What is the way forward for Africa? Join the Online Discussion

Motherland Africa

We live in a world of continuous changes. Changes create fears and insecurity as well as challenges and possibilities. What continues to differentiate successful countries from others is that in the latter, their leaders failed to anticipate changes and respond to them effectively. There is no doubt that the problems that currently confront Africa are complex and deep-rooted in Africa’s history. However, it can be stated that Africa is poor, underdeveloped, and home to many problems because leaders have failed to respond to changes and challenges and exploit opportunities effectively. Africa continues to suffer from inappropriate policies, bad governance, incompetent, corrupt, and ineffective leaders.

Africa has failed because it lacks the requisite capabilities and the political will to effectively respond to its leadership and governance challenges. Because of poor leadership and governance, Africa is unable to optimally exploit the major developments in science and technology, novel types of production, organizational principles, invention of new goods and services, or adapt innovative forms of social development. There is a need to develop a new way of doing things.

The current problems we face are not new. In fact, these problems are the cumulative consequences of our inability or unwillingness to respond to changes in our midst. Africa is becoming progressively isolated because of being a weak participant in the global marketplace. Africa’s weak position increasingly makes it a victim or casualty of the global changes and challenges. In essence, Africa is a recipient of other people’s ideas and ways of doing things, goods and services.

The persistent negative images of Africa, as a continent in deep trouble, and Africans as people who are unable to solve their own problems is unhealthy and potentially damaging. If Africa cannot challenge these images, then these images will continue to mislead the world and cause many Young Africans to continue doubting their own capabilities and self esteem, and thus undermine their role as levers for change and agents that can provide a better alternative future for Africa. The net result is that Africa must build its requisite capabilities now and respond to its marginalization from world activities. Africa must accelerate its participation in trade and politics, science and technology. Africa must be heard to be seen.

There is no continent that is going to bail out Africa. Africans must, out of necessity solve their own problems. To do this, there is need for a re-thinking of our position followed by imaginative discourses and bold answers. We need competency, honesty, vision, and commitment to fully liberate our minds.

—- Richard Oduor –Nairobi, Kenya.

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6 thoughts on “What is the way forward for Africa? Join the Online Discussion

  1. This seems to be a very negative view of/from Africa.

    I disagree with your statement: “Africa has failed”.

    I do agree with this statement: “Africa is a recipient of other people’s ideas and ways of doing things.”

    The way forward for Africa is to stop viewing itself through Western eyes… (and therefore only see failure).

    Maybe Africa should start determining its own destiny unapologetically.

    • I don’t think this is an entirely negative view. I have done an examination of the economic, social, and political development of five random African countries; Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Morocco, DRC, and Togo and the indicators are dismal. There are countries such as Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Botswana and the like that have been reporting an improvement on these core indicators. However, when one analyzes the human rights situation, political leadership and governance, the evolution and state of the civil society – critically, among other aspects, African countries do score poorly. Ibrahim routinely represents development indexes for Africa, and I don’t want to believe even those are created with Western eyes. The idea is that we must be honest about our state of social, economic, and political development if we are to make any sustainable headway in the future. The fact that I live in Africa and I have had the opportunity of poring over many human development indexes that pit sub-Saharan Africa against North Africa and the Middle East Region, Latin America, South East Asia, Americas, and European peninsula convinces me otherwise. Apart from the optimism which is good to show, can you tell me some of the most positive developments in Africa over the past decade? There are of course, but we have been sluggish and its all our undoing. We need a reawakening based on real evidence. If we are to implement the economic policies that have seen the Asian peninsula achieve massive growth over the past decade, we must truly assess our position now – economically, socially, politically. My opinion.

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