Friday, April 22, 2011

The Right Question for Ethiopia

This post is an Ethiopian response to "The Importance of the Right Question" by Clayton Christensen. View the pdf document HERE.

The Right Question about our work in Ethiopia is: "Are the Ethiopian people prepared morally, intellectually and structurally to benefit from what we are giving them?"


Morally:
Christensen points out that if the society doesn't have a moral base then capitalism and democracy will not survive.  We have experienced and probably will continue to experience difficulties with those people that are not honest.  However the majority of the people that we are working with do have a moral base and are responding well to what we are teaching them. Whether Christian or Muslim they are good people.

Intellectually:
We have had to be patient in training and teaching but most of our staff seem to be catching the vision of the company and understanding their role. The education is not on par with the US but there is a base that can be built upon and a willingness to learn and improve. 

Structurally:
We are really stretching things here and it has cost us as a company but it also gives us a competitive advantage over others that decide not to enter Ethiopia at this time. Our being willing to help develop the infrastructure as we go along puts us in a position to somewhat mold it to our needs.



So I ask again - "Are the Ethiopian people prepared morally, intellectually and structurally to benefit from what we are giving them?" 


My answer is a qualified but enthusiastic yes!  We have to realize the limitations that we are dealing with and work within that context but we have already had some success and it will just get better. 

I'm so grateful to be part of it.
~Lonny

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