I set up the Norwegian based craft trading company Isandi in 1999 – and somewhat 10 years down the line I have learned and experienced a fair share to finally feel comfortable about sharing some thoughts about what works and what does not work when it comes to trading with small scale grassroots producers in the fascinating and multifaceted societies in southern Africa. That part of the world never ceases to surprise, astonish and fascinate me.
I will mostly blog in Norwegian (well, have not decided yet) – and write quite a lot about the issue of my main preoccupation these days – how to ensure systems and setups that entitle the crafters at grassroots levels to access more of the value chain in the Craft Sector. Take all the fuzz words you know about development and poverty alleviation, take all the prejudices we have when it comes to who are the bad and who are the good guys – add to it amazing people, nature, places, fashion, trends, music, films, litterature, as well as crime levels, rapes, xenophobia, aids, tb, malaria, unemployment, ignorance – I guess these are some of the issues I will write about.
It is nonsense when people say that Africa is not sustainable. Perhaps it is their image of what Africa should be, that is not sustainable. But Africa is the most sustainable of all continents. Because it has survived everything. And that is why I believe that also the crafters at grassroot levels are doing sustainable work. They have also survived everything. And now it is their turn to have their fair share.