The latest issue of “The Economist’ has a scathing article on the recent election that took place in Nigeria. With this issue as a backdrop, the article then ponders whether there really is any hope for Africa where on the surface, nothing ever really seems to work, and development never seems to take place.
The article then compares Asia and Africa, both of which were colonies of various European powers, both which suffered deep poverty in the 70s and the 80s. However, whereas the leadership in Asia implemented policies the in general helped bring Asia into economic reforms and prosperity, Africa’s leadership simply took Africa in the opposite direction. Where as in general, you can look across Asia and see the results of their positive leadership, in Africa you can see what the lack of real leadership has lead to. Think Zimbabwe, Congo, Nigeria etc…
In general, when Africa is mentioned on the world scene, the context tends to be with regards to aid, AIDS, famine, disease, corruption, war… and the list of negatives go on and on. African has become irrelevant in most of the other contexts such as business, trade, technology etc. You never hear about any African country’s stock exchange when world stocks and financial markets are being mentioned, you never hear about African global companies being mentioned as companies with low risk to invest in.
The question I want to ask then is… when will Africans, even the leaders, ever get tired of handouts? When will we Africans get tired of begging for money from the WB and the IMF, money that we end up squandering anyway? When will Africans pick up their pride and a sense of work ethic, to compete with the rest of the world? When will Africans decide that maybe its time to pick up some dignity?