concept (see Chap. 3). This collaboration across the supply chain led to the establishment of the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT).
SAGCOT is an international public-private partnership launched at the World Economic Forum on Africa in May 2010 in Dar es Salaam. Its founding objective was to foster inclusive, commercially successful agribusinesses that would benefit the region’s small-scale farmers, and in so doing, improve food security, reduce rural poverty, and ensure environmental sustainability. Yara, Unilever, the Agriculture Council of Tanzania, the Tanzanian government, and USAID have all become key actors since its inception in 2009.
By 2014, SAGCOT had more than 60 partners, 38 from the private sector including a number of local companies and governments. The success of this initiative generated interest in investing in broader social and economic issues on a long-term horizon. Educating small-scale, Tanzanian farmers take time, but it later pays off with increased crop yields, incomes, and food security. These considerations were integral in Yara’s approach to business development in Tanzania, despite the risks associated with up-front financing to realize future profits. The SAGCOT approach is a venue that illustrates the importance of, as well as how to address, stakeholder management in the supply chain. It is a good model for business development in rural Africa. Still, Tanzania imports fertilizer from abroad, rather than producing it domestically, forgoing local jobs and knowledge creation. Developing a self-managed circular bioeconomy has a great potential in Sub-Sahara Africa.Footnote 19 Respect, trust, transparency, listening to business partners, and learning about the local culture needs to be the foundation of any business collaboration and venture. Developed countries need to explicitly take the voice of local people into account when doing business in Africa.
11.5 Manufacture Products from Local Resources for Local Consumption and Export
Business development in Africa is centered on importing goods from abroad. Even products developed for use in development projects in Africa tend to be imported. Solar power is a great business opportunity in Africa. Still, the bulk of solar power equipment is imported (Cross & Murray, 2018).
When a country lacks a manufacturing base, it later lacks the in-country knowledge on how to make repairs and access to spare parts. This shortens the life span of the imported technology. Importing manufactured products and exporting raw materials is a trade dynamic that not only puts Africa in debt, but also creates opportunity costs in terms of employment and growth.
To develop sustainable businesses in Africa, local resources need to be developed in a sustainable manner involving the local people. Coffee is a well-known, high value commodity from Africa. Ethiopia has managed to develop a brand as one of the five countries in the world with the highest quality coffee beans (May, 2018). There are many more business opportunities based on local and relatively unknown and unique resources. The prickly pear, sisal, and shea butter are three such examples.
The prickly pear, or Opuntia, is a cactus plant indigenous to Mexico, which found its way to Africa more than 100 years ago. Today, it is perceived as an invasive species and resources are spent on its eradication. Since the plant thrives in arid, drought prone areas and grows easily without the need for irrigation on marginal land, there are numerous business opportunities, which could be derived from its various applications. It can be eaten by people and animals, can be used as biofuel or to sequester carbon, and provides a promising alternative medicine for diabetes therapy.
Sisal is cultivated in Africa and Tanzania is the third largest producer in the world (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2019). Sisal, also a plant indigenous to Mexico, is a stiff natural fiber plant that has been commercially grown for decades. It is exported as a raw material for the production of ropes, twines, carpets, and other applications. Sisal production in Tanzania has never completely recovered from its peak production in the 1960s due to a number of factors: competing with synthetic substitutes, poor economic policies, technological innovations dampening demand, and trade barriers. However, sisal today warrants attention as we re-evaluate products and look for sustainable substitutes. Sisal is a very environmentally friendly product. There is great potential in Africa to begin processing sisal and creating value-added products. It can be used to make designer goods like bags and wallets for the tourism market. Today a large portion of goods available for tourists are manufactured in China.
Shea butter is extracted from the nuts of the shea tree growing on the Savannas South of the Sahara. These nuts have an edible pulp, rich in vitamins and minerals. The oil provides a high quality basis for skin repairing cream. Harvesting and processing the nuts are labor intensive and thus provide work. These nuts have “enormous opportunities” for local business (Okojie, 2015).
All three of these potential business opportunities are based on local, naturally occurring species which are abundant and hold great potential. Countries outside Africa have less experience with these resources and they thus entail a great opportunity for African countries to harvest and develop by themselves.
There are advantages to doing business in emerging markets. Specifically, they can leapfrog directly to the latest technologies (Schroeder & Anantharaman, 2017). Whereas the analog telephone network in developed countries was constructed using insulated copper cables and wooden or concrete posts, this infrastructure is no longer necessary with digital solutions. Erecting a few cellphone towers provides the same utility as building thousands of kilometers of analog telephone lines. Through the MFarm mobile application, farmers can now check the market price of goods to ensure that when they travel, they secure a favorable price. Through the ICow app, cows can be registered individually, so small-scale dairy farmers can easily keep track of their cattle with regard to for example milking schedules, immunization, nutrition, breeding, and so on. This application, a sustainable business initiative, was developed by a Kenyan farmer, who was familiar with the local farmers’ needs.
With the right strategy, countries in Sub-Sahara Africa may be able to leapfrog from charcoal to renewable energy such as wind and/or solar power—skipping the oil and gas industry. This will require major investments, but since it would result in reduced CO2 emissions, it might actually be an efficient approach for developed countries to deal with the climate challenges.
Not only can African countries skip non-sustainable stages of development, some African states are far ahead of countries in Europe and the United States with regard to environmental laws and regulations. By 2020, 34 African states had passed laws banning the use of plastic bags. These initiatives are closely followed up (Center for Biological Diversity, n.d.).
11.6 Make Being a Farmer More Attractable
Agriculture in Africa has a massive social and economic footprint. More than 60 percent of the population of Sub-Saharan Africa is engaged in smallholder farming, and about 23 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP comes from agriculture (Goedde et al., 2019). Still, crop yields in Africa are far behind compared to other less developed countries like South America and Asia. Often the yield is less than half of that of these countries (Shah, 2021). Increasing the use of fertilizers, improved seed, irrigation, storage, infrastructure are all key to realizing the agricultural potential of Africa (Goedde et al., 2019).
Due to the hardships inherited by most smallholder farmers, it is generally not considered a very attractive future to young Africans, who often leave the villages for the big cities only to end up as unemployed and poor. This can lead to frustration, anger, and violence. There is a great potential for better farming and increased yield. According to the World Bank, “Africa can feed itself, earn billions and avoid food crises by unblocking regional food trade” (The World Bank, 2012). It is argued that Africa has the potential of more than doubling production through relatively simple improvements (Goedde et al., 2019).
Knowledge on how to run a small farm in a profitable manner can make being a farmer an attractive job, but this will require education. Access to basic primary school has increased farmers productivity by almost ten percent (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), n.d.). Imagine the effect of agricultural education. Such education needs to cover topics related to financing, efficient marketing, best practices, sales contracts, use of digital technology, and better collaboration throughout the supply chain. Integrating sustainability issues in this proposed farmer business education would have a long-term positive effect.
11.7 Reflect on What Is the Goal for Development
Last, but not least, it is necessary to reflect on what are the goals of development. It is assumed that most people want to live like people in the developed world. So far development aid has to a large extent been based on and fostered paternalism, as opposed to collaboration and partnership (Kwemo, 2017).
Living alone in an apartment and spending most of the day in an office, which is the case for a large portion of people in developed countries, might not necessarily be the goal for most people. There should be a larger interest in, and focus on, what local people actually prefer. European involvement in Africa began with Christian missionaries, who worked to convert the population with little respect for local religion. Now it is important to ensure that developed countries are not pushing developing countries into doing business in the same unsustainable way as they have.
What is the perfect life? Anecdote story
“One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach, enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his line cast out. Then a businessman came walking trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman and said “You aren’t going to catch many fish that way. You should be working rather than lying on the beach!”
The fisherman smiled and replied, “And what will my reward be?”
The businessman replied, “You’ll be able to buy a boat and catch more fish!”
“And then what will my reward be?” asked the fisherman again.
The businessman, getting a little irritated, said “You can buy a bigger boat, and hire some people to work for you!”
“And then what will my reward be?” repeated the fisherman.
The businessman, now angry shouted, “Don’t you understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all your days sitting on this beach, looking at the sunset.”
The fisherman looked up, “And what do you think I’m doing right now?”
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Ditlev-Simonsen, C.D. (2022). Sustainability in Developing Countries: Case Sub-Saharan Africa. In: A Guide to Sustainable Corporate Responsibility . Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-88203-7_11
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