Celebrate with vision

2017-07-05 06:02
Qondile Khedama, social observer

Qondile Khedama, social observer

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Let us add economic value as we celebrate Africa, since it is now time to separate hedonism from eudaimonism or rather be simplistic “to daily realities confronted by Africans”.

From 1953 to 1963, 17 African countries gained independence from European colonisers and to mark their liberation they started celebrating African Liberation Day.

Since then during May, our minds are geared towards showcasing our Africanness. There is nothing wrong with this tradition. However, we yet have to make an assessment of the economic value this practice brings about.

While we are dressed up in our African regalia, enjoying our cuisines and dancing in celebration of Africa Day, let us not stop pondering about and assessing the economic impediments we need to tackle as a continent.

Africa can no longer afford to put economic issues in abeyance. It is during this time that Africans have to assert themselves and reclaim what is rightly theirs. Our forefathers strived to create a continent that will determine its destiny, this referring to a generation of altruistic leadership that confronted colonisers and fought for political emancipation in their countries. Most Africans who seek refuge in South Africa for one reason or another refer to almost the same issues – that they have nothing considerable to celebrate, attributing their displeasure to debilitating political, economic and social conditions in their countries.

According to data from the World Bank, a notable number of countries are labelled as poorest in Africa, such as Chad, Uganda, Lesotho and Ethiopia, whose population depends on agriculture and livestock as means of survival.

Their economies suffer from political crisis, lack of infrastructure and geographic remoteness. They are depen-dant on international funding to improve their agriculture, livestock and food security challenges.

Named as the least developed country by the United Nations, Somalia is not only the poorest country in Africa, but the most impoverished nation in the world. Somalia’s economy also relies on livestock, foreign remittances and tele- communications. The ongoing civil war since 1986 is one of the main reasons for economic underdevelopment. Armies use resources meant for development, forcing more than 500 000 Somalis to take refuge in Dadaab camps in Kenya.

In his book, City of Thorns, Ben Rawlence captures the hard life of nine people in the refugee camp deep within the inhospitable desert of northern Kenya. It is a unique city made from mud, plastic and wooden sticks. Raw-lence sketches the manifestation of the results of the war infested country and the harm it has done to human life.
Qondile Khedama is the general manager at the Mangaung Metro. He writes in his personal capacity.

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