Just a thought

Africa as a continent is still suffering from withdrawal symptoms of three traumatic processes: slavery, colonization and modernization. Unfortunately our structures and our leaders are making it difficult for Africa to snap out of it, hence the existence of conflict
and the persistent almost deliberate underdevelopment of Africa.

Many African countries are still governed by rules and policies that were created during the colonial days, or amended just after the attainment of independence, Yet things have changed tremendously since then, and even when these policies have been reviewed there has been a lack of proper research before implementation. Franz Fanon could not have said it better when he wrote in his book the wretched of the earth that “the problem with our leaders is that they do not view nationalization as placing the whole economy at the service of the nation and deciding to satisfy the needs of the nation”. To most of our African leaders nationalization means the transfer into the people those unfair advantages that were the legacy of the colonial period.

The implementation of new policies may be painful for a majority or the less of the majority depending on the policy on the short run, but in the long run a well-researched policy can be a lifesaver. Many African leaders may find it difficult to implement new policies, especially if such policies affect their allies, who provide funding and networks, and also if the policies are not popular to the majority. Most leaders feel they want to maintain their popularity among the masses and they are willing to sacrifice development to this effect. This is because they are led by their need to retain power and remain the people’s favorite, as opposed to making some hard decisions for their countries and their continents good.

Independence achieved its goal of Africanisation, but its modes of production remained archaic.
The world is a global market, as a continent, African countries need to act fast and strategically, to secure a niche, something more than just specializing in unfinished products and exportation of raw materials. We need to diversify exports as a tool to fight poverty and underdevelopment, for example invest in our jua kali industries and gradually develop them into ‘mature’ industries, let us export value added products like processed foods and clothes to boost our bargaining power in trade.

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