Basic Income and Africa

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
#1
This article tells of a basic income program implemented in a poor Namibian village with great results. By giving everyone in the village $13 a month, school attendance went from around 40% to 92%*, child malnourishment is down from 42% to 10%, police reports show less theft and poaching, and many of the villagers have started their own businesses. This suggests to me that the poor areas of Africa could be set on the road to progress were such programs to become widespread.


*Namibia doesn't have a free public school system, and tuition is too high for many to afford.


Nembwaya, a 35-year-old mother of seven children, is an attractive woman. She is wearing a red-and-white dress and a matching scarf on her head. She smiles a lot when she speaks. "I'm doing very well," she says in German. Like many of the people in Otjivero, she has spent half of her life on German-owned farms. Her hut, one of the best in the village, is made of new corrugated metal and has a watertight roof. Her children are clean and well-fed. Nembwaya owes her success to an idea she had when the money came to Otjivero.

She already knew how to bake, after spending years working as a cook for a farmer -- for the paltry wage of €32 a month. "He didn't even give me meat or milk," says Nembwaya. She was barely able to feed her children, and the nearest school was several kilometers away, so that her daughters had to walk the long distance in the ditch next to the road every day. Eventually she decided that living on the farm was unbearable, and she moved to Otjivero. Nembwaya was lucky. Only a few weeks after arriving in the village, she was registered for the basic income. She had also brought along a few recipes.

With the first 100 dollars, she bought a bag of flour, some yeast, firewood and an aluminum sheet. She dug a hole in the sand in front of her hut, placed the wood in the hole and lit a fire. Then she placed an oil drum over the fire. She filled empty sardine cans with a dough she had made with the flour and placed them inside the hot drum, replaced the lid and waited. After 20 minutes, Nembwaya had her first batch of miniature loaves of bread.

She started selling the mini-loaves for one Namibian dollar apiece. Word spread quickly that Frieda was selling bread, that it was inexpensive and tasted good, and that you had to get there early before she sold out. After 10 months, Nembwaya had made enough money to buy a stove for 3,000 Namibian dollars, something that hardly anyone else in the village owned. She is proud of her acquisition. "Look, three burners," she says. She opens the lid, closes it, then opens it again and pulls out her sardine tins. "Now I can bake 250 little loaves a day," she says. That translates into 250 dollars a day in revenue.
 
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Arcadoc

Registered Member
#2
This article tells of a basic income program implemented in a poor Namibian village with great results. By giving everyone in the village $13 a month, school attendance went from around 40% to 92%*, child malnourishment is down from 42% to 10%, police reports show less theft and poaching, and many of the villagers have started their own businesses. This suggests to me that the poor areas of Africa could be set on the road to progress were such programs to become widespread.


*Namibia doesn't have a free public school system, and tuition is too high for many to afford.
Fine. She's well on her way to self-reliance, so now she can feed the rest of her village. But If you feel like it's necessary to pump even more money into that village, please feel free to dig into your own pocket and send as much as you want.
I'm trying to run my own business, and my own government is taxing me and my business so heavily that I barely have enough left to support my own family. I'm tapped out, so I can't help you, or them.
 

ExpectantlyIronic

e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
#3
Arcadoc said:
Fine. She's well on her way to self-reliance, so now she can feed the rest of her village. But If you feel like it's necessary to pump even more money into that village, please feel free to dig into your own pocket and send as much as you want.
I'm trying to run my own business, and my own government is taxing me and my business so heavily that I barely have enough left to support my own family. I'm tapped out, so I can't help you, or them.
I wasn't asking you for money or trying to make you feel guilty. A basic income program is something Namibia can implement on its own without a dime of extra foreign aid or charity.
 

MenInTights

not a plastic bag
#4
I was involved with a Christian program that does this exact thing. With World Vision you sponsor a child for $30/month. This money goes to village programs similar to what you've described and the people that sponsor a child get to mentor him. World Vision does the work of getting the village online and we get to provide a Christian witness to a child in the village. Often these programs are so successful that the World Vision team will leave the village after just a few years. It's astonishing what just a little money can do.