Positioning Africa in the 21st Century

Published on 6th November 2007

As 100 participants from Africa, Middle East, Europe, and United States of America gather this weekend for the 5th Africa Resource Bank Meeting, they have to grapple with knowledge gaps that have for a long time made the continent an underdog. It is not going to be enough to discuss value systems as proposed by Western scholars without taking time to explore the undercurrents of intellectual dissent against the same.


Over the years, the state of Africa has been of concern to many. Grappling with challenges such as poverty, disease, hunger and other social problems, several solutions have been offered to free Africa from its apparent deathbed. While some see Africa’s problems as internal others link Africans problems to external factors like colonialism. Today, Africa is positioned as the highest recipient of foreign aid and bad governance among others. How can Africa reposition itself? What propels the success in the West and emerging Eastern economies? Africa needs to free itself from mental slavery and adopt government reforms that forge economic change.


To paraphrase Naruddin Farah a prominent writer of Somali origin; if one African ear constantly listens to external ideas and the other is left deaf; the continent shall never walk in a balanced manner! IREN welcomes all the delegates to this great event and look forward to free and fruitful brainstorming sessions.

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