This is a response I made to Eyram a young Ghanaian in Tufts university who saw a box with a label 'Africa needs your gently used shoes'
Saw your post earlier and nodded my head in agreement. I also read your email twice..because before attempting to help/answer you I wanted to digest the gravity of the question
First and foremost I hate to disappoint you but I don't have the statistics for you.. what I have for you is my story
A long Time ago I bought a pair of handmade Italian shoes in osu . I asked a wandering shoeshine boy if he could make a pair and he said it was impossible. I was a little saddened but even more saddened when my colleagues etc thought otherwise
A few weeks in I was walking around my neighbourhood when an airplane flew over
This is when I asked myself, if we cannot make shoes here when are we going to make planes?
In a nutshell the problem was not the shoemakers, the problem was the mindset..We like to say we are a conservative people but in truth we are a scared people
We are scared to make mistakes because we deem them as failures and such will not try anything different..For years we have been handed things down by foreigners and continuously import from them
So when there is a world crisis.. in Europe or the USA it affects us because we buy from then in foreign currency and so as their economy weakens things become more expensive and since we are heavily dependent on foreign nations with their increasing prices we also need to spend more cedis to get the same product
And there lies the issue with the falling value of the cedi
The cedi is devalued because we devalue ourselves
Money after all is a reflection of value
We do not respect what we do as Ghanaians and as such our products are priced accordingly
Heel The World was set up to create a world class brand with world class products meant for people with the finest taste in the world
When the dollar rises, we need to produce more in house and actually be export oriented like Heel The World because it is only when we face our fears that we will overcome the current economic conundrum we are in.
Africa does not need anybodies gently used shoes, we need the best shoes in the world. We need to make them ourselves
This is not an infomercial for Heel The World by the way..It is a justification of our existence
Have an awesome day..I hope this helped