The future of Bumbuli that its people hope to attain cannot be imagined without bold new thinking from its leaders. I would not have run for parliament if it did not mean – at least in my mind – something transformational, because it is so easy to be elected to parliament and simply (and comfortably) go through the motions of being an MP.
I realise that, sometimes, the expectations that the people have on an MP may not be commensurate with the means that are at his/her disposal. But I also believe that it is possible to expand the possibilities of what an MP can do. For a start, changing the concept of citizenship in the constituency – getting people to see that it is within their ability to change the course of their fortunes, to appreciate the limits of outside “agency” to transform their lives, and to act and live in a manner that recognizes that the existence of a community does not require resources other than the willingness to be honest with voters.
While central government has a role to play in changing the quality of life in Bumbuli, and it indeed has done a lot particularly in the past five years, and will need to scale up investments in social services, I would focus on what can be achieved through the people’s own effort and energy, private investment and social entrepreneurship to expand job-creating and income-generating entrepreneurial activity in Bumbuli.
The bold ambition is to create a working sustainable local enterprise network, an ecosystem of ‘for-profit businesses, local communities, not-for-profit organisations and other actors working in a self-organising way to create value in economic, social, human and ecological terms’. I envision Bumbuli with hundreds if not thousands of thriving enterprises creating jobs and wealth and changing lives.
The strategic objectives of the Bumbuli transformation initiative through the creation of a local enterprise network are as follows:
1. To raise Bumbuli’s farmers’ incomes from existing crops by improving post-harvest handling, adding value and aggregating agricultural output for better pricing.
2. To create new job and income opportunities in Bumbuli by attracting private investment in new training institutions that will ‘import’ consumers in the form of students, teachers and administrative staff.
3. To transform the construction economy in Bumbuli by adopting new building material technologies that create jobs and incomes while protecting the environment.
4. To bring some basic financial services to Bumbuli, either through the establishment of a community bank, or by attracting an existing financial institution to establish a local presence.
5. To create a dedicated, self-sustaining Bumbuli Development Corporation (BDC) to initiate, coordinate, promote and monitor the execution of the activities described above. BDC will act as the anchor for the Bumbuli sustainable local enterprise network (Bumbuli-SLEN) and will engage in businesses with social objectives.