While there are several books, researches and publications on Africa prospects, at the end, it is up to the Africans to recognize what impedes their desires and rise internally to confront/deal with them. No amount of Johnny-Just-Come foreign experts and in-tow psuedo-intellectuals can take the place of local grown cadre committed to uplift their country/continent. The discussion should highlight the negatives and positives devoid of flowery prose so that those in attendance can appreciate the presentations.
As an example, let us look at Nigeria, the ´Giant Of Africa.´ In 1987, Nigeria´s One Million Naira was equivalent to US $1.35m. Today, Nigeria´s One Million Naira is a mere $2,700. Try calculating the rate of change using the Six Functions of Money, and the calculator will go into extended blinking ending up with EE – Extended Errors.
During this time, a majority of African nations were sold dubious SAP (Structural Adjustment Program) doses by the World Bank and IMF, which ended up sapping energy out of Africa. Africa has no excuse since it signed up to it.
More than thirty years hence, many African nations are grappling with issues making them appear and look like they just dropped onto the earth. Nation building demands vigor in challenging conventional wisdom, becoming disruptive in throwing out what has not worked, engaging in new mantra, and being unapologetic in seeing to a better country. Africa often to their own chagrin, look to the West and now East (China), believing falsely that the potions from these two sides are better than their own.
If academic prowess is what it takes, Nigeria will be leading Africa because Nigerians hold more degrees and have more colleges/universities than any African country. In the same vein, India would have been leading the world because India has more degree holders than any nation, and it’s the world’s largest democracy. Obviously, while education counts, it does not mean equal outcomes. Good outcomes do not arise from mere possession of degrees and certificates.
Economic development is a not a PhD in Economics, but rather commitment by a nation to stop at nothing to promote her comparative advantages while seeking investments and partnerships to advance other sectors. Africa attracts and woos investors offering incredible incentives such as full repatriation of profits without taxing them. This has left Africa gapping and holding onto nothing. Until African nations straighten the continent´s governance rules and regulations, and make investing attractive by not offering undue incentives, nothing will hold tight in Africa.
Money is a creation of human endeavors for the sole purpose for exchange of goods and services on a standard measure. So when Africa goes a-borrowing, it makes one wonder why it can’t create its own monetary instruments just like everyone one else and use that to attract investments. With weak currencies, poorly managed and administered local economies, Africa ends up with vulture investors and not eagle investors. No one should be fooled about Africa. Its problems are mostly self-inflicted because the leadership is about what they get not what the country gets.
There is no magic to growth and development: It comes from the desire to do better and use tools available on the ask, to get to desired destinations. At the end of the day, the brain is equally distributed – the difference lies in the attitude and confidence a people project, in order to self preserve while extending the arm of relationships to attract quality investors and partners.
Everyone goes to AFRICA and become millionaires, but hardly do Africans go to countries like India, China, Lebanon, Pakistan, Israel, and become millionaires. Obviously, what is good for the goose is not good for the gander.
By Ejike E. Okpa,