In business, competition is generally regarded as good for the consumer and the economy as a whole. The business owners who query how market competition benefits their firms are, I suspect the last dinosaurs of the private sector.
Most businesses have largely woken up to the advantages; and clustering, or to be technical - agglomeration economies, where firms from the same industry gather together in close proximity, would seem to exemplify this.
When Insight canvassed opinions about clusters in Freetown, we came up with the following: Malama Thomas St – where fabric sellers congregate, Goderich St for auto spares, Ecowas St for building materials, supermarkets on Wilkinson Rd and Siaka Stevens St for electrical goods. Informal industries form clusters too - the photographers just round the corner from Access Bank, and of course the dollar boys.
Honest reflections on episodes of national embarrassment and tragedies in Sierra Leone point fingers at failures to value logistics and accept it as a science.
For the current administration, the farce of a desperate “Ministerial Order” to rescue a struggling effort to clean Freetown was followed by tragedy at the inauguration of the new President a week later in the same city.
In the case of the previous government, initial denial of the Ebola outbreak was followed by a dog’s breakfast of a response plan. Get into the detail of these incidents with the eye of a logistician and you will find some simple and not difficult actions were not taken.