Discover more from Africa’s Bright Future
The Cheetah Generation Manifesto
What We Believe and Where We’re Headed
As a reminder, The Heart of a Cheetah is now available in all formats. (And the e-book is only 99 cents this week!)
One of the core messages in the book is that Africa’s bright future lies in the hands of Africans—and more specifically, the hands of the “Cheetah Generation.”
What is the Cheetah Generation?
Cheetahs are the fast-running African entrepreneurs (and allies) who aren’t content to sit and wait, hoping that a government or NGO will miraculously fix African poverty.
We are committed to creating our own solutions. We are job creators. Innovators. Visionaries. Dreamers.
Being a member of the Cheetah Generation has nothing to do with your age or whether you are African or not and everything to do with your mindset. We’re going to move fast, like cheetahs. We’re going to make progress in leaps and bounds.
And guess what. We’re already on the move.
A recent survey found that 76% of 4,200 young Africans want to start a business within the next five years. Six in ten already have an idea percolating for either a business or a social enterprise!
The Cheetah Generation will unite all the Cheetahs of Africa to work together, just as cheetahs do when they hunt. I love nothing more than watching a coalition of cheetahs hunting. You can only admire the level of patient, deep collaboration and superb coordination they showcase.
But coordination doesn’t only require a shared mindset; it also requires a shared goal. So here’s our Cheetah Generation Manifesto. This is what we believe and where we’re headed:
1. All prosperous nations must allow their people to create value through enterprise.
All prosperous nations protect property rights to ensure that citizens and business owners don’t live in the fear that criminals or the government could arbitrarily take their property.
All prosperous nations allow their citizens to create business enterprises freely, without unnecessary restrictions from government overseers.
All prosperous nations allow their citizens and enterprises to work within a stable legal framework, featuring relatively unbiased laws and courts that allow disputes to be handled fairly.
Right now, most African nations do not provide these fundamental rights to enterprise.
In international rankings of economic freedom and doing business, only Mauritius, a tiny island nation that has now reached almost European levels of prosperity, is in the top tier. A few others, including Botswana and Rwanda, are moving in the right direction.
Most African nations are in the bottom half or even the bottom third. Our nations are the worst in the world at providing economic freedom.
That is the challenge we must overcome.
2. Africa should be filled with prosperous nations.
But why should it? Why should everyone care about Africa?
Here is one reason, a very self-serving one for me (and for you, dear reader): a rising tide lifts all boats. If Africa is underproducing—and it is, grossly—the continent’s citizens aren’t the only ones who lose.
In the United States, it’s often said that our greatest resource is our people. In a globalized world, the loss of the talents and energies of more than a billion human beings is incalculable.
What could an unleashed Africa bring to every aspect of human endeavor?
We have artists, philosophers, academics, businesspeople, and thinkers and doers of every kind just waiting to reveal their talents to the world!
I believe there are eight billion geniuses in the world. Each of us came to this Earth with a unique genius, and that genius represents a part of the solution to humanity’s problems.
Any time a human being is deprived of manifesting their genius, all of humanity is diminished.
3. Africans must have a can-do mentality and work toward the goals of prosperity through a positive capitalist path forward.
We cannot succumb to the victimhood mentality fostered by NGO forces and anti-capitalists.
While some NGOs are focused on true empowerment, others too often approach Africans as pathetic objects in need of a White savior. They communicate this message both openly and indirectly. Meanwhile, anti-capitalist intellectuals, both in Africa and abroad, endlessly repeat a victimhood narrative about Africa being poor due to slavery, colonialism, and ongoing exploitation.
Yes, Africa has been victimized. Yes, it can be hard to succeed due to a lack of opportunity.
But until these same intellectual forces endorse the positive capitalist path forward—which will let us leave that negative past behind—they are part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Cheetahs know that we have to look toward Africa’s Bright Future. We refuse to get mired in the old arguments of the past, and we recognize that entrepreneurial capitalism is our best option to lift our people out of poverty.
The Cheetah Generation has two main arms. The first is building awareness.
We need to organize and focus all who care about Africa to rally around pro-business, pro-growth strategies. We need to educate those who actually care about African people to engage in more constructive and less destructive (or merely pointless) activities.
The second arm is taking action. We will work with those who have been convinced that free markets are the key to African prosperity.
After I was featured in the movie Poverty, Inc., I was approached by twenty to thirty organizations that all had the same questions: What can we do? Buy African products? But where? We missed out on a great opportunity by not having a working system in place to concretely follow up with this great response. I don’t want that to happen again.
So, first we’re going to provide a Cheetah Made website where anyone can buy “Cheetah Made” verified products. These are African products, made in Africa by Africans.
But Cheetah Made will also provide a great deal more. Recall that our priority isn’t quick fixes but changing the system to allow for long-term prosperity for all. On our Cheetah Made website, you’ll be given concrete steps you can take to be part of the solution:
Evangelize for the Cheetah Generation itself.
Purchase “Cheetah Made” verified products.
Invest in African companies.
Mentor African entrepreneurs.
Contribute talent or money to innovative ways to leapfrog education in Africa.
Contribute talent or money to African e-government initiatives.
Contribute talent or money to African Startup Cities initiatives.
We will be the go-between to help successful businesspeople around the world find and connect with entrepreneurs in Africa who are seeking mentorship, guidance, or investments for their businesses.
There will be no White savior complex behavior. Just human beings who respect each other, engaging with one another at an eye-to-eye level, committed to the idea that win-win-win is the rising tide that lifts all boats. We want to do good, do well, and have fun together while we’re at it.
I’ll stop now because I realize I sound like I’m making a pitch. And I am, I suppose. But let me just say this: the entire continent of Africa has long been completely ignored, and there is more happening there than you can possibly imagine.
If you’re ready to be a part of the Cheetah Generation, I invite you to plug in however you choose. We need you!
For more on the Cheetah Generation and how you can join the movement, see The Heart of a Cheetah.