” We are fighting so that insults may no longer have to rule our countries, martyred and scorned for centuries, so that our people may never more be exploited by imperialists- not only by people with white skin, because we do not confuse exploitation or exploiters with color of men’s skins, we do not want any exploitation in our countries, not even by black people” ———-AMILCAR CABRAL
50 years, on average, since Africa attained her independence, this continent has been put on the world map as an emerging force. In 2015, she has been able to place 7 out of the 13 countries listed as fastest growing economies of the world. Hence leading to the coining of phrases such as AFRICA ON THE RISE, AFRICA ON THE TAKE OFF, AFRICA IS THE FUTURE, AFRICA ON THE MOVE among others.
Africa’s richest man ALIKO DANGOTE himself in the year 2014 at the World Economic Forum stated categorically that ” “Africa’s risks are mainly perceived but not real. Unfortunately for us in Africa we are not really good at telling our own stories. But things are changing and people are beginning to understand that things are going very, very well.”
However, with all the potential being observed, a myriad of challenges still continue to face this second largest continent in the world. Challenges that will directly dictate whether the take off will lead to a soft landing in the desired destination or to a crash landing somewhere in the forests.
Truth be told, we are still living in a third world that receives about 136 billion dollars annually in form of aid from the first world, while at the same time losing a clean 1 trillion dollars annually in form of offshore capital flight. Mostly in form of tax avoidance by multinationals and rampant corruption by the governments. Who is developing whom? This not including the about 600 billion a year being paid for debt service- in compound interest, some accumulated by leaders long deposed. Unfortunately the borrowing still continues and our children and grandchildren will still have to pay.
Today, we are witnessing the onset of Sustainable Development Goals aimed at, among other things, eliminating EXTREME POVERTY by 2030. Keen to note is that even with the elimination of EXTREME POVERTY, RELATIVE POVERTY will still exist. Where will it exist? For there to be a rich country, there has to be a poor one. For there to be a rich person, there has to be a poor person.
Let’s not forget that we were supposed to realize fruits of MDG’s by 2015, only for them to be pushed to 2030 in the name of SDG’s. Bearing in mind that MDG’s always kept on being modified on the way.
Allow me therefore, to bring the point home with a well known piece of history, while at the same time answering the question at stake. (It’s high time we developed big kahunas to addressed this issue)
I bet we all remember one infamous Nigerian man by the name of JAMES IBORI. A man who started working in London earning an average of 24000 dollars annually. Got convicted as a thief, returned to Nigeria, joined politics and within no time was transferring million of dollars abroad. Became Governor of the oil-rich Delta state and started buying properties across the globe and even attempted to purchase a private jet.
This short example highlights 3 major players as to who Africa’s real enemies are;
a) The African people themselves:- The people have accepted that they are either totally blind or feign shortsightedness while electing leaders. They prefer electing the corrupt whose sources of income can never be substantiated. At the same time, they are always willing and ready to divide along ethnic lines to the extent of degenerating into violence. Look at what is happening currently in South Sudan, Burundi, Biafra state among others. Who is benefiting? Certainly not Africa. The current state of the African man only indicates that slavery evolved from being chained on the neck, hands and feet, to being captured in the mind.
b) The selfish African Politician:- With much greed for amassing wealth, this leader will compromise the development of the country for personal gains. For instance, this politician will oversee tax evasion by multinationals simply because they’ll receive kickbacks in the process. They will go ahead to store these moneys oversees at the same time buying properties while under-developing their own countries. Corruption today in Africa is untenable. ( But remember, these selfish politicians can only operate with the consent of the people.)
c) Corrupt Multinationals:- ” The wealth of rich countries to a large extent depends on the poverty of poor countries” FULL STOP.
As much as Africa is on the move, the number one enemy of Africa’s progress remains the African people. Especially those with a consumer mentality.
Africa is rich in her history. From the wealthiest man to have ever lived on this planet- MANSA MUSA, to the greatest early inventions that changed the world from mathematics, to medicine, to mining, to trade, to art among others.The world is still amazed by the architecture involved in the PYRAMIDS of Egypt. Africa is still rich.
Africa took off long time ago, but experienced a belly landing along the way. It is on the take off once again, But this time round, she has to know that her enemies are still present. And her enemies should not be defined by the color of their skins, but by their character. Her enemies are both within and without.