I listened with interest to the series on BBC Radio 4 entitled Africa at 50; Denslow visited 3 African countries that celebrated 50 years of independence Nigeria, Mali and the Democratic republic of Congo (DRC)
In Nigeria a country with vast oil resources, however Denslow found that it remains desperately poor in parts and is struggling to resolve its agricultural policies consequently money to improve agriculture has gone missing and the country’s bill for imported food amounts to $620 billion a year. The good news is the thriving film industry dubbed NOLLYWOOD.
Mali once exported cotton as the main cash crop but cheaper Chinese and Indian cotton markets put an end to that and millions are putting their lives at risk to cross deserts in such of a better life elsewhere.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a country with vast mineral wealth sounds like hell on earth if everything we read in the popular press can be believed. The various rebel factions at still fighting the government for the control of this vast wealth, meanwhile the Chinese have moved in to construct roads and new hospitals in exchange for mining rights. Whether this is fair or not, in my mind it is the nearest the people will get to getting new roads and hospitals.
That is a sample of only 3 countries but the picture painted from listening to the series left me with a question if this is where were are in Africa, WHAT WILL THE NEXT 50 YEARS LOOK LIKE?
I strongly believe that things will change for the best for the man on the street; however most of this will depend on what we the Africans want the next 50 years to look like.
- Will we have what it takes to demand good governance from our leaders
- What about corruption? Can we rid ourselves of this practice
- The begging bowl- what can WE as Africans do for ourselves without help from the West?
- What about our resources? Will we demand that these are used for the benefit of everyone in the country instead of a few?
- Will we take over the microphone and spread the good news about Africa or will we leave it to Bono and his chums?
I am sure I can add more questions to this but hopefully you get my meaning. WE HAVE A CHOICE TO HAVE THE SAME 50 YEARS OR WE CAN CHANGE.