6 Things For A National Leader To Do
Peter looks down at his high school examination results transcript for the first time. It is not a pretty picture. He had been praying hard the results that would peer back at him would be different but he also knew deep down that it may not. He had been dreading this moment. It has arrived.
Still, he had wished for otherwise. He is a bright student. But it had not been an easy past few years. He had just lost his older sibling to a debilitating illness. They had been very close to each other. He is also dauntingly aware his parents are not close to each other and fears they may find other partners and break-up. What would that mean as a family? Where would he seek his counsel? Will he be intruding? That bothers him.
Turning his eyes back at the results, he knows he can do much better than what he sees. The reality is dawning at him. He is facing it squarely. These results are not going to help him get into his dream course at the university of his choice. It hurts him. What should he do now?
Suddenly he is remembering that he has to announce these results to his family. He has been known to be the one with a sound head on his shoulders. But now. With this. What would they think of him? Maybe they would not ask. He consoles himself.
But they did. He chose to keep quiet. Perhaps they will understand. He hopes. But meanwhile, he needs to come up with a strategy. Fast. So that his peers do not leave him behind.
He needs to get grades. Good grades. Fast. What subjects will help him do so? French. Perhaps. Grades that would help him put his foot through the door of a tertiary institution. What can he do so that he can catch up with his peers in the shortest possible time? He has the coming summer months to do so.
What jobs are out there that he should prepare for? He really did like the sounds of the field of nautical engineering. He had really enjoyed seeing and fiddling in the cockpit of a cruise ship during one of his summer vacations. It had made him feel happy and come alive. And he loves his Maths and Physics. But he has been told that manufacturing here is not a big deal in terms of jobs. What should he do? How should he decide?
Are his days of plain-sailing through life over? Will he face the same dilemmas when he out there in the big wide world looking for a job? With only four jobs available for every ten working age population, what will become of his chances with not so great grades? Supply of labour is now outstripping the demand for labour. Will jobs become too slim for his picking?
He will need to figure this out. He needs time. But does he have the time?
We all know a story like this.
One way or another.
And so. Here is the situation. You are now charged as the Head of this State. What would you do to turn around the situation?
Run, you say? Oh, you did not say that. Good! Invite more investors, locals as well as foreigners, to invest in the country?
Your predecessors have done that. Poured trillions for decades over with the help of past heads of states and a cabinet of citizen representatives. Yet, widespread unemployment today, has grown to now prevail at 60%! How did that happen?
You say perhaps “they” have not done enough. That you will do more than them. That is possible. For how long would you do more of the same? What went wrong? What else could we do?
Some measures are drastic and feels more like a bitter pill to swallow. But I hope it will make the tough actions we would need to take instead become easier to bear with. So here goes.
1. “EXPORT” UNEMPLOYMENT
Don’t have an agricultural and manufacturing bases? It has been too hard to build them? Well, no worries. Export unemployment at the same rate that we have been importing manufactured goods and the raw materials that were produced so that the unemployed follow the money you have spent buying them from outside the county (or the region).
2 “MATCH” BIRTHS TODAY TO JOB CREATION TOMORROW
If you know we will make more jobs tomorrow, go forth and multiply. But if you know, that we will not, … well, you get the drift.
A runaway population just means runaway unemployment figures that becomes hard to manage.
Supply of labour does not come from our education “system”. It is as the result of rates of births, not today, not just last year but from twenty years back. This is the time it takes for a young person to mature and readies himself for the job market.
Of course, it becomes tricky matching what happens in the bedroom today to the decisions we make in the boardroom twenty years on. The only consolation we can make is, the one who “creates” the child is the same one who plans today to “create” those jobs tomorrow. Well, no, I was not talking about God.
It is you and I. We needed to believe that we can create companies that can create those jobs for our children tomorrow. Companies are more than about hustling for clients to make money for us today or a shell to be used and discarded when we got what we need today. They are meant to create a legacy that makes jobs tomorrow. So, do you believe you can do that?
3 NATIONAL & COMMUNITY DIALOGUES AS FAMILIES Q: what allows industries to grow?
The decisions we make as nations and as families are strongly intertwined.
The decisions to be skilled for the agriculture and manufacturing sector bases are happening within families and households But the data used to inform the decision is based on what they would hear and say is happening “out there”.
If we think the population is not skilled to do manufacturing and in turn as families we think the country is not doing enough to create jobs in manufacturing then there right there, we have a lose-lose situation as a nation.
So make the intentions and the reasons clear and talk through the concerns surrounding the issue and figure a way to share the information as a nation. If countries around the world today can do grocery shopping online, this is not as big a step as we believe it to be.
4 CONSTRUCT REGIONAL MATRIX-ED GOODS VALUE CHAINS MAP
Get your backyard in order. Know what you want and go for it.
Figure what the latticed structure of chains of raw material supplies that are driven by what customers need as a region looks like and develop a vibrant agricultural and manufacturing bases:
– Do not be led by products that you have but rather focus on what customers want when building the matrix. Construct a map.
– Identify how one good feeds into another cost-effectively for end-customer needs within the local, regional and the global markets
– Know what is available. And what is not.
– Forget the who has what at this point. That is for a later stage when the map is completed.
– Focus on identifying critical processes on the chains, those if unavailable would stall the development of the production and the chains.
– Do not wait for another region to develop their maps and approach the country or the region to conduct the manufacturing for them. You will lose the clout you would need in managing the process and gaining value.
When the mapping is complete, you now have a working document to get your act together and move forward as a nation and the region.
5 ALIGN AND BUILD HUMAN RESOURCES
Align and, where needed, develop human resource skills dedicated to the agriculture and manufacturing sectors with a particular emphasis on acquiring both core across the nation and advanced skills in English, Mathematics and Science, particularly with Physics and Chemistry, that makes them resilient & inclusive in the two sectors.
6 BUILD UP THE PYRAMID OF THE ECONOMY
Concerted setup of corporations in the sub-sectors of: the agriculture (crop or plant / raw material production) and manufacturing that fits in with the regional industry value chain matrix map and schedule.
Economies that rely heavily on extraction industries will have large pockets of unemployment that continue to persist in the nation. These industries gross high returns but they do so by employing fewer people and more machines to keep costs of operations under control and growth of the industry. This way the GDP would certainly look good (but not the food on our tables, which is the real GDP).
Machines do not create jobs for the unemployment rates.
As the nation shifts its focus to production, particularly in plants, it will learn to mitigate climate effects country-by-country that would allow the region to produce consistently throughout the year to keep the manufacturing sector humming.
Invite regional and global industry leaders global industry leaders or; incentivise and groom local captains of industry (by long-term overseas stints) to lead, chart and build the sub-sectors bottoms-up including from within households and education sectors.