Africa is a continent that many have for years presumed to be under-developed or a dark continent with little hope for success. There has been debates and discussions about the future of the continent by a number of individuals and this has led to some people losing hope on the continent’s ability to develop. From a different perspective, there has been promissory and assurance rhetoric from the leadership of African countries, seeking to explain and allude to the fact that Africa has vast resources and development is possible given that people vote in a particular way. People have been coerced by these beliefs for long and have been deceived in the process.
There has been a number of theories of development explained and ways through which Africa can develop. At the start of all, one should first be able to understand and appreciate the African situation before being able to offer solutions and suggestions to the problems. I have come to the understanding that the solutions to Africa’s development are internal rather than external and it begins with individual understanding and self realization. Individuals should first come to the realization that indeed they are Africans and owe loyalty to Africa than to any other powers regardless of the present circumstances. This means self-esteem and belief that one is in a better situation to offer responses to the challenges of the continent individually and collectively.
The next step is for an individual to clearly understand what Africa is , the problems of the continent, the resources and the ways through which he/she may play a critical role in its development. It does not simply need people at the helm of society or in legislative bodies, but rather the courage and knowledge of the individuals in the society that may help take the first step in the development process.
People should be able to take full responsibility of their action rather than blame other members of society for the failure and term it misfortune. When one fails, it is always important to accept situations as they come and reflect on the best way to move forward. The many people of the African continent should come to that understanding and realization. It is never necessary to start blaming other people when in fact it won’t change the situation.
I have noted a problem with my fellows that we fear dialogue and truth seems to be threatening. There is no way we can work together when we are not engaged in an open dialogue about the issues that affect us daily. We need to be able to say it out and openly discuss about the real issues without fear of victimization or social exclusion. The ability to communicate is the first step towards complete understanding of the challenges and finding of solutions. Till we are able to sit in one table and be open to each other in dialogue, then we shall be able to find common ground for operations.
We need to take the first step in addressing our own challenges and problems. We always seem to believe that the west should be part of Africa’s development and we have been taught to actually look down upon our own ability as a people to solve our problems. It is not necessary to have external people involved in our path to development when we are not yet certain about what our problems are and how we can solve it. We need home-grown development strategies that help us meet the needs and demands of the African people.
I believe in the ability of Africa standing united to fight a common enemy, poverty and under-development, and i am convinced that it is indeed up to the African people to come to the realization that Africa is for the Africans and not for other people. This will help us be real and truthful to ourselves before we can engage ourselves in dialogue for a better Africa. It needs courage, determination and commitment for Africa to stand united in its quest for a better quality of life for its citizens.