If by magic, there is an order that anything not made in Africa should vanish. Trust me; the whole of Africa might be naked. Even the gadget or material you are using to read this piece will vanish from your hands and the next thing you may have to do is to cover some important parts of your body with your hands, unless probably you are wearing Dashiki.

African Map IWill you believe that the $200m headquarters of AU in Ethiopia was built and donated to Africa by the Chinese government? The 53 African states couldn?t afford it. Interestingly, right at the entrance of the building is a statue of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. A man who said the black man is capable of managing his own affairs now has his statue built by China. What an irony!But surprisingly, when the chairman of AU in 2012, Mr. Teodoro Obiang Nguema who happened to be the president of Equatorial Guinea was interviewed by BBC after the inauguration of the building, he said the building of the complex by the Chinese government was a ?reflection of a new Africa.? MERCY!!
Upon all this, 60% of the world?s natural resources are said to be found in Africa. So one may be curious to ask,?why then are we poor?? We suffer almost all the world problems ranging from debts, diseases, disasters, disorderliness, deaths, ?dumsor?, etc. The problems are just enormous.
Even over here in Knust, when you wake up in the morning and you walk to the taps to fetch water, the taps may not flow because Knust owes Ghana Water Company. When you walk to the ATM to withdraw your own money, the ATM might be closed down. You will then proceed to a Tigo or MTN mobile money center and they will tell you to come later because the network is bad. There?s more, you will walk to the bank and they will also tell you their internet is slow because it has rained in Accra especially when it?s that bank, you know right?. As you become more frustrated, you will decide to go back to your room and by the time you get back to the room there is a Dumsor too. The problems facing Africans can be traced from different angles but the core causes has to do with the type of leadership and the kind of citizens we are as Africans.
Personally, I perceive African leaders as people who want to swim but do not want to get wet. They are never ready to lose a penny in theservice to their followers. Sometimes I wonder if they know the actual meaning of ?service?. And we the citizens too are only interested in our individualistic wellbeing.
It?s only in Africa you hear citizens making ugly noises about the sharing of ?national cake? but they are never interested in the baking of the said ?national cake?. It?s only in Africa that you also see parliamentarians and ministers using IPods when teenage girls in their constituencies cannot afford sanitary pads. The contrast is just striking. In the book ?The Gods Are Not To Blame? Ola Rotimi said ?when the frog in front falls in a pit, others behind take caution? The fact is that, our forefathers fell into pits and our current leaders have also fallen into pits and our generation might fall into deeper pits. We are not taking any caution. We are also falling into the pit of corruption and partisan politics. Just look at what is going on in our students? politics today and you can predict a deeper pit ahead of us.
My brothers and sisters, I am not a doomsayer but we must face reality. Africa is being very negligent. There were 148 students killed in Kenya. About a year ago, 276 school girls were abducted in Nigeria and the African continent could not rescue them. There are many children dying every day of hunger and curable diseases. These are the things we should be concerned about. It is rather unfortunate that our educationalsystems have turned us into intellectual poets and debaters and we reciteand argue everything we learn without practice.
The plight of Africa has many solutions but to me I think the most important one is CHANGE. We have to change our attitudes and mindset. The world is a state of the mind and until we change our attitude as Africans, shockingly,even if countries are categorized into fifth, seventh and eighth world countries we will still qualify to be in it. Why! We must change by rolling up our sleeves and working hard for the betterment of our countries. As much as we complain that our governments are bad we the citizens are also bad. We can keep on changing our governments but until we the citizens also change, it will be like putting new wine into old wine skins. The former will always contaminate the latter. We all have to change into new wine and new wine skins.
Indeed Africa is a poor billionaire, because we have all it takes to be rich but yet we are poor. We must stop acting like a diamond who doesn?t know her worth. Remember that ?we are not children of a lesser god? All is well.

Source: Ntenhene Felix
([email protected])
Political Science 3


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