In part one of this article of same title published on www.moderghana.com, I roundly lamented on Africa's challenges and traced some of the causes of our problems through chronologically historic antecedents. I humbly refer you to the link below if you missed the earlier rendition so as to enable you get the line of my opinion.
In this part 2, I intend to suggest some solutions to some of the problems we face as a continent. I always have the strongest conviction that Africa is potentially rich and can be the world's economic power house if we accept to live by our own culture, fabulously fantastic in diversity and strength.
The former President of South Africa believes strongly that "African solutions to African problems..." This is where I think our culture as a people plays a pivotal role in any meaningful development. I hold same philosophy that we should learn how to solve our problems within our economic parameters. I'm not unaware of the overall impact of globalisation and global economic ties between countries but must be original in drawing any useful economy strategic plans and burry our usual economic mimics that continue to direct our economy into a "wonderland".
The most paramount step of making Africa a better continent must begin with advocating for effectively creative political leadership. It is quite obvious that Africa is bedeviled with a very worrying leadership conundrum or if you like, call it leadership paralysis. Leadership characterized with corruption, abuse of power, dictatorship, greed and above all, divide and rule. I can boldly state without mincing words that more than fifty percent of our challenges are caused by leadership nemesis.
Yinka Oyinlola(2014) is of the view that "Africa's future will be determined by African leaders". I share in his view because Africa can be reconstructed or destroyed by the actions and inactions of our leaders. We must develop an effective democratic leadership systems that can bring all our people together, inspire them and reinvigorate our penchant to creating a more desirous economic empire to salvage the growing poverty levels of the vast majority of our people. The current leadership is uninspiring because the winner takes all system, too much polarisation and the tendency of those in government only to work in the interest of their political parties and their surrogates are only worsening our plights.
The whole process of producing credible leadership must start from the family, school and the church. It is always my believe that when society holds on its values, then it can produce credible leaders with African virtues well fitted to ameliorate our suffering.
African countries need development plans, strategically earmarking the following thematic areas; education, poverty eradication, industrialisation and modernisation of Agriculture. Such master plans must be linked to the political systems to ensure continuity and sustainability.
According to J. Peter Pham, 2015 "sustainable development is inextricably linked to social and political progress" I will explicitly digress on political progress in the next paragraph. The above thematic areas are intertwined and hold the fundamentals of the African economy that can improve the living conditions of the people through massive employment with its' accompanying gains.
More importantly, peace and political progress are fundamentally important in sustaining economic progress and prosperity. If there is war or violence in a country, the economic prospects of that country perishes. The manpower is frustrated and the whole social and economic fibre is absolutely annihilated. It is not an uncommon fact that the slow pace of our development was also precipitated by the wide spread of political instabilities in the continent. Where there are military takeovers, there is no political progress, confidence and largely lack of continuity in policy directives.
One may say that the continent is relatively politically stable but what about the threatening military insurgencies and the recent political violence in countries such as Egypt, Gambia, Ivory Coast, Sudan and others?
Going forward, African countries must truly join hands in the area of security and peace to work out a master plan of arresting such occurrences with urgency instead of sitting aloof awaiting the intervention of western powers. We cannot keep on doing same things when we keep getting the same unpleasant results. We can do it in our own ways.
Interestingly, education continue to take a gargantuan portion of the national budgets in various African countries but from where I sit, the educational systems operated across the continent do not address our challenges and hence we continue to wallow in underdevelopment. We must restructure our educational systems to take care of faculty training, critical thinking, positive change of attitude, patriotism and self confidence. When these are effectively integrated in the curricula, we can churn out responsibly educated manpower to turn around the fortunes of this continent.
The abundant natural resources that we have are being tapped by foreigners who owe larger shares to the detriment of indigenes. Look at the mining companies, construction companies, oil companies and you will only see few indigenous companies. We lack the confidence in ourselves and continue to empower other continents. We must find a better way of linking our education to industry to make our graduates technical "perfectos".
As long as we think of the creativity, education, industrialisation, technological advancement among others, we must not downplay the need for change of attitude. We must all accept that there is something fundamentally wrong so that we can start at fresh after all, there is a common saying that " he who laughs last, laughs best". There is certainly light at the end of the tunnel if we all remain committed to creating a progressive and prosperous society.
Africa is our only homeland.