The 'feel good' factor: will it work in Africa?

Author:Basisa, Raphael Kutota
Position:THIS MONTH'S PRIZE LETTER - Letter to the editor
 
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I read your editorials religiously every month and your latest one The Power of Feeling Good, (African Business March 2008 issue) seriously moved me. We for sure need that in Africa. However, my concern is that it is possible to create a 'feel good' sentiment where there is not any 'good' reason for one. Applying Maslow's theory, regarding man's hierarchy of needs, my assessment of the African populace is that they are stuck at the first stage of the pyramid where scrambling for day-to-day basic necessities like food, shelter, clean water, etc. etc. are the major preoccupation.

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As Professor Maslow put it, certain things are completely unimportant if your personal standing level on the pyramid is far below the event level in the pyramid. (The 'feeling good' sentiment belongs to the third level of the Maslow pyramid).

Unlike most Germans, who score at a high second stage or strong third stage, most Africans have not yet satisfied the needs of the first stage. How is it likely that they will sense an event of a far-away third stage? I believe that this factor will mean that the 2010 World Cup in South Africa will virtually pass them by.

Young Africans have always cheered, screamed and danced on the...

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