The world cup is going on; and for a couple of weeks yet, we will not be too much disturbed by the hardship of life, the political scandals, and the different indirect and direct wars going on, here and there. But because most African teams are also more likely to be sent back home before the round of 16, I think it is already time for me to start thinking and pondering on more positive things happening in Africa. Africa is still rich in terms of resources but remains the poorest continent when considering monetary wealth, industrialisation, infrastructures and technology. It seems that things do not change much for Africans who are still the victims of the most subtle forms of exploitation.
“Why is that?” You may be asking yourself. Far from playing the victimisation card and unlike most people of my generation who -under pretence of caring for the fate reserved to the descendants of Africans in the West – have made of the black man’s misery their livelihood, I have decided to adopt a more positive stance and put the light on the true lovers of the continent of all origins. The true lovers of Africa are those who indeed will always have faith in the potential of local people in African villages. For the Africans who at a time in their lives had made the choice to migrate to the West; looking at Africa positively also involves doing one’s best to contribute to the development of the continent. It is the role of every African lover, not only to change the image of the continent but also to demonstrate how investing in African countries for the benefit of Africans is sometimes less complicated than some often wants us to believe.
Among the different organisations and businesses I had the chance to come across, Nature d’Afrik, a company based in Paris but working in close links with women organisations located in Mali, has without doubt called my attention.
Nature d’Afrik is a company in charge of dealing 100% natural products collected by women producers in African villages. The goods are directly sold to cosmetic laboratories, craftsmen and private individuals; such providing the African women gathered in organisation in Mali with direct revenues. No need to mention that because Nature d’Afrik’s products are 100% natural, they appear as a must for any person with sensitive skin or other epidermal troubles. The therapeutic properties of shea butter and vegetal oils the company provides are well known by all.
Oumou Doumbia, the mother of four who created the Nature d’Afrik company also teaches us three things through her initiative. First: being African, and more precisely Malian, is not at all incompatible with setting up one’s own business. It is, indeed, both strange and appalling to see how very few entrepreneurs of Malian descents there are in France. In times of mass unemployment using inherent diversity to set up one’s own business may be the key to many difficulties encountered by Africans in the French society. Second: the initiative is a true expression of positive and constructive activism. It, indeed, consists in looking at what Africa has, and how to provide and sell these goods in more industrialised countries, while respecting the rules of fair trade. There is no doubt that such an initiative reasserts the value of the work of these African women in their respective villages. In other words bridging the gap between southern countries and the most industrialised ones is also a responsibility that every one of us could undertake at his (or her) own level.
Third: by doing so, Oumou Doumbia clearly acts as an important ambassador promoting the African continent with its wealth and human resources. It is undeniable that this is a behaviour that most Africans should adopt. Fair trade may be the solution for African countries too much stigmatised by too much corruption and a lack of confidence in the capacity of the population to remedy and face all difficulties and challenges.
NB: The products Nature d’Afrik are available on http://www.naturedafrik.com/