How To Make Africa Better
By Tolulope Oyewole
A famous statement by the Prime Minister of Britain Tony Blair that people with the ultimate power to change Africa completely are Africans ring true. The fact still remains that the perpetuation of slavery was only successful as a result of the selfishness and ignorance of Africans. Our greed has been our major problem since the very beginning; countries like the Benin Empire were invaded by the British all because their African brothers gave up their land as base. Even in the plantations Africans were made to wipe out fellow Africans. We are architects of our own destruction, we stab our brothers in the back and sympathise with them in their front.
The solutions to Africa's problems are simple and not impossible to implement, the first is complete unity of countries in Africa. The Berlin Border incident in 1888 also added to the great slump Africa is in today. Monsters in suits, with no knowledge of the origin of our great continent began to draw lines and imprison us in our land. Imagine an African needing to receive a visa to go into another African country. That is nothing more than imprisonment. Thus African countries need to surrender their sovereignty to the African Union in order to secure the total sovereignty of the continent Africa. There should be a realisation of â€˜ubuntu', which means unity, among African countries. This will defuse barriers like foreign exchange rates and other Eurocentric weapons used to distort Africa's success from being an obstacle to free flowing trade between African countries in Africa. The unity of African countries will put an end to social, political and economic pandemics, such as poverty and illiteracy â€“ in our great continent, as the â€˜ubuntu' philosophy states: I am because we are, thus, uniting African countries together will mean Africans will be able to inter-change resources together.
The second solution is realisation of potentials, like they say, charity begins at home. Parents are the major causes of the continuous increase of unemployment, especially in Nigeria. Parents always make their children believe that success only comes through a â€˜white collar job'. This is why each year universities release millions of graduates, with no job vacancies available for them to fill, as people who have graduated ten years before them are still looking for jobs. We need to realise that there is a very big gap that needs to be filled in Africa. Africa is a continent full of many talents, such as football players, musicians, artist, literary writers, etc. But they are not effectively used, people like Samuel Eto'o and Didier Drogba are no accidents, they are showing the true colour of Africans. Apart from education, Africans need to start paying attention to other opportunities like sports and music which can generate a lot of revenue to the continent; one will agree with me that the best way to make money is by doing what you enjoy, thus by African businesses and governments investing money in amenities like sports, fine arts and music, job opportunities will be fling wide open, thereby reducing the rates of unemployment and even crime rate in our continent.
The third solution is the return of Africans in the Diaspora back to Africa to invest the resources they have earned overseas in Africa, in order to open opportunities for Africans in Africa. There are several Africans in the UK who own businesses; they are people like Alister Shoyode (CEO of BEN), Femi Okutubo, (Publisher of The Trumpet Newspaper). Such people with resources should invest in our mother land so as to contribute to the development of Africa. But the truth will always remain the truth, unless Africans in Africa begin to work hard by themselves to make Africa a better place, nobody will invest their resources in Africa, it will be similar to carrying water in a basket, not even our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora will come to our rescue.
Hence, we need to rise up to the occasion and fight pandemics like corruption, illiteracy and unemployment that deteriorate the progress of our great continent. But we cannot achieve this without unity. Africans need to unite; else we will not go anywhere.
The author can be contacted through firstname.lastname@example.org