It is no secret that among the key challenges many African countries face is in balancing the real needs of their people while meeting the objectives of donors who in most cases have very different priorities. With donor countries providing 40 – 45% of health budgets in some countries like Tanzania, it is easy to see why most countries have abrogated their responsibilities and too heavily depend on donors programs that are often not designed to meet the unique cultural and social needs necessary to take into account in designing development programs of their populations.
However, when Africa taps on their visionary and transformational leaders to actively participate in the development of indigenous capacity and home grown polices informed by local knowledge, then we can design effective developmental policies and strategies for poverty alleviation in Africa.
One way to do this is by making a good use of social entrepreneurs who often have innovative solutions to what is the most pressing issue for instance in improving maternal and child health in Tanzania and sub-Saharan Africa at large. Taking an example of vaccine delivery to the most remote, hard to reach areas, vaccines which we know of many do need a well monitored, temperature controlled supply chain system, its hard to imagine that innovations for caring out such a delivery can be planned to be as effective as those that exist currently, engineered by the local natives, who know about how and where to pass during the bad road seasons where there are heavy rains and no tarmac roads, they know how to get the children vaccinated.
When there are services that need to be up taken by societies like using of mosquito nets to prevent malaria, the social entrepreneurs know how work the problems out; they can change the system, help spread the new system and solution while convincing the people to take up the new interventions. They have approaches that are usually different from the normal government or business models, they somehow know how to make things work in a better way. Because of the way the social entrepreneurs minds work, they are able to present ideas that can easily be accepted and implemented by many and they are committed to moving their field in the positive direction and change for the better.
Hence, once we realize the power that social entrepreneurship has in development in Africa, we can eventually do away with Aid and be able to come up with our own local solutions at a larger extent and push our development agenda forward.