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Supply Chain Matters


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Supply Chain Matters

All this talk about global supply chain issues has me thinking. Some people are saying the global supply chain is failing (of course it’s just being manipulated), others are panicking because they ‘suddenly realized’ that Taiwan and South Korea had the monopoly on the manufacture of critical chips, others are freaking out because medication they needed was manufactured by China and just was not being shipped ‘because of Covid’ and recently the UK was almost beside itself because they were running out of carbon dioxide to make their fizzy drinks and dry ice to preserve their frozen foods with. (At the same time as Iceland is turning on a carbon sequestering machine – the world makes less and less sense as the days go by.)

Let’s get back to the supply chain. The world went and created a system for the manufacture of necessities and luxury items that depend on several different nations each providing components that go towards the assembly and/or construction of the final product. Therefore, if there is a crisis in Taiwan, as an example, no one would be able to move forward and create certain cars or laptops or video games, because there are no chips available – even if they have all been manufactured. The world is now so interlinked that it can even be deemed an act of hostility to change prices of basic components, because global economies depend heavily on systems that – if there is a slight change – can cause major surges and shifts and problems across the board.

I guess the panic that is being felt by the likes of Elon Musk, with regard to production for Tesla, is the world’s way of acknowledging that it made stupid mistakes in setting up the system that it has. There are so many vulnerabilities in supply chain logistics that it requires that every single person on earth be on their best behavior so as not to destabilize the global economy or poison each other to death. Now, with countries like America constantly flexing their muscles against others – and vice versa – there is no such thing as ‘best behavior’ and manufacturing has become like a war where threats and intimidation are used to keep outsourced businesses (or rather their governments) in line, so that life can move along on an even keel around the world.

But there is another problem. For the UK to be in a state of panic over dry ice or carbon dioxide (which is in the air all around us) points to the fact that outsourcing has led to a form of global laziness, ineptitude and stagnation, as basic skills that people should have within their borders, are virtually non-existent. An overspecialization has led to a situation where simple tasks are ‘left to the experts’, where people have ceased to exercise their minds to try to solve problems or innovate, but would rather pick up the phone and ‘call a guy I know’ in order to resolve things. This leaves them and their countries and families vulnerable.

That’s the most useless and imprisoning strategy that any country or government can create for its people to live by. How can you, in this day and age of so much global insanity, think it wise to leave yourself in the hands of a system that is so easily manipulated and contaminated? Then act shocked when everything goes awry?

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But even in this, there is opportunity for a thinking Afrika to shore up its basic skills and make sure its people are able to handle all the necessary tasks to keep things moving even in the midst of global confusion.

And Afrika must seize this opportunity like a drowning man grabs hold of a plank of wood – or else!

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