Greetings once again to my fellow Africans and friends of this great continent. My sincerest apologies for not sharing an article last Wednesday. I took part in an eye-opening journey to West Africa and got so caught up in Africa’s marvel and beauty! On the bright side, I got to experience Africa Day (commemorated every year on the 25th of May) in unfamiliar surroundings and I used this opportunity to reflect on how far this continent has come while simultaneously pondering on the great opportunities that are within our reach.
It is an open secret that my love for Africa knows no bounds. I sincerely believe that this is a dynamic place to live in and despite our vast challenges in certain areas, we are heading towards a prosperous future. To some, my firm standpoint on Africa’s greatness seems naïve but I believe that a quick look into our history reveals just how resilient and productive we have been, and can be. In all honesty, it is incredible that Africa has even managed to come this far considering that for eons, it was a one stop shop for slaves, mineral resources and land. This great continent was raided by squads of foreign interests and plunged into pits of cruelty, deadly divisions and dependence. In many ways, some of these acts from the past still rear their ugly heads in today’s Africa, even though they tend to be less overt, they are still as strategic and damaging as before. To make things even more complex, some parts of this continent have experienced economic booms which has clouded our judgement and led some to believe that we are truly and genuinely free and prosperous.
As I indicated in the beginning, I am proud of this land, its people and all the strides it has made, primarily in the last 50 years. In all this pride that I have for this land, I still realise that we have a lot to do towards transforming Africa into a global power force, where growth is inclusive and not just reserved for a select few. I dream of an Africa that distributes its wealth equally and fairly. I dream of an Africa that stands together and not only tries to solve its problems through dialogue but takes it a step further and puts its money where its mouth is. I dream of Africans that exude love, Ubuntu and service for the continent as a whole rather than just their country of origin. I dream of an Africa that goes to international forums with enough leverage and clout to negotiate strong beneficial deals and reforms. I dream of an Africa that calls its own shots.
As I look around, I can see that conversations around our transformation are in full swing but we must realise that future generations will judge us not on our dreams or ideas but rather on our will and ability to act on them. I may not live to see Africa’s real emancipation but I am not fazed; as long as I have the gift of life, I will work and bleed for this great land the way others have sacrificed it all for us to be where we are.