I started my class with an open statement that ..If Africa can break away from the chains of leadership paralysis troubling the continents for years and begin to leverage the immense talents of its people to lead the world to come .. i can say with no shreds of doubt that there will be no competition in all spheres of life not even from Europe and Africa can become the lead star of the emerging technology inspired liberal economy….questions started flying over so I continued….
Africa is a continent with most youth population, 60% of African population is below 25 years making the continent an enviable destination of unimaginable prospects for development and been blessed in the abundance with natural resources more than any other continent on the planet makes the narration all inspiring to tell… but my fear keeps lurking beneath my for hopes any time the numerous instances of corruption and the countless examples of leadership crises spring to mind.
Mustapha asked …Ivan ! can we turn the situation around ! Yes ! my brother, but that will require a long period of mental rehabilitation and sanitation and a great deal of political revolution..a revolution capable of enlightening the masses,.a kind of revolution that will make the masses realise how a political system of their own design and creation has turned into a modern day scam machine deviced to enrich few and enslave majority, from that point , people will begin to demand accountability from their leaders and people they have been voting for years without any significant change in their lives, the ordinary man will be empowered to ask questions just like what their colleagues in States, Europe etc have been demanding for years leading to their economic freedoms.
What Africa requires is strategic thinkers and leaders who are pragmatically ruthless to fix for the change we require, leaders who can turn fortunes of Africa into opportunities that will benefit the suffering masses… not a saint but a pragmatic fixer / fixers.
…. look at a country like Nigeria… with a maximum crude oil production capacity of 2.5M barrels per day with other essential resources like iron, zink, coal, lead etc, Nigeria has no excuse to watch it citizens die on the Mediterranean sea on their quest to seek greener pasture in countries Spain or Italy who comes no close to Nigeria interms of natural wealth. In Nigeria, Petroleum exports accounts almost 86% of revenues from total exports….but where is the money ?
…… sadly decades of corruption has robbed such a prosperous nation of all …leaving its citizens at the mercy of extreme poverty … Nigerians are tagged as nomadic people because its travel more than citizens anywhere…..and are scatter all over in the globe seeking economic refuge ! What is interesting is that, it’s very uncommon to find one Otunba or Otunde in the same country who is overly rich and can feed half of the population..so the obvious question will be ..how does one man come by so much wealth when the majority are impressively poor ! behind most of these fortune is a crime of corruption handed over to them by their past generation who were equally corrupt power wielders who denied the people of their legitimate entitlements!…this reminds me of a popular stanza of a poem I used to read a lot ” water, water everywhere but no single drop to drink ”
Niger is another sad story of a failed nation plagued by decades of corruption, malfeasance of all kinds and forms and economic maladventure … a country blessed with Uranium… a priceless resource that America, North Korea, China and Russia will kill for in the ensuing global arms race. In 2018 , the cumulative production of Uranium from Niger was about 145,000 tU …Niger alone imports almost 40% of overall Uranium imports from Africa ….but poverty and disease have become the modern pride of Niger.
In Niger women have average, I mean AVERAGE of 7.6 children each …Extreme Poverty rate in Niger is 41.4% in 2019 according to a World Bank Report…sad story, I’m sure you have once come across a citizen from Niger on the streets of Accra begging to feed their kids …don’t forget that their homeland is rich but most have been forced to run away from what the World Bank describes as Extreme Poverty.
I do want to add Ghana to my today’s review but what will be my moral justification to review other countries and leave mine out when problems raised in other places are pervasive here !
Leadership crises is one hell of a concern to every reasonable young person in Ghana who has been watching our political enterprise from a distance for sometime now : extreme partisan allegiances has become a warranty card for most of our politicians to take citizens for granted; love for party overwhelming exceeds loyalty to the nation ! ..In Ghana most in the academia shy away from actively taking part in politics for its invective nature leaving the gateway for all manner of persons to flood the political stage, some end up playing toy politicians in a mini-series of comic politics of which citizens are forced to watch, I understand there are some who are genuine and very intelligent with beautiful dreams but the abundance of many the misfits/crooks who are often driven by money and power, money and power ! has overshadowed the few reasonable ones with the heart to redeem society.
Ghana is not left out, we are equally blessed with a fortune in the form of natural resources.. in our case, we are lucky with gold, diamonds, manganese, salt, natural gas, bauxite, iron ore, silver, petroleum etc..
The rate of unemployment is rife especially among the youth, unable to create room to employ or create business friendly environment for the private sector to thrive, government is only able to employ less than 700,000 from a population of about 30,000,0000. The private sector which is often regarded as the engine of growth for the Ghanaian economy is also saddled with numerous challenges making it almost impossible to employ as many as they are supposed to.
Policies and initiatives are often implemented without looking at the needs of the people,… we are often ruled by leaders who seek political expediency from everything including donations made to the vulnerable….Leadership elsewhere, in Europe, in Americas, service is to the people..a sharp contrast is the Africa story ; leadership here is worship and kiss my unwiped ass else you will go hungry”….follow me and cheer me and don’t ask questions else I will sack you, sing praises for me whenever you seem me coming and several other narrow minded engagements and surprisingly people seem to be comfortable with this heartbreaking practices because they share same political lineage !
I remember telling a group of students I was addressing few days ago ..I asked them ….how can a president who is supposed to provide hospitals and a suitable medical facilities for its peole go abroad to seek medical care .? How reasonable can this be ….but nobody seems to be worried about this … the only way a president or a minister of state can leave his jurisdiction to seek medical care is when he’s been given a referral letter or medical clearance to continue care or seek advance care ..or services in need can only be sought beyond the borders… that’s is reasonable. .. so whenever i see a memo from the Flagstaff House or the Jubilee House or whatever it is …telling us in our faces that the President or his vice is leaving to seek care outside …to me, it is the biggest insults to the ordinary taxpayer especially those who can’t even access healthcare at a CHPS compound. But the average Ghanaian will dance to hear such a memo because partisan politics has robed many of their wisdom and the spark to reason and ask questions.
I often tell students… In Africa or In Ghana, by having our political system in perspective which is overly dominated by partisan considerations, I don’t see victims or innocent persons rather I only see only accomplices and sponsors of an extensive political conspiracies and a deep state partisan terrorism aimed at satisfying people’s insatiable orgies to be rich by holding on to power” because if leadership is about influencing lives … for decades how transformed are we as Africans?
Ivory Coast, Gold Coast, Zaire etc are monuments of wealth by God’s creation but why this endless cycle of poverty engulfing us …. our politics has become a game of greed, self-centeredness, vindictiveness, retribution,.segregation, tribal intimacy, ethnocentric supremacy, nepotism ( Akuffo Addo’s family tales ) cronyism etc…. the few who will be bold enough to point to the flaws in the system are brandish as arrogant and too knowing ..what a sick culture we have cultivated.. in Ghana every grown person is right and every young person is wrong — building a backlog of backwards thinkers !
But who will change the fortunes of Africa for real Ivan .. ?Obeng Solomon asked.
Solo: America was built by humans, God didn’t create any of the beautiful cities anywhere on this planet…men of intellectual wits and vision built these cities: Vegas, New York City, Washington DC, men with vision built America not Angels not even Los Angeles…which many refer to as the City of Angels.
And I will always and forever dismiss the daring notion that Africans are not intelligent breed of a human race, that’s false. …the continent is rich with men and women who are extremely intelligent but a system has deliberately been installed to impede the utilisation of the enormous wits sitting in people’s brain going waste on daily basis …
So my caution is, until we do away with this phenomenon of unfettered partisan loyalties and begin to question why some decisions are made and start replacing the excesses of human interface and human discretions with systems….we will remain unresponsive to the numerous fledgling opportunities for economic freedom ! So Solomon yes … with right kind of people committed for real change .. we can turn the situation around…there’s no redemptive alternative aside. Thank you for your questions!
I’m Ivan Kyei Innocent and I’m no cynic
Ivan Kyei Innocent/[email protected]