Blame for everything African is seen from two lenses; the West and historically deficient perspectives. As far as Africa is concerned, its name alone is synonymous with darkness, lack of progress and abysmally underdeveloped. And the other perspective is seen from Africans’ lenses; that Africa can improve but for salient and underlying challenges. I have no position; I take a pragmatic view and here is my indictment.
First, Africa has problems. The biggest of Africa’s problems are dual in nature – political and economic. The politics are tasteless and the economies are always begging. As Nyerere once said, “There is a demon in Africa.” Leaders seem to have no idea what they are even elected for. People cannot voice their dissatisfaction with bad leadership or they risk ostracization or even death. Media is a weapon for citizenry victimization and good ideas are stifled as threats. This paradigm has perpetually left many an African government dogged by less competent and dictatorially talented men.
Take Zambia as an example. It does not matter who presides over the nation; it all comes to the same story. Before they rise to power, they may make some promises. But once power pokes them, they engineer vicious disenfranchisements, recruit despotic caderism, and obliterate any sane opposition. Productivity is relegated to oblivion and mental agility is annihilated. Most regimes are run by thinkless, brainless and overtly unwise idiots who celebrate poverty or camouflage it into politically correct terms and who shun intellectualism at the expense of callous shamelessness.
Second, there is no planned incentive to progress technologically. Africa has become the user-in-chief of other nations' technological prowess. Universities are harbingers of achievement-less fellows. If education is below standard, teachers are rarely well-paid and books used are obsolete and almost always written by non-Africans. It could take a miracle to innovate and recolonize learning there.
Third, Africa in general and Zambia in particular, has not prioritized human rights protection for its people. There is rhetoric but there is no substance on implementation. People are judged based on tribal affiliation and not brains or contribution. Brainless governors use power as a weapon to intimate the weak, poison the innocent and murder those who dare to stand up and speak truth to power. This tendency has produced a nation of yes-yes weaklings, who simply endorse and not challenge dictatorial and despotic regimes.
Let us face it, all nations are facing political and economic challenges, but Zambia’s are artificial ones – allowed to mushroom in order to consolidate power and eliminate challengers. Here is what must be done, and done urgently: (1) Purify government by being the right people to be elected to power. Do not ask what somebody should do for your nation, rise up and do something for it; (2) speak up and out for injustices even if it may endanger your life. Those who fought and died for African liberation did not have super blood; (3) challenge the current educational standards in Africa and Zambia. Children should be exposed to early childhood problem-solving programs and motivated to love science and technology; (4) stop putting faith in government, put faith in God and believe in yourselves. Be innovative, inventive and experiment; and (5) be self-reliant and use whatever is in Africa to develop Africa.
By Charles Mwewa