There is a difference between being rich and being wealthy, and when given an option to choose between riches and wealth, I hope everybody chooses the latter rather than the former. This is because being wealthy has an all-encompassing trait of not only having liquid and capital assets but also consists of having great economic and social value to your society and your country as a whole. Whereas riches has to do with the amount of money that one has at any given point in time. Learning how to build wealth is a key life asset and an important goal since wealthy people are of great benefits to their countries. Wealth has ripple implications on jobs, standards and quality of living, life expectancy, health care etc. A community that aim to create truly wealthy people become well off and often have an above average quality of life as well as living standards.
The idea of building wealth relies heavily on an individuals’ ability to generate financial resources and revenue for an extended period of time although the person might not be working. Simply put, riches is a measure of the amount of money that one has at any given time whereas wealth is measured based on how long ones money is going to last. If an individual can sustain riches for a long period and create more money, that person is definitely wealthy. A lot of the times, people ponder on ways and avenues they can use to become wealthy, some resort to studying to get more degrees and academic titles, whiles others try to move on to better paying jobs or start businesses of their own. There are others who want to enjoy the benefits of wealth but do not want to do any hard work thereby result to fraud, corruption, illegal trade and all sorts of unscrupulous deals to make money off of hard working people.
Creating wealth on the continent of Africa has always been a daunting and difficult challenge, this is primarily caused by a combination of factors such as low levels of illiteracy and technological knowhow and the inadequate nature of technical and physical infrastructure. The segregation of various African countries with regards to business and financial practises also makes it cumbersome to go about cross-border trade and business expansion, a rapid expansion of business growth can be achieved easily in regions that have a homogeneous financial market and economic systems. West Africa for example has quite a number of relatively small countries, therefore a company that has a powerful manufacturing plant can easily saturate the markets with its products in its home country. The next logical step for such an organisation is export which leads to more growth. This is where the challenge begins, trying to ship or expand into other west African states becomes a challenge due to the differences in economic and business systems in neighbouring west African sister countries. In that regard, a lot of local manufacturers find it easier to export to Europe and the United States than to trade with fellow African countries. Yet partnering with African countries to export and create a wide regional market and improve employment and development opportunities will have been more fulfilling and naturally seem like the right thing to do.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to creating wealth, it is a long and gradual process often interlaced with setbacks and unforeseen circumstances. Moments like that makes a person stronger and wiser, Failures help us become adept at avoiding traps and learning the ropes in building a wealthier and successful African society. From how wealth, capital and money has been perceived in Africa, it has been fairly difficult for hardworking individuals to chase their financial desires without them being labelled as greedy. Our views about money as a continent comes from a point of great need, poverty and struggles hardly from a point of abundance, freedom and progress.
In the past, we have been limited in our desires to interact with the global financial world due to geographical, language, political and economic barriers. Bitcoin has changed our thinking of currency and as such we have a view of how to create wealth. Wealth can be created from a combination of savings and investments. Talk to aspiring entrepreneurs and one of their greatest pet peeve is finding capital to start their businesses. I impress on them, the need to start small and grow gradually as the business takes shape. Bootstrapping has worked for several successful businesses we see today. Numerous statistics show that new businesses fail within the first five years of commencement. Beating the five year metric is not a guarantee that the business will be successful because a lot more also fail between the fifth and tenth year after which the business can be considered as stable therefore before anyone will let go of their hard-earned finances to invest in a startup they must know without doubt that they are going to receive great value in return.
Building wealth requires a combination of a strong savings culture, the ability for one to be accountable with the little he/she has been given and a passion for growth and investment. Bitcoin is bringing a paradigm shift to how an alternate currency can be used to create streams of income and a tool for saving money as well as for capital movement for a stronger, better, resilient and wealthier Africa
Kwaku Abedi is a freelance writer/editor based in Accra-Ghana. He has an interest in bitcoin and writes on bitcoin integration in Africa.