Inspiration .

National Production .

By Isabel dos Santos .

What is our greatest treasure? What is unique to us: our people and our nature

People and natural resources. Combining the two achieves the best possible outcome: it reveals capabilities, creates opportunities and jobs, generates value and quality from our products. Encouraging national production from North to South, seeking out each Province’s treasures and working up close with communities.

Supporting national production is now one of my major sources of motivation, as an entrepreneur and a citizen – helping to change people’s way of life while at the same time responding to one of the continent’s main challenges, how to devise alternative forms of subsistence based on its natural riches.

The continent is blessed with fertile land, great rivers, and enormous agricultural potential. We are creating a large support network for small scale local producers, from fishermen to banana, passion fruit, and strawberry growers. We ensure that their produce reaches consumers in big cities. The support may be given in a number of ways, from providing the tools for the job, such as fishing nets or small plastic packaging to store strawberries, to operational advice that makes a difference. We monitor the entire supply chain and we ensure access to a nationwide distribution network that is the key to success for any business.

Thanks to these small changes, agricultural communities manage to shift from subsistence farming to value-generating agriculture. I believe that the generated wealth returns to the community, through more education for children, more opportunities for young people, new businesses that grow… it is a virtuous circle that allows small producers to improve their own lives and take their produce to consumers beyond local markets. The opportunity of reaching modern retail which absorbs the best a country can produce reduces the need for imports. It allows a new economy to grow.

Thus, we build a business that is socially responsible, has meaning and changes mentalities. We are able to have an impact on communities. And to make a difference.

I believe that inclusive, positive and sustainable businesses are key to changing our continent.