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Today’s topic of discussion is local consumerism and I hope we will be able to enjoy reading the article and learn from it.
According to the Merriam-webster collegiate dictionary, Consumerism is the theory that implies that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable. It is also referred to as a preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods.
Although consumerism has been highly criticized for it’s ability to enhance environmental degradation due to the immense amount of pressure that is mounted on natural resources in view of meeting the high denands of goods and services; it’s negative influence of materialism and competition on consumers and it’s ability to enhance debt, this concept is highly encouraged by economists in the world.
According to economists, consumerism is a pivotal driver of economic growth in that when people spend money on goods and services continuously and consistently, the economy of a particular country, region or continent undergoes growth. Further, consumerism leads to increased production of good and services as well as increased employment opportunities to meet the demand of consumers. These then result into more consumption of goods and an increased standard of living for people generally.
Consumerism is also said that I be a driver of products and services innovation and creativity. This is due to the fact consumers are almost always settling for original and high quality goods and services (except in impoverished places). As such, manufacturers and producers of goods and services are forced to up their game in view of creating and innovating credible goods and services that will attract customers for a long period of time. Examples of such products in the world include Colgate toothpaste, Philips appliances, Coca-Cola beverages, Delto and many others that you can think of. These products are highly appreciated by consumers and thus, highly purchased on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, due to the constant pressure mounted on manufacturers and producers to innovate goods and services, consumers are able to have access to good quality goods and services Of which improves their quality of life automatically.
Now that we know what consumerism is and it’s advantages and disadvantages, we can now delve into finding out what local consumerism is. In simple terms, local consumerism is the process of buying and selling goods and services locally. With the emergence of global media, multinational enterprises and investment companies, we have seen an increase in the consumption of foreign goods and services here in Africa. If you go to the store, you will be surprised that half, if not all the goods that one may purchase are all foreign products while local goods remain stacked in the shelves. This is because of three factors:
Psychologically, Africans do not trust the goods and services that fellow Africans have produced despite them being authorised by good and services safety boards.
Due to the materialistic values that people are cultivating through consumerism, there is an unwarranted competition among Africans to see who is capable of purchasing high foreign goods in bulk. It is a matter of who is richer and prestigious than who and so those who may prefer local products are deemed as people lacking enough money to afford the luxurious foreign goods.
Consumer preference is determined by global media standards of quality goods and services.
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I am of the opinion that local consumerism should be practiced more in Africa’s developing countries to enable growth of the unstable economies that pervade the African continent. This is due to the fact that buying local goods will ensure that goods and services stay local. Further, manufacturers and producers will see the need to enhance production which will result into the creation of more jobs in your town or country. Hence, the country’s economy will grow drastically as the the communities in her prosper and enhance business connections. This is to say that buying local ensures that your money helps businesses improve in revenue and profit thus improving the country’s quality of life economically. Secondly, this may encourage competition, innovation and creativity among local manufacturers and producers in the long run as well as an increased desire to establish local factories and ehnace industrial activity in many African countries.
In Zambia, the government has realized the importance of local consumer culture and have since embarked on advicing citizens through commercials and ads to buy local good and while we are still far from realizing this vision because most Zambians prefer foreign goods and services due to media and materialistic influence the goal is not unachievable. I believe that the lack of adequate knowledge on the subject also limits people from understanding the benefits of buying local products and services and so it is also upto business owners and other stakeholders like economists to come in and explain more on the topic.
Today’s topic is not to discourage anyone from buying international products and services but, increase awareness on why buying local is important especially for countries with struggling economies. Striking a balance between foreign and local goods while we do our shopping is not difficult at all. Local products are also highly qualified in that they are tested and tried by relevant statutory firms before being distributed in markets for sale, so we have nothing to worry about and as far as prestige is concerned, imagine how much prestige you will gain when your country as a whole is financially stable with plenty of food to eat, lack of debt and alleviated levels of poverty.
Did you love this article or not? Do you have other reasons why consumerism is good or bad? You you like the idea of local consumerism? Please leave a comment for me down below. I would love to hear and learn from you!!
Happy Monday, 100Mirrors readers! Let’s meet here again tommorow for another reading.