Entrepreneurs: the new global citizens.

Author:Kezaala, Robert
Position:THIS MONTH'S PRIZE LETTER - Letter to the editor

There is an ongoing and emotionally charged debate on the issue of illegal immigration. This is typified in France with Jean Marie Le Pen's manifesto, in the US government's decision to build a wall along the frontier with Mexico, and with the regular African immigrant incidents on the Canary and Lampedusa Islands. What the whole spectrum of views--from Le Pen's to populist politicians to moderates in the Western world--fail to appreciate is that the growing trade links between territories entail the ever increasing movement of goods and services as well as people.

I am not an advocate of unmitigated globalisation, but in this imperfect world, I am a realist: globalisation will increasingly continue to throw both its light and shadow on our individual and collective lives. To illustrate, marketing a shirt made in Uganda or US simply has to take into consideration what the Chinese are doing; anything to the contrary is sheer madness. Unfortunately in these times, due to a combination of factors including international trade imbalances, environmental degradation, technology (television, internet), ease of travel and the shortage of visionary leadership, the entrepreneurs in many developing countries are left with weak identification with their parent territories.

Further marginalised from decision making by the sheer numbers of the under-educated poorly informed masses and contentious electoral outcomes, they feel more like citizens of the world. Hence, they scan the horizon in search of territories that are more fertile for their abilities and aspirations in a given era.

To entrepreneurs, territorial boundaries do not necessarily reflect an identity, rather a place of comparative opportunity or lack thereof in bettering one's interests.

This is a fundamental and age-old aspiration of this section of the human race. That is why Rupert Murdoch (Australian) became US citizen and Wilson Kipketer (Kenyan) became Danish. That is also why thousands of Irish fled their country to the US during the potato famine of 1845-9. Let us also not forget the huge tide of human movement from an...

To continue reading

Request your trial