Saturday, February 19, 2005

Senegal's Entrepreneurs Can't Just Look Out for No. 1 by Laurie Goering

I am often a day or two behind in my newspaper reading. This morning while on the exercise bike, I came across this article by Laurie Goering on page 10 of the Thursday, February 17 issue of the Chicago Tribune, near west edition.        I’m not making a link because the paper will tie you up with passwords and will want to extract some cash from you, unless you already have an online account. I recommend getting the article from the paper in your local library if you are in the Chicago area or finding it through the NewsBank or Proquest databases for the Chicago Tribune. It is not one of the selected articles added by EBSCO to its Newspaper Source as yet. Eleven other articles from that day’s paper have been added, three of which are international stories. There are thirty-three stories from the Wednesday edition, so it may still be added.

Laurie Goering often writes interesting articles from foreign locations. I think she has been in Africa for several years now. She was in South America when I first noticed her articles. I have not noticed a calendar pattern to her reports. They seem occasional. They rarely make front page. I always read them when I find them.

This report describes the efforts of many people in Senegal to better their lives through hard work. Mouhamadou Moustapha Anne is shown sewing couch cushions with an old Singer sewing machine. He sells his couches from the median of a road in Dakar, and his earning support his extended family and distant relatives. Another photo shows salon owner Nabou Diagne washing a woman’s hair. She aspires to a good life through business success. Like many Senegalese business people they share with those in need. Sharing is strategy for change. Another group of businessmen pooled their funds to start their own bank when they found the big banks would never give them loans.

The article includes statements from successful exporters and government officials, telling why it is so hard to get ahead in Senegal. Various industries and living conditions are described. As a librarian, I appreciate the map and table profiling the country that accompany this nearly full page article.
Next time someone tells you that third world people are poor because they are lazy and will not work, wave this article at them!

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