Apr 26, 2010, 1:00 PM
There is no shortage of expert opinion on how to lift Africa out of poverty and make it prosperous. Every year experts converge at many and varied forums across the world to discuss about Africa and its myriad problems.
It looks as though academics, journalists, development workers, political leaders, etc. are all jostling to draw up the most workable antidote to Africa's ills - disease, disaster, destitution, endemic corruption and death. All of this is summed up in one word - poverty.
As always, it has been the position of this paper that the only way forward for the continent is for Africans, and Africa's leadership, in particular, to take responsibility for the progress of the continent, as nobody else is going to do it for Africa and Africans.
Africa needs greater investment in the real economy, particularly infrastructure, renewable energy, agriculture, communications and, most importantly, education. Arguably, illiteracy or inadequate education is at the root of Africa's woes.
A well-educated people will not be easy to take for a ride. Investment in education should go together with proportionate investment in agriculture.
Africans should take it as a prime challenge to mechanise agriculture across the continent. The deserts should be irrigated for abundant yields. Apart from that, there is overabundance of arable land on the continent, which if well utilized, could put an end to overdependence on food imports.
It is now time for Africans to wake up to the realisation that as long as they are not able to feed themselves, they will ever remain pawns in the global market place.
Africa has transformed in time, and the progress reached so far is a proof that concrete achievements are possible amidst adversity.
Africans and their leaders must take this observation to heart, and make it their daily guide, as they try to find their own rhythm in the world.
They have to learn that the struggle for the real emancipation of the continent will have to go with a lot of sacrifices.
The lesson for Africans in all of this is that Europe and North America, as they are today, are not God-made, on the contrary they are man-made.
If the Caucasian race can will itself to succeed, the Black race can do likewise. Believe it or not, wealth or poverty is the condition of the mind.
"Poverty is the worst form of violence."