My concern for my Africa has grown over the last few months. My interests span Africa's history, its current state and that of foreign involvement in the continent; all the ‘Five W's’ and ‘How’ reasons.
We all know about Africa's history of relentless colonialism and imperialism and how these have affected the continent's current environment. With a nearer gaze, we see too that Africa for the most part, has failed to derive any lessons from its past that reflect on-going and progressive expansion built on its previous cripplings. Take industrialisation for example, it could never revolutionise because of the calculated denial to growth and development it faced under colonial rule. However, the continent has not actualised any infrastructure to combat this, if economic growth and competitiveness is assumed to be of any concern.
All that aside, what's most visible about Africa right now is its lack of assertiveness, in leadership, governance and security. And for this to materialise, as many experts point out, the continent needs to invest in capacity development -- this would help to actualise strategy that not only eradicates Africa's image of "needing aid" but would lead to stimulating and productive efforts in creating a collective wealth for the continent.
Our challenges are socio-political and socio-economic, these stem from the Cold War era; and these are the very challenges that states were dealt with too post the Cold War. Back then Africa was used as leverage for those states to pull themselves up again, is the continent going to assume this pawn-like role forever? Africa was only ever "the plan" then - the strategic move - for the developed nation to bolster their ascendency into great-power status.
I feel that the "Third World" (I don't particularly fancy this term) is in good stead to concentrate on common development and prosperity, rising in synergy against the Western dominance that has hung heavy over them in past centuries. Yes, globalisation is exploitative, but with a feasible framework Africa too, can derive benefits if it exceeds intelligently and strategically.
I read about Africa's promising growth in the technology and banking sectors by new data released by the big credit rating agencies of the world. The trade and investment avenue has the potential of scale and scope for African governments to become more pro-active risk managers, and to take a driving position.
Loans are not the sort of change or path to growth Africa needs to employ, and it is exactly what Africa is gracefully excepting from China. It means Africa rendering itself to future debt and a considerable disadvantage in the markets that have grown hyper-competitive in the face of globalisation and multilateralism.
More than loans, Africa needs development in areas that would drive it to make use of its own resources to restore and build African economies; combat the escalating unemployment numbers; and improve conditions of living in Africa as a whole.
What is the likelihood of this happening? --It is possible, only if and when Africa gains the capacity to make good use of infrastructure and capital. The continent has an abundance of lessons it can work on solely based on its past, and that coupled with examples of other regions making good on their disenfranchised territories and environments.
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.