A WAY FOWARD FOR AFRICA – Kennedy Muhindi
Media has been criticized for showing a bad image about Africa but to be honest African media houses report only for the local audience. You hardly find a Ugandan interested in what South Africa news report about their country. The only source of information and reports are Western media houses who seek African stories instead of covering them. Getting statistics from NGO’s and African Governments whose aim is to keep the AID money coming, they report and portray Africa as a hopeless, poor and illiterate continent with dying cultures . Prof. Patric Minfold a professor at Cardiff university confessed about his first visit to Africa, he never expected a warm welcome in Kampala- Uganda, he expected a town full of military and hungry- dying kids on streets.
Am not saying Africa is the safest and best place to live: We have civil unrests, dictatorship governments, uncivilized communities and weak economies which shows that something must have gone wrong.
It’s argued that civilization started in Africa at a fairly early Age(Land of Push,2500BC), higher education with the first University in the kingdom of Timbuktu(11th Century).Today, Africa is well edowed with fertile soils, fresh water bodies, good climate and minerals but its still a dark continent.
To begine with, Bad politics which was influenced by the west right after colonisation has affected Africa’s capacity to breakthrough. The Africans trained as clerks took over leadership positions of the country giving a firm ground to nepotism, corruption and embezzlement of public funds and not taking heed to democracy, this left the elites with no option but military change of government as evidenced by the multiple military coupes on the continent in the last half of the 20th century.
With military backup the new rulers built institutions that only payed allegiance to them and practiced neo-patrimonial kind of leadership. Former rebel leaders became stronger than the institutions and the governments, practicing all kinds of injustices and human rights violations.
Secondary, African cultures and belief systems have been deluded by the west, leaving Africa hopeless. Out of dire melancholy, we welcome anything that promises better life, Seeking for positions in the heavenly kingdom promised by the millions of churches on the continent has been the only available option. To many, church in Africa looks a lucrative business today and the poor are wrenched for their pastors to buy Solar suits and automatic bibles.
The African Narative has to change and the key players should be women and youths who account for 61.4% of 1.23bn people in Africa( UN-Sept 2018 population estimates)
They should be taught Pan-Africanism in schools, churches and media, the youths should be mentored and given fair opportunities to express their views.
African political leaders should desist from the western influence (neo-colonialism) and seek African solutions for African problems like AfricanBank and a common currency as proposed by Lt Col Gaddafi Muammar.
Youths who are the engines of economies and mothers who add a motherly touch to life and work should be strengthened to adopt to Vocational education and be encouraged to read and research, embrace ICT and innovation tribunals and be proud Africans by changing their purchasing patterns to buy African Goods and Services.
A Ugandan Youth leader Mr Maxon Muhwezi usually quotes that “Every generation has a role to play”, Our role should be shaping our African Narative to attract REAL trade and Development together as one people.
Writer is the National Youth leder Justice Forum(JEEMA)