Empowering People To Take Charge Of Their Economic Affairs

The best way to help people is to empower them to better take charge of their own economic affairs. When people do not feel like they are in charge of their economic affairs, they do not feel worthy of honour and respect. They lose their dignity. A self-respecting person would happily work and earn little, rather than embrace a flamboyant lifestyle funded by handouts. A handout; financial aid given out, does not stimulate creativity and inventiveness in the recipient. Without the combined input of the members of a society, there will be no collective growth and prosperity. Several people in the know have called for more investments and less handouts to impoverished African nations for example.

You cannot give people enough money for them to become wealthy. Wealth creation is tied to productivity and expressions of creativity. There is a passage from the Second Book of the Kings that shows Elisha helping an indebted widow to identify her assets and help herself out of poverty. No handouts required. He empowered her by the anointing to take charge of her economic affairs, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts, and you and your sons can live on the rest” (2 Kings 4:7). There is no better way to assist another adult human than to thoughtfully consider how their productivity can be improved.

Tony Elumelu lights up the economy of his continent through a philanthropic venture in a manner that is worthy of emulation. Their organization provides training, mentorship and a little fund to empower people to start their own micro/small business. The programme rewards productivity. This is in sharp contrast to other poverty intervention programmes that are content to simply hand out money, food and drugs. Handouts are nothing more than temporary measures to ease the effects of poverty. It does not solve the problem itself. You have to remember that there will be no national economic growth unless people take responsibility and take charge of their own economic affairs.

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