I have introduced the InvestRural Master Plan to audiences in different forums since the launch ceremony held in Phokeng in February 2021. I have presented this work to policymakers, kings, traditional leaders, academics, technology owners, banks, and ordinary rural men and women.
To some, the InvestRural Master Plan represents a blueprint for their future; others see it as a stepping stone to economic and political power. At the same time, others see it as a threat to the current status quo. However, some see themselves as enablers and agents that would drive change that will shape the rural landscape and redefine the Rural Development agenda.
The feelings, not decorated words, shape our outlook regarding the future. Our belief of Africa, where rural people live in dignity, work towards prosperity, and have hope for the future, was reinforced during the InvestRural roadshows. We interacted with Provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders and, most recently, the private and public sectors to attain radical collaboration.
Every dream is birthed; InvestRural was birthed by one word from our Heavenly Father when He said, “Your mandate is rural development, speak to traditional leaders.” InvestRural is, therefore, a “vehicle” for rural development.
In the absence of a clear template for rural development, we rely upon the word of God to drive the mandate of rural development. It is Habakkuk 2:2 that encouraged us to write the InvestRural Master Plan. The scripture came to pass when the Minister of CoGTA, Dr. Dlamini-Zuma said in parliament that the InvestRural Master Plan is revolutionary. We have now progressed to Habakkuk 2:3, where we know for sure that the vision awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it lingers, let us wait for it, it will certainly come and will not delay.
InvestRural distinguishes itself from other interventions through its entrepreneurial approach by applying private sector solutions to rural development challenges. Entrepreneurship almost always involves pushing against the status quo to capture opportunities and create value. When a new model is developed, an entrepreneur takes advantage of it and moves fast.
There is a need to create shared value and propel sustainable social impact. InvestRural promotes the creation of business value while supporting communities’ social values to mitigate unaddressed social risks. InvestRural’s strategy is to partner with owners of social impact products and solutions to enter unserved rural markets.
The greatest among us are those who serve; InvestRural offers us an opportunity to use our talents to help rural people. Make a rural child dream again; like bonsai trees, there is nothing wrong with them.
Written by Karabo Dube