Africa would be the greatest continent if it would pay attention to its needs than wants.
The greatest need of Africa in advancing its socio-economic development is to empower a new set of young, transformational leaders and generational thinkers, who would be thinkers and doers rather than talkative and social commentators.
The problem in Africa is deeply rooted in how Africans themselves have twisted culture to support the wrong of the elderly with some superstitions and taboos. For example, an adage in Akan has it that “an elderly person cannot be guilty in the presence of a child”. This alone is an illustration of how we sometimes make our culture blind us. Could this not be the reason why children in Africa are bashful and not competitive in an where Convention on the Rights of Child must fully and strictly be adhered to? Is this not the reason why the older generation have sold our destiny to debt that is consuming more than 70% of our GDP?
Africa over the years has an educational system that has churned more talkers than thinkers and doers. In Ghana alone, consider the number of young people pursuing programmes and academic disciplines tailored on theories and talking with no practical approaches. It is in view of this that Africa has more social commentators, journalists, politicians, lawyers and social workers.
Shall Africa not restructure its education to producing more people who can think and solve our problems than talk about the problems and propose solutions where there is lack of doers to fix those problems? Shall Africa not produce more efficient managers to stand for what is right than to compromise with the wrong because they would be tagged as being disrespectful? Ethics and professionalism in institutions and businesses are on the decline.
Again, dare we ask what Africa’s greatest need is? Africa’s greatest need is for it to produce more thinkers and doers with relevant skills, knowledge and positive attitudes towards development.
Stated differently, Africa’s greatest need is the ability of its people to strive for excellence. Majority of Africans do not seek excellence.This can be clearly seen in the way businesses operate, how institutions function, the disorderliness of buildings, unsustainable roads, misaligned education to the job market and poor healthcare delivery.
In furtherance, Africa’s greatest need is the ability for the continent to be at liberty rather than democracy. Constitutional term limits must be critically examined and logically brought to a conclusion. With this, some heads of state are able to perform extremely well during their tenure of service, but their heirs upon assuming office distort the country progress. In this case how best has constitutional term limit helped such a country? Democracy is good but being at liberty is best.
Again, Africa’s greatest need is men who would be able to hold institutions accountable, instil in other people patriotism and demand responsible leadership from every institution that affects human life. Women who will be bold to put their continent first before any selfish dealings and pride. Youth who would be bold to defend the right and would go an extra mile to sacrificing and losing their lives for the sake of the generation after.
Africa’s success would be measured by its ability to address its needs as a priority not it wants.