Skip to main content

PovertyCure is an initiative of the Acton Institute

Get the Series

Herman Chinery-Hesse on Business vs. Aid & Charity

“Only Africans can develop Africa. I don’t know of any country in the world where, once again, a bunch of foreigners came and developed the country… We have to sink or swim ourselves. And Africa can!”

When Herman Chinery-Hesse returned to his native Ghana after studying manufacturing at Texas State University-San Marcos, he realized that while he aspired to start his own company, he had no money to launch a manufacturing enterprise. He had been dabbling with computer programming for a couple of years as a hobby, and he thought, “I could turn this into my manufacturing business.” So he partnered with an old schoolmate, and they started writing software for the travel industry and selling door to door. They named the company theSOFTtribe. Despite challenges, Chinery-Hesse and his partners have continued to grow their business in the private sector. He also has launched a second company, Black Star Line Global (BSL), which works to connect African businesses to international markets through an electronic platform. As the company website explains, BSL seeks to empower “everyone from the micro-trader to the industrialist, promoting prosperity, self-reliance and empowerment.” 


Rethink Poverty

Subtitled in 15 languages, this six part video series that will change absolutely everything about how you approach charity and missions.

Buy it now