The story of Africa remains a sad one; a blessed land with its feet glued in hatred, bloodshed, jealousy, negativity, and bitterness of the past (slavery, colonialism, apartheid). Freedom from Trans-Atlantic slave trade was fought for but Africans now voluntarily pay to be smuggled to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea in search of a better life while fleeing economic hardship, war, violence, and natural disasters in Africa. According to United Nations Agency for Refugees, the Mediterranean journey by migrants from Africa to Europe is the most deadly migrant route in the world. More than 700 migrants died after their boat which set off from Libya capsised on the Mediterranean Sea on April 18th, 2015. 30 Ethiopian migrants were also recently executed by ISIS in Libya.
Our land though fertile has been stagnant for too long and we remain the number one cause of its backwardness, under-developed state, and stagnancy. Blacks kills their fellow blacks during xenophobic attacks in South due to the belief that they are responsible for their misfortunes, a living evidence of the bitter past, backwardness, hatred, and jealousy that still resides in many. No amount of sympathy or throwing blames around has ever achieved any real change or development and neither will our holding firm to the bitter past of slavery, colonialism, apartheid make Africa work with no conscious effort from us to develop Africa.
Prior to Israel’s general elections on March 17th of this year; Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu bypassed President Barack Obama to address U.S. Congress on March 3rd 2015; a case that led to President Barack Obama unfollowing Prime Minister Netanyahu on facebook. Despite what looks like a little misunderstanding between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu, the U.S. Congress went ahead to grant Prime Minister Netanyahu audience.
The world continues to accord the Jews respect despite past efforts to wipe them off the surface of the earth. Six million Jews died in holocaust. During Israel’s 67th independence day celebration this year, Rafael Barack pens on National Post, “Israel transforms from a developing country into a high-tech economy, taking its seat alongside other industrial nations of the OECD. Over the span of less than seven decades, Israel grew 10-fold in population and 50-fold in gross domestic product.” Lest we forget, the Jews developed from people with no land sometimes back now to people who have a place called home, Israel. I see no reason why Africa can’t make real progress and be transformed into a desired place through developments.
Dubai is also another good example showcasing that change and development can be achieved anywhere in the world. According to BBC, Dubai mushroomed from being a tiny fishing village into one of the busiest hubs in the world, it makes one to wonder if Africa can transform to a developed region or probably any African nation has embarked on any particular policy or initiative that is worthy of emulation by others or that has placed Africa in a good limelight.
A glimpse of hope in Africa? During the 20th celebration of Rwandan genocide against the Tutsis in 2014, British former Prime Minister Tony Blair described Rwanda as a beacon of hope, a nation that has make remarkable progress despite the 1994 ethnic cleansing which claims more than 800,000 lives within 100 days. Progress made in Rwanda has been linked to the effective leadership under President Paul Kagame who ensures different policies were well implemented with humanitarian aid judiciously deployed to rehabilitate Rwandans with a new constitution adopted after the genocide period to unite all Rwandans by eliminating identification of Rwandans by ethnicity but rather by nationality and supporting women to take active participation in politics and governance.
Rwanda is the first nation in Africa and in the world to elect the world’s first female dominated parliament having over 50% of its parliamentarians as female, a position it maintains till date. Ever since Rwandan women started taking active roles decision making process following the end of genocide against the Tutsis, corruption, violence, infant mortality have been on the decline with Rwanda becoming one of the most stable nations in Africa and its economy has picked up drastically.
Rwanda is just a good example that things can work in Africa. Africa needs no revolution that requires blood shedding again as the ills in the land is already claiming innocent lives. Evolution of minds with visionary leaders to bring about economic improvement that can be felt by all and not a theoretical progress is needed to transform Africa. Good life in Africa is possible, let’s look inward.
“No great improvements in the list of mankind are possible until a change takes place in the fundamental constitution of their modes of thought.” – Rwandan parliamentarian.