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Africa: The Big Issue (Vol.1, Pt.1)

Post by Chris Aligba

· Africa,Leadership,transformation

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

― Margaret Mead

Africa is on the move, no doubt. But there are hard questions we must ask. Why have African leaders been unable to bring about inclusiveness in historically highly exclusive environments taking cognisance of the fact that this is a vital step for stability and solid growth? To what extent really is the African continent appropriately positioned for a decisive and tenacious obliteration of the discrepancies on its growth trajectory while creating jobs not just in the robust states but in the many fragile states? Why is the continent harshly unconducive for a greater majority of Africans - to the point that professionals and educated citizens continue to seek a better life outside Africa - at the same time that they are frantically needed for keen development? These are vital questions that demand answers. But the real problem is not these crises of leadership per se but the probability that our responses will be grossly inadequate - a big cost to our future.

Against the backdrop of the many Africans that continue to drown in the treacherous waters of the Mediterranean Sea as they try to immigrate to Europe, I often ask myself, "What is it that makes our countrymen and women leave their motherland to resettle in foreign places, usually by unsafe means?" In 2016 alone, a total of about 1,599 African immigrants were recorded dead.

Apart from that, there is a myriad of other challenges across the continent, most of which are backed by several anecdotal and research evidence that offer quite some insight into the crux of Africa's diverse problems. Across the continent today - in both robust and fragile states, the art of human interaction and sense of community has been lost, with psychologically unhealthy populations and little or no value for "human life." Social exclusion is at an unprecedented level, and the hugely recurring catchword is "Every man to his own tent." In Nigeria, it is called "OYO" - meaning "On Your Own." Cultivating cohesion is ever hardly the case. Should society be this way?

The socioeconomic drifts and widespread tensions caused by an inept and very self-centred political class is chiefly the bane of the dilemma. Africa at present lacks an all-round cohort of leaders who have the grit, ability and political will to take their people and lead them along to a shared place of prosperity. And guess what? Africans have become severely weary of the status quo - in particular, politicians whose consistent undemocratic efforts are aimed at racketeering from existing legal and institutional frameworks while playing on the perennial weaknesses and vulnerabilities of newly democratic African societies.

Thus, as we get this conversation started, I attempt to share my insights and thoughts on Africa's positioning for the future and the present against the backdrop of a "make-it-happen" kind of leadership. While one may know exactly what needs to be done about our challenges, no one knows it all. That's why getting Africans engaged in a discourse that helps to build a case for a radical shift from the past is the way out of the epic complacency and mediocrity we find in the abusive nature of today's African leadership. Indeed, it's a decisive moment for many Africans who can't wait to have a new breed of African leaders who will lead not to make merchandise of the people they ought to serve but for the right reasons and purposes.

To be continued in Vol 1., Part 2 (Excerpts from my new book, Future Now).

With Esteem & Appreciation,

Christian Aligba is the Founder/President of C.A.L.F Africa, a non-profit organization that's keenly developing and recognizing the next generation of African leaders - helping to create a new narrative, a new normal, a new beginning: Better Leaders, Better Societies across Africa. Learn more@ www.calfafrica.org

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