My pledge...

My pledge for poverty alleviation in the world.

 

Next Fall 2014 I will graduate from Loyola University Chicago an MBA with concentration in International Business. It will be the fulfillment of an education objective that was set between 2000 and 2001 when I was still in Benin, Africa, at the position of Executive Director of a NGOs Network aimed at watchdog activism for the country’s Democratic governance. It was about half a decade after my graduation of Master of Science in Agriculture Economics and Rural Sociology. Through my education and vocational training, I was compelled to confront a sad truth that people are deprived their dignity in an abject poverty by cheap political maneuvers that seriously impede the country’s economic development. However, I did not know how dangerous it can be for someone like me to stand his own conscience’s ground. I tried many things to get actively involved in the country’s economic development by targeting some social or private entrepreneurs I thought my expertise could help break their economic barriers. Very soon, life brought to me to the seat where I believed I can bring about some positive impacts. It was a chimera. Thirst of power of people who already have their neck over the water that sink most of their compatriots is so intense that they could take others’ chance, opportunities, dignity or life away in their move to achieve ever more powerful stand in the poor country who, apparently has enough chance to take off economically.

 

With two masters and a solid professional experience in development I believe my chance to find a better job opportunity is enhanced. However, this is also a critical corner stone for me to evaluate my thirst to contribute to socio economic development in Africa by helping some local communities, grassroots associations or even private citizens and their business, to impact deeply poverty through economic opportunities. It is more than a decade ago, and here I am trying to make sense again to an old dream kept alive through several years. It is even more challenging now that I took a student loan to acquire a better education. The constraint is that I have to find a way to make up to my loan repayments without just dropping my dream, a dream that I believe is part of what I was meant to do on earth: to show compassion and love to people that are deprived of opportunity, and contribute to social justice. The question is how you do all that as a single person, an individual with such limited capacity. And that is the purpose of bringing my dream to you the citizens of the world who want to, but do not have an appropriate platform. For, I would like to put up to 50% of my time to involve in development international as business consultant to social entrepreneurs, and as catalyst, and leader of initiatives that could impact endogenous economic emancipation in some parts of Africa or developing world.

 

Does it make any sense to be indebted and talk social endeavor? I read a lot of comments about the fear of people similarly situated, however, of different backgrounds. At the mist of what I could call my dilemma, I read an amazing article by Clayton Christensen a reputable business teacher and educator of the famous Harvard University. The article is entitled “How Will You Measure Your Life? Don’t reserve your best business thinking for your career”. I found it rebuttal to conventional business mindset that somebody like Prof Clayton engages in a philosophical rhetoric about how business knowledge should enlighten his students’ choices in life and guide them to live a more meaningful life in regard to what positive and concrete contribution they make to themselves, their own family and mankind out of their strong theoretical knowledge of business. He went on and cited Frederick Herzberg, who asserts that the powerful motivator in our lives isn’t money; it’s the opportunity to learn, grow in responsibilities, contribute to others, and be recognized for achievements. Lessons put forward continue “Doing deals doesn’t yield the deep rewards that come from building up people”. “If they don’t figure it out (purpose of life), they will just sail off without a rudder and get buffeted in the very rough seas of life.” As I was reading through the lines it makes sense to my inner quest and what I always think the purpose of my life is.

 

I contend that after they pay their taxes to their respective governments, they expect governments to take care of what needs to be taken care of in vain and even conventional charities exhaust their resources to continue to take care of the poor. The trend of social entrepreneurship recently brake such a limitation and goes beyond what governments and international bodies fails to do in decades. However, the individual citizen of the world’s power is yet to unleash to tackle the problem in its magnitude. For, a lot of people do not come to realize that their contributions they believe so tiny and insignificant to make a difference is probably what is missing for a more just, prosperous and peaceful world today. This is the task which I want to devote at least 1,000 hours throughout 2014 and 2015. I will invite and coordinate people ideas and facilitate participants to network around topics, leaders search to identify and execute one shared vision at the time. We will crowd source human and financial resources and operate opened and closed platforms as appropriate and publish our outcomes, achievements, lessons learnt and perspectives.

 

As much as possible, I will offer my assistance to development organizations, grassroots associations and even private citizens, to advance situations in which my expertise can help build and secure healthy businesses which profit’s share is intended to enhancing economic development opportunities for most poor people. I do not intend to do this on my own. I need your help and any comments or suggestions at this stage is welcome.

 

Sincerely,

 

Andre Ahouissoussi

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