Africa has been well known for begging. Are you happy about it? Africa has been famous for malaria, HIV/AIDS, civil wars and dictatorial leaders. Is this what Africa was divinely designed for? Africa is well known for teenage pregnancies, rapes, defilement and other evils like corruption and misuse of office. Is this all we can show for the eternity past of Africa’s existence. Thousands of years ago, Africa was on wheels, writing on papyrus, inventing fire, among others. What has happened along the way down the years? Is this all we can talk about Africa? Even when we talk of aid, who is truly aiding who? Whoever gives raw materials is the donor – especially if her materials are not adequately compensated.
The Blessed Beggar:
With the natural giftedness of the continent, the vast population, the great weather conditions, the naturally fertile soils, the great fresh water bodies, the oil wells, and much more… Africa should rise and shine! Time for being both blessed and beggarly is over. In my assessment, the hope may not lie anywhere else apart from the youths participating in development and the leaders doing the right things as they lead the continent. In this century, the youths and leaders are the drivers of economies on all continents. Africa must not be an exception through intentional suffocation of youths and inefficient work by leaders who have the heads but lack the hearts.
Responsible and Entrepreneurial Youths
Africa is filled with young people. Development-oriented individuals, leaders and organizations must therefore promote a healthy, dynamic, practically educated, mentally empowered, and variously productive young population. The youths themselves should understand their role in the development of Africa by redeeming the arenas of governance and politics, business and the economy, culture and entertainment, sports, education, social and spiritual development, and all other spheres of influence. Youths must now be handed the tools to act on their entrepreneurial ideas. While the revolution of the Sixties through to the Eighties was about pulling down the repressive political powers that were – both the foreign colonialists and local dictators, there is no doubt that the revolution for this and the next generation is and shall be entrepreneurship. It is undoubtedly the key driver for personal success and national development.
Let us now inspire the young people to be responsible. The media and entertainment are good avenues to reach out to the youths. They are all over on social network and are glued in front of their TV sets. We can reach out to them. While many media outlets have done more harm than good, leaders of communities and nations should renew their commitment and promise to restore sanity in the society. Let youths be given platforms to air out their views, and these views must be respected, adopted, and implemented – with the youths participating in the implementation process.
Part of the journey will have to be revision of the education systems of Africa so that they fit the new millennium. According to Benjamin Bloom (1956), you are educated only if the three domains of learning have been addressed namely; cognitive, psychomotor and affective domains. The head, the heart, and the hand must be equipped. Knowledge, skills and values or attitudes must be intentionally addressed. When you look at the education system of your country, does it really prepare its products for Africa’s endless opportunities? Does it equip them with entrepreneurial and business skills? Does it empower them with values and principles for a just, free and peaceful society in which mutual respect and integrity are seen as non-negotiable dynamics for development? Something must be done – and done soonest.
Transformational Leaders of Integrity
I highly believe that communities and nations are as developed as their leaders have allowed. The leaders of African communities should strategically position their minds for the continent’s development. It is until we accumulate mental wealth that we shall see physical development. This calls for individual leaders to invest in themselves but also for governments and non-governmental institutions to empower citizens of their nations with human capacity tools for successful, innovative living. Amidst meagre or rather untapped resources, we can maximize the minimal and achieve the unthinkable. The old age disease called “excusiasis” must be treated once and for all. No one is a failure until he starts to blame someone else or craft excuses for not doing the right thing. We must pursue our dreams with a passion, taking charge of our individual and collective progress.
This applies also to governments on the continent. They must make a journey from excuses to fostering success – with or without whatever is often seen as the essential variables for driving holistic development. Leaders must take responsibility for this step forward. Leaders must stop leading by remote! They must start to be with the people they lead. Most leaders do not do this because they have not delivered on their promises. They do not have answers to what their people are asking. They have not tasked their minds to think of solutions for the people’s problems. Every leader must now be equipped with problem solving skills, aware that there is no development without innovation and creativity.
For Africa to grow, the political leaders in particular must have the willingness to fight the ills that plague the continent. Corruption, disease, ignorance, famine, wars, among others, must be dealt with. It really begins with the willingness of the leaders to end these catastrophes. If the will to develop is not there, the action to make it so will never come. Willing to initiate and drive necessary change, leaders can act to make a difference. This difference needs to be seen even in the nature of ventures that the continent’ people engage in for their wellbeing. For example, Africa is well known for getting busy with primary industries and exporting raw-materials. Africans must now harness the power and optimization of engineering possibilities, scientific advancement and technological wonders of the century. This is the only way how Africa will be moved to the next level of development.
Time for Africa’s Radiance
Everyone who is good at studying the trends can testify that this – exactly THIS – is Africa’s moment to shine. It is Africa’s time to develop. It is Africa’s moment to step forward on the platform of development and announce its arrival. Arise, Africa. Awake, Africa. Together, we can build a better, transformed, informed and developed Africa. Empower youths and leaders. I feel that it is either NOW or NEVER. Who will bring about this change? You and I.
The author is Africa’s foremost leadership expert, motivational key-note speaker and personal development author of 7 published books who has already given 147 inspiring presentations ever since the year begun (January to November 2013). Follow Samuel A. Bakutana on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Samuel-A-Bakutana-Leadership-Expert-Motivational-Speaker-and-Author), Twitter and LinkedIn. To book him for your next invent, send an email now to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +256782163416