The Executive Chairman of DNA Economics, Elias Masilela has said that it is criminal to export domestic savings to other parts of the world, whilst Africa is faced with gaping social and economic imbalances at home.
Speaking during the second annual commemoration of the International day of the older persons last Thursday at Ave Maria Pastoral Centre, Masilela said in thinking about investing well, private equity is the growing theme; which allows investment to directly impact people.
“Private equity allows us to benefit policy holders both in their productive and retirement years. It forces us to take long term views on our decisions and also enables us to influence the pace of growth of the economy-to reduce unemployment, eradicate poverty and social strife,” said Masilela.
In a brief interview after the event, Masilela further explained that the practice of generating savings at home and saving them out, like in Europe disadvantaged Africa in the sense that the surplus funds fund European developments; Europe which is already developed. The funds, he reasoned are prone to crime such as fraud and other finance related ills. The practice is neither politically nor economically beneficial to this continent.
Asked whether the corruption mostly associated with African leadership would not temper with the funds’ safety, Masilela retorted; “I do not believe we should keep our funds away. Trust the Europeans to keep our funds for us to save it from our own corruption. We should eliminate corruption from our midst and keep our own resources for the benefit of our generation and the future generations. Tackling corruption depends on the government’s response to it. Corruption compromises economic development efforts. It is not good for long term results commitment.”
Masilela, who in 2004 initiated pension reform in South Africa, said corruption has two faces- it can be perpetrated by the leadership (Government) or the private sector, with either party initiating or promoting it. He advised that politicians should make decisions for the sake of the people they lead and not for their own and cohorts’ benefit.
He said the same concept applies to byproducts of minerals or agricultural produce. It is high time; he said that diamonds are polished in their countries’ so that they benefit the societies through employment creation and even accessibility.
“We need to add value to the products we export and this is not the case if our products are exported while raw. Why do we allow them to go offshore?” he enquired.