What do African Countries Lack to be Stable and Develop?
Africa has passed through turmoil political waves that not only claimed uncountable lives of innocent people but ruined economies which to some extent define the endemic poverty, conflict and dependence of all forms. For a long time, the leaders in their beliefs, expressed in their speeches in many occasions at home or abroad attributed all misfortunes of the continent to foreign forces.
Slave trade, colonialism, neocolonialism dominated their belief and were underlined as the principle sources of African sorry state in political and economic spheres of the continent.
Some are not even afraid to attribute the ongoing conflicts in some countries to foreign influence. Yes, the role played by slave trade that claimed a population of 100 million Africans, according to some writers, cannot be ignored, Massive plundering of African natural resources from slave trade and colonial eras that spanned nearly a century cannot be underrated as well.
Domination and manipulation of Africans by Europeans can as well be recognized as a significant contribution to the state of Africa to day.
Predominantly in sixties, many African countries acquired independence with much vulnerability that hindered many, if not all, to fully gain and own their independence. Many of the challenges at the time included literacy levels, low level of skills, and lack proper of knowledge on international dynamics at the time, hostility of colonizing powers disparate in need of staying in absence, and unwillingness to lose grip on African resources enjoyed free of charge for centuries remained a factor as well.
The opposition to this, with progressive and aggressive approach by some patriotic leaders, at the time, could not let them stay longer at the political helm or stage but would rather terminate their political journey in short time. To the worst, it cost them their lives and left place for marionette to become life presidents with voluminous messes in their countries.
In less than a decade the proponents of an Independent Africa with agenda of own control and advocating for Unity of Africa was already gone.
It will be brought to mind that while 1960â€™s was a decade of celebrators for independence 1970â€™s was dominated byÂ military coup dâ€™Ã©tats across the continent. Military leadership characterized by dictatorships look control of state affairs and in many times and countries across Africa.
This was the Africa of 70s as mismanagement dominated the scope of their stay in power and removal of those Military rulers from power, could only be done through another coup with similar replacements that led to a series of coups in many countries like Burundi, Nigeria etc.
Since they could not be removed through the voice of the people, the only resort remained another coup and of recent through peoples armed struggles like the case of Rwanda (RPA), Uganda (UNLA) or Sudan (SPLA). The peopleâ€™s armed, struggle in form of guerrilla warfare was beginning to take shape in some countries not only to oust dictatorships but as a way to bring people back on board for involvement in their national affairs.
Typical examples can be cited in Rwanda and Uganda, where dividends are self-evident in economies and other field that had been stagnant or ruined by the dictatorial regimes over time.
Beyond all these, some countries in Africa were severely destroyed by sectarian politics where citizens have been treated differently. The typical example is a country called Rwanda, where some citizens were treated as foreigners in their own land. Is this attributable to foreign influence?
Yes, to some extent but what was the role of a Native leadership?Â This is an indication that we are co-authors of our own misfortune. Naturally, living a mutualâ€“benefit relationship among people regardless of their differences, harms neither party and the people have no power, to institutionally and structurally divide themselves â€“it is always the state. Is this an attribute to foreign powers?
Many analysts point at corruption, embezzlement, nepotism and mismanagement as the core sources of underdevelopment of countries in Africa. To this point, and this time around, this has nothing to do with external influence and it is indeed an African political cancer that shall only require typical African political physicians.
And this is because African leaders have chosen to run their countries as private enterprises with total ignorance of their people, with whom they have equal rights in their same country as citizens. This is not attributable to foreign powers. This is a political malaise that is dominantly cited as one of the root causes of the sorry state in Africa witnessed today.
However there is another single factor always not mentioned, that lies behind all this misfortune. Irresponsibility in leadership. Failure to understand the role and purpose of leadership qualifies and defines why all the above mentioned political malpractices, that undermine a nation and its people occur. Irresponsibility in leadership is an escape from accountability.
Leadership that fears and avoids accountability is basically not in service of the people, and in many countries in Africa, system are run without accountability mechanism or with only pretentious and cosmetic ones which are in essence defunct.
If it was lack of Managerial skills for African leaders to organize their countries, within their intellectual capabilities, but with desire to do so, resources would be committed to employ external political and economic expertise as it is done, when it comes to the development and Management of African political leadersâ€™ personal business.
It has come to my understanding that taking time to think about what leadership should do for the people, and commitment to do so, can elevate a country from scrap to strength and this is a preserve to a responsible leadership.
The only recent example in Africa which I can stand for, affirm and reaffirm, where leadership has been responsible and hence accountable, that transformed a country to unimaginableÂ height, in relatively short time is Rwanda. Looking at the development rate in Rwanda in areas of airline, schools, healthcare system, poverty reduction, security, cleanliness accountability, performance contacts, national, dialogues, retreats, name it. It only tells me what is lacking for African countries to develop and prosper. If it was due to natural resources or favorable geographical and climatic conditions, then Africa would be second to none in terms of economic development.
This time round a shift from blame to foreign influence as the sole cause of Africaâ€™s misfortune shouldÂ cease to dominate the rhetoric of anyÂ sober minded people in the leadership sphere .The shift should go to our own irresponsibility to enable us be responsible forÂ our own affairs. Our choice to agonize, antagonize and or disorganize will be the sure journey to oblivion for African people.