Africa is considered the oldest continent in the world, and presumably the origin of civilization. It encompasses 54 countries that are diverse in languages and cultures. It is an undeniable fact that several challenges are hindering the anticipated quick growth of this naturally endowed continent, but the issue of ascribing the African continent to a place of hunger and poverty has been grossly exaggerated.
Africa is not a place ravaged by hunger and poverty but rather a continent of immense diversity. Some of the world’s richest and internationally recognized people come from and began their success story in Africa. The issue of underdevelopment and an economically nonprogressive African continent solely rests on the decision of the lawmakers and leaders of these countries. Every nation in the world is endowed with natural resources, and being able to harness these resources for the betterment of a country depends on the ability and capability of a good government administration.
It is a fact that the biggest challenge facing most African countries is bad leadership. This can be seen in the magnitude of negligence towards affairs circumferencing the growth and economic stability of most African countries.
Leadership entails understanding the requirements and duties a position as a leader entails, understanding the plight of those being led, and creating measures to address and proffer solutions to the problems facing the people. The inability of a leader to adequately perform these duties depicts incompetence.
Some challenges facing the African continent.
The constant portrayal of African countries especially by their leaders, as helpless, ravaged by poverty, and always in need of aid, has gone a long way in tarnishing the image of the African continent. Some foreigners think that the African continent as a whole is one single country. Some others perceive Africa as a jungle where animals roam around freely and people walk around half-naked. In some situations, some people who have never been to Africa, find it hard to accept the fact that there are learned, educated, and literate people in Africa.
Africa is a continent with the largest mineral resources in the world. Yet some of these minerals are managed by foreign companies. The local companies are most times not patronized and end up diverting the resources into the hands of foreign companies who mine, refine and sell these refined products back to the source country.
In numerous cases, it has been observed that some Africans working in foreign companies situated on African soil, earn less than 3 dollars a day. They are underpaid and undervalued, and most times work under unsafe conditions with no insurance policies.
The economic instability associated with most African countries has further affected the way the younger generation reacts to life situations. Interracial children of African descent, when they reach adulthood most times end up pledging their loyalty to their other nationality, forgetting and refusing to be enculturated with their African heritage.
There is a significant decline in the enculturation of the younger generation of African history, culture, languages, and beliefs. There are fewer books encompassing teachings associated with African history and culture.
Africans living in foreign countries, who have successfully acquired great achievements in these societies, in fields like sports, science, or technology, usually end up not extending these good fortunes to their country of origin.
The African continent is home to some of the smartest, most hardworking, vibrant, and very creative people in the world. For a fact, there are millions of graduates and educated people in African countries, people who irrespective of their country’s shortcomings were able to attain a substantially recognizable level of education, one even better than their foreign counterparts in the developed countries.
It is a necessity that leaders of this continent unite to truly explore the continent’s resources for the betterment of the African people.
Emmanuel Ikenna Orindu.