The courage and selflessness demonstrated by Capt. Richard Phillips of Maersk Alabama can offer great lessons to African leadership. Captain Richard risked his life to protect his crew and ensure that Maersk Alabama proceeds to its rightful destination.
This is in sharp contrast to African leaders who upon ascending to power, ignore the welfare of their electorate; serve their own selfish interests; loot their economies; auction their countries and set their nations off-tangent. African leaders sacrifice their citizens to cling to power instead of offering themselves for the sake of their citizenry. As the US demonstrated interest in their citizens, African leaders should be willing to sacrifice for the good of a citizen in danger.
According to the report, Breaking the Curse: How Transparent Taxation and Fair Taxes can Turn Africa's Mineral Wealth into Development, African governments are foregoing millions of dollars in revenue through mining tax subsidies and company tax avoidance. The main beneficiaries of the mining boom in Africa are “…a handful of African political elites, the shareholders of mining companies, the engineering, construction and management consultant firms servicing the global mining industry, and the financial institutions backing these ventures." This, alongside the scuttling of Africa's integration bid clearly indicates a leadership not interested in their countries.
The leaders’ lack of confidence in their respective countries saw the total capital flight from 40 Sub Saharan Africa countries amount to $420 billion (in 2004 dollars) compared to a total external debt at the end of the period (1970 to 2004) of $227 billion. This made the continent a net creditor to the rest of the world.
Capt. Richard’s ordeal is a wake up call to African leaders to chart an unconstrained vision for Africa’s future, stick to the vision and lay stratagems that will ensure the vision and prosperity thrives even without them.
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