Africa: A Call to Action
Poverty and African; A Call to action
Poverty is prevalent in Africa; most African countries do not provide citizens with basic infrastructure and amenities; additionally, there are few opportunities for income generation. Africans are beneficiaries of a colonial endowment of crumbling infrastructure and ill-educated leaders. Since the end of the colonial era, Africans have struggled to develop and maintain effective governmental systems, and to develop the natural resources the continent is endowed. The continents economies have largely been mismanaged, looted and neglected..
African schools produce some of the brightest intellectual minds in the world, but these minds have been rewarded with little employment opportunities, and an absence of professional development opportunities. The result of this neglect has been a systemic brain drain on Africa, which sees some of it's greatest minds departing for distant lands. There is also the issues of corruption, mismanagement, crime and disease; all consequences of dismal economic realities. Most of Africa remains poor because Africans allow these vices to fester and persist.
African Governments officials continue to loot the economies, while stumping on human rights, and promoting conflict and strife. Strife has been a staple of African life in the last few decades. Strife as I have suggested is a political tactic that some unscrupulous elements encourage to distract from their devious schemes. Africans fight each other, while the economy is plundered. The latest example of this unproductive tact is the advent and growth of Boko-Haram, a terrorist organization that was reportedly initially sponsored by some in power, but has now aligned itself with ISIS to instill fear and terror in most parts of Africa.
Africa has made some economic, political and social strides since most countries gained independence in the 60s. The positive changes that have happened throughout the course of its history happened because people demanded them. Africans of this generation need to follow in the footsteps of their nationalist forebears; they have to stand up and say that enough is enough. There needs to be grassroots movement of people who unite in spite of ethnic, political and religious loyalties, to stand up to the status quo. These groups of citizens will need fearless organizers who lend them advice and coordinate their activities, with a view to demanding and getting real change.
Most vibrant economies in the world are made up of people with diverse views; Africa is not exempt from that. Africans need to stop looking at everything from a strictly ethnic, political and religious viewpoints; issues of poverty affect all people regardless of race, color, gender, religion, sex etc.. African leaders have exploited these differences through the years, and the only way to neutralize their influence is to show unity in purpose. Africans have to realize that there are more issues that unite them, than there are that divide.
In order to stem the tide of poverty, there has to be greater accountability in government. African leaders should be better scrutinized to ensure that they are committed to the citizenry. Productivity and Service should be measured with objective results, and reviews should be ongoing, and not based on patronage. This measurement ascribed to service should be applicable to all without regard to rank, position or influence.
Accountability has to start at the grassroots. Africans as a people have to lose the attitude that ''Government business is no ones business'', or that "Government is responsible for doing everything". Africans have to assume responsibility for each other, and assume a community model that promotes the development of infrastructure, jobs, agriculture and other green initiatives. It is time for Africans to return to the one resource that sustained their ancestors; it is time for Africans to return to the earth and it's many bounties.
Africans cannot navigate the road ahead on their own, they will need help from Americans, Europeans, Asians, and South Americans. These groups have benefitted from African bounties for hundreds of years, and it is time to give back. This is no talk of reparations, this is a calling to be siblings of the earth, and to share technology and knowledge to help others survive and thrive. Thousands of westerners have started to answer this calling, in the likes of Bill Clinton, Bill Gate's, but more needs to be done.
Africa needs an infusion of technical support and technological know-how; most of all, it needs to develop the ability to harness the skills of its people and maximize their productivity. For plenty of years, Christian Groups, Doctors without borders, NGOs have risked life and limb to provide care and support in Africa; the time is rife for others to join in. Africa needs all types of trade types; it needs botanist, zoologist, Agriculturist, Accountants, Political Scientist, Water Engineers, Civil Engineers, Mechanical Engineers, Marketing, Small business owners, Community organizers, Public Safety Specialist, Teachers and many others to get involved. By working to develop Africa, you will in essence be sending a message to the world that we are all connected, and are working together to ensure our collective future. That future depends on our ablity to support each other.
Africa does not need aid, Africa needs development. "Help us to learn to fish, rather than bringing us fish'' in cartons..