Living wage in Africa – Fiction or reality? – Businessday NG
Humanistic Management Network, a platform that promotes economic activities that demonstrate unconditional respect for the dignity of life, together with the Christopher Kolade Centre for Research in Leadership and Ethics, Lagos Business School hosted a virtual discourse on the theme “Living Wage in Africa– Fiction or Reality”. The panellists were: Dr. Ines Meyer, an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town; Dr. Timothy Olawale, director general at the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA); and Bradwell Mhonderwa, executive director at the Ethics Institute Zimbabwe.
In the African context, minimum wage levels are often very low and so there is a need for a higher level of wages, which allows people to live a sustainable life and save for future expenses such as funerals or weddings. While minimum wage allows people to survive, living wage allows people to live. Dr. Meyer believes that national economic prosperity is a false indicator of the standard of living of people and that excessive consumerism is an inhibitor of the possibility of living wage in Africa. She emphasized the fundamental purpose of money as an enabler of choice and a means to reduce the stress of not having enough to live by. To lead a sustainable life, we need to fundamentally change how we see the economy in terms of economic growth, consumerism, and globalisation.