The redemption of Africa remains with Africans. Africa can no longer continue heaping piles of blame upon colonialism. It is a case closed. Period. Despite the imperialistic injustices suffered at the hands of the Europeans, we must move on. Charting the way forward is what should disturb us. Reducing unemployment rates, alleviating poverty, acquiring technology that will help treat diseases and investment in African man power is what any sane and committed African needs to worry about. It is imperative to find better ways to improve on modes of governance and establishment of firm institutions that outlast leaders. In other words, passing on of a better world to the future generation is the most persistent thing that should tickle any committed African. But how do we do it without sounding abstract? How can it be done practically so that the common citizen who bears the greatest brunt of incompetent governance, wretched indigence and suffering the most treatable of maladies benefit and live a better life
Here is my two cent worth. First, there must be a commitment by everyone to make him/herself better with whatever we have at our disposal. Whether it is farming, teaching, rearing livestock, writing, acting or just offering advice; it is fundamental to have something that keeps us busy. It is from a started project that an individual may solicit for help which mostly is always financial and at other times, social or even emotional. Back in the rural areas, it is being done with women forming farming groups to help them improve on their farming methods. Young men and women who have not had the chance to join institutions of higher learning are constantly forming groups and writing numerous letters to both governmental and non-governmental offices asking for funds to support their nascent ventures. That is the way forward. I am speaking from the Kenyan context though it resonates well with most African nations. These ventures will help in the reduction of poverty and dependence that is known to drag back most African families.
Another thing is to constantly put our leaders to account. Especially political leaders because it is them who influence most of the destinies of their nations. Shooting of people demonstrating for their rights as happened in South Africa of platinum miners should be loudly condemned. Massacring of thirty four people should not be allowed in Africa at this age especially when it is done by law enforcement agencies in a country with a vibrant democracy as South Africa. This also goes to the CCM party in Tanzania where police beat up a journalist and ended up dropping tear-gas canister killing him in the most heartless technique ever witnessed. In other words, the electorate of Tanzania cannot allow CCM to continue with this pointless hegemony and must vote out Jakaya Kikwete and his team that embodies such cruelty. Right here at home, the Tana massacres should have prompted the Police Commissioner who is also serving illegally under the constitution to resign. It is the responsibility of the state to protect its citizens because we pay tax. Condemnation of such atrocities should be loud and made known to the government that the denizens are not pleased.
Where is the soul of a nation when people are killed up to fifty two and no serious demonstrations take place to express the outrage? Then the killers get more emboldened and set ablaze more houses and another bloodletting follows and we sit back and assume nothing is happening at all. Does it not prick you? Are you not disturbed or is it just normal? After all its just news, so what. Is that how you quip? Down in South Africa when miners were massacred a section of the populace went into demonstrations and their government and the world got the message loud and clear: We Are Fed Up With the Killings! Even in the Arab world it is now possible after the success of the Arab Spring. In a nutshell, everyone must get into the frontlines in ensuring our leaders are accountable for what they do. Telling me you do not love politics does not help the situation but what are you doing with what you love to make the country better?
Third and the most crucial of all is the use technology to help ourselves. Generation Y have a chance to reclaim the glory of Africa using technology being the most tech-savvy of all the existing generations. The young men in the Arab nations especially Tunisia and Egypt used it in order to ouster their dictators. Why not other African countries? Coming up with helpful innovations that help make things better is the hallmark of being counted in this information age. Look at what M-Pesa has done in the money transfer. Young innovators are busy developing various mobile applications that target the common citizens in order to improve lives. Young people are running online companies and getting self employed hence demystifying the notion that one must get formal employment after school. That is the best way to go. And for those who have learned the ropes, pass the baton to others. Spread the word.
Lastly, it is the participation of the middle class in the politics of the day. Why are our middle class especially in Kenya taking a distance from the political scene? Or do they want to put the lower class to the fate of Sisyphus who was condemned by the gods to roll a rock to the top only for the rock to roll back. Then Sisyphus would repeat the same process. Is that the fate the middle class want by standing at the periphery then expect the lower class to transform leaders overnight? From solid to liquid. Instantly. No. It cannot happen that way. They should begin dirtying their hands too. Nations like Egypt and Tunisia succeeded in the revolution because the educated masses that mostly constitute the middle class joined in the struggle for a better a nation. And that is what should be replicated in other African nations. Only then negative ethnicity and rampant graft will decline. Only then will that average citizen who survives on less than a dollar have an improved life of feeding him/herself.
About the Author
Amol Awuor is a young Poet, Short Story Writer, Critic and Freelance Analyst of various issues affecting the global society. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
He also runs a blog http://sikuzijazo.blogspot.com
This article is part of the ‘What is the way for Africa?’ Series you can contribute by sending your article to email@example.com
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