Saturday, May 15, 2021

Africa’s younger generation must save the continent

African presidents appear too eager to show a difference between themselves and their former rulers.

We know that this is because there is no difference between them, except that, from what I hear, life in most African countries was actually better before independence.

The desperation of our presidents to force Africans to believe that they are now better off under them than when they were under colonialists is a sad testimony of stupidity in the face of starving people across the African continent.

Whenever African presidents are given a chance to talk to the international community, they always take the opportunity to lambast colonialists for the problems bedeviling African countries well after the colonialists left.

They never say what improvements they brought to their countries.

The real problem is the current political lords in Africa who have no clue about what they are doing. It is even sadder when liberated people start talking about how good life was under the colonialists as compared to life under African leaders who “suffered but fought hard to liberate the country”.

Whenever African presidents fail to govern their “independent” countries, they always use former colonialists as scapegoats.

Despite the numerous minerals and resources in Africa, it is regrettable that the continent has failed to harness her resources in order to fulfil her development agenda. Sadly, the wealth of Africa fails to serve it; Africa remains a drag to the rest of the world on many levels – including on the social, political and economic fronts.

Truth be told, Africa does not need aid to develop, but it needs honest people who do not divert aid and the nation’s natural resources into their personal pockets.

Most African presidents are richer than their best entrepreneurs; richer than the state itself.

This achievement is called corruption; a simple word now known in remote villages of Africa’s hinterland.
Continuous reliance on foreign aid has, in many ways, reduced our outlook as Africans. It has helped to instill a sense of inadequacy and inability in governments that rule over us.

Our own leaders have turned us more into beggars than empowered citizens. That, in my opinion, is perhaps why most African countries continue on the downward spiral to socio-economic decay.

It is interesting that former colonialists have always had an obligation to support their former colonial territories economically. Keep in mind that they were thieves and oppressors; they had no obligation to return what they stole.

Our former colonial masters set up social, political and economic structures, some of which are still in existence, but most of which we let die.

Despite the amount of money that foreign governments continue to inject to fund projects in Africa, our countries continue to get worse and worse.

The younger generation has to come to the rescue. Surely, we cannot just sit, watch and suffer the disability caused by our elders who are out of touch with current situations.

A trans-generational paradigm shift in our mentality as Africans is called for here; especially among today’s youths.

The younger generation cannot continue to accept itself as beggars in their own land like our grandparents did when they succumbed to colonialists.

Africa has not failed to develop economically because of our former colonisers. We, as Africans, have failed to take advantage of our knowledge, abilities, wealth and natural resources to make a clear distinction between us and former masters.

We were offered and we accepted foreign aid for things we could do on our own and we continued to become dependent.

Africa is rich in natural resources but our resources seem worthless to us unless we sell them to other nations. Africa has vast untapped mineral and agricultural wealth not to mention Nigeria’s thriving movie industry, fisheries of South Africa, the diamonds fields of Botswana, wildlife in almost every country south of the Sahara and even ailing Zimbabwe’s most literate nation and labour force. We have got it all but we are spending it faster than those who buy from us. Our problem is that our presidents consider national wealth as their own personal wealth and Zimbabwe, DR Congo and Swaziland, among many, are doing Africa’s development a great disfavour.

Sooner or later, Africa’s younger generation will have to stomp their feet and tell the old lads that enough is enough. They are wasting everything in such unthinking ways that our children will not know the greatness of this continent.

The youth of today across Africa need to foster good will on the continent and we are already behind schedule.

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