What is time ? Here in Senegal time has no importance at all. Of course, when you have a business meeting, you should be more or less in time, but if it's not possible, you just call up and report the meeting or pass at home later at your clients/partner's house. We had a meeting last thursday with a potential partner who is a milliardaire, which means, in Western terms and considering the exchange rate, a millionaire.
The guy is remarkably humble, religious, and has problems reading and writing. But he's very smart, call it street wise, which allowed him to become what he is today. That guy has a LOT of land which is not being exploited, mainly because his other activities pay off enough to live and do what he likes, and otherwise because he hasn't realized what can be done with that land other than letting it sit empty. We know - and we have prepared a proposal on how to exploit 5 ha for a start - a tenth of what he has.
With an investment of 100'000 US$ he'll get 250'000 US$ turnover in a year, and a net profit of about 150'000 US$. Of course we'll have our share on that, and this will enable us to get known in the area. You see, the first thing is to get yourself known, and the second is that people see that you do fair business, which is often not the case.
It takes a long breath to get into business. You have to develop a friendly relation and trust first - and that takes n meetings and sit togethers. This can take weeks if not months, and only then you can think of doing business. Our super-smart businessmen in the West have no idea about culture and the how-to's, that's why they fuck up right at the start or give up when nothing shows up in the first month. Good for us, really.
Africa has a LOT to offer when you invest time and are open to foreign culture and willing to integrate. First you have to get rid of the colonial image you have as a White, and that alone takes time. But once you have been introduced and accepted in your business "family" you can count on long-lasting relations.
Time is not money here. Time is patience and learning, preparation for money, so to say. They give you time to think and understand, before you start. When you're not able to see and profit from that, you better stay home and let yourself be worn-out by our profit-oriented, emotionless society.
Like those retired, lonely and sad retired people in Switzerland which have 100'000 US$ sitting useless in their bank account, they survive in retirement homes although they could put up a small house on the beach for 20'000 US$, set up a small grocery store or bar on their property and lead a happy life in a warm climate with lots of social contacts. Just as we do. We're planning to set up our offices here. Off Dakar, but 10 km from the airport on the beach on my land. In 2019, up to then we rent. One has to be realistic.
Why don't more elderly people try to do something instead of waiting for death in a lousy lonely place ? Because they were and are AFRAID. They were conditioned to be AFRAID of anything that doesn't look or taste like what they call "home".
I have no mercy for them. When you arrive at 70, you should have REALIZED and LEARNED. If not, your fault. Stay the way you are ;-)