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The African renaissance

May 10, 2010, 12:46 PM

So much has been written about how to move Africa forward along the path of peace, progress and prosperity. Experts have identified challenges that are endemic to the continent. They include poverty, disease, hunger, destitution, war, corruption and leadership crisis. According to the experts, all of these challenges bog down the continent.

The challenges are like a hydra-headed monster, as one challenge is tackled another one springs up, leaving experts rather bewildered as to how to go about tackling the African Question. The upshot is that most people have already given up on the continent as a lost cause.

This explains why there is so much brain-drain and why illegal migration continues to be the norm among African youths. But Africans must never despair.

Surely, the first step is to have faith in ourselves, in our products and in our values. In some parlance, this is termed as mental emancipation. If we believe that we are inferior, we will act inferior. If we think positively, then we can turn the continent around.

We should as a matter of necessity and urgency clear our minds of defeatist sentiments like "nothing works in Africa". Everything and anything can work on the continent, if we put our minds to it, and exert ourselves to put our positive and constructive thoughts into action.

A prime example of what Africans can do, when they are determined, is the hosting of this year's World Cup in South Africa. The African continent and South Africa, in particular, took the world by storm by its ability to bring the whole world under one roof. The instructive thing about South Africa hosting the World Cup is that it would show to the whole world that Africa too has all that it takes to host the World Cup.

It is our common belief that with Africanness, the 2010 World Cup would be successfully implemented entirely by African talent.

Through trial and error, South Africa has to get it right, because this would heighten the profile of South Africa and, by extension, that of Africa.  There is no part of the world today where the forthcoming World Cup is not discussed.

So, if Africans can achieve such a feat, that had previously been assumed to be the exclusive preserve of others, then they can also accomplish engineering feats that can transform the continent, and make it prosperous.

This shows that Africans have the latent talent and ability to change the continent for good. But what is lacking is the will to unlock their potential.

We have to begin somehow, and learn from our mistakes as we progress. If we keep relying on others, or wishing for others to do for us what we can get up and do for ourselves, we will always remain behind, plagued all the time by misery and despair.

"Africa is our home, our world and all we have. Let us help to make it a better place for all."