When things are looking down for the printing community.

In life’s rollercoaster ride, many allow emotions take the lead, yet ups and downs are a wild most usual journey indeed.

When joy’s the captain, let laughter set sail, but in stormy times, humor and perseverance should never fail.

Through peaks and valleys, we dance with glee, tackling each challenge with silent prayers as the key.

When life throws lemons, make a comedy brew, sip on calmness, it’ll carry you through most certainly.

In tears or laughter, find a quirky rhyme. For emotions blend in this dance of time.

So, let joy be the jest and sorrow the clown, in life’s circus, where ups and downs constantly abound we do all to keep standing!

The bonus poem above is to affirm that life’s journey is marked with inevitable ups and downs, many times close to a perpetual cycle, one sure strategy has been to maintain balance, embrace resilience; during ups, display loads of gratitude and keep a level headed approach and in downturns, a positive mindset and fair adaptability serves as beacons, guiding through challenges. It is however important to have built a support network to help navigate the cycle with grace and fortitude. Meanwhile, there is no industry that has ever been immune for the almighty cycle of “ups and downs”.

In the not-so-distant past, we had hoped for a well-intentioned economic policy implementation with aspirations of fortifying the nation’s financial landscape. However, the unintended consequences of some not well thought out policies currently cast a looming shadow over our various business economy, ushering in a period of low growth, rising unemployment, highest ever level of foreign currency exchange rate, by implication high cost of raw material and indeed diminished prospects for the already distressed printing community.

The policies in question, though designed to stimulate certain sectors, inadvertently led to imbalances, stifling innovation, and hampering the overall resilience of the larger economy. Industries once thriving now faces “snail speed” sluggish demand, and the once-promising job market contracted, leaving many grappling with uncertainty and financial strain. The bad part is the shameless sweeping away of the people’s buying power.

In the wake of this economic downturn, the masses found themselves navigating uncharted waters, questioning how to recover and rebuild their financial stability. Young people took to the “japa” phenomenon. Although there are no statistics to show the number of printers that have migrated but you and I will immediately be able to name up to 10 people each that has migrated, without thinking….

Amidst the challenges, a roadmap to recovery hasn’t emerged, but it is obvious that doing nothing about our situation is not an option, this write up is to urge citizens especially printers to take proactive steps in reclaiming their economic well-being.

Below are some ideas;

1. Diversify Skills and Embrace Innovation:

To counter the impact of industry-specific setbacks, individuals and businesses must hereby be encouraged to diversify their skills and explore emerging sectors. Embracing innovation becomes even more crucial, as those who adapted quickly to technological shifts research has shown to find new avenues for employment and entrepreneurship. As large format business owners have so far not been able to come together to agree on a profitable cost for their per square meter prints we should see those who will shift the mass knowledge of this craft to textile roll to roll large format prints, the motivation for this is that we must all wear clothes, plus the textile printing industry that has been negatively hit and its boom days disappearing since the 80’s, textile printing can breathe with the benefit of the digital revolution. Mass production can give way to mass customization of printed fabric as an example. Curtains, soft signages, fashion, chair covers are all applications waiting for expression if we are just to mention a few.

2. Invest in Education and Training:

As an industry we still haven’t come to terms with the pivotal role of education, the printing masses must be urged to invest in acquiring new skills and upgrading existing ones. Lifelong learning must become a mantra, empowering individuals to stay relevant in a rapidly evolving print profession job market. Plus informal training that the exposure from trade shows and exhibitions offer. The weakest link of a value chain determines the strength of that industry, there must be a system to strengthen by educating.

3. Support Local Businesses:

Amid economic challenges, that call to support local businesses that seems to feel very illegal to know must be echoed as loud as possible through our print communities. By prioritizing purchases from local enterprises, print citizens will be contributing to the revival of neighborhood economies, fostering resilience and community cohesion and indeed print brotherhood. We have no business printing what can be done locally abroad, we need to learn from the Jews and their phenomenon of keeping the money recycling within the community. We must rather deepen ways of exporting our prints and innovative application of prints to earn forex.

4. Financial Planning and Resilience:

Given the unpredictable economic landscape, advocating for sound financial planning has become paramount. The community should be encouraged to build emergency funds, eliminate high-interest debt, and make prudent investment decisions to enhance financial resilience.

5. Advocate for Policy Reforms:

Recognizing the power of a collective voice, print citizens needs a pull together to actively engage in advocacy for policy reforms. Through constructive dialogue and collaboration with policymakers to sought changes that would address the root causes of the economic downturn and promote sustainable growth.

6. Foster Community Support:

In the face of economic adversity, fostering a sense of community support became a beacon of hope. Collaboration, shared resources, and networks that provides mutual assistance, recognizing that collective resilience is often more powerful than individual efforts.

I have a dream that as the community embraced these strategies, a gradual shift will begin to occur. The economy, once languishing, will begin to show great signs of recovery. Innovation, education, and community collaboration paving the way for a more robust and adaptive printing economic landscape, proving that even in the face of adversity, collective action and individual empowerment could set the stage for a brighter economic future.

This is a call to action!

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