Reposted from The Globe and Mail
By Geoffrey York
PART 1: What is gained and lost as investment outpaces aid
PART 2: Russians building luxury homes in Congo? Get used to it
NOW: The hotel magnate who used to hide from rebels
PART 4: Weary of handouts, Africans try enterprise
PART 5: The impact of the new land grab
PART 6: How the boom can transform Africa
In this third of a six-part series, Globe and Mail Africa correspondent Geoffrey York investigates how Africa’s growth is changing its future.
By the age of 33, Wilfred Sam-King had earned and lost a fortune three times over. Each time he built a business from nothing, he saw it looted or torched in a coup or a rebel invasion.
When rebels laid siege to Freetown in 1999, they searched everywhere for Sierra Leone’s famed businessman, aiming to take his money. One day they captured him – but he had disguised himself in shabby clothes, pretending to be his own cook. He made soup for the rebels for three days before escaping.
Refusing to leave his homeland – even after his wife and children found shelter in Canada during the civil war – he patiently rebuilt his fortune again, and today has created a small empire of hotels, retail shops and other businesses worth $20-million.
His determination has made Mr. Sam-King one of Sierra Leone’s most successful entrepreneurs – and living proof of the persistence and imagination that is transforming Africa’s economy. Continue reading “The backbone of Africa: Entrepreneurs who refuse to quit (PART III)”