Early Motivation for Cazier Capital: Africano
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While attending Naval Postgraduate School, Paul was eating lunch with a military officer from South Sudan named Africano. Africano asked Paul what he planned to do after retiring from the military. The question caught Paul off guard and he replied, “I’m not sure, perhaps I will teach high school.” Africano looked disappointed so Paul asked him what he planned to do when he was finished with the military . . . Paul was stunned to hear “I’m going to be the President of my country.” As Paul got to know Africano during the next year it was clear that his answer didn’t bother Africano, it was Paul’s lack of passion.
Africano wanted to be around passionate dreamers who were solving global problems and Paul became inspired by Africano, seeing him as a modern-day pioneer seeking to build prosperity that his posterity could enjoy. Something that Paul felt his ancestors did for him.
After graduating from NPS, the family moved to Stuttgart, Germany and Paul, while working at United States Africa Command sought to help the US military improve its interactions with African militaries. During this time, Paul gained understanding about Foreign Security Assistance as well as other US Foreign Assistance programs. He came to believe that any progress in development required partnerships built on two-way willingness. Donors and recipients had to have equal desire and a commitment to endure obstacles. Too often, in his opinion, donors wanted to see progress more than recipients. At other times recipients desired something that donors were unwilling or unable to give. And WAY too often there were bureaucratic obstacles which limited meaningful results. This would sometimes cause donors to measure success by the number of resources they provided and not by the impact of their programs.
Two weeks before the Cazier family was to move to Mali, the decision was made to not allow children due to the security situation. The family headed to Utah while Paul moved to Bamako, Mali to serve as the United States Senior Defense Official. He had the opportunity to experience Mali and grew to love the people there. He enjoyed his role as a diplomat, but felt that he could make more difference in the private sector.
He observed a widely successful self-reliance program initiated by the humanitarian arm of Ken Garff Motors. They started a chicken farm which provided a terrific product and employed several Malians. Over these years he observed a committed donor seeking to help Malians who wanted to become self-reliant.
Remembering the inspiration Paul gained from Africano, the Cazier family decided to retire from the Air Force and apply the principles of self-reliance in Africa through entrepreneurship. Due to the family’s lack of business skills, Paul has entered the Executive MBA program at Brigham Young University and Jenny is pursuing an online degree in Business Management from BYU-Idaho.